Donna Nigh

Donna Nigh

Born in Oklahoma City in 1933, Donna Nigh graduated from Capitol Hill High School in 1951 and attended Central State Teachers College (now University of Central Oklahoma). In 1963, she met her husband and future governor of Oklahoma, George Nigh, and the couple married the same year.

As First Lady of the State of Oklahoma from 1979-1987, Donna became a strong advocate for individuals with special needs. She was instrumental in the passage of legislation that provided funding for group homes for the developmentally disabled, modifying zoning laws to allow group homes in neighborhoods and increasing the number of sheltered workshops.

In 1985 as a surprise birthday present to Donna, a group of friends created the Donna Nigh Foundation, the first statewide foundation for the benefit of the developmentally disabled.

The Nighs transferred the assets of the private foundation to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in 1997 and continue to remain very active in the distribution of grants. Since its inception, the Donna Nigh Foundation has awarded grants helping thousands of Oklahomans and their families. Many of these grants provide funding for adaptive equipment for individuals in private residences, group homes and schools with the goal of helping these individuals be as self-sufficient as possible.

Read more:
2007 - Leveling the Playing Field
2010 - Great Grant
2013 - Working Together to Make a Difference

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