Distinguished Alumni – Couple
Sheila Stinson, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, 1999
Preston Stinson, Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, 1998
Sheila and Preston strive each day to make Oklahoma the best it can be. Since meeting after their college days at Central, the pair has made an impact on the greater Oklahoma City community. At Central, Sheila earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice graduating magna cum laude, while
Preston holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance.
At UCO, Sheila was active on campus including serving as the first vice president of UCO’s Student Association. She also holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma where she was on the “Oklahoma Law Review.”
Sheila first met friend Derrek Belase at Central and they bonded over their small-town roots. The pair ran for vice president and president, respectively, of the Student Government Association in 1998 and were the first group given authority to distribute the student activity fee. Belase said it is no surprise that both Sheila and Preston have chosen a life of service.
“She exemplifies what UCO wants to see in its students,” Belase said. “People who leave here, who follow their dreams, who live them out in the world and who make a difference in the communities in which they end up living.”
Preston spent his undergraduate days on campus in the Business building and focusing on his studies. Following his graduation at UCO, he went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma Christian University.
For 30 years, Preston and friend Josh Jefferson have exchanged intellectual – and often lighthearted – banter. They credit Central for cementing their friendship. “He has a very developed sense of ethics… he’s got a very strong character,” Jefferson said. “He really thinks about what’s the right thing for everybody involved. I’m glad there are people like him in the state house.”
Appointed by Gov. Kevin Stitt in 2020, Sheila is currently a district judge in the Oklahoma County District Court, as well as the former chief district judge of the Oklahoma County Juvenile Division. Prior to taking the bench, Sheila was the owner of Stinson Law Group and a practicing attorney in Oklahoma City.
Elected in 2020, Preston is currently serving as state Rep. for District 96, which includes the City of Edmond and surrounding communities. He is the owner of Stinson Development Company, a steel erection company specializing in commercial signs and billboards across the state.
“[Preston has] worked hard. He has taken advantage of the opportunities he’s gotten,” Jefferson said. “[He and Sheila] have lived their life in an honorable and ethical way. Both of them are amazing people.”
An active volunteer, Sheila has served as former president of the Oklahoma County Bar Association, treasurer for the Oklahoma Judicial Conference and serves on the UCO Foundation Board of Trustees. She is also a member of Leadership Oklahoma City Class 33.
Preston was compelled to run for office in an effort to help Oklahoma recover and rebound from the ongoing economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “They’re both living out the virtues of service… of compassion… of care in their work,” Belase said. “Things that I know they received and saw modeled here in the years we were students here at UCO.”
The Stinsons reside in Edmond and are parents to two boys.
A Look Back: Sheila and Preston’s Days at Central
What student clubs were you involved with on campus?
Sheila: Student Government Association, which became UCOSA, Residence Hall Association, Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature, Criminal Justice Association, Mortar Board, President Nigh’s Roundtable, Campus Election Board, Academic Affairs Council, District Court of Traffic Appeals-Justice and Chi Alpha.
What were your favorite UCO events?
Sheila: I always loved Homecoming and Bronze and Blue Orientation, which was the residence hall orientation weekend. I met some friends that first weekend on campus and stayed good friends throughout my time at UCO.
Where was your favorite place to be on campus?
Sheila: I loved my time at West Hall. During certain evenings, several of us would meet in the TV room. I also always loved my time in the UCOSA office and meetings. My best friendships from college started in that room.
If you could go back in time to give yourself advice, what would it be?
Preston: My advice would be more involved on campus. I’d also recommend getting involved in student government so I could meet my future wife sooner.
Did you have a standout professor who impacted you?
Sheila: Dr. Ron Beeson in the Political Science Department; I ended up taking all the classes he taught and he became a mentor.
Preston: Randall Ice and Stephen Black.
What was your favorite TV show?
What was your favorite song/band?
Sheila: I was still in a strong country music stage having grown up in a small town. I also went to church with my roommate a lot, and her church sang lots of gospel music.
Do you have anything else you would like to add?
Sheila: I’d just like to add that I loved my time at UCO. I appreciate all I learned, all the friendships I made, and the life lessons I took away from my four years there. I started as a small-town kid from the panhandle not knowing one person on campus when I started. I left with a campus full of friends – and for that I am thankful.