Wanda Louise Bass

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Wanda Louise Bass

Wanda Louise Bass

“There is no end to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
Wanda Bass


Though legendary philanthropist Wanda Bass was born and raised in Texas, she spent childhood summers near Broken Bow, Oklahoma, and graduated from the University of Texas in 1947. She worked for Humble Oil Company and finally settled in the state of Oklahoma when she came to work here in 1950. She married Clark Bass in 1951 and entered the banking business at Durant, Oklahoma. Following the birth of their children, the family moved to Dallas, Texas, to organize a new banking venture before returning to Oklahoma City in the early 1970s.

Wanda Bass became vice president of First National Bank and Trust of McAlester in 1973. She founded the McAlester Area Arts and Humanities Council and has provided donations and matching grants for many projects in the McAlester area, including the Hartshorne Library and improvements for McAlester High School. She served as president of the board for First National Community Development Corporation and was a supporter of the Quartz Mountain Art Institute. In 2001, Oklahoma City University honored her with the Distinguished Philanthropist Award and she was inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

Fun fact

Wanda Bass received the prestigious Governor’s Arts Award in 1994 in honor of her long time advocacy and support of arts and cultural efforts and organizations in southeastern Oklahoma and throughout the state.

Oklahoma connections

Bass came to Oklahoma in 1950 to work for Lone Star Gas Company.









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