Heritage Hall News


Lauren Roth, Director of Communications
Keesee receives Distinguished Alumni Award 

(Oklahoma City) – Heritage Hall Alumni Association (HHAA) has honored Christian Keesee ’81 as its 2024 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award which annually recognizes a graduate who exemplifies the School’s motto, TO LEARN. TO LEAD. TO SERVE., through personal accomplishment, professional achievement, or philanthropic service.

Keesee, a 1981 graduate of Heritage Hall, is Chairman of Kirkpatrick Bank, as well as a trustee of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and the Kirkpatrick Foundation, both of which focus on arts and arts education. A lifelong philanthropist with a deep appreciation for the arts, Keesee is also the founder and president of Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center and co-founder of the Greenbox Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado.

Keesee earned an Associate of Arts degree from Menlo College in northern California before attending Pepperdine University to study English. He completed his degree at the University of Central Oklahoma while learning the fundamentals of philanthropy from his grandfather, John Kirkpatrick. 

“What a philanthropist he became,” observed HHAA board member Ian Self, a 2016 graduate of Heritage Hall. “Since its founding in 1989, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund has contributed more than $130 million dollars to nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma and Colorado that work to advance cultural, intellectual, and social interests,” Self continued.

Keesee and his partner, Larry Keigwin, a Broadway choreographer, split time between Oklahoma City and New York, where Keesee also serves as a board member of the Frick Collection and Trustee Emeritus of American Ballet Theatre. Keesee also serves on the North American Acquisitions Committee of the Tate Modern in London. 

During his acceptance of the award, Keesee addressed the Class of 2024. “Heritage Hall will always be part of who we are. We’re part of Heritage Hall’s DNA and vice versa,” Keesee began. “While public education in the U.S. is floundering, Heritage Hall stands as a beacon. It’s a school with a beautiful campus, a broad spectrum of intellectual offerings, a comprehensive arts education from grade 1, and a competitive sports program. I’m proud to be a part of this community,” he concluded. 

Christian Keesee ’81 (left) accepts the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award, presented by Heritage Hall Alumni Association board member, Ian Self ’16.
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