TTCU celebrates 85th anniversary

TTCU was established 85 years ago. It branched out to Tahleuqah in 1992, and broke ground on the current location in 2002.

TTCU Federal Credit Union will celebrate 85 years on Nov. 20 with a reception for members at the Tahlequah branch featuring refreshments. Members can also enter for a chance to win an $85 gift card all week long.

"We want to thank our members for trusting us with their personal finances for the last 85 years," said CEO and President Tim Lyons. "As a credit union member, they're part of something really special. Credit unions are not-for-profit and member-owned, so every decision is made by weighing what will provide the greatest benefit to the members."

TTCU Federal Credit Union had humble origins. At the height of the Great Depression, a group of teachers formed TTCU as a way to help each other through difficult times. The first credit union branch wasn't fancy. The founder, Linnie B. Wilson, ran it out of a box in her desk drawer at Central High School during her planning period. Twenty-one teachers bought into the dream in the first year, entrusting the credit union with initial deposits of $1,600.

TTCU grew over the next few decades, moving locations several times in Tulsa and gaining 5,000 members by 1961. TTCU began reaching out to surrounding communities in 1992, establishing their first branch in Tahlequah - a move that the community had long requested.

"TTCU has been a proud supporter of the Tahlequah community over the years," said Branch Manager Todd Matthews. "TTCU champions events that provide scholarships, including serving as a premier sponsor for Northeastern State University's Emerald Ball. Our branch also supports other community organizations, including The Red Fern Festival and Relay-4-Life."

Today, the credit union has over 135,000 members and $1.9 billion in assets. There are more than 400 employees employed at 17 branches across the state and the corporate office in Tulsa.

While TTCU's membership has expanded to include more than teachers, TTCU's focus on giving back to education has remained the same. TTCU's School Pride debit card program has given over $1 million to Oklahoma schools. Locally, over $43,000 has been given to Tahlequah Public Schools through the Tahlequah Tigers card, and over $97,000 has been given to NSU through the RiverHawks School Pride card.

"Eighty-five years later, our founders would be proud knowing our commitment to impacting members' financial health has never wavered," Lyons said.

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