STATE Magazine Winter 2022

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The official magazine of Oklahoma State University
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Uncommon Preeminence for the Common Good

Oklahoma State University

President Kayse Shrum has unveiled her grand aspiration for OSU’s land-grant mission.

The strategy involves plans for enrollment, increasing graduation rates, an overhaul of general education and making graduates more workforce ready to meet Oklahoma’s needs. Pages 60-63


Meet the Provost

Dr. Jeanette Mendez hopes to give students the same pathway to educational opportunity that she received to start her impressive career.

50 Record


OSU surpassed its freshman enrollment record by almost 400 students this fall and set a new record for the OSU Honors College.


State of Orange

President Shrum was inaugurated this fall in a historic ceremony steeped in tradition as she was presented with an academic mace created by OSU students, faculty and staff.

In This Issue
(Cover photo: Gary Lawson)
2 WINTER 2022
Jerome Loughridge, senior vice president for system operations, was a key figure in building OSU’s strategy.

Q&A with New Alumni Association President

Dr. Ann Caine was named the 16th president of the OSU Alumni Association in September. She sits down with STATE to discuss her journey and her vision for the role.

Raising Mental Health Awareness

OSU Foundation has launched a new campaign, Cowboys United for Mental Health, to raise money and awareness to address key issue. 28

Homecoming Recap

Tens of thousands returned to Stillwater for America’s Greatest Homecoming as they enjoyed Walkaround and the Cowboys’ win over Texas.

Garth Brooks Returns

Country music superstar and OSU alumnus Garth Brooks came back to campus to discuss the music industry with OSU students.

Defending the Skies

Oklahoma State University further elevates its aerospace leadership with announcement of a new Counter-UAS Center of Excellence.


Construction Milestone

A beam signing ceremony was held for the new home of OSU Agriculture, New Frontiers Agricultural Hall, which is set to open in fall 2024.

Plus ...

4 Editor’s Letter 5 Socially Orange 7 President’s Letter 89 Campus News 97 Cowboy Way 104 Cowboy Chronicles 110 Chapter News 114 Alumni Update 117 In Memory 119 Births

86 28 8


Megan Horton | Interim Associate Vice President of Brand Management

Erin Petrotta | Director of Marketing

Shannon Rigsby | Public Information Officer

Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations

Andy Wallace | Associate Director of Multimedia

Dave Malec | Design Coordinator

Jordan Bishop | Managing Editor

Codee Classen, Paul V. Fleming, Valerie Kisling, Chris Lewis, Michael Molholt and Benton Rudd | Design

Gary Lawson, Elizabeth Rogers and Phil Shockley | Photography

McKinzie McElroy and Meghan Robinson | Video

Kurtis Mason | Trademarks and Licensing

Kinsey Garcia and Kara Peters | Administrative Support

Contributors: Jordan Bishop, Mack Burke, Bonnie Cain-Wood, Will Carr, Hadley DeJarnette, Hayley Hagen, Harrison Hill, Jeff Hopper, David C. Peters, Grant Ramirez, Shannon Rigsby and Sydney Trainor

Department of Brand Management | 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078-1024 405-7446262 | | | | osu.advertising@


Tina Parkhill | Chair

Kurt Carter | Vice Chair

Tony LoPresto | Immediate Past Chair

Dr. Ann Caine | President

Jacob Redway | Vice President of Marketing

David Parrack | Vice President of Finance and Operations

Treca Baetz, Thomas Blalock, Benjamin Davis, Deedra Determan, Scott Eisenhauer, Becky Endicott, Todd Hudgins, Aaron Owen, Joe Ray, Cecilia Robinson-Woods, Darin Schmidt, Taylor Shinn and Baloo Subramaniam | Board of Directors

Lacy Branson, Will Carr, Chase Carter, Yuki Clarke, Jillian Remington and Chloe Walton | Marketing and Communications

OSU Alumni Association | 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 740787043 | 405-744-5368 | |


David Houston | Chair

Blaire Atkinson | President

Robyn Baker | Vice President and General Counsel

Donna Koeppe | Vice President of Administration and Treasurer

Scott Roberts | Vice President of Development

Chris Campbell | Senior Associate Vice President of Information Strategy

Pam Guthrie | Senior Associate Vice President of Human Resources

Blaire Atkinson, Bryan Begley, Ann Caine, Brian Callahan, Jan Cloyde, Ann Dyer, Joe Eastin, David Houston, Gary Huneryager, Brett Jameson, Griff Jones, Robert Keating, Diana Laing, Shelly Lambertz, Joe Martin, Greg Massey, Gail Muncrief, Bill Patterson, Jenelle Schatz, Becky Steen, Terry Stewart, Vaughn Vennerberg, Beverly Walker-Griffea, Jerry Winchester and Darton Zink | Trustees

Bryanna Birdsong, Delaney Duffield, Samantha Hardy, Jennifer Kinnard, Chris Lewis, Amanda Mason, Heather Millermon, Michael Molholt, Grant Ramirez and Benton Rudd | Marketing and Communications

OSU Foundation | 400 South Monroe, P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076-1749 800-6224678 | |

STATE magazine is published three times a year (Fall, Winter, Spring) by Oklahoma State University, 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078. The magazine is produced by the Office of Brand Management, the OSU Alumni Association and the OSU Foundation, and is mailed to current members of the OSU Alumni Association. Magazine subscriptions are available only by membership in the OSU Alumni Association. Membership cost is $50 Call 405-744-5368 or mail a check to 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater OK 74078-7043. To change a mailing address, visit or call 405-744-5368.

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 401 General Academics Building, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-4069; Phone 405-744-1156; email: has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies. Any person (student, faculty or staff) who believes they are experiencing discrimination may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator, 405-744-1156. This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by the vice president of enrollment management and marketing, was printed by Royle Printing Co. at a cost of $1.06 per issue: 35,937. | December 2022 | #9698 | Copyright © 2022, STATE magazine. All rights reserved.


From the Editor's Desk

In the fall 2022 issue of STATE Magazine, we looked back on President Kayse Shrum’s first year in office — one defined by challenges and a flurry of milestones, like conference realignment, the creation of the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE) and opening the Hamm Institute for American Energy at Oklahoma State University.

In this issue, we look forward through the lens of the defining achievement under President Shrum’s leadership to date: an ambitious new strategy to establish OSU as the nation’s preeminent

Although Dr. Shrum has led the effort to reimagine what’s possible, she is quick to share credit with the steering committee that helped refine the vision for the strategy and everyone in the Cowboy family, all of which will play a key role in coalescing this slate of ambitious goals into a reality (Page 60).

Speaking of vision, we also delve into the journey and vision of Dr. Jeanette Mendez, who was named provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs in May (Page 10), and Dr. Ann Caine, who was named OSU Alumni Association president in September (Page 8).

As we look ahead, we also acknowledge some noteworthy highlights from a fall semester that included plenty of reasons for celebration, from Dr. Shrum’s inauguration ceremony (Page 56) to OSU welcoming the largest and most diverse incoming freshman class in history (Page 50).

OAIRE recently launched a Counter-UAS Center of Excellence (Page 74) and a new partnership aimed at strengthening national defense by developing counter-measures to thwart malicious Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Also this fall, OSU Agriculture celebrated another milestone (Page 86) in the campaign for the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall.

The return of the New York Philharmonic brought incredible learning experiences for students this fall (Page 46), and beloved OSU alumnus and country music superstar Garth Brooks returned to campus to provide unique music industry insights to OSU students, kicking off the Industry Insights series (Page 48).

Of course, we also look back at highlights from this year’s Homecoming celebration (Page 28), which attracted flocks of alumni and fans from across the country. It’s a great time to be a Cowboy!

4 WINTER 2022
#GoPokes �� The #CowboyFamily
@DrShrum !
T-shirts. �� Oklahoma State University @okstate @okstate InsideOSU @okstateu Oklahoma State University Visit for more social media connections. Join the conversation on social media with the
Something Special in Stillwater On Oct. 28, the OSU men’s and women’s cross
earned their
#Big12XC # GoPokes ������ We had some of our best and brightest on campus for Scholars Day this week! Your countdown to joining the Cowboy family has officially started! #FutureCowboys #okstate27 Accomplishing Great Things!
Are The Champions Recognizing Academic Excellence Meeting
Cowboys @okstate @OSUAthletics Thanks to your passion and support for @okstate, the #CowboysUnited for Mental Health campaign was a success with $193,544 raised and 380 donors! @OKStateAlumni @ BeAnOSUCowboy @OSUFoundation
President @DrAnnCaine handed out giveaways at today’s #CowboyFamily Pep Rally and Spirit Walk!
had a great time at Party with the Prez with
Students were able to take selfies with OSU’s 19th president and
country teams swept the
12 Championships. The Cowgirls went back-to-back
the Cowboys
third-straight title.


The Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine has been impacting our state’s health for 50 years and counting.

What began in 1972 with an inaugural class of 36 in Tulsa is now one of the top osteopathic colleges in the nation and boasts more than 3,700 graduates, most of whom went on to practice across the state of Oklahoma. In the Tulsa area alone, 385 of our alumni are practicing today in family medicine as well as pediatrics, OB-GYN, cardiology, anesthesiology and other subspecialities.

Our mission to educate Oklahoma’s future physicians is stronger than ever. Here’s to the next 50 years.

To learn more about our mission and impact, visit

e dicin
e.o k s t a te.e d u

Cowboy family,

These are exciting times at Oklahoma State University. It’s been a year punctuated by the creation of new partnerships in aerospace, energy and health. Students enjoyed the first Industry Insights program, spending a day with music superstar and OSU alumnus Garth Brooks. And, after nearly a year of listening, fact gathering and informed decision making, a bold new strategic plan was released that will elevate the university by reimagining higher education and the modern land-grant university.

Please take the time to read about the strategy in this issue of STATE Magazine. If you want to read the plan in its entirety, go to The goals set within the strategy are audacious, but they’re also measurable. They capitalize on the intersection of our research strengths and society’s greatest needs. They represent decisions that put our undergraduate and graduate students first with provisions to combat student debt, increase enrollment and put each student on a firm footing for their future.

The months and years to come hold immense promise. We have the right people in place, including Dr. Jeanette Mendez in the role of our academic leader as provost and senior vice president. We also have world-class faculty who continue to impress me with their knowledge and their support for our students. The university is also blessed with a dedicated staff who fill so many critical roles that keep the university moving forward.

We saw record enrollment in many areas this fall — from our largest freshman class to a new record for year-to-year retention totals. From the Center for Health Sciences and OSU-Tulsa to OSUIT and OSU-OKC, Oklahoma State University is embarking on a remarkable journey.

The plan is in place, and as Cowboys, we finish what we start. There are amazing things ahead of us. Thank you and Go Pokes!


Dr. Ann Caine and her husband, Tracy, pose on campus with their family.

From left: Conner and Laura Steen, Ann, Tracy, Chris Caine. Front from left: Charlotte and Madeline Steen.

Introducing Dr. Ann Caine

Get to know the new OSU Alumni Association president

On Sept. 1, Dr. Ann Caine became the 16th president of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association.

Caine graduated from OSU in 1998 with her doctorate in educational administration. She has spent her career in education, including serving as the Stillwater Public Schools superintendent for seven years. She recently sat down with STATE Magazine for a Q&A to talk about her background and her love for OSU.

Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood and upbringing?

I am a proud “Air Force brat.” My dad was a career Air Force pilot, so I was lucky enough to live all over the world after being born in Enid while he did his pilot training. My mom was a high school teacher the first five years of my life. I am the oldest of four children. My dad was my first mentor and told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. My greatest “growing up” lesson from my dad was how to be a servant-leader.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in college at OSU?

This lesson will date me, but I worked on my doctorate “pre-computer time.” I typed my dissertation on a typewriter. I remember when the Edmon Low Library got internet. My committee chair suggested I talk to the library about how to do research on the internet. When I asked the librarian for help, she said she hadn’t learned how to do that yet. She then suggested I talk to the student sitting at one of the computer terminals. So, I did!


Where did life take you after college, and how did your career prepare you for your new role as president?

I have been a career educator. I taught emotionally disturbed children and autistic children at the beginning of my career. I was going to teach my entire life until I had two weak principals. It made me think that I could do that job, and I had an amazing principal afterward who encouraged me to get certified. I served as a principal in a high poverty school, then an affluent school, worked in the central office supervising multiple schools and programs, and then moved to Stillwater to serve as superintendent. I retired from public education in 2015. For the past seven years, I have been with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.

What makes OSU stand out to you?

OSU is such a friendly campus. One of

may be the only positive they hear all day, and that can have a huge impact on them.

What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?

My favorite thing is the relationship piece of the job, and working with alumni is so enjoyable. Of course, that includes the relationship with our amazing staff, and building relationships with our campus and corporate partners.

What do you like to do for fun outside of the office?

I love to walk! Before I started this new job, I was walking four miles a day. I also love spending time with my family. They are so supportive of me. There is nothing better than having my granddaughters (ages 6 and 4) see me and come running up “Petey, you’re here!” My nickname, Petey, is from my maiden name Peterson. Our daughter, Laura, named me when I became a grandma. So, I’m Petey, and my husband, Tracy, is Pops.

Do you have a fun story or fun fact about you to tell our alumni?

Something everyone should know about me is that I love celebrations. My dad, besides being ornery, loved to celebrate birthdays and Christmas. I inherited those same traits from him. Growing up, my dad’s Swedish mom would make Swedish Spritz cookies and ship them in a size 5 shoebox to us. She only made them at Christmas. The neat thing about the cookies is that she didn’t use the Christmas tree disc or any of the other designs with her cookie press. She handwrote the letter “S” for Swedish Spritz. She wrote an “S” because she was proud of her heritage. When Tracy and I were married 43 years ago, I carried on her tradition of making “S” cookies at Christmas. Each year, I send them to family and friends. Most years, I average 175 dozen.

TO WATCH an Inside OSU interview with Dr. Ann Caine, go to

Caine makes her famous Swedish Spritz cookies for her family and friends every Christmas season. Caine loves to spend time with her granddaughters, Charlotte and Madeline Steen.
One of the things I love is to greet students as I walk to a meeting. I truly believe we should go out of our way to talk to students in a positive manner. It may be the only positive they hear all day, and that can have a huge impact on them.
10 WINTER 2022


Growing up, she had an intuitive mind and a passion for reading at the local library in Santa Rosa, California, but a pathway to higher education wasn’t really an option. A daughter of a single mother who worked two jobs, Mendez knew times were tough.

When her high school friends started receiving acceptance letters, Mendez knew college was the path she wanted to take, but two questions remained. Where would she go? And how would she afford it?

“I ended up at Santa Clara University with a full academic and need-based scholarship. I’m thankful to this day that someone provided me that opportunity,” Mendez said.

Now, 19 years after her college career ended, she is Oklahoma State University’s new provost and believes it is critical to give students the same opportunity she had.

Provost looks to inspire and empower students in new role
For Dr. Jeanette Mendez,
there was a time when a college education seemed unobtainable.

Mendez’s mother, Connie Morehouse, worked day and night to support Mendez and her sister, Jennifer Morehouse Trombley, and provided them with opportunities to succeed.

“I just had to make a decision, and I put my two daughters first,” Morehouse said. “I would say that our toughest challenge was the finances, but I wanted the best for them. I worked for Merrill Lynch as a client associate, but there was still a rough financial hurdle. When I would get off that job, I was also a wire operator and did some data entry for a tax preparer in the afternoons so that I could have some extra money to support us.”

Morehouse explained that Mendez, who was valedictorian in high school, was always proactive and ahead of the game academically. As a child, Mendez was driven and ambitious, traits that have carried over to her professional life.

Mendez was also an avid reader, a hobby she still enjoys immensely.

“I’d love to read anything and everything, I probably have seven to 10 books on my nightstand right now, and they are all over the place,” she said.

“When I was growing up, I read anything nonfiction, anything that my teachers assigned, but then any type of teen book.”

Mendez was excited to enroll at Santa Clara, but she didn’t know which career path she was going to take.

After a few semesters, Mendez started to veer toward political science. She earned a bachelor’s degree in combined sciences before earning a doctorate in political science at Indiana University in 2003. She fell in love with teaching and research — spending two years at the University of Houston before moving to Stillwater in 2005.

Since arriving at OSU, Mendez has had no shortage of significant roles to fill. Starting off as visiting faculty in 2005, Mendez quickly worked her way up to tenure track and then became a tenured faculty member. Mendez has also served as the political science department head (2011-2014; 20152017), associate dean of research (20172018), interim dean for the College of Arts and Sciences (2018-2019) and vice provost (2019-2021).

After former provost Gary Sandefur retired in spring 2021, Mendez served

as interim before undergoing a review process and being selected to her new role officially in May 2022.

“Dr. Mendez has succeeded in a really wide variety of positions at the university,” said Dr. Chris Francisco, vice provost in the Division of Academic Affairs at OSU. “I think her ability to adapt to those different skill sets that are needed and to succeed in all those different positions just speaks very highly of her capabilities and how much people enjoy working with her.”

As the new provost and senior vice president of OSU, Mendez will use her extensive experience as a leader in higher education to advance OSU’s reputation as an academic powerhouse.

“Dr. Mendez’s impressive academic achievements and desire to build on the quality and effectiveness of our programs stood out during her interview. She’s familiar with the university and immensely qualified,” OSU President Kayse Shrum said. “And with her background, she understands the importance of OSU’s land-grant mission of accessibility and the imperatives laid out in the strategic plan. She will lead our academic units to new levels of success and set an example for what’s possible while she’s at it. Students need her kind of example. If you’re willing to work hard and dream big, anything is possible.”

During her time at OSU, Mendez has worked on numerous initiatives and created strategies focused on pandemic response; general education reform; cultivating arts experiences for students; leadership and development; student success and retention; and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Now she is turning her eyes toward the new strategy. The process was launched soon after Dr. Shrum was named president, and the new strategy to make OSU the preeminent land-grant institution was unveiled on Oct. 12.

“The strategy process has been just so exciting to be a part of, and to lead and pull together people who are very passionate about OSU and want to see OSU continue its path towards

12 WINTER 2022

excellence and beyond, I’ve been so grateful to be part of that,” Mendez said.

Beyond her work in various leadership roles, Mendez is very passionate about faculty mentoring.

“I’ve developed a mentoring program from the ground up, not just for assistant professors, but for associate professors as well,” Mendez said. “I probably will always, in the back of my mind, consider two things: either my experience as a woman in academia or my experience as a visiting assistant professor in academia. Oftentimes, both of those categories feel very underrepresented, so I tend to gravitate towards wanting to make sure that we’re putting in policies, procedures and programs that are protecting all faculty and taking a pretty broad view of what that means.”

With Shrum as president, this is the first time in Mendez’s academic career that she has reported to another woman. The number of female provosts and presidents in academia is surprisingly small, and even smaller in circumstances when both are female.

“How crazy is it to have a president and a provost who are both women when we haven’t had those types of administrative mentors in our own careers?” Mendez said. “I do think that we’re setting a different example and at the same time, not doing anything differently simply because we’re women. I think people are looking to us, and that type of representation matters. I’ve done a lot of research on the role of faculty and how students need that role model effect.

“When you have faculty that are like you — be that gender, race, sexual orientation, whatever that is — it matters to you personally. I think students thrive in those situations, and we need to be able to look across higher ed and see that diversity in our faculty and our administration so that it mirrors our student body.”

While Mendez may not have had many female mentors in the workplace, one woman always has been an important role model in her life — her

mother. Morehouse said she’s proud of what her daughter has accomplished.

“Everything Jeanette has done she’s earned and worked hard for,” Morehouse said. “She amazes me and I’m so proud of her, and that’s how she’s always been. I know everything at Oklahoma State, every single thing that she’s done there and every role that she’s had, she’s worked hard and deserved what has led her up to this point.

“I think she knows Oklahoma State so well. She’s connected with the people and the community, and I think she can add value to her role as provost because of all the different parts that she’s played at the university itself.”

Now that Mendez has her own family, she also looks to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a role model to her children: Gwen and Elias. While she has

accomplished much in her career and in her life, Mendez knows she didn’t do it alone. And now she can help others discover new possibilities and reach new heights.

“Without help, I would have just gone off and worked or done something else, and that would have been a very different career path,” Mendez said. “I think we have a lot of high achieving [K-12] students that don’t have access to education, and if we ignore that, we’re missing out on this great population of students who can change the world.”


To watch an Inside OSU exclusive interview with Provost Mendez, go to

“Students need her kind of example.
If you’re willing to work hard and dream big, anything is possible.”
President Kayse Shrum

At the inaugural Cowboy100 Honoree Gala last November, 76 businesses from 11 states and two foreign countries were recognized as either Cowboy100 businesses or Blazing10 award winners. A complete list of the honorees is available on the Cowboy100 website:

Cowboy100 Gala The

Hosted by the Riata Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in conjunction with the OSU Foundation, the Cowboy100 recognizes outstanding entrepreneurship throughout OSU’s alumni base while raising funds for the Riata Center’s student programs and activities. It also provides additional resources for students to engage with industry leaders and for the Riata Center to become the reference point for entrepreneurship throughout the university.

Applications and nominations are being accepted for the 2023 edition of the Cowboy100, celebrating the fastest-growing and top 10-revenue generating OSU graduate-owned or OSU graduate-led businesses. The 2023 Cowboy100 Honoree Gala is scheduled for March 31, 2023.

February 2023 Alphabetical List Announced March 31, 2023 Cowboy100 Honoree Gala Wes Watkins Center for International Trade Development IMPORTANT DATES



The OSU Doel Reed Center in Taos extends Oklahoma State University’s study-abroad experience without having to leave the country From art and graphic design to English, art history, architecture and more, students will find the Doel Reed Center is an enchanted place to learn. Your support of the Doel Reed Center provides our students with the chance to take advantage of this incredible learning opportunity.

The Doel Reed Center is not just for students, though. It also provides unique opportunities for adult learners through Leisure Learning courses. The week of classes is designed by expert instructors for inquiring adults, and includes workshops, hands-on activities and visits to local sites. Summer Leisure Learning courses have been set for July 24-28, 2023, and enrollment will open soon!

To learn more about supporting the Doel Reed Center or attending our upcoming Leisure Learning courses, visit

16 WINTER 2022
From left: OSU President Kayse Shrum, OSU President Emeritus Burns Hargis, former First Cowgirl Ann Hargis and OSU/A&M Board of Regents Chair Jarold Callahan.

Larger Than Life

OSU dedicates statue to former president Burns Hargis

V.Burns Hargis will certainly go down in history as one of Oklahoma State University’s visionary leaders.

His legacy can be seen across the campus he transformed through the many buildings constructed during his presidency and more than $2 billion in donor contributions raised.

When Hargis announced his retirement in the fall of 2020, thenSenior Vice President Gary Clark and a committee of regents thought it appropriate to honor him with a statue to be placed across Library Lawn from a statue honoring another one of OSU’s most influential leaders, Henry Bennett.

“I volunteered to call donors who had contributed to Burns’ success and said ‘yes’ when he asked them for help on scholarships or on endowed chairs and professorships,” said Clark, who worked closely with Hargis for 13-plus years. “Frankly, it was a matter of knowing when to stop asking, because everybody was saying ‘yes.’”

In a matter of days, Clark and the OSU Foundation raised the funds for the statue. The names of donors who contributed $25,000 or more are on a plaque placed on the statue’s rose quartz base.

Renowned Oklahoma artist and sculptor Mike Larsen remembers being with his grandkids when Hargis called and asked if he would be interested in taking on the project. He was caught off guard but leapt at the chance to honor Hargis.

Mike and his wife, Martha, invited the Hargises to their studio in Perkins, Oklahoma, to plan the statue. Burns Hargis requested two pieces of jewelry be included: his wedding ring and an OSU pin on his jacket.

Mike Larsen gathered measurements and helped schedule

studio photos of Burns Hargis, which would be used as the basis for a small clay model of the statue, aka a maquette.

With those details in mind, he picked up the oil-based clay and began sculpting, starting with the head and basing the facial expression on how Burns Hargis looked at Ann.

The first photo session with Hargis did not provide the movement Mike Larsen was hoping for. At the suggestion of the Hargises, they did another session and were able to pose him in a very Burns-Hargis manner — hands on hips, leaning slightly forward, very businesslike — which also provided important movement in his clothes.

“When we changed [the pose], all of a sudden his coat took on character and his pants changed,” Mike Larsen said. “Everything changed. The drapery in his pants became important in the back so it proved to be just what we wanted.”

The new maquette provided action without actual movement and became a piece in the round. Even the Hargises’ signatures became more prominent on the bottom of his coat. And just as Burns Hargis leans forward when he speaks, so does the statue.

Once the maquette was completed, it was sent to The Crucible Foundry in Norman, Oklahoma, to be scanned and scaled to statue size. Then the statue pieces were cut out of foam and sprayed with oil-based clay.

Those clay pieces went back to Mike Larsen’s studio and over the next six weeks, where he added the finishing touches. Then back to The Crucible, where they went for the final time.

“From those big clay pieces, they make the molds for the bronze to be poured into, and then they start assembling it,” Martha Larsen said. “And then Mike had to go down and approve the way it went together.”

On a ladder next to the towering statue, Mike Larsen went over every seam and mark on the statue to ensure it had no imperfections and conveyed the right attitude before it was sandblasted in preparation for the bronze color to be applied.

Once the color was applied to match the Bennett statue, pre-weathering a final coat of wax completed the monument, which stands at 10 feet tall.

At the unveiling ceremony on Sept. 9, Burns Hargis called the statue a “phenomenal honor” and thanked all those involved for their support.

“It’s been a wonderful working relationship,” he said. “Mike, you did a great job. Martha, you did a wonderful job in coordinating everything.”

The Larsens are forever grateful for the trust the Hargises had in them to complete this work of art and the ability to make lifelong friends along the way.

“This is a business, so we always look at it from a business aspect, but when business is accompanied by something as important as this, it’s really cool,” Mike Larsen said.

TO WATCH an Inside OSU interview with Hargis statue sculptor Mike Larsen, go to

Oklahoma sculptor Mike Larsen looks up at his recreation of Burns Hargis, OSU’s 18th president.

‘Living His Best Life’

Freshman doesn’t let medical challenges earlier in life define him

18 WINTER 2022
As part of the OSU video staff, Colby Ash films practice, home games and occasionally, away games.

Just as Colby Ash started learning to walk, he suddenly stopped.

For months, doctors ran diagnostic tests on the 2-year-old, trying to figure out the cause of fevers Ash had recently developed, which contributed to his lack of movement. But they remained a mystery.

As Ash’s illness progressed, his lymph nodes began to enlarge, prompting the doctors to run more bloodwork, testing for illnesses like mononucleosis.

At 28 months old, Ash was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma.

He was covered from the top of his head to the tip of his toes with hundreds of tumors. The original tumor was the size of a small football and located in his abdomen area, attached to his aorta.

He endured seven rounds of chemo, one 18-hour tumor resection surgery, two weeks of total-body radiation, two bone marrow transplants and hundreds of blood draws.

In 2006, when Ash was 3, after his second and final bone marrow transplant, he relapsed. It sent him into a new category — 0% survival rate with three to six months to live. He had gone from critical to condemned.

To keep him comfortable, and give him a semblance of a quality of life, Ash was given trial chemo intended to keep the tumors at bay. However, his body couldn’t handle such a high dose of radiation.

The doctors decided to switch him to a low dose every day. Then, something amazing happened. The lower doses started to work and slowly, the tumors began to disappear.

Ash’s parents, E.B. and Tracy Ash, said it was a harrowing time, but were thankful for the support of doctors, nurses and family.

“When he turned 6, we received the best news ever. He was officially considered NED [No Evidence of Disease] and then 10 years later, he was officially cancer free at 16,” Tracy Ash said.

She jokingly considers Colby a cat — he has nine lives.

“He has really overcome a lot of health issues that he really shouldn’t have, and he’s fought through them,” she said. “He’s like this quiet little stick of dynamite.”

Colby Ash is 19 now and unless his parents tell him the stories, he doesn’t remember being sick and in the hospital because he was so young. He remembers going to the doctor for scans but he doesn’t remember things like recovering from surgery.

On July 29, with the help of his parents and younger brother Riley Ash, Colby loaded up his Toyota Tacoma and left College Station, Texas, to move into his room on campus at Oklahoma State University.

Moving Colby Ash to college is an experience his mother didn’t know she would get to have 17 years ago when he was given a 0% survival rate. Now, he is living his dream of working with the OSU football program’s video staff.

“He shouldn’t be here and he shouldn’t be doing this. He shouldn’t have turned 13 or 16, or have graduated from high school, or be going to college” Tracy Ash said. “He’s living his best life and going to the university that he’s wanted to go to for the last four years and he’s going to film for the football team

fallen in love with.”

that he’s
“He shouldn’t be here and he shouldn’t be doing this. He shouldn’t have turned 13 or 16, or have graduated from high school, or be going to college. He’s living his best life and going to the university that he’s wanted to go to for the last four years and he’s going to film for the football team that he’s fallen in love with.”
Colby Ash’s family helps him unpack and move into his room on campus in July.

Colby Ash doesn’t let being a cancer survivor define who he is, though. Instead, he uses his passion for football to help players be successful on and off the field.

Due to his cancer treatments, stands at 4 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 70 pounds.

He knew playing football wasn’t an option for him, but he wanted to be involved in the sport through any available opportunity.

“He has such a passion for the game; it’s like he sees it from a different perspective,” Tracy Ash said.

He grew up watching the game and has extensive knowledge of the sport. When Colby Ash was a high school freshman, one of his coaches, Kyle Walsh, introduced him to the film crew as a way for him to be a part of the team. He took that opportunity to the next level.

Walsh connected him with Zack Ramsey, director of video for OSU football. As part of the video staff, he films home games and practices, plus he gets to travel to two away games.

“The students on our video staff are essential to the success of our football program,” Ramsey said. “Colby is off to a tremendous start. We are excited to have him.”

Filming keeps Colby Ash involved in the game, and his work helps the players improve and build clips to share with NFL scouts. It also gives him a great seat to learn from the

players and coaches in preparation for a prospective coaching career.

“It seems like he really enjoys football and wants to help people,” E.B. Ash said. “For about the last four years, all he’s wanted to do is just be a coach.”

Colby watched his high school coach, Steve Huff, lead practices and take the team to the state championship game. Those experiences inspired him to pursue a coaching career to teach kids the sport and watch them grow.

“I look up to coach Mike Gundy because that’s what I want to be one day,” he said.

He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in applied exercise science: sport and coaching science through the School of Kinesiology, Applied Health and Recreation with the goal of eventually being a college coach.

But until then, you can find Colby Ash on the 50-yard line with a bird’s-eye view from the top of Boone Pickens Stadium filming every practice and game.

“The first games and practices went by super fast,” he said. “The first two games were super overwhelming, but I was very excited to be filming for Cowboy football.”

20 WINTER 2022
From left: Tracy Ash, Colby Ash, Riley Ash and E.B. Ash move Colby into his room in July.


Continue your Cowboy legacy at Oklahoma State University with a flexible online graduate degree. We offer graduate degrees in high-demand and rewarding careers along with all the support and services of an inperson degree.

OSU waives the application fees for our OSU alumni and has a special nonresident tuition rate, making an OSU graduate degree even more affordable.

Learn more at

Newsweek’s Student Poll Ranks OSU #5 in America’s Best Online Learning Schools.

Screen Time

Inside OSU celebrates 10 years of highlighting university through video

On a Saturday night in midOctober, Coleton Gambill sat in a production control room on the Oklahoma State UniversityStillwater campus, framing camera shots for a livestream of the Greek show, “Follies.” Meanwhile, across town at the Payne County Fairgrounds, fellow associate producer Timothy Cole was directing the livestream of the Cowboy Stampede rodeo final from a mobile production unit.

That’s a typical day for Inside OSU. The official video platform of OSU was originally launched as OStateTV 10 years ago. Now, it’s home to more

unique and exciting OSU content than ever before, streaming upwards of 200 live events annually, including commencement, Greek shows, the Sea of Orange Homecoming Parade, invited speakers, Greenwood School of Music concerts and so much more.

Viewers can watch these events live or on demand at, or via the Inside OSU app available for Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Roku.

“Video is key to outreach, and outreach is part of our land-grant mission,” said Andy Wallace, who has managed the video network since its launch. “The potential for Inside

OSU continues to grow as technology improves, and the new name and updated website were created to reflect the changing media landscape and meet audiences’ growing appetite for streaming content.”

When it first launched in 2012 under then-President Burns Hargis, the goal was to deliver the OSU experience to the world. The mission remains the same, but much has changed over the last decade in the realm of video, and Inside OSU has evolved as well.

“The landscape is very different in 2022 than it was in 2012. OSU has grown a lot, and so has the demand for

Inside OSU reporter Meghan Robinson interviews Oklahoma State men’s basketball coach Mike Boynton.

video,” Wallace said. “With how fast it’s changing, we’re not just thinking about the audience of the 2020s, but the 2030s, too. I think we’ve really tried to focus on a storytelling approach and watching how we connect our story with the public.”

Inside OSU has a wide variety of shows, including “Game Talk” with coaches and players, “Oklahoma Gardening” and “SUNUP” from OSU Agriculture, and “The Front Row,” which gives prospective students a real video preview of specific classes from the front row. Wallace said Inside OSU has something for everyone in the Cowboy family, and audiences often end up discovering something completely new. The platform showcases OSU to the world, but it also connects the OSU community with opportunities, events and resources on campus.

Like so many endeavors at the university, Inside OSU is a collaborative effort. The Institute for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ITLE) delivers on most of Inside OSU’s livestreaming, audio and video production needs.

“There is no Inside OSU without the production and engineering teams at ITLE,” Wallace said. “They shoot the video and produce the livestreams. We’ve also had a very close relationship with the School of Media and Strategic Communications. A lot of their students have worked for Inside OSU, and it has provided a launchpad for successful careers in media.”

Wade Pearson, ITLE production service manager, said it’s a challenge to cover the breadth of OSU content produced for Inside OSU, but it’s one he enjoys.

“It’s been cool because it helps give people on campus a kind of behind-thescenes look at what goes on,” he said. “I mean, this is such a big place, a lot of people don’t even know all the things that go on behind the scenes and how it happens.”

Meghan Robinson, award-winning Inside OSU multimedia reporter and producer, has been a familiar face (and voice) for Inside OSU fans since 2020. She formerly worked as a producer at ESPN on shows like “College Gameday.” Since joining the OSU Brand

Visit to see the latest livestreams, videos, podcasts and more. Here’s a list of just some of the content you’ll find there:

24 Hours With: spend 24 hours with the people, programs and departments that make up OSU America’s Greatest Homecoming: Archived Homecoming parades and other content Colvin@Home: Classes and workout routines from the Colvin Center Commencement: Archived commencement ceremonies

Cowboy Moments: Greatest moments from each academic year at OSU Gametalk: Hear from OSU coaches and players

Greek Life: Watch Follies, Varsity Revue and Spring Sing Greenwood School of Music: Watch concerts and recitals performed by students and faculty Halftime with the Cowboy Marching Band: Watch the halftime performances at Boone Pickens Stadium Inside OSU: Our flagship broadcast; learn about the programs and people who make up OSU Newsmakers: Interviews with prominent newsmakers who visit OSU Oklahoma Gardening: Produced by OSU Agriculture

Raise Your Hand: OSU researchers answer questions asked by school aged students

Research on Tap: Spotlighting OSU researchers

STATE Magazine: Stories from the magazine come to life in video Student Organization Spotlight: Learn about student organizations on the OSU campus

SUNUP: Produced by OSU Agriculture

Talk About It Tuesday: Helping students have a healthy and happy college experience

The Front Row: Sample courses offered at OSU

The View at OSU: Showcasing the OSU campus on video

Management team, she has produced a prolific slate of content.

Highlights include a documentary on the OSU wrestling team and new series, such as Student Organization Spotlight (SOS), which showcases the 500-plus student clubs on campus. Robinson also has teamed up with First Cowboy Darren Shrum to host the Inside OSU Podcast, which focuses on a wide range of topics within the OSU community.

“The first episode Darren and I worked on together, we interviewed Mike Gundy. A couple of episodes later, we interviewed Brooke Taylor, a former

OSU homecoming queen who has survived having breast cancer twice,” Robinson said. “Those are two very different stories. The Cowboy family is a big family, and we try to cover it all.

“The OSU campus is rich with video opportunities, and this platform connects us with the audience in a way that we’ve never had before. I feel like there’s so much potential here and we can only go up. I just think that there’s so much room for growth and so much room for potential that it’s exciting to see what the next 10 years will bring.”

Timothy Cole and Austin Deaver work in the control room at the Cowboy Stampede Rodeo.
24 WINTER 2022

New campaign raises nearly $200,000 for OSU mental health services


hen a new initiative at Oklahoma State University was in need of support, the Cowboy family showed its character.

On Oct. 8, OSU launched Cowboys United for Mental Health with one goal in mind — to improve OSU students’ access to mental health resources on campus.

Thanks to the commitment of the OSU community, the inaugural campaign was a resounding success.

Across the five-day campaign, a total of $193,544 was raised. The sum nearly doubled the original goal of $100,000. The first $70,000 raised was matched dollar-fordollar through the generosity of 14 matching gift donors.

OSU will use the funds to elevate and expand mental health services for students, building upon the multi-layered system of support already in place.

“The entire Cowboy family coming together around this important cause was so exciting to watch,” said Adrian Matthys, assistant vice president of annual giving at the OSU Foundation. “Alumni, faculty, staff, students and generous members of the OSU community all played a part in raising these funds to support campus mental health services.”

Across the nation, the need for mental health services on college campuses has outgrown the available resources. This trend is apparent throughout the OSU-Stillwater campus, where mental health is becoming an increasingly larger priority to students.

In a 2019-2020 study, 42% of OSU students reported that they have received psychological or mental health services, and 76% reported they would consider seeking help from a mental health professional.

“The mental health of our students is a top priority at OSU,” said Dr. Doug Hallenbeck, OSU vice president of student affairs. “It is part of the culture of care that we are constantly working to evolve. The success of this campaign shows the Cowboy family

cares about each other and is willing to make a difference.”

Support generated from the campaign will increase funds for a variety of mental health resources such as Togetherall, an online service that will provide 24/7 support for all students across the OSU system.

The university also will be able to increase the number of free counseling appointments offered to students and provide more financial assistance to students who require outside care from a mental health professional.

“Our goal is to provide easy access for mental health support to all students,” Hallenbeck said. “The money raised will go directly to helping students get the help they need that will make a difference in their life.”

Raedyn Magness is a member of the Student Foundation and understands the struggle many of her peers have regarding mental health.

Students leave home for the first time and are expected to care for themselves, do well in class and be involved on campus, all while maintaining their social needs. Magness thinks there’s pressure to present a calm demeanor regardless of the struggles someone is facing.

“At times, it can feel like failure is just right around the corner,” said Magness, a senior studying biochemistry and molecular biology. “It is easy to get stuck in the mindset that everything is going wrong and that the world

Top: The Department of Wellness is recognized on the field at the OSU football game against Texas Tech.

Middle: Vice President of Student Affairs Doug Hallenbeck addresses the crowd at Walk the Block.

Bottom: Members of the OSU Student Foundation take a photo with Hallenbeck and OSU President Kayse Shrum.


The Student Foundation tabled on campus throughout the week to raise awareness for the campaign.

is against you. That kind of discouragement can be heavy and hard to overcome.”

Prior to the campaign, Magness was looking into the wellness resources available to students, and it concerned her that she was unfamiliar with many of the resources. She knew other students could benefit from them if they were more informed, which inspired her to organize a Walk the Block event.

On the final day of the campaign, the OSU Student Foundation hosted the walk outside Willard Hall on a beautiful fall evening. It was held to educate students about the many mental health resources available on campus and spread awareness for Cowboys United for Mental Health. Attendees mingled with campus leaders, including Hallenbeck and OSU President Kayse Shrum.

Magness said she truly feels the impact of the Cowboy family through initiatives like Cowboys United for Mental Health.

“This campaign is so encouraging as a student,” Magness said. “Recognizing that students struggle with depression, feeling unwelcome or not belonging is easy, but taking action by fundraising is helping to solve the problem now.”

Members of the Interfraternity Council also attended Walk the Block. Council president Tanner Taylor said one of the organization’s biggest areas of concern is poor mental health, which can keep students from getting the most out of their experience at OSU.

In an effort to address this priority, the council presented a $2,500 check to the campaign at the student-focused event.

“A large majority of our students are involved in extracurricular activities and often still manage to work enough hours to stay afloat financially,” Taylor said. “All the stress of involvement can often weigh students down.

“It’s no secret that mental health affects young men, and we want to work to help break the stigma surrounding men’s mental health.”

Another significant contribution to the campaign came from OSU alumnus and Indonesian Ambassador Rosan Perkasa Roeslani. He learned about the campaign before the OSU football game against Texas Tech and was instantly inspired to get involved.

Roeslani made a remarkable $50,000 gift that will make a huge difference in the lives of many students.

But it isn’t just the large donations that will make an impact. The final total was raised from 380 individual donors, who each played a special role in the campaign, Matthys said.

“The first Cowboys United did a boatload of good, but raising awareness and providing the highest caliber mental health services to OSU students will always be needed,” he said. “Our hope is that even more members of the Cowboy family will participate next year so we can do even more good for our students.”

After a successful inaugural campaign, Cowboys United for Mental Health will be a fall fixture well into the future.

“Mental illness can feel like an invisible struggle,” Magness said. “But through Cowboys United for Mental Health, I think we can help to make sure no OSU student struggles alone.”

This campaign is so encouraging as a student.
Recognizing that students struggle with depression, feeling unwelcome or not belonging is easy, but taking action by fundraising is helping to solve the problem now.”
Raedyn Magness, OSU Student
26 WINTER 2022
A special thank you to our matching gift donors:
more information on how you can support mental health services at OSU, contact
at or 405-714-8977.
Visit to learn about available mental health resources. STATEMAGAZINE.OKSTATE.EDU 27
The Interfraternity Council presents the Cowboys United for Mental Health campaign with a $2,500 check.


OSU President Kayse Shrum and First Cowboy Darren Shrum served as grand marshals of this year’s festivities, which included more than a dozen events from Oct. 13-22. The thousands of OSU alumni and friends who made the journey home to Stillwater made this year’s event an incredible success. Plus, the comeback victory by the Cowboy football team over the Texas Longhorns was a thrilling way to conclude the celebration.

Along with our sponsor, Love’s Travel Stops, the Alumni Association invites you to relive this unforgettable week and celebrate our contest winners in the following pages. You can also watch the highlight video online at and learn about supporting OSU’s most beloved tradition, America’s Greatest Homecoming.

PHOTO BRUCE WATERFIELD Homecoming Executives (from left) Katie Fitzgerald, Lauren Minnix, Garrett Bacchetti, Andrew Vanaman, Bryanna Nickel, Piper Boswell, Kaylee Holt, Billy Marchy and Aubrey Buckmaster help dye the Edmon Low Library fountain America’s Brightest Orange. Cowboy wide receiver Brennan Presley catches a touchdown pass in the Homecoming victory over the Texas Longhorns. PHOTO BRUCE WATERFIELD
30 WINTER 2022
PHOTO GARY LAWSON Students and families fill Hester Street to paint encouraging words for the Cowboy football team. 2022 Miss Black OSU Bobbi Jarmon rides in the Sea of Orange Parade. PHOTO GARY LAWSON PHOTO PHIL SHOCKLEY

The 2022 Homecoming King and Queen Breland Steward and Mia Rooker (center) pose with the rest of this year’s Royalty Court.

This future Cowboy plays carnival games at the Harvest Carnival, including this Operationthemed winning game from Kappa Kappa Gamma and Sigma Chi.

Signs from student organizations, residence halls, and sorority and fraternity pairings fill Library Lawn, including this first place finisher from the College of Education and Human Sciences Student Council.

32 WINTER 2022

The Cowboy Marching Band kicks off game day for everyone in attendance at the Cowboy Corral Pep Rally in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.

The 2022 Homecoming Executive Team and Love’s Travel Stops representatives celebrate at the Cowboy Corral before the football game.

Lily Householder competes in the goat tying event at this year’s Cowboy Stampede Rodeo.

(From left) Love’s Travel Stops leaders Spencer Haines and Shane Wharton join First Cowboy Darren Shrum, OSU President Kayse Shrum, OSU Alumni Association President Ann Caine and OSU Alumni Association Board Chair Tina Parkhill to present representatives from FarmHouse and Kappa Delta with this year’s sweepstakes trophy. PHOTO GARY LAWSON
34 WINTER 2022

The Cowboy basketball team joins the Homecoming fun at this year’s Homecoming and Hoops event.


This year’s Basketball Bonanza winners include CEAT Student Council in the open bracket and Pi Beta Phi/Phi Gamma Delta in the Fraternities and Sororities bracket.

People pack this year’s Chili CookOff as student organizations and residential halls compete for the top prize.

Pistol Pete joins the fun at this year’s Homecoming tailgate for students. The event includes free food and beverages, raffles and an inflatable jump house.

36 WINTER 2022
Kappa Delta and FarmHouse take first place in this year’s house decoration competition.

Basketball Bonanza


1st | Pi Beta Phi/Phi Gamma Delta

2nd | Kappa Delta/FarmHouse

3rd | Kappa Alpha Theta/Sigma Nu


1st | CEAT Student Council

2nd | Sigma Phi Lambda

3rd | Zink/Allen and North Monroe



1st | College of Education and Human Sciences

Student Council

2nd | Student Arts Alliance

3rd | Student Union Activities Board

Love’s Fan Favorite | College of Education and Human Sciences Student Council


1st | Patchin/Jones Halls

2nd | University Commons North

3rd | Villages B/E/F and Iba Hall

Love’s Fan Favorite | Zink/Allen and North Monroe


1st | Delta Delta Delta/Phi Delta Theta

2nd | Kappa Alpha Theta/Sigma Nu

3rd | Kappa Delta/FarmHouse

Love’s Fan Favorite | Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho

Sea of OrangeParade

Love’s Fan Favorite | Canyons Malamute Puppies


6A – Stillwater High School

4A – Stillwell High School

3A – Henryetta High School

2A – Ripley High School


1st | Perkins Veterinary Clinic

2nd | Stillwater Martial Arts

3rd | Next Level


1st | College of Education and Human Sciences

Student Council

2nd | Dairy Science Club

3rd | Horseman’s Association


1st | Villages B/E/F and Iba Hall

2nd | Stout Hall

3rd | Zink/Allen and North Monroe

Harvest Carnival


1st | Student Union Activities Board

2nd | Omega Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Order

3rd | CEAT Student Council

Love’s Fan Favorite | College of Education and Human Sciences Student Council


1st | Kappa Kappa Gamma/Sigma Chi

2nd | Delta Delta Delta/Phi Delta Theta 3rd | Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho

Love’s Fan Favorite | Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho


Fraternities and Sororities – Kappa Alpha Theta/ Sigma Nu

Chili Cook-Off


1st | Block and Bridle

2nd | Collegiate Farm Bureau

3rd | Horseman’s Association


1st | Zink/Allen and North Monroe

2nd | Patchin/Jones Halls

3rd | Bennett Hall

Love’s Fan Favorite | Zink/Allen and North Monroe

Homecoming King and Queen

Breland Steward and Mia Rooker



1st (tie) | Booker/Stinchcomb and Villages B/E/F and Iba Hall

2nd | Zink/Allen and North Monroe

3rd | University Commons North Love’s Fan Favorite | Villages B/E/F and Iba Hall

38 WINTER 2022



1st | Kappa Delta/FarmHouse

2nd | Gamma Phi Beta/Beta Theta Pi

3rd | Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho

4th | Zeta Tau Alpha/Sigma Phi Epsilon

5th | Kappa Alpha Theta/Sigma Nu

Love’s Fan Favorite | Gamma Phi Beta/Beta Theta Pi


Kappa Delta/FarmHouse


Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho



1st | College of Education and Human Sciences

Student Council

2nd | Oklahoma Collegiate Cattlemen’s and Cattlewomen’s Association

3rd | Student Union Activities Board


1st | Zink/Allen and North Monroe

2nd | Villages B/E/F and Iba Hall

3rd | Stout Hall


1st | Kappa Delta/FarmHouse

2nd | Gamma Phi Beta/Beta Theta Pi

3rd | Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho


Alpha Delta Pi


1st | Ferguson College of Agriculture

2nd | College of Education and Human Sciences

3rd | College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology


Giving New Meaning to ‘Open Book’

Free textbooks, materials expanding accessibility for students
Open Educational Resources, such as “Who Teaches Writing,” are free for students to use.
40 WINTER 2022

Who would write a book and then give it away for free?

Turns out, a lot of people would, and it’s part of a movement that’s having a growing impact at Oklahoma State University.

Open Educational Resources, or OER, are research and classroom materials that are free for students to use. OER can include library resources, online articles and videos or open textbooks, which are published with a license that makes them free to use, distribute or adapt.

The library is the heart of the open movement on campus. Not only is the #OpenOKState team educating the campus about open issues, facilitating conversations and building a community, but they also provide support to instructors who want to create, adapt and share open textbooks.

“Our goal with open is to meet the research, teaching and learning needs of our community and to increase the visibility of the scholarship and innovative teaching of our faculty,” OER librarian Kathy Essmiller said.

Sections of more than 30 OSU courses are already using OER, and the savings are adding up for students. By the end of fall 2022, OSU students will have saved over $1 million combined.

A major contributor is one of OSU’s newest open textbooks, “Who Teaches Writing,” edited by Joshua Daniel, director of first-year writing in the English department. The book has been adopted by all sections of English Composition I on the Stillwater campus, so nearly every OSU student will now experience an OER course.

“Shifting the English comp program to OER is something I came here to do,” Daniel said. “It’s been a goal since day one.”

Daniel started leading the composition program in summer 2020. One of his first projects was to lay out a plan to move the entire English composition sequence to OER by fall 2022. He connected with the library’s #OpenOKState team, and things started to fall into place. The library offered support, a publishing platform and funding to compensate authors.

The purpose of OER goes beyond cost savings. Another important aspect is the ability to present varied perspectives in ways not often seen in commercial textbooks. Daniel tapped into his network of colleagues, students and mentors to assemble a diverse group of chapter authors. It was important to him to represent each of the English department’s concentrations: composition, creative writing, film studies, literature and linguistics.

“We also tried to represent diversity in a broad way, not just in terms of race and gender, which are a big part of it, but also looking at academic standing and rank,” he said. “Our authors include graduate students, adjunct instructors, tenure track and non-tenure track faculty. It was easy to do at OSU because we have such a large community.”

Daniel and the team ensured the students using the book were included in its development, as well. When students can engage in the creation process, they see themselves reflected in the work.

In spring 2022, the book was piloted in several sections of English Composition I. Feedback from these classes helped shape the version in use now. Even though the book is considered complete, the text can continue to evolve to meet the needs of the classes using it because it is open and adaptable.

“Open textbooks help students see that knowledge doesn’t just belong to people who can charge money for it,” said Simon Ringsmuth, teaching and learning librarian. “Through OER, students see that everyone contributes to knowledge, and multiple perspectives are a good thing. Students get to see that their voice matters, and that’s something we hope they take with them after graduation.”

Thousands of students will benefit from this free textbook. The impact reaches beyond OSU. Like every open textbook, anyone can use this book free of charge. “Who Teaches Writing” has been available for less than a year, but it is already being adopted at other institutions.

The open movement is more than free textbooks. It’s an entire area of research, scholarship and teaching that is having a transformational impact on education and improving access for students.

TO LEARN more about the open movement at OSU and opportunities to support this important work, visit

“Through OER, students see that everyone contributes to knowledge, and multiple perspectives are a good thing. Students get to see that their voice matters, and that’s something we hope they take with them after graduation.”

Over 150 OSU students, faculty, staff, members of the community and others from across the country participated in OSU’s Annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb inside Boone Pickens Stadium.

Never Forgotten

Annual stair climb commemorating bravery of 9/11 first responders moves to Boone Pickens Stadium for first time

One hundred and ten flights. Two thousand, two hundred steps. The climb first responders made on Sept. 11, 2001, inside the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City is hard to imagine for most.

But on Sept. 11, 2022, over 150 participants from around the country came to commemorate first responders’ bravery and courage on the steps of Boone Pickens Stadium as part of the annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb hosted by the Oklahoma State

University Fire Protection Society and OSU Firefighter Challenge Team.

“To be a part of something like this is truly fulfilling,” said Baylor Cobb, fire protection and safety engineering technology (FPSET) senior.

Cobb is a member of the Fire Protection Society and Firefighter Combat Challenge Team and has been head of the Stair Climb Organization Committee for the past two years.

“The amount of climbers this year, from faculty to staff to students to community members, speaks volumes to

everyone’s willingness to come out and memorialize and pay respects to those first responders,” he said.

The event provides the opportunity to earn a better understanding of what first responders went through on that tragic day 21 years ago. It’s a way to honor the courage and heroism exhibited on that day and those that made the ultimate sacrifice during rescue efforts.

For Kendra Cadena, FPSET student and vice president of the OSU Fire Protection Society, it’s a way to


remember the lives lost on that day, but also honor her father, Eric Cadena, a career firefighter of 26 years who currently serves the City of San Antonio.

“My dad is my biggest inspiration,” Kendra said. “He entered the fire service right out of high school but began pursuing his secondary education when I was in middle school. He just received his master’s degree and is now pursuing his doctorate in fire and emergency management here at OSU.”

The younger Cadena hadn’t planned on pursuing a FPSET degree, but applied to OSU after her dad showed her a video highlighting the program.

“It was a feeling I had never felt before,” Kendra said. “When I received my acceptance letter to OSU, I knew that is where I belonged and the path I was supposed to follow. This program gives me the opportunity to protect civilians, but it also allows me to make the first responders’ jobs as safe as possible.”

As soon as Eric learned that OSU hosted its own memorial stair climb, he knew he had to make the trip to Stillwater every year to experience it with his daughter.

“Coming here for the stair climb means a lot,” Eric said. “I’ve done stair

climbs every year in the San Antonio area, but now that my daughter is a student here, I get to come to Stillwater and support her while honoring my fellow first responders.”

Fire protection has been a staple at OSU since the 1930s, and the university’s programs continue to be recognized as some of the premier programs in fire protection and safety engineering in the world. This annual event also pays homage to the history of OSU and to those that have graduated from these programs.

have this kind of memorial here is important for OSU, our fire protection

“To have this kind of memorial here is important for OSU, our fire protection programs and our history. This event is the kind of outreach we should be doing, and it’s great to see it grow to this point.”
Climbers were encouraged to wear badges containing images and names of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

programs and our history,” said Dr. Rob Agnew, an associate professor in fire protection and safety and academic advisor for the Fire Protection Society. “This event is the kind of outreach we should be doing, and it’s great to see it grow to this point.”

OSU has hosted the memorial stair climb for nearly a decade, but this year’s climb was the first to be held at Boone Pickens Stadium. The new location not only provided a more unique experience for climbers, but also allowed for a more efficient climb than in years past.

“The last couple of years we had climbers make 22 circuits inside Engineering North,” Cobb said. “It’s an intimidating number of laps and an environment that isn’t very appealing for participants, which is why this year I really wanted to get permission to use Boone Pickens Stadium.”

The physical and mental fatigue that first responders endured on that day is not something lost on anyone that participates in the climb.

“It’s tough,” Kendra said. “But it’s something I plan on doing with my dad until we can’t physically do it anymore.”

Attendees made the climb in various attire, from shorts and T-shirts to full bunker gear.

“We did it once and were tired, and they did it numerous times that day,” Cobb said. “It puts into perspective the courage and sacrifice those first responders demonstrated.”

The Fire Protection Society was founded in 1937 and is the oldest student organization on campus. It provides students with opportunities in public service, academic and professional development, and leadership development, as well as social interaction with other students in the FPSET program.

The OSU Firefighter Challenge Team is the only four-year collegiate team participating in the 3M Scott Firefighter Challenge. The team’s mission is to provide insight into how

physically demanding a firefighter’s job is, to encourage members to live healthy lifestyles and instill high professional standards of conduct.

“This is something that promotes our emergency responders and is in the DNA of OSU,” Agnew said. “I hope we continue to support the emergency services community and continue to grow awareness for those that are dedicated to helping our communities every day.”

Whether you run, walk or crawl, Kenrda said making “the climb” gives every participant the chance to connect with those that lost their lives on that day and pay tribute to the men and women in the emergency services that made that choice without hesitation.

“I like to clear my mind and take each step purposefully,” Kendra said. “It’s my way of honoring and remembering all those that lost their lives that day, 21 years ago.”

Some climbers wore weighted vests or full firefighter gear during the 110 story climb, as a way to further memorialize the first responders who were on scene that day. Participants gathered prior to the event for a moment of silence, prayer and group photo.
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Members of the OSU Fire Protection Society and Firefighter Challenge Team were among the participants, many of whom wore full bunker gear while making the climb.

More than 100 students, alumni and community members perform “Ode to Joy” with the New York Philharmonic on Sept. 23.

‘Standard of Excellence’

McKnight Center partnership with New York Philharmonic resonating with students

As Chris Seay perused the internet looking for a graduate school, he looked for a place that he felt could offer him something unique.

He came across Oklahoma State University’s Greenwood School of Music and saw an article that made his decision a simple one — “The McKnight Center and New York Philharmonic Announce Multi-Year Partnership, Residency.”

“Seeing that OSU used the resources and had the accessibility to basically the top echelon of performance, it doesn’t get much better than the New York

Philharmonic,” said Seay, a native of Belmont, North Carolina, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Western Carolina University. “In order to reach a standard of excellence that you are going for, you kind of have to be surrounded by it.”

When the Philharmonic visited OSU in late September, Seay played in a masterclass with principal tuba Alan Baer, where Seay performed Paul Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphosis.”

“It has been one of my favorite pieces and he is one of my favorite composers personally,” Seay said. “It is also one of the excerpts that I have struggled with

the most. Having that opportunity to grab the bull by the horns and have a principal player give the instruction on it, that is why I chose that one.”

Those teaching moments in masterclasses are mainly for the students, but the performers also gain an incredible amount of insight from them. Rebecca Young, associate principal viola who has been in the Philharmonic since 1986, said these masterclasses help classical music reach an all-new demographic. To help in that respect, Young started filming videos on TikTok and has since seen her celebrity skyrocket.


“I got so many comments from people who said, ‘This is changing how people feel about classical music.’ Just to get involved. That is keeping me alive,” Young said. “Because if we had to do the same thing over and over and over, I would never last.”

Hearing that personal insight from professional musicians is inspiring to aspiring ones such as sophomore percussionist Cheldon Gatz, who had the opportunity to perform with principal percussionist Christopher Lamb and principal timpanist Markus Rhoten.

Gatz learned how to improve his technique and personally enjoyed the constructive criticism he got from two world-class musicians. As a percussionist, Gatz plays several instruments and getting to see someone play a triangle or tambourine with the same precision as they would a snare drum was inspiring.

He particularly enjoyed hearing how each of them got to where they are now and realizing that struggles will happen in the music industry, but they persevered.

“The dream for me now is to be in the position they are in,” said Gatz, a

Piedmont, Oklahoma, native. “That would be a nice gig to work. It was eyeopening on what I need to do to get better to be able to achieve that spot.”

Choral conducting major Amanda Barber has aspirations for the stage, as well. Her aim is to lead an orchestra, whether it be at the high school, college or professional level. Barber attended a masterclass with tenor Thomas Cooley, but she had the added experience of performing alongside the Philharmonic at The McKnight Center.

At the opening night gala, more than 100 students, alumni and community members joined the Philharmonic’s performance of “Ode to Joy,” which Barber said she had been practicing for a month. Seeing conductor Jaap van Zweden was a dream come true to the Fort Worth, Texas, native.

“I never would have imagined that I would get to have a front row seat to a world-renowned conductor and watch him make music,” Barber said. “It was incredible to see him make these moves and he could move his hand just slightly and the ensemble would follow. … I was speechless after the performance. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I am so incredibly grateful to have experienced.”

OSU’s partnership with the New York Philharmonic also includes a student trip. A select group of students will visit New York City each spring to learn from the Philharmonic in their element firsthand.

Oboist Jacie Gray attended the masterclass with associate principal Sherry Sylar, who personally helped Gray with her reed making, as well.

Gray heard about the opportunity to go to New York from a friend, who told her if they won a competition, they would be invited. They were successful, and Gray heard the news in the middle of her Japanese class.

A product of Scurry, Texas (population 681), who learned music from her parents’ bluegrass band, Gray never thought she would have the opportunity to go to the Big Apple and learn from one of the world’s greatest orchestras.

“The New York Phil doesn’t usually leave New York, so for OSU and The McKnight Center to have given the students and community an opportunity to see such world-class musicians is something that really speaks for OSU’s true character and their good intentions for everyone,” Gray said. “They just care.”

Principal viola Rebecca Young works with a student at the Greenwood School of Music.
Principal tuba Alan Baer performs at a masterclass.

More Than a Memory

Brooks returns to OSU to offer insights on music industry

Garth Brooks arrived in Nashville, Tennessee, looking to be a songwriter, with a tune tailor-made for his hero, George Strait.

Brooks had written the song “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” in the style of Strait’s hit, “Amarillo By Morning.” Instead of taking the young Oklahoma State University grad’s track and turning Brooks into a bonafide songwriter, he was turned down by every record label.

Had Brooks tucked tail and headed back home, content with playing numbers at Willie’s Saloon in Stillwater, the world would’ve missed out on who would become the best-selling solo artist — even more than Elvis Presley — in United States history.

Brooks shared his wisdom as a country music superstar with OSU students in September in three masterclass sessions. Industry Insights with Garth

Brooks at The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts gave students a chance to ask the 1984 advertising alumnus about his career and hear advice from Brooks and a panel of music industry experts.

On Brooks’ panel was his wife and fellow country music superstar, Trisha Yearwood; songwriter Bryan Kennedy, who has written hits for Brooks; television and entertainment guru Samantha Olsen; Mandy McCormack, an expert on record labels who has worked with Taylor Swift; social media specialist Bryan Moore; Brooks’ longtime sound mixer, John McBride; photographer/videographer Ben Krebs; and audio connoisseur Dan Hines.

The sessions encompassed topics such as artistry, entertainment, social media and music as a business.

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From left: Samantha Olsen, Mandy McCormack, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, OSU President Kayse Shrum, Bryan Moore and Larry Reece at The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts.

Talking to a room dominated by music students, Yearwood mentioned that everyone on that stage was once in the same shoes, knowing they wanted to be musicians but without a clue on how to get there.

“Nobody up here knew how this was going to go,” Yearwood said. “We are in a profession that isn’t exactly like, ‘OK, you take these courses and get this degree and you are guaranteed a job.’ We are not guaranteed a job any day. I think what happens is your desire becomes bigger than your fear. It is not that you aren’t afraid, you just do it anyway. We were all scared and still scared to try new things.”

Brooks said no matter how talented students thought they were, they would have to go to where the music was being made and ingratiate themselves in the community. He told a story about being on tour in the early ’90s, on a particularly hot day in Phoenix when amps started blowing out left and right. He noticed a woman working with the road crew, helping in the chaos. Brooks discovered it was his sound engineer’s wife. Her name was Martina McBride.

“You might be able to play with a frying pan and that is all you got,” Brooks said. “But you know the first two rules of the greatest musicians on the planet: show up on time and show up with a good attitude. People in this business, it is like the military, if you are on time, you are late. How simple is that? Everybody loves to play with the same people. The people that bring the drama are not there.”

For the songwriters in the crowd, Kennedy said it would be a tough road. He told students to never give up writing, even if it meant having to put the pen to the pad after a long day working a different job. After all, one of Brooks’ signature hits, “The Dance,” was written by a then-UPS driver, Tony Arata.

“Keep doing what you do,” Kennedy said. “A writer is going to write whether we get paid for it or don’t get paid for it. It is a gift.”

For the students in the crowd, it was an eyeopening experience.

“For almost an entire day, students had the opportunity to hear and engage with a tremendously successful musician and businessman, covering topics that spanned artistry and business,” said Dr. Mark Perry, director of the music industry program at the Greenwood School of Music. “As he made clear, the music industry consists of both music making and doing business.”

Music industry freshman Collin Fields and nutritional pre-health major Hayley Hitt said the sessions gave them a better understanding of what they want to do with their musical careers.

Fields said it helped him realize what he could do as a producer whereas Hitt said it showed her that she could make it as a singer.

“I am in the opera program so when Trisha was saying that you know it is something you can’t get away from, something that you feel in your heart, I think that is a realization that is how I feel,” said Hitt, a Muskogee, Oklahoma, native who saw Brooks perform live when she was 12. “I know that music is something that I will never be able to get away from. That passion is what makes Garth such an amazing performer that you feel down in your heart.”

Hitt said she’s grateful to OSU for having the opportunity to learn from Brooks.

“He has been one of my heroes for a long time just because you can tell he has a big passion for music and his performances,” Hitt said. “When I heard he was here and was going to talk about the artistry side and the business side, I had to come.”

A lot of those students will encounter obstacles in the music business, Brooks said, but he reminded them to keep persevering like he did because you don’t know where it will take them.

“People, five seconds of courage is all you need,” he said. “The greatest thing you will do is put the pressure on yourself, and that is going to drive you to succeed.”

Industry Insights is a continuing series bringing OSU alumni back to Stillwater to discuss their expertise with students. Stay tuned for more opportunities.

“But you know the first two rules of the greatest musicians on the planet: show up on time and show up with a good attitude. People in this business, it is like the military, if you are on time, you are late. How simple is that?”
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“The reason that I first got interested in Oklahoma State University was because I had applied to several schools, and it just seemed like none of them were really prioritizing or focused on if I was going to do well,” he said. “I would email admissions counselors for these other schools and they just weren’t really answering me or helping me very much. It was completely different for OSU, and that really got me interested in the school because OSU seemed to put a lot of effort into my well-being and my success at the school.”

Jennifer McClendon, associate director of recruitment in undergraduate admissions, said a student-focused approach is central to her department’s mission. Her team embraces the opportunity to get to know prospective students, to understand their goals, aspirations and anxieties, and work to find the perfect fit for them.

“We talk all day long about the Cowboy family, and the greatest thing is that it’s fun for students to come to campus, to start to witness that,” she said. “When a student like [Clayton] actually gets here, they see that the things we’re talking about are true.”

When he enrolled at OSU this fall, Clayton joined the university’s largest, most diverse freshman class in history.

With 4,643 first-time freshmen enrolled, the class of 2026 eclipses previous records and represents an increase of nearly 9% over last year’s freshman enrollment for the fall semester.

OSU’s total enrollment for the fall semester was up nearly 3% over last year — 25,359 students — and includes students from all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico and 113 countries.

“We were expecting to have recordsetting freshman enrollment this semester, but to surpass the previous record by more than 375 students is truly remarkable,” OSU President Kayse Shrum said. “This historic milestone is a testament to the strength of our academic programs, dedicated faculty and staff, and our unwavering commitment to provide a world-class education that empowers our students to learn, grow and succeed. It’s a great time to be a Cowboy. With the recent release of our new strategy, we’re primed to continue to elevate the prestige and impact of our modern landgrant institution to serve the needs of the state, nation and world.”

Karen Chen, OSU vice president of enrollment management, echoed Shrum’s excitement.

“We’re thrilled to welcome this historic freshman class to the Cowboy family,” Chen said. “We’re celebrating a monumental achievement for freshman enrollment. We are also excited to recognize the record retention numbers and significant increases in

overall student enrollment. There’s so much momentum and excitement surrounding the university right now as we continue to explore new ways to enhance our institution, our facilities and academic programs, and, most importantly, the student experience.”

The OSU Honors College also set a new enrollment record for the second consecutive year with 3,000 total enrollees. Other notable highlights include online enrollment, which increased more than 31% compared to last year, and enrollment in STEM programs, which increased nearly 11% compared to 2021, besting the previous record established in 2017.

New enrollment of first-generation students has risen more than 7%, and the number of OSU freshmen emerging from the top 5% of their high school class reached a new record, leaping 2% over the previous record established last fall. Transfer student enrollment also saw an increase. Year-to-year retention totals hit a new high, as well, and OSU has posted its second highest retention rate on record, with nearly 84% of students returning to enroll at OSU and a record number of new students returning for their second year.

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Enrollment Gains in Graduate and Professional Programs

Adding to the positive news on the undergraduate side, the fall semester also saw a significant boost in graduate and professional enrollment — 5,397 total students.

That represents a 3.7% increase over the previous year. OSU Center for Health Sciences saw the biggest increase at 13.7% over the previous year. OSU-Tulsa saw an 8.4% jump, and the Stillwater campus recorded a 1.6% increase.

Dr. Sheryl Tucker, dean of the Graduate College, attributes the promising figures to workforceresponsive programs, such as business administration, educational leadership, public health, environmental science, and materials and science engineering. Innovative program offerings, like the new doctorate of health care administration and doctorate of forensic sciences programs, have contributed as well, Tucker said.

“With the rapid pace of change in the job market and the need for advanced level knowledge, skills and experiences, OSU provides learning opportunities for those entering a new career and those upskilling for career mobility,” she said.

“OSU continues to support Oklahoma and the nation by graduating advanced degree holders who are able to immediately contribute to their chosen profession as leaders in their fields.”

Enrollment in international graduate programs rebounded sharply as well, jumping 17.6% over the previous year. Taken together, these figures paints a positive picture of OSU’s enrollment outlook.


Drawn to the Cowboy Family

Stillwater native and freshman BreAnna Peeper said she had her heart set on OSU for a long time. Both of her parents attended OSU, and she embraced Cowboy traditions from a young age.

“It’s a really beautiful campus and I just love being around OSU,” she said.

Even if you’re not from Stillwater, Peeper said OSU “just feels like home.”

“Everyone’s always so nice and welcoming,” she said.

Peeper, an elementary education major, is excited to be back on campus — this time as a student — and to be part of the largest incoming class in school history.

“I think that’s really exciting to know that so many other people love OSU the way that I do and want to be a part of it,” she said.

Apart from the personal touch, Clayton said the strength of OSU’s programs and facilities were compelling factors.

Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeanette Mendez said a student-focused approach is at the heart of OSU’s academic mission. New and cutting-edge facilities, such

as the Greenwood School of Music, The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, the Spears School of Business, the Ray and Linda Booker OSU Flight Center, the Unmanned Systems Research Institute and the forthcoming New Frontiers Agricultural Hall are physical representations of OSU’s commitment to provide a one-of-a-kind, hands-on learning experience.

“The land-grant mission calls us to tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges through research and practical applications. That starts with our students,” Dr. Mendez said. “Whichever degree path students choose to pursue, they’ll find a home here and a network of support. Our faculty are dedicated and eager to help them explore their passions, learn and thrive. That’s what being a part of the Cowboy family is all about.”

With the launch of the new strategy, OSU is well on its way to hitting its ambitious new target to enroll 5,000 new first-time students by fall 2026. McClendon said OSU has great momentum, and Dr. Shrum’s leadership has created a buzz around the state and beyond. McClendon said it all comes

back to the student experience, and OSU leadership understands that.

“I think we’ve got great leadership with Dr. Shrum, Dr. Mendez and within undergraduate admissions,” McClendon said. “And that goes all the way up to Karen Chen and [Senior Vice President for Executive Affairs] Kyle Wray. Both Karen and Kyle came from the admissions world and both started their higher education careers as admissions counselors. So they know what it’s like to have that one-on-one conversation with the student that’s scared, excited and the whole range of emotions. And so much of what we do is try to disarm that a little bit so that we can have a conversation.

“I think it’s this notion of the Cowboy family that students are feeling. One of the differences we often hear from students is just how welcome they feel when they come to campus. That is not always the case at every campus. Going back to [Clayton’s] experience, that’s what we want for everyone, because we know every student is going to enrich and make our campus even more exciting and diverse.”

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AT OSU, OPPORTUNITIES ARE ABUNDANT. We provide great scholarship programs to help students elevate their success and academic excellence. To ensure consideration for most OSU scholarships, encourage the high school senior you know to apply by February 1.




At a ceremony steeped in academic tradition that dates back centuries, Dr. Kayse Shrum was looking toward the future. Amidst the pomp and circumstance of her presidential inauguration, Shrum reflected on her first year at the helm of Oklahoma State University, all the institution has accomplished since its founding in 1890 and innovative ways it can grow and evolve in the future.

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On Aug. 26, Cowboy faithful from across the state and beyond came to celebrate Shrum’s inauguration as OSU’s 19th president. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and state leaders gathered at Gallagher-Iba Arena to hear her vision for the future and experience the excitement of the joyous occasion.

The inauguration ceremony, which was delayed a year due to pandemic precautions, included speeches from Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, Sen. James Lankford, Rep. Frank Lucas and Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby.

On July 1, 2021, Dr. Shrum made history, becoming the first woman to lead a Tier 1 research institution in the state and in August, she was formally installed.

“Today is not about me,” Shrum said. “It’s about us, and it’s about how we can take this remarkable place and leverage it to create the opportunity for the next generation of servant-leaders.”

That excitement and futurefacing optimism dominated the State of Orange event, which served as a ceremonial milestone in Shrum’s presidency.

“Today, I invite all of you to join me in embarking on a new era of ambitious progress at Oklahoma State University,” Shrum said to the crowd. “Here at OSU, we know we belong to the land.

“I invite you to join me as we go where no land-grant has ever gone before.”

Since taking office, Shrum has led OSU through conference realignment, a pandemic and the strategic planning process. Shrum also has crafted bold new partnerships, paving the way for the creation of the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE), the Hamm Institute for American Energy at Oklahoma State University and the new OSU Academic Medical District in Tulsa.

Stitt emphasized her many accomplishments, both as OSU president and as president of the OSU Center for Health Sciences.

“Kayse Shrum is always the smartest person in the room, but she never acted like it. She is always more eager to listen than to speak,” Stitt said. “This university is so lucky to have someone that is innovative, is a hard worker and above all else, what I love about her, she has a get-it-done attitude. And that is Oklahoma.”

Dr. Ki Cole, Faculty Council chair, thanked Shrum for her leadership and for serving as an inspiration to both students and faculty.

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“When Shrum shared her story at convocation, she noted one professor’s guidance that completely changed the course of her life. It is a reminder that we have the opportunity to be that person, to inspire and make a lasting impact on the students we serve,” Cole said.

Riley Pritzlaff spoke on behalf of the student body, highlighting Shrum’s candor and passion for supporting students.

“President Shrum has shown through action that we have a team in our administration that will make decisions with students in mind,” said Pritzlaff, Student Government Association president. “Students are drawn to her energy and positive spirit. It is clear that she loves the students, and it is equally clear that we love Dr. Shrum.”

Students at the ceremony echoed that sentiment.

“I just love Shrum. She’s just iconic,” said Anna Hemm, a sophomore majoring in accounting. “I support her in everything she does.”

Mikyah Davis, a sophomore majoring in hospitality, said Shrum’s leadership inspires confidence in students.

“She’s a normal person who just started as an Oklahoma girl. I’m from Oklahoma. I’ve lived here my whole life,” Davis said. “So it’s just inspiring to see what she’s done. Even though she’s ‘just a girl from Oklahoma.’”

During the inauguration, Anoatubby expressed excitement for the future of OSU and the ongoing partnership the university has with tribal nations.

“For many years, the Chickasaw Nation and Oklahoma State University have worked in partnership for the

benefit of higher education in our state. This is a working relationship which we have enjoyed,” he said. “We have seen the impact on countless students, faculty and staff. And now, we are excited for the future of Oklahoma State University under the capable leadership of President Shrum.”

‘We are land-grant.’

In the latter half of the 1800s, Vermont congressman Justin Smith Morrill recognized the need for a new model of higher education. President Abraham Lincoln agreed, signing the historic Land-Grant College Act of 1862, better known as the “Morrill Act,” which established the land-grant university system.

“I am here today because our forebearers dared to dream what a landgrant university might do,” Shrum said. “... And in the coming days, we intend to seize on that very vision to carry Lincoln’s ideal forward with renewed energy and fierce commitment.”

In November 2021, Shrum announced a process to guide the university to land-grant preeminence. At her inauguration, she announced that after months of listening, hundreds of hours of information gathering and diligent service from the steering committee and working groups, that the plan was nearly complete. She gave a glimpse that afternoon at GallagherIba Arena.

“We are land-grant — and that means we step into a singular tradition,” she said. “Through teaching, research and Extension, we steward a timeless responsibility.”

Lankford said that responsibility can aid in many areas throughout the state and nation.

“We need leaders coming out of this university that will solve a lot of issues like food insecurity across the world, the future of aerospace and health care professionals coming to places where we desperately need quality health care,” Lankford said. “We need innovators in energy, we need well-equipped teachers, we need research scientists and artists, and leaders in Oklahoma hospitality … to solve some of the toughest problems we face in the world.

“As a dad of a recent Oklahoma State graduate … to know that there was another role model that was here that was pushing and asking someone to dream, is a great gift to my family and families across the state.”

Lucas said he is looking forward to what will emerge from OSU during Shrum’s tenure.

“Madam President, I can’t imagine anyone else sitting in your shoes right now,” Lucas said. “But I will pledge to you — and I think pledge on behalf of the federal delegation — we will do what is necessary to help you and all of our Oklahomans.”

Shrum said land-grant universities have persevered through challenges throughout their history, and now it is OSU’s time to become the nation’s preeminent land-grant institution. While Shrum is undoubtedly visionary and aspirational, she remains humble, and was quick to share her gratitude with the inauguration crowd.

“It is the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your president,” Shrum said.



Strategy designed to make OSU preeminent land-grant university

It’s the start of a new chapter in the history of Oklahoma State University.

On Oct. 12, the Cowboy family was invited to a live reveal of the strategy that will guide OSU into the future. Built on pillars of student experience and success, the strategy capitalizes on the intersection of OSU’s research strengths and where they converge with society’s grand challenges and the needs of our state.

“This plan is transformative and bold … and has implications that extend to the state and higher education as a whole,” OSU President Kayse Shrum said at the reveal. “Here’s the grand aspiration: We will become the nation’s preeminent land-grant university.”

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The process that created the strategy took almost a year. Once Dr. Shrum was named OSU’s 19th president, it took her only five months before she announced the impending undertaking publicly in November 2021. Although her time was largely consumed filling key positions and dealing with the Big 12 shake-up, she wasn’t going to put defining a strategy off for a better time.

“You have to know where you want to go if you have any hope of getting there,” she said. “After I was selected as the next president, conversations about the strategy planning process began as early as May or June. Waiting would have only delayed the process, not made it better.”

OSU began the process on solid footing. Enrollment was strong. Research was making great strides in multiple areas. World-class facilities were in place and moving programs forward. Positive advancements would have likely continued on a steady, predictable pace without dramatic intervention.

But the status quo wasn’t good enough.

“I consider Oklahoma State University to be a research powerhouse. Couple that with our presence in all 77 counties and our five-campus system, and we can change what’s possible, including the face of higher education for our students,” Shrum said. “We can improve our students’ experience and also apply our research prowess to society’s greatest challenges. With some targeted fundraising aimed at thoughtfully selected areas, there is no limit to what this university can accomplish.”

Senior Vice President of System Operations Jerome Loughridge led the strategy design process. He has a long career in strategic planning from the university level to corporate leadership, primarily in the energy sector.

“The challenges are very similar,” he said. “It boils down to this: Are you willing to make a choice and is your organization willing to make a decision? That’s the common denominator irrespective of the type of organization.”

Consultants recommended an 18-24 month timeline from start to completion.

“We said, ‘Great, we’re going to do it in about a year,’” Loughridge said. “I think we were able to meet that time commitment without sacrificing the breadth of the discussion. I can’t say enough about those on campus who provided input, and that input extended to the Cowboy nation: alumni, donors, corporate industry partners, tribal partners, political leaders. The strategy was the collation of a very broad range of thought.”

Positions on the committees were not restricted to leadership.

Tashia Cheves, manager of student retention and OSU alumnus, served on the steering committee.

“I have served on many committees and working groups in the past,” Cheves said. “One thing I felt was exceptional about the strategy process was that the working groups were put together intentionally to bring in voices of the folks who are ‘boots on the ground,’ and in the weeds doing the work. These voices are important because these are the people the strategies will impact the most.”

The strategy is a tailored plan born of design and the willingness to make decisions. It includes measurable and audacious goals designed to meet the needs of students, parents and Oklahoma’s workforce. It covers a wide range of topics and initiatives which have been carefully identified and developed to enhance career placement and career readiness, reimagine general education and improve higher education access by reducing student debt and setting new records for student scholarships.




1. Enroll a minimum of 5,000 new firstyear students by the fall of 2026 at the Stillwater campus

2. Increase six-year graduation rate 10% by 2027 through a comprehensive retention strategy

3. Create graduates who exhibit the four competencies of 1) professional preparedness, 2) engaged citizenship, 3) ethical leadership and 4) personal responsibility

4. Align curriculum and programming to support the generation of ideal graduates and to advance the land-grant mission

Those policy imperatives include specific targets for increasing student retention scholarships to record levels and reducing student debt by increasing the percentage of students graduating from OSU debt-free to at least 40% and reducing the percentage of students graduating with OSU debt in excess of $3,000 per year to less than 40% of graduates.

While working to reduce student debt, OSU is designing a new tool to help graduates compete in the job market — a unique student competency portfolio that will serve to highlight each student’s competencies and interdisciplinary skill set.

The plan itself is steeped in the land-grant mission.

“Land-grants were born from a need for accessible, affordable higher education,” Shrum said. “The goal was to provide those in rural and agricultural areas with an education relevant to everyday life. The university philosophy is predicated on the notion that we provide students with an education that will set them up for success after graduation while using the strength of our research to solve some of society’s most pressing problems.”

The strategy provides a framework for how OSU research will be used to address society’s most pressing challenges in four priority areas:

• Innovating to nourish the world

• Leading in aerospace innovation and application

• Enhancing human and animal health (One Health)

• Powering a growing world population sustainably and responsibly

Advances created by these areas will serve to enhance the quality of life, economic prospects and health outcomes for Oklahomans — with implications for worldwide application.

“Research, teaching and service belong to the land-grants, and we are Oklahoma’s flagship landgrant institution,” Shrum said. “We are called to serve the state and world, and we are well equipped to do that. This strategy is a bold step forward, and I’m proud of the work of the committees involved in its creation.”

The strategy also details OSU’s plan for enhancing its strong academic and athletic reputation. OSU’s goal is to rank among the top 30 public universities for the awarding of nationally and internationally competitive scholarships, such as Truman and Fulbright scholarships, and consistently vie for championships and finish in the top 30 of the Directors Cup of competitive men’s and women’s Division I athletics.

The strategy will be carried out within the culture that is uniquely Oklahoma State.

Loughridge said he had the “great privilege” of becoming familiar with the Cowboy Code during the strategy process.

“At the end of the day, it’s what unifies the strategy, ‘’ he said. “It makes the strategy process different. After spending some time in other parts of the higher-education forest, Cowboy culture is distinctive. It’s legitimate and it’s very powerful. It’s what unifies the strategy.”

Loughridge said most organizations do not approach a strategic plan the way OSU did.

“The notion that the Cowboy culture produces servant-leaders who go on to impact good communities to make them great — I believe that

to my core,” he said. “Does that make a strategy process different for OSU? Absolutely. The strategy that will guide Oklahoma State does not look like ones produced by other institutions. What most organizations do is take everything they’re up to, draw a big circle around it and call that strategy. What’s absent from that is a real examination of the core convictions and then the choices that derive from them.”

After the unveiling, the next step is for the university and the Cowboy family to own the path forward.

“It will take all of us,” Shrum said. “It’s vital for our faculty to help drive part of the forward motion. Provost Jeanette Mendez has announced several faculty fellows who will be our touch points for each of the imperatives as well as the four areas of emphasis. Our staff will be critical as well.

“Working together, we can push the bounds of what’s possible. We are land-grant, and this strategy is about exponentially building on our impactful legacy, focused on uncommon preeminence for the common good.”

OTHER POLICY IMPERATIVES INCLUDE: 5. Compete with integrity and excellence 6. Elevate and amplify Extension 7. Create an effective and efficient OSU system

team effort


Ceremonial maces have been carried as symbols of rank and authority since the Stone Age.

In celebration of Dr. Kayse Shrum’s presidential inauguration, the executive leadership team at Oklahoma State University looked inward for a modern take on the tradition.

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From left: Brett Winter, Nate Wickham, Dave Malec, Adonis Gardner and Wendy Hall present OSU President Kayse Shrum with the academic mace.

Maces in an academic setting have been used as symbols of internal authority and independence from external authority since the 15th century in Europe. The mace is generally carried by the highest ranking academic at the institution and serves as a physical embodiment of the academic mission of each institution. The university mace is most often used during formal academic ceremonies such as commencement and other formal processions.

“We understand the importance of the tradition of the mace,” said Dr. Jeanette Mendez, OSU provost and senior vice president. “This process has given a lot of others a glimpse into the nuanced world of academia and why these traditions mean so much to us.”

With the university entering a new era under President Shrum, the idea was proposed to create a meaningful symbol of the university’s new direction and leadership. Rather than search for an outside party, the decision was made to explore the possibility of having the mace designed, constructed and maintained completely by OSU faculty, staff and students.

“We wanted to tap into the resources we have here on campus,” said Megan Horton, interim associate vice president of Brand Management. “We felt an institutionally designed and constructed mace would embody our modern land-grant mission.”

Dave Malec, lead designer for the Department of Brand Management, began drawing inspiration from anything and everything at OSU. The roofline of historic Old Central was a clear favorite to serve as the crown of the mace. Malec also drew inspiration from the Georgian window architecture found around campus, providing arched windows that would support the Old Central crown.

The mace also features other iconic OSU symbols, such as the logo, academic seal and the words “Loyal and True” emblazoned on the staff.

“It was a unique experience,” Malec said. “The biggest challenge was remembering that we weren’t working with a two-dimensional object, but that things had to line up and fit together well once they were created in 3D.”

Those challenges were lessened by a group of faculty, staff and students from the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology’s (CEAT) ENDEAVOR lab, led by lab coordinator Wendy Hall.

Her team, consisting of Dr. Joe Connor, an adjunct assistant professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, and students Nate Wickham and Brett Winter, were asked to use their expertise and access to manufacturing equipment across campus to help design and ultimately construct the entirety of the mace.

The ENDEAVOR team started work in June to 3D model, fabricate and construct the mace, which stands about 5 feet tall. The finished product consists of a detachable crown, made of 45% 3D printed material, and the wooden staff. The detachable crown was intentionally designed so that when not in use at a ceremonial function, it will be housed in a display case in President Shrum’s office for visitors to see.

“It’s a huge honor to be involved with this project,” Hall said. “Not only is it something that will be a part of the university for years to come, but it was an opportunity to highlight the things we can achieve in CEAT, in ENDEAVOR and with our amazing students.”

Hall said the project provided a valuable learning opportunity for students.

“We are a learning institution, and I love the fact that we can take on a project like this and I can use it as a learning process for my students,” she said. “This type of project gives me the ability to teach the entire manufacturing process to my students, from start to finish.”

The university is now home to a oneof-a-kind piece that was completely

designed and created by Cowboys. That’s a point of pride for the university and the students, faculty and staff who lent their talents to the project.

“I could’ve never imagined doing something like this when I came to CEAT and OSU,” said Wickham, a mechanical and aerospace engineering junior. “To be able to say I worked on something so important to the university is truly amazing.”

The finished product will serve as a symbol of the university for years to come, but the story behind its construction embodies the visionary mission of becoming a modern landgrant institution.

“We were hoping to get a mace,” Horton said. “But in the end, we got so much more.”




In March, when Dr. Shrum attended the BFA Studio Capstone Exhibition for students, she enjoyed marveling at their talent and artistry. One painting, in particular, really caught her eye.

A student, Shyanne Dickey, exhibited a life-sized painting of her mother. A collage of images from when Dickey’s mother was younger was ingrained in the piece; telling the story of her life in a way words could not.

Amazed by how the images and elements came together into the painting, Shrum requested a similar portrait. She thought it would be a marvelous way for individuals to see her story and possibly a side of her they didn’t know before, Dickey said.

Unsure if she was the right person for the job, Dickey took some words of encouragement from Shrum and they sat down to discuss the details of the portrait in April. Together, they decided on the life-sized portrait so the images would be evident within the painting.

Shrum provided Dickey with a handful of images depicting significant moments in her life to be displayed prominently within the painting. The main image Shrum selected to be expressed was of her standing on the steps of Morrill Hall, a photo which was taken for the cover of the fall 2021 edition of STATE Magazine.

As the 19th president of OSU, and the first woman to lead the OSU system, the photo portrays Shrum as powerful and visionary. Dickey felt the pillars on the front of Morrill Hall signified strength and the steps represented great things yet to come, both characteristics important details to emphasize. Dickey even took note of little details like Shrum’s sparkling orange heels.

In May, Dickey began working in the Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts. Dickey was putting in seven hours a day on the piece, and, due to the portrait’s large size, she needed additional material to complete the collage. She researched Shrum, pulling pictures from Instagram and headlines from news articles on important career and personal moments.

With research complete and photos compiled, the collage began to take shape. Each element in the portrait was meticulously placed to tell Shrum’s story. Once the outline of the collage was on canvas, Dickey broke out her oil paints and began to bring the portrait to life.

“Everything had a significance,” Dickey said. “The placement of the pictures, if you look closely, the ones near her chest and her heart are her family.”

Throughout her clothing are images of special moments, such as

her winning Woman of the Year in 2019 and moments from her work as a pediatrician.

After two months of work, Dickey completed the painting and invited Shrum to view her portrait.

“One of my favorite moments was when the portrait was all finished, we had her come in and take a look at it, and it was dried, and the first thing she touched was her family,” Dickey said. “... That was a great moment as an artist to see.”

Dickey and her family delivered the portrait to Shrum’s office for it to be displayed at her inauguration for friends and family to enjoy.

“I really enjoyed when the kids saw it because they came to the inauguration and they saw the portrait,” Dickey said. “At first, they said ‘Oh, OK, this is cool,’ and I said, ‘You guys should look a little closer.’’’

Suddenly, they began to see the moments embedded in the portrait included images of themselves. They were surprised to see themselves in the piece and excited to be a part of the moment, Dickey said.

“I was blown away by Shyanne’s portrait,” Shrum said. “Her interpretation of the original photo and her representation of my life through the background images is inspiring and also humbling. I am honored that she chose to take on the project and create such a remarkable work of art. Her attention to detail and the sheer creativity of the piece are breathtaking.

“I will treasure it.”

Dr. Kayse Shrum excels at empowering people.
For the Oklahoma State University president, seeing students showcase their skills and creativity is one of her favorite parts of the job.

Leaving a Legacy Together

Couple’s impact grows with significant estate gift to fund architecture, athletics and scholarships

Jack and Carol Corgan have always wanted to do more.

In 2008, they were asked to consider a $500,000 gift to Oklahoma State University to support the construction of the Donald W. Reynolds School of Architecture, a proposal that was more than what they had budgeted. Still, they quickly decided it was a need they wanted to fill.

The Corgans have continued to make an impact in different ways since then, including continued contributions to the architecture program as well as scholarships and athletics.

Giving back is one of their greatest passions. And once again, they’ve decided to do more.

The Corgans have committed an estate gift that will let their legacy live on at OSU for years to come.

“Jack and Carol fully embody OSU’s mission,” OSU Foundation President Blaire Atkinson said. “They’ve left a permanent mark on the university, and their support across a variety of areas has impacted the lives of countless students for the better.”


Jack doesn’t have his degree from OSU, but it’s still a special place to him.

Every summer until Jack left for college, his mother would take him and his sister from his hometown of Dallas to Stillwater — a trip that took six hours before Interstate 35 was built. They spent a few weeks out in the country at his grandmother’s lakeside cabin.

Jack’s grandmother, Elnore Gassaway, was the dorm mother for athletes living at Hanner Hall, where the Business Building now stands. During

visits in the winter and fall, Jack would stay in an empty room in the athletes’ dorms.

Those fond memories of campus are part of what helped guide him to OSU initially.

“I knew I wanted to be an architect like my dad,” Jack said. “Because of those visits, I knew what OSU was like. I decided to go there because they’ve always had a really great reputation for developing students.”

It was there Jack met Carol, who had a much shorter trip from her hometown of Oklahoma City. Her father spent his whole career working at the Oklahoma City Stockyards and always had a fondness for OSU Agriculture.

“My dad knew I wasn’t going to do anything with agriculture, but still he was very supportive and wanted me to go to OSU,” Carol said. “I had a great four years there — especially meeting Jack freshman year.”

After Carol graduated with a business degree in 1967, the two married and moved to Boston so Jack could finish his undergraduate and graduate architectural education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It wasn’t long before they returned to Stillwater, though.

With his master’s degree in hand, Jack accepted an assistant professor position at OSU. The

Jack and Carol Corgan
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The Corgans were key donors in renovating the Donald W. Reynolds School of Architecture building.

Corgans frequently had Jack’s students over to their house and formed a personal connection with many of them. When the Corgans’ first son was born, some students surprised the couple with an enormous ‘Congratulations!’ banner.

In 1971, the Corgans moved back to Dallas so Jack could join his father’s firm, Jack Corgan & Associates, which employed just eight people. From that time until Jack’s retirement in 2000, the company had grown to more than 250 employees and added offices in New York, Miami, London and more.

“Clearly Carol and I could never have done all of this had we, individually, been doing different things,” Jack said. “But we tend to do things together.”


The Corgans not only have a passion for OSU, but also for helping young people reach their potential.

In 2007, their first significant gift to the university funded scholarship support, and they were amazed by how appreciative OSU students were. That special level of gratitude inspired the Corgans to continue giving.

The Jack and Carol Corgan President’s Distinguished Scholarship offers its recipients

support throughout their college career and selects new scholars every four years. Once their estate gift is realized, three more of these scholarships will be funded, allowing a new student to receive one each year.

Rylie Stark, a junior, is the current recipient of their President’s Distinguished Scholarship. Along with her degree in general business, she plans to graduate with a professional sales certificate and a property management certificate.

“The Corgans’ generosity has allowed me to venture out of my comfort zone and try new things,” Stark said. “Aside from academics, I am very involved in my sorority. I serve on the executive council, which has taught me so much about myself and what I want in my future career.”

The Corgans have also continued to be involved with OSU Architecture. Because it’s their livelihood, the Corgans have experienced just how beneficial architecture is, both personally and to society.

Carol gained an appreciation for being around artistic and creative people. For Jack, architecture taught him how to be a leader.

As president of the family firm for 25 years, Jack ensured the company was entirely merit based, allowing people to succeed regardless of their race, gender or other factors.

A new student will receive a President’s Distinguished Scholarship, a four-year award, each year thanks to the Corgans’ estate gift.

“They’ve left a permanent mark on the university, and their support across a variety of areas has impacted the lives of countless students for the better.”
Rylie Stark

Jack also said studying architecture teaches people how to collaborate and communicate.

“Learning to work jointly with a client is a real benefit,” Jack said. “It’s the architect that knows how to design buildings both functionally and aesthetically. And if you do it well, it’s certainly a benefit to the environment that people live in.”

A portion of the Corgans’ estate gift will go toward the OSU School of Architecture Endowed Legacy Fund.

They have also established the Jack and Carol Corgan Award Endowed Fund, which was created in 2015. It distributes aid to two architecture students each year, aiming to help young people succeed in the profession that had given the Corgans so much.

The award has meant a lot to Jacey Watson, a fifthyear senior. This semester, she will travel to New York City to study an active site for her final urban studio project. After graduation, Watson will begin pursuing her master’s degree.

“The Corgan award has uplifted my financial burdens and will allow me to travel beyond Oklahoma to grow my perspective on the urban city,” Watson said. “It’s also allowed me to continue my focus on my studies and helped me to grow personally through my experiences here at the School of Architecture.”

The Corgans’ scholarship support extends to athletics as well. Their estate gift will provide funds for football and men’s golf scholarships.

Not only are those sports a big deal at OSU, but the Corgans also have personal ties. Both Jack and his sons played football in high school, with the Corgans’ youngest son, Colin, playing collegiately at Dartmouth College.

The Corgans’ generosity will elevate OSU Architecture and help its students succeed in the field.
Jacey Watson
“The Corgan award has uplifted my financial burdens and will allow me to travel beyond Oklahoma to grow my perspective on the urban city.”
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Golf also runs in the family, and Jack has competed at the OSU Cowboy Golf Pro-Am for the past seven years. Through those tournaments, Jack and Carol formed a relationship with men’s golf coach Alan Bratton. They also got to experience the beauty of Karsten Creek Golf Club firsthand, inspiring them to include the course as the final major piece in their estate gift.

The Jack and Carol Corgan OSU Golf Facilities Fund will be fully directed towards maintaining and improving the golf course.

The Corgans were among the sponsors of the 2018 NCAA Championship when OSU hosted

the event at Karsten Creek. They witnessed the Cowboys earn their 11th national championship in front of a home crowd that formed a sea of orange.

With their gift, they hope to help the program add many more moments like that to its storied history.

“Their gift is going to help us maintain all the structures at Karsten Creek — the lodges, the clubhouse, all those kinds of things,” Bratton said. “Jack and Carol are wonderful people. They’re loyal supporters of the program and have become great friends.”

TO LEARN how you can make a planned gift and leave a legacy at OSU, visit estateplanning

The Jack and Carol Corgan OSU Golf Facilities fund will be fully directed toward maintaining Karsten Creek Golf Club.
“Jack and Carol are wonderful people. They’re loyal supporters of the program and have become great friends.”

Abduction survivor, author, activist and communicator for hope after tragedy.


Col. Todd Daniels, assistant commandant for the air defense school at Fort Sill, speaks at the announcement of the national Counter-UAS Center of Excellence.

Defending the Skies

OSU launches national Counter-UAS Center of Excellence

The Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE) at Oklahoma State University has launched a Counter-UAS Center of Excellence and a new partnership aimed at strengthening national defense by developing countermeasures to thwart malicious Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

The agreement solidifies OSU’s position as the preferred aerospace defense provider for the U.S. Army base at Fort Sill. The agreement

includes receiving $15 million Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) subcontract from Amentum to help the U.S. Department of Homeland Security develop technology to counter threats from drones and other UAS through the Counter-UAS Center of Excellence (CUAS COE). Amentum is executing this contract under the Department of Defense Information Analysis Center’s (DOD IAC) multiple-award contract vehicle.

“By working together, we are setting the national standard for counterUAS. The possibilities for the future of aerospace at OSU, in Oklahoma and for the United States are far reaching, and it’s all built on a bedrock constructed from decades of experience,” OSU President Kayse Shrum said. “This center will change what’s possible with national security. It will advance research and strengthen the Oklahoma economy as we merge civilian and military worlds into a partnership that

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will exponentially improve the mission of both.”

As a part of OAIRE, the center is a vital component of OSU’s aerospace infrastructure, which extends across the state of Oklahoma, Dr. Shrum said.

“We are working with industry and federal agencies to coordinate and evaluate technology to ensure the U.S. retains the lead in UAS and counterUAS technology for the foreseeable future,” she said.

The partnership announcement was delivered Sept. 23 during the launch

event celebrating the opening of the national CUAS COE, which was held at the Hamm Institute for American Energy at OSU in the Oklahoma City Innovation District.

The new center was established in partnership with the DOD via the National Defense Authorization Act. The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command contracted with OSU to initiate the CUAS COE with $6.5 million in appropriated funds across FY2021 and FY2022, with $5

million in additional funding pending for FY2023.

As the counter-UAS arm of OSU’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute (USRI), this new center brings together resources and research to place Oklahoma at the forefront of this vital specialty area charged with safeguarding the nation from the weaponization of drones.

This new $15 million contract supporting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) makes OSU’s CUAS COE a multi-agency resource

“With the advent of the new advanced air mobility industry, Oklahoma has an opportunity to leverage its expertise in aerospace and autonomous systems to lead in the newest and fastest growing field of aviation and secure a global impact throughout the 21st century.”

at the federal level, elevating OSU’s national stature and impact.

“What I’ve seen as a soldier from the OSU USRI team — from what’s going to be the Center of Excellence for counterUAS at OSU — is very encouraging to see the open dialogue, communication, thought and brilliant minds that put a lot of effort and work to solve these problems,” said Col. Todd Daniels, assistant commandant for the air defense artillery school at Fort Sill.

Formalized in September 2022, the agreement will fund a series of projects at the center for up to $15 million over the course of the next 4.5 years.

These projects will involve developing, evaluating and improving technologies for DHS to identify, track and mitigate threats posed by drones to infrastructure and other sites that are critical to homeland security.

They also will involve the training of existing and potential professionals within DHS to understand and deploy counter-UAS technologies and techniques.

At the event, Dr. Jamey Jacob, USRI director, was named director of OAIRE.

“The Oklahoma aviation aerospace industry has $44 billion of annual economic activity and is the second largest industry in the state behind energy,” Jacob said. “With the advent of the new advanced air mobility industry, Oklahoma has an opportunity to leverage its expertise in aerospace and autonomous systems to lead in the newest and fastest growing field of aviation and secure a global impact throughout the 21st century.”

The new Center of Excellence was established in partnership with the DOD through the National Defense Authorization Act to provide highlevel research and engineering staff at locations in Oklahoma City, Stillwater and Fort Sill in Lawton.

“We are working with our partners in both military and civilian sectors of the government and supporting industry as we help to develop and evaluate new solutions at the center part of our landgrant mission to keep Americans safe and secure, defending all degrees of freedom,” Jacob said.

Another mission of the center will be to improve facilities that allow the CUAS COE and U.S. Army partners to

quickly and easily operate UAS systems for research, testing and training.

“Drones have the potential to transform sectors of the United States economy, including agriculture, law enforcement, public safety, disaster evaluation and response, fire detection, border security, weather forecasting, construction and utility monitoring,” U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas said. “It’s exciting that as this technology grows, OSU is leading the way in aerospace R&D. The Unmanned Systems Research Institute is a true powerhouse of UAS and counter-UAS technology.”

The center also plans to host an annual counter-UAS symposium to bring together representatives from across the government to discuss new threats, technologies and best practices along with connecting with private industry to meet governmental CUAS needs.

Outside of counter-UAS efforts, USRI also addresses multiple aspects of unmanned systems research and development, including: drone development; use of drones for human health and safety; advanced air mobility; NASA applications for autonomous operations; and development of novel drone applications.

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A drone is flown during the announcement of the national Counter-UAS Center of Excellence.

The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association honored six deserving alumni with 2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards at a ceremony on Sept. 9 in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. The award recognizes members of the Cowboy family who have distinguished themselves through their particular field or profession and the betterment of their community. Read more about this year’s honorees on the following pages and watch the ceremony at

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Minnie Lou Bradley graduated from OSU (then Oklahoma A&M) in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry. When she arrived on campus in 1949, she was the first woman to enroll in animal husbandry in the university’s history.

During her time in Stillwater, she was the first woman to compete on the Oklahoma A&M Livestock Judging Team and became one of the most successful livestock judges at the college.

After graduation, Bradley worked for the Texas Angus Association as an assistant to the executive secretary and a fieldman. She also worked for Angus Valley Farms in Tulsa in 1954. The following year, Bradley married her husband, Bill, and the couple purchased a ranch in Childress County, Texas. They started Bradley 3 Ranch with 20 cows and 3,300 acres.

In 1986, the Bradleys started B3R Country Meats, Inc. The beef processing facility allowed them to produce high-quality beef while providing ranchers with a values-based system. It was one of the first facilities to produce beef for the Certified

Angus Beef brand Natural. The same year, the Bradley 3 Ranch created a system for collecting ultrasound and carcass data to develop more predictable genetic packages.

Bradley has been honored many times throughout her life. She was named a Graduate of Distinction by the OSU Department of Animal Science in 1988, and was presented the Master Breeder Award by the department in 2010. Bradley was presented with the DASNR Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.

In addition to honors from her alma mater, Bradley also was the second woman inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Gallery in 2014. She has been named a Top 40 Cattleman by Beef Magazine and was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. She has also received the Seedstock Commitment Award.

Bradley currently resides in Memphis, Texas. She and Bill have one daughter, Mary Lou.

Bradley is a member of the OSU Alumni Association.

“I am so proud of what OSU has given me. It has offered me challenges and it offered me opportunities.” — Minnie Lou Bradley


Charles Robert “Bob” Buford graduated from OSU (then Oklahoma A&M) in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in business. Buford received a football scholarship, but after suffering a broken back as a freshman, he relied on washing dishes at a sorority house to pay his tuition. Buford also served as the commanding officer of the school’s ROTC program and continued to serve in the Army and Army Reserve for seven years.

While working for National Supply, an oilfield equipment company, Buford was hired by the late Bill Murfin. Buford recalls working for Murfin Drilling as “an opportunity of a lifetime” and credits Murfin for teaching him how to run a successful business.

Buford launched Zenith Drilling Corporation in 1966. From modest beginnings, Zenith became a force, running oil rigs from the Texas Panhandle to western Oklahoma to southwest Kansas, even drilling wells for his closest friend and fellow Cowboy, Harold Courson.

Later, Buford provided seed capital for the founding of Barrett Resources, a natural gas and oil producer in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Barrett Resources was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange before being acquired in 2001 by The Williams Companies.

Buford’s entrepreneurial vision continued into real estate with the development of the RitzCarlton Sarasota, a 266-room luxury hotel with an affiliated private beach club and a 325-acre Tom Fazio-designed golf course. Buford was the development’s managing member and partnered with his late brother, Dan.

In addition to a love for family and business, Buford has a passion for ranching, which he shared with the late John Hughes, his lifelong friend and Sigma Nu fraternity brother. Buford painstakingly parceled together land in the Flint Hills of Kansas, creating his beloved 777 Ranch. For over 40 years, he personally worked the land, ran cattle and provided a sanctuary for wild mustang horses. After selling the 777 Ranch, Buford bought a smaller ranch he named Z7.

In 1958, Buford married fellow Tulsan and the love of his life, Martha Canterbury Buford. The couple enjoyed 60-plus years of marriage before her death in 2020. Together, they celebrated service, community, philanthropy and family. Buford was elected to the Junior Achievement Wichita Business Hall of Fame as well as the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in 1997.

“OSU is an important part of our family’s history.
We will always be honored and grateful for dad’s relationship with the people and the university.” — Robert Buford on behalf of Bob Buford


The Hon. Ronald Justice graduated from OSU with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education in 1967. He went on to earn his master’s degree in agricultural education from OSU in 1968.

After graduation, Justice moved to Kansas City, Kansas, where he served as the Wyandotte County 4-H agent for three years. He then returned to Oklahoma where he served as a 4-H agent in Muskogee County; county agriculture and 4-H agent in Alfalfa County; and agriculture agent and county director in Grady County. He served 24 years in Grady County and retired in July 2003 after a total of 33 years in county Extension work. Justice then decided to continue serving Oklahoma and spent 12 years as the Oklahoma State Senator for District 23. He later served as vice president of public policy at Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

In addition to his career, Justice has been an active member of several county and state organizations, including the Grady County Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Mineral Owners’ Association and the Alfalfa Hay Association. He was a member

and former president of the Chickasha Lion’s Club. He is also a member of the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Oklahoma Association of Extension Agriculture Agents and member of the Epsilon Sigma Phi National Honorary Extension Fraternity. Justice is currently serving on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation Board.

He was recognized with both the Oklahoma and national Epsilon Sigma Phi Friends of Extension Awards in 2020, the OSU DASNR Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016 and the OSU Agricultural Education Graduate of Distinction Award in 1998.

Justice and his wife, Darlene, have three children: Greg, Yvonne and Yvette. Along with their three children, they also have nine grandchildren.

Justice is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.

“The people at the university have always supported me. I knew that I could call when I had concerns or needed help.” — The Hon. Ronald Justice


private companies on internal control and business process improvements. Previously, Stinnett worked in public accounting for 12 years with international firms including Arthur Andersen and Price Waterhouse. She has experience in industries including energy, manufacturing, construction, utilities and retail.

She functions in the role of director of internal audit for a Fortune 100 company. She provides internal audit outsource and co-source services for several other companies, both public and private. In her current and former roles, Stinnett has been involved with various aspects of her clients’ risk management and marketing activities.

She has conducted governance reviews for public companies to help refine governance practices. She is an active participant on a range of client governance committees. She also has performed technical accounting research support, evaluations of contracts, operational process improvement reviews and quality assurance reviews.

Stinnett was selected as a Spears 100 for 100 graduate in 2015 and was inducted into the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in 2021. She received the OSU School of Accounting Distinguished Alumni award and the Spears School of Business Orange Star award in 2011. Stinnett is on the OSU Foundation Board of Governors and serves on the OSU School of Accounting Advisory Board and Executive Committee as well as the OSU Eastin Career Center Readiness Board.

Stinnett received the Oklahoma Society of CPA’s 2021 Outstanding Member in Business & Industry award and was named to The Journal Record’s 2020 “50 Making A Difference” list. In 2017, she was named Oklahoma Small Businessperson of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Stinnett is an active board member of the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tulsa Community College Foundation and Arvest Bank in Tulsa.

Stinnett is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.

“OSU forged into me a desire to excel, to forge long-lasting friendships and to dream big like every other recipient of this award.” — Melinda Stinnett


Dr. Robert Eugene Walton Sr. graduated from OSU (then Oklahoma A&M) in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science. He went on to receive his master’s degree in animal breeding and genetics from OSU in 1956 and his doctorate in animal breeding, genetics and statistics from Iowa State University.

During his time at OSU, Walton worked at the OSU Dairy Farm. He was elected as chancellor of Alpha Zeta, was a member of FarmHouse fraternity and competed on the dairy cattle judging team. Walton also attended Royal Agriculture College in Sweden as part of an exchange program.

His professional career began as an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky. During that time, Walton also advised the Kentucky Artificial Insemination Cooperative where he developed the concept of applied animal breeding, changing how the artificial insemination industry functioned. Walton later joined American Breeders Service (ABS) as the first professional geneticist in the artificial insemination industry. He developed the Estimated Daughter Superiority formula to

measure the genetic merit of dairy bulls, which was later renamed predicted difference and adopted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also started the ABS progeny testing program, implemented a special mating program and started a genetic mating system, which is used to make the best choice of sire for each cow in the herd.

Walton later became the president of ABS and served in this position for 25 years. At ABS, he opened new markets across the globe and introduced research to produce the first bovine clones and stem cell implementation. At the same time, he served as chairman of Agracetus where he produced the first Roundup Ready soybeans under contract for Monsanto.

Walton has earned many accolades throughout his career. His most notable accomplishments include receiving the OSU Distinguished Animal Science Alumnus Award, serving as founding director of Holstein Foundation and founding director of World Beef Expo, Distinguished Service Award from Wisconsin FFA, World Dairy Expo Industry Person of the Year, Distinguished Service Award from the American Dairy Science Association and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association. Walton also received the Iowa State Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2022.

Walton is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.

“(Former OSU President) Dr. Willham played a major role in my life, and he taught me many things. I learned how important it is to know people’s names and remember them.” — Dr. Robert Eugene Walton Sr.


Randall White graduated from OSU in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. During his time at OSU, he was a proud member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

White served as the president and CEO of Educational Development Corporation for 35 years. The company’s mission is to publish books that help children discover their passion to read while providing a family economic opportunity. This mission has impacted hundreds of thousands of families across the nation through the company division, Usborne Books & More. White also served as the executive chairman of the board of directors for Educational Development Corporation, which has become an internationally recognized company in children’s publishing.

White has continued to maintain a strong connection with his alma mater since graduating. He and his wife, Carol, helped open the Randall and Carol White Reading and Math Center at OSU. The center helps offer personalized tutoring assistance to kindergarten through 8th grade students who wish to improve their reading and

mathematics skills. It also helps undergraduate teacher candidates as well as practicing teachers gain reading and math specializations. The White family is a significant contributor to the scholarship programs at the College of Education and Human Sciences, as well as the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Randall and Carol White were inducted into the College of Education and Human Sciences Hall of Fame in 2008.

In addition to the direct support of the Randall and Carol White Reading and Math Center and the Pay it Forward Scholarship program, White serves on the OSU Foundation Board of Governors. He also dedicated his time as a guest speaker for OSU entrepreneurship classes from 2017-19. White is a member of the Proud & Immortal Society and the OSU POSSE.

Throughout his career, White has received multiple honors. He was named Person of Note in the publishing industry by Publisher’s Weekly in December 2018, is a member of the Sand Springs Hall of Fame and was honored as a Significant Sig by Sigma Chi Fraternity in 2021.

White currently resides in Bixby, Oklahoma, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons, Craig and Todd.

White is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.

“I have been so fortunate, and I give OSU a lot of that credit. It’s an amazing place here. My whole family is here.” — Randall White

Signature Moment

New Frontiers reaches $50 million campaign goal, continues to raise funds

Oklahoma State University launched the New Frontiers campaign with an overarching goal in mind — to help feed the world. Now, it’s one step closer to achieving it.

In July, New Frontiers reached its $50 million campaign goal, marking a monumental milestone for OSU Agriculture. It will make possible a new, state-of-the-art building that will put OSU at the forefront of agricultural advancement.

“This new building will serve as a hub of teaching and discovery for one of the most successful agricultural programs in the world,” OSU President Kayse Shrum said. “It will strengthen OSU’s position as a leader in innovation and help attract the best and brightest faculty and students.”

New Frontiers kicked off in January 2020 with a historic $50 million gift from the Ferguson Family Foundation, which was split evenly between the campaign and an endowment to support college operations. It has since become one

of the fastest capital campaigns in OSU’s history, surpassing its goal in less than three years.

It’s also the university’s first academic capital campaign of this magnitude to reach its fundraising goal prior to the building’s grand opening.

More than 613 members of the Cowboy family made generous contributions to make the achievement possible. In total, 854 gifts have been made from across 32 states, including 120 major gifts and 10 cornerstone donations of at least $1 million.

The campaign even received additional support in gifts of stock, land, wheat and a truckload of soybeans.

“Everyone’s hard work and dedication led us to this incredible milestone,” said Dr. Thomas Coon, vice president and dean for OSU Agriculture. “It was the commitment and generosity of so many supporters who invested in the future of not

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OSU President Kayse Shrum, First Cowboy Darren Shrum and Rhonda Coon sign their names on a beam that will be used in the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall.

only our OSU Agriculture family, but also the state of Oklahoma.”

In recognition of the achievement, OSU hosted a Sweet Success Celebration on the north lawn of Agricultural Hall in July — with construction of the new building underway across the street.

A large crowd of donors, alumni, students, faculty and staff braved the summer heat to witness the raising of the OSU Agriculture flag above the construction site. Attendees heard remarks from Dr. Shrum, Coon, Larry and Kayleen Ferguson, and OSU Foundation President Blaire Atkinson.

A couple of students shared their excitement for the new agriculture building.

Roy Grant, a senior studying agricultural business, always planned on attending a land-grant institution after growing up on a farm in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He currently works at the Agronomy Research Station in Stillwater and will be studying for his master’s in plant and soil sciences when the new building is scheduled to open in 2024.

“For students like me, the state-of-the-art classrooms and labs are going to be better suited for teaching in today’s world,” Grant said. “I can’t wait until we get to move in and use all the features of the new building.”

Grant was also one of more than 300 people who stopped by the New Frontiers Tailgate and Beam Signing event on Sept. 10 before the Cowboy football game against Arizona State.

At the tailgate, friends of OSU Agriculture were able to reconnect with each other while enjoying pork sliders and Cowboy spirit. Guests were encouraged to walk over to the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall construction site, where a bright orange beam that will be used in the building was available to sign.

By game time, the beam was covered in black and silver signatures. Even Shrum stopped by to sign and visit with students and alumni.

“New Frontiers is a physical manifestation of our land-grant mission. Using our teaching, research and Extension to solve one of society’s most pressing problems: food insecurity,” Shrum said.

Originally a $100 million undertaking, the project received another $15.2 million in financing this year, which allowed construction to continue while protecting against future inflation.

OSU hopes to add additional features to the building such as a media wall, exterior colonnades and an artistic monolith, but those add-ons will only be possible through more donor support.

“Our work is not done,” Coon said. “Although we have reached our $50 million goal, we are going to continue to raise support for features of the building that will enhance our teaching, research and Extension efforts.”

To learn more about how you can make your mark on the New Frontiers campaign, visit new-frontiers

(Top) Construction on the new stateof-the-art facility for OSU Agriculture is progressing rapidly. The building is scheduled to open in fall 2024. (Middle) More than 300 people attended the New Frontiers tailgate before the OSU football game against Arizona State. (Bottom) Roy Grant and Caleb Horne were among the many students to participate in the beam signing.


Thank you to all who are making their mark on the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall, the new home for OSU Agriculture. While we’ve reached our $50 million goal in record time, we are continuing to raise funds for the facility that will take our research, teaching and Extension to new heights.

W h e n you give to the N ew Frontier s campaign, you are i nvesting in OS U Ag riculture and the e ffi cacy of i t s research, t h e qual i ty o f educ a tion, t h e power o f E x te nsion a n d OSU ’s im p o rtant role i n feeding the world.

To l earn more about the campaign and to view construction progress, v i sit O S ntiers . Together, we are embarking on New Frontiers!

Freeman named interim vice provost and dean of the College of Professional Studies at OSU-Tulsa

OSU receives NSF grant to host research mentor program for recent biology grads

Thanks to a $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Oklahoma State University will be home to a three-year program to mentor recent college graduates with biology degrees.

The NSF Research and Mentoring for Postbaccalaureates in Biological Sciences (RaMP) program will begin at OSU in June 2023 with an initial class of eight mentees, who will spend the year researching and training in professional skills.

Oklahoma State University-Tulsa has named Craig Freeman interim vice provost and dean of the OSU College of Professional Studies.

Freeman recently served as assistant dean and senior inclusion officer in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the School of Media and Strategic Communications on the Stillwater campus.

“Craig is a longtime Tulsa resident who knows our campus, students and the needs of our community,” said Dr. Johnny Stephens, interim president of OSU-Tulsa and president of OSU Center for Health Sciences. “His innovative approach to aligning academic offerings to the demands of a rapidly changing economy is a perfect fit for OSUTulsa and the College of Professional Studies.”

As director of the School of Media and Strategic Communications, Freeman created workforce-responsive graduate certificates, an undergraduate certificate in the emerging area of esports and undergraduate degree options including one in entertainment media specifically for OSU-Tulsa. His team significantly improved graduation rates, more than doubled available scholarships and leveraged alumni

to support increased internship opportunities for students.

Under Freeman’s leadership, the school’s research output doubled and grant production increased significantly. In his role as assistant dean and senior inclusion officer in the College of Arts and Sciences, he championed efforts to foster inclusion and diversity throughout the college and increase recruitment for students from historically marginalized communities.

“I am thrilled for this opportunity to build on the exciting things happening at OSU-Tulsa,” Freeman said. “We bring OSU’s land-grant mission to an urban setting, and central to that mission is providing access to higher education. With the OSU College of Professional Studies located at OSUTulsa, there are opportunities for growth and professional development at any career stage, whether through micro-credentials, certificates or flexible degrees. Research shows that when employees receive the education they need to advance in their careers, companies benefit by retaining their workforce. We all benefit by educating our community and keeping Tulsa’s talent in Tulsa.”

“Strong mentorship by leaders in biological fields is one of the most critical factors in retention of people in STEM fields,” said Dr. Liz McCullagh, integrative biology assistant professor. “An important aspect of the NSF’s RaMP program is training opportunities for faculty in how to help students and recent graduates build their resumes, making them competitive in future STEM careers. We are really excited to get this program going and to serve the needs of people in Oklahoma and nationally.”

Research experience is one of the most important factors for recent college graduates to get jobs in the sciences, according to OSU Department of Integrative Biology faculty.

McCullagh and fellow integrative biology assistant professor Dr. Michael Reichert will utilize the mentorship program to recruit and train recent biology graduates. The program — officially titled RaMP: Oklahoma Network, or ON-RaMP for short — will focus on human impacts on biological processes and involve students working closely with faculty mentors from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Ferguson College of Agriculture on paid, one-year research projects.


Henneha named OSU Director of University Health Services

Oklahoma State University recently named Jack Henneha as its new director of University Health Services on the OSU-Stillwater Campus.

As director of UHS, Henneha will lead OSU in providing primary medical care to students, faculty and staff. A two-time OSU graduate, Henneha has extensive experience in health care in a university setting and has led the university through several health care changes and challenges, including OSU’s response to COVID-19.

“Jack has proven himself to be a quality leader and deeply understands health needs on a college campus,” said Dr. Doug Hallenbeck, OSU vice president for student affairs. “He has led the department through challenging times with distinction and grace, and I believe very strongly that Jack is the right person to lead University Health Services.”

With more than 30 years of experience with OSU UHS, Henneha has served the department in multiple capacities, including assistant director, associate director and most recently as the interim director.

“I’m extraordinarily grateful to be selected as the new director of University Health Services, and also very humbled,” Henneha said. “After 30 years in health care, to have earned the title in the eyes of our university’s leadership is an honor.”

OSU music industry program named a top music business school by Billboard Magazine

The Oklahoma State University Greenwood School of Music’s music industry program was recognized as a top music business school by Billboard magazine in its October 2022 issue.

OSU was listed alongside just 37 other schools, including Berklee College of Music, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and Middle Tennessee State University - College of Media and Entertainment. Billboard chose its top music business schools based on the criteria of industry recommendations, alumni information and details requested from each school.

“So many great musicians come from Oklahoma, and I am pleased that a prominent trade publication such as Billboard recognized our growing program in Stillwater,” said Dr. Mark Perry, director of OSU’s music industry program. “I look forward to continued success and following the careers of our graduates.”

OSU’s Bachelor of Science in music industry was specifically highlighted for housing its own student-run music company, Poke U, which connects students to professionals in the industry. Students are given a variety of opportunities and learning experiences throughout their time in the program.

Most recently, OSU alumnus and country musician Garth Brooks held a speaker series for Greenwood School of Music students. In November, country music producer and OSU alumnus Scott Hendricks came to speak to students.

“I think our music industry program stood out to Billboard because it prepares students for the multifaceted job requirements needed in the entertainment industry, both soft and hard skills,” Perry said. “I also believe that Billboard recognized the great support we have received from OSU, alumni and our generous patrons.”

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OSU’s New Product Development Center celebrates 20 years of innovation and design

Oklahoma State University’s New Product Development Center is celebrating 20 years of research, product development and engineering services in Oklahoma.

“NPDC started in 2002 as a program committed to strengthening rural economies through job creation focusing on Oklahomans in small, rural communities,” said Dr. Robert Taylor, current NPDC Director.

The NPDC pilot year showed that product development assistance could have a significant positive impact on the state of Oklahoma and began making plans to assist more small to medium-sized manufacturers in the coming years. By focusing on rural communities, NPDC was able to help

manufacturers commercialize their innovative ideas through research, development and implementation.

A primary driver for the NPDC success is the support and guidance from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST).

“The OCAST effort led to the development of the Oklahoma Innovation Model linking OCAST, NPDC, I2E, Tom Love Innovation Hub and Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance as an innovation team for the state, significantly increasing the effectiveness of all members,” Taylor said.

Today, the program has grown into a self-sustaining unit through various grant awards, industry funding

companies, the Inventors Assistance Service program and an assortment of work with small to medium-sized manufacturers around the state.

In the years after its inception, NPDC expanded its capabilities and reach by adding engineering and marketing interns, which seemingly changed the way NPDC operated. The students brought a new level of expertise and many new ideas to the table for the companies and NPDC staff and have continued to do so for the last 20 years.

The NPDC team is excited about the future impacts of the work they are doing right now with interns, clients and inventors and knows that the next 20 years will be just as valuable to the state.

The 2022 summer interns for Oklahoma State University’s New Product Development Center, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Miss OSU 2022 crowned, receives $1,000 scholarship

Tatum Shelton couldn’t stop beaming as she was crowned the new Miss Oklahoma State University under the spotlights of the Student Union Theater.

The sophomore from Little, Oklahoma, had seen her big dream come true.

Shelton competed alongside 16 other candidates at the Miss OSU scholarship competition on Oct. 6. The candidates were judged in four categories: the private interview and talent portion are both 35% of the final score, and the onstage questioning and red carpet walk both make up 15% of the final score.

“Throughout the competition, the candidates are being judged on different characteristics like their composure and their ability to communicate their ideas or simply present themselves,” said Kayla Loper, executive director of the Miss OSU scholarship competition. “It’s never

about appearances, it’s about what they present, who they are and how they compose themselves.”

With the title of Miss OSU, Shelton also will receive a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to represent OSU in the upcoming Miss Oklahoma pageant. Shelton started competing in pageants last year and has previously won the title of Miss Route 66 and newcomer talent at Miss Oklahoma. She is excited about the prospect of representing OSU at the next Miss Oklahoma pageant.

“I met with my interview coach yesterday and we went over questions and sat down and talked about all the reasons I love OSU and why I continue to choose OSU as my college every single day,” said Shelton, a thirdgeneration OSU student.

Shelton is a sports media major from the aptly named small town in Seminole County. On stage, Shelton talked about her social initiative platform “Be a Bridge” that helps eliminate child

hunger. For the talent portion of the competition, Shelton performed a dance to the song “Be Italian” by Fergie.

As the new Miss OSU, Shelton rode in the Homecoming parade and will have a chance to use her title to connect with the OSU community and focus on making a social impact.

“I would love to go to Stillwater Public Schools and talk to the children about never giving up on your dreams,” Shelton said. “It may have taken me multiple tries but I never gave up and that’s why I’m the new Miss OSU.”

The competition was filled with a wide variety of impressive personalities and performances. First runner-up Rachel Davis from Argyle, Texas, will receive a $600 scholarship and second runner-up Emma Place from Alva, Oklahoma, will receive a $400 scholarship.

Tatum Shelton — a sports media sophomore from Little, Oklahoma — was crowned the 2022-2023 Miss OSU.
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welcomes the first cohort of the Ethiopian LMG Delegation

Oklahoma State University recently welcomed a delegation of 28 Ethiopian higher education administrators to Stillwater as part of a U.S. Department of State grant to offer a professional development training seminar for higher education administrators in Ethiopia.

The program, entitled the Ethiopian Higher Education Leadership, Management and Governance Program (LMG), is funded by the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, and is a collaboration of Oklahoma State University, Ohio State University and Texas Tech University. The collaboration will last three years, during which two separate cohorts of senior leadership of Ethiopian universities will visit each of the three campuses, as well as participate in in-country workshops on university leadership and governance.

The first cohort from the LMG program was comprised of presidents

and vice presidents of 23 different Ethiopian universities, as well as senior leadership from the Ethiopian Ministry of Education.

During their time at OSU, the delegation met with several OSU leaders, including President Kayse Shrum; Provost Jeanette Mendez; Chad Weiberg, vice president and athletic director; Dr. Paul Tikalsky, dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology; Oklahoma A&M Regents CEO Jason Ramsey; and others.

The leadership at OSU provided unique insights into how a land-grant university began and continues to fulfill its mission.

Dr. Shrum conveyed the challenges she has faced as a new university president and how to inspire and lead. Dr. Mendez touched on her experience as a woman in an educational

leadership position and how to foster an environment of diversity; and Dr. Kenneth Sewell, vice president of research, discussed the relevant research conducted at OSU to carry on the legacy of a land-grant university.

OSU’s relationship with Ethiopia began in 1951, when Oklahoma A&M College (now OSU) President Henry G. Bennett was tapped by President Harry S. Truman to head the Point IV Program, a technical assistance program now known as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). As a part of a contract signed with the Ethiopian government, dozens of OSU faculty and staff moved to Ethiopia to establish two of the nation’s top universities: Haramaya University and Jimma University.


CAS alumna wins Emmy for work on ‘20/20’

The National Television Academy recently announced the winners of its News and Documentary Emmy Awards, and Oklahoma State University alumna Maddy Cunningham was on the list.

Cunningham, who graduated with degrees in multimedia journalism and theatre in 2016, was a field producer for the “20/20” episode “The Babies of 9/11: Twenty Years Later.” On Sept. 29, she and her colleagues were awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Soft Feature Story: Long Form.

“I was so shocked and overwhelmed and excited that I practically floated through the four-hour ceremony,” said Cunningham, who accepted the award in person along with several others from her team. “It still doesn’t feel totally real. Maybe once the trophy with my name engraved arrives in the mail, I’ll be able to fully digest everything.”

The Emmy-winning “20/20” episode aired Sept. 10, 2021, on ABC. It was the

latest in a series of reunions coordinated by “20/20” and host Diane Sawyer over the past two decades, where children born immediately after losing fathers on Sept. 11, 2001, were interviewed along with their mothers.

“With any coverage of 9/11, it can be really difficult to see past the seemingly endless amount of grief and horror. But when we met with these families, all you could see was how resilient they were,” Cunningham said. “Getting to know them and helping tell their stories has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my career so far.”

Cunningham’s work in journalism started at OSU while studying at the School of Media and Strategic Communications and producing video content for the OSU Office of Brand Management.

“Maddy’s always been driven to tell compelling stories, and she honed her

recruitment and training

A $3.5 million grant recently awarded to the OSU Center for Health Sciences will fund new programs and bolster existing ones aimed at recruiting and preparing Native American undergraduate students to enter medical school.

“Less than 0.2 percent of physicians are Native American in the U.S., even less in STEM careers. If students can see someone like themselves in medicine, and a pathway for themselves, they can create a vision for themselves in the future,” said Dr. Kent Smith, associate dean of the Office of American Indians in Medicine and Sciences at OSU-CHS.

The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Centers for Excellence awarded the grant to develop a Native American Primary Care Center for Excellence. The renewable grant, which will be distributed over five years, is being administered by Smith and Dr. Denna Wheeler, director of research and

evaluation at the OSU Center for Rural Health.

The HRSA grant also provides scholarships and resources for Native medical students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty.

“Ultimately, we want to increase the number of competitive Native American applicants by providing training and resources to those students applying for admissions at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine,” Smith said.

The grant will also supply funding for the development of a pipeline from undergraduate college to medical school for Native American students called Native Pathways, which utilize new and existing programs like hands-on recruitment events that travel to tribal communities and preadmission workshops specifically for American Indian students.

Smith said the grant will also have a positive impact on the current Native American medical students attending OSU-COM.

craft right here at OSU,” said Associate Director of Multimedia Andy Wallace, who worked with Cunningham while she was a student. “This prestigious award speaks to the high caliber work that she produces.”

Cunningham credited OSU faculty and staff with giving her the resources to succeed as a student and young professional.

“I lost count of the amount of times a professor stayed late to review a new resume layout, critique my latest reel, give me notes on an audition piece or work through an editing software bug,” said Cunningham, who was a McKnight Scholar and a 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Rising Star. “The staff at OSU is truly like no other. They constantly pushed me to be the best I could be.”

OSU-CHS awarded $3.5M grant for Native American student
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Dr. Kent Smith

New Forensic Sciences doctorate degree to help advance those in the field

Those already working in the forensic sciences field now have a new option to earn a doctorate at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.

The School of Forensic Sciences now offers a Doctorate in Forensic Sciences degree, or DFS, in addition to its Ph.D. in Forensic Sciences program.

“The Ph.D. program is great for people interested in academia and research,” said Jim Hess, vice provost of Graduate Programs at OSU-CHS. “We have a lot of people in our program who are practitioners in forensic sciences and want a doctoral degree.”

The DFS is a professional doctorate, offered online, with no required research or dissertation component.

“There are federal agents, state agents, local law enforcement and members of the military who were interested in a professional doctorate. It will enhance the skills of practitioners in forensic sciences,” Hess said. “If you want to be a practitioner you need to have knowledge and depth in lots of areas. That’s what the DFS is designed to do.”

The DFS is a 62-hour program and students must have a master’s degree in order to enroll. Those who have earned their master’s degree in the last 10 years

can have up to 30 hours automatically put toward their DFS degree.

If it’s been more than 10 years since earning a master’s degree, students can take two refresher courses in Forensic Science Theory and Forensic Science Practice worth three credit hours each, and if passed, can then have the additional 26 hours put toward the DFS degree.

And while a dissertation or research component isn’t required, a Capstone project or experience is required for the DFS and can include an internship experience, formal report or small research project.

1 Location. 8 Unique Spaces. Limitless Possibilities. 405.744.1548

Those days don’t happen often, though. His life is dedicated to service.

As senior vice president for systems operations at Oklahoma State University, Loughridge serves as a strategic advisor to President Kayse Shrum and serves a key role in sharing the strategic vision to elevate OSU as the preeminent land-grant institution.

His upbeat personality and passion for inspiring future leaders allow him to navigate the fast-paced velocity and motion of OSU. But it’s in the peacefulness of the outdoors, listening to the whir of birds’ wings that Loughridge reconnects with his roots. It helps keep him grounded.

“I think part of humility is standing beside great things,” Loughridge said. “And so for me, the outdoors represents grandeur and a sort of magnificence and creation and a reminder toward humility.”

The Duncan, Oklahoma, native watched his parents — Bill and Sue Loughridge, both OSU graduates — model servant leadership in their community through their careers as a carpenter and a teacher.

“That’s what I esteem as the highest calling is the servant-leader,” Jerome said. “So that’s what I’ve tried to do with my career at every possible point.”

A Harvard and Baylor University educated Truman Scholar, Loughridge’s studies led him to fall in love with the concept of a story. He enjoys reading about history or biographies of historical figures such as Winston Churchill, whose leadership in the face of daunting challenges continues to inspire Loughridge.

With career highlights spanning from the White House to Oklahoma state government and the oilfield service industry, Loughridge has cultivated an accomplished career. What drew him to OSU was the opportunity to inspire students. Loughridge sets out to be an exemplar of the servant leadership he was raised in — both for students and his two sons.

On Wednesday mornings, he can be found on the first floor of Old Central teaching a course on Public policy during times of crisis to 22 undergraduate students. For him, teaching is the single most important thing he does because it reminds him of his ‘why’ in life.

“It just reminds me that we’re not here making widgets. We’re here trying to grow young people into ethical leaders and engaged citizens,” he said.

A day of relaxation for Jerome Loughridge includes trading in his suit and tie for a pair of rubber boots, loading up his yellow Labrador and escaping to the great outdoors to fly fish and wing shoot.

Colossal Computing

OSU receives large NSF grant to build new supercomputer

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Dr. Pratul Agarwal is the assistant vice president of research cyberinfrastructure and director of the High Performace Computing Center.

Oklahoma State University will soon be home to the largest supercomputer in the state.

Researchers at OSU recently were awarded a Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the new supercomputer. It will be funded by a $5.7 million grant, of which NSF will contribute $4 million and OSU will contribute $1.7 million. This award, issued under the Major Research Instrumentation mechanism, is one of the largest granted to build a supercomputer.

Able to process immense amounts of data at once, this supercomputer, housed at the OSU-Stillwater campus, will be the largest not just in Oklahoma but also several nearby states. The new technology will elevate the research capabilities of the state and the nation and make OSU the leader in supercomputing for the Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas (OAK) region.

“OSU has long provided highperformance research computing to our faculty and students, driving OSU accomplishments in big data analytics, genomics and other key arenas,” said Dr. Kenneth Sewell, OSU vice president for research. “The increased capabilities this grant will create will allow us to expand our leadership to the entire region, multiplying our impact.”

OSU’s current supercomputer — Pete — serves over 1,600 users from various institutions in Oklahoma, but this new machine represents a giant leap forward in technological capabilities.

“This is a big moment for OSU and HPCC,” said Dr. Pratul Agarwal, assistant vice president for research cyberinfrastructure and the director of the High Performace Computing Center (HPCC). “The new supercomputer will be powered by the latest generation computing hardware, including GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). It is being designed to address the needs of researchers across the OAK region.”

This supercomputer will enable researchers to tackle tough problems in agriculture, human and animal health,

OSU’s current supercomputer, Pete, serves over 1,600 users across the state.

and fundamental research as well as help in educating students, Agarwal said.

“The reason supercomputers are important is that a lot of new research discoveries are now being driven by data analysis,” Agarwal said. “The volume of data which has been collected is tremendous. And we need resources that can analyze this amount of data, which is beyond a laptop and even beyond a group of computers.”

Researchers also need a resource that can analyze the data as it’s being generated, Agarwal said.

“You don’t want to be in a situation where the data is being generated in a day, and it takes several months to process it, because then you keep on falling behind,” he added. “So you need the right scale of computing to be able to keep up with research and discoveries.”

Supercomputing also allows scientists to ask questions that cannot be answered by any kind of data collection or any kind of experiment. For example, modeling what happens to materials at extremely high temperatures, Agarwal said.

The OSU-led proposal was a joint effort between OSU, Arkansas State University, Wichita State University, Kansas State University, the University of Tulsa, the University of Central Oklahoma, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the Great Plains Network.

Outside of providing the resource to the OAK region, OSU also will use the supercomputer to contribute to research through consortia such as Open Science Grid consortium ( ) and PATh.

“The reason supercomputers are important is that a lot of new research discoveries are now being driven by data analysis. The volume of data which has been collected is tremendous. And we need resources that can analyze this amount of data, which is beyond a laptop and even beyond a group of computers.”

Women for OSU Rewards Students for Academic Excellence and Service

The Women for OSU Endowed Scholarship is a prestigious award that recognizes academic, philanthropic and volunteer activities among OSU's students. Women for OSU awards annual scholarships to students who are passionate about making a positive impact in the world around them.

For more information and to support Women for OSU scholarships, visit

Hometown: Edmond, Oklahoma

Major: PhysiologyPre-Medical Science

Women for OSU Endowed Student Scholarship Mortar Board Scholarship Delta Dental of Oklahoma Pre-Dentistry Endowed Scholarship Watson Family Foundation Chi Omega Scholarship

How have scholarships impacted your time at OSU?

In reality, my experience at Oklahoma State and my future would look nothing like it does if it was not for receiving scholarships. I have been able to spend time volunteering at a local food pantry, helping Stillwater residents with household chores and commuting to Tulsa to assist at a nonprofit dental clinic because I was able to rely on the financial support I received from donors.

What was your reaction when you learned you would be receiving the scholarships?

The poor lady on the phone probably thought I was having a heart attack on her. I remember every detail of that phone call because it was the day my life changed. This was the first time someone outside my family or friends had believed in my dreams and recognized the hard work and dedication I had put forth to accomplish them.

What would you say to the donors who made your scholarship possible, if given the chance?

If I was given the opportunity to speak to the donors who made my scholarship possible, I would not be able to articulate my appreciation for them and what they stand for. They instilled belief and confidence in someone that needed the inspiration to continue serving others and pursuing difficult dreams. Because of their generosity, they have started a ripple effect of kindness.

Chloe Scheitzach Senior
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IMPACT Spotlight

Hometown: Ponca City, Oklahoma

Major: Horticulture Women for OSU

Kayla Morrison

Wirt June Newman Memorial Scholarship Jerry F. Benton Memorial Scholarship

How have scholarships impacted your life?

Scholarships have been a huge part of my success at OSU. I am a mother of three and commute one hour daily to Stillwater to attend classes. Without scholarships, I would have not been able to afford gas, books and tuition. They also have shown me support along my journey, pushed me past my boundaries and provided me with colleagues in the field of horticulture I would have never met without the scholarships.

How is your scholarship going to help you reach your career goals/dream job?

This scholarship will allow me to maximize my college experience through volunteer opportunities, service learning and allowing me to spend my free time with my husband and kids instead of at a part-time job.

What would you say to the donors who made your scholarship possible, if given the chance?

If I had the chance to thank my donors, I would tell them I appreciate their support. This scholarship has not only allowed me to bloom in life, but it has also shown my kids that with hard work and dedication, all things can be made possible.

Hometown: Belize City, Belize

Major: Language Literacy and Culture

Ike and Marybeth Glass Women for OSU Endowed Scholarship Randall and Carol White Excellence in Literacy Endowed Fellowship

What made you choose OSU?

Denise Neal

OSU offers the diverse training I need to become a literacy expert in my country, Belize. I wanted an opportunity to get the best learning experience to prepare me for assisting teachers in Belize. Also, OSU allowed me to learn online, which is convenient for me as a single mother with a child diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. Lastly, the institution respects my culture; I always felt like I belonged, which is essential for all students.

What was your reaction when you learned you’d be receiving your scholarship?

I felt blessed and filled with gratitude. God heard my prayers, and He answered me. I was getting anxious about how I would make my upcoming semester payment, and I silently said Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your request be made known to God.”

What would you say to the donors who made your scholarship possible, if given the chance?

I want the donors to know that they are making it possible for me to accomplish my dreams. Because of their generosity, I will be able to complete my studies at OSU and assist my country in educating teachers, guiding policymakers in making essential decisions in education and developing students to become critically literate.

Graduate Graduate
» Easy to do » Easy to give to OSU » Easy on your heirs » Easy to learn Any account with a beneficiary designation (such as IRA and retirement funds, life insurance policies and annuities) can be used to support OSU. Visit or call the OSU Foundation’s Estate & Gift Planning team at 800-622-4678 to discover more. AN ESTATEPLANNING TIP FROM Pistol Pete
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Service and Sacrifice

Casualties, courage and faith during the Great War

Editor’s note: This article is the final part in a series about life at OSU leading up to and during World War I. See parts one and two in the spring and fall 2022 issues of STATE or online at news.

The Great War ended suddenly. After four years of conflict abroad and dramatic changes on the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College campus, which included adjusting operations to provide trained personnel for the conflict in Europe, it was over.

In the 11th hour on the 11th day in the 11th month of 1918, fighting in the Great War ceased. The casualties on all sides were enormous and devastating. The exact number of deaths is unknown, but 11 million military service members and six to 12 million civilians were estimated dead. Additionally, over 20 million suffered wounds, the most critical of which became life-altering.

Empires had crumbled, but little else had been accomplished.

It took weeks, sometimes months, for families living in Oklahoma to receive word on the status of their loved ones in Europe. Most soldiers training stateside were released from military service and returned home quickly. For those in Europe, it took much longer. OAMC maintained records for its students and staff in military service and updated these lists as new information became available. There were attempts to document the college’s participation in the war and recognize the individuals who served in the war effort.

Remembering military service “of any kind” and the sacrifices of service men and women affiliated with the college was a top priority in the spring of 1919. Days after the war’s conclusion,

U.S. Secretary of War Patrick J. Hurley reviews the College Cadet Corps during a visit to Stillwater on Oct. 13, 1930. OAMC President Henry G. Bennett awarded an honorary degree to Hurley during his stay.
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The Alumni Corporation and OAMC Class of 1927 completed a service flag 20 feet by 28 feet with over 1,400 stars representing OAMC students who served in World War I for display at public events.

Steamship Tuscania carried passengers between New York City and Glasgow, Scotland, until refitted as a troopship in 1916 to carry soldiers across the Atlantic. Raymond Hurst was on board when it was sunk by a German U-boat on Feb. 5, 1918.

Gold star on service flag dedicated to Raymond Hurst, the first OAMC combat fatality.

OAMC President James W. Cantwell sent a questionnaire to all known participants requesting information about their “personal story.” The letter was cosigned by yearbook editor Maude Cass, librarian Margaret Walters and history professor Samuel A. Maroney. The responses were to be bound and preserved in the library and information shared in the 1919 yearbook, which would be titled “Victory.”

The college database of soldiers included names for 1,438 individuals, including two women who served in the medical corps, Ethel Boydstein and Elsie Wiggs. Twenty-nine lost their lives — 12 from combat wounds, 12 from disease, two from drowning, and three from unknown causes. Ten of the 12 combat deaths occurred in the last month of the war. Cpl. Joseph P. Mitchell died only five days before the cease-fire. Hundreds were wounded but survived.



dead who washed up along


The Girls Student Association was instrumental in creating two service flags of honor acknowledging those who served in the war with individual stars. They were shared at special occasions across the state, and stored in a locked vault for protection and disappeared.

The personal stories of those involved in the war varied greatly. The

responses to the college’s questionnaire included experiences of gallantry, fear, suffering, boredom and humor. Many included pictures documenting their experiences. There were over 500 responses, but space only allows for four stories to be shared here.

Raymond Thomas Hurst Ethel Boydstein George Price Hays Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing small cemetery established at Port Charlotte on the Scottish island of Islay to bury the the shore after Tuscania’s sinking. Raymond Hurst’s body was located until moved to Oklahoma City after the war.


Hurst, an OAMC student from Pocasset, Oklahoma, enlisted on Oct. 3, 1917. He was a private in the First Engineering Corps serving as a bugler. In February 1918, Hurst was on board the steamship Tuscania with over 2,000 American soldiers being transported to England as part of a British convoy. A German submarine sent a torpedo into the Tuscania on Feb. 5 when it was sailing near the coastal islands between Ireland and Scotland.

The ship didn’t sink immediately and the majority of its passengers were rescued, however 210 people either died from the initial explosion or drowning. Hurst’s body was found along the Scotland coast. He was buried at Port Charlotte in a small cemetery created for the victims. It took 10 days for the news of his death to reach Stillwater. Two years later, his remains were moved to Oklahoma City, and Hurst was buried with full military honors. Hurst was the first “combat” victim with ties to Oklahoma A&M.


Hays was born in China where his parents served as missionaries. After completing their mission tour, the Hays family moved to a farm between El Reno and Okarche, Oklahoma, where Hays grew up before enrolling in the engineering school at Oklahoma A&M. Hays was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1917 and by July 14, 1918, he was a first lieutenant serving with the 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Division. The Second Battle of the Marne began late on July 14 with a German advance across the Marne River, roughly 50 miles east of Paris.

The records from the official General Order No. 34 (March 7, 1919), War Department state:

“The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to First Lieutenant (Field Artillery) George Price Hays, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on July 14 & 15, 1918, while serving with the 10th Field Artillery, 3d Division, in action at Greves Farm, France. At the very outset of the unprecedented artillery bombardment by the enemy, First Lieutenant Hays’ lines of communication were destroyed

beyond repair. Despite the hazard attached to the mission of runner, he immediately set out to establish contact with the neighboring post of command and further establish liaison with two French batteries, visiting their position so frequently that he was mainly responsible for the accurate fire there from. While thus engaged, seven horses were shot under him and he was severely wounded. His activity under most severe fire was an important factor in checking the advance of the enemy.”

Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing personally awarded Hays the Congressional Medal of Honor. Hays

After several World War I memorials were proposed, a tablet was eventually placed at the entrance hall in the Bennett Memorial Chapel to honor those who lost their lives during the Great War.

Carter Cary Hanner The Hanner family.
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returned to school in Stillwater, completed his degree and then remained in the military for the rest of his life rising to the rank of lieutenant general and serving in World War II on the beaches of Normandy and in the Italian Alps.


Loganbill was born in Missouri, and the Loganbill family moved to Geary, Oklahoma, in February 1907. Two of his aunts served as Mennonite missionaries to the Cheyenne and Arapaho, and the Loganbill family wanted to be closer to them. In 1916, Loganbill traveled to Stillwater to enroll in the practical course in agriculture at Oklahoma A&M. He attended the 1916 fall semester and the 1917 spring semester. While on the wheat harvest during the summer of 1917, his parents received his draft notice. As a Mennonite conscientious objector, he requested non-combatant service and was assigned to take care of horses at Camp Travis near San Antonio, Texas.

There were four other young men from the Geary Mennonite Church in his unit. Their minister traveled from Geary periodically until he was threatened with being tarred and feathered if he returned. The objectors were not given blankets and slept on newspapers. They also suffered ridicule, intimidation and beatings from the other soldiers. The results of this treatment led to kidney problems for

Loganbill. After serving 18 months, he was released from Camp Travis in the spring of 1919 and he returned home to Geary. His health never recovered and he died of kidney failure on Jan. 4, 1927. He was survived by his wife and three young children. Loganbill wasn’t listed among the former OAMC students who served their country during World War I. In Oklahoma at that time, conscientious objectors were considered slackers, cowards, disloyal and anti-American.

Loganbill was branded one of these. He didn’t request a deferment to help his father on their farm or to continue his education. Loganbill enlisted when drafted and was persecuted for doing so.


Hanner had been a student two decades before the Great War. Born in Illinois, the Hanner family had moved to Stillwater in 1893 when Carter was 14. He enrolled as a student at Oklahoma A&M and then left in 1898 to enlist for the Spanish-American War. He was sent to the Philippines and served for three years. Returning to Stillwater, he joined the Oklahoma National Guard and spent some time on the U.S.-Mexico border before the United States entered World War I. After additional training, his unit sailed for France on July 4, 1918, to join the American Expeditionary Force under the command of Gen. Pershing.

On Sept. 6, he was promoted to captain and placed in command of

Company E, 142nd Infantry, 36th Division on Oct. 4. Four days later, Capt. Hanner was killed on the battlefield in the Argonne Forest and later awarded the Croix de Guerre by France for his gallantry in action. Hanner was buried at the American Cemetery in Romagne, France. He was survived by his wife and three young children. The news of his death arrived only days before the announcement of the armistice ending the war.

Seven years later, the college dedicated a new men’s residence hall named in honor of Hanner. Capt. Hanner’s commanding officer and friend, Brig. Gen. Roy Hoffman, described him as “one of the best citizens, soldiers, fathers and friends I ever knew. There is not, was not, cannot be a nobler man than my dead comrade, Carter C. Hanner.”


After the war, there were other changes on campus. The athletic fields for football and track, known as Lewis Field in honor of faculty member Lowery Layman Lewis, were moved to the northeast. Formerly, it had run north/south just west of where the new gymnasium and armory were constructed. Cantwell saw to it that the college assisted with the vocational retraining of disabled combat veterans under a new law from Congress. Such students each received a federal scholarship. Initially about 200 men came to the college, with more to follow over the next several years. These men and their families became staunch supporters of the institution.

The dedication and sacrifices made during World War I were remembered throughout the years, but especially during annual Armistice Day ceremonies. Soldiers, students, families and friends gathered on campus to share expressions of gratitude for the services performed during and after the war. Many structures were proposed as memorials, but none were ever constructed. In Bennett Memorial Chapel, a plaque was placed in the entry hall listing the names of those from the Great War who lost their lives.

More stories from OAMC participants in the Great War can be found here:

The Girls Student Association created the first service flag with 693 stars on a cloth 13.5 feet by 28 feet. This flag was reported missing in 1923 and was replaced by the Class of 1927 service flag which also disappeared several years later.

Jamie Barrick, Pottawatomie County Chapter

Jamie Barrick is no stranger to the traditions of Oklahoma State University. Having grown up in Stillwater, she was raised in a home that loved and supported OSU.

Barrick loves the beautiful campus, the success stories, tailgating and the friendships she has made throughout the years. However, she primarily loves OSU for the people in the Cowboy family.

“My favorite thing is how friendly everyone has always been and the lifelong friendships I made,” Barrick said. “There has never been a time when I did not want to be in Stillwater and I believe we have the highest caliber of students, alumni, support staff and faculty of any university.”

Barrick first became active as a member of the Pottawatomie County OSU Alumni Chapter and now serves as chapter president.

The Pottawatomie County Chapter has one major event each year. Barrick and her fellow alumni put on the Senior Send-Off and Ice Cream Social.

“Pistol Pete is usually a special guest at the event,” Barrick said. “Everyone comes together to celebrate local students going to OSU as freshmen in the fall, as well as current students returning to campus.”

Barrick believes one of the best reasons to join an alumni chapter is to give back. She said although the Pottawatomie County Chapter is small


compared to other chapters, their alumni are generous. Barrick loves giving back to OSU because she feels as if there is no other university better than OSU. Barrick said the people at OSU truly set the university apart from all other institutions.

“Our students; faculty; support staff; athletes; those in performing arts; our president, who is an amazing leader; and every person on campus,” Barrick said. “All of these are what sets us apart.”

Barrick advises upcoming graduates to find an alumni chapter and get involved. She said joining an alumni chapter is a great way to stay connected to OSU, network and make friends.

“Everyone there has the same sentiment in an alumni chapter,” Barrick said. “Love for Oklahoma State University.”

1,768 alumni and friends 199 members 201 current
students 54 miles
from Stillwater
Jamie Barrick poses at a chapter event with everyone’s favorite mascot, Pistol Pete.


Get involved with an OSU alumni chapter, watch club or society at chapters .


Kelley Newkirk Konarik visits with Cowboy basketball player Kalib Boone at A Night with OSU in Oklahoma City at the Hamm Institute for American Energy at Oklahoma State University.


The Cowboy family gathers at the OSU Center for Health Sciences to hear from Larry Reece, Mike Gundy and more at A Night with OSU in Tulsa.
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William “Bill” Johnson, Pistol Pete No. 15, and Chris Smith cheer on the Cowboys against Baylor at the Central Arkansas OSU Alumni Chapter’s watch party in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Coach Colin Carmichael and the Cowgirl soccer team joins Larry Reece on stage at A Night with OSU in Stillwater outside of Iron Monk Brewery.



A future Cowboy presents Pistol Pete with a birthday card at the mascot’s birthday party in October at the Tulsa Zoo.


The OKC Metro Chapter celebrates everyone’s favorite mascot, Pistol Pete, at the Oklahoma City

in October. Legacies in attendance received a special birthday present from Pete.

Cowgirls from North Texas pose with a four-legged Cowboy football fan at the North Texas OSU Alumni Chapter’s watch party. Zoo
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From left: Donald Stutson, Clarence Burge, OSU Alumni Association President Ann Caine and Maggie Greene spend some time together before the OSU Black Alumni Society’s golf tournament at Lakeside Golf Course in Stillwater.

The 26th Annual OSU Black Alumni Society’s golf tournament helps raise scholarship funds for OSU students each year during Homecoming week.
Pete joins the fun as OSU Alumni Association’s Student Network members visited Legacy Village in Stillwater. Student Network members spent time with residents as they painted pumpkins to celebrate the fall season.


Roberta Robertson , ’51 elementary education, is now staying in assisted living (with a big Pistol Pete outside her door) at 93 years old. In addition, her granddaughter, Cace Robertson, ’07 chemical engineering, married Levi Brown on June 1.

George E. Walker, ’56 geology, turned 88 years old this year. He has been married for 66 years. He said it has been a wonderful life adventure and God has truly blessed him.

Ann Lancaster, ’57 home economics, is a part of four generations of her family having graduated from OSU, one generation of which was a son-in-law.

Arthur P. Bieri, ’58 secondary education, ’65 masters in secondary education, has a grandson, Josh Bieri, ’21 accounting, who has competed four times in the nationally televised competition, Ninja Warrior.

Jane Ann Niles , ’58 home economics education and community, celebrated her granddaughter, Bethany Niles ’22 architecture, graduation in May 2022. Her granddaughter is now working in Kansas City, Missouri.


Dennis R. Logan , ’60 geology, is a retired petroleum geologist. He still follows oil and gas exploration activity around the world, especially as related to ConocoPhillips and the Phillips 66 company.

Arthur Rickets , ’61 business, and his wife, Kay, have fully funded a scholarship for students from southern Oklahoma.

Bill Pope, ’66 secondary education, is so proud to have their fourth grandchild graduate from OSU this spring. Pope has one more grandchild scheduled to graduate next year and is a proud Cowboy!

Chester Palmer, ’67 agricultural education, is the owner of 4 State Draft Horses and Mule

Sale. He puts on draft horse and mule sales two times each year during May and October. He said he is living and loving life with God’s help and guidance. Cheryl Nelson , ’68 home economics, is retired and has moved to Tealridge in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Allan McCrary, ’69 history, is following his aviation career with the Air Force, NASA and Southwest Airlines. McCrary has developed his lifelong passion for cars into a full-time hobby. He was selected to be a judge for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. This event dates from 1950 and is considered to be the world’s premier celebration of the

Glenn Olson , ’69 psychology, is happily retired and living in Anchorage, Alaska. He is enjoying time with his wife and six


grandchildren with two on the way. Olson is orange through and through. He enjoys returning to campus for the football season.

Robert Wegener, ’69 advertising, ’75 master’s in mass communication, a former O’Colly editor, is proud of his grandson, Chris Becker, ’22 sports media, who served as O’Colly editor-inchief for spring 2022. Wegener retired after a 30-year career at Texas A&M University but continues teaching one course a semester.


Patty McCrary, ’73 English, served as this year’s co-chair of Bouquets to Art at the DeYoung Museum of San Francisco. In its 38th year, this is a major fundraiser made up entirely of volunteers. Over 120 floral designers are selected to interpret art in the museum’s permanent collection. The event runs for one week, bringing over

In 1922, Felix Roy was the swine herdsman in charge of all breeds for Oklahoma A&M. One of his greatest accomplishments was being the herdsman who fed, fitted and showed the historic Oklahoma King. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Oklahoma King winning Grand Champion at the 1922 International Live Stock Show in Chicago. The Oklahoma King was a one-year-old hog with a weight of 500 pounds. Roy said this show was the best winning for OSU to that date. Roy is accredited with developing the feeding program that resulted in the grand champion title for Oklahoma A&M, Roy’s program assisted in shaping OSU’s feeding program that is used today. In celebration of this historic anniversary, the family of Felix Roy would like to highlight him and his time at Oklahoma A&M. Read more about Roy and the Oklahoma King by visiting

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50,000 visitors. Also featured are floral fashions by floristry students attending City College of San Francisco.

Patricia A. McElroy, ’73 special education, is semi-retired but is still doing individual educational testing of school age kids and young adults.

Roger E. Walker, ’73 mechanical engineering, ’74 master’s in engineering, said it has been a long time since he was at OSU in the 70s, but he still fondly remembers how it felt to be on campus along with students and professors who gave him a great education in engineering and life. Today, at age 72, he is still married to his wife of 42 years, Susan, and has been retired since 2016. Both of his kids are doing well, and they have one grandson. Walker still rides his motorcycle and still plays bass guitar in the church praise band, even though he is at least twice the age of the rest of the band.

Linda Hiette (Buffa), ’74 social science teaching, ’75 master’s in counseling psychology, retired in 2018 as a health educator for 40 years working in city and county health departments. She is currently involved in her church choir, Parish council secretary, cheer, welcoming committee and St. Vincent DePaul Society. Her daughter, Lindsey, is a junior at OSU earning a degree in journalism and mass media while being involved in the O’Colly and working summers at Muny Theater. Her oldest daughter, Taylor, is a graphic designer for an education testing company in New York.

Michael Dunham , ’78 psychology, retired July 1, 2022, after 43 years as a financial adviser.


Pamela A. Ernst (DeCamp) ’80 education, retired in 2019 after teaching over 37 years. She is now enjoying her sweet

grandson. She exercises at least four times a week to keep in shape. Ernst and her husband are getting excited about traveling with the Traveling Cowboys.

Bruce A. Cox , ’82 human resources and development, retired after 23 years with Applied Systems Inc.

Heidi Rogers (Pracht), ’85 biosciences, ’86 master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, ’90 doctorate in curriculum and instruction, is serving as the CEO of Northwest Council for Computer Education. Rogers was highlighted in the Business Journal of North Idaho for her leadership in the council.

Natalie Epps , ’86 executive secretarial administration, is happily retired and enjoys serving as a docent for the historic Dewey Hotel. She also enjoys traveling around the Rocky Mountains and desert southwest with her husband, Craig, and her three rescue dogs. One of which is named Gundy!


Shannon McCord , ’93 journalism, is a part of a 2023 Leadership Class in Dallas.

Carrie Brunk (Kennemer), ’98 secondary education, is in her 25th year as an educator. She is currently a career counselor at Canadian Valley Technology Center in Yukon, Oklahoma.

She is celebrating 20 years of marriage in March and has two children in high school.


Maureen Smith , ’02 international business and marketing, joined Phenomenal Media as head of product operations, overseeing e-commerce, merchandising, and wholesale operations.

Matthew G. Holland , ’03 animal science, and his family

look forward to road trips to Stillwater for football and baseball games. His children love the block parties before the games. The Holland family is proud to wear America’s Brightest Orange in Arkansas!

Mike Mlynek , ’03 zoology, obtained his MBA with specialization in aerospace logistics in May 2021 from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Lisa Herrick , ’06 sociology, is a highly regarded board-certified juvenile lawyer.

She recently joined Varghese Summersett as a partner in the firm’s criminal division. Herrick specializes in juvenile law and will oversee criminal cases involving minors and young adults. She is board certified in juvenile law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization — a designation held by only 65 attorneys in the state of Texas and three in Tarrant County.


Terrin Williams , ’11 political science, completed her master’s in criminal justice from the University of Oklahoma after serving Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma State University Foundation. In 2021, she moved back home to Nebraska, after serving one year for the State of Oklahoma Department of Corrections as a local administrator for community sentencing. In December 2021, she was named the new executive director of the Central Mediation Center in Kearney, Nebraska.

Submit your update at ORANGECONNECTION.ORG/ share


been members of OSU’s Company C-7 or the 7th Regimental Headquarters of Pershing Rifles and Scabbard and Blade. Some attendees were college sweethearts that were members of Army Blades and the Pershing Rifles female drill team, CAPERS. These veterans told stories of their military careers that took them all over the world while proudly serving their country. A retired ROTC instructor, Sgt. Maj. Herman Allmendinger from Stillwater, was visited by his former cadets.

Danielle St. Louis , ’13 master’s degree in English and professional writing, and her Labrador-border collie rescue dog, Lucky, have hiked every Wisconsin state park together. St. Louis’ newly published book, “A Dog Lover’s Guide to Hiking Wisconsin’s State Parks,” divides Wisconsin into five regions and further details specific trails, graded for dog reactivity as well as the fitness level of human and canine alike. St. Louis runs the popular adventure dog blog and Instagram account Wisconsin State Park Dogs, which features tips for hiking and favorite outdoor travels with Lucky the adventure dog. She is a past winner of the Moth Story Slam and has received professional writing scholarships from OSU. Corbit Bayliff, ’14 animal science, ’16 master’s degree in animal science, ’22 DO, has completed medical school and has entered residency at the University of Kansas School of Medicine — Wichita Family Medicine Residency Program at Ascension Via Christi in Wichita, Kansas.

Miguel Figueroa , ’16 political science, joined Crowe & Dunlevy’s Oklahoma City office as associate attorney. Figueroa joined the firm as a member of the litigation and trial practice group where he assists clients with general commercial litigation matters.

Bailey Barnes , ’18 strategic communications, joined GableGotwals as a new associate. Barnes focuses on general corporate transactions, commercial agreements, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions.

Keely Clarke (Hambrick), ’19 agricultural education, married her husband Ryan,’18 agricultural education, in June 2020. The two are now living in Cleburne, Texas, where Keely teaches agriculture education at Maypearl ISD while Ryan works for a landscaping company.

Maria Escobar, ’19 political science and economics, joined GableGotwals as a new associate. Escobar focuses on litigation matters, including drafting, preparing, and reviewing motions and pleadings. Her experience

also includes conducting legal research on various matters, including oil and gas, civil procedure, zoning laws, discovery request limitations, and conflict of laws.

Sarah Simpson (Oliver), ’19 biochemistry, became a registered patent agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Simpson assists clients with patent prosecution and trademark rights as a member of the firm’s


Tyrha Long , ’22 university studies, accepted a job to work for the Seattle Seahawks.


Donald Decker, retired from working after 44 years in health care food service administration. Last worked for N.Y.S Mental Health Facility in Utica, New York. Decker and his wife, Barbara, are now snowbirds residing in Crescent City, Florida, for eight months a year, enjoying their little piece of paradise.

Intellectual Property Practice Group.
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Recently, OSU Army and Air Force ROTC Alumni, who are retired military officers, gathered for a 50th anniversary in Stillwater. The two-day event included reminiscing about campus life, ROTC activities, military careers and retirement endeavors. These former ROTC cadets had


In Memory

Ray H. Mann , ’51 dairy science, died Sept. 15, 2022, in Owasso, Oklahoma. He was born Dec. 13, 1928, on a family farm in Happy, Texas, to Ira and Pearl Mann. He was proud to be onequarter Choctaw and a member of the Choctaw Nation. Mann grew up on the farm in Bradley, Oklahoma, and graduated high school in Alex, Oklahoma. Following graduation, he served in the Army as an air defense artillery troop and a military policeman of the 738th Military Police Battalion during World War II. Following college, he received a commission into the Army Reserve and was raised to the rank of captain. Mann married his wife, Geraldine Denson, in Wichita Falls, Texas, on July 18, 1949. He received

James Edmund Halligan, 86, of Stillwater, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Oklahoma City.

Halligan was born on June 23, 1936, in Moorland, Iowa, to Raymond and Ann (Crawford) Halligan. He graduated in 1954 from Moorland High School and later enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served as staff sergeant until 1958. He met the love of his life, Ann Halligan (Sorenson), and they were united in marriage on June 29, 1957. James and Ann were happily married for 65 years. To this union they had three sons, Michael, Patrick and Christopher Halligan.

Halligan attended college at Iowa State University obtaining a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in chemical engineering. James served at Texas Tech University, the University of Missouri-Rolla, the University of Arkansas and New Mexico State University.

Following this, he served as the 16th president of Oklahoma State University from 1994-2002.

During his time at OSU, Halligan encouraged the investment of nearly $200 million for student facilities on campus, including multimedia classrooms in a crucial time at the start of the internet age. He also oversaw OSU’s first capital campaign, which raised more than $260 million. Halligan saw Gallagher-Iba Arena double in size during the “Raise the Roof” campaign.

his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma A&M in 1951 and then a master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1965.

Ray spent most of his career in Garden City, Kansas, as the KSU Area Extension Service Director for southwest Kansas, until his retirement in 1991. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and the Builders Sunday School class.

Mann was an active member of Sunrise Kiwanis and volunteered many years preparing taxes through RSVP and the Garden City Senior Center. He served on many boards and committees such as Garden City Senior Center, Emmaus House, Mosaic of Garden City and First United Methodist Church Pastor Parish Council. He also delivered thousands of Meals on Wheels and maintained lifetime memberships with the

Halligan also led OSU through one of the university’s most trying times, when 10 members of the Cowboy basketball team and crew died in a plane crash on Jan. 27, 2001.

As an educator, he loved his work and spending time with his students.

Following his time as president, Halligan ran for state senator for District 21 and served two terms. A highlight of his time in the legislature was authoring a bill to ban the use of tobacco on campuses.

Although Halligan obtained many accolades throughout his personal life and career, he was described as having a very humble spirit by many.

Halligan was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Patricia Cooper; and three brothers, Sidney Halligan, Raymond Halligan and Bill Halligan.

He is survived by his wife, Ann Halligan, of the home; three sons, Michael Halligan and wife Glenna of Houston; Patrick Halligan and wife Tracey of Little Rock, Arkansas, Christopher Halligan and wife Sarah of Charlotte, North Carolina; He was blessed to have eight grandchildren; four greatgrandchildren; and many friends.

A rosary was held on Oct. 28 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Stillwater, where a Mass of Christian Burial was held on Oct. 29. A private inurnment followed at Fairlawn Cemetery.

Freemasons, the American Legion and Epsilon Sigma Phi. Mann was a devoted husband, father and granddad. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and Cowboy football. Above all, he cherished time with his family.

Jack H. Cole, ’58 mechanical engineering, ’63 master’s degree in mechanical engineering, ’68 doctorate in mechanical engineering, passed away Aug. 22, 2022, at age 88. He was born to Louis Howard and Lillie Reamey Cole on June 7, 1934, in Tulsa. After one year of college, Cole joined the Army and was ready to leave for Korea when the Korean Armistice Agreement was announced.

Cole then returned to Oklahoma


and married Carol Sue Smith. They moved to Stillwater where Cole continued his education at Oklahoma State University. After receiving his doctorate, Cole served as a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he received the Arkansas Blue Key Alumni Award for Outstanding Teaching and Research. One of Cole’s unique qualities was his love of mentoring students. At the end of 1981, he left teaching to join the Exploration Research and Development Division of Conoco Inc. (now ConocoPhillips) in Ponca City, Oklahoma. In 1994, when Conoco ended its research efforts, the company transferred its research program to the University of Arkansas, under Cole’s direction. In 1999, Cole established his own business, Cole Engineering Inc. and later co-founded Cal-Zark, a small business in Farmington, Arkansas, where he served as the director of Advanced Research and Development. His years of research led him to work at the Idaho National Laboratory reactor, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and even at NASA for the first moonlanding project. Cole has over 30 patents, several were pioneering inventions that enabled Conoco to establish itself as a world leader in subsurface diagnostics and imaging in wells. After his wife died in 1998, Cole took up ballroom dancing as a diversion from work. Through dancing, he met Joyce Stafford, who became his loving partner for more than

James G. Sewell, ’56 animal science livestock operations, ’58 doctorate in veterinary medicine, was born on Aug. 16, 1935, on his family’s homestead northeast of Perry, Oklahoma, and passed from this Earth at the age of 86 on Dec. 17, 2021. He attended the Rose Hill country school as a young boy and graduated from Perry High School in 1952. After completion of high school, he attended Oklahoma A&M and

completed his bachelor’s degree in pre-vet studies in 1956. He completed and graduated from the veterinary medicine program and received his Doctor of Veterinay Medicine as a participant of the first class of the newly named OSU veterinary college in 1958. Between these two graduations he married Nevalee Freese on Aug. 25, 1957. Upon graduation in June 1958, Jim started his vet practice at Veterinary Corner in Guthrie, Oklahoma, where he continued to practice medicine for 59 years until his retirement in 2017. He also found time to operate a successful cow-calf operation where he raised registered red Angus northeast of Guthrie. During his 63 years residing in Guthrie, he diligently served the Guthrie school system for 21 years as a school board member and oversaw several building and expansion projects. Sewell was a die-hard season ticket holder and Posse member for his beloved OSU athletic programs.

Freddie K. Hines , ’62 agricultural education, ’65 master’s degree in agricultural economics, ’65 doctorate in agricultural economics, passed away on April 21, 2022, at the age of 81. Hines was born Aug. 8, 1940, in Stephens County, Oklahoma. Upon graduating from Duncan High School in 1958, Hines went on to attend OSU, where he made many lifelong friends. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education in 1962. He continued his education career at OSU until he received his master’s degree in 1965 and his doctorate degree in agricultural economics in 1970, while working as a research assistant. Hines served as an agricultural economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service in Washington, D.C., until his retirement in 1994.

Hines enjoyed reading, history, collecting art and antiques, genealogy, walks with family and friends on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal along the Potomac River, and especially his restorations of the “old Snouffer farmhouse” and three others

near Adamstown in Frederick County, Maryland. Knowing the importance of agriculture, Fred was very proud of their involvement in farming and their contribution to the development and preservation of agricultural lands in Frederick County.

Susan Clark (Law), ’85 doctorate in philosophy of applied behavioral studies, passed away on Aug. 28, 2022.

Susan was born on April 18, 1957, in Pearisburg, Virginia. She attended Pembroke Elementary School and graduated from Giles High School in 1975. After receiving her undergraduate and graduate degrees, she obtained a doctorate in philosophy of applied behavioral studies from Oklahoma State University where she also taught for several years. Susan worked as a school psychologist and in private practice. Susan retired from private practice in 2005. In the spring of 2020, Susan and her husband, Mark, renovated her childhood home and returned to Pembroke. Susan loved to camp and float down the New River. She enjoyed riding the backroads of Giles County on her motorcycle. She was an avid reader of most anything to do with history or the metaphysical world. She was an exceptional cook, trying out new recipes and using ones handed down by her mother and aunts. She loved being with friends and family but coveted her times of solitude. She believed that she would be with her family, friends and dogs in the next life.

Deacon David A. DeFrange, ’65 chemistry, died Tuesday, July 12, 2022, at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was 80. Born in Krebs, Oklahoma, to the late Salvatore and Josephine (Cha) DeFrange, he moved to North Brunswick over 50 years ago. He worked in quality assurance for Johnson and Johnson in New Brunswick for over 30 years before retiring in 2008. He was a member of ASQC Quality Engineering. Along with his son, he created and worked Copper Creek Landscape and Nursery in Frenchtown, which

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helps contribute to agricultural pursuits in the State of New Jersey. Deacon DeFrange was a communicant of Our Lady of Peace R.C. Church in North Brunswick where he served as a deacon for 23 years. He had served as director of the office of the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Metuchen. He was a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and was a 4th Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus Council No. 11378 in North Brunswick. His wife of 53 years, Frances L. (Capria) DeFrange died in 2017. Surviving are two daughters – Dr. Rita DeFrange-Siraguse and her husband Salvatore of Denver and Alicia M. DeFrange of North Brunswick; his son David A. DeFrange II and his wife, Krista, and their children – Luke Anthony DeFrange and Julia Grace DeFrange of Frenchtown, New Jersey; his brother, Joseph DeFrange, and his wife, Virginia, of Stephens City, Virginia; and his sister Donna Lewis and her husband David of Krebs.

Paul Newsome, ’07 finance, and wife, Katie Newsome (Bowen), ’09 elementary education, welcomed their daughter, Hazel Mae Newsome, on June 21, 2022. Hazel was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and she is eager to make her first visit to Stillwater! Hayley Zimmerman Creecy, ’10 international business and Spanish, and husband Chris welcomed Sophie Grace into the world on May 24. Their daughter, Harper, is loving her new role as a big sister.

Matthew A. Hutchins , ’12 international studies, and his wife, Dayna, welcomed their second son on June 2, 2022. Matthew William Hutchins is named after his father, Matthew Albert Hutchins.

Zachary R. Parks , ’17 business administration, and wife, Ele Parks (Schwantes), welcomed their first child, Landon Thomas Parks, on Oct. 4, 2021. Landon is the grandson of Steven R. Parks , ’75 and ’77 architecture, and Anna Barbour Parks. His great-grandparents were Chris F. Parks , ’50 physical science and chemistry and Nancy Byers Parks , ’51 home economics –interior design.


John M. Smith , welcomed his fourth grandchild, Naomi Fay Pruscha, on April 5, 2022.

Hutchins Newsome Creecy Parks


PARTING SHOT | 11.11.22
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At OSU, we know we belong to the land. And with the promise of a bright orange era on the horizon, Oklahoma State University is set to become the nation’s preeminent land-grant university.

Through thoughtful research and empowering conversations, President Kayse Shrum’s new, bold vision will take OSU where no other land-grant university has gone before. Guided by its modern land-grant mission, OSU will:

• Create an innovative path forward for students by making higher education more accessible through financial support — allowing more students to graduate debt-free.

• Embrace dynamic interdisciplinary research to develop and define cutting-edge solutions to meet society’s needs.

• Invest in Oklahoma by broadening workforce and economic development, and expanding health care.