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A Cowboy never takes unfair advantage. He never betrays a trust. He never goes back on his word and he always tells the truth. – Principles of the Cowboy Code

TRUSTED BY COWBOYS SINCE 1894 STILLWATER NATIONAL BANK Since 1894 • 888.762.4762 • www.banksnb.com • Member FDIC

KNOW A FUTURE COWBOY? Whether it’s a football tailgate or a chance to explore life as an OSU student, we have many events planned for future Cowboys. • Oct. 8, 2011 – OSU Experience

• Nov. 5, 2011 – OSU Experience

• Nov. 14, 2011 – OSU Up Close

• Jan. 28, 2012 – Open House

• April 21, 2012 – Open House Campus tours are also available Monday-Friday and select Saturdays.

Learn more at admissions.okstate.edu/events.

Fall 2011, Vol. 7, No. 1 http://statemagazine.org

Welcome to the fall 2011 issue of STATE magazine, your source of information from the OSU Alumni Association, the OSU Foundation and University Marketing. Emergency room physician Kevin Kikta took cover as an EF-5 tornado destroyed St. John’s hospital in Joplin, Mo. Then without electricity or anesthesia, he stabilized as many injured people as possible. Read more on page 52. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions for future stories. Cover photography by Phil Shockley

Human Sciences College’s new name better represents its mission to solve human problems and enhance human lives.


Students Get Social 12 Social media such as OKStateU.com and SCVNGR phone applications help students make friends and become acquainted with campus.

Legacy Link This fun-filled page is dedicated to young, future Cowboys and Cowgirls.

Buy Orange Look for licensed OSU apparel and merchandise — then buy it if you want the availability to continue.

Multiplying the Love A fluffy litter of Samoyed puppies becomes a reality thanks to assistance from OSU veterinarians.

Come Home For ... Homecoming 2011, happening Oct. 28-29. Tell us “Where Your Story Began.”

Quicker Turnaround Couple’s gift will hasten results of OSU initiatives in student success and entrepreneurship.

ATTENTION! The new Army ROTC OSU Alumni Chapter transcends geographic boundaries to unite members everywhere.


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A Tribute to Service Icons for OSU in Tulsa honors community leaders.

Giving Back Couple supports Oklahoma agriculture by creating endowed professorship in food product development.

Grateful for Each Day After a battle with cancer, this recent graduate says he doesn’t take life for granted.

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Oklahoma WONDERtorium New children’s museum in Stillwater boasts many OSU connections in 14 hands-on exhibits and “playscapes.”

Fair But Firm T. Sterling Wetzel didn’t mince words when it came to setting students straight. Now a memorial scholarship honors his legacy of helping students reach their goals.

Women for OSU This group of female philanthropists continues to award more student scholarships each year.

Get More for Your Money A life membership in the OSU Alumni Association may soon cost a little more, but the rewards, discounts and camaraderie are well worth it.

Good 20 Lookin’ Auto detail business donates supplies to OSU Institute of Technology’s Collision Repair Technology Program.

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© CBS Entertainment

Luckiest Guy on the Planet 40 Actor Rex Linn attributes his career success — and his OSU diploma — to perseverance.

Strong Foundation Memories of their lean college years inspire couple to ease the way for current and future students.

50 Years of Innovation MBA graduates say OSU’s program provides a solid foundation for greater career success.

45 Seconds in Joplin May 22, 2011, started out like any other day for three OSU alumni in Joplin, Mo. But in less than a minute, a deadly tornado changed their lives forever.

Overcoming Obstacles Students with learning disabilities can excel thanks to Student Disability Services and a generous family affected by dyslexia.

Teacher on a Mission National science teaching award winner helps students view science as a way of life rather than a requirement.

Service Centered A strong work ethic and a commitment to international studies and service highlight the Bennett family tradition.

Retired, but Busy Two of OSU’s longest-serving deans look forward to retirement but will continue to teach and lead premier programs.

Living History

An Honorable Career Librarian uses her professorship to support sciencerelated programs, purchase library materials and create a bibliographic tool for researchers.

Fond Memories


Retired educator reflects on the Edmon Low Library and its quiet treasures.


And the Winner Is ...


Positive Influence

Sloan Taylor says her official OSU class ring is a constant reminder of her wonderful college experiences.

John Goodwin’s students knew him as brilliant and demanding, yet caring and genuinely interested in their success.

Taking the Long View

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KOSU partners with NPR and other public media organizations to follow the money trail at the state Capitol.

See You Later, Alligator! One of Theta Pond’s most interesting residents re-surfaces in library’s O-STATE Stories.


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What’s in a Name? 108 Long before historic Gallagher-Iba Arena became today’s world-class Athletics Center, it was simply known as the 4-H Club Building.

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Ron and Thora du Bois represented OSU and the U.S. during three Fulbright exchanges to Korea, India and Nigeria. Two international art exhibitions in 2010 showcased his resulting documentaries about folk potters.

Departments President’s Letter


FM with IQ






O-STATE Stories


Campus News


Legacy Link






Essay / Opinion


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.


President’s letter

Students are back on campus in record numbers as we begin what promises to be another exciting year at Oklahoma State University. Our combined OSU-Stillwater/OSU-Tulsa enrollment has surpassed 24,000 for the first time. Our Oklahoma City and Okmulgee campuses also show strong enrollment. Our freshman class is one of our largest ever and continues an impressive growth trend. The freshman class has grown each of the last three years, increasing 27 percent during that period. The freshman class is more diverse than ever, with 25 percent minority students. It includes more 4.0 students than any other public university in the state with 550. And, we are proud that nearly 20 percent of the freshmen are first-generation college students. At this year’s New Student Convocation, I told students their main goal must be to graduate. I assured them a degree is their passport to prosperity. We have launched innovative admissions and retention efforts to help our students succeed. Our graduates are well prepared to excel and serve our world. This edition of STATE spotlights several OSU graduates who have achieved great things. Three OSU graduates ­— Kevin Kikta and Sean Smith from the OSU Center for Health Sciences, and marketing alumnus Seth Newton — heroically helped the injured following Joplin’s May tornado. They recount their harrowing experience. You will be inspired by recent graduate Clayton Vaught, who missed a year of college battling cancer but returned to earn a degree in hotel and restaurant administration. Susie Stevens-Edens, an Oklahoma high school science teacher, has earned a pair of prestigious teaching honors. We have launched a new marketing campaign: America’s Brightest Orange. It is centered on leadership and service. It is about bright minds, building brighter futures and the brightest world for all. Thanks for your support! Go Pokes!

Burns Hargis OSU President


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A. Dri-FIT Sphere Polo (2235270) Go with a classic look with classic comfort. Contrasting panels highlight the sides, sleeves and three-button neckline. Featuring the popular O-State brand. Sizes S-XXL/$46.00 B.Vault Crew Tee (2248688) Flatter yourself with school spirit in this slimtting 100% organic cotton design featuring a faded vintage bronco rider. Sizes XS-XL/$24.00 C. Halfback Pass Pullover (2249863) Get ready for cool football weather with this premium jacket that repels wind and moisture keeping you dry in Boone Pickens Stadium. Also available in white/orange and orange/black combinations. Sizes S-XXL/$66.00 D. Whose That V-Neck (2249729) Cruise into the stadium aunting your Cowboy pride in this super-soft 100% cotton tee featuring a distressed screenprint. Also available in orange. Sizes XS-XXL/$22.00 E. Legacy91 Training Cap (2249407) Keep the sun out of your eyes and look stylish in this Dri-FIT hat featuring an embroidered OSU brand on the front and adjustable back. $22.00 F. Wanna Talk Tee (2249630) Show your unconditional love and support for OSU with a stylish, lightweight Dri-FIT tee featuring the OSU brand. Tee is made of 65% cotton/31% polyester/4% spandex. Sizes XSXL/$25.00 G. Legacy91 Local Cap (2248802) Let them know your favorite color with this 100% cotton stretch ex t hat featuring an embroidered “Orange Power.” $22.00 H. Just Do It Tee (2249283) Help resurrect the famed Nike motto and support the Pokes at the same time in this 100% combed cotton tee. Also available in orange. Sizes S-XXXL/$20.00 I. Distressed Logo Tee (2232895) Be comfortable on game day on the couch or in the stands with this soft tri-blend tee featuring a large, distressed Pete on the front. Sizes S-XXL/$24.00 J. Blended Tee (2249774) Get ready for fall and cooler temperatures with this long sleeve tee featuring a soft tri-blend of 50% poly/37% cotton/13% rayon and a distressed screenprint. Sizes XS-XXL/$48.00







Order online at shopokstate.com or call 1-800-831-4OSU.


* Don’t forget, OSU Alumni Association members receive a 10% discount! You must have your OSU Alumni Association membership number (located on your membership card) at the time you place your order to receive the member discount.



to the nearly 67,000 alumni and friends who have

helped the university earn recognition as a premier land-grant institution. Maintaining this incredible momentum is crucial to fulfilling the Branding Success Campaign’s promise to unleash OSU’s full potential. SEE HOW YOU CAN HELP AT


S tat e

Dear OSU Alumni and Friends,

The 2011 fall semester is off to a great start. A record number of students are enrolled at OSU. Homecoming is around the corner. And the amazing generosity of OSU donors pushed the historic $1 billion Branding Success campaign past the $750 million milestone in July. We’re only halfway through this seven-year fundraising initiative to boost support for scholarships, faculty, facilities and programs. So far, the numbers are impressive. By the end of June, 66,676 donors had committed $756.4 million to help OSU fulfill its land-grant mission and potential. These gifts and pledges have created 720 new scholarships and 124 new endowed faculty positions. OSU is grateful for the support of alumni and friends. Every dollar makes a difference. We are determined to maintain this incredible momentum to reach, and hopefully exceed, the $1 billion mark. Together, we can do even more to empower OSU to reach new heights. Homecoming 2011 is Oct. 28-29 and preparations are in full swing. This year’s theme, “Where Your Story Began,” says it all. We invite you to share stories about your own OSU-related beginnings by emailing mystorybegan@orangeconnection.org. The Alumni Association also presents 10 new watch party locations for OSU fans in California, Hawaii, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, plus two more serving our Cowboy troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. View the complete list of OSU alumni chapter and watch club locations at orangeconnection. org/chapters. Whether at an alumni chapter event or in an email about your OSU beginnings, share your stories with prospective students and their families. Tell them about the great things going on at Oklahoma State.

Kirk A. Jewell President and CEO OSU Foundation

Larry Shell President OSU Alumni Association

Kyle Wray Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing


u n ive r sity ma r k eti n g Kyle Wray / Vice President of Enrollment Management & Marketing

Janet Varnum, Michael Baker & Matt Elliott / Editorial Mark Pennie, Ross Maute, Valerie Kisling, Sarah Faith Dunbar, Elizabeth Hahn & V. Paul Fleming / Design Phil Shockley & Gary Lawson / Photography Jessa Zapor-Gray / Photo Coordinator University Marketing Office / 121 Cordell, Stillwater, OK 74078-8031 / 405.744.6262 / www.okstate.edu (web) / editor@ okstate.edu, osu.advertising@okstate.edu (email) O S U A lum n i A ssociatio n Dan Gilliam / Chairman Ron Ward / Vice Chairman Paul Cornell / Immediate Past Chairman Ronald Bussert / Treasurer Burns Hargis / OSU President, Non-voting Member Larry Shell / President, OSU Alumni Association, Nonvoting Member Kirk Jewell / President, OSU Foundation, Non-voting Member

Cindy Batt, Larry Briggs, Bill Dragoo, Russell Florence, Jennifer Grigsby, Dave Kollman, Jami Longacre, Pam Martin, Joe Merrifield, David Rose, Nichole Trantham & Robert Walker / board of Directors Pattie Haga / Vice President and COO Chase Carter / Director of COMMUNICATIONS Melissa Mourer & Kathryn Bolay-Staude / Communications Committee

201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center / Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 / 405.744.5368 / orangeconnection.org (web) / info@ orangeconnection.org (email) O S U F ou n datio n Barry Pollard / CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Kirk A. Jewell / President and Chief Executive Officer Patricia Moline / VICE PRESIDENT for DEVELOPMENT Brandon Meyer / VICE PRESIDENT & General Counsel Donna Koeppe / VICE PRESIDENT of administration & treasurer

Jamie Payne / senior director of human resources Jim Berscheidt / assistant vice president of marketing & communications

Gene Batchelder, Monty Butts, Jerry Clack, Bryan Close, Charlie Eitel, Ellen Fleming, Michael Greenwood, Jennifer Grigsby, David Holsted, Rex Horning, Don Humphreys, Kirk A. Jewell, Griffin Jones, Steven Jorns, David Kyle, John Linehan, Ross McKnight, Bill Patterson, Bond Payne Jr., Barry Pollard, Scott Sewell, Larry Shell, William S. Spears, Jack Stuteville, Kim Watson & Dennis White / BOARD OF TRUSTEES Brittanie Douglas, Jennifer Kinnard, Chris Lewis, Jacob Longan, Cara Swanson & Leesa Wyzard / COMMUNICATIONS

OSU Foundation / 400 South Monroe, P.O. Box 1749 / Stillwater, OK 74076-1749 / 800.622.4678 / OSUgiving.com (web) / info@ OSUgiving.com (email)

STATE magazine is published three times a year (Spring, Fall, Winter) by Oklahoma State University, 121 Cordell N, Stillwater, OK 74078. The magazine is produced by University Marketing, 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 the 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 or services or beliefs offered by the University based on gender. Any person (student, faculty of staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss their concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of the Title IX with the OSU Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Affirmative Action, 408 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, (405) 744-5371 or (405) 744-5576 (fax). This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by the Assistant Director, University Marketing, was printed by Royle Printing Company at a cost of $.912 per issue. 33,332/Sept. ’11/#3923. Copyright © 2011, STATE magazine . All rights reserved.


It Pays to be a Member! Members have access to discounts on products and services across the United States and can save hundreds of dollars a year. Here are several name brands offering online discounts.

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10% off order 10% off $50 order 5% off order 25% savings

Shop more than 800 online merchants to save on everything you and your family need!

Find out how you can save today at orangeconnection.org/save. 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 TEL 405.744.5368 FAX 405.744.6722 orangeconnection.org

*Savings as of June 15, 2011. Subject to change without notice. Some exclusions may apply.


College’s new name better ­represents its mission It may seem like something is missing from the name College of Human Sciences. But the college, which recently dropped the word environmental from its name, has discovered that less can indeed be more. After three years of planning, program reviews and surveys, the college has rechristened itself the College of Human Sciences. The name is more representative of the institution’s 112-year tenure at Oklahoma State University, Dean Stephan Wilson says. “Since their origin, the human sciences have focused on the health and well being of the individual,” Wilson says. “The name emphasizes the fact that we impact the human condition through science.” Hence the college’s motto: “Solving human problems and enhancing human lives.” With programs in nutrition, interior design, child development, family science, apparel design and production, housing, hospitality and tourism, the college has a long, distinguished history of addressing everyday challenges with science. While there are nationally acclaimed scientists doing lab studies and using beakers and test tubes, human scientists at OSU are discovering knowledge in a variety of ways. Behavioral and social scientists examine the human life span, personal and family financial issues and consumer behavior. The scientists discover methods and strategies that have a positive impact on human development, relationships and the economy.

Apparel and interior designers integrate technology, engineering and math with art to create comfortable, safe, sustainable and attractive garments and environments. Such creativity and science was recently on display at the inaugural Design Student Exposition, a juried show with more than 30 student interior and apparel designs on display. Researchers also are discovering the effects of certain foods on chronic disease and calorie content of the latest cuisine. A recent study by a nutritional sciences researcher at the college has found mangos reduce body fat and control blood sugar. Over the years these unique human science disciplines have collaborated with each other and many others to investigate the multiple causes of childhood obesity, micronutrients and their role in infant cognitive development, and healthy aging. The diversity of the work done at the college has made a name change necessary to adequately reflect the breadth of knowledge being discovered, interpreted and disseminated by OSU’s human scientists. “We live in a time where educated, innovative individuals will be called upon to solve serious issues that impact the human condition,” Wilson says. “We are prepared to meet those challenges now and are poised for the future.” In short, the College of Human Sciences will continue “solving human problems and enhancing human lives.”

“Since their origin, the human sciences have focused on the health and well being of the individual. The name emphasizes the fact that we impact the human condition through science.” — Stephan Wilson



OKStateU and SCVNGR Internet site makes students feel welcome

Most of the online comments were Remember your first day of college, appropriate and helpful, Handy says, but wondering if you’d fit in, find your way OSU monitors the site for safety reasons around campus and meet new friends? and requires participants to check a box Last fall, the website OKStateU.com agreeing to follow university guidelines. was so successful in helping 2010 fresh“The best thing about it is that it allows men make friends, find answers to their freshmen, and now all students, to meet questions and transition to college life and get to know others,” Handy says, that OSU expanded its social network“and it helps them establish a network of ing website this fall to all OSU students, friends and support from day one.” faculty and staff with an “okstate.edu” email address. “Feedback was so positive, OSU decided to roll out a university-wide platform,” says Bill Handy, an adviser who worked with Student Affairs and OSU OSU students are the first in Communications to develop the site. Oklahoma to take a mobile SCVNGR During the 2010 experiment, incoming hunt around campus. freshmen made friends before even setting Participants earn points by going to foot on campus and then continued using specific locations, checking in via their cell the site to discuss everything from club phones and then receiving information, activities to concerns about fitting in. answering questions, participating in chalParticipants connected with each other lenges, watching videos and uploading photos through personal profiles, interactive about OSU people, places and programs. groups and forum discussions. Students It’s a fun, interactive way to learn created sites and groups based on a wide about OSU, Handy says. array of topics, including study groups, As players check in at various buildathletics and personal interests. ings, labs or other campus locations, their One student used the original site to phones will present information such organize a group called the “College of as the name of the building or a video Awesomely Good Times” for students message, or questions may pop up based who, like him, didn’t think they fit into on the previous information. existing groups. As students participate, they earn points “How wonderful,” Handy says. “Here’s and become eligible for prizes such as an a student who thought surely others felt iPad or gift card from the University Store. like he did and then created this for them. Information for the game is generated It became a very dynamic group.” by the OSU Alumni Association, OSU When a freshman wrote about her fear Foundation, Student Affairs, Admissions, and anxiety about entering college, others the Student Union, OSU Communications responded with reassuring messages. and other university departments. “In less than 30 minutes, current and Participants must be on campus to play new students and even a member of the OSU’s SCVNGR game, but a smartphone OSU library staff connected with her isn’t necessarily a requirement. Regular through the site to make her feel welcome,” cellphones will use the text messaging and Handy says. photo features. It’s free to play the game, although service providers may charge extra if a player exceeds his plan’s texts limit.

A new kind of SCVNGR hunt


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To download the app to an iPhone or Android, visit scvngr.com. For information about how to play OSU’s SCVNGR game, visit okstateu.com/2011/2011/08/10/scvngr.

There are many ways the SCVNGR hunt allows people to interact with OSU. A family touring campus that has an interest in OSU’s veterinary medicine program could go to SCVNGR’s trek feature, check in and access information, videos and photos about the veterinary college. Treks around campus on Mother’s Day might focus on information about renowned OSU alumnae. “Research shows interactivity is an effective way to communicate information,” Handy says. “People are comfortable with cellphone applications, and communicating like this in a game-like atmosphere is fun.”

Legacy Link

Look for the NEW Legacy Link in every STATE magazine! This page is dedicated to all of our Alumni Association Legacies and to spreading orange to young Cowboys and Cowgirls! BASKETBALL ORANGE THETA POND SOFTBALL




Make sure your legacy is registered in the OSU Alumni Association Legacy Program at orangeconnection.org/legacy to receive all of the legacy benefits available with your membership! 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 TEL 405.744.5368 • FAX 405.744.6722 orangeconnection.org


Look for licensed OSU apparel and merchandise — then buy it, if you want the availability to continue Don’t see your favorite OSU merchandise available for purchase at your local retailer? Tell the store’s management, says Kurtis Mason, OSU’s trademarks and licensing administrator. Then, if the store later stocks what you want, buy it. “We license all kinds of people and companies, some of whom make OSU products and ship it to retailers,” Mason says. “Our licensees track how their items sell. If retailers have a bunch leftover, they’re not going to keep buying our merchandise from our licensees. That means less OSU product in the marketplace.” Mason, the point man for brokering licensing agreements, says everyone from mom-and-pop “crafters” to big-time clothing and video game companies pay to put the OSU brand on their products. They’re profiting off OSU’s brand so everything about their usage must be approved. The main source of revenue occurs from sales to retailers, who often buy the products for their store shelves. OSU receives a percentage of the goods’ wholesale price. All licensing proceeds support scholarships for OSU athletics and academics. “If retailers are successful with our brand, that means the university is successful,” Mason says. “It’s a multimillion-dollar revenue stream.” OSU has grown in popularity with the general public in recent


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years. Mason says he often hears fans complain about a store selling one school or one team’s goods but not another. The simple fact is retailers stock what people buy. “Teams with increased demand sell their products quicker than others,” Mason says. “More publicity and demand equals more products in the marketplace.”

Look for the Collegiate Licensing Co. holographic sticker on the product you want to buy. That sticker

Look for the Collegiate Licensing Co. holographic sticker on the products you want to buy. That sticker means the vendor is approved to sell OSU-branded gear.

means the vendor is approved to sell OSU-branded gear. As it does for dozens of other universities, CLC manages OSU’s licensing, approves brand usages and enforces standards, such as ensuring merchandise is made in proper working conditions. Hundreds of organizations and people are licensed to make and sell OSU products. CLC, which in return gets a percentage of all sales, does what would normally take a staff of nearly a dozen, Mason says. The most popular OSU items are apparel, especially women’s clothing, he says. The Victoria’s Secret Pink collection has been huge. Mason has also worked to get OSU gear stocked in Wal-Mart and Target stores, among other retailers. “We’re in the top 30 of the CLC consortium,” he says. “That means we’re in the top 30 in the country. “There’s a huge level of support for OSU by Oklahomans. Our alumni and fans are very loyal. They want to wear OSU gear on a weekly or even daily basis. The university needs that support to compete with other regional schools.” For more information on OSU licensing and trademarks, contact Mason at 405-744-6238, or kurtis.mason@okstate.edu.

Multiplying the Love A story of success and gratitude


Photography / Phil shoclkey

When Sonya finally conceived in December 2009, Makloski haron Wilson of Claremore, Okla., and Vickie Cupps monitored her closely. As the dog’s pregnancy progressed, of Sand Springs, Okla., work with therapy dogs, share Makloski performed an ultrasound on Sonya and confirmed five a passion for Samoyeds and have become great friends over puppies. As Sonya’s due date approached, Makloski scheduled a the years. cesarean section and the puppies were born on March 30, 2010. For two long years, Wilson and Cupps worked toward a “We prepped Sonya as much as we could before we put her common goal — their wish for Wilson’s dog Sonya to give birth under to reduce her exposure to anesthesia,” Makloski says. to puppies sired by Cupps’ dog, Kodi. When Sonya couldn’t “Drs. Danielle Dugat and Heather Towle performed the enblock conceive, they wanted to try artificial insemination. However, c-section while Dr. Tina Oliveri and I, along veterinarians found it impossible to collect semen with a team of veterinary technicians and fourthfrom Kodi. That’s where OSU’s veterinary center year veterinary students, stood by to receive enters the picture. the puppies.” At the time, 2006 OSU College of Veterinary At the time of birth, Oliveri, a 2009 alumna, Medicine alumna Dr. Chelsea Makloski was on was a theriogenology intern; Towle was a visiting staff at the center’s Boren Veterinary Medical surgeon; and Dugat, a 2007 OSU alumna, was Teaching Hospital. Makloski, a diplomate of and still is a small-animal surgery resident at the American College of Theriogenologists, was the hospital. able to collect Kodi’s semen and successfully Vickie and her husband, James Cupps, were inseminate Sonya. so appreciative they established a $50,000 But Sonya failed to conceive on the first try. endowed veterinary student scholarship, which Makloski did an exploratory surgery to assess was awarded for the first time in April 2011. Sonya and discovered that the dog had a vaginal septum, a developmental abnormality that she was James and Vickie Cupps D e r i n da B l a k e n e y born with that she may or may not pass on to her join veterinarian Chelsea offspring. Due to the severity of Sonya’s vaginal Makloski to show off septum, natural breeding and whelping would proud papa Kodi and his be impossible. Samoyed puppies.


Molly Johnson, executive director, OSU Homecoming 2011

Photo / Gary Lawson


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OSU Alumni Association


Sept. 03 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette • Legacy Day Bring your legacies and have some fun!

Sept. 08 vs. Arizona • No Official Events

No food service or pep rally will occur.

Oct. 08 vs. Kansas • Connections for Life Day

Stop by to see the Association’s new programs and keep connected. Take advantage of discounted game tickets with your membership!

Oct. 29 vs. Baylor • Homecoming 2011

Come back for Homecoming 2011: ‘Where Your Story Began’!

Nov. 05 vs. Kansas State • Member Benefits Day

Stop by for family photos and receive a discount at the print store!

Dec. 03 vs. Oklahoma • Bedlam Bash

Join the Bedlam festivities and show who’s the best in Oklahoma. Beginning three-and-a-half hours prior to kickoff, the Cowboy Corral at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center is fun for the whole family. Enjoy hot Hideaway Pizza and mouthwatering hamburgers, hotdogs and BBQ brisket from Freddie Paul’s. Pistol Pete, the OSU Spirit Squad and the OSU Cowboy Marching Band will also be there to hold a pep rally, plus get your picture taken with Bullet! More information at orangeconnection.org/cowboycorral! 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 TEL 405.744.5368 • FAX 405.744.6722 orangeconnection.org

Alumni commit $2.5 million to help new initiatives ensure early success

Thoma gift to enhance programs in student success and entrepreneurship

Carl and Marilynn Benbrook Thoma have committed $2.5 million over five years to provide upfront support for the new Learning and Student Success Opportunity Center and the School of Entrepreneurship.


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Carl Thoma’s unique ability to find new business ventures worth funding has been the key to his incredible professional success. Now he is using the resources and the knowledge he has gained as an entrepreneur to benefit his alma mater. Carl and his wife, Marilynn Benbrook Thoma, recently made a $2.5 million commitment to be paid over five years. The gift is split into two funds that will provide upfront support to two emerging OSU priorities – the new Learning and Student Success Opportunity (LASSO) Center and the School of Entrepreneurship, which has gone from inception to being widely recognized as one of the nation’s best in less than four years. “Our feeling was the Branding Success campaign has done an amazing job of raising money for long-term endowments, but we are in a position to help make a difference right now with our gifts,” says Carl Thoma. “You have to blend both long-term and short-term resources to help OSU move on to the next level. Our gifts are designed to provide the seed funding to get these projects off the ground,

and then endowments later will provide perpetual support.” These gifts are examples of a nationwide trend known as venture philanthropy, which involves applying the concepts of venture capitalism and measuring the impact of donor gifts. Some donors embrace this practice because it offers them more transparency about the application of their gifts, quicker impact, the opportunity to use their own talents to increase the results of their gifts and the ability to help an organization try new concepts. This is done through multiyear support, measurable objectives and reported results. For Carl Thoma (’70 agricultural economics), that is a logical philanthropic philosophy considering his success as a venture capitalist. He started with First Chicago Equity Group, and in 1980, he helped establish the firm of Golder Thoma & Co. Today, Carl is a managing partner of its successor, Thoma Bravo, a buyand-build investment firm that focuses on business services, software, education and financial services with offices in Chicago and San Francisco. He has served as chairman of the National Venture Capital Association and the Illinois Venture Capital Association. Marilynn Benbrook Thoma (’71 home economics education) enjoys a seasoned career in marketing, which began in 1974 when she entered brand management at Quaker Oats Company. The Thomas own Van Duzer Vineyards, an estate winery

difference. We are thrilled to do our part in Oregon’s Willamette Valley for which to help it succeed in the early stages.” Marilynn directs all communication and The other half of their gift will add marketing efforts. two clinical entrepreneurship professors The Thomas, who each earned an to the faculty. One of the professors will MBA from Stanford, look for opportunialso focus on the university wide entreties to have the biggest impact with their preneurship initiative, helping various donations, and these funds are prime examples of that. They take it even further departments and units integrate entrepreneurial concepts into their disciplines. with the donation to LASSO, a program The other professor will focus on the two designed to make the biggest difference student incubators and help students and by helping students at risk of leaving the faculty researchers turn their ideas into university. President Burns Hargis and viable ventures. Provost Robert Sternberg have made “This gift is vital,” says Michael improved retention rates a focal point Morris, head of the School of of the university, noting that increased Entrepreneurship. “We are doing a lot of retention benefits students and the state’s very exciting, leading-edge work and our economy by leading to more educated program is now rated among the best, but individuals in the workforce. Improved retention rates also benefit OSU financially while helping to fulfill the university’s mission and enhance its reputation. “OSU can help develop the positive leaders of tomorrow only if it can ensure that all students who enroll have the optimal chance to succeed,” Sternberg says. “The LASSO Center will provide the mentorship and guidance to all students in need of help in order to maximize their chances for success. Students will with all we have put in place, we are really be referred to the Center by self-referrals, stretched. This gift allows us to bring in referrals by faculty, and by an earlythe kind of expertise that will allow us to warning system that takes into account continue doing world-class things while admissions credentials.” taking us to the next level. We have a The Thomas’ support will fund goal of supporting 40 ventures started by additional tutors and advisers for freshstudents and faculty each year, and these men this year, followed by a year-end two new positions will be instrumental in evaluation to measure the effectiveness of our ability to provide this kind of support.” the donation, including whether OSU’s Carl Thoma describes the rapid progfreshman retention rate has increased. ress of the School of Entrepreneurship as Then the most effective use for the next annual donation will be determined by the “truly remarkable.” “That program has been so successful provost and the Thomas. that they have grown to the point of need“As a society, we have gotten pretty ing some additional faculty to keep the good about helping the disadvantaged, momentum and growth going,” he says. but sometimes the people in the middle “It is an exciting new part of OSU and slip through the cracks because they we wanted to do what we could to help aren’t offered the right kind of support,” it progress and gain even more national Marilynn Thoma says. “We believe this momentum.” Center in collaboration with faculty will He adds, “America was built by entreprovide students with the tools to achieve preneurs. ‘Entrepreneur’ doesn’t mean a their life goals and for parents to see their reckless risk-taker, but someone who is hopes for their children fulfilled. The innovative and thinks about the future, provost’s understanding of what students whether it’s in the field of journalism, need to succeed at university is based software, farming or whatever. To me, on solid research showing it can make a

entrepreneurship is a state of mind that asks, ‘What new approaches can I take to solve the problem and enhance the current product or situation?’” The Thomas hope their gifts not only make an immediate impact on these two new OSU initiatives, but that they also encourage others to support the university through venture philanthropy. The Thomas have previously provided key early funding for both the Wine Forum of Oklahoma and the Rancher’s Club, a teaching restaurant on campus. They also endowed a faculty chair in the College of Human Sciences. Since 1986, the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Foundation has given more than $10 million to support humanities,

“‘Entrepreneur’ doesn’t mean a reckless risk-taker, but someone who is innovative and thinks about the future, whether in the field of journalism, software, farming or whatever.” — Carl Thoma human services, medical care/rehabilitation, museums and the arts at institutions throughout the U.S. For their part, the leaders of the LASSO Center and the School of Entrepreneurship would love to have many more donors like Carl and Marilynn Thoma. “The Thomas are among OSU’s most generous donors,” Sternberg says. “They recognize the importance of providing a first-class education to the citizens of Oklahoma and beyond.” Adds Morris, “To me, the Thomas are the best example that OSU graduates can change the world. I’m sure they do not see themselves this way, but they are indeed change agents. This gift and these clinical professors are keys to empowering more of the OSU family to do the kinds of entrepreneurial things that will change the world.” For more information on these OSU initiatives or to join the Thomas in supporting them, contact the OSU Foundation at info@OSUgiving.com or (800) 622-4678.


New chapter unites ROTC alumni around the world

ilitary science assistant professor Casey Campbell wanted to learn about OSU’s rich military history. More importantly, he wanted to connect with former OSU Army ROTC veterans and experience the strong bond they hold with the land-grant university. Last spring, Campbell realized there was no better way than to form an OSU alumni chapter for them. “We needed some way to pull them back into the OSU family, and we thought this was the best way to do that,” he says. Campbell, born and raised on a farm in northwest Oklahoma, grew up in a crimson-shaded household and planned to


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attend the University of Oklahoma. After visiting the OU campus, however, he realized it wasn’t the place for him. At the last minute, he set foot on the OSU campus and is still here today. “It’s where I thought I fit,” Campbell says. “People really seemed to care about me as a student and as a person.” To help pay for college, Campbell enlisted in the Army Reserves following high school graduation in 1998. At OSU he became active in the ROTC program while also serving in the Reserves. In 2002, he received a bachelor’s in political science and was also commissioned as a military police officer. During his first deployment to Iraq from 2003 to 2005, he served as platoon

Capt. Casey Campbell, right, receives the Army’s Bronze Star medal in front of the “Victory over America” palace in Baghdad in October 2010.

leader and later battalion intelligence officer for the 336th Military Police Battalion. He’s also been deployed to Haiti and Macedonia and has received a Bronze Star and other military awards. “All this stuff is really not a testament to me, but a testament to the people I’ve worked with and worked for,” he says. Campbell joined OSU’s military science faculty in 2008 and, after a second deployment to Iraq from August 2009 to December 2010, he returned to campus. “This is really where I got my start and the opportunity to do the things I’ve been able to do,” Campbell says. “To come back and share that with students and give back to the university has been very meaningful to me.”

lives in Staten Island, N.Y., and will serve on the chapter’s executive board. “I am the immediate past president of the New York City OSU Alumni Chapter,” he says. “Capt. Campbell was familiar with my involvement in establishing it as a formal chapter.” At OSU, Callaham was not involved in ROTC, although he took a few semesters of military science courses while studying German. His wife, Karagene (Thompson)

Between phone calls, emails and Facebook, Campbell and other Army ROTC alumni are spreading the news. Surprisingly, the most successful way of reaching alumni has been through word of mouth. “There are some initial hurdles we face about being geographically disbursed,” Campbell says. “But I think it’s going to work out fine.” The OSU Alumni Association and Army ROTC Chapter also are working together on the concept of a veterans’ plaza to recognize OSU veterans and be a special place for people passionate about OSU and the military. “The ROTC chapter is helping us with the process of developing the plaza,” Haga says. “We want to make sure that it’s meaningful and follows protocol.” In October, the ROTC chapter will host a reunion during homecoming weekend. Eventually, the chapter hopes to create scholarships and fundraisers. “We want to continue to bring people in,” Campbell says. Mike Callaham, who graduated in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in German,

Callaham, is an alum of the OSU ROTC. She received her commission through the Army ROTC Cowboy Battalion in 1991. An active reservist and civil affairs officer in New York, she graduated from OSU with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a master’s degree in health, physical education and recreation. “Like many of the future members of this new chapter, Karagene and I are not geographically located in Oklahoma. But the education OSU provided to us is something we carry in all aspects of our lives,” he says. “This is a great opportunity to be able to recognize the foundation OSU gave its military alumni and to come back together.” On campus, Campbell continues to spread the word about the new chapter and looks forward to reminiscing with other ROTC alumni and hearing their stories. “Casey’s been the complete heart and soul of getting this chapter going,” Callaham says. “His vision has pulled it all together.” K r i s t e n M c C o n n aughe y

Connect with the new Army ROTC OSU Alumni Chapter.



The new Army ROTC OSU Alumni Chapter has one characteristic that makes it significantly different from other alumni chapters. Its members are located throughout the U.S. and overseas, while other chapters typically represent alumni who live in a particular city or county. Pattie Haga, vice president of the OSU Alumni Association, says the Army ROTC OSU Alumni Chapter is good at communication.

Top: Capt. Casey Campbell, left, Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Panique and Master Sgt. Timothy Spradlin provide civil affairs support to the 1st Infantry Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Center: Campbell, left, and 2nd Lt. Johnny Brewer following the spring 2011 commissioning ceremony Bottom: Campbell assists Sheik Anwar in 2004 with security and implementation of infrastructure projects such as the new school behind them.

Email: arotc@orangeconnection.org Facebook: Facebook.com/OSUAROTCAlumni


A Tribute to Service

Community leaders are honored as Icons for OSU in Tulsa.

Leader, teacher and supporter. Generous, caring and passionate.

Those are just a few words that describe the inaugural Icons for OSU in Tulsa. More than 300 OSU alumni and supporters gathered May 23 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa for “A Stately Affair” to honor individuals and entities who have demonstrated noteworthy contributions to the university and Oklahoma. The 2011 Icons for OSU in Tulsa are Dr. Robert McCullough II, Michael P. Johnson, Dr. Ebb Reeves and the H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust represented by trustees Donne Pitman and Jerry Dickman. “Through their compassion, leadership and support of education and other community needs, our icons have made helping others one of their greatest endeavors,” says Howard Barnett, president of OSU-Tulsa and the OSU Center for Health Sciences. “We’re proud to honor their commitment, passion and community spirit that contribute significantly to the quality of life and education in Oklahoma.” The event was the first joint fundraiser for OSU’s two Tulsa campuses. It generated more than $660,000, and proceeds will be used for student scholarships. Honorary chair and OSU alumnus Boone Pickens spoke about the importance of OSU-Tulsa and the Center for Health Sciences to the state. Some gifts for A Stately Affair qualified for the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match program at a rate of 2-to-1. The $100 million matching program is part of OSU’s Branding Success campaign, the largest educational fundraising campaign in Oklahoma history. Barnett and OSU President Burns Hargis served as emcees for the evening, which included a silent auction and video tributes to the honorees and both campuses. “Through their positive actions and dedication to service, the inaugural Icons for OSU in Tulsa have touched many of Oklahoma’s people and places,” Barnett says. “We’re honored to recognize them as part of the OSU family.” O T r i sh M c B e at h


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From left, Howard Barnett, president of OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences; Jerry Dickman and Donne Pitman, trustees of the H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust; Boone Pickens, honorary chair; Mary Shaw, event chair; and honorees Robert McCullough II, Michael P. Johnson and Ebb Reeves. Robert McCullough II, D.O. McCullough has been a true icon of the osteopathic profession for more than 40 years. McCullough is an internist/hospitalist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa. He served nine years as a faculty member and seven years as a member of the advisory council at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. He also spent eight years as a trustee of the OSU Medical Center in Tulsa, the primary teaching facility for the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is a past president of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association and vice speaker and trustee of the American Osteopathic Foundation. His many awards from the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association include the 1993 Outstanding Service Award and the 2001 Doctor of the Year Award. Michael P. Johnson Johnson is president and chief executive officer of the J&A Group. He retired as the senior vice president and chief administrative officer of the Tulsa-based Williams Companies in 2008. Throughout his career, he has been heavily involved in community service and has served in leadership positions for a number of nonprofit organizations. His dedication to education includes serving as a member of the OSU-Tulsa board of trustees and chairman of the Foundation for Tulsa Schools. He is currently a trustee for Phillips Theological Seminary and Bethune-Cookman University.

Ebb Reeves, D.O. Reeves was trained as a doctor of osteopathic medicine at what is now the OSU Medical Center, where he also practiced medicine and served as chief of staff. Reeves has served in many leadership positions in his profession, including past president of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association. In 1990, he was named Physician of the Year by the Oklahoma Osteopathic Foundation, and in April he received the Doctor of the Decade Award from the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association. Now retired, Reeves is the only doctor of osteopathic medicine who serves as a trustee for the OSU Medical Center Trust, which oversees the OSU Medical Center. The H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust This trust provides support for nonprofit organizations involved in a wide variety of charitable purposes. H.A., a successful Tulsa independent oil and gas producer, devoted most of his charitable efforts during his lifetime to education and medical research. His wife, Mary, a nurse, focused her charitable activities on health and medical research, as well as educating and caring for the less fortunate. A great number of worthy causes and nonprofit organizations now benefit from the Chapmans’ generosity. The trust has been a major contributor toward equipment for the new Forensics and Biomedical Sciences Research building at the OSU Center for Health Sciences and the Impact Tulsa scholarship program at OSU-Tulsa.



secure the of

future Homecoming

OSU is nationally recognized as having “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration”. Its future is in the hands of OSU faithful like you. Without support for the Homecoming and Student Programs endowment, OSU’s Homecoming celebration could lack the color, excitement and pride you see here. For information about securing the future of Homecoming, call 800.622.4678 or visit orangeconnection.org/give. 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 TEL 405.744.5368 • FAX 405.744.6722 orangeconnection.org

Giving Back The Jurgensmeyers show their support for Oklahoma agriculture


f there is one thing Virgil and Marge Jurgensmeyer of Miami, Okla., understand well, it’s the importance of giving back. Their $250,000 gift to OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center will create the Virgil and Marge Jurgensmeyer Endowed Professorship in Food Product Development. Virgil Jurgensmeyer, chief executive officer of J-M Farms, is a founding member of the center and has served in a leadership role since its inception in 1997. “As we grew older, Marge and I looked at what we were going to do with our money to help others,” he says. “Agriculture has been good to us; Oklahoma has


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been good to us and is home to us. It’s a good feeling to be able to do this.” Throughout his years of involvement, Jurgensmeyer has been concerned about ongoing funding for the center. “The FAPC needs sources of funding down the road,” he says. “Marge and I came to a conclusion that this would be a good place to put our earnings.” Leading the Way The $250,000 gift will be matched by the generosity of T. Boone Pickens’ 2008 chair and professorship match as part of the $1 billion Branding Success campaign. The state legislature previously committed to matching Pickens’ portion, resulting in a total impact of $750,000. The center is fortunate to have supporters like the Jurgensmeyers who understand the importance of adding value to Oklahoma, says Chuck Willoughby, FAPC business and marketing relations manager.

Virgil and Marge Jurgensmeyer were teachers before starting a mushroom business. They believe in the power of education and credit OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center for helping them develop food products over the years.

“We are truly thankful to the Jurgensmeyers for their support and for doing something meaningful to provide funds to the center in addition to the current appropriations,” he says. “It is their hope and ours that other industry leaders will follow their example and provide additional endowments to the FAPC.” Down to Business The Jurgensmeyers are innovative agricultural business owners of a mushroom production, processing, packaging and shipping facility. J-M Farms, which employs 550 workers and services nine states, has been a successful Oklahoma business since 1979. J-M Farms produces 22 million pounds of sliced and whole mushrooms per year and does $35 million in annual business sales. The company also converts waste into a valuable compost and soil enhancer.

Although the business is focused on fresh products, J-M Farms produces a breaded mushroom product available in the market and also dried products used in food service. “FAPC helped us develop the dry line of products and the formulation of the breaded product,” Jurgensmeyer says. “The OSU facility is such a valuable resource. We never know when we might need to seek assistance from the FAPC.” Business of Heart J-M Farms is not just a business to the Jurgensmeyers. It’s a family business. Virgil and Marge grew up together in their hometown of St. Elizabeth, Mo. They have been married for 59 years and have three sons, Pat, Terry and Curtis.

Jurgensmeyer is proud that his whole family has been involved in the mushroom business or some form of a J-M Farms diversified business. Although he is still active in the business, his wife retired three years ago after working in payroll and accounts payable for 18 years. Currently, Pat and Curtis run the mushroom business, and Terry oversees the diversified companies. Education and Knowledge The Jurgensmeyers are no stranger to education. Both Virgil and Marge received undergraduate degrees in education from the University of Missouri. Before entering the mushroom industry, he was a secondary education teacher and principal, and she was a home economics teacher.

“We believe in education,” he says. “We also believe the FAPC is a great way to help young businesses.” Roy Escoubas, director of OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center, says Jurgensmeyer’s knowledge and 40 years of experience in the mushroom business makes him tremendously valuable to the center, where he serves on the Industry Advisory Committee as an advisor, decision maker, mentor and coach. “Virgil has always been sensitive to the immediate issues and the long-term planning of the FAPC,” Escoubas says. “He believes in value-added processing and in what value-added processing can do to expand the Oklahoma economy. Virgil is a tireless supporter of the FAPC.” M a n dy G r oss

We believe in education. We also believe the FAPC is a great way to help young businesses.” — Virgil Jurgensmeyer


Grateful for each day Alumni often say the life lessons they learned in college are as meaningful as their education. story by Kristen McConnaughey

photo by Phil Shockley

Clayton Vaught survived a bout of cancer before graduating in December with his bachelor’s in hotel and restaurant administration. The alum says one of the most important things he learned in college is not to take things for granted. “If I’m in a room with someone I care about, I don’t leave without saying ‘I love you,’” he says. (story continues)


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It Pays to be a Member... Even as a Student! The NEW Life Membership Student Program offers students a savings of up to $400 on their Alumni Association life membership. With one click, students can now become life members through a bursar charge payment plan. By being a member, students can

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201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 TEL 405.744.5368 • FAX 405.744.6722 orangeconnection.org


fter graduating from Broken Arrow High School in 2004, Clayton Vaught decided to attend OSU because he loved the campus atmosphere. At OSU he made many friends as a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the Club Managers Association of America. He also contributed to “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration” by serving on the Homecoming Steering Committee and was a member of “Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow.” Vaught stayed active throughout college despite severe back pain that became too intense his senior year. “He called me after his last final in December 2008 and said, ‘Mom, the pain is so horrible I cannot sleep,’” says Vaught’s mother, Debbie. Additional testing by doctors revealed Vaught had chondrosarcoma, a type of cancer that grows from cartilage. The

Together, they traveled to Houston to seek treatment from a highly ranked cancer doctor, who recommended surgery. “There were five doctors and three anesthesiologists in the operating room with him for more than 18 hours,” Debbie says. After surgery, Vaught was given the worst-case scenario that he might not be able to walk again. He struggled with physical therapy and rehabilitation, but the painful exercises began producing results. “We literally saw miracles happen every day,” Debbie says. Vaught spent just over a year recovering from his surgery, always focused on the road back to OSU. He says the smallest things meant the most, like being able to wiggle his toes. He returned to OSU in fall 2010, determined to graduate. “He got in his truck and drove back to OSU,” Debbie

“It is something that shows my accomplishments as far as education and what I worked through to get it.” Vaught is now two-years cancer free and works in the customer service department of Hilti, a Tulsa company that sells power tools and fastening systems. “I am certainly glad that he was a student here at OSU,” Ryan says. “I wish

“We literally saw miracles happen every day.” — Debbie Vaught says. “He wanted to finish school and get on with his life.” Although Vaught had to rely on crutches, he kept a positive attitude. In December, Vaught’s dedication paid off when he walked across the stage of Gallagher-Iba Arena during commencement. William Ryan, director of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, commends Vaught for his dedication to learning all he could despite his circumstances. “I think we all took the approach that he came first and his classes came second,” Ryan says. “And when he was ready to complete his classes and move forward, we were ready to help him.” Vaught’s mother, knowing how special graduation was to her son, surprised him with an official OSU class ring. “I wasn’t expecting it,” Vaught says.

courtesy photo

cancer was located in his pelvis and sacrum, a bone at the base of the spine, which was causing Vaught’s excruciating back pain. “It was kind of a shock to me,” Vaught says. “I had to take two semesters off and that really affected my plans.” Vaught’s mother says she will never forget the day she found out her son had cancer and would have to leave OSU. She immediately called the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration to explain the situation. “The day I called them, I couldn’t even talk,” Debbie says. “They were phenomenal. They helped me get everything situated so he could just leave.” After visiting with doctors and having a biopsy, Vaught and his family found out they were dealing with a deadly and slowgrowing cancer that doesn’t respond to chemotherapy or radiation.

Clayton Vaught shows off his new diploma during fall 2010 commencement ceremonies. He received his bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant administration after surviving a bout with cancer. him all the best success in the future.” Vaught’s battle with cancer may be over, but his connection to OSU is not. He’s still “bleeding orange,” he says, and plans to join the OSU Alumni Association. “I plan on getting season football tickets this season and rooting for the Cowboys,” Vaught says. “I’m just grateful for every day I have.”


New children’s museum connects to many of OSU’s traditions of excellence

A new children’s museum, the Oklahoma WONDERtorium, opens in Stillwater this fall just north of campus at 308 W. Franklin Ave. Not surprisingly, the museum boasts a number of unique OSU connections throughout its 14 hands-on, interactive exhibits and “playscapes” for children and families.


he Physics Fairway exhibit brings physics and Newton’s laws of motion to life through the movement of golf balls. OSU alumni and museum advisory council members Dick and Malinda Berry


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Fischer saw a golf-ball exhibit at the Children’s Museum of the Low Country in Charleston, S.C., and brought this idea back to the WONDERtorium, says Ruth Cavins, executive director. Museum staff asked OSU architecture professor Jeff Williams if one of his classes might be interested in designing and developing the golf-ball exhibit, and Williams presented his third-year design studio class with the challenge. With Williams as studio coordinator and architecture professor Seung Ra writing the program, students generated concepts based on physics principles, studied special requirements of children’s museums and visited museums in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, including the Fort Worth Children’s Museum. Student teams then presented mockups to museum staff, volunteers and their children as well as OSU alumnus Stan Carroll, an Oklahoma City architect and artist who produces design-build projects. Based on feedback from the children and Carroll, each team revised and constructed their exhibits for actual use within the museum. Williams says the project gave his students experience in preparing a budget, determining materials that would withstand “kid use and abuse” and creating an attractive and appealing final product. Museum staff and volunteers say they found a perfect match in the exhibit’s sponsors, the Chris and Amy Tidland family of Stillwater. The Tidlands say the museum is important to them and their children, Jackson and Bella. Chris Tidland, a 1995 graduate, led OSU’s golf team to the 1995 NCAA Division I Men’s

Championship and was a two-time, firstteam All American and the 1993 Big Eight Player of the Year. He has two Nationwide Tour victories and currently plays on the PGA Tour. His wife, Amy Tidland, a former member of the museum’s board of directors and an active volunteer, has worked to procure grants from the PGA Women’s Golf Association to help fund the museum’s outreach program, Museum Without Walls. This museum-to-school programming has been provided to 16,070 children at 58 different sites in 716 classrooms in north-central Oklahoma.


n Ramona Paul’s Block Party exhibit, children build all kinds of structures — ramps, houses, skyscrapers and other creations — with unit blocks, which are standardized wooden toy blocks. Unit blocks help children learn how to balance weight equally and to stack different sizes to create all types of structures. In what appears to be regular play, block play helps children develop social, physical and mathematical knowledge, teaches them about physical laws such as balance and gravity and how to problem solve. This exhibit is named for OSU alumna Ramona Ware Paul, retired Assistant State Superintendent of Education, who is credited with developing the nation’s leading early childhood education program in Oklahoma. Her pioneering efforts helped provide state-funded, teacher-certified preKindergarten education opportunities to Oklahoma 4-year-old children. “I am honored to be a part of this exciting adventure for children,” says Paul, whose parents were OSU faculty members.

Left and bottom: Third-year architecture students in Jeff Williams’ design studio class developed exhibits for the new children’s museum opening in Stillwater this fall.

Visitors will remove their As a preschooler, she attended the shoes, according to Japanese university’s Child Development Lab custom, to enter the “inside” area and later taught there while earning her of a traditional Japanese home, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human where children can dress up, experiment development and family science. with chopsticks at a low table, play with Paul says the OSU child lab’s innovaJapanese toys and read books about Japan. tive atmosphere fostered inquisitiveness and interaction and gave her a deep appre- Members of Stillwater’s Sister Cities Council will create activities related to origami, ciation for guided play such as the new storytelling and creating small gardens. children’s museum will offer. The exhibit’s sponsors, OSU alumni “The WONDERtorium is a vehicle for Calvin and Linda Anthony, are supporting the enhancement and creativity of chilthe exhibit in honor of his mother, Nicola dren’s minds,” she says, “and I encourage others to support this marvelous museum.” “Tommie” Anthony, who died in 2010 but whose genuine love for children will never be forgotten; and Calvin Anthony’s own he Kameoka Kids exhibit honors role in Stillwater’s sister-city agreement in Stillwater’s sister-city relationship with 1985. Kameoka in Kyoto, Japan. Visitors will “I was mayor of Stillwater and signed experience Japanese family life, customs, the initial agreement with the then-mayor ceremonies, art, architecture and seasonal of Kameoka, Yoshihisa Taniguchi, to events in the exhibit’s “indoor” and establish our relationship,” says Anthony, “outdoor” areas. a member of the board of regents for the The “outdoor” area is a Mt. Fuji Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical climbing structure with stairs that lead to Colleges, the governing board of OSU. a play area. Below the upper structure is a tunnel where children can explore beneath the mountain.


“Over the years, Stillwater’s connection with Kameoka has expanded to include group visits from one country to the other, the establishment of friendship gardens in each city and an active student-teacher exchange program that has provided many with unique educational experiences,” he says. “We are so pleased that younger children will be exposed to the Japanese culture through the Kameoka Kids interactive exhibit. “


For more information on the Oklahoma WONDERtorium’s exhibits, hours, membership benefits and special events, visit http://www.okwondertorium.org. Read more about the OSU architecture students’ design process in their blog: http://www.wix.com/arch3216/ wondertorium


T. S t e r l i n g W e t z e l


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The Dr. T. Sterling Wetzel Scholarship Fund in Accounting pays tribute to a favorite professor

homas Wetzel couldn’t take it any longer. He had spent weeks contemplating when to offer advice as one of his favorite OSU students struggled with decisions about his future. The longtime OSU professor could see the turmoil becoming more of a burden than the promising student could handle. Wetzel couldn’t watch the young man let his future slip away because of a misguided decision. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It was time to speak up, and that, say those who knew the longtime Spears School of Business professor, was one of the reasons he became a student favorite during his 24-year teaching career at OSU. “He was very enthusiastic about being in the classroom and his relationship with his students, and got to know them very well on a personal basis,” says Gary Meek, retired OSU accounting professor who first met Wetzel when he was a Ph.D. student in 1980. “I’m amazed by the things he remembered about former students, even those who had been at OSU 20 years ago. He kept track of them too. He knew which company their first job was with and where they are now. He was very student-oriented.” Wetzel didn’t mince words when he met with struggling students, whether they were those he taught or those he served as adviser for the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. “What are you doing here? Why are you staying in school? What’s the point?” he would ask. The message came in loud and clear, says Craig Gadson, who had several visits with Wetzel that led to drastic changes in his life. The 29-year-old field engineer for Halliburton in Longview, Texas, says Wetzel “became my role model.” “He was a special individual. To me, Dr. Wetzel was a second dad, and I told him that before I left OSU. There’s nobody in the world that will ever come close that I will call my own father other than Dr. Wetzel,” says Gadson, (’07 electrical

engineering and technology), a member of Kappa Alpha Psi. “I didn’t really see him as an academic adviser as much as I saw him as a person I could model myself after. Dr. Wetzel was my friend and my mentor at the same time.” Gadson’s success story is just one of many that made Wetzel a favorite among students and faculty. That’s why it’s important for so many to honor Wetzel, who died Oct. 7, 2010, after an eight-year battle with leukemia. He was 67. His family, wife Mary Ann Wetzel, and their two daughters, Janine and Laura, wanted to create a lasting legacy in his name so they pledged to endow the Dr. T. Sterling Wetzel Scholarship Fund in Accounting in his memory. With the Boone Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match, the pledge was more than doubled, and continues to grow as others give to honor Wetzel, which can be done through OSUgiving.com or by calling the OSU Foundation at 800-622-4678. “I thought a scholarship would be of great importance because he had so much association here (at OSU). He taught undergraduate students for a long time, coordinated the master’s program, got his Ph.D. here. From that standpoint, it was a great opportunity to benefit students and hopefully we’ll be able to do something at each level,” says Mary Ann Wetzel.

“I certainly realize 10 or 15 years down the road his name in particular won’t necessarily mean a lot to a thirdyear student or a master’s degree student. I know that when I’ve sat at banquets and heard the names of people who have contributed to scholarships, I may not necessarily know them but I have certainly valued the effort that they made to make a monetary statement in support,” she says. Gadson is one of the thousands of students who benefitted from Professor Wetzel’s firm but caring manner. Tom Franz (’82 master’s in accounting) says Wetzel played an important role in his future. “If not for Dr. Wetzel, I would not be a CPA today,” says Franz, principal and founder of T.J. Franz and Associates in

“I didn’t really see him as an academic adviser as much as I saw him as a person I could model myself after. Dr. Wetzel was my friend and my mentor at the same time.” — Craig Gadson

Webb City, Mo. “He was a good teacher, but more importantly he was my unofficial mentor all through my collegiate career, including after he left for Northern Illinois University.” “Like most students, I lacked direction. Tom, in the manner only he could do, would let me come to his office, listen to my sad stories and tell me, ‘Mr. Franz, you may not like the situation, but that’s life. You can drop the class, change majors, pummel the professor, or whatever, but you’ll still wake up tomorrow and have the same problems. I suggest you focus on the long term and not let small problems keep you from being successful.’” Nicole Hensley, international controller at QuiBids in Oklahoma City, was (continues next page)


another of Professor Wetzel’s students who remember him well more than 15 years after leaving OSU. “Dr. Wetzel was the kind of professor that every student wishes he or she was fortunate enough to have. His subjectmatter knowledge was top-notch. That coupled with his sense of humor and interactive teaching approach made his classes some of my favorites during my time at OSU,” says Hensley, who earned two OSU accounting degrees. Wetzel was known for fair but firm treatment both inside and outside the classroom. “He was very forthright. Students liked him, and sometimes I think they were a little afraid of him because he was very direct and very blunt, but very caring about students. Once they sensed that caring, they appreciated him even more. He was a very impressive individual,” says Don Hansen, a Spears School of Business accounting professor who got to know Wetzel when he was a Ph.D. student at OSU in the late 1970s. Wetzel was the third child of William V. and Olive Wetzel of Chicago. Education was stressed from an early age by his parents — Olive enrolled at the University of Chicago when she was 16 — and he earned two degrees from Northern Illinois University. But it wasn’t easy. He had no problem relating to Gadson and other students who lost their direction as he once flunked out of college. He eventually enlisted in the Army before returning to Northern Illinois University to earn an accounting degree and an MBA. Wilton T. Anderson, head of OSU’s School of Accounting for 22 years, recruited Wetzel to enroll in the Ph.D. program. He returned to Northern Illinois as an assistant professor for five years before joining OSU’s faculty in August 1986. “I think the opportunity to come back to OSU was important to him because it’s an honor to go back to join a faculty that has educated you. He was very happy to have the chance,” says Mary Ann Wetzel. Wetzel taught at OSU for 24 years before he passed away. He was the longtime coordinator for the accounting


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school’s master’s program, and was the Wilton T. Anderson Professor of Accounting at the time of his death. Wetzel was a past president of Beta Alpha Psi, a 47-year member of Kappa Alpha Psi, a former faculty adviser to the Zeta Theta chapter, and a longtime member of the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority board of directors. He received the OSU Award for Excellence for Advisement as well as the Kenneth D. and Leitner Greiner Undergraduate Teaching Award. “He wore the other titles proudly — doctor, professor and all of that — but he viewed himself first and foremost as a teacher,” says Mary Ann Wetzel.

“His sense of humor and inter active teaching approach, made his classes some of my favorites.” — Nicole Hensley He also served on the OSU Athletics Council and was a devoted follower of the Cowboy football and basketball teams. “You couldn’t find a bigger OSU Cowboy fan than Sterling,” says Hansen. Wetzel was one of the founding members of the infamous “Road Crew,” a group of OSU professors — Wetzel, Gary Meek, Kevin Murphy, all from accounting, and Archie Clutter, animal science — who followed the Cowboy football team to one road game each season beginning in 1990. They lost Clutter when he left OSU and added a few people for some trips, but the threesome of Wetzel, Meek and Murphy made every one of the 17 road trips. The “Road Crew” traveled to games at Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Tennessee and Georgia. The trip to Athens, Ga., in 2007 was one in which the foursome made friends with some Bulldog

fans. The Georgia fans reciprocated and made the trip to Stillwater two years later. “He never met a person that he didn’t like. He would always just stride right up to people, introduce himself, and shake their hands. It didn’t matter if it was the secretary in the elevator or somebody out at the golf course, he was always out there talking to them,” says Murphy, who played golf with Wetzel. “He was a people person. He always wanted more. We only had four people in the Road Crew for a long time, and he was the one who pressed for more people. We were kind of like, ‘Well, four’s a good number.’ But he was always saying we needed more people. That’s just kind of how he was. He liked to have a lot of people around. He was a real people person, and I think the students really appreciated that.” His smiling face, encouraging word, and even rebuke of a student who has gotten sidetracked is definitely missed inside the walls of the Business Building. “I think he added a very good presence in the business school, both in terms of his capabilities and his personality,” Hansen says. “He brought a lot to the table. He was a prominent piece of the business school for many, many years.” But thanks to the generosity of Mary Ann Wetzel and her daughters, and the gifts of many of the business school students he impacted during his years at OSU, Thomas Wetzel’s influence will now reach past, present and future accounting students. “He would be very pleased to know that his legacy will continue to be honored by assisting students with their educational dreams,” Hensley says. Maybe a young student, like Wetzel when he was an undergrad or one of those who he mentored during his teaching career, will make a life-changing decision that impacts others for many years. Wetzel’s legacy is proof that one man’s life can make a difference. Te r r y Tush

For more information, contact the OSU Foundation at OSUgiving.com or 800-622-4678.

VOTE FOR YOUR COACH AND SCORE WITH SAVINGS. Liberty Mutual’s Coach of the Year Award celebrates college football coaches who best demonstrate the qualities of responsibility, integrity, and excellence. Four winning coaches each receive $20,000 for the school’s alumni association and $50,000 for the charity of his choice. So support your school and vote for your coach today! Did you know Liberty Mutual partners with more than 700 alumni associations to offer exclusive savings on auto and home insurance? Just by being an OSU alum, you could save hundreds of dollars on our quality coverage.* Show your school spirit! Visit coachoftheyear.com to vote for Coach Gundy—and see how much you could be saving on auto and home insurance!

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*Savings available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA. ©2011 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.

Women for OS U

Women for Oklahoma State University is a group of alumnae and friends who share a passion for inspiring leadership through their financial support to OSU.

This OSU Foundationsponsored group is led by a council of 40 women with an established giving history to the university. They get such an emotional boost out of awarding scholarships that they not only do so annually, but they give more each year. It started with one Student Philanthropist of the Year receiving a $2,000 scholarship at the 2009 Women for OSU Symposium. The size of the scholarship has stayed constant, but the number of honorees doubled to two in 2010, and doubled again to four at the most recent symposium. All three years, the group believed the number of deserving nominees was far larger than the number of scholarships available. That gives them an even stronger determination to grow their scholarship endowment. “Oklahoma State University is really blessed to have so many young women who put their time, energy and money into helping others,” says Phyllis Hudecki, Oklahoma’s secretary of education and chair of Women for OSU.


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P h i l a n t h r op i s t s a w a r d mo r e s c h o l a r s h i p s a t e a c h a n n u a l s y mpo s i um

Women for OSU has been able to increase its scholarship output because of its successful fundraising efforts. The group took advantage of the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match program with a $250,000 pledge, and the subsequent match from T. Boone Pickens’ estate will be more than $415,000. That pushes the total impact of this five-year pledge past $665,000. This addition to the endowment will provide even more annual student support, which can be used to boost the size of each scholarship and the number of recipients. “We are so grateful to Mr. Pickens for providing this opportunity to dramatically grow our endowment, but we aren’t going to stop there,” Hudecki says. “We are focused on expanding our group to include more women who see the value of philanthropy and leadership at OSU, and in turn, we want to provide even more opportunities to the young women now exhibiting philanthropy and leadership at OSU.”

“We love to reward that attitude, and we have been successful in doing more and more each year. Our goal is to continue to increase our scholarships because we know there are so many students who deserve this kind of recognition.”

One example of the expansion of Women for OSU is the addition of regional events. The first two were this summer in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, where Provost Robert Sternberg provided updates on the latest developments at the university. A Dallas event is slated for September, and other areas will be announced soon. The regional events build on the momentum of the annual symposium, which has sold out all three times. The symposiums and regional events provide a venue for friends and alumnae to connect or reconnect with each other and the university as they discuss their passions and giving experiences. At the most recent symposium, Linda Shackelford was named Philanthropist of the Year. She and her husband, Charles, own TLC Florist & Greenhouses in Oklahoma City. They support the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, OSU-Oklahoma City, OSU athletics and the OSU Alumni Association. They also sponsored Oklahoma FFA’s 2009 Career Development Event in Floriculture and were recognized as Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s 2008 Individual Achievement Winners. The keynote speaker was journalist and author Lisa Ling, with Gov. Mary Fallin making a guest appearance. Four juniors were named Student Philanthropists of the Year -- Haley Baumgardner from Carrier, Qualla Parman from Warner, Alyssa Peterson from Edmond and Carly Schnaithman from Garber.

Baumgardner and Schnaithman are both agribusiness majors. Baumgardner is active in Make a Difference Day Cleanup, the Oklahoma City Food Bank, the Tulsa State Fair, Enid Relay for Life and the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Leadership Camp. Schnaithman helps the Make-A-Wish Foundation, youth softball, fraternity and sorority philanthropy events, the Humane Society, Head Start, the Oklahoma Blood Institute, FFA, Orange Peel, Camp Cowboy and the Oklahoma Youth Expo. As a biosystems engineering major, Parman is involved with several engineering organizations including OSU Engineers Without Borders and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. She serves on the Student Alumni Board and also assists with campus sustainability projects like Tailgate Recycling.

Peterson is a biological science major who has spent more than three years establishing and maintaining a South African charity known as Thanda, which means “love” in Zulu. Thanda provides education, meals and activities for South African orphans and families of AIDS victims. She and four colleagues are constantly fundraising for Thanda, which costs $9,000 per month to maintain. Next year’s symposium is scheduled for April 12, 2012, and will feature Jennifer Buffett as the keynote speaker. Buffett is co-chair and president of the NoVo Foundation, a philanthropic organization working to create a more just and balanced world based on cooperation and partnership, primarily through the empowerment of girls and women. For more information about Women for OSU, visit OSUgiving.com/Women.

Linda Shackelford, co-owner of TLC Florist & Greenhouses in Oklahoma City, is named Philanthropist of the Year during the third annual Women for OSU Spring Symposium.

Women for OSU honors four Student Philanthropists of the Year, from left, Qualla Parman, Alyssa Peterson, Carly Schnaithman and Haley Baumgardner during the third annual Spring Symposium on April 21.


More for your money Membership in the OSU Alumni Association may soon cost a little more, but the rewards, discounts and camaraderie are well worth it.


lumni will say their love for OSU may have started with an influential professor or a first football game, but it didn’t end when they received their diploma. Graduates have been coming together to celebrate and champion their alma mater with the OSU Alumni Association since 1897. Today, the Alumni Association represents more than 240,000 graduates. Its mission is carried out thanks to the annual and life dues of members. To bolster those services, the Alumni Association will increase life-membership dues on July 1, 2012. The decision to raise dues — currently some of the lowest in the Big 12 — was not taken lightly. “Life members of the Alumni Association are our most engaged and supportive graduates and friends,” says Larry Shell, Alumni Association president. “This dues increase will allow us to take our programs to the next level to support future Cowboys and Cowgirls.” Membership dues fund more than half of the Alumni Association’s programming budget. Every penny is meticulously spent. In the last several

years, the Alumni Association has made student recruitment a renewed priority, forming the Alumni Recruiting Students program for passionate members to engage high-school students. “Life members make the best recruiters,” says Melissa Mourer, director of alumni programs. “They’re informed about what’s happening at their alma mater because of the benefits they receive from their membership. They’re one of the reasons OSU feels like a family.” Family is a theme of the Alumni Association’s Legacy Program, which promotes OSU to legacies from birth until recruitment begins at age 16. The Alumni Recruiting Students and Legacy program works closely with the many OSU alumni chapters and watch clubs across the U.S. to spread alumni’s sense of pride and family. “Most people don’t realize the opportunities available to them through a chapter or watch club,” says Pam Stubbs, director of chapters. “We’re able to provide support for chapter events from Alaska to New York because of life-membership dues.” Dues also support OSU’s biggest and best tradition — homecoming, presented by the Alumni Association since 1920. More than 75,000 people a year make the homecoming trek to Stillwater.

Life Membership

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“More than 10,000 life members support homecoming each and every year through their memberships,” says Melisa Parkerson, director of student programs. “We couldn’t do it without them.” Each life membership is 100-percent tax deductible and counts toward the university’s $1 billion Branding Success goal. Life membership also brings with it a lifetime of connections. With every connection comes a benefit or savings. “Last year, our members had access to more than $600 in savings with their memberships,” says Kathryn Bolay-Staude, director of membership and marketing. “A life membership only costs a few dollars a day to pay for in one year — and then you’re connected for life without the burden of an annual renewal.” Life memberships can be purchased with a one-time payment or 12 interestfree monthly payments. The Life Membership Fire Sale is going on now through June 30, 2012, before individual life memberships increase to $1,000 and joint memberships to $1,500. Discounts are available for current students and people age 65 and older. Life memberships may be purchased by calling (800) 433-4678 or at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center or orangeconnection.org. “Now is the time to act,” Shell says. “Life members of the Alumni Association are proud to be a part of recognizing our institution’s significant past, and they want to have a stake in our future successes. I hope many more alumni will take this opportunity to join our current life members in supporting OSU.”

a u t o d e ta i l b u s i n e s s d o n at e s s u ppl i e s to c o l l i s i o n r e pa i r technology pr ogr am


uto detailing is a highgrade, thorough cleaning and

Students Khris Brown, left, and Bryce Collins work on a 2010 Dodge RT Challenger that polishing of a vehicle. It beauwas recently donated to OSUIT’s automotive program. Students use specialized cleaning tifies an auto, makes the paint products such as High Gloss Moisturizer-Dressing for Tires, Diamond Shine Polish, and and upholstery last longer and helps retain Glass Cleaner, which were donated by Mike Moon, owner of Detail Supply Warehouse. resale value. It’s also an important step for students in the collision repair program Moon’s gift is timely and tremendously Moon says, “and when I started out on at OSU Institute of Technology, which helpful, says instructor John Pemberton. my own, I worked on the auto cleaning recently added a class in this popular and “This gift of equipment and supplies formulas over the years to perfect them. lucrative service. gives students hands-on experience in that “I love cars, and so that’s why I got Thanks to Broken Arrow, Okla., final step in collision repair — making involved in automotive chemicals. Cars businessman Mike Moon, students in the the car look its best before it’s returned to are my passion.” Re x Daughe r t y program have everything they need to the customer. make newly repaired vehicles shine. “Access to an extensive line of expenMoon, owner of Detail Supply sive professional cleaning products in the Warehouse, recently upgraded the colliclass helps students understand what they sion repair program’s old car wash bay will be using on the job out in the field,” with a high-pressure washing system and also donated hundreds of dollars’ “This gift of equipment and worth of detailing supplies. supplies gives students The donation included polishhands-on experience in that ing cloths, wax pads, applicators, final step in collision repair wash mitts, interior cleaners, glass — making the car look its cleaners, leather cleaners, wheel acid best before it’s returned to degreasers, wash and wax soaps, the customer.” — John Pemberton cleaning concentrates, solvents, bug removers, heavy usage detergents and fabric shields. Moon says the quality of the collision repair program motivated him to act. “Several years ago we built a car wash for OSUIT, but it was getting old, and last time I was on campus for an advisory meeting I decided I wanted to put in a new power wash system,” Moon says. “We want these students to have the best equipment they’ve ever had.”

Pemberton says. “Washing with a power washer is different than washing with a water hose — you need the extra pressure when removing compound after painting a car and buffing.” Moon, who developed many of his cleaning formulas, says his tire dressing is his best-selling product. “My father owned a chemical manufacturing company in Oklahoma City,”

Automotive Division Chair Steve Doede expresses his appreciation to advisory board member and Broken Arrow businessman Mike Moon, owner of Detail Supply Warehouse, for his donation of automotive detailing supplies.



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GUY on the Planet

From Oklahoma to Hollywood, actor Rex Linn enjoys life wherever he goes story By Lorene Roberson • photo by phil shockley


t’s been quite a life for 1980 alumnus Rex Linn, the actor who co-stars in CSI: Miami and who has appeared in more than 35 films alongside actors such as Kevin Costner, Tom Selleck and Sylvester Stallone. Today, people easily recognize Linn, 54, as homicide Det. Frank Tripp on the enduring CBS hit CSI: Miami. There’s one constant in his career — perseverance. Linn never forgot advice from the late actor Roy Scheider. Scheider and Linn had just wrapped up Night Game in Galveston, Texas. “All I wanted was Roy Scheider’s autograph since it was the first time in my career that someone really gave me a chance,” says Linn. Linn got the autograph (he still has it at his Sherman Oaks, Calif., home) and solid wisdom from Scheider, who told him, “One of the things I realize about you is that you listen, and that’s important for an actor to do. I can tell you’re raw, but you have a lot of talent. Just remember, it doesn’t matter what coast you’re on, perseverance is the key.”

Now Linn gives the same advice to new actors. “Hit the street and do whatever you can. It’s the toughest business you can be in.” Linn talks easily about Hollywood and the many actors (he doesn’t like calling them movie stars) he has worked with over the years. However, thoughts of Oklahoma pepper his conversation. Linn returned to help pack the belongings at his father’s home in Oklahoma City last January. James Paul Linn died at age 83 on Oct. 24, 2009. “I buried my hero, so those were a tough few months,” Linn says of his father, a trial attorney whose clients included rock star David Bowie, former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos and former OSU football coach Jim Stanley. On Safari In 1956, Rex Maynard Linn, the third child of James Paul and Darlene Linn, was born in Hansford County, Texas. In 1969, the elder Linn moved the family from Spearman, Texas, to Oklahoma City, so he could practice law.

At 5 years old, Linn wanted to be three things when he grew up — an actor like either Boris Karloff who played Frankenstein or Lon Chaney Jr. who played Wolf Man, a football player at the University of Texas and a veterinarian. Linn has come close to reaching those goals, but not without a few detours. He hasn’t forgotten his first day at Heritage Hall, a private prep school in north Oklahoma City. “I walk into a classroom with a flattop and red grease in my hair wearing penny loafers and white socks. This one guy, Anthony Meyers, wearing his T-shirt and tie-died jeans with long hair says to me, ‘What planet you from, dude?’” Meyers and Linn became lifelong friends. In the summer of 1970, Linn met Greg Curtis when they both worked at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Linn worked in the concession stand. On breaks, he would walk down to the herpetarium — the snake house. “All I wanted to do was be around the animals,” he says. (continues on next page)


By the third summer, Linn donned a zoo uniform and safari hat to give 25-minute tram tours of the 110-acre zoo. Both he and Curtis memorized 23 pages of dialogue. “Now that I think about it, memorizing the long spiel helped me in acting a lot,” Linn says. His passion for animals didn’t completely overshadow Linn’s mischievous side or forestall the dubious activities of racing the trams or overstaying a break at the herpetarium when a new shipment of snakes arrived. The zoo fired and rehired Linn and Curtis four times in five years. “Greg and I had the coolest job in the state of Oklahoma, but we got in more trouble than you could imagine. Working at the zoo is one of the highlights of my life,” he says. “Except for getting fired.”

Linn ruefully tells of shilling beef brisket in a firefighter’s uniform. “Beef brisket for only 88 cents a pound. Now that’s a hot deal.” In 1986, he worked with Oklahoma Publishing Company president E.K. Gaylord II on a film called Shadows on the Wall. “My acting career started behind the camera thanks to Ed Gaylord,” he says. “I was a nervous wreck, but I hung in there.” At his dad’s urging, Linn sold his home, packed up a U-Haul and finally moved to Hollywood at the age of 32. Tall in the Saddle Fast forward 22 years and Linn plays the cynical police Det. Frank Tripp on CSI: Miami opposite David Caruso starring as Lt. Horatio Caine. “It’s great working with David Caruso. He raises the bar professionally. I do 99 percent of my scenes with him, and you have to be prepared to come to work with David. He has helped me become a better professional.” Fans also know Linn for his bad-guy role in Cliffhanger, starring Sylvester Stallone and John Lithgow.


Photo / © CBS Entertainment

The 88-Cent Lean Years Linn graduated high school from Casady School, another private prep school in Oklahoma City. At OSU, he roomed with Tom Taggart, now a successful veterinarian in Minnesota. There was always a pack of dogs at their house on Fourth Street in Stillwater.

Despite Linn’s love of animals, vet school was not in the cards. “To be a vet, you have to hit the books hard, and you can’t go to Pokes or The Attic and stay out until 2 in the morning,” he says. Again, the mischievous side had a way of coming out, and Linn participated in his share of college pranks. He might know something about how a 1,800pound plastic cow “borrowed” from Sirloin Stockade restaurant on Sixth Street found its way into Theta Pond. The caper involved a plan, a truck and a chain. “It was a great feat, and we were all so happy until we learned the (Stillwater) detectives were investigating it.” When Linn earned a bachelor’s in radio-television-film in 1980, his father hung the diploma in his law office and said, “I thought this would never happen, but I don’t want to know all the particulars.” From 1980 to 1990, Linn worked as a loan officer for two banks in Oklahoma City and later oversaw oil field operations in western Oklahoma. At the same time, Linn auditioned for acting roles. He recalls shooting some very bad commercials. “The first time I was in front of a camera I did a commercial for Safeway,”

The College of Arts and Sciences honored actor Rex Linn, back row, center, a 1980 radio-television-film alumnus, with the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award.


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Rex Linn, right, plays homicide Det. Frank Tripp on CSI: Miami, with David Carusco as Lt. Horatio Caine.

– Rex Linn, about his role in Wyatt Earp, right

One of Linn’s favorite experiences was playing cowboy Frank McLaury in the 1994 Wyatt Earp film featuring Kevin Costner. “I ride into Tombstone in late afternoon with purple skies ahead of me,” Linn recalls. “I’m on my kick-ass horse named Dallas, have on the coolest wardrobe, a six-gun and a scar on my face and think to myself, ‘I dreamed about this as a kid. Hell, I’d pay them to do this. Thank you, Lord. I will never forget this moment. Never.’”  He appeared in Appaloosa, written by fellow Oklahomans Ed Harris and Robert Knott. Although Linn had worked with Knott several times as an actor, he had never before worked with longtime friend Harris. This year, Linn emceed the Western Heritage Awards for the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Hall of Great Western Performers inducted Linn’s close friend Tom Selleck with whom he has filmed four westerns. “I have seen my dad on the stage at the Cowboy Hall a lot of times,” Linn says. “So inducting Tom Selleck was a great thing to do and really special. It was my tribute to my dad.” In the 1980s, Linn’s dad gave legal advice to help the museum weather a financial crisis. As Linn walked on stage to induct Selleck, he remembered his father’s last words, “Carry the torch and represent the Linn family well.” “I’ve acted in a lot of successful westerns, and it has helped me growing

Photo / © CBS Entertainment

“I ride into Tombstone in late afternoon with purple skies ahead of me. I’m on my kick-ass horse named Dallas, have on the coolest wardrobe, a six-gun and a scar on my face, and I think to myself, ‘I dreamed about this as a kid. Hell, I’d pay them to do this. Thank you, Lord. I will never forget this moment. Never.’” 

up around cowboys,” Linn says. “I’m a good rider, and I don’t have to fake much. But I have never considered myself good enough to ease into the cowboy world.” A Longhorn Cowpoke Linn may deny he’s a cowboy, but he’ll admit to being a cowpoke even though he’s been a Longhorn fan since he was a toddler. “But I am a longhorn and a cowpoke, baby! Longhorns and cowpokes never argue. We have one thing in common. OSU wants to beat OU! Texas wants to beat OU!” Linn saw Boone Pickens Stadium for the first time when Texas played OSU in 2009. “I walked in the stadium and said, ‘Wow.’ The stadium is unbelievable. I am

so proud of OSU fans. It’s good to be a part of Stillwater.” There’s no doubt Linn loves his life — football, family, friends and then the acting … one thing seems to elude him, however. Marriage, he says. That’s about to change. “I came all the way to California to find my Texas girl,” Linn says of Renee Derese, a trauma unit nurse. “The guys on the CSI: Miami set said I have met my match. “I am the luckiest guy on the planet.”


800.256.5637 ESKIMOJOES.COM

Strong Foundation Memories of their lean years in college inspire this couple to ease the way for current and future students.


eff and Becky Fisher remember the financial challenges of being a young couple. Becky earned $600 a month — “and that’s before taxes,” she adds — as an assistant in a dental office while her husband studied for his mechanical engineering degree with a petroleum option, which he obtained in 1983. They were married soon after high school, and Becky worked while Jeff went to school. “We had no money,” she says. “No money whatsoever.” Even though she didn’t attend OSU, Becky says the university is close to her heart because of the early years they lived in Stillwater and the countless times they’ve returned for athletic events. Their financial situation has improved immensely since then. Jeff is now senior vice president of production for Chesapeake Energy in Oklahoma City, overseeing all drilling completion and production operations for the company. Chesapeake is the nation’s secondlargest producer of natural gas, a top 20 producer of oil and natural gas

been given to me. It’s the best money I spend in terms of personal satisfaction, knowing that I’m helping others.” With the Pickens Jeff and Becky Fisher Legacy Scholarship Match, the endowment will be worth $1.25 million, producing $62,500 in those kinds of options, and I think that annual scholarships. T. Boone Pickens’ attracts some of the best and brightest generous program prompted the couple to students. OSU has a great engineergive more than ever before, Jeff says, and ing program that is capable of growth to he hopes the scholarship will encourage continue to compete for top students.” students to pursue a career in the oil and Chesapeake regularly hires OSU gradugas industry. ates, which Jeff says makes sense because Becky looks back at their early years he sees the same entrepreneurial strength in of marriage in Stillwater, living on meager the company and OSU students. means, and is thankful to have the opportu“I think there is certain humility about nity to help students in the same situation. the OSU clan that manifests itself through “To be able to donate, I can’t tell a strong work ethic,” Jeff says. “They are you what it feels like because I still can’t willing to put in the time and effort to get believe it’s us,” Becky says. “I’m still that things done and work as a team. I see that person who clips coupons.” in OSU grads.” Jeff has developed a close relationship Through this endowment, Jeff and with Karl Reid, the retiring dean of the Becky celebrate their success and count College of Engineering, Architecture and their blessings. “It’s really fulfilling to know that we’ve helped kids who are in the same position we were 30 years ago,” Becky says. “God has blessed us so much that we are able to do this. Never in our wildest imagination did we think we would end up where we are. It’s a really good feeling to be able to give back.” The youngest of the Fishers’ three children, Mary, is studying engineering at OSU. When her family moved to Oklahoma, Technology. Jeff is pleased the gift will help she insisted she would return to Texas for build on the foundation Reid has created college. Instead she fell in love with OSU for the students’ growth and futures. and Stillwater. “I’ve always been impressed with Mary’s passion for OSU thrills her the engineering college’s scholarship parents. “Even though not all our children programs, study abroad programs and attended OSU,” Becky says, “we consider enrichment opportunities,” Jeff says. ourselves OSU people.” “Dean Reid has done a great job providing

“Never in our wildest imagination did we think we would end up where we are. It’s a really good feeling to be able to give back.” — Becky Fisher liquids and one of the most active drillers of new wells. As a symbol of their gratitude to OSU, the Fishers recently pledged $500,000 for scholarships in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. “I believe in sharing success,” Jeff says. “Part of me really enjoys sharing what’s


MBA graduates say OSU’s program provided a foundation for greater career success


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The MBA is the crowbar business people use to pry open the door to Stories By MATT ELLIOTT their goals. OSU’s MBA program in the Spears School of Business, poised to succeed in everything from entrepreneurship to innovation, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Two years after receiving accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, OSU’s business college added the master’s degree in business administration option in 1960 and graduated its first student in 1961. From the beginning, the MBA program welcomed college graduates of all academic backgrounds, and by the 1970s, more than half entered the MBA program with undergraduate degrees from areas other than business. The program has provided more than 3,000 MBA alumni with an overview of accounting, finance, management, economics and marketing, and prepared them with leadership skills necessary for nearly any field.

J u l i e W e at h e r s , 1985 “I think the MBA gives you an excellent, solid foundation,” says Julie Weathers, a 1985 OSU MBA graduate who now directs the Center for Executive and Professional Development, the outreach unit for the Spears School of Business. She remembers the “executive interaction” exercises she and other MBA students experienced. First, students divided into groups and spent several days analyzing “particularly challenging” case studies. Then they presented to a panel of business faculty, and the finalists presented to a group of executives. “I felt as if I learned more than I ever had before,” Weathers says. “Faculty members gave us real-world skills we could use immediately in our careers. I think one of OSU’s major benefits is faculty who give students practical knowledge.” Before coming to OSU, Weathers majored in business administration at the University of Science and Arts in Chickasha, graduating in 1983 as the university’s outstanding senior. She remembers OSU’s welcoming atmosphere, and particularly Lee Manzer, marketing professor and director of the MBA program, who was also an OSU MBA alum. After graduation she interviewed for several jobs, but her interest in higher education led her to become a coordinator for Business Extension, today’s Center for Executive and Professional Development. Her first assignment was planning and organizing the Tulsa Business Forums, a speaker series that brings newsmakers, policymakers, leaders, experts and thinkers to OSU-Tulsa. The Tulsa Business Forums and Oklahoma City Executive Management Briefings have grown into a massive annual event attended by leaders from across the region. Speakers have included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former British Prime

Minister Margaret Thatcher, George H.W. Bush and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. “With the support of our corporate sponsors, we bring nationally-known speakers to Oklahoma and expose our businesses and government to different perspectives.” Weathers credits previous Business Extension directors Bob Hamm and James Hromas, both OSU MBA alumni, for helping shape the Center for Executive and Professional Development, which offers almost 400 programs to 25,000 business professionals and students each year. Weathers’ background in academia, along with her MBA and doctorate in

human resource development from OSU, help her move seamlessly through the academic and business worlds as a liaison between OSU and numerous companies and business leaders looking for professional development programs. The MBA program’s emphasis on marketing, management, economics, information systems, finance and accounting is invaluable, she says, as is its newest specialization, entrepreneurship. “You want to believe in the product you sell,” Weathers says. “At OSU, with our excellent faculty and quality and committed staff, that’s easy.”

“Faculty members gave us real-world skills we could use immediately in our careers. I think one of OSU’s major benefits is faculty who give students practical knowledge.” — Julie Weathers

Julie Weathers and Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric


Larry Ferree, 1961 Some MBA graduates say OSU’s program gave them more than just the tools necessary to succeed in business. Larry Ferree, one of the program’s first graduates, says it helped him mature and trust his own instincts. After graduating with a degree in human resources in 1959, Ferree opted to pursue an MBA instead of enter the job market after talking with Costic Roman, head of the management department at that time. “Reflecting back on it, I can say I’m glad for whatever reason I did it,” Ferree says, “because I was better prepared and better able to handle the world of work.” In January 1961, Ferree completed his MBA and took his first job as a systems analyst in data management for McDonnell Aircraft Co. in St. Louis, Mo. Ferree shared an office with about a hundred other systems analysts in a huge, windowless basement underneath a factory floor. It was the height of the space race, and McDonnell was doing work for NASA. “I chose this career field to be a systems analyst because of the glamour of computers,” Ferree says. “Data management was a great field at the time, too, for those with the right skill set. In my case, I forgot to consider perhaps the most important thing: my strengths and my abilities. As a result, I was miserable, sitting there every day and drawing flow charts for business systems for McDonnell Aircraft.” Following an active duty tour with the Missouri Air National Guard, Ferree moved to Albuquerque, N.M., and began working in human resources for Sandia Corp. He worked in all phases of the field for six years and spent half that time specializing in recruiting. Sandia’s employee relations approach to recruiting, training and development, benefits and salary administration and retirement was in line with everything he’d learned during the MBA program. “In recruiting, we weren’t looking for people who were motivated by benefits or money,” he says. 48

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Larry Ferree “We wanted people motivated by the work itself. Our theory was the best employees would be those who find motivation in the work.” The change from systems analyst to human resources was like night and day, and he loved it. Ferree worked in human resources for a variety of companies, specializing in developing, and later matching, employees’ talents with their job assignments. During more than 40 years

in human resources, he gave talks to student and employee groups, encouraging them to be honest with themselves about their strengths and look for fitting opportunities. Later, he worked for MacklanburgDuncan Co., an Oklahoma City-based building materials manufacturer and eventually rose to vice president of human resources. His former mentor at OSU, Ed Burris, recommended him to the company. Early on Ferree fought two unionization attempts. He was well trained for the task by Burris, who was a labor and employee relations expert and mediator with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Thanks to what he learned from Burris and the counsel of a good labor attorney, the machinists union was defeated soundly in both campaigns, and the company remains without a union today. The Oklahoma City resident went on to a successful career with Express Employment Professionals before retiring in 2005. As vice president of human resources, he advised its more than 400 franchises on employee relations as well as federal and state employment statutes, including responding to discrimination allegations and regulations.

“In recruiting, we weren’t looking for people who were motivated by benefits or money. Our theory was the best employees would be those who find motivation in the work.” — Larry Ferree

Larry Ferree

Bett y Murrell Ho v e , 1 9 6 4 MBA alumna Betty Murrell Hove knew since first grade she wanted to be a businesswoman, unlike other girls who wanted to be nurses or teachers. She would go on to become the first woman to receive her MBA from OSU. Hove came to Stillwater in 1960 from Altus, Okla., the latest in a long line of Murrells to attend OSU. She finished her bachelor’s degree in 1963 and joined the MBA program with 31 men with whom she soon bonded. They took classes together, argued cases over cups of coffee in the Student

Betty Murrell Hove became OSU’s first female MBA graduate in 1964 on the same day her husband, Larry, received his engineering Ph.D. from OSU. Union and studied on the library’s top floor. Soon, she says, they became a cohesive unit encouraging each other, competing, challenging and changing. “Not one of my classmates nor my professors treated me differently than they treated the other guys,” Hove says. “It was like striking oil when I learned I was awarded a graduate assistantship. I taught a statistics lab, which put money in my pocket, gave me priceless experience and made me realize the difficulties and challenges that teachers face minute by minute in the classroom.” Ted Brannen, then head of the MBA program, took special interest in all the MBA candidates. He followed Hove’s progress through the program, advising, supporting and encouraging her. “As graduation neared, he told me I would face huge hurdles my male classmates would not,” she says. “For most of my life and at OSU I experienced a level playing field. I knew no prejudice

or favoritism from administrators, teachers or classmates. This, naturally, was what I expected from the world at Betty Murrell Hove large.” Before graduation, companies visited campus to look over the future MBA graduates. Hove signed up for interviews but found she couldn’t apply for most positions because she was a woman.

“ No t one of my classmates nor my professors treated me differently than they treated t he ot her guys.” — Betty Murrell Hove “I think I got really good at interviewing and actually enjoyed it, except for the part when I got no offers.” The male interviewers were incredulous she had an MBA at such a young age. Every interviewer wanted to know if she could type — a question her male colleagues weren’t asked. Hove and her husband moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where she worked for a small manufacturing company and later for Bell Helicopter, where she noticed opportunities for advancement were routinely granted to male co-workers. A supervisor told her he didn’t want his “girls” in the higher-paying positions because they would “routinely cross the manufacturing floors and perhaps be subjected to crude comments from the men working there.” When a man with only a bachelor’s degree was hired within days of her arrival and given a better job with higher pay, she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and won.

After years of working in manufacturing, defense, education and city government, Hove took over as chief financial officer for her husband’s newly-acquired defense manufacturing business. From there she went into business for herself doing accounting work for small businesses on a contract basis, which enabled her to meld her career and child-rearing responsibilities. “I absolutely have no regrets and would choose the same path again,” Hove says. “The OSU MBA gives you a familiarity with so many important things in our world: economics, finance, accounting, management and marketing. It provides insight as to what happens when a country needs more guns than butter, or why the Federal Reserve chairman does what he does. “To have a basic understanding of all that and a tool for earning an income is just magic.”

A new book, MBA Preferred: Celebrating 50 Years, by Jeretta Horn Nord, above, a professor in management science and information systems in the Spears School of Business, profiles 58 of OSU’s most distinguished MBA graduates and difference-makers. Nord will receive the Special Recognition Award from the Association for Continuing Higher Education in October for making a positive impact on higher education.


Don’t let time expire! It pays to be a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. Life membership rates will increase on July 1, 2012. Have you considered the advantages of upgrading your annual membership to a life membership? • The cost of life membership is lower over the long term. • Your membership dues are tax-deductible as a charitable contribution. Life Members receive recognition in STATE magazine, a personalized life member certificate, a life member card and car decal, and the Informer calendar yearly. We value your membership in the Alumni Association and hope you’ll consider upgrading your membership before time runs out. Life members can share the gift of life membership with a friend or family member! Join our loyal group of life members, totaling 10,700 and growing! It’s a great way to stay connected to and support OSU - for life!

Become a life member before dues increase on July 1, 2012!

201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 TEL 405.744.5368 • FAX 405.744.6722 orangeconnection.org

SECONDS IN JOPLIN story by Chase Carter . photography by Phil Shockley


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Emergency room physician Kevin Kikta leans against what is left of his car following the May 22, 2011, tornado. (continues)


On May 22, an EF-5 tornado with wind speeds reaching 250 miles per hour ripped a mile-wide path through Joplin, Mo. The storm killed 160 people, including five patients and one visitor at St. John’s Regional Medical Center, which was nearly destroyed. More than 300 OSU alumni live in the Joplin area. This is the story of three alumni in the medical profession whose lives are forever changed.


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t was 84 degrees with overcast skies in Joplin that Sunday when Dr. Kevin Kikta arrived for his 4 p.m. shift at St. John’s emergency room. The New Jersey physician commuted every few weeks to Joplin’s largest hospital. His former classmate Dr. Sean Smith, physician president of the Mercy/ St. John’s Clinic in the Joplin and Kansas division, had recruited Kikta during a 2008 conference at the OSU Center for Health Sciences, where both graduated in 1996. “Attending OSU’s medical school was probably the smartest decision I ever made,” Kikta says. “Had it not been for meeting Dr. Smith in medical school and seeing him again at a conference, I probably never would’ve been in Joplin.”

One mile south of St. John’s is Joplin’s other major hospital, Freeman Health System, where OSU alumnus Seth Newton works as a sales representative for Smith & Nephew Orthopedics. “When I was in college, I always wanted to coach,” says the 2008 marketing graduate and former Cowboy football wide receiver. “I never knew an industry like this existed until I was a junior in college. I really enjoy it.” Of the three, Kikta was the only one on duty that Sunday afternoon when St. John’s loudspeaker announced the warning of an approaching tornado. The staff quickly implemented Code Gray, an emergency procedure to move patients out of their rooms and into windowless corridors.

Minutes later the tornado hit. “I saw Shilo Cook, a pregnant nurse, and I grabbed her and we dove under a desk,” Kikta says. “It felt like half an hour, but it was probably only 45 seconds to a minute. You could feel the change in pressure in your head, in your chest and in your lungs. We could hear glass and large objects moving every place, and then it was over.” For about 15 seconds, the hospital was quiet. “I thought Shilo and I were the only ones left inside the hospital. As soon as we opened the office door into the dark hall, we heard screams.” (continues)


Northeast of town, Smith, his wife and two sons emerged from their storm shelter. “I tried to call the emergency department,” Smith says. “No one answered. The phone just rang and rang. Then I called the direct line and it was disconnected.” Smith, who grew up in Muskogee, Okla., had seen tornado damage up close as a paramedic and was concerned about his staff’s safety. “I knew there were only two explanations. Either the hospital was so covered up with patients nobody could get to the phone, or they had been hit by the storm,” Smith says. “Maybe two minutes later I heard on the radio that St. John’s had taken a direct hit.” Newton rode out the tornado at his home east of the hospitals. After the storm, Newton drove to check on the wife and daughter of his then out-of-town business partner. “I had to pass both hospitals to get there, and Freeman hospital looked like it always did,” Newton says, adding his partner’s family was OK. “But once I got to a big hill and could see St. John’s, I saw all the windows were busted out. “I was saying, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God.’ I couldn’t believe it.”

A WAR ZONE Kikta and nurse Cook crawled out from under the desk where they had taken cover. The scene could only be described as a war zone. There was no electricity

– not even from emergency generators. Kikta could smell methane gas. “My first thought was, ‘Oh my God,’” says Kikta, who had never experienced a tornado. “The first things I saw were flashlights. They looked like lightning bugs all over the place. I had no idea where all the flashlights came from.” Three inches of water covered the floors while methane gas spewed from broken pipes. Kikta says the lack of power actually prevented the deadly gas from igniting with hundreds of people still inside the building. “We all smelled it, and we knew what it meant,” Kikta says. “We just worked through it.” Kikta and his staff began checking on patients, while Smith, Newton and hundreds of off-duty doctors and nurses slowly made their way to the hospitals through debris-laden streets. “These were streets I drive down every day, but I had no idea where I was,” Newton says. “There were no houses, no street signs, no stop lights.” Smith’s 17-mile journey to the hospital usually takes 22 minutes, but after the storm it took more than an hour to reach a checkpoint where police escorted him to the nine-story building he barely recognized. “My first thought was, ‘Oh my God. How many tens or hundreds are dead inside the building?’” Smith says. “It looked like a nuclear bomb went off. I

could not imagine anything that looked any worse.” Injured survivors poured into the hospital, not realizing it was without power. “We practiced as best we could and stabilized those we could,” Kikta says. “We tried to move them out of the hospital to a safer location as fast as possible.” With darkness setting in and no electricity, teams of nurses and doctors with flashlights gathered around each patient to assess injuries. “There was a little kid about 4 years old who had a large avulsion of skin on his back,” Kikta says. “The gaping wound revealed his cervical spine. I could actually count his vertebrae with my fingers. “His eyes were pleading with me to help him,” says Kikta, who stabilized the boy with only towels and intravenous fluids. He moved on to other patients, including a young man in his early 20s gasping for breath. “He had a large piece of glass in his back, which had collapsed one of his lungs,” Kikta says. “I knew he was running out of time.” Without anesthesia for the patient, Kikta removed the shard of glass and inserted a chest tube to re-inflate his lung. “I held his hand and told him I was very sorry, it was going to hurt, but it was necessary,” Kikta says. “He just said, ‘Do what you need to do.’ “He was a trouper.”

“These were streets I drive down every day, but I had no idea where I was. There were no houses, no street signs, no stop lights.”— Seth Newton


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“It was one of those things. You know it’s happening, but you don’t believe it’s happening.” — Seth Newton

CHAOS AFTER THE STORM When Newton arrived at Freeman hospital, he saw survivors filling the hospital. Off-duty health-care workers moved frantically from one patient to the next. “The doctors would go to the ER and try to find the most injured patient who could be saved,” says Newton, who supplied orthopedic surgeons with medical equipment for more than 10 hours. “They’d bring the patient to the operating room, operate, and go down for another one. “It was one of those things. You know it’s happening, but you don’t believe it’s happening.” Newton, who has seen many injuries from vehicle accidents, was not prepared for the severity of the injuries that night or seeing the toll it took on hospital staff. “There were people at the hospital who knew some of the victims,” Newton says. “I don’t know if I would have recognized some of them because people in the tornado were so dirty. They were covered with dirt and debris. You couldn’t really tell who anybody was.” At shattered St. John’s, Kikta and other staff pressed on for more than an hour until the patients were evacuated. “Four years of medical school, three years of residency and 11 years of training all combined into one day,” Kikta says. “It was the ultimate test of, ‘Can you do this?’” Some of St. John’s patients and tornado victims were taken to a triage center at Memorial Hall, an 86-year-old arena near downtown Joplin. “People were driving up from all over the place saying they wanted to help,”

Seth Newton,a 2008 marketing graduate and sales representative for Smith & Nephew Orthopedics, hurried to Joplin’s Freeman hospital after the storm. He spent all night making sure doctors had the medical equipment they needed to treat the massive number of injuries.

Kikta says. “They would say, ‘We don’t have any medical knowledge but we’ll do anything you tell us to try to help.’” Smith arrived at St. John’s about 7 p.m. and learned his staff were going to Memorial Hall. “When I walked into Memorial Hall, I was amazed at what was going on.”

Staff and volunteers had turned a basketball court into a triage unit with tables, chairs and medical supplies. “I breathed a sigh of relief to see so many of my colleagues from every specialty helping out,” Smith says. “It was amazing to see how fast they set everything up.” (continues) 57

“It looked like a nuclear bomb went off. I could not imagine anything that looked any worse.” — DR. SEAN SMITH

Physicians made rounds examining each patient. “We treated maybe 150 people the first few hours in that gymnasium,” says Smith, also a board-certified emergency physician. “Unfortunately, we lost a couple of patients who could not be resuscitated. We were just doing the best we could.”


The buildings and wooden homes around St. John’s hospital were no match for the tornado’s ferocious winds, but OSU alumni who live and work in Joplin, Mo., say the outpouring of support from the community and the region has been amazing.


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Kikta left Memorial Hall about 1 a.m. — eight hours after the tornado hit. The storm had whisked away his rental car and his wallet, including his identification, cash and credit cards. “I had no money for food. I had no transportation. I didn’t even have anything to change into,” says Kikta, whose mother drove from Tulsa to Joplin to get him. Later in the morning, the nation turned on their televisions to see the devastation in Joplin. Smith, a St. John’s employee since 2001, says engineers told him the building shifted about 4 inches on its foundation and the winds twisted the super structure. “Everything around it for a mile was destroyed, but the hospital did what it was supposed to do.” Smith saw patients until late Monday afternoon, took a two-hour nap and returned at 7 p.m. “When it started quieting down in the middle of the night, you could see the look on the nurses faces — ‘What about us now? Our hospital is really gone. What do we do?’ “The entire leadership of Mercy flew in to Joplin on Monday to assist us, and the first thing they said was, ‘We’ll rebuild it,’” Smith says. “That’s been the plan from the second the tornado hit the hospital.”

A week after St. John’s hospital was destroyed, a temporary field hospital took its place. Sean Smith, physician president of the Mercy/ St. John’s Clinic, says rebuilding efforts are already underway.

Kikta was flying home to New Jersey that Monday when the gravity of the situation hit him. He had come face to face with one of the deadliest storms in history. He began to write his story, “45 Seconds: Memoirs of an ER Doctor on May 22, 2011.” “I had a lot of things inside I just needed to get out,” Kikta says. “I wanted to deal with what had happened and try to put it in my past. Writing was the only way I could think of to get it all out and thank as many people as I could. “I wanted the community to know how helpful they were with this whole experience. I wanted to thank them.” Kikta sent his five-page story to St. John’s emergency room director and Mercy Health Systems, asking them to

send it to the local paper or post it on the hospital website. The story went viral. “I got responses from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, the U.K., places I had no idea this thing had ever gotten sent to,” Kikta says. “It did what I wanted it to do.” A week after the tornado, St. John’s opened a temporary field hospital equipped with 20 emergency room beds, 40 inpatient beds, two surgical units and a host of labs and scanning equipment. “By the end of the first week, all of our primary care physicians set up offices throughout our region and were taking care of patients,” Smith says. “Mercy already has architects working on our permanent new home — a level-2 trauma center that will be beautiful and state of the art,” Smith says.

“In the long run, Joplin will be better off with better health care. It’s unfortunate it took a tornado and the devastation and loss of life for it to happen.” Three weeks later, Kikta returned to Joplin for his next scheduled shift and saw the damaged hospital. “It was very dark, very eerie — just a big, black body of a building with only the sound of the generators running the lights. It was a tough return.” Kikta has seen all of his Joplin coworkers except Cook, the pregnant nurse who survived the storm alongside him. But Smith says she hasn’t missed a day of work and her baby is due in mid-September. “I just want to give her a big hug and know she’s OK and her baby is OK,” Kikta says. (continues) 59

Utility poles were already restored June 20 when photographer Phil Shockley took these images of Joplin’s wide-spread damage. (continues)


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“I woke up that morning and it was a normal morning like every other one. Within 45 seconds, the tornado changed a lot of people’s lives. I learned you can’t take life for granted.” — DR. KEVIN KIKTA

REBUILDING JOPLIN Cleanup in Joplin continues with the help of dozens of agencies and thousands of volunteers. An estimated $2 billion in damages has been reported and the tornado has been classified as the seventh deadliest in U.S. history. The wooden homes around St. John’s hospital were no match for the tornado’s ferocious winds. On many blocks, front steps lead to smooth foundations where houses once stood. Trees are missing or mangled, with personal mementos hanging from their bark-free branches. A bright spot in Joplin’s darkest hour is the response from the community and the region to rebuild the wounded city and comfort its citizens. “It’s amazing how the tornado brought the community together,” Newton says. “People go to work and afterward help their friends clean up until dark. All you can do is be there for the people who need

you and help out any way you can.” Smith says he’s most impressed with the outpouring of support shown by medical personnel from other communities. “Within a couple of hours of the tornado, I had physicians, nurses and paramedics from hours away showing up — all without being asked.” Plans continue for rebuilding St. John’s medical facilities. On Aug. 16, Mercy committed nearly $1 billion to build a new St. John’s hospital and other health-care services in Joplin. The new, state-of-the-art hospital will be located three miles from the old facility and is expected to open in 2014. Mercy also has promised to keep all of its Joplin health-care workers like Smith, Kikta and Cook on the Mercy payroll until the new hospital is ready. “We have the opportunity to change how health care is delivered in this community,” Smith says. “We get to write

the book. The things we do now and for the next 24 months will impact this community for 100 years.” For Kikta, the Joplin tornado was a life-changing experience filled with lessons about Mother Nature and the nature of people. He believes the kindness demonstrated by volunteers, medical personnel and others on that terrible day will ultimately prevail in this story of survival, perseverance and hope. “I woke up that morning and it was a normal morning like every other one,” Kikta says. “Within 45 seconds, the tornado changed a lot of people’s lives. I learned you can’t take life for granted. “I want to be a part of the rebuilding process,” the doctor says while smiling. “I want to be there the first day the hospital opens. I want to see it finished.”

Visit orangeconnection.org/tornado to view more photos along with video interviews of Kevin Kikta and Sean Smith.


The Eugene Embry Scholarship honors Eugene Embry, shown with his late wife, Carol. He struggled with dyslexia all his life but didn’t realize it until his grandson, Eric Humphreys, was diagnosed with it as a child. Embry became an avid supporter of specialized education for students with learning disabilities.


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A Family Overcoming Obstacles Their gift qualified for the Pickens’ match, making their gift iving with a disability can be frustrating, confusing and challenging. Dyslexia is just one of the many different types total $300,000. Once Eric was diagnosed with dyslexia, Embry became an of learning disabilities students live with and overcome avid believer in education for students who have trouble learning every single day. At 79, Eugene Embry, a 1958 animal and need to be taught a different way. He pushed to enroll Eric science graduate, tells his life story about how he and in a school for children with learning differences. Claudia says his family have learned to conquer dyslexia. sending Eric to that school cost more than sending him to college, Growing up hardly being able to spell his own name, Embry but her father helped the family see its value. Embry said it was struggled to obtain his education goals. After attempting his worth it to provide Eric with the special assistance Embry never first year of studies at OSU, he was drafted into the Korean had, because that was the best way to prepare Eric for a bright War because his learning difference made it difficult to keep his future. GPA at the required 2.7. Although he wasn’t excited about being Claudia and Gary, both alumni and agricultural economics drafted, he says it was an important time in his life to serve his graduates, are thrilled to have the chance to make this donation. country, while also giving him time to mature before returning Their son Eric is studying landscape architecture at OSU, where to school. he is assisted by Student Disability Services. The Humphreys “I believe people living with disabilities need time to grow up and get focused before attempting to attend college,” Embry says. family is impressed with OSU’s SDS services, and says they wouldn’t send Eric anywhere else. “I needed to have the right mind set to succeed.” “When we first brought Eric to OSU, SDS sat us down and After serving his country for two years, Embry returned to made Eric realize he is in charge of his learning difference,” OSU and he surpassed his expectations by taking on average Claudia says. “Eric has received a tremendous amount of help 20 hours a semester and maintaining a 4.0 GPA, while having from SDS; they’ve done a great job watching over him.” enough spare time to tutor football players in math several times Because of their ambition and motivation to help students a week. Although Embry excelled in his studies the second time with disabilities become more independent, OSU’s Student around, school work was still very difficult and time consuming. Disability Services is praised by many students and families “After class I would have to go straight home and spend a lot from across the country. SDS assists about 550 students on averof time re-writing my notes, so I would actually be able to underage, making accommodations and providing help in any way to stand them,” Embry says. empower students to surpass their disabilities and succeed like Dyslexia is defined as a hereditary developmental disorder any other student. which can cause learning difficulty in one or more areas of read“The difference between ability and achievement is how ing, writing and numeracy. Dyslexics usually have a high IQ, but disabilities are diagnosed,” says Mike Shuttic, SDS coordinahave difficulty with writing; they tend to be auditory learners. tor. “We look at what type of disability the student has, and then Embry has struggled with reading and writing his entire life, decide which accommodations are appropriate.” but it wasn’t until his grandson, Eric Humphreys, Extended exam time, as well as access to performed a grueling 6-8 hour testing procedure lecture notes, books on tape and assistance taking in the 5th grade and was diagnosed with dyslexia exams or with reading and writing are a few of in reading and writing deficiencies, that Embry the accommodations SDS offers students with began to realize he struggles with the same probdisabilities. lems, but had never formally been diagnosed. “The opportunity for students to realize their Embry’s daughter, Claudia Humphreys, and potential is key,” Shuttic says. “Students need to her husband Gary, have endowed a $100,000 think of us as their safety net by letting us provide scholarship for students with dyslexia with a prefthem with the appropriate assistance and support erence in agricultural studies. The Eugene Embry with their specific disability to be able to pursue Scholarship, in honor of her father, was given as their education.” a gift to Embry at Christmas time with a photo Eric Humphreys, a landAs owners of Able Tire Company, the of the dairy farm he had worked at for many scape architecture major, Humphreys owe their success to OSU and give years with OSU President Burns Hargis’ signature. was diagnosed with thanks and support through their donation to Embry was flattered by the photo alone. dyslexia in fifth grade, but SDS with hopes of being able to support students “He thought we had just given him a picture he excels academically at who are faced with the same challenges their of the dairy barn,” Claudia says. “It took him OSU with support from family members continue to excel above. about three days to realize we had also created Student Disability Services. this scholarship.” B r i t ta n i e D ougl a s


Science teacher’s devotion to her students leads to recognition from the National Science Teachers Association

Science Teacher on a Mission Susi e Ste v e ns - E de ns k n e w her mission in life was to help others through teaching. And even though the OSU alum didn’t major in education, she’s living her dream while also setting a standard of excellence frequently honored with teaching awards.


n high school, I was pretty certain I wanted to be a teacher,” Susie Stevens-Edens says. “I just wasn’t sure which subject I wanted to teach.” Like many before her, a family connection brought Stevens-Edens to OSU. Her parents and her grandparents were OSU alumni, and her greatgrandfather helped haul the stones to campus to construct Old Central.


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She says when she enrolled, OSU offered the only quality program in vocational home economics, the degree she wanted to pursue. To help lower the costs for her parents, Stevens-Edens lived with her grandmother in Stillwater during college. “I remember smiling, saying hello and receiving responses from everyone whenever I walked across campus. There was a friendly and open atmosphere.”

Stevens-Edens grew up in several different places but lived in Ada, Okla., the longest length of time. At OSU, she was active in Mortar Board and participated in the Town Women Association, a social organization for women who lived off campus. After getting married during her sophomore year, Stevens-Edens made the long treks to class from married student housing. “For the most part walking was OK, and it was great exercise,” she says, even during the cold winter months. “I remember wearing my long maxi coat that was in style back then. It kept me warm.” Stevens-Edens graduated from OSU in 1972 and began teaching science at age 21. She says she appreciates science because it is something everyone can relate to and it connects to all aspects of life. “Most people think science has to do with just the medical field, but it’s much more than that,” she says. For 20 years, Stevens-Edens has taught biology, chemistry, anatomy and biotechnology at Latta High School near Ada. Previously, she taught 10 years in nearby McLish Public Schools and briefly at Macomb and Cyril public schools. The OSU alumna was honored in March with the Shell Science Teaching Award from the National Science Teachers Association. She was the only science teacher in the nation to receive the award and attended a banquet in San Francisco where she was recognized and presented a $10,000 award. “I had been a semifinalist in 2006,” Stevens-Edens says. “A selection committee actually came to my classroom and spent a day watching me teach, and they spoke with my students, colleagues and administrators.” Before Stevens-Edens could fully grasp the enormity of winning the national teaching award, she received another one just three days later. Stevens-Edens was chosen for the Medal of Excellence from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence in Secondary Teaching, accompanied by a $5,000 award. “It was amazing,” Stevens-Edens says. “This year I’ve had great students, administrators and colleagues.”

“Her students know they’re going to learn and be prepared for whatever that next level is.” — Stan Cochran Stevens-Edens teaches students to see science as a way of life rather than a required class. Instead of presenting information to students and asking them to repeat it, she involves students in lab exercises to make the material easier to understand. She’s also willing to put in extra hours to assist students, whether after school, weekends or nights. “Especially during science fair time, we know her car is always going to be at the school, and she’s always going to be in that lab,” says Latta High School Principal Stan Cochran. Stevens-Edens has received many awards during her career, including Oklahoma’s Outstanding Biology Teacher in 2002 and also being placed on USA Today’s All-Teacher Team. Students know they’re not going to receive a free pass from Stevens-Edens, the principal says.

“They also know they’re going to learn and be prepared for whatever that next level is,” Cochran says. Stevens-Edens is the type of teacher who cares about her students not only in the classroom but on an individual basis, says Kahla White, a 2008 Latta High School graduate who was recently accepted into OSU’s veterinary medicine program. “She takes an interest in us,” White says. “She’s dedicated to her students through and through.” During her interview with the veterinary medicine college, White recounted her research experience with Stevens-Edens. “That’s what really perked the vet school’s ears,” White says. “I had an extensive background in research that started with my teacher and the science fairs in high school.” As an active member of the OSU Alumni Association, Stevens-Edens stays true to her roots by visiting Stillwater occasionally, whether for professional development workshops or to congratulate a family member receiving a diploma. “Until recently I’ve had either children or some member of my family enrolled at OSU,” Stevens-Edens says. “We usually make a few football games every year.” This summer Stevens-Edens will travel to Washington, D.C., to review proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation from teachers, professors and researchers from across the country and help determine which should receive funding. Besides teaching for several more years and staying active in workshops, the 60-year-old educator doesn’t have many plans. She’d rather continue doing what she does best. “All I really plan to do is teach,” she says. “I’ve been extremely blessed.” K r i s t e n Mc C o n n aughe y

Oklahoma science teacher Susie StevensEdens is honored with the Shell Science Teaching Award from the National Science Teachers Association this spring as well as the Medal of Excellence from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence in Secondary Teaching.


Service Centered Hard Work Runs in the Bennett Family photo by Phil Shockley The work ethic Tom E. Bennett learned from his father kept the 90-year-old judge from leaving his post until this year. But he won’t stop working, says Bennett, the last living child of Henry Bennett, president of Oklahoma A&M College from 1928 to 1951. Judge Bennett will focus on writing a family memoir. “Retired? What’s that? If I quit working, I’d die,” he jokes. 68

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As an administrative law judge with the Social Security Administration, Bennett estimates he heard more than 12,000 cases of Americans seeking benefits. The judge’s father had the same work ethic. President Bennett, who built the foundation for today’s OSU, led the university for 23 years. He used his talents to serve others, and his effectiveness led to his ascension from Southeastern Oklahoma State University to OAMC to a post as the inaugural director of President Harry Truman’s Point Four Program, established to share technical knowledge with developing countries. During an assignment for this program now known as USAID, the former OSU president and his wife, Vera, died in a plane crash in Iran on Dec. 22, 1951. His belief in the importance of international cooperation and global leadership was passed down to his son, who recently made a $50,000 donation to establish a graduate fellowship for master’s students in international studies. In honor of Bennett’s wife and high school sweetheart, Emma Adele Swim, the scholarship’s name is the Emma Adele and Thomas E. Bennett Scholarship. The gift qualifies for a 2-to-1 match from the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match, which will boost the endowment to $150,000. Tom Bennett’s time studying at OAMC was uniquely affected by his father’s position as president. Because of the Great Depression, the president would not let his son get a job when there were so many students with more financial need. Instead, he encouraged his son to keep busy with school, where Bennett averaged 21 hours per semester. By the time he finished his history degree in 1942, he had enough credits to choose between four majors.

“My father thought you were supposed to read all of the books and spend a lot of time studying,” says Bennett, one of five children. Knowing he might serve in World War II, which he later did, Bennett joined the rifle team as a freshman to learn how to shoot. During his four years on the squad, his team claimed a national championship. After graduation, Bennett earned medals for his service in the southwest Pacific with the Army 5th Infantry. When he came home, he decided to further his education and ultimately chose law school

father’s love for magnolia trees, which are all over Stillwater today but were not when the Bennetts first came to OSU. “My father asked them to plant them around campus, and they told him they didn’t grow this far north,” Bennett remembers. “He said, ‘This is an agricultural college. Let’s figure it out.’” To President Bennett, the library was the focal point of any college. His master plan for a layout of campus included the Georgian architectural style still used today and featured the Edmon Low Library at the center. It’s among the ways

President Henry Bennett and his wife, Vera, pose with their grandchildren and five grown children and their spouses. Today, Tom Bennett, (wearing letter jacket) has established a graduate fellowship for master’s students in international studies in honor of his family’s interest in international affairs.

over seminary. At Harvard University he earned his juris doctorate. Without formally applying to become a student, Bennett first visited the campus in his Army uniform. “I was told if I went in uniform, they’d take me,” he says. “They did.” Bennett inherited his father’s trait of relentlessly pursuing what he wants. He remembers his

the Bennett family helped OSU become the institution it is today. In honor of their place in the university’s history, the Bennett namesakes include a chapel, a residential hall, a drive, a service award and a fellows program. A statue of Henry Bennett stands outside the president’s office at Whitehurst. Now, thanks to Bennett’s generosity, the family name will be linked to an endowment empowering OSU students who are also passionate about international studies and service.


Tomorrow begins today.

We’re defined by what we pass on to the next generation. That’s why ConocoPhillips is working with National Energy Education Development to provide America’s teachers with the training and resources they need to bring energy to life for students. Through this program, we’re getting our kids interested in math and science and teaching them about the importance of conservation. So we can pass on what matters … to the ones who matter most.

© ConocoPhillips Company. 2009. All rights reserved.


Michael Lorenz

Karl Reid

Two of OSU’s Longest-Serving Deans Retire


here are few people as well respected at a university as a college dean. Deans serve as leaders and shining examples of how dedication to one’s field can improve educational opportunities for thousands. Two of OSU’s most beloved deans, both responsible for tremendous advances in their colleges, are stepping down from their posts after many years of service to their alma mater, but both plan to remain active on campus working with students, faculty and alumni.

Michael Lorenz began serving the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences as associate dean in 2001. The 1969 graduate of OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine became dean in 2004. Karl Reid, the longest-serving dean on campus, has led the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology since 1986. He earned degrees from OSU in 1956 and 1957 and returned to campus as assistant professor in 1964.



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‘Orangest’ Dean The

Veterinary medicine dean will return to his roots as a clinical instructor


story by Kristen McConnaughey photo by Gary Lawson

f the orange socks and blazer don’t show Dr. Michael

Lorenz’s passion for OSU, then his years of service to

the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences do.

The 1969 alumnus is stepping down as dean of the veteri-

nary center, a position he has held since 2004. Lorenz grew up in Garfield County, Okla., where he considered becoming a physician but later decided he wanted to be a veterinarian. Although his relatives are University of Oklahoma fans, he chose OSU because it offers the only veterinary school in the state. “I became the Cowboy of the bunch,” he says, “and it’s been fun ever since.”

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courtesy PHOTO

Left: Dean Michael Lorenz addresses guests during the 2009 the Military Veterinarian Honor Court dedication in front of McElroy Hall. Above: The dean reveals his bright orange socks while posing with the class of 2014 following the traditional ceremony in which veterinary medicine students receive their white coats. PHOTO / Phil Shockley

Opposite page: Lorenz returns to the faculty this fall doing what he loves most, instructing students in the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital and taking care of clients such as this boy and his Labrador puppy.

Lorenz worked to help pay his way through college. When he was a student in the veterinary school, he worked concessions at some of the football games, selling warm Dr Pepper from a backpack. At OSU, he earned a bachelor’s in preveterinary science in 1967 and a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1969, then headed to Cornell University for additional training. Afterward, he joined the faculty at the University of Georgia in Athens, where he taught for 16 years. “I had an opportunity to come back to Oklahoma State in the early 1980s, but the timing wasn’t right for my kids in school,” Lorenz says. In 1988, Lorenz became dean of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where he was named Kansas Veterinarian of the Year. Nine years later, Lorenz had the opportunity to come back to OSU to serve his alma mater


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as associate dean. Initially, Lorenz was asked to apply for the position and did not. But after seeing OSU’s premier faculty, he quickly changed his mind. “When you return to your alma mater after being gone for many years, you get to start reconnecting with people you haven’t seen for a long period of time,” Lorenz says. “That part has been a lot of fun.” Beginning in 2001, Lorenz served as interim dean of the college. He made the transition to dean in 2004 and has been the only alumnus to lead the center. He was also named 2011 Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year in January. “The award means a lot to me because it shows that a person in administrative work can have a good rapport and interactions with state practitioners,” Lorenz says. When Lorenz came back to OSU, he quickly obtained a reputation as a student

supporter. Lorenz says he admires OSU’s veterinary school even though it doesn’t have an extensive budget and is one of the smaller schools in the country. “It sort of mirrors how I was raised in Oklahoma,” Lorenz says. “Not having a whole lot of money but figuring out how you get the job done.” Dr. Suzanne Caruso says Lorenz always made himself available to students if there was a problem or they needed advice. “He was an excellent teacher and you could tell he cared very deeply about the students at the university,” says Caruso, who earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1999. “He goes out of his way to see how your day is going.” Caruso, a small-animal practitioner in Tulsa, says she still feels comfortable calling Lorenz to ask for his opinion on a case. “Often times I think I just need Dr. Lorenz to be by my side so I can make sure

I’m evaluating this case correctly,” Caruso says. During his deanship, Lorenz has helped develop the center’s shelter medicine program, which helps local animal shelters by providing basic surgery operations like spaying and neutering while enhancing veterinary students’ hands-on training. The program was small when Lorenz arrived and is now large and successful. “I think it’s one of the best, if not the best, in the country,” Lorenz says. “It provides our students with the special opportunity to get surgical skills they weren’t getting in the previous programs.” Lorenz tells people he is the “orangest” dean on campus. “You’re not going to find anybody at OSU who loves the university more,” Caruso says. “He is PHOTO / phil shockley so proud to be part of Oklahoma State.” Lorenz encourages alumni to give back by donating their time, talents or dollars to OSU. “I believe people who have benefited from OSU should

give back to OSU,” Lorenz says. “I think as a dean, if you’re asking people to give money, you should be a donor, and I am.” Lorenz’s service doesn’t stop at the doors of the veterinary center. A strong

supporter of United Way, he led the OSU campaign last year and is active in the Stillwater Rotary Club. Lorenz is working with Judith Karman Hospice on a national program called Pet Peace of Mind. The program helps hospice patients care for their pets and make a plan for their animals’ futures. “There are a lot of groups in Stillwater working for the common good,” Lorenz says. “I like talking about our community when I’m recruiting faculty.” Although Lorenz is stepping down as dean, he’ll continue to do what he does best — working directly with students in the clinical unit. He also plans to initiate a dermatology service at the hospital. All with his orange socks and blazer, of course. “I think I’m too young to walk away from all of this,” Lorenz says. “I’m going back to my roots.”

New Dean — Dr. Jean Elizabeth Sander

Jean Elizabeth Sander

Dr. Jean Elizabeth Sander is the new dean of the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Sander already knows how to chant O-S-U because she comes from Ohio State University, where she served as the associate dean for Academic and Student Affairs and professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill., and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She also earned a master’s of avian medicine at the University of Georgia and served on the faculty there before going to Ohio State.



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LongestServing Dean Engineering dean will continue to manage premier scholarship program for top students


story by Kristen McConnaughey photo by Gary Lawson he longest-serving dean of the College of

Engineering, Architecture and Technology is stepping down after 25 years.

Counting his years as a student, professor and admin-

istrator, Karl Reid’s association with OSU totals more than half a century. Reid came to campus in the 1950s to study architecture but found his calling in mechanical engineering and later academia. Dean of the engineering college since 1986, Reid grew up in Tulsa and developed an interest in architecture as early as ninth grade. “There was no thought of going out of state when I graduated high school,” he says. “It seemed like the right thing to do.”

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After one semester, however, Reid decided he didn’t have the artistic ability to become an architect, and his adviser encouraged him to enroll in the mechanical engineering program. “It was a good decision,” Reid says, smiling. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1956. Then as a graduate student, he got to witness the campus transition from Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College into Oklahoma State University in 1957. He received his master’s in mechanical engineering in 1958. Reid contemplated pursuing a doctorate and took the advice of a former Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor to continue his education at the renowned engineering institution in Cambridge, Mass. “When I went to MIT to work on my doctorate, I had no idea I would end up in the academic world,” says Reid, who holds four patents. He photo / Gary Lawson figured he would eventually with students and thought, ‘Maybe this is work in industry. what I want to do.’” After completing his doctorate in After teaching at MIT four years, Reid mechanical engineering at MIT, he returned to OSU in 1964 as an assistant joined the faculty there and realized professor and spent nearly a decade he loved teaching. focused on teaching and research. Reid’s technical interests include In 1976, the engineering dean called system dynamics and automatic control, Reid into his office and asked him to lead biomedical and process instrumentation, the School of Mechanical and Aerospace and computer-aided design. Over the years Engineering. he has authored more than 40 refereed Although he had just one day to make journal papers and four book chapters, his decision, Reid accepted the new role and he holds four U.S. patents. as department head and began to excel in Former OSU mechanical engineering higher education administration. department head James Box called Reid “It never occurred to me that I would frequently when he was at MIT, asking be a department head,” Reid says. “When him to return to Oklahoma and become a the dean called me into his office, I said, member of the OSU faculty. ‘But I’m junior to four people.’” “I really had a lot of soul searching,” In 1986, Reid was encouraged to apply Reid says. “I came back for a visit, thought for the opening dean position. about what I enjoyed most about working


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“I had never applied for a job before. It was a first,” Reid says. “At that time I thought I’d probably stay in the position five years.”

Student-Centered Twenty-five years later, Reid’s long list of achievements and memories center on students. One of his most successful endeavors, the CEAT Scholars Program, is designed to recruit outstanding engineering students to the university. “We wanted to offer something special and different that other schools wouldn’t have,” Reid says. “I think the program is still unique today.” The program offers travel opportunities to Washington, D.C., after students’ sophomore year, and then travel abroad following their junior year. For the first six years, Reid led participants to Germany and England, and for the past 17 years students have traveled to Japan, with Reid leading 12 of those excursions. Reid says he enjoys getting to know students outside the campus setting. “They learned I don’t wear a coat and tie everyday. I sometimes wear blue jeans,” Reid says. “Not only did we learn more about each other but also more about our common values.” As dean, Reid also reached out to high school students by establishing the FIRST Robotics program, designed to generate interest in science and technology. Since 1989, Reid has initiated four unique scholarship and enrichment programs for high-achieving OSU students. The newest, the W.W. Allen Scholars Program established by engineering alumnus Wayne Allen, provides undergraduate scholarships, travel and leadership

Opposite page: Dean Karl Reid and Professor Prabhakar Pagilla examine one of the machines in OSU’s Web Handling Research Center. Right, top: Reid speaks during the 2010 multicultural engineering awards banquet.

Right, Bottom: Reid will continue to

photo / Gary lawson

opportunities and scholarships for graduate study. Reid says it’s gratifying to watch students grow in intellect and sophistication throughout their college years. “When they leave as graduates, they are mature,” he says. “One thing that has kept me in the academic world is seeing the transformation occurring in young people.” During his years as dean, Reid also led two major construction projects. The Advanced Technology Research Center is located on the Stillwater campus, and the Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center is located at OSU-Tulsa. He also provided leadership for the recent expansion and renovation of the architecture building following a donation by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. After more than five decades on campus, Reid is not going anywhere. He plans to continue teaching and remain involved in the university community. He’ll also manage the Allen Scholars Program for the engineering college. “There’s no program like this anywhere in the world,” Reid says. “Those who know me well realize my passion for students. They are the reason we are all here and one of the main reasons academe is so fulfilling.”

photo / phil shockley

manage OSU’s Allen Scholars Program, which attracts the nation’s top engineering students and provides them with enrichment and leadership opportunities. W. Wayne Allen, seated left, a 1959 mechanical engineering alumnus and former chairman and CEO of Phillips Petroleum Company, donated a landmark gift in 2007 to initiate the program. With them are Marlene Strathe, former provost, and Kirk Jewel, OSU Foundation president and CEO.


PHOTO / Phil


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Living An interest in folk potters around the world led OSU professor Ron du Bois to create documentaries that reveal ancient history in modern times. BY Janet



rt Professor Emeritus Ron du Bois represented the U.S. as a Fulbright Scholar to South Korea in 1973-74.

“When I got my hands in clay I had an

epiphany,” du Bois says. “I’m not unlike

the generational stigma toward them. All of du Bois’ films have become important to scholars and ceramics educators worldwide. The Fulbright Foundation’s mission to foster mutual understanding between countries and promote world peace is not unlike the potter’s goal. “Clay is a metaphor for life,” says du Bois, who taught at OSU from 1960 to 1986. He holds a master’s in painting from the University of California, Berkeley.

others in the field who began as painters only to put their brushes away in favor of clay.” Hosted by three South Korean universities, the OSU art professor taught Western clay concepts and forming methods to students who were themselves heirs of ancient and illustrious ceramic traditions. But his fascination with Korea’s folk potters led to a lifelong interest in little-known clay artisans in India and Nigeria who practiced traditional methods of clay construction. His interest in their clay forming skills as well as their culture, traditions and religions resulted in six documentaries, all valued by educators, artists, historians, anthropologists and museums worldwide, especially as modern technology and sociological changes threaten the continuation of these ancient clay processes.    In 2010, his documentaries, Potters of the World film/DVD series, were part of an art exhibition, Cross-Cultural Visions, sponsored by the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Fulbright program in South Korea. The art exhibition featuring Fulbright grantees premiered in New York City and traveled to Washington, D.C., and Seoul, South Korea. Also in 2010, du Bois’ documentaries were part of an international symposium, the Onggi Expo Ulsan Korea, sponsored by the South Korean government to honor the historical and cultural significance of its traditional folk potters. For centuries they produced large clay vessels essential to the existence of Korean society yet were once considered to be at the bottom of a hierarchical society. Du Bois’ Korean documentary introduced the Western world to the impressive skills of these folk potters and helped reverse

Ron du Bois filming potters in India in the 1970s. Du Bois uses the biblical quotation, “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?” to assert that most people, regardless of diverse objectives in life, seek to create order out of chaos. For that reason, du Bois says, art educators believe the production of artists is one of the most important objectives of education. (continues)

black and white photos courtesy RON DU BOIS 81

Korea 1973-74

      Du Bois became fascinated with onggi pottery produced for pickled vegetables that are a staple in the traditional Korean diet.   “I went to study the high art of   porcelain and white ware, but I became more interested in the folk art of the common people.”  After du Bois returned from Korea,   he showed his film about onggi potters to the National Council for Education through Ceramic Arts, causing a great interest among university ceramic educators and artists. “It was the first time the Western ceramics world was exposed to traditional onggi pottery. No one knew anything about it,” he says. “Later on, my film on the construction of a massive Indian terracotta horse received a similar response.”       Du Bois’ wife, Thora, an OSU piano teacher for decades, accompanied her husband to South Korea, India and Nigeria and taught piano at their Korean and Nigerian host universities under Fulbright auspices.        Her Korean students, mostly women, didn’t speak much English, but communication isn’t a problem between people who speak and read the international language of music, says Thora du Bois, who also performed as a soloist and accompanied faculty and students in recitals in both South Korea and Nigeria. She was invited by the cultural attaché to play a mini-recital in honor of the U.S. ambassador’s visit to Daegu, South Korea. She also took lessons on the traditional multi-stringed Kayagum from a master woman performer and singer. “Because of Thora’s contributions to Nigeria’s University of Ile Ife and her human relations skills, the comment was made that the Fulbright program had supplied two Fulbright scholars for the price of one,” Ron du Bois says.


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Ron du Bois spent six months filming The Working Processes of the Korean Folk Potter during his Fulbright lectureship in 1973-1974. This documentary shows the production of onggi, large vessels for storing pickled vegetables. The film is owned by many university art departments throughout the world as well as museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The documentary The Working Processes of the Potters of India: Bindapur — A Colony of 700 Potters, filmed near New Delhi in 1979-1980, took six months to produce. It is an in-depth documentary on Indian pottery techniques, processes and belief in pottery as a sacred ritual. Both of du Bois’ films on Indian potters are included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art film archives.

India 1979-80 Ron du Bois, sponsored by the IndoAmerican Fellowship Program, filmed construction of what may have been the last massive terra-cotta horse built in India. The horses stand 9 to 25 feet high and are among the world’s largest hollow clay constructions. They have been built for thousands of years to serve as mounts for a protective deity called Aiyanar, who rides the village boundaries to protect them from untoward forces. This indigenous religion is so ancient it precedes Hinduism. “I’ve always been interested in how art products interact, reflect and are the expression of culture and religion,” says du Bois, who also filmed a colony of 700 hereditary potters near New Delhi, India, during the international exchange. “No Hindu artist or craftsman would even think about starting any project without a prayerful ritual to create an image fit for a deity to inhabit. They want their work to be worthy of the gods.”   (continues)

The documentary The Working Processes of the Potters of India: Massive Terra-Cotta Horse Construction demonstrates the 15-day construction of a massive clay horse by the heirs of an ancient tradition in which horses inseparably link clay and religion. Produced with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, du Bois’ documentary was shown during the 1985 Smithsonian Festival of India and featured in “The Horse,” an exhibition by the American Museum of Natural History, and most recently during the exhibit’s visit to Canada’s Museum of Civilization. Inset: Ron du Bois and his translator in south India in 1980.


Nigeria 1987-88 After retiring from OSU in 1986, du Bois received a Fulbright Senior African Regional Research Award in 1987. “My grant was to study art on the West African coast, but I spent all of my time in Nigeria because it is the leading art producing nation in Africa,” says du Bois, who later produced the documentaries with a Ford Foundation grant. His Nigerian documentaries focus on two compounds where women potters created vessels essential to survival in Nigerian villages.  Women at the Dada compound produced massive water vessels, while women at the Ogbena compound produced smaller, lidded soup bowls. Only women make pottery there, and they pass their knowledge on to their daughters and granddaughters.  “They understood I was a potter because I helped them with their clay and wedging tasks, even though I couldn’t keep up with them,” du Bois says. “They must have thought it odd that males from the U.S. could be potters.”       Both compounds were closed to outsiders, but du Bois gained entry after he and Thora met OSU alumnus Julius Afolabi in a local restaurant near the University of Ile Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University. Afolabi was a Nigerian who had earned a doctorate in epidemiology from OSU and later returned to the U.S. to teach. His uncle was a city official in Ilorin, Nigeria, who knew the Dada compound’s head mistress and arranged special permission for du Bois to film there. While du Bois filmed, Thora taught piano at the university in Ile Ife. Even with her piano tuning kit, the humidity, warm temperatures and lack of air-conditioning made keys stick and accurate pitches difficult to fix on the practice pianos and concert hall piano. She says the students, mostly young men, were a joy to work with. Besides teaching, she also accompanied individual recitals and the university choir, including a performance at the Lagos National Theater. Before going to Nigeria, Thora was pursuing a doctorate in music performance from the University of Oklahoma. Instead


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Ron du Bois’ documentary Yoruba Potters: Mothers and Daughters — Dada Compound won an award in Amsterdam during the 1999 Ceramic Millennium, A Century of Ceramics on Film.

of having to re-enroll upon her return, the university allowed her to submit a written account of her Nigerian teaching experience in place of a pedagogy class requirement. She taught at the Nigerian university until April 1988 when political unrest suddenly shut down the campus midsemester. “Overnight, they closed the university,” she says. “I didn’t see my students again. They all left that night. It was very sad.”

Ron du Bois’ films include scenes of daily life and festivals in Ile Ife where, according to Yoruba belief, all humans were created. He managed to interview and film a traditional Ifa priest performing his daily rituals. At the time he wasn’t sure how the scenes would fit into his documentaries but later realized they provide a striking contrast between contemporary city life and the traditional pace and practices of the women potters.   (continues)

Yoruba Potters: Mothers and Daughters — Dada Compound is the first documentary ever made of the superb Nigerian Yoruba craftswomen at work. Ron du Bois’ video shows the entire process from working the clay to the dramatic open-field firing of more than a thousands pots. His photo, left, of a woman working on a huge, perfectly symmetrical water vessel was part of an exhibit this summer at the National Museum of Scotland. Du Bois’ Nigerian documentaries are included in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art’s film archives in Washington, D.C., where they are available on loan to U.S. educators. In Africa, educators and potters can access the films through the National Museum in Lagos, Nigeria.

Ron du Bois’ documentary Yoruba Potters: Mothers and Daughters — Ogbena Compound is the first film showing the culture, religion, everyday lives and remarkable hand-building skills of the women potters of Nigeria’s Ogbena compound. Their craft is passed down from mothers to daughters, who begin learning it as children. The film documents the process of building isasun, a roundbottom vessel with a flanged rim covered with a knobbed lid. Ron du Bois says the vessels, remarkable for their resistance to thermal shock and ideal for cooking over an open fire, have long been essential to life in Nigerian villages. 85

A lifelong educator, du Bois is pleased students and teachers around the world are benefitting from his work and that it fulfills the Fulbright objective to disseminate knowledge gained through international exchanges. All of du Bois’ documentaries are available on loan from the OSU art department to Stillwater public school teachers and OSU faculty, thanks to OSU President Burns Hargis, who purchased and donated them to OSU for this purpose. The collection includes all five documentaries plus a sixth available soon, which is an overview with excerpts from the previous films. National museums in Korea, India and Nigeria also house the documentaries and have made them available to educators. “I made these documentaries primarily for ceramic educators and students, but they are of interest to other disciplines as well because they are commentaries on the human condition, the culture, religion and how they come together like a fabric woven from different threads,” he says. “I consider these documentaries a contribution to humanistic education in general.” Fulbright exchanges and other peaceful, educational endeavors are far more effective ways of promoting a positive image for the U.S. than war or violence, he says. “I think both Thora and I succeeded as cross-cultural ambassadors in representing the best in U.S. values. “Art is difficult to define,” he says. “Part of any definition is the human need to create order out of disorder. It’s something we all strive for.” 86

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Ron and Thora du Bois will celebrate their 59th anniversary in October. They met in 1951 in Paris, where Thora, a Canadian, was studying piano, and Ron, a Californian, was studying painting in Andre L’Hote’s studio. Over the years, they have represented the U.S. in Korea, India and Nigeria during three Fulbright exchanges. For more information, visit http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/dubois/

The ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center is home to the OSU Alumni Association and the official University Visitor Center. Its more than 52,000 square feet include public facilities offering settings for upscale meeting and dining experiences. From intimate gatherings to large banquets, the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center is the

Perfect Location.

201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 TEL 405.744.5368 • FAX 405.744.6722 OSUalumnicenter.org

Vicki (Withers) Phillips was named the W.P. Wood Professor in 1993. Her professorship has enabled her to invest in science and engineering resources for the OSU library and to create a bibliographic tool for researchers.


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Checking Out: Library Professor Retiring After 42 Years Thanks to T. Boone Pickens’ giftmatching challenge and the Branding Success campaign, OSU now boasts more than 280 endowed chairs and professorships. The university is just beginning to see the impact of newer gifts, but some previous gifts have been supporting OSU research and faculty for years. Vicki (Withers) Phillips, head of the library’s science and engineering division, was named the W.P. Wood Professor in 1993. She is the first — and to date, the only — faculty member to hold the position. Over the years, Phillips has used her professorship to support the library’s science-related public programming and to purchase print and electronic library materials. “The professorship allowed me to invest in a number of items in the areas of science and engineering. Both students and faculty benefit from these resources

that would not have been available without this support.” The material purchases have focused on the sciences, but more broadly Phillips has endeavored to promote research and study across many disciplines. She says the professorship has also been valuable for her own research endeavors. “This professorship also gave me research time to work on a bibliographic tool. It’s an annotated listing of nearly 2,000 Oklahoma theses and dissertations about the state’s history. It’s been especially valuable to graduate students looking for previous studies.” Phillips says the biobliographic tool is relevant to researchers today. “While it’s true that many of the items are available electronically, identification of them can still be a problem. “Many of the items are published for departments outside of history but focus on topics related to the state’s history.”

Endowed professorships and chairs are the highest academic designations for faculty. These positions enable OSU to attract and retain the best and the brightest academic minds in the world. Phillips began her career at OSU in 1969 and became department head before her 30th birthday. With the exception of then-dean Edward R. Johnson, she was the first library faculty member to achieve the rank of full professor. She has held numerous leadership positions both on campus and in the state. Just a few years before her appointment to the Wood Professorship, Phillips was elected chair of the U.S. Government Printing Office’s Depository Library Council. It is one of her many activities that have garnered a national reputation for her career. Phillips retired Sept. 1, exactly 42 years after she began her career at OSU. B o n n i e A n n Ca i n -W ood


Retired professor reflects on his love for the Edmon Low Library and its quiet treasures


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very scholar needs a collection of resources to function as a scholar

— in other words, a research library.

Photos / Edmon Low Library

And for me, the Edmon Low Library on the OSU campus is more than a building, more than a collection of texts, more than just a research source. It is a place of fond memories. In the microform room, once known as the “non-book room,” I remember two solid months of feverish research using a $9,000 box of microfiche borrowed from a distant university and sent as a special favor to the dean of the OSU library. It was a rare privilege. Southeast side.

West side. The interlibrary loan office brought me books from places as near


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as Norman, Okla., and as far away as London, England. For me there were some particularly exciting occasions when I was allowed to finally consult a source that was essential to a major project.

Main hall. Back in the pre-electronic era, the great hall on the second floor was crowded with card catalogs. Over time, the wooden drawers and the

ever-softening cards became treasured friends. As Edmon Low moved toward computers, I opposed the conversion to an electronic catalog — a big mistake on my part, I now realize. In the center of the floor, the reference desk provided students and scholars with valuable help. Here, and elsewhere, the skill and enthusiasm of the librarians compensated for any gaps in the Edmon Low collection. Northeast side. Hidden away was the paneled office of the library’s dean, a sumptuous space with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, elaborately textured paneling and a working fireplace. The office provided a mise en scène so perfect that over the years I sought permission to use it as a set for the hosts and narrators of three historical films.

In the early 1970s, when I came to OSU, the film books were located within the theater section on the third floor. There was one full aisle plus a short spill over, but as a newcomer to the field, I was delighted and, at one time or another, consulted every book in this core collection. Northeast side. A floor-to-ceiling partition separated a space for The Will Rogers Project. There was enough room for four desks and a long row of filing cabinets. Here I was introduced to Oklahoma’s great man on a daily basis as we authenticated and interpreted his writings for a collection that eventually amounted to 21 volumes. Through study of Rogers in his cultural context, I learned to appreciate Oklahoma’s rich heritage.

In the early days, this was the floor devoted to history. Although I was situated in OSU’s English department, I have often been called a historian and have attended many American Historical Association meetings, where some of my panels were broadcast by C-SPAN. Yet because I was not a historian, I needed the works on this floor to appreciate the impact of Will Rogers and to measure the historical resonance of films from the New Deal or films about the American South — to name only a few of my early projects.

Here, for a few years, was a desk with my name on it. The designation allowed me to claim the workspace even if someone else had arrived ahead of me. Also on this floor were the government documents to include the complete record of Congressional debates from the Federalist Era (1789-1801) to the present. With the advent of electronic searches, many more documents emerged, yielding information I would have missed in the days of my beloved card catalog.

A carrel is a locked space in a library where a scholar can leave books and personal possessions without fear of theft. The privilege of an on-site lending option meant that every book borrowed did not have to be taken home or back to the office, but could be used repeatedly without the staff’s returning it to the shelf. After much migration from carrel to carrel, I was assigned a space at the west end of the 4th floor, a locked inner sanctum shared with history professors Leroy Fischer and Jack Sylvester. I had heard of Fischer’s work on Lincoln way back in my high school days. It was an honor to conduct research in the vicinity of such a devoted scholar, and I did him proud by writing my book on Will Rogers in that peaceful and sequestered place.

Much has changed about the Edmon Low Library since my arrival in 1972, all for the benefit of students and scholars. What I have shared with you are some my fond memories of a wonderful institution … or as I have told friends over the years, a perfect workbench for scholars.

Emeritus Regents Professor Peter C. Rollins received the 2011 Oklahoma Humanities Award from the Oklahoma Humanities Council. An expert on English and American/film studies, Rollins’ books include Why We Fought: America’s Wars as Film and History and Hollywood’s White House: The American Presidency Photo / Ken Helt

in Film and History, both honored with the National Popular Culture Association’s Ray and Pat Browne Award, and Television Histories: Shaping Memory in the Media Age, honored with the Best Book in American Culture Studies from the Popular Culture Association. Rollins’ most recent book is America Reflected: Language, Satire, Film, and the National Mind. For more information, visit www.petercrollins.com.


Sloan Taylor

Wins Class Ring Hundreds of Oklahoma State University’s Alumni were ringing in their membership renewals this spring thanks to a new contest from the Alumni Association. Any one who renewed their membership in March was entered to win an Official OSU Class Ring, and alumna Sloan Taylor was the spring contest’s lucky winner. Taylor graduated from OSU in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences and received her master’s degree in the same field one year later. She says she has always had her eye on the class ring, but never had the chance to have one of her own. “I wanted it so much,” Taylor says. “I just would never let myself get one.” Being entered to win a class ring was one of the perks of renewing an OSU Alumni Association membership this spring, which caught Taylor’s attention. She can now keep her memories of living on campus and being part of a great university alive with her new class ring. “Essentially by just looking at the ring I’m going to remember all of that,” Taylor says. “It’s going to be great.” Taylor, who is a clinical dietician at St. Francis Heart Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., remembers the friendliness of the OSU campus and how everyone is always willing to help. “Where I work is a large campus in itself,” Taylor says. “If I was lost, I remember being at OSU and people helping me and I want to help people.” 94

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“If people ask me about it, I’ll have the opportunity to tell them about OSU, why it’s such a good university for so many different reasons,” Taylor says. “I’m just so glad to have it.” During her time at OSU, Taylor was involved in Homecoming, the Human Sciences Student Council, and the nutritional sciences club, where she served as an officer for two years. “The first thing that comes to mind is Homecoming,” Taylor says. “Homecoming to me is a big thing related to OSU.” (What question is she answering?) Taylor will continue to stay connected to OSU and hopes one day her soon-to-be 3-year-old son will share the same passion for this university, even if her husband is sporting crimson and cream. “It would be the best thing to me as a legacy if my son choose OSU on his own without me promoting him to do so,” Taylor says. “I will back him up 100 percent if he wants to go to OSU.” Owning an Official OSU Class Ring is the perfect way to keep a piece of OSU with you and show off your orange pride, just like Taylor will be doing.

Kathryn Bolay-Staude, director of membership and marketing for the Alumni Association, says the contest was a big success in combining two key programs promoting and supporting OSU. “Membership dues help us provide alumni and student program support to our graduates and current students, and the Official OSU Class Ring is a great way to remember your time on campus while connecting with other ring recipients and sharing stories with future Cowboys.” K r i s t e n Mc C o n n aughe y

Learn more about the Official OSU Class Ring at orangeconnection.org/ring or contact the Alumni Association at 405-744-5368 to order.

Share Your Story. Introducing the 2011 Homecoming Design

Just like the football team, choices include orange, black, white and gray! Short sleeve tee – $15 tax included Available in white, orange, black and gray


Long sleeve tee – $28 tax included Available in orange, black and gray


Shop a variety of ways:  Shopokstate.com  1-800-831-4OSU  University Store at the Student Union  University Store at the Stadium  ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center (On home football game days only.)

Crew sweatshirt – $25 tax included Available in orange only


Hooded sweatshirt – $30 tax included Available in orange, black and gray


* Don’t forget, OSU Alumni Association members receive a 10% discount! You must have your OSU Alumni Association membership number (located on your membership card) at the time you place your order to receive the member discount.

Positive  Influence Former students honor Professor Goodwin’s legacy

Jamie Andrews, center, receives the Dr. John W. Goodwin Endowed Agricultural Economics Scholarship. From left are Scott Sewell, Phoebe Goodwin, Andrews, Jim Plaxico and Dennis Slagell.


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ohn W. Goodwin was a teacher and adviser in the agricultural economics department for nearly 20 years, and he had an immeasurable impact on students and faculty. His favorite part of the job was teaching and advising students. He impressed them with his excitement for the material and his capability to personally relate to them. Alumni Scott Sewell, Paul Schulte, Dennis Slagell and former department head James Plaxico led an effort to raise $200,000 to create the Dr. John W. Goodwin Endowed Agricultural Economics Scholarship Fund in Goodwin’s honor. The idea for the scholarship originated at Goodwin’s memorial service in November 2008 and became a reality as the small group encouraged nearly 60 former students and professors to give in his memory. With the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match, the fund will have an impact of $537,540. “Dr. Goodwin wore many different hats in his lifetime,” says Slagell, a 1979 agricultural economics graduate. “Although his duty was to be a professor, he was a man of amazing patience to give so much of himself to others as a mentor, instructor, adviser and unique professor.” The scholarship honors Goodwin’s legacy as a supporter of student achievement, says Sewell, a 1979 agricultural economics and accounting alumnus. “Students who receive this scholarship will be designated Dr. John W. Goodwin Scholars in recognition of their excellence as leaders and exemplary students.” His former students say the endowment honors Goodwin’s impact on their lives and the extraordinary connections he made with his students. “I look back and realize he was a man of incredible patience, giving so much of himself to others,” Plaxico says. Goodwin taught the required introductory course in agricultural economics, which introduced him to undergraduates early in their studies. He had an impeccable memory, which he used to retain hundreds of students’ names and backgrounds.

“That kind of connection with students is unique and made him that much better as an instructor,” says Schulte, a 1979 alumnus in agricultural economics with an emphasis in marketing and business. “He set an example that is unparalleled.” Goodwin cracked jokes and pulled pranks in class. In one well-known stunt, he told his introductory class there would be no cheating as he placed a realisticlooking toy gun on the lectern. He carried himself in such a serious manner students thought he meant it. “He also helped build a national reputation for OSU’s agricultural economics department through perseverance, leadership and unselfish devotion to his students,” Schulte says.

“ He was brilliant and demanding as a teacher, but on the flip side as interested and caring about each student as any professor could be. ” — D e n n i s S l a g e l l After class, a line of people would form outside Goodwin’s office at 413 Ag Hall during the ‘60s and ‘70s. The line would extend down the hallway and in some cases to the stairway as students waited to see him. Some needed to speak to him as their academic adviser while others wanted his valuable insight and advice on careers and life in general. “Many departmental graduates credit Dr. Goodwin with instilling in them a love and interest for economics,” says Mike Woods, agricultural economics department head, professor and extension economist. “He gave students an appreciation for the contributions to agriculture and society that agricultural economists can offer.” Goodwin, an adviser to Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity for 17 years, rarely missed chapter meetings. He provided guidance

and stability to the fraternity after the tragic October 1977 homecoming accident in which three fraternity members died working on their homecoming house decoration. Schulte was president of the fraternity at the time and called Goodwin immediately. “I remember thinking if anyone could make any order out of the chaos going on, it would be him,” Schulte says. Goodwin also was unselfish. When he produced an agricultural economics textbook that became the national standard for land-grant institutions, he donated the royalties to OSU’s agricultural scholarship program. “It’s that kind of commitment that inspires others to give back,” says Plaxico. “We should all step back and look at how we can be of service to others through donating.” Goodwin worked in the areas of price analysis and forecasting, but his main focus was livestock marketing. He received numerous college, university and national awards for his teaching efforts, but he was proudest of the Outstanding Teacher Award given by students. “He was brilliant and demanding as a teacher, but on the flip side as interested and caring about each student as any professor could be,” Slagell says. “He truly could see the world through our eyes, and I can say, as a former student, he did his best to enable us to achieve the success he knew we could.” Goodwin’s family, friends and former students cherish his memory and the life lessons he taught. They are proud this scholarship will give even more people an idea of Goodwin’s impact on OSU. “Because of the positive influence Dr. Goodwin has made in so many students’ lives while he was on the OSU faculty, our prayer is that this scholarship will continue his legacy and enable students to be the best they can be for many years to come,” Sewell says. B r i t ta n i e D ougl a s



Chicago Chapter The Chicago OSU Alumni Chapter connects OSU family at all levels, with alumni living in the area, prospective OSU students and with current students in town for a glimpse of the city. In May the chapter hosted a mixer for students and alumni at The Other Side Bar, where the chapter’s watch parties are held. The event had a decidedly Stillwater feel with free pizza and drinks served in Eskimo Joe’s cups. Dr. Jaime Nichols, a 2000 biology graduate and chapter president, says joining the chapter helped her meet some of her best friends. When she moved to Chicago two years ago, she knew only one OSU alumnus there. They attended an OSU watch party together, and friendships with other alumni began to multiply. Nichols says an OSU friend told her he knew she was from OSU the first time he met her. “He said he could tell because of the kind of OSU hospitality you only see from people who have lived in Stillwater. Meeting other people who are friendly and warm has been my most cherished reward.”

Meeting friends isn’t the only advantage of being connected to the chapter. Making business connections, finding housing arrangements in a new city and staying up-to-date on OSU news and events are just a few benefits. Every year, professor Andrew Urich takes his Creativity in Business class to the city to see what the business side of Chicago has to offer. This spring, 25 students spent a week attending business meetings, touring the city and networking with OSU alumni at the spring mixer. “One of the main goals of the Chicago trip is to show OSU students they are smart enough and clever enough to successfully compete in one of the biggest business centers of the world,” says Urich, Puterbaugh professor of

ethics and legal studies in the Spears School of Business. “It’s inspirational for the students to see former OSU students doing so well.” Carl Thoma, a 1971 agricultural economics graduate and managing partner of Bravo Thoma equity investment firm, shared his business background and OSU memories with the visiting students. Afterward Thoma, a 2010 OSU Alumni Hall of Fame inductee, treated the class to lunch and wine from his vineyard. “I really appreciate all the Chicago alumni’s effort to give students a view of Chicago’s business world,” Urich says. “There was a lot of talking, remembering and networking.” One of Urich’s former students, Jim Tannehill, a 2006 management graduate, took a job in healthcare sales and account management in Chicago after connecting with a speaker in Urich’s entrepreneurship class. Tannehill told Urich’s students they have already shown initiative by taking the class. “Not long after graduation you realize the professional and critical-thinking lessons in his classes will pay dividends for many years to come,” Tannehill says. Senior Justin Walmar, an entrepreneurship major, says he learned a lot about Chicago and was able to build connections with alumni that will be helpful to his professional career. “My favorite part about the alumni mixer was the opportunity to receive honest feedback on questions about the work force,” Walmar says. “It is important to connect with OSU alumni because they have years of experience and have already faced the difficult decisions that are a part of the transition from college to a professional career.”

Connect in Chicago V i s i t t h e n e w c h a p te r w e b s i te orangeconnection.org/chicago for news and upcoming events as well as links to the chapter’s Facebook page and LinkedIn group. For information, contact presisdent Jaime Nichols, chicago@orangeconnection.org.


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Connect in North Texas Visit the new chapter website orangeconnection.org/northtexas

North Texas Chapter The state of Texas has long been a destination for OSU graduates. This summer, the OSU Alumni Association announced a new chapter and a new staff member to further strengthen the connection between OSU and alumni living just south of the Red River. The new North Texas OSU Alumni Chapter became the largest alumni chapter outside Oklahoma when the Dallas and Fort Worth chapters merged. Membership includes more than 12,500 OSU alumni living across 10 counties. Kathy Wilson, a 1970 sociology graduate, is the new coordinator of alumni relations for the area. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work for the Alumni Association in North Texas,” she says. “I love meeting alumni and helping them reconnect with OSU and get involved in the chapter.” OSU Alumni Association President Larry Shell says combining the Dallas

for news and upcoming events as well as links to the chapter’s Facebook page and LinkedIn group. For information, contact Kathy Wilson at 214-673-1263 or kathy.wilson@okstate.edu.

and Fort Worth chapters will lead to more support and services for future students and alumni who live in North Texas. “A high concentration of alumni live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area,” Shell says, “and an increasing number of new students are coming to OSU from there.” The new chapter already has a long list of events and goals planned to interest a wider range of alumni and friends, such as this summer’s Cowboy Kick-Off events geared to connecting new OSU freshmen with current students and alumni. Registration is open for the North Texas chapter’s first golf tournament on Oct. 1 at the Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine. And, to help alumni and fans relive the excitement of game days, Wilson says the chapter has expanded the number and locations of football and

basketball watch parties throughout North Texas. “Our focus is on connecting more alumni to OSU and encouraging them to actively engage in our North Texas events,” Wilson says. “We also want to find disconnected alumni and help them reengage with the Alumni Association.” Joining an alumni chapter is a great way to meet others, she says, and it can benefit alumni professionally through business networking events the chapter is planning. “It is joy to work with so many wonderful alumni who love OSU as much as I do,” Wilson says, “and who are willing to give their time and effort to make this new North Texas chapter a success.” S t o r i es by K r i s t e n M c C o n n aughe y


Taking the Long View Oklahoma’s public media organizations partner with NPR to follow the money trail at the state Capitol

Listen to KOSU anytime, anywhere, through the live audio streams at www.kosu.org. In central Oklahoma tune your radio dial to 91.7 FM or in northeastern Oklahoma to 107.5 FM.


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gavel-to-gavel coverage of the legislature, and My father instilled in me at an early age also exchanges information with counterparts that where a challenge exists, an opportunity in other states that face similar issues. is sure to follow. It is an axiom I have relied on Some of these local reports bubble up to frequently as a media practitioner. My profession is in the grips of an economic NPR and air nationally on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. NPR’s political crisis that threatens the very future of local editor, Ken Rudin, also known as “The Political public affairs reporting. Junkie” on Talk of the Nation, serves as the Oklahoma’s once thriving broadcast pressproject’s broadcast coordinator. room at the state Capitol is today home to one NPR and stations in the full-time radio reporter, KOSU’s eight pilot states are splitting own Michael Cross. the $3.7 million cost of the On the print side, shrinking two-year pilot phase and also revenues have caused newspapers pursuing philanthropic support to reduce staff, resulting in a for the future. NPR hopes to significant decline in news coverexpand the initiative and evenage of state legislatures. It’s a tually hire two new broadcast situation occurring nationwide. and multimedia reporters to According to the American cover government in every state. Journalism Review, reporters in As with any new collaborastatehouses fell by a third from tive venture, StateImpact has 2003 to 2009 — 524 staffers Other than KOSU’s faced its share of challenges, to 355. Michael Cross, above, the and more are sure to follow in But Oklahoma’s public media broadcast pressroom at these economic times. organizations, including KOSU, the state Capitol has been But through the StateImpact are working together to help fill a lonely place in recent initiative, we will continue the void. years. But Oklahoma’s to keep the lights on in the StateImpact is an unprecpublic media organizabroadcast press rooms of state edented collaboration between Capitols nationwide, illuminatNational Public Radio and public tions and NPR have parting the work of state legislators media stations in Oklahoma and nered to add two full-time reporters who are creating and the impact their decisions seven other pilot states to examoriginal, in-depth reporthave on our everyday lives. ine issues of local importance. ing on state budget issues. In Oklahoma, KOSUStillwater, KGOU-Norman, KWGS-Tulsa, KCCU-Lawton and the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority will inform and engage communities with broadcast and online news about how state government budget decisions affect Kelly Burley is executive director of KOSU. Learn more about StateImpact at http://stateimpact. people’s lives. npr.org/ Two reporters, one broadcast and one multimedia, are traveling across the state asking Oklahomans how they are affected by state legislators’ spending and revenue policy actions. StateImpact Oklahoma coordinates coverage and shares reports among participating stations, augmenting KOSU’s existing

It’s Game Day - Parking! Corner of Hester and University

Season reserved parking

(four remaining games)

Per game reserved parking Game Day Parking* *first come, first served Businesses: Five season reserved parking spaces Three season reserved parking spaces Tailgating: Tailgaters (minimum of two spaces) at $100/space per game Parking lot opens six hours prior to kickoff. No RVs or trailer parking. For more information about parking during game day, call 405.744.5368 or visit


It Pays to be a Member! 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 TEL 405.744.5368 • FAX 405.744.6722 orangeconnection.org

$250/space for members $275/space for non-members $65/space for members $75/space for non-members $20/space

$1,100 for members (a savings of $150) $1,350 for non-members (a savings of $150) $700 for members (a savings of $50) $850 for non-members (a savings of $50)

C l a s s n o t e s

’50s Coe Case, ’51, sec ed, retired in April 1991 after a career as an electrical engineer in the aerospace industry. Coe worked for Boeing, RCA and Martin Marietta. Paul Weatherford, ’54, bus pub admin, says he is looking forward to his 83rd bir thday and a Cowboy victory over OU this fall.

business and now operates Joe Norman Company. Sue was a secondgrade teacher for 24 years and retired in 1995. They have two married sons and five grandchildren.

U p dat e C l a s s n o t e s O n L i n e The OSU Alumni Association’s new renewal statements for annual members no longer include a form asking for Classnotes information. But we still want to hear about your promotions,

Jerry Holder, ’69, gen bus, and Larry Mocha, ’69, gen bus, are members of the executive team planning the Governor’s Conference on Small Business 2011 to be held at Hard Rock Resort in Tulsa, Okla., on Oct. 13-14. They are surveying Oklahoma small-business owners about the soft issues employers face.

new family members, retirement activities, honors and other news, and help you share your information with the OSU family. Classnotes may be submitted online at orangeconnection. org, on the Alumni Association Facebook page at facebook. com/okstatealumni or on your web-enabled cellphone at orangeconnection.mobi. Classnotes are printed in STATE magazine, OrangeBytes and online as a benefit for Alumni Association members.


Shirley Dobbins Forgan, ’57, elem ed, published her memoirs, Earning My Wings—Adventures of an Air Force Wife, in 2010. At age 23, Shirley married Dave, an Air Force jet fighter pilot, and set off on a globetrotting adventure spanning his 34-year military career from first lieutenant to general. They lived in 22 houses, nine states and four foreign countries while she raised two spirited boys and fulfilled all the duties of a military wife with a sense of humor and dedication. After retirement, the couple lived in Colorado Springs for 14 year and now lives in Trophy Club, Texas, near their sons and grandsons. For more information, visit http://shirleydobbinsforgan.tatepublishing.net. Joseph Stewart, ’59, an sci, and his wife, Mona, will celebrate their 50th anniversary on Oct. 21.


Susanna Norman, ’61, elem ed, and her husband, Joe, ’61, sec ed, have lived in Amarillo, Texas, since they graduated from OSU in 1961. Joe taught 14 years before going into the real estate and construction

Philip Rastocny, ’74, elec eng tech, has published several ebooks. One is a nonfiction novel about stroke recovery and the others are do-ityourself articles on gardening and energy conservation. He and his wife, Althea, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Fred Oliver, ’75, soc stu, ’80, M.S., will be inducted into the National High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Dec. 2 in Raleigh, N.C., at the association’s annual convention. Fred began his 35-year coaching career in Oklahoma schools in Duncan and Owasso, then coached in Texas at Plainview, Lufkin and Lubbock. He currently coaches at Highland Park in Dallas. At OSU, Fred was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity. He is from Grove, Okla., and is married to Barby. They have two daughters, Mecca Smith and Lindsay Schrader. Glenn McCoy, ’78, acct, is chairman of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation and was nationally recognized at a tax conference in 2010.

Thames, ’76, DVM, presented the award to Blount. Darlene Brasington, ’81, sec ed, works for ACS, a Xerox company, in Canyon, Texas. She no longer manages the call center but is involved in communications and special projects. Her husband, Bruce, ’79, hist, is a history professor at West Texas A&M University.

John Herth, ’81, arch, ’83, M.S., finished a 10-K road race at the Cohasset Rotary Race by the Sea in Massachusetts. He says he is always proud to be an OSU Cowboy. Photo left: John’s wife, Diane, and daughter, Micaela, show their support at the run.

’80s David Blount, ’80, DVM, was named 2010 Veterinarian of the Year by the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association. David joined Rogers Avenue Animal Clinic in Fort Smith, Ark., in 1980 and bought in as a partner in 1983. He has served the Arkansas association as district trustee, president and past president and is currently the legislative chairperson and alternate delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Mike

’90s Christopher Pope, 1993, cul arts, is the new executive chef in charge of culinary operations for the Skirvin hotel in Oklahoma City. A former James Beard Award nominee and award-winning chef with 23 years of experience, Christopher oversees concept development, menu planning and food preparation for the Skirvin’s Park Avenue Grill and Red Piano lounge and catering services. Christopher has worked for two decades as an executive chef at hotels, resorts and restaurants in Florida, North Carolina and Tulsa, Okla. Most recently, he was executive chef at Riviera Resort and Spa in Palm Springs, Calif. Keri (Williams) Foster, ’97, mktg, and Brent Foster, ’97, mech eng, ’99, M.S., welcomed daughter Alayna Alexandra Foster into the family on June 6, 2011. Both parents are overjoyed with the arrival of their little Cowgirl. Zeb Prawl, ’98, sci, M.S., started a new job as a consulting nutritionist at Great Plains Livestock last summer. Zeb lives in Stillwater and works in Oklahoma and Texas.

’00s Sandra Smith-McKnight, ’85, DHM, and her husband, Max, are proud of their daughter Madison, who graduated from OSU in the spring and now has a job.

Cheryl Evans, ’00, Ed.D., is the new president of Northern Oklahoma College in Stillwater, Tonkawa and Enid. She completed 17 years at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and seven years as dean of the Enid campus. She holds degrees in mass communications from Northwestern



and communications from Wichita State. Cheryl is chair of the Enid Chamber of Commerce and volunteers with the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, Enid’s Joint Industrial Foundation Board, Enid Regional Development Alliance, the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition and other organizations. Her husband, Tom, owns Encompass FSI. They have two daughters, Cara, an OSU marketing graduate and member of the Encompass FSI team, and Christa, an OBU alumna who graduated from the University of Oklahoma School of Law this spring. Valerie Keenan, ’00, leisure, gave birth to her second child, Lane Dakota, on Aug. 8, 2010. His big brother, Logan David, says the first thing he’s going to teach Lane is how to ride in the feed truck with Papa and PePaw.

Ryan Lanman, ’02, chem eng, and Jared Abramian, ’02, microbio, are longtime friends who graduated from Ponca City High School in 1997 and OSU in 2002. Both men attended “rival” dental schools, Ryan at the University of Oklahoma and Jared at the University of Texas. In 2008 they reunited in Houston when both were accepted simultaneously for residencies in periodontics. They say it was a great coincidence as the program accepts only three or four dental school graduates each year. After seven years of hard work and dedication, both graduated in June 2011. Ryan will take over an existing dental office in Oklahoma City, and Jared will go into private practice in Clear Lake, Texas. James Hartley, ’03, mktg, is now video coordinator for the Seattle Mariners after spending five previous seasons with the Colorado Rockies. Hillary Hawkins Love, ’07, mktg, and her husband, Joshua Love, ’06, fire prot, say their daughter, Elouise, already supports the Cowboys.


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Building Momentum Long before today’s billion-dollar Branding Success campaign existed, Charles Platt handled the donor dollars for the OSU Foundation. Decades later, his work continues to have a lasting impact on the university.

they couldn’t imagine the level of generosity Pickens would have for his alma mater. “We approached him with the idea that he would donate to the school of geology,” Platt says. “He was already a donor to the athletic department. That’s one of the ways we knew he was a good donor.” Gene Johnson, who managed the OSU Foundation’s investment account in the 1970s, regards Platt as a devoted leader. “It is still easy to see the personality traits that enabled Charles to have a major impact on OSU donor program,” he says. Johnson distinctly remembers the décor of the offices inside the OSU Foundation, which always seemed to act as a conversation starter between Platt and a potential donor. “The phones, pens and pencils, typewriters — even the walls — were that unforgettable orange,” Johnson says.

Charles Platt served as executive director and president of the OSU Foundation from 1974 to 1992 when it was youngest foundation in the Big Eight Conference. “It was a very rewarding job because I got to meet a lot of good people who are OSU alums,” says Platt, now retired for 18 years and living in Tulsa with his wife, Sue. His love for OSU began at an early age. Platt’s mother worked as a “It was a very rewardsecretary at the university, and he grew up an Aggies fan. ing job because I got to Platt began attending OSU home games as a ninth grader meet a lot of good people and was chosen to be a varsity who are OSU alums.” cheerleader during his fresh- — Charles Platt man year of college. When the Korean encounter began, Platt dropped out of college to enroll in the Air Force. Although he never had to fire a shot during his military service as an office administrator, Platt says those four years helped sharpen skills that would benefit his future. During Platt’s 18 years as president, the OSU Foundation received its first $1 million donation from an individual or couple, instead of a business or organization. Charles and Sue Platt The couple, Pete and Pat Bartlett, admired Platt’s dedication to the university. “He was such a strong believer in education,” Mrs. Bartlett says. Platt also met geology graduate Boone Pickens for the first time when he and a staff member drove to Amarillo, Texas. Although they found him to be friendly and hospitable,

Kristen McConnaughey





Listen to audio excerpts of OSU alumni sharing their compelling life stories and college memories or read their interiew transcripts at www.library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/ostate.

See You Later, Alligator! F

Former students recount their encounters with one of Theta Pond’s most interesting residents. Photo / osu sPecial collectioNs aNd uNiveRsity aRchives


heta Pond has been the site of numerous campus traditions since OSU’s earliest days. From turn-of-the20th-century tug-of-war competitions to the unceremonious tossing of newly pinned or engaged young men into its shallow waters, Theta Pond is the backdrop for many memories. Current students might think these are quaint tales, but they might be more impressed if they knew what lurked beneath Theta Pond in the 1940s and 1950s. His name was Sam.

Jimmie Hall shows off Sam, the alligator who lived in Theta Pond for many years.

ormer student Richard Dermer, who grew up next to campus, recounts what he heard about Sam’s origins in an interview with the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program. “It was at that time, probably in the late ’40s, maybe early ’50s, as I understand it, a student who had been living in Bennett Hall was given a baby alligator as a present. He kept this little alligator in Bennett Hall until it got to be a foot or 18 inches long and too big to keep in the dorm as a pet, so he put it in Theta Pond where it thrived. It lived in Theta Pond for several years getting bigger and bigger.”


orma Crane, a 1953 alumna and member of Pi Phi sorority, remembers a more immediate encounter with Sam. In her oral history, she recalls what happened when Pi Phi sisters from the University of Arkansas spent a football weekend in OSU’s Pi Phi sorority house. “I’d given up my bed to somebody, and I was sleeping on the couch in the basement … It was about 4 o’clock in the morning. I heard this thud coming from upstairs. I went upstairs, and there was this alligator tied to a table in what we called the sunroom … He was just lashing that furniture right and left. So I got the president and brought her down there, and we decided that the thing to do was to call the police and have them take it to the Theta house, another sorority on campus. And so we called them and they took it down to the Theta house … “But that poor old alligator. It spent more time out of that water with someone wrestling around. … I don’t know how it ever got there, but it lived there for about 10 years, I think.”

To read more stories about Sam, visit these links:

RichaRd deRmeR http://dc.library.okstate.edu/u?/ostate,7338, pages 6 and 7 NoRma cRaNe http://dc.library.okstate.edu/u?/ostate,7113, pages 9 and 10 RobeRta “RobiN” duNcaN RobeRstoN http://dc.library.okstate.edu/u?/ostate,7250, page 22

O-STATE Stories, a project of the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at the Edmon Low Library, chronicles the rich history, heritage, and traditions of OSU. Visit www.library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/ostate to “Search the Collection” by keyword and find additional interviews on the subject. You can also search by name of interviewee and by interview year. For more information about O-STATE Stories or for assistance with searching, call the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at 405-744-7685.



Chapter Leader

Glen Winters, president Jackson-Harmon Counties Chapter, Oklahoma Just like the poker expression, Glen Winters is “all in” when it comes to his devotion to OSU and raising money for student scholarships. Winters, a 1977 vocational agriculture alumnus, is an insurance agent in Altus, Okla., and president of the Jackson-Harmon Counties Chapter of the OSU Alumni Association. He grew up in Mangum, Okla., and attended Western Oklahoma State College in Altus two years. He transferred to OSU and decided to pursue a career in vocational agriculture after becoming close with a professor in the field. Winters was involved in collegiate FFA until his mother began battling cancer. He and his two brothers had to change their priorities and fill their spare time with paying jobs. “About all we could do was work 30 hours a week and put ourselves through school. There wasn’t a lot of time for extracurricular activities. I was trying to pay my bills,” says Winters, who’s happy to report his mother recently celebrated a birthday. Before he became a life member of the OSU Alumni Association in 2005, Winters was an annual member for many years. “I’m a firm believer that if you’re part of something, you need to be a life member,” Winters says. “The more money we get into the fund, the more opportunities OSU can provide for new people who bleed orange.” Winters married his high-school sweetheart, Linda, 35 years ago. They’ve enjoyed being members of the OSU Alumni Association so much they purchased memberships for their two sons and daughters-in-law so they too could enjoy discounts, programs and fellowship with fellow Cowboys. “We just felt like it was the right thing to do for the kids,” Winters says. “It’s kind of neat for them to have lifetime-membership stickers to put on their car windows.” Winters attended his first Jackson-Harmon Counties Chapter meeting about 13 years ago and has been involved ever since, including


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coordinating the chapter’s annual Cowboy Caravan fundraising event. His dedication to his alma mater earned him an appointment to the OSU Alumni Association’s Leadership Council in 2005. “I give 100 percent to anything I’m involved in,” Winters says. “We’ve got a great team of people in Altus. All it takes is about five phone calls and everyone knows what to do.” Each time the alumni association challenges the leadership council to recruit new members, Winters enthusiastically steps up to the challenge. More than once, he has bought annual memberships for fellow OSU alumni, hoping they will enjoy the benefits as much as he does. After OSU launched its billion-dollar Branding Success campaign, Boone Pickens announced in February 2010 he would match at least $50,000 raised for the campaign. Winters knew this was something he couldn’t pass up. He led the chapter in raising $115,000, which will net more than $300,000 after Pickens’ match. This money will generate

“It’s a lot of fun to have friendships with and be associated with the quality of people who have the same interest in OSU.” — Glen Winters about $15,000 annually in scholarships for incoming OSU students from the Altus area. “I saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and took the challenge personally,” Winters says. “It was unbelievable.” Winters, who has two grandchildren enrolled in the OSU Alumni Association’s Legacy Program, plans to stay “all in” with the university as long as possible. “Hopefully, Linda and I can pass the torch to our grandkids at some time and watch them show their enthusiasm for OSU,” Winters says. “It’s a lot of fun to have friendships with and be associated with the quality of people who have the same interest in OSU.” Kristen McConnaughey

Alumni and friends can connect with Glen Winters and the Jackson-Harmon Counties OSU Alumni Chapter at orangeconnection.org/chapters.

James Huettenmueller, ’09, tech and ind educ, and his wife, Susan, celebrated their 33rd anniversary. Their daughter Jacie and her husband, Josh, live in Minden, Nev., with their children, Mason and Isla. Robert Ruidera, ’09, micro cell and molec biol, received his master’s in biotechnology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in May.

In Memory Billie June Loshbaugh, ’49, premed, died Feb. 6, 2011, at age 83. As a student, Billie worked for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Surface Water Division located in the OSU chemistry building. After graduation, she transferred to the Department of the Interior, Ground Water Division, in Washington, D.C., and continued her studies at George Washington University School of Medicine, earning a degree in laboratory science in 1951. Back in Oklahoma, Billie worked first for the University of Oklahoma medical school in children’s leukemia research, then for Children’s Medical Center in Tulsa, where she developed lab techniques to serve patients. As head and director of laboratory services, she became well known for her work, including screening newborn babies for metabolic disorders. She belonged to the American Association of University Women, Oklahoma Society of Medical Technologists (past president) and Children’s Medical Charities Auxiliary. She was honored for 50 years of service to both the Board of Registry American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Scientists. She is survived by her husband, Dean Loshbaugh. Manuel P. Alonso, ’50, mech eng, of Palm Springs, Fla., died June 4, 2011, at age 84. After serving in the Navy during World War II, Manny attended OSU on the GI Bill and spent most of his career as a professional engineer with a New York engineering firm serving as a design engineering contractor for

DuPont. He was instrumental in the design, installation and operation of various plants that produced some of DuPont’s most successful products. During his 50-year career, he was also instrumental in engineering design for other clients all over the world in the manufacturing, textile, bottling, shipping and port industries. Manny was preceded in death by his wife, Marie. Joseph M. Elek, ’50, ind arts, died Dec. 26, 2009. He met his wife, Helen Dayton, while attending Oklahoma A&M. Joseph was a World War II veteran who fought at Normandy and spent three and a half months as a prisoner of war. His career in aeronautics took the couple to Dallas and Lubbock, Texas. Conrad Leon Evans, ’50, agron, ’78, M.S., plant breed and genetics, died June 23, 2011, in Stillwater at age 84. 

Conrad attended OSU, Phillips University in Enid, Okla., and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. 

From 1978 until his retirement in 1993, Conrad worked as the associate director for International Programs at OSU. His defining work was the Ethiopia-Oklahoma A&M Project, in which he and his family developed and managed schools in Ethiopia from 1956 to 1968. The country and people of Ethiopia held a special place in Conrad’s heart. In 1992 he served as a United Nations election observer in Ethiopia, from 1978 to 1985 he was an educational consultant for the Institute for International Education and from 1968-1973 was head of Foundation Seed at OSU. From 1990 to 1995 he administered the World Bank Forestry Development project in Ethiopia. Conrad also served as president of the Oklahoma International Development Group from 1993-1998.  During his career, he was executive vice president of Denison Peanut Company in Denison, Texas, from 1973-1978. Conrad was a member of the Oklahoma Ethiopia Society, Phi Beta Delta honor society for international scholars and the American Institute of Plant Engineers. He was an honorary Bennett Fellow, which is the highest honor presented by OSU’s School of International Studies. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joy Evans, and four sons, Brian, Craig, Kent and Shaun. 

Robert Raines, ’50, psych, died Dec. 14, 2010, in Norman, Okla. Robert served in World War II with the 1st Marine Division in the South Pacific. He and his wife, Betty M. Raines, ’51, lived in Veterans Village while attending OSU. During his career, he served as a corrections administrator across Oklahoma and the U.S. H. Carlene Ungles, ’51, educ, died March 10, 2011, in Garden City, Kan., at age 81. She was born in Sallisaw, Okla., and moved to Kansas in 1951 after graduating from OSU. She married Bud Ungles and they had three children. She loved her family, church and community. Lora Belle (Greer) Cacy, ’52, B.S., ’54, M.S., ’62, HEECS, died Aug. 3, 2011, in Stillwater. After earning three degrees from OSU, she joined the faculty as an associate professor. She received many awards during her professional career and was active in many associations, including the Oklahoma Home Economics Association, American Home Economics Association and Oklahoma Educational Association. Rutledge Gordon Holleman Jr., ’52, Ph.D., an husb, died May 9, 2011, at his home in Rockwood, Tenn. Gordon earned two degrees in animal breeding at Washington State University before earning his doctorate at OSU. During his career, he examined the effects of radioactive isotopes on wildlife, farm and laboratory animals at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Wash.; and started a nutrition research lab for Swift & Company in Chicago, managed a farm for the company and later served as managing director of Swift Chemicals Ltd. in Liverpool, England. He returned to Chicago and drove company collaboration for six point ventures in Japan, England and France. Later he joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as a state specialist in agriculture and retired in 1991 as professor emeritus. He was married to Belva Bise Holleman, and they had a daughter and two sons. Ruby Kuntz, ’56, HEECS, M.S., died Oct. 15, 2010, in Gilroy, Calif. She and her husband, Robert Kuntz, ’57, ag ed, met at OSU when he challenged her to a ping pong game at the Baptist Student Union. Ruby is survived by her husband, four children and 11 grandchildren.

Max M. Berry, ’57, ag econ, died April 2, 2011. Max grew up on a wheat and dairy farm in Alfalfa County and served as Oklahoma’s state FFA president in 1954-55 after graduating from Lambert High School. At OSU, Max was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. In 1955, he traveled to Great Britain on a three-month student exchange program with FFA, and in 1959 he was named Rotary International Fellow at the University of Sydney in Australia. In 1965, he received his juris doctorate from Cleveland Marshall Law School in Ohio. He was admitted to the Ohio and Oklahoma Bar Associations. Max practiced law in Ponca City, Okla., for many years and was a char ter member of the OSU Ag Alumni Association. He served as a Ponca City municipal court judge, president of the Ponca City Housing Authority, president of the Kay County Bar Association, member of the Ponca City Chamber of Commerce, president of the Ponca City Rotary Club, a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, chairman of the Rotary Foundation Scholarship Committee for District 5750, Outstanding Rotarian in 1994, president of the Kay County Chapter of the American Red Cross and a member of the American Red Cross blood committee. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn (Long) Berry, of The Woodlands, Texas, and one daughter. Charles Ray Goodin, ’58, gen bus, died Jan. 21, 2011, at age 76. During his 39-year career as an insurance executive, he worked for the Oklahoma City offices of Mutual of New York, Globe Life and Accident, Life Corporation and Globe Life/United American. He also opened a sales office in Lubbock, Texas, working there six years in the 1960s. After retiring in 2001, he established Goodin Properties. Charles was a past president of the Oklahoma Insurance of Health Underwriters.

other than 18 months in Wichita, Kan., working as manager of the Innes Tea Room, he spent 35 years working at the OSU Student Union before retiring as assistant to the director in charge of special projects and programs. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sydney, and their four children. Allen was active in Stillwater’s First Presbyterian Church, Frontier Rotary Club, Stillwater Medical Center and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of OSU, where memorial contribrutions in his name may be mailed to 100 Scott Hall, Stillwater, Okla., 74078. Letha A. Hesser-Dwyer, ’72, elem ed, M.S., died March 1, 2011, in Prairie Village, Kan., at age 94. Before coming to OSU for her master’s degree as a reading specialist in elementary education, Letha earned a bachelor’s degree in education at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla. She and her first husband, William A. (Andy) Hesser, ’35, ag ed, ’49, M.S., lived in Locust Grove, Okla., more than 30 years until his death in 1994. In 1995 she moved to the Kansas City area, where she resided until her death. She was a member of Rho Theta Sigma, Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Chi honor societies, the Oklahoma Education Association, National Education Association, Oklahoma Reading Council and Kappa Kappa Iota in Oklahoma. Letha is survived by her husband, Frank “Army” Dwyer, son James M. (Matt) Hesser, ’64, bio sci, and his wife, Carolyn S. (Sue), ’63, ed, of Colorado Springs, Colo. Dennis C. Metcalf, ’74, mech design tech, died on April 9, 2009. He was passionate about OSU and had OSU memorabilia and collectables throughout his home. He is survived by his wife, Betty, and three children. Daniel Ray Stevenson, ’74, soc, died July 16, 2011. He was a very proud Cowboy who never lost touch with the friends he made at OSU.

Allen Bernard Reding, ’60, HRAD, died Aug. 22, 2011. After serving as an Army photographer stationed in Okinawa, he returned to Stillwater to study hotel and restaurant management. As a student, he began working at the Student Union as a bellhop, and



What’s in a name? Long before OSU transformed historic Gallagher-Iba Arena into today’s worldclass Athletics Center, it was simply known as the 4-H Club Building.

By David C. Peters, OSU Special Collections and University Archives

“Calling this a 4-H Club Building is just a way to get you to vote for it. The 4-H club members won’t use it except once or twice a year.”


hat was Rep. Sam Whitaker’s unpersuasive argument to the Oklahoma Legislature in 1937 against OSU’s beloved Gallagher Hall. The legislature voted to provide $110,000 in 1937 and another $110,000 in 1938 to construct a facility for statewide 4-H conventions at Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. Legislators also authorized $180,000 in revenue bonds to be repaid from student fees. The building just happened to have a maple hardwood floor, bleachers, a balcony and theater-style chairs with a seating capacity of 6,700 when set up for basketball games. Additional chairs could be added during wrestling matches to accommodate 7,500.


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Only 10 months after the Feb. 25, 1938, groundbreaking, the OAMC basketball team defeated the University of Kansas in front of 5,000 fans before the bleachers had been installed. Regarded as the Madison Square Garden of the western United States, the facility was officially dedicated on Feb. 3, 1939. The day was designated as Gallagher Day in honor of wrestling Coach Edward Gallagher, and the building became known for almost five decades as Gallagher Hall.

OAMC building inspector Ed Nye, a 1934 architecture alumnus, photographed the 4-H Club Building construction in 1937 and 1938, noting the date of most photos in the lower left corner. Nye donated his collection in 2003 to the Edmon Low Library’s Special Collections and University Archives.

(continues on next page)



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View more of Ed Nye’s original construction photos of the 4-H Club Building at http://statemagazine.org


E s s a y / op i n i o n

Social and Behavioral Sciences Are they worth supporting?

By Stephen W.S. McKeever A recent review of the National Science Foundation budget asks Congress and the NSF to confine funding to “truly transformative sciences with practical uses outside of academic circles and clear benefits to mankind and the world.” It calls for elimination of the NSF’s Social, Behavioral and Economics Directorate, stating, “the social sciences should not be the focus of our premier basic scientific research agency.” However, social sciences do have practical uses and benefit mankind. In fact, for many complex, global problems, these are the most important of all the sciences. “Science,” generally regarded as the knowledge required to produce a solution to a problem, is also the creation and use of reliable knowledge and understanding about any topic. Traditional sciences can take us so far, but to arrive at stable, sustainable solutions that improve the human condition requires the social and behavioral sciences to show us how. Some years ago I had a fascinating conversation with Brian Lang, former provice chancellor of St. Andrews University in Scotland, about terrorism and what nations should do about it.

He said research into technologies to defend ourselves are essential, yet they can only defend us and help us fight back, often with equivalent violence that doesn’t end the cycle. Lang asserted that only the social and behavioral sciences can get to the root causes of terrorism. Political science provides government leaders with an

“Breakthroughs in social, behavioral and economic domains will ‘improve the human condition’ just as surely as advances in traditional sciences.” understanding of how innovations to remove the causes of terrorism can be applied and sustained. In other words, while we need tools that result from traditional scientific research, we ultimately need to stop terrorists from wanting to harm us in the first place. This is the realm of social and behavioral sciences. And if it could be achieved, it would be truly transformative by anyone’s definition.

Stephen W.S. McKeever is OSU’s vice president for research and technology transfer and executive director of the University Multispectral Laboratory. He also serves as Oklahoma’s secretary of science and technology. McKeever joined the OSU physics faculty in 1983, was named a Noble Research Fellow in Optical Materials in 1987, a Regents professor in 1990 and the MOST (More Oklahoma Science and Technology) Chair of Experimental Physics in 1999. His personal research interests involving radiation sensor development have led to new patents, licenses and new company formation in Stillwater, in addition to almost $13 million in external funding for OSU.


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Social and behavioral sciences focus on issues such as global warming, health care and recovery from natural disasters. Instead of eliminating funding, we should support our social and behavioral scientists. Society needs their input on how to organize responses to global problems and information on the potential consequences of action or inaction.

Political and social scientists and economists who focus on health care issues can offer knowledge and solutions regarding affordable, universal coverage. When large-scale natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis occur, our scientists in business administration, economics, geography, political science, sociology, international relations and communication have expertise on how nations can protect life, property and economic stability. These short examples illustrate what society wants from “scientists,” those with the knowledge to provide solutions to problems. Breakthroughs in social, behavioral and economic domains will “improve the human condition” just as surely as advances in traditional sciences. If we as a global community wish to transform our way of life for the betterment of all, then all of our sciences must work in lock step with each other. Now is not the time to eliminate such programs.

Supporting the solutions Bryan Close, a 1966 hotel and restaurant admin-

problems, therefore improving the lives of even more

istration graduate, is a philanthropist whose greatest

people. A gift to OSU is really a gift that supports a

reward is knowing his gifts make a difference. He

variety of causes.

gives to many causes, especially his alma mater, because of the ripple effects that result. He believes scholarships help recipients financially and empower them to address issues and solve

Thanks to Close, OSU is more effective in fulfilling its land-grant mission — creating a chain reaction that benefits society.

Profile for Oklahoma State

STATE Magazine, Fall 2011  

STATE Magazine is the official magazine of Oklahoma State University

STATE Magazine, Fall 2011  

STATE Magazine is the official magazine of Oklahoma State University

Profile for brandosu