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Scholarship Established at UCO in Memory of Alumna, Author, Paycom Employee

UCO alumna Susan Varghese Thomas is pictured with Jeff York, Chief Sales Officer at Paycom.

Nov. 13, 2018

Media Contact: Jamie Hadwin, Marketing Manager, University of Central Oklahoma Advancement, 405-974-3553,

Scholarship Established at UCO in Memory of Alumna, Author, Paycom Employee

Jeff York, chief sales officer at Paycom, the family of Susan Varghese Thomas and the UCO Foundation have partnered to create the “Susan Varghese Thomas Scholarship Fund” at the University of Central Oklahoma.  

Susan Varghese Thomas, or “Sue” as she was called by her close family and friends, was born in Chicago, Illinois, to immigrant parents from East India. At UCO, she studied English and creative writing and received a degree in general studies in 2014.

Her passion for creative writing resulted in her publishing the book “The World From My Fire Escape” in 2004. She also entertained and inspired people around the world through her personal blog, “A Blog in the Life of Suevee,” which can be found at

In 2015, Sue was diagnosed with esophageal cancer that later developed into stomach cancer. She passed from her illness in September 2016. 

“We want to honor Sue’s memory and enable fellow UCO students the financial support to achieve their goals and ambitions,” Bobby Kurian, Sue’s cousin and representative of the family, said. “This will allow the students’ own unique, creative gifts and talents to positively impact the world around them.”

Because of her time as an employee of Paycom, York was particularly moved by Sue’s illness and passing and worked with the family to make a generous contribution to the scholarship fund.

“It is my honor to be able to support this scholarship in the name of Susan Varghese Thomas – a beloved friend, coworker, UCO alumna and a true inspiration to everyone who has had or is currently battling cancer,” York said. “The Susan Varghese Thomas scholarship will aid three deserving students, while also preserving the memory of an incredible woman who loved her family, Paycom and the University of Central Oklahoma.”

Three scholarships will be awarded each year to UCO students – one to a student majoring in English, one to a student majoring in management information systems and one to a student majoring in professional selling.

“These three awards in memory of Susan will be among the largest scholarships that we offer,” UCO President Don Betz said. “We truly appreciate this opportunity to honor her memory. She was a wonderful alumna representing Central so well in the community through her writing and interaction with others. Special thanks to Jeff and Susan’s family for helping create this important scholarship.”

The scholarships will be presented to first-generation Americans who are full-time students entering their junior year.  Applications for the award will be available through the UCO Scholarship Portal at

For more information or to contribute to this fund, contact the UCO Office for Advancement at 405-974-2770 or or visit


Editor's Note: Download art associated with this release at

Cutline: Paycom Chief Sales Officer Jeff York (right) helped establish the Susan Varghese Thomas Scholarship Fund at the University of Central Oklahoma in memory of his friend, coworker and UCO alumna Susan “Sue” Varghese Thomas (left) who passed away in 2016.