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Turrentine Family

Retired Ardmore physician and family donate $500K to OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine

Monday, February 13, 2023

Media Contact: Jennifer Kinnard | OSU Foundation Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications | 405-385-5185 |

Longtime Ardmore residents Dr. James and Regina Turrentine have pledged $500,000 to the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine to establish scholarships for Oklahoma students with a preference for those from Ardmore, Stigler and the surrounding counties.

James remained involved in the osteopathic medicine community throughout his career and was the recipient of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association’s “Outstanding and Distinguished Service Award.” He believes his family’s gift is an investment in Oklahomans.

“We hope it will help to educate Oklahomans close to home, and that they will stay close to home to practice medicine,” he said. “Osteopathic medicine has a strong history in rural Oklahoma, and we want it to continue.”

Dr. Johnny Stephens, president of OSU Center for Health Sciences, said the Turrentines’ gift will support OSU-CHS’s focus to serve rural communities in the state.

“All of us at OSU Center for Health Sciences are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Turrentine,” Stephens said. “The impact of their gift will be felt by our students for decades to come and allows us to continue to fulfill our mission of educating physicians for rural and underserved Oklahomans. This legacy the Turrentines have created is truly immeasurable.”

The Turrentines were high school sweethearts who started from humble beginnings in Stigler — James’ childhood home didn’t have running water. Together, their commitment to education blossomed in high school.

“I was valedictorian, and he was president of his class,” Regina said. “In high school, we had supportive teachers and received encouragement from our school family.”

The Turrentines care deeply about the well-being of their community and the state. Regina served as a member of the Board of Regents at Murray State College and was the founder and director of the Ardmore Beautification Council. Leadership Oklahoma recognized her with the Community Leadership Excellence Award in 2004. Regina is a retired teacher who taught in Missouri and Oklahoma. Education is important to the Turrentines and their legacy is an expression of gratitude to a profession that has been good to them.

“We have had a great life in the osteopathic profession, and we have been part of it for a long time,” James said. “We’ve never looked back. It’s been great.”

James said their own story inspires them to give in meaningful ways.

“We really started out with nothing,” he said. “Life has been good to us. For some reason, we’ve had a guiding hand that put us in the right direction. We want to leave a legacy and a better world. This is a way we can continue to educate future osteopathic physicians.” 

“We are always looking to do one step better,” Regina said.

She reflected on James' career and the communities he served with fondness.

“It was exciting to watch his career grow,” she said. “He lived for his medicine and his patients. We still can’t go to the grocery store, or anywhere, without someone stopping to talk to him.”

James earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Kansas City College Osteopathy and Surgery and Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma. Regina received her Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Oklahoma.

Since OSU began the College of Osteopathic Medicine more than 50 years ago, the Turrentines have been supporters of its commitment to prepare physicians to practice in rural Oklahoma. 

“When they started the program, we jumped in,” James said. “We are all for it.”

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