Nancy Wilson Payne Ellis

Community leader Nancy Wilson Payne Ellis will be presented The John and Joy Reed Belt Leadership in Arts and Education Award by Harding Fine Arts Academy at a dinner on Tuesday April 18 at 6:00 pm at the OKC Petroleum Club. The award was initiated in 2013 by the HFAA Board with the purpose to increase overall public awareness of the school, honor community leaders for their inspiring and dedicated leadership, showcasing Harding Fine Arts Academy student talents and increase sustained financial support for academic and arts programming. Nancy is being recognized for her ongoing outstanding leadership in furthering arts and education in Oklahoma.
Nancy is a 1959 graduate of Harding High School. She is Past Chairman and Lifetime Trustee of the OKC Museum of Art. Nancy is a founding member of The Payne Education Center which trains teachers to teach children with learning differences. She was the first female chairman of the Oklahoma State University Foundation Board of Governors and was inducted into the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame in 2004 and into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2005. Nancy was honored by the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County with the Champion of Youth Award in 2012. In addition she received the Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor Lifetime Achievement Award at Oklahoma City University Meinders School of Business. Nancy has served as a Deacon, Elder and Trustee for Westminster Presbyterian Church. She is married to Dr. Robert Ellis and together they have 8 children and 17 grandchildren.
Nancy stated, “My six years at Harding High School were a very important time in my life. With excellent teachers that I can still name today, to my many friends that I have stayed in touch with over 50 years, the impact on my life has been personal and permanent. Beginning with art classes in the ninth grade at Harding to the many opportunities I have had to bring arts education to the community, my life has been enriched”.
Harding Fine Arts Academy is a tuition-free, non-profit charter high school founded in 2005. The school’s mission is to prepare students for college in an academically challenging arts integrated environment.
A lively evening is planned with James Pickel serving as emcee, featuring student modern dancers, vocalists from the spring production and a guitarist. Patrons may support school and student needs by donating to a variety of projects through “Pic Your Passion” teacher-posted projects which range from science classroom equipment, novels and concert amplification equipment. Donations opportunities towards these teacher projects in honor of Nancy Payne Ellis will be available at the event or online at: harding Pic your Passion donors or interested sponsors can also contact Linda Lightner at (405) 702-4322 or emailing [email protected].
Sally Bentley and Alison Taylor are Co-Chairmen. Committee Members include Kaye Adams, Kelley Barnes, Joy Reed Belt, Susan Gabbard, Dee Harris, Kirsten Hurley, Nancy Leonard, Linda Lightner,Carol McPheeters, Kathy Rogers, Matt Schein, Bob Spinks, Beth and Jim Tolbert and John Yoeckel. Reservations for the dinner are $125 and can be made by calling (405) 702-4322. Visit htt:// Sally and Alison said “This event recognizes the impact of arts and education in shaping the future of our students’ lives. We’re thrilled to celebrate a past Harding School Graduate, Nancy Payne Ellis, in recognition of her lifetime commitment to the arts and education in our community and state”.