The official magazine of Oklahoma State University
MADAM PRESIDENT DR. KAYSE SHRUM’S JOURNEY AND HER VISION FOR THE FUTURE
y a d e m a G 800 25
I’ve long believed we needed to upgrade the facility to remain competitive with agriculture programs in the region. This will allow us to attract the quality of students and teaching staff you’d like to have there.
When you give to the New Frontiers campaign, you are investing in OSU Agriculture and the efficacy of its research, the quality of education, the power of Extension and OSU’s important role in feeding the world.
This is an exciting time. I think the students and professors will really appreciate what this new facility has to offer.” John Groendyke, Spears Business ’66, New Frontiers Cornerstone Donor
To learn more about the campaign and to view construction progress, visit OSUgiving.com/New-Frontiers
In T his Issue
Welcome, Madam President Dr. Kayse Shrum takes the helm as the 19th president of Oklahoma State University — and the first woman to hold the position. Pages 44-57 (Cover photo: Phil Shockley)
Meet the First Cowboy In Her Words
OSU’s first presidential husband, Darren Shrum, shares his thoughts as his wife takes office.
The selection of Dr. Kayse Shrum won praise from leaders and programs across Oklahoma.
2 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Just before she took office, Dr. Kayse Shrum shared her vision and plan for OSU.
New Frontiers Breaks Ground Oklahoma State University begins construction on a new state-of-the-art home for OSU Agriculture.
Truth, Transformation and Reconciliation Oklahoma State UniversityTulsa, OSU-Stillwater and OSU Center for Health Sciences are commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre with 100 Points of Truth and Transformation.
7 President’s Letter 40 Campus News 102 Cowboy Chronicles 106 Legacy Link 109 Chapter News 113 Alumni Update 115 In Memory
OSUIT celebrating 75 years The Okmulgee campus continues its mission of providing advanced technical education for great careers at 75.
117 Births 119 Weddings
Cowboys in the Press Box You might be surprised at how many OSU alumni are making names for themselves in the world of sports media.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 3
BR A N D M A NAGEMENT
Megan Horton | Interim Assistant Vice President of Brand Management Monica Roberts | Interim Assistant Vice President of Strategic Communications Erin Petrotta | Director of Marketing and Student Communication Shannon Rigsby | Public Information Officer Mack Burke | Editorial Coordinator Dave Malec | Design Coordinator Dorothy Pugh | Managing Editor
Codee Classen, Paul V. Fleming, Valerie Kisling, Chris Lewis and Michael Molholt | Design Phil Shockley, Gary Lawson & Brandee Cazzelle | Photography Kurtis Mason | Trademarks & Licensing Pam Longan & Leslie McClurg | Administrative Support Department of Brand Management | 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078-1024 405-744-6262 | okstate.edu | statemagazine.okstate.edu | email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors: Jordan Bishop, Mack Burke, Aaron Campbell, Will Carr, Alexis Embry, Sarah Harris, Amanda O’Toole Mason, Karolyn Moberly, David C. Peters, Shannon G. Rigsby, Monica Roberts, Kyle Stringer, Kylee Sutherland and Sarah Bildstein Wanzer.
O S U A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N Tina Parkhill | Chair Kurt Carter | Vice Chair Tony LoPresto | Immediate Past Chair Rob McInturf | President Gina Lowe | Vice President of Marketing David Parrack | Vice President of Finance and Operations Jessica Medina-Benningfield | Executive Director of Engagement Aaron Owen, Ann Caine, Baloo Subramaniam, Becky Endicott, Ben Davis, Darin Schmidt, Joe Ray, Michael Carolina, Scott Eisenhauer, Taylor Shinn, Todd Hudgins, Treca Baetz | Board of Directors Lacy Branson, Will Carr, Chase Carter, Sarah Harris, Lerin Lynch & Sarah Bildstein Wanzer | Marketing and Communications OSU Alumni Association | 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 740787043 | 405-744-5368 | orangeconnection.org | email@example.com
O S U F O U N D AT I O N David Houston | Chair Blaire Atkinson | President Robyn Baker | Vice President and General Counsel Donna Koeppe | Vice President of Administration and Treasurer Scott Roberts | Vice President of Development Chris Campbell | Senior Associate Vice President of Information Strategy Shane Crawford | Senior Associate Vice President of Philanthropy, Leadership Gifts David Mays | Senior Associate Vice President of Philanthropy Pam Guthrie | Senior Associate Vice President of Human Resources Blaire Atkinson, Bryan Begley, Bryan Close, Jan Cloyde, Ann Dyer, Joe Eastin, Jennifer Grigsby, David Houston, Gary Huneryager, A.J. Jacques, Brett Jameson, Griff Jones, Robert Keating, Diana Laing, John Linehan, Joe Martin, Greg Massey, Robert McInturf, Ross McKnight, Bill Patterson, Jenelle Schatz, Becky Steen, Terry Stewart, Vaughn Vennerberg & Jerry Winchester | Trustees Jennifer Kinnard, Chris Lewis, Amanda O’Toole Mason, Heather Millermon, Karolyn Moberly, Michael Molholt, Lauren Knori, Benton Rudd and Kyle Stringer | Marketing and Communications OSU Foundation | 400 South Monroe, P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076-1749 800-622-4678 | OSUgiving.com | info@OSUgiving.com STATE magazine is published three times a year (Fall, Winter, Spring) by Oklahoma State University, 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078. The magazine is produced by the Office of Brand Management, the OSU Alumni Association and the OSU Foundation, and is mailed to current members of the OSU Alumni Association. Magazine subscriptions are available only by membership in the OSU Alumni Association. Membership cost is $50. Call 405-744-5368 or mail a check to 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater OK 74078-7043. To change a mailing address, visit orangeconnection.org/update or call 405-744-5368. Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Department of Brand Management, was printed by Royle Printing Co. at a cost of $0.97 per issue: 37,622 | August 2021 | #8767 | Copyright © 2021, STATE magazine. All rights reserved.
4 FA L L 2 0 2 1
From the Editor's Desk The dawn of a new fall semester at Oklahoma State University comes with a wave of excitement as students return to their beloved campus and freshmen embark on their college experience with wide-eyed anticipation. This year, that electric feeling is amplified with a return to in-person learning and all the activities and experiences that come with that, including the centennial celebration of America’s Greatest Homecoming. It’s also a time of new beginnings. In July, Dr. Kayse Shrum took over as the 19th president of OSU, becoming the first woman to helm the OSU system. In this issue, we share in the celebration of her selection, explore the story of her journey and get to know more about her vision for OSU (see Page 44). Construction is underway on the new headquarters for OSU Agriculture, which, thanks to generous support from donors to the New Frontiers campaign, had already raised 87 percent of its $50 million fundraising goal when the project broke ground in April. As we look ahead, we also look to the past. Some milestones are worthy of celebration, while others offer the opportunity to learn, educate and heal. With OSUIT celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, we take a look back at its history and the lasting and life-changing impact it continues to have for graduates (Page 68). This year, OSU-Tulsa commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre with a series of events aimed at shedding light on the tragedy, the rich history of the Greenwood District and exploring pathways to healing and reconciliation — 100 Points of Truth and Transformation (Page 28). As fans return to stadiums across the country, we also look at how Cowboys have built incredible careers in press boxes and front offices, thanks in no small part to what they learned at OSU (Page 76). The fall is about change, and OSU is ever-changing. But in all the best ways, this semester begins with the hope that it will be more normal. Still, normal is relative. Thanks to our amazing students, faculty and staff, the OSU experience is nothing short of extraordinary. Go Pokes! Mack Burke Editor
STATE Magazine 305 WHITEHURST OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY STILLWATER, OK 74078
EDITOR@OKSTATE.EDU STATEMAGAZINE.OKSTATE.E D U
Join the conversation on social media with the Cowboy Family.
Presidential Visit @OKStateAlumni
Welcome to Stillwater and O’Brate Stadium, Mr. President! #MakeItHappen
Petey Lucky Charms @BeAnOSUCowboy Happy #OrangeFriday, Cowboys! We are so happy to see the here in Cowboy Country today! Our friends have moved to their permanent home by Old Central! If you are visiting Stillwater soon, we invite you to stop by and see them!
Commencement Celebration @okstate
Congratulations to our #okstate21 and #okstate20 graduates receiving degrees this spring. Nearly 4,000 graduates were recognized during this year’s in-person ceremonies. Remember, no matter where life takes you, you will always be a part of the #CowboyFamily.
Ag New Frontiers @OSUFoundation
Happy St. Patrick's Day, #FutureCowboys. Put your brightest green on (pinch your neighbor if they don't ) and grab this tasty Petey Charms treat . Did we mention it has real cowboy shapes?
Construction has officially started on the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall! Removal of the existing parking lot will make room for the building footprint. Check out construction progress and learn more about #AgNewFrontiers at OSUgiving.com/New-Frontiers!
Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University
Visit social.okstate.edu for more social media connections.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 5
The Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music is ready for our students, faculty and staff! Although the world-class facility is finished, the project is still $1.4 million away from completion. Gifts of any size can make a difference for OSU’s music students, and there are also meaningful naming opportunities still available.
Learn more about how you can support this incredible project by visiting:
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Orange is the Answer As I embark upon my freshman year as president, it’s not lost on me that this fall semester feels extra special. I know our students are extra excited to enter a fall full of special events, football games and in-person classes — they’ve told me so. One of my top priorities is to help ensure our students get the most out of their college experiences, and we are poised to make this year deliver on their expectations. Students are the reason we’re here, and they will always be at the top of my priority list. Like all of you, I’m so proud to be a part of the Cowboy family and want everyone to know about the impact we make on the world around us. To that end, we are launching a new ad campaign that details how OSU lives out our land-grant mission of access, teaching, research and extension. The campaign’s tagline, “Orange is the Answer,” communicates how OSU makes a difference and brings solutions for society’s most pressing challenges. Telling stories, like these in STATE, is another important way we describe our impact. For this issue, the talented communications team at OSU spent a Saturday morning at my family’s home in Coweta to compile stories about the Shrum squad. Between my six children, three dogs, my parents, sister and the production crew, it was a very busy and full house — but that’s also fairly normal for a Saturday at our place. You’ll find we’re pretty much an open book, and I hope you enjoy reading and watching the stories as much as Darren and I did talking about them during the video shoot. Alumni and donor support are absolutely vital to our continued impact, and I’ve attended several fundraisers this year where I heard countless reasons why our wonderful donors continue to support OSU. My leadership team and I are committed to good stewardship of all our resources, and I cannot thank you enough for the gifts of time, talents and financial assets that create a bright future for OSU. For what the world needs today, Orange truly is the answer. My door (and email) is always open, and thanks for reading this issue of STATE.
Dr. Kayse Shrum OSU President email@example.com
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 7
New Frontiers Work continues on new building for OSU Agriculture
his spring, Oklahoma State University celebrated the groundbreaking for the new home of OSU Agriculture. Though rain forced the April 23 event indoors, the weather did little to dampen the excitement as more than 350 people, including many donors, gathered for one of the first in-person events on campus during the spring semester. “This pandemic slowed down a lot of things over the past year, but it did not slow the momentum for the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall,” then President Burns Hargis said at the event. “Our Ferguson College of Agriculture friends and alumni are among the most loyal in the Cowboy family.”
8 FA L L 2 0 2 1
The facility will strengthen OSU Agriculture’s research, teaching and Extension missions, while addressing two key challenges: attracting and retaining scientific leaders and equipping collaborative teams with state-of-the-art laboratory and field facilities. It will redefine what is possible for OSU Agriculture’s faculty, students, and the industries and communities that depend on OSU’s important research. “This project is going to help us position our faculty and our students in facilities that will equip them with the skills, knowledge and the ability to work together in order to help solve world hunger. It’s as simple as that,” said Dr. Thomas G. Coon, OSU Agriculture vice president and dean of the Ferguson College of Agriculture.
STORY AMANDA O’TOOLE MASON | PHOTO TODD JOHNSON
“This project is going to help us position our faculty and our students in facilities that will equip them with the skills, knowledge and the ability to work together in order to help solve world hunger. It’s as simple as that.” DR. THOMAS G. COON, OSU AGRICULTURE VICE PRESIDENT AND DEAN OF THE FERGUSON COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
Oklahoma State is already affecting change in terms of addressing world hunger. OSU recently received high marks from The Times Higher Education, which ranks universities on how well they address the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Overall, OSU ranked eighth in the U.S. and 85th in the world in addressing all 17 goals set by the United Nations. OSU ranked second in the U.S. and 10th in the world in addressing the goal of eliminating hunger by the year 2030. “The Ferguson family has connected OSU with their family’s goal of helping to feed the world, and this ranking shows that we’re making progress,” Coon said of lead donors Kayleen and Larry Ferguson and the Ferguson Family Foundation.
“With these new investments in our programs represented by the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall, we’re going to expand our impact even further in helping to end world hunger.” The couple committed $50 million to OSU Agriculture in January 2020, and Hargis announced the gift during a special event launching the New Frontiers campaign about a month before the COVID-19 pandemic forced spring 2020 classes online. Half of the funds will create an endowment to support operations at the Ferguson College of Agriculture, and the other half will contribute to the $50 million fundraising goal for the new facility, which is scheduled to open during the 2023-2024 school year.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 9
“We cannot wait to see the building and programs come to life with professors, students and families.” LARRY AND KAYLEEN FERGUSON
Cornerstone Donors Ferguson Family Foundation John and Virginia Groendyke Anonymous Dr. Barry Pollard/P&K Equipment Win and Kay Ingersoll Frank and Ludmila Robson Sunderland Foundation A.J. and Susan Jacques Jeff and Lynn Hilst
10 FA L L 2 0 2 1
The Fergusons said they wanted to inspire others to invest in education and the future of OSU Agriculture, and they’ve done just that. At the groundbreaking, they ceremoniously shoveled dirt on stage next to other Cornerstone Donors who have given $1 million or more to the project. As of this magazine’s printing, more than 375 donors have committed more than $45 million in private funds to the project. Many of them attended the April 23 celebration, where donors were met with a standing ovation. Coon said the reception was a striking reminder of the level of dedication and commitment present in the OSU Agriculture family. “The entire event was energizing and really helped build even more momentum for the campaign,” he said. Larry and Kayleen Ferguson echoed the sentiment, saying it was meaningful to meet other people passionate about OSU Agriculture.
“The number of donors and participants present shows the importance of this project for the future of not only OSU, but also the campaign to help feed the world,” they wrote in an email. “Putting actual faces with donor names is so inspirational. Hearing their backgrounds and interests shows the diversity the New Frontiers campaign brings to OSU and the future around the world. We cannot wait to see the building and programs come to life with professors, students and families.” Jered and Lindsey Davidson were so moved by the event that they pledged $25,000 to the project days later. “The groundbreaking is what pushed us over the edge in the decision to make a gift. It was the excitement for the great future the college has planned” Jered said. “We felt like it was our duty as alumni to make a commitment … We know the great investments the college made in us.”
PHOTO TODD JOHNSON
Several Cornerstone Donors ceremoniously broke ground during the April 23 celebration. Pictured are (from left):Jeff and Lynn Hilst, A.J. and Susan Jacques, Frank Robson, Kay Ingersoll, Dr. Barry and Roxanne Pollard, John Groendyke, Kayleen and Larry Ferguson, Blaire Atkinson, Burns Hargis and Dr. Thomas G. Coon.
Jered earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics in 2009 and was selected as the college’s outstanding senior. Lindsey earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural leadership in 2010 before she added a master’s degree from OSU in 2015. In addition to working as an attorney, Jered serves as the president of the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation. Lindsey works as the digital manager for OSU Agricultural Communications Services, and, until recently, had her office in the now-razed Agriculture North building. “One unique impact is that the university has torn down my wife’s office building to make room for the new building, but it’s symbolic of the consistent change that we’ve witnessed from our time in the mid-2000s to now. The university is continuing to make great strides forward,” Jered said. “We talked about gifts of all different amounts, but we knew that our dollars could really go further earlier. If we
can put the college and the students of tomorrow in the best position we can today, why would we wait to start our philanthropy years down the road?” Dr. Cynda Clary, associate dean of the Ferguson College of Agriculture, said it was meaningful to see so many people invest in the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall. “It’s really a privilege and honor for our students and faculty to know that there are people who they have never met who are investing in their future,” she said. “We are so appreciative of what all of these people have come together to do as donors. They believe we can not only make a better Oklahoma, but a better United States and a better world. “They’re really making a commitment to serving people right and meeting their needs … and that’s what their gift does. It makes it possible for us and inspires us to explore new things and be able to make a bigger contribution.”
SEE IT LIVE Watch live construction updates at: OSUgiving.com/ New-Frontiers
LEARN MORE about the New Frontiers campaign and how you can get involved by contacting Heidi Williams at 405-385-5656 or hwilliams@ OSUgiving.com.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 11
Trailblazer leads group of three OSU Goldwater Scholars
nstead of wishing upon a star as the famous Disney song suggests, Alexis Vance plans to work among them. A trailblazer from Leawood, Kansas, Vance is the first undergraduate to triple major in chemical, mechanical and aerospace engineering at Oklahoma State University. She plans to use her pioneering degree to launch a career in flight operations at NASA. She’s not exactly starting from scratch. This year, she was one of three OSU students selected for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, a prestigious undergraduate award for students searching for research careers in natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Vance, along with Ashley Gin, a junior from Oklahoma City, and Collin Thornton, a junior from Duncan, Oklahoma, are OSU’s 27th, 28th and 29th Goldwater Scholars. The three Goldwater Scholars — the most from any university in the state this year — competed against 1,253 applicants from 438
institutions across the country. The scholarships are valued at up to $7,500 per year. Vance’s journey began in 2016 as a freshman chemical engineering student interested in getting involved in student organizations like the student council and the Space Cowboys, an OSU team that conducts undergraduate research and design for NASA. Through Space Cowboys, Vance was introduced to the NASA Pathway Program. She applied and was accepted as an intern for NASA for two semesters and a summer — taking a year away from college. Vance had a year to decide whether to join the program. She didn’t make the decision lightly. “When I decided to take a year off, there were people I respected who told me no, that it wasn’t a good idea,” Vance said. “It’s about knowing the right thing for you. I looked 10 years in advance and thought about what kind of life do those in front of me have. Are they happy? Will the decision I’m making now get me there?”
12 FA L L 2 0 2 1
STORY KYLEE SUTHERLAND | PHOTOS PHIL SHOCKLEY AND PROVIDED
That decision propelled her into the program where she fell more in love with aerospace. Yet she struggled to understand certain aspects of her internship because of her lack of knowledge in aerospace engineering. “I thought it would be a great idea to take a few aerospace classes when I got back to OSU to prepare for graduate school,” Vance said. “But talking with my advisor, we discovered that it would only add one more year to my degree plan if I added an aerospace engineering degree.” She discovered she could also get a mechanical engineering degree with one more additional class. The triple-major degree plan had to be created from scratch with Vance and two advisors coordinating the classes she should take and when. If she had discovered her desire to triple major earlier, it might not have been as complicated, she said. But she’s grateful for the dedication and hard work of her advisors and the support of OSU. “All of my advisers and department heads have been so helpful and put in a lot of work to make these three degrees work,” Vance said. “This program has not been designed to work as a triple major, and there have been lots of problems we had to work around, but OSU has been such a major partner in this goal through it all.” With the Pathways Program and two more majors, Vance had to make some more tough decisions when she returned to campus. Previously involved in the CEAT Senate, she had to refine her passions and hone where she would spend her time. “When I came back, I shifted from traditional extracurriculars to more outreach and mentorship opportunities,” she said. “I spend a lot of my time doing research, and since I’m older than most undergraduates, I have others who work underneath me. I’ve become really invested in
mentorship and participating in outreach events about what NASA does at science fairs and, this year, Zoom meetings.” Vance has had a few influential mentors of her own at OSU. Dr. Brian Elbing, associate professor and Dr. Jamey Jacob, professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, have been invaluable help in exploring her Ph.D. and career options. She’s worked in research under both professors; she wrote about her latest research with Jacob and the Jet Propulsion Lab in her Goldwater Scholarship application. Vance plans to continue her education with a doctorate. She’s excited for a potential career in flight control and to educate the public about space exploration. “I’m always trying to make a conscious effort to get the public engaged and excited about space exploration,” Vance said. “It’s one of the main reasons I want to work at NASA, to be that example and resource I would’ve wanted as a little girl.” Gin said she is grateful for the Goldwater selection. “I am incredibly honored and grateful to be selected as a 2021 Goldwater Scholar,” said Gin, who is majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology with a pre-veterinary science option and a minor in mathematics. “Research can be a difficult process of overcoming repeated obstacles; therefore, it is encouraging and humbling to have this reassurance that a research career is the right track for me. Being in the lab after learning that I was awarded the Goldwater made me that much more invested in my project and excited to see what lies ahead.” Thornton, who is double majoring in computer engineering and electrical engineering, has
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 13
been engaged in extensive research projects on OSU’s autonomous golf cart and unmanned aerial systems, president of OSU Mercury Robotics and a team lead for the Space Cowboys program as well as an inaugural member of the Oklahoma State Scholars Society. He participated in an internship for Tinker Air Force Base. Thornton is on track to complete the Honors College degree and plans to pursue a doctorate in controls engineering. He hopes to conduct research professionally in the automation and control of unmanned vehicles. “I’ve had amazing support from OSU and my mentors over the past two years,” Thornton said. SHINING BRIGHTER The Goldwater Scholars aren’t the only prestigious honors OSU students received. Two Oklahoma State University students — Kayla Dunn and Jason Wolfe — won Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for the 2021-2022 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Dunn will teach English in La Rioja, Spain, while Wolfe will study at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary. Dunn, an Honors College multimedia journalism and Spanish major from Stillwater, said she hopes her work as an English teaching assistant will help her learn about Spanish culture, improve her facility in the language and create lasting relationships.
14 FA L L 2 0 2 1
“I’ve volunteered with children seeking asylum, written for local publications, served in student government, and studied language,” Dunn said. “The Fulbright feels like the epitome of these passions. It requires people to leave their comfort zones, immerse in a foreign culture, share language, work in education and forge mutual understanding.” Wolfe, a music performance major in the Greenwood School of Music from The Woodlands, Texas, is a prized trombone player who has received many performance awards and was a member of the OSU Symphony Orchestra, OSU Wind Ensemble and the OSU Cowboy Marching Band. “I have always wanted to travel the world and perform music at the same time. I actually heard about the program through a current Fulbrighter and friend at OSU, Noah Mennenga,” Wolfe said. Another academic honor — the highly competitive David L. Boren Fellowship to study in Indonesia for the 2021-2022 academic year — went to graduate student Austin Hayes. Hayes is currently pursuing his master’s degree in OSU’s School of Global Studies. The Boren Fellowship will support his study of Indonesian language in the summer through the University of Wisconsin, and then at the State University of Malang in Indonesia for the 2021-2022 academic year.
FIVE NEW SCHOLARS SOCIETY FELLOWS NAMED This spring, Oklahoma State University named five new fellows of the Oklahoma State Scholars Society, the university’s prestigious scholar development program that offers major financial support and scholarly mentorship to Oklahoma’s top students. “Congratulations to the newest members of the Oklahoma State Scholars Society,” OSU President Burns Hargis said following their selection this spring. “These students are among Oklahoma’s best and brightest. We are honored to extend this offer and look forward to what these scholars will accomplish through their leadership and innovation.” As fellows, each student will receive up to $76,500 in scholarship support, including a study-abroad stipend. The scholarships equal the full cost of attendance for four years. THE FELLOWS AND THEIR PLANNED MAJORS ARE: MAHA ACHOUR, Bartlesville (Oklahoma) High School, biochemistry and molecular biology ISABELLA BOZEMAN, Chisholm High School (Enid, Oklahoma), chemical engineering MEGAN ROACH, Washington (Oklahoma) High School, biology; pre-med NATHAN WALLACE, Booker T. Washington High School (Tulsa), finance ALYSSA WARREN, Union High School (Tulsa), music education
Students met the following criteria for membership in the society: minimum 3.8 high school unweighted GPA, admitted to OSU and the Honors College, demonstrated maturity and potential through outstanding résumés and essay responses. The fellows were selected based on a review of their applications, a phone interview and a virtual interview with Honors College Dean Keith Garbutt and a current OSSS Fellow. The committee selects students who embody the legacy of OSU’s land-grant history, have an outward focus and are deeply aware of the world around them. “Ever since I’ve decided what I want to study, I’ve been so excited to attend OSU,” Achour said. “Once I begin as a freshman, my future can finally start to reveal itself.” Bozeman said she wants to work in the medical realm. “Ever since I was a little girl, my passion for greatness was always present. I have always been competitive and desired to give my best in all of my activities,” Bozeman said. Roach plans to use her degree to help improve people’s lives. “I’ve always been drawn to learning and researching new things, even from a young age,” Roach said. Warren wants to be a music teacher. “Extending care and compassion to those that are in a time of need is something I pride myself on,” Warren said. Wallace can’t wait to be a part of the OSU legacy. “The reasons I am most excited about attending OSU are found in its sense of community, student body and campus,” Wallace said.
STORY JORDAN BISHOP | PHOTOS PROVIDED
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 15
A Nike Orange Slub V-Neck Tee XS-XXL | $35 B ‘47 Piper Hooded Tee S-XL | $45 C ‘47 Mini Vault Brand Clean Up Cap $25 D Nike Grey Tempo Short XS-XXL | $35 E Alumni Circle Mug $13.95 F Pop Up Alumni Tee S-3XL | $16.95 G 3 x 5 Cowboys Script Flag $35.95 H ‘47 Frankie Tee S-XL | $30
I Columbia Sand Save Polo S-XXL | $72 J Full Pete Cowboys Script 12 x 30 Pennant $25.95 K Nike Heritage86 Arch Cap $25 L Finish Line Alumni Tee S-3XL | $16.95 M Columbia Bracket Polo S-XXL | $64 N Alumni License Plate Frame $22.95 O Nike Loyal & True Tri Tee S-3XL | $35 P Nike Tri Vault Pete Tee S-3XL | $35
ALUMNI A S S O C I AT I O N
Dr. Randy Kluver, associate provost and School of Global Studies and Partnerships dean, and OSU President Dr. Kayse Shrum
OSU receives top 10 national ranking for sustainability initiatives
lready firmly established as a state and regional leader in public impact research, Oklahoma State University now has received global recognition for its efforts to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. OSU ranked No. 85 out of 1,115 institutions around the world and No. 8 in the U.S., according to the Times Higher Education’s 2021 impact rankings — the first rankings to assess universities’ progress toward the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year, OSU submitted evidence of its activities for six goals: zero hunger, good health and wellbeing, clean water, clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, and partnerships for the goals.
STORY MACK BURKE | PHOTOS GARY LAWSON
“We are honored to be among the world’s leading universities in sustainable development,” then OSU President Burns Hargis said after the April announcement. “As a premier land-grant university, OSU has a long, proud history of working to stop hunger, improving water quality and supply, and advancing sustainability on campus and around the world.” The Times Higher Education’s rankings are based on research, outreach and stewardship. Vivian Wang, OSU’s director of global partnerships, said OSU’s ranking boosts its global reputation significantly while moving OSU (and the world) closer to the key objectives established and adopted in 2015 as part of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 17
“The SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) are completely in line with what a university like OSU is about, improving the quality of life for communities both locally and around the world.” — RANDY KLUVER “Overseas institutions and prospective students pay attention to those rankings,” she said. “This ranking is really about the impact the university can have around the world. It’s really trying to understand, to let each institution tell the world what they’re doing the best. And certainly we’re among the best of the best.” Associate Provost and School of Global Studies and Partnerships Dean Randy Kluver said OSU has adopted the goals as a framework for global partnerships and engagement. “The SDGs are completely in line with what a university like OSU is about: improving the quality of life for communities both locally and around the world,” Kluver said. Wang noted that OSU is educating the next generation with the hope they will help build a more sustainable future. To that end, she said
the rankings highlight student contributions as well as faculty research. OSU’s first foray into the rankings process wasn’t easy, but Wang had buy-in from across campus. More than 25 departments and units provided input and evidence, and 164 articles of evidence were submitted. “That’s a key point,” she said. “It’s not one office that can get this done. We needed campuswide involvement, and I think a lot of our faculty and staff love to share what they’re doing. It could be outreach, it could be a teaching project or a studentvolunteer activity. I think those are great stories we should share.” Many of those stories were new even to Wang. “It’s very fascinating. I’ve been at OSU as a student and a staff member for more than 10 years, and there are a lot of things I don’t even know. So how we can tell those stories and share those
Vivian Wang, OSU’s director of global partnerships
18 FA L L 2 0 2 1
efforts through this ranking is a great reward for me.” Sustainability Coordinator Kristeena Blaser, who took over for outgoing Sustainability Coordinator Ilda Hershey in the spring, said OSU has a lot of momentum, and she’s hoping to build on Hershey’s work and collaborations. “I hope to build on the foundation that she has laid,” Blaser said. “Two initiatives that are at the top of my list to get established are a campus sustainability plan and a climate action plan. … Alongside the campus sustainability plan, I am developing a climate action plan, which will include an overarching plan for carbon neutrality
and resilience. My hope is for Oklahoma State University to join the list of universities and colleges that have signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).” Regardless of the result of this ranking, Wang said OSU remains true to its mission. “The rankings reflect what we do the best and allow us to show our strength. But we’d continue to do this with or without the ranking. As a land-grant institution, it’s our mission. As a graduate of OSU, it makes me proud, because OSU is working to change the world.”
WHERE OSU STANDS OUT SDG 2 Zero Hunger OSU ranked 10th in the world and second in the U.S. on zero hunger, which measures universities’ contributions toward food security, better nutrition and sustainable agriculture. The assessment highlighted OSU’s strong research on agriculture and hunger issues and demonstrated OSU’s strong commitment to address food security locally and nationally, as well as operational practices to reduce food waste.
SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation OSU ranked 18th globally and third in the nation for its efforts toward SDG 6, which assesses universities’ contribution toward clean water and sanitation for all. OSU is an EPA Energy Star Partner, recognized for using Energy Star resources to reduce energy and water waste. OSU’s Water Resources Center is one of 54 centers across the country that focuses on highlevel water quality and sustainable use of regional water supplies. One example of OSU’s efforts is the OSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders, which has been volunteering to build point-of-use water treatment systems to provide clean drinking water in Guatemala since 2015.
SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities OSU ranks 29th globally and sixth in the U.S. on SDG 11, which focuses on how universities strive to preserve and promote art, heritage, culture and environment in their communities. This acknowledges OSU’s efforts toward a more sustainable transportation strategy and minimizing negative environmental footprints with new buildings and housing. OSU’s partnership with the city of Stillwater on local planning and development is part of this. OSU also plays a key role in preserving culture in Oklahoma and enriching the cultural life of communities through academic programs and campus events.
SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals OSU ranks 86th globally and fifth in the U.S. This measures how universities support all the SDGs through engaging with local and national governments and international organizations to develop policy and strategies. It also gauges universities’ collaborations to identify solutions and promote best practices. OSU was recognized for implementing global partnerships for sustainable development. As a public research institution, OSU works closely with private and public sectors, NGO partners and global partners, to study, teach and develop technologies, encourage best practices and develop strategies to address global challenges.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 19
Enriching OSU Studies
Facilities Management utilizes campus as a hands-on lab for students — and wins honor for it
klahoma State University has long been lauded for the beauty and quality of its campus grounds and buildings. These days, Facilities Management has added another dimension to its care and upkeep of campus — an educational one. Facilities Management is offering the campus as a cost-effective learning lab, turning the buildings, infrastructure and grounds into hands-on classrooms. That commitment helped the department bring home the 2020 Effective and Innovative Practices Award from the APPA (formerly the Association of Physical Plant Administrators) last fall for supporting student education.
20 FA L L 2 0 2 1
“We help students succeed by providing practical applications that add to the standard classroom lecture to enrich the learning process,” said Ron Tarbutton, chief facilities officer for OSU. “When we are helping students and professors, we are adding enrichment to their course study that’s tangible. You can touch it and feel it, and then you can better relate to it.” The new OSU Central Plant opened in 2018, complete with a 60-person classroom in the basement. Just inside the main doors on the first floor, the observation room with its floor-to-ceiling windows lets guests watch the industrial chillers and boilers in operation.
STORY SHANNON G. RIGSBY | PHOTO GARY LAWSON
“So often students only see lines and numbers on paper,” said Craig Spencer, director of energy services and assistant chief facilities officer. “Tours of the central plant give them the opportunity to see in real life what their books and professors teach them in the classroom. As much as the tours give students a tangible example of coursework, they do the same for the employees, giving them a greater connection to the university and a reminder of its daily mission.” A partnership with the Ferguson College of Agriculture has led to incorporating student landscape design elements into university building projects. Another example: Students in architecture get behind-the-scenes tours of chillers, generators and air-handling units. Zone manager Steve Ledbetter appreciates the opportunity to speak to students and share his experiences. “It was rewarding and made me feel valuable as a facility staff member, knowing students would want to see and know more about how HVAC units work, what equipment is needed for operations and how the design choices they could make in the future would affect the people who do the maintenance and upkeep on the building,” he said.
The concept is mutually beneficial. The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has partnered with Facilities Management for aerial inspections of the Lake Carl Blackwell dam, thermal imaging of buildings to detect areas of heat loss and aerial nighttime lighting surveys. Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology developed a semester-long project with students serving as loss prevention consultants. Leslie Stockel, a clinical assistant professor in the fire protection and safety program, works with Facilities Management and OSU’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety, bringing her classes to areas of basic industrial infrastructure like steam generators and building ventilation systems as well as to specialty areas such as the grain elevator and furniture repair shop. The collaboration gives students a real-world application of theories they learn in class, like the hierarchy of hazard controls. “There are many ways to control that risk. The whole risk management process is about identifying a hazard, evaluating that hazard and then engineering protective and workable solutions to mitigate the risk,” she said. “A fire protection and safety professional has to be able to develop a solution that will protect the people and the property, but not break the bank.”
Students in Leslie Stockel’s class assess the OSU Facilities Maintenance furniture shop to identify fire, safety and environmental risks.
PHOTO PHIL SHOCKLEY
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 21
“Tours of the central plant give [students] the opportunity to see in real life what their books and professors teach them in the classroom.” CRAIG SPENCER, DIRECTOR OF ENERGY SERVICES AND ASSISTANT CHIEF FACILITIES OFFICER
Larry Secrest, Facilities Management safety coordinator, said the fresh sets of eyes looking at the work spaces has been invaluable. “If you see something every day, there comes a point when it no longer registers,” he said. “The students assess the environment for fire, chemical and safety issues. Besides identifying the risks, they put together a risk reduction plan and help us identify what correcting the issue will cost, and they provide alternative solutions.” Seth Durham, a biosystems engineering undergraduate, said working with Facilities Management “has been nothing short of a blessing.” “I have been able to develop and practice both my technical and communication skills in a diverse
number of environments,” he said. “Working alongside professional engineers as well as surveyors, project managers and maintenance workers has been an essential supplement to my education. I have no doubt that my experience with Facilities Management has made me a better student and prepared me for a career in practical engineering.” Tarbutton said the possibilities are endless. “There is no limit to the partnership opportunities between FM and academics,” Tarbutton said. “The entire campus, facilities and grounds can be a cost effective learning lab. Our core mission is educating students. This lets us directly be a part of that mission.”
Steve Ledbetter, left, gives a behind-the-scenes tour of a mechanical room in Human Sciences, Facilities Management Zone 2.
22 FA L L 2 0 2 1
PHOTO PHIL SHOCKLEY
LOOKING FOR SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES? ORANGE IS THE ANSWER. AT OSU, OPPORTUNITIES ARE ABUNDANT. We provide great scholarship programs to help students elevate their success and academic excellence. To ensure consideration for our most prestigious and competitive scholarships, encourage the high school senior you know to apply by Nov. 1.
Building a Family Legacy
OSU alumnus leads Lippert Brothers past the century mark
t’s a true success story when a family-owned business lasts for more than 100 years across multiple generations, and Lippert Brothers Inc. has surpassed that milestone thanks to its core values. Brothers Erick W. and Walter H. Lippert founded the company in 1920 in Boone, Iowa. Its first project in Oklahoma came after a successful bid on the sewage and water treatment system at Tinker Air Force Base in 1941. Following World War II, the company moved to Oklahoma City. Erick’s sons, Donald and Robert, returned from their service in the Navy to help their father with the relocation. The company is now led by Donald’s son, Tom, a 1982 OSU graduate who serves as president with his brother, Joel, serving as vice president. Tom guided the company through its centennial year in 2020.
“It is a real accomplishment, thanks to a whole group of people,” Tom said. “To be able to sustain and hold it together over the years gives us a real sense of accomplishment because not very many companies will survive past the second generation.” Lippert Brothers Inc. focuses on family and relationships with both employees and clients. Shelby Lippert, son of Tom and his wife, Mary, and a 2014 OSU graduate, has been able to see those values affect his family’s company throughout his life. “We have superintendents, laborers and carpenters who have been with us for 20 to 45 years,” Shelby said. “I think that really says something as a whole. People want to stick around for a long time, basically until retirement.” Over the past 100 years, the company has had opportunities to work on many meaningful projects in the community it calls home. One
Rick, John, Tom and Joel Lippert are the third generation of Lipperts to lead the company.
24 FA L L 2 0 2 1
STORY WILL CARR | PHOTOS LIPPERT BROTHERS INC.
important project for Tom and Mary was building the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. “It was a very humbling experience,” said Mary, an ’84 OSU alumna. “We set who we are as a company aside to bring that building together and honor those individuals.” The memorial’s planning and construction process had a major impact on Tom, who wanted to make sure everyone involved understood how important it was to create something meaningful for Oklahoma City. “We would start every meeting with a moment of silence,” Tom said. “We wanted to remember those who had died in the bombing, those who survived and everyone whose lives were forever changed by that event.” In addition to a rich construction history throughout Oklahoma, Lippert Brothers Inc. also has a longtime connection to OSU, building much of it through many years of collaboration. The first contract the company had with the university was for the Life Sciences West building in 1967. Since then, Lippert Brothers has had a hand in more than 30 projects for OSU, including the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center, the Ferguson College of Agriculture Family Dairy Center and more. Tom appreciates the opportunity
to help his alma mater continue impacting the lives of alumni, current students and future Cowboys. “The university has an incredible role in each student’s life and their development,” Tom said. “Being able to build the facilities that contribute to their growth, education and success gives me a real sense of pride.” The impact Lippert Brothers has had on OSU is important to the university as well. Former President Burns Hargis will speak at its centennial anniversary celebration at the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Sept. 23. “We are thankful and appreciative of those who helped us be successful and reach this milestone,” Tom said. “This celebration is about honoring them as well.” Tom looks forward to the future of Lippert Brothers Inc. and working with Shelby, who represents the fourth generation with the company. Tom is optimistic the family values and a strong focus on making lasting connections will help guide the company into its next century. “I hope the organization maintains its core values and the understanding of relationships and hard work,” Tom said. “I want the company to be able to look forward to celebrating 150 years, and later 200 years, of success.”
The Ferguson Family Dairy Center Free Stall Barn and Visitor Center
The Michael & Anne Greenwood Tennis Center
Noble Research Center North Laboratory Wing Phase IIC & IID
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 25
Sun Patterns, Dark Canyon THE PAINTINGS AND AQUATINTS OF DOEL REED (1894-1985)
July 6 - Oct. 30, 2021 Doel Reed, Sun Patterns, Dark Canyon, 1979.
Vision and Visionary The Paintings and Drawings of Moh’d Bilbeisi
Aug. 10 - Oct. 2, 2021 Moh’d Bilbeisi, Cairo II, 2020.
THEMES ON BEING: A MARK SISSON RETROSPECTIVE
Oct. 19 - Dec. 11, 2021 Mark Sisson, B.P. an Oklahoma Bucolic (Budding Prospects): Portrait of Chelsea Dudek & Grant Conley, 2009.
720 S HUSBAND ST, STILLWATER OK 74074 MUSEUM.OKSTATE.EDU • 405-744-2780
Tim McGraw Friday, October 8 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate our Grand Reopening Tickets on sale now!
See the full season lineup at McKnightCenter.org Box Office | (405) 744-9999 Box Office hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and two hours before show time 705 W University Ave Stillwater OK 74074
OSU-Tulsa takes on the challenge of commemorating the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre with truth, transformation and education 28 FA L L 2 0 2 1
STORY AARON CAMPBELL | PHOTOS AARON CAMPBELL AND PATRICK McNICHOLAS
THE DESTRUCTION AT THE INTERSECTION OF GREENWOOD AVENUE AND ARCHER STREET LOOKING NORTH, AT THE SOUTHERN END OF THE HISTORIC GREENWOOD DISTRICT. COMPOSITE PHOTO — PATRICK MCNICHOLAS
Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, in partnership with OSU-Stillwater and OSU Center for Health Sciences, is commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre with 100 Points of Truth and Transformation. The 100 Points represent opportunities to connect with the truth of the massacre and be inspired toward transformative justice.
Since June 2020, the 100 Points of Truth and Transformation initiative has offered conferences, film screenings, author talks, book clubs, classes, podcasts, writing workshops, art exhibitions and community healing rituals to educate and energize the public — with more opportunities for truth and transformation planned well beyond the centennial.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 29
is located on part of the land that was ravaged by violence a century ago. “When I moved here, I didn’t know much,” Mbanza said. “It wasn’t until I took a tour and learned that I lived across the street from where the massacre started that I was like, ‘wait a minute — I need to know more.’” She signed up for the Writing About Greenwood virtual workshop, offered through the Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa as part of the 100 Points of Truth and Transformation. “I’ve learned so much. I had seen ALANA MBANZA CHRIS CREESE PHOTOGRAPHY some images in the papers, but to take a deep look at some of the photos in the hen Alana Mbanza historical archives for the first time has moved to Tulsa been powerful,” she said. “It felt more from Chicago in like a community group than a workshop. 2020, she had It was a writing class, a history class, only recently a therapy session — all wrapped up heard of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. together.” Although she had a master’s degree in She became involved in more African American studies, the events Greenwood community initiatives and of the massacre were mentioned only returned to OSU-Tulsa’s campus as a briefly in one of her classes. volunteer for the John Hope Franklin “Nobody was talking about this,” National Symposium. Mbanza said. “It just goes to show that Mbanza’s path to learning the truth even deliberately seeking out history is of the massacre is not unusual. Many not enough sometimes.” Tulsans only learned about the tragedy The massacre, previously referred as the centennial commemoration to as the misnomered Tulsa Race Riot, approached and sparked news coverage, took place May 31-June 1, 1921, when documentaries and pop culture ties a white mob attacked and destroyed such as HBO’s Watchmen series, which the Greenwood District, a prosperous propelled the anniversary into the Black neighborhood in Tulsa. Historians national spotlight. President Joe Biden estimate up to 300 lives were lost, drove through parts of the OSU-Tulsa with thousands more injured and left campus on June 1 to visit the neighboring homeless. Thirty-five blocks of the Greenwood Cultural Center, where he district — once called the Black Wall called for the United States to “come to Street — were burned down. OSU-Tulsa terms with” the darkest moments of its history.
The ‘Stache of Books Community Library, where anyone can come and take a book for free, is one way OSU-Tulsa encourages literacy and invites its neighbors to campus.
30 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Before this attention, discussion of the massacre was rare. Many Oklahomans were not taught about it in history classes. The events were only added to Oklahoma Department of Education required curriculum in the fall of 2020. “There has been an extreme and largely unaddressed need for education related to the massacre,” said Dr. Pamela Fry, president of OSU-Tulsa. “As a university that is located in Greenwood, we recognize we’re on sacred land. It’s our ethical responsibility to be an access point for
THIS COMPOSITE IMAGE WAS TAKEN AT DETROIT AVENUE, NORTH OF I-244. THE OSU-TULSA HELMERICH RESEARCH CENTER IS PICTURED ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE STREET. COMPOSITE PHOTO — PATRICK MCNICHOLAS the truth of what happened here as well as a champion for understanding and transformational change.” With that responsibility in mind, 100 Points of Truth and Transformation was created to increase education about the history of Greenwood as well as for OSU-Tulsa to grow as a community partner. “We want to serve as an anchor for north Tulsa,” Fry said. “These opportunities are about access, service to the community and programming; 100 Points is just the beginning.”
That community responsibility is recognized across the Oklahoma State University system. “Broadly speaking, this is the business we’re in as a higher education institution: teaching the truth, and building trust and relationships,” said Dr. Jason F. Kirksey, vice president for institutional diversity and chief diversity officer at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. “Having dialogues and conversations that help move us forward is an important part of our responsibility.”
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 31
OSU-Stillwater students, faculty and staff have taken note of the 100 Points. The O’Colly Media Group created a full-length documentary, an American studies class created an interactive virtual timeline of Greenwood events and a history class created a website to host essays and biographies about the Black women who shaped Black Wall Street. Other opportunities produced in Stillwater include a podcast, a virtual candle lighting for civil rights pioneer Nancy Randolph Davis and a live Q&A with state Rep. Mauree Turner. “As a land-grant university, the 100 Points certainly align with our mission of improving the quality of life of the citizens of our state,” Kirksey said. For Mbanza, the opportunity to connect deeply with the history of her new city has kept her rooted here. “I’m here in Tulsa for a reason. I didn’t know what that was when I first moved, but I think it’s to learn and participate in things like this,” she said. Mbanza originally moved to Tulsa as part of the yearlong Tulsa Remote program, but she has since bought a house in town and dedicated more of her time to volunteer work. “I feel like I’ve recruited 10 people to move to Tulsa,” she said. “There’s a lot happening here, and there’s still a lot to be learned and discovered and shared.”
TELLING THE TRUTH The Tulsa Race Massacre impacts and influences the lives of Tulsans in more ways than many realize. After she learned about the massacre, Lynn Wallace was inspired to pursue a lifelong career discovering and documenting information about it. In 1985, Wallace and nine of her fellow Girl Scouts undertook a genealogy assignment for their Gold Award project. They were tasked with cataloging headstones in Tulsa graveyards, which included making gravestone rubbings and creating a detailed written record. The result was the book Shadows of the Past: Tombstone Inscriptions in Tulsa County, Oklahoma.
32 FA L L 2 0 2 1
RUTH SIGLER AVERY
Wallace was assigned Oaklawn Cemetery, a site long rumored to house mass graves of massacre victims. The city of Tulsa began a search for mass graves at the site in 2020 and recovered human remains in 2021. Thirty-five years prior, Wallace and her troop heard about this possible mass grave from the groundskeeper — which was also the first time she was told anything about the massacre. “That was a pivotal project for me, and it’s what led me to become a librarian,” Wallace said. “It showed me the importance of documenting and preserving history.” Wallace is now the director of the OSU-Tulsa Library, which is home to a significant archive of Tulsa Race Massacre content: the Ruth Sigler Avery Collection — Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. Avery witnessed the massacre at 7 years old. In the 1960s, she began processing the trauma of her experience by writing about what she witnessed in detail, describing Black bodies piled on wagons and Black men shot in front of her. The OSUTulsa Library’s collection is an archive of her research and manuscript, which contains written and recorded interviews from survivors, witnesses and city officials. The archive also contains original and reproduced photographs.
“It’s a collection of work that can’t be done today,” Wallace said. “Many of the voices on those tapes have passed on. What’s left is the archive, and it’s our job to preserve those stories.” Avery, who never published her work, was one of the first scholars to start collecting this information, predating groundbreaking works by the likes of Eddie Faye Gates, Tim Madigan and Scott Ellsworth. The collection was donated to the OSU-Tulsa Library in 2004 by Joy Avery, Ruth’s daughter. “I am always grateful to the patrons of libraries in general, but especially to Joy,” Wallace said. “Her decision to donate her mother’s work has really clarified the truth of the events of the massacre. A lot of what we know about the massacre today comes from those interviews.” For OSU-Tulsa, the archive is another way to give agency and voice
THIS PANORAMIC PHOTO WAS TAKEN FROM STANDPIPE HILL, LOOKING NORTHEAST WHERE OSU-TULSA’S HELMERICH RESEARCH CENTER NOW STANDS. COMPOSITE PHOTO — PATRICK MCNICHOLAS
to those who didn’t have any at the time. “We had a grandson of a survivor come in and hear his grandfather’s voice for the first time on a recording,” Wallace said. “That’s powerful. That’s the impact of the archive. It’s been an honor of a lifetime to make Ruth’s work available, to have the opportunity to share her story and stories of so many others who were here 100 years ago.” Going beyond the task to preserve the testimonies of the massacre, the library is dedicated to helping people connect with the documented truth of those events. “The OSU-Tulsa Library is built on hallowed ground,” Wallace said. “It’s our responsibility to make this archive, the words and photographs of witnesses and victims, accessible to anyone.” Since the Ruth Sigler Avery Collection was donated to the
OSU-Tulsa Library, more than 170 media outlets and artists have made use of its photos, interviews and resources. Multiple books, National Geographic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, the BBC and several documentaries and artists have utilized the collection, which is open to the public. Tulsa artist, photographer and filmmaker Patrick McNicholas is one of many to make use of the archive. He’s the mind behind the “Time-Travel Tulsa” project, a visual art series that blends historic photographs with images of their current-day location. In 2018, he started focusing on historic photography with a series called “20 for ’21” — initially a project to colorize historic photographs and create animations that transitioned between the colorized and blackand-white images. When a coworker posted an old photo side-by-side with
a present-day image of the location online, McNicholas decided to blend the two images together, and his idea for the composite photo series was born. “People have seen the historic photographs of the massacre,” McNicholas said. “But when you see it in context, it absolutely highlights the magnitude of the destruction.” After the massacre, Greenwood was rebuilt but was demolished again
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 33
for the construction of I-244 and the city’s urban renewal program. Almost no original structures in Greenwood remain. As a historian, McNicholas was especially interested in knowing the circumstances of each photo and displaying them with that frame of reference in mind. He took OSU-Tulsa’s Black Wall Street History class to gain a deeper understanding of Greenwood’s history. “You can read books on your own and learn a lot, but I knew the opportunity to take a class from OSUTulsa and have conversations with classmates and an expert professor would offer a more refined and scholarly perspective for my own projects,” he said. In the class, McNicholas researched and discussed how Black Wall Street was built, destroyed and rebuilt. “The class helped me understand Greenwood at a deeper level and the people who built Greenwood,” McNicholas said. “Reading some of those testimonies, it’s hard to realize how warlike the massacre was.” The course also offered him opportunities outside the classroom to continue his work. The connections he made in the classroom ultimately culminated in his photos being displayed in an exhibit at the Philbrook Museum of Art. That exhibit opened doors for other exhibits, and even a production assistant role in the History Channel’s Tulsa Burning documentary. Although his photo series has kept him busy, McNicholas has made a point to avoid profiting from the subject matter. When he does sell prints, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Black Wall Street Alliance, an organization in Greenwood dedicated to uplifting the district’s legacy. Ultimately, he’s just grateful his art is making an impact. “There’s so many ways to tell the history of Greenwood, but you can’t deny the power of seeing it for yourself,” he said.
PROGRESS TOWARD CHANGE Though the centennial commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre has passed, Oklahoma State University’s work is not over. OSUTulsa, OSU-Stillwater, OSU Center for Health Sciences and other community partners continue their commitment to educating about the events of the massacre and their lasting impacts. OSU-CHS has also been focused on addressing barriers that result in a lack of Black doctors. “Living in peace should be something that we continually strive for,” said Brenda Davidson, assistant dean of diversity at OSU-CHS. “Everyone deserves unconditional acceptance and respect and to stand up for what one believes in, while also respecting those who might disagree with one’s viewpoint.” For Davidson, the 100 Points of Truth and Transformation is a way to not only commemorate the victims of the massacre, but also to help students grow into empathetic professionals. “We might not always have the same perspective, but we can always be respectful and kind to one another,” Davidson said.
QURAYSH ALI LANSANA
34 FA L L 2 0 2 1
“What’s important to me is that we are arming our students with as much knowledge, perspective, vision and empathy as we are capable of,” said Quraysh Ali Lansana, director of the newly established Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation at OSU-Tulsa. The center is part of a nationwide, community-based initiative by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to plan and bring about transformational and sustainable change and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. “I see the 100 Points as an opportunity to build well-rounded, thoughtful and passionate people, inside and outside of the classroom. We’re engaging with people who will inherit the responsibility of running this country,” Lansana said. Lansana has extensively researched and written about Greenwood and the massacre and moved to Tulsa specifically for the opportunity to fully engage with the history of Tulsa’s Greenwood District. “Over the course of about 16 years, Black Oklahomans built an incredibly successful city within a city, rooted in faith and determination, in the face of some of the most severe Jim Crow laws in all the country,” he said. “What they built was lost, but we can help nurture that same spirit around us.” Since assuming his role with the center, he’s hosted a monthly Facebook live conversation series, participated in faculty panel discussions and published a children’s book, Opal’s Greenwood Oasis, which is set set in historic Greenwood. He also has taught, organized or hosted many events, including the Writing About Greenwood workshop and the Black Wall Street History class. Through the Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, Lansana works closely with the community to create programs and initiatives that benefit north Tulsa and engage the OSU-Tulsa campus community. “There’s an invisible wall that exists between most universities and the community around them that sends signals that the community is not welcome,” Lansana said. “We’re working to erase that wall. As a
EMONICA “NEKKI” REAGAN-NEELEY
resource, OSU-Tulsa has a tremendous number of assets — human and otherwise — to offer north Tulsa.” One of the leaders working to dismantle that invisible wall is Emonica “Nekki” Reagan-Neeley, assistant vice president for community engagement and student services. “We have a responsibility, because of the ground we’re built on, to commemorate and teach the history of Greenwood, but it’s also an opportunity,” she said. “We have a chance to amplify and educate
everyone around us. When we serve the people around us, we’re planting seeds that will grow with us.” Reagan-Neeley’s community engagement team has launched several free and low-cost events and programs designed to educate and enrich the lives of OSU-Tulsa neighbors in the Greenwood District. Recent initiatives include a STEM Force workshop, a Saturday school, several literacy events and a 24/7 community library. Programs like these provide not only a service for the community, they also help create a more accessible college campus. “We want the community on campus,” she said. “We want them to tell their friends, their teachers, their churches, that they learned something inspiring at OSU-Tulsa, and hopefully it will empower them to return here to earn a degree.” The programs and events offered as part of the 100 Points of Truth and Transformation — most open to the public, and the majority at no cost — have given countless people ways to access OSU and the truth of the massacre. In Reagan-Neeley’s eyes, providing that service is a step on the path toward healing in Greenwood. “As an institution, we are part of this community,” Reagan-Neeley said. “We’re here. And we all have to face the truth to start the transformation.”
WATCH a video feature about the 100 Points of Truth and Transformation at okla.st/100pts. MORE INFO A full list of the 100 Points can be found at tulsa.okstate. edu/100points.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LAND Greenwood was rebuilt after the Tulsa Race Massacre. With no aid from the city and insurance claims denied, the community worked hard to restore what was destroyed, and many Black businesses and homes returned stronger than ever. In fact, it wasn’t until after the massacre that Greenwood became known as the “Black Wall Street of America.” In the 1960s and ’70s, construction of four federal highways signaled the end of Greenwood’s second wave of prosperity. “Urban renewal” claimed
land for the highway system, removing homes and businesses to create U.S. Highway 75 and Interstate 244. In 1986, the city’s redevelopment arm opened the land just north of the highway to create a higher education campus, University Center at Tulsa. Initially, UCAT was composed of Langston University, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Northeastern State University providing academic offerings on campus. Since 1999, only OSU-Tulsa and Langston University remain.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 35
COMING HOME? Fly directly into Stillwater Regional Airport!
Use airport code "SWO" at aa.com to book your Homecoming flights today.
ALUMNI A S S O C I AT I O N
Join or Renew Today!
Legacy Village of Stillwater Continue the Legacy tradition at Legacy Village of Stillwater
find something to love at Legacy Village.
Services that make life easier. Independent Living, also called Retirement Living, is designed for seniors who want to trade the responsibility of maintaining a home for a lifestyle of social, educational and leisure activities. At Legacy Village, Legacy Village of Stillwater Independent Living offers the best of Legacy Village of Stillwater offers senior both worlds; private living along with living in beautiful Stillwater, Oklahoma. services that make your life easier, Just minutes from Oklahoma State and activities that encourage daily University on 55 acres with golf course interaction with neighbors and friends. views, our gorgeous, state-of-the-art Help with daily living. community provides residents and guests with the amenities and services At Legacy Village, we believe that the they want for a lifestyle they’ll love. more our residents can be independent, Residents can catch a movie in the theater, read the newspaper, or relax with a cup of coffee in our bistro. Get some fresh air on a sunny day by enjoying our walking trails, joining our gardening club, or playing a round of golf. You can also join an exercise class in the fitness center, book a massage at our spa, and so much more. Our onsite beauty salon and spa, local transportation, housekeeping and laundry services, along with so many activities to entertain and enrich; all ensure that life is easier. With so much to offer, we know you’ll
the healthier they are and the better they feel. Maximizing independence, maintaining dignity and having choices are important.
There may come a time when we all could use a helping hand. At Legacy, assisted living services include a combination of health and recreational services, nutritious and delicious meals, and help with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and taking medications in a warm, home-like environment. Our full activity program provides physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual activities to enhance quality of life.
A secure environment for peace of mind. Our memory care community, called The Cottage, is staffed by professionally trained caregivers that provide specialized care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. Our expert caregivers provide residents with memory support, assistance and supervision for daily activities such as personal care, medication assistance and meals all in a secure environment. Residents enjoy private apartments furnished with personal belongings and mementos that make it feel like home. Special thought is given to the décor and functionality of each apartment. Activities are also specially designed to meet the needs of our residents.
Legacy Villas • Independent Living • Assisted Living • Memory Care Call Today!
5601 N Washington St, Stillwater, OK 74075 | legacyvillagestillwater.com
OSU cheer squad brings home national championship In April the Oklahoma State University cheer squad topped the National Cheerleaders Association College Nationals in Daytona, Florida. The victory marks OSU’s seventh national championship in Large Cheer Co-Ed Division 1A and its first since a streak of three-consecutive victories from 2013 to 2015. Following last year’s competition, which was cancelled due to COVID, many teams competed virtually. A
total of five teams competed in the live competition this year, including the top three teams from the past several years — OSU, Texas Tech and Louisville. “This year was different and difficult,” said team captain Kennedy Wingbermuehle. “We all agreed to follow rules that most college students couldn’t, in order to prevent exposure throughout the team and allow us to travel and compete at NCA College Nationals in Daytona. Now, as a
fifth-year senior, I can say that we have accomplished our goal.” A foursome representing OSU also won the Group Stunt competition, narrowly beating out Louisville. It is the third time a group representing OSU has won the national title in that category. OSU has now won 17 NCA Championships total, including the seven in the Large Co-Ed Division, four in the All-Girl Division and three in the Small Co-Ed Division.
Scott Newman named to lead OSU-OKC
40 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Dr. Scott Newman has been selected as the next president of the Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City campus. The Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents approved the move at its June meeting. Newman was the provost and vice president of academic affairs for Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in Okmulgee. His nearly 21-year career at OSUIT ranges from serving as a faculty member and dean to chief academic officer. Newman’s accomplishments at OSUIT include leading numerous student success initiatives, boosting
graduation rates and reorganizing the institution’s academic programs to improve service to stakeholders while reducing administrative costs. He also served as the founding dean for OSUIT’s School of Information Technologies in 2001, for which he led the creation of award-winning associate and bachelor’s degree programs, and developed industry partnerships. He has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s degree from the University of Oxford and a doctorate in higher education from Oklahoma State University.
OSU-Tulsa expands partnership with TCC Students looking to earn a bachelor’s degree and stay in Tulsa will benefit with the creation of College Park, a public four-year university experience in one location. In announcing the expanded partnership between Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and Tulsa Community College, leaders also announced OSUTulsa has commitments for $500,000 to help fund scholarships for College Park students. College Park is located at OSU-Tulsa with courses taught by faculty from OSU and TCC and builds on the collaboration started in January 2020 with LinkedDegree. “Our goal is to improve access to bachelor’s degrees for all Tulsans and reduce equity gaps in bachelor’s degree attainment,” said Dr. Pamela Fry, OSU-Tulsa president. “Two of the state’s leading institutions combining forces to create this experience for students will not only increase the number of bachelor’s degrees in Tulsa, but also save taxpayers money and help attract companies to invest in northeast Oklahoma.” Capitalizing on existing infrastructure, College Park students will complete their four-year university experience in a single location, surrounded by OSU-Tulsa and TCC support and resources. Eligible students can utilize Tulsa Achieves with additional scholarship support toward the costs of the junior and senior years from OSU-Tulsa. “College Park is a direct response to calls for an affordable, public, four-year higher education option combining TCC’s nationally recognized experience in the first two years of higher education, and OSU-Tulsa’s role as a public, metropolitan urban-serving research university,” said Dr. Leigh Goodson, TCC president and CEO. “In addition, this new collaboration allows us to offer degree programs tailored to the needs of our region’s economy.” To learn more about College Park, visit collegeparktulsa.com .
State funds match for endowed chairs Former Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis was delighted with Oklahoma’s 2022 budget package, which included funding for the state’s match for the endowed chair program. “The passage of a bill to complete the state’s match for the endowed chair program is excellent news,” he said. “The endowed chair program strengthens our faculty recruitment initiatives by providing a consistent source of investment through our professors in their teaching, research and service activities,” Hargis said. “In turn, the program, especially the investment in research, will contribute to the development and advancement of our state’s economy.”
OSU-Tulsa President Pamela Fry helps announce the new College Park partnership.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 41
OSU wins 9th straight Healthy Campus title Once again, Oklahoma State University has been rated as a Certified Healthy Campus by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The award, OSU’s ninth straight, puts the Stillwater campus at the forefront of showcasing what a healthy campus can achieve for nearly a decade now. The rating is awarded by the Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program, which showcases organizations
42 FA L L 2 0 2 1
committed to improving the health of Oklahomans by implementing effective programs. “It is both a privilege and an honor for OSU-Stillwater to once again be recognized as a Certified Healthy Campus,” said Kim Beard, assistant director of Employee Wellness. “We strive to be recognized as leaders at the forefront of all things health and wellness and do everything possible
to make this a top priority for our students, employees and community members. “We take great pride in supporting and promoting a healthy culture at OSU and look forward to even bigger and better future efforts and initiatives that will allow OSU to remain a leader in wellness.”
44 FA L L 2 0 2 1
STORY JORDAN BISHOP | PHOTOS GARY LAWSON AND PROVIDED
PRESIDENT From sports to family to medicine to now running the OSU System, Dr. Kayse Shrum’s accomplishments mark her trailblazing journey
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 45
GROWING UP IN RURAL OKLAHOMA, DR. KAYSE SHRUM HAD NO IDEA WHERE HER JOURNEY WOULD TAKE HER. Now, the newest president of the state’s largest land-grant institution wants to show everyone that where they come from shouldn’t limit their potential. With everything she has accomplished, Shrum has consistently tried to achieve at the highest level. She threw softballs in her garage every day as a little girl to earn a college scholarship as a pitcher. She went from being encouraged to apply for medical school to becoming a physician. She dreamed of having a family and became a mother of six. And she moved up the academic rungs from being a professor at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences to being its first female dean and then its first (and youngest) president — and now the first female president of the OSU System.
SHRUM HAS NEVER STOPPED PURSUING EXCELLENCE.
46 FA L L 2 0 2 1
HI GH A SPIR AT I O NS Patti Plunk always thought her younger sister was striving for something greater. As a little girl, Shrum would hold meetings with her stuffed animals — a piece of paper and a crayon in each outstretched paw as Shrum held court over the entire affair. “I would open her door and she would say ‘Get out, we’re in a meeting,’” Plunk said. “That’s one of my best memories. … Now she’s in meetings all the time.” The daughter of Dennis and Nita Donnelly, Shrum grew up in Coweta, Oklahoma — a town about 30 miles southeast of Tulsa. Dennis worked for Southwestern Bell and Nita took care of their two daughters. A natural athlete, Shrum initially wanted to be a horse jockey but eventually settled on playing softball. She started at catcher. But at one tournament in Bartlesville during her eighth-grade year, she saw a pitcher get an individual trophy. Confused, Shrum asked her dad why the pitcher got her own award. “I said, ‘Well, because that’s a skill position,’” Dennis Donnelly said. “And when I came home, she was throwing a ball against the wall. For two or three days, she kept throwing the ball against the wall. So I thought, well, you know, I’ll get her some lessons. And then she started throwing the ball in the garage, and she was throwing the ball through the garage, into the den and then through the windows.” Shrum practiced daily and developed a repertoire of pitches, her favorite being the rise ball. She played for her high school along with a club team, the Tulsa Eagles, year-round across the Midwest. She pitched a perfect game in high school, her prowess garnering attention from Big 12 Conference schools like the University of Oklahoma and the University of Nebraska. However, Shrum was a small-town girl. Norman and Lincoln seemed like distant metropolises. In Coweta, she was used to walking down Main Street and knowing everyone’s name. For Shrum, softball was a passion. While it earned her a scholarship to Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma, it never was the end all, be all. More than three decades later, she can’t recall her batting averages or even what she was thinking after she threw her perfect game. But she looks back on those days with a smile. “A lot of times you focus on moments you wished you would’ve played better, or you can think through a lot of wins, but my best memories are with my teammates,” Shrum said. “It’s been 30 years, and I think those are my favorite memories — either riding in the bus or being in the dugout. Those are the things that stick out in my mind the most: the people. “And although I learned a lot from athletics and having that experience certainly shaped who I am and how I address issues, it was my teammates who have left the biggest impact on me.”
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 47
E X PA ND IN G HER H O RIZO N When she wasn’t in the pitcher’s circle, Shrum was studying for her classes at Connors State. Her favorite area of study was science — an affinity that dates back to dissecting frogs in high school. It continued to grow in college. An undergrad trip to OSU’s neuroanatomy lab introduced her to brain research and pushed her curiosity further, compelling her to study physiology. “For most people, that is not something that is so fascinating to them,” Shrum said. “It’s probably offputting, but I think that’s why it’s important that we expose students to a broad education because you never know what’s going to ignite your passion.” Her dedication to science put her at the top of her class. One day after a summer physiology class, she was approached by her professor. He told her that everyone else in the class was a pre-med major or had already been accepted to medical school and asked why Shrum hadn’t put herself out there. “That was really kind of the turning point for me,” Shrum said. “Having grown up in a small town and gone to a smaller high school and knowing that I needed to work hard had me feeling somewhat intimidated by the environment. I was just showing up every day and studying and trying to do the best I could. I had no idea what my potential was. “It wasn’t really until that moment that I thought [medicine] was something that was a possibility for me. I realized at that time how empowering it is for someone to tell you that you can, and it really opened my eyes to the possibilities.” She went to visit her hometown physician, Dr. Ronnie Carr, an OSU graduate who had taken care of her family for generations. Shrum asked him about his experiences in the medical profession and after talking to him, decided she would apply for medical school. “I thought, you know, this is where I want to get my medical education, and that’s the kind of doctor I want to be,” Shrum said. “And that’s how I want to treat people. And so that’s really what led me to medicine and Oklahoma State University.”
48 FA L L 2 0 2 1
O PENIN G E Y ES Wanting to make a difference in young people’s lives, Shrum decided to study pediatrics. After earning her degree from the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1998, she joined a private practice in Muskogee. There, she saw firsthand how the health care industry was suffering in the rural areas. “If you have access to health care, you live longer,” she said. “That’s a tragedy that is sometimes the determining factor. And so that kind of became a passion for me.” As a pediatrician, Shrum worked to ensure children would have healthy starts to their lives and put them on a trajectory for a full life. After a few years in the field, she returned to OSU as a professor in 2002, focused on filling the pipeline of rural physicians. Shrum believes rural health care access is an issue with far-reaching implications. “It’s where agriculture happens, it’s where our food comes from. And if we don’t have access to health care in rural areas, it really starts to have a bigger, more global impact,” she said. Shrum credits her time in the field with giving her problem-solving skills that she has used in every facet of her life since and looks to use as president of OSU. “You learn a lot about communication and empathy,” Shrum said. “As a pediatrician, many times, your patients aren’t going to tell you what’s wrong with them. You have to observe, and you have to ask questions, and you have to understand. As a president — a university president — a big part of your job sometimes is solving problems, understanding what’s going on, listening and communicating.”
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 49
FA MILY A ND C A REER While Shrum was going through college, medical school and working in a private practice, she was also raising a family of her own. She met her husband, Darren, walking into the Broken Arrow Walmart when she was an undergrad. A few years removed from graduating from the University of Central Arkansas, Darren was in Walmart’s management training program. He had been going to different stores in the region and that day, he happened to see Kayse walk through the door. That was that. After a few years of dating, they married and soon decided they wanted a big family. But after suffering several miscarriages, they began exploring adoption. Then, while on vacation in Mexico, Kayse had good news for Darren — she was pregnant again. In the winter of 1996, while she was in medical school at OSU’s Center for Health Sciences, Shrum gave birth to Colton. Shrum tried to time his arrival with Christmas break. The two then had a daughter, Kyndall, whose birth Shrum had planned for summer break. Shrum couldn’t plan everything, though. “Kayse graduated in May (1998) and started a job in Muskogee,” Darren said. “I was in Little Rock, working at a laboratory at the time, and she called and she was crying. I said, ‘What’s going on?’ and she said, ‘I’m pregnant.’ I said that it was awesome. She said, ‘No, it’s not; I’m supposed to start my job. I’m starting today and now I’m going to have a baby.’” That baby turned out to be Karsyn, their second daughter. Early on, Darren said, the couple’s job demands made it tough to care for all three kids, but they managed. The Shrums were a content family. Kayse’s career had taken off as she was named dean of the
50 FA L L 2 0 2 1
College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011 before adding the title of president of OSU-CHS in 2013. Darren had worked for Zebco for a few years after leaving Walmart before starting a career at Abbott Laboratories, which he left after more than a decade to open a fitness center in Muskogee. In 2010, Darren sold the gym and opened his own garage in Coweta so he could spend more time with his family. About that time, some family friends told the couple they were adopting from Ethiopia. It was a flashback for Kayse and Darren, who had the seed of adoption planted years before. Before making the decision to send Darren across the world, they had a family meeting with Colton, Kyndall and Karsyn. The family agreed to expand, so Darren traveled more than 8,000 miles to Ethiopia. Darren came home with two boys — Joseph and Kilientn — and had plans for a third, Kason, but the orphanage had lost him. A few years later, an adoption agency located Kason and contacted the Shrums to see if they still wanted to adopt. For Kayse, it was an easy answer. Nearly four years after first meeting Darren, Kason arrived in Oklahoma. The Shrum family was finally complete. Although it has been tough to juggle their busy careers and lives, Kayse and Darren have been able to handle it all. “I think that was always something that I wanted … to not have to choose one or the other,” Shrum said. Still, she advised, balance and selfcare are key to keeping it together. The Shrum children have benefited from the family atmosphere Kayse and Darren built, as they were all involved in either athletics or livestock shows. All six are now college-age, with Colton and Kyndall having recently graduated in May 2021. “She is literally Superwoman,” Kyndall Shrum said. “She makes sure everything is done when it needs to be done and makes sure everyone feels loved and cared for and appreciated. I don’t know how she does it.”
PAY IN G I T FO RWA RD Through her experiences, Shrum has learned something at every stop that she feels will help guide her as she takes over as the 19th president of OSU, replacing longtime predecessor Burns Hargis, who retired in July. She credits a lot of her success to what she learned at OSU. “I feel like what I have accomplished in life is in part due to the experiences that I’ve had at Oklahoma State University as a student and a faculty member,” Shrum said. “I want to see Oklahoma State University have the visibility that it deserves. And to really start focusing on building our academic reputation and talking about all the wonderful things that are happening and just continuing the success.” First and foremost, Shrum wants students to know the same thing she told her patients and kids over the years: Anything is possible. As she takes over the university that put her on her career path, Shrum wants to help others who grew up like she did — students with a strong work ethic just waiting to discover their true potential. “I think that’s important at a land-grant university because a lot of students are from small communities [or] first-generation college students,” Shrum said. “So I think having that background and being mindful of that and thinking about how we at a land-grant university are serving a lot of students with rural backgrounds — the environment that we create has to make them feel welcome and comfortable and provide a great space for them to get an education.”
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 51
52 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Have you reached out to any of the other male spouses of presidents within the Big 12 or in universities in general? Get any advice from them on how to tackle this role? I did. I reached out to the first gentleman at Baylor, and we’ve actually texted several times and he gave me a few tips and things to think about. As far as a personal platform, I think it’s one of those things that’s going to find itself, but I do have an area that I really want to focus on. I’ve already kind of done a few behind the scenes type things, but I think I’ll be ready to announce more details sometime this fall.
What will you do in your role to support Dr. Shrum’s presidency? Whatever Kayse needs and any time anybody wants me to come to anything, all they have to do is ask. If it’s open on the schedule, I’ll be there, because I really feel like whatever I can do to support her 100 percent and whatever I can do for the university, that’s what I’m here to do. This university is a place that makes you feel good every time you walk on campus. It’s a place you want to call home. You mentioned your love of cars and “tricking them out.” The Hargises told me they were giving you Clementine (the golf cart Ann Hargis used to get around campus). Do you have plans for her?
Darren Shrum, Oklahoma State University’s inaugural First Cowboy, hopes to live up to the incredible job First Cowgirl Ann Hargis did for the last 13 years. Shrum, who played college football for the University of Central Arkansas in the 1980s, won back to back NAIA championships as a center for the Bears. He went to work for Walmart, where he met Dr. Kayse Shrum as she was walking into the Broken Arrow store one day and they became married a few years after. After six years, he worked for Zebco fishing tackle for a few years before leaving to work as a sales manager for Abbott Laboratories. In 2007, he left to open Champion Fitness in Muskogee before retiring to open FTD Motors in Coweta in 2010. OStateTV’s Meghan Robinson recently sat down with Darren to hear a few of his thoughts on becoming the first First Cowboy.
I think Kayse is going to carry on with Clementine, the 2.0 version. Hopefully in August when the semester rolls around, you’ll see Clementine with a whole different look. So I’m looking forward to it.
STORY MEGHAN ROBINSON | PHOTOS GARY LAWSON
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 53
THE REINS Shrum discusses her vision for OSU and what it means to be the first female president
54 FA L L 2 0 2 1
STORY MONICASTORY ROBERTS MONICA | PHOTOS ROBERTS GARY| LAWSON PHOTOS PHIL AND SHOCKLEY PROVIDED
What are you most excited about when you think of the future of the university? I think there are so many great things about Oklahoma State University. We not only have an amazing education to offer, but we do a lot of research that has a high impact on society. Kind of the precursor to this for me was watching how Oklahoma State University played this pivotal role during the pandemic and how we had the human capital, the intellect and the facilities to really make a major impact on the state of Oklahoma. I think that is an example of what excites me about being the president of Oklahoma State University, because we do cutting-edge things every day that make a difference in the lives of people and how we translate that and how we apply that to society is what makes Oklahoma State University great, and a wonderful place for students to get an education. So just being a part of imagining that and leading how we can have that type of presence at Oklahoma State University is really exciting to me.
What does it mean to you to be the first female president of this university? The thing I always try to lead with is I feel very fortunate to have had a career that’s prepared me and made me the most qualified to be here. … It hasn’t always been easy being the first female to do things. But I really have never focused on that too much. I just go to work every day and do what I need to do and solve the problems and engage. But I don’t miss the significance of how historic it is and how excited people — like my niece — were when they found out. And when I visit with the female students on campus or other students, I think the global student body is excited that Oklahoma State University is the first public research university in Oklahoma to have a female president.
Following Burns Hargis’ transformational presidency, Dr. Kayse Shrum is ready to hit the ground running as Oklahoma State University’s 19th president. Just prior to her taking office, STATE magazine sat down with Shrum at her ranch in Coweta, Oklahoma, to discuss her vision for OSU’s future, what it means to be the first female president and how she aims to elevate the university’s commitment to the land-grant mission and serve all OSU institutions and the state of Oklahoma.
Sometimes there are those moments where I’m sitting in the car or just a quiet moment and I’m like, ‘Wow.’ It sinks in for a little bit. You can get so busy, and doing that just allows you to really wrap your mind around it. But I’m very proud of that. Regardless of what a wonderful support system you have around yourself, you have to see people that are like you as role models or have someone to encourage you. And so I think that’s very important for women, young women, I mean, anyone actually, to see a female serving in a different role than they’ve traditionally seen. I hope in me that they see that they have no limits. If they want to do it, they can achieve it. And you just focus on that and become the best and most qualified candidate for that particular position and be bold enough to dream it.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 55
Next July, we’ll be one year into your presidency. What do you hope to have accomplished by then? Or what would a successful first year look like to you?
Since you were officially named president in April, you’ve done a lot of listening to leaders, to students, to board members. What are the biggest takeaways from listening to those people? I think everyone is so excited about Oklahoma State University and everything that’s going on. I mean, everyone really loved Burns and Ann and the legacy that they left, and I’m one of those people. So you hear a lot of that. They’re excited to see what the future holds under my presidency, but what everyone talks about is the wonderful culture, the great education and what we can do in the future that elevates Oklahoma State University. We want to be the leader when people look to land-grant universities and find ways to solve pressing societal needs. We want them to look at Oklahoma State University and overall that’s what I’ve heard, but everyone has been so kind. I mean, if you’re part of OSU, it just seems like there’s this family atmosphere, and that has just been wonderful. And everyone I’ve met has just been so welcoming and excited. What is your hope for our students this year as they return to what we hope will be the first normal year since 2019? My hope is that they have a normal college experience. My youngest children graduated from high school during the pandemic. That wasn’t normal for them, and their freshman year in college wasn’t normal, either. So I know that’s true for all of our student body. And so I’m looking forward to them coming back on campus and being able to have that experience of being in the classroom and being a part of the community. I’m really looking forward to that.
56 FA L L 2 0 2 1
I plan to continue listening and learning, but I hope in this next year I have an opportunity to get engaged with the community at OSU, to build that relationship and have them get to know me better. I want to have a strategic plan put together and finalize the vision for where we’re going in the future and build a team of people around me that can help me to carry out that vision and the strategy for success for Oklahoma State University. I’m sure one year will go very, very fast, and I’m really looking forward to that. But I think a first successful year is getting through the school year, getting students back on campus, being able to enjoy athletics and Homecoming and all those things that we love. And at the same time, we’re focused on the work that we’re going to do in the background of our planning and talking to alumni and engaging with students and really getting prepared for what Oklahoma State University is going to look like in the future. What are the next steps for Oklahoma State? What is your vision for arts, academics and athletics? I think arts, academics and athletics are all part of what makes the university great, and each has its own unique place here at OSU. So as we look to the future, we’re looking at what our strengths are and how we can leverage those. What are the areas that we can grow to kind of establish something unique at Oklahoma State University? The McKnight Center, which is just beautiful, is a great example of something that enriches the OSU experience and makes us unique. What are the academic areas we can continue to grow? What are the areas of our workforce or industries that an education in that area can put an Oklahoma State graduate ahead in the workforce? That’s what we want to look at and see where we need to go in the future. And then of course, athletics. You know, we want to win as many national championships as we can, and we’re looking at ways we can support our student athletes and our Cowboy community.
The #CowboyFamily welcomes President Shrum to #okstate
The OSU/A&M Board of Regents have selected Dr. Kayse Shrum as the next president of Oklahoma State University.
Today we welcomed Oklahoma State’s next President, Dr. Kayse Shrum to Cowgirl Stadium!
#okstate president designee Dr. Shrum will also be the first woman to lead a public research institution in Oklahoma history.
Congrats, @drshrum on becoming the first woman to lead a public research institution in Oklahoma.
Congrats to our Oklahoma State University School of Osteopathic Medicine at Cherokee Nation partner Dr. Kayse Shrum on being selected as President Designate of @okstate.
@Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office
It is an honor to be selected as @okstate’s 19th president as well as the first woman to lead a public research institution in Oklahoma. I look forward to serving the #CowboyFamily. Thank you to the OSU/A&M Board and the search committee for the confidence you have placed in me.
Congratulations to @drshrum for being named president of @okstate! Dr. Shrum has done an incredible job at @OSUMedicine and I know it will be no different in her new role.
@burnshargis I am excited for @drshrum and @okstate. I have enjoyed working closely with Kayse and observing first-hand her growth and strength to lead, collaborate and raise funds. She is well-respected across our state and our university. @OKStateAlumni The OSU/A&M Board of Regents have selected Dr. Kayse Shrum as the 19th president of Oklahoma State University. #okstate president designee @drshrum was selected following a months-long effort including an extensive, competitive national search and a selection process that included campus representatives from across the university system. Dr. Shrum will also be the first woman to lead a public research institution in Oklahoma history. The future is bright at #okstate!
@osururalhealth Congratulations @drshrum! We are very happy & excited for you and look forward to you leading rural health and our university to new heights! @MikeBoynton Really proud of the leadership at @okstate. New Pres @drshrum is overqualified for the position and will enhance the experience for our students and staff. She’ll also be a great asset to Stillwater. I look forward to watching the University grow under her leadership. #GoPokes @OSUFoundation We are excited to celebrate Dr. Kayse Shrum as the 19th president of Oklahoma State University. There has never been a better time to be a Cowboy and we are eager to see what achievements President Shrum will accomplish as we continue to work together to build a bright orange future for Oklahoma State.
Follow @drshrum S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 57
Hometown: Bethany, Oklahoma Major: Architecture
Scholarships Offer Life-Changing Impacts Scholarships invite every student to dream big, work hard and exceed expectations through life-changing opportunities. They help OSU offer an excellent education as affordably as possible and empower the university to competitively recruit the brightest young scholars. The impact of a scholarship is different for every student, but they each have the potential to change a life. For more information and to support scholarships at OSU, visit: OSUgiving.com/scholarships
Bernabe Class of '23
What made you choose to attend OSU? When I first visited the campus, I fell in love. It felt like it was meant to be. Every time I talked to an OSU staff member, I felt like they cared about me and had my best interest in mind. Another reason is that the architecture program is amazing and the best in the state! Since that's my major, it just made sense for me to pick OSU, and I do not regret it one bit. How did you react when you received your scholarship? I was definitely shocked. I got the news when my dad was in the ICU fighting for his life against COVID-19, and we weren't sure whether he was going to make it or not. I was considering taking a semester off from school because we lost his income as well as my mom’s since we all had COVID-19 and no one could go to work. When I got this scholarship it made me want to cry and gave me a glimmer of hope. I was hopeful and excited to give my dad good news when they woke him up after he got better. How has your scholarship impacted your time at OSU? The scholarship I received made a huge impact for me and my family. Since I do not qualify for Oklahoma’s Promise or any federal aid, we have to pay for my tuition and living expenses out of pocket. With the intensity of the architecture program, it is difficult for me to work a regular job while still allowing enough time to study. This scholarship helped me alleviate some of the weight off my parents' shoulders, and we are forever grateful for the help.
58 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Hometown: Carrollton, Texas Major: Aerospace Administration and Operations: Professional Pilot
Branden Adams Class of '22
How did scholarships shape your OSU experience? Receiving scholarships and financial aid has eliminated the burden that working a job to pay for my college tuition and other investments would have created. It has granted me the ability to keep my focus on coursework and aviation studies with very little to no distractions. In addition, it has yielded me more time to partake in many extracurricular activities throughout each semester. In what way will your scholarships help you reach your career goals? Being a professional pilot major can add many other financial costs to college tuition. They include the price to rent the aircraft and pay for fuel and dues associated with flight training, which can put a tremendous burden on my family. Receiving my various scholarships has greatly benefited my family's ability to pay for these expenses, thus aiding my ability to continue learning about aviation and preparing for my journey into the industry after graduation. What would you like to say to the donors who made your scholarships possible? I would personally thank them for choosing me to be the recipient of their generous scholarship. Being an aviation major, this scholarship will assist me in accomplishing my goal of becoming a professional pilot. I would also thank them for seeing my potential and say that I am confident that their contributions will further me as a student and as a pilot.
Hometown: Prague, Oklahoma
Major: Computer and Electrical Engineering
Class of '23
What were some of the factors that led you to OSU? The biggest reason I chose Oklahoma State was the easy scholarship application and exceptional financial aid awarded, as one of the biggest challenges I face right now is financial security. While financial aid played a major role in my decision, personable advisors and recruiters really solidified my choice in schools. The close-knit community of my dorm with tutoring and movie/game nights has made me feel right at home and better prepared for my classes. How did you feel when you learned you'd be receiving a scholarship? I was absolutely ecstatic and so proud of myself. I did everything I could in high school to better myself through volunteerism and to better my grades through hard work. With the scholarship, I could finally focus on what I wanted to study and the organizations I wanted to join rather than worrying about having to juggle work, school and a social life. How will your scholarship help make your dream job more accessible? I want to explore other planets and venture into space as a NASA astronaut. NASA requires a Ph.D. in math, science or an engineering field to become an astronaut candidate. College is necessary for my dream job, so to be given the opportunity to attend college through generous scholarships is something I am truly grateful for. Without overwhelming support, I would not be able to learn in depth about the world around us or, hopefully, see the moon in person.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 59
A Stately Affair
Tulsa gala honors Burns and Ann Hargis for their leadership
ormer Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis showed off his piano skills at the sixth biennial A Stately Affair in Tulsa. It was a delightful surprise when he took to the piano keys and played “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Let the Good Times Roll.” And the good times did roll as the fundraiser recognized both Burns and Ann Hargis as the event’s Icons for their significant contributions to Tulsa and Oklahoma, as well as their unwavering support for OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences. This year’s gala raised more than $1.3 million.
60 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum proclaimed June 24 as Burns and Ann Hargis Day and handed the couple a key to the city during the gala at Cox Business Convention Center. “It’s a great honor for me tonight as the mayor of Tulsa to say how grateful we are for the leadership of Burns and Ann Hargis and what they’ve meant for our city,” Bynum said. “[Burns] is someone who focused the Stillwater team on Tulsa, which I am especially thankful for.” OSU-Tulsa trustee John O’Connor co-chaired the gala with his wife, Lucia. “What an incredible night to be a Cowboy,” John O’Connor said. “Burns
and Ann, thank you for your leadership. We’re so grateful for each of you.” The connection between Tulsa and OSU has flourished during Burns Hargis’ 13 years of transformative leadership. OSU-Tulsa has created pathways to higher education through new academic programs and partnerships as the city’s public, metropolitan urbanserving research university. New OSUTulsa initiatives under the leadership of President Pamela Fry include the College Park partnership with Tulsa Community College, the OSU College of Professional Studies and the 100 Points of Truth and Transformation.
STORY SARA PLUMMER AND AARON CAMPBELL | PHOTOS MIKE TEDFORD
“This is the best job in the world. We’ve been so blessed to have this job, and Tulsa has been such a special part of our time here.” BURNS HARGIS, FORMER OSU PRESIDENT
During her time as OSU-CHS president, Dr. Kayse Shrum expanded access to medical care throughout the state with rural health initiatives and the opening of the new OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation, the first tribally affiliated medical school in the country. OSU Center for Health Sciences’ partnership with the new Veterans Hospital in Tulsa, the National Center for Wellness and Recovery, and the Hardesty Center for Clinical Research and Neuroscience are each remarkable achievements in advancing the landgrant mission for all Oklahomans. A Stately Affair raises money for scholarship funds that benefit students at OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences. It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to have financial security while in school, said Lynsey Baxter, an OSU-Tulsa materials science and engineering Ph.D. student. “I know many students who were thinking about dropping out of their programs because they don’t have the financial stability that they or their
families need,” Baxter said. “Gracious donations, like the ones given for A Stately Affair, are what give a lot of us the accessibility to pursue our dreams and passions that we otherwise might not be able to achieve.” Kailee Roe is a medical student at OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and one of the OSU-CHS students who benefits from a scholarship. “Of course it helps out financially, but it’s also a good morale booster because you realize that it is a difficult journey, but someone out there realizes your end goal and what you aspire to be … and they are kind of supporting you along the way,” Roe said. The Hargises have enthusiastically united the broad OSU community of students, employees, alumni and donors behind a bold vision of a modern landgrant university that unites disciplines to better prepare students for success. The results have been historic. Under Hargis’ leadership, OSU saw record enrollment and record fundraising, with pledges and cash surpassing the $1 billion Branding Success campaign goal nearly two years
ahead of schedule. In total, OSU raised more than $2 billion in private support and added more than 81,000 new donors during his presidency. In an effort to build on those new donors, the OSU Foundation established the 21st Century Cowboys group to reach alumni who graduated after the year 2000. Several members attended this year’s gala to salute the Hargises. “Burns has made a huge difference in our university and its perception across the country,” said Jay Helm, an Oklahoma State Regent for Higher Education. “Burns and Ann, I hope you take with you all the heart and love and admiration from your fans and friends.” Ann Hargis said the reason the gala is such a hit is because of the students. “That’s what generates us to have such passion — to see these bright, talented students having a wonderful opportunity thanks to all of you, and watching them flourish going into their adult lives,” she said. “This is the best job in the world,” Burns Hargis said. “We’ve been so blessed to have this job, and Tulsa has been such a special part of our time here.”
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 61
Lee Redick has spent more than 20 years energizing Cowboy fans with the ‘Orange Power’ chant
Redick (with sign) celebrates his last game in Boone Pickens Stadium as Mr. Orange Power.
ll OSU Cowboy fans know the “Orange Power” chant.
It’s instinctual. You know it when you hear it.
And Lee Redick — “Mr. Orange Power” himself — has helped lead those chants at Oklahoma State University games for more than 20 years.
62 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Redick moved back to the Tulsa area from Georgia in 1997. He and his wife, Kristi, purchased Cowboy football season tickets for that season. At the games, he noticed the crowd had dropped the “Orange Power” chant he loved while he was an OSU student, graduating in 1987. “Some people thought it was old fashioned and took too long,” Redick said. “If you don’t do it right, it can take a while to get going. I used to just stand there and yell ‘Orange!’ at the top of my lungs.”
STORY WILL CARR | PHOTOS LEE REDICK
Lee and Kristi Redick share a love for all things OSU.
It may have taken a couple of more years for the cheer to catch on again and grow to the volume it often reaches today, but that did not discourage Redick, who says the big breakthrough happened at the 1999 Big 12 basketball tournament in Kansas City. “I had ladies coming up to tell me they were wearing the same orange shirt all four days of the
“I think it is amazing that one fan took it upon himself to lead the crowd in the Orange Power cheer,” Reece said. “When I say ‘Good for a Cowboy first down and 10,’ I look over to see Mr. Orange Power leading the fans in the chant. He is the epitome of what it means to be an OSU Cowboy.” The love from fans means a lot to Redick, and he estimates he has taken close to 30,000 pictures with them as Mr. Orange Power. “None of my friends really wanted to walk with me to the games because I would stop to take pictures with people,” Redick joked. “Moms would stop and ask if I would take a picture with their sons who are 17 or 18, and right before they snap the photo, they would let me know I had taken a picture with him when he was 4 years old. Moments like that make me tear up or cry.” As much as he loves being Mr. Orange Power, it wasn’t easy for Redick to decide to retire. His last game leading the chant was the Cowboy football game against Texas Tech in Stillwater on Nov. 28, 2020. “The very last one we did was when we got the safety in the fourth quarter,” Redick said. “We were
“I think it is amazing that one fan took it upon himself to lead the crowd in the Orange Power cheer. When I say ‘Good for a Cowboy first down and 10,’ I look over to see Mr. Orange Power leading the fans in the chant. He is the epitome of what it means to be an OSU Cowboy.” LARRY REECE, VOICE OF THE COWBOYS tournament because we were doing the ‘Orange Power’ chant,” Redick said. “It was the only orange shirt they brought with them. “It was awesome.” In addition to his voice leading the cheers, Redick also had an iconic look for the games, dressed head to toe in an America’s Brightest Orange jumpsuit. He just happened to find the suit in a closet at the house he and his wife purchased in Tulsa. “Once I found that, I knew what I was wearing to the games,” Redick said. “I took it to a place to have patches and a big ‘Orange Power’ put on the back of it. I told them that I wanted to look like Elvis meets NASCAR.” The impact Redick has had on OSU athletics over the past two decades is appreciated by everyone, including fans, athletes and the administration. Larry Reece, senior associate athletic director of development at OSU, has been able to see Redick’s influence on the fan experience while announcing the games in Boone Pickens Stadium.
doing ‘Orange Power’ on that play, and it was loud. I took my hat off and said that’s it. I’m done. I wanted to go out right there.” Redick hopes the “Orange Power” cheer will continue in the future. While Mr. Orange Power may not be there to lead the crowd, Redick would love for the student section to take over his role. “They are set up right there in the end zone,” Redick said. “That seems like the perfect place to continue the tradition.”
Redick never missed an opportunity to take a picture with young Cowboy and Cowgirl fans.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 63
We are proud to present the centennial celebration of ‘America’s Greatest Homecoming,’ and we hope to see you in Stillwater this October! Register your attendance to this year’s event, and find important information and updates online!
ALUMNI A S S O C I AT I O N
Orange Fountain Dyeing & Sign Competition Sunday, Oct. 24
Harvest Carnival & Chili Cook-Off Tuesday, Oct. 26
Hester Street Painting Wednesday, Oct. 27
Walkaround Friday, Oct. 29
Sea of Orange Parade & Kansas vs. OSU Saturday, Oct. 30
at OKMULGEE CAMPUS CONTINUES TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR EXTRAORDINARY CAREERS In 1946, with just one dollar, Oklahoma A&M purchased the campus now known as Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) — quite the return on investment when you consider the economic impact this branch campus has had on Oklahoma over the last 75 years.
68 FA L L 2 0 2 1
STORY LINDSAY LYNCH | PHOTOS OSUIT ARCHIVES
ack then, World War II had just ended, and the Stillwater campus was facing overcrowding concerns. OAMC President Henry G. Bennett also saw the enormous need for a vocational school to help returning veterans transition their skills into civilian jobs. The property Bennett had his eye on in Okmulgee was the Glennan Military Hospital, which had housed wounded U.S. soldiers and prisoners of war. The facility was to be decommissioned after the war, and Bennett took on the mission of acquiring it. In a matter of months — despite extensive bureaucratic red tape — Bennett’s vision became a reality. In October 1946, 456 students started coursework at the Oklahoma A&M College School of Technical Training. Some of the early programs included baking, dry cleaning, auto mechanics, diesel mechanics, drafting, electrical maintenance, plumbing, printing, wood shop and shoe rebuilding. The vast majority of the first students were veterans, but civilians quickly realized the type of educational opportunities available and began enrolling, nearly tripling the headcount by 1949. Although the use of the facility had changed, the university still looked much like a military hospital — complete with barracks serving as student housing and ramps that provided wheelchair access from building to building. The barbed wire that once surrounded the property was taken down, and the trenches were filled. Faculty and staff recycled every piece of wood, using it for desks and shelves for classrooms and podiums for teachers. Bennett named L. Keith Covelle the school’s first president, a position then called a director. And in 1949, the Oklahoma A&M College School of Technical Training held its first graduation. Covelle had a deeply ingrained philosophy of learning by doing and saw a great need to bolster the university’s societal impact by preparing young people for the workaday world as skilled technicians. In 1958, the campus unofficially became known as Oklahoma State Tech. Covelle served as director until 1963. Upon his retirement, he said, “I built the foundation. It’s up to you to continue to build this great school.” His next three successors did just that. Director Wayne Miller oversaw the construction of nine new facilities and the renovation of several more. He also added millions of dollars’ worth of equipment for student use. Student enrollment tripled again during Miller’s 20-year tenure.
During the 1970s, the campus began to lose the barracks look, and the 1980s saw a building boom on campus. The longest-serving president, Robert Klabenes, replaced the outdated wooden barracks with state-ofthe-art classrooms and residence halls, totaling more than $150 million in new construction and remodeling projects. In 2007, the campus officially changed its name to Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.
LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE OSUIT’s fourth president, Dr. Bill R. Path, took over in 2011 and continues to lead with an ambitious strategic plan to provide advanced technical education to enhance the institution’s ability to meet global workforce demands. Path’s initiatives include a comprehensive longrange forecast focused on developing OSUIT’s instructional spaces to meet student needs and bolster Oklahoma’s skilled labor force. He also has been instrumental in a revitalization project with the city of Okmulgee and led the effort to purchase and restore downtown buildings for student housing. While $1 can’t move the needle on capital projects these days, the education and experiences students have gained over the last 75 years remain priceless. The OSUIT campus now has 38 academic programs, including associate in science, associate in applied science and bachelor of technology options. It has grown to include over 1 million square feet of educational space, 21 academic buildings and seven residence halls. Even as it evolves and grows, OSUIT’s founding mission of serving and prioritizing veterans remains essential to its foundation today; OSUIT is consistently named a military-friendly school. Many original programs — programs vital to the state’s workforce — are still offered today, including culinary arts, construction, air conditioning and refrigeration, automotive service, diesel mechanic, design drafting, electrical engineering and graphic design. Although many things have changed in the past 75 years, OSUIT has never wavered from its mission to provide a high-quality education that prepares students for extraordinary careers.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 69
OSU President Henry G. Bennett purchases the Glennan Military Hospital in Okmulgee from Army Surplus for $1. The hospital covered slightly more than 600,000 square feet in 80 buildings.
1949 The first official graduation ceremony is Jan. 14, 1949.
Dr. Bob Klabenes becomes the third president of OSU Tech. Over the next 27 years, the campus gains $150 million in new construction and remodeling projects. Dr. Klabenes also facilitated the establishment of the Green Country Technology Center, the College of the Muscogee Nation and the OSUIT MidAmerica Industrial Park Advanced Training Center.
L. Keith Covelle is named the first president (then known as director), and classes officially begin at Oklahoma A&M College School of Technical Training with 456 students, all WWII veterans.
In 1963, Wayne W. Miller becomes OSUIT’s second president. Over the next 20 years, millions of dollars’ worth of instructional equipment is added, student enrollment triples and nine new facilities are constructed, including new student housing.
Toyota agrees to establish its first international partnership with OSU Tech. Industry partnerships provide millions of dollars in equipment, student scholarships and faculty support. Today, OSUIT is proud to have more than 700 industry representatives that serve on advisory boards for each program of study.
Oliver Gilliam receives his bakery diploma from Director L. Keith Covelle.
W H AT O S U I T M E A N S T O O U R A L U M N I JOHN HAMMER ’85, Artist/owner, Hammer Studios “I look at my work, and I see a heavy influence of graphic design. That education and that time made me who I am today. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
MARKWAYNE MULLIN ’10, U.S. congressman “My degree from OSUIT not only expanded my knowledge of my field of study, but it prepared me further for the different roles in my life — business owner, rancher and most recently, public service.”
70 FA L L 2 0 2 1
MIKE RAMPEY ’74, Owner/vice president, Air Assurance “When I went to OSUIT, I found people who cared about me; I found a love for an industry I didn’t know could exist. … There’s not an HVAC program that’s anywhere close to OSUIT. It is the best.”
AMANDA CULLUM ’10, OSUIT faculty “Here, you do get to learn the theory behind it, but you really get to put your hands on real-life stuff that you will be doing once you get out into industry. For a short time at Chevron, I was a recruiter and would go to schools looking for employees. I always looked forward to coming here because I knew the students had hands-on experience with what they would be doing on the job, and it would be a smooth transfer to the working world.”
PHOTO ADAM MURPHY PHOTOGRAPHY
1988 Culinary Arts students collaborate with the Okmulgee community to set the Guinness World Record for the largest pecan pie during the annual Pecan Festival downtown.
The Grand Old Post Office Student Housing building in downtown Okmulgee is dedicated Nov 28, 2017. The loft-style housing was originally a two-building complex built in 1918 and 1919 and previously housed the original Okmulgee post office.
Dr. Bill R. Path becomes the fourth president of OSU Institute of Technology. His initiatives include a comprehensive long-range forecast focused on developing OSUIT’s instructional spaces to meet increasing industry needs. He also has been instrumental in a revitalization project with the city of Okmulgee and led the effort to purchase and restore downtown buildings for student housing.
OSUIT introduced the new online Bachelor of Technology in Applied Technical Leadership degree for fall 2019. The accelerated degree program is designed to address the needs of professionals in technical industries who wish to advance into leadership roles.
BOB SMITH ’73, Owner, Bob Smith CoachWorks Inc. “While I was there, it was an incredible experience for 2½ years, and what I learned there inspired me in so many different ways. The skills and things I learned there I still apply every day.”
JENNIFER HILL BOOKER ’95, Culinary educator, business owner, author “People are always impressed by my graduation from the University of Tulsa and my graduation from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. I’m most impressed by my education from OSUIT because it gave me an excellent culinary foundation and taught me the skills to be the successful chef, author and culinary educator I am today.”
From OSUIT President Bill R. Path This year marks the 75th anniversary of OSU Institute of Technology, and we’re excited to celebrate fond memories shared by our many stakeholders, and especially our alumni and friends. OSUIT is unlike any other college or university in the state. We know what we do best, and we have stayed true to our mission — educating the next generation of Oklahoma’s skilled workforce. We’re proud that to this day, we are still the place veterans can use their experience toward college credit and transition their skills to meet industry demands. As we look toward the future, OSUIT will begin to integrate exciting new technologies into our curricula. We are learning about the roles that extended reality (XR) technology could play in delivering high-quality, workforce education-oriented student learning experiences. As a campus known for hands-on instruction, OSUIT hopes to leverage XR’s potential and examine the expansion of such learning opportunities beyond traditional lab environments. Oklahoma depends on OSUIT graduates for the skills they bring to the job, and we are proud to produce them. OSUIT continues to be the premier institution in the state for postsecondary technical education. We remain steadfast in our commitment to filling the skills gap, one highly qualified graduate at a time.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 71
Training for Safety
OSU’s Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology program is considered ‘The West Point of the Fire Service’
he OSU Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology program has helped prepare scores of students for the fire protection field, but its impact is even greater. From graduates serving in leadership positions in fire protection organizations to industry-leading resource publications, OSU and its alumni continue to advance this literary field. The OSU School of Fire protection was founded in 1937. “We are the oldest existing program in the nation,” said Virginia Charter, associate professor and program coordinator. “There are only three total accredited programs in the nation, and OSU is one of them.” National Fire Protection Association Chief Engineer Horatio Bond called OSU “The West Point of the Fire Service” in 1947. That’s still a source of pride for alumni nearly 75 years later.
72 FA L L 2 0 2 1
“Anyone who wants to be the best in their field inherently feels a sense of pride when they get into the top school for that profession,” said Nathan Trauernicht, a 2004 OSU Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology graduate and fire chief for the University of California, Davis. “It is like a lawyer getting into Harvard Law or a physician going to Johns Hopkins. For me, that is what it felt like when I was admitted to OSU.” Scott Kerwood, fire chief in Hutto, Texas, and a 1984 OSU graduate, said he continues to use the skills and knowledge he received in Stillwater: “A lot of the codes and standards information and understanding the safety aspect is key.” Kerwood admits the codes and standards courses were not his favorite in school, but he has grown to appreciate them much more. “If it wasn’t on fire, I didn’t want to deal with it,” Kerwood said. “We have a hazardous materials
STORY WILL CARR | PHOTOS COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY AND PROVIDED
team here in Hutto, and we deal with chemical protective clothing and using instrumentation to measure whether the atmosphere is toxic or not. I learned all of that at OSU.” Tom Jenkins, another 2004 graduate and fire chief in Rogers, Arkansas, also credits his success to his OSU education. “It is tough academically, but you get to experience things you don’t get at fire science community colleges,” Jenkins said. “You also don’t get it at a lot of highly academic fire engineering degree programs. It is like the porridge is just right at OSU.” The unique qualifications and skills students learn in Stillwater set OSU graduates apart in the job market. “A number of companies say that because we have hands-on lab experience and we focus on the application of principles and theories, a lot of our graduates hit the ground running,” Charter said. “They don’t have to worry about the time it takes to train them when they start. Many of our graduates have at least one internship, if not two, under their belts before they graduate.” The fire protection program has helped shape the publications used for training globally. Fire Protection Publications, an outreach group at OSU, produces some of the manuals used around the world to train future professionals in the industry. “They help produce the International Fire Service Training Association manuals,” Charter said. “Fire personnel from many states adopt their training curriculum. We also have a number of graduates who sit on the committees that help develop that curriculum.”
Trauernicht, Kerwood and Jenkins have all been involved in the fire protection publications in some way over the years. This gives them the unique opportunity to help the future generations of fire protection and safety professionals. “It is a source of pride for me and what drew me to the university to begin with,” Jenkins said. “I was a volunteer firefighter at the age of 16. When I opened a textbook, it had OSU printed all over it. It left little doubt in my mind how important the university was to Oklahoma, the region and the whole world.” The future of the OSU Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology program is important to many alumni. Some graduates, like Charter, have gone on to serve as faculty members. Another way graduates can contribute to the program’s success in the coming years is by being involved in the Fire Chief Chapter of the OSU Alumni Association. The chapter serves many purposes, including helping incoming students. “We have a mentoring program for students who are interested in a career on the traditional fire side,” Trauernicht said. “We want to help them find their correct career path. We are also working to set up a scholarship for students interested in a career in fire and emergency services.” Many alumni also take advantage of the connections they make with other graduates from the program, allowing them to ask questions or receive advice from other professionals from across the country. “There is an email list that many of our alumni are on,” Charter said. “Sometimes you can just throw a question out there and get feedback from other alumni on how they handled a certain situation or design.” Members of the fire protection and emergency services feel a strong bond across the industry, but the connection OSU fire protection graduates feel is even tighter. Many people describe it as a brotherhood of like-minded individuals. “We have the same issues and the same challenges,” Kerwood said. “We may have different names on the badges, but the OSU fire program is an elite fraternity.” If you are a graduate from the OSU Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology program and would like to be involved with the Fire Chief OSU Alumni Chapter, visit ORANGECONNECTION.org/ chapters for more information.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 73
OKLAHOMA NEEDS DOCTORS LIKE YOU
Choose a career in medicine and make a difference.
OSU-trained physicians work and live across the state providing excellent patient care to generations of Oklahoma families. Learn how the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine can help you achieve your dream of becoming a doctor. Learn more about applying to medical school at medicine.okstate.edu.
Former OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis have made a transformational impact on the Cowboy family. Former President Burns Hargis brought to life a vision that built upon the legacy of Oklahoma State and firmly established the university as a modern land-grant institution and competitive Division I program. Alongside First Cowgirl Ann Hargis, he oversaw one of the nation’s most comprehensive land-grant university systems, and he brought the Cowboy family together. Together, the couple led by example and showed us all the importance of giving to OSU, increasing alumni engagement and encouraging 81,546 new donors and $2.15 billion in private support during their tenure. With new state-of-the-art facilities like The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, the Greenwood School of Music, O’Brate Stadium, the new home for Spears Business, ENDEAVOR, and a new Agricultural Hall coming soon, the OSU campus has never been more prepared to be a leader in both academics and athletics.
Honor Former President Burns Hargis & First Cowgirl Ann Hargis with gifts to the
ANN & BURNS HARGIS LEGACY FUND! OSUgiving.com/Hargis
IN THE PRESS BOX
Green Bay BURMASTER
KC, MO WELNIAK
San Francisco SLATER
HOME OF THE
Through the years, sports reporters have had the chance to tell the tale of some of the greatest athletes to walk the earth. From the gridiron to the hardwood, the baseball diamond and beyond, sports are bigger than ever and the people covering them — including some Oklahoma State alumni — are still getting the chance to witness greatness.
76 FA L L 2 0 2 1
STORY JORDAN BISHOP | PHOTOS PROVIDED | ILLUSTRATIONS CODEE CLASSEN
FI N DI NG HIS N ICHE Reporting courtside from the 2017 NBA Finals, Anthony Slater couldn’t believe how far he had come as a sportswriter. Less than a decade prior, he was writing his first story at The O’Colly. It was a long way from covering his brother’s Division II baseball team. Slater — a native of Rohnert Park, California — had no idea what career he wanted to pursue, but he awakened something when he started writing about sports at Sonoma State University, covering everything from the NHL’s San Jose Sharks to the college baseball team. His articles were warmly received, which prompted Slater to explore a career in sports journalism. A Google search on prominent sports media programs pointed him to Oklahoma State University. “I was 20 and lived in the same state my whole life, so I just felt like something different,” he said. “I wanted to try this profession, and it turned out to be the best decision that I have made.”
Slater immediately joined OSU’s student newspaper, The O’Colly, where one of his first stories was about a young receiver on the Cowboy football team. “My first story was ‘Can Justin Blackmon become the next great Oklahoma State receiver?’ and I think I was very lucky that season that he blew up,” Slater said. Covering Blackmon and quarterback Brandon Weeden put Slater in contact with some of the state’s professional sportswriters, including Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson at The Oklahoman. Slater parlayed that connection into an internship and eventual job at the paper, where he quickly made a name for himself as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat writer. “I think Oklahoma City was a good appetizer for a reporter,” Slater said. “I got that job at 23, and there are benefits to covering a small-market NBA team.” One of Slater’s eye-opening moments in covering an NBA team came during his first season, as he was asked to come on for an interview on NBA TV. “It was the first time I had gone on NBA TV and Shaq was interviewing me,” Slater said.
After a few years of covering the Thunder’s ascent, Slater had the opportunity to go back to California to cover the Golden State Warriors for The Mercury News in San Jose and eventually to his current position at The Athletic. Going from small-market OKC to the San Francisco Bay area was quite a transition, but Slater’s time at The Oklahoman and at OSU prepared him well for a bigger stage. It didn’t hurt that Slater wasn’t the only newcomer to the area, as former Thunder star Kevin Durant joined the Warriors that same year. “It wasn’t necessarily a pirate ship, but you would go into the locker room postgame and there are guys having beers in there, media members everywhere having rambunctious conversations, guys having political conversations,” Slater said, comparing the rowdiness to the Thunder’s low-key environment. “… It was professional but like a much looser, laid-back version of that with NBA royalty all around.”
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 77
M A K I NG T HE M AJORS Another western transplant who worked his way up from the OSU sports media program to the majors is Nathan Ruiz, who covers the Baltimore Orioles for The Baltimore Sun. Ruiz — a native of Reno, Nevada — was an avid baseball fan growing up and loved the San Francisco Giants. He knew he wanted to cover Major League Baseball, and at OSU he laid the groundwork to do just that. “Oklahoma State’s sports media program came up, and from that point on I was set,” Ruiz said. “I went to my mom, and she was a [Chicago] White Sox fan and I remember saying, ‘Mom, Robin Ventura went there,’ and she was a country music fan so I said, ‘Mom, Garth Brooks went there.’ … I really didn’t know anyone or have a whole lot of familiarity with the area, but it became home in a lot of ways.” Ruiz also got his start at The O’Colly on a variety of beats, eventually fulfilling his dream of covering baseball. After amassing clips reporting on Josh Holliday’s Cowboy baseball team, he landed an internship with mlb.com covering the San Diego Padres and eventually earned a job covering OSU sports for The Oklahoman. A few years in, Ruiz saw an opening for a position covering the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun, where famed baseball writers Tim Kurkjian and Buster Olney once worked. Although the Orioles have had some lean years, Ruiz had experience covering a then-rebuilding squad with the Padres, so he felt he was up to the task and in 2019 packed his bags for the East Coast. “It definitely creates this aspect of it where some nights, it is hard to put together the narrative but at the same time, I grew up loving the sport, and there are worse things to do on a given
78 FA L L 2 0 2 1
night than figure out how to write about a 6-1 Orioles’ loss,” Ruiz said. While the pandemic has made it tough to establish a rapport with players because of disjointed Zoom calls, Ruiz has adjusted. And he’s had plenty of unforgettable in-person moments. “I covered a game at [Boston’s] Fenway Park, and I remember walking out onto the field from the visitors’ tunnel and thinking Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and all of these other players who always played at Fenway Park, they walked out of the same tunnel,” Ruiz said. “It is cool that I get to sit here and do that. A decade ago, it was something I really wanted to do, and now here I am doing it.”
SPORTS MEDIA ALUMNI IN THE FIELD
Andrew & Courtney Bay Oklahoma State University Maegan Bordayo NBA Lauren Callender Frisco RoughRiders/Bally Sports Southwest Alan Cox National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Harry Endicott Texas Tech Mariah Geaerheart ESPN Nicole Hart Texas Rangers
SPI N N I NG T HE LOSSES Cody Stavenhagen has had to come to terms with the reality that covering sports isn’t always glamorous. Stavenhagen works for The Athletic, covering the Detroit Tigers, another rebuilding baseball team. Growing up in Amarillo, Texas, he loved the minutiae of baseball, from the minor transactions in a season to following the minor league teams. So even though the Tigers are struggling, Stavenhagen still finds ways to craft compelling stories. “It is interesting: You kind of dream of covering Major League Baseball, and growing up you think every game will be like Game 7 of the World Series. But in reality, sometimes you cover a team that is not very good, and it is not always thrilling and exciting,” Stavenhagen said. It was a bit of a transition for Stavenhagen, who covered winning OSU football and baseball teams for The O’Colly and the University of Oklahoma for the Tulsa World. Once he joined The Athletic, he was still on the winning side, covering the University of Michigan. But with his dream of covering an MLB team in hand, there was no way he would turn down the opportunity. Going from writing about wins to covering a team that had been in a rut was a challenge, but Stavenhagen was where he wanted to be. “I think something’s happening here with being a rebuilding club whether it works out and they win the World Series or whether it all goes down in flames, you are watching something unfold every day,” he said. Stavenhagen also hosts a weekly podcast called Turning the Corner with fellow OSU alumnus Kieran Steckley, a fervent Detroit sports fan. “I sometimes wonder why I am up here in Michigan and what led me here. You sit back, and it is really crazy that the one team that I cover is also the
team that my best friend is a fan of,” Stavenhagen said. Writing for The Athletic, Stavenhagen has had a chance to talk to some of his sports-writing idols, which makes some of the days covering a losing team worth it. “There was a day where I looked at the MLB page and my story was up there with Ken Rosenthal, Jayson Stark, Peter Gammons and then there was Cody Stavenhagen,” he said. “I watched the rest of those guys on Baseball Tonight or read them in Sports Illustrated growing up, so to even see my name on the same page as them is kind of surreal.”
Dominic Holden Kansas City Royals Matt McClain University of South Carolina Brady Moore Texas Christian University Jessica Morrey Oklahoma State University Patrick Osborne Oklahoma State University Matt Villareal Gonzaga University Ashleigh Young University of Miami Garret Young Houston Astros
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 79
PAY I NG HER DU ES On the opposite end of the spectrum, OSU alumna Baillie Burmaster covered one of America’s proudest franchises in what is known as “Titletown, USA.” While a sports anchor at WBAY-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Burmaster covered the Packers for two years before recently taking a job to cover Cleveland’s major-league sports franchises for WOIO. Burmaster came about her career from the athlete’s perspective, as she came to OSU not only for its sports media program but also to join the Cowgirl soccer team. She made a deal with her dad that if she could major in sports broadcasting, she would also major in marketing to have a fallback option. She did — and thinks that studying two majors while being an athlete made her the person she is today. “I think a lot of people who go through sports media or journalism at some point kind of go, “OK, why am I doing this? It is not for the pay, I am sacrificing a lot, is it really worth it?’” Burmaster said. “And I can say, I am 28 now and have been doing this for five years, and I have never once had the thought if I wanted to be doing this. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.” Burmaster started her career at KAMC in Lubbock, Texas, and as an Austin native, she enjoyed returning to Texas. After paying her dues covering Texas Tech University, Burmaster applied to cover the Packers. Green Bay is another small TV market, but with the NFL dominating national ratings, Burmaster knew she would be able to continue building her résumé. “I remember landing here and before I went by my apartment, I wanted to drive by Lambeau Field,” Burmaster said. “If you have never been here before, you are really driving in this small, little town and all of a sudden there is this big stadium that takes your breath away. It
80 FA L L 2 0 2 1
is magical ... because you hear so much about it and it lives up to the hype.” Burmaster said her background as an athlete makes talking to personalities like Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams easier. “A locker room isn’t intimidating to me,” Burmaster said. “… At the end of the day, if you treat people how they want to be treated and respect them, they understand you have a job to do and they have a job to do.” Burmaster said it’s a career path fraught with challenges — long hours, demanding workload, little time off and
a competitive job market — but she said OSU’s sports media program prepared her to overcome any obstacle. “There is not enough I could say that could be put into words about the sports media program,” Burmaster said. “I am a big believer that as long as you put in the work, the professors will give you the tools to be successful. I have seen it firsthand. I truly, truly owe a lot of my career to what Oklahoma State and the sports media program did for me.”
BR EA K I NG BA R R I ERS When she was applying for a job on the Kansas City Chiefs radio team, OSU alumna Dani Welniak was asked to draw a route tree. She found a Starbucks napkin and jotted the football play down, earning the job on the spot. Welniak, now the sports director for KCTV and KSMO, played professional football for the Dallas Diamonds, earning a Super Bowl ring in 2008. Working in a male-dominated field and covering the male-only NFL, Welniak uses her football background to connect with players. “It definitely gives me an edge when I talk to these athletes, especially the professional football players because you don’t meet a whole lot of people or especially a whole lot of women who have taken a hit or suffered a concussion just like a lot of these guys have,” Welniak said. She recalls interviewing defensive tackle Chris Jones during his first year in Kansas City. Her Super Bowl ring caught his attention and he expressed his admiration for her playing football and said the Chiefs would get a ring someday, too. They did, with Patrick Mahomes and Co. becoming one of the biggest stories in sports the past few years. Welniak — a native of Keller, Texas — recalls when she first moved to Kansas City that everyone was wearing blue because the Royals were coming off of a World Series title. Now, she said every sports fan in Kansas City wears red. Welniak said it has been an adjustment for the national media to be at every practice, but her time at OSU has prepared her for the busy days during the NFL season. Her favorite part of her job is making players more relatable with her features. “I want to tell these guys’ stories and tell the world that yeah, Patrick Mahomes might be this multimilliondollar superstar but at the heart of it, he is just a kid who enjoys playing video games and grew up with a dad in a clubhouse and was that little kid who ran around with a glove,” Welniak said.
She also loves that she has gotten a chance to break barriers, both on the field and as part of the first all-women’s radio broadcast crew when she covered the 2019 Cure Bowl.
A GR EAT STA RT The OSU sports media program continues to develop talented journalists, as well as public relations professionals, with many alumni going on to prominent roles for organizations like the Pittsburgh Steelers and
Houston Rockets. Dr. Craig Freeman, director of OSU’s School of Media and Strategic Communications, said OSU’s success is built on student work ethic and faculty members’ attention to detail. At OSU, he said, students are afforded opportunities to start working as soon as they step on campus. “We have this place where we welcome students to experiment and grow. We have students who are humble and hungry,” Freeman said. “You have a faculty who is willing to give criticism. So when they pop out like a Baillie or a Slater, it is not a surprise.”
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 81
ONCE A COWBOY, ALWAYS A COWBOY
Continue your Cowboy legacy with an online graduate degree. We offer online graduate degrees in high-demand and rewarding careers. With flexible degree programs and all the support and services of an in-person degree, Oklahoma State University provides a one-of-a-kind online graduate experience.
OSU waives the application fee for our OSU alumni and has a special nonresident tuition rate, making an OSU graduate degree even more affordable.
Learn more at osuonline.okstate.edu
COWBOY CHRONICLES Ever wonder how traditions, events or buildings on campus came to be? Want to learn more about life at OSU during a specific time period? We want to answer those questions and more! Our very own history expert David Peters will be fielding your questions and providing the answers in STATE. We’ll be featuring photos and historical information that is important to you — our readers. Simply submit your questions about OSU or Cowboy history to firstname.lastname@example.org and look for the answer in the next issue of STATE! If you can’t wait, check out timeline.okstate.edu for more OSU history!
About David Peters As head of the Oklahoma State University Archives, David Peters takes his mission to save, secure and share the university’s story very seriously. Under the leadership of this certified archivist, the department has dramatically expanded its digital content and online presence. With his 32 years (and counting!) of experience at OSU, Peters is known on our Stillwater campus and beyond as the go-to university history expert.
84 FA L L 2 0 2 1
STORY GRACE JANES | PHOTOS LAUREN KNORI
Community The 2021 Women for OSU Symposium recognizes leaders in philanthropy
uring the 2021 Women for OSU Symposium, audiences gathered both in-person and online to experience a much-needed sense of community within the Cowboy family as they celebrated philanthropy at Oklahoma State. The symposium honored Cathey Humphreys as the 2021 Philanthropist of the Year and 13 outstanding student scholarship recipients. The event featured keynote speaker Leigh Anne Tuohy, a philanthropist and author who inspired Sandra Bullock’s role in the blockbuster hit The Blind Side. The Women for OSU Council also had a special surprise in store for OSU First Cowgirl Ann Hargis as she and President Burns Hargis prepared for their retirement in June. An anonymous donor and the Women for OSU Council gave $50,000 to establish the Ann Hargis Pete’s Pet Posse Endowed Fund to support the Pete’s Pet Posse program, which Ann established in 2013. Later, the new OSU Center for Pet Therapy was also announced, which will house Pete's Pet Posse in the Student Union. Women for OSU’s annual symposiums have drawn alumni and friends to campus since 2009, and
organizers pivoted the event to include a virtual audience after COVID-19 began affecting gatherings last year. This year’s hybrid audience included nearly 2,000 viewers. “We are beyond grateful for our sponsors who have helped make the livestream of this event free to the entire Cowboy family for the past two years,” said Michal Shaw, director of Women for OSU and assistant vice president of donor relations at the OSU Foundation. “Going virtual helped us extend our reach and share inspiration with so many more people.” It’s one of the many ways Women for OSU continues to evolve, she said.
PETE'S PET POSSE Watch a video about the Ann Hargis Pete's Pet Posse Endowed Fund: okla.st/AnnHargisP3.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 85
Partnering to Impact Inaugural Grant Recipients
BASIC NEEDS SECURITY AT OSU John Mark Day, Ed.D., Director of Leadership & Campus Life SARAH COBURN RESIDENCY AT THE McKNIGHT CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Another example of that growth is the new Partnering to Impact initiative, which provides funding for unbudgeted on-campus projects in health and wellness, campus beautification, education, and arts and culture. Women for OSU awarded the first grants at the 2021 Symposium from a pool of 23 applications. Winners were selected by Women for OSU Partners — those who give a minimum of $1,000 annually t o the Partnering to Impact Fund. For those 35 and younger, the minimum annual contribution is $500. “Women for OSU channels women's passions and strengthens their connection to the university. It's an organization that celebrates leaders and women making positive change in the world,” Shaw said. “Partnering to Impact is Women for OSU's newest initiative and provides an opportunity for Women for OSU benefactors to collectively guide their philanthropy and further engage with the campus community.” Dr. Lou Anella has long wanted to create a walking trail that connects the Botanic Garden with the nearby OSU Insect Adventure. He said he appreciated how Women for OSU took an interest in the project. “We’ve been wanting to do this nature trail for a while,” he said. “This is going to allow us to meet a goal that we have had for many, many years.” John Mark Day, director of leadership and campus life, applied for funding to help fill gaps in basic needs security funding for students at OSU. He commended Women for OSU for embracing the opportunity to help students through the grants. “It’s been great working with Women for OSU,” he said. “That group has just embraced the need, and automatically understands the opportunity and the chance here to really make a significant difference in the life of a student. We’re so excited and so thankful to put that money to great work here for students at OSU.”
Clint Williams, The McKnight Center Director of Development
BELONGING, A FILM TO INSPIRE TEACHING SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE IN THE CLASSROOM Amanda W. Harrist, Ph.D., College of Education and Human Sciences Professor
PARTNERING TO IMPACT NATURE TRAIL Dr. Lou Anella, Director of the Botanic Garden at OSU and Ferguson College of Agriculture Professor, and Dr. Adrine Shufran, OSU Insect Adventure Coordinator and Ferguson College of Agriculture Associate Extension Specialist
86 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Wesley Sims is one of this year's 13 outstanding student scholarship recipients. To learn more about the scholars, visit osugiving.com/women/scholars
Keynote speaker Leigh Anne Tuohy inspires the audience during the 2021 Women for OSU Symposium.
The Blind Side Those who attended or watched the event also heard from Leigh Anne Tuohy, philanthropist and inspiration for The Blind Side book and movie. Tuohy is recognized as a strongwilled and caring woman, although her story truly began when she married college sweetheart Sean Tuohy in 1982. Together, they were raising two children, Collins and Sean Jr., when they added a new member to their family in 2004 by legally adopting Michael Oher, a teenage foster child they had already taken in and considered family. They raised him, gave him the opportunity to get the education he deserved and encouraged his passion for football. With the Tuohys’ love, support and protection, that once homeless 17-year-old boy grew
to be a member of the 2013 NFL Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Tuohy and her family’s inspirational journey are proof that when we give a bit of ourselves to other people, we can make the world a better place and help others. Tuohy is a philanthropist, mentor, interior designer and a New York Times best-selling author. Her newest release, Turn Around: Reach Out, Give Back and Get Moving, challenges readers to rethink what it really means to be a generous person. She dives deep into what it means to give sacrificially, abundantly and immediately within your own community. “If you're listening to me, you have the ability to make a difference in
someone's life,” Tuohy said. “There are small things everyone can do.” After her inspiring keynote address, Tuohy also sat down with several Women for OSU leaders for an in-depth panel discussion. The panelists included Julia Benbrook, emcee; Jami Longacre, chair of Women for OSU; Denise Webber, CEO of Stillwater Medical Center; and Blaire Atkinson, president of the OSU Foundation and honorary member of the Women for OSU Council. The panelists shared details of their own experiences. From strengths to weaknesses, each told honest, open and inspiring stories from their own lives.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 87
Cathey Humphreys 2021 Philanthropist of the Year
Women for OSU Chair Jami Longacre (left) and Philanthropist of the Year Cathey Humphreys
Cathey Humphreys and husband Don meet with students at a study abroad reception.
88 FA L L 2 0 2 1
For more than a decade, Cathey Humphreys and her husband, Don, have given Oklahoma State University students the world. The Dallas-area couple has been instrumental in advancing global programming at OSU, providing countless study abroad experiences for OSU students and creating a legacy of selfless giving along the way. Cathey and Don Humphreys made headlines in 2010 when they donated $6 million to create endowed faculty chairs and student scholarships in the OSU School of International Studies and five colleges as part of the Branding Success campaign. The couple served as the campaign’s vice chairs, and their gift was among the first to leverage T. Boone Pickens’ matches for chairs and scholarships. The total impact of the couple’s generous gift totaled around $14 million. Cathey said she and Don were inspired to give based upon their own travels. While living abroad, Cathey saw how important and impactful spending time in other cultures was for her and her family. That knowledge, coupled with the pair’s passion for higher education, inspired them to be leaders in supporting study abroad at OSU. The couple put advocates for study abroad throughout campus with the creation of endowed School of Global Studies chairs. They also endowed semester-long study abroad scholarships and long-term grants for undergraduate and graduate students. “Global programming at OSU would not be where it is today without Cathey,” said Dr. Randy Kluver, dean of the School of Global Studies and Partnerships. “Her vision and generosity have made a profound impact on hundreds of OSU students, providing them with the means to encounter and begin to understand the people and cultures all over the world.”
Although Cathey is applauded for her vision when it comes to global studies, she gives a lot of credit to Dr. Shida Henneberry, the Humphreys Inaugural Endowed Chair for International Studies in the Ferguson College of Agriculture. “Shida was a big mentor to me in developing this program over time,” Cathey Humphreys said. “She and her husband, Dr. David Henneberry, helped guide Don and me to create something that would impact as many students as possible.” And that program has accomplished what Cathey and Don hoped for, sending over 480 students to more than 70 countries. Cathey always puts those students first and jumps at the opportunity to meet and visit with them each year at a luncheon on campus. “While Cathey did not attend OSU as a student, her commitment to Oklahoma State could not be stronger,” said former First Cowgirl Ann Hargis. “She encourages faculty and students to dream big and shares her international experiences to encourage others to broaden their perspectives.” The Humphreys have also given significantly to the New President’s Residence Fund and the Ann and Burns Hargis Legacy Fund. She and Don have also made significant donations to the University of Oklahoma, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Tulsa. Cathey’s impact also shows in her support of the arts. She has served on the board of directors for the Crested Butte (Colorado) Music Festival and she and Don are Patron donors to The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts. Cathey hopes her vision, enthusiasm and generosity will continue to provide students with life-changing study abroad opportunities and inspire others to seek out experiences that will help them grow.
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS FOR MAKING THE 2021 SYMPOSIUM SUCH A HUGE SUCCESS!
P L AT I N U M S P ONS OR OSU Foundation G OL D S P ONS OR S Bank of Oklahoma Sheryl Benbrook/ Stock Exchange Bank Robin Byford/Becky Steen Amy Cline Jan Cloyde Susan E. Glasgow Claudia Thompson Harveth Virginia Hellwege Joan Hert Claudia Humphreys Susan Jacques Caroline Linehan Jami Longacre
Amy Mitchell/Vicki Howard OSU Center for Health Sciences OSU President’s Office Jan Polk Karen Stewart Stillwater Medical Center Diane Tuttle Marsha Williams S I LV E R S P ONS OR S Ferguson College of Agriculture Karen Gallagher Anne Greenwood Traci Jensen Jeanette Kern Pat Knaub Retta Miller
OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology OSU Division of Institutional Diversity Jenelle Schatz Gwen Shaw Terry Slagle Stinnett & Associates/ Melinda Stinnett Peggy Welch Leslie Woolley DIGI TA L S P ONS OR S Suzanne Day Nancy Payne Ellis Helen Hodges OSU College of Arts and Sciences Jan Voss
You can watch many of the special moments from the 2021 Women for OSU Symposium at
A Record Setting 1,890 Minutes
2021 Give Orange tallies more gifts and donations to support OSU
ive Orange, OSU’s annual day-of-giving event, had a record-setting return in 2021. On April 6-7, the Cowboy family gave more gifts and donated more money than in the previous three Give Orange events, nearly tripling what was raised in 2019 with more than $1.2 million in total donations. Benefactors from all 50 states donated 2,262 gifts to support students, programs, scholarships, facilities and faculty. Of those gifts, 307 were firsttime donations to Oklahoma State University. Donors, like Gina and Tucker Bridwell and Jim and Judy Gardner, provided matching funds and challenges to incentivize others to give. The two couples worked together to create a challenge gift for the Educating Forward initiative, which helps future teachers begin their careers debt-free. Their challenge gave $50,000 in additional support once 100 gifts were made to Educating Forward. “I often say, and truly believe, that a gift to the College of Education and Human Sciences is a gift to the entire state,” Gina Bridwell said. “Good teachers matter and are beneficial to every segment of society. Great teachers change lives.” Jim and Judy Gardner both made careers as teachers. They said education — now and in the future — will be more important than any time in history. Their match was an opportunity to inspire others to support future educators.
The challenge was completed in just over 24 hours. The speed at which their matching gift was unlocked surprised the Bridwells, but they were elated and impressed to see how they were able to help support future generations of Oklahoma educators. “We were so excited and a little surprised at how quickly the matching challenge was completed,” she said. “Tucker and I were very impressed with yet another creative and inspiring opportunity to give.” The Gardners shared their excitement. “We watched the numbers climb toward 100 donors. Some supporters sent messages encouraging others to give and complete the 100donor goal,” Jim Gardner said. “We were so glad the goal was met and elated when a new record for contributions for the College of Education and Human Sciences was achieved.” In total, 2021 Give Orange included 39 donorissued matching gifts and challenges that added more than $172,000 in donations. “This is the best way to increase donations,” Jim said. “Many supporters will contribute even a small amount to reach a goal. We are so happy we could join Gina and Tucker Bridwell to make the $50,000 challenge a success!” Matching gifts offer a greater impact to a gift of any size, Gina said.
“Tucker and I were very impressed with
“Tucker and Iyet were another creative and inspiring very impressed with opportunity to give.” yet another creative GINA BRIDWELL and inspiring opportunity to give.” GINA BRIDWELL
28 FA 90 FA LL LL 22 0 0 22 11
STORY KYLE STRINGER | PHOTOS OSU FOUNDATION
“The thought of doubling your gift is irresistible and gets the attention of donors who might not have realized that they could be a part of something this important,” she said. Matching challenges also inspire friendly competition. Give Orange provided real-time updates to the College Leaderboard, which tracked how much support had been contributed to each college. The top three received bonus gifts and earned bragging rights over the other colleges. College Leaderboard Results: College of Education and Human Sciences – 270 gifts College of Arts and Sciences – 204 gifts Ferguson College of Agriculture – 166 gifts “Give Orange is always such a great opportunity to show the impact every member of the Cowboy family can have,” said OSU Foundation President Blaire Atkinson. “And our matching gifts offer the chance for them to see their gift magnified. We are so thankful for everyone who took part in Give Orange and made it such an incredible success.”
Save the date for next year’s Give Orange on April 5-6, 2022. For more information or to get involved as a matching donor, contact Anna McCrarey at annualgiving@ osugiving.com.
“Give Orange is always such a great opportunity to show the impact every member of the Cowboy family can have.” BLAIRE ATKINSON, OSU FOUNDATION PRESIDENT
SSTAT TATEEM MAG AGA AZZIIN NEE.O .OKKSSTAT TATEE..EED DU U 29 91
OSU President Kayse Shrum and first-year students welcome donors Lieu and Helen Smith and their family members Evelyn and Dan Nugent to the campus in Tahlequah.
OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine-Cherokee Nation donor honors Native American Teacher with endowed scholarship
hey say stories have the power to connect us to each other. For Lieu Smith, one story in particular provided an unexpected opportunity to reengage with his alma mater and reconnect with the family of a woman who changed his life. Last year, STATE magazine ran an article about the new OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation. Smith, a 1954 and 1957 Oklahoma State University graduate from Okeene, Oklahoma, read about the new program and learned how the facility was donated by the Cherokee Nation. The story reminded him of his English teacher at Okeene Elementary School in the mid-1940s. Kathryn Lorene Whiteturkey (maiden name), a Cherokee woman, told Smith as a child that he could accomplish anything. “You never know the impact you have on people,” he said.
92 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Looking back, Smith said he learned about the Cherokees and other nations while studying Oklahoma history. Even as a child he realized all that his teacher and her people had overcome. “When I learned as a student the way Native Americans were treated, I wondered how my English teacher rose above all of that to become the wonderful person she was,” he explained. “I knew it had to be within her. As I thought on that, it inspired me to help others.” More than seven decades later and inspired again by his former English teacher, Smith recently gave $1.1 million to establish the Lieu Ray Smith and Kathryn Lorene Whiteturkey Endowed Scholarship. Awards will go to female Native American students studying to become future physicians of OSUCOM-Cherokee Nation. “The gift of an educational opportunity like the one Lieu Smith generously provided can impact an entire community as well as generations of those who follow,” said OSU President Kayse Shrum.
STORY KAROLYN MOBERLY | PHOTOS MATT BARNARD
“[Kathryn Whiteturkey] taught me I could go to college. I wanted to make this gift in honor of her and the impact she had on my life and the lives of others,” Smith said. Smith went on to work as an engineer throughout his life and retired from Sverdrup Corporation where he served as the vice president of advanced technology projects and head of conventional construction division in 1993. While his work involving testing platforms for space shuttle programs is different from topics taught at OSUCOM-Cherokee Nation, the skills learned are similar. “You never know how you will use the tools you learn in school in your community,” he explained. “You will learn a lot in school and end up taking that knowledge with you throughout your life.” And in a full circle way, Smith is now helping other students see the same potential in themselves that Whiteturkey saw in him. “We are really working to change the perspectives of students and children in our communities,” said Dr. Natasha Bray, associate dean for academic affairs and accreditation. “This gift will help these young people know a future in medicine is possible for them. “We are so thankful you all are giving this opportunity to our students. It really will be life-changing.” During a recent visit to the OSUCOM-Cherokee Nation facility in Tahlequah, Smith and his family had the opportunity to meet with several female students. They assured him that Whiteturkey knew he was helping students even though she passed away years before. For Ashton Glover-Gatewood, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation and also a descendent of the Chickasaws and second-year student at OSUCOM-Cherokee Nation, Smith’s gift was about more than funds for school. “This gift will help ensure my family is taken care of,” she said. “By allowing more women to pursue an education in medicine, I know there will be Native practitioners available to help my family.” The ripple effect of this gift is one that will continue for generations as students continue to go out into the communities and help others. “Because of this gift, we can show other Native women and girls that they can achieve their goals,” said Caitlin Cosby, a student from Keller, Texas,
President Kayse Shrum welcomes Lieu and Helen Smith at the campus in Tahlequah.
Lieu and Helen Smith visit with OSUCOM-Cherokee Nation students including Ashton Glover-Gatewood, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation and also a descendent of the Chickasaw Nation.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 93
ABOUT THE OSU COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE AT THE CHEROKEE NATION The OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation is the first tribally affiliated medical school in America. The new medical school is located on the campus of W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in the heart of the Cherokee Nation.
Donor Lieu Smith tests out a high-fidelity manikin in the simulation center at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation.
and an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation. And the OSUCOM-Cherokee Nation facility is filled with nods to Native American heritage and culture. A quick tour around the building and you will find artwork, weaving, beading, clothing and more from many Native artists. “We are reminded every day of the tribal culture by our campus and the goal of giving back to our tribes,” Cosby said. The inclusion of so many pieces of Native work in the building was intentional to bring together the mission of osteopathic medicine to treat the patient as a whole and the culture of Native American medicine. “We want to make sure our students have a focus on caring for Native Americans and individuals living in rural communities,” Bray said. “This philosophy of mind, body and spirit teaches the value of nurturing relationships with patients.” At the end of the day, Smith just hopes this gift makes a difference in the lives of OSUCOMCherokee Nation students. “It is an honor for me to give back and help the Native Americans help serve their people,” Smith said. “I hope it is a large enough gift to perpetually help.” OSU has since helped Smith and his family connect with Whiteturkey’s living relatives.
94 FA L L 2 0 2 1
The new medical school campus supports the mission of educating primary care physicians with an emphasis on serving Native and rural populations in Oklahoma. Teaching space includes an anatomy laboratory, clinical skills lab, osteopathic manipulative medicine lab, standardized patient labs and a simulation center that will feature a state-of-the-art hospital/clinic simulation center equipped with lifelike, computer-programmed manikins that mimic a number of medical conditions to teach medical students in specialties such as emergency medicine, pediatric/adult medicine, labor and delivery and newborn care.
Learn more about OSUCOM-Cherokee Nation at medicine.okstate.edu.
TO LEARN MORE about supporting OSUCOM-Cherokee Nation, contact Annie Wells at email@example.com or 918.282.0422.
SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION FOR THE FORMER FIRST COWGIRL — AND SCRUFF — WITH A GIFT TO THE
PETE’S PET POSSE ENDOWED FUND
Thanks to Mrs. Hargis’ leadership, OSU is an even friendlier place with more than 100 Pete’s Pet Posse teams serving the OSU system through this unique and nationally celebrated pet therapy program. Since it was established in 2013, Pete’s Pet Posse has accounted for 263,000 interactions in the form of ear scratches, belly rubs and unconditional love for students, faculty and community members alike. On our best days and especially during times of trouble, the Pete’s Pet Posse has brought so much happiness to the Cowboy family! In partnership with Women for OSU, the university has established the new OSU Center for Pet Therapy and the Ann Hargis Pete’s Pet Posse Endowed Fund to celebrate the Former First Cowgirl’s incredible impact and provide meaningful support to this beloved program.
TO HELP US HONOR ANN HARGIS AND CONTINUE HER LEGACY OF LOVE AT OSU, VISIT:
ADVENTURE AWAITS IN 2022! OSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION’S TRAVELING COWBOYS TRIP PREVIEW
The following pages provide an overview of the 29 travel opportunities available through the OSU Alumni Association’s Traveling Cowboys program in 2022. All trips are available to alumni and friends. Book your vacation today at ORANGECONNECTION.org/travel.
PANAMA POTPOURRI Jan. 22–Feb. 1, 2022
Enjoy a 10-night journey aboard Oceania Cruises’ Sirena that will drench you in sun, sand and the sweet flavors of Central America. Find the magic in the ancient Mayan ruins of Costa Maya and swim amid the Great Mayan Reef in Harvest Caye. The treasures of Guatemala await in Santo Tomas, venturing to crystal-clear springs and spotting orange-breasted falcons. Take a horseback ride down the sand in Roatan and in Puerto Limon, cruise crystal canals as birds and monkeys dance in the treetops. Revel in a journey through the Panama Canal, one of the modern world’s most heroic feats of engineering. Go Next
times to modern day, Egypt has been the site of monumental historical events, staggering technological achievements and compelling human stories. During this 14-day expedition, traverse the Nile Valley and discover ancient treasures including the Great Sphinx, the Temple of Horus and the tombs of El Kab. Expert Egyptologists share their in-depth knowledge of Egypt and its antiquities. In the evenings, relax among some of the area’s most opulent hotels. This program also features an exclusive four-night cruise on the Nile River aboard a private dahabiya. This deluxe, 14-guest sailing vessel offers the opportunity to see life on the Nile from a different perspective. This vessel will port on different days than larger cruise ships, providing guests a less crowded, more intimate experience while viewing the ancient sites. Orbridge
LEGENDS TO LAGOONS
EGYPT AND THE ANCIENT NILE RIVER Feb. 19-March 1, 2022
Wander the fabled land of pharaohs and kings — where colossal pyramids, legendary tombs and towering temples cascade across the terrain. The mighty Nile River takes an unhurried journey that reveals seemingly limitless vistas of infinite deserts contrasted with metropolitan cities. From biblical
96 FA L L 2 0 2 1
in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv. Visit a colorful market and artist’s studio in nearby Jaffa, the second-oldest port city in the world, then cruise the Sea of Galilee. Explore Akko’s Crusader Fortress, an ancient fishing village and the scenic Mount of Beatitudes. Savor local olive oils, wine at a Golan Heights winery and a traditional Druze lunch with a family in their home. Tour Old Jerusalem, including the Mount of Olives, the Western Wall and the Davidson Center. Spend time at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial, and speak with a Holocaust survivor. Gaze upon the Dead Sea and see six UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Western Galilee. OSU professor Dr. Eric DeVyust will lead this trip. AHI
March 7-17, 2022
ISRAEL CULTURAL LAND OF TREASURES March 5-14, 2022
Experience a rich, cultural journey in Israel as you explore the country’s diverse religious heritage, architecture, dramatic landscapes, culinary traditions and more. This eight-night program begins
Spend luxurious days and nights among the languorous lagoons and wispy waterfalls of the South Pacific. Board Oceania Cruises’ Regatta in Papeete and set out for an island-hopping adventure. French Polynesia strings together a trove of tropical sights and sounds. Climb aboard a catamaran in Moorea or take an off-
STORY SARAH BILDSTEIN WANZER | PHOTOS OSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
road safari to look for plump pineapples ripening in the fields. Watch dolphins dip and dive in Rangiroa and bob in the blue waters of Bora Bora. Go Next
THE MASTERS GOLF TOURNAMENT April 6-9, 2022
Since its inception in 1934, The Masters Tournament has been synonymous with excellence and has stood as the most coveted championship in golf. Every April, the world’s best golfers compete for the famous green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club. This spectacular event is where legacy, competition, challenge, charm and prestige combine for one of the most celebrated weekends in sports. This is an unparalleled opportunity to experience this tournament firsthand. Stay in historic Savannah and play the Club at Savannah Harbor, designed by Robert Cupp and Sam Snead. Head to Augusta National for Friday at the Masters to see who will advance for the chance to don the green jacket. This specialty tour offers the perfect combination of golf, relaxation and Southern charm. SET
RENAISSANCE TO RIVIERAS April 9-19, 2022
The western Mediterranean has it all — glitz, glamour and compelling history. This nine-night journey begins with an included two-night Barcelona precruise program. Discover the art, fine cuisine and architecture of Barcelona, one of the most powerful Mediterranean
capitals of the 14th century. Barcelona is a melting pot of Roman, Greek, Moorish and Catalan influences. Stay at a five-star hotel, spend a day on a panoramic drive showcasing the architecture, history and culture of the city. Embark on a tour of peaceful gardens, underground tunnels and pavilions ornamented with exquisite domes, mosaic tiles and stained glass. Board Oceania Cruises’ Sirena and sip specialty Menorcan wine while weaving through a Spanish paradise. Indulge your romantic side in France with café au lait in Marseille’s sidewalk bistros and take a dreamy drive through the hilltop villages of the Saint-Tropez Peninsula. Glide down the famous Grand Corniche and experience the Monte Carlo Casino. Before disembarking in Rome, savor the flavor of Italy with pecorino cheese, prosciutto and perfected Tuscan wines. Go Next
EXPLORING AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND April 11-May 2, 2022
The lands down under and small-group touring make for a perfect combination on this wide-ranging 22-day journey. From Cairns and the spectacular Great Barrier Reef to sophisticated Sydney and nautical Auckland, embark on an Aboriginal “dreamtime” tour in Alice Springs and watch the sun set over fabled Ayers Rock. Swim and snorkel at the colossal Great Barrier Reef during a daylong excursion. With three nights in Sydney, see the city’s sights and explore independently. Visit the spectacular Mount Cook National Park, cruise through breathtaking Milford Sound and discover Queenstown. In Rotorua, experience Maori culture with a traditional hangi dinner. The trip ends in Auckland with the option to enjoy additional time with a three-day/two-night post-tour extension. Odysseys
DUTCH WATERWAYS & FLORIADE April 23-May 3, 2022
Celebrate the beauty of Holland and Flanders when vibrant spring tulip fields are in full bloom. Join this comprehensive nineday journey and cruise for seven nights along the enchanting Dutch Waterways aboard the exclusively chartered, deluxe small ship AMADEUS QUEEN. Meet local residents during the exclusive RIVER LIFE FORUM and experience the Floriade World Horticulture Expo, held only once every decade. Expert-led excursions include visits to the medieval Flemish jewels of Bruges and Ghent, the prestigious Kröller-Müller Museum, the incomparable Keukenhof Gardens and the charming town of Delft. Enjoy a private cruise along Amsterdam’s canals. See Kinderdijk’s UNESCO-inscribed windmill network and enjoy masterpieces by Peter Paul Rubens in Antwerp. Tour the largest of the Delta Works projects, a marvel of modern engineering. Gohagan
CRUISE THE HEART OF EUROPE May 4-17, 2022
Sail through Central Europe along the storied Rhine, Main and Danube rivers — legendary waterways with fascinating histories. Unpack aboard a chartered first-class river ship and settle in for a 12-night cruise, enjoying an intimate look at Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. Awaken each day to medieval villages, vibrant capitals, enchanting vistas and lauded UNESCO World Heritage sites. See centuries of heritage in Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. Glide by idyllic landscapes of fairytale villages, castle-crowned hilltops and the beautiful Middle Rhine and Wachau valleys. Along the way, join local experts for enriching discussions and take part in immersive cultural experiences, including a traditional German Frühschoppen. A selection of thoughtfully planned shore excursions for customized leisure time, including walking tours, cycling adventures and wine tastings. AHI
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 97
the Adriatic Sea. Linger in the Franciscan Monastery and Sponza Palace, and explore the marble-paved squares and historic walls. Expert lectures shed light on the region’s complex history. AHI
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS May 10-17, 2022
Designated the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, the Galapagos have been described as a “unique living museum and showcase of evolution.” The islands are home to a fascinating array of wildlife inhabiting an unspoiled ecosystem, living in harmony with their human visitors. This exciting journey features a day of guided touring in Quito plus an intimate cruise through the archipelago with up-close access to endemic species. Expert naturalists guide travelers through the wonders of this national park, whale sanctuary and marine reserve. Accommodations are aboard the Isabela II, a 40-guest vessel with spacious cabins, local cuisine and a staff dedicated to ensuring both comfort and maximum enjoyment of this truly extraordinary destination and its diverse inhabitants. The small ship allows for flexibility in the itinerary to maximize wildlife viewing, as well as access to exclusive ports. Orbridge
CLASSIC EUROPE (GRAD TRIP) May 15-25, 2022
New graduates can take the trip of a lifetime as a reward for their hard work. From the royal pageantry of London, the dazzling bright lights of Paris and the awe-inspiring art of Rome, there are plenty of adventures to be had in these exquisite world capitals. Relax and unwind on the beach on the fabulous French Riviera and the picture-perfect Greek Isles. Enjoy Europe’s famous and unique blend of history, landscapes and cultures. Pack your bags, and let the adventure begin. AESU
SLOVENIA, CROATIA & DALMATIAN COAST May 14-26, 2022
This outstanding 11-night journey reveals the treasures of Slovenia and Croatia with humming capitals to ancient seaside towns, rolling vineyards to sundrenched coasts, tranquil lakes and breathtaking harbors. Begin in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city and host to fabled bridges and storybook architecture. Enjoy immersive visits to charming Lake Bled, a honeybee farm and a family-owned vineyard in the heart of wine country. After crossing into Croatia, discover Zagreb’s landmarks, including the beautiful St. Mark’s church and Mirogoj Cemetery. More wonders await in Plitvice National Park and the medieval courtyards of Split’s Diocletian Palace. See the centuries-old craft of carving stone on the island of Brač and drive along the Dalmatian Coast to Dubrovnik, the gem of
98 FA L L 2 0 2 1
the fabled Danube River, two nights in the idyllic Bavarian Alps and two nights in Munich. Visit Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany, and enjoy excursions to medieval Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the scenic backdrop for The Sound of Music, and Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for Walt Disney’s iconic Sleeping Beauty castle. Experience five UNESCO World Heritage sites. Tour Budapest’s most historic landmarks, the world-class city of Vienna, 11th-century Melk Abbey and medieval Bratislava. Former OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann will serve as hosts for this trip. Gohagan
OBERAMMERGAU June 9-19, 2022
Experience one of the world’s greatest dramatic spectacles amid the storybook landscapes of the Bavarian Alps — the extravagant Passion Play staged only once a decade by residents of the quaint German village of Oberammergau. With a cast of thousands and a legacy that encompasses nearly four centuries, Oberammergau’s rare tradition is made even more exceptional with this program’s specially reserved seating and thoughtfully arranged cultural enrichments. This custom itinerary, blending remarkable history with stunning scenery, features an exclusively chartered five-night deluxe cruise along
ISLES OVERTURE June 12-25, 2022
Discover the British Isles, where the legends of the Celts and Vikings live on in tiny island hamlets and cosmopolitan cities alike, on this 12-night cruise aboard Oceania Cruises’ Sirena. Visit Newcastle, where Hadrian’s Wall held the northern border of the Roman Empire and myths and mountains inspired the filming locations for the Harry Potter franchise. Spend a day touring Edinburgh’s castle and storied High Street, a delight for history lovers. Retrace the steps of ill-fated Scottish heroes at Culloden Battlefield near Invergordon, and break out the binoculars to spy brooding Highland castles and the elusive “Nessie” at Loch Ness. Get fresh island air in the Shetland and Orkney Islands and Ullapool. Ramble moors, crags and gorges, and snap photos of Shetland ponies. Examine Neolithic archeological sites in Kirkwall. Before ending in Dublin, take in Glasgow’s modern architecture, see Giant’s Causeway and pop into a Liverpool pub after a day spotting The Beatles landmarks. Go Next
AFRICA’S WILDLIFE June 15-28, 2022
Glimpse a world primeval on this singular 14-day safari through some of Southern Africa’s great wildlife sanctuaries in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia. On this small group tour, encounter one of the planet’s last unspoiled natural refuges — the African savannah. The adventure begins with sightseeing in Johannesburg’s renowned Soweto district and visits to Nelson Mandela’s and Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s homes. Leaving urban life behind, spend three nights near Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls. Experience the spectacular falls up close on a guided walk and take a game drive in search of the elusive black rhino. A “Sundowner” Zambezi dinner cruise offers another opportunity to observe wildlife. For a window on local life, visit Victoria Falls town and a local grade school. Continue on to Botswana’s Chobe National Park, boasting one of Africa’s largest concentrations of wildlife, embark on sensational boat safaris and game drives. Take a privately chartered flight to Zambia for unparalleled wildlife viewing at Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia’s newest, least developed preserve and a UNESCO site. During a relaxing three-night stay at the Royal Zambezi Lodge, enjoy a variety of activities, including open-vehicle game drives, guided canoe trips, bush walks and boat safaris before transferring to Lusaka for the flight home. Odysseys
FJORDS & SEASCAPES June 28-July 9, 2022
Join this spectacular 10-night cruise through Denmark, Norway and Scotland aboard Oceania Cruises’ Marina. From Oslo to Portsmouth, this voyage is filled with iconic landscapes that inspired Viking legends and fairy tales alike. Dip a toe where the swirling North and Baltic Seas converge at Skagen, and explore Kristiansand at the southern tip of Norway, which once claimed the world’s largest
fleet of sailing ships. Tour a reconstructed Viking farm and learn how the Vikings lived in Haugesund. Discover majestic fjords, cascading waterfalls, stunning glaciers, imposing mountains and idyllic islands and lighthouses. Stop in Olden, a bucolic village offering the perfect base to explore the surrounding wonders, and sail in a replica of a Viking ship along the coastline of Kristiansund. Visit the graceful Art Nouveau district in Ålesund and sample the local fruits of the sea in Måløy. Cap off the Scandinavian sojourn at Kirkwall in Scotland with access to UNESCOlisted Heart of Neolithic Orkney, featuring the 5,000-year-old Standing Stones of Stenness. Go Next
DISCOVER THE CANADIAN ROCKIES BY RAIL July 13-19, 2022
Take a well-paced sojourn through Canada’s glorious Rocky Mountains, highlighted by two days traveling aboard the Rocky Mountaineer in GoldLeaf Service, with visits to the stunning areas of Lake Louise and Banff. En route, embrace the dynamic changes in scenery while winding through lush green ranchlands and flowing river canyons surrounded by mountain peaks. Enjoy a guided tour through Yoho National Park and take advantage of leisure time to explore the small hamlets as well as Banff National Park. Splendid evenings await at the close of each inspiring day, including three nights at the magnificent Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff. Orbridge
BLACK SEA BRILLIANCE July 16-27, 2022
Taste the exotic flavors of the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea on this 10-night cruise aboard Oceania Cruises’ Riviera. Tell new tales from Istanbul to Athens, with the traditions of Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine sprinkled
throughout. Planned specifically for the culturally curious, this cruise seeks out authentic experiences of lesser-known European cultures and explores their Greek and Roman roots in depth. Catch folk performances, village visits and food tours set against a Byzantine backdrop of onion-domed cathedrals and ancient ruins. In Odessa, the Potemkin Steps welcome visitors up to the graceful Prymorsky Boulevard, and in Turkey, the ancient ruins of Ephesus come alive along marble roads carved with chariot marks. The tour concludes with island hopping through Greece. Snap a photo of Santorini’s indigo-domed churches clinging to stony cliffs along the caldera, and sip ouzo among the glitz and glamour of Mykonos. Go Next
MEDIEVAL MONTAGE: BALTICS & SCANDINAVIA July 20-31, 2022
Discover the beauty of Scandinavia and the Baltics on this 10-night journey aboard Oceania Cruises’ Marina. From Copenhagen to Stockholm, this voyage packs the history and culture of 10 countries, which traded borders throughout the centuries. Hop on a historic train ride through the German countryside or see the Berlin Wall. Head into Gdańsk where the Museum of the Second World War is second to none, and the waterfront cafes are the perfect spot for a pierogi nosh. From Klaipėda to Riga to Tallinn, get a taste of Baltic heritage with old Lithuanian fishing villages, grand boulevards of German Art Nouveau buildings, artisans working amber and winding walks through moody medieval streetscapes. Spend two days in St. Petersburg, cruising its canals and seeing its onion-domed cathedrals and palaces. Before bidding farewell to Marina, stop off in Helsinki for must-see modern architecture and souvenirs at the open-air market. Go Next
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 99
VISTAS & GLACIERS OF ALASKA July 22-Aug. 1, 2022
Explore the “Last Frontier” on this actionpacked Alaskan voyage aboard Oceania Cruises’ Regatta. Begin the journey in Seattle and revel in the scenery of bears, sea otters, moose and eagles against a summertime backdrop of steep forested mountain slopes and pristine waters. While cruising the Inside Passage and Hubbard Glacier, cast a line on a salmon sportfishing expedition, take in a Tlingit fishing village or hike through the old-growth rainforest in Ketchikan. Mush with a team of huskies, pan for gold or kayak ocean bays and inlets with glacier views in Juneau. Spot Icy Strait Point’s spouting whales and immerse yourself in nature in Haines. Take a shot at salmon sportfishing or get the local experience in Sitka. Before returning to Seattle, spend a day in Victoria. Explore lavish Craigdarroch Castle or enjoy a seaside cafe. Go Next
CANADIAN MARITIMES Aug. 8-17, 2022
Canada’s stunning Maritime provinces dazzle with craggy coastlines, pictureperfect fishing villages, thick forests and fertile farmland. Explore the picturesque beauty and enduring bond with the sea on this nine-night journey featuring first-class stays in Halifax and Baddeck, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Delight in coastal beacons and quiet coves
100 FA L L 2 0 2 1
along Nova Scotia’s Lighthouse Route, tour Old Town Lunenburg, a well-preserved British colonial town, and sample wines in lush Annapolis Valley. Spot whales breaching on a Bay of Fundy cruise and marvel at rocks sculpted by the bay’s mighty tides. On Prince Edward Island, take in the enchanting settings of Anne of Green Gables. Savor sensational ocean vistas on one of Canada’s most scenic drives of the winding Cabot Trail, which hugs Cape Breton Island. This small-group experience includes a travel director and expert insights from guides and lecturers. AHI
the town and its castle. Returning to Dublin for a final visit, tour the EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. Odysseys
US OPEN TENNIS
Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2022
ENCHANTING IRELAND Aug. 25-Sept. 6, 2022
From Dublin to Galway, Killarney to Kilkenny, this full yet well-paced 13-day tour showcases Ireland’s many charms. This small group sets out to discover Dublin, the intimate Irish capital, visit Trinity College with its remarkable Book of Kells, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral and see the haunts of Ireland’s beloved literary sons. Travel to Galway, the region some consider the “most Irish part of Ireland,” and stop at Tyrrellspass Castle for tea and Clonmacnoise, a 6th-century monastic site. Take a journey through the legendary Connemara region to beautiful Kylemore Abbey and an excursion to Inishmore, the largest of the fabled Aran Islands. In Killarney, travel along County Clare’s spectacular coastline, encountering the remarkable Burren and the majestic Cliffs of Moher then ferry to County Kerry. Dine in a family-run B&B and tour charming Killarney, riding a jaunting cart to 15th-century Ross Castle. Boarding a boat, visit historic Muckross House and the Kerry Folklife Centre. Experience the Ring of Kerry’s stunning coastal scenery, stopping for an Irish sheepdog demonstration. In Blarney, visit the 15th-century castle and famed Blarney Stone then see the celebrated Rock of Cashel. Proceeding to Kilkenny, Ireland’s cultural capital, explore
Cross a must-see tennis championship off your bucket list! Mix in all the sites and attractions of New York City with the experience of the U.S. Open premier tennis championship at beautiful USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Watch opening night action from a courtside seat at Arthur Ashe Stadium, spend a day exploring the Big Apple before returning to the Tennis Center to tour the campus and courts with a day-session Arthur Ashe Loge ticket. SET
TREASURES OF PERU Aug. 29-Sept. 8, 2022
A land of archaeological, cultural and natural treasures, Peru draws those eager to learn about the distant past and encounter a fascinating present of colonial and indigenous influences. Take in some of the country’s highlights, including Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, marvel at the intriguing land’s riches. The 11-day Peruvian adventure begins in the capital of Lima with colonial and modern attractions, including treasured 16th-century Casa Aliaga, one of Lima’s oldest homes, and the Larco Herrera Museum’s unparalleled ceramics collection. In historic Cuzco, visit the sacred sites of Koricancha and Santo Domingo. Continuing on to the beautiful Sacred Valley, experience Peru’s rich cultural heritage at Pisac’s colorful Indian market and Ollantaytambo’s massive ruins and in indigenous villages. After a scenic train ride to Machu Picchu, the stunning “Lost City of the Incas” and a UNESCO site, encounter the enigmatic ruins on two guided tours. Overnight at a nearby hotel, enjoy prime viewing opportunities before the crowds arrive. Upon returning to Cuzco, further
discovery of this UNESCO site includes Sacsayhuamán’s impressive ruins and a lunch in a gracious family’s home. Traveling on through Peru’s dramatic altiplano with its snow-capped mountains, reach Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. Spend a day exploring the lake’s fascinating life on a boat to the Uros people’s floating reed islands and Isla Taquile, known for superb textiles. Odysseys
history with ruins and relics, and take in the pleasures of Istanbul while meandering among the spice markets or stopping at the Blue Mosque. Go Next
Sept. 23-Oct. 2, 2022
NATIONAL PARKS & LODGES OF THE OLD WEST Sept. 1-9, 2022
Take a journey that celebrates the American West’s magnificent national parks, tracing legends and storied monuments along the way. From Mount Rushmore to Old Faithful and Spearfish Canyon to the Snake River, see the best of the Old West while traversing its beautiful vistas in style and comfort. Wonderfully historic hotels and lodges are a highlight of this program, including landmark lodging within the parks themselves. Indulge in the geological phenomena of hot springs in South Dakota and journey through Badlands National Park, known as nature’s surreal masterpiece. See impressive herds of bison roam and dazzling, dramatic pinnacles rise over the largest undisturbed mixed-grass prairie in the United States. Orbridge
Greece’s cultural riches, from the glorious remnants of ancient civilizations to a palate-pleasing bounty of wine, olives and seafood, await travelers on this eight-night journey to Athens and Kalamata. Ascend the Acropolis to admire the Parthenon and sweeping views of Athens. Visit the celebrated birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games at Olympia and explore the fortified Bronze Age citadel of Mycenae. Set off to an under-the-radar gem, the beautifully preserved classical city Messene, and discover the one-of-a-kind treasure of the mountainside Mystras, an important center of Byzantine culture. In seaside Kalamata, enjoy the bustling coastal life while savoring its namesake olives and freshly caught seafood. A wine tasting and a fun-filled dinner with music and dancing complement this well-rounded, small-group experience. Learn about classic and contemporary Greek history during enriching lectures with experts. AHI
BYZANTINE ANTIQUITY Sept. 3-14, 2022
History buffs, wine connoisseurs and sun bathers can immerse themselves in eastern Mediterranean history and the culture of Croatia, Montenegro, Greece and Turkey on this 10-night cruise. Go local in Split and cook some coastal cuisine with Croatian villagers, partaking in country festivities. Take a tuk-tuk ride around the Bay of Kotor, and in Chania, swim and snorkel or stretch out in the sun. Sample vintage wines at a renowned winery in Santorini, where the house-dotted cliffs are the perfect backdrop for a glass of Brusco. In Athens and Ephesus, indulge in
FRENCH & ITALIAN RIVIERAS Oct. 11-21, 2022
Discover the illustrious beauty and chic cultures of the French and Italian Rivieras on an extraordinary nine-night journey. Stay in Nice, France, and Sestri Levante, Italy, experiencing the best of these beloved European destinations. Begin
with four nights in Nice, a celebrated Côte d’Azur highlight with an atmospheric Vieille Ville, Belle Époque architecture and garden-wrapped villas. Encounter glamorous Monaco and its swanky district of Monte Carlo, a lavish playground to the elite. Marvel at the stunning peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, home to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, and step back in time in medieval Èze to visit Villefranche-sur-Mer with its yacht-filled harbor. Journey north to explore the heart of Genoa, a historic port city and the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Continuing in charming Sestri Levante, be introduced to Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure and the colorful Cinque Terre, a dreamy landscape of tiny hamlets and rocky cliffs. The trip is filled with memorable moments and incredible culinary experiences, including dinner by the Bay of Silence and an Italian cooking lesson. AHI
RIVIERAS & RETREATS Nov. 8-19, 2022
Blaze a trail from Rome to Monte Carlo on this tantalizing 10-night trip. Start the trip with a two-night Rome pre-cruise program, which includes a stay at a fourstar hotel. Make stops at iconic sites like the Vatican City for its museums and the Sistine Chapel. Experience the history of the Basilica of St. Paul, the Colosseum and the fountains of the Plazza Navona. Board Marina and sail to Livorno to taste an array of Tuscan wines in an ancient Italian wine cellar. Travel to Corsica to see the birthplace of Napoleon before cruising to Palma de Mallorca, a highlight for both history lovers and art aficionados. Don’t miss Barcelona’s iconic Gaudí landmarks, like Park Güell and the Sagrada Familia. In France, discover Toulon and beyond on a journey through the countryside to Aix-enProvence or skip to glitzy Saint-Tropez for a day of beachy fun. Go Next
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 101
It’s a Vornado!
OSU’s work in aviation can trace its roots to Ralph Odor’s early plane
Odor switched to a double-tube design to increase the Vornado’s power. He tested numerous propeller configurations, shapes, sizes, and angles both outside and inside the tubes.
102 FA L L 2 0 2 1
n the early 1930s, Oklahoma was in the depths of the Great Depression and its western areas were dealing with the Dust Bowl. Officials at Oklahoma Agriculture and Mechanical College were exploring options to keep the institution open, offer employment for students, staff and faculty, and provide the residents of Oklahoma with practical advice to remain economically viable. Most people would not think of this as a good time for taking a risk. But there are times when an institution needs to take a chance without guarantees for success and with the hope that an idea will lead to future opportunities. Beginning in 1932, some at OAMC were willing to gamble on Ralph Odor’s vision — and his Vornado airplane. Ralph Keely Odor was born on the family farm near Arcadia, Oklahoma, on April 5, 1895. His parents were William Harrison Odor and Myra Eva Keely Odor, and the farm was known for the round barn his father constructed south of Arcadia along Route 66. He attended Central State Normal (now the University of Central Oklahoma) in Edmond briefly and then transferred to OAMC in fall 1912 where he was enrolled through spring 1915. On campus, he participated in the college military band as a private, assisted with the student newspaper, The Orange and Black, and served as reporter for the Omega Literary Society. He provided musical entertainment at campus gatherings and was known for his trombone solos. Odor was drafted Dec. 10, 1917, to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War I. His first assignment was in New York City before being selected as the first trombonist in the Great Lakes Naval Station Band north of Chicago. John Phillip Sousa served as the band director, after coming out of retirement for the war. Odor attained a rank of first musician. More importantly, he became intrigued with aviation during the war. On Jan. 7, 1920, Odor married Rosalie Lupus in Philadelphia, returned to Oklahoma and initially lived with his parents before moving back to Pennsylvania in 1923. Their oldest daughter, Dorothy, was born in Oklahoma, but sons William, Ralph Jr. and Paul joined the family while they were living in Upper Darby Township, Pennsylvania.
STORY DAVID C. PETERS | PHOTOS OSU ARCHIVES
Odor’s infant daughter, Rosalie, only lived a few weeks and died in 1926. He was an airport designer in Philadelphia before the family returned to Oklahoma in 1928. Odor was listed as an insurance salesman in the 1930 U.S. Census, but in his spare time, he continued to tinker on model aircraft. In 1932, the Odor family’s youngest daughter, Katherine, was born and the family became Stillwater residents. At OAMC, Ralph Odor went to work designing and building a new propulsion system with plans for a revolutionary airplane with the support and encouragement of the college administration. He began working in the shops of the Industrial Arts Building with the cooperation of Dewitt Hunt, superintendent of shops. Hunt coordinated hiring students to assist Odor in the various design, layout and construction phases. OAMC engineering students had filmed a test flight of Odor’s Vornado airplane model in the spring of 1931 in Edmond. The model was tethered and the electric engine connected to its power source wrapped around the tether line. The
small plane could only circle around the secured source but with each circle, it picked up speed and ultimately went airborne, rotating around its earthly anchor. Tests with early models suggested cruising speeds of 300 to 400 miles per hour, and with take-off and landing speeds of only 30 miles per hour, it was suggested that the plane could land anywhere. While Odor continued his experiments on the plane’s aerodynamics and construction techniques on the OAMC campus, the college explored the development of a revenue stream to support the efforts. The William K. Odor Foundation and Vornado Trust was established at OAMC in 1935 to manage financial and legal considerations of the venture. With reduced state support and without a campus funding method, a new revenue source was developed with the creation of the Odor Foundation. Dean Phillip Donnell, head of the School of Engineering, served as the foundation president. Dr. Henry Bennett, president of the college, served as the vice president with E.E.
DeWitt Hunt (left) provided the expertise, training and student assistants needed to assist with drawings and construction of the Vornado models.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 103
Dean of Engineering Phillip Donnell (left) and OAMC President Henry Bennett (right) were instrumental in providing workshop space, personnel and financial support for Ralph Odor during his years on campus.
Brewer, purchasing agent for the college, as treasurer, Ralph Odor as secretary and Roy E. Hayman as a trustee. Hayman was the manager of rural electrification for the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. Over 60% of Odor Foundation members were residents and Odor family members in Edmond and Stillwater, but membership included those from as far away as Pennsylvania, Delaware, Illinois and Maine. If the planes were constructed and sold, the Odor Foundation would receive a portion of the proceeds to support additional aerodynamic projects. Odor’s concept planes utilized the principles of air flow, force and power found in a tornado, but under a controlled environment. The specially designed propellers located in one or two fixed cylinders, each with an inserted cone, would create a power vortex of air, moving the plane forward and upward. To brand this concept, Odor created the portmanteau word, Vornado, by combining the two words vortex and tornado. Scale models of the plane were tested in wind tunnels at the University of Michigan and other locations. It was suggested that the Vornado could carry heavier loads at faster
The Industrial Arts Building, completed just three years earlier, housed the shops and equipment needed to build and test the evolving Vornado models beginning in 1932 and finally Odor’s full-sized plane in 1935.
104 FA L L 2 0 2 1
speeds than conventional aircraft of that time. Odor traveled extensively and collaborated with engineers and faculty at locations including the University of Oklahoma, California Institute of Technology, Philadelphia and New York. In June 1935, Odor authored an OAMC Division of Engineering Publication published by the Engineering Experiment Station titled “A New Type of Propeller Assembly for Aircraft” that provided a progress report on his investigations. He was still hoping to build a full-scale model at that time and had submitted a U.S. patent application for his propeller assembly on July 31, 1934. It was approved May 24, 1938. In the meantime, the OAMC campus was kept informed of the latest Vornado developments through articles in the student newspaper. Odor and his airplanes were also featured in the Daily Oklahoman and other state newspapers. Testing on campus continued into the fall of 1935 as Odor adjusted propeller shapes, angles and speed of rotation. Smoke candles were used to determine wind turbulence. His final “life-size” model was completed and then dismantled in October. It was still hoped the final production model would be constructed at the Stillwater Airport, but some in Oklahoma City and Tulsa were also submitting manufacturing bids. The first piloted model of the Vornado was to be built of fabric reinforced over a steel structural frame, but it was thought the final production models would be made entirely of steel lined with asbestos for safety. Odor hoped to start construction by Jan. 15, 1936, and had arranged for test pilot Roy Hunt of Oklahoma City to fly
the Vornado in early July of that year. But in December 1935, various pieces of the plane were subcontracted to several aeronautical companies with final assembly to take place in Stillwater. In the meantime, Odor had moved his family to Oklahoma City and with the delayed patent approval, enthusiasm for the project dwindled. Eventually, Odor took a job in Kansas. The Vornado plane never achieved commercial production, but the designs Ralph Odor created and the patents he developed led to a popular and successful air circulation system used in a fan known as the Vornado. Odor would continue to be an innovator and research engineer for the rest of his life and secured nine U.S. patents. He died at age 91 on Feb. 10, 1987. The college’s collaboration with Odor would ultimately lead to the creation of a university foundation with resulting new revenue streams to support a growing number of institutional programs and priorities. The college’s involvement in aeronautics literally took off beginning in the early 1940s with the subsequent development of World War II training programs, a flight school, collaborations with NASA and eventually cuttingedge developments in drone technology. All of these achievements can be traced to a little plane that never carried a passenger and only flew in circles. Thank you, Mr. Odor, for sharing your vision with us.
WATCH THE VORNADO See the 1931 video of the Vornado during a test flight at okla.st/vornado.
WRITER’S NOTE: I would be interested in communicating with any members of the Odor family to learn more about Ralph Odor. Please contact me at David.firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-744-6597.
An illustration from the Engineering Experiment Station Publication No. 26 describes the locations of various forces affecting a single tube on Vornado models.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 105
ALUMNI A S S O C I AT I O N
THE COWBOY WAY
Joe Russell Kreger is Oklahoma’s poet laureate again — the first to hold the position on two non-consecutive occasions. The self-described cowboy poet has written around 200 poems, released two books — Lookin’ at Life and Still Lookin’ — and spoken across the state, the Red River and beyond. But the 82-year-old Tonkawa resident didn’t find his voice until he wrote his first poem at age 56. Growing up, Kreger was involved in farming and ranching and wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps at Oklahoma State University. After graduating from OSU in 1961, he went into the Army Reserves and to work for Redbud Hereford Ranch. From ’65 to ’68, he pursued a master’s degree at OSU in agricultural education while teaching at Northern Oklahoma College. He eventually returned to his hometown and purchased what is now Kreger Ranch. In 1993, his ranch sustained heavy flooding. The silver lining was it opened the floodgates on his creative calling. “I was totally frustrated because of the damage we’d sustained time and again,” he said. “I started getting a poem running in my head about the Salt Fork Arkansas River. I wrote it down, and I kind of sprung a leak after that. I’d start getting poems running through my head, and I’d jot ’em down. I’d be on horseback or in my truck. I’d write ’em down on whatever I could, a feedsack, maybe.” He had plenty of material to work with after decades of living the cowboy life, and his goals, like his style, were simple. “I just started writing things down for my son … lessons I’ve learned along the way.” Soon, he made the leap from hobbyist to prolific poet, and, in 1998, Gov. Frank Keating appointed him state poet laureate for the first time. “It came on me like some sort of surprise, you might say,” Kreger said. “I’m not a poetry expert by any means, but for some reason my stuff, which is simple, has resonated well with most of the audiences I’ve been in front of. … I feel like I was somewhat successful in promoting poetry and encouraging young people to express their thoughts and write down some of these things they felt strongly about.” Kreger said his passion for writing still burns bright, and he’s ready to hit the reading trail again, working with the Oklahoma Arts Council to bring poetry to underserved schools and encourage young people to express themselves. “I never sat down to force a poem out. It’s just if something got to rattling around in my head, I would write it down,” he said. “We’ve all got things going on in our minds that most people don’t write down. I really would encourage folks to embrace that. Sometimes just putting it down on paper and looking at it can help you figure out a dilemma you’re faced with, almost like self-therapy. And that might help someone else, too.”
STORY MACK BURKE | PHOTO PHIL SHOCKLEY
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 107
CHAPTER LEADER PROFILE
Kelley Newkirk-Konarik, OKC Metro Chapter Kelley Newkirk-Konarik has rocked America’s Brightest Orange for many years, sporting the beautiful smile that comes with the joy of being an OSU Cowboy. Konarik grew up in Liberal, Kansas, and her family moved to Oklahoma when she was 15. Though she spent much of her youth in Kansas, she is an Oklahoman at heart. “Growing up, I was a huge Kansas State fan because they’re purple, and what little girl doesn’t love purple?” Konarik said. “When I moved to Oklahoma, I looked good in orange, so I decided I needed to be an OSU fan. I still love it.” Despite her family being OU fans, Konarik attended OSU to study education. She lived in Cordell Hall and enjoyed taking part in dorm activities, serving on Homecoming committees and attending Greek events. She said the shared comradery of Homecoming made it her favorite. Konarik fondly remembers Theta Pond. Not only was it the setting for numerous social activities, but her first date with her husband, Steve, took place there. Though the couple went their separate ways in college, they reconnected later and have been together for 12 years. Her life changed forever when an OSU alumni chapter was created where she worked, Devon Energy in Oklahoma City. Her co-workers encouraged her involvement because there was no question of her love for the university — her office was decked out in orange and OSU paraphernalia. Through this, she became more involved with local alumni, which led her to a leadership position with the OKC Metro OSU Alumni Chapter. Vintage O-State, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, was one of the first chapter events she helped organize. “We did that event for many years,” she said. “It was our big event to raise money for scholarships. I really embraced events like that and decided I wanted to do anything I could to help them grow and be successful.”
108 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Now, Konarik is the incoming OKC Metro chapter president, previously serving as vice president and treasurer. As a chapter leader, she plays a role in planning fundraising events, hosting other events and organizing watch parties for away football games. “First and foremost, chapters hold the responsibility to raise money for scholarships for incoming freshmen from our area who are going to attend OSU,” Konarik said. “We also engage with our local alumni through a variety of events and programming.” This year, the chapter took fundraising to new heights with its first golf tournament. More than 175 golfers participated, including several university leaders and former First Cowgirl Ann Hargis. The chapter had planned a Kendra Scott event in August,
featuring all orange and black jewelry perfect for game day. “I am so passionate about OSU,” Konarik said. “Being able to talk with fellow alumni and sharing that passion is one of my favorite things to do. We’re always trying to think of fun new ways we can engage with alumni.” There are more than 30,000 alumni in the OKC Metro area who are all welcome to attend chapter events. Konarik advises all alumni, no matter where they are, to watch their inboxes to see how they can get involved with their local chapter. “Being involved with an OSU alumni chapter is such a joy in my life,” she said. “We all share such a strong love for OSU and the Cowboy family. It is truly so special.”
OKC METRO CHAPTER BY THE NUMBERS 49,934 alumni and friends 5,117 members 3,758 current OSU students from the OKC metro area 52 miles from Stillwater
Kelley NewkirkKonarik poses with Pistol Pete at the OKC Metro OSU Alumni Chapter’s first golf tournament in April 2021.
STORY SARAH HARRIS | PHOTOS KELLEY NEWKIRK-KONARIK
OKC METRO The OKC Metro Alumni Chapter hosted its first golf tournament at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Oklahoma on April 19.
Craig Freeman (right), director and professor for the OSU School of Media and Strategic Communications, was one of many OSU leaders to participate in the tournament.
STORY SARAH HARRIS | PHOTOS CADEN SCHAUFELE
Pistol Pete was on hand to cheer for the 44 teams teeing up to raise scholarship money for students from the OKC Metro area.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 109
GRANDPARENT UNIVERSITY 2021 Grandparent University allows for a unique bonding experience between generations of Cowboys and Cowgirls.
The OSU Alumni Association was excited to welcome grandparents and grandchildren back to campus for in-person Grandparent University in June.
Sports management majors received an inside look at OSU athletics at GPU.
110 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Participants majoring in Exploring the Colorful World of Metals got to enjoy fresh ice cream made with dry ice.
NORTH TEXAS The Shrums and the Hargises celebrated the 2021 Brighter Orange night at the Dallas Country Club on June 6, with Pistol Pete.
The chapter raised a record amount this year with a total of more than $200,000 going toward scholarships for students from the North Texas area.
Pistol Pete and a future OSU Cowgirl enjoyed the Fort Worth Zoo as families came together on April 17, for a day of orange-filled fun.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 111
KAY COUNTY The Kay County OSU Alumni Chapter hosted Jockeys & Juleps at Marland Mansion in Ponca City for the 2021 Kentucky Derby. This event raised scholarship money for local incoming OSU students.
Cowboy Basketball coach Mike Boynton posed with Kay County chapter leaders after taking some time to talk to the crowd at the event.
112 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Many Cowboys and Cowgirls in attendance dressed in Kentucky Derby attire, including fun suits and hats.
’50s Michael R. Jones, ’51 zoology, said goodbye to the love of his life, Ruth S. Jones, on April 13, 2019. The couple raised seven children and had 15 grandchildren and 11 greatgrandchildren. Their greatgranddaughter, Callie Ulm Gruenwald, graduated from OSU with a bachelor’s in psychology in 2009 and a master’s in counseling in 2021. Their niece, Courtney Jones, attended OSU and majored in engineering.
’60s Phil Stout, ’63 business, started an equity position in January 2021 with SunState Labs, the maker of Dazz Cleaning Tablets, a sustainable brand in household consumer products. Shelagh M. Curtin, ’64 zoology, celebrated her 80th birthday by visiting the Stillwater campus, bringing back memories of her time as a student. Though the campus has changed a lot since she attended, Curtin was still able to find her way around. The Edmon Low Library, Life Science buildings, Physical Science and Student Union are all still in the same places, as well as Theta Pond and her old residence, Stout Hall. After visiting campus, Curtin and her family ate at Eskimo Joe’s and headed back to Tulsa. Richard Gardner Engel ’67 mechanical engineering, is a 77-year-old alumnus living in California. He is proud of his daughter, who is interested in attending MIT in the late Dean Karl Reid’s honor. David A. Hall, ’69 mechanical engineering, was welcomed to GableGotwals as a litigation attorney in the Tulsa office.
He will focus on complex commercial litigation, including employment lawsuits, insurancerelated matters and white collar and government investigations. Previously, Hall worked for an international law firm in Chicago covering a variety of matters. He received his law degree from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, where he was articles editor of Northwestern Law Review and president of the Native American Law Students Association.
’70s Dennis Skaggs, ’71 agricultural economics, retired in 2019 after 48 years of banking. Cheryl Marrs, ’74 secondary education, ’80 master’s in education, ’90 Ed.D., is mourning the loss of Fox Wood III, her former father-in-law, who died March 4, 2021. He attended OSU for one year as a graduate student. Patty J. Fisher Dixon, ’75 recreation, was elected vice mayor for a third consecutive year by her Sand Springs Council colleagues. In September 2019 at the Oklahoma Municipal League Conference in Tulsa, the Women in Municipal Government Committee presented Dixon with the inaugural award of Woman of the Year for communities with more than 5,000 in population. Steven Phillip Elwart, a ’75 chemical engineering and life member, retired July 9, after a 45-year career in the energy industry. Elwart served as director of systems engineering at Ergon Refining Inc. in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He plans to spend his time in retirement as a hospice counselor and energy consultant. Pam Street, ’75 elementary education, retired as a diagnostician and now lives in Willis, Texas, with her husband,
John, ’76 chemical engineering, ’77 master’s in chemical engineering. Pam is a dyslexia therapist and continues to work with students virtually. John Thomas Altland, ’76 psychology, ’77 master’s, is the pastor at Jefferson Avenue United Methodist Church in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Marcus B. Whitt II, ’76 corrections, and his wife moved to Morristown, Tennesee, in July 2021. They purchased a new Harley Davidson trike for trips back to Oklahoma. John Joseph Garvey, ’77 history, has made it into print. Author Chris Rodell of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, included Garvey’s story as Chapter 15 in his latest book, Arnold Palmer, Homespun Stories of the King. The author wrote that Garvey is one of Arnold Palmer’s fans who believed Latrobe was a mystical place even after Palmer died in September 2016. Garvey’s journey to Palmer’s hometown was a little like a pilgrimage to a holy city. He met Palmer a couple of times at golf tournaments in Oklahoma, once in 1962 and again in 1986.
’80s Michael G. Zahler, ’80 EET, has been with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Dallas for 40 years. His education at OSU prepared him for a successful career in missile electronics design and his current role as a senior program manager. Aaron Spencer Fogleman, ’81 history and German, is a distinguished research professor in history at Northern Illinois University, where he teaches courses, directs dissertations and writes books and articles about the Atlantic world and early America. He lives in Batavia, Illinois, with his family.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 113
Fogleman coaches soccer and continues to follow OSU wrestling, cross country and football with passion. Edward C. Applegate, ’84 Ed.D., has written The File on Thomas Marks, a mystery novel filled with twists and turns under the pen name of Bentley Turner. Although he has written articles for academic journals, chapters for academic books and several nonfiction books, this is his first novel. Mark Chezem, ’84 business administration, saw his youngest son, Ty, graduate with a sports management degree from OSU in May. Ty is the family’s fifth OSU graduate. Cheryl Lynn Stands Evans, ’88 elementary education, ’88 master’s in instruction, ’04 doctorate in educational administration, has retired as president of Northern Oklahoma College. She served as president for 10 years and was part of the construction of a new classroom building for the NOC/ OSU Gateway program on the Stillwater campus. She served Oklahoma higher education for 27 years.
’90s Nikki Gill Gatch, ’95 journalism and broadcasting, is the chief operating officer of the Southern California PGA. Gatch was a member of the OSU women’s golf team from 1990-1994. Since her graduation from OSU, she has spent her career in the golf industry. Adam L. Wyatt, ’98 agronomy, of Faxon, Oklahoma, is the CEO and general manager of Wyatt Farms, an agronomy operation.
114 FA L L 2 0 2 1
’00s Jason Arnold, ’02 marketing, joined the Croke Fairchild Morgan & Beres law firm in Chicago as a partner. Arnold is a corporate attorney and business adviser with nearly 15 years of experience. He has worked in both the public and private sector with regard to mergers and acquisitions, securities, corporate governance and business counseling. Tamya Cox-Touré, ’03 journalism and broadcasting, was selected as the new executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. She served as the first legislative counsel for the ACLU of Oklahoma. Her first day as executive director will be Nov. 23. Jennifer Schmitt, ’06 biological sciences, was recently elected to the board of directors for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She will be representing over 50,000 anesthesia providers across the country. Schmitt is the first Oklahoman to serve on this board since it was founded in 1931 and the first Oklahoma State graduate to do so as well. Lance Shaw, ’08 agriculture communications, ’14 master’s in landscape architecture, began a new position with Oklahoma Living magazine as a multimedia specialist in the communications department. Oklahoma Living is published on behalf of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives.
’10s Taylor Dearinger, ’14 architecture, ’15 architectural engineering, was promoted to associate with David Baker Architects in San Francisco.
Cheyenne Sparks, ’15 university studies, graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law with a master’s in legal studies in indigenous peoples law. She is the operations and communications manager for the Oklahoma Ag Mediation Program. She resides in south central Oklahoma with her husband, Landon, and two children, Laramie and Clay. Lawrence J. White Jr., ’19 business administration, was hired as an assistant professor of business administration at Riverside City College in California.
’20s Denise Feltnor, ’20 human development and family sciences, is grateful for OSU and proud of her Cowboy heritage. Alexanderia Minor, ’20 animal science, is an agricultural educator in Grady County for the OSU Cooperative Extension Service. She is also working to obtain a master’s in rangeland ecology and management from Colorado State University. Joseph Weium, ’20 master’s in health care administration, is forever grateful to OSU for being accepted into the master of health administration program. He graduated in fall 2020 with a 4.0 GPA. He is proud to have a new job despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
DR. KARL N. REID JR., LONG-SERVING CEAT DEAN Dr. Karl N. Reid Jr., 86, the longestserving dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University, died at his home in Stillwater on April 14, 2021. He was dean from 1986-2011 and head of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from 1976-1986. He received his bachelor’s (1956) and master’s degrees (1958) in mechanical engineering from OSU. He served in the Army Reserves briefly, and later received a science doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a Ford Fellowship. He was an associate professor at MIT for four years before returning to OSU in 1964. He founded several research institutions affiliated with OSU, was elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1983) and the American Society for Engineering Education (1999). He was awarded the ASME Centennial Medallion and selected as the Outstanding Engineer in Oklahoma (1988). Among his academic credentials are four U.S. patents and 40 journal papers. In 1956, he married Verna Lou Westmoreland, who survives him. Other survivors include sons Ryan (wife Patty) and Darren (wife Carolina) and four grandchildren.
THE LASTING LEGACY OF DR. EARL MITCHELL Helping students — particularly minority students — pursue their aspirations for careers in the sciences and related fields was a passion of longtime Oklahoma State University professor Dr. Earl Mitchell. He often called it his privilege. The 83-year-old Dr. Mitchell died June 2, 2021, at his home in Stillwater. Less than a month earlier, on May 8, he had lost his wife of 61 years, Bernice Compton Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell’s commitment to increasing awareness and involvement in STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — continues to resonate in the careers of former students, educational programs for which he garnered funding, and the large number of teachers and young people he helped explore the societal benefits provided by scientific research and study. “Dr. Mitchell was a fantastic mentor, an outstanding biochemist, a great listener and always had your best interest at heart,” said Janet Rogers, manager of the OSU Biochemistry and Molecular Biology CORE Facility. “It didn’t matter if you were an undergraduate or graduate college student, a lab tech, a fellow faculty member or a visiting high school teacher or student. He always had the gift of connecting with people.” Dr. Mitchell joined OSU as a research associate in 1967 and became the university’s first African American faculty member in 1969. He earned tenure in 1982, but he was already renowned as an outstanding biochemist and researcher. He would later serve in key administrative positions, among them assistant dean of the graduate college and associate vice president for multicultural affairs. Dr. Mitchell officially retired after 42 years of university service, but he remained active as an educational advocate at the university, state and national levels. Always a leading advocate for underrepresented students, Dr. Mitchell served as the first director of the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP) program. Today, that program continues to promote minority participation at 11 higher education institutions across Oklahoma. “Engagement is the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Dr. Mitchell, for he continued to work on behalf of underrepresented students and OK-LSAMP long after he officially retired,” said Dr. Jason F. Kirksey, OSU vice president for institutional diversity and chief diversity officer. “I believe one key element was that Earl was a role model. Students were able to see themselves in him. He was the success story and was able to communicate the importance of so many things, just by having a conversation.”
LOUIS BLAIR, INFLUENTIAL EDUCATOR AND FRIEND TO OSU
In the fall of 1991, former Gov. Henry Bellmon visited OSU’s new Office of University Scholarships with a request. A national panelist for the Harry Truman Scholarship program, Bellmon, an OSU alum, regularly interviewed candidates from other land-grant schools but was disappointed that he had not yet met one from his alma mater. With his patented directness, Bellmon urged the office to “do better, work harder,” and announced that he was asking the executive director of the Truman Foundation, Louis Blair, to visit and help. That meeting led to more than 80 national award winners, hundreds of candidates and multiple programs on campus and off. It is fair to conclude that OSU’s designation as a Truman Honor School, its first Rhodes Scholarship and eventually a long-awaited Phi Beta Kappa charter would not have occurred without Bellmon’s visit and Mr. Blair’s long involvement. Mr. Blair died at his home in Virginia on Sept. 6, 2020, following years of treatments for tongue cancer. A sports fan and a wine connoisseur trained in French cooking, Mr. Blair orchestrated his trips to Stillwater for important games. Gallagher-Iba Arena was a particularly strong attraction, where he was thrilled to meet coach Eddie Sutton and greeted the crowd at halftime. He always brought an ice chest to transport Cowboy beef home, proclaiming that OSU produced some of the best he had ever tasted. An enthusiastic horseman, he wore an OSU equestrian jacket from former President James Halligan to ride and do chores. He delivered a rousing speech at the banquet in 2000 for OSU’s recognition as a Truman Honor School, placing OSU among the top tier of schools that engage students’ academic and leadership talents.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 115
Ruth W. Bruton, ’49 home economics, ’65 fashion merchandising and interior design, died Sept. 17, 2020. She was 93. Mrs. Bruton’s first job was to establish the vocational home economics program in Salina, Oklahoma. She also taught in Coweta, Muskogee and Shawnee. Her husband, John C. Bruton, ’49 agricultural education, ’56 master’s degree, ’67 Ed.D., preceded her in death. She is survived by her children, Sharron and Garry, both OSU alumni, and four grandchildren. Damon Ray Johnson, ’51 mechanical engineering, died Dec. 2, 2020, in Stillwater. He was born July 10, 1925, in Edmond, Oklahoma. He graduated from Edmond High School in 1943, joining the Navy and serving in the Pacific Fleet during World War II. After the war, he enrolled at Oklahoma A&M, earning a degree in mechanical engineering. He met the love of his life, Donna M. Knox, on a blind date while he was a student. He always liked to say the most humanitarian thing he did was to “rescue” Donna from the “school down South”; she preceded him in death in 2009. After college, Mr. Johnson got a job as a roofing estimator in Wichita, Kansas, before moving to Tulsa and purchasing Empire Roofing in 1966. He retired in 1982 but stayed active doing consultant work. Mr. Johnson was always a proud Cowboy, and he and Donna raised their three children to be Cowboy fans. He was proud to have two of his 10 grandchildren and one son-in-law graduate from OSU, too.
116 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Gabriel Joseph Zablatnik, ’51 accounting, died Dec. 6, 2020. He was born in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, on March 19, 1927, and died at age 93. Mr. Zablatnik survived a year in a Nazi prison camp in Yugoslavia, spent two years in a displaced persons camp after the war and survived the deaths of both of his parents. He was the first World War II European immigrant to attend OSU in 1949. After becoming a U.S. citizen in 1951, Mr. Zablatnik worked as a traveling auditor for the state of Oklahoma. He was hired as an accountant in the Little Giant Pump Co. in 1965 and was promoted to general manager in 1967, partially due to his ability to speak five languages. Mr. Zablatnik developed an international market for the company and was the president for 42 years. He was a civic leader in Oklahoma. Margaret C. Taylor, ’52 early childhood education, died May 4, 2021. Mrs. Taylor was born in October 1930 in Holdenville, Oklahoma. She received a scholarship to Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia, but following the sudden death of her mother, she decided to stay close to her family and attend Oklahoma A&M. She married Joe Taylor on June 8, 1952. Mrs. Taylor was a lifelong Kappa Alpha Theta member and Mr. Taylor, a Delta Tau Delta member. The couple built up the T-Ranch of rural Comanche and Kiowa counties and had four children: James, Julia, Joy Mae and Janice. Mrs. Taylor was a fifth-grade teacher at Cache Elementary School. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Lawton, a life member of the OSU Alumni Association, Mountain Metro AMBUCS, Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, Kappa Delta Gamma Teachers Sorority and Saddle Mountain Round-Up Club.
Donna Faye Karn, ’57 humanities, died April 7, 2021, at the age of 85. In her early years, Ms. Karn attended 12 different schools in six different states, as her father was a traveling salesman. She planted her roots at OSU and married Harold Stephenson, a law student and aspiring writer, in 1957. The couple raised three children, Katherine, Lynne and Thomas, in Phoenix before divorcing. Ms. Karn returned to school to earn a master’s in library science from the University of Arizona in 1975. She founded the Guadalupe (Arizona) Library and won the Librarian of the Year from the Arizona Library Association. She continued her stint as a librarian in Tolleson, Arizona, while also being active with the Arizona Commission on the Arts. In 1982, Ms. Karn met and married John Gerometta, and the couple moved to Los Angeles for several years, where she became a medical librarian. Eventually, the couple returned to Scottsdale, where Ms. Karn continued her medical librarian work until retirement. She was laid to rest beside John, a retired member of the U.S. Coast Guard, at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. Charles Roland Carter, ’56 mechanical engineering, died Feb. 9, 2021, in Lubbock, Texas, at the age of 87. Mr. Carter worked for General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas, on the design of the F-111 fighter airplane. He spent the last 30 years of his career with the Boeing Co. in Huntsville, Alabama, including working on the Apollo program and Skylab. He is listed on the prestigious Apollo/Saturn V Roll of Honor. He received three patents and represented Boeing as a Manned Flight Awareness Launch Honoree at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, in 1989. Mr. Carter was a member, youth leader and deacon at Huntsville’s First Baptist Church. He participated in many local mission projects and on mission
trips. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Teddie Sue Carter, his children, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, a sister, and numerous nephews and nieces. Clark W. Ward III, ’60 history, died Feb. 17, 2021, at the age of 82. He was an active member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and was inducted into the TKE Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2007. Mr. Ward was an active musician at OSU, singing in the Symphonic Choir, Glee Club and on stage in The Song of Norway and Brigadoon. His barbershop quartet won Varsity Review his freshman year. As a sophomore member of the symphonic choir, Mr. Ward was the first to sing the current alma mater. He was gifted a framed copy of the handwritten alma mater, written by Robert McCulloh, from another choir member at his 50th wedding anniversary party. Always the entertainer, Mr. Ward and friends Jim Barnes and Ken Ketner formed a popular local band. Luckily, Mr. Ward’s accompanist, Lindreth Barnes, introduced him to her best friend and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sister, Patricia Chaney, by setting them up on a blind date — a match that would result in 51 years of marriage. Mr. Ward was a member of the Air Force ROTC at OSU and eventually commanded the AFROTC Cadet Air Division. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, and his military career spanned more than 26 years during the height of the Cold War. He was selected to serve as a nuclear missile squadron commander, deputy support group commander and vice wing commander. His final assignment was as the director of force application at Headquarters Strategic Air Command. A few of his many accolades include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster. He and his wife raised two
Davis Jason Connor Ferguson,’11 plant and soil sciences, and his wife, Meg, welcomed their first child, Jonathan, into the world in October 2020. Brooke Kibble, ’17 accounting, ’19 master’s in business administration, and husband Geoff Kibble, ’15 aerospace and mechanical engineering, ’17 master’s in mechanical and aerospace engineering, welcomed their son, Brody Alexander Kibble, into the world Jan. 7, 2021. Keegan Davis, ’08 journalism, and Pamela Stubbs Davis, ’09 management, ’12 master’s in management, welcomed Emerson May Davis, OSU Class of 2043, who was born weighing 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 20.5 inches tall. The family is thrilled to have a tiny redhead join them this fall at OSU events and around Stillwater.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 117
daughters, Cheryl and Linda, through nine military moves. Mr. Ward was a fanatical supporter of his Oklahoma State Cowboys, and the couple were active Oklahoma State University Alumni Association life members, POSSE Club members since 1987 and supporters of the OSU Foundation. Betty Kaye Yahn Evans, ’62 education, died Dec. 14, 2020, at 80 years old. Mrs. Evans was born to Eleanor (Thornton) Yahn, ’33 education, and Glenn Yahn, ’32 finance. She grew up in Perry, Oklahoma, across the street from her future husband. She was a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at OSU. She married Dr. Gary Evans on June 16, 1962, and taught elementary school for six years. She is survived by her husband, Gary; daughters, Jennifer (husband Lake Moore IV) and Jill Blake; sons Jake and Grant and five grandchildren. Sterling Alva Carberry, ’64 accounting, ’69 master’s in accounting, died March 28, 2020, at age 77 due to a traumatic brain injury he sustained from falling off a ladder in August 2019. Mr. Carberry was born Aug. 3, 1942, to Clifford Carberry, ’29 agronomy, ’34 master’s in agronomy, and Geneva Littrell Carberry,’29 commerce. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Ord, California, where he met his wife, Patricia Davis Carberry, ’69 marketing. As a CPA, he held various accounting positions in California, Connecticut and Texas.
118 FA L L 2 0 2 1
Clyde Edwin “Ed” Scammahorn, ‘65 agricultural education, died April 9, 2021. He was born June 10, 1943, to Clyde Leonard and Eulah Merle Scammahorn, and he grew up in Apache, Oklahoma. He married Joyce Sechrist in 1966, and the couple built a family legacy in Apache with children Jodi and Monte, and Ricky Birch. Mr. Scammahorn was an agricultural education instructor at Broxton (Oklahoma) High School and eventually the principal of Boone Elementary School in Apache. Agriculture was a focus of Scammahorn’s, as he and his brother farmed wheat and ran cattle in Apache. He became the instructor and eventually administrator of Farm Business Management at Caddo-Kiowa Vocational Technical Center. He served as a third-generation deacon at First Baptist Church of Apache and was an active lifetime member of the Southwest Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association and a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. Mr. Scammahorn served 10 years on the Apache Farmers Cooperative Board and became an active member of the Cowboy Church of Apache. He married Cheryl Adams of Lawton in 2010, and she survives him. Edwin Chappabitty Jr., ’67 zoology, died at home June 15, 2021. He was 76. He was born Jan. 4, 1945, in Lawton, Oklahoma, to Edwin and Evangeline Chappabitty. He always had a bright mind. Dr. Chappabitty was offered a full scholarship to attend Harvard University, but he was unable to afford the relocation. He attended Cameron College and graduated with honors, including as ROTC battalion commander. After attending and graduating from OSU, Dr. Chappabitty spent five years in the Army as a field artillery officer, including in Vietnam from 1969-1970, where he received recognition for numerous acts of valor. In 1972, he began attending Dartmouth College and ended up receiving his MD from the Colorado School
of Medicine in 1980. In 1983, Dr. Chappabitty was assigned to Lawton Indian Hospital, the same hospital where he was born. Chappabitty was a threetime department chairman, chief of staff and clinical director at Lawton, and served on the executive committee on the National Council of Clinical Directors. He retired from the Indian Health Service in 2008 and became the first medical director of the Comanche Nation in Lawton. Dr. Chappabitty was inducted into OSU’s College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2015. He contributed to OSU’s ROTC program and established the Edwin Chappabitty Jr. MD Scholarship in OSU’s Department of Integrative Biology in 2011. He was a longtime advocate and supporter of higher education for Native American students. He is survived by his wife, Susan Dobbs Chappabitty, his daughter, Leah Chappabitty Lyssy, his brother and sister and numerous nieces, nephews and other extended family. Dennis Dean Wanzer, ’76 business administration, died March 26, 2021. Mr. Wanzer was a graduate of Enid High School and OSU. Upon graduation, he worked in administration for both Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid, Oklahoma, and the DHS Area Office until retiring in 2013. He decided to continue working after retirement at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and ended up at James Crabtree Correctional Center as a case manager until his passing. He was passionate about sports, especially softball. He became affiliated with the Amateur Softball Association in 1977 as a youth coach and first registered as an ASA umpire in 1981. Since then, he served as the Oklahoma state deputy umpire-in-chief for 11 years, was selected to nine ASA National Championships and umpired countless Oklahoma ASA
Championship tournaments. Mr. Wanzer received several awards throughout his career, including induction into the National Indicator Fraternity (2000), being named an Oklahoma ASA Hall of Fame Inductee — Umpire (2008) and receiving the Award of Excellence — Region 6 (2013). He was a life member of the OSU Alumni Association and loved all things OSU, especially attending sporting events. Mr. Wanzer married Shella in 1989, and the couple had a son, Kyle, who is also an OSU graduate. Both survive him. Todd D. Griffith, ’92 animal science and business, died March 21, 2021, after a battle with multiple sclerosis. While in high school, he worked on the family farm, was active in FFA and attended Newcastle (Oklahoma) First Baptist Church. He married Leslie Dawn Chester, in 1993, and they raised their daughter, Emily. Both survive him. For more than 20 years, Mr. Griffith owned and operated TG Farms, a full-service greenhouse and nursery growing and selling vegetables and operating a pumpkin patch in the fall. Lt. Col. Larry D. Harrison, ’92 chemical engineering, died Nov. 1, 2020, in Washington, D.C. He was born to parents Larry D. Harrison and Sherry C. Potter on July 1, 1963, in Ponca City, Oklahoma. After beginning school at OSU, he joined the U.S. Army in 1984. He served in Germany, eventually becoming a tank commander and a sergeant and receiving several awards and ribbons, including the Army Good Conduct Medal. Lt. Col. Harrison joined the Army National Guard in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, and he received his bachelor’s at OSU. Following graduation, he rejoined the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant and served in Bosnia. As a lieutenant colonel, he served as the military attaché in Albania, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
Weddings Submit your update at ORANGECONNECTION.org/share
Cody Knight, ’17 chemistry, married Megan Trantham, ’19 agricultural communications and agribusiness, on Dec. 19, 2020, in Stillwater. The couple met as students at OSU. After dating for nearly four years, Cody proposed to Megan at his family’s farm. The couple looks forward to coming back to football games and raising their future children to say, “Go Pokes!” Steven Melton, ’17 master’s in fire and emergency management administration, married Tristena Layton in September 2020. The two met in 2018, thanks to the OSU Polo Club. Their wedding was originally scheduled for March, but it was postponed due to the pandemic. The two faced many challenges after rescheduling their ceremony. First, their wedding venue changed ownership. The two had to plan the ceremony all over again and deal with a complete remodel of their venue. Then, their honeymoon hotel did not have any vacancies for their new dates, so they had to rebook. Their original airline began limiting flights, forcing them to rebook. After that, they found out their second hotel was remodeling and would not reopen in time, so they had to rebook their hotel once again. After a lot of perseverance, the two enjoyed an intimate wedding ceremony on Sept. 12, in McKinney, Texas, before enjoying a well-deserved honeymoon in Bora Bora.
S TAT E M AG A Z I N E .O K S TAT E . E D U 119
PARTING SHOT | 5. 28 . 21
120 FA L L 2 0 2 1
PHOTO GARY LAWSON
Experience America’s Friendliest College Town! Stay, eat, shop, and play with deals and discounts f rom Stillwater businesses. Sign up for the Stillwater Savings Pass today! Simply scan the QR code with your phone camera and unlock the savings!
#FlySWO direct on American Airlines
A BEAUTIFUL DAY FOR COWBOY FOOTBALL BEGINS WITH
AT THE CONOCOPHILLIPS OSU ALUMNI CENTER
Reserve your tickets at
T H E B E S T P R E G TICKETS A M E TO P ATHE R TBEST Y TAILGATE O N C AONMCAMPUS P U S ARE AVAILABLE AT ALUMNI ORANGECONNECTION.org/traditionstailgate A S S O C I AT I O N