Henry Bellmon A Man of Honor a n i n t e r n at i o n a l r h y t h m 4 4
S o l d i e r ’ s l e g a cy l i v e s o n 7 0
b r e e d i n g g r o u n d 8 5
STILLWATER NATIONAL BANK
HELP OSU BRING THAT EXCITEMENT TO A PROSPECTIVE STUDENT.
spring 2009, Vol. 4, No. 3 http://magazine.okstate.edu
Welcome to the spring 2009 issue of STATE magazine, your source of information from the OSU Alumni Association, the OSU Foundation and University Marketing. Former Oklahoma Governor and U.S. Senator Henry Bellmon is the quintessential success story of a farm boy’s rise to the highest levels of government. However, his own measure of success places effective public service above personal achievement. (Read more beginning on page 60.) As always, we welcome your comments, memories and suggestions for future stories.
Building on Tradition Five alumni tell about their special memories and experiences at OSU’s Student Union.
Get Creative! No idea is too small or too inconsequential in OSU’s Creativity Initiative.
Legendary Journalist The Paul Miller Collection gives insight into this remarkable journalist’s career from reporter to national spokesperson.
A Man of the People
Larry Shell has met thousands of alumni during his 26 years with OSU. Now, as president of the OSU Alumni Association, he’s poised to build even stronger connections.
Ambassador Ann 34 As OSU’s first lady, Ann Hargis loves promoting the university and meeting students and faculty.
Green Gift Landscaping gift places OSU-Oklahoma City campus at the forefront of environmentally friendly buildings and water conservation efforts.
Building a Legacy 18 Founding Father Student Alumni Board members reach out to high school students and help them fall in love with orange and black.
Seniors of Significance OSU recognizes 44 top seniors for their excellence in scholarship, leadership and service.
A Positive Forecast The U.S. is facing difficult economic times, but Stillwater continues to experience growth.
Helping Horses A $1 million gift from the Gaylord Foundation will boost OSU’s equine critical care unit.
Symbiotic Partnerships Industry partners help jump-start OSU’s National Center for Veterinary Parasitology.
Cover photography by Phil Shockley 2
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Don McClanen founded the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a vehicle for athletes to share their inspirational and spiritual experiences.
Planning Ahead Estate planning is not a typical priority for young couples, but for the Wrights, it seemed only practical.
The 24 Seasons Malaysian Drum Troupe at OSU welcomes students of all nationalities.
Taking A Stand The former president of William and Mary remains dedicated to a free exchange of ideas even though it cost him his job.
Interest Reaches Action IRA gift allows couple to create an endowed scholarships for MBA students.
A Vision of Excellence OSU-Tulsa student is nominated for Graduate College’s 2009 Research Excellence Award.
Measure of a Man Friends establish scholarship to honor couple’s lifetime involvement in youth education.
Hall of Fame New inductees represent different colleges and careers, but all share fond memories of OSU.
A Fork in the Road Student hopes to eventually improve nutrition for women and children in developing countries.
Retired firefighter shares his own life-and-death experiences with the emergency preparation center.
The Heart of a Soldier The Scott A. Hagerty Scholarship for Army ROTC honors this fallen hero’s life and legacy.
Civilians In Service These alumni take OSU’s mission of outreach to heart, extending their expertise in health care, agriculture and administration to war-torn Iraq.
Members of Cowboys for Higher Education join forces to make OSU a priority at the state capitol.
Support from South Korea South Korean businessman donates special machinery to OSU Institute of Technology.
58 Breeding Ground
In the Spirit of Giving Expensive aerospace-grade materials from Spirit AeroSystems help research programs soar.
Hope through Hardship Student’s adviser helps him replace possessions, including online coursework, after a house fire.
The Youngest Aggies This notable family’s OSU legacy began one hundred years ago with three brothers who enrolled as sub-freshmen.
76 79 80 82 85
Alumna plays important role in next generation of prize Thoroughbreds and racehorses.
Henry Bellmon advanced from agronomy student and Marine to governor and U.S. senator. Today he’s helping top students reach their full potential en route to becoming the leaders of tomorrow.
Two former college roommates meet 34 years later at Grandparent University.
Reaching Beyond OSU University of Oklahoma graduates support OSU students’ commitment to rural health care.
More of a Statesman than a Politician 60
Ready for the Unthinkable
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Letters to the Editor
When you see this logo, go to orangeconnection.org to view behind-the-scenes video and extras about the article. This member-only benefit is brought to you by the OSU Alumni Association.
The Edmon Low Library’s oral histories initiative (see page 99) is an ambitious effort to record the thoughts and remembrances of OSU alumni, leaders and faculty in their own words. Some of you have already participated, and we welcome input from many others. In that regard, I recently had the pleasure of interviewing one of OSU’s most illustrious and respected alumni and one of Oklahoma’s favorite sons, Henry Bellmon. Shaped by his Oklahoma farming roots, OSU education and Marine service in World War II, Gov. Bellmon has served our state and our nation with humility and honor. We are proud to call him an alumnus. You can read more about Gov. Bellmon in this month’s cover story. OSU graduates are making an impact around the world, and this issue of STATE magazine spotlights three alumni who put their talents to work as civilians helping the people of Iraq. We also remember alumnus Scott Hagerty, who made the ultimate sacrifice to help the people of Afghanistan establish schools and clinics. Despite the current financial challenges facing our country, OSU continues to benefit from the generosity of our alumni and friends. In the following pages you will learn about the Paul Miller papers donation to the library, the efforts of the OSU Medical Cowboys, the Gaylord Foundation gift to veterinary medicine and a landscaping gift from Minick Materials to OSU-Oklahoma City. We have much to celebrate at OSU. One way we highlight our many activities and successes is through our video program Inside OSU. I invite you to view the show online through the OSU home page or the Alumni Association and Foundation home pages. Thanks for your support of Oklahoma State University!
Burns Hargis OSU President and System CEO
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Building the Future of OSU . . scholarship
The OSU Alumni Association
provides incoming freshman
a number of
opportunities through Chapters, Camp Cowboy and the Car Tag
Students Today Alumni Tomorrow Program.
the Associationâ€™s student group,
to which the Association provides insider information to students
Student Alumni Board
about OSU activities and events. The
, a student organization
sponsored by the Association, promotes student leadership and tradition as well as helps recruit new students to OSU.
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S tat e
Dear OSU Alumni and Friends, The most important thing to any university is its students. In this issue of STATE magazine, we pay tribute to former and current students who’ve helped mold OSU into the institution it is today. From the Seniors of Significance to our Alumni Hall of Fame inductees, many exceptional people represent OSU. A few we celebrate in these pages are Don McClanen, founder of the worldwide Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and alumnae Bonnie (Emerson) Smith and Patrice Latimer, pioneers in student government. Their achievements remind us that higher education offers transformational opportunities for students. That’s why even during difficult economic times, it’s critical not to deviate from our commitment to provide willing and capable students the opportunity to earn a college degree. Today’s students and faculty need our assistance more than ever. And there are numerous ways to show our commitment, including scholarship donations, prospective student referrals and support for OSU’s many programs. We hope you’ll consider areas where your influence can have the greatest impact and choose to become an active part of OSU’s future. Sharing your OSU memories with future Cowboys and Cowgirls is another way to honor the many alumni who have shaped OSU. Help us reach new students by completing and mailing the form at the front of this magazine. Or bring interested students to campus for a tour. Call OSU’s admissions office at 1-800-233-5019, ext. 1, to make arrangements.
Kirk A. Jewell President and CEO, OSU Foundation
Larry Shell President OSU Alumni Association
Kyle Wray, Associate VP for Enrollment Management & Marketing
Without Without passionate passionate instructors instructors and and dedicated dedicated students, students, the the College College of of Engineering, Engineering, Architecture Architecture and and Technology Technology could could not not support support its its many many essential essential departments; departments; departments departments that that inspire inspire discovery, discovery, transfer transfer knowledge knowledge and and even even save save lives. lives.
Discovery in Action â€œAs I prepare for graduation and entrance into my industry, it is the opportunities and real-world application OSU provided through dedicated professors and new technologies that give me confidence in my ability to perform for any employer. I thank my professors and classmates for all they taught me, and the donors who, through their gifts, invested in my future.â€? - Jody Vivion, construction management senior and president of the Construction Management Society
Your gift to CEAT will help make the next discovery possible and impact countless lives. Log on to OSUgiving.com/CEAT to make your gift today.
oklahoma state university foundation | 400 s. monroe | stillwater, ok | 1.800.622.4678
u n i v e rsit y mark e ti n g Kyle Wray / Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management & Marketing
Janet Varnum, Eileen Mustain, Matt Elliott & Rachel Sheets / Editorial Kim Butcher, Paul V. Fleming, Valerie Kisling, Matt Lemmond, D. Mark Pennie, Aaron Dickey & Kevin Cate / Design Phil Shockley & Gary Lawson / Photography Lex Meyer / Web University Marketing Office / 121 Cordell, Stillwater, OK 74078-8031 / 405.744.6262 / www.okstate.edu (web) / firstname.lastname@example.org (email) / email@example.com (email) O S U A lum n i A ssociatio n Jerry Winchester / Chairman Rex Horning / Vice Chairman Samuel Combs III / Immediate Past Chairman Paul Cornell / Treasurer Burns Hargis / OSU President, Non-voting Member Larry Shell / President,OSU Alumni Association, Non-voting Member
Kirk Jewell / President, OSU Foundation, Non-voting Member
John Allford, Cindy Batt, Larry Briggs, Helen Craig, Dan Gilliam, Ronda McKown, Roger McMillian, Ramona Paul, Gwen Shaw, Nichole Trantham & Ron Ward / board of Directors Pattie Haga / Vice President and COO Lora Malone / Vice President and CMO Melissa Mourer / Director of COMMUNICATIONS Kathryn Bolay-Staude, Chase Carter, Cheryl McKinzie & Melisa Parkerson Communications Committee
201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center / Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 / 405.744.5368 / (web) orangeconnection.org / (email) firstname.lastname@example.org O S U F ou n datio n
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT Your fall 2008 issue contained a notable factual error (see “Next on the Tee,” page 88). The OSU women’s golf team was not formed in 1994, as the story indicates in the first paragraph, and is not a newcomer on the national scene as the story suggests. Ann Pitts led the program to 15 conference titles and 15 NCAA tournament appearances, coaching the team from its inception in 1976 to her retirement in 2000. Pitts was a pioneer in other ways, too. She successfully sued OSU in 1994 for salary inequities and was awarded back pay and damages. Women’s sports constantly struggle to earn equitable treatment and respect. Nowhere is this more evident than in an article that inaccurately portrays the accomplishments of a program rich in history — the OSU women’s golf team. Best regards, Gabby Richards ’94, journalism Portland, Ore. Former editor-in-chief, Daily O’Collegian, 1993-1994
Monty Butts / CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Kirk A. Jewell / President and Chief Executive Officer Debra Engle / Senior VICE PRESIDENT of DEVELOPMENT Brandon Meyer / VICE PRESIDENT & General Counsel Donna Koeppe / VICE PRESIDENT of administration & treasurer
Pat Moline / VICE PRESIDENT of DEVELOPMENT Gene Batchelder, Dick Bogert, Monty Butts, John Clerico, Bryan Close, Ellen Fleming, Michael Greenwood, Ken Greiner Jr., Jennifer Grigsby, Rex Horning, Kirk A. Jewell, Judy Johnson, Griff Jones, John Linehan, Ross McKnight, Bond Payne Jr., Barry Pollard, Scott Sewell, Larry Shell, William S. Spears, Jack Stuteville, Kim Watson & Dennis White / BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Becky Endicott / Senior DIRECTOR of MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Jacob Longan, Abby Fox, Chris Lewis, Jonathan McCoy & Leesa Wyzard / COMMUNICATIONS OSU Foundation / 400 South Monroe, P.O. Box 1749 / Stillwater, OK 74076-1749 / 800.622.4678 / OSUgiving.com (web) / email@example.com (email)
STATE magazine is published three times a year by Oklahoma State University, the OSU Alumni Association and the OSU Foundation, and is mailed to current members of the OSU Alumni Association. Magazine subscriptions available by membership in the OSU Alumni Association only. Membership cost is $45. Postage paid at Stillwater, OK, and additional mailing ofﬁces. Oklahoma State University in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. Title IX of the Education Amendments and Oklahoma State University policy prohibit discrimination in the provision of services of benefits offered by the University based on gender. Any person (student, faculty or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based upon gender may discuss their concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with the OSU Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Carolyn Hernandez, Director of Affirmative Action, 408 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, (405) 744-5371 or (405) 744-5576 (fax).
RAISE ’EM RIGHT! I want to say STATE magazine is the best benefit of being an OSU alum. I am a little too far away to enjoy game days and gatherings, but I really enjoy the magazine, its articles, its information and, of course, the alumni update section in the back. I always call my friends when they make it into the magazine. We consider it “rock star” status! My family is “die-hard” Oklahoma State. When I was growing up, I was always at OSU football games, wrestling matches and any other reason to go to Stillwater. We were up there so much I knew the way from Oklahoma City to Stillwater by the time I was 10! When my mom or aunts would see a child wearing OSU orange, they would always say, “Raise ’em right!” It was a family motto, and it meant more than raising us as OSU fans. It meant we were taught the same values OSU endeavors to encourage in its students, faculty, staff and community.
Now that I am a mother, I am constantly trying my best to “Raise her right,” to teach her to be the type of person who has a sincere interest in her education, her community and her country, and to be a good steward of nature. So, just as I was taught when I was a little girl, I sing to her the OSU fight song, read to her cowboy stories before she goes to bed and once in a while take her to that magical place called Stillwater. Thanks, and keep up the good work! Andrea E. (Sebree) Warner 2006, fire protection and safety engineering technology Borger, Texas Andrea (Sebree) Warner, ’06, engineering; her mother, Kathleen Sebree, who attended OSU-Oklahoma City in the early ’70s before graduating from Langston University; and daughter Katie Beth Warner, future class of 2030.
HONORABLE ALUMNI The OSU Alumni Association needs your help to recognize OSU alumni who demonstrate success in their professional lives and significant service to OSU. The Association is taking nominations for the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Awards and the 2010 Hall of Fame. If you know of deserving OSU alumni, please nominate them by May 15, 2009. Anyone can nominate any OSU alum, and nominators are encouraged to fully complete the nomination form, which can be downloaded at orangeconnection.org/alumniawards. For more information, contact Melisa Parkerson at 405-744-8711.
STATE magazine welcomes your letters. Information will be edited for length, clarity and style. Please include your year of graduation, major and a daytime phone number. Send letters to 121 Cordell, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by the Assistant Director University Marketing, was printed by University Printing Services at a cost of $1.30 per issue. 46M/April ’09/#2658. Copyright © 2009, STATE magazine . All rights reserved.
In 1948, the official Student Union groundbreaking took place. It was the wishes of the students and administration for the Union to become the hub of campus life as well as a venue for public use when not in conflict with student schedules.
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Student Union Ballroom (circa 1960)
For the past 60 years, the OSU
Cheryl Hesser Lee education Student Union has supported Some people got to visit President Henry Bennett’s origithe Union when they toured OSU or nal vision for a facility that would attended college in Stillwater. I, however, got to grow up with “shape the intellectual, cultural it. You see, my dad was the Student and social environment of the Union director from the earliest I can campus.” The Union’s success remember. Memories are amazing for me has been grounded in, and because they include wonderful people measured by, this philosophy. As that crossed my path because the Union efforts to reenergize the Student was a meeting place and training center Union continue, the history this for hotel and restaurant students. … Watching the famous acts in the iconic building has played in ballroom from my special vantage point serving the OSU community is on the third floor where there was a booth with glass to let me sit and see becoming more apparent. acts like Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Throughout its history the OSU Wheels, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tony Bennett, Student Union and its staff have The Four Lads, and many, many more. Or the chance to meet people like diligently embraced this vision by Emperor Haile Selassie and President adhering to the core value to put Truman. … Those of you who never experistudents first. The unique ability enced an event in the ballroom where to weave together retail business 100 young women marched in wearing enterprises that fund campus life starched uniforms with all the seams programs and activities has been of their stockings in perfect line have missed out. the building’s legacy since incep“I’ll meet you at the Union” defition and will continue to influence nitely left a mark on my heart! its mission as the new building
Joyce Bynum Brimmer home economics The following submissions chronI was a freshman at Oklahoma A&M in icle just a few of the countless 1947. My sister, Azalea Bynum Campbell, vivid memories of OSU’s Student was able to help me get a job in the very Union as told by five alumni in new Student Union Bookstore. It was a privilege to have a campus job. Wages their own words. were 35 cents. This made it possible to initiative moves forward.
Cheryl Hesser Lee, ’69 education pay my room and board in the dorm. We were very busy preparing packets for classes for the thousands of WWII vets that were enrolling. … Next to my last semester of senior year a blind date was arranged by Ernie Fitch and his wife (Janette Dyke, former roommate). He was a graduate fellow in engineering working with another fellow, Robert “Bob” Brimmer, who had come to get an M.S. and a Mrs. The Bookstore had large glass windows open in the hall of the Union. Bob took a look in to see his blind date. That was Dec. 16, 1950, for a basketball game. On June 16, 1951, we were married and have been blessed with 50 years and 11 months together. Dennis Busch ’73 BA, ’74 MA I attended OSU from 1969 to 1974 and received both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. I am the student center director at Education City in Doha, Qatar. My long career in student Union administration began as a student custodian in the OSU Student Union. While working in the Union and (continues on next page)
serves as a solid reminder of what was important then is still important today.”
Michael Grafton business management I proposed to my beautiful girlfriend on Oct. 18, 2008, at the Student Union. It was a wonderful moment for everyone and an incredible surprise for my un-expecting, now, “fiancé.” It was only fitting to do it there on campus as we had met seven years ago in our memorable geology class in the NRC. We never would’ve guessed that five years after that class we would cross paths yet again and fall in love and now prepare to spend the rest of our lives together. Only fate could write something so perfect.
Michael Grafton proposes to his girlfriend at Homecoming ’08.
completing my master’s degree in student personnel and guidance, I was mentored by outstanding Union professionals such as Norman Moore, Winston Shindell and Dr. Tom Keys. My career began in the Student Union but so did my family. My wife, Christy Dancer, was a member of the SUAB (Student Union Activities Board). During the fall of 1973 she was working in the ballroom decorating for an event. I was on duty at the same time and was helping her set up tables and chairs needed for the event. The rest is history. We married in January of 1974 and after 34 years, three children and two grandchildren we’re still together. Is the Union important in my life? It only gave me a career and a family!
Phil Rogers journalism I’m a reporter in Chicago, but in a way, the focal point of my life will always be the Student Union at OSU. The Union was where my Dad, Murl Rogers, had his office. … I took a job in the Student Union Hotel, working as a bellhop and a desk clerk. The best friend a college student ever had, Winsel Bilyeu, was the manager of the hotel. My brothers Charles and Paul both worked in the hotel as well, and I kept that job all the way through college. Winsel was wonderful to us, and as part of my work there, I learned every nook and cranny of that building. And I loved it. And 12
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even on our busiest days, football game check-ins, Winsel always made sure we were able to leave in time to see kickoff! … It was exciting and seemed somehow bigger than the rest of Stillwater, which was already a wonderful place. Mitch Kilcrease, Student Union director, says, “As we stand on the brink of making the next significant installment in the history of the OSU Student Union, I cannot help but believe that Dr. Bennett would be impressed with how his legacy has developed over time. His desire for this building to be used as a tool to educate and enhance the academic, social and cultural mission of the university has never been more critical to a student’s success than it is today. To continue Bennett’s vision we must recognize that the Student Union is much more than bricks and mortar. Its design must emphasize and reflect that at the heart of the building is unerring dedication to supporting student success. Dr. Bennett was a true visionary and this building’s history
l dr aw
Student Union Renovation Campaign by the Numbers: Projected Construction Costs: $86 million Total Funds Raised to Date: (through student fee increase and Student Union contributions) $43 million Private Donor Fundraising Goal: $43 million The Student Union renovation project will only happen with the involvement of the entire OSU family. For more information about the campaign or to make a gift, please contact Vana Phibbs at 405-744-2305 or vphibbs@ OSUgiving.com. To read the stories in this article and others in full, visit OSUgiving.com/ SU_Campaign.
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OSU gets the green light on green fleet OSU is in the fast lane toward creating a greener environment with plans to build a compressed natural gas filling station and replace its buses with more energy-efficient vehicles. The compressed natural gas filling station will be constructed on the northwest side of campus. It is expected to be up and pumping this fall and will be accessible to the public. “We have been evaluating alternative fuel options for several years and decided to include CNG as an alternate fuel option about a year ago,” says David Bosserman, vice president for finance and administration. Over the next five years, OSU plans to replace its 20 transit buses with compressed natural gas buses. The first eight should be in operation by this
fall thanks to funding from the Federal Transit Administration. Combined with matching dollars, the federal funds total $900,000. In addition to the CNG vehicles, OSU is testing electric cars in its daily fleet and has already purchased one Miles electric sedan. “There exists a real opportunity to utilize plug-in, fully electric vehicles to replace small utility and facility maintenance vehicles on campus,” Bosserman says. “But we are still evaluating the on-campus vehicles for the best alternative fuel solution. “Our goal is to eventually replace all OSU vehicles with those capable of using CNG or an alternative fuel.”
OETA Finds a New Home at OSU-Tulsa OSU-Tulsa is partnering with OETA, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, for a new development project that will bring the statewide public television network to the Tulsa campus. OETA plans to construct a new 10,000-square-foot studio on campus, a project that OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl says will benefit OSU-Tulsa students. “OSU-Tulsa and OETA are a great match because of our congruent educational mission for the state,” Trennepohl says. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for OSU-Tulsa to create a partnership with Oklahoma’s public television network that would complement our journalism and broadcasting program, leading to internships and jobs for our students and graduates.”
New classroom building opens
A new North Classroom Building at Monroe and
Hall of Fame streets opened last fall to serve both OSU and Northern Oklahoma College students. Northern Oklahoma College partners with OSU to provide remedial and general education classes as well as select lower division coursework on the OSU-Stillwater campus. The shared three-story, energy-efficient building is wireless and features the latest multimedia equipment in all classrooms. Its 14 classrooms seat 30 to 48 students each, and the building also offers two 125-seat auditoriums, a Student Success Center, a café and a faculty work area. “This facility provides every amenity a student needs to be successful,” says OSU Provost and Senior Vice President Marlene Strathe. “I’m certain the Student Success Center will be a favorite study area for our students.”
On the first day of the spring semester, OSU students attend class in one of the North Classroom Building’s two 125-seat auditoriums. Both schools helped finance the $15 million, 50,000-square-foot facility, which was partially funded through the Oklahoma Higher Education Capital Bond Program. “The North Classroom Building is another example of OSU’s commitment to better serving our students,” says President Burns Hargis. “The building offers the latest in teaching tools and a beautiful learning environment. In addition, the building’s location is much closer to the majority of our residence halls, which are located on the north side of campus, and across the street from Northern Oklahoma College.”
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Get Creative! No idea is too small or too inconsequential in campuswide Creativity Initiative.
Creativity encompasses Oklahoma State University. It sits in the classrooms and walks across the library lawn. It works in offices and eats lunch in the Student Union. Creativity flows through the minds of OSU students, faculty and employees. OSU has found a way to nurture this creativity through its Creativity Initiative. Last spring, John Mowen, chairman of the OSU Regents Professors Group, asked OSU President Burns Hargis to discuss the Oklahoma Creativity Project’s goal to make Oklahoma the “state of creativity.” Hargis, who helped form Oklahoma’s Creativity Project, shared with the group his desire for OSU to become a national leader in creativity and innovation. “I really like the idea of OSU striving to become a leader in creativity and innovation,” Mowen says. “This goal emphasizes our academic strengths, positions our university to tackle the issues faced by Oklahoma in the 21st century and distinguishes OSU from other universities.” Because creativity, research and art are of high interest to Mowen, Hargis appointed Mowen as director of OSU’s Creativity Initiative last fall. “The chance to be creative is one reason why I became a professor,” says Mowen, Regents Professor and Noble Chair of marketing strategy. “Creativity is found in every realm of the university from art to science to the professions and even to athletics.” Hargis says the goal of the Creativity Initiative is to establish an environment that promotes creativity. “The Creativity Initiative is the starting gun for Oklahoma State University to reinvent itself,” Hargis 14
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says. “I want every area of the university to constantly be promoting, identifying and celebrating new ideas with value, and then implementing them.” For creativity to grow, negativity must be rooted out and destroyed. Hargis says creativity is nurtured when teachers and students encourage each other, accept mistakes and have confidence in their own creativity. Nurturing creativity at OSU would result in a more vibrant campus with more people attending music and art events and presentations by guest speakers. Mowen also envisions students partaking in community involvement to produce more creativity. When Hargis pictures a creative campus, he imagines students and faculty merging together from all areas of the university. “Talent, energy and perspectives from all corners of the campus will solve enormous problems and mitigate difficult tasks that have haunted us forever,” he says.
The group launched the Creativity Initiative with OSU’s first Creativity Festival in February. The festival included a creativity challenge contest, booths, guest speakers and demonstrations to showcase the university’s creativity. The creativity challenge contest received 180 proposals from students, faculty and staff suggesting ways to make OSU a leader in creativity, and 10 were selected as finalists. “The number of proposals received was almost overwhelming,” Mowen says. “It surpassed by a long shot what we expected to get. There were a lot of good ideas.” OSU employees Terry Baker, director of University Dining Services, and Veddu Hsu, assistant food services manager, won the grand prize for their “Farm to University Dining” idea. The idea presents creative menu arrangements based on seasonal foods in Oklahoma, describes farmers’ markets and their impact on the economy and proposes forming a farmers’ market on the Stillwater campus. In the student division of the contest, Cortney Timmons, Savannah Smith and Jessica Lay received first place for their “Real Pokes Pass it On” idea to recycle gently-used clothes, furniture and dishes from campus to the community. The students plan to collect the materials from students at the end of
“We are trying to raise people’s consciousness about the subject and to convince people they are creative.” — Burns Hargis “Ten years from now, I would love to see every student spend a semester abroad,” Hargis says. “And I’d like to see a lot more interaction between the international and domestic students and among faculty. “I would also like every course to be a hands-on course where students are not just being talked to but actually engaged in the real world of their study.” Last spring, Mowen formed a steering committee for the Creativity Initiative composed of faculty members from every college, as well as staff members and students.
the school year and donate as much as they can to non-profit organizations in Stillwater. In the fall, they would sell the leftover materials to students for a small price. “It’s like a cheap alternative to going to Pier One or Linens and Things,” says Smith, an environmental science senior. Lay, a biosystems engineering junior, says they discussed the idea last year, but they didn’t know how to implement or approach the idea. “The contest gave us the opportunity to throw the idea out there, and a lot of people liked it,” Lay says.
Students who placed in the contest received prize money in the form of scholarships, while faculty or staff winners received their prize money in the form a tax-adjusted payment. Also, the winners may apply for a portion of a $10,000 planning grant to help implement their ideas. Although Smith was a first-place winner, she says all the proposed ideas had merit. “Just because someone didn’t win doesn’t mean his or her idea wasn’t great.” The next step in the Creativity Initiative is to encourage the winners and help them implement their creative ideas, Mowen says. “I will be a consultant to them if they have questions about how to navigate the university, the administration or the city to make their ideas reality,” he says. Mowen expects the new entrepreneurship department in OSU’s Spears School of Business to help further the growth of the Creativity Initiative. Hargis believes entrepreneurship is significant to creativity. “All students, no matter what they are studying, need to understand the culture of entrepreneurship,” he says. “The culture needs to be accessed by every college and department at this university.” Hargis hopes the Creativity Initiative will encourage students to find their John Mowen passion. People are more creative about ideas they love and have an interest in, he says. “We are trying to raise people’s consciousness about the subject and to convince people they are creative,” Hargis says. “They have creative ideas, and if they aren’t so worried about what other people think, they can make their creative ideas a reality.” R achel S heets
spirit Get your OSU check card and gift card today.
1.888.MIDFIRST â€˘ www.midfirst.com
Building A Legacy The OSU Alumni Association created the Student Alumni Board in 1988 to foster connections between current students and members of the OSU Alumni Association.
Student Alumni Board members are chosen based on their leadership experience, commitment to the university and involvement in Stillwater and the OSU campus. Members include past homecoming kings and queens, Student Government Association presidents, homecoming executives, Truman scholars, OSU’s Seniors of Significance and Outstanding Seniors, and students who portrayed Pistol Pete and “Pulp,” the Orange Peel mascot. For more information, visit orangeconnection.org/sab.
The 2008-2009 Student Alumni Board executive team includes Executive Director Audrey Morris, STAT Executive Evan Schwenk, Leadership Executive Janea Butler, Membership Executive Gentry Smiling, Alumni Relations Executive Jered Davidson and Traditions Executive Erika Curry.
photo / Kathryn Bolay-Staude
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Through campus tours, a leadership conference and Legacy Day, members of the Student Alumni Board reach out to high school students and help them fall in love with orange and black.
As students, Student Alumni Board members are involved in all aspects of campus life and a variety of organizations. When new recruits become Cowboys, their former tour guides become their peers. And the connection continues. the university and tried to reach out to Biochemistry senior Jolie Britt has students from small towns who may have participated in Student Alumni Board been nervous about coming to a large since her freshman year. She remembers a state university. particular tour she gave to a visitor from “The biggest thing for me was making her hometown. connections with the small-town kids,” “The potential student was my best Janes says. “I was a small-town kid before friend’s younger brother,” she says. “He I came to OSU.” decided to come to OSU even though most The Student Alumni Board also kids from his high school tend to choose recruits the best and brightest high school colleges out of state.” students during an annual leadership Members of the Student Alumni Board “Until that day, I don’t think he under- conference on the Stillwater campus. are not just a group of bright student stood the level of academic excellence leaders keeping OSU traditions and spirit possible at OSU,” Britt says. “I think This year’s conference, “An Explosion of alive. They are also active recruiters for what sold him was the fact that he can Leadership,” featured student leadership author and speaker Scott Lang. Student OSU’s future. get a great education here and still have Alumni Board members lead workshops The OSU Alumni Association’s Student incredible opportunities for leadership.” on communication, teamwork and values Alumni Board creates personal connecLike that student, Britt is a graduate for the participating high school sophotions with potential students by leading of Casady School in Oklahoma City and mores and juniors. campus tours and participating in other was one of the first of her generation to “The conference is completely studentevents and activities. attend OSU. Since then, she’s seen seven run,” says Janea Butler, leadership execu“Student Alumni Board members give Casady graduates enroll at OSU. tive in charge of this year’s conference. tours because they love this university,” For OSU alumnus Jared Janes, partic- “The high school students get to see what says Audrey Morris, executive director ipating in the Student Alumni Board and a physiology and Spanish senior. “The during his senior year was a way to give life is really like at OSU.” Butler, a hotel and restaurant adminfact that they invest in their university and back to OSU. istration junior, says the conference is give of their time shows they love it. I think “I felt I owed OSU for my education beneficial because it ties learning and when you love something, you care about and scholarships,” says the 2006 journalit more, and you give good representation ism and economics graduate who won the leadership to OSU and to having fun. OSU legacies who are high school of what you care about.” 2006 Student Alumni Board Ambassador sophomores and juniors are also invited Melisa Parkerson, the OSU Alumni of the Year award. to an annual Legacy Day. About 40 to Association’s director of student programs Today, Janes works for The Monitor, 50 legacies and their families attend to and Student Alumni Board adviser, says a daily newspaper in McAllen, Texas, learn about OSU’s culture and traditions it’s important for visitors to gain an under- where he reports on county government through one-on-one interaction with standing of OSU’s culture during their and regional issues. Student Alumni Board members. visits, not just knowledge of street names At OSU, he spiced his tours with humor “Students join the Student Alumni and tuition costs. but always emphasized his connection to Board because of their passion for OSU “Our tour guides really personalize and their desire to carry on the legacy,” every tour and every aspect of campus,” Parkerson says. “They believe in the cause, Parkerson says. “They don’t just tell visitheir university and their soon-to-be alma tors about buildings and classes. They mater.” tell them about the history and the tradiB ria B olton tions of OSU.”
As College of Human Environmental Sciences students undergo the transformation from undergraduates to professionals, the Patricia kain knaub
Center for student success is there offering support, advice, guidance and career preparation. since its creation in 2004, the center has become a model for student advancement programs at colleges and universities across the nation.
my my dream dream is is to to be be aa doctor, doctor, and and from from the the very very beginning, beginning, the the center center set set me me on on aa path path to to achieve achieve that that dream. dream. they they have have aa lot lot of of foresight foresight and and are are always always willing willing to to help help you you succeed. succeed. Âť Alex Nowlin, human nutrition junior Âť Gifts to the Center for student success enable it to continue changing the lives of Ches students. log
on to osugiving.com/ches for more information or to make a gift.
oklahoma state university foundation | 400 s. monroe | stillwater, ok | 1.800.622.4678
Seniors of Significance The Seniors of Significance Award for 2008-2009 presented by the OSU Alumni Association recognizes 44 students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership and service to campus and community and have brought distinction to OSU. This group, approximately one percent of the graduating class, represents the breadth of the OSU student experience. Cassie Bacon Prairie Grove, Ark., animal science-livestock merchandising and ag communications Jimikaye Beck Broken Arrow, Okla., premed nutritional sciences and Spanish Evan Black Stillwater, Okla., public relations and Spanish Jolie Britt Oklahoma City, Okla., biochemistry
Kyle Ensley Valliant, Okla., international business and political science Nathan Fent Wyandotte, Okla., agricultural communications Kristin Gentry Berryhill,Okla., fine art in studio art Misty Gillespie Cushing, Okla., child and family services Darren Gore Norman, Okla., nutritional sciences
Emily Kilian Medford, Okla., agricultural communications Aimee Lee Pryor, Okla., food science Emilee Lehenbauer Stillwater, Okla., international business and community nutrition Carin MacAllister Stillwater, Okla., political science and public relations Mary Oliver Marshall Battiest, Okla., management and accounting
Mary Bruce Wichita, Kan., pre-med mechanical engineering
Lucille Hawkins Enid, Okla., psychology
Amanda Moore Ponca City, Okla., hotel and restaurant administration
Whitney Burns Norman, Okla., hotel and restaurant administration
Austin Horn Yukon, Okla., agricultural economics and Spanish
Audrey Morris Tulsa, Okla., physiology and Spanish
Megan Byford Bray-Doyle, Okla., public relations
Brianna Jett Laverne, Okla., agricultural economics
Yolanda Odenyo Uppsala, Sweden, child and family services
Seb Clements Sanger, Texas, Spanish and international business
Jillian Leigh Jobe Tulsa, Okla., accounting
Melissa Oliver Tulsa, Okla., human development and family science
Chad Cline Miami, Okla., hotel and restaurant administration Jered Davidson Ft. Cobb, Okla., agricultural economics community and regional analysis
Myriah Johnson Perry, Okla., agricultural economics Brandi Joice Glenpool, Okla., secondary education
Germaine Paul Euless, Texas, public relations and sports public relations
Lindsey Reimer Medford, Okla., political science Jacqueline Roberts McCook, Neb., child and family services Evan Schwenk Stillwater, Okla., pre-med biochemistry and molecular biology Andrew Shacklett Tulsa, Okla., pre-med physiology Savannah Smith Talihina, Okla., environmental science Shannon Sullivan Tulsa, Okla., nutritional sciences Nathan Thompson Davenport, Okla., agricultural economics Cortney Timmons Ada, Okla., biosystems and agricultural engineering Dayla Turner Wetumka, Okla., agricultural education Kristin Wallace Edmond, Okla., chemical engineering Meagan Wheeler Lawton, Okla., public relations Sean Wyatt Tulsa, Okla., finance and economics
Tiffani Pruitt Chickasha, Okla., animal science 21
“When you get a couple of businesses that are successful, it spurs additional development,” Brown says. “I would fully expect over the next year, if the economy holds and Stillwater’s forecast is still relatively positive, we may see some additional venues open in the downtown area.” On Stillwater’s north side, Perkins Road continues to experience updates since the opening of Lakeview Point Shopping Center in late 2006. Carmike Cinema, Five new hotels. An upgraded movie which finished converting four auditoritheater. A new shopping center. Three new ums into stadium seating in November, restaurants. Construction on University now offers stadium seating in all 10 audiAvenue. More than $175 million in OSU toriums. Nearby, Palomino’s Mexican campus development. Restaurant (1919 N Perkins Rd.) is also “Stillwater is in a unique position in that set to open soon. we continue to show a strong economy,” On South Perkins Road, Tractor says Larry Brown, president and CEO of Supply Company is getting a new facilthe Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. “We ity, and the Stillwater Building Center is continue to survive and not be a victim of under construction. some of the economic downturns we see West of town, a new Sonic Drive-In in other parts of the country. It’s a good and the new Barry Sander’s Superstore car time to be in Stillwater.” dealership add to the growing number of By this summer, Stillwater will have businesses along U.S. Highway 51. five new hotel properties. On the OSU campus, cranes and cement Cimarron Hotel and Suites (315 N. trucks are an everyday sight as well. Husband Street) opened on Feb. 4, 2008. “We are in an era that hasn’t been seen Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites (715 S. Country in decades in terms of construction and Club Rd.) is set to open April 15. And innovation,” says Mike Buchert, director Residence Inn by Marriott (800 S. Murphy of OSU’s long-range facility planning. St.), Microtel Inn and Suites (423 E. Hall of Several projects just opened their doors Fame Ave.) and La Quinta Inn and Suites to students and the public. OSU’s new $15 will all open by this summer. million classroom opened in January and The revitalization of Stillwater’s downa Multimodal Transportation Terminal town area continues with the opening of opened in November 2008. It’s adjacent two new hot spots, Zannotti’s Wine Bar to a six-level parking garage that opened (113 W. 7th) and Louie’s Grill and Bar on north Monroe in August 2008. (720 S. Main). The Donald W. Reynolds School of Architecture, a $20.7 million project, is set to open this summer, just in time to
Building Boom Although the United States is facing difficult economic times, Stillwater continues to grow and expand.
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celebrate the school’s 100-year anniversary in the fall. And renovation of historic Old Central, an $8.6 million project, will be completed this summer. Buchert says the construction plan respects the historic nature of the first building on campus, and much of the glass and wood has been salvaged and put back in the building. The Murray Hall renovation is a $23.8 million project. It will be completed this summer, except for an auditorium to be finished in the fall. Also under construction is an Interdisciplinary Science Research Building, a $70.4 million project, set for completion in fall 2010. The Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory is also being expanded.
A literal link between the campus and community, University Avenue, is also under construction. Work began in January and will conclude in September on the $5.5 million, collaborative project between OSU and the city of
University architect Nigel Jones, who has worked on campus for 20 years, says there seemed to be a buildup of needs around the university, and then suddenly the needs could be fulfilled. Jones and Buchert say they are excited not only for the classrooms and laboratories but also for the chance to help provide a better education. “The ability to do our three major functions — education, research and outreach —will expand so we can give a better educational opportunity to everyone who comes to Oklahoma State University,” Buchert says. Brown says he expects Stillwater to continue growing and changing in the coming years. “The middle states are still a pretty prime market for continued growth and development,” Brown says, “and obviously, we’re taking advantage of every opportunity.”
“We are in an era that hasn’t been seen in decades in terms of construction and innovation.” — Mike Buchert Stillwater to repave the street, fix water drainage problems and change the entrance and exit to the Student Union parking garage to allow easier access. Additionally, a two- to three-year remodel of the Student Union will begin by the end of the year. And expansion is planned for the College of Human Environmental Sciences, the Spears School of Business and veterinary medicine facilities within the next several years.
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Great Education — it’s what we do. Selecting a university is all about programs, location and affordability. And OSU has it all. • more than 250 degree programs including art, engineering and veterinary medicine • all the activities of a big university plus more than 400 student organizations available in the comfort and security of a small town • record funding for new scholarships • award-winning programs, renowned faculty, a world-class education — all for the most affordable price in the Big 12
$1 million gift from Gaylord Foundation to boost equine critical care unit
he Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital’s Large Animal Clinic at OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences treats about 1,600 equine in-hospital cases per year. Currently horses and foals in need of critical care are placed within the equine barn in various locations. The lack of a centralized facility increases the effort needed to provide appropriate medical and nursing care. While critically ill horses and foals should be isolated from other animals since their resistance to infectious disease agents may be compromised, that is not possible without a special unit. But all that is about to change thanks to the generosity of the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation. The veterinary center received $1 million from the Gaylord Foundation to launch its Equine Critical Care Unit at the center’s veterinary hospital. Edward and Thelma Gaylord established the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation in 1994 to support a wide range of charitable activities. While many cultural, educational and charitable organizations have been the recipients of the Gaylords’ generosity over the years, this is the first time OSU is benefitting from a Gaylord Foundation gift. “The establishment of a specifically designated equine critical care unit will help us provide the most progressive care possible to all equine patients,” says Dr. Michael Lorenz, professor and dean of the veterinary center. “This facility will also enable us to continue our mission to train veterinary students in the art and science of clinical
veterinary medicine, professionalism and practice management.” With more than 214,000 Oklahomans involved in the horse industry as owners, service providers, employees or volunteers, the economic impact of the equine industry for the state of Oklahoma is estimated at $189 million per year. “We have long recognized the excellence of OSU’s Veterinary Health Sciences Center,” says Christy Gaylord Everest. “The equine area is of particular interest to us because of our family’s love of horses and longtime involvement with the horse industry. We are very pleased that through the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation, we can help make the critical care facility a reality for Oklahoma.” The Equine Critical Care Unit will be located adjacent to the existing Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the east entrance. It will contain about 4,600 square feet of new and renovated space dedicated exclusively to the critical care needs of equine patients. It will be a fully enclosed, climate-controlled facility with video monitoring systems including the latest critical- and intensive-care equipment. “The new Equine Critical Care facility will allow us to thoroughly educate and train veterinary students in equine care using the most advanced procedures,” Lorenz says. “The Gaylord Foundation’s $1 million gift will launch a campaign to fund the $3 million project, which will help advance horse health
well into the future and have a positive impact on Oklahoma’s horse industry.” The OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center’s Boren Veterinary Medial Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs. okstate.edu or call 405-744-7000. D erinda L owe
Thelma and E.L. Gaylord
today. We’re defined by what we pass on to the next generation. That’s why ConocoPhillips is working to provide clean, efficient technology to turn coal into clean-burning fuel. Our process helps capture carbon and remove impurities that affect our air quality. And, because we believe we’re responsible for finding long-term solutions for future generations, ConocoPhillips is exploring new sources of secure, stable energy. So we can pass on what matters … to the ones who matter most.
© ConocoPhillips Company. 2008. All rights reserved.
Symbiotic Partnerships O
klahoma State University’s National Center for Veterinary Parasitology is a program that will soon be operational thanks to the support of industry partners like Novartis Animal Health and Bayer Animal Health. To become industry partners, each company donated $225,000 helping jump-start the program. NCVP’s mission is to further the many advances made in controlling parasitic diseases of animals though integrated programs of applied graduate and residency training, targeted research initiatives, and a diagnostic and consulting service that serves the veterinary profession worldwide. “In the last several years awareness of the importance of parasitic diseases in veterinary medicine has increased, but there has been a decline of veterinary parasitology training in the U.S.,” says Dr. Michael Lorenz, dean of the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. “The NCVP is an opportunity for us to continue training in the discipline of veterinary parasitology and to provide a source for national diagnostic testing.” OSU has been a leader in veterinary parasitology, employing seven faculty positions fully dedicated to its study and
housing the only endowed chair in the discipline. NCVP continues Oklahoma State’s commitment to veterinary parasitology by meeting national training, diagnostic, consulting and research needs using a balanced, science-based approach. The center will maintain a clear service commitment to the profession. As industry partners, Novartis and Bayer will offer financial support, help guide and develop NCVP as a member of its advisory board, and interact with graduate students and residents in training, all of which will give the companies an inside track when attempting to fill research and marketing positions. Novartis researches, develops and commercializes leading animal treatments that meet the needs of pet owners,
“Along with OSU, we look forward to improving the way we serve the veterinary profession and to help shape the future of prevention and treatment of parasitic diseases.”
— Dr. Ernst Heinen Vice President, Research & Development Bayer Animal Health
farmers and veterinarians. The global company operates in more than 40 countries and employs about 2,700 people worldwide. Through donations and grants, the company has given more than $500,000 to OSU. “Novartis shares the Oklahoma State University vision for the center and will be an active sponsor in support of its mission,” says Fabian Kausche, M.S., DVM, the global head of research and development at Novartis Animal Health. Germany-based Bayer is a world leader in the healthcare and medical products industry. The global company has given more than $376,000 to OSU through donations and grants. “Parasitology has long been a core competency of Bayer Animal Health,” says Dr. Ernst Heinen, vice president of research and development. “Along with OSU, we look forward to improving the way we serve the veterinary profession and to help shape the future of prevention and treatment of parasitic diseases.” Along with the support of industry partners like Bayer and Novartis, the Kirkpatrick Foundation has also been instrumental in the creation of NCVP. Its $100,000 commitment will help make NCVP operational by providing support for laboratory renovations and related start-up costs. The NCVP will be located in the lower level of McElroy Hall, and renovations for the center are scheduled to begin in May with graduate studies starting in 2010.
Larry Shell has met thousands
of OSU graduates during his 26 years with the university. Now, as president of the Alumni Association, he’s poised to build even stronger connections. Those around him joke that Larry Shell has never met a stranger, and after spending just a few moments with him, it’s easy to see why. He has dedicated his life to the service of others, first as an agricultural education teacher, then in his involvement in the Oklahoma State FFA Organization and finally through his positions at Oklahoma State University. Shell was born on Oct. 17, 1948, to Kenneth and Aileen Shell. As the older of two children, he grew up in the small community of Glencoe, Okla., population 400. “Growing up in Glencoe was probably different from a lot of people’s experiences because it was very small and there weren’t very many kids around,” says Shell. “There were only about 12 in my class, and a lot of them lived outside of the community itself, and I lived in town. So I did a lot of things on my own.” As an eighth-grader he was recruited by his high school agricultural education teacher to join the Glencoe FFA chapter. Shell’s ability to communicate well led him to a future in the State FFA Organization. “At the time I didn’t really know much about it, but I was blessed with a voice, and I sang a lot at church and different kinds of places so my ag teacher thought I could be a public speaker,” says Shell. “He brought me in and got me involved in public speaking, and that’s what won me over. “I gave a speech each year and was actually fortunate enough as a high school freshman to win the State FFA Banking Speech contest.” Prior to Shell’s high school graduation, his agricultural education teacher accepted a position in OSU’s agricultural education department, so when it came time to pick a college, Shell says it was a natural decision. Attending nearby OSU also allowed Shell the opportunity to remain at home while pursuing his degree. “OSU was close,” Shell says, “and neither of my parents had a college education or the money to send me to college, so really it was the only option I had to pursue the degree (continues on page 30) I wanted.”
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photo / Gary Lawson
While working his way through college, he recalls enjoying spending time with friends and being involved in Collegiate FFA. “I think overall my favorite memories are of the opportunities to travel and meet a lot of really neat people,” says Shell. “We would get together and travel to away football games, or we’d do something at an event. A group of us would meet every day at the Student Union and play pitch, sometimes too long, but it was a great time to develop those lifelong relationships that still exist today.” His time at OSU was marked by another special event in his life. In 1969, he married his childhood sweetheart, Christy Childers. The two had been together for as long as he could remember. “Her parents and my parents lived two blocks apart, so we met at about the age of 2,” says Shell. “I know she wasn’t my girlfriend in first grade, but I’m pretty sure she’s been since second grade.” Shell graduated from OSU with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education in 1970. It was a monumental day, not only for Shell, but also for his parents. “Maybe I didn’t recognize it at the time, but because I was the first family member to get a degree it was very special to my mom and dad,” says Shell. “I remember not wanting to go through the ceremony because I didn’t think it was a big deal, but they made sure I understood I was going to do that. I could see from the expressions and smiles on their faces it meant a great deal to them.” With a diploma in his hand and his young bride beside him, Shell began a teaching career in agricultural education. He spent four years in Dora, N.M., before returning to Oklahoma to teach at Fairview High School for another four years. While teaching, Shell and his family began getting seriously involved in the sheep industry, a passion he continues to pursue today.
In 1978, Shell made the move back to Stillwater to serve as executive secretary for the Oklahoma FFA Organization. His role allowed him the chance to be closer to his family and to complete his master’s degree. “I had been trying to complete it from long distance for about five or six years, but it’s pretty hard to travel two hours in the evenings to take a class and then travel back and be prepared for the following day,” says Shell. When an opportunity opened to work for his alma mater in 1982, Shell made the career change and became the first OSU Foundation development officer assigned to the College
could say anything would be greater than being involved in creating the Alumni Center,” says Shell. “The whole intent of what we wanted to achieve was to make the Alumni Center the home away from home for alumni. And I think we accomplished that.” Ever the people-person, Shell also enjoys the opportunity to build relationships with alumni from around the world. “What I enjoy the most is the opportunity to hear their life stories, there are so many of them,” says Shell. “Hundreds of times over the years, people have told us what OSU means to them. It’s never-ending. There are some
“A group of us would meet every day at the Student Union and play pitch, sometimes too long, but it was a great time to develop those lifelong relationships that still exist today.”
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of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “Looking back, that experience may have molded my thinking more than anything,” says Shell. “It opened my eyes to the many different giving opportunities there are at OSU. I enjoyed having the chance to match the passions of alumni with the needs of the institution.” During his eight years with the OSU Foundation, Shell says he met many wonderful alumni and enjoyed the opportunity to share their passion for the college. In 1990, OSU President John Campbell asked Shell if he would be interested in moving to the Alumni Association office to assist Jerry Gill. “I thought about it for a while and thought how nice it would be to have the opportunity to travel around the country and meet OSU alumni and not have to ask them for money — and yet get paid for it.” In the 18 years Shell served as vice president for the Alumni Association, he enjoyed meeting thousands of alumni, family and friends and has especially enjoyed helping create the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. “It’s been wonderful to be a part of the Association, and I don’t think you
great stories people like to tell.” In addition to overseeing the completion of the Alumni Center, Shell has been an integral part of the Cowboys for Higher Education program. This independent, statewide group works to promote issues with elected officials that affect the OSU System and the Oklahoma higher education system. Since its inception in 1986, the Cowboys for Higher Education program has provided alumni and friends the opportunity to be involved in a number of key pieces of legislation that have shaped what OSU is today. “A number of actions have happened over the years to prove the value of this group,” says Shell. “People will tell you that Cowboys for Higher Education had a key role in lobbying the legislature when the decision was made to create OSU – Tulsa. When our alumni become involved in persuading the legislature to provide additional support for OSU, the impact can be tremendous in terms of dollars.” In March, Shell assumed the role of president of the OSU Alumni Association. “We have complete confidence in Larry Shell,” says Rex Horning, vice chairman of the board of directors and
chair-elect. “His years of experience coupled with the strong relationships he has built while at the university are invaluable.” “Larry is very intuitive and has invaluable experience in understanding the challenges and opportunities facing the Alumni Association,” says Jerry Winchester, chairman of the board of directors. “His leadership and overall understanding of how the Association works and how to best serve the alumni and the university are key to our ongoing success in accomplishing our mission.” The Alumni Association will continue to enhance current
programming initiatives such as homecoming and the Legacy Program and to build stronger connections with alumni through social networking and various forms of online communications. Under Shell’s leadership, the Alumni Association, at the request of the current administration, will be re-engaging alumni through the Alumni Recruiting Network. “I consider it an honor to be able to serve my alma mater as president of the Alumni Association,” says Shell. “Working with alumni who are committed and dedicated to the betterment of this institution is a privilege.”
As the Alumni Association moves forward under Shell’s leadership, building connections for alumni, family and friends will be the continued focus because “orange is more than a color, it’s a way of life.” “We hope our fellow alumni will say hello or share their well wishes with Larry the next time they are on campus or when they see him at an OSU event,” says Horning. M elissa M ourer
Larry Shell became involved in FFA as a young man showing cattle and competing in public speaking competitions. Over the years, he has shared his passion for agriculture with his family by breeding and showing sheep with his children and grandchildren as well as judging many local and national competitions.
. . . s I e g n a r O
joining the thousands of alumni making an impact on their alma mater by being a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.
You know Orange Is more than just a color; itâ€™s a way of life. Without the memberships of people just like you, Alumni Association programming would not be possible. We hope you will take time to support what Orange Is - and take the ultimate step in remaining connected to all things orange by becoming a life member of the Alumni Association.
Convert your membership online at orangeconnection.org/life. 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 P: 405.744.5368 â€˘ F: 405.744.6722 orangeconnection.org
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Steam rises off a bowl of cabbage soup cradled in her hand as Ann Hargis talks about the whirlwind her life became last year when her husband, OSU President Burns Hargis, took over in Stillwater. “There’s not so much a typical day as there is a skeleton of a week,” says Ann, seated in the wood-floored den of the Willham House, the home of OSU presidents since its construction in 1962.
Ambassador Ann In her multifaceted role as OSU’s first lady, Ann Hargis loves meeting students and faculty and discovering the projects that interest alumni, donors and prospective students.
photo / gary lawson
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Madame Alexander, who donated 66 designer dolls to the College of Human Environmental Sciences last fall. Topping it all off are her weekly yoga classes she teaches at the Seretean Wellness Center and her volunteer work in Stillwater. “Burns and I lived for thirty-eight years in Oklahoma City. From those experiences we know many wonderful, successful people who have great hearts.
lad in a black shirt, vest, tights and a skirt, she is just returned from Oklahoma City, where the holidays and three grandchildren kept her hopping throughout the visit. “We kept our house in Oklahoma City,” she says, a delicate Texas accent lacing her soft voice. “Our children live Now, it is just many new horizons and nearby with our grandkids. We had many, many new phenomenal things, Christmas there. I stayed back to clean giving back, connecting with people. up the debris,” she says, leaning forward It’s exhilarating.” for emphasis. “We’re splitting time, and when you think about it, there’s a legiser life hasn’t always been this way, lature and a campus in Oklahoma City. although she certainly wouldn’t There’s a lot of work to be done there, as trade it for anything. She was born in well as in Tulsa, where OSU also has a Middletown, Ohio, to a stay-at-home campus and lots of alumni and students.” mom and a father who worked as In conversation, her devotion to her an engineer with Texas Instruments. husband, OSU and her family shines They moved to Dallas, where she and through as brightly as her self-depreher three siblings grew up attending cating sense of humor and whimsical public schools. nature. Her serious side defines her main She went to college in 1962 at the purpose as supporting her husband in University of Texas in Austin studying as whatever he does. This past year, that a business major at her father’s urging. has often meant dropping everything “He had a lot of confidence in me,” she for quick trips to Dallas, Kansas City adds, jokingly. “He said, ‘Why don’t you and other cities to meet with donors and major in business in case you drop out talk up OSU. Alternately, her silly side after a year or two. Whatever courses jokes about everything from her kids, you have in business will help you get including her daughter, Kate, whom she a job.’” He was strapped for cash with says “questions everything,” to the fact three kids in college and saw her as, at that one day recently, she drove by their the time, living for the moment instead Oklahoma City house and found ivy of planning for the future, she says. growing into her garage. “I went, ‘fine by me,’” she says, slapDuring the week, she can be seen ping her leg. “‘I’m outa here.’ I just didn’t touring OSU colleges, departments want to work, and I didn’t want to be and laboratories, soaking up the home, and I didn’t know that I had any campus’s vibe, drive and hot spots of other option. I wasn’t really adventureactivity. She recalls being amazed at the some. I wasn’t really methodical, and I diversity of campus research ranging wasn’t ambitious. I was more of a people from large animal health to improved pleaser. I just liked people. And I wanted body armor for soldiers. Another plus to be social, and I hope not a gadfly.” is getting to meet alumni such as Gale But, perhaps like her father, she Jarvis, president of the doll company couldn’t fight the pull of numbers. Her
roommate during her freshman year was a physics major, and Ann, describing herself as “lost” that year, was fascinated by it. Soon afterward, she changed her major to mathematics, choosing it because she’d always made her best grades in the subject. “I simply worked math problems while listening to music and felt embarrassed that that was what the college experience was all about. So much fun,” she says.
“There’s a lot of work to be done in Oklahoma City as well as in Tulsa, where OSU also has a campus and lots of alumni and students.”
Again showing her whimsical side, Ann says she chose to double major in Latin because “I had a professor who brought Latin to life and used current events to emphasize vocabulary. He was a character — overweight, disheveled hair, rumpled clothes. I kept taking his classes. I didn’t even know I had enough hours for a second major. I just thought he was entertaining.” She joined service organizations and was a sponsor with the campus ROTC. Volunteering as a Braille maker at the library, she wasn’t into parties or the student protests popular with her peers but was very social, participating in campus activities and playing intramural sports. To unwind she nurtured her creative side by listening to musicals. “I used to go to the library and check out earphones and listen to Broadway musicals and light classical music. And I felt guilty, I thought, ‘Man, I’m just playing games, listening to music,’” she says. Her favorites were Oklahoma and Camelot. She admits she was a sucker for Sir Lancelot — the late Robert Goulet. During that time, her future husband studied accounting at OSU and led a different life from hers. “Had we met each other during that time, neither of us would’ve cared for the other because I was such a, I don’t want to say ‘prude,’ but I was such a ‘no-fun.’ I had fun, but I just wasn’t adventuresome. Of course, he was a (continues on next page)
go-get’em, rock’em-sock’em and havesome-fun kind of guy.” In 1966, she was just about to graduate when she attended a job fair. She wanted some job interview experience. She stopped by an IBM booth. At the time, the company was a giant in the budding business computing industry and had recently introduced the world’s first large family of computers with interchangeable programs and equipment. “I decided to go use somebody as the guinea pig to figure out what it takes to
n 1968, she met her future husband strumming a guitar and singing beside a pool at the apartment complex where she lived. At the time, Burns was in his second year of law school at the University of Oklahoma and visiting a former OSU classmate, so from the beginning of their relationship OSU figured prominently in their lives, she says. The two hit it off immediately and started dating. They were married a year later. By the time she met Burns, Ann had risen to an account executive post
“It is so much fun to be out in the community, out in the state, out in the nation and seeing the enthusiasm for this school. It’s just a privilege.” get interviewed for a job. I picked IBM because I thought it was such a large corporation, I would have a number and not a name, and I wouldn’t be embarrassed. I sought anonymity.” Her mathematics background made a big impression. IBM supervisors called her back for interviews. She took an aptitude test, scored well, and before she knew it, they offered her a job as a systems engineer that paid three times what she would’ve made as a teacher per her post graduation plans. At 21, she joined an overwhelmingly male workforce. She had a respected mentor within the company who passed on his skills to her. She worked on a graveyard shift team in Houston installing computers for IBM’s big business clients. Most days they’d start the work at 5 p.m. as their clients’ employees were headed home for the day. Picking up programming code on the side, she’d spend her nights installing software and troubleshooting with clients during the day. She says she never encountered the rampant sexism that other women faced in the workforce during that time, but added, “It helps to be oblivious. I didn’t see myself as a woman. I saw myself as a taskmaster. I’ve always been one of the guys.”
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at IBM entrusted with a major client, a large local bank in downtown Houston. She had her own office and employees to supervise. She traveled all over the country. But, she tired of her long hours and the workforce’s isolation from the outside world. “I looked up one day and saw that the other women there were either married to someone who worked for IBM or single because it sucks you in. We spoke our own language. Everybody was talking in bits and bytes and all the acronyms for everything. I don’t think we were very much fun to be around.” She left IBM when Burns finished law school in 1970. The newly-wedded couple spent a three-month honeymoon in Europe on $5 a day. When they returned, Burns had Army ROTC duty and landed a post in Indianapolis. Soon, she had their first child, Matt, and the family moved to Oklahoma City where Burns took his first job as a lawyer. He would later delve into banking law, helping sort through the aftermath of one of the largest bank failures in history, the 1982 collapse of Penn Square Bank. She would later work part-time off and on for IBM writing application briefs from home. But, by then, she had had the couple’s second child, Kate, so parenting took up more and more of
her time. Although family always came first with her, she never lost a desire to work and contribute to society in other ways. She occasionally took on other jobs, working for a variety of employers including an advertising agency and small computer companies. In her spare time, she volunteered for a host of charities. She stood by Burns’ side as his campaign for governor in 1990 catapulted her into the public’s eye. But he lost in the primary, and runoff victor Bill Price, a former federal prosecutor in Oklahoma City, lost the election to Democratic candidate David Walters. Burns continued practicing law and later moved into television and working as vice chairman of the Bank of Oklahoma, among other things.
he couple’s lifestyle had a big influence on their children, a fact that often showed itself in hilarious ways, Ann says. “I don’t know that this is a compliment to me at all,” she says, laughing. “They never played ‘house’ like little kids play. They played ‘go to meetings.’ They’d grab a briefcase and go to their meetings. And then they’d get on the phone and say, ‘Hi honey…’” She served as a board member for the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics for about eight years. There, she relished the role of helping gifted students find their passion for learning. At OSU she hopes to help students, too, but says she’s still finding her role in Stillwater. “We’re in our freshman year, and I haven’t even declared a major. I see many areas that could be rewarding and hopefully I’d make a difference. It is so much fun to be out in the community, out in the state, out in the nation and seeing the enthusiasm for this school. It’s just a privilege.” So, it’s safe to say the next few years will each have about 52 skeletons of a week. After a life spent around OSU and its alumni, Ann wouldn’t have it any other way. M att E lliott
Photo / todd Johnson
Smallpox just got smaller. OSU researchers Junpeng Deng and Brian Krumm recently solved a crystal structure containing a poxvirus protein, capping years of research into how the virus affects immune systems.
Scientists could use the results to build the first drug to fight smallpox, a deadly disease once thought eradicated but suspected to be a bioterrorism weapon. The results could also help in the fight against autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.
The work is just one of the groundbreaking studies taking place at OSU.
Last year when Minick Materials, one of the largest landscape material distributors in the region, celebrated its 50th anniversary, Sam Minick decided to commemorate the occasion with a $50,000 gift to OSU-Oklahoma City. Half would be paid through an in-kind donation of materials and half in cash.
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However, the in-kind gift alone far exceeded the original $50,000 total for the combined gifts. What resulted was a donation of materials worth about $42,000, including a rain water harvesting system that captures run-off, cycles it through a water aeration system and filters it into an underground holding tank that supplies water for an above-ground water feature. The job is as aesthetically pleasing as it is ecologically-friendly and provides a welcoming landscape for students, faculty, staff and visitors to the campus’ Agriculture Resource Center. In addition to the materials, Minick Materials donated 562 hours of labor installing the project, and still plans to make a $25,000 stock transfer gift toward the Agriculture Resource Center building fund in 2010. The resulting kindness will immortalize the Minick name on OSU’s Oklahoma City campus with the naming of a classroom after Sam’s parents, Kenneth and Nova Minick, who founded Minick Materials in 1958. Sam’s relationship with OSU-Oklahoma City started in the 1980s when he was a student, and though he did not earn a degree, he
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earned a valuable education and experience in the field that he partly attributes to his business’ success. “I can relate to the fields of my clients — something I wouldn’t have known had I not gone to OSU,” says Sam. “OSU-OKC opened up doors for partnerships in my industry, provided me with practical training experience and taught me how to survive in business.” “Sam has been an ongoing supporter of our program and our students,” says Dave Edwards, agriculture technologies division head at OSU-Oklahoma City. “When we approached him about this project, there was no question of his support. He was very interested in working with us.” “I got a lot out of OSU,” says Sam. “I felt I needed to give something back to the college.” What Minick Materials has given OSU-Oklahoma City reaches far beyond an appealing landscape. The project is helping to put the campus at the forefront of environmentallyfriendly buildings and water conservation, something Edwards notes is important to the campus. “OSU-OKC has been studying energy conservation,” says Edwards. “We’ve been working with consultants to help transform our campus to be much more energy efficient. We started the ‘green theme’ with buildings, but this gift helps us move into the landscape areas as well.” As Minick Materials continues to diversify and provide more green solutions for landscaping and water conservation in Oklahoma and beyond, OSU-Oklahoma City hopes to continue benefiting from its knowledge, expertise and friendship.
To celebrate Minick Materials’ 50th anniversary, Sam Minick gave his time and resources to enhance the OSU-OKC campus.
Donating $42,000 in equipment and 562 hours of labor, Minick Materials created a beautiful and ecologically-friendly water harvesting system.
In the spring of 1947, Oklahoma A&M student Don McClanen knelt in the back pew of a church in downtown Oklahoma City and made a decision that forever changed his life. He surrendered his will to God. On that day, McClanen, a physical education student with hopes of becoming a teacher and a coach, was attending a physical education convention and listening to speaker H. Clay Fisk, a former football player and coach. McClanen recalls Fisk saying, “A coach or a teacher can lead a young person up a mountain or down a drain by the way he lives his life.” That statement led to a radical change in McClanen’s life. The transformation was not a “dramatic, emotional thing,” he says. “It was just a factual thing,” that ultimately led to the creation of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Born in 1925, McClanen grew up in Morrisville, Pa., and spent a year at Admiral Farragut Naval Academy after high school. He trained to be a gunner’s mate for the submarine service and was discharged in February 1946 after serving in World War II. “I was standing on the train platFrom Stillwater, Okla., where he spent his college years, to Calcutta, India, where he worked alongside Mother Teresa, Don McClanen has shared his passion for God, sports and people.
form in Bainbridge, Md., and a naval officer was standing on that platform, too,” McClanen says. “He said, ‘Well sailor, what are you going to do now that you’re out of the Navy?’”
McClanen told him he was going to college, probably at the University of Pennsylvania near his hometown. “Why don’t you go to a good school?” the lieutenant asked. “Where’s that?” McClanen replied. “Oklahoma A&M,” the lieutenant said. McClanen was aware of the school’s athletic reputation. Oklahoma A&M’s football team starring Bob Fenimore was ranked third in the country behind Army and Navy. The basketball team, led by Coach Henry Iba, had just won its second national title. McClanen followed the lieutenant’s advice. After marrying his high school sweetheart, Gloria Clark, the two moved to Stillwater.
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photo / Phil Shockley
McClanen joined the football team, but every day after practice he sat in the bleachers of Gallagher Hall and watched the basketball team run drills. He realized within his first year his heart belonged to basketball. McClanen visited Coach Iba, who admitted to seeing McClanen in the bleachers during practices and offered McClanen a position as a basketball manager. While living the life of a typical college student, McClanen continued a hobby that would eventually lead to the creation of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Since that day in the church in Oklahoma City, McClanen had been clipping articles about Christian athletes out of newspapers and magazines. He stashed them in his dresser drawer. This hobby continued as McClanen graduated from Oklahoma A&M in 1950,
“I have often wondered why the founder of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes would be some unknown person like I was, rather than some well-known athlete, whom I always thought God would call forth.” — Don McClanen
taught and coached in Norfolk and then became athletic director and head basketball coach at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton. In March of 1954, Louis H. Evans, a pastor and former college basketball player who was one of the athletes highlighted in McClanen’s clippings, came to Stillwater. McClanen met Evans over dinner and told him the story behind his collection of clippings. Evans encouraged McClanen to contact the athletes,
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so he penned letters to the 19 athletes, and 14 of them responded. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes had begun. “I began to visit with the athletes to find out how they were, who they were, and if they would be willing to share their stories with the youth of the country, even though they would never be paid,” McClanen says. FCA was officially born on Nov. 12, Like the late Mother Teresa, Bob McClanen, 1954, when the organization’s charter and bylaws were approved in Oklahoma. founder of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, has touched thousands of lives McClanen eventually resigned from by sharing his faith with others. coaching to become FCA’s first executive director. Today, FCA is the largest Christian McClanen quotes Bob Pierce, the sports organization in the United States founder of World Vision, who said, “Let with a vision “to see the world impacted your heart be broken for the things that for Jesus Christ through the influence of break the heart of God.” athletes and coaches.” McClanen’s work has taken him According to fca.org, it is also the and more than a thousand volunteers largest campus ministry in the world on humanitarian journeys to Bosnia, with more than 7,000 groups on profesIndia, Thailand, Africa, Haiti, Iraq and sional, college, high school, junior high Kosovo, among other places. and youth levels. FCA serves to connect “This is such a great world and a people with God through sports and great privilege to be alive and to serve fosters camps, campus meetings, Bible and to give instead of receiving in studies and conferences. selfishness,” says McClanen, who lives “I have often wondered why the in suburban Washington, D.C., and is founder of the Fellowship of Christian working on Second Journey, a program Athletes would be some unknown person like I was, rather than some well- he hopes will lead people to a more realistic and fulfilling faith. known athlete, whom I always thought Although McClanen embodies God would call forth,” McClanen says. success, he is the definition of humility. “It’s been a miracle,” he says. “We When people look at his life, he says started from scratch with a very modest he wants them to simply see one thing — background. God opened the door, God at work. provided the way and accomplished “The fundamental opportunity, chalthrough us and others a miracle of grace lenge and fulfillment of life is surrender that has been inspiring.” and commitment and growth in Christ, Even though McClanen realized the in discipleship, in the Bible, in prayer, in financial risk of trying to support his silence, in joyous serving and giving,” own family while running a nonprofit organization, finding funding and devel- he says. McClanen says his faith is the heart oping programs, he says, “By praying of his life, and he remembers his years at about these things, they just happened.” Oklahoma A&M as a special time when McClanen has touched thousands he felt the nurturing and deepening of of lives through the FCA, but he didn’t his spirit. The university’s atmosphere stop there. He also founded other was inspiring, he says, and everyone was programs, including Washington Lift “very committed to being the best — the to teach leadership to inner city youth, best teachers, best coaches, best people.” Wellspring Mission to build up the body of believers, Ministry of Money to bridge the gap between the rich and B ria B olton poor and Harvest Time to challenge the wealthy and encourage generosity.
Recent Grads Give Bac Estate planning is usually not at the top of a priority list for a couple in their 20s, but for Yancy and Christina Wright, it seemed only practical to establish a will. “We are planners,” Christina says. “We plan everything, and as we started acquiring assets, we decided that making a will was something that needed to be done.” So the Wrights met with their lawyer and started discussing how their estate would be distributed if they were to pass away. After providing for family, the Wrights decided to name the OSU Foundation as beneficiary to the remaining 50 percent of their estate. “It wasn’t a big topic of discussion because we both know that OSU means a lot to us,” says Christina. Yancy and Christina both graduated with degrees from OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Yancy earned a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil sciences in 2001 and a master’s in agricultural economics in 2003, and Christina earned a bachelor’s in agricultural economics in 2005 before attending the University of Arkansas and earning a master’s in education in 2007. During their time at OSU they made lifelong bonds with faculty, were involved in student organizations and met each other on the fifth floor of Ag Hall while Yancy was working as a graduate assistant. Friendships were formed and life-changing decisions were made as the couple worked to complete their education. “I’ve never had a point in my life like when I was at OSU that I had so many people to share experiences with,” Yancy says. “Especially in the college of ag
k To OSU Through Est ate
where everyone was so closeknit. It was like a family because we had so many good times, but even in the bad times, we were there for each other.” Coming from a family of University of Oklahoma graduates, Yancy decided to attend OSU because he wanted to pursue a future in agriculture. After graduating with his master’s, he started his career with John Deere & Company and now works with seeding products in international markets from its branch in Moline, Ill. Christina, however, grew up in Stillwater and fulfilled a lifelong istin a Wright dream when she became an OSU Yanc y and C hr student. Her extracurricular activities in college prompted her to seek a master’s degree in higher education leadership, and she now works as assistant director of alumni programs for the University of Iowa Alumni Association. “I’m very proud to be an OSU alum,” Christina says. “It’s a respected institution and wherever I take my degree, I take it with a sense of pride.” The Wrights’ estate gift will be designated as an unrestricted gift to CASNR, allowing the college to use the scholarship for OSU students, but until funds toward its greatest needs. then they’ll continue to do what they “Who knows what the college’s can to support the university. needs will be in 70 years?” Christina “In rough economic times, when says. “We don’t know that, but we people are losing their jobs and we see do know that the people at OSU will their struggles, we want even more to know what’s in the best interest of the do what we can to help those around university, and we’re putting our trust us,” the Wrights say. “We can’t establish in them.” an endowed scholarship right now, but Yancy and Christina received we are able to include OSU in our will. scholarships while attending OSU and We will always do what we can to give recognize the value of philanthropy back at every stage of our lives.” and how a gift today can change a student’s future. Eventually the To learn more about including OSU in your Wrights hope to be able to endow a will, e-mail giftplanning@OSUgiving.com.
The 24 Seasons Malaysian Drum Troupe at OSU invites students from around the world to join in.
Thirty one students represent- being in the drum troupe is getting to know people from other cultures. “Being an American in the group on OSU’s campus to learn doesn’t make me feel different from and teach others about the the other nationalities,” Osterman Malaysian culture by perform- says. “We are equal because only a few students represent each culture.” ing a synchronized drum routine In 1988, the world’s first 24 Festive Drum Troupe was formed in Malaysia fused with martial arts. by Tan Chai Puan and the late Tan Hooi The 24 Seasons Malaysian Drum Song, who created the drum troupe Troupe at OSU began in 2003 with to honor the wisdom of the ancient six student drummers, including four Chinese and the origin of Chinese festiundergraduates from the Malaysian vals. The two men used the 24 drums Student Society, “Ben” Loh Weng to represent the 24 seasons in the tradiKheong, Chee Kiong Yeo, Guan Shyong tional Chinese farmers’ calendar. Leu and “Jasper” Choong How Tang. Although 70 drum troupes exist in At its 2003 debút during OSU’s Malaysia and numerous troupes have cultural night, the troupe performed on been formed in several different countries, five Malaysian drums purchased with the 24 Seasons Malaysian Drum Troupe money from Stillwater sponsors and a of OSU is the first and only troupe in the member’s Malaysian relative. United States with 24 drums, says Loh, “We started just for fun, for cultural president and one of the founders. purposes,” says Ben Loh, a graduate The troupe plays large, 30-pound student in mechanical and aerospace Lion Drums from China that cost about engineering. “Now, we want to show $250 each. The students purchased them we are multicultural, and we all work with almost $4,000 donated by OSU’s together despite the fact that we are student affairs, campus life and interfrom different countries.” national student organizations. Some of Tahni Osterman, an American graphic the drummers even donated from their design junior, says her favorite part of own pockets.
ing 16 different countries unite
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Some drummers practice five days a week to learn the intricate routines. Loh and other members choreograph each performance, practicing about five days a week. Members are required to attend two practices a week; however, they are highly encouraged to attend more practices closer to a performance. “I try to keep it to basic formations and moves,” Loh says. “We are college students, beginners. Most come and go with little experience.”
photos / Phil Shockley
Performing barefoot demonstrates unity among the many nationalities represented in the 24 Seasons Malaysian Drum Troupe. Members use the practice time during the week to sharpen their skills and release energy. Eric Johnson, an American aerospace engineering senior, says he enjoys using the drums to let out frustration from classes. Clothed in Malaysian-style costumes hand-sewn by some of the members, the troupe’s performances this year include OSU basketball games, OSU cultural night and the University of Oklahoma’s Malaysian night. Al Saloha, a 2003 MIS graduate from Palestine who works in OSU’s information technology department, joined the drummers in 2005. He says the reactions and applause the troupe receives from the audience makes the hours of practice, hard work and selfless dedication worth it. “The performance gives you an adrenaline rush,” Saloha says. “You get into another zone.” One unforgettable experience for the troupe was performing at the
opening and closing ceremonies of the Midwest Game, an Olympic-style event for Malaysian groups across the Midwest held at the University of Southern Illinois in Carbondale. Takeshi Okuda, a graduate student from Japan enrolled in OSU’s MBA program, says the Midwest Game was his first performance. He practiced intensely and learned the entire six-minute routine in three weeks, although it usually takes up to three months to learn. “I was really nervous and made some mistakes,” Okuda says. “But that was a memorable performance for me.” When Okuda saw the drum troupe perform during OSU’s Japanese night last year, he immediately wanted to join. Without any musical background, Okuda learned the beats and movements by watching the other members during practice. “After I learned the beats, I wanted to convey that excitement and passion to the audience as a performer,” he says. “I wanted to pass it on and share.”
Now, Okuda is one of about 15 coaches in the troupe who help teach new members the routines. “I get to teach people from different countries and the country I come from,” Okuda says. “Everyone has different ways of learning, so that is challenging.” Loh asks members to become coaches when he thinks they are familiar with the beats and able to teach new members. He believes his role as a coach is more honorable than his role as president because it helps the team work together in unity. “We are not like a typical performance team,” Loh says. “Ours is like a family relationship.” This tight-knit family desires to bring students from different nationalities together and to educate American students about Malaysian music and culture. “Americans can purely enjoy the music,” Okuda says. “Music finds common ground, no matter where you are from.” R achel S heets
In an age of businessmen and fundraiser presidents, Gene Nichol was like a throwback to another time. Well-versed in the classics (one of his three children is named after Kierkegaard), he lived in the historic presidential house on campus and, per the collegeâ€™s tradition, gave impromptu speeches from his doorstep to crowds of students.
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ene Nichol, OSU alumnus and former William & Mary president, chuckles into the phone at a question wondering if he’d ever lead a university again. He’s a simple University of North Carolina law professor now, he replies, with a Texas-sized laugh emanating from the Dallas native’s 6-5 frame. “I think I’m enjoying what I’m doing right now,” says Nichol, who resigned in February 2008 from the nation’s secondoldest university following a series of headline-grabbing controversies, including one over a cross in the university’s chapel that led to Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly calling him a pinhead on national television. “I’m very happy to be back in Chapel Hill,” he says. Nichol, a 1973 philosophy graduate and a Distinguished Alumnus at OSU, took over at William & Mary in July 2005 after six years as dean of the law school at Chapel Hill. The fur flew almost immediately when Nichol helped push through a program that allowed low-income students to graduate debt free — making an education at the Williamsburg, Va., university more open to all Virginians. The program wasn’t popular with some alumni and other figures connected to the university because they believed it lessened the college’s prestige. “All kinds of people look at the world differently, I think. I don’t want to lay out pros and cons of why people liked or didn’t like some of the things we tried to do,” says Nichol, who also took steps to create a more racially-diverse faculty and student body. “I would say that we made some real progress there, pressing
forward a public mission, and I think it did some good. I’m proud of the legacy we had there. I regret that I ended up in the circumstance that I did.” But the kicker came in October 2006. Admissions counselors complained prospective students of different faiths were put off by the Christian cross’s prominent display in the university’s 18th century Wren Chapel. Their offices were located in the same building.
OSU awakened in him the realization that the American Dream can’t live without public higher education, and he has made it his goal to keep it public. The chapel was used for a variety of events, both voluntary and mandatory, at the public university’s campus. So, Nichol had the cross put away when services weren’t taking place. A donor found out and withdrew his $12 million donation, which was reported nationally in The Chronicle of Higher Education. He also incurred conservatives’ ire when he allowed, in the interest of free speech and a free exchange of ideas on campus, a student group to host a performance art show put on by former sex workers. That brought rare public castigations of a college administrator by state legislators. A defamatory internet site appeared,
and a group ranging from alumni to some faculty accused him of letting his politics influence decisions, neglecting the university’s endowment and acting unilaterally. He resigned after he was informed the university’s governing board would not renew his contract. In a goodbye letter to students, staff and faculty, he writes that the board offered “both my wife and me substantial economic incentives if we would agree to not characterize the non-renewal decision as based on ideological grounds.” The board denied those accusations. Nichol laughs when he wonders how an OSU education could prepare anyone for that. But OSU did awaken in him the realization that the American Dream can’t live without public higher education, and he has made it his goal to keep it public.
Not that good of a quarterback His road to OSU started in Gainesville, Fla. In 1969, an athletic scholarship brought him to the University of Florida as the first of his family to attend college. But he didn’t fit within the coaches’ system there, so he transferred to Oklahoma State. On campus, he roomed in Iba Hall with his childhood friend, Bob Bosworth, who was a business administration student. When they weren’t in class, they’d catch concerts in Oklahoma City or hunt ducks and quail outside Stillwater. “We enjoyed each other’s company,” says Bosworth, now vice president of sales for Toyota’s industrial equipment division. “He was a very intelligent guy. (continues on next page)
He was always great with his grades. Of students from low-income families such as how to be skeptical, but hopeful. Expand course, I was the one who always had to his attended free, he says. their sense of the possible when it comes really study. He excelled in Austin and graduated to the role they will play in their own lives. “He could read something and watch with honors in 1976. His experience fed That’s a terrific role. That’s about the best TV at the same time and comprehend what a desire to more deeply understand and gift you can give a young woman or man. he was reading.” protect the democratic ideals that, as Oklahoma State did that for me.” Nichol, “Nick” to his friends, didn’t a student, kept the door to his future He brought that experience to his get much playing time on the field and cracked. Eschewing the court room, he presidency at William & Mary, where one struggled to find himself off of it. That is, delved into constitutional law scholarship of his student supporters, Bailey Thomson, until what he calls a “forced liberal arts as an assistant professor at West Virginia says Nichol became her mentor. “That’s a relationship that none of my education” awakened something inside University after a couple years working at him. As a philosophy major, he found an Anchorage, Alaska, law firm. friends at other colleges have with their unconventional classes at OSU taught by From there he went on to teaching posi- administrators,” says Thomson, a governa dedicated core of professors including tions at the University of Florida, William ment and Middle Eastern studies junior. “I retired philosophy instructor Ed Lawry. & Mary and law school deanships at the didn’t realize how different it was until I Then there was political philosophy, the University of Colorado and at Chapel Hill. came home my first semester and talked to works of Plato and existentialist philosopher He founded the Byron White Center for friends who were at larger schools.” Søren Kierkegaard. It was like someone Constitutional Law at the University of Nichol was greatly popular with had turned on a light. Colorado and the Center for Civil Rights students. The night he resigned, about “I was a football player from Texas at North Carolina. 2,000 showed up on his doorstep for a who was, I’d say, not on the cutting edge candlelight vigil while he encouraged of culture or education. I remember being students to stand up for their beliefs. effectively forced, because of the require“It was a hugely moving time,” he says. ments from the College of Arts and Sciences “I don’t know that I’ll ever explain to anyone at the time, to take some broad-ranging what it was like the night I resigned to have humanities classes, which I didn’t want to almost half the undergraduate student body take, to be honest.” come to the house. The kind of experiThe small, writing-focused classes ences we had, particularly within the last fostered debates, analysis and interaction. year with so much of the William & Mary They were as likely to take place after dinner community, certainly changed me, inspired at a professor’s home as they would inside me and lifted my heart. I hope it was at a classroom. least a little bit mutual.” Also, he and a football player buddy, These days, he teaches first- and thirdJoe Crews, fell in with a group of students year law students in constitutional law, who demonstrated against everything from federal courts, civil rights and election dorm room visiting hours to the Vietnam law. He is also director of the Center on War. He and Crews would stand on the Poverty, Work and Opportunity at Chapel An influential mind in politics, he mediwings of the group during protests, ready to ated in 1991 a redistricting dispute between Hill, a think tank he started with former dissuade any hecklers, as their friends yelled the Colorado governor and legislature. In U.S. Sen. John Edwards. “I have an intense desire for the foreand carried signs on the library lawn. 2004, he chaired a North Carolina commisseeable future to work on the issues that Nichol would go on to graduate with sion to reform lobbying practices. honors. He also become a well-published author I want to work on, which have a great “I think if I hadn’t been forced into with pieces appearing in everything from deal to do with the American values of some of those courses early on, I would’ve The Harvard Law Review and The Yale equality and liberty, to work on them stayed the same fella that I was, and I don’t Law Journal to The Nation and The at the pace at which I want to work on relish that,” he laughs. “Ironically, in the Washington Post. After a bid for the U.S them … without worrying every moment middle of what some people think of as Senate in 1996, he wrote a weekly editorial what some rich person may think about a ‘cow college,’ I got a great liberal arts column from 1999 to 2005 for The Rocky it, or what some fellow in the legislature may think about it. So, I’m a very happy education, and it changed my life.” Mountain News. He thanks his OSU professors for that camper right now.” Bigger Things success and uses many of their teaching M att E lliott That set his sights on bigger game. methods in his courses today. After graduation, he packed off to law “What you can do is teach students how school at the University of Texas. At the to think. Teach them how to write. Teach time, tuition was $50 per credit hour. But them how to read critically. Teach them
“What you can do is teach students how to think. ... Expand their sense of the possible. ... That’s about the best gift you can give a young woman or man. Oklahoma State did that for me.”
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IRA gift allows couple to contribute to their alma mater
Thomas and Mary Tatum had wanted to give back to OSU since they attended the university in the 1960s; however, it was not until 2007 that they found a method for doing so. Tom hails from Tulsa, and Mary is from Antlers, Okla. They met on a blind date while attending OSU, and 48 years later, they are still together. Tom earned a bachelor’s in marketing in 1961 and an MBA in 1962. Mary earned a bachelor’s in home economics in 1961. “Wanting to give to the university had its first germ back when we were students,” Tom says. “We both come from families of modest means, and we felt very privileged to be able to attend a university in the first place. And that was something that stuck with us.” Over the years, Tom’s career took the couple around the country to cities far away from Oklahoma, but Tom says there will always be a soft spot in his heart for the place he grew up. He enjoyed many successes throughout his human resources career, and for years, Tom and Mary steadily invested money into an IRA, an individual retirement account. In 2000, Tom retired and when distribution payments from his IRA were mandatory in 2007, he was prompted to give to OSU.
“We had already established that we wished to do something, but we hadn’t picked a particular time. It was just in our plans,” Tom says. “I reached the age where distributions are required from IRAs and found that directing a distribution to OSU was a tax efficient method to fund an endowment.” So the Tatums made an IRA gift of $30,000 to create the Thomas and Mary Tatum MBA scholarship fund. This endowment provides scholarships for full-time MBA students at OSU. Recipients must be graduates of an Oklahoma high school and have an
Patrick Patterson, an MBA student at OSU, is one of the students benefiting from the Tatums’ scholarship.
undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher. “We contemplated where to direct our funding because there are so many opportunities, but looking at it closer, it was my belief that I probably benefited the most from my days in the MBA program,” Tom says. “The MBA program really enabled me to refine a more disciplined thought process and, I feel, gave a competitive advantage both in the employment and the work performance realms when I pursued my career after graduation.” The 2008 academic year marked the first year for the endowment to provide financial assistance and two deserving students were awarded scholarships. “In large measure, we feel that our education at OSU allowed us to enjoy some advantages in life and have career successes, and we hope that our endowment will allow others to have those same advantages,” Tom says. Under the new Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, individuals who are at least 70 years old may make a tax-free transfer of up to $100,000 annually from an individual retirement account directly to the OSU Foundation. This opportunity is also available for 2009. Individuals looking for more information, benefits or forms can visit OSUgiving.com/irarollover or contact the OSU Foundation at 800-622-4678 or giftplanning@OSUgiving.com.
By most accounts, Perry Sanders was a typical OSU-Tulsa graduate student.
He balanced a busy schedule of classes, work, research, community involvement, hobbies and spending time with his family and friends. But, while he thought of himself as a typical college student, others may not. Sanders, who graduated in December with a doctorate in occupational and adult education, has been blind since the age of 9. “Perry’s story is one of determination. He never sees anything as a barrier. He just gets the job done,” says Gary Conti, professor in the School of Educational Studies. “Although Perry’s blindness caused him to develop new strategies along the way, he never deviated from his goal,” Conti says. “His effort, determination and insistence on excellence inspire all who work with him.” Inspiration seems to be a common occurrence in Sanders’ life.
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Helping people find the right career has been a longtime passion for Sanders. He spent 24 years as a career counselor for Workforce Oklahoma before retiring to finish his doctoral degree. Sanders’ dissertation research focused on the decision-making process people go through when choosing or changing careers. “I’ve always liked the idea of helping people decide on a career path,” Sanders says. “It’s fulfilling to run into people I’ve helped and see how appreciative they are of their training and employment.” Conti and the rest of Sanders’ dissertation committee were so impressed with the quality of his work that they have nominated him for the OSU Graduate College’s 2009 Research Excellence Award, which recognizes graduate students for outstanding research accomplishments in their thesis or dissertation. OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl thinks Sanders’ commitment to academic excellence sets a high goal for other students, as well as faculty and staff.
“Perry has taught us that we can all reach a little higher than we originally thought possible,” Trennepohl says. “We all have obstacles to overcome in fulfilling our dreams. Perry has achieved his goals with enthusiasm and grace, and we can all learn something from his challenging, inspiring journey.” Sanders has also been active in the community throughout his career. He is currently serving on Gov. Brad Henry’s Statewide Independent Living Council and the Tulsa Area Agency on Aging committee. He also served a three-year term as president of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind. Following graduation, Sanders began teaching human development and ethics courses as an adjunct professor for Langston University-Tulsa. Although he recognizes the challenges he’s had to overcome to earn his degree, Sanders says he couldn’t have done it without support from others. “I’ve learned a lot from my professors and the OSU administrators and staff who were always encouraging and supportive of my education,” Sanders says. “We can all accomplish our goals with the support and encouragement of family and friends. I hope I can encourage and support others, just as they did for me.”
“Perry has taught us that we can all reach a little higher than we originally thought possible.” — Gary Trennepohl
T rish M c B eath
Joe Hughes 194 0 -20 09
When you live your life like OSU’s former animal science professor Joe Hughes, two words become synonymous with your name: honesty and integrity. Hughes, who lost his battle with cancer April 13, 2009, devoted his life and career to establishing youth livestock programs that would instill the traits and characteristics he portrayed and valued in the human race. As the first Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service 4-H livestock specialist, serving from 1971 to 1999, his goal reached beyond teaching fundamental skills to inspiring an honorable attitude and character in Oklahoma’s youth. “When Hughes started the job, he was committed to bringing integrity to the 4-H program,” says Steven Cooper, associate professor in animal science. “He worked to develop programs that made sure youth would progress and hold themselves to higher standards.” Even 10 years after Hughes’ retirement his name continued to be wellknown among faculty, staff and even students occupying the halls of the animal science building. “You can walk in the building and ask anyone about Joe Hughes and you will get something sincere because he just moved people in a way that not everybody does or can,” says Cooper. “Few people come along that have that kind of impact.” In devoting his life and career to the youth of Oklahoma, Hughes became a role model among his colleagues. “Joe was the kind of faculty that set the standard for integrity in the
Lynn and the late Joe Hughes will be forever honored for their lifelong commitment to educate youth through the OSU scholarship endowed in their names. department,” says Cooper. “If you were going to pattern your behavior and mindset after a faculty member, Joe was the model.” A testament to Hughes’ impact was the more than 200 individuals who gathered at OSU on Oct. 17, 2008, as the Oklahoma Legislature proclaimed the day “Dr. Joe Hughes Day,” in honor of his contributions to the Oklahoma 4-H program. Though the attention and fanfare paid to him that day did not mirror Hughes’ humble personality, the group of admirers announced an endowed scholarship in Hughes’ name to benefit future OSU students. “Trying to get Joe to let us do something for him was a struggle; that’s just not him,” says Cooper. “Everything he did was directed toward others. He didn’t want a plaque or his picture on the wall, but he was willing to allow a scholarship that would give back and help others.”
The Joe and Lynn Hughes Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate student in animal science with the intent of supporting those students who have benefited from the youth livestock programs Hughes established. “We wanted to set something up in a major way,” says Cooper. “So many people in the state benefited from Joe Hughes, and we don’t want people to forget what he means to OSU.” The department has not set a monetary goal for the endowment. Instead, the hope is that anyone who met Hughes or benefited from his work in some way will have the opportunity to contribute to the scholarship and to play a part in keeping Hughes’ legacy alive, continuing his life’s passion — to help today’s youth. To make a gift in Hughes’ honor or for more information on the scholarship, contact Kathy McNally at 405-7447964 or kmcnally@OSUgiving.com.
AlumniHallof Fame Stev en Jor ns • Robert A . Ku r la n d • Ro ger J. Pa nci er a , DV M , Ph . D.
OSU Alumni Association names three outstanding OSU Alumni to the Hall of Fame in February 2009: Steven Jorns, Robert A. Kurland and Roger J. Panciera, DVM, Ph.D.
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Steven Jorns was born Aug. 26, 1948, in Stillwater. He received his bachelor of science in hotel and restaurant administration from OSU in 1971. Jorns has been recognized as a leader and innovator in the area of hotel and resort management. Upon graduation, he joined Cleveland-based Hospitality Motor Inns and in 1974, he went to work for General Growth Properties where he oversaw a 16-hotel portfolio. In 1981, he founded American General Hospitality Corporation and served as its president and chairman. Over the years, American General expanded to an owned and managed portfolio of more than 100 hotels. In 1996 he led a successful IOP of the company and in 1998 merged American General with CapStar Hotel Company to become MeriStar Hospitality and MeriStar Hotels and Resorts. Jorns remained active as vice chairman of the board for both of these New York Stock Exchange companies. In 2002, MeriStar Hotels and Resorts merged with Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Interstate is the worldâ€™s largest independentÂ hotel management company, currently operating
226 hotels with approximately 46,500 rooms in 37 states, the District of Columbia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Russia. Jorns served several roles in the company including chief executive officer until retiring in 2005. From 1998 until 2008, he was actively involved in cattle ranching, owning and operating the 8,300-acre J7 Ranch in Stephens County, Texas. Through the years, Jorns has maintained a strong relationship with the school that gave him a start in his career. He has served on the hotel and restaurant administration advisory board and was also instrumental in the campaign to refurbish and reposition the Student Union Hotel. Jorns was recognized as a CHES Distinguished Alumni in 1992, an OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni in 1993 and inducted into the CHES Hall of Fame in 1995. He is a CHES Lifetime Associate and has served on the OSU Foundation board of governors and as a homecoming judge. Jorns is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association and a member of POSSE. He and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Fort Worth, Texas. He has four children, Jennifer, Jordan, Chandler and Hunter.
Robert A. Kurla nd was born Dec. 23, 1924, in St. Louis, Mo. He received his bachelor of science in secondary education from Oklahoma A&M in 1946. While on campus, he was a leader in the classroom, serving as president of the Student Council in 1945 and 1946, as well as on the basketball court playing for the legendary Henry Iba. Kurland was the first celebrated 7-footer in college basketball history. In 1944, his ability to block and alter opponents’ shots changed the way basketball was played by forcing the NCAA to ban shot blocking. He held the OSU career scoring record for 46 years, and 53 years later, still holds the school’s single-game scoring record (58 points against St. Louis in 1946). Kurland was OSU’s only three-time All-American and two-time NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player (1945 and 1946). He is one of only five players in Division I history who can claim that accomplishment. He led the Cowboys to their only back-to-back national championships in men’s basketball in 1945 and 1946. In 1946, he won the Helms Foundation award as the nation’s outstanding player. Known as “Foothills,” he was the first American to win back-to54
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back gold medals in men’s basketball in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics. After graduating, Kurland chose not to pursue a professional basketball career but instead chose to take a job with the Phillips Petroleum Company and play on the amateur Phillips 66 Oiler’s basketball team. During six All-America AAU seasons with Phillips, Kurland’s dominating play brought three national championships to the team. He was a six-time member of the AAU All-tournament team. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1961 and the OSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2008, he was named one of ESPN’s Top 25 greatest players in college basketball history. He spent his entire career with the Phillips Petroleum Company where he played a vital role in developing the selfservice gas station concept, provided management leadership in the agricultural and plastics divisions and also provided marketing management throughout the United States. Upon returning to Oklahoma, Kurland has served on the OSU Foundation board of governors and the OSU Centennial Adviser Commission. He is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. Kurland and his wife, Barbara, reside in Sanibel, Fla., and Bartlesville, Okla. They have four children, Robert, Ross, Barbara and Dana.
Dr. Roger J. Pa ncier a was born Sept. 30, 1929, in Westerly, R.I. He received his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Oklahoma A&M in 1953. He is widely acclaimed as one of the giants in veterinary pathology around the world and is revered for both his knowledge and teaching. After receiving his DVM, he went on to earn M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in veterinary pathology from Cornell University in 1955 and 1960, respectively. He also holds diplomacy in the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. He joined the OSU faculty in 1956 as an assistant professor. In 1979, he was appointed head of the Department of Veterinary Pathology. He has more than 110-refereed scientific publications spanning a career in veterinary pathology that exceeds 50 years. Panciera is responsible, in whole or in part, for the original pathologic descriptions of several domesticated animal diseases known today. Panciera enjoyed a long and distinguished research career at OSU and in 2000, retired as emeritus professor. Panciera has contributed excellent service to veterinary medicine and pathology both locally and nationally. He has
served and chaired many important college and university faculty committees. He was a charter member of the advisory board for the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. Panciera served on several U.S. Department of Agriculture grant review panels and has served the American College of Veterinary Pathologists as a member of the examination committee, the committee on examination and the editorial board of Veterinary Pathology, an international pathology journal. He received the Norden Distinguished Teacher Award from the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences in 1966, 1975 and 1992 and was the collegeâ€™s first recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1974. He was named Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year in 1992 and received the Charles Louis Davis Foundationâ€™s Harold W. Casey Teaching Award in 1999. In 2006, Panciera was named a Distinguished Member of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, joining a select group of fewer than 40 individuals who have been awarded the designation. He is also a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. Panciera resides in Stillwater where he enjoys canoeing, woodworking and gardening. He and his late wife, Lometa, have three children, Michael, David and Susan, all OSU graduates.
The three inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame couldn’t be more different. Though they represent different colleges and different career paths, they share a love for their alma mater and the good memories they made as OSU students.
AlumniHallof Fame Stev en Jor ns • Robert A . Ku r la n d • Ro ger J. Pa nci er a , DV M , Ph . D.
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A Fork (or Two) in the Road
“In our shrinking world, graduates must have the same versatility and open-mindedness possessed by their peers in other nations. Even before they travel abroad, our students begin this journey to understand crosscultural and multicultural issues through association with international students here in the college. Becoming acquainted with international students such as Muna Gharaibeh cracks stereotypes and opens awareness.” — Stephan Wilson, dean of OSU’s College of Human Environmental Sciences
“Sometimes I don’t understand how I made these jumps, but they seemed logical at the time,” says Muna Gharaibeh, who arrived from Jordan in 2004 to enroll in OSU’s Spears School of Business. Gharaibeh, who holds a bachelor’s in pharmacy, plied her craft for five years then took a marketing job with a pharmaceutical company and returned to school to earn a master’s in business administration. After graduating with distinction from the University of Jordan, Gharaibeh accepted the university’s offer of a one-year position teaching consumer behavior and principals of marketing. “My first teaching experience was wonderful,” she says. “I felt a keen sense of achievement.” This is why, when colleagues encouraged her to pursue a doctorate in marketing, she leapt again and landed at the Spears School of Business as a doctoral student and teaching assistant. Her advisor in Jordan, Muhsen Makhamreh, recommended OSU, where he’d spent a semester as a Fulbright Scholar. “It was a little bit stressful adjusting to a new culture,” she says, noting that language barriers made teaching more difficult. “It took a month to learn how to deal with problems — how to accept others and be accepted and how to approach and resolve problems in this country.”
The arrival of her kindergarten-age daughter a few months later helped Gharaibeh cope with the stress. “I was worried about her, but she quickly acclimated. Now a third-grader, she speaks English fluently with an American accent. Her adjustment was a push for me,” Gharaibeh says. “I thought if she can manage well, then so can I.” By the end of the first year, realizing her interests lay in health rather than business, Gharaibeh readied herself for another move. Her search for a university offering a study in international health issues led her across campus to the College of Human Environmental Sciences and a doctoral program in nutritional sciences guided by Regents Professor Barbara Stoecker. “I found an international focus in nutritional sciences. Dr. Stoecker has many international projects,” Gharaibeh says, noting that Stoecker’s work is highly regarded by her peers. Gharaibeh’s research investigates the status of vitamin D and iron and zinc levels in relation to nutrition and cognitive function in Jordanian women of childbearing age and their children. Her preliminary data show a high instance of vitamin D deficiency among the women. She presented her findings in a paper to the 2008 OSU research symposium, where she won first for biomedical sciences, and to an international experimental biology conference held in San Diego.
When she finishes her doctorate in 2009, Gharaibeh hopes to work in U.S. higher education for a few years before returning to Jordan or another developing country. “I want to increase awareness of the importance of nutrition education at the community level through planning at the international level,” she says. “I have a dream to join the United Nations, which would allow for designing projects in a broader context to improve the nutritional status of women and children in a region.” Even though Stillwater wasn’t the sophisticated city she had expected, Gharaibeh would still choose OSU. “I was looking for the finest education, and I think I got that. If I had to do it again, I would do it here. I feel lucky working with Dr. Stoecker, and I’m thankful for the kindness of Joshua Wiener, head of the marketing department, who made the move so easy for me.” Exposure to diverse cultures opens minds and teaches how to accept differences, Gharaibeh says. “You need to be inside a culture to understand it. In the Middle East we judge the U.S. from TV and movies. We see sex, drugs and violence, a loose society and seamy politics. We don’t see this country as it is. “I’ve also met many people here with a preconceived notion of Mid-Eastern culture, one with oppressed women dominated by men,” she says. “I often hear from people that I have changed their view of the Middle-Eastern Muslim woman.” E ileen M ustain
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photo / Gary Lawson
Muna Gharaibeh, a nutritional sciences doctoral student from Jordan, was named the College of Human Environmental Sciences Outstanding Ph.D. Student this spring.
By Janet Varnum
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freshman year in 1938 differed significantly from student life today. Few people of the Depression era had any money. Maybe a dozen students owned an automobile. And except for church and occasional theater productions or dances at the girls’ dorms, “There wasn’t much of a social life,” Bellmon says. Campus also contrasted with the homestead in northcentral Oklahoma where his family produced wheat and livestock and where his love of farming began. Bellmon’s father encouraged him to pursue a highpaying profession. “He wanted me to become a lawyer,” Bellmon says. But Bellmon wanted to study agriculture and chose Oklahoma A&M because it was close to home. Preferring the outdoors to class work, he took the maximum course load to graduate a semester early in January 1942. Bellmon worked his way through college with numerous jobs. He picked pears for a woman on Monroe Street, washed windows at the new Stillwater public library, ground samples in the soils lab, cleaned the college poultry barn and wrote agriculture news for the O’Collegian.
In lieu of the monthly $6 rent at Dickman’s boarding house on Knoblock Street, he made beds and did janitorial work. And he washed dishes at the Aggie Co-op in exchange for the $12-per-month meal plan. On Dec. 6, 1941, Bellmon was stunned to hear Pearl Harbor had been attacked and ran to the O’Colly to read the Associated Press wire reports. (continues on next page)
Henry Bellmon lived in the Oklahoma governor’s mansion for eight years and in Washington, D.C., for 12 years, but home was always the family farm near Billings, Okla., where he grew up and continues to live today.
1938–1942 Agronomy student at OAMC 1942–1946 U.S. Marine Corps, pfc to major 1946–1948 Oklahoma House of Representatives 1948–1960
Farmer and rancher near Billings, Okla.
Chair, Oklahoma Republican Party
1962–1966 Governor of Oklahoma 1967–1968 Nixon campaign manager 1968–1980 U.S. Senator, two consecutive terms 1980–1986
Farmer and rancher; university instructor; state agency administrator, corporate board member
1986–1990 Governor of Oklahoma 1990–present Retired black and white photos courtesy the Bellmon family
“I made up my mind that if I survived the war I would get into government and see if I could improve conditions between governments and races.” — Henry Bellmon
He graduated the following month, but unable to find employment, he returned to the farm. One day he took a load of hogs to Oklahoma City to sell for his father and came back an enlisted Marine. He hoped to be grouped with friends who had already signed up. “There was a certain feeling that we wanted to be where the action was,” he says. As a college graduate, he was assigned to officer’s candidate class the following November. That gave him time to help his family with harvest and hitchhike around the upper Midwest before leaving. To pay his way from state to state, he shoveled wheat in Kansas, skidded logs in Wyoming, cleared weeds from an irrigation canal in Idaho and hauled hay near the Teton Mountains. He toured
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Yellowstone Park and visited a sister in Texas before heading home in time to help plant the winter wheat. In November 1942, Bellmon rode his first train to Quantico, Va., for officer’s training. From there he spent one final week in Oklahoma before joining the Fourth Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif., en route to the Pacific Theater.
Until World War II, Bellmon’s primary interest was to become a successful farmer. But witnessing the “enormous waste of human lives” on both sides of battle would change the course of his life. “I made up my mind that if I survived the war I would get into government and see if I could improve conditions between governments and races,” he says.
Bellmon witnessed friends die in combat in the Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. He saw corpses littering battlefields and terrified Japanese families jumping from cliffs rather than surrender. When anti-tank fire hit his tank on the beach at Iwo Jima, the assistant gunner beside him died instantly, and the gunner was badly injured. Bellmon, who later received a Silver Star for pulling the gunner to safety, was so covered in gore he was mistaken as injured. More than 20 years later while serving as a U.S. senator, the horrendous realities of war influenced Bellmon’s decision to cast one of the deciding — and highly unpopular — votes to ratify the Panama Canal Treaty. After thoroughly studying the
issue, he knew he could not in good faith send American troops to protect a commercial interest in the civil war that would likely ensue if the treaty were not ratified. “It is difficult to develop a rallying cry around the concept of ‘Whip the Panamanians and keep cheap freight,” Bellmon said on the Senate floor. And despite vociferous opposition from his party, his constituents and the press, which labeled him a traitor, he stood solidly behind his decision and concluded that legislators are obligated to vote for what they believe to be the public’s best interest, even if it costs them the next election. Claudia (Quam) Scribner, a 1973 English graduate who began working in the senator’s Oklahoma
As a tank platoon leader in the Marine Corps during World War II, Henry Bellmon, left, helped capture the Pacific island of Iwo Jima.
The Bellmon family celebrates the 1962 victory in which Henry Bellmon became the first Republican governor of a Southern state since Reconstruction. From left, daughters Pat, Ann and Gail say they always felt comfortable dropping by the capitol to visit their father. President Richard Nixon presents Sen. Henry Bellmon with the pen he used to sign legislation sponsored by Bellmon.
City office that year, says Bellmon impressed staff by remaining calm despite the negativity surrounding controversial issues such as the Panama Canal. “I don’t think he let it get to him,” says Scribner, who later worked as Bellmon’s executive assistant when he was governor. “He paid attention to the critics, but then he did what he thought was right. He never let the headlines influence him. “I don’t think I could have gotten a better education in government — or in life — than I did by working for him,” she says. Living in Hawaii during the war also opened Bellmon’s eyes to segregation that kept the white population in power and relegated Japanese-Americans to field work, another injustice he considered a great waste of human resources. Later, as Oklahoma’s governor, he modeled desegregation for state offices by hiring black employees, including a receptionist, Beulah Ponder, who became a friend and trusted adviser on racial matters.
“I think he’s much more of a statesman than a politician,” she says. “Many times, he would ask me my thoughts about how to handle issues that were coming up.” When the Bellmons were choosing schools for their daughters, Ponder invited them to tour her children’s schools near the governor’s mansion. “My kids were so delighted to have the governor visit,” she says. “They knew him and wanted to show him around just like he was part of the family.” Seeing the schools’ rundown conditions intensified Bellmon’s support for integration and his later decision as a U.S. senator to support the “imperfect” solution of forced busing. “I became totally convinced black children in Oklahoma City were not getting a fair or equal education,” Bellmon says. “No one liked busing, but it was a means to an end toward moving black children into good schools.” Ponder has no doubts about his sincerity. “He believed people were people,” she says. “Everyone knew how Henry Bellmon felt about education. He didn’t believe one school should be above another.”
Throughout his life, Bellmon earned a reputation as a non-conformist who voted his conscience regardless of party politics or popular opinion. “My rule is to get your facts, make your decision, and stick with it,” says the 87-year-old. “If I had been a conformist, I sure wouldn’t have registered as a Republican,” he jokes. Oklahoma Democrats outnumbered Republicans 5-to-1 when Bellmon’s father took the liberty of registering his 21-year-old son as a Republican while Bellmon was overseas.
Within a year of returning home, Bellmon entered politics with the encouragement of fellow Noble County resident and former OSU football player Robert “Bob” McCubbins, who was leaving the Oklahoma House of Representatives and asked Bellmon to consider running for his seat. Bellmon did run, and within two months of winning the November 1946 election, he married Shirley Osborn, a neighbor six years his junior who had “grown up” while he was away at war. During his two years as a state representative, he discovered living on $6 a day when the House was in session would not support a family, which by March 1948 included baby daughter Pat. (continues on next page)
The Bellmon family travels across Oklahoma in their station wagon while campaigning for governor in the summer of 1962. From left, are Pat, Ann, Henry, Gail and Shirley.
When voters did not reelect him in 1948, he learned the painful lesson that politicians must campaign even when they think they’ve done a good job. He took the opportunity to focus on his family and his livelihood. He returned to the circa 1895 farmhouse, which lacked indoor plumbing or running water until well after the birth of all three daughters, Pat, Gail and Ann. Bellmon resumed creating ponds and waterways with a military-surplus bulldozer he purchased before entering the legislature. The whole family pitched in to raise sheep, poultry and wheat during their 12 years on the farm. Youngest daughter Ann (Bellmon) McFerron remembers climbing inside big burlap bags and stamping down the newly shorn wool. “The natural lanolin in the wool made our skin feel so soft.” She also remembers her father singing sweet songs about her mother as he drove to Enid to sell eggs. In the mid-1950s, Bellmon became active in county politics and in 1960 was elected Oklahoma’s Republican state chairman.
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“He paid attention to the critics, but then he did what he thought was right. He never let the headlines influence him.” — Claudia (Quam) Scribner
He built a formidable statewide foundation with chapters in each county, but he still couldn’t persuade anyone to accept the 1962 gubernatorial challenge. “We didn’t have a candidate, so I ran,” says Bellmon, who was confident his party could elect a candidate it believed in but unsure it would be him. His political networking paid off, however, and Bellmon became the first Republican governor of a Southern state since Reconstruction. During his term, he established Oklahoma’s outstanding vocational education system, a state employees’ retirement program and passed legislation to exempt seed and fertilizer from sales tax. When his first term as governor ended, Bellmon consented to help with the national campaign committee for Nixon and was soon designated as national chair. After Nixon won the New Hampshire primary, Bellmon left the committee to run for U.S. Senate, triumphing over
incumbent Mike Monroney, who served 12 years in the House and 18 years in the Senate. During two terms in the U.S. Senate from 1968 to 1980, Bellmon served on the Senate Agriculture Committee that passed target-price legislation for farmers and authorized farmer-owned reserves. He also served on the Interior Committee and was the
ranking Republican on the Budget Committee. As a politician, Bellmon worked with presidents, national leaders and foreign dignitaries but treasured his friendships with staff and others closest to him. “I think everyone who worked for Mr. Bellmon felt like part of his family,” says John Baird, a staff researcher for Bellmon in the early 1970s. “He’s a man of
OSU President Robert Kamm, third from left, visits with Oklahoma’s political representatives, from left, U.S. Rep. John Happy Camp, U.S. Sen. Ed Edmondson, Kamm and Oklahoma Gov. Henry Bellmon.
conviction, and he’s not shy about sharing his thoughts when they need to be shared.” Lee Paden, who worked as a special assistant to Bellmon in Washington, D.C., and in Oklahoma, remembers being outraged when a high-ranking Democrat successfully introduced legislation that Paden helped prepare for Bellmon. “I thought this guy stole our amendment, and I was ranting about it,” Paden says. But Bellmon, who was in his first year in the U.S. Senate, calmed him down and explained recognition wasn’t the objective. “It doesn’t matter if my name is on the legislation,” Bellmon told Paden. “What matters is whether it finally becomes a law.” The legislation, still a part of Internal Revenue Service code today, requires the IRS to pay legal fees a taxpayer incurred when successfully defending an IRS investigation. “Many of the issues he worked on in the Senate, such as water quality and equal rights, are still relevant today,” Paden says. And his “Bellmon amendments” to the Foreign Aid Bill have prevented wasteful grain exports from going to countries where the influx would hurt local farmers or where storage is inadequate. Paden, now an energy and environmental consultant, says Bellmon’s inherent concern for the long-term interests of the citizenry continues to influence how Paden analyzes information and advises his clients. “Governor Bellmon is truly a futurist whose ideas stretch well beyond the present, and I count it a distinct privilege to have learned from him.”
When his second term in the U.S. Senate ended, Bellmon returned to Oklahoma, and like many farmers in the early 1980s, struggled with more than $700,000 in farm debt. To make ends meet, he sold property and also accepted various jobs, including teaching government classes for OSU and other universities. For six years, he watched the state’s agriculture and banking industries collapse and decided Oklahoma needed a leader more concerned with problemsolving than reelection. “We needed someone willing to make tough decisions,” says Bellmon, who won the governor’s seat for the second time in 1986. Making changes wasn’t easy, though. Bellmon’s attempts to cut costs by eliminating one of the state’s three medical schools and $5 million in incentives for rural physicians were unsuccessful. But he did corral the state legislature into passing a public education reform bill in 1990 to increase teacher salaries and reduce class sizes. His proudest accomplishment, he says, was creating Oklahoma’s endowed chairs program for higher education in which the state matches gifts to college endowments. “I hope the endowment program has had the effect of keeping talented academicians in Oklahoma and recruiting other top educators to our state,” Bellmon says. “Education is the key to the long-term health of our country.”
Bellmon retired from politics in 1990, and despite Parkinson’s disease, openheart surgery in 2004 and Shirley’s death in 2000, he continues to reside on the homestead where he grew up and is married to longtime friend Eloise Bollenbach. (continues on next page)
Gov. Henry Bellmon, second from left, watches a parade from the viewing stand in downtown Oklahoma City.
“He believed people were people.” — Beulah Ponder
This article includes excerpts from The Life and Times of Henry Bellmon, an autobiography written with his daughter Pat (Bellmon) Hoerth, as well as interviews of Bellmon by OSU President Burns Hargis and Dick Pryor of Oklahoma Educational Television Authority. To listen to the public television interview, visit http://www.oeta.onenet. net and click on “A Conversation With …”
Two of his daughters also live on the family homestead, now named Turtle Rock Farm, where they host retreats and workshops for groups and individuals. Bellmon still marvels that he could win an election. “I don’t know why anyone would vote for me,” he says. “I’m not eloquent. I can hardly get two words to stick together. No money, no fame.”
photo / phil shockley
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Yet his honesty and moral virtues have impressed Oklahomans as well as world leaders. “Henry Bellmon is the quintessential Oklahoma success story,” says OSU President Burns Hargis, who worked on Bellmon’s 1974 Senate campaign. “He’s brought great distinction to Oklahoma,” Hargis says. “I can’t think of anyone of his era who’s accomplished more.”
Bellmon says his own life proves that winning elections doesn’t require a person to be a radical or a genius or to be wealthy or have a famous name. “What’s required is the ability to instill trust, to get people to believe in you and to work hard at your job. “I think people see me as someone they can approach if they need help,” Bellmon says. “And someone they can trust.”
From left, Rhodes Scholar Blaine Greteman; Henry Bellmon; OSU Scholar Development Director Robert Graalman; and Truman Scholar and Udall Scholar Cortney Timmons.
An Enduring Legacy Bellmon’s Foresight Paves the Way for Top Students
photo / phil shockley
didn’t realize it at the time, but Henry Bellmon sowed the seeds that grew into OSU’s elite standing as a Truman Honor Institution. “Little did he know his inspiration would result in a whole generation of outstanding OSU graduates,” says Robert Graalman, director of the scholar development office. Graalman remembers the day Bellmon stopped by his office in the Student Union nearly 15 years ago. “Mr. Bellmon wondered why he hadn’t seen many qualified OSU students as Truman finalists since he knew OSU has outstanding students,” Graalman says. Bellmon had served on the Truman scholar selection committee after leaving the U.S. Senate, and he knew the scholarship criteria correlated with OSU’s land-grant mission of public service and outreach. Through Bellmon, Graalman contacted Louis Blair, executive secretary of the Truman Foundation, and invited Blair to present a seminar on campus about how to prepare winning applications. The results were instantaneous.
“I can’t think of anything more important for a university than a reputation for building scholars.” — Henry Bellmon “Bryan Begley, president of the Student Government Association and an outstanding engineering student, attended the seminar and won a Truman Scholarship in 1994,” Graalman says. “Bryan also became a state finalist for a Rhodes scholarship the following year.” Since then, OSU’s Office of Scholar Development has produced more than 50 national and international scholars and is a national model for other universities. OSU enhances academic experiences for approximately 400 top students annually with additional research opportunities, individual mentoring, travel and special academic classes. The OSU Henry Bellmon Endowment can help make more of these enrichment opportunities possible. When Bellmon was a freshman in 1938, his expenses totaled $225 and were fairly affordable for a young man working his way through college. “I didn’t buy most of my textbooks because I couldn’t afford them,” says Bellmon,
who earned high grades anyway and was a member of the freshman honorary society Phi Eta Sigma and routinely listed on the Dean’s honor roll. “I learned to be a good listener,” he says. Today’s top students, however, increasingly rely on scholarships to achieve their full potential, which often depends on advanced graduate degrees and international experience. OSU’s latest Truman scholar, Cortney Timmons, implemented a campus-wide recycling program in addition to her research that focuses on converting agricultural waste into renewable energy. Her commitment to the environment also won the biosystems and agricultural engineering senior a Udall scholarship her sophomore year. National competition is tough, she says, and students with access to leadership opportunities, research and international study have a distinct advantage. “OSU is a great place to gain experience with all three,” she says.
Like Bellmon and Timmons, OSU’s first Rhodes Scholar, Blaine Greteman, hails from a small, rural Oklahoma community, Hydro, and proved he could succeed at national and international levels. “I felt really well prepared because of the mentoring I received and the university’s general culture that reflects the land-grant ethos,” says Greteman, who studied at Oxford with his 1998 Rhodes scholarship. Today he teaches English and will lead a group of OSU students to Cambridge this summer. Bellmon says OSU’s investment in students like Greteman and Timmons will produce the greatest returns for the state, the nation and the world. “As world situations become more complex, those who serve best will be the ones who understand the root of problems and can develop solutions,” Bellmon says. “I can’t think of anything more important for a university than a reputation for building scholars.” For more information about the Bellmon Endowment, contact George Wendt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-744-3787.
k ba c h b y ( a rb a c E t e M r a a U S ss rg M a nd Tre rO e fo hters, a v ) o t l g lef . e ir d au re th grand R ae van sha r d thei ) an w ith h ( l e f t a n H an
After 34 years, college roommates unexpectedly reunite while attending Grandparent University.
Life presents many paths. People pick and choose routes and sometimes end up at a place they recognize — a place they have been before. This was true for Margaret (Shimanek) Eby and Tressa (Kennedy) Marbach, two college roommates who lost touch with each other after graduating in 1973 until they reunited at the OSU Alumni Association’s Grandparent University last June. Thirty-four years ago during their sophomore year, Eby and Marbach shared a dorm room on the fourth floor of Willard Hall. They met through a mutual friend who introduced them at the end of their freshman year. Since both needed a roommate for the 68
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following year, they decided to share a dorm room. In 1973, Eby graduated with a degree in elementary education, and Marbach graduated with a degree in business administration. Eby went on to become a teacher, librarian and volunteer in Muskogee, Okla., while Marbach worked in accounting, got another degree and began working in software development in Dallas. The two women met again at OSU’s Grandparent University, a program where grandparents bring their grandchildren or “OSU legacies,” to campus for three days to get a taste of college life. Eby heard about the program through her sister-in-law, and Marbach
found the program on the OSU Alumni Association website. Unbeknownst to each other, both enrolled and brought their granddaughters to Stillwater for a weekend of orange and black. Eby and her Hannah, 7, and Marbach and her Raevan, 8, were rooming across from each other in the Patchin-Jones Residence Hall. The first night, Eby’s roommate invited some friends from across the hall over to watch a movie and enjoy popcorn. Eby had no idea she was about to meet up with an old friend. As the two women introduced themselves, they made the connection. “I clicked on the name Tressa and didn’t pay much attention to the last
The OSU Alumni Association star ted Grandparent University in 2003 as a weekend learning experience for OSU alumni and their grandchildren. OSU legacies, ages 7 to 14, join their grandparents for a three-day experience as they choose a major, live in a residence hall and graduate with a certificate of achievement. Majors include architecture, aerospace, agribusiness management, art, athletic training, aviation, broadcasting, business, cooking, entomology, fire protection, horticulture, interior design and veterinary medicine. This summer is the first time the Alumni Association will host two sessions of Grandparent University. For more information, visit orangeconnection.org/gpu or call Melisa Parkerson at 405-744-8711.
H an n and ah, an OSU gran M ar d l gare d augh egac y te r o t Eb mom f y, e Un i n t a t G t a ke s a ve r s r a nd it y 2 for 008 parent the c a Pist m e r to s mi ol P le aw ith ete.
name,” Eby says. “I had a roommate named Tressa in college,” she told Marbach. “Oh really, what was her name?” Marbach asked. “Tressa Kennedy,” Eby said. “Then she looked at me blankly for a couple beats and said, ‘That’s me!’” “You don’t look like you,” Marbach told Eby. “You don’t look like you, either!” Eby agreed. The two women discussed each other’s careers and families and reminisced about their college days. “As soon as I heard her laugh, I thought, oh my goodness, she sounds just the same,” Eby says.
Marbach says Eby was her favorite of five roommates. “She was the sweetest roommate I ever had in college,” she says. “The sweetness just oozed out of her.” Eby remembers Marbach as “really funny, very outgoing” and full of energy. “I probably drove her crazy in the mornings because I was a grump until I discovered coffee years later,” Eby says. “She was always really upbeat and sweet.” Today, Eby lives in Muskogee, Okla., and spends most of her time being a grandmother. She has three children, Beth, Emily and Aaron, and three grandchildren, Hannah, Cole and Connor. Marbach lives in Carrolton, Texas, where she works as a software developer
for AT&T. She has two children, Erika and Andrea, and four grandchildren, Raevan, Raign, Kendra and John Mark. Since their surprise reunion, Eby and Marbach have kept in touch through e-mail and are already planning future events, including this summer’s Grandparent University. They are hoping to choose the same major and spend time together. Eby and Marbach hope to make their Grandparent University reunion an annual tradition. B ria B olton
hen Daphne Hagerty first met her late husband, Scott, she was not that interested in him. But like a true soldier he fought for her and within six months the two were engaged.
thanks to him and his unit,” she laughs. “When he started a project, he had a hard time handing it over to someone else.” Scott returned to his hometown of Stillwater for nine months before the newly promoted major received orders of another tour in Iraq. However, the day before he was to leave he was called to Afghanistan instead, which allowed him On Christmas Eve 1995 the two two more precious weeks with his family. exchanged vows. Scott was a second In Afghanistan, Scott was working lieutenant and the executive officer of a with the elders in the communities to drill sergeant company training recruits establish schools and clinics. Routinely, in Fort Sill, Okla., where Daphne felt he Scott and the men under his command was safe. But she knew being married to would scout locations for the schools a soldier came with risks, and on Sept. and clinics, but during one outing 11, 2001, the risks became reality. the soldiers noticed they were being Scott was promoted to captain and watched. The crew tried to exit the joined the military police in 2003. Their area through a different route than they life together was lived between deployentered and in doing so, the vehicle hit ments, including the delay of a cesarean an explosive device that detonated under for the birth of their second son, Samuel, Scott’s feet. so Scott could make it home for the On June 3, 2008, Daphne was at delivery — which he did. her parent’s house in Perkins, Okla., In 2004, Scott went on his first tour to when she received a phone call asking Iraq to help secure the elections. After 10 for her parent’s address. What seemed months he returned and entered special like a lifetime later, a knock at the door training to join the civil affairs unit where confirmed Daphne’s worst fear — her his first tour led him to the horn of Africa husband did not survive. helping to build schools, bridges and water “I thought he was safer in wells. He was so passionate about his Afghanistan,” says Daphne. “This was work there and the African people that his third tour. I just thought he’d always Daphne got involved too by organizing be back.” their church to send money, clothes and An outpouring of support from the cloth diapers for the children he was helpcommunity was felt and seen when ing at orphanages. When it was time for Scott’s body was returned, and the him to leave, he was not ready to go. Stillwater streets lined with citizens as “He fell in love with the kids, the his body was escorted to its final resting places and the communities,” says place at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Daphne. “He even wanted to retire in “Every day I have to wake up and Uganda because they had clean water make peace with it all over again,” says 70
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Daphne. “But I know his life was predetermined and being a soldier was his calling.” Like her husband, Daphne feels called to help others, and she’s doing so while honoring his name, his life and his legacy. Daphne has created the Scott A. Hagerty Scholarship for Army ROTC to benefit OSU students in the ROTC program where Scott was first trained to be an officer. “I want to keep his name and memory alive,” Daphne says. “And to encourage young recruits and soldiers who will soon be responsible for the security of nations, the lives of others and the future of our country.” Daphne believes support for the ROTC is often overlooked and hopes her gift will inspire others to also contribute to Scott’s memorial scholarship or consider establishing their own. “I wish I could do more,” she says. “These guys will eventually go through things that test them physically and mentally. It will change them forever. But this is their calling, they have a heart to be a soldier; not everybody can or would do that.” For more information or to contribute, contact Damien Williams at 405-744-4035 or dwilliams@OSUgiving.com.
photo / Phil Shockley
Countless OSU students, faculty, staff and alumni have volunteered or been called to serve in Iraq. The three alums featured here take outreach to heart, sharing their expertise in health care, agriculture and administration with the war-torn country despite substantial risk to their own safety. After 31 years as a civil servant, Elaine Bitsche decided to cap her career with an international assignment. In May 2008, she moved from Palmdale, Calif., where S t o r i e s b y J a n e t V a r n u m she administered contracts for the Department of Defense, to Baghdad’s International Zone to help with the multitude of government contracts intended to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure. Although she’s 16 hours from home working 13-hour days, seven days a week, Bitsche says the support and understanding of her family, including her husband, Edward, a 1972 horticulture graduate, makes the distance bearable. So when a similar administrative position opened at Al Taji in December, she requested a six-month extension to assist coalition forces there who are training Iraqis to repair and rebuild Hummers, tanks and weapons for Iraq’s military. Only 30 miles northwest of Baghdad, Al Taji was originally an Iraqi military base and home of “Chemical Ali,” the notorious leader known for his ruthless use of chemical weapons. Now, it’s home to Iraqi and coalition forces but looks like a “war dump” littered with old tanks, trucks and other equipment. “We know anything can happen,” Bitsche says, “but we have a warning and defense system in place Even in remote Al Taji, Iraq, Elaine Bitsche sometimes spots a fellow Cowboy wearing an OSU T-shirt and doesn’t feel quite so far from home.
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that helps with our level of comfort in that area, and everyone’s watchful of what’s happening around them.” Those sequestered on the base have everything they need from living quarters and offices to dining facilities and the principal source of recreation, a gym. Home is a cramped, metal trailer where the nearest restroom is a short hike through mud thick enough to pull the shoes off her feet. “One of the best parts of this experience is meeting different people from all over the world,” she says. “It’s fascinating to talk to people from Iraq and Europe as well as people from South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Belize and Macedonia.” Once in awhile, someone wanders by wearing an OSU T-shirt, and the world instantly seems smaller, says Bitsche, who attended OSU from 1969 through 1972 before her husband received his commission into the U.S. Army. The couple lived in many places, including Germany, before his retirement in 2002 as director of logistics for the Utah Army National Guard. But no matter where they live, their roots bind them to OSU. And even though she put her education on hold 17 years before completing a business degree elsewhere, she says, “I still consider myself a loyal Cowboy.”
Restoring Health A year ago, moving to Iraq was “not even a distant thought” for Oklahoma native Terry Cline, head of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration since 2006. But his work at the federal level introduced him to Iraq’s Minister of
Health, Salih Al-Hasnawi, and others who inspired him with their incredible commitment to improving health care against unbelievable odds. “Their courage, resiliency, strength and vision led to my decision to volunteer for this post,” says Cline, who was awarded his second presidential appointment as U.S. health attaché to Iraq last July. The Obama
from an inadequate water system and administration asked him to continue poor public health awareness, Cline in the position until he returns to says, but the number of confirmed cases Oklahoma this summer to become the was more than four times higher in state’s commissioner of health. 2007, another sign of progress. Cline earned master’s and doctoral Cline says how Iraqi people react degrees in clinical psychology from to him depends on their previous interOSU in 1985 and 1992, respectively. actions with Americans. From 2001 to 2006 he directed “Some individuals have Oklahoma’s Department of clearly articulated their Mental Health and Substance appreciation to us for helpAbuse Services and concuring rebuild their health care rently served as secretary of system, which was once health from 2004 to 2006. the regional leader in the Two basic indicators of Middle East. Iraq’s health — the infant “Others have talked mortality rate and the country’s Terry Cline about their skewed perspecinfrastructure — deteriorated tive, having only known Americans as significantly under Saddam’s regime. individuals who crashed in the doors of Physicians, who had been regarded their homes and made them get out of as pillars of society, were specifically their cars for searches at checkpoints. targeted for assassination and kidnap“All point to the potential that relaping — and approximately half fled tionships could improve significantly as the country. “I have talked with many physicians safety and security stabilize Iraq. The people of Iraq have demonstrated their who were either kidnapped themselves resiliency and strength to endure under or who had family members kidnapped incredible hardships. I feel honored to for ransom. One physician actually play a small part in this critical work. showed me his bullet wound from an “This work is not about ‘doing assassination attempt.” Cline says Iraq’s minister of health is something for someone.’ It is about working hand in hand in partnership making significant strides now that the with various stakeholders, all of whom country’s health care budget increased are committed to improving the quality from $16 million several years ago to of life for all Iraqis. Pretty cool stuff.” more than $4 billion today. “Physicians are returning to the Swords to country at a rate of approximately 25 per week, and that number appears to Plowshares be increasing,” Cline says. “This is a After a year of meeting secretly with result of significantly increasing salaries Iraqi farmers and staying a step ahead for physicians (from about $3 per day of danger, Greg Kindell sensed he had to approximately $1,600 per month), as pushed his luck far enough. well as increased safety and security in He returned to Tulsa last September the country.” satisfied that the new farmers unions he Another priority for helped establish in Iraq will renew hope Cline and his staff is and eventually lead to a stable economy. restoring reliable electric“We started with three farmers ity and water systems. unions, and by the time I left, we had “It’s not uncommon to enter a primary 110,” says Kindell, a 1974 forestry health care center that has been graduate and one of the first U.S. ‘powered down’ to save fuel, so no Department of Agriculture specialists lights or equipment are running,” he selected to help rebuild Iraq’s agriculsays. “And because of an inadequate ture industry. water supply system, diseases such as When Kindell arrived in October cholera are endemic.” 2007, he toured Iraq’s Ninewa Province, In 2008, there were 925 cases of (continues on next page) confirmed cholera resulting primarily
one of the country’s 22 provinces, and discovered farmers using pre-1970s tractors and techniques. “The farmers didn’t have any modern equipment. No resources. No genetically improved seeds,” he says, because Saddam had isolated the country from education and technology since his 1968 rise to power. Northern Iraq’s flat, fertile land once supplied enough wheat and vegetables to export, Kindell says, but the declining production level fell to only 30 percent of the country’s needs. A specialist in bringing people and resources together in rural Oklahoma communities, Kindell has done everything from promoting rural tourism to procuring funds for ambulances during his 33 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He realized the Iraqis needed farmers unions, not only as an immediate and future resource, but also to unify the agricultural industry and help it gain recognition from the new government. “The Iraqi farmers are the most wonderful people you’d want to meet,” Kindell says, but they needed lots of follow-up on how to progress and move forward. “From unpredictable electric power hindering irrigation to dangerous insurgents who kill anyone associated with 74
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(Above) Greg Kindell, far left in bulletproof vest and guarded by military security, visits Bartella farmers who thank him for procuring tractors and helping them organize a farmers union. (Left) Kindell, second from right, and his interpreter meet with the Shamar tribe in Ninewa province. Americans, nothing is easy in Iraq,” Kindell says. “It was a daily challenge trying to figure out how to solve problems and give people hope.” Getting the farmers to set aside their differences and write bylaws for the farmers unions that did not exclude people based on cultural differences, religion or even the amount of land they owned, wasn’t always easy. “I would tell them, ‘You have to work together or I won’t work with you.’ And only a couple of them refused.” Kindell’s meetings had to be kept secret to protect everyone involved. One day, three separate locations were mortared shortly after Kindell left. “You have to distance your mind from fear or you couldn’t get anything done,” he says. “My objective was to start something they could build on, something that would give them hope for a better future.”
With 75,000 farm families and more than a quarter-million Iraqis raising, processing or selling agricultural products, imagine how many families a strong agriculture industry could sustain, he says. “Iraq’s government needs to support agriculture because when people have jobs and hope for the future, they’re less likely to shoot at each other or our troops.” Kindell received the Meritorious Honor Award from the Ambassador of Iraq for his effort “to move hundreds of farm families through the steps of organizing, registering, funding and business planning that enable community-based institutions to promote profitable and peaceful coexistence.” “Our work was not just about agriculture or tractors,” Kindell says. “Our work was about bringing hope. I feel like we made a difference, and that’s what I hoped for when I went there.”
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photo / Phil Shockley
Ready for the Unthinkable OSU-Oklahoma City instructor of safety and emergency preparedness brings his own life-and-death experiences to each lesson. it affects the livelihood of that Hurricanes, tornados, earthcommunity. We want to be quakes and man-made disasters able to train with and perform drive home the lesson each year: better with our private industry government agencies and private partners.” industry must work together Once it’s fully operational, during times of crisis. But, no the center will be a boon to one will catch Jon Hansen, with OSU-Oklahoma City students as OSU-Oklahoma City’s Center well as the state. Fire protection, for Safety and Emergency police science and other programs Preparedness, asking for any will get firsthand access to the lifereminders. and-death training offered there Hansen spent 27 years as an in everything from homeland Oklahoma City firefighter, rising to assistant chief and helping coor- security, simulations and media strategies in addition to advanced dinate responses to emergencies driver training. from catastrophic tornados to the Hansen, who helped plan April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. the center, joined other instructors in initiating training of The bombing especially reinforced OSU-Oklahoma City officials in the need for across-the-board cooperation as emergency person- “table top” exercises — scenarios that play out entirely over a table nel raced against time to safely instead of in real time. rescue victims from the office In those exercises, Hansen complex’s unstable rubble pile says, the university tested its while city officials, law enforceresponse to a fictional domestic ment, industry and charities came dispute that ended in the shoottogether. Hansen brings that ing of several students. Officials expertise to OSU-Oklahoma City to help others achieve the coopera- plan a “full response exercise” in April acting out the event. The tion required. center has also hosted a trainer for “Having responded to inciresponses to oil and gas pipeline dents like this across the country, emergencies. we do a pretty good job of train“The concept for the Center ing emergency responders, and for Safety and Emergency people may do some training Preparedness evolved through inside private industry,” Hansen researching the needs of our busisays. “But getting us all together ness community in relation to is what’s important. When someeffective emergency preparedness thing happens in the community,
planning and hands-on skill scenarios,” says Catreana Bennett, an assistant vice president supervising the program. “One of the critical factors for business and industry is to develop an ongoing working relationship with public safety agencies within their demographic. I took this concept to Jon for his perspective based on his history and experiences in public safety during summer 2007.” Bennett and Hansen see the center, modeled after a similar program in Phoenix, Ariz., culminating in a high-tech command training center outfitted with the latest communications equipment and other technology. The program is set up for mobility so Hansen can take the training to clients in rural areas. That lessens the strain of travel and lost employee time on cashand manpower-strapped departments and companies. For him, it’s the latest chapter in a storied career that first thrust him onto the hotseat as the media contact for the capital’s fire department during the bombing’s aftermath. Fielding questions from reporters, his face was beamed into homes across the United States during televised updates of the perilous and methodical (continues on next page)
Using “table-top” exercises (facing page), Jon Hansen explains to students how dangerous situations might play out in real life. Hansen became the fire department’s national spokesman following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
photo / OSU-Oklahoma City
search for survivors caught under shifting tons of concrete and steel. He retired in 2000 and was nominated by then President George Bush to lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Fire Administration. He declined the post, but spent several months as a special consultant to the director, OSU alumnus Joe Allbaugh. Hansen was part of a consulting team from a company, Autodesk, assisting the federal agency during the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There, he helped plan strategy alongside an urban search and rescue program. Among other career paths, he spent four years with the software company, managing its emergency response solutions group that developed software to
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plan and simulate responses to disasters. Throughout that time he faced problems on which the center focuses. He expects departments and others to come to OSU-Oklahoma City for training because there’s nowhere else in the region that bridges the gaps between agencies that must work together during crises. “I dealt with it for over twenty years,” Hansen says. “You don’t know what a bad guy is going to do, so you just have to train to deal with it as best you can and hope that you’ve got the training to deal with any contingency that’s thrown at you. And that’s what training is all about.” M att E lliott
OSU-Oklahoma City students in fire protection, police science and other programs will get firsthand training in the Center for Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
Medical Cowboys’ Mission Reaches Beyond OSU “It’s pretty easy to do when
you know it’s the right thing to do.” That is the response from Drs. Ross and Alicia Vanhooser when asked about their $60,000 gift to endow a scholarship through the OSU Medical Cowboys. Ross, a Baylor graduate, and Alicia, an OU graduate, met at OU medical school in the 1980s where they were both studying. Neither has a direct affiliation to OSU as a student or otherwise, but both have a strong passion for the OSU Medical Cowboys’ cause to provide financial assistance to OSU students pursuing a career in the healthcare industry. “We are concerned about the aging physician population,” say the Vanhoosers. “We see this as an opportunity to help recruit new and young physicians, especially those who will serve rural areas.” Living and working in Enid, Okla., has afforded the Vanhoosers the pleasure of meeting, working with and befriending OSU alumni like Drs. Barry Pollard and Greg Walton. Through these relationships, the Vanhoosers learned of their friends’ passion for OSU and of their contributions providing for tomorrow’s healthcare providers. “These men are our dear friends and strong OSU alumni,” say the Vanhoosers. “When we overhead Barry talking about the Medical Cowboys, we just knew this was something we wanted to do.” The J. Ross Vanhooser, M.D., and Alicia Fowlkes Vanhooser, M.D., OSU Medical Cowboys Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to an incoming freshman with a minimum ACT score of 27 and 3.75 GPA with demonstrated leadership ability and community involvement. The renewable $2,500
Drs. Ross and Alicia Vanhooser’s belief in the OSU Medical Cowboys program led them to endow a scholarship for an OSU undergraduate student pursuing a healthcare career even though neither attended the university. annual scholarship must be awarded to a resident of Oklahoma who desires a professional career within the healthcare industry. “You don’t have to be a medical doctor to make a significant contribution in the healthcare industry,” say the Vanhoosers. “It takes a lot of people to
“ The whole point of this schol arship is to try to pay back some of the debt we owe to our community. Northwest Oklahoma i s f u l l of e xc e p t iona l peopl e w ho h av e don e nothing but support us . Go Pok es!” — Vanhooser s
make a medical community run and all of it is rewarding work.” Though the Vanhoosers’ original intent was to pay the total $60,000 gift over several years, they felt their gift was needed now more than ever because of the current state of the economy. “We know the economy is affecting endowments right now, so we put together the money to fund the entire thing this year,” say the Vanhoosers. “And there is obviously going to be an additional need from more students because of the economy.” One daughter in college and two sons who have yet to graduate high school is reason enough for the Vanhoosers to hold onto every penny, but they are confident in their choice. “The gifts we’ve provided were done without reservation or expectation,” say the Vanhoosers. “The whole point of this scholarship is to try to pay back some of the debt we owe to our community. Northwest Oklahoma is full of exceptional people who have done nothing but support us. Go Pokes!” 79
With 37 OSU alumni elected to the Oklahoma state legislature and more than 400 Cowboys for Higher Education cheering on OSUâ€™s legislative priorities, great things are possible.
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capitol Photo / Gary Lawson
Cowboys for Higher Education chairman Larry Briggs, Rep. Cory Williams of District 34 and OSU President Burns Hargis are a few of the many Cowboys making OSU a priority at the capitol.
C ow b oy s f o r Effective communication has always H i g h e r E d u cat i o n is a been an important part of the legislagroup of OSU alumni committed to being tive successes of Cowboys for Higher advocates for issues that affect OSU. Education, and teamwork between Through the programming efforts legislators and Cowboys for Higher of the OSU Alumni Association, Education just became easier. alumni and friends have been working Since November, the Alumni together since 1995 to make OSU and Association has been using a softOklahoma’s higher education a priority ware program allowing the alumni at the capitol. of Cowboys for Higher Education to Cowboys for Higher Education communicate more efficiently with members have made a difference in the Oklahoma senators and representatives. past. Larry Shell, president of the OSU “Before, when an issue would come Alumni Association, says they helped to our attention, someone from the make OSU-Tulsa a reality in 1999 with capitol would call and say, ‘We need their “last-minute lobbying.” OSU alums to call their legislators and Alumni helped create OSU history inform them about this issue affecting when they contacted their government OSU,’” says Melinda Tharp, program leaders and influenced the legislature’s assistant. “Then, we would send out a decision to create the Tulsa campus. blast fax saying, ‘This is the issue; call Shell says another victory was the your legislator.’” OSU license plate program. Fans can Tharp says the new program makes purchase an OSU Pistol Pete license the communication process simple and plate for $35, and sales support OSU much faster. Instead of mailing and and education. faxing, the software allows alumni to “The car tag provides money to the receive e-mail notices and immediately OSU Alumni Association for scholare-mail legislators. ships, and in the past we have been able to give up to $80,000 in scholarships in a year,” Shell says. Rep. Lee Denney of District 33, a 1976 and 1978 OSU alumna, says she often hears from members of Cowboys for Higher Education. “It’s very heartening to a legislator to know that people will get engaged in the process,” she says. “I really urge more Oklahoma State graduates to get involved. The opportunity has presented itself to learn about the process, learn that the capitol is their building and we work for them. They are certainly welcome up here to talk to us about any issue that might affect their lives.” Denney says she hopes people will learn to come to their legislators with “Alumni can literally read the alert all sorts of needs. and click, ‘Take action,’” Tharp says. “Once they learn they can do this “The next page comes up, they type in grassroots lobbying, not only will they their zip code and their information, and lobby on behalf of Oklahoma State it shows them who their legislators are.” University and higher education, but Shell says he believes the software also it will spill over into other areas of will encourage more alumni to get their lives,” she says. involved.
Capitol Cowboys are 42 Oklahoma senators and representatives who attended OSU, graduated from OSU or wish they had,” says Larry Shell, president of the OSU Alumni Association.
“Our hope is that we’ve made it so simple so those people who have been reluctant to contact their legislators will realize anyone can make a difference with a few clicks of a mouse,” Shell says. The software also provides a letter template, which can be printed and mailed. Rep. Cory Williams of District 34, a 2001 and 2005 OSU alumnus, was elected in November and says he has already started receiving e-mails from members of Cowboys for Higher Education. “It puts a lot of faces with the decisions we make regarding higher education,” Williams says. “Instead of it being a lobbyist-driven situation, it’s constituent-driven.” Williams says he likes how Cowboys for Higher Education makes his opendoor policy a lot more real. “It surprises me how many people don’t know how to get a hold of their legislators, so for organizations to make it easier to facilitate, I’m for it,” Williams says. “I think it’s a brilliant idea, and I hope it gets utilized.” The main goal is for legislators to hear from their constituents. “We have people who are fishing buddies with some of the legislators, and we have people who are just in their district and know their legislator wants to hear what their constituents have to say,” Tharp says. The Alumni Association and Cowboys for Higher Education are always looking for alumni who want to get involved and advocate promoting OSU and higher education. “There’s an old saying if you hear from six people, it’s a landslide,” Shell says. “If we just get six people to contact their legislator on an issue, that’s significant.” Shell says there’s strength in numbers, and he hopes to have 2,000 to 3,000 alumni involved in the future. B ria B olton
For more information about being a part of Cowboys for Higher Education, contact Melinda Tharp at email@example.com.
SOUTH KOREA When a group of South Korean businessmen visited the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology campus recently as part of a statewide tour, one was so impressed with what he saw at OSUIT that he made a special return visit.
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Park Yong Soo, left, president of Daekyung Engineering Company, presents special machinery to Mike Taylor, chair of the Engineering Technologies Division at OSU Institute of Technology.
Park Yong Soo, president of Daekyung Engineering Company, arranged his return visit to deliver, in person, a surprise gift — three materials testing machines that will be used by manufacturing technologies students. Park’s company manufactures equipment for chemical plants and develops environmental systems. The instruments he brought were a Brinell hardness tester, a Rockwell hardness tester and a tension/ compression tensile tester. “These will be very valuable to our curriculum,” says Ken Milliman, manufacturing instructor. “Having a compression/tension tester with a 3-ton capacity means we can determine the physical properties of a wide variety of materials.” The gift’s value is $30,000, according to Mike Ogden, OSUIT’s manager of Workforce Development Programs. Daniel Oh, director of Korea Materials & Components Industry Agency (KMAC), provided shipping and handling for the equipment. Last fall, the South Korean government-sponsored KMAC sent a 15-member delegation to Oklahoma to seek out business collaboration and
training opportunities. OSUIT was one of the university campuses they visited. “Mr. Park was so impressed with the school and our methodology, he decided to make this donation in person,” says Ogden. Park especially appreciated OSUIT’s ability to produce technicians who can begin work with little or no additional training. “This college prepares students to work in the company right after they graduate. In Korea, even if students graduate from engineering schools, they are not ready for the workplace; companies have to extensively train them,” Park says. “I hope this donation helps students get the right type of hands-on experiences they need while they are still in class.” OSUIT President Bob Klabenes says the key to students being successful on the job is industry involvement, even when that industry is an ocean away. “It reflects the type of relationship we want with business and industry or employers. It’s a h the knowledge and skills employers desire, and then they help us shape that curriculum and learning experience.”
From left, OSUIT President Bob Klabenes; Park Yong Soo; Daniel Oh, general manager of KMAC Bucheon Center; and instructor Ken Milliman.
OSUIT offers high-quality technical training in more than 20 technical professions, planned and guided with the support of leading companies, industries and high-technology firms. As a result, students learn the latest technical advances that meet the demanding needs of employers. R e x Daughert y
For more information, call 800-722-4471 or visit the website at www.osuit.edu.
3years in a row
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For the third consecutive year, BancFirst was named as a top performing bank in the country, according to the first quarter issue of Bank Director magazine. BancFirst ranked 11th in the annual listing of the 150 largest publicly-traded banks and thrifts nationwide. That’s great news worth sharing!
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PHOTOS COURTESY Lee Thomas Photography
Sandy Hatfield studied at OSU before moving to Kentucky, where she oversees the Three Chimneys Farm breeding program.
Valentine’s Day through July Fourth is the busiest time of year for Sandy Hatfield, who oversees the breeding process of Thoroughbred racehorses at the prestigious Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky. Clients pay anywhere from $10,000 to more than $150,000 to breed their mare with one of Three Chimneys’ 12 stallions. The farm is home to many famous horses including Big Brown and Smarty Jones, both Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winners. During the five-month breeding season, Hatfield works seven days a week helping to create the next generation in racehorses. Hatfield is the stallion manager at the American Thoroughbred racehorse boarding and breeding farm. She cares for the 12 breeding stallions, oversees the breeding and serves as an ambassador to the farm’s many visitors.
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Hatfield has been at Three Chimneys since January 2000 but has loved horses since she was a little girl in Aspen, Colo. “We always had horses in our front yard,” she says of her family’s farm in Aspen. “I was two or three years old when my dad bought me a little Western saddle, and I think that’s when my love of horses developed.”
Hatfield’s family later moved to Oklahoma, where she continued to grow up around quarter horses on her father’s ranch. Hatfield graduated from high school in Norman and attended Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa for a semester before transferring to Oklahoma State. She stayed at OSU for a year and a half as an animal science and pre-veterinarian student.
“I was two or three years old when my dad bought me a little Western saddle, and I think that’s when my love of horses developed.”
Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., is home to many famous horses including Big Brown and Smarty Jones, both Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winners. Hatfield says Three Chimneys also “I love Oklahoma,” Hatfield says. “I sells about $40 million in horses annulove the landscape, and the openness ally on a commission basis for its clients and freedom it has.” and prides itself on the honest relationHatfield transferred to Kentucky’s ship between sales team and buyers. Murray State University when she was Mr. and Mrs. Robert Clay, the farm’s offered a scholarship and the chance to owners, started the business in 1972. help develop its equine program. “I love the owners,” Hatfield says. “I really had every intention of “The horses are the most important coming back to Oklahoma and workthing to them, which I love. ing in the quarter horse business after “Certainly I love horses or I college,” Hatfield says. “That was my wouldn’t be doing this,” Hatfield says. passion, and those were the only horses “I wouldn’t be out here when it’s 24 I really knew anything about.” Hatfield’s plans changed the summer degrees. I love the excitement of the breeding shed. I love getting to know before her senior year of college. the horses as individuals.” “I got a summer job in Lexington in During breeding season, there are the summer of 1980,” she says. “I just fell in love with it — fell in love with the three breeding sessions each day — 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Hatfield horses and the people. The facilities are arrives at work at 6:30 a.m., and makes absolutely amazing.” sure the horses are fed and exercised Hatfield ended up staying in before the mares arrive. The first breedKentucky after all. ing session lasts about an hour and “I started out taking care of yearlings, a half. There is just enough time for worked my way up, and I’ve been managpaperwork and lunch before it’s time ing stallions now for about 18 years.” to feed the horses and start over again. Hatfield worked for seven years at Hatfield says the afternoon breeding North Ridge Farm in Lexington, two session lasts about an hour, and then years at Calumet Farm in Lexington, it’s time for more paperwork. She has and eight years at Gainsborough Farm a break from 5 to 6 p.m., and then it’s in Midway before finding her way to time to prepare for the 7 p.m. shed. A Three Chimneys Farm. typical day is more than 13 hours long. She says the farm is a little more “It’s a long day,” Hatfield says. “You than 2,000 acres. Clients board about have to love it to put that kind of dedi450 mares at the barn each year, and cation into it.” about 220 foals are born annually.
When she’s not at the farm, Hatfield spends time with her husband, Greg Magruder, who works in media consulting. The two have been married since 1985 and live about 30 miles from Three Chimneys on five acres in Stamping Ground, Ky. Hatfield says they enjoy fishing and camping together. Hatfield is also a big sister in Big Brothers Big Sisters and is serving as president of the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass. Hatfield says she has been with her little sister, Grace, for six years, and Grace is graduating from high school this year. “We got together because she was horse crazy,” Hatfield says. Although she loves her job and Kentucky, Hatfield says she often misses Oklahoma and her family who live in Ponca City and Stillwater. “I would certainly give thought about moving back if the right position came open,” she says. “It’s just really hard for somebody who’s been in the Thoroughbred business as long as I have to come back and switch back over to quarter horses.” Ultimately, Hatfield’s dream job is already a reality. “I love everything I do,” she says. “I’m really very blessed that I can get someone to pay me to do it.” B ria B olton
real-world, hands-on education can be expensive, very expensive. To earn an OSU degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering, some students become involved in the design and manufacture of air and space vehicles for transportation, exploration and military purposes. In most cases, the equipment and supplies used in faculty research and to master their skills can be many times the cumulative cost of a fouryear education.
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Thus, when the Tulsa division of Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems, the world’s largest supplier of commercial airplane assemblies and components, donated world-class materials for use within the department, the value was well beyond the monetary price tag. Spirit’s latest gift of 22 rolls of carbon fabric, worth nearly $100,000, will aid OSU students and faculty in cutting-edge research. “We plan to use these carbon fabrics to make composite laminates for investigating the effects of environmental exposure,” says Raman Singh, mechanical engineering associate professor. “I have a National Science Foundation-funded
project, and this material will be very helpful in studying some aerospace-grade materials. We also have interest from NASA-Langley and NASA-Marshall in aerospace applications of composites, and these materials will be used for pilot studies.” Spirit’s relationship with OSU engineering departments started years ago when it provided a lead sponsorship for the Design, Build and Fly Competition to help OSU students purchase the materials needed to compete. This initial contribution and support, a tradition Spirit AeroSystems has built on, has helped form an award-winning OSU team — a legacy that continues today.
Currently, Spirit AeroSystems employs nearly 90 OSU alumni in a variety of areas within the Wichita-based company. “This competition is exactly what Spirit AeroSystems does,” says Mark Walker, Spirit AeroSystems representative. “We’re not just handing over a check; we’re making an investment in our state and the future of our company. The competition includes designing, building and flying a final product, and it is no accident that we employ some of the winning team members at our facility. OSU works with Oklahoma
employers to train and retain our most talented kids.” Spirit’s investment in OSU has grown from a student scholarship to competition sponsorships, employee recruitment and in-kind donations of premier aerospace equipment. “We want to maximize our giving to touch more people and let the students know that we really do care,” says Walker. “And OSU makes it easy for us
“... OSU makes it easy for us to do that together. It really is a mutually beneficial relationship.” — Mark Walker
to do that together. It really is a mutually beneficial relationship.” Spirit benefits from its relationship with OSU in the recruitment of new talent for its team of more than 2,500 employees in Oklahoma. Beyond engineers, Spirit looks to OSU for topperforming accounting and business students to maintain Spirit’s position at the forefront of the industry. “We’re so happy with the students from OSU,” says Walker. Apparently, OSU students are happy with Spirit as well with more than 95 graduates employed at the Tulsa office alone. “We love this relationship with OSU,” says Walker. “It gets better everyday.”
Pop Up Pete Where will Pistol Pete pop up next?
Pistol Pete, complete with his iconic orange chaps and 10-gallon hat, has been a friend of OSU fans for more than 85 years. Since he’s always ready and willing to cheer on the Cowboys, why wouldn’t Cowboys want to share Pete with their friends and family? In December, some OSU fans did just that when they began mailing a paper cutout of Pistol Pete to friends and family around the world. They started their own version of the popular children’s book project about Flat Stanley, but instead of Stanley, they chose Pistol Pete.
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Stanley Lambchop, a character from Jeff Brown’s 1964 children’s story Flat Stanley, is a normal boy until he is crushed during his sleep by a bulletin board hanging over his bed. Stanley learns to enjoy his new shape and even visits friends by traveling in an envelope. In 1995, the Flat Stanley project began when a third-grade teacher in Canada encouraged his students to write letters and mail their paper Stanley to friends, family and students around the world. The recipients responded with pictures, postcards and stories of Stanley’s travels. Lance Millis, assistant director of the Student Academic Success Center in OSU’s College of Education, says he remembers his daughters talking about the Flat Stanley story. “We had a stand up Pistol Pete around the house somewhere, and I thought, ‘Instead of Flat Stanley, let’s do Pistol Pete,’” Millis says.
His daughters — Lauren, 7, and Lindsay, 5 — were thrilled about their new project. Millis says his daughters liked the idea of Pete because they love OSU, and they also share a special connection to Pistol Pete since their father portrayed the mascot while he was an OSU student in 1987-1988. “I didn’t think about the project until three days after the end of last semester,” Millis says. “If I had thought about it sooner, I could have sent Pete home with some of my students. “I have students from Ukraine, New Zealand, Africa and Australia.”
Millis says his family wrote an explanation letter, which his daughters signed, to accompany the paper Pete. In December, Pete took his first adventure to the girls’ grandparents’ homes in Bartlesville, Okla., and Holiday Island, Ark. Next, the real mascot Pistol Pete took Lauren and Lindsay’s traveling Pete to San Diego, Calif., for the Holiday Bowl. Pop Up Pete even traveled to Iraq during the break to visit a soldier. Millis says he hopes to send Pistol Pete on adventures with Football Coach Mike Gundy and other OSU celebrities in the future. The OSU Alumni Association is adopting the Millis family’s idea of a traveling Pete as part of its Legacy Program and invites everyone to participate in the Pop Up Pete program. A Pistol Pete template is available online at orangeconnection.org/popuppete. Once printed and colored, he’s ready to travel. Participants can e-mail photos and stories about Pete’s travels to PopUpPete@orangeconnection.org, which will be posted on the Alumni Association’s website. B ria B olton
New York City Cowboys The New York City Cowboys Chapter of the OSU Alumni Association met for a cultural dining experience in February. Participant Amit Bansal, ’04, MBA, elevated the meal to an even greater ethnic experience by elaborating on the characteristics of the food. A native of Agra, India, Bansal suggested the group dine at an Indian restaurant so he could share some of his culture with his Oklahoma State friends. This invitation inspired the chapter’s leadership to establish a bimonthly cultural dinner, starting with an evening at Utsav Festive Indian Restaurant. “Finding other Cowpokes in New York City is like finding an oasis far from home,” says Mike Callaham, chapter coordinator. “What is wonderful about Amit’s proposal is the opportunity to find new ways to bring our Cowboy family together. For years the New York City Cowboys chapter has been a very successful watch club. Now we are ready to experience together all the opportunities this amazing city offers.” Utsav was chosen for its central location in midtown Manhattan between Times Square and Rockefeller Center and because it’s also a frequent lunch spot for Bansal and his coworkers. With origins in Sanskrit, “Utsav” means festival. The dining room does not forsake its name — located on the second floor, the room is spacious and lined with floor-to-ceiling windows. Bansal answered questions during dinner, explaining how traditional dishes prepared at home might differ from those served at the restaurant. Sampler appetizers were shared in a home-style manner around the table, while Bansal advised what his favorite combinations were and made other suggestions. With the diverse yet intimate turnout, the NYC Cowboys are looking forward to future cultural excursions in the city, including dinner at an authentic churrascaria, The Brazil Grill. Current and future chapter activities can be found at orangeconnection.org/nyc. Case y S chinnerer , N YC
Choose OSU Show your true colors with the OSU license plate option.
All Oklahomans will have to update their license plates in 2009. In January, the Oklahoma Tax Commission introduced a new Oklahoma license plate design featuring red text and the Sacred Rain Arrow sculpture by Oklahoma artist Allan Houser. But Oklahoma State Cowboys have another great option — an OSU license tag that highlights Pistol Pete and shows off orange and black text on a white background. “Not only does the OSU car tag allow fans to brag with their tag, but it also allows them to support the OSU Alumni Association and the university they know and love,” says Larry Shell, president of the OSU Alumni Association. An OSU plate is $37 for the first year and $36 for renewal. For every plate purchased, the Alumni Association receives $20, which is awarded to students through scholarships. “The OSU car tag scholarship program truly makes a difference,” Shell says. “In the past, we have been able to give up to $80,000 in scholarships in a year.” For more information on the program or to purchase an OSU tag, visit orangeconnection.org/cartag or an Oklahoma tag agency. B ria B olton
David Ross has faced many struggles in his life. Medical issues and physical limitations have created obstacles, but he has not let them stand in the way of his dreams. “David is a terrific guy,” says Lance Millis, Ross’ adviser within OSU’s College of Education. “He’s friendly, nothing upsets him, and challenges or problems never change his demeanor.” Ross came to OSU in 1988 to pursue a degree in engineering. After a year of study, he decided education was a better fit for him and switched his major to industrial trade education. However, health problems got in the way of his graduation and for several years, Ross was unable to work or attend school. As his health improved, he enrolled in nursing school at Langston University. Although he did well and enjoyed his classes, the schedule was too demanding and physical limitations once again kept him from completing his degree. So Ross decided to revisit a career in education working as a substitute teacher and after a couple of months, was asked to work as a full-time teacher’s assistant in special education. “Being a TA got me excited about going back to school to be a teacher in special ed, so I checked it out and luckily my adviser was Lance Millis. I guarantee you, sometimes you need angels in
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your life, and he has been there for me on several occasions,” Ross says. One of those occasions was last November when Ross’ mobile home burned and he lost nearly everything. When Millis asked how he could help, Ross said he had simple needs that were already being met. Ross’ church and Skyline Elementary School, where he works as a custodian, helped him get a new home and took care of his immediate needs for clothing and food. “He didn’t want much else so I was trying to figure out some way to help him. I remembered talking to him about his classes and two of them were online, so when his computer burned, he lost all his work and would not be able to complete the classes unless he had another computer,” Millis says. Millis started looking for companies who may be able to help Ross by donating a computer. After several dead ends, Millis went to both Walmarts in Stillwater to fill out donation requests. In a few weeks, he got a response. “One of the stores called me back and said, ‘You’ve got a great reason and we’d like to help, but we can only help out organizations.’ The other store called back and said basically the same thing, but the manager felt like this might fit with their grant program,” Millis says.
With Christmas approaching, Millis submitted a grant and waited to hear back. On Dec. 22, he received good news. Walmart would give a $1,000 grant to the OSU Foundation to be used for a new computer for Ross. Millis and Walmart surprised Ross with the news at a check presentation during a Walmart staff meeting just before Christmas. “I didn’t know that Lance was going to help me get a computer, and when they told me, I couldn’t believe it,” Ross says. “To actually have someone, an adviser, take it on himself to do something beyond what you think is his call of duty is just amazing to me, and it definitely eased my burdens in life.” Later that afternoon, Ross was able to buy a computer at Walmart that enabled him to finish his incomplete online classes. “It’s terrific when you do something nice for someone who’s so appreciative and values what you’ve done,” Millis says. “All I did was take care of the logistics, the manager at the west Walmart in Stillwater is the one that saw this and found a way to help us out.” Ross will graduate in May, just four days before his 50th birthday, and because he has persevered through many trials to earn his degree, he says he can’t think of a better birthday present.
Lance Millis, left, and David Ross outside the College of Education.
photo / Phil Shockley
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We’re talkin’ Red Dirt ... and it all started right here in Stillwater! Stillwater is considered the Nashville of Red Dirt because it had it’s roots in the Red Dirt of Oklahoma. Bob Childers, Stoney Larue, Red Dirt Rangers, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland and plenty of others have played here, really helping the genre to avoid classification by any title but Red Dirt. It’s sometimes called Alternative Country, but it is a little bit Folk, a little Western Swing, a little Blues and a little Rock ... It’s Red Dirt! Join about 20,000 of your closest friends for the Calf Fry at Oklahoma’s #1 place for Red Dirt ... the Tumbleweed ... check visitstillwater.org for updates on nightlife and special events in Stillwater, OK
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’30s J.D. Edmonson ’34, an sci, celebrated his 99th birthday in November. He is active in the Lions Club and church. Dale Hinkle ’34, chem, is 97 years old. Dale’s wife of 70 years and 44 days died in October 2006. Dale retired as head of the agronomy department at the University of Arkansas June 30, 1977.
’40s Earnest T. Lincoln ’41, chem eng, celebrated his 95 th birthday on Nov. 25, 2008, and he enjoys playing golf.
Ebba Marie Johnson ’47, HEECS, has a daughter, Karen, who is a high school teacher. Ebba’s granddaughter, Monica, is a senior. Ebba’s grandson, Jerrod Johnson, graduated from OSU in 2004 and married in June 2007. Her great-grandson, Trenton, is in eighth grade, and her great-granddaughter, Jazmin, is in pre-kindergarten. Robert G. Meyer ’48, ag econ, and his wife, Lorene, have been married for 62 years. They have one daughter, Roberta J. Boyd.
’50s Nesmer V. Calzolara ’50, ind eng mgmt, and his wife, Jean, have eight grandchildren Three of their four children graduated from OSU.
Jesse Claud Grissom ’42, agron, and his wife, Minnie, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on March 28, 2008, with about 100 friends and family. They welcomed two new great-grandchildren, a boy and girl, last summer.
Gene Comer ’50, ’58, M.S., mech eng, and his wife, Wanda, are proud of their OSU family: their daughter, two granddaughters, son-in-law and grandson-in-law.
Yelma Grizzle ’45, HEECS, has been living in Forest Hills Assisted Living Facility in Broken Arrow, Okla., for eight years.
Al H. Sayler ’50, arch studies, and his wife, Ruth, celebrated their 60 th wedding anniversary on June 12, 2008.
Neill Armstrong ’47, sec ed, and his wife, Jane, have a grandson, Cole Farden, who married Lacee Stewart on July 26, 2008, in Stillwater. Cole and Lacee are both OSU graduates. Cole was the kicker/ punter on the OSU football team from 2001-04.
Wayne Bell ’51, gen bus, and his wife, Doris ’66, art, have seven grandchildren, four boys and three girls.
Margie Creager ’47, phys ed, has four children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Margie has volunteered for the American Red Cross for 60 years and has been inducted into its hall of fame. She assists with mental health needs for all kinds of disasters. Clinton S. Goodman ’47, bus admin, and his wife, Frances, celebrated their 65 th wedding anniversary. They have two grandchildren, Adam and Noelle, who are teachers. Clinton and Frances also enjoy traveling. Joy Edmiaston Haynes ’47, household arts, and her husband, Joe, have two children and four grandchildren. They enjoy going to antique shows in the South.
Bob G. Day ’51, ag eng, and his wife, Betty, have seven grandchildren. Keith McLemore ’51, an sci, ’65, M.S., ag ed, moved to a retirement home in Stillwater.
William Emmett Ryan ’51, DVM, and his wife, Joyce, visited Pawnee, Okla., on their way home to Iowa from Florida to visit classmate, Ray Henry and his wife, Mel. William and Ray are two the of seven remaining graduates from the first graduating class of Oklahoma A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine. J. Marshall Saye ’51, mech eng, and his wife, Jeannine Amend Saye ’51, HEECS, live in Chesterfield, Mo., and enjoy retirement. Their son Joe, a 1977 OSU graduate, lives in Idaho, and their son Steven, a 1979 OSU graduate, lives in Colorado. Laird J. Barnard ’52, agron, and his wife, Charlotte, have four children and four grandchildren who graduated from OSU. One grandchild still attends OSU. Howard K. Wohlfarth ’52, forestry, recently recovered from knee surgery, and he is starting to travel again. Howard traveled to the northern Mexico Copper Canyon in September 2008. Robert M. Lawrence ’53, arch, and his wife, Joanne Lawrence ’52, household arts, are proud of their grandson, an OSU senior who was active in Orange Peel. Joe B. Gibson ’54, civ eng, and his wife, Sherry, have a grandson, Jason, who graduated from Kansas University with a degree in civil engineering in May 2008. Mary Kirkpatrick ’54, homelife, and her husband, Barney ’54, mech eng, have three grandchildren who attend OSU.
Keep Us Posted! Whether you’ve changed jobs or last names or added a new Cowboy or Cowgirl to the mix, we want to hear about it! Members of the OSU Alumni Association can submit classnotes for publication in the STATE magazine and on the orangeconnection.org website. To submit information, visit orangeconnection.org and click on Update Your Information or contact us by phone at 405-744-5368 or by mail at 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078-7043, c/o Classnotes.
Robert Ramsey ’54, an sci, and his wife, Lorette ’55, bio sci, have been married for 53 years and live on a farm near Bartlesville, Okla. Robert retired from Phillips Petroleum Co. after 30 years as a research analyst. They have two children, Bruce and Karen, who graduated from OSU in the 1980s. Their granddaughter, Courtni, attends OSU, and they look forward to her brother, Caleb, attending in 2009. Ned E. Blass ’55, acct, ’79, M.S., sec ed, and his wife, Marjorie Sue Catron Blass ’77, M.S., HEECS, celebrated their 55 th wedding anniversary. Billie Tate ’55, geog, and his wife, Kathryn Tate ’55, HEECS, enjoy attending OSU basketball games, and they travel to an away football game once a year with a group from Caddo County, Okla. Billie and Kathryn also enjoy spending time with their children and five grandchildren.
William V. York ’55, geol, and his wife, Geleeta, celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary on Aug. 26, 2008. They restored their 1957 Jaguar XK 140 FHC. The vehicle won first place and People’s Choice at their recent Jaguar Concourse. James E. Wulz ’56, bus and pub admin, and his wife, Willa, recently welcomed their fourth great-grandchild. James published a book, Recollection Collection — Hard Times Weren’t That Bad. Shirley Dobbins Forgan ’57, elem ed, and her husband, David, celebrated their 50 th wedding anniversary last year. They have two sons and two grandsons. In 2007, they completed a three-day, 60-mile walk in the fight against breast cancer. David served in the Air Force for 31 years, and they lived all over the world. They retired to Colorado Springs in 1989 for 14 years and then moved to north Texas in 2003. Ernest O’Banion ’57, HRAD, was honored in June at New River State Park in North Carolina with the Old
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North State Award, which recognizes his accomplishments in supporting tourism and hospitality. Don Hensley ’57, ag ed, and his wife, Sharon Boyett Hensley ’56, Engl, are retired teachers and farmers living in Brownfield, Texas, and Ruidoso, N.M. They both enjoy reading. Arthur Peter Bieri ’58, phys ed, ’64, M.S., sec ed, is a retired elementary school principal for Stillwater Public Schools. In 1967, Art was named the distinguished elementary physical education teacher. He hopes to one day establish a scholarship for OSU physical education students. Art has authored many original games for children in the book Action Games and authored a children’s book, A Squirrel’s Dilemma. Art has a daughter, Donna, and a son, John, who is married to Terri. Art has two grandchildren, Josh and Avery Bieri. Robert Currie ’58, sec ed, retired after 30 years on the faculty at St. Gregory’s University. His daughter, Laura Ward, has a son, Luke, 5, and daughter, Sarah, 2. Robert’s son, John, is a baseball coach at AlbaGolden High School in Texas, and John has a daughter, Jessica, 13, and son, Matthew, 5. Laura and John are both OSU graduates. Kenneth Feland ’58, mech eng, and his wife, Marjorie, celebrated their 50 th wedding anniversary in 2008. Joseph Garlett ’58, phys ed, hopes his new great-grandson will be an OSU Cowboy one day. Edna Mae Hopkins Lambert ’58, phys ed, and her husband, Steve, live in Jet, Okla. They have two sons, Reese and Stephen, who graduated from OSU and live in Phoenix, Ariz., plus four grandsons and one granddaughter. Edna retired in 1995 after 35 years of teaching. Ronal McMurtrey ’58, ag econ, and his wife, Marguerite Gower McMurtrey ’59, bus ed, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary June 1, 2008. Their children, Rhonda, Brenda and Kent McMahon, and Doug and Dawn McMurtrey, hosted the anniversary reception at the Cherokee First Baptist Church.
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Doyle Balentine ’59, mgmt, and his wife, LaRita Johnson Balentine ’59, bus ed, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on a Baltic Russian cruise with their family.
Robert B. Bristow ’63, physics, and his wife, Mary ’60, HEECS, plan to celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary on a trip to South America.
Walter Hackney ’59, an sci, is part of the OSU livestock judging team that celebrated its wins at the Kansas City American Royal Stock Show with a 50-year victory celebration.
Philip M. Corlew ’63, civil eng, ’65, M.S., is a consulting engineer and land surveyor. He is a member of the State Board of Professional Engineers and the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and is a Surveyors Fellow of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers.
’60s Tim Khatib ’60, M.S., civ eng, and his wife, Linda, celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary. Linda retired after 26 years with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. Their grandson Matthew started kindergarten at Casady School in Oklahoma City. Dennis Logan ’60, geol, and his wife, Judy, have two grandchildren and a niece attending OSU. Charles A. Cline ’61, arch, and his wife, Betty, have seven great-grandchildren, six boys and one girl. Donald H. Justice ’61, bio sci, retired as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force in June 1985. His grandson Derek graduated from OSU in May 2007 and another grandson, Nathan, will graduate from OSU in May. Joe Norman ’61, sec ed, and his wife, Sue Mahan Norman ’61, elem ed, live in Amarillo, Texas. Joe is in the residential construction business. Sue, a retired elementary school teacher, works par t time for him. They enjoy traveling and are involved with their church. Burl Richardson ’61, ag ed, ’62, M.S., and his wife, Linda, welcomed their first grandchild in January. Arthur Rickets ’61, mgmt, enjoys running marathons with his sons, Drew and Lance, who are OSU graduates and were members of the OSU track team. Within the last four years, Arthur ran three marathons in Texas and Boston, Mass.
Joseph K. Fassler ’63, HRAD, is an active voting member and past board chair of the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Joseph has worked for Viad Corporation for 46 years. Csaba G. Finta ’63, mech eng, and his wife, Karla, plan to take three cruises this year. They are enjoying retirement with friends, children and grandchildren. Samir Lawrence ’63, M.S., civ eng, was awarded the Melvin R. Lohmann Medal for 2008 by OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. He lives in Glendale, Calif., with his wife, Lucille. Gary W. Johnson ’64, elec eng, retired from NASA Johnson Space Center. He serves on the Constellation Program “Orion” on the standing review board for safety and mission assurance. William J. McDaniel ’64, physio, and his wife, Shirley, live in Widbey Island, Wash. Bill participated in the reality show “The Mole II” in 2001. He wrote a book, Reflections of the Mole, in 2007. John K. Tyree ’64, sec ed, left retirement to coach the quarterbacks at Sul Ross State University in Texas. David E. Wagner ’64, ind eng mgmt, and his wife, Jeanne, enjoy retirement, traveling, home renovation and visiting their six grandchildren. David also enjoys stamp collecting, bowling, golf, reading and learning about the internet. G. Ray Hamby ’65, zoo, has two married sons, Jay and Jon, and four grandchildren, Oliver Gray, 8, Ella
Kate, 6, Mia Katherine, 4, and Jet Thomas, 2. His wife, Kitty, died of ALS-Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2007. He is active in the ALS Association’s north Texas chapter helping others with the disease. Thomas A. Luckinbill ’65, hist, retired from the U.S. Air Force and as an Oklahoma educator. Thomas and his wife, Rhonda, live on their small farm near Blanchard, Okla. They completed a 23-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Houston, Texas, where they helped people find employment. Marlene Moulden ’65, elem ed, welcomed an OSU Cowboy grandson, Tate Samuel Morris, on May 10, 2008. Tate joins his big brother, Owen, and parents, Betsy and Brian Morris, both OSU graduates. Lawrence W. Thompson ’65, ind eng mgmt, and his wife, Margaret Ann ’66, nutri sci, welcomed a new grandson, Bodie Glyn Thompson. Tim Blake ’66, gen bus, retired in 2007. Tim enjoys traveling and volunteering at the Nature Conservancy Tall Grass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, Okla. Dean Brown ’66, math, and his wife, Aneeta, enjoy traveling and recently visited Argentina. Dean retired from the Central Intelligence Agency in 1998 and as a math professor at East Central College last May. Bill G. Brewer ’67, an sci, stepped down as American Quarter Horse Association executive vice president. AGHA is the world’s largest equine registry. Bill has been battling pancreatitis this year. Larry Long ’67, ag ed, is in his 42nd year of teaching vocational agriculture education. He teaches at Elk City Public Schools. Rick Suhl ’68, HRAD, and his wife, Peggy, live in Arizona near their family and two grandchildren. Rick is the supervisor of operations at Starwood Hotels. Martha White ’69, an sci, and her husband, Jack ’71, mech eng, welcomed a new grandson, Cooper Clay White, on Aug. 1, 2008. Cooper
Listen to audio excerpts of OSU alumni sharing their compelling life stories and college memories or read their interview transcripts at www.library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/ostate.
Called to Leadership
Bonnie (Emerson) Smith and Patrice Latimer were called to leadership in unique and challenging times. In addition to serving as president of OSU’s Student Government Association, Smith was the first female elected to the post and Latimer was the first African-American. Patrice Latimer grew up in Tulsa, Okla., and attended public schools until she completed her last two years of high school while traveling across the country with the Up With People program.
With her quick smile, hearty laugh and commanding presence, Latimer was a highly visible student leader at OSU in the early 1970s. During this period of war protest, student activism and streakers night, she participated in many student activities but is best remembered for her history-making triumph in 1973 as the first African-American president of the Student Government Association. “It was an honor to serve in that position as the first African-American woman,” she says. “It gave me the courage to take on some things that I might not have taken on had I not been able to grow here at OSU.” Latimer graduated from OSU in 1975, and after law school and a noteworthy legal career in Oklahoma and later in Washington, D.C., she retired early to “explore life differently.” In 2008 the OSU Black Alumni Association honored her with the Trailblazer Award.
Bonnie (Emerson) Smith
grew up during the Great Depression in the rural community of Bowlegs, Okla., and attended OSU in the tumultuous times of World War II. The first woman elected president of the Student Government Association and president of the Student Senate, she served two terms from 1943 to 1945. She was also president of several other student organizations, a varsity cheerleader and four-sport letterman. After graduating in 1945, she completed a master’s degree in 1946 while working as a secretary to legendary Coach Iba. Her soft voice rises a little and her eyes sparkle as she remembers her days of student politics and how the Independents routed their opponents, the Representatives: “The [women’s] dorms were very active at the time … and we would kind of hint about how they were all being mistreated and get their ire up. ... And we had a very active town group, too, Tau Gamma, which stood
for town girls.” She notes with a mischievous smile, “All we had to do to beat ’em was to show up and vote.”
O-STATE Stories, a project of the OSU Library’s Oklahoma Oral History Research Program chronicles the rich history, heritage and traditions of OSU. For more information or to propose interviews, contact Jerry Gill at 405-744-1631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pokes Climb One of World’s Highest Peaks
Jacobson says it takes about six months of vigorous physical training and exercise to prepare to climb a steep mountain blanketed by ice and snow. “No matter how fit you are, nothing can reduce the risk Five OSU graduates and one OSU student dared to of acute mountain sickness, acute pulmonary edema or acute climb the highest mountain in Mexico, El Pico de Orizaba, cerebral edema at high altitudes,” during Christmas break. Jacobson says. Three of the men have been climbing mountains for During the week-long more than 10 years. journey to the top of North Bert Jacobson ’74, HPER, ’84, Ed.D., began climbAmerica’s third-highest mouning 14,000-foot peaks in 1990 and fulfilled his goal tain, they tried to go to sleep by of climbing all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks 7 p.m. in order to wake up at in 2005. midnight, pack and begin the Accompanying him in 2005 were friends Mike day’s climb by 1 a.m. “Decent Bale ’74, gen admin, ’93, M.S., higher ed, director of sleep is difficult because of the OSU’s risk management office, and John Rogers ’67, From left, Scott Jordan, Mike Bale, altitude,” he says, “and the trade and ind eng, a city of Stillwater employee. They Jim Heley, Bert Jacobson, Chase excitement and apprehension also set a goal of scaling Colorado’s highest peaks. Lindell and John Rogers. adds to the difficulty.” Today, Jacobson, head of the School of Educational Even though they base-camped at 14,000 feet for acclimatiStudies in the College of Education, has climbed more than 70 zation, two of the men suffered acute mountain sickness on the summits higher than 14,000 feet, while Bale has climbed more second day and had to spend an extra day recuperating. than 40 summits and Rogers has climbed more than 30. On the fourth day, they reached the base of the glacier The other Cowboys joining them the day after Christmas (16,000 feet) at 5 a.m. and began the steep ascent on ice. 2008 were Scott Jordan ’86, geog, ’01, M.S., HPELS, who is Wearing crampons, spikes fitted on their boots, and helmets director of OSU’s Outdoor Adventure; Jim Heley ’86, const and equipped with ropes and axes, the men could take 10 steps mgmt tech, a senior project manager for Flintco; and Chase before needing to rest for 30 to 60 seconds. All the while, ice Lindell, a geology senior. They traveled to Talachichuca, a crystals were stinging their skin in the harsh wind. small Indian village at the base of El Pico de Orizaba. When they reached the summit, they took time to enjoy Jordan had climbed the Mexican mountain previously. the sunrise over the gleaming 45-degree slope and the carpet During his second trip there more than 10 years ago, his group of clouds below them. Along the top, numerous crosses and fell over 800 feet on the steep, icy glacier into the rocks below. shrines commemorate those who died on the mountain. “Most “They were lucky they all lived,” Jacobson says. “They accidents happen on the way down because of fatigue and lack all suffered serious injuries and spent nearly two weeks in the of concentration,” Jacobson says. Puebla hospital.” Lindell, the only student on the trip, says he enjoyed climbHeley had climbed mountains in California and Colorado, ing with a group of friends and the accomplishment inspired and Lindell had scaled several peaks in Colorado before the him to take on new adventures. “Orizaba was my next step trip to Talachichuca. toward climbing other mountains around the world,” he says. Bale and Rogers will continue working on their goal to climb all 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado, and Jacobson plans to help them succeed. “The best part of these trips is the companionship,” Jacobson says, “the bonding and the adventure — flavored with a little risk.” Rachel Sheets
At the top of Mexico’s highest mountain are, from left, Bert Jacobson, Chase Lindell, Mike Bale and Scott Jordan.
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attended his first OSU basketball game on Nov. 23, 2008.
who married Justin Goertz on July 19, 2008, in Dallas, Texas.
Chet Willey ’69, ind eng, ’70, M.S., retired in March 2007 from Miller Brewing Co. and started his own consulting group working with beverage distributors.
Jane Felder Nusz ’73, HEECS, and her husband, Randel, who attended OSU from 1970–71, are proud of the i r g ra nddaughter, Kate Lipps, who is pictu re d w i th h e r American Girl doll in matching OSU pajamas. Their daughter and Kate’s mother, Nichole Nusz Lipps ’95, fin, graduated from OSU as well.
’70s Terry J. Brewer ’70, ag ed, and his wife, Edith, have one son, Billie, who is a pastor in Texas. Terry retired after 34 years in the insurance business. Gary W. Kirk ’70, ag ed, retired from teaching agricultural education although he is still an employee of Cheyenne Public Schools in Oklahoma. Larry Shirley ’70, nat sci, and his wife, Cheryl Muehleisen Shirley ’70, CTM, knew each other while attending OSU and became reacquainted 32 years later when Larry was assigned as the anesthetist for Cheryl’s breast cancer surgery. They became best friends and married in December 2004. Jim Dotson ’72, acct, and his wife, Suzy, have a son, Eric, who is a sophomore at OSU and a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. Charles Kimball ’72, soc, was appointed as the presidential professor and director of the religious studies program at the University of Oklahoma in 2008 after 12 years as professor and chair of the department of religion at Wake Forest University. Richard Dale Vernon ’72, zoo, ’90, mun fire prot, and his wife, Phyllis Ann, welcomed a grandson, Landon Lee Graham, on March 12, 2008. Richard Burling ’73, an sci, started his own home improvement business in January 2008. Thomas M. Dixon ’73, an sci, ’99, M.S., occu and adult ed, and his wife, Sammie, celebrated the 40 th anniversary of their business, Don’s Coin and Jewelry Center, on Feb. 1, 2008. Carol Ann Christie Lindsay ’73, HEECS, and her husband, Ric, have a daughter, Elizabeth Marcell,
Kim Alan Domnick ’74, spch, ’78, M.S., curr/instr, and his wife, Carolyn, have been married for 26 years. Their sons, Kyle and Casey, are students at OSU. Kim is the pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Shawnee, Okla. Laura Harvell ’74, math, retired from Occidental Petroleum Corp. in October 2007. Roberta Telley Mason ’74, bus ed, and her husband, John F. Mason Jr. ’67, agron, ’79, M.S., have a son, Tyler, 24, who married in January 2008 and is in the Air Force. Their daughter, Jennifer, 21, is a junior at OSU and active with the OSU wrestling team Matmaids. Roberta and John visit Stillwater several times a year. They enjoy homecoming, football games and wrestling matches. Lee McConnell ’74, ag econ, is institutional farms manager for the Lexington, Okla. prison. Lee’s wife, Connie, is in fleet management for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Thomas T. Rogers ’74, pre-law, is a partner in the A u s t i n , Te x a s , office of Jackson Walker. He was selected along with 52 other attorneys as Best Lawyers in America for 2009. Stephen Bradley ’75, Engl, and his wife, Patricia ’75, art, live in Enid, Okla. Stephen is vice president of Crude Oil Marketing for Continental Resources in Enid.
Donald Coble ’75, HPER, and his wife, Beth, enjoy spending time with their granddaughter, Aubrey. Their oldest son, Rob, is in Iraq, and their youngest son, Ryan, is a junior at the University of Central Oklahoma. Johnny W. Curran ’75, math, ’76, acct, and his wife, Jan ’86, psych, welcomed a new granddaughter, Finley Ela Curran, born on Oct. 23, 2008, to their son Devin M. Curran and his wife, Michelle, who are both OSU graduates.
Linnville Anderson, who lives with his parents, Angela and Steven, in Southeast Asia. Rick Herron ’77, journ, has had several industry articles published in Law Technology News and is working toward teaching high school journalism. David Phillips ’77, acct, and his wife, Jamee, welcomed their first grandson in October from their daughter Andee Forrest and her husband, John, who are both OSU graduates.
Tony D. Fleming ’75, micro, and his wife, Carmen, welcomed their third grandchild this spring. Tony is the thermal processing manager of Ameriqual Foods Group, supplier of Meals, Ready-to-Eat for the military.
Jerry D. Winchester ’77, agron, and his wife, Karen, have three grown children and two grandchildren. Jerry is a rancher and custom harvester of pecans.
Joe Martin ’75, phys ed, owner and operator of Stillwater’s Hampton Inn and Suites, was inaugurated as chairman of the American Hotel and Lodging Association on Nov. 9, 2008, in New York City at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. His term began Jan. 1, 2009, and will continue through Jan. 1, 2010. Martin will serve as a spokesperson for the national hotel organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Bruce Brasington ’79, hist, teaches summer classes at the university in Dresden, Germany, and presented papers in Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; Leedse, England; and Budapest, Hungary. He is in his 19 th year of teaching at West Texas A&M. Bruce’s wife, Darlene ’81, sec ed, is the senior vice president of servicing and operations at Panhandle-Plains Student Loan Center. She was honored as the 2007-08 volunteer for United Way in Canyon, Texas.
Randall M. Owens ’75, acct, welcomed granddaughter Ashley Nicole Owens on April 11, 2008. Ashley joins OSU alumni parents Kenton and Heidi Burrows Owens and big brother Connor. Ronnie D. Sarratt ’75, an sci, ’79, DVM, is the Texas district veterinary medical specialist of the food safety and inspection service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Royce Chancellor ’76, acct, and his wife, Susan ’76, FRCD, moved to Tulsa from El Paso, Texas, and welcomed their first grandchild, Annabel Grace Coulter, on July 17, 2008. Denise Pfeiff ’76, sec ed, and her husband, Wil, have a son Brian who plans to graduate in May with a degree in biomechanical engineering. Bryan Burns ’77, elec tech, ’82, M.S., elec eng, and his wife, Victoria King Burns ’76, FRCD, welcomed a new grandson, Ian
Scott Burk ’79, fin, started his own CPA practice in 2006 after 25 years in public accounting. Scott and his wife, Susan, welcomed grandson Jackson Stiles in September 2008. Their son, Jack, is a junior and in Sigma Nu at OSU. Randy Easterling ’79, acct, retired after 28 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Randy is now the director of security for Kaiser Permanente. Randy and his wife, Vicki, have a son, Andrew, who is studying engineering at San Jose State, and a daughter, Corinne, studying health at Fordham University. Wayne McNeil ’79, agron, ’82, Ph.D., is the university attorney for Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., where Wayne’s wife, Vicki L. McNeil ’77, BME, ’79, MS, ’82, Ed.D., is vice president of student affairs.
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Gerald H. Scott ’79, acct, ’82, MBA, and his wife, Mary, live in Edmond. They enjoy spending time with their 5-year-old twin grandsons, Lucas and Logan. Jerry and Mary attend Henderson Hills Baptist Church.
’80s Andy Gillentine ’80, hist, received the 2009 Sport Management Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Association of Sport & Physical Education. Andy is the associate dean and director of the sport administration programs at the University of Miami. Trey Smart ’80, educ, has been on staff at First Baptist East Church in Lawton, Okla., for 27 years. Robin Linduff Byford ’81, acct, ’82, M.S., serves on the SSB alumni board, a chapter of the OSU Alumni Association. Mark D. Conkling ’81, agron, and his wife, Debra Brooks Conkling ’84, ag comm, have a son, Aaron, who is a freshman at OSU. Barbara Mazza Silhan ’81, hist, ’83, M.A., Engl, was recognized for 25 years of service at Wichita State Unversity. Tony Dale Mikles ’82, ag econ, and his wife, Cindy, will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on Sept. 15, 2009, and their daughter will graduate from college in May. Kimberly Sealey ’82, music, and her husband, Edward, have a son, Brian Sealey ’08, mech eng, who married Valarie Cerny ’08, mktg, in May 2008. Brent David Bowen ’83, pol sci, ’89, Ed.D., is a professor and chair of aviation science at Saint Louis University. Mike Craddock ’83, organ admin, is president of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors. Wesley M. Ingram ’83, physio, ’87, D.O., and his wife, Patricia K. Karpuk Ingram ’83, sec ed, have three boys. Wesley works for Utica Park Clinic in Owasso, Okla., and Patricia teaches eighth-grade algebra.
S pring 2009
Julie Birney ’84, MSIS, married Tony in May 2008. Julie’s son, Taylor, is a freshman at OSU. Kent Castle ’84, an sci, and his wife, Paula, have a son who is a junior studying animal science at OSU. Their son is a member of Alpha Gamma Roh fraternity and a member of the Spirit Riders at home football games. They also have three daughters, one in college and two in junior high. Steven Ball ’85, fin, ’87, MBA, and his wife, Nancy Roberts Ball ’86, bus ed, relocated from Houston to Jasper, Ind., where Steven was named senior vice president of strategic planning and analysis at Masterbrand Cabinets Inc. Curtis Lynn Cowell ’85, ag econ, and his wife, Laurie ’85, elem ed, ’91, M.S., FRCD, live in Valliant, Okla. Curtis is superintendent of the Mac Lindley Research Station & Demonstration Farm, a newly established OSU research station for cattle research in Valliant. James (Jim) Horning ’85, chem eng, and his wife, Jamie Donovan Horning ’85, chem eng, have a
son, Matthew, who is a freshman at OSU. He follows three generations of Cowboys in his family who attended OSU. Kyle Risenhoover ’85, sec ed, and his wife, Lindy, have two children, J.P., 21, and Callie, 18, attending OSU. Neil Thomas ’85, acct, and his wife, Lisa, live in Highland Village, Texas. Steve Harrison ’86, adv, lives in Allen, Texas, with his wife, Teresa, and their two children, Karissa, 4, and Preston, 2. Steve is vice president of investor relations at Lennox International. Anne Marie Levens ’86, soc, ’89, M.S., bus ed, retired from the U.S. government and is enjoying life in Hood River, Ore. She travels to Stillwater several times a year to visit family and friends. Brad Burns ’87, sec ed, and his wife, Jennifer, and their three daughters, Ally, 11, Cassidy, 9, and Bryten Faith, 3, in Flower Mound, Texas. Brad is the principal of Lewisville High School.
Someone lost a watch at OSU in the mid-1980s. Joe Michels found it, and 25 years later, he’s again seeking its owner. Michels, a graduate student from Texas A&M at the time, was visiting OSU during spring break of March 1984 or 1985. While walking on the north side of campus, he saw a woman’s watch lying on the ground. He sent the watch to the OSU police, but the police returned it to Michels after no one claimed it within a certain time frame. “This watch has been in my jewelry box all these years,” Michels says. “I never had any intent to sell it or give it away. I’m sure some Cowboy or Cowpoke’s wife, girlfriend, daughter or sister lost the watch.” Michels assumes the watch fell off the owner’s arm because the clasp was broken when he found it.
Jami Cordell ’87, acct, ’88, M.S., is vice president of global accounting for Sabre Holdings in Keller, Texas. Chris J. Moses ’87, mktg, completed the requirements to obtain the certified new home sales professional designation and took a course focusing on green buildings, Energy Start insulation and new construction techniques. Mark Hall ’89, acct, and his wife, Karri Hall ’91, mgmt, celebrated 16 years of marriage. Mark works at Deloitte Consulting as a project controller in downtown Kansas City. Mark McNitt ’89, mktg, celebrated his 15th year with Bernstein Realty in Houston, Texas.
’90s Leigh Ann Pruitt McClain ’90, music ed, and her husband, Kevin, have three children, Harrison, 11, Madison, 8, and Jackson, 4. Leigh Ann is director of bands at Griffin Middle School in The Colony, Texas, and serves as the national music chairman for Zeta Tau Alpha.
Michels was inspired to seek the watch’s owner again after reading a story in the Texas A&M alumni magazine about a lost Aggie ring that was returned to its owner years later. “I’m sure this watch has strong sentimental value, if not physical value, for someone in the Cowboy nation,” he says. “I would be happy to see it returned to its rightful owner, if we can find the rightful owner.” To inquire about the watch, contact Michels at email@example.com. Rachel Sheets
Ten years ago, Arliene Nash found a man’s OSU class ring in eastern Oklahoma and is still searching for the owner. The ring has 1962 on one side and 1985 on the other. To identify or inquire about the ring, contact Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Scott Martin ’90, org admin, lives in Plano, Texas, with his wife, Benet, and son, Marek. Dottie Peterson-Liwai ’90, FRCD, is a stay-at-home mom and volunteers at her children’s schools and on church committees. Dottie also cares for her elderly mother. She thanks OSU for preparing her to raise her family and care for her mother. Eric Tinsley ’90, acct, is celebrating seven successful years in private practice as a certified public accountant. Brian Paul Kelly ’91, gen bus, married Lori Ann Lillard in June 2008. Jill Poole-Sutter ’92, HRAD, married Craig on Oct. 27, 2008, in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. They look forward to their future together in Tulsa. Daryle Voss ’92, MBA, is vice president and chief administration officer with Norman Regional Health System. Tina Miller Walker ’92, hist, ’98, M.A., pol sci, and her husband, Lance, started their own law firm, Walker & Walker, which focuses on oil and gas law, wills, trusts and estate planning. Tina and Lance have one son, Orie Don, 4, and are expecting a second child in July. Mary Margarget King ’93, DVM, owns Self-Acre View Pet Hospital and Laser Center of Edmond Inc., which received the Small Business of the Year Award from the Edmond Chamber of Commerce in February 2008.
named Allison. They hope Allison will attend OSU in the future, and they are introducing Della to the love of all things orange and black. Jeremy Brunk ’94, leisure, ’03, M.S., nat and appl sci, and his wife, Brenda ’93, FRCD, have four children, twin girls Jenna and Jordan, 7, daughter Bret Lauren, 9, and son Brendan, 12. Shawn Coffman ’94, mgmt sci and comp sys, and his wife, Theyva, live in Dallas, Texas. Shawn is a partner and co-founder of Innovar Partners, which resulted from the merger of his Dallas-based Innovar Consulting Group with Atlanta-based Adageo Group. Debra Stinson Ott ’94, phys ed, and her husband, John Ott ’98, an sci, welcomed Hadley Addison Morgan Ott on April 11, 2008. She joins big brothers Tate, 7, and Kelby, 4. Debra teaches junior high science and girls’ sports at Ringwood Public Schools. Jon “JP” Redelsperger ’94, ag econ, is deployed with the Army National Guard to the Middle East. Pamela Slick ’94, mgmt, and her husband, Matthew ’95, fin, have two children, Reed, 8, who plays football for Jenks and Academy soccer, and Avery, 5, who is involved with gymnastics. Douglas McKinney ’95, an sci, and his wife, Mandy ’97, mktg, moved from Texas back to Stillwater, where Doug is an assistant beef specialist in the Animal Science Department, and Mandy is a program coordinator for the Spears School of Business.
Kelly Porter ’93, mktg, completed tours in Iraq and Hawaii before settling in Fort Jackson, S.C., in January 2008 with his wife, Rachel, and their children. After Kelly graduated from the chaplain captain’s career course and the brigade functional qualifying course at the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, the family moved to Italy where Kelly is the garrison chaplain for a small installation near Pisa. They’re expecting their third child in April.
Jennifer Smallwood Scott ‘95, pol sci, and her husband, Toby, welcomed their second child, Abby, in April 2008. Abby has a proud big brother, Charlie. Jennifer serves as the pastor of children’s ministries at First United Methodist Church in Coppell, Texas.
Paul Wehrenberg ’93, micro, and his wife, Tammy, have a 5-year-old named Della and a high school junior
Allen Gaines ’96, mech design tech, is the senior facilities engineer for Johnson Controls.
Andrew M. Huss ’96, physio, and his wife, Tara, have two boys, Brady, 5, and Drew, 2.
Chad Clark ’98, ag econ, and his wife, Alison, welcomed a baby boy, Cason Caleb, on Nov. 26, 2008.
Kevin Jones ’96, chem eng, and his wife, Treva ’95, MIS, welcomed son Beckett Patrick Jones on Sept. 1, 2007. Beckett joins brother Christian, 11, and sisters Erin, 6, and Audrey, 5.
Haidee Heaton ’98, M.A., spch/ theater, associate professor of theatre at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., was invited to join the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival management team. The national theatre program involves 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. Haidee will be coordinator of the alternate forms writing workshop, one of the late-night feature events at the festival.
Bill Peeper ’96, sec ed, and his wife, Autumn ’00, elem ed, welcomed Mason Christopher Peeper on April 9, 2008. Shelly Ray ’96, sec ed, and her husband, Wesley, have a son, Colby, who is 4 years old, and they are expecting another baby boy in March. Cody File ’97, ag ed, has a 2-yearold daughter. Cody owns three cell phone stores, Red Dirt Wireless in Woodward, Elk City and Clinton, Okla. He is working on opening a fourth store in Weatherford, Okla. Shay Melin Fox ’97, Engl, and her husband, John, have three children, Gabe, 7, Isabelle, 3, and Gracelyn, 1. James Hemphill ’97, civ eng, and his wife, Debra, have two daughters who graduated from OSU. Jamie graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s in psychology, and Katie graduated in December 2008 with a bachelor’s in English. James and Debra enjoy attending OSU football and basketball games with friends and family. Danielle Jewell ’97, FRCD, and her husband, Justin, have three boys, Kutter Drake, Gatlin Reid and Briggs McCoy. William Martin ’97, econ, and his wife, Lisa, and their two children, Olivia and Garrett, live in Carrollton, Texas. Will is the chief compliance officer for Esposito Securities. Trent Mefford ’97, an sci, ’04, D.O., and his wife, Dawn, have two daughters, Fenley, 3, and Timber, 1. Trent is chief of staff at Memorial Hospital in Frederick, Okla. Jonathan Watson ’97, ag ed, and his wife, Julie, welcomed a son, Parker McKensie, on Aug. 22, 2008.
Justin Toews ’98, ag econ, ’03, hort, married Amy Chambers of Vici, Okla., on June 21, 2008. Sasha Rhea Archey ’99, bus, and her husband, Bryce, welcomed their first child, Zane Landon Archey, on Feb. 23, 2008. Jace Dawson ’99, mktg, and his wife, Alyson, welcomed a son on Oct. 4, 2007. Wendell Kawlin Firth ’99, physio, and his wife, Cassandra Marie Firth ’99, math, welcomed Cameron Brooks Firth on June 28, 2008. Brian Grimes ’99, const mgmt, and his wife, Erin ’99, chem, welcomed Raylee Marie Grimes on May 14, 2008. Raylee joins a big brother, Jaxson. Sherry Britton Hunt ’99, bio sys eng, ’00, M.S., received her Ph.D. in civil engineering from Colorado State University in December. Justin T. Lawson ’99, civ eng, his wife, Samantha ’00, elem ed, and their 3-year-old daughter, Anna, welcomed a new Cowboy, Jackson Thomas, on Dec. 13, 2007. Clint Metcalf ’99, zoo, purchased a dental practice in Stillwater, and his wife, Sarah ’99, cell and molecular bio, started a dermatology practice in Stillwater. Their daughter, Avery, loves seeing Pistol Pete. Sally Ray ’99, journ, and her husband, Bill, relocated to the Dallas/ Fort Worth area when Bill was promoted to southwest regional sales manager with The Crosby Group. Sally works for the YMCA of
C l a ss n o t e s
Arlington, Texas, as the vice president of development.
Nine OSU alumni were honored in 2008 when the Tulsa World website was named Best News Website in Oklahoma by the state chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists and the Associated Press. The site also won second place in Best Website Design from the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. The alumni who work on the website include (back row, from left) web editor Jason Collington ’99, news-ed; web designer Patrick Karn ’06, graphic designelectronic media; and web programmers Ted Darr ’03, aviation bus mgmt, and Jeremy Wentworth ’05, MSIS; and (front row from left) senior web programmer Jeff McClung ’98, music ed; web programmer Tinna Song-Wallis ’98, MSCS; web designers Mike Maddux ’93, graphic design, and Chris McKinzie ’06, multimedia; and web programming manager Kevin Rogers ’07, MBA. Stephanie Ann Ray Brown ’00, int’l bus, married Ryan on Sept. 20 in Spokane, Wash. Ryan is a construction engineering management graduate from Oregon State University. They are both OSU fans and live in Seattle, Wash., where Ryan works for Turner Construction, and Stephanie works in design and construction for Vulcan Inc. Eric Grote ’00, const mgmt, and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their first child, Julia Day Grote, on July 20, 2008. Kassi Edward Johnson ’00, psych, ’02, M.S., couns, and her husband, Scott, welcomed a baby girl, Kennedy Lynn Johnson, on March 25, 2008. Michelle Zust ’00, FRCD, and her husband, Don, welcomed a new son, Caleb Michael Zust, May 11, 2008.
S pring 2009
Scott Clumpner ’01, fire prot and saf tech, and his wife, Carissa ’00, HRAD, welcomed a baby girl, Caroline Sue, on June 2, 2008. Joetta Mozingo ’01, zoo, is a basic emergency medical technician with Emergency Medical Services Authority. Samantha A. Bawden ’02, MIS, and her husband, John, moved into a new house. After eight months in Irag, John returned in October to see their new baby, Natalie, who was born in February 2008. Ian M. Cornwell ’02, int’l bus, and his wife, Amy, have two sons, Cayden Roy, born on June 7, 2006, and Caél David, born December 2008. Carrie Caldwell Rothell ’02, mktg, married Chris Rothell on Oct. 26, 2008. Daniel Russell ’02, hist, ’05, sec ed, and his wife, Kaylan ’03, fin, welcomed a baby girl, Amelia, on Aug. 1, 2008. Holly M. Bacon ’03, FRCD, is engaged to Austin Meek of Tulsa, and they plan to marry July 18, 2009. Matthew Ball ’03, pol sci, and his wife, Audra, welcomed a baby boy in November 2008. Bart Fischer ’03, ag econ and acct, started working on a Ph.D. in agricultural economics at Texas A&M in fall 2008. Denny Kramer ’03, Ph.D., Engl, completed his first year as assistant dean of the graduate school at Baylor University. He oversees enrollment management and academic technology. Denny also teaches a small number of courses in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor. Amanda Upchurch ’03, comm sci, and her husband, Tanner, welcomed a baby girl, Ava, on April 15, 2008. Megan Watts ’03, mech eng, married Tim on Sept. 20, 2008, in Bethany, Okla.
Tara C. Turner-Coleman ’04, FRCD, manages Legal Billing Services LLC in Jenks, Okla. Zachary Givens ’04, ag bus, and his wife, Jessica ’03, psych, welcomed their first child, Madison Avery, on Sept. 27, 2008. Zachary is the Southeast regional manager for Interstate Batteries and lives in Dallas, Texas. Chilson Kinder ’04, an sci, and K.C. Keffer ’04, ag comm., married in June 2008. Kelli V. McDonald ’04, occu and envir saf, ’06, fire prot and saf, and her husband, Jeff, welcomed a son, Jon Finley McDonald, on Jan. 8, 2008. Elizabeth Kinney Stidham ’04, ag comm, married Scott Stidham Sept. 27, 2008. Elizabeth and Scott live in Durant, Okla. Elizabeth is coordinator of recruitment for Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Brian Dale ’05, gen bus, and his wife, Robin, bought a house in McKinney, Texas. Brian transferred to McKinney First United Bank. Tashina Kirk ’06, an sci, married Albert on Jan. 31, 2009. Cassi Rash ’06, journ, and her husband, Marty, celebrated their two-year wedding anniversary on Aug. 12, 2008. Cassi works with Abraham Trading Co. Austin Solomons ’06, soc, and Sarah Cooper Solomons ’07, bio sci, married on Dec. 29, 2007. Austin will graduate with his master’s in June, and Sarah will graduate in 2011 with her doctorate of optometry. Amber Rose Atteberry ’07, ag ed, and Chad Atteberry ’07, ag ed, married on June 7, 2008. Nicole Lynn Ebenhack ’07, acct, is working toward a CPA in eligibility and took the first part of the exam in October. Nicole is a member of the American Society of Women Accountants. Justin Minges ’07, fin, and Lissette Pugh Minges ’06, soc and physio, married on May 17, 2008.
Megan Clayton Roberts ’07, health promo, and Matthew Roberts ’00, mktg, married on April 12, 2008, and they live in Dallas, Texas. Cassi Stinnett ’07, DHM, and her husband, Micah Stinnett ’06, health promo, married on Jan. 5, 2007, and they live in Grove, Okla. Micah works at his family’ s insurance business, and Cassi teaches pre-kindergarten.
In Memory Ray Mulkin ’44, chem, died Nov. 6, 2008. He was living in Bozeman, Mont. Clark M. King ’47, ag eng, died in Tulsa, Okla., on Nov. 24, 2008, at age 88. Clark attended OSU after serving as an Air Force officer during World War II. After graduation, he purchased a farm near Thayer in southeast Kansas and became a dairy cow tester for a local creamery until the Korean conflict began. Clark was recalled to active duty and served until 1968, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. After retiring, he and his wife, Dorothy, returned to farming and raising beef cattle in Kansas. Clark was active in the Kansas Livestock Association, National Cattleman’s Association, Kansas Wheat Growers and Kansas Rural Water Association until retiring from farming in 2000. After his wife of 62 years died in 2005, Clark moved to a retirement community in Tulsa. Clem McSpadden ’48, an sci, died July 7, 2008, at age 82. The Clem McSpadden Chair in Agricultural Youth Leadership has been e s t a b l i s h e d to honor the legacy of the famous rodeo man, cowboy and Oklahoma congressman. Clem was a championship roper and grandnephew of Will Rogers before becoming a highly esteemed rodeo announcer, congressman, state senator and a founding member of OSU’s rodeo club. The chair will provide funds to endow a program
within the OSU animal science Monroeville, Pa., in 1963 and retired department to provide a select in 1998 at age 71. From then on, she group of students with leadership lived on the premises of the Western and international experience Pennsylvania National Wild Animal involving state and national gov- Orphanage in Smock, helping care ernment and the agriculture industry. for rescued exotic cats. She loved For more information or to make a “going to sleep at night listening to gift, contact Kathy McNally at 405- the purring of a cougar and the roar 744-7964 or kmcnally@OSUgiving. of lions” just outside her windows. com. Contributions may also be During her 50 th class reunion in sent directly to the McSpadden 2005, June expressed her gratiChair, c/o the OSU Foundation, P.O. tude for OSU. “Few other veterinary Box 1749, Stillwater, Okla., 74076. schools were accepting women, but Dean McElroy accepted me Thomas Ritchie ’49, poultry sci, and welcomed me, and the older ’51, DVM, died Oct. 21, 2007, at age students who were World War II 80. Thomas graduated from the vets took me under their wing.” first veterinary medicine class at Contributions in her memory can Oklahoma A&M. He was the first be made to the OSU College of practicing veterinarian in Creek Veterinary Medicine Memorial Fund, County and owned and operated 308 McElroy Hall, Stillwater, Okla., Ritchie Animal Clinic in Sapulpa for 74078. 55 years. Thomas also served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He George F.W. Hauck ’59, arch and his wife, Catherine Ritchie ’51, eng, ’60, M.S., died on Nov. 20, 2008. After graduating from OSU, HIDCS, raised two daughters and George received his Ph.D. in struceight sons. tural engineering from Northwestern June D. Iben ’55, University. George taught strucDMV, became the tural engineering at the University first female grad- of Missouri until he retired in 1998 uate of OSU’s Col- with the rank of professor. In 1981, lege of Veterinary he published The Testing of EngiM e d i c i n e. S h e neering Materials. George served died Dec. 18, 2008, several years in the military. For two at age 81 at her years, he was a paratrooper in the home in Smock, Pa., after a brief U.S. Army, followed by four years in illness. June worked in private prac- the Army Reserve. In 1967, George tice for more than 40 years and obtained a commission in the Naval was a pioneer in the treatment of Reserve, and in 1981, he retired as large exotic cats. In 1999 she commander, CEC. In 1986, George received the Public Service Award was the first recipient of the Harry of Merit from the Pennsylvania Vet- S. Truman Award for Excellence. erinary Medical Association for her He was also proud of his contribuwork to rescue and rehabilitate the tion in having the historical Waddell cats. June’s expertise and com- A-truss bridge re-erected at Engpassion enabled her to provide lish Landing Park in Parkville in 1989. orphaned special-needs felines George and his wife, Susan Fershee, with specialized care at her own had two sons, two daughters and home. She replaced windows and several grandchildren. doors with caged indoor/outdoor runs, and over the years became Jack E. Shirley ’62, mktg, died roommate to two lions, four bob- on Oct. 18, 2008, in Dallas, Texas cats, a margay, a cougar, numerous at age 68. Jack met his wife, Janie large-breed dogs and one domestic Purlee, at OSU his freshman year, cat. Before receiving her DVM in and they were married on May 25, large-animal husbandry from OSU, 1963. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1962 June completed degrees in biology and served on the USS Oriskany and bacteriology from Allegheny aircraft carrier. After they moved College in Meadville, Pa., and the to Dallas in 1964, Jack served for University of Kentucky, respectively. the Garner-Denver Co. His entire After OSU, she worked two years career was spent in the oil field at Washington State School before equipment industry. Jack enjoyed returning to Pennsylvania to work boating, fishing, golf and watching sports. He also enjoyed spending for Dr. John Shrader from 1958 to 1963. She opened her own private time with his twin grandchildren. practice, Mosside Animal Clinic in
Rex Russell ’63, phys sci, died in late January 2009. As a pre-med student at OSU, Rex maintained a 4.0 grade-point average and also played on the football team despite having juvenile diabetes. He received the Kenny Gallagher Award in 1962-63 as the most outstanding student in Arts and Sciences and also was named one of the Top Ten Seniors. He began his medical career in Houston, Texas, but spent most of his career as a radiologist in Fort Smith, Ark., with his wife, Judy, and sons Randy and Rodney. He was instrumental in organizing the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Arkansas. Rex wrote a book, What the Bible Says About Healthy Living, and recently published a children’s version.
where he worked for a time in the computer technology industry, taught an American history course at OSU and worked in the university library. His primary academic interest was 19th century American history along with Middle Eastern studies and geography. After graduating from high school in Bartlesville, Okla., Tom spent two years at the U.S. Naval Academy, then attended Ambassador College in Big Sandy, Texas, where he graduated in 1975. He worked in a variety of positions, including surveyor and land appraiser, and later earned a master’s in history from the University of New Orleans. He is survived by brothers James H. Adams III and Stephen M. Adams and sister Antoinette A. Sonnenfeld.
Michael Carragher ’69, HRAD, died after a long battle with cancer on Jan. 1, 2009, at age 62. Michael was co-founder of Michael’s Catering Inc. In October, he was honored for a $100,000 gift to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. He had previously supported the center anonymously. D. Kent King ’72, Ed.D., a longtime leader in public education in Missouri, died at his Rolla home on Jan. 6, 2009. He earned a bachelor’s in English from Central Missouri State University in 1964 and a master’s from Drury College in 1967. His 44-year career in education included six years teaching English and serving as a junior high principal in Houston, six years as superintendent of schools for the Licking school district, 19 years as superintendent of the Rolla public schools and four years with Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In 2000, he was appointed as commissioner of education and served in that capacity until his death. Thomas Allen “Tom” Adams, whose grandfather and great uncle, Homer and A r t h u r Ad a m s , were the first to enroll at OAMC in 1890, was preparing to take his comprehensive exams for a Ph.D. in history before his death from cancer Nov. 6, 2008, just a week before his 58th birthday. Tom spent the last years of his life in Stillwater
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HI S TORY
This notable family began its OSU legacy a hundred years ago.
n early September 1909, two young men named Cecil and Fred boarded the Missouri, Kansas & Texas passenger train, “The Katy,” near their home in Hominy, Okla., that would take them a short distance across northeastern Oklahoma to the town of Hallett. Disembarking the train further south at Yale, the brothers would switch to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad that would carry them northwest to Pawnee. They would then catch the 7:12 p.m. train headed southwest to Stillwater for the last leg of their journey to the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. The boys arrived in Stillwater around 8:06 p.m., completing a 50-mile trip in one day during which they probably spent more time in train stations than riding the rails. In Stillwater, the train station was a short distance from their new home, most likely a rooming house near campus, as residential student housing at the college wouldn’t be available until the fall of 1910.
by far the largest class, representing — 40 percent of the student body. The sub-freshman and freshman classes combined held 65 percent of the 525 students enrolled on campus. At the time, Oklahoma was less than two years old, and many rural communities could only offer public education through the eighth grade During the first two decades at the A&M college, most students’ families lived in Stillwater and
There were no tuition costs, but there was a fee of $1.50 for each term. Books cost an additional $3 to $4 a term. Cecil had just turned 17 and his younger brother Fred was only 14 when they registered for the first time. Since neither had a high school diploma, they both entered the sub-freshman class 108
S pring 2009
surrounding Payne County communities, but by 1909 more young men and women were traveling greater distances to take advantage of the opportunities a college education could provide.
Those who completed the required subfreshman classes were admitted to the freshman class and began their official journey in higher education the following year. ecil and Fred’s father was a Scottish immigrant who settled among the Osage in Indian Territory two decades earlier, and he strongly supported his sons furthering their educations. Their frugal mother was of German descent and assisted their father in establishing his business interests in Osage County and providing care for the family. The brothers were probably the first students from the Hominy area to attend college, but this was not their first traveling adventure. Cecil assisted their father on extended business trips
DRUM MON D FA M ILY
design / Kevin Cate, B.F.A., ‘09
their days with classes, mandatory chapel services, military drills and study. But the three young men also found time to devote to a number of other activities and occasionally returned to Hominy to assist their parents. Jack brought a horse-drawn buggy with rubber tires to Stillwater that proved to be popular transporting young coeds to extra-curricular activities both on and off campus.
hree teenage brothers away from home for extended periods were bound to have their sibling relationships tested by conflict and competition. But there were also times of cooperation and reconciliation. At the end of the academic year, however, Cecil
T E SY
terms: fall, winter, spring. Four hours of physiology was required for two terms and then one five-hour class either in American history, civics or Oklahoma history were taught in rotation. A five-hour Latin class was also required during the year and a two-hour practicum in etymology each session. In order to complete the required coursework in one year, a sub-freshman student would enroll in 63 hours over the three terms. Only the academically
fit survived this rite of passage. There were no tuition costs, but there was a fee of $1.50 for each term. Books cost an additional $3 to $4 a term, and the brothers probably shared books since they were taking the same classes. The biggest expense — “military uniform, hat, shirt, coat and trousers” for $17.15 — was required of all able-bodied men to use in military training and drill. In the fall of 1910, Cecil and Fred returned to Stillwater and matriculated into the regular college curriculum as members of the Class of 1914. They were joined by their youngest brother, Jack, who was 13 when he became a sub-freshman. The three brothers all stayed at Mother James’ rooming house, filling
P H O TO COUR
and was known to cover great distances alone on horseback. Fred ventured to Scotland two years earlier, making the return journey unaccompanied. They were given adult responsibilities and experienced much at a relatively young age. The brothers and other prospective students would have lined up for registration on Sept. 5, 1909, at 9 a.m. outside the president’s office in Morrill Hall. After passing examinations in reading, spelling, penmanship, grammar, geography, U.S. history and arithmetic, they were admitted as subfreshman and enrolled in classes for the fall term. For the sub-freshman, both English and algebra classes were mandatory for five hours per week during the three
transferred to the agriculture college in Manhattan, Kan., leaving Fred and Jack to finish their degrees at OAMC in 1914 and 1915, respectively. Fred was only 19 years old at graduation, and Jack was a year younger. All three of the Drummond brothers, Roy Cecil, Frederick Gentner and Alfred Alexander “Jack,” returned to the tall-grass prairie of Osage County to live and nurture their families. Like many other college students of that time from rural Oklahoma, they represented the first or second generation born in the United States. And for almost one hundred years since the first Drummonds registered at OAMC, many of their sons and daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have continued making the journey to Stillwater to enroll at the land-grant college now known as Oklahoma State University. By David C. P eters S pecial C ollections and U niversit y A rchives
Ess a y
Everyday Epic By J on Billman
M y bic y cle has
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refresh button .
I’m guilty of planning for epics when it comes to cycling. Two summers ago, as research for a magazine story on the event, I survived the Great Divide Race, a 2,500-mile self-supported sprint from Canada to Mexico. Last spring I pedaled my lowtech, heavy single speed mountain bike — the bicycle equivalent of an antique Case tractor — loaded with camping gear for a solo tour across Oklahoma, west to east, No Man’s Land to the Arkansas border. People who dismiss the Panhandle as flyover country need to see it at 11 miles an hour and watch the wind turbines near Woodward slowly get larger on the horizon as a thunderstorm licks your back. The ride across Oklahoma was every mile as rewarding as the Great Divide Race, minus the grizzly bears and summer blizzards.
My favorite ride, however, is my daily commute to work. My family and I live nine miles north of Morrill Hall, on a mean gravel road, near the border of Noble County. There’s rarely anything epic about my ride to work if you’re reduced to defining “epic” with mountains or deserts or grizzly bears, but the ride, which is never the same, is a small adventure every day. I grab my Thermos and roll. I’ve seen bobcats and armadillo. One timber rattler. A copperhead. Coyotes and whitetail deer. One night, approaching from downwind, I nearly ran over a skunk (I was probably hitting 8 miles an hour). Against my better judgment, I’ve ridden during lightning close enough
to make the graphite in my helmet hum. There’s drama in tornado watches, the palpable drop in air pressure you can feel in your chest. I’ve ridden through hailstorms that left bruises on my shoulders (hail is why bike helmets are mandatory equipment in Oklahoma). But it’s the smaller sensory details that I’m addicted to. The temperature combined with humidity levels, wind speed and direction create a unique, if subtle, meteorological dimension that will have changed by evening, when I head north for home. Sometimes I’ll stand to pedal against a headwind on the way to work, only to find the 20-mph wind has shifted 180 degrees and I have another headwind homeward; oddly, I’ve never enjoyed two tailwinds in the same day. The man in the Payne County diesel maintainer may have already turned the gravel over this morning, producing new bits of debris and tire-eating goathead thorns. The quality of light, perhaps the most magical variable of my ride, changes constantly. Folks don’t realize just how much winter sunshine we get in Oklahoma. I often ride home at dusk, with the helmetmounted rechargeable LED headlamp my wife, Hilary, gave me for our anniversary; the light cuts a white beam in the dusty dark. In novelist and screenwriter Paul Auster’s fine film Smoke, Harvey Keitel plays cigarshop-owner Auggie Wren. Auggie takes a photograph
of his shop every morning at 8 a.m. “I’ve got to be in my spot every morning,” he tells a customer. That’s how I see my commute to work; I’ve got to survey those nine miles every morning at 8. Then again in the evening. “The earth revolves around the sun, and every day the light from the sun hits the earth at a different angle,” Auggie says. For me the route doesn’t change, the time doesn’t change, the same rancher runs his cattle in the same pasture down Sangre Road, but nothing else is ever the same. “You’ll never get it if you don’t slow down, my friend.” On a single speed tractor, you’ve got no other speed but slow.
Jon Billman, assistant professor of English, specializes in fiction, creative nonfiction, revisionist westerns and sports literature. He holds a master’s of fine arts in creative writing from Eastern Washington University and a bachelor’s in English from Iowa Wesleyan College. Billman taught at Iowa State University before joining the OSU faculty in 2007 to teach graduates and undergraduates in fiction and creative nonfiction. He won the 2000 Book Award from the Wyoming State Historical Society for When We Were Wolves: Stories, published by Random House in 1999. His articles and stories have appeared in such places as Esquire, Outside and The Paris Review. When he’s not teaching or spending time with family, Billman can generally be found riding his bicycle around Oklahoma and the U.S.
Photo / Gary Lawson
photo / Erika Contreras
For the love of Survival odds for Oklahoma horses just got better.
A $1 million gift from the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation to OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences will help create Oklahoma’s only equine critical care unit. Thanks to this generous gift in support of the state’s $189 million horse industry, the 1,600 horses treated annually at OSU’s veterinary hospital will have access to the latest intensive care equipment in a fully enclosed, climate-controlled facility.
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