On this page, we have the opportunity to publish interesting historical chapter information. We hope you enjoy reading about our chapter history and, if you were there, perhaps it will bring back some memories.

-Dusty Stoabs, Chapter Historian

History Highlights of the Central Oklahoma Chapter:

Known today as the Central Oklahoma Chapter of ASHRAE, the Chapter was originally chartered by Frank Loeffler, Sr. on October 4, 1935 as the “Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers” (ASHVE) which was based on the original name for ASHRAE when it was founded in 1895. ASHVE, as a national Society, changed their name to ASHAE in 1954, and then to ASHRAE in 1959 when ASHAE merged with the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE).

The Oklahoma Chapter was rechartered in 1965 as the Central Oklahoma Chapter of ASHRAE to help distinguish it from the Northeastern Oklahoma Chapter which serves Tulsa, Oklahoma and surrounding area. The Northeastern Oklahoma Chapter was actually chartered back in 1948, but it took 17 years for the Oklahoma Chapter name overlap to be rectified. When the Oklahoma Chapter was originally chartered, we were the 20th chapter of ASHVE, and were the first chapter in the southwest, now known as Region VIII.

In 1954, when the Society was divided into regions, our chapter agreed to act as the guinea pig and host a trial regional meeting (the type of meeting that today is called the Chapters Regional Conference, or CRC). The meeting was held at the Skirvin hotel on April 14-16, 1955 and attendance numbered 240 from 18 states including the District of Columbia and Canada. Representatives attended from more than half of the Society’s chapters. In hosting this meeting in Oklahoma City, we started a new concept in Society operations.

In 1959-60 we were the first chapter reach its quota in funding the United Engineering Center building at 345 E. 47th Street in New York City, the new home for ASHRAE Society at the time.

In 1967-68, chapter member William J. Collins, Jr. originated the Region VIII Golden Gavel Award, an award that has meant so much to the growth of Region VIII. Ours was the first chapter to win the Golden Gavel. In 1970-71, Society President Frank Bridgers was so impressed with the Golden Gavel concept and its success that he instituted a similar award for the Society, known as the Presidential Award of Excellence (PAOE). Our chapter earned that PAOE award in 1970-71 and has earned it every year since, allowing the Central Oklahoma Chapter to be referred to as a “Premier” chapter since PAOE inception.

In October, 1972, Ms. Carolyn Rae Crawford joined our chapter, the first female member of the Central Oklahoma Chapter, and in 1984 she became our first female Chapter President. She was also the first female chapter president in all of Region VIII.

In 1975-76, chapter member William J. Collins, Jr. served as Society President. As of the writing of this Foreword, he is the only member of our chapter to serve as Society President.

The Region VIII Chapters Regional Conference for the 1994-95 year in Oklahoma City was intentionally selected by chapter leaders to coincide with the chapter’s 60th Anniversary as well as the Society’s 100th (Centennial) anniversary. All was properly planned when the terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building occurred a few days before the conference. The welcome party was held from the top of the Liberty Bank Building in downtown Oklahoma City and the remains of the Murrah building could be clearly seen during the evening. That CRC was very successful in spite of that tragedy.

Speaking of successful CRC’s, on Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas, in front of ASHRAE members who traveled in from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and the country of Mexico, Mr. Joe Sanders, President of the Central Oklahoma Chapter, was presented with the prestigious Golden Gavel; an annual award given to the best overall Chapter in the Region based on an exhaustive set of criteria including membership, donations, programs, activities, communications, and more. An award that has eluded the Central Oklahoma Chapter for the previous 22 years, going back to B.H. Prasad in 1993.

Prior to 1993, the Central Oklahoma Chapter won this award, on average, every 2 years with the longest stretch without winning of only 6 years. The longest winning streak was from 1986 to 1991 when the chapter won the award five straight years in a row.

The Golden Gavel judging committee is taught not only to look at categorical performance taking into account chapter size, but to look for improvement over previous years. The award committee in Fort Worth must have certainly recognized that the Central Oklahoma Chapter experienced a tremendous year from every perspective. There were statistical year-over-year improvements in meeting attendance, research donations, regular membership, and student membership. You can read about the chapter’s accomplishments that year in our new history book covering years 2011-2016.


Chapter Charter

Chapter Charter - 1935

Chapter Charter Update - 1965


Central Oklahoma Chapter History Books

History of Central Oklahoma Chapter 1935-1995 

History of Central Oklahoma Chapter 1995-2011 

History of Central Oklahoma Chapter 2011-2016

The Life and Times of William J. Collins, Jr.

The Life and Times of Louis C. Nettleship, PE, Refrigeration Engineer

Dr. Faye McQuiston, PE, received the 2016 Lou Flagg Historical Award for authoring the above biography "The Life and Times of William J. Collins, Jr."

Dusty Stoabs, PE, received the 2017 Lou Flagg Historical Award for authoring the above biography "The Life and Times of Louis C. Nettleship, PE, Refrigeration Engineer."


Chapter Honors and Awards History

Central Oklahoma Chapter Honors and Awards


Past Presidents of the Chapter

Chapter Past Presidents


Recent CRC Summary Reports 









Recent Newsletter Articles on History

Interview with Mr. Joe Sanders

Four Digits Which Will Revolutionize Construction

J D Parker Memorial Newsletter Article

Over 40 Years of Trying to Encourge Women Into the HVAC&R Industry

History of Lou Flagg

Fellow Interview with Dr Spitler

Interview with Mr John Semtner

Sixty-Two Years

Interview with Mr Trapper Wilson

History of the Chapter Meeting Name Badges

Trial Balloon CRC

History of the COK Roster

Interview with Mr Damon McClure

Chapter Traditions

April 28, 1995 - ASHRAE Day Proclamation

First Ever SouWester Newsletter Article

ASRE Merging with ASHAE

Interview with Mr Jeff Forman

William J. Collins, Jr.

Women's History Month

Society 125th Anniversary Celebration Part 1

Society 125th Anniversary Celebration Part 2

Golden Gavel Resurgence


Other Featured Historical Documents

First Ever Sou'Wester Newsletter

1955-May Sou'Wester

August 1972 Letter on Women in ASHRAE

In Memory of Dr. Jerald D Parker

In Remembrance of Harry Rountree

In Remembrance of Dr Faye McQuiston

In Remembrance of Pete Ray

State of Oklahoma Proclamation

Archive File Index - Bill Collins' Archives


Chapter Timeline

The Central Oklahoma Chapter has an active Facebook page that serves not only to announce future events, but also as a dynamic Chapter Timeline documenting past events with photos. Our Facebook history timeline goes back to 2010. Be sure to visit our page and click "Like" https://www.facebook.com/ASHRAEcok


Chapter Photo Gallery

Chapter Photo Gallery

History Banners and Chapter Physical Archive