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HOMECOMING 2016 Schedule of Events COWBOY STAMPEDE RODEO Thursday, October 20 - Saturday, October 22 ORANGE FOUNTAIN DYEING* Sunday, October 23 HARVEST CARNIVAL Tuesday, October 25 HESTER STREET PAINTING Wednesday, October 26 WALKAROUND* Friday, October 28 HOMECOMING & HOOPS Friday, October 28 SEA OF ORANGE PARADE* Saturday, October 29 WEST VIRGINIA VS. OSU Saturday, October 29 *Events streamed live online. | FLI/OKStateAlumni





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The Legacy Program is a member benefit from your OSUAlumni AlumniAssociation. Association.To Toensure ensureyour yourLegacy Legacydoesn’t doesn’tmiss missout, out, OSU register them them today todayat ORANGE register Legacies, betosure to complete the Legacy page Legacies, be sure complete the Legacy Link inLink thison issue of 25! STATE!

Fall 2016, Vol. 12, No. 1  •

Welcome to the Fall 2016 issue of STATE, the official magazine of Oklahoma State University, and your source of information from the OSU Alumni Association, the OSU Foundation and University Marketing. On the cover, the new tower on The Atherton Hotel creates an east front entrance with valet parking. The charming historic hotel has reopened featuring modern amenities. Read more about The Atherton Hotel renovation starting on Page 96. (Cover photography by Phil Shockley)



47 Richness In Research

OSU Center for Health Sciences is unlocking medical mysteries.

66 An Oklahoma Treasure

Wes Watkins is still making things better after 22 years of elected public service.


A Welcome Plaza is under construction to provide a new front porch for the university. Bronze sculptures of horses will greet new students, parents and alumni outside the OSU Admissions Office in the Student Union.


85 A $100 Difference

Patrick Wyers’ family pays it forward by endowing student scholarships.

88 Do Unto Others

Veterinarian Claud Evans serves on a national committee to help farmers.

92 Huge Gifts, Bigger Effects

Lew Wentz’s generosity makes a tremendous difference.



The Center for Sovereign Nations celebrated its first anniversary with a birthday bash on the library lawn. The center serves as a welcoming home for Native American students and provides resources to guide them to graduation.

Letters to the Editor


OSU-Tulsa 52

President’s Letter





O-STATE Stories


Wellness with Ann Hargis


OSU Museum of Art


Campus News


KOSU Uniquely Oklahoma


OSU Veterinary Medicine


Alumni Chapters


Legacy Link


Chapter Leader Profile


The Cowboy Way


Class Notes


Recipes 35

In Memoriam/Passages


POSSE Replay


Book Corner


OSU-Oklahoma City


History 124

OSU Medicine


Essay 128


How will you remember OSU? When you name the Oklahoma State University Foundation as a beneficiary in your will or living trust, you make a crowning gift to OSU. Such a plan declares that you believe in OSU’s mission, and you want a portion of your assets invested in this worthy cause. It can provide a visible and enduring tribute for our students, faculty and programs. If you plan to share your legacy with the OSU Foundation through your estate, we invite you to join the Heritage Society. When we know about your generosity, we can ensure your wishes for its use are met. For more information about creating a bequest through your will or living trust, or to explore other charitable estate opportunities, contact the Office of Gift Planning at 800.622.4678 or

You can also visit us online at

UNIVERSIT Y MARKETING Kyle Wray / Vice President of Enrollment Management & Marketing Mark Pennie / Assistant Director Marketing Services Elizabeth Keys / Editor Paul V. Fleming, Shelby Holcomb, Valerie Kisling, Dave Malec & Mark Pennie / Design Phil Shockley & Gary Lawson / Photography Karolyn Bolay, Shelby Holcomb & Dorothy Pugh / Editorial Faith Kelley / OSU Student Intern Brandee Cazzelle, April Cunningham, Pam Longan, Leslie McClurg & Kurtis Mason / Marketing University Marketing Office / 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078-1024 / 405-744-6262 / / /, OSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Phil Kennedy / Chair Kent Gardner / Vice Chair Jennifer Grigsby / Immediate Past Chair Chris Batchelder / President and CEO Jace Dawson / Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Pam Davis / Vice President and Chief Programs Officer Treca Baetz, Chris Batchelder, James Boggs, Gregg Bradshaw, Larry Briggs, Bill Dragoo, Burns Hargis, Kirk Jewell, Angela Kouplen, Jami Longacre, Tony LoPresto, Mel Martin, Travis Moss, H.J. Reed, Tom Ritchie & Tina Walker / Board of Directors Holly Bergbower, Alexis Birdsong, Lacy Branson, Chase Carter, Christina Miller / Communications and Marketing OSU Alumni Association / 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 / 405-744-5368 / / OSU FOUNDATION Jennifer Grigsby / Chair Kirk Jewell / President Donna Koeppe / Vice President of Administration & Treasurer Chris Campbell / Senior Associate Vice President of Information Strategy

Edmon Low Library Open Stacks Lead to Distinguished Career I was prompted to write this note after reading Dr. David Peters’ detailed history of the Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University in the 2016 Spring issue of STATE magazine. Dr. Peters mentioned “the books were arranged on open stacks,” which was an innovative concept for the time. New books were also displayed when they arrived on distinctly placed shelves. Since I had taken a course in human genetics earlier in my education, I was intrigued to see a book Medical Genetics edited by Dr. Victor McKusick of Johns Hopkins University in 1962. Dr. McKusick is considered a founder of the human medical genetics field. Immediately I wrote to him from Stillwater asking for further training in his department. He declined. But, after obtaining a Ph.D. in genetics, I followed up with another letter in 1964, while I was an assistant professor at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. This time, Dr. McKusick invited me to give a talk and then offered me the position of Director of Chromosome Laboratory in his department. The rest as they say is history. I worked in the field of human medical genetics for more than five decades. Subsequently, I was honored as an OSU Distinguished Alumni in 2013 and was able to visit the campus, with my wife, and enjoyed seeing the expanded building of the library. Digamber S. Borgaonkar ’63 Doctorate in Genetics and Botany Wilmington, Delaware

Shane Crawford / Senior Associate Vice President of Leadership Gifts David Mays / Senior Associate Vice President of Central Development Paula Voyles / Senior Associate Vice President of Constituency Programs Blaire Atkinson / Senior Associate Vice President of Development Services Robyn Baker / Vice President and General Counsel Pam Guthrie / Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Deborah Adams, Mark Allen, Chris Batchelder, Bryan Begley, Jerry Clack, Bryan Close, Jan Cloyde, Patrick Cobb, Michael Greenwood, Jennifer Grigsby, John Groendyke, Helen Hodges, David Houston, Gary Huneryager, A.J. Jacques, Kirk Jewell, Steven Jorns, David Kyle, John Linehan, Joe Martin, Ross McKnight, Bill Patterson, Becky Steen, Lyndon Taylor, Phil Terry, Stephen Tuttle, Jay Wiese, Jerry Winchester / Trustees Shelly Cameron, Kasi Kennedy, Jennifer Kinnard, Chris Lewis, Jacob Longan, Amanda O’Toole Mason, Michael Molholt, Matthew J. Morgan, Benton Rudd / Marketing and Communications OSU Foundation / 400 South Monroe, P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076-1749 / 800-622-4678 / /

STATE magazine is published three times a year (Fall, Winter, Spring) by Oklahoma State University, 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078. The magazine is produced by University Marketing, the OSU Alumni Association and the OSU Foundation, and is mailed to current members of the OSU Alumni Association. Postage is paid at Stillwater, OK, and additional mailing offices. Magazine subscriptions are available only by membership in the OSU Alumni Association. Membership cost is $45. Call 405-744-5368 or mail a check to 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater OK 74078-7043. Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practicezs or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity has been designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies. Contact the Director of Equal Opportunity at 408 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; telephone 405-744-5371; or email Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator at 405-744-9154. This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by the vice president of enrollment management and marketing, was printed by Royle Printing Co. at a cost of $0.97 per issue: 33,570/September 2016/#6578. Copyright © 2016, STATE magazine. All rights reserved. 2016 Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists Best Public Relations Magazine

Dear Readers: We appreciate readers sharing how STATE stories relate to their lives. The magazine is fortunate to have several outstanding contributors such as Dr. David Peters. Many of you shared photos and stories requested for an article planned about OSU campus weddings including Sharon Stevens Wright. She was married in 1964 at Bennett Memorial Chapel to Gary L. Wright, accompanied by her sister and matron of honor Sandra Stevens Brown Ives, left, and brother-in-law and best man Eddie Sutton, right. Share your stories and ideas by emailing We look forward to hearing from you. Continue to mail letters to: STATE Magazine, 305 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK 74078. Best regards, Elizabeth Keys STATE Editor

2016 Oklahoma College Public Relations Association Magazine Excellence Award


With the start of another academic year, I hope you are planning a trip to Stillwater this fall to experience the beauty and excitement on the Oklahoma State University campus. Our campus looks better than ever. Thanks to ongoing donor support, we are upgrad-

Former Congressman Wes Watkins is an Oklahoma treasure and a loyal and generous alum.

ing and adding much-needed facilities, including two

He has a fascinating rags-to-riches story that is

recently completed projects.

superbly captured in a new book by OSU alumnus

The new wing for the College of Human Sciences

Kim Parrish. You will also enjoy profiles on Paul

building opened this semester and will allow us to

Wyers, John C. Smith, Behfar Jahanshahi, Rob

better serve students with new labs, a 300-seat multi-

Walton, Bob Smith and Stacia Long Glavas.

purpose room, and space for seminars and student

Thanks for all you do for Oklahoma State University. First Cowgirl Ann and I hope to see you

project displays. When you come to campus, you can stay at the renovated Atherton Hotel, which features the new State Room Lounge. Connected to the Student Union,

on campus soon. Go Pokes!

The Atherton Hotel is listed among the Historic Hotels of America and places you in the heart of the campus.

Burns Hargis

While our campus is changing every day, one

OSU President

thing has remained constant throughout Oklahoma State’s history: the determination, creativity and impact of our graduates. Today’s students have many wonderful success stories to inspire them. This issue of STATE profiles some notable examples. OSU alumna Malinda Berry Fischer was named the Philanthropist of the Year at the 2016 Women for OSU Symposium. PHOTO / GARY LAWSON

Malinda’s grandmother, Malinda Blanche Wise Diggs, was the second woman to graduate from Oklahoma A&M College in 1898. Malinda has given back to her alma mater in so many ways.


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OSU President Burns Hargis greets students and staff at “Burgers with Burns,” sponsored by the Center for Sovereign Nations. Read more about the first year of the center’s activities on Page 74.


O C T O B E R 1, 2 016

Groundbreaking for

Join us Saturday, October 1, for a special groundbreaking event at the future home of The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at the corner of Hester Street and University Avenue. The event is scheduled for three hours before the Cowboys kick off against the Texas Longhorns. The McKnight Center will be an epicenter for the arts, attracting celebrated national and international programs featuring notable performing arts productions and artists. The center will ENCOURAGE discovery, PUSH educational boundaries and REDEFINE Oklahoma State’s influence in the arts with world-class programming unique to the region. Learn more about this historic project by visiting:

Sponsored by BECK DESIGN of Tulsa and Oklahoma City, architects for the McKnight Center

Dear OSU Alumni and Friends, who apply to OSU and complete the Free Application

As a new academic year arrives again, the Oklahoma State University campus comes alive with

For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before November 1

the return of students, fall sports and game days. At

will receive information about their acceptance and

the OSU Alumni Association, we continually look

the financial aid package available before the holiday

to improve benefits for our membership. We want

break. Under the new system, the FAFSA can be filed

to take time to say thank you to all OSU Alumni

starting October 1. Stop by the Admissions Office in

Association members and especially our Life Members, the Student Union or go to for who make up 55 percent of our total membership.

more information about financial aid and scholarships.

Stay connected for life at A life membership helps fund vital programming

When you visit campus, bring along prospective students to show them the Cowboy Way. It’s never

and provides opportunities for Cowboys across the

been easier to get to Stillwater with daily flights

globe. We are especially grateful for the generous

between Dallas/Fort Worth and Stillwater Regional

support of the orange and black family during this

Airport. The town is buzzing and, as we make prepa-

very difficult financial time for our state and beloved

rations for Homecoming 2016, we do so with an

university. In the past, OSU has consistently kept

understanding of the significance this year’s event

tuition costs low even as state funding has decreased.

holds. The 2016 Homecoming theme, “A Cowboy’s

We have been able to do so in large part because of

Dream,” will celebrate Oklahoma State’s pioneering

private support for scholarships, faculty and staff,

spirit and lift up the visions driving the passions of

building costs and programs. That funding is even

students and alumni. Make plans to join us for all

more crucial right now, and we are extremely grate-

Homecoming activities culminating in the Cowboy

ful for every dollar that helps us continue to do great

football team tackling West Virginia on October 29.

things at OSU. Learn how to contribute to your orange passion at Your contributions lead to success. Recommend a

See you at “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration!”

future Cowboy and spread the word that applicants


Chris Batchelder

Kirk Jewell

Kyle Wray

President OSU Alumni Association

President OSU Foundation

OSU Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing

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Access the world with two daily hassle-free

to either OKC or Tulsa, and you’ll see the

flights to DFW from Stillwater. Factor in

convenience and simplicity of jet service

free parking and quick boarding with short

out of Stillwater Regional Airport with

lines. Factor out travel time and expense

American Airlines.

You can get there from here. Fly Stillwater.

Aircraft operated by Envoy ÂŽ

Real Pokes pay with Pete. The Pistol Pete Credit Card.* Apply today.

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Dear Cowboy Family: Wellness is an important part of life. It has been said, “Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being.” Combine wellness with nature, and there is not much that can make one happier – or healthier! That’s why all who experience it, love The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University. Just minutes from the OSU campus, it’s a whole new world just waiting to be explored. Designed to engage your senses and unleash your imagination, it is home to the award-winning Oklahoma Gardening television show. Spend time exploring the beautiful grounds and you can’t help but develop a deep appreciation of nature. Housed within The Botanic Garden at OSU are a series of smaller gardens designed to heighten your awareness of the diversity found in nature. Themed gardens are typically seasonal, but at various times of the year, you can stroll through the Hosta Walk, the Patio Garden, the Rock Garden, the Shade Garden and even the Japanese Tea Garden. The Sensory Garden is a favorite of mine. Designed to stimulate and speak to all five senses, the garden is accessible to all ages and all abilities. Sustainability has also been a main focus in the creation of the garden. Bioretention cells are a key. They act as a sponge and filter storm water runoff for certain plants. Pervious pavers have also been installed and store rainwater – up to 9,500 gallons!

In addition to the natural beauty and the tie to sustainability, The Botanic Garden at OSU also hosts a variety of wellness programs. Yoga in the Garden is of special interest to me. The Concert Series is designed for families to enjoy both music and the outdoors. Throughout the year, OSU art students display creative and often whimsical outdoor art. A series of children’s programs and gardening classes are also offered. These sessions promote nature, physical activity and strengthening relationships. If you have not yet visited The Botanic Garden at OSU, I encourage you to unplug, unwind, and take a stroll through this hidden gem we call our own. It will feed your heart and soul, Cowboys. “Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being.”

Ann Hargis OSU First Cowgirl


SYMPOSIUM omen for Oklahoma State University reached new heights in virtually every way on April 14 at its eighth annual Symposium, highlighted by a keynote speech from former First Lady Laura Bush. The organization awarded nine scholarships totaling $37,800, which were both records. Stillwater native Malinda Berry Fischer was recognized as the Philanthropist of the Year at the event that drew a record 600 attendees. Women for OSU is a diverse group of visionary women who share a passion for inspiring leadership and

financial support to OSU. Women for OSU envisions a culture of giving and service that acknowledges the significant impact women have at OSU and inspires others to positively shape the future of the university through philanthropy and engagement. The organization has sold every Symposium ticket each year, even as it has moved this marquee event to larger venues. This year, the Symposium was moved from its originally planned location of the Student Union Ballroom to Gallagher-Iba Arena due to increased demand. Bush’s speech included stories from before, during and after living in the White House. She also spoke about her philanthropic efforts, which focus on education, health care and human rights. Becky Steen, an OSU alumna and chair of Women for OSU, provided an update on the organization, including

some impressive statistics. The group has awarded $144,350 in scholarships to 39 students during its eight-year history. It has hosted more than 2,500 women at its various events. The 48 current members of the organization’s Council have given more than $123.3 million to countless areas at OSU. The combined giving of everyone who attended the Symposium exceeds $1.38 billion to support OSU. Gov. Mary Fallin also spoke, providing an update on the state and highlighting her pride in being a Cowgirl. Ann Hargis, OSU’s First Cowgirl, brought greetings from the university. Roxanne Pollard, chair of the Women for OSU Awards and Recognition Team, introduced Philanthropist of the Year Malinda Berry Fischer as well as the nine scholarship recipients. The master of ceremonies was alumna Jocelyn Lockwood, a reporter at NBC 5 in Dallas, Texas.


Joan Lunden featuring

T H U R S D AY, A P R I L 2 7, 2 0 1 7 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | OSU Campus, Stillwater Stay tuned for sponsorship and ticket opportunities.


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2 0 1 6 P H I L A N T H R O P I S T of the Y E A R

alinda Berry Fischer is named for her grandmother, Malinda Blanche Wise Diggs, who became the second woman to graduate from thenOklahoma A&M College in 1898. Fischer followed in her footsteps, earning a 1960 education degree from OSU. She also graduated from the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration in 1962. “For all of us who attended OSU, we are encouraged not to be afraid to explore new places and new ideas, and to be ever inquisitive, to seize opportunities with confidence that you can do it, to push and prepare yourself to embrace challenges,” Fischer says. “As my father often told my brother and me, always do your homework. Sometimes it’s a very lonely journey. “Receiving this honor did make me reflect on my life a little bit and like all of us, when we believe something strongly enough, we will find a way to do what we can and to give what we can.” That mentality might explain a bit more of Fischer’s dedication to the communities where she’s lived and her evident passion for the arts in Stillwater, among many things. She and her husband, Dick, made a home in Rochester, New York, from 1963 to 1995. She served on numerous boards including as chairman of the trust committee and on the executive committee for Chase Manhattan Bank/Rochester Division and chairman of the Rochester Area Community Foundation. She also worked as a consultant specializing in organizational management and development. In 1965, she was named one of the “Outstanding Young Women

of America.” She returned to Stillwater in 1995 to head the family-owned Thomas N. Berry & Company. She recently retired from that position as well as president of Marietta Royalty Company. She served on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees from 1997-2007, including time as interim president and CEO (2004) and chairman of the board (2005). She also served on the Women for OSU Council from 2009-2011. PHOTO / KASI KENNEDY

For all of us who attended OSU, we are encouraged not to be afraid to explore new places and new ideas, and to be ever inquisitive, to seize opportunities with confidence that you can do it, to push and prepare yourself to embrace challenges.” Fischer has given back to her alma mater in many other ways as well. She established the Thomas E. Berry Professorship in Water Research and Management and the Wise-Diggs-Berry Endowed Arts Faculty Award for teaching excellence. She is also a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. She is currently chair of the OSU Art Advisory Council and serves on the Performing Arts Advisory Board and the Doel Reed Center for the Arts committee. Among her numerous other philanthropic efforts are serving on the boards of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma.

She was recognized as an OSU Leadership Legacy in 2002 and a Distinguished Alumna in 2006. In 2012, she was inducted in the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame. The Fischers live in Stillwater. They have two sons — Richard (Angie) and Van (Darlene) — and three grandchildren — Bretton, Jackson and Campbell.


Women for OSU chose its nine scholarship recipients


from a pool of 200 applicants, more than four times the previous record for applications.

Taylor Brown Brown is president of the OSU Chapter of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, fundraising chair for the OSU Chapter of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and fundraising committee chair for Mr. and Miss Black OSU. She has volunteered for Infant Crisis and Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services. She is also a member of the OSU Minority Women’s Association and the OSU African-American Student Association.

Austyn Iven Iven is a sports reporter and former Cowgirl basketball player. She volunteered for Coaches vs. Cancer, OSU POSSE Auction, Remember the Ten Run and the OSU Women’s Basketball Golf Tournament. She is also a current or past member of the Athletic Council, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Association for Women in Sports Media, the Sports Media Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She is or has been an executive member of the Student Alumni Board, Dance Marathon and National Women’s Fraternity. She has also volunteered for the Humane Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Bedlam Blood Drive.

Beulah, Colorado Lane has completed more than 200 service hours each of the three years she has been in college. She organized the official Stillwater Strong t-shirt campaign that raised $82,000 to support those injured in the tragedy at the 2015 Sea of Orange parade. She traveled halfway across the world to spend part of a summer as an Ubuntu Youth tutor in Durban, South Africa. She is also a tutor for the OSU Athletic Department and Senate Vice Chair for the Student Government Association. She is also Philanthropy Committee Chair for the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology’s Student Council.

Martin has a heart for helping the deaf and hearing disabled stemming from her own diagnosis with a bilateral moderate to severe sloping hearing loss in kindergarten. She worked with her teachers throughout her time in elementary, middle and high school to develop practices for helping students like her. Beginning as a senior in high school, she has written and implemented curriculum in various school districts to educate teachers about accommodating the hearing disabled in the classroom. She also speaks at teacher workshops, civic clubs and other places to teach people how to empathize with and accommodate hearing-disabled students.


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Alexandria Mullins Mullins was presented the Wirt June Newman Memorial Scholarship, which salutes public or government service. Her goal is to become a pediatric psychologist working with families of children with chronic or lifethreatening illnesses. She is passionate about advocating for families in rural or low-income areas. She wants to create and test evidence-based psychosocial interventions, disseminate those resources and interventions to health care practitioners in rural or low-income areas, and advocate for governmental policies to improve health care accessibility for families. She was the OSU Psychology Department Senior of the Year in 2014, when she completed her first degree at OSU.

Emma Murray Murray was honored as the Sheryl Benbrook Women for OSU Student Scholar. Murray is a creative writing/ poetry master’s degree candidate from Council Bluffs, Iowa. The majority of her philanthropy is related to literacy. She is the literacy sponsor of Oklahoma WONDERtorium and Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services. She is also facilitator of the “Read, Write & RePeat Writing Club” at the Stillwater Public Library. In addition, Murray spent six weeks helping three fifth-graders at Highland Park Elementary prepare for the reading and writing portion of the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test. She is secretary of the English Graduate Student Association, treasurer of the Creative Writers Association, and assistant editor of Cimarron Review.

Sauer volunteers in many areas, including devoting more than 200 hours leading freshmen at Camp Cowboy and another 100 hours coaching YMCA soccer. She is also a tutor at the OSU LASSO Center. She is a leader on the Homecoming Steering Committee as well as the Internal Affairs Committee and Cowboy Cousins with the Student Government Association.

Schroeder is very active in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. He has served as president and homecoming chair of OSU Collegiate 4-H, as well as a previous State Leadership Council President of Oklahoma 4-H. He has also served as a Career Liaison and Freshmen in Transition Student Academic Mentor through CASNR’s Student Success Leaders. Schroeder served on the public relations committee for OSU Dance Marathon, which raised more than $130,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network, as well as on the executive committee of the Agricultural Leadership Department Hunt for Hunger Food Drive.

Audrey Woods Woods is a Sexual Violence Prevention Educator at OSU, participating in related programs such as 1 is 2 Many, Sexual Violence Prevention Program Overview at both the Stillwater and Oklahoma City campuses, and the 1 in 4 Women’s Program. She is an advocate for the Sexual Assault Response Advocate Team. Audrey is also co-leading a research project investigating students’ perception and desire for sexual violence education and prevention. In addition, she has volunteered through Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and as the Survivorship Committee Chair for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.


Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby speaks to graduates during spring commencement.


OSU Presents Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award and Grants Honorary Degrees The Oklahoma State University Pipe Band led processionals into Gallagher-Iba Arena during three graduation ceremonies to honor more than 3,400 graduates at the 133rd commencement, including 2,306 Oklahomans. Many receiving degrees were part of OSU’s largest freshman class of 4,200 in 2012. OSU President Burns Hargis presented the Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award to Billie and Ross McKnight, who were honored for their visionary leadership and dedicated service to their alma mater. The McKnights gave $25 million to establish a programming endowment for The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at OSU. Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby and recording industry executive and songwriter Tim DuBois received honorary doctoral degrees and spoke to students. “This year’s honorees embody leadership and a true commitment to people that has allowed them to literally shape a brighter future for an industry and a nation,” OSU President Burns Hargis said. “We are pleased to recognize their accomplishments and service to others


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with one of our university’s highest honors, the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.” Anoatubby recently began an unprecedented eighth consecutive term, serving 28 years as governor, working to meet the needs of the Chickasaw people in numerous ways from health care to higher education. “This is your time, and you can make a profound and lasting difference in the world,” Anoatubby told graduates at the 1 p.m. ceremony. “Be ready for success. Opportunities often arise when you least expect them, and we can miss some of those opportunities and openings if we’re guarding against failure. Remember, people who don’t make mistakes are not really doing anything.” During the 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. graduation ceremonies, DuBois, an OSU alumnus with a degree in accounting, spoke. He is known as one of the most successful executives in the recording industry, discovering and signing such artists as Alan Jackson, Brooks and Dunn, Brad Paisley, BlackHawk, Pam Tillis and Diamond Rio. An adjunct professor at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management

OSU President Burns Hargis, right, presents alumnus Tim DuBois with an honorary doctoral degree.

OSU President Burns Hargis, right, and Regent Joe D. Hall, congratulate Billie and Ross McKnight, honored with the Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award.

and a longtime ASCAP member, DuBois has been recognized as a songwriter, manager, record executive and producer. “You may think you have your life figured out,” DuBois said. “You may have a vision of where you think this all goes. Your imagination is not big enough. You cannot imagine all the doors of opportunity that are going to open for you. Don’t be afraid to stick your head in those doors.”

Ayden O’Dwyer, entrepreneurship senior from Arlington, Texas, and Shania Phillips, agricultural education senior from Stilwell, Oklahoma

Answer the Call OSU students Ayden O’Dwyer and Shania Phillips enjoy having jobs that do more than just earn them paychecks. They are supervisors for the OSU Foundation’s Cowboy Callers, who keep people across the country in touch with OSU in meaningful ways. “There are definitely other jobs out there, like waiting tables or being a bartender, where you could make money,” O’Dwyer says. “I’ve had quite a few jobs. Having one where you are making a difference, you feel a lot better when you leave work.” Phillips adds, “We are here for America’s Brightest Orange. We chose this job to help OSU. We call alumni, who were once students just like we are now. So we’re family, and they know what we’re going through. They offer so much advice, and they tell us amazing stories about what their life was like on campus when they were here.” The Cowboy Calling program has served as OSU’s public voice since 1979, with callers contacting alumni, parents and friends to update records and ask for annual support for OSU. All callers are current students hired by the OSU Foundation to establish and maintain strong relationships with members of the orange-and-black family.

For more information, visit, or simply answer their call.


Seven new restaurants have opened in the new University Commons North Dining Facility. B&B Co. serves breakfast all day and never-frozen gourmet burgers. Starbucks Coffee is also available. Students can create their own favorites at Zest, which features Mediterranean cuisine. Road Trip is offering regional dishes from around the country ranging from gumbo to Philly cheese steak sandwiches. The Carvery serves fresh meats including smoked beef brisket, Filipino pork belly, roasted turkey and fresh rotisserie chicken every day of the week. Students can grab an international noodle bowl at Noodle U. Anyone in a rush can visit Dash for grab-and-godining. Another outlet, a natural food restaurant, is planned to help students with allergies and special diets.

Veteran Success Center Opens Veterans and military-affiliated students are encouraged to stop by the new Veteran Success Center in the North Classroom Building, which is open 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. The center is a collaboration between OSU and Northern Oklahoma College. For more information about veteran services, contact Richard Hansen at 405-744-1390.


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University Commons Opens Dining Facility

A bird’s-eye view of the new Human Sciences North Wing shows the 82,000-square-foot expansion.

Blazing New Trails The College of Human Sciences’ new North Wing includes 27,000 square feet of laboratory space for experiential learning in hospitality, augmented and virtual reality environments, and sewn product development. Jorns Hall, a multi-purpose 300-seat room, and the spacious Gaylord Gallery will provide much-needed space for seminars and student project displays. A new design enhances the courtyard. The reconfigured front entrance features a spacious full-access sidewalk from Monroe Street to the front doors of the current building. An elevated circular space paved with bricks arranged to depict the OSU Tartan Plaid anchors the new design. The reimagined courtyard is on the west end of OSU’s Legacy Walk. “Students are at the center of this transformation,” says Human Sciences Dean Stephan Wilson. “Every detail is planned to ensure OSU is able to provide them the best education possible. Each new space will enable programs to better serve students and push the boundaries of cross-discipline educational discovery in the College of Human Sciences.” Wilson says the new wing fulfills the vision of Henry Bennett, OSU’s visionary president from 1928-1950. “The original OSU trailblazer, President Bennett, celebrated the 50th anniversary of what was then the Division of Home Economics in 1950 by announcing plans for its new three-wing home,” Wilson says. “We are completing the trail he marked for us 66 years ago. “Transformational buildings like this are not possible without the support of donors and the OSU administration. We are grateful for their confidence in the caliber and importance of the programs in the College of Human Sciences.”

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Improving Quality of Life Pacemaker Posse parties at reunion BY D E R I N DA B L A K E N E Y















Dr. Ryan Baumwart, veterinary cardiologist at Oklahoma State University’s Veterinary Medical Hospital, created a unique group of canine survivors appropriately named the Pacemaker Posse. Over the last two years, he has placed pacemakers in 23 dogs, improving their quality of life and, in many cases, prolonging their days on the planet. In April, all the pacemaker recipients were invited back to OSU to celebrate the success of the procedure and connect with other “posse” members. “We thought this would be a great time to celebrate the success of these patients and show others a broader view of veterinary medicine,” Baumwart says. Owners of five members of the Pacemaker Posse attended OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences’ Open House with their pets, including Maureen Cancienne, Rebecca Dees, Ken and Susie Sharp, Patricia Wayman and Mary Jo Wipperfurth.


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“When the veterinary center offers unique services such as this, we maintain our role as the premier specialty veterinary hospital in the state and region,” says Dr. Chris Ross, interim dean of the veterinary center. “Our faculty members have a chance to showcase their skills and knowledge; animal owners have access to lifesaving treatments; and our students are exposed to cutting-edge technologies.” Baumwart made a presentation to Open House guests about veterinary cardiology. Dog owners shared heartwarming stories of how a pacemaker changed their pet’s life. Bionic dog chasing rabbits Patricia Wayman of Goltry, Oklahoma, wanted to celebrate with her Pacemaker Posse dog, Abby, at the Open House. “About a year ago, I really noticed that Abby would be moving and then she would just go down,” Wayman says. “I thought, well, she’s tired.”

When she noticed that it was happening more and more, she says, “It just broke my heart. She would bounce back up, but I just didn’t know that one of these days she wouldn’t get back up. I was fortunate enough that my veterinarian, Dr. Carey Bonds (OSU ’03) at Trinity Hospital, told me about Dr. Baumwart. We came over, and they ran all the tests.” Dr. Baumwart diagnosed Abby with sick sinus syndrome. “The sinus node is the body’s pacemaker in the heart,” Baumwart explains. “When that pacemaker stops, they don’t have normal blood flow to their brain, and they pass out. We have had dogs that will pass out 20 or 30 times a day.” Sick sinus syndrome is one of the more common reasons dogs get pacemakers. This happens the same way in people as in dogs — older pets and elderly humans are affected with similar problems. Baumwart suggested implanting a pacemaker; Wayman had to think about it. “My family is farmers,” she says. “Abby is not a farm dog; Abby’s my child. So we talked about it and talked about it. “Now in the small town that I live in, Abby’s the bionic dog. Everybody talks about, ‘Do you know that we’ve got a dog in Goltry that has a pacemaker?’ I would do it 100 times again.” Abby received her pacemaker in September 2015. She turned 11 years old in May. “She’s doing extremely well,” Wayman says. “Her quality of life — she’s out chasing rabbits and squirrels in the backyard. I tell you, Brandy Hutchings (cardiology veterinary assistant) and Dr. Baumwart are just wonderful. I highly recommend them.”


Dr. Ryan Baumwart speaks at the OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences’ Open House. A pacemaker, right, can improve a dog’s quality of life. New lease on life Susie Sharp of Stillwater, Oklahoma, inherited her dog, GiGi, from her aunt. “I had GiGi a while, and suddenly her health was failing,” Sharp recalls. “She was losing weight. She couldn’t keep food down.” Sharp’s veterinarian did exploratory surgery to try to diagnose GiGi’s problem. “My veterinarian called to say GiGi had died on the operating table twice and been brought back twice — and she’s not going to come back a third time,” Sharp says. GiGi did survive, and it appeared there was no brain damage. “My vet suggested that we take GiGi to an intensive care unit rapidly — either in Edmond or at OSU,” Sharp says. The family chose OSU, where veterinarians determined the muscles GiGi used in swallowing were too weak to function. It was also determined that GiGi needed a pacemaker. Her first pacemaker was external, but a permanent pacemaker was later implanted internally by a former cardiologist at OSU. “I didn’t know they did that,” Sharp says. “We still had to deal with her esophagus issue. She was a 6-pound dog literally starving to death. During one of her checkups, I asked if a feeding tube could be placed in a dog, and they said yes.” GiGi’s first feeding tube wrapped around her body. Sharp started dressing GiGi in clothes to help hold the tube in place.

“GiGi has a little port feeding tube now. She could go without her dress, but she’s used to wearing clothes and very uncomfortable without them,” Sharp says. GiGi was originally diagnosed with a third-degree blockage. She recently had her pacemaker replaced because its battery life was nearly depleted. “Blockages like GiGi’s are another common condition that we treat with pacemakers,” Baumwart explains. “Most animals’ lives change dramatically for the better.” Sharp says her family is very thankful they live in Stillwater, and “we are very grateful to OSU.”

To support the veterinary cardiology unit at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital, contact Heidi Griswold at or 405-385-5656.

Technology funding Traditionally, human pacemakers — about the size of a silver dollar — are used in dogs. The biggest concern with pacemaker surgeries is the cost of the surgery. “We recently started using a company that provides animal pacemakers at a much reduced cost compared to the human pacemakers,” Baumwart says. “However, this can still be a large amount of money for the average pet owner.” Training in specialties such as cardiology takes years of work and study. “Our students can graduate with an awareness of the presence and possibilities in cutting-edge treatments at the veterinary center,” Ross says. “Some may also decide that they would like to pursue a career in specialties like cardiology.”

To watch a video about the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences Open House, visit


Soaring with STEM: Speedfest 2016

Annual competition tests unmanned aircraft designed by students BY B R I T TA N Y B E L L I

OSU Black team member Christian Juarez, middle, displays the jet “Obsidian.” OSU Pilot Dan Bierly, bottom center, discusses the winning Alpha Class jet “Scorpion” with OSU Orange team members.


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“At the collegiate level, the students are designing and building their aircraft using state-of-the-art tools and techniques that they will need to work in industry,” Arena says. “Recruiters from the aerospace industry are very positive about the experience gained by college students.” The competition includes several objectives. Alpha-class missions must be structured to incorporate propulsion, aerodynamics, state-of-the-art structures and fabrication techniques in order to be competitive. India-class missions have to be simple enough so that students with minimal or no experience can still be successful, but flexible enough that more experienced teams can also participate in the design. Two Oklahoma State University teams captured first and second in the Alpha class. The top three in the India class were Great Plains Tech Center, Oklahoma Christian School and Meridian Technology Center. An event like Speedfest leaves behind an unparalleled impact. “Oklahoma has limited opportunities available to students to engage in aviation and aerospace engineering at this level, so Speedfest offers crucial hands-on experience,” he explains. “There is no other competition like Speedfest in the United States.”


Students took their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to a whole new level at an airfield 12 miles east of Stillwater during Oklahoma State University’s annual Speedfest event. “In terms of attendance, Speedfest is one of the largest unmanned aircraft competitions in the world; to date, there have been over 4,500 spectators, 500 students, and 150 college faculty and K-12 teachers participate,” says Andy Arena, Ph.D., T.J. Cunningham Chair and mechanical and aerospace engineering professor. “The impact is significant, and I hope that it continues to have the impact that it has had over the last six years.” The aircraft competition generates excitement in aerospace aviation and the STEM field by offering hands-on experience in categories that include design, build and flying components. Speedfest features two classes of competition: Alpha and India. Alpha class is more advanced, and reserved for collegiate level teams, while India class is an invitational class open to high school teams and teams of K-12 teachers formed across the state of Oklahoma. Started in 2011, Speedfest takes place at the OSU Unmanned Aircraft Flight Station. In addition to a fun competition and a great learning experience, it’s also an example of OSU’s innovations and advances in engineering.





Artistically Engineered | Backstage | Downtown Stillwater | 405.533.2950

Pete says,

“THE WORLD NEEDS MORE OSU COWBOYS.” You can help us find the next generation of Cowboys by identifying potential students. You provide the contact information. We do the rest.

Encourage your young Cowboy or Cowgirl to complete the Legacy Link activity page in each issue of STATE magazine. Register your legacy in the OSU Alumni Association Legacy Program at to receive all the legacy benefits available with your membership.


Stay Safe Orange Shield app offers one-touch help anywhere on Stillwater campus


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“Orange Shield uses ‘geofencing’ to locate a call and ‘call location identification’ to contact the closest law enforcement agency and speed response time.” — OSU Police Lieutenant Anthony Gillilan



alking on campus while reading and texting on a smartphone is routine these days among students, and OSU Police are capitalizing on the technology involved to make one of the safest campuses in the Big 12 even safer. “We’re inviting more OSU students, employees and visitors to download a free smartphone application (app) which makes it easier to report an emergency and help our responders get to the correct location faster,” says OSU Chief Public Safety Officer Michael Robinson, who notes the emergency call capabilities are one of several safety features available through the app, known as Orange Shield. Once the program is opened in a smartphone, the user simply touches a 911 button that contacts the OSU police dispatcher within seconds, immediately providing the user’s location. “When they call us using the app, we get their number and their location, both horizontally and vertically. If they’re in a multi-story building, we know if they’re on the third or the fourth floor and that’s a tremendous advantage,” explains Robinson. “It also allows us to respond more quickly at large sporting events, such as football games, where calls go directly to a command post in the stadium so we can send officers who are already present. In other words, fans with the app have immediate contact with us at the stadium.” Additional Orange Shield functions allow users to request a “Safe Walk” that provides a public safety officer to escort them across campus or within the Greek housing community between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. There’s also “Friend Watch” for designating a group of friends to receive a

Michael Robinson OSU Chief Public Safety Officer

The Orange Shield app can be downloaded online from Google Play Apps for Androids, or from App Store Downloads on iTunes for iPhones notification in case the user fails to check in at a predesignated time. Another Orange Shield feature, iReports, offers the option to report crimes by sending texts, photos and videos directly to OSU Police and any report can be made anonymously. The app even allows quick retrieval of bus schedules and a locator for buses on campus. “An individual may provide a minimum of personal information to download the free app, but everyone has the option to add many important and

possibly lifesaving details to their user profile, including medical alerts, allergy notes, photos and more that could be important for responders to know,” says OSU Police Lieutenant Anthony Gillilan. Since the Orange Shield app was introduced in 2015, it’s been downloaded more than 5,200 times, according to Gillilan. While that’s a good start, police are hopeful that others will seriously consider the many benefits provided by the app and give it a try. “Orange Shield represents a vast improvement over the older 911 system that still forwards all cellular calls first to the Stillwater Police Department to determine jurisdiction and on to OSU Police when appropriate,” Gillilan says. “Orange Shield uses ‘geofencing’ to locate a call and ‘call location identification’ to contact the closest law enforcement agency and speed response time.” Supplied by 911 Cellular, the Orange Shield app was designed and branded especially for OSU and underwent extensive testing on campus before it was introduced. The combination of GPS (global positioning systems) and Wi-Fi (wireless network capabilities) on a user’s phone makes the app especially accurate, helping safety officers reliably determine — within feet — the exact location of an emergency call. The OSU Police Department has answered 335 emergency calls since the inception of Orange Shield. During that same time, it also responded to 166 iReports. The Orange Shield app can be downloaded online from Google Play Apps for Androids, or from App Store Downloads on iTunes for iPhones. For more information, see the online video about Orange Shield at Ostate.TV and visit



Captain Walter Pegg, left, and First Officer John Colquitt II, flew the inaugural flight for the new commercial air service between Stillwater and Dallas/Fort Worth. Stillwater Regional Airport Director Gary Johnson, right, and OSU mascot Pistol Pete greeted the pilots.

OSU Graduates Pilot Inaugural Flight Oklahoma State University alumni Walter Pegg and John Colquitt II flew the first commercial American Airlines flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Stillwater on August 23. Captain Pegg graduated from OSU in 1991, and First Officer Colquitt earned his degree in 2008. “Captain Pegg pulled me aside and asked me to look at his log book,” says Gary Johnson, Stillwater Regional Airport director. “There was my name. He said, ‘You gave me my first check ride in 1990.’” Johnson started working at the airport in 1971 and served as a flight examiner for many years. He evaluated many students for their commercial multi-engine licensing test through the years. Pegg and Colquitt studied in the College of Education’s aviation sciences program. Pegg was also active in the Flying Aggies club. In addition to aviation sciences, Colquitt studied economics, graduating with magna cum laude honors. A crowd gathered at Stillwater Regional Airport to celebrate the American Airlines inaugural flight including, from left, city of Stillwater Councilor Alane Zannotti, OSU mascot Pistol Pete, First Cowgirl Ann Hargis, President Burns Hargis, American Airlines Government Affairs Managing Director Chuck Allen and Stillwater Regional Airport Director Gary Johnson.


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On campus, Colquitt joined Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Their passengers on the first inbound commercial flight included OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis. “The world just got smaller for all of us. The new commercial service for Stillwater is an incredible asset for the North Central Oklahoma community,” Johnson says. “We offer free parking. The TSA line is never more than 50 people — and you can access travel to more than 200 locations with two daily flights.” Johnson’s leadership and knowledge of aviation were instrumental in bringing the air service to Stillwater. He managed the

service launch with terminal expansions and improvements. Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission Director Victor Bird commended Stillwater on the commitment, organization, planning and support of the commercial airline service. Stillwater is only one of two communities in the United States to have established a commercial service in the last two years. “It’s not about just flying to Dallas,” Johnson says. “This flight carries you to the second busiest hub in the U.S. and connects you all over the world.” Johnson encourages people to check out the flight schedule, fares and cost comparison at


ehfar Jahanshahi, InterWorks founder and CEO, was destined to be an Oklahoma State University Cowboy. Born and raised in Oklahoma, he grew up in Student Housing on the OSU campus while both his parents were students who eventually became professors. “OSU has always been a big part of my life,” Jahanshahi says. “In fact, I still go to the same barber shop in the Student Union I went to 30 years ago.” Growing up, Jahanshahi was exposed to technology early on. He spent countless hours in the OSU Classroom Building computer lab. “At that time, they had three computers and two typewriters,” he says. “I clocked a lot of time in front of those machines.” He got his first computer in elementary school, a Commodore Vic20. He soon learned to program games and transpose code from paper to his computer, triggering his love for programming. “The older I got, the more this interest in technology broadened, and it was almost always related to gaming in some way,” Jahanshahi says. “Oddly enough, it was through playing these games that I met friends who would go on to become an integral part of InterWorks’ growth.”

PLAYING AT WORK Jahanshahi says creating InterWorks never felt like work. The idea behind the company is simple — deliver quality information technology solutions while having fun. “Something I’m particularly proud of at InterWorks is that we employ people from a wide variety of disciplines,” he says.

AT THE TOP InterWorks has been recognized multiple times in the past decade for its achievements. Jahanshahi was named CEO of the Year by the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Journal Record in Oklahoma City recognized him as Most Admired CEO in 2016. From 2008–2016, Inc. 5000 has listed InterWorks as one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies.

COLLEGE SWEETHEART InterWorks has evolved since Jahanshahi founded it in 1996. Along the way, friends and even his college sweetheart and now wife, Staci Bejcek, joined the team. While a student at OSU, Staci helped manage the InterWorks’ finances along with her schoolwork and part-time job. Today, she runs the accounting department and is chief financial officer.

OK FREEWHEEL OK Freewheel is an annual event with over 1,000 riders biking nearly 500 miles across Oklahoma in one week. A few years ago, Jahanshahi was inspired to start biking after an employee achieved dramatic weight loss results by cycling. “It was an inspirational transformation and motivated many others in our office to start riding,” he says. The InterWorks team for Freewheel had over 20 riders in 2016. “One of the things we like about Freewheel is that it’s Oklahomafocused,” Jahanshahi says. “We’re a global company, but we feel a strong commitment to Oklahoma. Plus, it’s just a fantastic way to discover the beauty and diversity of our state.”

KICKIN’ AND FIDDLIN’ Intramural sports consumed much of Jahanshahi’s time in college. He began playing soccer as a kid and continues to love the game.

In the IT department, employees may assist PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY “Once I arrived at OSU, I was on an clients with data storage needs, virtualization, intramural team every semester and even or architecting a disaster recovery solution. On played for the ‘club’ team for a couple the data side, employees are likely traveling years,” he says. “I was also involved in OSU intramurals in the across the country helping well-known brands gain new insight broader capacity of refereeing. I enjoyed intramurals so much; from their data. it only seemed right to help out on the officiating side. It was a “We’re big believers in having fun at work,” Jahanshahi says. great way to see another side of the game.” “It’s not uncommon to see people manning the pingpong table, starting a Nerf war or playing on our InterWorks arcade machine.”


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When he wasn’t on the soccer fields, Jahanshahi played violin in the OSU orchestra.





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Time To Tailgate Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center creates recipe book with Made in Oklahoma producers BY M AG G I E N E E R

Tex-Mex Dip Ingredients: 16 ounces Hiland Dairy sour cream* 1½ cup Christian Cheese Yellow Mild Cheddar* (shredded) 6 ounces green chilies (chopped)


1 packet Cedar Hill Seasoning Taco Mix*

Football tailgating and cheering on the Oklahoma State University Cowboys wouldn’t be complete without cooler weather, falling leaves and favorite fall foods. OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center is offering its first recipe book combining traditional fall recipes and encouraging the use of Made in Oklahoma products. The FAPC Favorites Recipe Book highlights a delicious slate of appetizers, desserts, entrées, soups and stews from university faculty, staff and students, says Mandy Gross, FAPC communications services manager. “The wide variety of entrées include something that’s sure to satisfy a crowd gathered around your tailgate on a Saturday or your family around the dinner table on a Sunday,” Gross says. “From Tex-Mex Dip to Okie Dokie Chili to Ol’ Fashioned Pumpkin Cake, the recipe book offers mouthwatering and savory recipes for any occasion.” FAPC, a part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural


Resources, is known for stimulating and supporting the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma. Chuck Willoughby, FAPC business and marketing relations manager, says the recipe book is a great opportunity to generate funds for the center’s Product Innovation Fund to help support FAPC’s mission. “Not only is it fun to try some of the great recipes that our colleagues have submitted, but also the proceeds allow us to enhance our efforts in serving Oklahoma’s food industry,” Willoughby says. “We have used our Product Innovation Fund in areas of food safety and security, industry waste and biofuels, industry training and product development. Private donations help us do more than what we can accomplish through state allocations alone.” The FAPC Favorites Recipe Book is available for $15. To place an order, email, and include a mailing address to send the recipe book. Checks and cash are accepted. Checks should

1. Mix all ingredients in a mediumsized bowl. Cover and chill for two hours before serving. Goes great with tortilla chips, corn chips or crackers. (“This dip is super easy and great for parties, get-togethers or tailgates. The ingredients can be adjusted if you like the dip more spicy or cheesy.” – Recipe submitted by Mandy Gross)

be made payable to OSU Foundation and mailed to FAPC Favorites Recipe Book, c/o Mandy Gross, 148 FAPC-OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078. “Most everyone loves trying new recipes, especially using local foods,” Gross says. “FAPC’s recipe book provides an opportunity for trying favorite recipes with a new spin or twist and incorporating Made in Oklahoma products. Plus, the funds benefit a great cause of supporting FAPC and adding value to Oklahoma.” Sample some of these great tailgating dishes from the FAPC Favorites Recipe Book.



Okie Dokie Chili Ingredients: ½ pound Blue & Gold Sausage* 2 pounds Ralph’s Packing ground round or sirloin*

1. Chop medium onion into desired sized pieces to sauté. 2. In a large skillet, crumble and brown the sausage; set aside the cooked sausage retaining the renderings in the skillet.

1 medium onion 2 tablespoons Cedar Hill Seasoning Fiesta Blend* ½ cup Cedar Hill Seasoning Garlic & More* 1 Packet (2.3 ounces) Behind the Barn Original Chili Seasoning* 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon sage 1 teaspoon ground cumin 16 ounces Sweet Spirit Medium Salsa* 12 ounces Huebert’s Wild Pony Wheat Beer*


3. Add the chopped onion to the sausage renderings and sauté until nearly translucent. 4. Crumble and brown ground beef in with the sautéed onion and sausage renderings, adding the Fiesta Blend seasoning to season the beef while it cooks. Once the beef is fully cooked, add the remaining dry ingredients and work in evenly with the cooked meat. 5. Add salsa and beer. You can either add back the cooked sausage or save for another recipe. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add cream of chicken soup, stirring well to work it evenly into the chili. Simmer another 30 minutes and serve.

10¾ ounce can cream of chicken soup

(“This combination of ingredients makes for a unique-tasting chili great for anytime of the year. Add a can of beans during especially cold weather. This recipe is great with cornbread, crackers or smothered on a frankfurter and bun. Try adding some heat by using Sweet Spirit Hot Salsa!” – Recipe submitted by Chuck Willoughby)

Ol’ Fashioned Pumpkin Cake Ingredients: 1½ cup sugar 15 ounce can pumpkin 1 cup canola oil 4 eggs 2 cup Shawnee Best All-Purpose Flour* 2 teaspoons baking powder PHOTOS / TODD JOHNSON

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


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1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting: 6 ounces cream cheese (softened) ½ cup Hiland Dairy butter* (softened) 2 teaspoons Griffin’s vanilla extract* 4½ cup confectioners’ sugar Directions: 1. Heat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, pumpkin, oil and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves and nutmeg; gradually add to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. 2. Pour into a greased 10-by-15 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. 3. For frosting, in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Spread over cake. (“This cake is great during the fall when the weather starts cooling down and the leaves start falling.” – Recipe submitted by Jason Young, FAPC quality management specialist)

½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground cloves ½ teaspoon nutmeg

*Made in Oklahoma products



This story first published in the Spring 2016 issue of POSSE Magazine. To read other great OSU athletic stories, consider joining the POSSE. Annual donations to OSU athletics of $150 or more qualify for POSSE membership and include an annual subscription to POSSE Magazine. Visit for details.


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Forced down a new path, he found an unexpected calling. And now the man they call “The Wizard” helps others pursue the same dream that he once nearly realized. thought if I was going to be able to get to alton’s story began in Rutherford, New college somehow, it’d be soccer or baseJersey, a borough located just eight miles ball. I was six-feet tall and didn’t think west of midtown Manhattan. I was probably going to get any bigger The son of Robert and Agnes Walton, the question wasn’t if Rob would pursue a — and I didn’t. So I stuck with soccer, basketball and baseball.” career in athletics, but which sport would For a while, it looked like Walton he choose? would follow his father’s footsteps and Both Robert and Agnes immigrated make his name on the soccer pitch. His to the United States from Scotland. Rob’s first college recruiting letters began pourmother was first to arrive, leaving her ing in following his sophomore season at homeland with her sister to escape the Rutherford High School after he led the country’s religious wars and settling in state in scoring. New York. The buzz surrounding Walton’s soccer Robert was a world-class soccer player, skills even reached Scotland. His father starring for Hamilton Football Club and arranged with one of his former teamCeltic Football Club. He worked in the Scottish coal mines in the morning, played mates turned Scottish World Cup coach for Rob to play on one of Scotland’s soccer in the afternoon and attended engisecond division teams. It was a chance to neering school at night. see just how far soccer might take him. When his soccer career ended, Robert But by that time, Rob had also blosleft Scotland and journeyed to Detroit to somed on the pitcher’s mound, with a fasttake a job with General Motors. He evenball clocked in the 90s. tually found his way to New Jersey, where With letters from professional baseball he married Agnes and began working for teams and college baseball programs now an engineering firm designing hydraulic joining the pile in the Walton’s mailbox, and pneumatic machines. Rob decided that baseball might be his Robert passed his love of sports on to best chance at a professional sports career his son. in the U.S. “My dad was a pretty diverse guy, and One of those teams wooing Walton he just kind of introduced me to every was Oklahoma State, which had sport,” Walton says. “I had to make a just begun its ascension into college choice to play football or soccer in the baseball’s elite. fall. My dad was about five-foot-nine so I



“There’s not a high school coach or amateur baseball coach in the country who doesn’t want to borrow information or a professional organization that doesn’t hold him in the highest regard.”


“Back then, recruiting was a lot different — you got a lot of phone calls and mail and then a lot of people started to show up at the games,” Walton says. “You were allowed three visits, so I decided I’d take one close to home and the other two at other places. “Dave Holliday (OSU assistant coach) came and saw me and says, ‘you could play for us right now.’ Then the following year they went to the college world series for the first time, so I took a trip out here.” That trip to Stillwater sold Walton on his college destination. “I had the taste of professional sports with where I grew up — Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets and all the rest — so I wanted a little bit more of a college feel, a college atmosphere. That’s what drew me to OSU when I took the trip,” Walton says.


alton signed his letter of intent to play for the Cowboys a week before the Major League Baseball draft. As fate would have it, Walton hurt his arm in the state championship game on the same day in 1982 that the Texas Rangers drafted him in the sixth round. The injury cemented Walton’s plans to play at OSU, but his collegiate career didn’t exactly take off. For three years, Walton struggled to pitch with an arm injury that numerous doctors failed to correctly diagnose. Finally, some advice from one of OSU’s star football players paid off. “I saw multiple doctors and really struggled with (the injury) — I was scuffling a little bit,” Walton says. “I lived in the athletic dorm at Iba (Hall), and I ran into Thurman Thomas. Thurman says that Doc (Cary) Couch at Stillwater Medical Center had drained his knee and made him feel good. I went and visited him, and they did exploratory surgery and found the issue.” What Walton learned was he had a tumor on his shoulder blade with a nerve wrapped around it. Following surgery to alleviate the problem, Walton went into his senior season in 1986 finally healthy. Pain-free for the first time in his collegiate career, Walton’s fastball velocity was down, but other parts of his game were sharpened.

“I really learned the value of pitching, commanding and changing speeds and those things,” Walton says. “I became a smarter pitcher. Then I thought if I could get some velocity back, I would really make a run at this thing. “I was able to put a good year together, which is really satisfying because you really want to leave on your own terms on a high note.” Walton’s senior campaign was one of the best seasons ever turned in by a Cowboy hurler as he went 13-2 with a 3.20 ERA and tossed nine complete games in 18 starts. Walton was part of a veteran OSU pitching staff during the ’86 season that included Jeff Bronkey, Gordie Dillard, Marv Rockman and Dave Osteen. The lineup featured five freshman starters, among them a couple of guys named Robin Ventura and Monty Farris, on a team that started 11-10 before winning 31 consecutive games.



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The Cowboys eventually reached Omaha and the College World Series, where Walton turned in one of his most memorable performances to help OSU earn a 4-0 win over Indiana State.


long with dominating the Sycamores’ lineup that day, you can bet something else occurred — Walton’s cap failed to remain on his head. Walton’s propensity for losing his hat while delivering the ball to home plate is what OSU fans remember most about his playing days. “I wasn’t a big guy obviously — when I came in here I weighed 155 — but I pitched 93 and touched 95,” Walton says. “But it took every ounce of my being to get it up there. So I kind of pitched that way, pitched with a little bit of a chip on my shoulder. I didn’t want to leave anything in the bag. Everything I had went to home plate. I probably recruited other parts of my body to get the ball going up there and moved my head a little too much. “I think somebody counted one time — I threw 110 pitches and my hat fell off 89 times. I threw 89 fastballs is basically what it comes down to because it didn’t fall off on any other pitch. “I enjoyed competing, and I would literally try to throw the next fastball harder than the last one. I was gonna go all out all the time — that was kind of my personality.” That personality is one that a young Josh Holliday remembers well. “Much like he is now, Rob was gentle and very kind to Matt (Holliday) and me and very close to my family,” says Holliday, whose father, Tom, was OSU’s pitching coach. “I remember how aggressive he was and how he’d throw so hard his hat would fall off. That was about the age when the players started to influence me, and I started to become more aware of them and what they were all about.” Following his standout senior season, Walton was a 25th-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles. His first full season of pro ball came in 1987, and he went a combined 14-5 with stints at the Class A and Double A levels. Walton was feeling confident about the trajectory of his career; his velocity was climbing, he was commanding his pitches.

The Orioles felt the same way, and Walton began 1988 at Double A Charlotte. After losing his first two decisions, he reeled off seven-straight wins and was named to the all-star team. But something was wrong. Walton’s shoulder was constantly fatigued, and he felt his velocity dropping. Then he heard the words he’d been waiting to hear from his manager: “You’re out of here. You’ve got one more start and you’re going up.” “Up” meant the big leagues. Walton was excited and nervous. With his dream at stake, there was no way he was holding back. “If you can get up (to Major League Baseball), then you’re there, and you have the benefits of all the doctors,” Walton says. “So I was just rehabbing, taking care of it and trying to gut it out. I should have shut it down and didn’t, but I had a lot on the line so I took my chances.” Seven innings into what was supposed to be his minor league farewell, Walton’s dreams were dashed. “I threw a pitch, and that was the end of it. I tore my rotator cuff in half,” Walton says. Walton found out later that a partial tear in his rotator cuff had been there for weeks but had gone undetected while he pitched through the pain and fatigue. “That’s just the way it was in the mid-to-late ’80s — it was more like medieval science compared to what we have now,” Walton says. “It was really bad luck because once it ripped in half, it was unrepairable. It became sticking plastic and staples in there to try and put it together and hope you can function the rest of your life. “I tried to rehab it, and it just wouldn’t hold enough for me to pitch over a period of time.”

Rob Walton:

The safe route would have been to remain a scout with the Indians, with whom Walton had a threeyear contract. However, his wife insisted coaching was what he was supposed to do.

“If I take care of the player and give him my best and take an urns out, Michelle interest in who he is as a was right. Two days after she voiced her intuperson, then I’m gonna get the ition, Rob received calls from most out of him as a player. New Mexico State and Oral Roberts University looking for And on the flip side, he’s pitching coaches. “You’re moving up the going to get the most out ladder and just signed a good of his experience here, contract and now you’re going to take a 60 percent pay cut?” Walton which he can use the says. “That’s difficult, but Michelle says, ‘I think this is what you’re rest of his life.”


aced with the reality that his baseball career was over, a devastated Walton was unsure of his next step. “That was extremely difficult to overcome because it was something I loved,


something I was good at and something I had a chance to do for a living,” Walton says. “In life, that’s difficult to find sometimes. “I can’t fix a lawnmower or do anything like that, but I could pitch — this is my niche. And then it’s gone, and you’ve got to think about what you’re going to do after that.” What Walton began doing was working odd jobs in the Dallas area, something he did for about a year before a chance meeting with a man named Rene Gayo. Gayo ran a successful baseball school in the area and convinced Walton to begin working with young players. Before long, Walton had a full-time job as a scout with the Cleveland Indians. “I learned a lot that was invaluable, a completely different side of the game: how to evaluate players and put a team together,” Walton says. What Walton also observed was an abundance of talented pitching prospects who were overused or overthrown. He saw those prospects end up much like he had, unable to stay healthy and having their baseball careers cut short because of it. “My wife (Michelle) is the one who says, ‘You should do something about it. You should be on the field coaching them and taking care of them because you know what it’s like,’” Walton says.

supposed to do.’ She had the faith, and we went for it.” With Michelle’s family ties to Tulsa and the challenge of returning a oncesuccessful program to glory, Walton joined the coaching staff at ORU. And he and the Golden Eagles prospered. Walton spent five years as an assistant then took over as the program’s head coach. In nine seasons at the helm, he recorded a 367-167 record, and ORU did not miss an NCAA Tournament. Along with the wins and losses, Walton coached 16 All-Americans and over 40 Major League Baseball draft picks. Respect for Walton grew, and his successes at ORU resulted in his being pegged to serve three coaching tours with Team USA, including one as manager in 2008 in which he led the U.S. to a 30-0 record and two Olympic gold medals. But for Walton, it wasn’t the countless accolades that affirmed coaching was what he was meant to do; in fact, it was something that happened following an ORU loss at Cal State Fullerton. “There were about 15-20 of my former players there, and they had wives and kids. I’m holding one of their little ones, and they’re talking about some of the lessons we talked about how baseball relates to life and how they’re applying it, and I was bawling,” Walton says. “That’s probably the first day I validated myself as a coach. I realize that I’m focused on the right things. If I take care of the player


and give him my best and take an interest in who he is as a person, then I’m gonna get the most out of him as a player. And on the flip side, he’s going to get the most out of his experience here, which he can use the rest of his life.” Comfortable and secure at ORU, Walton felt the lure of Stillwater and the program he once pitched for when the Oklahoma State head coaching job became available in 2012. Walton was a finalist for the job, one that ultimately was given to Josh Holliday. But life has a funny way of working out. Just days after being told he wasn’t being offered the job, the same man who didn’t peg Walton to lead the Cowboys, OSU Athletic Director Mike Holder, along with the man who did land the gig, took a trip to Tulsa.


heir mission? To convince Walton to join Holliday as the Cowboys’ pitching coach. If Walton felt scorned, he didn’t show it. And in fact, his decision — to go from a head coach to an assistant coach — came quick and easy. “If it wasn’t Josh, it would have been hard,” Walton says. “Obviously, I interviewed for the job, but Josh is more than capable — he’s very, very smart. His uncle Dave and his dad were my coaches, so it’s a much different situation when somebody like that is asking you to come on board. “For me, it’s never been about whose name is on the front door. I just want to have a job where I can affect some young guys’ lives on and off the field, and I want to work with somebody that’s also on board with that. Josh is all about that, all about the human aspect of what we do, not just the baseball aspect of it. It makes what we do worth it and makes it a lot of fun.” “You say to yourself, ‘What are the important things?’ You want to work at a


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school that you enjoy being at, you want to work for people in the athletic department that you like being around and you want to be in a family atmosphere where you like being around each other at work and when you’re away from work. “When those three things line up, you’ve got to feel pretty fortunate.”


nd with that, Walton was back in orange and black. For Holliday, getting Walton on board “was the first moment of team building that occurred here.” “I was fortunate to get the opportunity to come back here as head coach, and Rob was certainly an awesome candidate and could have been the head coach here — I know that, he knows that,” Holliday says. “But what makes it special is, right from the get-go, people displayed a desire to be here, a willingness to check their egos at the door, a willingness to join together and work as a group — that all started with Rob’s decision to come back to Oklahoma State. “I give Coach Holder a lot of credit for encouraging me because he had so much respect for Rob. This isn’t about the title, it’s about the job and our love for Oklahoma State and our desire to do something fun and special. “It’s a partnership. I don’t care what I’m called or he’s called — we work together, and we work together with our staff and our players.” And Walton’s work with the Cowboy pitching staff over the last three years has only further solidified the universal belief that he is one of baseball’s top pitching coaches — at any level. “Rob has the knowledge. He possesses the information, but what he does with the information is where he separates himself from others,” Holliday says. “What he does uniquely that so many can’t is he learns to get the best out of every single player. “He’s developed a really keen sense of how to maximize every player and turn guys into successful, usable guys. Even if

they don’t have 90-mile-per-hour stuff, he finds ways to create outs. “He has guys always believing that they can. He has a ‘we can’ attitude vs. ‘we can’t’ — he always looks for the way to get it done. “Some people are just gifted teachers, and Rob’s a gifted teacher. He’s able to relate well and explain things to kids in a way that they can understand. Even though he possesses a tremendous amount of knowledge, he knows how to deliver it in a way that a 20-year-old kid can actually do something with it. And that’s a true art in coaching.”


hat art has been on full display. Over the last three years, Walton has turned a second baseman into a closer who set OSU’s career saves record, helped develop a hurler who wasn’t even on the Cowboys’ travel roster as a junior into the Big 12 pitcher of the year and molded his last pitching staff into one that turned in the lowest ERA by an OSU staff in over four decades. It’s why the Cowboys refer to Walton as “The Wizard.” No one can exactly pinpoint when or where the moniker was born, but everyone agrees it fits. “The experience he has and the stories he has and all the players he’s coached that are in the big leagues — he’s helped develop so many guys,” says OSU junior pitcher Trey Cobb. “Rob talks and you really pay attention because every time he talks, there’s a life lesson hidden in there somewhere. You’re like, ‘I can definitely take that and not only use it on the field but in life.’ “He can really capture a room when he talks. It’s different when you see him on the field and think he’s a quiet guy who keeps to himself. But when he’s in the room, when he talks, it’s like, wow, you’ve really got to listen. “And the amount of work he puts in is unparalleled. Rob’s just one of those guys, he doesn’t give up on a player — he’s always going to try something new. He’s always looking at video, trying to compare you to a major leaguer. ‘Okay this guy did this and that worked for him, maybe that will work for this guy.’ “I’ve had a lot of great coaches growing up and all the coaches here are

awesome, but there’s just something about Rob that’s just different. The recruits that come in are like, ‘Tell us about Rob.’ And the only thing you can say is, ‘Man, he’s a wizard.’”


obb says his favorite Walton story sums up the coach’s “wizardry.” “He was hitting fungoes one time, and he hit one and the bat sounded terrible, like it broke, a nasty break,” Cobb says. “He just tapped it on the ground and hit another one, and it sounded clean. We were like, ‘Did The Wizard just heal that bat?!’ “That’s Rob. That’s what I tell recruits. If the dude can heal bats, he can help you gain velocity.” Magic and jokes aside, one thing is certain. Rob Walton knows pitching. “Rob’s history of success speaks for itself and extends beyond the college game,” Holliday says. “There’s not a high school coach or amateur baseball coach in the country who doesn’t want to borrow information, or a professional organization that doesn’t hold him in the highest regard. He’s universally respected.” Walton says he doesn’t necessarily have a pitching philosophy — he focuses on creating specific and basic plans for each individual. “Ultimately what you’re trying to achieve is that they can pitch, that they can command the ball,” Walton says. “It wasn’t until I got hurt the first time and lost a little velocity that I understood what it means to pitch in, pitch out, when to do it, when you don’t do it, when to change speeds. “There’s a lot of guys today with a lot of velocity going to the plate, but there’s a lot of high ERAs. Guys are throwing harder, but the ball is going out quicker. So you have to develop a pitcher, a guy that can command the ball and knows how to pitch. But what works for one guy, the same thing doesn’t necessarily work for the other and that’s what makes pitching really, really interesting. “The art of being able to make a ball move and consistently put it in a four-inch area is really interesting. You’re changing the speed and the plane with different pitches, but you’ve got to release the ball at a certain time at a certain spot to

be able to get the ball where you want it to go. “That challenge is what drives you.” And while wins and losses and balls and strikes are often what define success, Walton doesn’t see it that way. Sure he celebrates the achievements of Michael Freeman posting 10 wins and a 1.31 ERA as a senior and Brendan McCurry racking up 27 saves in two seasons, but that’s not what drives him. “The joy of coaching is helping somebody find their best and watching them have fun,” Walton says. “When it’s all said and done, nobody is going to remember the wins and the losses, it’s the relationships you have with your players. That’s the fun. “The reason you go into it is because you want to help somebody achieve their dreams — keep them healthy and move them forward — because you know what it feels like. It’s a satisfying feeling. To see kids have that moment is really, really special.”

where I started to get educated on the baseball field; this is where I really started growing into a man. “The first year taking a team to a regional was special. Watching guys like Jon Perrin and Vince Wheeland and Brendan McCurry and Michael Freeman develop — those are amazing things to watch. And then getting to watch my son (Donnie) grow into a man and watch how hard he’s worked and succeeded on and off the field and had so much fun and the pride he feels in Oklahoma State and being a Cowboy, that same pride that I feel.



nd doing it at Oklahoma State, the place he calls home, only adds to the gratification. “The Wizard” is quite content to be an assistant in Stillwater, sharing a dugout with his son Donnie, a senior shortstop for the Cowboys. It’s why he turned down head coaching overtures from several prominent programs following the 2015 season, to focus his attention on what matters most. “I’m back where it all started for me,” Walton says. “It’s where I met my wife, it’s


OSU-Oklahoma City hosting fundraising event on campus

s i h T t n e i g a P n Oran Tow BY K A N DAC E TAY LO R

October 13

6:30 to 9:30 p.m. OSU-OKC Pavilion (Located Mid-Campus) 400 N. Portland Avenue Oklahoma City

For additional information, contact Melissa Craig at 405-945-3327 or email


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or Oklahoma State UniversityOklahoma City student Alondra Rojo-Hernandez, a scholarship supported by the inaugural Paint This Town Orange fundraising event in 2014 meant she was able to attend college and begin her journey toward becoming a doctor — a dream that once felt out of reach. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to go to college after high school,” says Rojo-Hernandez, who is the first in her family to advance to higher education. “The scholarship helped me Alondra in so many ways. Since I Rojo-Hernandez don’t have to worry about the money, I can participate in more community service, focus on my studies and put the best of my abilities to work toward my education.” Rojo-Hernandez has begun to make her mark through her participation in the OSU-OKC Student Government Association after enrolling in 2014. Her role as SGA parliamentarian on campus led her to be tapped by the Oklahoma Student Government Association as a communications officer. These honors and


Martha Burger is co-chair of the OSU-OKC Paint This Town Orange and creator of the Martha Burger Mentorship Scholarship. Several award recipients gathered with their mentor including, from left, Tanner Roberts, TJ Henderson, Maxim Romais, Ana Bugarin, Martha Burger, Roxanne Cobb, Debbie Rodas, Jessica Villar, Mayra Castanon and Karen Medina.


Lisa Putt, co-chair of Paint This Town Orange, and her husband, Kevin Putt, are recipients of the From the Heart Award.

accolades are a testament to how she has chosen to leverage her education. She intends to earn a degree at OSU-OKC to become a cardiovascular ultrasound technician with the ultimate goal of becoming a doctor and opening her own practice. “I want to make an impact on as many lives as possible,” Rojo-Hernandez says. “Education is the key to a better world.” Her story and so many like it are what inspire OSU-OKC President Natalie Shirley as she and the college prepare for the second Paint This Town Orange. “For many of our students, receiving a scholarship is often the defining moment that puts them on a path to realizing their full potential,” Shirley says. “A scholarship is more than a financial boost; it is a statement to the recipients that someone believes in them.” All of the money raised during Paint This Town Orange goes to fund student scholarships. Because of the generous support given during the inaugural event in 2014, the university was able to double the number of President’s Leadership Class Scholarship recipients and touch the lives of more than 200 students who received some level of scholarship support,

which goes a long way toward setting students on a productive educational path. “Many of our students are the first in their families to attend college,” Shirley says. “The dollars raised through Paint This Town Orange not only change their lives, but also create a legacy of education for our community.” Paint This Town Orange promises again to be a night filled with fun, entertainment and a chance to reconnect with OSU friends and community partners. Jerry Winchester is serving as the master of ceremonies for the event. He is the CEO of Chesapeake Oilfield Services Inc. and Seventy Seven Energy Inc. Winchester’s enthusiasm for and dedication to the state of Oklahoma will be a perfect complement to the celebratory event. America’s Brightest Orange® will spill beyond the borders of the campus with many Oklahoma City landmarks such as the SkyDance Bridge and the Boathouse District illuminated in orange. Paint This Town Orange is also an opportunity to celebrate OSU-OKC supporters whose devotion to OSU is demonstrated by their generosity. Co-chairs for this year are OSU alumnae Martha Burger and Lisa Putt, who have

both made indelible marks on campus and in the lives of OSU-OKC students. Burger is making an impact on the lives of students and alumni from her transformational scholarship fund to the Martha Burger Mentoring Program. Putt has exhibited a special dedication to America’s Brightest Orange® through her involvement on the Stillwater and Oklahoma City campuses and on the OSU Foundation Board of Governors. Paint This Town Orange makes a point to unite donors while also honoring the contributions of longtime supporters. This year’s honorees are Nancy Payne Ellis, who will be recognized with the Always Orange Award, and Lisa and Kevin Putt, receiving the From the Heart Award. From co-chairing the first comprehensive Nancy Payne Ellis, fundraising campaign winner of the for OSU called Bringing Always Orange Dreams to Life, to servAward, is a driving ing as chairman of force in the OSU the OSU Foundation community. Board of Governors, Nancy Payne Ellis has impacted the lives of many OSU Cowboys. Her dedication to the university spread to OSU-OKC where her donations to student scholarships represent a long-term commitment to the university’s goal of providing affordable education to students from across the metropolitan area. The Putts’ shared passion for OSU and animal welfare led them to expand their support of the university to OSU-OKC’s veterinary technology program, as featured in the last issue of STATE magazine. Because of their commitment, this popular and vital program continues to grow as demand for registered veterinary technicians increases.



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on stillwater’s premier

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Richness in Research BY K I M A R C H E R

OSU Center for Health Sciences faculty are engaged in an array of medical research and inquiry that is essential to the university’s land grant mission.

Sensitivity to salt Women appear to be more likely to have health problems from consuming high amounts of salt than men do. So Alexander Rouch, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology, is conducting research to find out if that is true. “Interestingly, some people can consume high salt diets without any increased blood pressure,” he says. “The kidneys play the key role in determining if one is salt sensitive.” Rouch is zeroing in on the role hormones — estrogen and testosterone — play in salt sensitivity and high blood pressure. So far he has discovered estrogen increases the amount of salt that is reabsorbed from the kidney and appears to induce salt sensitivity. “The prevailing philosophy is that a diet high in salt results in high blood pressure. For some people, reducing salt intake will reduce blood pressure,” he says. “However, it does not work for everyone.”

Helping cystic fibrosis patients

“The prevailing philosophy is that a diet high in salt results in high blood pressure. For some people, reducing salt intake will reduce blood pressure. However, it does not work for everyone.”


The primary cause of death for people with cystic fibrosis is chronic pulmonary infection. One researcher is looking at ways to prevent deadly bacteria from invading the lungs in the first place.


“Because we know how the opioid receptor

“Brain, breast and prostate cancers have been shown to be sensitive to environmental factors,” Wallace says. “If we can determine how the cells change, we can also find out where we can intervene medically to prevent that growth or kill those tumors.”

binds … , we can design

Improving pain management

a receptor that will be more effective.


could provide increased pain relief for millions of people who suffer fr o m chr o nic pain.” — CR AIG W. STE VENS

One researcher is working to create an artificial opioid receptor that would bind to drugs like morphine to better treat chronic pain. Craig W. Stevens, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, is examining the interaction of medications with immune cells in the brain to improve pain management. “Opioid analgesic drugs, such as morphine or hydrocodone, attach to protein molecules in the brain called opioid receptors,” he says. Research has shown that opioid receptors have evolved to become more effective in relieving pain in humans than ever before. By analyzing those evolutionary changes, Stevens envisions developing an artificial opiate receptor for use in pain management that could be introduced into the body via gene therapy. “Because we know how the opioid receptor binds to drugs like morphine, we can design a receptor that will be more effective,” he says. “This could provide increased pain relief for millions of people who suffer from chronic pain.”

Link between infection and cancer

“My primary aim is to learn more about the basic biology of bacteria and come up with novel ways to combat them,” says Franklin Champlin, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology. He wants to understand how certain kinds of bacteria cause opportunistic infections in the lungs and why they are so virulent. Champlin is particularly interested in why antimicrobial agents used to fight infections are able to enter some bacterial cells but not others. “I am hopeful that this research will help scientists develop treatments to more effectively combat these deadly lung infections,” he says.

Toxins and brain development Children exposed to certain pesticides and heavy metals before birth up to eight years of age are more likely to get cancer or suffer poor brain development, according to David R. Wallace, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology. He is studying how prolonged exposure to common toxins affects human cells. By studying low levels of exposure to pesticides or heavy metals over time, Wallace hopes to find out when cellular changes begin that will lead to abnormal brain development or tumor growth.


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Researchers believe that 30 percent of all cancers in the world are caused by viral infections. Rashmi Kaul, Ph.D., associate professor of immunology, wants to find how infectious diseases lead to the development of cancer. “Some reports indicate that cancer-causing viruses can hijack the immune system and cause chronic infection and inflammation that lead to cancer,” she says. “The immune system is a defense system in our body that is supposed to fight infection and kill developing cancer cells.” Kaul’s research is specifically focused on how the hepatitis C virus contributes to the development of liver cancer, which has an extremely low survival rate. There are no vaccines for the virus and only limited treatments exist for chronic hepatitis C infection. “The burning question in my lab is, ‘How does the hepatitis C virus evade the immune system and cause persistent infection that leads to the transformation of normal cells to cancer cells?’” she says.

Learning about little-known cilia For a century, microscopic hair-like structures on the surface of cells were dismissed as unimportant. But one researcher is finding that cilia play a role in several genetic disorders. “These cilia are immobile and act like a control tower for the cell,” says Nedra Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor of anatomy and cell biology. “They stick out into the external environment, gather signals and then send them back into the nucleus so the cell knows what it needs to be doing at that moment.”

Wilson is identifying cilia defects that cause ciliopathies, or genetic disorders, such as diabetes, blindness, obesity and increased susceptibility to depression or anxiety. “If we can identify the novel proteins in ciliary function and when they are defective, this will enable us to develop treatments for patients who suffer from ciliopathies,” she says.

Prolonging life for terminally ill patients with liver disease Injections of a natural antioxidant called lipoic acid may improve liver function in patients diagnosed with terminal liver disease, if you believe anecdotal evidence. Martin Banschbach, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, wants to find out if it works. He is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to enroll terminal liver disease patients at OSU Physicians Clinics in a study to determine if lipoic acid therapy restores liver function. “We have patients on transplant lists because current medicine is not capable of restoring liver function. We only have the option of replacing the liver,” Banschbach says. The problem with so-called alternative medicine is there is no documentation that it is effective, he says and “this study could provide scientific data to support anecdotal evidence.”

The influence of intestinal bacteria on the nervous system and health Microorganisms living within the human intestine affect the central nervous system and overall health. But Gerwald Koehler, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology, says he is looking to find out exactly how this works. “The neurons in our intestine are connected to our brain,” he says. “It is conceivable that these microorganisms can utilize neurons to communicate with the brain and that the brain can communicate back.” Microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract help digest food by breaking down proteins, lipids and carbohydrates into nutrients that can be easily absorbed by the human body. Koehler says he hopes the research will provide a better understanding of how the microorganisms function in the digestive system and enable scientists to develop medical treatments for diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. To learn more about scientific investigations visit

“Some reports indicate that cancer-causing viruses can hijack the immune system and cause chronic infection and inflammation that lead to cancer.”



Allie Sherier, an OSU-CHS master’s degree graduate in forensic sciences, swabs the edge of a cup as a toxicologist examining a mock crime scene last March in Stillwater.

From Crime Scene to Court Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences graduate students in forensic sciences have an edge when it comes to career preparation because of the program’s realistic training. BY K I M A R C H E R


hen forensic sciences graduate students in the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences become practicing forensic scientists or crime scene investigators, the graduates often find they are more prepared than their peers from other universities. The reason? OSU-CHS graduate students have actually gathered evidence in the field, processed a crime scene, tested substances in the laboratory for DNA or drugs and testified before a judge and district attorney in the courtroom. “We believe every forensic sciences student at OSU needs to experience a crime scene,” says Ron Thrasher, Ph.D., associate professor of forensic sciences. “When our students have their first career case and testify in court for the first time, they will have already had experience.” He instructs Advanced Criminalistics, a course that incorporates actual field experience and is required of all OSU-CHS forensic sciences graduate students.


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The School of Forensic Sciences has been ranked among the top programs in the United States and is one of 34 universities in the U.S. and Canada accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission. Under the auspices of the American Academy of Forensic Science, FEPAC employs rigorous standards to assure and advance academic quality at its accredited institutions. OSU-CHS has the rare distinction of housing the Tulsa Police Department forensic laboratory, the eastern Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and its FEPAC-accredited forensic sciences graduate program. “Our program is probably the only one, or certainly one of very few, that has such collegial arrangement of entities on site,” says Robert W. Allen, Ph.D., chairman of the School of Forensic Sciences. “Having these independent practitioners on campus is highly advantageous. The practitioners are very engaged in teaching our graduate students, and they collaborate with us and students on valuable forensic research.”

Robert W. Allen

Ron Thrasher

With the rise in popularity of television shows such as CSI and Bones, forensic science has become an especially attractive career field in the last decade or more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics most recently projected a 27 percent increase in available positions for forensic science technicians between 2014 and 2024, a growth rate faster than average for all other occupations. The positive outlook for forensic science practitioners also ensures that competition for jobs will be substantial, increasing the importance of finding a university with an exceptional curriculum and program. “I chose the OSU-CHS forensic sciences program because of its strong reputation for excellence and because it is a FEPAC-accredited program,” says Sunday Saenz, who graduated last spring with a master’s degree.

Through her mother’s work as a court reporter, Saenz grew up hearing about forensic scientists who testified in the courtroom. “This sparked my interest and fascination with forensic science,” Saenz says. “I know the OSU-CHS Forensic Sciences program and my research project have already taken me in the right direction.” Thrasher notes that the latest trend in forensic sciences is a move from large crime labs to smaller regional ones. This shift increases the need for forensic science students to receive a broad education in the discipline. “The average law enforcement agency has four or five officers. They are often policed by the most dedicated officers who truly care about their communities,” he says. “The problem is these agencies often need more money for training and equipment.” Thrasher says his students likely will be called to help local law enforcement agencies in identifying, collecting and packaging evidence. For instance, a student specializing in DNA will also have the knowledge and ability to analyze all evidence at a crime scene. “We work to make sure students encounter situations that are as realistic as possible to enhance the learning experience,” Thrasher says. “I believe students learn more in the field than sitting in a classroom or a lab. There is a place for the classroom, but hands-on scenarios give students a chance to try it out for real.” Earlier this year, forensic sciences graduate students traveled to Stillwater Regional Airport to investigate and gather evidence at a mock crime scene staged on an MD-80 aircraft donated to OSU by American Airlines. A powdered substance, blood spatter and half-empty cups of alcohol were scattered throughout the first few rows inside the airplane’s cabin. In one of the seats lay a mannequin that served as the deceased. The graduate students crowded into the narrow aisles and began swabbing surfaces, taking samples of substances, bagging items, diagramming the scene and making notes about the condition of the body. And they soon discovered what

complications could arise to make the process more challenging. “We definitely learned about the difficulties you might have in real life,” says Kristin Dickerson, who has since graduated with a forensic sciences master’s degree specializing in toxicology. “We had to work in cramped conditions and we also realized we needed some equipment that we left behind.” Weeks later, the students brought their lab results and formal reports to a Tulsa County courtroom to testify on their findings in a mock court trial. Tulsa County Judge Rebecca Nightingale, District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and Assistant DA Reagan Reininger played the roles as judge, defense attorney and prosecutor, respectively. “Being able to take part in the whole procedure from processing the actual crime scene and analyzing the evidence to writing the report and then testifying was one of the best real-life experiences this program offers,” says Ashley LaMothe, who graduated with a master’s degree specializing in pathology and death scene investigation. “I believe there is no substitute for testifying from an actual witness chair in front of a sitting judge and real attorneys.” Thrasher says the OSU-CHS program also is distinctive for its emphasis on behavioral evidence as well as physical evidence. “Students collect physical evidence such as hairs, fibers, footprints, fingerprints, DNA and drugs, but they also identify and collect behavioral evidence such as hate, anger, lust, rage, entitlement and resentment,” he says. “Students often find that behavioral evidence leads them to otherwise unconsidered physical evidence just as physical evidence leads them to behavioral evidence.” Allen said the university has cultivated community partnerships that have been pivotal to building a strong forensic sciences program. “OSU-CHS has been steadfast in its support for the growth and evolution of the forensic sciences program over the years, along with help from community foundations that have given us a cutting

edge in instrumentation and capabilities,” he says. Six years ago, in partnership with the City of Tulsa, OSU-CHS completed its $43 million Forensics Building that is home to the School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Forensic Sciences and the TPD forensic laboratory. And last fall, the School of Forensic Sciences purchased an old fire station adjacent to campus that was transformed into a crime scene laboratory and training facility to provide additional opportunities for realistic fieldwork outside the classroom. Bones were buried in several areas in the yard next to the station and grass was allowed to grow over it so that students can learn to find and uncover a crime scene. The laboratory is set up to provide actual scenarios – such as bedrooms, a

Travis Brachtenbach, OSU-CHS master’s degree graduate in forensic sciences, testifies in a Tulsa County courtroom before Judge Rebecca Nightingale during a mock trial in May. kitchen and a garage – to make crime scene investigation as authentic as possible. “Our relationships with local and regional practitioners will enable the crime scene house to be used not only for teaching our graduate students, but also for specialized training for law enforcement,” Allen says. “We are excited about what our program has accomplished and are continuously seeking ways to build on that success.”


For the Love of a Dog and the Health of a Human


Pete’s Pet Posse expands nation’s most comprehensive pet therapy program to OSU Center for Health Sciences and OSU-Tulsa as part of America’s Healthiest Campus® initiative.

“If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went,” Oklahoma’s own Will Rogers once opined.

The famous humorist was certainly no stranger to the power of dogs and their impact on human beings. Over the years, research has shown a positive link between pet ownership and human health. The simple act of petting a dog can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and feelings of loneliness, stress and anxiety, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The healing power of pooches is spreading throughout the campuses of the OSU Center for Health Sciences and OSU-Tulsa. “As a physician, I know animals play a positive role in people’s health,” says Dr. Kayse Shrum, president of Oklahoma

State University Center for Health Sciences and the dean of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. “There is something about animals that make people happier and healthier. We always thought they did, but there is actually scientific research to support that idea.” In 2013, Oklahoma State University launched Pete’s Pet Posse as part of its America’s Healthiest Campus® wellness initiative, and it has become the most comprehensive university pet therapy program in the nation. OSU’s First Cowgirl Ann Hargis is perhaps its greatest champion. “These loving animals belong to faculty, staff and others affiliated with OSU and live with their owners full time.

Tulsa’s first class for Pete’s Pet Posse therapy dogs includes, from left, Jake, Diesel, Deuce, Lucy and Lily.



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Each department decides how to direct their furry feet to best reach the population it serves,” Hargis explains. Pete’s Pet Posse was created through a cooperative effort of the President’s Office, OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital, University Counseling, Human Resources and the Employee Assistance Program. The success of the program in Stillwater quickly generated enthusiasm about the potential of expanding the pet therapy program to both OSU campuses in Tulsa. In the summer of 2015, five pet therapy teams were selected from a pool of applicants and completed rigorous training and testing to become members of Pete’s Pet Posse Tulsa (P3T). Each dog must be certified as a Canine Good Citizen. Each dog and handler must be nationally registered as a pet therapy team with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Every handler must be affiliated with OSU in some way. Dogs serve first in their handlers’ offices as a wellness benefit and then visit other areas on campus when they are available. After the inaugural “Barkalaureate” ceremony in August 2015, P3T’s first class of graduates began serving OSU-CHS and OSU-Tulsa that fall. “We have activities all year long where our handlers bring their dogs to campus,” says Ashley Adkins, director of university affairs at OSU-CHS and coordinator of Pete’s Pet Posse Tulsa. “These Pet Posse activities are especially important during final exams as we feel it lessens the anxiety for everyone on our campuses.” Just as every person has a story, every dog has one too. Shrum’s family dog, Deuce, is an 11-year-old yellow lab who was rescued from wandering the country roads near their home. He is among the first class of Pete’s Pet Posse Tulsa therapy animals. “Deuce enjoys being around people and this has been really good for him and for the students,” Shrum says. “As his handler, I get to interact with students in a less formal setting and get to know them better.”

Dr. Kayse Shrum, president of Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, visits with students along with her pet therapy dog, Deuce.

Shrum and Deuce host a monthly visit called “Deuce’s Meet and Sweets,” where students, faculty and staff can visit with the pair and have a snack. “When a student told his friend who is a medical student at another university that we have dogs on campus, she was extremely jealous,” says Amanda Sumner, whose 5-year-old black lab, Lucy, is a member of P3T. “The program is such a great resource for our students. With their long hours on campus, students are not always in a position to have a dog themselves so it’s great that they can see them at school.” OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett also has seen the difference that P3T has made on the OSU-Tulsa campus. Rocky, a P3T dog, welcomed Tulsa Community College students to the 2016 President’s Luncheon as they arrived to learn about the benefits of transferring to OSU-Tulsa. And Diesel, a P3T dog, visited with participants in the OSU-Tulsa Cowboy Aphasia Camp, a week-long treatment program for people with the language disorder. In addition, several P3T teams from both campuses traveled to Stillwater to provide support alongside OSU University Counseling Services after the tragic car crash into the 2015 Homecoming Parade.

“In addition to promoting health and wellness here in Tulsa, the P3T program has provided an opportunity to reach out to and strengthen connections with other OSU campuses,” Barnett says. “The presence of P3T has had a powerful and positive impact on students, faculty, staff and visitors.” Megan Whitehead, OSU-Tulsa coordinator of the speech-language-hearing clinic, frequently brings Diesel, a 7-yearold chocolate lab, to campus with her. “Diesel is able to assist our clients with stress relief while we are working in the clinic,” Whitehead says. “He enjoys being on campus and receiving all the attention, so it is good for everyone.” P3T is growing rapidly as awareness about the program increases. A second class of dogs has completed training and began service in the 2016-17 school year. “We are excited to have our second class of dogs and to further expand this incredible program in Tulsa,” Adkins says.

Watch a video on OSTATE.TV at okla.stl2cjWPC1 to see OSU-Tulsa’s Pete Pet Posse in action.


Bob Smith opened his shop in his hometown after graduating from OSU Institute of Technology’s School of Automotive Technologies. Smith’s shop has become one of only three shops in the United States that repairs, restores and maintains vintage Ferraris for customers across the globe. PHOTO / JANELLE AZEVEDO


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Classic Car Restorer Keeps Masterpieces Humming BY S A R A P L U M M E R

ore than 10 cars are lined up throughout the shop floor — all in different phases of repair and restoration. Some are just the framework of possibility, like the beginning sketches of what will become a masterpiece. Bob Smith Coachworks in Gainesville, Texas, is an unassuming yellow stucco building. Most people have no idea the priceless valuables that are being assembled and restored inside — vintage Ferraris, the shop’s specialty. Bob Smith, a third generation resident of Gainesville, grew up on a dairy farm, but it was the hum of a motor that would lead him to his distinguished career. Smith graduated from what is now OSU Institute of Technology’s School of Automotive Technologies in September 1973 before opening Bob Smith Coachworks just four months later in his hometown with $50 and his dream of owning his own shop. “I was the fix-it guy. I had a little shop on the farm when I was 14 years old. My dad would borrow my tools, not the other way around,” Smith says. “Mechanical things are easy for me.”

When he was in high school, a representative from OSUIT came and spoke to his shop class so he decided to visit the campus in Okmulgee and see the automotive program. “I wanted to take a look at their tool room. When I saw all the equipment they had I said ‘This is where I’m going,’” he says. “I wanted to go to a school where I learned to work with my hands.” Bob Smith Coachworks started as an upholstery shop and grew into a restoration shop specializing in one-of-a-kind vehicles worth millions of dollars. Now Smith’s business houses the equivalent of 12 specialty shops under one roof. There’s framework, body work, mechanical, engine-building, upholstery, paint and repair. But he doesn’t do it on his own. The team of 13 craftsmen and technicians Smith has assembled are artists in their fields and specialties. “My team of guys, we all work together. I think of them working with me, I don’t think of them working for me,” he says. “Each one of their talents are appreciated. They’re beyond experts, they’re masters.” It becomes apparent after spending time in the shop. It’s calm and quiet, except for the sounds of country


“These cars have a history to them. You know who bought them, you know who sold them, you know who died in them. The history is part of the car. It’s a Rembrandt.” — Buck Buchanan, OSUIT alumnus

music playing gently through the speakers. Not exactly what one would expect from an automotive repair shop. Each person concentrates on their own task at hand, trusting that everyone else is just as focused on their job, so that when all these pieces come together, everything has been painstakingly crafted so the vehicles are as good as new. Buck Buchanan has worked with Smith for 33 years; they were even roommates at OSUIT. “There’s still heartache, there’s still pressure,” Buchanan says when it comes to restoring and repairing these cars that are a true investment for their owners.


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In fact, just like the cars themselves, the owners are also unique. Buchanan said some treat their cars like works of art, keeping them pristine in garages like a museum piece. Others like to drive them the way they were initially made to be driven — like a sports car. Smith said his shop typically has anywhere from eight to 15 projects going at a time, each in a different phase of repair or restoration. And depending on the complexity of the project, it can take anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 man hours to complete. That’s a year and a half to three years’ time.

“They were hand-made. They have a soul; they are art forms. The old ones have a special uniqueness about them,” Smith says, so attention to detail and craftsmanship is key. “Sometimes we’re glad to see them go, sometimes we’re sad to see them go.”

Ed Insel, right, cleans an automobile part at Bob Smith Coachworks in Gainesville, Texas. Insel has worked at the restoration shop for 33 years and is also a graduate of OSUIT’s School of Automotive Technologies.



The team at Bob Smith Coachworks takes their lunch break together in the shop that opened in Gainesville, Texas, 42 years ago. Several of the men have worked with Smith at his shop for more than 30 years.


It’s one of the lessons he took with Chad Baldwin has been with Bob Smith Coachworks for 31 years and starting working him from his days as a student at OSUIT. “The skills I learned there I still apply to for Smith when he was just 16 years old. my work every day,” he says. “It inspired “I learned as I went. Bob’s a good boss. He understands it takes time to do it right. me in such a way, it was huge. I still think about some of my instructors. If you They’re hand-made cars, that’s the only applied yourself, the sky was the limit on way to restore them,” Baldwin says. what those instructors could teach you.” Also housed in the shop are 12 different Smith has stayed connected to OSUIT coachbuilders, devices that build the over the years, serving on the advisory body of automobiles. It was these types board on and off for 20 years. of coachworks that Ferraris and other “That was inspiring, too. The departluxury automobiles were originally built ment heads and instructors listened to us on. It’s also where the name Bob Smith and our suggestions and actually used that Coachworks comes from. “Twelve cylinder, six-cylinder, four-cylin- in the classroom,” he says. Even after four decades, Smith still der, we’ve worked on every Ferrari that was gets a feeling of fulfillment seeing a projbuilt on the 12 coaches,” Smith says. ect go from bare bones to being driven out Smith’s shop is one of only three in of his shop. the U.S. that restores vintage Ferraris, and “I look at the potential. It can be a big he has clients, many loyal repeat customers, from across the country and the world pile of junk, and what we can turn it into is beautiful. When it’s finished, there’s including Mexico, Canada and Europe. satisfaction you made it work,” he says. But Smith said his team can do things not “We’ve made so many people’s dreams all shops can do. come true.” “First we make it safe. Second, we Including his own. get it working. Third, we make it pretty. Some shops can get it working and make it pretty, but it’s not necessarily safe. Or they can get it pretty, but it doesn’t run. We can do all three,” he says.


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Gustavo Medina works on the engine of a car at Bob Smith Coachworks in Gainesville, Texas.


Oklahoma State University creates a Welcome Plaza to greet new students, families and alumni


he southeast corner outside the Student Union is being transformed into a new gateway to Oklahoma State University. Steps away from both the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the OSU Alumni Association, the Welcome Plaza will represent and exemplify some of the university’s best qualities: family, inclusiveness and strong work ethic, to name a few. The plaza will be an inviting garden area, landscaped to provide shade and an outdoor living space for everyone on the OSU campus. At its center will be an impressive statue of a galloping mare and her foal, created one-and-a-quarter times larger than reality and cast in bronze. Arbor columns will be inscribed with Cowboy ethics and the alma mater. A bronze sculpture of a saddle sitting atop a fence will also be installed. Planning for the $1.6 million project began several years ago while the sculptures have been progressing for the last two. The university and the OSU Foundation are seeking private donations to offset expenses. Groups including


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Women for OSU and the President’s Fellows have made early commitments. In addition to the plaza at large, donors can help fund benches, columns, sculptures and other features planned for the space. U P S CA LE - R U S T I C M E E T S NEO-GEORGIAN

The ground where the plaza will sit was a blank canvas rife with opportunity. “We knew the spot needed something, but we probably had not challenged ourselves on what it could be,” says Steve Dobbs, landscape services manager for facilities management. The challenge came through a request by Kyle Wray, the university’s vice president for enrollment management and marketing, who wanted something that would speak to students, alumni and prospective students with western and upscale-rustic influences. “Upscale-rustic tied to OSU’s traditional neo-Georgian architecture couldn’t be more of a challenge,” says Dobbs, who has led the charge for campus beautification over the past several years. He has overseen the addition of unique features, including

the boot and hat topiaries that have become popular campus attractions. “The mare is really intended to represent alumni and staff and faculty while the foal is meant to represent the eager freshmen ready to run out and change the world,” says Dobbs, who gives credit for the concept to OSU Facilities Management Landscape Designer Dave Brown. “They’re leaving home, so the mare can also represent parents and alumni keeping a watchful eye while the freshmen go and find their place at OSU.” The symbolism was an important element to artist Marrita Black when bringing the horses to life, first in clay and then a series of cast bronze. “Horses have emotions. They are happy and can be sad. They’re hungry, and they

An artist’s rendering depicts the new Welcome Plaza.

have friends they miss when they go away C OW BOY C O N N E C T I O N S — both human and horse friends,” she says At Oklahoma State, across the hall from the Crucible, a notable Oklahoma from the Office of Admissions, Wray sits foundry where the sculptures were being in his office, the sounds of the plaza’s completed over the summer. construction barely audible on a hot “I thought about families and students summer day. He says the anxiety of and the anxiety students must have as coming to college is something he hopes they’re running off to college,” Black says. the plaza addresses. “But you’ve gotta cut those strings. It’s a “It can be intimidating coming onto big part of growing up.” campus. Some people start thinking, Because of its size and weight, the ‘I’m not sure I fit in here,’ or, ‘People sculpture is cast in hollow pieces and here are smarter than me. I’m not later welded together, treated and sure I can afford a degree,’” he says. mounted. Hollow and lying in pieces on “This helps start a conversation about the foundry’s floor, it’s hard to appreciate how students will find a place here at the sheer magnitude of the mare. But the OSU. What we do here at OSU is make details of the piece are exact, the mother’s people feel at home and make people eye looks as though it might blink or move feel wanted. They leave here thinking in search of her offspring. they’re special.”

The horses, the columns and the cowboy code of ethics will help them better understand those intangible qualities that make OSU unique. “The bottom line is we’re a family, and we look out for our own. We’re not pretentious about it,” Dobbs says. The plaza’s location will also help potential students and alumni appreciate and understand the role the OSU Alumni Association plays for students while they are enrolled and throughout their lives. The ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center will be framed nicely behind the sculpture of the fence and saddle, creating unique photo opportunities for students, families and alumni alike.


Eleven arbor columns will be inscribed with tenets of the Cowboy code of ethics. The entire arbor creates a dramatic backdrop to the sculptures included in the Welcome Plaza and adds to the space’s symbolism of what it means to be a part of the Cowboy family.

We are Cowboys!


We finish what we start.

We stand for what matters, even if we stand alone.

We know challenges come with pain, but pain will not win.

We dream only as big as the sky.

We have a passion to do what’s right, even when it’s hard.

Being a Cowboy isn’t in our clothes, it’s in our character.

We end the day knowing we gave it everything we had.

Proud and immortal, bright shines your name; Oklahoma State,

We herald your fame! Ever you’ll find us, loyal and true;

— STEVE DOBBS, landscape services manager

“We feel the Welcome Plaza only enhances the idea of the Cowboy family since our building welcomes both prospective students and returning alumni all year-round,” says Chris Batchelder, president of the OSU Alumni Association. “We want prospective students and families to view the Alumni Association as their connection for life to Oklahoma State. We serve Cowboys of all ages to connect them with each other and OSU.” F O CA L P O I N T O F O U R F U T U R E

For all the Welcome Plaza symbolizes, it also serves the purpose of creating a functional and positive introduction to campus. “If you’re a guest, a prospective student, alumni or a family, the first place you’re going to go is the Student Union parking garage,” Dobbs says. “Before, we almost pushed them out onto the street because of all the strange sidewalks and lack of access.

But now it will be easy to get to where you’re going, and we’re going to wow you with this landmark plaza. It’s going to be a special first impression.” He anticipates the plaza’s impact will be much like the boot topiary at the corner of University Avenue and Monroe Street. “There’s not a day goes by that I don’t talk to a student who has commented about the way campus looked and says it’s made a difference. It looks like people have pride in their work here, and they take care of it,” he says. “It shows that we’re going to take care of our students. Parents feel that way, too — if you’re going to take care of your campus, you’re going to take care of everyone. “You don’t realize how people connect to it.” Wray calls it “the front porch to OSU.” “This is the focal point of our future. It’s the gateway to OSU,” he says. “Rarely can an alum give a gift like this to a student.”

For more information, visit, or contact To our Alma Mater, O-S-U!


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Heidi Griswold at or 405-385-5656 or Deb Engle at or 405-385-5600.

Texas-based ar tist Marrita Black has spent countless hours per fecting her sculptures during each phase of the bronzing process. For nearly two years, she has worked diligently to infuse life into clay and bronze, the result of which will forever be a par t of the OSU legacy. For more photos and to learn how to get involved, visit


Our campus to cherish

OSU’s beautiful campus isn’t by accident. From a topiary boot and annual plantings to transforming a fallen tree into a landmark, your support helps us cultivate beauty everywhere. An investment in campus beautification ensures ours is always a campus to cherish. T O L E A R N H O W YO U C A N H E L P, V I S I T : Theta Pond

Library Fundraiser Features Western Mystery Novelist Longmire author Craig Johnson visits Oklahoma State University in November authors who specialize in everything from sports journalism to courtroom drama. One thing they all have in common is their hen creating a fictional world for memorable keynotes.” a Western mystery, setting it in the The Cobb Speaker Series includes least populated county of the least a welcome reception and dinner. After populated state may seem an odd choice. dinner, Craig Johnson will speak and take Somehow, that decision works for Craig questions from the audience. Selections Johnson and his popular series. of his work will be available at a book The Walt Longmire series has sale and signing reception grown to 15 novels. In the books, that follows. Johnson’s hero, a Wyoming sheriff, “We raise funds for the struggles to cope with the death Friends of the OSU Library of his wife while investigatthroughout the year, but the ing a string of major crimes in NO VEM BE R 11, 20 16 speaker series is the largest fundhis jurisdiction. raising event we hold,” Sheila Longmire, the television Johnson says. show based on the books, The Friends of the was launched in 2012 OSU Library help provide by A&E and later picked students with the books, up as a Netflix series. Its materials and equipfifth season will launch in ment they need to be October. successful in their studJohnson has suggested ies. Purchases in the last that many of the colorful year include telescopes to characters who inhabit expand the technology his books are based on his checkout program and own friends and family. additional seating for the On November 11, guests group study area on the at the H. Louise & H.E. first floor. “Ed” Cobb Speaker Series Tickets for the event will learn firsthand how — SHEIL A JOHNSON, are limited. Individual these real-life inspirations DE AN OF LIBR ARIES. admission is $100, and became best-selling novels. half the cost is a taxThe Cobb Speaker deductible gift to the Friends of the OSU Series is an annual fundraiser benefitLibrary. Tables and sponsorships are ing the Friends of the OSU Library. The available too. Call 405-744-7273, or program is entering its 26th year. visit to “We hope that each year this series purchase tickets. will showcase something new,” says Sheila BY B O N N I E CA I N -W O O D


H. Loui se

& H.E. “Ed” Co bb







ted by the



FRIEN DS o f t

s OSU Alumni







he OSU Library



“We’ve hosted authors who specialize in everything from sports journalism to courtroom drama. One thing they all have in common is their memorable keynotes.”

Johnson, dean of libraries. “We’ve hosted

H. Louise & H.E.“Ed” Cobb Speaker Series Presented by the

Friends of the OSU Library Featuring

Craig Johnson Friday, November 11, 2016 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center

Call 405-744-7273 or visit for more information and tickets.


Oklahoma City judge, professor, and author Kim D. Parrish, right, talks to Wes Watkins in the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade and Development on the OSU campus in Stillwater.


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New biography relays a life of service from a hardscrabble childhood to the top of Capitol Hill

Wes Watkins is somewhat of a fixture on the Oklahoma State University campus. Because it’s such a commonplace occurrence, it’s easy to forget that he was an influential congressman for 20 years, serving on the three most powerful committees: Appropriations Committee, Budget Committee, and Ways and Means Committee. Watkins’ journey has the makings of a movie and is chronicled in a new book by OSU alumnus Kim D. Parrish


— Making Things Better: Wes Watkins’ Legacy of Leadership.

Parrish’s book about Watkins’ life is peppered with intriguing behind-the-scenes thoughts titled, “Words from Wes,” regarding notable influences in his life (teachers and mentors) and thoughts on famed politicians (President Jimmy Carter and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, for example) and finishes with Watkins’ tactics and strategies regarding many of his policy positions. In talking with Watkins and reading the book, two things are certain: Wes Watkins has an almost tangible pull to help those in need and a passion for his beloved university, to which he attributes a great deal of his success and drive.

Watkins’ humble beginnings did nothing to hint at his storied future, although they had everything to do with shaping the man he’d become. He was born in Arkansas, but grew up in the small town of Bennington in southeast Oklahoma. His alcoholic father was mostly absent, and his mother did her best to keep the family going. Watkins, along with his two siblings, knew what it was to struggle in poverty. That struggle sank deep into his bones and served as a compass and passion that would drive his life. Watkins cites two influences on his life that made all the difference: “Our creator, of course, had the greatest influence on my life and my vo-ag teacher, Mr. Harold Chitwood.”


Wes Watkins served as the Oklahoma FFA President in 1958-59.

At age 6, Wes Watkins often wandered the busy streets of Oakland, California, while both his mother and father worked. The family moved back to Oklahoma when their California dreams did not come true.

Bennington High School established an FFA chapter when Watkins was in the eighth grade. His older brother had already joined, and Watkins was intrigued by the travel and camaraderie. Wes Watkins’ first FFA trip was to Stillwater, where he was inspired by the state president’s speech. A dream began to grow in his mind, one that he shared with Chitwood — Watkins wanted to be FFA president someday. To Watkins’ surprise, Chitwood did not discourage him from pursuing that dream. Instead, he gave the young man with a fairly serious speech impediment articles to read aloud in class to practice public speaking. FFA lent a structure to the young man’s life that hadn’t existed. And he did go on to realize that first big dream of becoming FFA president. Along the way, that blue and gold jacket with the emblem served to transform Watkins much like Superman’s cape transforms Clark Kent — it built up a boy who had come from very little into a young leader. In 1956, Watkins made his way to Oklahoma A&M with $88 in his pocket and a drive to succeed. He found work at the poultry farm on the west side of campus and talked his way into living in a vacant room above the chicken coops.


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“If any of the students of this university will put back into it as much as they can, it will be a life-changing experience.” — Wes Watkins

His job began every morning at 4 a.m. for two years. Still, he managed to become involved on campus, including being elected to the student senate. Meanwhile, he was moving up in the world — or at least out of the chicken coop. He moved to the campus infirmary, where he again rose early to clean, but his lodgings were decidedly less odorous. During a hotly contested OSU Student Government Association presidential election in 1960, Watkins ran against Dan Draper, who later became Speaker of the Oklahoma House. Watkins came away the winner with a strong personal appeal. At OSU, Watkins’ name often followed “president.” He was also elected president of the state FFA; Agriculture Student Council; Blue Key and Phi Delta Kappa, along with serving as chancellor of Alpha Zeta, the honorary agriculture fraternity.

The Watkins family, parents Losie and Mary with children, from back left, LV, Althea and Wes, settled in Bennington, Oklahoma, where Wes Watkins graduated from high school.

While working on his master’s and doctoral degrees, his popularity on campus garnered him a coveted job as the head doorman of Edmon Low Library. There he met a serious young coed who would change his world. Encouraged by her reading selections of political science books, Watkins thought he had an opportunity to visit with young Lou Rogers based on a mutual interest. Lou, on the other hand, did not share that sentiment and promptly turned him down when he asked her on a date. In true Watkins’ fashion, he was undeterred and eventually the two began dating. Watkins’ pluck and reputation as a hard worker took the Bennington boy on his next adventure where he would learn where real change could be made. Pfizer Pharmaceutical Scholarships were granted to outstanding graduate students from land grant schools with a high aptitude in rural development research. Watkins fit the criteria perfectly. The scholarship allowed him to choose the university to complete his doctoral studies. Watkins chose the University of Maryland because of its strong rural development program. The university was only 18 miles from the nation’s capital and allowed him to work as a data analyst in downtown Washington, D.C., for the Department of Agriculture. While he was soaking up the political policy happening all around him, he longed for Lou, who was in Missouri, earning her degree. Watkins proposed and navigated his ’58 Chevy Impala in an ice storm to St. Louis to present Lou with an engagement ring. They were married June 9, 1963. The couple lived in a travel trailer in Maryland and continued their studies,

Lou at American University and Wes at the University of Maryland. Those studies were soon interrupted by a job offer from OSU President Oliver Willham. Oklahoma State University regents voted to dedicate a campus position to recruitment, and Willham knew just the man for the job. Watkins left Maryland without completing his doctorate to become the first and only (at the time) high school recruiter for OSU. He traveled annually to every high school in Oklahoma, offering up encouragement and advice as well as assistance in finding jobs, housing and scholarship money. The couple enjoyed their life in Stillwater immensely

Wes Watkins once carried a jar of ticks into an ornate Senate Committee room to make his point on Capitol Hill.


In Bennington, Oklahoma, vocational agricultural teacher Harold Chitwood guided Wes Watkins, right, through his youth in school and the FFA. and knew they’d someday return, but the next chapter in their life was beginning. While working as a homebuilder in Ada, Oklahoma, and beginning a family, Watkins reflected on a memorable college conversation: “I can’t remember who asked, I wish I could, but someone asked me when I was going to run for office?” Watkins says. That question had long been hunkered down in the back of his mind. He began attending area Democratic meetings and rallies and making connections that would serve him well. In 1974, Watkins entered the race for the state Senate. While Watkins learned

from his time in the chamber, he chafed against the limitations to affect change. So in 1976 when Carl Albert, a McAlester congressman who was Speaker of the House, decided not to run for re-election, Watkins pounced on the chance to influence legislation at the national level for those living in poverty or lacking in job opportunities. Entering a crowded race, Watkins declared he was not beholden to any party, a sentiment he stands by today. Mirroring his college election days, Watkins forged a grassroots campaign reaching out to his FFA, church and community connections.

His was a familiar face; his constituents knew what he was about and where he came from. Watkins won that election and joined the likes of other freshmen representatives Al Gore and Dick Gephardt. He went on to serve a total of 20 years in the House and constantly worked toward “making things better” for those living in poverty. In an interview, Watkins says, “What I’m most proud of accomplishing during my time in Congress is changing the culture from ‘woe is me’ to solving problems or to a ‘can do’ attitude. We were able to create an economic infrastructure in the most poverty-stricken area of the state.” Since his retirement from politics, Watkins and his wife have focused on the university that has meant so much to them. Lou Watkins presently chairs the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical Colleges. “I love this place; I just have such a passion for OSU,” Wes Watkins says, “It’s opened so many doors for me.” That passion for the university comes with Watkins’ trademark “dig in and get it done” drive. The purpose of his new book is not an endeavor in vanity or even reflection—it serves a purpose. Book sale proceeds go to Watkins’ nonprofit Matthew 25:40 Mission, which provides scholarships to OSU students wishing to work toward ending poverty and hunger issues around the globe.

Wes Watkins, far left, helped inoculate villagers in Africa on one of his many mission trips abroad. Wes, left, and Lou Watkins, have been married 53 years.


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Wes and Lou Watkins joined family and friends in the 2013 Homecoming parade. They are often seen throughout the campus at many activities.

Lou Watkins, left, and former Congressman Wes Watkins, right, joined former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at a party in Washington, D.C. Wes Watkins served two years in Congress under President George W. Bush before retiring after a total of 20 years in the House. The Matthew 25:40 Mission, established in 2010, strives to ignite the desire to serve those who have been forgotten or have lived in conditions that no human should have to endure. Students who have been benefactors of the scholarship speak highly of the time they’ve spent on medical, agricultural or other service-based missions. Scholarship recipient Brianna Brassfield says, “Because of the Matthew 25:40 Service Scholarship, I was able to participate in a mission in Ghana, Africa, without financial concern. We were able to educate Ghanaian students about longterm resources for production and sustainability in agriculture.”

Brassfield is just one of many students who have been able to participate in improving the lives of those less fortunate thanks to the Matthew 25:40 Mission Scholarship. There are currently 12 scholarships available annually, and Watkins hopes to double that number. He continues to search out solutions and put them into practice. “I’ve learned that you have to ask the next question, and you have to be willing to ask for help,” Watkins says. “If you ask for help, there are people at this university and connected to it who will help you, but you have to be willing to ask.”

When he was growing up, Wade Watkins, right, enjoyed fishing with his father Wes Watkins.

For book proceeds to benefit Oklahoma State University Matthew 25:40 Service Scholarships, order Making Things Better: Wes Watkins’ Legacy of Leadership for $25 from Matthew 25:40 Mission, P.O. Box 966, Stillwater, OK 74076.


This year marks the 10th anniversary of the agreement that established the Doel Reed Center for the Arts in Taos, New Mexico. The project began with a generous gift from Martha Reed, whose alma mater has hosted hundreds of OSU students, faculty, alumni and friends at the Reed family estate over the past decade. We want to express a special thank you to the people who have led to so many successes over the years. These include current and former members of the Doel Reed Center for the Arts committee, as well as other dedicated OSU supporters. None of this would have been possible without their hands-on leadership, vision and financial support. They have all been vital to this project: Judi Baker, Victoria Berry, Annie Brown, Lora & Neal Buck, Linda & Jim Burke, Gary Clark, Bruce Crauder, Bret Danilowicz, Malinda Berry Fischer, Hollye Goddard, Ann & Burns Hargis, Diane Harris, Smith Holt, Nigel Jones, Sallie McCorkle, Carol Moder, Linda & Jim Parker, Robert Parks, Gary Sandefur, Peter Sherwood, Lela Sullivan, Cat & Bill Thompson, Jim Vallion, Edward Walkiewicz, Joe Weaver and Jeanette & Kent Young.

Oklahoma Oral History Research Program Records Native American Artists BY S A R A H M I L L I G A N

Fields says. “Or we’re allowed the ability to use the earth and to transform it into something else. I don’t really know how to The Oklahoma Native Artist oral history project, a part of verbalize it, but there is some transformation that takes place the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program since 2010, is when the earth allows you to create with it. And if I’m at the uniquely stand-alone. It is not tied to a particular art project, studio for days on end, really making something, and touching exhibition or collection of paintings, but rather documents the the clay all day long, sometimes when I come home, I still have achievements of Oklahoma’s Native American artists in multiple the feeling in my hands of, ‘I’m touching this media across the state, while tracking the material, this moist earth.’ It doesn’t go away impact of festivals, collectors, gallery owners when you stop working.” and art dealers on the state’s native art scene. Goshorn, who also worked for a time as Native women, who currently comprise a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, makes this more than half of the American Indian artists observation: “It is so rewarding to me to get to in the state, are especially visible in this collecsee the personality of different species of birds. tion. Their interviews often reveal a delayed And to have it validate the stories that tribal entry into the arts, sometimes after raising a people tell about birds, about the way that family or as a follow-up to a career in another different birds have a part to play in legends, or field. One of the emerging themes from the in the way that you make decisions. That’s the over 100 interviews in this collection is the way best part of it for me. It’s also a really importribal communities’ perceptions of gendered art tant part of giving back to the earth. activities have changed over time, due in part “We’ve taken so much from our environto Native women artists. ment ...,” Goshorn says. “It’s all about keepFrom the Belly of Our Being: art by and ing ourselves well and finding our balance and about Native creation, currently on exhibition becoming part of that hoop of life, instead of The OSU Museum of Art exhiat the Oklahoma State University’s Museum just thinking we’re at the top of the pyramid bition “From the Belly of Our of Art features three ONA interviewees: Shan all the time. It’s all about being united and Being: art by and about Native Goshorn, Anita Fields and Molly Murphy being in harmony.” creation” includes “Feminine Adams. Among other traits, the three women Come see the works of these three women Sacred,” a Cherokee-style woven share a fondness for translating cultural objects and 16 other indigenous female artists. The column basket by Shan Goshorn. from one medium into another or employing exhibit is guest-curated by ONA advisory Both of her works on display unexpected materials into traditional art forms. board member, Heather Ahtone, the James T. include the words of Luther During our interviews with them, Fields Bialac Assistant Curator of Native American Standing Bear: “It is the mothers, and Goshorn share their connection to nature and Non-Western Art at the Fred Jones not the warriors, who create a and creation in these terms: Museum, University of Oklahoma. people and guide their destiny.” “When you work with clay, it’s like the earth has this ability to allow you to use it,” Find out more about this collection and its relation to From the Belly of Our Being in our new podcast, Amplified Oklahoma, at, or access the collection of interviews with Oklahoma Native Artists at O-State Stories is part of the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at the Edmon Low Library, chronicling the rich history, heritage and traditions of Oklahoma State University. Listen to audio excerpts of OSU alumni sharing their compelling life stories and college memories or read their interview transcripts. Interviews are available online. Read or listen to more recollections by visiting For more information, call 405-744-7685.


The Center for Sovereign Nations launched in August 2015 with a stickball game and social dances.

Breaking New Ground A new multidisciplinary center tackles important issues while providing opportunities for students


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pproach the Center for Sovereign Nations on the Oklahoma State

University campus. You’ll

hear students laughing or talk-

ing about homework. A group might be headed outside for a quick game of stickball. A lighthearted conversation about the newest viral video quickly turns to an intellectual discussion on the importance of understanding tribal sovereignty. “The center was created as part of President Hargis’ vision for serving the 39 federally recognized tribal nations located in the state of Oklahoma,” says Elizabeth Mee Payne, director of the Center for Sovereign Nations. “The center’s collaborative model was made possible through the joint investment of OSU and the Chickasaw Nation. We have a three-fold mission: sovereignty, students, and partnerships. We connect OSU faculty, staff, students, tribal nations, alumni and friends so we can all work together to promote sovereignty, student success and partnerships.”

Elizabeth Mee Payne is director of the Center for Sovereign Nations. She is a Riata Fellow for American Indian Entrepreneurship.



Sovereignty tops the mission list. The center works to promote understanding, respect and exercise of tribal sovereignty. “We host a Sovereignty Speaks © luncheon series in which we bring in speakers to help us learn more about tribal sovereignty,” Payne says. “We have several campus events that engage not only our leadership, but also faculty, staff and students, and those events are led by American Indian students. One example of this was our student art show, Sovereignty Is, which created dialogue around what it means to express and exercise tribal sovereignty. Sovereign tribal nations have the right to form and exercise government functions within the area of their tribal jurisdiction.” In addition to directing the new center, Payne is a Riata Fellow for American Indian Entrepreneurship. She says she has relied on the leadership and ongoing commitment of Provost Gary Sandefur and Associate Provost Pamela Fry with assistance from Center Coordinator Sky Rogers as well as guidance from partners in creating a successful program.

“The professionals and the staff here have helped struggling students overcome obstacles and make success a reality,” says Danny Wells, Chickasaw Nation’s liaison and OSU alumnus. “Several of the students also serve as ambassadors to tell others about the center and the benefits available in attending OSU.” With the university serving as a “home away from home” for many during their college careers, the center welcomes and assists American Indian students from the time they arrive until graduation. “We act as a home base,” Payne says. “We connect students with resources including student success programs, scholarship programs, and study abroad programs. We also connect them to student clubs and organization on campus.” The ability to directly connect students with specific campus resources or programs is not a responsibility taken lightly in the center. Staff and student leaders consider the ability to connect students with resources to be a vital responsibility.

OSU’s Center for Sovereign Nations celebrated its first anniversary including, from left, Arielle Farve, strategic communications sophomore; Veronica Arredondo, civil engineering (environmental) senior; Mason Two Crow, biochemistry and molecular biology senior; Dade Eddy, mechanical engineering freshman; Sky Rogers, center coordinator; Sara Jane Smallwood, Choctaw Nation public policy director; OSU Provost Gary Sandefur, OSU President Burns Hargis; Danny Wells, Chickasaw Nation Division of Education executive officer; and Elizabeth Payne, center director.


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“We do the leg work and develop strategic relationships with other units on campus before the student has a problem, so we can pick up the phone and quickly make the connection a student might need,” says Sky Rogers, coordinator for the center. “We make sure we have strong relationships across campus so we can quickly navigate any problems that arise for our students.” Center student leaders are citizens of several tribal nations including Chickasaw; Choctaw; Cherokee; Muscogee Creek; Seminole; Osage; Pawnee; Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara; and Cheyenne River Sioux. In addition to welcoming new students, center student leaders help spread the word about tribal sovereignty through campus events. Many students also take the opportunity to network and meet tribal leaders. “You never know who is going to walk through the door here. Some of the times that I have just dropped by, I’ve been given opportunities to join events and network with speakers and leaders within our nations,” says Mason Two Crow, a biochemistry and molecular biology major. At a Burgers with Burns event, President Burns Hargis and other faculty met American Indian students and discussed OSU’s commitment to student success. “President Hargis, Provost Gary Sandefur and Associate Provost

Native American Student Association Crowns Miss American Indian OSU Megan Baker Cherokee Nation citizen Megan Baker, a sophomore psychology student, is serving as the 2016 Miss American Indian OSU. With the title comes responsibility, and Baker says earning the crown has led her to countless opportunities. The Locust Grove, Oklahoma, native will promote awareness of domestic violence among teens on-and off-campus; serve as an officer for the Native American Student Association; and represent the university at various events throughout the state. “I believe the duties include being a good representative of a strong and intelligent Native American woman, and to help show people what it means to be a Native American because we are very misrepresented in most of the mainstream culture and that needs to change,” Baker says. Baker was crowned by the Native American Student Association and its sponsoring department, the Center for Sovereign Nations. NASA provides opportunities for students to participate in cultural activities across the campus. She has helped with the annual powwow and Indian taco sales, which raise funds for different programs. For the pageant, Baker sang the Cherokee Comfort Song and described the traditional regalia that she wore throughout the competition. “The regalia is an 18th century outfit that traditionally would have been made out of animal hides,” Baker says. “However, it was adapted because Cherokee women would have worn the top quite differently. Everything was made out of wool except the feather cape that Terri Fields and her daughter Cierra Fields spent hours making for me. The leggings were also created by Terri and beaded with ” (Uhwoduhi), which my traditional name on it, “ means Beautiful. The moccasins were black leather, and all the cornbead necklaces were made by me.” The Cherokee Comfort Song is about the many children who were orphaned on the Trail of Tears during American Indian removal from their homelands to Oklahoma. “The song itself is a prayer of sorts about seeking comfort in the Lord as you go through the challenges in life,” Baker says. “I learned the song in Cherokee by memorization. It is important to learn about our heritage because it helps give a sense of identity and togetherness … it feels like I am finding more about myself as I learn of my heritage.” As a psychology student at OSU, she hopes to become a criminal profiler and work with the FBI. “I have always been interested in the human mind and addicted to shows about true crime, so when I realized that I could be the one solving puzzles and helping people, I was so excited to make it my major,” Baker says.



The OSU Center for Sovereign Nations’ ribbon cutting at Life Science East Suite 104 included Chickasaw Nation Division of Education Executive Officer Danny Wells; Provost Gary Sandefur; Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby; Chickasaw Nation Ambassador-At-Large Neal McCaleb; Director Elizabeth Mee Payne; Associate Provost Pamela Fry and Center Coordinator Sky Rogers. Pamela Fry wanted to join us at Taylor’s Dining Room in the College of Human Sciences to have burgers with our students,” Payne says. “We invited every American Indian student on campus, and President Hargis visited with every student that was there. He also made remarks about his personal commitment as well as the institution’s commitment to their student success — wanting them to not only be involved on campus, but also to complete their education and be able to graduate.”

Kylie Lester, member of the Choctaw Nation who graduated in May with a degree in design, housing and merchandising, says the center offered her unique opportunities she wouldn’t have known about otherwise. “We are all from different majors, sororities, fraternities and organizations but I’ve met some of my best friends here that I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” Lester says. “Being able to connect back with our nations is great. I was introduced to more financial opportunities just this past semester that I hadn’t been aware

At a “Sovereignty Speaks” luncheon, Dr. Sohail Khan, left, visits with Regents Professor John Chaney, director of the Center for American Indian Studies.

of the whole time I had been on campus. There are a lot of eye-opening opportunities for a student who visits the center.” But the center is more than a place to relax and hang out between classes — it is about promoting sovereignty and the tribes, even for students. “This isn’t a diversity quota thing,” says Carson Dakota Turner, an OSUTeach physics major. “The center is about promoting the individual student, and by doing so, promoting the tribes they are representing. And by the tribes coming here and addressing the issues


OSU Student Tori Coates Named 2016 Udall Scholar Choctaw Nation citizen Tori Coates is the only Udall Scholar from Oklahoma for 2016. She was selected as one of 60 out of 482 undergraduate students nationwide. Coates joins a select group of 15 previous OSU Udall Scholars, recognized by the Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research. The Udall Scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on American Indian self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources. The program promotes finding solutions to some of the most complex and critical issues of modern society, Coates says. “It is rare to find a scholarship that centers on your culture, experience and passions, but that is exactly what the Udall Foundation does,” Coates says. Her honor is in the category of tribal public policy. The Westville, Oklahoma, native is studying management, with


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The British Broadcasting Company taped a panel discussion for the BBC World Service radio. Panelists reviewed how much and why things are changing for Native Americans in Oklahoma. The panel included, from left, Elizabeth Payne, Taiawagi Helton, BBC host Owen Bennett-Jones, Allison Herrera, Sarah Adams-Cornell and Neal McCaleb.

of education and things like that, we are pushing the envelope of how much the tribes can do — not only for themselves and each other and the state of Oklahoma, but also for all other institutions in the country.” Partnering with tribal nations, other organizations and specific areas of the university is the third part of the center’s mission. The center aims to engage students with these partners and to increase the working partnerships between OSU and the 39 federally recognized tribal nations in Oklahoma.

“For example, working with Dr. Kenneth Sewell, OSU vice president of research, and Dr. Ron Van Den Bussche, associate vice president for research, the center hosted a luncheon during OSU Research Week. We invited members of the OSU Institutional Review Board to join Dr. Sohail Khan, director of health research and co-director, Cherokee Nation IRB, for a presentation about the best practices for conducting research in Oklahoma,” Payne says. Following the luncheon, leaders of OSU IRB held roundtable discussions

a human resource option, and is minoring in American Indian studies. Through her interest in Native American issues, and particularly the health care of native children, Coates has conducted research on the Indian Child Welfare Act and the impact displaced native youth have on the wellness of Native Americans. In 2015, she interned with the Social Security Administration in Washington, D.C., where she worked on a project with the senior adviser for tribal children at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The scholarship committee asks you to research and write about a speech or piece of legislation written by Representative Morris or Stewart Udall,” Coates says. “As I began researching legislation published by the congressmen, I learned that Morris Udall had written the Indian Child Welfare Act. After the death of her parents, my mother, Twila Wynoka Blue, was adopted under the ICWA at age 12. Learning about ICWA sparked my intellectual curiosity over a multiple of other factors that affect Native American children in the foster care and adoption process, and I have spent the last two years of

DG Smalling, Choctaw Nation artist and Choctaw Code Talkers Association board member, visits with Army National Guard Staff Sergeant JD English on Veterans Day at “Nations Serving the Nation.” with leaders of Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nation IRBs. As a result, all present agreed to collaborate in the development of a revised set of research protocols, which will include greater tribal nation input. This is an example of a partnership that the center had the pleasure of facilitating.” The center has also connected students with these partnerships. “One of the issues we continue to hear from the sovereign tribal nations that we serve is that they have a lot of tribally owned land, and they want to have

my undergraduate career soaking up as much information as possible on the subject.” Coates plans to attend law school and specialize in American Indian law. This will allow her to represent Native American children in the foster care and adoption process, and write tribal public policy to address the needs of native children, she says. On the OSU campus, Coates served as president of the Residence Hall Association. She was a member of the founding team that started “Helping Hands and Meal Plans,” which encourages students to use the unused portions of their meal plans to purchase items to donate to local charities. The program raises approximately $30,000 per year to benefit Oklahoma families. A member of the Honors College, Coates has an outstanding academic record. She has also received awards from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Elizabeth Mee Payne, director of the Center for Sovereign Nations, serves as the principal investigator for the Johnson Scholarship Foundation grant to OSU business students




College of Human Sciences Dean Stephan Wilson, right, and Elizabeth Payne introduced Warren Pratt, head chief of the Nasharo Council of the Pawnee Nation, who provided a blessing in Pawnee and English at the redesigned central courtyard.

effective resource plans for that land. The center has been able to facilitate new project opportunities amongst our partners in the OSU Environmental Science Graduate Program and our partners in DASNR [Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources] and these tribes. “These projects capitalize on OSU’s areas of expertise as well as providing American Indian undergraduate students with the opportunity to experience working with tribal nations. Often these projects result in student interest in going back to work for their tribal nation.” The alignment between OSU’s land grant mission and the center’s three-fold mission creates an environment which

promotes the success of American Indian students at OSU and around the state. “I think that having the center is a huge milestone because it is something that has never been seen at Oklahoma State,” says Masheli Billy, aerospace administrations and operations major. “It is something that has never been seen at other universities in Oklahoma. It is a huge milestone for native people and for native youth to become more involved in higher education.” At the first year anniversary birthday bash, Choctaw Nation Director of Public Policy Sara Jane Smallwood, an OSU alumna, announced that the Choctaw Nation has officially become a second partner for the center.

The Center for Sovereign Nations hosted an art show, “Sovereignty Is,” to create dialogue between OSU faculty and students about what it means to express tribal sovereignty.


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Chickasaw Nation citizen Masheli Billy, an ROTC student, plays his handmade flute at the Nike N7 Youth Movement.

The Choctaw Nation has been a key supporter of OSU’s Center for American Indian Studies, which shares the space in Life Sciences East Suite 104 with the Center for Sovereign Nations. Many leaders and other dignitaries attended the anniversary event including Muscogee Creek Nation Principal Chief James Floyd, and Seminole Nation Chief Leonard Harjo. Hargis issued an invitation to all the sovereign nations in Oklahoma to join the center in helping to promote student success, including student engagement, retention and graduation. “We are hopeful of spreading the knowledge of sovereignty in Oklahoma and beyond, and supporting our students here,” Smallwood says.

Wesley Lester won the art show competition.

From the Belly of Our Being: art by and about Native creation T H E O K L A H O M A S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y M U S E U M O F A R T has received an Art Works award

of $15,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts to support an exhibition of artwork and programming centered on female deities in Native American creation stories. The exhibition, From the Belly of Our Being: art by and about Native creation, will be on view at the OSU Museum of Art until January 28, 2017. The exhibition explores work by contemporary indigenous women whose art honors the feminine forces found in tribal genesis stories. Works include sculpture, painting, jewelry, ceramics and installation art. From the Belly of Our Being is curated by Heather Ahtone, the James T. Bialac assistant curator of Native American and Non-Western Art at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

America Meredith, Extremis Malis Extrema Remedia, 59 X 47 inches, acrylic on canvas, 2010

Zig Jackson, Kennecott Copper Mine, Tooele, Utah, gelatin silver print, 2000

100 years of indigenous photography on view in Our People, Our Land, Our Images O P P O R T U N I T I E S T O V I E W indigenous peoples through the eyes of indigenous photographers

are rare and recent. Our People, Our Land, Our Images, a photography exhibition at the OSU Museum of Art, presents the works of three generations of such photographers from North America, South America, the Middle East and New Zealand. The exhibition showcases newly discovered 19th-century trailblazers, well-established 
contemporary practitioners and emerging photographers from the younger generation. The 51 works in the exhibition tell their stories through differing approaches ranging from straightforward documentary to aesthetically altered images that combine overlays and collage. The images stand united in exploring their creators’ connections to their lands, communites and traditions. Artists’ statements accompanying the exhibition convey a variety of indigenous voices and concerns. The many perspectives represented in the exhibition offer an open-ended experience that asks audiences to think about how the camera in the hands of indigenous peoples becomes a tool with the power to confront and analyze stereotypes, politics and histories. Our People, Our Land, Our Images also demonstrates the longevity and continuing vitality of native photographic traditions. The exhibition, toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, is on view until January 7, 2017.


Wotko Long, top right, and Allison Herrera take a break during the Creek Town to Tulsa Town Bike Ride, an interactive tour of Creek sites. J.D. Colbert, above left, talks about Tuckabutchee, a legendary Creek whose cabin sat in what is now one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Tulsa.

Two young Kiowa singers participate in the Native American Youth Language Fair at the Sam Noble Museum in Norman, Oklahoma.


KOSU radio segment aims to reach audiences beyond the public radio realm


Oklahoma’s early heritage is a quilt of stories stitched together by the culture of Native Americans. However, many don’t know much about the modern arts, politics and social issues of the various tribes. KOSU paired up with the Association of Independents in Radio to help showcase Oklahoma tribal culture through a program called Localore: Finding America. Allison Herrera, a reporter in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, was selected to join KOSU on this challenge. “This is a program where they pick 15 different producers from all over the country and embed them in a radio station or television station to create a new model for public media,” Herrera says. “The goal of this project is to create something that reaches beyond the public radio realm, another type of platform.” Originally, Herrera hoped to work with a radio station in Minnesota. However, AIR suggested working in Oklahoma as it is home to 39 federally recognized tribes. “This station — KOSU — has been around for a long time,” she says. “I thought it was intriguing. I saw it as an opportunity to do something different.” The KOSU segment became the Invisible Nations series and has been exploring modern American Indian culture in Oklahoma for the past year. “[Oklahoma] is home to a really large Native American population, but there are no boundaries. It is invisible,” Herrera says. “That is really the reason it is called Invisible Nations. It has


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nothing to do with them being gone or not alive or not existing anymore. It has to do with the fact that there are nations within Oklahoma where everyone just lives among one another. “So the goal for me was to really understand this part of the country is Indian Country.” The project set out to explore today’s tribal cultures and tell its stories in Oklahoma. Herrera has covered a variety of Native American musicians and artists. “When I wrote the proposal for this project, I kept thinking of all these things I’ve heard from people in the community here [in Minnesota] and how badly they felt they were represented in public media,” Herrera says. “Whenever there was a story focusing on Native Americans, it was always negative. I thought, ‘I just don’t want to tell those stories.’ Those stories are important, but I just felt like there were more complex issues. I’ve just scratched the surface.” Through the process of telling the stories of American Indians in Oklahoma, Herrera says she also has her own goal with this project. “I would like to leave behind some kind of network where KOSU works with some of the tribal media outlets to do some stories or a series,” she says. Herrera hopes to continue working on the Invisible Nations series and with KOSU. “I love working with KOSU,” she says. “The staff members have been super supportive.” To read more on the Invisible Nations series, visit

Seth Handley B.S. in Business Administration

NO EXCUSES Seth wanted to earn his bachelor’s degree, but juggling two jobs and financial concerns prevented him from pursuing his dreams. With the help of an Oklahoma State University-Tulsa academic counselor, Seth was able to secure financial aid and develop a class schedule that fit his busy life. What excuses are standing in the way of your degree? Find out how an OSU-Tulsa academic counselor can help you get there from here. Hear more about Seth’s journey at

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Patrick Zane Wyers moved from Stigler, Oklahoma, to Stillwater when his brother enrolled at OSU in 1950. He was elected president of the 1952-53 Student Council at Stillwater High School.

$100 Can Change A Life Wyers family pays it forward BY M A R K E TA S O U C KOVA

What if $100 could change the course of your life? To some, it may not mean much, but the impact of a $100 scholarship changed the destiny of the Wyers family. Sampson and Ruth Oteka Wyers were the parents of six children: Oteka Johnese, Sampson Jr., Paul Tecumseh, Patrick Zane, Scotty and Laquita Francell. In 1932, they moved to 100 acres of American Indianallotted lands near McAlester, Oklahoma. Sampson descended from Choctaw heritage and Ruth was a member of the Chickasaw Nation. The land did not include a house, so they took out a $1,000 mortgage with payments of $25 per month to build a home. The family struggled during the Depression, as the father experienced the early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. They lost the house, and Sampson Sr. went to a war veterans facility for treatment and care. Ruth Oteka and the children found their way to Stigler, Oklahoma, where Paul excelled in academics and sports. The local home demonstration club rewarded the good student with a $100 college scholarship and, after Paul’s high school graduation in 1950, his mother packed up the entire family and moved to Stillwater. She and five

of the family’s six children ended up earning degrees from Oklahoma State University. “You must get education … if you don’t, you will be like a tree that never gets leaves,” was advice Ruth Oteka gave to her family often, Helen Buske Wyers recorded in Tracing Traditions Through the Generations. Helen came to Stillwater with her husband, Sampson Jr., after he served in the military. All the children and their mother worked very hard. Patrick was active at Stillwater High School, winning election to the office of Student Council president. Sampson Jr. earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Paul studied engineering and encouraged Patrick to pursue mechanical engineering in college. Scotty and Laquita earned degrees from the College of Education. The Wyers family lived in Vet Village. Ruth Oteka took classes and eventually earned her bachelor’s degree in 1964. After graduation, she taught in the public schools for about 15 years. “She was a very determined and wise mother,” Patrick Wyers says. “She knew that the only way that we were going to really better ourselves was to get as much education as we could, which has proven to be very, very true.”


debt-free, which helped shape his beliefs In honor of his mother, Patrick endowed about the importance of scholarships. a $50,000 scholarship in her name in the “The fact that his brother received a College of Education. When his brother scholarship makes him passionate about Paul died in 2012, Patrick decided to honor giving back, so other students can receive him with a scholarship in the College of a scholarship and attend college,” says Engineering, Architecture and Technology. Amanda Williams, scholarship coordinator Patrick says his engineering professors for the College of Engineering, Architecture were very helpful in guiding him and Paul. His and Technology. “He knows the impact of role model was the department head of aeroscholarships on a family’s life.” space engineering, Ladislaus Fila, who helped Patrick is generously supporting his the boys find jobs on campus and in town. alma mater and his community. In 2000, he “Professor Fila knew that I could probestablished a scholarship in honor of his wife, ably use some work,” Patrick says. “He was who died in 1999, for deserving high-school very good about helping me earn money here students who are members of the church at OSU.” where he and Mary Ellen were married in Patrick’s education was put on hold in Virginia. He is also involved in fundrais1957 when he served two years in the military. Patrick Wyers lives in Crowley, He returned to school with a wife, Mary Ellen, Texas. He remarried in 2008 to Reba ing efforts for the Fort Worth Southwest Lions Club in Texas. Patrick has been a life whom he met on a blind date. They lived in Joyce Gentry. member of the OSU Alumni Association a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment on Elm since graduating in 1961. Street and welcomed their first child in 1960. Patrick says all alumni can “contribute further to the success Everything was more difficult with a family, but together they of Oklahoma State University students by recognizing the need overcame obstacles as Mary Ellen supported him in his quest for and donating to scholarship funds.” an education. “The only way we were going to really move ahead was for me to finish school and go to work,” Patrick says. Oklahoma State University’s scholarships have a great impact. After graduation, Patrick worked for Boeing Co. in New Scholarships can help shape students’ entire lives, careers and Orleans and was part of the Saturn V project that led to Neil future. The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Armstrong’s landing on the moon. He moved to General awarded about $2.4 million in 2015-16 to help students finance their Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas, before transitioning to a success- degrees and to lift a burden from their shoulders. To find out how you can help, call the OSU Foundation at 800-622-4678. ful career in the real estate business. His engineering degree from OSU gave him the skills to build his career. With part-time jobs and military benefits, Patrick graduated from college

After serving two years in the military, Patrick Wyers graduated from OSU in 1961.


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Patrick Wyers and his brother, Paul, played on the Stigler High School football team together. Paul encouraged Patrick to study engineering in college. Patrick is endowing a scholarship in Paul’s memory at Oklahoma State University.

At All Stages of Their Careers


Join us at career fairs kicking off in September. Students AND alu mni are welcome ! • Sept. 13 - Agricu ltural, Food, E Environmental & Natural Sciences • Sept. 20 - Engin eering, Architect ure and Technology • Sept. 22 - OSU Business • Oct. 6 - OSU-Tu lsa Fair

Introducing F R I D AY D ! This new tool can advance job seeke rs’ progress. Fridayd ’s service offers sp ecialized job search assist ance and will acti vely seek jobs for alumni.



Businesses intere sted in recruitin g OSU alumni or st udents should co ntact m/employers.

Opt-in for access to Career Services today at!

DO The way Dr. Claud Evans sees it, a person should not only work to be successful in life, but also strive to be significant.

“We should try to be successful, but success, if you really look at it, is a very selfish, self-centered action,” the longtime veterinarian and Oklahoma State University alumnus explained on an early spring day in April. “Your success is what you do for yourself. Your significance is determined not by what you do for yourself, but what you do for someone else.” This is just one important life lesson Dr. Evans likes to stress to young people, and particularly college graduates. There are others, including one about making the most of your “dash.” “You can walk through any cemetery and look at the headstones. Everything will be different except the dash, that period between birth and death,” he continued. “It’s what we do with our dash that’s important and helps to determine our significance.”



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Unto Others BY L E I L A N A M C K I N D R A

United States Department of Agriculture taps Oklahoma veterinarian to serve on national advisory committee for minority farmers

He adds a third strand of wisdom, this one he learned as a young boy from his father after being assigned a chore he felt he couldn’t do and said as much to his father. “[My father] stopped what he was doing and said, ‘son, I killed can’t, I whipped couldn’t until he could, and I’m gonna whip you until you do if you don’t.’ Needless to say, I finished doing what I just said I couldn’t do,” Dr. Evans recalled. “The thing I try to get young people to understand is ‘can’t’ is not the best first answer. You try. In trying, many times you will come up with a solution that may be different than anything you thought about before.” The good doctor shifts on the orange hard plastic chair in the waiting room of the Okfuskee County Veterinary Clinic, which he has owned and operated in the same location for 33 years. He’s currently Okemah’s only vet. It’s edging toward mid-day, though outside the sun is tucked behind gray clouds, and the ground is soaked from morning rain showers. Inside, Dr. Evans’ zippered light blue smock stamped with D.V.M. identifies his profession and silently backs up his credentials and expertise as he dispenses detailed instructions to the mix of regular and walk-in clients flowing through the clinic doors each day. If it isn’t clear from the conviction lacing his tone, the poster board-sized thank you card signed by a group of

Dr. Evans invented and manufactures mobility units to help animals with posterior paralysis. The units come in four sizes and are sold nationwide.

grateful children hanging on a wall to his far left provides another clue. So do the two wooden rocking horses parked in the middle of the waiting area he and two friends build and give away to children facing illnesses and other potentially overwhelming circumstances. In fact, embedded in a career decorated with service to agriculture and higher education in Oklahoma and throughout the nation, there’s a landslide of evidence that Dr. Evans doesn’t only believe the words he speaks, he lives them.

Some of the most recent proof lies in one of Dr. Evans’ latest and most highprofile opportunities. After being tapped by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for a seat on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Minority Farmers Advisory Committee, Dr. Evans is currently more than a year into a two-year, renewable term with the 15-member group. As honored as he is at being appointed by Secretary Vilsack, Dr. Evans also is deeply appreciative of the chance to serve a group of people who



For the past 33 years, Dr. Evans has been the sole proprietor of the Okfuskee County Veterinary Clinic in Okemah, Oklahoma.

In the past five years, Dr. Evans and two long-time friends have crafted 70 wooden child-size rocking horses for children they know are facing challenging circumstances or for organizations doing something significant for others. The toys aren’t for sale and no money is required or requested for supplies or labor.


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are sometimes underserved by federal resources available to farmers in general. There’s no doubt his 16-year tenure on the OSU/A&M Board of Regents helped pave the way to the high-level national committee. Serving as one of Oklahoma’s two representatives on the Southern Region Council on Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching since 1999 didn’t hurt, either. He also is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Dr. Evans said he’s chosen to remain active with and through his alma mater because “we all owe something to somebody” and he enjoys giving back. “When you actually see the kids go across the stage and get their degrees and you know you played some part in the governance of the institution where that occurred, it makes you feel pretty good,” he said. “CARET is made up of individuals who have been hand picked by their deans so you get a chance to be around people who are doing some pretty amazing things. That’s a personal satisfaction because I get to meet a lot of smart people.” A native of Poteau, Oklahoma, Dr. Evans earned a bachelor of science degree in agricultural biochemistry from OSU in 1966 and received a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Tuskegee Institute in 1970 to follow in the footsteps of a childhood mentor, Dr. John W. Montgomery, who at one time, also served two terms as an OSU/A&M Regent.

“When I went to college, my goal was to be a veterinarian and I maintained that same goal until it happened,” he said. Dr. Evans spent 11 years as a veterinarian and in management with Ralston Purina Company in St. Louis; Davenport, Iowa; and San Diego before he and his wife Elayne, returned to their native Oklahoma in 1982 to help with her parents’ cattle operation and family farm, which included Spanish meat goats with a gene for cashmere. This spring the couple celebrated 50 years of marital bliss — he calls convincing her to marry him his greatest personal accomplishment — including raising two children and enjoying four grandchildren. In the intervening years, Dr. Evans has managed to balance home and family obligations against those related to important committees and boards along with the demands of his veterinary practice and one of his proudest professional accomplishments — the invention and manufacture of a mobility unit designed to assist animals with posterior paralysis. Available in four sizes and sold nationwide, the welded metal units with powder coating comes with an option for hard plastic or all-terrain wheels.

Over the years, he’s partnered with different companies to help manufacture the units, but these days, he makes them in the shop behind the clinic. “They’re welded and made here. We buy a load of steel. We have the benders and welding machine,” Dr. Evans said. “We have a building we’ve built in back of the clinic that will take care of that.” The mobility units aren’t the only projects taken care of in the building behind the clinic. That’s also where wooden child-size rocking horses like the ones in the waiting area come to life under the steady hands of Dr. Evans and two long-time friends. So far, over the past five years, the trio has crafted about 70 of the low-tech toys guaranteed to provide plenty of nonstop fun for any child happily balanced on their saddles. They aren’t for sale and no money is required or requested for supplies or labor. The toys only go to children they know are facing challenging circumstances or to organizations doing something significant for others. For instance, this past Christmas, two went to survivors affected by the OSU Homecoming parade tragedy, and earlier this year, one went to benefit the Tulsa Boys Home.

“A lady has a little girl who was basically born with cancer in the optic nerves. I gave her a horse. I knew this little girl. The mother called and said ‘my daughter was so timid and afraid and withdrawn, but that horse has really brought her out. She gets on that horse and rides with reckless abandon,’” he recalled. “That makes you feel really good.” Though he is closer to retirement age than not, Dr. Evans has no itch to hang up his stethoscope or curb his role in shaping policies and programs aimed at making people’s lives better. Nor has he spent any time contemplating what he wants people to say or think or remember about him. For now, he’s content to let the life he’s led do the talking for him. “I just try to live an honest and fair life and people can say what they want,” he said. “I know if I treat people right – and when I say right, my goal is to treat people the way I would want to be treated – I’m not going to be wrong too many times. I want people to be able to say I was fair and honest. I want my grandkids to say I’m a good grandpa.”

A thank you poster from grateful children hangs in Dr. Evans’ office.


Huge Gifts, Bigger Effects Lew Wentz’s generosity makes a tremendous difference BY JACOB LONG A N

A bust of Lew Wentz honors the philanthropist’s generosity in the Halligan Hall of Scholars, which occupies the west wall of the second floor of the Student Union atrium.



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E W W E N T Z , once known as America’s richest bachelor, spent much of his life helping others. The difference his generosity has made in the world and at Oklahoma State University has continued to grow since his death. Since 1926, students at then-Oklahoma A&M College and the modern version of OSU have been offered great opportunities thanks to Wentz’s philanthropy and foresight. It began in 1926 with a $50,000 endowment to support student loans. That amount was five times larger than all of OAMC’s student loan funds at the time, and equivalent to $679,000 today. Then, he advanced the school $3,000 to loan to six students while the paperwork was being processed. When Wentz died in 1949, he left OAMC another $2.5 million worth of oil leases, equivalent to $25 million today. The OSU Lew Wentz Foundation was subsequently created with a four-member volunteer board of directors, who were all friends of his at the time. The board was, and still is, determined to preserve his values regarding hard work, public service and investment. Over the past 67 years, the program has transitioned its support from student loans to grants, then work-studies, and finally to funding for undergraduate research, scholarships and travel grants for students and faculty. As OSU’s president, Burns Hargis is one of the foundation’s board members. He believes Wentz would be pleased with what his generosity has accomplished over the years. “OSU is a recognized leader in undergraduate research thanks in large part to the Wentz Foundation’s ongoing support for that area,” Hargis says. “As someone who never attended college, Lew Wentz left an incredible legacy at OSU and across higher education.” Based on Wentz’s direction, the foundation’s board comprises OSU’s president, president of the Bank of Oklahoma, a Ponca City businessman, and a distinguished member of the OSU Alumni Association. The current group is Hargis; Steven G. Bradshaw of Tulsa-based BOK;

Tom Muchmore, editor and publisher of The Ponca City News; and Jim Orbison, a Tulsa-based attorney. “It’s an honor to follow many Bank of Oklahoma presidents who have served before me,” Bradshaw says. “It’s a proud legacy that I’m pleased to be a part of because the Wentz Foundation has a real impact on the student-scholars it supports. There are so many success stories of great accomplishments by students who have received Wentz Foundation support.” The board also consults with an administrator, Trish Houston Prawl, owner of Celadon Wealth Management. She served as the auditor before the creation of the administrator position about 15 years ago. “She has been invaluable,” Muchmore says. “She puts far more time and effort into the operation than the rest of us

eye for what is in the best interest of the university. That can be very dependent on who is the president of the university at the time.” Prawl is a former Wentz scholar who has helped the group make many decisions, including its recent addition of more funding for need-based students. “We give away as much as we can and keep operating costs as low as we can, which is what Mr. Wentz wanted,” Prawl says. “He had an amazing work ethic and believed in giving opportunities to others, and he expected people to pay it forward. I probably couldn’t have attended school without it, and I was working three jobs at the time.” A humble beginning Wentz was born November 10, 1872, in Tama, Iowa. He grew up in Pittsburgh,

“OSU is a recognized leader in undergraduate research thanks in large part to the Wentz Foundation’s ongoing support …” — BURNS HARGIS

together and has been one of the secrets to its success. She is devoted to its cause and to OSU but has worked to keep the two separate and the endowment autonomous. She works closely with the investors and watches them carefully.” The group meets twice a year to discuss the state of the fund and determine the best uses for its production. The endowment has grown to more than $14 million and provides $750,000 annually to OSU. “We are really, really focused on what helps our students achieve their long-term educational goals,” says Prawl, a CPA and certified financial planner. “The endowment is very flexible, so we can shift it to be the most helpful for OSU’s needs at a given time. Our goal is to not get entrenched in any particular politics or policy, but to stand back and have a clear

one of seven children of Adeline and Louis Wentz, a blacksmith. The introvert never married and was too poor to attend college. He was coaching high school and semiprofessional baseball, and doorto-door campaigning for the Republican Party when he met John McCaskey, a sauerkraut tycoon and oilman. McCaskey offered Wentz the opportunity to join E.W. Marland’s oil business at the 101 Ranch near Ponca City. In 1911, Wentz moved into the city’s Arcade Hotel, where he lived the rest of his life. He was tremendously successful in the oil business, becoming one of the seven richest American men in 1927, the year after he established foundations for student loans at four Oklahoma colleges, including OAMC. “Back then, nobody was willing to loan students money,” Prawl says.


“That was before government-subsidized student loans. And he thought there were too many soldiers returning to America who had no way to go to school. At a time when there weren’t a lot of people in the world interested in giving money to others, Mr. Wentz worked 13 years on this concept with various university people before he died in 1949. ” Wentz was a lifelong Republican, serving as a member of the Republican National Committee from 1940 until his death in 1949. He also served as the chairman of the three-member Oklahoma Highway Commission. Democratic Governor William J. Holloway said that he wanted “to take the state highway commission out of politics,” and he believed Wentz’s integrity and wealth

“When you mention my name, emphasize the ‘We’ in Wentz.” Supporting scholars Jessica Roark is director of the Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research. She says Wentz funding is invaluable for the students her office serves. In fact, since the 1998-99 academic year, Wentz Scholars have received 817 awards totaling about $3.5 million. That shows the way the growth of the endowment, which was less than $3 million in the 1950s, is increasing the impact over time. “It’s amazing,” Roark says. “The research scholarships help the students connect better with faculty, get into good graduate programs and get a jump start

Scholars Program, which allows students to take a two-week course at England’s legendary University of Cambridge, often taught by an OSU faculty member. Roark says the experiences gained from a Cambridge trip and the research program are invaluable for students pursuing prestigious national scholarships. That is evident, as Wentz Scholars have gone on to become Rhodes, Truman, Goldwater, Gates Cambridge and Udall Scholars, as well as National Honors Council Board Members. “Students who get those major awards are doing incredible things, because that’s what it takes to earn those awards,” Roark says. “They are researching things that truly make a difference in the world. Exponential is the only way I can quantify

“Exponential is the only way I can quantify the difference the Wentz funding makes, because of the way the students pay it forward.” — J E S S I CA R OA R K

Jessica Roark is director of the Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research. made him “free from all taint of graft or bribery,” according to a contemporaneous newspaper. Wentz was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1942, mainly for his charitable contributions. Between 1914 and 1948, he donated Christmas toys to every child whose family was on the Ponca City relief rolls. During his lean years, he borrowed money to fund this effort. He built a public pool and camp in Ponca City. He helped organize and fund the Oklahoma Society for Crippled Children and donated the funds to establish the Crippled Children’s Hospital, now known as The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center. He was known to say,


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on a profession. It’s a good opportunity for them to explore and get started. Some learn through doing the research that they want to change their major. That is so much better than if you figured it out years later because you did your first work in the field after you graduated.” Another great benefit is for the faculty, who can do extra research thanks to the contributions of these undergraduates who would otherwise not be involved. “It’s consistent with OSU’s mission as a research university,” Roark says. “It increases connections between students and professors who are doing this cuttingedge research. It increases involvement, excitement and discussions going on in their disciplines.” The Wentz Foundation also provides scholarships for OSU’s Cambridge

the difference the Wentz funding makes, because of the way the students pay it forward.” Orbison succeeded his father as a member of the Wentz Foundation board. He has enjoyed watching the results over the years, with so many students going on to great success. “That shows me that it has been a benefit of more than just money,” Orbison says. “We have been fortunate that the scholarships have been awarded to and targeted toward the right people. We are always thinking about who they should go to, as well as how to be good stewards of the money he left.” Muchmore agrees, noting that the board does its best to follow Wentz’s wishes. He wanted to give students a way to fund their educations and then pay it

The OSU Lew Wentz Foundation not only exemplifies Wentz’s foresight and generosity. It also shows the value of an endowment. Because of its growth over time, it provides more support to OSU over a four-year span than the value of the initial estate gift. That is why its impact has been exponential, as Roark says, instead of having been spent decades before the birth of today’s OSU students.


back. That has led to the modern version, where repayment is made through a debt to society. Scholars are chosen based on performance, potential and commitment. “I am very proud of the accomplishments of the board over the years and the number of students who have been helped,” he says. “The fact the endowment has kept up with the economy for so many years is impressive and the amount of money used each year to benefit the students has tended to increase as necessary. We will always have discussions on the method and the intent of the endowment.”


The OSU Lew Wentz Foundation is guided by four men on its board including, from left, Steven G. Bradshaw, president of the Bank of Oklahoma; Burns Hargis, president of OSU; Jim Orbison, an attorney and distinguished member of the OSU Alumni Association; and Tom Muchmore, editor and publisher of “The Ponca City News.” Trish Houston Prawl, front right, is the administrator of the OSU Lew Wentz Foundation and a former Wentz Scholar. PHOTO / EDMON LOW LIBRARY ARCHIVES

Lew Wentz, center, talks with actress Irene Rich and Dean W.L. Blizzard of OAMC’s Agriculture Department at the California home of the late Will Rogers in 1947.


Still Loyal & True


But Brand New BY S H E L BY H O LC O M B

The renovated Atherton Hotel retains historic charm with modern amenities


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The Atherton piano lounge, home to a grand player-piano, serves as a comfortable, quaint place for guests.


fter undergoing a complete remodel, the legendary

Atherton Hotel at Oklahoma State University has reopened for guests. Visitors can indulge in a contemporary home-away-from-home, with the additions of

the State Room bar and lounge, east entrance, south tower with new elevator and expanded patio. The luxurious property with thoughtful amenities offers a charming respite to weary travelers

tenure as president of Oklahoma A&M College. “It was a very unique situation — there wasn’t anything like it at the time,” Jim Barnard says. Guests anticipated a special experience, and that’s just what they got. Famous visitors have included dignitaries and celebrities such as Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, Bob Hope, Faith Hill, Coretta Scott King and five United States presidents. These are the first large-scale changes for the Atherton in roughly 15 years. OSU alumnus W.S. Atherton spearheaded and was the cornerstone donor for a $6 million hotel renovation campaign in 2001. “The latest project started in 2014 with a total renovation of the property,” Jim Barnard says. “The shell is historical — but it’s a new hotel.” Level by level, the building was completely gutted down to the supporting cement, pillars and floors. Everything is new from the mechanical aspects, such as plumbing, electrical, and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, to its decorative details. “The renovation has been achieved through a significant investment by the university and from private

The State Room, a new pub/bar area, is the former name of The Ranchers Club.

disenchanted with a cookie-cutter hotel experience. The Atherton Hotel is managed by Persimmon Ridge Management LLC, a partnership that began in 2012. Jim Barnard, CEO of the company as well as an OSU School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration board member, oversees the hotel. “We are on par with some of the finest hotels across the U.S.,” he says. Originally referred to as the “Waldorf of the West,” the Atherton is now essentially a brand-new hotel inside a classic Georgian structure. In 2004, it was recognized through the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which celebrates and honors the finest hotel properties that have maintained historic integrity, architecture and first-class ambience.

“To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be recognized as having historic significance,” says Heather Taylor of the Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “The property must be at least 50 years old and designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic places.” Since 1950, The Atherton Hotel has served as a pre-eminent boutique hotel welcoming alumni, dignitaries and others to the OSU campus in Stillwater. The hotel was built as part of the Student Union within the framework of Dr. Henry Bennett’s vision during his


Banker-style desks and a welcoming staff greet guests as they enter the hotel.

contributions and donations to the project,” says Nigel Jones, university architect and professor in OSU’s School of Architecture. As guests arrive on campus, the new east-facing hotel entrance is clearly visible now and accessible from Hester Street, with a drive-up portico and valet parking. “Facing the entrance to the east, which returns the front entry to its historic origins, was a key component of the renovation,” Jim Barnard says. Welcoming guests as they enter the hotel are lobby seating at banker-style desks, attentive staff and a round-theclock bellman — all of which make for a more intimate and embracing experience. “The new registration lobby enhances the sense of arrival to the hotel from the new porte-cochere to the east with a warm background, rich coloration, new wood floors and a design that is both classic and straightforward,” says Tim

glass-enclosed showers, longer vanities Zebrowski, owner and design principle for the Zebrowski Design Group in Culver with storage, improved lighting, premium toiletries and terry bathrobes. And we City, California. He has created interiors can’t forget the cheerful yellow rubber for hotels worldwide from the Singapore ducks, a tradition suggested by Patrick Regent Hotel to the Intercontinental Moreo, a former head of OSU’s School of Houston and The Mark Hopkins Hotel in Hotel and Restaurant Management. San Francisco. “It was a stroke of genuis,” says Josh After helping with the hotel’s renovaBarnard, manager of hotel operations. tions 15 years ago, Zebrowski returned “Guests are enamored with those ducks.” to help develop and implement the hotel’s The rooms are fewer — around 69 as current design concept. “The lobby lounge, which looks toward opposed to 81 — but larger now, offering today’s guests the space they really need. the west, overlooks the Price Family With 20 room types, each one has its Garden. This lounge has a faint celadon own unique features with plush upholbackground, wood floors, custom carpets stered furnishings and classic cherry and seating that provides a comfortable spot to meet and enjoy quiet conversations. woods. Feather beds are dressed with 300-thread count Egyptian linens, goose“Working closely with Nigel Jones down pillows and orange-gingham duvets and Jim Barnard, we developed an intewith non-allergenic pillows and blankets rior design that was comfortable, relaxed,

“It was a stroke of genius. Guests are enamored with those ducks.” — Josh Barnard upscale and inclusive of the Georgian design traditions of OSU,” he says. “The design of the hotel guest rooms combines rich woods, neutral background tones and warm accents. Straightforward patterns are used on classic furniture styles, and accents are in the details, including the university’s registered plaid applied to the Pendleton blankets in the guest rooms.” Rooms have been combined and newly configured to better accommodate guests, and the larger bathrooms are far more comfortable, equipped with walk-in and

available. Complimentary WiFi, iHome docking stations, individual coffee makers, wine glasses and complimentary bottled water are thoughtful touches. An image of Pistol Pete appears on the room temperature monitor controls. The construction of the south tower provided space for the new elevator shaft, and the fire escape moved inside. Some rooms include balconies, and there is also a selection of suites, an on-site exercise facility and a conference room.



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“We’re not just pouring drinks anymore. It’s a unique experience — true to itself.” — Naveen Kodadhala


“We’re not just pouring drinks anymore,” Kodadhala says. “It’s a unique experience — true to itself. “We wanted to focus the State Room around a menu that complements the whole beverage program; hence, the menu plays around smaller shareable portions — a tapas concept. It’s the perfect value; you’re not completely filled up, and it gives you the opportunity to order and try more things.” The Ranchers Club was the first restaurant in Stillwater to offer a carryout app. Orders can be placed up to a week in advance and set to a specific time. Guests can make reservations online via the Open Table app. While the Atherton’s primary mission is to provide impeccable service to guests, it continues to double as an experiential classroom to train future hospitality professionals in the art of hotel and restaurant administration. The Atherton Hotel and The Ranchers Club provide “real world” lodging and dining laboratories for OSU students. “Our mission is to serve our alumni and visiting dignitaries, but we also have a mission that involves the School of

Hotel and Restaurant Administration and several other departments on campus,” Jim Barnard says. “Students complete internships in the hotel. There are classes in the hotel that Josh [Barnard] helps coordinate, so it has a teaching


“The rooms are very comfortable,” says Melanie Field, University Store general merchandise assistant manager. “They are equipped with anything you would need for a night’s stay. I will be recommending this hotel to all of my outof-town guests.” Other updates include improved room service and the addition of a new pub/bar area known as the State Room, which is the former name of the exquisite Ranchers Club. “Opening up the brick wall with glass windows on the west side helps define the entrance to The Ranchers Club and provides a garden entrance to the hotel and State lounge area,” Josh Barnard says. “We call The Ranchers Club a scratch kitchen essentially — nearly everything is homemade. Most of the ingredients come from the Price Family Garden. We are really unique in that fashion,” says Naveen Kodadhala, director of food and beverage services for The Ranchers Club and The Atherton Hotel. The restaurant recently hired a beverage coordinator who specializes in customized cocktails and uses distinct homemade recipes.

The Price Family Garden offers guests a warm welcome and provides fresh ingredients for The Ranchers Club.


“There’s a vibe on campus. People really like coming back and feeling that. It’s a very comfortable stay.”

will create a u-shaped hotel centering on the Price Family Garden, Formal Gardens, Edmon Low Library lawn and Theta Pond. The Barnards and others hope guests will grasp the1 vision for “Traditions” Pete_Hotel.pdf 10/2/12 2:24 PM through the new Atherton. They promise an even more upscale and dramatic expe — Josh Barnard rience with the condos — guests will truly feel part of the campus. “There’s a vibe on campus,” Josh Barnard says. “People really like coming back and feeling that. It’s a very comfortable stay.” There’s no question that the new Atherton is delighting guests, enhancing their ties with what it means to be a Cowboy, and the future condos will do the same and more. “The location is next to none. It’s impossible to beat,” Jim Barnard says. Overlooking OSU’s picturesque Formal Gardens and Theta Pond, The and management,” says Ben Goh, assismission as well. It’s really the true essence Atherton Hotel allows visitors to move tant dean and director of the School of of a living lab.” quickly from blissful tranquility into the Hotel and Restaurant Administration. Ranked eighth among the top 100 hustle and bustle of the college campus. “These future hospitality professionals hospitality and tourism programs world“The Atherton Hotel is ready to are exposed to all working areas of the wide, this particular program is the only embark on its next generation of service — hotel and gain valuable insight into hotel teaching curriculum in the Central Plains showcasing the quality and dignity of the management. It is very exciting to watch states that includes two restaurants operuniversity, providing an exceptional teachated by the school as well as active partici- our students develop a passion for hospiing opportunity, and greeting newcomtality as they progress through this learnpation learning labs at area hotels. ers and old friends alike in a setting as ing experience.” “The partnership between the School unique as Oklahoma State University,” While the hotel is complete, guests can of Hotel and Restaurant Administration Zebrowski says. look forward to even more. and The Atherton Hotel provides our Plan your visit to The Atherton Hotel The hotel’s future vision, “Traditions students with an enhanced educational by calling 405-744-6835 or visiting at the Atherton,” will include condominiopportunity to gain first-hand ums added onto the south tower, which edge of hotel operations, customer service

Jim Barnard surveys the crowd at the head of the State Room bar.

Guests enjoy the expanded Ranchers Club patio.



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Orange Fashion Show fills the runway with game day wear and everyday couture Local boutiques and shops hit the runway at Rosemary Ridge on April 21 for the second Orange Fashion Show. Vendors, including Blakeleigh’s, Cabi, Cato, Dandelion Seed Boutique, Elizabeth’s, For Pete’s Sake, Greige Goods, Tigerlily, The University Store, Whiskey Creek Designs and Wooden Nickel, displayed the latest trends in orange. First Cowgirl Ann Hargis kicked off the event, which featured hor d’oeuvres, wine and door prizes.

More than 125 cowgirls attended to see 50 different looks from game day to evening wear. “What’s better than getting together with your girlfriends and talking about two of your favorite things — orange and fashion?” says OSU Alumni Association Coordinator of Engagement Chelsie Wilson. “We were really pleased with the response we received and look forward to making next year’s event even bigger and better.”

Alumni get artsy The OSU Alumni Association’s Cleveland/McClain Counties Chapter hosted a painting party June 29 to raise funds for scholarships. The event was sold out. The popularity of the painting party has spawned other upcoming craft nights, including one with the Kay County Chapter on October 4 and another sponsored by the Cleveland/ McClain Counties Chapter on November 9. “This event was a great way to get people together in a relaxed setting and raise scholarship


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money,” says Lynne McElroy, Cleveland/McClain Counties Chapter president. “Plus it was lots of fun, and you walked away with a great OSU decoration!” Stillwater held its own painting party on July 26. Eighty participants gathered at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center to paint Pete. Although the painting canvas outlines were the same, everyone lent a special touch to our favorite Cowboy. “It was really interesting to see how different each of the Petes turned out,” says attendee Jordan Burney. “We had a great time.” Watch for more painting parties at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.

Cowboy Caravan hits the road with stops in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma This year’s Cowboy Caravans drew some of the biggest audiences in recent history. The first stop was in Altus, Oklahoma, with almost 600 fans. Steaks were grilled and fans questioned the coaches’ panel. The panel included men’s Basketball Head Coach Brad Underwood, Softball Head Coach Kenny Gajewski and Wrestling Head Coach John Smith. Voice of the Cowboys Larry Reece was there to moderate. Other stops included: Enid, Ponca City, Woodward, McAlester, Oklahoma City and Tulsa in Oklahoma, and Northwest Arkansas and Houston. Oklahoma City and Tulsa Caravans were held on OSU’s respective campuses and featured carnival-like themes indoor. These family-friendly events included photo booths, popcorn, cotton candy, giveaways and visits from the spirit squad, pep band and Pistol Pete. For more information about Cowboy Caravan, visit

Pistol Pete greets Jackson Miller at the Cowboy Caravan in McAlester, Oklahoma. His grandmother, Janai Miller, is a leader in the Pittsburg County Alumni Chapter.

The Voice of the Cowboys Larry Reece visits with Brad Underwood, Cowboy basketball head coach, during the Cowboy Caravan in Altus, Oklahoma.

OSU Pom team members, from left, Kennedi Faber, Peighton Coleman, Abby Price and Emily Fry, join Darrell Hightower, ’79 agriculture education, at the Cowboy Caravan in McAlester, Oklahoma.


Orange County Chapter OSU President Burns Hargis and alumnus T. Boone Pickens entertained Orange County guests in May at the Santa Ana Country Club in California. All proceeds from the evening benefited scholarships for Orange County-area students planning to attend OSU.

Upcoming Chapter Events Join an OSU alumni chapter near you to celebrate OSU and connect with Cowboys. For the most current events listing, visit orangeconnectionorg/chapters or scan the QR code. September 15 Iron Monk Brewery Tour Stillwater, Oklahoma — Faculty/Staff Chapter September 17 OSU vs. Pittsburgh Football Watch Parties September 23 Friday with the Family, Waco, Texas September 24 OSU vs Baylor Football Watch Parties

Baton Rouge Chapter

Baylor Tailgate, Waco, Texas

October 1

OSU vs. Texas Football Watch Parties

October 2 Pistol Pete’s Birthday, Oklahoma City Zoo — OKC Metro Chapter October 8

OSU vs Iowa State Football Watch Parties

October 13

Thunder Pre-Season Game Tulsa Chapter

October 15

Golf Tournament Houston Chapter

October 20

OSU Alumni Night at Oktoberfest Tulsa, Oklahoma — Tulsa Chapter

October 21

Friday with the Family, Lawrence, Kansas

October 22

OSU vs. Kansas Watch Parties

KU Tailgate, Lawrence, Kansas Kansas City Chapter

October 24-29 Homecoming, Stillwater, Oklahoma

The Baton Rouge OSU Alumni Association Chapter hosted Cowboys with a Cause at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater New Orleans in May.

New York City Cowboys

NYC Cowboys encourage alumni to get in touch when they move to the Big Apple. They raised a toast in the summer to OSU students in New York City for internships. In May, they welcomed Cowboys on Wall Street with a happy hour. Both events were held at the Stillwater Bar & Grill, an Oklahoma State University-theme club in New York City.


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October 28-29 Black Alumni Reunion Weekend Stillwater, Oklahoma

Band Alumni Reunion Weekend Stillwater, Oklahoma

October 28

Trailblazer Reception Black Alumni Society, Stillwater, Oklahoma

October 29

OSU vs. West Virginia Football Watch Parties

November 4

Friday with the Family, Manhattan, Kansas

November 5

OSU vs. Kansas State Football Watch Parties

K-State Tailgate, Manhattan, Kansas

November 12

American Indian Alumni Society Distinguished Alumni Reception Stillwater, Oklahoma

Texas Tech Watch Parties

November 18

Friday with the Family, Fort Worth, Texas

November 19

OSU vs. Texas Christian University Football Watch Parties

TCU Tailgate, Fort Worth, Texas

December 3

Bedlam Watch Parties

Looking Ahead to 2017 February 10

OSU Alumni Hall Of Fame

February 17

Brighter Orange North Texas Chapter

February 18

Brighter Orange Houston Chapter

February 24

Vintage O-State OKC Metro Chapter

February 25

Vintage O-State Tulsa Chapter

March 3

Frisco College Baseball Classic


Janai Miller The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association Pittsburg Downtown Christmas Parade, Know a Future Cowboy at McAlester High School and Cowboy Caravan. The chapter is County Chapter is fortunate to have Janai Miller serving as planning its first 5K Cowboy Run this fall. Last year, the chapter president. Remarkably modest, she leads with humility in true raised $7,000 to support local scholarships for OSU students. servant-leader fashion. The Pittsburg chapter partakes in Cowboys for a Cause by Miller came to OSU as a preschooler from Quinton, ringing bells while dressed as Santa Claus Oklahoma, while her father studied at the for the Salvation Army during the holiday Stillwater campus. The family returned season. The chapter also participates in to Quinton, where she graduated from the annual 5K Ryan’s Run, which honors Quinton High School and easily decided the memory of child abuse victim Ryan to attend OSU like her dad and major in Luke and supports child abuse prevention. therapeutic recreation. In the following years, the chapter She worked at the Colvin Center aims to increase its scholarship funds, through her major program, garnered recruit more high school students to academic accolades with induction in attend OSU and help more alumni in Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, the county outside of McAlester become volunteered at a health center outside involved. of Stillwater, got married and had a Miller enjoys her two cats and two child. She loved to attend OSU athletic dogs. She has been an OSU athletic event events, too. season ticket holder for 30 years. Her “My plate was full, but it was rewardchildren, Heath, Kayla, Rex and his wife ing,” Miller remembers. “The only time Caroline, all graduated from OSU and I ever missed class was the day I had Janai Miller, president of the OSU also reside in Pittsburg County, so she my son.” Alumni Association Pittsburg County spends much of her time with her four She also has fond memories with class- Chapter, enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, Jackson, Gracie, Caden mates in her program. The group of upper grandchildren. and Connor.  division students was small, so the professors created unique opportunities for the classes such as weekend camping trips. After graduating in 1984, Miller started working at her grandfather’s business, Choctaw Gas Company in Quinton, Oklahoma. She is now the co-owner and employs all three of her children as well. Pittsburg County did not have an active chapter, so four years ago, Miller — JANAI MILLER and a friend reinvigorated the group to become more involved in their community. “We wanted to get all the ‘orange people’ together in the area,” Miller jokes. “This was important to me because I wanted OSU alumni to support local causes more than we had before.” The Pittsburg County Chapter’s events include watch parties, an OSU alumni float featuring Pistol Pete entry in the McAlester

“We wanted to get all the ‘orange people’ together in the area.”

PITTSBURG COUNTY CHAPTER BY THE NUMBERS 1049 alumni and friends 119 members 122 current students from Pittsburg County 105 miles from Stillwater


2017 Travel Guide

Explore the World with the OSU Alumni Association’s Traveling Cowboys

Wolves of Yellowstone

Journey to Outrageous Southern Africa Outback

FEBRUARY 7–13, 2017

APRIL 4–19, 2017

APRIL 7–23, 2017

Join this seven-day wildlife expedition in North America’s best wolf-watching habitat. Hushed and magical landscapes are the setting for steaming geysers, trees covered in ice crystals and bison, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and other wildlife followed closely by the park’s wolves. Travel with expert naturalists as we explore this natural beauty. Orbridge

From the majesty of the Cape of Good Hope to the vast expanse of rural Africa and the splendor of Victoria Falls, Southern Africa has inspired travelers for centuries. From Cape Town, see historic Robben Island. Next, fly to Johannesburg to visit the historic township of Soweto. Board a Rovos Rail train in Pretoria for the fascinating journey through Botswana and Zimbabwe. Visit the thundering Victoria Falls before traveling on to Chobe National Park. AHI

Visit the land of koalas and kangaroos on this adventure to charming seaside towns Down Under. Discover the stunning landscapes and rich heritage of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand while cruising aboard Sirena, Oceania Cruises’ newest masterpiece. Go Next


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Passage of Lewis & Clark

Mediterranean Masterpiece

Southern Culture and Civil War

MAY 7–15, 2017

MAY 10 –21, 2017

JUNE 3–12, 2017

Trace the fabled path of Lewis and Clark on this epic voyage that highlights the natural grandeur of the Pacific Northwest. From Clarkston to Portland, cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard the elegant American Empress, stopping at Sacajawea State Park, The Dalles, Stevenson and Astoria. Go Next

Take in architectural and artistic masterpieces of the Renaissance in Florence and Pisa. Enjoy the Tuscan countryside, towering cliffs and serene grottoes along the “Emerald Coast.” Experience glittering Monaco, and be inspired by Provence. Round out your trip in Spain with stunning castles and lively plazas. Go Next

Southern culture and the American Civil War spring to life on this unique Mississippi River cruise aboard the grand American Queen. Take in historic sites from Memphis to New Orleans, visiting Shiloh National Military Park, Greenville, Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge and Nottoway. Go Next

The Great Journey Through Europe

JUNE 15–25, 2017 This extraordinary 11-day “Grand Tour” of Europe combines river, rail, lake and mountain travel and features Switzerland, France, Germany and The Netherlands. Cruise aboard the deluxe MS Amadeus Silver II along the most scenic sections of the Rhine River. Ride aboard three legendary railways — the Matterhorn’s Gornergrat Bahn, the famous Glacier Express and Lucerne’s Pilatus Railway. Gohagan


Oxford and the Cotswolds



JULY 14–22, 2017

AUGUST 23–31, 2017

SEPTEMBER 4–12, 2017

Discover the true character of England’s town and country life during this extraordinary small-group itinerary featuring the university town of Oxford and the charming Cotswolds. Meet Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill, cousin to Sir Winston Churchill, in Blenheim Palace; visit Downton Abbey; and converse with locals during the exclusive Town & Country Life Forum®. Gohagan

The vibrant history and beauty of Scotland is legendary. Visit historic Stirling and Stirling Castle at the site of the historic Battle of Bannockburn. Explore Luss and Loch Lomond in the heart of The Trossachs National Park. Travel to St. Andrews and visit the Castle, Cathedral and the Old Course. See the highlights of Edinburgh and attend a stirring performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. AHI

Delve into Norman history and culture. Take an emotional journey to Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery and the inspiring Peace Memorial. See the famous Bayeux Tapestry, an embroidered history of the Battle of Hastings. Journey to Mont Saint-Michel, the fortress monastery guarded by the ebb and flow of the tide, and taste the renowned food and drink of the region. AHI

Glacial Adventures of Alaska

JULY 28–AUGUST 7, 2017 Immerse yourself in the wild beauty of Alaska, with its sparkling glaciers and pristine forests, on this adventure aboard Oceania Cruises’ graceful Regatta. From Seattle, journey north to the picturesque Alaskan ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Skagway and Sitka; marvel at the magnificent Hubbard Glacier; and explore lovely Victoria, British Columbia. Go Next


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“Traveling Cowboys’ trip to Alaska was fabulous! The vistas were outrageously beautiful, the accommodations were first

Portrait of Ireland

Mediterranean Medieval Masterpiece Radiance

SEPTEMBER 4–15, 2017

OCTOBER 7-17, 2017

NOVEMBER 5–14, 2017

Journey across the captivating Emerald Isle through Dublin, Belfast, Donegal and County Mayo. Begin in Dublin with visits to Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Grafton Street. Enjoy excursions to Bend of the Boyne and St. Patrick’s burial place. Learn about the tumultuous history of The Troubles during a locally guided tour in Belfast, and experience the Titanic interpretation center. AHI

Take in quaint European towns and radiant cities on a luxury cruise aboard Oceania Cruises’ Riviera. Discover the glamorous allure of St-Tropez, explore the Spanish charms of Palamós, Barcelona, Valencia and Minorca, and delve into the intriguing history of Marseille, Portofino, and Florence/Pisa. Go Next

Incredible medieval monuments and spellbinding scenery intertwine on this Mediterranean voyage aboard Riviera, Oceania Cruises’ elegant masterpiece. From magical Venice to legendary Rome, discover beautiful cities and landscapes with interludes in Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece and Malta. Go Next

class and all those Cowboys and Cowgirls made it feel like home. We are already planning our next trip.” — Steve Pittman

To register for the trips listed, contact the featured tour providers: AHI Travel: 800-323-7373 Go Next Inc.: 800-842-9023 Orbridge: 866-639-0079 Gohagan: 800-922-3088 To learn more about the Traveling Cowboys, visit, or contact our Engagement and Travel Specialist Joy Fieldsend at 405-744-8837. All trips are available to alumni and friends.



Business professor’s influence shapes a career path


ohn C. Smith’s plan was to get as far away from Chicago as possible. The teenager and his best friend were tired of the cold and snowy weather in the “Windy City” and looking to move somewhere warmer. As recent high school graduates, Smith and his buddy decided there was no better time than the present to explore the world. “We were on our way out of Chicago, anywhere that was warm and we could have fun,” he says. So the pair bought Greyhound bus tickets in December 1974 with fun and warmer weather as the final destination. But en route the two took a detour. It turned out to be the right path for both of them.

Moses Frye taught business law courses as a professor at Oklahoma State University. He was the principal author of the 1975 Cherokee Constitution. Cherokee Principal Chief Ross Swimmer appointed Frye as a judge within the Cherokee courts in 1979. Frye died in 1989.

OSU here we come

Smith and Dean Christopolous made the decision to stop in Stillwater to visit Dean’s older brother and see what the home of Oklahoma State University was all about. Tom Christopolous was a member of the Cowboy football team, and the short visit that Smith was expecting soon turned into much more. “I never had the intention of really going to college,” he says. “I had five brothers and sisters, and no one went to

college. My parents never went to college. My father wanted me to become an auto mechanic. To him, to aspire to be an auto mechanic was a great thing because he delivered dry cleaning.” When school started in January, Smith made the decision to enroll in a few classes at OSU. Enrolling in school allowed him to live in the dorm, which was “cheaper than living on some guy’s couch.” But classes had already started when he eventually decided to enroll for the spring semester.

John C. Smith

“I never had the intention of really going to college. I had five brothers and sisters, and no one went to college. My parents never went to college.” — J O H N C. S M I T H , T M A SYS T E M S LLC C H A I R M A N A N D C H I E F  E X E C U T I V E O F F I C E R


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“When you sign up for school seven days after the school years starts, guess which classes you get? The classes that begin at 7:20 in the morning,” Smith says. By a stroke of luck, his morning class was taught by Moses Frye, who was legal counsel to the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges from 1962 to 1975 and also taught business classes at OSU until 1985. Frye was teaching just one class that spring semester, and when Smith walked in that January morning his life changed forever. “I was very fortunate to have met Moses Frye. He was an interesting guy. He got it. He understood that not everybody comes from the same background as other people,” Smith says. M os e s F r y e ’ s i n f l u e n c e

Smith arrived in Stillwater with $600 in his pocket and “a dream of being somebody or something.” To pay for college he was forced to find a job, often working late nights in a bar. But he was still in class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. Unfortunately, some of his classmates didn’t see the importance of making it a priority to attend on Fridays. “Most people on Friday mornings didn’t show up for class,” Smith says, so it was often a discussion between Smith and Frye.

“Monday and Wednesdays we had a few people show up, but Fridays I was lucky — it was our time to discuss topics far outside of business law,” Smith says. “He had an impact, a great impact, and I will always appreciate that.” Frye would give Smith advice on which classes to take, and directed him to take as many business classes as possible. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1977, and was intent on following in Frye’s footsteps as an attorney, taking the LSAT before making a lifechanging decision. “I recognized it would be a struggle to be able to afford to go to law school,” says Smith, who was awarded an OSU graduate scholarship and earned his master’s degree in accounting in 1979. He also holds a Certified Public Accountant certificate and license. Over the past 25 years, he has consulted with, owned or managed several technology companies through his association with Deloitte, The Williams Companies, Muzak and several investment banking firms. In 1997, while working in Medellin, Columbia, Smith put together a plan for the type of company he would like to own and operate. “That framework developed into looking at companies that were technologybased with recurring revenue, could be diversified through operations in multiple

Dean Christopolous, left, and John C. Smith are lifelong friends.

countries, and had the ability to be leveraged into other industries,” he says. He found that company in TMA Systems, a facilities management and clinical engineering software company based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Smith purchased the company in 1999 with 12 employees who occupied three rooms in a building. Today, TMA sells its software in 20 countries and has about 90 employees. “A lot of them are OSU grads,” he says proudly. Growing and giving

“One of the achievements I’m most proud of is building this company that employs 90 families, making certain their children will get through college,” says the TMA chairman and chief executive officer. “This is a community; this is not just a work place. We spend more time with the people we work with every day than we do with our own family.” That’s not particularly the case for Smith. Both his son, Patrick, (2005, University of Tulsa), and his daughter, Caty, (2008, University of Missouri) are employed at TMA. With clients throughout the world (he has worked in more than 35 countries during his lifetime), Smith spends over half of his time on the road. During a two-month stretch in 2015, he traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Luxembourg, France, England, Ireland, Turkey and six different states. Smith believes it is also important to give back to the community and that’s what he’s done over the years, serving on boards for the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, the City of Tulsa, the Arthritis Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and others. “I think it’s important to give back, period. We’re big supporters and we believe in giving,” he says. “We give to TU, we give to Mizzou, we give to OSU. You’ve got to give back to the people who gave to you because we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for OSU, and it wasn’t for TU, and it wasn’t for Mizzou.” None of it would have been possible without getting off the bus in Stillwater nearly 40 years ago.



“We looked at each other and said, ‘Something just happened to us, didn’t it?’” 112

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Brevard Rescue Mission changes lives with shelter and programs



tacia Glavas and her husband Pete didn’t realize that their world would change due to an asthma attack, but it did. Stacia, a 1985 Oklahoma State University graduate, lives with her family on the Intracoastal Waterway in Florida, a place where people often walk or ride their bikes. While working in their yard one day, they witnessed a woman having an asthma attack. Stacia and Pete ran to help the woman and her toddler. They learned the young mother, Julia, lived only a few blocks away and offered to accompany her and the child safely home. “We discovered that just a few blocks was a world away,” Stacia says. “The inside of the apartment was the worst I’d ever seen. The ceiling was falling in from black mold, and there was a hole in the

wall big enough for stray cats to come in and out of.” After helping Julia settle into her home, they returned to their car. Stacia says her immediate thought was to write Julia a check and get her out of the nightmare apartment, but as she sat in silence she says God was telling her, “Don’t do that, be her friend.” Either way, Stacia and Pete knew life would never be the same. “We looked at each other and said, ‘Something just happened to us, didn’t it?’” says Stacia.

LIFE CHANGING Stacia grew up in Garber, Oklahoma. Her father, Ed Long, owned four John Deere dealerships and was an OSU Regent who also served in the Oklahoma Senate. She came to know the business of business from him — and learned how to fix what’s broken. The Long family believed in hard work, finding solutions and giving back to others. Her family often hosted foreign exchange students, and Stacia found their backgrounds intriguing. She believes these interactions led to her interest in international trade. After graduation from Garber High School, Stacia knew she wanted to attend OSU and get involved. Her whirlwind

college days included membership in a sorority, Business Student Council, Mortar Board, General Education Board and the honor of being named a Top Ten Freshman and Homecoming Queen. Stacia participated in a study abroad program, a semester at sea, an internship in the British Parliament and an internship with David Boren when he served in the United States Senate. She earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational administration and business and was named a Top Ten Business Graduate. Stacia moved to Washington, D.C., after graduation, earning a master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University and working on Capitol Hill dealing with agricultural trade, women’s issues and international trade policy. During Christmas 1988, Stacia sat down with her brother and fellow OSU alumnus Dave Long and discussed the possibility of opening a franchise. He suggested checking Entrepreneur magazine for the list of Fortune 500 company franchises and choosing one from there. “I wanted to choose one that was inexpensive enough that, if I failed, I could recover from it financially,” she explains. Stacia chose Maid Brigade out of Atlanta. Within five months, her

Stacia Glavas has fond memories of OSU campus gatherings during her college days with her father, former state Senator Ed Long. (RIGHT) Casa Carol was the first home in the Brevard Rescue Mission.


business was open in Alexandria, Virginia, and had three employees. During that same time, she married Pete Glavas and began a family. Eventually, Stacia left her job on the Hill to focus solely on her business while Pete worked as a tax lobbyist. As the business grew, Pete also quit his job and went to work for Maid Brigade, running the day-to-day operations.

CHANGING LIVES Stacia says she felt called to the ministry in the United Methodist Church so she cut her hours and worked only as the comptroller for Maid Brigade. She was accepted into a seminary near Orlando, Florida, but decided to put that dream on hold to follow one of Pete’s dreams — living on a boat and traveling the east coast. The Glavas family set sail in 2001 with three kids, ages 6, 9 and 11. They

pondered it. In 2008, she stepped down from her position as an assistant minister and set to work to make the dream a reality. As any true businesswoman would do, Stacia began researching what works in the world of rescue missions. She looked at other business models, including her cousin’s rescue mission in California. Stacia also stayed in a women’s shelter to see how it truly operated. After a year of “doing homework,” she bought her first 12-unit apartment building in 2009 and named it Casa Carol. The mission grew quickly and in 2015, Stacia opened a second mission called Julia’s House after her friend and inspiration. The two houses are part of Brevard Rescue Mission with a combined total of seven full-time employees and four parttime employees. More than 400 volunteers handle the remainder of the work required

“Approximately one-third of our residents move out before they reach 60 days,” Stacia says. “They get in and realize how serious we are about the accountability and drop out. The residents who do make it 60 days generally stay in the program, and 90 percent of those who stay graduate and go on to live productive lives.” Most residents stay one to two years. Upon their graduation from the program, they receive housewarming gifts such as towels and bedding at a graduation party. Many graduates return to volunteer at the mission.

EXPANDING LIFE CHANGES With several years of success under its belt, the mission wants to expand. “We envision a reorganized staff structure, and we’re looking at a three-year plan to buy and renovate or build on 10 to

“It was like God was telling me, ‘Now I want you to do for others what I taught you to do for Julia.’” Julia’s House was named for the young mother who crossed paths with Stacia and Pete Glavas, moving their lives in a new direction traveled the seas for two years before deciding to settle in Florida. In 2006, they met Julia, the young mother with the asthma attack, and Stacia and Julia did become friends. Through time spent together and Stacia lending a helping hand over a year and a half, Julia renewed her cosmetology license, cut ties with her boyfriend and provided for her children. Julia is now married and living in Texas, where she serves as a homeroom mother at her children’s school. During that time, Stacia was finishing seminary school. While at a conference she had what she describes as an epiphany. “It was like God was telling me, ‘Now I want you to do for others what I taught you to do for Julia,’” Stacia says. She wrote this thought down and


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to operate the missions. Volunteers assist with kids’ club, holidays, program enrichment, medical needs and tutoring as well as grounds maintenance and anything else that needs to be done. The faith-based homes receive no government funding and depend solely on donations. Although the shelter is free to residents, there are requirements tied to living at the mission. The service is available to women with up to three children and requires quite a bit of work. Accountability is expected. Attendance at class sessions is mandatory. Subjects include money management, parenting, life skills and nutrition. Residents must attend every weekly case management meeting, make it to work on a regular schedule, keep their apartment clean and organized, and pursue a long-term career. For every 400 calls for assistance Brevard Rescue Mission receives, about 20 people qualify.

20 acres,” Stacia says. “We’d like to have everyone under one roof. In the future, we’d like to have an emergency shelter and social enterprises where our residents can make and sell products.” Brevard Rescue Mission is also reviewing rebranding under a new name so as not to be confused with other types of shelters. No matter the name, the mission will be the same. Stacia and her staff intend to continue changing lives for those who accept “a help up rather than a hand out.” “I have been blessed by these residents and by seeing them succeed. It’s so great to receive a text from a graduate letting me know how well they’re doing,” she says. “It’s extremely satisfying to be able to teach someone what a dream and a goal is.” To learn more about Brevard Rescue Mission, visit

The Glavas family has traveled the world on their boat.

OSU alumna Stacia Long Glavas lives with her husband, Pete, and their three daughters, Ally, Victoria and Hannah, in Florida.


’30s Mary Huggins Harrison, ’38 elementary education, celebrated her 100 th birthday on June 24, 2016. She still lives in her home in Midwest City and enjoys good health.

’40s Merle Allen, ’42 agronomy, married Dee Laura Vicker, ’42 general administration, during their senior year at OSU. She passed away after 45 years of marriage. He remarried, but she passed after 15 years. Currently, he is married to Carol Stolldorf. They enjoy playing bridge and dancing. Billy C. Clark, ’43 engineering, has been featured in the Tulsa World and Broken Arrow Ledger telling the stories of his World War II experiences. He was recognized at a University of Tulsa football game for his World

War II accomplishments as well as his service as an Honor Guard member for the American Legion.

’50s Richard Davis, ’50 agronomy, has two new great-grandsons, and his family is doing well. He has retired his quarter horse business and resides in Tyler, Texas. Charlie Lupsha, ’50 entomology, worked for 36 years in sales and marketing at Chevron Chemical. He retired as the manager of acquisitions in the chemical division. Two of his five sons and their wives attended OSU. He has been married for 67 years to an Oklahoma girl.

Rose Jones. They talk daily on the phone, and he hopes to visit her soon.

George, ‘90 sociology, and grandchildren Garret and Hayden.

John Farr, ’57 agricultural economics, lives in Encampment, Wyoming, and is retired. His hobbies are serving historical museums, speaking about the sheep industry and Kit Carson, fly fishing and exploring the West.

Charlie Post, ’61 general business, retired in 2004 as the owner of ABC Storage in Liberal, Kansas.

Robin Robertson, ’58 elementary education, owns and operates a farmer’s market with her husband, Bill, in Duncan, Oklahoma. They are the proud grandparents of Drake Richardson, who is the son of OSU Cowboys Cace Robertson and Chris Richardson.


Joseph E. George, ’61 secondary education, along with his wife Kay, divide time between Boulder, Colorado, with their daughter Tonya, son Jack St. Clair, ’52 industrial engi- -in-law Shawn, grandchildren Jayden, neering and management, is 91 years Eli, and Noë and Stillwater, Oklahoma, old and no longer flying. His motor- with their son Shaun George, ‘93 cycle needs major repairs. He has a marketing, daughter in-law Tiffany sweetheart in Oklahoma City named

Phillip Winslow, ’61 zoology, attended his 50 th medical school reunion at Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. John R. “Dick” Bogard, ’62 agronomy, has been married to his wife, Avon, for 52 years, and they have three grandchildren. He has retired from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and from the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He had a second career in child welfare, moved to Durant, Oklahoma, in 2004 and continues to run charitable 5k races. Philip Corlew, ’63 civil engineering, holds active licenses as a professional engineer and land surveyor in several states. He is vice chairman of the Illinois Licensing Board and a fellow in the American Council of Engineering Companies, American Society of Civil Engineers and National Academy of

Engineering classmates meet in the mountains Don Gafford, Charlie Heller and Bart Childs are OSU engineering classmates who get together regularly for reunions. Don Gafford graduated in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado. The first half of his career consisted of work in space flight mechanics for Titan launch vehicles. He was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to the return of the crew of Apollo 13, while working at TRW. In later years, he was an executive with companies providing systems engineering and analysis of defense space systems. In addition to their mountain house, the Gaffords have a home in San Jose, California. Charlie Heller was inducted into the OSU College of Engineering Hall of Fame in 2015. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering in 1959 and 1960 from OSU, where he played basketball for Mr. Henry P. “Hank” Iba for two years. He later earned a doctoral degree from the


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Catholic University of America. He spent most of his career as an entrepreneur — founder and CEO of two software companies; head of the entrepreneurship center at the University of Maryland; and partner in three venture capital firms. Today, he is an author, having written Prague: My Long Journey Home and Name-droppings: Close Encounters with the Famous and NearFamous. An OSU-centered memoir, Cowboy from Prague, is in the works. He lives with his wife, Sue, in Annapolis, Maryland.

Three OSU engineering classmates, from left, Don Gafford, Charlie Heller, and Bart Childs, meet at Gafford’s home high up in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, not far from Lake Tahoe. His house is at 6,500 feet. Sometimes he and his wife, Sondra, need the Pistol Pete snow cat in the background to reach civilization during the winter.

Bart Childs studied civil engineering at OSU and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1959, master’s degree in 1960, and doctoral degree in 1965. He taught at the University of Houston for six years, and the University of Louisville for three years before spending the next 33 years as a professor at Texas A&M University. Most of his academic work was in applied mathematics, documentation and computer programming. In 2007, Texas A&M named him professor emeritus in computer science and engineering. He lives in College Station, Texas.

Forensic Engineers. He has several community service awards, and his Brittany bird dogs have won national awards. He enjoys hunting and fishing. Wayne Sievers, ’63 master’s degree in physics, announces his granddaughters are juniors at Eastern New Mexico University and Clovis High School. One is on academic and soccer scholarships, and the other plays soccer, basketball and runs track. His youngest granddaughter is also in musicals. His son owns Sievers Sports Medicine clinic, and his daughter directs the Center for Teaching Excellence at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas.

Keep Us Posted Alumni Association members may submit information to be published as a classnote online and in STATE magazine based on availability of space. Announcements that are incomplete (such as marriage/union and birth announcements without spouse/partner information) or older than a year may not be considered for publication. Clearly print your information and mail to Class Notes, 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078. Information can also be emailed to or submitted online at A L U M N U S /A L U M N A


Jan Smith, ’64 doctorate in veterinary medicine, still enjoys camping and traveling despite health complications. She held a part-time job as a campground host in a national forest for the past three years. William Grantham, ’66 doctorate in veterinary medicine, celebrated 50 years as a graduate of OSU. He has worked in private equine racetrack practice in northern California since 1972. Mary Ila Bandy, ’67 elementary education, ’96 master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, has been traveling, hiking the Rocky Mountains, boating and fishing on Lake Texoma, skiing and riding her horse. She has five grandchildren living in Dallas. Rolland “Speedy” Nash, ’68 business administration, was a professional golfer for nine years before joining Footjoy Golf Co., where he worked in sales and marketing for 32 years. He is now retired and living in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Susan. They have two grown sons. Del Boyles, ’69 sociology, is celebrating the beginning of his 70 th year with a new dog and a new granddaughter, Layla. He is excited about the Cowboys raising the bar in baseball, basketball and football. Del is looking forward to a great year of being a Cowboy and sporting his black and orange.

’70s Rex Gooch, ’70 business, is a Bronze Medal Award winner in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His book, ACE, The Story of Lt. Col. Ace Cozzalio, vividly describes heroic exploits while flying Army helicopters with Lighthorse Air Cavalry in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.








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O K L A H O M A S TAT E D E G R E E(S) A N D Y E A R (S)


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S O N / DAU G H T E R / G R A N D S O N / G R A N D DAU G H T E R ( p l e a s e c i r c l e)





( p l e a s e i n c l u d e p u b l i s h e d n o t i c e)


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Judith Piatt Griffin, ’70 sociology, retired in 2015 from Walt Disney World. She keeps busy as a member of the Central Florida Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America and the Orlando-area Alpha Chi Omega alumni chapter. Andy Boston, ’73 doctorate in animal breeding and quantitative genetics, and his wife, LaVerne, celebrated 50 years of marriage on August 14, 2015. He also received the Continuing Service Award from the Beef Improvement Federation last June. Pam Cross-Cupit, ’75 social sciences, received the Don J. Blair Friend of Medicine Award from the Oklahoma State Medical Association on April 16, 2016. The organization she directs, the Health Alliance for the Uninsured, received the Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence Award for Health Services on April 9, 2016. Patty Fisher Dixon, ’75 recreation, is still living in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, but after 28 years in one place, she and her husband moved into a new home. Their children and grandkids are doing great. She was elected to serve on the Sand Springs City Council. Jarold Callahan, ’76 animal science, was appointed to the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges by Governor Mary Fallin. The board supervises Connors State College, Langston University, Northeastern Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Oklahoma State University and its constituent agencies. Carol Gaunt Cornell, ’77 English education, taught high school English at Mountain View (Oklahoma) High School. She recently retired and is engaged to Jim LaRue. Her children are Joshua Cornell, a petroleum landman in Tulsa, and Noah T. Cornell, a restaurant manager in Chicago, Illinois. David Keys, ’78 accounting, began his career with Deloitte, serving as a CPA in the Las Vegas and New York City executive offices. As a financial and operations consultant now, he serves on the board of directors for a number of publicly traded and privately held corporations.


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Roger Gaddis, ’79 accounting, of Gaddis & Gaddis Wealth Managem e nt h a s be e n named to the LPL “Chairman’s Club,” which recognizes his leadership as a financial adviser associated with LPL, one of the nation’s largest independent financial planning companies. Of the estimated 14,000 affiliated LPL advisors throughout the United States, only 6 percent achieve this annual award.

Patricia Marshall, ’86 doctorate in curriculum and instruction, is a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor for the 2015-2016 academic year at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. Her research project is titled Multicultural Education in the United States and Ecuador: Teacher Education Students’ Investment in Cross-Cultural Study of Race and Economic Class Disparities in Schools.

Kristin Hinrichs, ’79 special education, became a widow in 2011 when her husband Frank Hinrichs II, ’79 chemical engineering, passed away after a long illness. Her son Kyle Hinrichs, ’08 management information systems, had a baby girl, Laura Ann, on June 12, 2015.

Carol J. Bridges, ’89 doctorate of philosophy, was named 2016 Distinguished Former Faculty Member at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.

’80s Alan W. Bradshaw, ’81 marketing, celebrated his 30th year with Farmers Insurance in May. He has qualified for the Toppers Club, multiple championships and Presidents Councils within Farmers every year. Teresa Dillon, ’81 nutritional science, is moving from San Antonio, Texas, to the Washington, D.C., area to take a civil service position with the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army in the Department of Defense. She works on medical countermeasures for treatment from chemical and biological warfare threats.

Susan Richmeier, ’89 elementary education, is completing her first term as Finney County attorney in Garden City, Kansas. She has been re-elected to her second term beginning January 2017. Her office consists of nine prosecutors and 11 support staff. Susan has three children, and her oldest entered her sophomore year at OSU in the fall. Susan and her husband, Mike, spend their free time traveling and enjoying OSU athletics.

’90s Jenny Kucera, ’92, journalism, began a new career opportunity with PACCAR Winch in May 2016. As a technical publications specialist, she manages company publications and creates new technical service manuals and documentation.

Brad Russell, ’82 animal science, has four grandsons. A new grandbaby was due in August. His youngest son, Garrett, is a freshman at OSU. Joe Sweeden, ’83 animal science, is the lead environmental inspector and chief utility inspector for Perennial Environmental Services. Julie Rivers, ’84 English education, has been appointed to the boa rd of director s of the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jean Smith, ’85 political science, celebrated three years in May 2016 with AT&T as a senior litigation paralegal. Her daughter, Meredith, is 12 years old.

Christopher Hill, ’96 master’s degree in communications, was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Air Force on November 12, 2014, and pinned in a ceremony on December 5, 2015. He assumed command of the 190th Comptroller Flight with the 190th Air Refueling Wing at Forbes Field Air National Guard Base, Kansas, upon his promotion. Prior to his current assignment, he served as commander of the 190th Communications Flight at the 190th Air Refueling Wing. He has served in the military for 26 years.

Reed Jackson, ’97 electrical engineering, has worked 20 years with the Federal Aviation Administration as an electrical engineer. Julie Nagel, ’97 master’s degree zoology, has been named associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Kansas.

’00s Amy Acre, ’00 marketing, married Brian Benton on April 18, 2015. Jenny Schanck Inlow, ’00 health and physical education, ’02 master’s degree special education, and her husband, Jason, welcomed new Cow­ boy Grady Ryan on December 3, 2015. Grady joins his big sister, Bailey, and brother, Hayes. Cassie Mitchell, ’04 chemical engineering, was named the 2016 Circle of Excellence award winner for the Bobby Dodd Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, in honor of her research, athletics and mentoring success. She was a 2015 OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award honoree. Joe Davis, ’06 psycholog y, is now chief technology of f i ce r a n d h a s become a part of Citizens Bank of Edmond’s senior management team. As the chief technology officer, he manages technological initiatives and vendors, implements the information security program and planning and implements the business contingency plan. Derek Hines, ’07 finance, has been hired as the lead LPL financial adviser to manage day-to-day operations in Gaddis & Gaddis Wealth Management’s office in Durant, Oklahoma. Derek and his family have returned to Oklahoma after living in New Mexico since 2007. Jillian Prather, ‘09 biochemistry, received her doctorate of dental medicine degree in June from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

in Bradenton, Florida. She is joining the dental practice of Dr. Chris Ward in Owasso, Oklahoma.

’10s Jennifer Payne Stone, ’13 elementary education, says her experiences at OSU have given her so much to be thankful for. She is an elementary teacher in Leander Independent School District outside Austin, Texas. She married Garrett Stone, ’09 broadcast journalism, in July 2015. Their favorite fall activities are the road trips to OSU for football games and tailgating. She can’t wait to have children and raise them the Pokes way. Taylor Miller, ’13 strategic communications and ’14 master’s degree mass communications, has joined USA Wrestling in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as a communications coordinator. Taylor Forrest Haley, ’15 agricultural education, led the Nebraska FFA champion agricultural issues team after founding the chapter this past year. She will be moving to Arizona to teach.

In Memoriam Victor Wolfram served as an artistin-residence and professor of music at OSU. For many years, he was the coordinator of keyboard studies in the department of music, and he served as acting department head. Born in New York City in 1920 and educated at the Juilliard School of Music, Wolfram served as a chaplain’s assistant in the Navy during World War II and lived in New York, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska and Maryland before coming to OSU in 1960. At OSU, he was recognized for the harpsichord recitals he offered each semester. Wolfram retired from OSU in July 1982. During retirement in California, Wolfram continued to perform actively. He died December 12, 2015, in Walnut Creek, California. He is survived by his wife Esta Wolfram. Carl Frederick Meyerdirk, ’49 journalism, died January 19, 2016, at the age of 89. Meyerdirk was the retired director of media relations

at Amoco Corporation, a television talk show host in the 1960s in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a U.S. Navy veteran and a past president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. He is survived by his brother Harold Meyerdirk; longtime business partner and friend of 46 years, Thomas R. Tocalis; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and June Brown Meyerdirk, and his brother Howard Meyerdirk. Donations may be made in his name to the Michiana Humane Society, Fred L. Thompson, ’50 human resources management, died January 5, 2016. Thompson was honorably discharged from the Air Force as a captain. He was an early innovator in FM radio and owned and operated KRSL in Russell, Kansas, and KYFM in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He also served his alma mater as national president of the OSU Alumni Association, president of the OSU Foundation and by establishing an academic scholarship. Thompson was also an OSU Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Delbert O. Black, ’55 agriculture, ’59 master’s degree and ’69 doctorate in agriculture, died January 16, 2016. He was a member of the 1953 Intercollegiate Poultry Judging Team Contest and managed the OSU Poultry Farm from 1956 to 1960. He is survived by his wife, Billie June Black. Memorials may be sent to NARFE – Alzheimer Research, Bill Braden, Treasurer, 1806 Medina Drive, College Station, Texas 77840 or First Baptist Church Building Fund, 3100 Cambridge Drive, Bryan, Texas 77802. Kathryn Tate, ’55 vocational home economics, died at age 82 on February 12, 2015. She was born on January 13, 1933, to Earl and Esther Splawn in Leveland, Texas. She graduated from Fredrick High School in 1951 and earned graduation honors from Cameron Junior College in Lawton, Oklahoma. She married Billie Dean Tate on June 26, 1955. She taught home economics until May 1988 and was named Teacher of the Year in 1985. In 1997, she was elected to the Carnegie City Council, where she served until 2013, including as mayor from 2000-05. The Kiowa County Farm Bureau named her Farm Woman of the Year in 2004. She was an active member of the OSU Alumni Association Caddo County chapter and Carnegie First Baptist Church. She is survived by her husband, Bill Tate, ’55 geography, son, Lynn Tate,

Mr. Henry P. “Hank” Iba, Don and Gloria McClanen and OSU President Lawrence Boger meet at the Oklahoma State University FCA Plaza in 1978.

FCA founder started ministry as OSU student While a student at OSU from 1946 to 1950, Don McClanen was inspired by a dynamic idea. Recognizing the strong influence of athletes and coaches upon the lives of others, he envisioned a fellowship of athletes, dedicated to advancing Christianity through their vocations. It was this fundamental concept that led to the founding of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The FCA has grown over the years and today is widely recognized and respected for its mission of spreading the principles of Christianity to youth. To honor this outstanding organization, whose roots are deeply imbedded at Oklahoma State University, and its founder, the OSU Foundation Board of Governors dedicated FCA Plaza, October 13, 1978. McClanen died February 16, 2016 at the age of 91. His story was featured in the Spring 2009 STATE. Read more about his life on the website:

daughter, Deana Sims, five grandchildren, a niece and a nephew. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Robert Splawn. Leslie Newkirk Johnston, ’56 doctorate in veterinary medicine, died November 4, 2015. He was born on October 9, 1928, to Leslie Newkirk Johnston Sr. and Lottie Johnston. On December 22, 1951, he married Ada Sue Ruff in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Johnston served in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Hawaii. Following his military service, he started veterinary school at OSU. After graduation, Johnston established a veterinary practice in Tulsa. He was a member of First Baptist Church, the Agape Sunday School class, American Veterinary Medical Association, Oklahoma Veterinary

Medical Association and the Northeast Oklahoma Veterinary Group. Memorials may be sent to the Agape Sunday School class to further mission efforts (First Baptist Church, 403 S. Cincinnati Ave., Tulsa, OK 74103). David Holle, ’59 geology, died on March 13, 2016. He was a loyal Cowboy fan. Funeral attendees wore orange in honor of him and OSU. George Michael Thomas, ’62 animal science, ’68 doctorate in veterinary medicine, died October 18, 2015. He was born on March 20, 1941. He practiced in Temple and Ninnekah, Oklahoma, for over 40 years. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Thomas,’63 business administration, daughter, Michele Flanagan, ’91 management, son, Joe Thomas, and five grandchildren.


Book Corner Dinah Cox ’03, ’09 Dinah Cox’s debut short fiction collection, Remarkable, won the BOA Short Fiction Prize. Established in 2010, the prize publishes short fiction collections within BOA’s long-running American Reader Series, which was originally established in 1994 as a vehicle for prose about poetry and poetics. The series was later expanded to include short fiction, which BOA recognized as a valuable and underserved literary genre. The collection of stories in Remarkable reflects on the resilient Great Plains where Old West sensibilities meet the modern world. The award-winning tales are about ordinary people with an honest look at their idiosyncrasies. While not all the stories are set in Oklahoma, the characters are marked by the region and its efforts to be something better. A book review in Publishers Weekly says, “The stories neither revere nor despise their Oklahoma setting, even as many of Cox’s delightfully odd characters feel stuck there and dream of someday getting out. The stories in Cox’s debut collection are as varied as they are sharp and surprising, venturing fearlessly into unexpected territory.” Remarkable is available from and Cox has also won prizes from Atlantic Monthly, Texas Observer and Hayden’s Ferry Review. She earned a doctorate in creative writing from OSU in 2009. She teaches in the English Department at Oklahoma State University, where she also is an associate editor at Cimarron Review, which will celebrate 50 years of publishing in 2017.


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Carle, Robert, ’49, ’50, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Loosley, Don, ’51, Dallas, Texas

The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association has received notice that the following graduates died between February 15, 2016, and July 31, 2016. Their college graduation year(s) and last place of residence are listed in Passages. Families may send biographies for Class Notes In Memoriam to the OSU Alumni Association, STATE Magazine, 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078-7043.

Fogleman, Patty, ’49, Locust Grove, Oklahoma

Reichman, Robert, ’51, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Harrison, A.B., ’49, ’50, Madison, Wisconsin

Robinson, Katheryn, ’51, McAlester, Oklahoma

Kernan Jr., Frank, ’49, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Titus, Barbara, ’51, ’53, Oklahoma City

Miller, Elizabeth, ’49, Enid, Oklahoma

Cobb, Charles, ’52, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Queen, John, ’49, Fort Worth, Texas

Drake, Mary, ’52, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Suggs, James, ’49, ’50, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Beeby, Patricia, ’53, Marshall, Oklahoma

Thompson, James, ’49, ’57, ’66, Norman, Oklahoma

Bennett, Darrell, ’53, Piedmont, Oklahoma

Whitlock, Robert Sr., ’49, Fletcher, Oklahoma

Hunt, Harold, ’53, Lawton, Oklahoma

Ball Jr., Lemuel, ’50, ’65, Claremore, Oklahoma

McMahon, David, ’53, Fort Smith, Arkansas

Craig, Harold, ’50, Norman, Oklahoma

Nimmo, Alvenia, ’53, Clinton, Oklahoma

Emmons, Earl, ’50, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Biederman, Charles, ’54, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hyer, Jack, ’50, Guymon, Oklahoma

Brown, Leonard, ’54, Claremore, Oklahoma

Kraft, Norma, ’50, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Chitwood, Barbara, ’54, Tulsa, Oklahoma

McClanen, Don, ’50, ’53, Germantown, Maryland

Grassman, Corky, ’54, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Perry, Nellie, ’50, ’51, ’66, Prairie Village, Kansas

Halcomb, Sonny, ’54, Pond Creek, Oklahoma

Putnam, Pauline, ’50, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Knight, Joy, ’54, ’60, Redwater, Texas

Whitley, Ada, ’50, ’61, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Marquis Jr., Frank, ’54, Montgomery, Texas

Blades, Ed, ’51, Crescent, Oklahoma

Moyer, Wilber, ’54, Blackwell, Oklahoma

Cline, Charles, ’51, ’60, ’68, Cushing, Oklahoma

Myers, Bob, ’54, Dewey, Oklahoma

Compton, Jack, ’51, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Ruedy, Roy, ’54, Bethany, Oklahoma

Fearnow, William, ’51, Jones, Oklahoma

Bucknell, Dixie, ’55, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Gervais, Bernie, ’51, Thomaston, Maine

Harrison Sr., Bill, ’55, Lindsay, Oklahoma

Ives, John, ’51, ’53, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Horne, Rex, ’55, Oklahoma City

Ketchum, Ed, ’51, Duncan, Oklahoma

King, John, ’55, ’63, Ithaca, New York

Little, Luceil, ’38, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Dreessen, Ralph, ’39, ’62, Stillwater, Oklahoma Willits, Verne, ’40, Fairview, Oklahoma Mason, Velma, ’41, Oklahoma City Patrick, Fern, ’41, Cushing, Oklahoma Riley, Frances, ’41, Allen, Texas Baker, Jasper, ’42, ’47, Trenton, Texas Yarborough, Marcella, ’42, Perry, Oklahoma Givens, Jack, ’43, ’47, Magnum, Oklahoma Burris, Ellen, ’46, Broken Bow, Oklahoma Howell, LeRoy, ’46, ’64, Edmond, Oklahoma Geymann, Paul, ’47, ’51, Edmond, Oklahoma Hankins, Wanda, ’47, Sand Springs, Oklahoma Howell, Betty, ’48, Stillwater, Oklahoma Johnston, Orvin, ’48, Stillwater, Oklahoma Ledbetter, Myron, ’48, ’50, ’61, Port Jefferson, New York McKnight, Grant, ’48, Bartlesville, Oklahoma Merrill, Ella, ’48, Tulsa, Oklahoma Richardson, Lavon, ’48, ’49, ’58, Ellisville, Missouri

Morton, Richard, ’55, Grandfield, Oklahoma

McMahan, Donald, ’58, Lawton, Oklahoma

Kinyon, Jim, ’62, ’70, Fort Collins, Colorado

Neal, Marjorie, ’55, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Phelps, Kenneth, ’58, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Williams, Jerald, ’62, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Palmer, Thomas, ’55, ’61, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Schumacher, Matthew, ’58, Muskogee, Oklahoma

Wittenberg, Janice, ’62, Lawton, Oklahoma

Spratt Jr., Jack, ’55, Anchorage, Alaska

Trumbla, Jon, ’58, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Horinek, Fred, ’63, Newkirk, Oklahoma

Weatherford, Helen, ’55, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Coursey, Cecil, ’59, ’61, Vici, Oklahoma

Mertz Jr., Wade, ’63, ’70, North Ridgeville, Ohio

Askew, Vernon, ’56, Oklahoma City

Holle, David, ’59, Beaumont, Texas

Baker Jr., George, ’56, Talala, Oklahoma

Lawson, Eileen, ’59, Morris, Oklahoma

Morrison Jr., Jim, ’63, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Deal, Nancy, ’56, Shreveport, Louisiana

Radcliff, Kent, ’59, ’61, Dexter, Kansas

Ferguson, Kenneth, ’56, Poteau, Oklahoma

Smith, Jack, ’59, Ardmore, Oklahoma

Hasenbeck Sr., Jim, ’56, Oklahoma City

Vann, Sandra, ’59, ’70, Oklahoma City

McAnelly II, Earl, ’56, Edmond, Oklahoma

Zodrow, Donald, ’59, ’64, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Rankin, Carl, ’56, Tulsa, Oklahoma

McDonald, Bruce, ’60, Northridge, California

Scott, Edward, ’56, ’57, Wetumka, Oklahoma

Munsell, Jay, ’60, ’62, ’64, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Clarke, Lynn, ’57, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Tomlinson, Phillip, ’60, ’62, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Elliott, John, ’57, Sulphur, Oklahoma

Yeaman, Bob, ’60, Glen Rose, Texas

Gore, Willie, ’57, ’62, Sterling, Colorado

Bruner, Jerry, ’61, Oklahoma City

Logan, Albert, ’57, ’79, Tishomingo, Oklahoma

Cyrus, James, ’61, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Nixon, Russell, ’57, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Fetzer, Dean, ’61, ’64, Yukon, Oklahoma

Peterson, Armetta, ’57, Kansas City, Missouri

Pyle, Bob, ’61, Lawton, Oklahoma

Ryan, Buddy, ’57, Shelbyville, Kentucky

Schiltz, James, ’61, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Choate, James, ’58, ’61, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Wood, Carole D., ’61, ’85, Wewoka, Oklahoma

Crocker, Dick, ’58, Woodward, Oklahoma

Gause, Patricia, ’62, ’80, Houston, Texas

Eitelman, Larry, ’58, Tulsa, Oklahoma

George, Paul, ’62, Wichita, Kansas

Hawthorn, Leeillia, ’58, Cushing, Oklahoma

Giles, Herschell, ’62, ’67, Birmingham, Alabama

Hudgins, Lois, ’58, Stilwell, Oklahoma

Hartman, Stephen, ’62, ’66, Colcord, Oklahoma

Peters, Barbara, ’63, Tulsa, Oklahoma Terrill, Charles, ’63, Stillwater, Oklahoma Thompson, David, ’63, Tulsa, Oklahoma Zweiacker, Jo Ann, ’63, ’84, College Station, Texas Chandler, Jeanne, ’64, ’92, Tupelo, Mississippi Newell, Oran, ’64, Wakita, Oklahoma Keffer, Doug, ’65, Tulsa, Oklahoma Cochran, James, ’66, Elk City, Oklahoma Dotter, Lee, ’66, Osage, Oklahoma Holick, Charles, ’66, Ponca City, Oklahoma Watkins, Raymond, ’66, Edmond, Oklahoma Black III, Amos, ’67, ’69, Anadarko, Oklahoma Cooper, David, ’67, Oklahoma City Rager, Chuck, ’67, Ponca City, Oklahoma Shell, David, ’67, ’70, Houston, Texas Vendell Jr., Edward, ’67, Ogden, Utah Hessel, Jo, ’68, Stillwater, Oklahoma Kaufman, Carl, ’68, Houston, Texas Watkins, Eddie, ’68, Oklahoma City

Book Corner Jim Lisk, ’73, ’82 Winter’s Hawk: Red-tails on the Southern Plains details the seasonal migration of red-tailed hawks on the southern Great Plains, an extraordinary event that can be best observed right here in Oklahoma. Author Jim Lish, an associate professor of physiological sciences at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences and a professional biologist and ornithologist for more than 40 years, offers over 200 magnificent photos of red-tails, illustrating biodiversity within the region. Along with an explanation of the red-tails’ crucial role in the state’s environment, readers can also learn about their biology, social behavior and much more in astounding detail and imagery. Winter’s Hawk educates and moves readers to protect and admire these majestic birds so they’ll be around and thriving for generations to come. Alongside 36 other books, Winter’s Hawk was selected as a finalist in the 2016 Oklahoma Book Award competition in the design/illustration/photography category. Lish has also published various articles in scientific journals such as Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Sciences, The Southwestern Naturalist, the Journal of Raptor Research and the Bulletin of the Oklahoma Ornithological Society. Published by University of Oklahoma Press in September 2015, Winter’s Hawk can be found on and


Passages Barrick, Joan, ’69, ’75, ’83, Stillwater, Oklahoma Ramee, Robert, ’69, Oklahoma City

Brooks Thompson, ’01 political science, died June 9, 2016. Thompson, 45, is regarded as one of the best guards in OSU history. He earned All-Big Eight selections in 1993 and 1994. He is one of just eight Cowboys to record a 500-point/100-assist season, and only Marcus Smart (2.9 steals per game) tallied more steals per game over his career than Thompson (2.7). He was a 43.1 percent shooter from 3-point over his career. A native of Littleton, Colorado, Thompson was taken with the 27th pick of the 1994 NBA draft by the Orlando Magic and played a combined four seasons with Orlando, Utah, Denver, Phoenix and New York. Following his NBA career, Thompson returned to Stillwater as an assistant coach from 1998-99 and once again in 2001-02. He later served two seasons at Arizona State and spent the last 10 seasons as the head basketball coach at the University of Texas– San Antonio, where he led the Roadrunners to the NCAA Tournament in 2011. Thompson is survived by his wife, Michelle, and three daughters: Ryan Michelle, Brooke and Addison.

Reager, James, ’69, Wilburton, Oklahoma Shi, Gus, ’69, Seminole, Oklahoma Teeters, Cheryl, ’69, ’84, ’94, La Russell, Missouri Thompson, David, ’69, Oklahoma City Trissell, Terry, ’69, Elk City, Oklahoma Williams, Janet, ’69, ’79, Ponca City, Oklahoma Anderson-Mitchell, Shirley, ’70, Henrietta, Texas Learned, Wesley, ’70, Wichita, Kansas Murray, Doc, ’70, Perkins, Oklahoma Stachmus, Charles, ’70, McAlester, Oklahoma Abraham-Morrow, Sherry, ’71, Wichita, Kansas Berry, Kim, ’71, Stillwater, Oklahoma Duncan, Perry, ’71, Oklahoma City McMaster, Maureen, ’72, ’87, Melbourne Beach, Florida Allen, Bob, ’73, Rockwall, Texas

Oklahoma State University mourns the death of Cowboy Basketball forward Tyrek Coger. The 22-year-old junior college transfer from Elizabethtown, North Carolina, died July 22 after collapsing during a team workout. He arrived on the OSU campus July 5. Cowboy Head Basketball Coach Brad Underwood said, “Tyrek was excited to be at Oklahoma State and had such passion for the game and was looking forward to being an OSU Cowboy.” Coger is survived by his mother and father, Tomeka Collins and Michael Coger Jr. of Elizabethtown, North Carolina; four brothers, Michael Coger III of New Jersey, Rodney Purvis of Connecticut, Miguel and Zach Coger of Elizabethtown, and godmother Shanda McNair of Raleigh, North Carolina.


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Elliott, Francis, ’73, Stillwater, Oklahoma Fairbanks, Carol, ’73, Stillwater, Oklahoma Garrison, Deanne, ’73, ’90, ’08, Ardmore, Oklahoma Reynolds, Claudean Berry, ’73, Perkins, Oklahoma Riemer, Jim, ’73, ’77, Pawnee, Oklahoma Shafer, Nelda, ’73, Fairfax, Oklahoma Turk, Michael, ’73, Stillwater, Oklahoma Myers Jr., Robert, ’74, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Botchlet, Richard, ’75, Bethany, Oklahoma

Cole, Jan, ’87, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Pulliam, Lynn, ’75, Denver, Colorado

Anthis, Marcey, ’88, Olympia, Washington

Riddle, Robert, ’75, ’79, Muskogee, Oklahoma

Shutrump, Michael, ’88, Yukon, Oklahoma

Turk, William, ’75, Katy, Texas

Ferguson, John, ’89, Sapulpa, Oklahoma

Boeckman, Steven, ’76, Kingfisher, Oklahoma

Vernon, Robert, ’90, Davis, Oklahoma

Crenshaw, Rick, ’76, ’81, Fairfax, Oklahoma

Teeman, Amber, ’91, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Dobbins, Steven, ’76, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Duvall-Hayes, Bianca, ’93, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Hulett, Ted, ’76, Bethany, Oklahoma

Smith, Nikki, ’93, Oak Harbor, Washington

Hyder, Glenn, ’76, Stigler, Oklahoma

Tribble, Byron, ’94, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Miller, Don, ’77, Altus, Oklahoma

Buffington, Karen, ’95, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Pampalone, Frank, ’77, Rogers, Arkansas

Harnly, Jaymi, ’95, Mount Pleasant, Texas

Viljoen, Trevor, ’77, ’80, Oklahoma City

Wittrock, Sara, ’95, Minco, Oklahoma

Jacobs, Michael, ’78, Duncan, Oklahoma

Clay, Robert, ’97, Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Taylor, Janabeth, ’78, ’93, Corpus Christi, Texas

Henry, James, ’97, ’06, Owasso, Oklahoma

Ahrnsbrak, Mike, ’79, Guthrie, Oklahoma

Miller, Michael, ’01, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Lawrence, Julie, ’79, Enid, Oklahoma

Thompson, Brooks, ’01, Boerne, Texas

Smith, Greg, ’79, ’84, Oklahoma City

Veirs, Ryan, ’01, Edmond, Oklahoma

Milburn, Kermit, ’80, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Naifeh, Blake, ’02, Edmond, Oklahoma

Porter, Bill, ’80, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Eubank Jr., Hoss, ’03, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Reeder, Laura, ’80, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Foster, Matt, ’03, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Staudt, Susan, ’80, ’83, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Holleman, Lucas, ’04, Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Muegge, Linda, ’82, Lamont, Oklahoma

Odell II, Manuel, ’04, Muskogee, Oklahoma

Mullins, Charles, ’82, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Wilson, Aaron, ’04, ’05, Texarkana, Texas

Quinn, Kenneth, ’83, Gadsden, Alabama

Chapman, Chris, ’05, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin

Bullock, Martin, ’84, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Thompson, Nicolette, ’06, ’07, Oklahoma City

Cory, Frank, ’86, Oklahoma City

Varner, Brent, ’08, Davidson, Oklahoma

Remembering a Legend OSU alumnus ‘Ed’ Malzahn leaves behind a legacy of generosity BY K A R O LY N B O L AY



hen you think of a small, rural Oklahoma town, you don’t imagine regular visits from the FBI. But that is just what happened in 1935 and 1938, thanks to one curious and innovative teenager. Gus Edwin George “Ed” Malzahn was always tinkering with the tools in his father’s blacksmith and machine shop during his childhood, which prompted interest from federal investigators. The mechanical engineering graduate of Oklahoma A&M College, now Oklahoma State University, took the interest of his youth and turned it into a successful career. “He was very creative and innovative even at a young age,” says Tiffany Sewell-Howard, Mr. Malzahn’s granddaughter and executive chair of Charles Machine Works. “He was just so curious. From the time he was able to as a young child, he tinkered.” Charles Machine Works began when Mr. Malzahn noticed the difficulty in laying residential utility lines with hand-dug trenches. In 1949, he invented his first mechanical trenching machine. The prototype started the brand known as Ditch Witch. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers recognized it as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark in 2002. The company has grown to a global scale and provides products, including more than half of the world’s trenching machines, in 195 countries. “We always think about Perry, but there is a big impact worldwide by the number of dealerships and the people that work there,” Sewell-Howard says. “We employ close to 4,000 people within the family of companies and the dealer organization.” Mr. Malzahn passed on December 11, 2015, leaving behind an engineering legacy and continuing to influence others through his passion for generosity and innovation. He never forgot his roots, keeping Perry as the global headquarters for Charles Machine Works and making sure the local community was always a priority. “He set up a foundation for the benefit of Perry, so we can continue to support all the things that he loved and had a specific interest in,” Sewell-Howard says. “We will continue to support what he wanted to happen here.”

Mr. Malzahn’s generosity extended to his alma mater, as he provided scholarships to students at OSU. “He just wanted to be in service to everything and everyone that helped him achieve what he achieved in his lifetime,” SewellHoward says. “He gave to OSU. He gave to Perry. Those were the people who supported him through his ups and downs. “The world will remember him as an innovator, but he was so humble and unassuming. He was just a common man who had some great ideas. Everybody called him — very lovingly — Head Sprocket. It shows he is innovative, but it is still fun.” Mr. Malzahn is survived by his three children, Don Malzahn and wife, Phyllis, of Wichita, Kansas; Pam Sewell and husband, David, of Perry, Oklahoma; and Meleasa Malzahn of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. His nine grandchildren include Tiffany Sewell-Howard and husband, Dan, of Edmond, Oklahoma; Jason Sewell and wife, Katie; Cody Sewell and wife, April, all of Perry, Oklahoma; Zahn Wilkerson and wife, Kelly, of Chandler, Arizona; Courtney Darrah and husband, Will, of Wichita, Kansas; Sarah Malzahn of Englewood, Colorado; Matthew Wilkerson and wife, Briana, of Tempe, Arizona; Whitney Wilkerson of Chandler, Arizona; and Perry Malzahn and husband, Jason Brammer, of Wichita. He also has 14 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Bertha Malzahn; his wife, Mary; and one sister, Virginia Lamb.

OSU alumnus Ed Malzahn changed the engineering world with his innovations.


Friends IN High Places:

The United States Presidential Election of 1892, Political Patronage and Oklahoma’s First Land Grant College


Grover Cleveland 22nd and 24th U.S. President 1885-1889 and 1893-97


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or over 200 years, presidential elections have been contentious events in the United States. The election of 1892 was distinctive in that it was the only time a former president, Grover

Benjamin Harrison 23rd U.S. President 1889-1893

James Weaver 1892 Populist Presidential candidate

Cleveland, faced a sitting president, Benjamin Harrison. It was a rematch, with a third party addition, of the election four years earlier in 1888 when Harrison defeated Cleveland. In that first election between the two, Cleveland won the popular vote, but Harrison prevailed in the Electoral College. The 1892 election would feature a third political party, the Populists and their candidate James Weaver, who would collect 8.5 percent of the popular vote and gather 22 electoral votes by winning Kansas, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and one elector each from North Dakota and Oregon. Citizens in the Oklahoma and Indian Territories could not vote in the presidential election of 1892, but the results of this contest would lead to the ouster of their land grant college’s first Board of Regents, replacement of its president, and halt the construction of Old Central, the first permanent building on the campus of the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. Territorial voting Many Payne County and Stillwater citizens carried political persuasions along with their possessions into the Indian and Oklahoma Territories. Populists came from Kansas and Colorado; Democrats from Texas, Arkansas and Missouri; and Republicans from Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New England. These conflicting partisan differences were often aired in local newspapers. The citizens of Payne County and Stillwater had voted in numerous elections that had become the foundation of

the evolving Oklahoma Territory. Local officials and other representatives were elected; town charters and local ordinances were enacted; and revenue streams and financial resources were approved through taxes, bonds, fines and fees. The election process did not always run smoothly. Some measures needed adjustments; others failed or were reworked and proposed again. One such case had been the securing of bonds to provide funding for the first permanent building at OAMC. One reason Stillwater had been selected as the successful candidate for the new home of the college was the city’s promise to provide $10,000 for construction of a college building. For an infant community comprised exclusively of recent homesteaders, the only feasible way to raise these funds was the sale of revenue bonds. After some early stumbles, the city succeeded, and the bonds were sold. But it was understood that this amount would only comprise the seed money for the project, and an additional allocation would be needed from the new Oklahoma Territory to complete construction. Initially, the college had been designated for Payne County but not located on a specific site. The February 1891 bond issue to approve the $10,000 funding source failed overwhelmingly with less than 33 percent of the countywide vote. In April 1891, Stillwater residents voted to incorporate as a town. By a unanimous vote of 132-0, city voters approved issuing

the bonds the next month. The territorial site selection committee recommended the Stillwater site in Payne County to the territorial governor during the first week of July 1891. The electoral process seemed to be leading towards the successful establishment of the college in Stillwater and construction of it first permanent building. Leadership appointments U.S. presidents appointed territorial governors. President Harrison, a Republican, appointed the first Oklahoma territorial governor, fellow Republican George Washington Steele. Steele’s responsibilities included appointing the Board of Regents for the land grant college in Stillwater. Steele, who served as an ex officio member of the board, named five individuals. The territorial legislature approved four, and a substitute appointment was later accepted. All the board members were Republicans. Several members were also territorial legislators. Board members frequently served in several capacities. One board member in several additional rolls was John Wimberley, who served as a legislator and in two paid positions on the Board of Regents. He served as purchasing agent and superintendent of the college building program. The secretary of the board was designated to serve as the college president, so Robert Barker, another legislator, instantly became the first college president when he was selected


Construction for the first campus building, Old Central, was delayed due to financing conflicts.

as the secretary. Barker would also serve on the faculty as professor of moral and mental science. Amos Ewing was chosen as board treasurer and college treasurer at this same meeting when the board first gathered at Guthrie in June 1891. These numerous entwinements of the legislature, board and campus officials along with their affiliations with the Republican Party proved to be both assets and liabilities. Construction financing The Board of Regents took ownership of 200 acres in November 1891; the next month, it authorized construction of three wood-framed buildings using federal funds provided through the Land Grant Act of 1862, commonly known as the Morrill Act. The federal funds were deposited in accounts at Ewing’s Guthrie bank. Although the Stillwater construction bonds for the college building had been approved in May 1891 they had not been sold by March 1892. The town didn’t have property valuations sufficient to support the sale of these bonds, and they were rendered invalid. A specially appointed town assessor generated a new valuation for city property that exceeded the necessary minimum. Another Stillwater election took place in July 1892, and the second bond proposal passed, 167-6. But it was understood that the $10,000 in construction bonds would still need the allocation from the new Oklahoma Territorial Legislature. After these early stumbles, Stillwater civic leaders were optimistic the campus building process was about to start.


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George Washington Steele 1890-91 governor Oklahoma Territory

However, the mechanism for selling the Stillwater construction bonds was not approved by the territorial legislature until March 1893. At the same time, the legislature also approved $15,000 in territorial bonds for the new OAMC building. In late April 1893, Guthrie banker Joseph W. McNeal purchased the Stillwater bonds and sold half to the new Oklahoma Territorial Governor Abraham Jefferson Seay who had been appointed by President Harrison in February 1892. Seay, a fellow Republican and Union veteran, had investments in a Kingfisher bank and left the governor’s office on May 7, 1893. Funds from the sale of these construction bonds were deposited in accounts in both Guthrie and Kingfisher, and controlled by Ewing. Stillwater citizens met at the home of the Agricultural Experiment Station Director James Neal on June 1, 1893, to discuss a site for the new building. The site was proposed to the Board of Regents at their meeting on June 20, 1893. The board approved the suggestion and awarded a bid for construction to Henderson Ryan, a building contractor from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Ryan bid $14,948 for construction that did not include a heating system. The board anticipated a total of $25,000 was coming from all bond sales. The members allocated $5,000 for equipment and several months later approved a ventilation and heating contract for $3,490. Construction commenced.

Robert Barker First OAMC president 1891-1894

National politics While Stillwater citizens had been preoccupied with local and territorial politics regarding the birth and development of the college, the impact of the national election from November 1892 was about to reach their town. Cleveland, the candidate from the Democratic Party, had narrowly won the popular vote but had overwhelmed Harrison and Weaver in the Electoral College. The election had been spirited until the death of Harrison’s wife, Caroline, two weeks before the voting was to begin. All campaigning ceased during the final two weeks. It was the first presidential election with women voters. Wyoming, a state for only two years, allowed women to vote. Wyoming went for Harrison, but Cleveland won the presidency. He would be the only Democrat elected U.S. president between 1856 and 1912. Cleveland was inaugurated for the second time March 4, 1893. As with his first administration, he began to fill presidential appointments across the country including new territorial governors for Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. He appointed fellow Democrat William C. Renfrow as governor of the Oklahoma Territory on May 7, 1893, the only Democrat to serve as governor during the Oklahoma territorial period between 1890 and 1907. Renfrow, a Norman banker, was a Confederate veteran who had moved west after the war and would serve four years as territorial governor until 1897.

Joseph W. McNeal Guthrie bank president in 1890s

James Neal First OAMC Agricultural Experiment Station director

Governor Renfrow, in turn, began filling appointments that were authorized by his position, including new members for the OAMC Board of Regents during the summer of 1893. He replaced the entire Republican board, except for college President Robert Barker, with Democrats. However, board members refused to leave at first. During the following months, they resigned one by one, with treasurer Amos Ewing being one of the last. He was listed as the designated agent on the college accounts and did not authorize the transfer of any remaining federal funds to the new Democratic board out of the college accounts found in Guthrie and Kingfisher banks, where he also held investments. The college depended upon these federal resources and at this point had received very little from the territorial government. Ewing also controlled access to the funds raised by the sale of the Stillwater construction bonds. The Republican board continued to make monthly payments to building contractor Ryan until funds ran out. Federal funds The Democratic board controlled the territorial construction bonds and any new federal funds. The broker for the territorial bonds was Martin L. Turner, a Guthrie banker and a devoted Democrat. Turner, collaborating with Renfrow, responded by failing to issue the bonds. Work on Old Central stopped. There were claims that Governor Renfrow was also delaying the sale of the territorial bonds until he could appoint a new treasurer who would be willing to deposit

Abraham Jefferson Seay 1892-93 governor Oklahoma Territory

these funds in Renfrow’s Norman bank where he hoped to use them as collateral. When the federal government forwarded the annual $19,000 Morrill Act funds for the college to the territorial treasurer in December 1893, Ewing filed legal papers claiming those funds were to come to him. They had gone to Martin Turner, who by then had been named by Renfrow to serve as territorial treasurer. On December 1, 1893, Barker told the Republican board that the governor said the territorial bonds were printed and awaiting his signature. He didn’t sign them until January 25, almost two months later, and even then, the construction bonds were controlled by Turner, who didn’t sell the bonds until March 1894 when the funds were deposited into Renfrow’s bank. Construction at the Old Central site had stopped in November 1893 when the funds from the city bond ran out and the territorial funds were still in limbo. Contractor Henderson Ryan had used all of the city bond funds available to him and the building still lacked a roof. Construction was at a critical phase and vulnerable during the winter months with no available resources. Stillwater city merchants were also holding Ryan’s checks presented for the purchase of construction materials, fearing there were insufficient funds remaining in accounts to cover the deposits. Territorial newspapers assigned blame for the challenges facing the land grant college according to their political persuasions. Republican papers faulted Renfrow who was described as “being

William C. Renfrow 1893-1897 governor Oklahoma Territory

mentally incapacitated to properly perform the function of his high office” and his Democratic bankers, friends and cronies. Papers supporting the Democrats blamed the Republicans in the territorial legislature, the Republican board and its Republican bankers, friends and cronies associated with the previous territorial governors Steele and Seay. By the spring of 1894, one-fourth of all college funds were held at a bank in Guthrie; the rest was in Renfrow’s Norman bank. In March 1894, Renfrow and Ewing reached an understanding that allowed funds to be released to complete enough construction at the facility for it to host a dedication and commencement on June 14, 1894. President Barker presided at the event, which served as his final official act. He left office on June 30, 1894, the last of the original regents appointed in 1891. Within the next year, the administration and faculty would become a revolving door with three college presidents. A resulting investigation revealed a series of fiscal irregularities, inadequate record keeping, insufficient planning and poor accounting practices — not illegal but probably unethical. The situation was perplexing considering the numbers of businessmen and bankers involved, and neither political party was immune from charges of favoritism and patronage. Ultimately this early experience for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College should be described as a story of competition, cronyism, conflict and compromise.



Dividends Come After the Investment is Made Supporting higher education is a vote for future economic success BY K Y L E W R AY, O S U V I C E P R E S I D E N T O F E N R O L L M E N T M A N AG E M E N T A N D M A R K E T I N G

Somewhere in Oklahoma a young high school girl dreams of attending Oklahoma State University. While her parents never went to college, they understand the importance of her attending — and earning a diploma to work in a career she needs to support herself in the future. They have spent many nights around the kitchen table planning and discussing affordability, along with the sacrifices they will have to make and the work they will need to do for her to attend OSU. They have read the newspaper articles about the challenges facing higher education in Oklahoma and watched the news on TV. While they don’t understand everything this means for them and the judgments that have to be made, the environment causes the parents to question their daughter’s path to college and a bridge to a life they were never able to have for themselves. As a middle-class family, they peer over the precipice of a decision many view across this state. While this scenario plays out for many families, it’s also a metaphor for our entire state. Will Oklahoma make a commitment to its young people and thus, its own future? Support of higher education is a “yes” vote for economic success in


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the subsequent decades. As more students receive college diplomas, those graduates land better jobs. The value of their education enriches their lives as they raise families and serve in their communities. They buy homes, cars and other items for which they pay taxes and aid in subsidizing our state every April 15th. Higher education is a key contributor to the state’s economy with Oklahoma State University alone bringing in $340 million annually from outside state borders. The university is growing and thriving under the leadership of President Burns Hargis. OSU is one of the most affordable institutions of higher education in the Big 12 Conference, a determining factor in 50 percent of graduates leaving debt-free. However, affordability for middle-class families is being challenged, by facts and by perception. The reality is, through financial aid, scholarships and part-time work, more than half of OSU’s graduates have no college debt with very few owing loans up to $20,000 — the price of a new car. Through efficiencies and fundraising, OSU has consistently kept tuition and fees low. The opportunity we have in front of us is to make financial decisions devoted

to our own future through energies aimed at students seeking the access of a great land grant university. A university you are dedicated to. How can you assist? The scholarship dollars you give OSU aid in sustaining the fight for affordability. Never underestimate the dreams you make come true through any amount of gifts to the OSU Foundation. Investing in higher education for future generations is a remedy for a host of ills. Businesses grow, and some relocate to states where economic engines are fed by successful college graduates. Let’s keep and attract more industry to Oklahoma with an educated workforce. Spread the positive news about how and why more college graduates are good for Oklahoma and contribute to the state’s prosperity. While many serious discussions are had by families at the kitchen table, our state can make them easier by financially supporting higher education. Dividends come after the investment is made. Instead of hoping families make the best choices for their children, let’s give them good reason to believe we have made it possible for them to attend OSU.

Profile for Oklahoma State

STATE Fall 2016  

STATE magazine is the official magazine of Oklahoma State University, America's Brightest Orange®.

STATE Fall 2016  

STATE magazine is the official magazine of Oklahoma State University, America's Brightest Orange®.

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