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Todd Family Scholarship

Veterans Oral History Project

The Todd Family Scholarship is open to high school seniors in Oklahoma who have conducted an oral history interview with a US veteran. Students will submit their recorded interview to the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS), and all recordings will be archived by the OHS.

Student awards are $1,000 for first place and $500 for second place. The teachers of the winning students will also receive an award: $150 for first place and $100 for second place.

Entry Period and Notification of Winners
The entry period opens on August 1 and closes on February 15. Winners will be notified the first week of April, and the scholarship will be presented at the Oklahoma History Conference Awards Luncheon on the fourth Friday in April.

The winning entries will be chosen by a panel of judges including historian Joe Todd, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Douglas Dollar, and OHS Archival Collections Manager Mallory Covington.

Project Requirements
Interviews must be filmed and be a minimum of thirty minutes in length. Students should submit the video file in MP4 format on a CD or DVD—flash drives will not be accepted. An entry form and release form must be included with each submission.

Entry Form (PDF) - to be completed by student
Release Form (PDF) - to be completed by interviewee and student

Interviews must be submitted on CD or DVD along with the release form and entry form to:
Todd Family Scholarship
Attn: Mallory Covington
Oklahoma History Center
800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Preparing for an Interview

Tips for Conducting an Oral History

  • Schedule the oral history in advance and make sure the person knows they will be recorded/filmed
  • Arrive prepared and bring:
    • Writing utensils
    • Paper
    • Recording equipment
  • Record the date and location of the interview
  • Record the name of the interviewer and interviewee
  • Ask questions to get the interview started
    • Do not worry if the interviewee strays from the question; some of the best stories come from the detours
    • Do not push for answers
    • Be aware of questions that may make your interviewee uncomfortable, and ask if they want to continue with the question
  • Try asking for dates in relation to significant events in the person’s life
  • Keep sessions between 30 minutes and two hours, and be aware that your interviewee may get tired

Choosing Your Questions
The PDFs below include a sample list of questions for interviewing a veteran. Students should keep in mind that each interview will be different and adjust the questions as needed.

About the Judges

Joe Todd
Bartlesville native Joe Todd served with the First Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam, and with the First Infantry Division in Kuwait and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. Todd also served in Haiti with the 486th Civil Affairs Battalion. He has received numerous awards and honors including the Bronze Star, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, and the Vietnam Service and Presidential Unit Citation.

Todd worked for the Oklahoma Historical Society for more than twenty years, first as the oral historian and later as manuscripts archivist. Since 2001, he has volunteered with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library interviewing World War II veterans. Todd has conducted more than 1,500 interviews to date. He is the author of USS Oklahoma, Remembrance of a Great Lady, Robert Huston: Oklahoma Rough Rider, and numerous articles.

Major General (ret.) Douglas O. Dollar
Major General Douglas O. Dollar grew up in the Cookson Hills of rural eastern Oklahoma, where he learned to enjoy hunting, fishing, and camping in the great outdoors. He was commissioned in the US Army Infantry in 1968 as a Distinguished Military Graduate through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program at Oklahoma State University, and served as a rifle platoon leader in Vietnam, and later as training officer of the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 1972 he left active duty and entered the Army Reserves when he joined the 95th Division. He became commander of the 80th Division (institutional training), headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, in 2001.

Throughout his career, he has worked to mentor and recognize junior soldiers. He also was the initiator and leader of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, an effort to help educate the public about the notable military service of the state’s and nation’s men and women. As a result, the Hall of Fame now presents the Major General Douglas O. Dollar Distinguished Service Award to deserving individuals for their service to veterans — for supporting community activities that strengthen the quality of life for members of that community, and for citizenship setting the example for other citizens bringing credit to the uniform services. In 2016 he was inducted into the US Army Reserve Officer Training Corps National Hall of Fame.

Mallory Covington
Mallory Covington attended the University of Central Oklahoma where she graduated in 2010 with an MA in Museum Studies. She started with the Oklahoma Historical Society in 2011 working on newspaper digitization for The Gateway to Oklahoma History and cataloging oral histories. During that time, she also worked with photos, maps, registration, and cataloged film and video. In 2013 Covington moved to the Manuscripts Department, and in 2017 she became a certified archivist. In 2019, she was named the archival collections manager for the OHS.