Representative James Mabon, a representative in the fourth through the ninth Oklahoma legislatures, petitioned the state’s government to establish a college dedicated to the study of mining and metals to improve the development of Oklahoma’s mining industry. Mabon joined with Senator J. J. Smith of Miami to craft Senate Bill No. 225, which passed on March 17, 1919, officially establishing the Miami School of Mines, which later became NEO.
In honor of Rep. Mabon and Senator Smith, NEO selects the Mabon Award each year in coordination with Founders’ Day. This contest will provide up to $2,000 toward an on-campus improvement project submitted by a student, faculty, staff, or campus group.