On Monday, at 10 a.m., Harland Stonecipher, founder of Pre-Paid Legal Services (now LegalShield), will be the featured speaker at the East Central University (ECU) Professional Leadership Experience  class in the Estep Multimedia Center in the Bill S. Cole University Center.  

“The Professional Leadership Experience class offers ECU undergraduate business majors an opportunity to hear from successful business leaders,” Wendell Godwin, dean of the ECU School of Business, said.  “It is a tremendous opportunity for our students to hear about Mr. Stonecipher’s journey and life lessons.” 

Stonecipher, who was named one of Oklahoma’s most admired CEOs in 2010 by the Journal Record (of Oklahoma City), will share his perspective on free enterprise and the importance of entrepreneurship in today’s economic climate.

“Throughout the 40 years I led Pre-Paid Legal Services, I always believed in the value of self-reliance and entrepreneurship — but today I’m convinced that entrepreneurship is not only an opportunity — it’s a necessity,” Stonecipher said.  “That’s the message and the experience I plan to share with the ECU business school students.”       

Stonecipher and his wife, Shirley, have a strong interest in ECU, the School of Business and the university students.  In 2011, the Stoneciphers donated $2 million toward construction of the new Chickasaw Business and Conference Center, which will house the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business, now scheduled to open in fall 2013.  In 2005, with the organizational support from close friends and associates — Mike Turpen of Oklahoma City, Gayle Serba of Atlanta, and John Long of Ada — the Stoneciphers established the Nikki Stonecipher Memorial Scholarship at ECU in commemoration of their granddaughter.  Harland Stonecipher graduated from ECU in 1960 with a degree in Education and an emphasis in English.  The Stoneciphers’ eldest son, Allen, graduated from ECU in 1987 and their younger son, Brent, graduated from ECU in 1993. 

Since the sale of Pre-Paid Legal Services to MidOcean Partners in 2011, the Stoneciphers have continued their philanthropic activities with a multi-million dollar contribution toward the building of Life Community Church (LCC) and Memorial Chapel on Stonecipher Blvd. near the site of the LegalShield facility.  The construction is anticipated to be completed near the end of 2014.  The Stoneciphers are members of LCC, a church founded in 2006 by Senior Pastors Mickey and Glenda Keith.