Richard Risk, J.D.

Class of 1959
Inducted 2016


Richard “Dick” Risk, J.D., Class of 1959, was commissioned in the United States Air Force as a distinguished military graduate from Oklahoma State University in 1963 with a B.A. in Radio and Television, serving during the Vietnam era, including duty stations in Southeast Asia. He received five decorations for meritorious service and, as squadron commander, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with combat “V” device.

He worked with the White House advance party when President Nixon pronounced the Guam Doctrine in 1969 and coordinated the worldwide television coverage of the historic 1971 meeting in Alaska between Nixon and Emperor of Japan Hirohito. He ran the press accreditation center when Nixon returned from his historic 1972 China visit.

In 1981, he was appointed by the Reagan Administration to head the Southwestern Power Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy, equivalent in rank to a deputy assistant secretary or three-star military officer, testifying before Congress.

With a juris doctorate from the University of Tulsa, he became an attorney at age 60, then initiated a class action on behalf of nearly 22,000 claimants against a major corporation, settling for $72.5 million. He has published many peer-reviewed articles, testified before the Internal Revenue Service, and is nationally renowned for his expertise in structured settlements and qualified settlement funds. TU named the Richard B. Risk Practicum Endowment Fund in his honor.

In 2010, he formed the Will Rogers High School Community Foundation, which has donated nearly $100,000 to the school, twice serving as its president.