Alpha Phi Foundation



John R. and Cecile D. Richards Scholarship

  • Open to: Either Graduate or Undergraduate Students
  • Chapter(s) Eligible: Omega (Texas), Gamma Iota (Texas Tech), Delta Beta (Texas A&M-Commerce), Epsilon Omega (Texas A&M), Iota Beta (St. Mary's), Phi (Oklahoma)
  • Additional Criteria: Or an applicant who is a resident of Oklahoma or Texas
Cecile Davis Richards (April 28, 1924 - August 22, 2014) was a reporter, author, volunteer and dedicated supporter of Alpha Phi.

A native Tulsan and 1940 Central High School graduate, she decided at age 10 to become a newspaper reporter and published work in the sixth grade at Barnard Elementary School, at the Woodrow Wilson Junior High School "Booster," and at her high school newspaper, "Tulsa School Life."

Cecile attended the University of Texas in Austin where she joined Alpha Phi. She served as scholarship chairwoman, was a member of the women's chorus and wrote for "The Daily Texan." After transferring to the University of Oklahoma, she affiliated with the Phi chapter, earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism, was "issue editor" of "The Oklahoma Daily" and became a member of Theta Sigma Phi, a national honorary society for women in journalism and communications. 

As a reporter, Cecile worked at The Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Tulsa Tribune and for radio station KTUL. She handled public relations for the Tulsa Community Chest, which is now the Tulsa Area United Way. Recently, she published a history of Tulsa's first half century, "Wherever You Go - The Life of Jane Heard Clinton: Indian Territory Bride."

Cecile was one of the founders of the Atlanta Alpha Phi Alumnae Chapter in 1944 and later became president of the Greater Tulsa Alumnae Chapter. She served as district governor for the chapters at OU, Oklahoma City University, North Texas State University at Denton and Midwestern University at Wichita Falls. She served on the Alpha Phi Foundation Board and established this scholarship.

As a volunteer, Cecile was a troop leader, board member and neighborhood chairwoman for the Magic Empire Council of Girl Scouts. She also served as a board member for the Tulsa Boys' Home, Babies Milk Fund and AAUW. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and volunteered at Project Get Together.

Cecile was most recently involved in the Hyechka Club, Shakespearean Society, Durant Study Group, Tulsa Historical Society and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Cecile and her late husband John R. Richards, attorney and judge of the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary, are survived by four children - Ann Richards Ketcham of Tulsa, also an Alpha Phi, Barbara Richards of Palmetto, Fla., Phil R. Richards of Tulsa and Julia Thompson of Wichita, Kan., an alumna of Kappa Delta.