Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Richard & Jeannette Sias

Jeanette and Richard Sias are being honored with a Special Award of Merit for a lifetime spent in lifting the culture of Oklahoma to a higher level than they found it. Through their generous contributions of time, money, and leadership, they have sustained and improved the status of the Fine Arts and Education in Oklahoma, including the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, opera, art, dance, cuisine, enology, and countless humanitarian programs and causes. Dick Sias earned a Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages at the University of Kansas in 1951, studied at the National University of Mexico, and earned a J.D. degree at the University of Kansas School of Law in 1954. His occupational pursuits include oil exploration and production, investments, and management. He has mentored and helped with program development at several Oklahoma colleges and universities, including the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University and Langston University. Jeanette Joullian Sias graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Speech Therapy in 1956 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She was a speech therapist in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for a number of years, and volunteered as a speech therapist in many schools. She served on the Board of Trustees at Oklahoma City University. Together, Dick and Jeanette Sias founded Joullian Vineyards at Carmel Valley, California in 1962. Their goal was to develop a world-class series of upscale wines to compete with the finest estate-grown, estate-produced, and estate-bottled wines of Europe and California. They have succeeded far beyond their initial expectations. For their many contributions to Oklahoma Higher Education, Oklahoma City, and the State of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society proudly welcomes Jeanette and Dick Sias into the 2009 Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.