Oklahoma City’s Tio Chuy’s Auto Sales Establishes Scholarship in Honor of Family Patriarch who would be 100 years old this week.
On October 5, Rich Barnard, president and CEO of Tio Chuy’s Auto Sales, LLC surprised his family with a special announcement. Not only was his company starting a scholarship at Moore Norman Technology Center, the scholarship is named after the family patriarch, Joseph R. Barnard, on what would have been the week of his 100th birthday.
The Joseph R. Barnard Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to six (6) Moore Norman Technology Center students who will each receive a $1000 scholarship. The gift also includes seed money for future scholarships through the Moore Norman Technology Center Foundation.
“We are humbled and grateful for this extremely generous gift from Rich and the team at Tio Chuy’s,” said MNTC Superintendent and CEO Brian Ruttman. “The Joseph R. Barnard Memorial Scholarship will allow our students to purchase tools, pay for certification exams, and cover other expenses that may otherwise present barriers to entering the workforce in their chosen field.”
Rich Barnard is a third-generation supporter of career and technical education. His grandfather and the scholarship’s namesake, Joseph R. Barnard, was a World War II U.S. Navy veteran who earned his plumbing journeyman’s license after the war. Later Rich’s father, Terry Barnard, earned the same credential after his years of military service in Viet Nam. Today, many of Rich’s cousins work in technical fields at Tinker Airforce Base and Rich has a decades-long career in the automotive industry.
After coming up with the idea to start a scholarship fund for students in career and technical education, Rich decided Moore Norman Technology Center was the perfect fit.
“I serve on the auto service advisory committee at Moore Norman, and we have hired many employees from their program,” said Barnard. “I believe in what they do, and I know my father feels that way, as did his father before him. My family has lived in Moore since the 1940s and this is one way we can give back to the community.”
“Rich and the guys from Tio Chuy’s are highly valued members of our advisory committee,” said MNTC Transportation and Aerospace Program Director Lee Dow. “When they approached me with an interest in starting a scholarship, I was truly overwhelmed. As educator for 25 years, I have seen firsthand the impact a scholarship can have on a student entering the workforce, it can be a game changer. Partnerships like this take our students’ success to the next level. We couldn’t be more appreciative.”
The inaugural Joseph R. Barnard Memorial Scholarship application will open in November 2022. Students currently enrolled in any MNTC long term career program are eligible to apply. Scholarship winners will be announced in spring 2023.
Established in 1972, Moore Norman Technology Center is viewed as one of the nation's premiere career and technical educational institutions within Oklahoma's globally recognized CareerTech System. Serving the communities of Norman, Moore and south Oklahoma City, MNTC provides high school and adult students a quality and affordable technical career education. MNTC also provides workforce and economic development training and certification to help area companies shore up their teams and achieve their business goals. For more information visit www.mntc.edu or call (405) 801-5000.