The 2015 NIRAA Alumnus of the Year was Stan Harter who passed away in June of 2014. College rodeo was dear to his heart. He wanted a College National Championship and that goal got him into college and working hard to keep his grades up, practice his skills and win that honor which he did. Twice! In 1966, he won the NIRA Championship in both calf roping and ribbon roping at the Finals in Vermillion, South Dakota. He served two years as the West Coast Regional Director. He continued to serve college rodeo as a member of the Alumni, fifteen years on the Board of Directors and several years as President.
There is no question that Stan was a good cowboy. As a tie down roper, he made four trips to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, qualified for a fifth but couldn’t compete because of an injury, won his circuit finals twice, a national championship twice in college rodeo and won first at many of the biggest rodeos in the country. But he was unlikely to tell you about his accomplishments. He was selected by his fellow ropers to be the flag judge at the most prestigious rodeo of all, the WNFR, and he was proud of that but equally proud of the high school and junior rodeos he flagged. He would tell you about his advisor at Arizona State University sitting him down and informing him in no uncertain terms that he would enroll next semester and complete his degree requirements, but he would never mention that back in 80’s, he was the roping partner of choice when President Reagan’s Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige could escape Washington, D.C. and enter a team roping.
Stan Harter joins an illustrious group of people who have supported college rodeo over the years: Bob Clore, Sonny Sikes, Charlie Rankin, Sylvia Mahoney, Bill Laycock, Evelyn Bruce Kingsbery, Walt Garrison, John Smith, Sharon Adams and Buz Cowdrey. The buckle signifying this honor was presented to his wife, Pat Williams-Harter, at the same time that the Harter family was presenting the first Stan Harter Memorial Scholarship of $1000 to a young cowgirl from Miles City Community College, Ava Rankin.