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The official magazine of Oklahoma State University Spring 2013, Vol. 8, No. 3 Fall 2010 Welcome to the spring 2013 issue of STATE magazine, your source of information

from the OSU Alumni Association, the OSU Foundation and University Marketing. Cowboy Wind Farm near Blackwell, Okla., generates 67 percent of the energy used on OSU’s campus in Stillwater. On Page 60, read about this energy-saving effort. Cover photography by Phil Shockley

Developing Leaders

Panorama program identifies leadership skills that standardized tests miss.

The Best Value OSU’s value, faculty research and honors, student successes and challenges, and a chance to glide on the ice are all a part of Campus News.

Seniors of Significance The Alumni Association recognizes seniors for excellence in scholarship, leadership and community service.

Quiet Places Library gift makes room for students, services and collaboration.

A Stately Affair OSU-Tulsa and OSU-CHS honor four people for their contributions to the university, Tulsa and Oklahoma.

Serving the Community

An OSU doctor gives back to her hometown, and a nursing student helps others obtain a degree.

‘Moving the Needle’ Foundation empowers OSU to try new approaches to staying healthy.

Field Lesson OSU School of Forensic Sciences students get hands-on experience while helping law enforcement.


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Going Forward Food-packing company assists OSU’s FAPC.

Providing for Future Generations A family’s endowment fund helps students succeed.

A Chance to Help


A nonprofit organization funds up to 40 scholarships a year.

Living the Dream OSU alumnus grew up in hard times but has fulfilled lofty aspirations.

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Written in Brick Couple’s love, and a unique marriage proposal, is forever marked on campus.

Coming into Focus

Postal Plaza Gallery welcomes director as construction surpasses the halfway mark.

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Zombie Infestations

OSU students and the undead battle to the “stun.”

STATEQ&A’s A Homeland’s Conflict Assoumane Maiga details his imprisonment during the war in Mali.

In Command Navy Cmdr. John Gearhart talks about taking the helm of a nuclear submarine and the real hero at home.

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Hall of Fame The Alumni Hall of Fame inducts four forward thinkers who have transformed their industries.

The Dato’ Sri from OSU

OSU alumnus returns to Malaysia to become the country’s highest-ranking civil servant.

Orange Power

Wind energy becomes OSU’s main electricity source in Stillwater.

Wind and Jobs A story reported by StateImpact Oklahoma and heard on KOSU explores the connections between wind power and jobs.

Jack and the Demon Core

The story of how alumnus Jack ReVelle helps save America from nuclear disaster.

Worth Trumpeting

A Cowboy band member’s friendship with toddler inspires OSU family.

Cannibals to Students The head of OSU’s Center for Ethical Leadership uses what he learned in a South Pacific jungle.

Cowboy Up

OSU’s supercomputer performs nearly 50 trillion calculations per second.



Behind the Scenes

What happens in preparation for and during an OSU football game?

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Be ready for some football when the Cowboys battle Mississippi State in August.


OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences alumni give back with money and time.

Former Cowboy Caller establishes scholarship to support younger peers.

Life Members Establishing a lifetime connection to America’s Brightest Orange.

Outstanding Seniors Alumni Association selects 14 students for the illustrious award.

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Return Gifts

Answering the Call



Kickoff Classic

The 4-H Roundup

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O-STATE Stories: Looking back at an event that brings hundreds of high school students to campus.

Jazzing it Up

History: The Varsitonians kept


the beat for many years at Oklahoma A&M.

Departments 4

Posse Replay 88

STATEment 7

Chapters 110

Campus News


O-STATE Stories

Legacy Link


Classnotes 117

OSU Medicine


History 124

Uniquely Oklahoma


Crossword 128

President’s Letter


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President’s let ter

Oklahoma State University is a leader across many fronts, and one major focus is sustainability.

Through strategic management of our facilities and equipment, the university has reduced energy costs by more than $22 million over the past five-plus years, and in January, the Stillwater campus switched to wind energy for the majority of our electricity. OSU alumna Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin helped us celebrate the launch of the Cowboy Wind Farm. A portion of our wind energy powers another Cowboy asset: OSU’s supercomputer, affectionately named Cowboy, which performs nearly 50 trillion calculations per second. About 200 researchers use the

OSU President Burns Hargis

computer to comb through millions of miles of data. If people did it themselves, the work would take decades. This issue of STATE also looks at a number of individuals who provide their own energy to fuel OSU’s success. Stephen Haseley was a seminary teacher who worked with cannibals in a South Pacific jungle. He now heads our Center for Ethical Leadership, which prepares OSU students for leadership roles and the many challenges of leadership. We also profile several successful alumni including Jack ReVelle, who describes how he defused two nuclear bombs that fell in the North Carolina countryside in the winter of 1961. We spotlight the latest inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame: David Batchelder, Malone and Amy Mitchell, and Jerry Stritzke. All have impressive lives we celebrate. Cowboy Band member Kegan Tuhoy has developed a special relationship with 2-year-old Ellie Brown. Ellie was fascinated with Kegan’s trumpet and followed him at football games. It is a heartwarming story. Donors energize our land-grant mission with their generosity. In this issue, we feature veterinarians Steve Weir and Bob Shoup; the Tom J. and Edna Mae Carson Foundation; the Merrick Foundation; Thomas, Pauline and Barbara Miller; Chad Crotchett; Gary Crane; the Robert S. and Helen Grey Trippet Foundation; Tracie Harris; and Ford Motor Co. We appreciate the power and energy you supply to OSU. Go Pokes!


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ARE YOU INTERESTED in partnering with OSU? The Oklahoma State University Foundation’s Corporate and Foundation Relations department does more than just raise funds to support OSU. It also offers concierge services for organizations that want to work with the university in various ways. For everything from employee recruitment to research collaborations, we are happy to provide the information you need to get started.

If you have questions about how your organization can do business with OSU and aren’t sure who to ask, contact Lisa Capone, Associate Vice President of Corporate and Foundation Relations, at or 405.385.5668. She will help you find the answers you need.

The Heritage

Society recognizes OSU’s

alumni and friends who have made future provisions of any value for the OSU Foundation in their estate plans. This includes bequests, trusts, annuities, life insurance, retirement plans, or other means. If you have chosen to support OSU through one of these methods, we invite you to join the Heritage Society. When you share the good news of your generosity with us, we can ensure your wishes for its use are met, including requests for anonymity.

Heritage Society members enjoy the satisfaction of providing a pipeline of future support for our students, faculty, staff, facilities and programs. For more information about the Heritage Society or to let us know your support of OSU already includes an estate provision, please contact the Office of Gift Planning at 800.622.4678 or visit


Dear OSU Alumni and Friends,

Oklahoma State is proud to share the accomplishments of its alumni and students with the world. So, look for the America’s Brightest Orange advertising campaign where you live and work. The campaign is running across the country. Help us show the world how the power of America’s Brightest Orange delivers the highest level of excellence in the classroom and beyond. We want to continue that excellence by developing leaders who make a positive, meaningful and enduring difference. If you know high school students who are looking to make such a difference, direct them to Applications for fall 2013 are still being accepted, and scholarship dollars remain available. High school seniors need to apply now. The students who attend OSU will have many outstanding opportunities, thanks to your support. As Branding Success: The Campaign for Oklahoma State University nears the $1 billion milestone, we are seeing its impact across the OSU system. Nearly 1,000 new scholarship funds and 135 endowed faculty positions have been added since the campaign began just more than five years ago. As a result, more students will receive financial assistance, and the university can remain competitive when recruiting faculty. Donor generosity is also why OSU can offer outstanding services such as the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, which empowers disabled military veterans to turn their ideas into workable business models. All assistance — transportation,

Kirk A. Jewell President OSU Foundation

accommodations, food, books and instruction — is provided free to participants from all over the nation. Through Branding Success, donors are providing the resources to do even more to fulfill OSU’s land-grant mission. Speaking of branding, the Alumni Association made some exciting announcements this spring, including the theme for Homecoming 2013. We invite you to join us for ‘Branding A Brighter Orange’ Oct. 14-19 in Stillwater, and we encourage you to help us brand our Homecoming as “America’s Greatest” with a gift to the Homecoming and Student Programs endowment at New OSU alumni chapters and watch clubs continue to form across the nation, and the Alumni Association is planning a series of events in cities with large concentrations of Cowboys. Visit to learn about our Night with OSU events and RSVP to one near you. Of course, nothing is more exciting than welcoming a new class of Cowboys into the alumni family, which will occur May 4-5 with spring commencement. We encourage all graduates to make their connection to OSU last for a lifetime with a life membership, a class ring and a brick paver at the Alumni Center. More information about these opportunities can be found on Page 98. Continue to spread the word about America’s Brightest Orange.

Larry Shell President OSU Alumni Association

Kyle Wray Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing 7


Searching for

LEADERS Potential students spotlight their superpowers and hidden talents through OSU’s Panorama admissions program. By Kyle Wray and Kari Alldredge

If we were in search of a definition of “leadership” three decades ago, we would have selected a Webster’s dictionary and retrieved a concise description of the word. However, in 2013, we can search leadership on the Internet and find a myriad of contexts for the concept. Wikipedia, for example, quotes a theoretician describing leadership as, “A process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.” Not bad, until you view outcomes through the familiar lens of management gaffes witnessed across America in the recent past. Leadership guru Peter Drucker seems to be on the right path as he indicates, “Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.”


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What hasn’t changed between Webster’s and Google is the need for leaders to weave wisdom, intelligence and creativity into the fabric of life’s decisionmaking practices. Higher education has an important role in training students to be tomorrow’s leaders. At OSU, we have always been more focused on people than on rankings or numbers. We recognize students are best defined by their experience, work ethic, motivation and creativity. As an instrument that was designed to measure those attributes, OSU’s Panorama program evaluates leadership skills that traditional measures such as standardized test scores don’t capture — analytical, creative, practical and wisdom-based skills.

Panorama is based on the WICS (wisdom-intelligence-creativity synthesized) theory of leadership developed by OSU Provost Robert J. Sternberg. As the value of standardized test scores continue to come under scrutiny, researchers, including Sternberg, have been developing new measures of academic potential. Sternberg proposed in his book, College Admissions for the 21st Century, that students should be evaluated on the basis of their potential for future positive ethical leadership, in addition to their academic readiness. Specifically, Panorama refers to new essay questions being used for holistic admission review and select scholarships, but the program has a broader purpose.

illustration / ross maute

they are leaders and scholars in addition to Panorama serves as OSU’s commitment to OSU continues to attract students with their academic achievements. To scholarship identifying students who are well-rounded leadership experience gained through their committees, this can help distinguish them scholars and much more. high schools, work, family lives and commufrom students who are equally qualified We aim to create a community of indinity, as well as students who are prepped to based on traditional academic measures. viduals who wish to bring about positive blossom as leaders. change as future leaders in Last year’s historytheir families, workplaces, making freshman class communities and the world. size showed OSU to be the It was time for us to get more most popular institution creative in how we assess in the state. students, and in turn, allow As enrollment has students to be more creative grown, OSU’s own leadin what they reveal to us in ers have worked hard their applications. to ensure students and Students have responded families aren’t treated as positively to the essay just another number nor prompts in fresh, genuine and have we forgotten our exciting ways. Applicants, land-grant roots. From an who define themselves as admissions perspective, creative scholars, have our land-grant mission submitted pieces of art, origimeans we focus on people nal songs, architectural blue- Macy Gleason sings on a video submitted as part of her OSU application. from all walks of life. prints and fashion designs. How does a music submission help evaluate a student for ability to succeed in college? Just ask Oklahoma high school seniors Macy Gleason and Isaac Nolan. Gleason, a senior at Mannford High School who plans to attend OSU next fall submitted a YouTube video of her performing original music as part of her application. She dedicated the song, “Dandelion Seeds,” to her future students. As an education major, she wants to help others plant their own seeds. Nolan, a senior from Edmond Memorial High School submitted his song, “Blueprint.” He describes his inspiration: “I made this song with the intention to inspire people of all ages, especially youth. I want them to know that we were made with a purpose, which is to change the world for the better. Not only can we make a difference, but it’s in our blueprint to be the difference.” Artistic abilities display mastery of a skill. Learning and performing an instrument or art form demonstrates commitment, discipline and practice. All are important attributes for college success. High-achieving students, who manifest college readiness through exceptional test scores and high school GPAs, have the opportunity through Panorama to showcase

For example, to display wisdom, students can respond to a question such as:

Novels and movies feature super­ heroes and the supernatural. If you could have one superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it? Who would be your archenemy, and what would be his or her superpower? Analytical skills are measured in part by responses to:

An army colonel once stated, “Leadership is about comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable.” What did he or she mean? What do you think true leadership is? When have you been a leader, and how did you exercise leadership? Leadership has become synonymous with OSU. From scholarship programs, such as the President’s Leadership Council and the McKnight Leaders Scholars, to numerous alumni who have gone on to become leaders in government, industry and community, OSU is committed to leadership development. Panorama is yet another commitment to identifying and developing future leaders.

Panorama makes sure college readiness is measured not just in the traditional ways such as test scores, but also by looking at leadership and character — something this university prides itself on nurturing in its graduates. We can all recall people who exhibited wisdom, intelligence and solid ethical decisions, especially in the face of adversity. These traits coupled with the ability to creatively integrate them into practical life produce positive results. They also serve as keystones of a modern land-grant university. As Oklahoma’s land-grant university, at our core, we are about people. And while numbers inform us, they don’t define us nor do they solely define our future students. As a result, OSU is redefining how we evaluate students for admission, and so far, we’re learning more about the incredible people who soon will call OSU their home.

Kyle Wray is OSU’s vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing. Kari Alldredge is OSU’s senior associate director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.


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OSU Provost Headed to Wyoming Oklahoma State University Provost Robert J. Sternberg has been named president of the University of Wyoming, effective July 1. “We are sorry to see Bob leave and appreciate all that he has accomplished as provost,” OSU President Burns Hargis says. “He has worked hard to make necessary changes in academics, put us on the path to improve retention and graduation rates, helped us broaden admission efforts, and emphasized educating our students to be ethical leaders and productive citizens. We wish Bob and his family great success.” Sternberg, an eminent psychologist, became provost and senior vice president at Oklahoma State in 2010 after serving at Yale University and Tufts University. Oklahoma State and Wyoming are land-grant institutions in states where the energy industry plays a key role. “Oklahoma State and Wyoming are probably two of the most similar universities in the country,” Sternberg says. “Both value and appreciate the deeper meaning of the land-grant mission, and that’s something I fully embrace.”

OSU is a ‘Best Value’ Oklahoma State University is one of the top 75 public colleges selected by The Princeton Review in the 2013 edition of The Best Value Colleges. The book profiles 75 public and 75 private colleges and universities chosen for the publication based on academic, cost and financial aid data from 650 institutions. “We are delighted OSU is once again recognized as one of the leading schools in the country for our academic offerings and terrific value,” OSU President Burns Hargis says. “Those are just two of the many reasons that Oklahoma State offers a great educational experience.” The book’s editors praise the school for its in-state tuition and note, “For both


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in-state and out-of-state students, OSU provides some of the most affordable tuition in the Big 12 … boasts higher retention rates and lower student-tofaculty ratios than many of its conference peers while taking pride in its commitment to providing financial aid.” Students surveyed by the Princeton Review described OSU’s high quality of life, beautiful campus, friendly people, accessible professors and available scholarship funds. The Princeton Review’s ranking came about a month after Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named OSU one of the 100 best values in public colleges. OSU has made the list 10 times since 2000.

OSU Recognizes Campus Energy Savers

From left, Energy Manager Patrick Wheeler presents a plaque to OSU President Burns Hargis, Athletic Director Mike Holder and Assistant Athletic Director Shan Rains in recognition of Boone Pickens Stadium reaching $1 million in energy savings. Three facilities on the Stillwater campus — the Advanced Technology Research Center, Boone Pickens Stadium and the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade Development — have each reached $1 million in energy savings. This milestone is part of a systemwide savings of more than $22 million since OSU’s Energy Conservation Program began in July 2007. The majority of the energy savings is due to modifying heating and air conditioning systems to run as needed and changing the behaviors of employees and students.

“It is because our faculty, staff and students have embraced our energy conservation program that the university has been able to see such a huge savings in energy costs,” says OSU President Burns Hargis. For more on OSU’s energy-saving efforts, turn to Page 60.

Psychological Association Honors OSU Professor   An Oklahoma State University psychology professor was honored for his work with graduate students in pediatric psychology.   The American Psychological Association’s Division 54, the Society of Pediatric Psychology, presented the Martin P. Levin Mentorship Award to John Chaney. The professor has mentored 19 doctoral students and more than 30 American Indian students. Current and former students nominate candidates for the award. Kevin Hommel, a 1999 and 2002 OSU alumnus who is an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Pediatrics, nominated Chaney. “John has been instrumental in my career successes. He would never ask for praise or awards. He provides superior mentorship because that is what he loves to do,” Hommel says. “That is one of the many reasons he was so deserving of this award. He was, is and will always be a wonderful mentor and friend of mine.”

Task Force Releases Findings The Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges released a task force report on the policies, practices and procedures of the board and the higher-education institutions it governs. The board also released a report by outside special counsel that reviewed OSU’s recent handling of alleged sexual misconduct by a student.

Photos / Phil Shockley

Just Add Ice A bit of winter came to OSU despite 60-degree days in early January. For three days, students and others struggled to stay on their feet while ice skating outside the Student Union. The rink wasn’t really frozen water, but a plastic that mimics ice.

Regents Chairman Andy Lester called for the task force in the wake of the Freeh report regarding incidents at Penn State University. The task force, which was chaired by Regent Tucker Link, recommended adopting five new policies and revising several more. The majority of emphasis and time was spent reviewing policies related to campus safety and security. “I am pleased at the work of the task force,” Lester says. “The Board of Regents will not tolerate illegal, immoral or unethical conduct or actions that

violate our policies. I am confident the task force’s work will help accomplish that objective. These policies exhibit our commitment to strengthen campus safety, to handle any misconduct swiftly and appropriately, and to provide transparency in how our institutions are governed.” Link adds: “Student safety is our priority. These recommendations will strengthen and enhance how our institutions handle campus safety matters.” OSU President Burns Hargis says he appreciated the work of the board and task force.

“We look forward to quickly implementing policy recommendations that the board approves,” he says. “This administration is fully supportive of any changes and enhancements that will make our campus safer.” The board unanimously approved the recommendations on March 1. Some of the most significant recommendations include requiring each institution to implement policies to protect minors involved with institutionally sponsored activities and programs,



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as well as activities and programs by third parties that use any property or facility of the institutions. The task force also adopted two recommendations that were a result of the special counsel report that will require each institution to promptly notify law enforcement of any allegations of sexual assault and to retain an independent advocate for victims of alleged sexual assault. The special counsel report was commissioned in December 2012 after Hargis asked the task force to assess OSU’s handling of highly publicized sexual assaults reported by students to the university’s Student Conduct Education and Administration Office.  The regents employed outside special counsel James Sears Bryant to advise them during the process. Bryant, who is from Oklahoma and is a former prosecutor and district judge, led an independent investigation into a high-profile sexual assault case for the University of Iowa Board of Regents in 2008. He works in the Dallas office of the national law firm of Wilson Elser. “OSU did not violate any state or federal laws in their handling of the matter, nor did they violate any of their own policies or procedures,” Bryant says. “However, during discussions with the media, they incorrectly asserted the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act didn’t allow them to report these alleged incidents until internal hearings were concluded. FERPA clearly allows reporting of potential crimes at any time.” Bryant interviewed four of the six student complainants whose cases prompted the task force to enlarge its work. The complainants shared their impressions of the processes involved in their cases and made recommendations for policy changes. The students spoke of the concern, sensitivity and responsiveness expressed by the members of the student conduct office. “I deeply appreciate the work of Mr. Bryant and his colleagues in helping us to quickly and thoroughly understand the facts and applicable laws surrounding these incidents,” Lester says. “His policy recommendations that all alleged sexual assaults be promptly reported to


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law enforcement, and that institutions should retain victim advocates, were well received by the task force.”

Double Block Effort OSU Institute of Technology’s Orthotic and Prosthetic Technologies program has recently doubled its female and total enrollment, thanks to Jennifer Block. The director of the Orthotic and Prosthetic Technologies program earned the National Outstanding Member Award from the Career Technical Education Equity Council for 2011-2012. “I took advantage of a trend that is improving the profile of orthotics and prosthetics as a career path,” Block says. Since Block became director in 2009, the number of females in the program has increased 68 percent, and the total number of students has doubled. Recruitment did not involve a “great tactical plan,” Block says. “We sponsor an on-campus event called Women and Technology to get the word out. The other thing was modeling success and putting women in contact with other women in the field.” Block is the only female director of an O&P technician program in the country.

Greek Councils Win at Leadership Conference OSU’s fraternities and sororities won several awards at the Central Fraternal Leadership and National Black Greek Leadership Conference hosted by the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values in Indianapolis in February. The Interfraternity Council was recognized with seven awards, including the Jellison Award for being the top interfraternity council in its particular division for the region. The Multicultural Greek Council was recognized for its accomplishments in academic achievement, community service and council management.

The PanHellenic Council received recognition in all eight possible award categories and won the Sutherland Award, top award given to a PanHellenic council in the region for each division. “The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs could not be more proud of the student leaders and the community for this accomplishment,” says Liz Osborne, coordinator of fraternity and sorority affairs. 

Tank; No Liner

CleanNG CEO Matt Villarreal works on the prototype MagmaCel tank at the OSU-Tulsa Helmerich Research Center. A Tulsa business founded by OSU alumni is working with the OSU-Tulsa Helmerich Research Center and earning international accolades for developing a linerless compressed natural gas tank. CleanNG has been hailed as one of “the world’s most promising companies” by CNBC. The company was founded in 2010 by Matt Villarreal, CEO; Michael Tate, chief operations and communications officer; and Jacob Crawley, chief marketing and sales officer. Two OSU-Tulsa alumni, Aaron Laney, director of product research and development, and Nate Waters, director of finance, have since joined the executive team. In 2012, CleanNG and professor Ranji Vaidyanathan at the Helmerich Research Center began developing the MagmaCel Fuel Storage System. This system will have more storage capacity and weigh less than traditional CNG tanks. The team worked with Vaidyanathan to create the tank using a composite fiber made from lava rock.

U n iversit y Mar k eti n g Kyle Wray / Vice President of Enrollment Management & Marketing Michael Baker / Editor Mark Pennie, Ross Maute & Paul V. Fleming / Design Phil Shockley, Gary Lawson & Bruce Waterfield / Photography Dorothy Pugh / Assistant Editor Matt Elliott / Staff Writer Joya Rutland / Intern University Marketing Office / 121 Cordell, Stillwater, OK 74078-8031 / 405.744.6262 / /,

O S U A lu m n i A ssociatio n Ron Ward / Chairman Jennifer Grigsby / Vice Chair Dan Gilliam / Immediate Past Chairman Ronald Bussert / Treasurer Burns Hargis / OSU President, Non-voting Member Larry Shell / President, OSU Alumni Association, Non-voting Member Kirk Jewell / President, OSU Foundation, Non-voting Member Cindy Batt, Larry Briggs, Bill Dragoo, Russell Florence, Kent Gardner, Phil Kennedy, David Kollmann, Jami Longacre, Pam Martin, David Rose, Nichole Trantham & Robert Walker / Board of Directors Chris Batchelder / Executive Vice President and CPO Pattie Haga / Vice President and COO Chase Carter / Director of Communications Phillip Gahagans, Melissa Mourer & Melisa Parkerson / Communications Committee OSU Alumni Association / 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 / 405.744.5368 / /

Stephen McKeever, vice president for research and technology transfer, speaks during the opening of the AppCenter in the Henry Bellmon Research Center.

O S U F ou n datio n David Kyle / Chairman of the Board Kirk A. Jewell / President & Chief Executive Officer

OSU Launches App Competition

Donna Koeppe / Vice President of Administration & Treasurer Brandon Meyer / Vice President & General Counsel

Teams of students, faculty, staff and alumni are showcasing their creativity in the OSU AppCenter’s first app development competition with participants vying for more than $20,000. “This competition will foster new concepts and creative app ideas across Oklahoma State University’s community,” says Steve Wood, CEO of Cowboy Technologies. “Through the OSU AppCenter, the competition supports the screening, refining, resource funding and app development needed to launch viable app ideas into practice.” The focus of the competition is “information sharing at OSU.” The goal is to create an app focused on college life, which can fall into one of these categories: travel, transportation, safety and security, insurance, finance or Cowboy experience. The first phase of the competition, which focused on the idea, ran Jan. 31–Feb. 11. The second phase, open to those with app development skill, began in March and focuses on developing the winning idea from the first phase. Winners in the first phase were announced after STATE went to press. Winners in the second phase will be announced in May. Check to see who wins. The AppCenter opened in February and is located in the lobby of the Henry Bellmon Research Center. The Office of the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, AAA Oklahoma and Cowboy Technologies LLC worked together to make the center a reality. At the center, students can transition their ideas into functioning web and mobile applications. The AppCenter will house all the necessary equipment and programs to facilitate this process, and use and support are free to students. For more information on the OSU AppCenter, visit


Kenneth Sigmon / Vice President of Development Jim Berscheidt / Senior Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communications Blaire Atkinson / Director of Human Resources Deborah Adams, Mark Allen, Jerry Clack, Bryan Close, Kent Dunbar, Ellen Fleming, Michael Greenwood, Jennifer Grigsby, John Groendyke, David Holsted, Cathy Jameson, Kirk Jewell, Steven Jorns, David Kyle, John C. Linehan, Ross McKnight, Bill Patterson, Barry Pollard, Scott Sewell, Larry Shell, Lyndon Taylor, Phil Terry, Dennis White, Jay Wiese, Jerry Winchester / Trustees Brittanie Douglas, Elizabeth Hahn, Shelly Kelly, Jennifer Kinnard, Chris Lewis, Jacob Longan, Amanda O’Toole Mason, Greg Quinn, Betty Thompson, Chelsea Twietmeyer / Communications OSU Foundation / 400 South Monroe, P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076-1749 / 800.622.4678 / /

STATE magazine is published three times a year (Spring, Fall, Winter) by Oklahoma State University, 121 Cordell N, Stillwater, OK 74078. The magazine is produced by University Marketing, the OSU Alumni Association and the OSU Foundation, and is mailed to current members of the OSU Alumni Association. Magazine subscriptions are available only by membership in the OSU Alumni Association. Membership cost is $45. Postage paid at Stillwater, OK, and additional mailing offices. Oklahoma State University, in compliance with the title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age religion, disability or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. Title IX of the Education Amendments and Oklahoma State University policy prohibit discrimination in the provision or services or beliefs offered by the University based on gender. Any person (student, faculty of staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss their concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of the Title IX with the OSU Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Affirmative Action, 408 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, (405) 744-5371 or (405) 744-5576 (fax). This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by the vice president of enrollment management and marketing was printed by Royle Printing Co. at a cost of $1.05 per issue. 32,709/April ’13/#4639. Copyright © 2013, STATE magazine. All rights reserved.


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Not Pacified A variety of disease-causing bacteria, fungus and mold can coat babies’ pacifiers, according to research conducted at OSU. A recent study by Dr. Thomas Glass, a professor of forensic science, pathology and dental medicine, concluded that used pacifiers could contain a variety of bacteria that can cause illnesses such as colic and mouth or inner ear infections. The study, conducted by Glass and nine other researchers, yielded a collection of data that showed pacifiers could host a wide range of disease-causing bacteria, fungus and mold. Researchers compared new pacifiers with 10 used pacifiers collected from a pediatric clinic and found a variety of bacteria, including some associated with diseases. Researchers also found that pacifiers can often grow a coat of bacteria, called biofilm, that actually alter the normal bacteria in a baby’s or toddler’s mouth. Researchers plan to conduct a larger study soon, Glass told the Tulsa World. He suggests throwing out pacifiers after two weeks. “For a minute amount of money, you can really reduce the chances of transmitting these diseases,” he says.

McKeever Named Inventor Fellow   Stephen McKeever, OSU’s vice president for research and technology transfer, was named a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.   McKeever, who also serves as the state secretary of science and technology, was recognized along with 98 other researchers. The academy was founded in 2010 to acknowledge investigators at universities


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and their affiliated institutions who translate their research into inventions that benefit society. McKeever, Mark Akselrod and other members of McKeever’s research team developed and patented a new technique used for measuring radiation exposure in the mid-1990s. The technology, known as Optically Stimulated Luminescence, was licensed to Landauer, the world’s leading provider of technical and analytical services and products, in 1998 to determine occupational and environmental radiation exposure.

OSU Wins xTax Competition

From left, OSU School of Accounting students R.J. Parr, Mollie Field, Chase Sprueill, Samantha Garrison, Stephanie Giardina and adviser Monika Turek won the coveted Hamilton Award at PwC’s xTAX National Finals. The Interns, a team of accounting students in OSU’s Spears School of Business, captured first place at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ xTREME Games in Washington, D.C. From a field of 460 teams and 2,300 students participating in on-campus competitions, the OSU team was one of five teams selected to compete at the national finals in the extreme-tax category. Oklahoma State is the first university to win the nationals in its first year of competition. “We hope this is the beginning of a great tradition for the OSU School of Accounting,” says Monika Turek, a taxation instructor and the team’s adviser. The Interns split a cash prize of $10,000 ($2,000 each) for its selection

to nationals, where the team won the Hamilton Award, named after Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Secretary of Treasury. As the winners, the students will receive an internship with PwC.

PR Scholar Receives Honor for Book Derina R. Holtzhausen, professor and director of the OSU School of Media and Strategic Communications, received a book award for Public Relations as Activism: Postmodern Approaches to Theory & Practice. The PRIDE Awards, given by the Public Relations Division of the National Communications Association, named Holtzhausen’s publication its 2012 Outstanding Book. “Dr. Holtzhausen has established a solid body of work in top journals and produced the first full-length book study on the field, which is highly rated around the world,” says David McKie, professor at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, an expert in the field of international business communications. “Her practice of frequently publishing on the topic of postmodern public relations has brought her recognition and admiration from her colleagues.”

Super Graduation   Ryan McBean, a former OSU football player and a defensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, finished his degree online and came back to Stillwater for commencement exercises in December. McBean missed the 2012 season after having surgery to repair a broken ankle. The Ravens won the Superbowl in February.

Legacy Link

Look for the Legacy Link in every STATE magazine. This page is dedicated to all of our Alumni Association Legacies and to spreading orange to young Cowboys and Cowgirls. Players take turns joining two horizontally or vertically adjacent dots by a line. A player that completes the fourth side of a square (a box) colors that box and plays again. When all boxes have been colored, the game ends and the player who has colored the most boxes wins.

••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••

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

Seniors of Significance The Seniors of Significance Award recognizes students for excellence in scholarship, leadership and community service and for bringing distinction to OSU. The 48 Seniors of Significance for the 2012-2013 school year hail from six OSU colleges and seven states, and they represent about 1 percent of the graduating class. The OSU Alumni Association honored the seniors at a banquet on Nov. 19 at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. Rachel Benbrook, Woodward, Okla.,

Anna Geary, Edmond, Okla.,

Tyler Nicholas, Stillwater, Okla.,

Ashley Bradbeary, Tuttle, Okla., food science

Samantha Geis, Loyal, Okla., agribusiness

Rachel Noland, Lake Quivira, Kan.,

Kimberly Branham, Bartlesville, Okla.,

Katie Haning, Allen, Texas, chemical engineering

strategic communication

animal science

Trindle Brueggen, Okarche, Okla., agribusiness Nicholas Cain, Tuttle, Okla., chemical engineering Kylie Castonguay, Omega, Okla., university studies

Kathryn Caudill, Edmond, Okla., sociology Andrea Cerar, Tulsa, Okla., English and Spanish McKenzie Clifton, Kingfisher, Okla.,

strategic communications

Bridget Harkin, Alva, Okla., strategic communications

Flint Holbrook, Clover, S.C.,

management science and information systems marketing and public relations

Lashun Oakley, Ada, Okla., mechanical engineering

Amy Pitts, Edmond, Okla., music education

biosystems engineering

Sarah Rader, Canadian, Texas, accounting

Meaghan Hoose, Edmond, Okla.,

Sara Roberts, Weatherford, Okla., art history

accounting and management

Zachary Keith, Oklahoma City, civil engineering John Leos, Mesquite, Texas, acting

Morgan Rom, Owasso, Okla., animal science Kylie Roper, Edmond, Okla., accounting JanLee Rowlett, Hurricane Mills, Tenn.,

animal science

Shannon Mallory, Tecumseh, Okla., agribusiness

Collin Craige, Bokchito, Okla.,

Mikayla Marvin, Yukon, Okla.,

Meg Sokolosky, Tulsa, Okla., finance

Grant Dixon, Stigler, Okla.,

Jordan Mayes, Mount Vernon, Texas, accounting

child and family services

Taylor Mayes, Mount Vernon, Texas, accounting

Shannon Watson, Osceola, Mo.,

biosystems engineering

biochemistry and molecular biology

Tyler Downing, Locust Grove, Okla.,

biochemistry and molecular biology and microbiology

Sara Fevurly, Lawrence, Kan., strategic communications

Mollie Field, Tulsa, Okla., accounting Carrie Foster, Plano, Texas, architecture Chelsea Garcia, Moore, Okla., secondary education mathematics


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biosystems engineering

Mackenzie McDaniel, Bartlesville, Okla.,

animal science

Hannah Underwood, Edmond, Okla.,

agricultural economics

strategic communications

Jonathan Wedel, Stillwater, Okla., agribusiness

Lauren McIntire, Grapevine, Texas,

Jace White, Cherokee, Okla., agribusiness

secondary education English

Dawson Metcalf, Broken Bow, Okla., history and political science

Mandi Neujahr, Osceola, Neb., animal science

Amelia Wilson, Stillwater, Okla.,

mechanical and aerospace engineering and Spanish

Zechariah Wright, Tulsa, Okla., secondary education

PHOTO / Genesee photo systems

Library gift makes room for students, services and collaboration.

Places to Study


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Photo / Phil Shockley

Amber Parsoneault, a microbiology senior, and Christopher In surveys, listening sessions and comments, students repeatDeGeorge, a nutritional science senior, pore over their books edly offer the praise: “We love the library’s group study rooms.” and notes inside the Tom J. Carson Foundation Study Suite. Often this comes with the caveat, “… but we want more of them.” In 2012, the Edmon Low Library offered nine private-group The Writing Center, founded in 1976, offers hands-on tutorstudy rooms for students. The service was so popular that it was ing for students’ writing projects. Rebecca Damron, director of common for the rooms to be booked solid for days at a time. the center, explains the need for the outpost. Study cohorts aren’t the only groups who think the rooms “I want the Writing Center to become more visible, to have it are the perfect spot. Since 2006, the library’s study rooms have in a common place,” she says. hosted the Writing Center Outpost, a collaboration between The Writing Center Outpost in the Edmon Low Library OSU’s English department and the library. launched in 2006 with just one tutor on Sundays. Over the years As the Writing Center Outpost expanded its services and it has expanded to offering three tutors four evenings a week. student demand for study-room space grew, an opportunity “Having the outpost in the library’s computer area, where developed to directly support students, building needs and students are working on their papers anyway, is ideal,” Damron programming. says. “They can pop into the Writing Center. We can give advice In 2012, the Tom J. and Edna Mae Carson Foundation and then send them back to the computers to work.” stepped in to fund a suite of study rooms. The Stilwell, Okla., Damron says the library and Writing Center Outpost offer foundation is named for a 1942 accounting alumnus and his students a “complete service experience.” Librarians are on hand late wife. to offer research assistance and resources. The outpost tutors Tom Carson and his sons — Jim Carson, a 1973 business are available to help students conceptualize, revise and edit administration and 1974 history master’s graduate; and Drew their work. Carson, a 1988 finance graduate and 1989 MBA alumnus — Dean of Libraries Sheila Johnson says the Tom J. Carson direct the foundation to support their community and alma Foundation Study Suite is a key to the library’s long-term vision. mater. Their gifts are designed to help future generations in “I am grateful the Carson Foundation made this project appreciation for those who helped them attend OSU. possible,” Johnson says. “Increasing the number of study rooms is “OSU means a lot to me as I was the first person in my family an ongoing goal, and we plan to continue expanding this popular to graduate from college, and my years in Stillwater were very service. The Carson Foundation’s generosity enabled us to make formative,” Tom Carson says. “I feel significant progress on this path.” I received a good all-around educaB o n n i e A n n Ca i n -W o o d tion, and I was very glad that I had the opportunity to take ROTC as my 1942 Endowed group study rooms in the To learn more about supporting buildclass had early graduation to allow us ing and programming projects that help library are named for the donor or an to enter World War II. Now I am glad OSU students, contact Brandy Cox, OSU honoree of the donor’s choosing: to share my success by helping current Foundation senior director of development Tom J. Carson Foundation Study Suite OSU students.” for university programs, at 405-385-0715 or Jessie Thatcher Bost Room The Carson Foundation’s latest gift H. Louise & H.E. “Ed” Cobb Room supports a set of three rooms specifiJoe J. Hamilton Room cally designed with the Writing Center Dean & Carol Stringer Room Outpost in mind. It also provides highly Tompkins-McCollom Room sought after study space at other times of the day.

Tomorrow begins today.

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

© ConocoPhillips Company. 2009. All rights reserved.

For nearly 60 years, the graduate programs in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University have received national acclaim. The graduate programs will now be housed in the new Watson Graduate School of Management.

Dedicated to excellence in graduate education

Special thanks to Chuck and Kim Watson | 405.744.9000

A Stately

Affair in


photo / ryan jensen

From left, OSU-Tulsa and OSU-CHS President Howard Barnett, Janet McGehee, Bryan Close and Dr. Kayse Shrum will host A Stately Affair in Tulsa to raise scholarships for students at OSU-Tulsa and OSU-CHS.


klahoma State University in Tulsa will honor four people for their contributions to the university, Tulsa and Oklahoma at a scholarship fundraising event this spring. OSU-Tulsa and the OSU Center for Health Sciences will celebrate the 2013 Icons for OSU in Tulsa at A Stately Affair, an event for OSU alumni and community supporters at Southern Hills Country Club on May 20. The black-tie gala will recognize four honorees:

Dr. B. Frank Shaw, 2007 Oklahoma Osteopathic Association’s Doctor of the Year and past president of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association;

Chris Benge, senior vice president of government affairs for the Tulsa Regional Chamber and former speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives; Oklahoma Sen. Jim Halligan, former OSU president; and Thomas K. McKeon, president of Tulsa Community College and a higher-education innovator. “The OSU in Tulsa Icons have made a significant impact on our students, our university, the state of Oklahoma and the

Oklahoma who want to be trained as nation as a whole,” says Howard Barnett, physicians and then return to serve their president of OSU-Tulsa and OSU-CHS. hometown communities,” says Dr. Kayse “The accomplishments of these individuals Shrum, OSU-CHS provost and dean of have created new opportunities for OSU the College of Osteopathic Medicine. students to further their college educations and create brighter futures for them- “The financial support we receive from our donors goes a long way toward alleviating selves and our state.” the physician shortage our state is facing.” In addition to honoring these Donors for A Stately Affair will also Oklahoma leaders, A Stately Affair raises help provide an OSU degree for students funds for OSU-Tulsa and OSU-CHS in Tulsa. scholarships. OSU’s strategic planning “OSU has the most generous donors process in Tulsa identified scholarships who support the institution and want to as a top priority for supporting student assist the next generation of Oklahoma development. State Cowboys,” says Janet McGehee, “Providing scholarships can make all vice president of reservoir engineering at the difference in the world for a student who wants to attend OSU but doesn’t have Parallel Energy LP and co-chair for the the financial resources to do it alone,” says event. “Their commitment reflects their passion for the university and their dedicaevent co-chair Bryan Close, a 1966 OSU tion to a brighter future for our state.” alumnus and president of CloseBend Inc. Alumni Ross and Billie McKnight “This exciting event will help the university are serving as honorary chairs for A open doors for students who want to earn Stately Affair. The McKnights also are an OSU degree in Tulsa.” co-chairs of Branding Success: The OSU-CHS is working to address Campaign for Oklahoma State University, the state’s shortage of physicians. The the largest educational fundraising university has established scholarships campaign in state history. to support an early admissions program, which would enable college students to S E A N K E N N E DY begin medical school during their senior year of college. For more information about A Stately Affair, “The scholarship program is key to contact the OSU Foundation at 918-594-8500. offering support to students from rural



Serving Her Hometown Dr. Regina Lewis gives back to her community as the director of the North Regional Health and Wellness Center in Tulsa.



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While an undergraduate studying psychology, two significant events solidified Lewis’ decision to become a physician. First, her father was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and then her boyfriend, now her husband, was diagnosed with kidney failure. Her father died in 2010. Her husband is on the transplant list for a new kidney and undergoes hemodialysis at home. When diagnosed, he had no risk factors or family history and was not diabetic. “Those two events have impacted me forever, and I knew medicine was the career I wanted,” Lewis says. While a student in the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewis developed interests in family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology. “I loved the excitement of delivering babies, but I also wanted the opportunity to build relationships with my patients as a family physician,” Lewis says. During medical school, Lewis became pregnant with her first child, and she experienced the OSU Women’s Health Center as both a patient and practitioner. The opportunity gave her a unique opportunity to interact with patients. “I told my physician, who was the director of the Women’s Health Center, that I would one day be director,” Lewis says. After earning her doctorate of osteopathic medicine in 2002, Lewis pursued her interest in obstetrics. She went to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston for a fellowship in high-risk obstetrics. “I enjoy deliveries the most,” Lewis says. “I watch my patients move from fear to being overjoyed. Patients and their families often thank me, but I remind them that the mother did the work. I thank them for allowing me to be part of their big event.” Lewis uses her position to encourage young mothers to pursue their dreams and goals. “Growing up, I saw a lot of young mothers just quit at life when their baby


Regina Lewis

Photo / OSU Center for Health Sciences

r. Regina Lewis has seen what a lack of health care resources can do to a community. “The lack of access to primary care physicians is a big issue for Tulsa, particularly in northern and western areas of the city,” Lewis says. “When I was presented the opportunity to practice in the community I love and where it’s needed most, I didn’t think twice.” The Tulsa native has her family practice office in the OSU Physicians Clinic at the new North Regional Health and Wellness Center in Tulsa. Lewis began seeing patients in October at the clinic, which is the result of a partnership between OSU Center for Health Sciences and the Tulsa Health Department to address the lack of primary care physicians on Tulsa’s north side. “The partnership with the Tulsa Health Department is the result of similar missions to serve underserved populations in Tulsa,” says Howard Barnett, president of OSU-Tulsa and OSU-CHS. “Dr. Lewis is an outstanding physician whose passion for serving her hometown made her the ideal physician to begin this new venture.” Lewis and a nurse practitioner provide primary care services ranging from vaccinations and physical exams to obstetrician and gynecology services and child health exams. She provides the same services at OSU Health Care Center, an OSU Physicians facility in west Tulsa, where she was once a patient. “I grew up in the OSU clinic system,” Lewis says. “I was a patient as a child. Although I went to the University of Oklahoma for my bachelor’s degree, I returned home to begin medical school at OSU. I knew I wanted to serve my hometown community.” As a child, Lewis visited the hospital where her mother worked as a phlebotomist, and she pictured a future in either pharmacy or medical school.

was born. I never understood that,” Lewis says. “I tell them to forget the mold and go for their goals. Nothing should stop them living life to the fullest. At each appointment, I’m checking on the baby, but also the mother.” Along with deliveries and patient visits at the OSU Physicians clinics, Lewis also serves as an assistant professor of family medicine, training medical students and residents. “Dr. Lewis is a great teacher and example for our medical students,” says Dr. Kayse Shrum, provost of OSU-CHS and dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “Our students and community benefit from her work in the clinics and her dedication to patient care.” Lewis has received countless cards from patients thanking her for the care they received. Many of them also thank her for the encouragement she provided. But for Lewis, it’s about providing the best care for her patients. “I don’t look for the reward,” she says. “I just want to know that my patients are getting the care they need no matter where they live.”

Ripple Effect

OSU-OKC nursing graduate gives to help other students. “Balancing other lives and obligations outside the classroom can be a hard task. I think it’s wonderful to see alumni giving back and remembering how difficult combining both worlds is. They are giving students some financial peace to focus on their studies.” Harris knew about the difficulty of balancing obligations. She had completed a degree in community health at the University of Central Oklahoma in 1994, but some of her credits didn’t transfer to the OSU-OKC nursing program. So Harris worked full-time and attended night classes to complete a required course each semester until she was able to apply for admission in 2001, six years after the Oklahoma City bombing. She received her acceptance letter the week of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “I had no grants and barely any scholarships to get me through nursing school,” Harris says. “I experienced several setbacks financially. If I can ease the stress of just one student with this scholarship,

B rittanie D ou g las

Photo / Catherine Divis

Tracie Harris always wanted to be a nurse, but a fear of blood and needles left her hesitant to pursue the career. Then, on the morning of April 19, 1995, terror struck Oklahoma City, 168 people died, and she realized nursing was a calling. The Oklahoma City bombing, considered the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil at the time, called for unlimited health care assistance without any protocol. “That’s when it hit me,” says Harris, a 2003 OSU-Oklahoma City nursing alumna. “I knew I had to be more involved with helping others on a personal level.” Nearly 10 years after graduating, Harris has built a dynamic nursing career and works in the recovery room at Deaconess Hospital in Oklahoma City. She never forgets the many obstacles she overcame to get there. She recently established the OSU-OKC Tracie Harris Nursing Scholarship, a need-based gift for nursing students who previously earned a bachelor’s degree. “Gifts like these are vital for our students who are living on such a small budget,” says Judy Kemper, division head of health sciences and a 1974 nursing alumna. “With new financial-aid guidelines, many students do not qualify for assistance and have to look elsewhere for support.” Nursing school demands a lot of time and dedication. Students are required to attend classes, read for hours, work clinicals nine hours a week, and prepare for patient care and follow-ups. Because the high-intensity program requires two years of dedication, many students do not have time to work. “Our program requires a lot more time than people realize,” says Tena Fry, associate professor of health sciences.

I hope one day they will be able to pay it forward for another student.” Harris’ fondest memory from the program is seeing a heart valve surgically inserted and started. She won a prize for being the only student to not pass out on the first day of clinicals — quite a change for a woman who was once scared of needles. “The heart is mesmerizing,” Harris says. “From that first day, I knew I was on the right career path.” The OSU-OKC nurse science program has more than 300 students applying for 56 slots every year. Many of the program’s nearly 3,300 alumni have pursued bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Established in 1969, the nurse science program classrooms today utilize iPads and a simulation lab featuring a talking anatomical model. Technological advances allow students to gain practical experience using critical-thinking skills rather than reviewing textbooks. “Our faculty is learning as our students do,” Kemper says. “They put in as much effort as possible to see our students succeed. Our passion is to prepare students to become lifelong learners. We want to be their foundation and emphasize how important the ripple effect of giving back can be.”

Practicing assessment skills on a simulated patient at OSU-OKC are instructor Tena Fry, left, and student Amina Jawaid. Observing are, from left, students Jennifer Knopp, Lindsey Kerrin and Victor Gonzalez.


Lindsey Yoder collects evidence with assistant professor Ron Thrasher at a mock crime scene.

Learning in the Field

Photo / OSU Center for Health Sciences

OSU School of Forensic Sciences students get hands-on experience while aiding law enforcement.


indsey Yoder was quick to sign up when the OSU School of Forensic Sciences put out the call for volunteers to search for the remains of a missing 6-year-old girl. “It was an opportunity to see what it was like to be involved in a real crime scene search and to put to work the skills I had been learning in the classroom,” says Yoder, a graduate student in forensic biology at the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. “A case like this really pulls at


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your heartstrings, and it’s something you want to be involved in and help in any way you can.” A Missing Girl Ashani Karin Creighton went missing in 1997 in Florida. Authorities believe she was killed in 1999 while living in Tulsa and buried in a then-vacant lot near 61st Street and Mingo Road. In 2012, the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office and the Tulsa Police

Department helped organize a search for Ashani’s remains based on a tip investigators received. “Providing our students with opportunities for real-world experience is something we pride ourselves on at OSU,” says Robert Allen, chair of forensic sciences at OSU-CHS. “We asked our students to volunteer, and they seized the opportunity to help.” Allen, forensic sciences assistant professor Ron Thrasher, 10 graduate students and 10 undergraduate students

from Stillwater and Tulsa volunteered for the search. They sifted through soil, searching for Ashani’s remains during several days in March and again in May. “We didn’t go into it thinking we would find anything. We were looking for a needle in a haystack,” Yoder says. “For the students, we went into it thinking about how we can give back to the community. It was also a chance to actually have some real-life experience in what we’ve been training to do.” Despite hundreds of hours sifting dirt in sometimes-sweltering temperatures, volunteers and authorities found no evidence of Ashani’s remains. In December, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett thanked volunteers at a special ceremony. “The experience was eye-opening for some of our students who had never experienced being in the field before,” Allen says. “Even though they ended up with blisters on their hands and dealt with extremely warm temperatures, these students were out there because there was a purpose. There was something worthwhile in the search.” Working with Experts The search was not the first for the OSU School of Forensic Sciences. In 2011, law enforcement asked the school to help search for remains at Oklahoma’s Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska after ranchers discovered bones. “The close relationship we have with the state medical examiner and the Tulsa Police Department as a result of both being located on our campus enables us to have interactions that otherwise wouldn’t be possible,” Allen says. “We are one of only two universities in the nation that house an active law enforcement crime lab on campus. That proximity is invaluable in making professional connections for our students.” The forensic sciences program offers training for advanced careers in crime scene investigation, forensic chemistry and toxicology, forensic psychology and DNA analysis. The program takes about two years to complete. “The students and faculty in the School of Forensic Sciences at OSU-CHS are energized by the program and the skills they develop while working with experts,”

says Howard Barnett, president of OSU-Tulsa and OSU-CHS. “We are training the next generation of scientists, researchers and law enforcement professionals for high-tech careers investigating crimes and contributing to a safer communities across the nation.” Thrasher, who — Howard Barnett, teaches an advanced president of OSU-Tulsa criminalistics course, and OSU-CHS brings in working professionals each week to lecture and help students process staged crime scenes. Students work with experts on topics ranging from blood spatter and firearms to environmental issues and death from Sri Lanka to Tulsa for training on scene investigations. DNA forensics. “The course provides some wonder“No one in Sri Lanka had ever had that ful interaction between our students and type of training before,” professor Robert these experts,” Thrasher says. “Students Allen says. “OSU trained the first scientists get on their hands and knees, utilizing all in that nation to begin utilizing DNA techof their senses, while they’re exploring nology. The program was so successful that a mock crime scene. It provides them a we’re doing it again this summer.” real edge when they go out and interview Allen says that projects happening at for jobs because they have this type of the school fit well with the overall landexperience.” grant mission of the university. The course culminates with a moot “The culture of OSU is alive and well court experience that offers OSU forensic here in the School of Forensic Sciences,” sciences students courtroom experiAllen says. “We have a graduate program ence with graduating University of Tulsa that is thinking outside the box, is wellCollege of Law students under the direcequipped with state-of-the-art technology tion of Tulsa County District Court Judge and provides our students with the opporRebecca Nightingale. tunities for research that other programs The interaction with a wide range of just cannot offer.” law enforcement professionals attracts For Yoder, that means lots of practical applicants such as Lindsey Allen, who experience that she will utilize when she also works as a research associate for an begins looking for a job. OSU-CHS associate professor. “The OSU program really diversifies “I really appreciate that all of the you as an employee and helps you get a professors have experience in the field foot in the door through our many partand can pass that along to the students,” nerships and programs,” says Yoder, who she says. “Getting to have access to these plans to be a DNA analyst. “Being able to experts is what has really drawn me to be out in the field will only help us in the the program.” long run.” Land-Grant Mission S EAN K ENNE DY As the demand for trained forensic professionals grows, the school is expanding partnerships and training opportunities. In June 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice brought a group of scientists

“We are training the next generation of scientists, researchers and law enforcement professionals.”


Descendants of Ward Merrick Sr. discuss the family’s legacy of philanthropy through the Merrick Foundation. The organization’s trustees include family and others committed to improving Oklahomans’ quality of life and health.

‘Moving the Needle’ Toward a Healthier Oklahoma

Merrick Foundation’s grants empower OSU to try new approaches.

As an organization with a mission to improve Oklahomans’ quality of life and health, the Merrick Foundation certainly noticed when the state was ranked 49th on a 2007 national health survey. “We were tired of Oklahoma being at the very bottom for health,” says Frank Merrick, a 1978 OSU marketing graduate and Merrick Foundation trustee. “We can do better.” To help, the Merrick Foundation gave OSU $450,000 over five years to support four areas: nutrition, exercise, tobacco secession, and drug and alcohol awareness. Today, OSU funds several programs that began with the “Moving the Needle” grant. “OSU is on the fast track to realizing our goal of becoming America’s healthiest


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campus in large part due to the generosity and vision of the Merrick Foundation,” says Lee Bird, vice president for student affairs. “Its generosity allowed us to conceptualize, implement and evaluate a series of new initiatives.” The university’s focus on health yields significant results. The Colvin Recreation Center and the Seretean Wellness Center’s programs and facilities attract more than 800,000 participants each year. In 2012, more than 2,000 faculty and staff members participated; greater than 70 percent of students took part. Exercise-focused initiatives supported by the Merrick Foundation boost the numbers with programs such as Cowboys on the Move, Biggest User and Humans vs. Zombies. The Healthy Dining Initiative

educates students through interactive learning and nutrition classes on a proper diet. The Merrick Foundation also partially funds Alcohol Edu, which teaches incoming freshmen about the dangers of alcohol abuse. The grant also helps promote Breathe Easy, OSU’s tobacco-free campaign. The Merrick Foundation has given nearly $1 million to the OSU Foundation since 1967. One highlight is the university’s first on-campus drug and alcohol counselor, whose salary was initially funded by a Merrick Foundation grant. The organization’s generosity has also helped OSU secure financial support from other sources such as the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.

Photos / Greg Quinn

Established in 1948, the Merrick Foundation’s legacy of improving the quality of Oklahomans’ life and health has continued thanks to former and current trustees, including these four descendants. From left — with their relationship to founder Ward Merrick — are Will Merrick, great-grandson; Elizabeth Coe, daughter; Frank Merrick, grandson; and Rick Coe, grandson. “Oklahoma State University is honored to partner with the Merrick Foundation to provide a variety of health and wellness programs to the OSU campus,” says First Cowgirl Ann Hargis. “With its support, we are one step closer to our goal of becoming America’s healthiest campus. This valuable partnership not only creates a healthier campus, but also creates a healthier community and a healthier Oklahoma.”

Established in 1948 by Ward S. Merrick Sr., the Merrick Foundation strives to promote a healthier Oklahoma through research, education and awareness, and by supporting charitable organizations and philanthropies. It began with a $400,000 endowment, which has grown to as large as $15 million. In recent years, it has averaged 25 yearly grants totaling $400,000 to $600,000. Continuing Ward Merrick’s vision after his death is a family commitment. His daughter, Elizabeth Coe, says the foundation has helped keep the extended family close by uniting them in philanthropy. She remembers when her father established the organization, of which she is a lifetime trustee. “Of course, we discussed things like this when I was growing up,” Coe says. “It’s a legacy that was passed down to us.” Frank Merrick says Coe, his aunt, has set a philanthropic example for the entire family. “Every one of us will tell you that we have been more blessed by the Merrick Foundation than had we inherited the money ourselves,” he says. “Every single member of our family will tell you that.” Coe describes the foundation as “venture capitalists in philanthropy,” and says the organization effects change

with its flexible financial support to encourage innovation in addressing problems. “We are the most risky funders because it can fail completely,” she says. “We rate success by whether a program continues after our funding stops.” Rick Coe, her son and fellow trustee, says they believe in a hands-off approach to empowering organizations such as OSU. “You have a wish list and maybe a direction you’ve wanted to go for years, but you’ve never been able to,” he says. “Maybe you didn’t have the resources. Now you have some resources. Go do your thing. We’ve done our thing, which is giving. Now go do your thing.” Director of University Health Services Stephen Rogers says that attitude allowed OSU the freedom to try new things. The failures were worth trying, and the successes have continued as part of the university’s regular practices and budget. “It has allowed us to bring out the best in a lot of people,” Rogers says. “This is a chance to be supported in being creative and innovative. It’s the opportunity to do some things we wouldn’t have otherwise.” From 2007 to 2012, the percentage of nonsmokers on campus has increased from 81 percent to 89 percent. From 2010 to 2011, the number of incoming freshmen who self-reported high-risk drinking fell 5 percentage points and nondrinkers increased 7 percentage points. OSU and the Merrick Foundation are helping Oklahomans get healthier. Oklahoma is up six spots since 2007 in the United Health Foundation rankings. In 2012, Oklahoma was 43rd overall. “We have been amazed with the success of our gift as it has been a catalyst for other gifts and the outcome measures are truly amazing,” says Will Merrick. “We are making serious progress in helping OSU become America’s healthiest campus. The Merrick Foundation plans to continue its support of OSU for years to come.” BETT Y THOMPSON

Visit to watch a video of Ann Hargis discussing health at OSU.


Company’s Donation Moves FAPC Forward Ralph’s Packing Co. assists OSU center.


he Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center is living high on the hog after the recent donation of a state-ofthe-art hog scalder and dehairer to its meat pilot plant. Jake Nelson, FAPC value-added meat processing specialist, says the equipment removes the hair from pork carcasses. “This step is important for a number of reasons, but primarily because pork carcass dehairing is the traditional and accepted method of dressing pork carcasses,” Nelson says. Gary Crane, owner of Perkins, Okla., based Ralph’s Packing Co., donated the $27,900 machine. Ralph’s Packing is no stranger to the FAPC. The organizations have worked together since the 1997 inception of the center. Crane is a member of FAPC’s Industry Advisory Committee. For more than 50 years, Ralph’s Packing has sold and processed fresh meat products. It has recently turned its focus to creating highquality, fully cooked products. “We processed beef and pork at our plant, but after thinking about it for a long time, I came to the decision last spring to stop harvesting and focus on further processing,” Crane says. “So, in July we ceased all harvest operations.” Crane, who had always received his pork from the Oklahoma State University swine farm, says there is still a demand for OSU-raised pork.


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“I was getting great pork from the OSU swine farm,” Crane says. “The swine farm has a good line of hogs, and I had customers who wanted OSU pork.” To meet his customers’ needs, Crane worked out a deal with Kyle Flynn, FAPC meat pilot plant manager. “Kyle would harvest hogs for me each week, and we would transport them to our facility for further processing,” Crane says. “However, it wasn’t long before Kyle told me the plant’s equipment was old and wearing out and wasn’t sure how much longer we could keep this going.” Crane came up with the idea to donate a new machine to FAPC.

“FAPC teaches students the process of taking a product from the start … all the way to the finished product.” — Gary Crane


Ralph’s Packing Co. owner Gary Crane with the hog scalder and dehairer his company donated to the FAPC.

“We came to the conclusion that if FAPC had a new machine, we could keep harvesting hogs,” Crane says. “So, I ordered the machine, had it delivered to FAPC, and I am still getting my hogs. It all just fell into place.” Nelson says the previous machine was purchased in the 1980s, and although it was a tough machine, it was time to upgrade. “The old machine was really starting to show signs of its age and use, and it often required moderate to heavy maintenance to function properly for our needs,” Nelson says.

Nelson says the new machine has electronically timed controls that allow users to pre-program the water-heating function. “Previously, employees were required to be present at very early hours of the morning to pre-heat the water,” Nelson says. “With the new machine, we can program the heating function to start automatically.” Flynn says the equipment has many safety benefits. A protective lid opens and closes using pneumatic power, and the machine automatically conveys the carcass onto a scraping platform. The old machine was manually operated. “These features were not incorporated in our previous machine, so these new additions are great for preventing potential safety hazards during processing,” Flynn says. Crane says the scalder and dehairer will serve as a valuable educational tool for students. “FAPC teaches students the process of taking a product from the start, beginning with the live animal, all the way to the finished product,” Crane says. “This piece of equipment will help FAPC and the OSU swine farm to continue conducting research and keep the line of education going for students interested in this area.” Chuck Willoughby, FAPC business and marketing relations manager, says the support of companies benefits the center in many ways. “Equipment donations can be very beneficial to the FAPC,” Willoughby says. “The budget woes in recent years have forced us to learn how to do more with less. However, you must have a certain level of resources to be effective. Donations, whether cash or in-kind, help provide the resources so we can effectively fulfill the mission of FAPC.” It can be challenging to purchase large or expensive equipment, so donations are always well received and appreciated, Willoughby says. “We are grateful for Gary Crane’s generosity.” R E B E C CA B A I L E Y


Providing for Future Generations Thomas, Pauline and Barbara Miller Endowment Fund helps students succeed.


homas and Pauline Miller worked hard their whole lives. They met and fell in love at Oklahoma State University in the early 1930s, graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in 1935 and made their life in Elk City, Okla. Tom worked tirelessly as a farmer, and Polly taught home economics at the local high school. Lupus claimed the life of their only daughter, Barbara Kay Williams, in the 1970s, though the couple never allowed themselves to become victims, says their niece, Karen Towles. It was Williams’ death and her estate that began the Millers’ journey to donate funds to OSU. “They had books going back where they wrote down every cent they spent, and when times were better, every nickel. And here they had $3 million to give away,” says Towles, who once helped a 70-year-old Polly asphalt her driveway. “They’re a testament to living thrifty, hard work and giving things away.” OSU Alumni Association President Larry Shell helped the Millers establish the Thomas, Pauline and Barbara Miller Endowment Fund in the late 1980s while he was a development officer at the OSU Foundation. The fund today provides $10,000 scholarships annually for Elk City High School graduates who study in the College of Human Sciences or the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, where Polly and Tom earned their degrees. Two scholarships are awarded each year to incoming freshmen and can be renewed through graduation. Additionally, money is provided to both colleges for student development projects. Some

Corbin Hall is on track to graduate with no debt due in large part to the Thomas, Pauline and Barbara Miller Endowment Fund. Photo / greg quinn


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Pauline Beveridge Miller Photo / 1935 Redskin

responsibility — that I needed to uphold the Millers’ trust.” Elk City High School college and career counselor DeAnne Bell says the Millers’ scholarships offer students a wonderful opportunity to go to Oklahoma State and earn a degree. “It’s a godsend for the students who are awarded this scholarship,” she says. “For some, it has given them the opportunity to go and reach goals they may not have seen as attainable.” For Oklahoma State agriculture senior Corbin Hall, the scholarship became a bright spot during one of the darkest seasons of his life. His father died in a car accident at the beginning of Hall’s sophomore year. He felt a need to quit school to help support his mother and two younger siblings. The scholarship was one of the key reasons he returned to Stillwater a couple of weeks later. “The scholarship, I feel, was a blessing in disguise. No one can predict what can happen in the future with your family,” he says. Back at school, he found solace with friends he made while working with the video production crew for the football team. “Without the scholarship, I don’t think my mom could have afforded to pay for me and my little brother to go to college,” he says. Hall, who expects to graduate debtfree in December, has continued to work to alleviate any further financial burden on his family. “It’s indescribable how fortunate I really am,” he says. He stays in contact with a couple of his fellow Miller scholarship recipients and has helped them navigate courses and OSU in general. They also talk with each other about how lucky they feel to receive such an important gift from a family they never met. “We’ve all realized we were given something that no other person could receive. We all realize we have to take advantage of our opportunity,” Hall says. “When it comes to school, we cannot take it lightly. We all know we have to do right by the Millers and the scholarship and represent them the best way we can.”

Photo / 1935 Redskin

projects include student success center programs, faculty mentoring and advising development, international study scholarships and supplements for students with internships outside of Oklahoma. Shell, who was always treated to a home-cooked meal when visiting the Millers, says the two were emphatic that they wanted the scholarship to be significant. He calls the couple visionaries. “I was amazed when we first started talking,” Shell says. “I don’t know that I recognized at the time just how good of a view they had of the future. Tom was adamant, and he knew a $500 or $1,000 scholarship wouldn’t be meaningful in 15 to 20 years.” Over the years, the fund has been increased with oil and mineral rights and the Millers’ own estate after Tom died in 1993 at the age of 80 and Polly in 1998 at the age of 84. Towles, who serves on the scholarship selection committee representing the family, says her aunt and uncle were committed to providing the awards because they worked hard to earn their degrees from OSU. “Tom said he didn’t want anyone to have to work as hard as he did to get an education. He knew what a value it was to him,” she says. “And my aunt wanted everyone to get an education.” Joe McConnell was one of the first Elk City students to receive the scholarship when Polly began making awards shortly before her death. The scholarship, he says, was life changing. “She was a pretty special lady,” McConnell says. Through visits during school breaks he got to know her a bit, and her concern for others and sense of humor impressed him. The two always talked about school, and when McConnell told her he wanted to become a veterinarian, Polly said she’d help pay for that, too. “She passed away before I made it into vet school, but her family held up to what she promised,” says McConnell, who earned his Doctor in Veterinary Medicine from OSU in 2003. He now owns and operates his own practice, Circle M Animal Hospital, in Elk City. “I didn’t need extra drive, but the scholarship made me feel an extra sense of

Thomas Miller



Trippet Foundation Helps OSU Students Succeed Nonprofit funds up to 40 scholarships a year. photo provided


ive years ago, Lindsay Blan had little reason for optimism. The youngest of her four boys was born in the 27th week of pregnancy, leading to an open valve in his heart and a chronic lung disorder, among other medical problems. Blan was homeless and “had no idea how I was going to fix things to turn my life around,” she says. Her mother took in the family of five and encouraged Blan to go to college. There, Blan discovered a path to success beginning with her passion for helping others. It included time at Tulsa Community College and OSU as well as a scholarship from the Robert S. and Helen Grey Trippet Foundation. Today, Blan is applying to a graduate program in speech pathology while finishing her degree in communication sciences and disorders in speech-language pathology.


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Bob and Helen Grey Trippet

“Before receiving this scholarship, school was not a possibility for me,” Blan says. “This scholarship opened opportunities for me to seek higher education and is still allowing me to do so.” Blan is the type of success story the Trippets envisioned when they created their nonprofit organization. Each year, it awards freshman scholarships to 10 Tulsaarea natives attending OSU, the University of Oklahoma and Northeastern State University. Recipients can earn renewal for each of the next three years by attending

classes, avoiding disciplinary issues and maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA. “We’re here to provide scholarships to at least C students who want to get an education for four years,” says Robert Simpson, president of the foundation that was established in 1990. “Our scholarships are designed to cover all tuition, fees and books — everything except room and board — for up to four years.” But when a recipient fails to earn a renewal, that scholarship is vacant until that class graduates. So while there could

photo / greg quinn

be up to 40 recipients at any one time, it has never reached that number. “The reason for that is we’re trying to help the universities inspire these students to realize they are getting a pretty good deal,” Simpson says. “If a freshman quits, that leaves a void for all four years. That hurts everybody.” Simpson is the nephew of Helen Grey Trippet, who asked him to join the Trippet Foundation board after her husband died in 2000. At the time, the organization had limited assets and was providing one annual scholarship for a Bartlesville High School graduate. When she died in 2004, her estate helped the endowment grow from about $100,000 to about $6.8 million. Suddenly the foundation had the resources to make a major difference, and it has done so, totalling $1.88 million in scholarships and $475,000 in donations to local charities. Scholarship recipient Jennifer Gray will graduate from OSU next month with a multimedia journalism production degree and no student debt. “I feel so blessed that someone was willing to invest in my education and future,” Gray says. “This scholarship encourages me to be successful every day, and I hope one day I will be able to make the same difference in a student’s life.” She adds, “You hear so many stories about people that graduate with thousands and thousands of dollars in debt from student loans, and how it sort of hangs over their heads the rest of their lives until they can afford to pay it off. I feel so blessed that I didn’t have to go through school afraid for my future.” The foundation started awarding scholarships to OSU students in 2006. Simpson says the five directors have been pleased with the results. One highlight was last spring, when the OSU Foundation hosted a lunch for the directors and recipients. “It happened with very short notice, but most of our OSU recipients were able to make it,” Simpson says. “It was the

Jennifer Gray photo / greg quinn

first time several of us had ever seen the campus, and it was very impressive.” Barbara Kelley, the Trippet Foundation’s secretary and treasurer as well as a director, agrees. “Everyone we encountered at OSU was just so friendly,” she adds. “All of the students, including the ones who gave us a tour, were just great.” Along with scholarships, the Trippet Foundation recognizes the semester’s outstanding student from each institution. Both Blan and Gray have received this $250 bonus. It was another unexpected blessing for Blan, who has come a long way in the 10 years since she was seven months’ pregnant with her first son while graduating from Mannford High School. “I never knew that I had options to further my education, so I worked wherever I was able to and always wished I could do something more,” Blan says. “One of my jobs was waiting tables at a Denny’s, where I longingly watched college students study for hours. All I wanted was to have the opportunity to be one of them.” Blan and Gray have worked hard to succeed. Stories like theirs are why the five Trippet Foundation directors — Simpson, Kelley, Bill Rea, Bill Moore and Cory Simpson — meet every month to maximize the organization’s impact. “We put a lot of work into the foundation, but it’s really worth it when you get letters from the recipients,” Kelley says. “You can tell that they are really appreciative of the scholarship.” B RITTA N IE DO U G L A S A N D JAC O B LO N G A N

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Living the Dream R After growing up in hard times, OSU alumnus Roger Cagle fulfills lofty aspirations.

oger Cagle’s dream was to one day live on the water. But as a teenager growing up in Heavener, Okla., his dream location wasn’t Wister Lake, a favorite fishing spot for outdoorsmen near the Ouachita Mountains in the southeastern part of the state. Instead, he caught himself daydreaming of the beaches and the crystal-clear water of Florida’s coast during the 100 degree-plus Oklahoma summers. Cagle, however, had no idea how he would ever reach his salt-watery dream from Heavener. Far from a glamorous life, the fortunate people in southeastern Oklahoma during the 1950s and ’60s worked for Kansas City Southern Railroad. And Cagle’s family was not part of that fortunate class. “My dad was one of the unfortunate few who didn’t work on the railroad,” says Cagle, the youngest of Elmer and Ruth Cagle’s eight children. Life was hard in the Cagle household. Elmer Cagle had a fourth-grade education and did his best to keep food on the table until he died while Roger was in high school. Ruth Cagle went to school through the sixth grade, but she had to quit after her mother died. She became the woman of the house and looked after her siblings and cooked for the boarders who worked in the local sawmill. After her husband died, she made a living ironing clothes, babysitting and cleaning homes. To fight for survival, the Cagles enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s commodities programs. “We were basically on welfare,” Roger Cagle says. “I remember having the embarrassment or shame of having to go with my mother to pick up what we could to live on. My mom and I would go down once a month when they handed out these big jars of peanut butter, flour, all the necessities of cooking.”


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Ruth Cagle saw better days in her youngest son’s future. “My father didn’t really care if you quit school and went to work but my mom was always saying, ‘Get out of this. ... Make your grades and go to college, so you can get out of this,’” Roger Cagle says. He took his mother’s advice and eventually fulfilled his dream of living on the water. Along with his wife Cindy and her parents, he sailed from one ocean to the next for several years. They boarded a 60-foot yacht in January 1991 and spent most of the next three years at sea.

Getting an Education

Cagle says the time at sea, and many of his other accomplishments, wouldn’t have been possible without his OSU education. The Heavener High School 1965 valedictorian chose OSU over the University of Oklahoma and the University of Arkansas after receiving academic scholarship offers from each. What takes most students four to five years to accomplish took Cagle a little longer because of some “distractions.” He quit going to class as a sophomore and withdrew from school before joining the Marines during the Vietnam War. The G.I. Bill gave him the opportunity

Roger and Cindy Cagle at the ceremony inside the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center

to return to college after two years serving his country, and he planned to attend either Rice University or Colorado State University. His plan again got derailed, and he went to work in construction for his brother-in-law. “We were building a dam near DeQueen, Ark., in what had to be one of the hottest summers of my life, and I quickly decided there had to be a better way to make a living,” Cagle says. He lived at home for a few semesters while attending Carl Albert Junior College in Poteau, Okla. He then re-enrolled at OSU.






Going Exploring

It didn’t take long for the 28-year-old ex-Marine to find employment. Cagle had numerous job offers. He selected Exxon USA, where he worked closely with Ed Story, the company’s controller. It was the beginning of a working relationship that is still going strong nearly 40 years later. After three years together at Exxon, Cagle and Story moved to Superior Oil Co. They stayed only a few years before forming their own independent oil and gas company, Conquest Exploration Co. On holidays, Roger and Cindy Cagle often visited her parents aboard their yacht in the Caribbean. “I told her dad that they should sail around the world, and he said they would if we would come with them because they couldn’t do it by themselves,” Cagle says. “Our answer was, ‘We can’t do that because we have our careers to manage.’” Little did they know that within a few months, American Exploration would make an offer for Conquest Exploration. When the acquisition was complete, the Cagles got their chance to live on the water.

But Story again called the Cagles and said company executives wanted to go public, and Story wanted their help. “I told him he was nuts,” Roger Cagle says. “I’m sitting down in the Caribbean; I’ve only got the shorts I’m wearing and a couple of swimsuits, so why would I want to do that?” Within a few weeks, the Cagles were on a flight to London, where they oversaw the initial public offering for SOCO International. The oil and gas exploration and production company’s IPO took from January to May 1997 to complete. At the time, it was one of the quickest completed full listings on the London Stock Exchange. The Cagles have called London home since, and the couple has been instrumental in the company’s growth to record revenues in 2012. Story is SOCO’s president and chief executive officer, Roger Cagle is executive vice president, deputy CEO and chief financial officer, and Cindy Cagle is vice president of finance and was recently named to the board of directors. Capturing his dreams would have been impossible without his OSU education, says Roger Cagle, 65, who was inducted in the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in November. “I think the university doesn’t teach you how to do something; it teaches you how to figure out how to do something,” he says. “I think my OSU education gave me the background to be a thinker, and to work through problems. “I often tell people that almost anybody can walk into a situation when everything is going perfectly and do well, but the people who learn to think and are capable of succeeding beyond the norm, whatever that might be, and deal with conflict are the difference-makers in life. In my mind, the ability to successfully deal with conflicts separates the people who are ultimately winners and losers.”


“In a period of about four weeks, we sold everything we owned and stuffed everything we needed into two militarystyle duffle bags and joined the boat in Panama,” he says. “We spent the better part of the next three years sailing the South Pacific.”


After trying engineering his first time at OSU because someone suggested he would be good at it, this time he followed his curiosity and pursued other interests. He tried journalism and political science before finding his niche in the College of Business. “It was really a good time. I enjoyed school so much that I went year-round, even though I had to work to support myself and my family,” Cagle says. “Being older, I had a different experience than most of the students and got to build relationships with many of the professors.” Cagle had more than 260 credit hours when he graduated in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He would add his MBA two years later. “I tell people that if the G.I. Bill hadn’t run out, I’d still probably be taking classes and enjoying Stillwater,” he says.








Roger Cagle speaks during a Nov. 16 banquet at which he was inducted into the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame.

People had two opinions about the Cagles’ journey. “One was that we were crazy because they believed we’d be unemployable when we decided to return to work, and that we were jettisoning our careers,” he says. “Other people said it was the greatest thing in the world, and they wished they had the guts to do it. We stayed in touch with those people as we were sailing to these far-flung places all around the world.” One person they kept in touch with was Ed Story, who had formed another international oil and gas exploration company and needed someone to head a Russian project. The Cagles were anxious to get back to work and did so as independent contractors for a few years before again heading back to the yacht to enjoy a leisurely lifestyle.

Terry Tush


Written in Brick

Couple’s love is forever marked on campus.


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Two OSU sweethearts have had their wedding proposal engraved on a brick paver. Colter Keith, a 2012 construction management graduate, wanted a unique way to ask his girlfriend, Kara Cook, a health promotion and education senior, to spend the rest of her life with him. With the click of a button, Keith found his idea. He purchased a brick paver at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center and had it engraved, “Kara, will you marry me?” “I saw the emails from the Alumni Association after I graduated and got the idea from that,” Keith says. “We both love OSU and since it’s where we met, I thought it would be cool to have something that will always be there.” Keith and Cook met in the fall of 2009 and currently live in Dallas. Keith accepted a job there after graduating, and Cook is doing an internship until she graduates in May. “We met through mutual friends,” Keith says. “She’s my best friend. We have every hobby in common.” Keith planned out the proposal months in advance with a little help from a friend. “I had a friend still going to school at OSU go look and tell me exactly where it was,” Keith says. Keith and Cook traveled to Stillwater during the weekend of the football game against TCU. On Oct. 26, Keith asked Cook to go with him to look for a brick. “I told her my parents bought me one for graduation and that we could look for it,” Keith says. “When I saw it, I guided her to one side and stepped on the brick so she couldn’t see it. When she was looking, I stepped back and kneeled on one knee and asked her.” “At first I was shocked, but then it hit me, and I began to cry,” Cook says. “We looked at rings in August, but I had no clue he bought the ring that day.” Keith’s question to his fiancée will remain engraved in the 2010–2019 section of bricks at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. Cook says Keith didn’t seem nervous at all, and the proposal was more than she could have ever imagined. “He played off the surprise very well,” Cook says. “I’m excited to begin our life together and become a family. He means everything to me.” “Everyone thought it was pretty unique and a good idea,” Keith says. “A lot of the girls like it because they know it will stay there forever.” Keith and his soon-to-be wife will tie the knot on Oct. 19 — the same day as OSU’s 2013 Homecoming. “He is a supportive, genuine and loving person,” Cook says. “He always makes me feel special.” photos provided

Newly engaged couple Colter Keith and Kara Cook embrace after she said yes to his marriage proposal engraved on an Alumni Center brick paver.

K R I S T E N M c C O N N AU G H E Y

For more information about the Alumni Center brick paver program, visit


Coming into Focus Postal Plaza Gallery welcomes director as construction surpasses halfway mark. The Oklahoma State University Museum of Art is an ongoing project that encompasses the existing Gardiner Gallery and the renovated Postal Plaza Gallery — scheduled to open in fall 2013 — with a future goal that includes a potential on-campus museum. Aligning with the vision of Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis and the university, the OSU Museum of Art provides spaces for student learning, faculty research and community outreach in Stillwater and the surrounding areas, raising awareness for the visual arts and increasing cultural opportunities.

Oklahoma State University is revealing its vision for the Museum of Art in full color. The museum recently welcomed a new director and will work to expand the university’s art collection as construction continues at the Postal Plaza Gallery in downtown Stillwater. Victoria Rowe Berry was appointed as the first director of the OSU Museum of Art in January. Previously at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University, Berry says Oklahoma State offers a unique opportunity to be a part of a monumental project. She has already felt the ripple of excitement the Museum is sending through the community. With more than a decade’s worth of curatorial and museum knowledge, Berry comes to Oklahoma State eager to craft exhibitions and outreach programs that will foster learning, research and community involvement. She sees the potential for each of these elements in the Postal Plaza Gallery — soon to house the university’s permanent art collection. “I’m already thinking of the Postal Plaza as a museum versus a gallery,” Berry says. “Operating as a museum, to me, means a full-service opportunity for students and the community to have an engaging and meaningful experience.”


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The Postal Plaza Gallery will give the university and museum staff the ability to educate and stimulate all ages with the more than 2,000 pieces in the permanent art collection. The space will also give visitors a glimpse into the inner workings of an art museum through the use of glass walls and exposed areas of the original building, a technique called visible storage. OSU Curator of Collections Louise Siddons works with the collection on a daily basis and has seen it nearly triple in size since the Museum project’s announcement in December 2011. OSU alumni and friends have increasingly shown their generosity through charitable gifts and donations of art over the past two years. Berry says she has been approached by several people expressing their support for the museum and asking about the status of the Postal Plaza. Renovations are more than halfway complete with main utilities and heating, ventilation and air condintioning equipment being installed to maintain the integrity of the gallery. The Postal Plaza’s display and storage standards are designed to meet and exceed national requirements, an important step toward American Alliance of Museums accreditation. Although the accreditation process takes several years, it will enable the



OSU Museum of Art to have access to the highest level of traveling exhibitions and share art with other museums across the country. To qualify for accreditation, the gallery must have humidity and climate control, high-level security, appropriate storage, exhibition conditions and meet other requirements.

“It’s about how art as a common language allows us to connect in different ways. It’s about understanding the creative impulse and seeing the world through the artist’s eyes,” Berry says.

The Museum of Art will unify the Postal Plaza and the existing Gardiner Gallery located on OSU’s main campus. Both galleries will work in tandem to connect university departments and the community through exhibitions and programming once the downtown gallery is complete. Offering more than 14,000 square feet to display and store the collection, the Postal Plaza Gallery will perpetually be used as an educational and research tool throughout all OSU departments and will become an essential member of the cultural community in Oklahoma. Berry says the Postal Plaza Gallery will help the understanding of visual history and encourage people to appreciate the artistic connection found in all aspects of life. Many people find a disconnect between what they consider traditional art and what they experience on a daily basis through videos and graphics prominent on social media. She says the overarching nature of the museum will emphasize the importance of this visual literacy.

Preserving the 1930s Postal Plaza also demonstrates the artistic value of the structure itself. The building’s location and history in Stillwater offer a unique link between the university and the city. “The outside is like it was decades ago, and it’s a very beautiful building,” says Mike Buchert, OSU director of long-range facility planning. “To keep the gallery in downtown is a great asset to the university and the community for many years to come.” The OSU Museum of Art is scheduled to celebrate the opening of the Postal Plaza Gallery in fall 2013 with a series of yearlong exhibitions and events in conjunction with the Gardiner Art Gallery. CHELSEA TWIETMEYER

For more information about the Museum of Art and the progress of the Postal Plaza Gallery, visit You can also watch a video of President Burns Hargis speaking about the Postal Plaza Gallery at











It Pays to be a Member... Even as a Student! The OSU Alumni Association is proud to offer current students the opportunity to show their lifetime commitment to OSU with our Student Life Membership! The program gives current students the opportunity to purchase a lifetime membership in the Alumni Association for $600, providing a savings of $400 from the alumni rate. All students currently enrolled are eligible. Learn more and enroll online at studentlife !

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Colin Price and his team are between classes on zombie search-anddestroy missions, biding time before their night activities. The night before, they ran all over the OSU campus trying to find food and water and turn on generators. Price’s team — with Ponca City sophomore Dillon Horinek, Tulsa freshman Ian Riley and Edmond freshman Thomas Wiskofske — has bagged nine zombies this afternoon. Price, a Tulsa freshman, has two. They head west from the Spears School of Business toward the Library Lawn. “Right now, a lot of zombies are out just trying to capture humans on the way to class,” Riley says. “And people like me and Thomas, we’re done with class, so we’re just kind of walking around, grabbing zombies, so that way they don’t get people. We kind of form a protective squad that roams.” As the team gets closer to the Classroom Building, a zombie student springs toward them. Everyone runs, trying to escape while shooting darts at the undead. The zombie is struck and stunned, but Wiskofske is bitten. “Yeah, he got me before I could him,” he cringes. photos / phil shockley


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“He’s a bitten human,” Horinek explains. “He’s going through the transformation at this point.” Abandoning their friend as he turns undead, the team members spot a huge zombie pack on the lawn, spoiling for a fight. The humans steer clear of the zombie hoard. “That’s how zombies get people — in massive packs,” Riley says. “It gets pretty crazy.”

Internet Zombies The scene was part of a national trend sweeping college campuses, Humans vs. Zombies, in which students divide up into teams of infected — the zombies — and humans who are fighting for survival. “It’s more in-depth than people realize,” says Price, a player in the game at OSU last November. A group of friends started the games at Goucher College, a small, private, liberal arts school in Baltimore. The friends later started a company, Gnarwhal Studios, which makes so-called social games. Humans vs. Zombies spread over social networking sites to more than 650 colleges, schools, military bases, camps and other places in 2012, according to the company. Players connect online, set up their own games and keep score, while providing updates to storylines and rules. The company’s web forum at had more than 34,000 members in December. It’s free to play.

Making it Safe

A crowd gathers at the Student Union as organizers of Humans vs. Zombies explain the rules and the apocalyptic game scenario: A test subject has escaped from a secret government lab, spreading a zombie disease and causing society’s collapse.

Putting the event on requires coordination with OSU’s campus police, who were keen to allow the contest but were concerned about safety. “All we do is give them input on how to keep it safe,” says Lt. Leon Jones, who has worked with the students for each of the games. “They’ve been real good about taking all that input.” Game administrators told the police what their rules were (no violence, no profane language, no disrupting classes, etc.). Jones gave them some other directions to follow, such as staying out of campus streets and parking lots.

Still, there are a few injuries in every game, says Eric Duesler, one of the OSU game’s administrators. Last semester, someone dislocated a toe, and another person cut his foot jumping over some chains next to a walkway, Duesler says. Jones says he has been impressed with the group’s organization and commitment to safety. “They were pretty good,” Jones says. “They had everything lined out real well. It wasn’t like we had to do a lot of changes or anything. … It was pretty cool. The idea, it seemed like, went off real well.” Shift officers working overnight knew about the group’s missions and what to expect. They worked with players to

add bright tape to their Nerf weapons so police wouldn’t mistake them for real weapons. If a human hits a zombie with a foam dart, the zombie is “stunned” and left to reflect for 15 minutes before re-entering the fray. The zombie students can’t use weapons, but tagging a human turns that person into a zombie for the rest of the game. Even though the game has its macabre side, the students take pains to make it as nonviolent as it can be. “We try not to use the word ‘kill,’ ” Riley says. “We use the word ‘stun.’ ” “We don’t use ‘gun,’ ” Horinek says. “We use ‘blaster.’ Words like ‘gun’ have a negative connotation.” Even when a human gets “bitten” and is “infected” by a zombie, Riley says they don’t say the zombie killed him — the human was “tagged.” The humans communicate via cellphones, walkie-talkies and social media. For example, a student who sees a group of zombies gathering in front of the library can contact other teams to converge on the area. “It gets pretty entertaining as far as that goes,” Riley says. “It’s definitely interactive.”



A group of students try to ward off a zombie attack.

A zombie hunter takes aim and fires outside the Edmon Low Library as part of the Humans vs. Zombies game.

photos / Gary Lawson


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Go to to watch an OStateTV video on the Humans vs. Zombies game. For more information, stagger to

The Game Begins Some students wear camouflage or armor. Others have worn suits intended to make the wearer look like a mass of vegetation. Arguments sometimes break out over who got whom. “I had a lot of fun the first semester,” says Duesler, from Miami, Okla., who started his love affair with the game its first year on OSU’s campus in 2009. He found out about it from a friend in marching band with him. He liked it so much that he became one of its administrators for 2012. There were around 640 registered users for the OSU games in November, Duesler says. About 400 picked up their bands noting they’re players in the game. Zombies wear green bandanas around their heads, and humans wear them around their arms. The game’s scenario: A year ago, a government test subject escaped from a secret lab and started spreading a disease that created the zombies. Since then, infrastructure and society have collapsed. A group of humans on campus decides to take a stand for humanity and fortify the campus.

Duesler and the other game administrators wrote missions for players to explore campus, find and repair generators (really just hidden glow sticks), locate weapons, food and medical equipment. The missions mostly take place at night. A few involve leaving packages around campus. The humans, armed with weapons that shoot foam darts, move in groups all over campus hunting zombies who are in turn hunting them. Each year it culminates in a massive battle that usually ends up with the humans nearly wiped out, game players say. True to the zombie movies like Night of the Living Dead and 28 Days Later, the odds are pretty stacked against the humans. The students who play it say they love the game and look forward to each new series and storylines. The endings are kept secret from outsiders and the game’s players until its conclusion. “We may switch it to just once a year,” Duesler says, “just to give Campus Life and the police a break from us.”




A Homeland’s Conflict An OSU student tells of war in Mali and his imprisonment.

Assoumane Maiga was just trying to help his fellow Malians. The agricultural communications doctoral student didn’t plan on his government, a democracy since 1992, imprisoning him for it. Simmering tensions between Mali and minority desert nomads of the north, the Tuaregs, boiled over in 2012. Al-Qaida joined in, and a war led to the Malian military’s defeat, a coup that toppled the government and Islamists creating their own Sharia law-governed state in the north. Maiga’s extended family was marooned in occupied Timbuktu. Between finishing his master’s degree and starting a doctoral program at OSU, he went home to the landlocked country in west Africa to try to get humanitarian aid to his family and others. He was arrested during a roundup of coup critics. Maiga returned to the U.S. in August. His wife, 15-year-old son, 11-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son remain in Mali’s capital, Bamako. STATE writer Matt Elliott spoke with Maiga.

Assoumane Maiga rides a camel in the Timbuktu area. He hopes his countrymen can put aside ethnic divisions and move toward reuniting and recovering from the war.

Photo provided


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What was it like to grow up in Timbuktu?

It’s called the door of the Sahara. There is a saying here in the U.S., going to Timbuktu means going to nowhere. But it was a center of trans-Saharan trade. Scholars traveled there to attend the University of Sankoré. As children, we learned Arabic and read the Koran. We went to modern schools and had to learn our family’s trade. Each big family has its own, like carpentry or jewelry. When did you come to the United States?

I went to school in the capital city, Bamako. I studied English, was an English teacher and worked in development for NGOs. I came to OSU for a time in 2007 to study in agricultural communication through the U.S. State Department. I returned in 2009 with a Fulbright scholarship and started on my master’s in agricultural communication. I finished in 2011, went back home and also applied for the Ph.D. program. When I came back home, it coincided with the conflict. What happened when you returned to Mali?

The Malian army was defeated but overthrew the democratically elected president and suspended the constitution. That was March 22, 2012. I was there. It created confusion in the capital. Islamic groups, the MNLA (the Tuareg group fighting to establish its own state) and others conquered the major cities of Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal and others. In Bamako, which was still free, politicians were arrested. Journalists were arrested. You made two trips with doctors and supplies to the occupied north area in April and another in May. What did you see?

I saw the city controlled by different people who could not speak my language. I needed a translator. They didn’t know anything about our history. But the Tuaregs weren’t as severe as the Islamists with whom they were working, right?

Ph ot o

Some of them weren’t. There were internationals, too. They were from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chad, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia. Some Tuaregs and some Arabs. They were destroying shrines and mausoleums and implementing Shariah law. They were chopping people’s hands and feet. They were whipping people. They were stoning couples to death. ... It was the Middle Ages.

are talking about.” They didn’t listen to me. They threatened me with death. They said I betrayed the country. They saw my OSU student ID. My Stillwater National Bank card. My Visa card. They told me I looked like a spy. You were held for four days in a cell. What were the conditions like?

They kept me in a dark room with people who used to steal and kill. The first night, I was one of five people in a cell that was only three square meters (about 32 square feet). There was a toilet there, but it was not clean. Can you imagine how devastating that was? You study in the U.S., you go back home to support your country, you have the opportunity to help people, and someone arrests you. I had no idea what they were going to do. But my arrest was not what was important to me. What was important to me was the people. Tell me about your release.

They told me to write a statement that I was not involved in anything. They took me to the head of the gendarmerie where I was held, and he said, “Oh, Mr. Maiga, I’m very sorry. Everything we were told about you was not true.” I left and continued with my humanitarian work. Unfortunately, I kept receiving anonymous threats on my cell phone. What were they saying?

“You’d better be careful.” Things like that. “You have to control what you are saying.” Someone would call and say, “Come and meet us at this place and time.” Or they’d act as if they knew me. I was being followed. I contacted my Ph.D. program at OSU and decided I could best serve the country by being in the U.S. That way, I could speak about the situation. Today, we are very happy because Timbuktu is free. Gao is free. We have an interim president, the one who made the call to France and asked for their military help. But it is not finished because the Islamists ran away to the mountains. They still are a threat to the world. They are there and heavily armed. It’s like Afghanistan now. What happened to your family?

Everybody is OK. My brothers, sisters, cousins, sisters and relatives are still in Timbuktu. The roads are not open yet, but people still travel on the Niger River by boat to get there. I miss my wife and kids. I hope they can join me here one day.

n Law so / Ga ry

But the government, not the Islamists, arrested you after your second trip to Timbuktu. How did that happen?

I had been very critical of the military. The military came in three trucks to a meeting I held. They arrested me and took me to a headquarters. I said, “What’s the problem? I’m just trying to help my people.” They said, “It has been reported you are recruiting soldiers for an army, and you have guns. You have money. You have uniforms.” I said, “I don’t know what you guys




In Command

OSU alumnus Navy Cmdr. John Gearhart lives with his wife, OSU alumna Lanay Martinez Gearhart, left, in the Washington, D.C., area with their children, Grace, 9, and Aaron, 15. Their 18-year-old daughter, Anna, right, studies art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.


spring 2013

OSU alumnus talks about taking the helm of a nuclear sub and who is really the hero at home.

Before he became a landlubber, OSU alumnus Navy Cmdr. John Gearhart led a crew of about 130 sailors aboard the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Annapolis. The 22-year Navy veteran began his voyage after graduating from OSU in 1992 with a mechanical engineering degree. He reported to his first boat, the ballistic missile submarine USS Ohio, before his 24th birthday. He says his education at OSU — where his dad Harry Gearhart was a professor of analytical chemistry — gave him the foundation he needed to plumb the depths of the world’s oceans, where one slip-up could mean death. He was recently promoted to a deputy director position in the Office of Naval Intelligence, where he oversees scientific and technical analysis of naval capabilities worldwide. STATE writer Matt Elliott spoke to Gearhart about his naval career. Tell me what your first cruise was like.

As one of about 15 officers out of a total crew of about 150, I stepped on board with an almost overwhelming to-do list learning the ship while taking on basic leadership responsibilities. It was a fast-paced lesson I undertook with my eyes wide open. It was a lot of work but one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I was assigned to the Ohio for just under 40 months, and during that time I went to sea on multiple strategic deterrent patrols. I probably spent somewhere around half of those 40 months at sea. I imagine you passed up some big bucks to work in the private sector with your background.

At the time I graduated, most of my peers were getting job offers and going to work. My friends from OSU have all done very well. What I can say is the Navy offered me a tremendous opportunity to lead and serve our nation while applying the foundation my education gave me. It has been a great place for my family and me for the past 22 years. There are few similar career options that combine so many privileged experiences and opportunities with superb career stability. The most challenging parts are the family separation and a few extended durations of deployed service. You met your wife, Lanay, at OSU and were newly married when you were going through your initial training and first deployment. What was she doing when you were moving around?

She was moving with me a lot, working and supporting and helping raise our kids throughout our entire journey. She pursued our family mission first and held her own career aspirations in recreational therapy aside until our family circumstances allowed her to work in her own career. She is now working as an elementary school teacher and simply loves her situation at home and at work. She is just an amazing person, as I would say of most military spouses. They function as behind-thescenes supporters, part-time single parents and true confidantes throughout extended durations of separation. I would say her role is far more amazing than anything I’ve been able to pull off, and she has had a lot more to do with our accomplishments than she acknowledges. Put me in your shoes working on the submarine.

Submarines and submariners in general operate with tremendous efficiency in an environment that is highly constrained. We work very, very much in an all-in, teamwork kind of environment, much like the Cowboys. It’s a situation in which everyone knows their place and their role, and we practice hard to ensure we stay proficient and effective at our jobs. You’re in this incredibly advanced and complex machine hundreds of feet under the surface, far from civilization. If something goes wrong, you and your men could die. How do you lead?

Well, the bottom line is, you don’t do it alone. Part of our qualification process for the men is building unquestioning trust in one another, earned through competency and demonstrated example. … It is through this tightly knit network of trust and professionalism we perform our complex mission in a somewhat routine manner. There’s a tremendous amount of responsibility that goes with that, even at very, very junior levels within our organization. What was it like to join at a time when the military was facing an end to the Cold War?

In the complex world we live in, our job places us in a continuous decision cycle in which we observe things going on and make decisions on what to do about them. … When you’re transitioning, like you said, from the Cold War to more of a regional conflict scenario, the Navy and other armed forces had to adapt to changing global circumstances. That’s what we do best. So how do you keep up with your Pokes when you’re at sea or in Washington, D.C.?

With all the different forms of multimedia now, it’s very easy to keep up with them, even at sea. Getting email updates on sports scores and campus highlights is pretty easy to do. Lanay and I enjoy trying to raise our kids to be excited about the Cowboys. Go to to watch an OStateTV video interview with Navy Cmdr. John Gearhart.


he OSU Alumni Association inducted David H. Batchelder, Malone and Amy Mitchell, and Jerry D. Stritzke into the

“I want to congratulate Amy, Malone, David and Jerry, and thank them for allowing us to honor them,” OSU President Burns

OSU Alumni Hall of Fame during a Feb. 15 ceremony at the

Hargis said at the ceremony. “Your stories are legendary, and it

ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.

makes such a difference to our students to meet people like you to

These four people are highly regarded in their respective fields as forward thinkers who have transformed their industries. They remain connected and engaged with their alma mater, giving their

see what’s possible with their degrees. You don’t realize what an inspiration you are to us all.” Induction into the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the OSU Alumni Association. It recognizes

our institution.

outstanding lifetime achievement in society and professional life.

photo / Genesee Photo Systems

time and resources to support our students and the mission of

From left are OSU President Burns Hargis, Jerry D. Stritzke, Malone Mitchell 3rd, Amy Mitchell, David H. Batchelder, Alumni Association Board Chairman Ron Ward and Alumni Association President Larry Shell.

The OSU Alumni Association would like to thank the following sponsors of the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame:

P r e s e n t i n g Sp o n s o r s

ConocoPhillips and the OSU Foundation L o y a l a n d T r u e Sp o n s o r s

David and Sylvia Batchelder, Gene and Lori Batchelder, Mitchell Family and Friends 50

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Batchelder David H. Batchelder, of San Diego, graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He grew up in Bartlesville, Okla., and is a founder and principal of Relational Investors LLC. Batchelder has more than 30 years of financial management, mergers and acquisitions experience. While at OSU, Batchelder was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and received numerous awards for outstanding scholarship. In 1971, he began his career as an audit manager and certified public accountant for Deloitte & Touche LLP. From 1978 to 1988, Batchelder held several executive positions with Mesa Petroleum Co. and was named president and chief operating officer in 1986. He was responsible for Mesa’s investments, acquisitions and financing activities and was a member of the company’s board of directors. In 1996, Batchelder co-founded Relational Investors, an activist investment fund with $6 billion under management and serving some of the largest pension funds in the world. The firm engages the management, boards of directors and shareholders of portfolio companies to build consensus for change designed to improve shareholder value. Batchelder has served as a director of Allwaste, Apria Healthcare Group, ConAgra Foods, Intuit, Home Depot, ICN Pharmaceuticals, Mac Frugal’s, Mesa, Nuevo Energy Co., Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corp. and Washington Group International. Five of these public companies were in the Fortune 500 during his service. In 2005, Batchelder was the featured speaker at the Spears School of Business CEO Day. He endowed the David H. Batchelder President’s Distinguished Scholarship and served as a 2003 Homecoming judge. Batchelder and his family donated to the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, and the fireplace in Traditions Hall is named after his father. He is a horse-racing enthusiast and serves on the board of directors for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in California. The OSU School of Accounting named Batchelder a Distinguished Alumni in 2009, and he was inducted into the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in 2011. Batchelder is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. Batchelder and his wife, Sylvia, reside in San Diego. He has three children and three grandchildren.

Scan this QR code on your mobile device or go to to view the induction videos of this year’s honorees.



Mitchell Malone and Amy Mitchell, of Dallas, both graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1983. Amy received a degree in family relations and child development. Malone earned a degree in agriculture. Malone and Amy met during their first semester at OSU and married after their sophomore year. The Mitchells were both involved in Greek Life – Malone with Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and Amy with Chi Omega women’s fraternity. The couple started their first business while still in school. In 1985, the Mitchells founded Riata Energy in their spare bedroom with $500. Amy worked as a social worker at Angelo Community Hospital during the day and maintained the books for Riata Energy in the evening, while Malone coordinated the geology, engineering and fieldwork. Within the first five years, they acquired numerous small oil producers. By 2005, the company had become one of the largest privately held energy companies in the U.S., the largest private-land drilling contractor in the U.S., and held significant midstream gas and enhanced oil recovery operations. In 2006, the Mitchells sold a controlling stake in Riata Energy and Malone resigned from the daily management of the company, now known as SandRidge Energy. After the sale, the Mitchells donated 1 million shares of SandRidge Energy stock to the Spears School of Business. The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship is named in honor of their contribution. The Mitchells and their four children and their spouses are active in various businesses, including exploration and production, oil and gas services, real estate, consumer products, agriculture and other venture capital projects. The Mitchells currently employ more than 2,500 people in their public and private companies in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Malone is the CEO and chairman of the board for TransAtlantic Petroleum Co., a public company that is primarily active in exploration and production activities in Turkey and neighboring countries. He also serves as president of Riata Corporate Group, which focuses on energy production, oil field services and consumer and private equity investments in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Malone is a board member for the Piñon Foundation and is a member of the All-American Wildcatters Organization. He also serves on the board of directors for the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center and won a Lone Star Land Steward Award in 2002 from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Amy is the executive director of the Piñon Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by the Mitchells to promote the education, health and well-being of children and the elderly. She is a licensed broker with the Texas Association of Realtors and a member of the National Association of Realtors. Amy served as a Homecoming judge in 2009 and is a member of Women for OSU. Each year, Amy serves as the honorary chair for OSU’s Riata Center for Entrepreneurship WE Inspire Conference. The Mitchells are life members of the OSU Alumni Association. They have four children: Alexandria, Noah Mitchell 4th, Briggs and Elizabeth. They are proud to have the distinction of becoming grandparents in February 2012. 52

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Stritzke Jerry D. Stritzke, of New York City, graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1982 with a degree in agricultural economics. Stritzke grew up in Stillwater, Okla., and is the president and chief operating officer of Coach Inc. in New York City. While at OSU, Stritzke was a member of FarmHouse fraternity, Alpha Zeta honorary fraternity, Blue Key Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma honor society. He served as president and treasurer of the Ag Council and on the student worship committee at University Heights Baptist Church. Stritzke received the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award from Dean Fred Lecrone and was among the Who’s Who at OSU. He met his wife, Edith, while attending OSU. They were married Aug. 7, 1982. In 1985, he received his Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma. Stritzke began his career as an attorney at Best, Sharp, Thomas, Glass and Atkinson law firm in Tulsa, Okla. He became a partner at Best, Sharp, Sheridan and Stritzke at the age of 28. His practice focused on personal injury and medical malpractice defense. Stritzke made a career change in 1993 and became a consultant for Webb & Shirley/ KPMG Retail Consulting. For nearly six years, he performed consulting projects focusing on store operations, distribution center operations, merchandise planning and allocation, product commercialization, merchant, design and production functionality. In 1999, Stritzke became the senior vice president of operations for Limited Brands in Columbus, Ohio. He developed and implemented design and production capability within Victoria’s Secret and Express retail stores. In 2001, Stritzke was named the CEO of MAST Industries, a global apparel production and sourcing organization. While at MAST, Stritzke played a significant role in expanding the company’s top line from $1.2 billion to more than $3.5 billion in five years, while growing the bottom line at a compounded double-digit rate. Victoria’s Secret named Stritzke its chief operating officer and co-leader in 2006. He developed a brand-growth plan and implemented a governance model among VS Intimates, Pink, VS Beauty and emerging brands. Stritzke joined Coach Inc. as president and COO in 2008. He is responsible for all operations globally with finance, operations, systems, distribution and logistics and legal as direct reports. In 2009, he was featured in Businessweek for Coach’s less expensive Poppy line. In the last five years while Stritzke has been at Coach, the company has rapidly embraced international expansion, buying out distributors in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Korea. Stritzke was recently elected to serve on the board of directors of Lululemon Athletica, a company focusing on athletic and yoga apparel. He recently spoke at the Friends of Finance Executive Speaker Luncheon Series at the University of Tulsa. Stritzke has visited the OSU campus several times to speak to students, alumni and business professionals about his success, including at the OSU Executive Management Briefings Speaker Series. In 2010, he delivered the fall commencement speech for OSU. Stritzke and his wife are life members of the OSU Alumni Association. They have three children, Katherine Simons, Laura Nielsen and Jacob Stritzke.


IGNITE your imagination with Oklahoma State University’s TEDxOStateU videos. Watch OSU alumni, faculty and students present their solutions to today’s social issues.

Join the more than 40,000 people who have already sparked their creative ideas. Visit or OState.TV to watch videos and learn more.

photo / Phil Shockley

Join the conversation / TEDxOStateU

Photo provided


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By Kristen McConnaughey

It’s no secret that many OSU graduates come from small, agriculture-based cities. It may even be part of OSU’s secret to developing successful alumni who never forget their roots. But Ali Hamsa is probably OSU’s only graduate to come from the Malaysian agricultural city of Kluang, and he says his new role as chief secretary to the government of Malaysia was achieved in no small part due to hard work, perseverance and his education at OSU. His formal title is Dato’ Sri Dr. Ali Hamsa. “Dato’ Sri” is an honorary title only bestowed upon those whom have contributed greatly to Malaysia — the country’s prime minister also has the title. But Hamsa, ever the humble civil servant, prefers to be called simply Dr. Ali. The humbleness can be traced to Hamsa’s childhood. He grew up in the southern state of Johor about 50 miles northwest of Singapore. His upbringing was modest, and both of his parents were laborers. “We experienced hard times during my childhood,” Hamsa says. “But after I went to primary and secondary schools, I was able to get some assistance from the government. Without that [sort of help], many would still be working in the rural areas of Malaysia.”

The Dato’ Sri from OSU

OSU graduate returns to Malaysia to become the country’s highest-ranking civil servant. A scholarship allowed Hamsa to attend the University of Malaya, a public research institution in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. He majored in economics and met his wife, Rohani Abdullah. After graduating, Hamsa tried his hand at teaching at the university, but he says it wasn’t for him. “I applied for the Administrative and Diplomatic Service in Malaysia — a public sector job in charge of all administration of civil service and the diplomatic service overseas,” Hamsa says. “I trained for a year and started my career in 1981 as assistant director of international trade in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.” Hamsa’s training took him to cities in Europe, Asia and Australia. But a small recession in the early 1980s limited his overseas postings and prompted him to return to higher education for a second degree. He looked to the U.S., in particular the Midwest, he says. “The Midwest was the place where I wanted to bring my family.” (continues)


Hamsa applied to schools in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, ultimately choosing to become a Cowboy. The Hamsas and their 40-day-old baby journeyed nearly 9,500 miles until they landed in Oklahoma City. Hamsa admits they weren’t sure what to expect, but they were pleasantly surprised. “I really enjoy Stillwater,” Hamsa says. “People are very friendly. In the U.S., everyone will ask, ‘How are you doing?’ It is a

part of common courtesy, and you really feel like you’re welcome there.” After arriving in Stillwater in the winter of 1984, the Hamsas stayed at a hotel on State Highway 51. “We found other Malaysians, and they helped me from there,” Hamsa says. “I got a university apartment and started going to school.” Hamsa experienced a new academic situation as well as a new social setting.

“It was the first time I was exposed to semesters,” Hamsa says. “It was something unique and quite nice. I liked the semesters.” Hamsa continued studying economics in the business school. “I really enjoyed the economics program because of the way it was conducted,” Hamsa says. “You are very close with your professors, and the classes are small.”

About Malaysia Founding PHILIPPINES During the late 18th and 19th centuries, THAILAND Great Britain pac i fi c ocean established colonies Kota MALAYSIA Kinabalu BRUNEI and protectorates KUALA in the area that’s LAMPUR currently Malaysia. Kluang IN D IAN These were occupied ocean a ust r a l i a by Japan from 1942 SINGAPORE to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled terriI N D O N E S I A tories on the Malay Peninsula, except Singapore, formed Government the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was Form: Constitutional Monarchy formed in 1963 when the former British colonies of Singapore E x ecuti v e B ranch as well as Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo Chief of State: King Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah joined the federation. (selected on Dec. 13, 2011; installed on April 11, 2012). The posiSize tion of the king is primarily ceremonial. Malaysia had 29,179,952 people as of July 2012 and covers an Head of Government: Prime Minister Najib Razak (since April 3, area slightly larger than New Mexico. The life expectancy in 2009); Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin bin Mohamed Yassin Malaysia is 74.04 years. The U.S. life expectancy is 78.49 years. (since April 9, 2009). Economy Cabinet: The prime minister appoints members from among the Malaysia, a middle-income country, has transformed itself since members of Parliament with the consent of the king. the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multisector economy. It is attempting to achieve high-income status by 2020 by attracting investments in Islamic finance, high technology industries, biotechnology and services

SOURCE: CIA World Factbook


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L egislati v e B ranch The Senate, or Dewan Negara, has 70 seats. The king appoints 44 members, and 26 are elected by 13 state legislatures to serve three-year terms with a two-term limit. The House of Representatives, or Dewan Rakyat, has 222 seats. Members are elected by popular vote to serve up to five-year terms.

Transformation and Advancement After receiving his master’s degree Program. In 2009, he was named the in 1986, Hamsa and his family returned director general of the Public Private to Malaysia. That year, he was named Partnership Unit. senior project manager of economy and “Our goal was to increase the private public policy management at the National sector’s participation in public projects Institute of Public Administration. in the Malaysian economy,” Hamsa says. “I was teaching economics and public “We used to average about $3 billion in policy in our officers training center,” Hamsa says. “I was there for six years, and after that, they offered me a scholarship to get my Ph.D.” Hamsa says he didn’t have to think twice about taking his family back Ali Hamsa to Stillwater. was a member “The next choice was to go back to of the Malaysian Oklahoma State,” Hamsa says. “There’s Student Society a lot of nostalgia (for us) in Stillwater in 1986. and Oklahoma.” Hamsa says he enjoys the Stillwater atmosphere and it was a great place to raise his family. Two of the Hamsas’ four children were born in Oklahoma, and Photo / 1986 Redskin Rohani received her MBA in 1995 at OSU. Hamsa says one of his favorite memories of Stillwater is playing and coaching soccer near the OSU Family Resource Center. ”We used to play soccer and American investment, but under the second year football with the kids; I would coach them,” of my leadership in the PPP Unit, we he says. “We would have competitions with achieved $69.5 billion (in investment). the married student housing in Stillwater We took a different approach on how to and Norman. It’s nice to see Oklahoma process and approve projects in the counState is promoting soccer now.” try to encourage investment.” While at OSU, Hamsa says his The Malaysian government noticed doctoral adviser, Kent Olson, played a key Hamsa’s successes in his numerous posts. role in his success. In the summer of 2012, he was named chief “He helped me a lot by guiding me secretary to the government of Malaysia. through my education and also going “I never thought I would hold this posithrough lectures,” Hamsa says. “I’ve met tion,” Hamsa says. “I never dreamed of with him once or twice when I went back being in that cabinet.” during holidays.” Hamsa is the highest-ranking civil Olson is impressed with how successservant in the federal government. He also ful Hamsa has become. serves as the leader of the Civil Service of “Ali was an outstanding student who Malaysia. has used his education as a vehicle to Hamsa chairs more than 50 boards promote the general welfare,” Olson says. and committees that oversee Malaysia’s “He deserves our respect and admira1.4 million civil servants. Despite his tion and recognition as an outstanding hectic schedule, he still takes the time Oklahoma State alumnus.” to interact with the citizens of Malaysia, Hamsa received his Ph.D. in enviwhich has about 29 million people. ronmental sciences and economics in “It’s a 24/7 kind of job,” he says. “On 1997. After returning to Malaysia, he put weekends, I try to go down to the states his latest degree to use right away. He and visit with the people. I try to do what began serving at the Economic Planning I did in family housing at Oklahoma State Unit in the prime minister’s department. when I was an apartment assistant.” He also held positions in the National

At OSU, Hamsa coordinated a monthly themed gathering among apartment residents. Some Mondays, more than 100 people would enjoy his parties related to the Chinese New Year, Muslim festivals and other celebrations. Today, Hamsa helps execute Malaysia’s long-term plan, Vision 2020,

which focuses on transforming Malaysia into a developed nation. “The whole country is undergoing a transformation,” Hamsa says. “We are implementing a lot of new projects, and the people are accepting of the policies and transformation. The country is geared up for this new development.” The humble civil servant says his education from OSU contributed to his achievements. “When you want to be considered for a higher position, your academic background and experiences are very important,” Hamsa says. Even with his busy schedule, Hamsa and his family still annually visit Oklahoma and the OSU campus, normally around Christmas. “I see Stillwater is a growing city,” Hamsa says. “I am very impressed with the new stadium and the city’s expansion. “I wish all the best to OSU. I hope one day the president of OSU can come (to Malaysia), and I always welcome any Oklahoma group who would like to come.”



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W ind ener g y becomes O SU’s main elec trici t y sour ce in S t illwater.

The wind that whips through the Oklahoma Plains now generates a lot of Orange Power. Cowboy Wind Farm, near Blackwell, Okla., began providing electricity for Oklahoma State University’s campus in Stillwater in January. “It’s very significant in our efforts to be a more sustainable green campus,” OSU President Burns Hargis says. “This wind farm actually went live on Jan. 1, and it’s now generating 67 percent of the energy used on this campus.” Hargis, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. President Pete Delaney flipped ceremonial switches at a February event to mark the completion of the wind farm. (continues)

S t o r y by M i c h a e l B a k e r P h o t o s by P h i l S h o c k l e y



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“Oklahoma State University in Stillwater is once again stepping up to be a great example to not only the rest of the state, but to the nation,” says Fallin, a 1977 OSU graduate with a degree in family relations and child development. “It is a wonderful opportunity to be here today, to flip a switch, and mark the significance of the Cowboy Wind Farm and what wind energy is going to do for this campus.” Powe rful Pa r tne rs

Cowboy Wind Farm is the result of a 20-year agreement between OSU and OG&E that was signed in December 2011. As part of the agreement, OSU also plans to phase out its 62-year-old on-campus cogeneration facility and construct a more efficient boiler and chiller plant. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved the contract in March 2012. “We recognize that college students today want their universities to be good stewards of the environment,” Delaney

From left, OG&E President Pete Delaney, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and OSU President Burns Hargis motion to a spinning replica wind turbine after flipping ceremonial switches at a Feb. 15 event celebrating the operation of Cowboy Wind Farm. says. “When you look around the country, it’s great to see Oklahoma State University taking that lead. There are very few universities that can say that nearly 70 percent of their energy is being funded by a wind farm.” The 26-turbine wind farm has a total capacity of almost 60 megawatts. One megawatt powers about 250 homes. OG&E contracted with NextEra Energy to build the Cowboy Wind

Farm, located about 70 miles north of Stillwater and just west of Interstate 35. Construction was completed in December. The addition of the Cowboy Wind Farm brings OG&E’s wind energy production to about 840 megawatts across seven wind farms in western and northwestern Oklahoma. Renewable energy now represents about 12 percent of OG&E’s generating capacity. (continues)


“We look forward to the future, to the type of students that OSU can educate and bring to the workforce; with their education powered by wind energy provided by OG&E,” Delaney says. “That’s an exciting prospect.” The wind farm is the latest in a series of partnerships between OG&E and OSU. The utility funds professorships and scholarships for students pursuing renewable energy related degrees. OSU-Oklahoma City offers an associate in applied science degree in wind turbine technology that’s geared toward entry-level supervisory positions. Fallin praises OSU and OG&E’s partnership as an example for others to follow. “I’m proud that Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma Gas & Electric, one of the state’s oldest energy companies, are working to harness the potential of more homegrown wind energy,” Fallin says. “Investments in Oklahoma resources,


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such as wind and natural gas, help grow our state’s economy by keeping Oklahoma dollars in state while delivering the same value to consumers.” Blown Away

OSU is an aggressive adopter of energy-efficiency efforts. “The Cowboy Wind Farm is just another way OSU is showing its commitment to use our natural resources wisely and efficiently,” Hargis says. “As a land-grant university, we have a historic responsibility to lead the way in the area of sustainability. Natural gas and wind are two abundant natural resources in Oklahoma, and using them together to generate power for our Stillwater campus enables us to achieve a higher level of environmental stewardship while also supporting Oklahoma’s all-important energy-driven economy.”

Fallin calls OSU’s energy conservation program a model for other efforts in Oklahoma. Last year, the governor and Legislature directed state agencies to reduce their energy consumption 20 percent by 2022, with estimated savings of up to $300 million for Oklahoma taxpayers. Fallin wants other state schools to follow OSU’s lead. “Oklahoma State University is a great example of energy efficiency through many different things,” she says. “I actually went to all the other universities and said, ‘You have to emulate OSU. You can save money, too.’” Conse rvation Le a de r

The addition of Cowboy Wind Farm has catapulted OSU to fifth place nationally in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership rankings of colleges and universities. (continues)



OSU annually purchases 110 million kilowatt-hours of green power. It’s enough to offset the annual carbon dioxide emissions of nearly 15,000 passenger vehicles or the yearly electricity use of more than 9,000 American homes. The rankings place OSU a spot ahead of the University of Oklahoma, which purchases about 97 million kwh. OSU’s use of green energy also places it at No. 43 in the EPA’s top-50 list of all green-energy purchasing organizations, including private Fortune 500 companies and local and federal government agencies. OSU’s efforts are beneficial for the environment and future generations, Hargis says, as well as financially important. “We’re saving money,” he says. “Hopefully, that’s translating into a better bargain for our students here at OSU.”

This story was provided by StateImpact Oklahoma, an ongoing collaboration between NPR and several of the state’s public media organizations, including KOSU. Visit StateImpact Oklahoma at A version of Joe Wertz’s story was first broadcast on KOSU last year. The story has been updated for its publication in STATE magazine. Listen to KOSU anytime, anywhere, through the live audio streams at In central Oklahoma, tune your radio to 91.7 FM or in northeastern Oklahoma to 107.5 FM.

By Joe Wertz, StateImpact Oklahoma

he amount of wind energy has increased dramatically during the last decade, along with the number of wind farms around the country and in Oklahoma. The industry is building more turbines than it can maintain, officials say, and Oklahoma is working fast to fill the job gap. Wind is as Oklahoman as oil and natural gas. Culturally, it’s part of the state’s identity. Economically, it has big potential as a cleanenergy commodity. 66

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More than 40,000 wind turbines were working in the U.S. at the end of 2012, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Once constructed and calibrated, wind turbines need regular maintenance during their 20 – to 25-year lifespans. And there’s a shortage of qualified technicians, AWEA spokeswoman Ellen Carey and state wind-energy officials tell StateImpact. Department of Energy. Bre e ze , E ase d? Wind energy — like The state’s first commercial wind farm began produc- most emerging industries — is expensive and tion in 2003; 17 wind farms capital-intensive. Buying land now operate in Oklahoma, and building and erecting says Kylah McNabb, a wind energy development special- turbines is part of it, but wiring up often-isolated ist at the state Department wind farms to the electric of Commerce. grid often requires new, Oklahoma’s wind farms transmission-grade power are clustered in the western lines, costs that customers half of the state, most ultimately help underwrite in near Woodward, Elk City their electric bills. and Lawton, where the Despite the 2010 wind energy potential is slowdown in new wind the greatest. power projects, overall wind But the U.S. wind industry power capacity increased in has suffered blows in 2011, according to research recent years. compiled in the Department Nationally, wind energy of Energy’s most recent capacity hit a peak in Wind Technologies 2009, according to the U.S. Market Report. Department of Energy. That 2011 report predicted Low natural gas prices, “sizeable increases” in cheap wholesale electricity capacity through 2012, but and a global financial uncertainty over a federal tax crisis took the wind out incentive may have impacted of the industry’s sails in wind energy development. 2010, “a trying year” that The tax incentive — a brought big reductions in 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour new wind farms, according credit on energy produced to researchers at the

by new operations during their first 10 years of production — is important to the wind industry, and uncertainty over its renewal was cited as a major factor in stalled projects and layoffs, including 167 workers who lost their jobs when wind turbine tower manufacturer DMI Industries closed its Tulsa, Okla., plant. The federal tax credit even became an energy-policy political football in the 2012 presidential campaign — Republican Mitt Romney wanted to let it expire; President Barack Obama vowed to renew it — and the incentive ultimately received a one-year extension in January. State-level tax credits for the wind industry are among those being scrutinized by legislative panels tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of economic incentives and reducing spending. Ri va lry Ne v e r E nds Oklahoma is moving up the charts. In 2012, the Sooner State ranked No. 6 in the nation for windgeneration capacity, up from No. 8 in 2011, American Wind Energy Association data show. Texas is tops when it comes to wind energy capacity and had more than 12,000 megawatts installed at the end of 2012, according to the AWEA. By 2030, Oklahoma could be the second-largest wind power generator in the U.S., officials at the Department of Energy and state Department of Commerce say. Oklahoma schools would like to train students for

many of those maintenance jobs, both in the state and with companies that own wind farms in other states, but it’s unclear how many wind technicians are actually needed. McNabb and other industry officials say one technician is needed for every 10 wind towers. Education officials say it’s more like one for every four. OSU-Oklahoma City offers an associate in applied science degree in wind turbine technology that’s geared toward entry-level supervisory positions. At a February event celebrating the completion of Cowboy Wind Farm, which generates 67 percent of the electricity used at OSU’s Stillwater campus, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. President Pete Delaney spoke of the importance of providing qualified people to work in the wind energy business. OG&E funds endowed chairs, professorships and scholarships at OSU. “Cowboy Wind Farm is just one element in our partnership in support of Oklahoma State University and its mission,” Delaney says. “We need a really bright, well-educated, technically proficient and diverse pool of upcoming leaders.”


Photo / Karen ReVelle


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Jack and the Demon Core

Jack ReVelle climbed up the steep embankment, the frozen North Carolina dirt


crumbling under his weight and mud clinging

to his boots. He emerged from the hole, his gloved hands cradling a volleyball-size silver sphere known as a pit, or by some as the “Demon Core.” When connected to the right components — as it had been five days earlier before plummeting at 700 mph towards a swampy field — the pit ReVelle carried contained enough plutonium and uranium to trigger an atomic

The story of how alumnus Jack ReVelle helped save America from nuclear disaster

explosion 250 times more powerful than those that ended World War II. The pit ReVelle held was the core of one of two identical bombs a B-52 Stratofortress bomber was carrying when it broke up over the small town of Faro just after midnight on Jan. 24, 1961. “As far as I’m concerned we came damn close to having a Bay of North Carolina,” ReVelle, an OSU alumnus, says more than five decades after the incident. “The nuclear

by Michael Baker

explosion would have completely changed the Eastern seaboard if it had gone off.” (continues)


Now He Can Talk

In 1960, the Navy sent him to WrightPatterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. ReVelle holds a 1965 master’s and a As commander of Detachment 4 of the 1970 doctorate in industrial engineering 2702nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal and management from OSU. Squadron, he twice responded to what the Before getting his doctorate, he spent military dubs a Broken Arrow, an accident 12 years in the Air Force as an explosive that could result in the launching, firing, ordnance disposal officer. It was a distinburning, detonating, theft or loss of a guished career in leadership roles. nuclear weapon. ReVelle grew up in Rochester, N.Y., ReVelle was part of an elite military and graduated from Purdue University in bomb squad. He knew every bolt, screw 1957 with a degree in chemical engineerand component of a nuclear weapon, how ing. He had completed four years of ROTC they all fit together and the hazards associand got commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant ated with each part. when he graduated. “I had the confidence to know when I He requested USO escort officer. He walked up to that weapon, I knew exactly wanted the cushy job of hobnobbing with what it was, I knew exactly what could go Hollywood stars and famous musicians. wrong, and I knew exactly what I had to “Chemical engineers go into munitions,” do,” ReVelle says. he was told. That much he could always reveal At the Naval Propellant Plant in about his military career. Indianhead, Md., he learned to defuse But he always had to keep secret the land mines, biological and chemical weapdetails of what he was doing in the frigid ons and booby traps. 1961 winter in a slushy field holding the pit “If the booby traps were live, I could of a nuclear weapon. have lost a few fingers,” he says.

The parachute of the first MK-39 nuclear bomb caught in a tree causing the weapon to remain upright in a rural North Carolina field.


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Secrecy and rumor — North Carolinians had for years heard about the nuclear bomb buried near Nahunta Swamp off Big Daddy’s Road — shrouded the facts until former Air Force officer Joel Dobson uncovered declassified military records. Dobson was working on his 2011 book on the incident, The Goldsboro Broken Arrow, which is being developed into a feature film. Through a Freedom of Information Act request, Dobson obtained a highly redacted copy of an incident report signed by 1st Lt. Jack ReVelle. Searching on the Internet, Dobson found the former nuclear bomb squad commander. Dobson surprised ReVelle by telling him the military had declassified the information. “I couldn’t talk about it for more than 50 years,” ReVelle says. “When I found out I could, I was stunned. I sat down with my wife and I said, ‘Now I can tell you what I was doing.’ ”

Military personnel work at the site of the B-52 crash in Faro, N.C.

“I couldn’t talk about it for more than 50 years.” — Jack ReVelle

Cold War Tensions The early 1960s were the height of the Cold War. The U.S. and USSR attempted to check each other’s ideology and power by amassing enough ready-to-fire nuclear weapons to destroy their adversary many times over. Elementary school children were taught to hide under their desks in case of a nuclear attack. U.S. planes stocked with nuclear bombs fanned out above the coastlines to respond to threats. Silos held nuclear missiles that could be readied for launch in minutes. ReVelle first responded to a Broken Arrow on June 7, 1960, at McGuire Air Force Base near Trenton, N.J. A high-pressure helium tank had exploded, rupturing the fuel tanks of an air defense missile with a two-minute launch sequence. Safety devices worked properly and prevented detonation, but the fire-suppression system couldn’t keep the warhead from being destroyed.

“By the time the whole thing was over, the entire missile had melted down, including the plutonium and uranium pit,” ReVelle says. “With the water streaming down on this exposed melted pit, the alpha particles and the beta particles that are inherently a part of the nuclear material got carried off with the water. Our job was to clean up the radioactive mess.” A Department of Defense report says ReVelle’s team kept the contamination contained within 100 feet of the weapon’s location. Other reports have disputed the size of the exposed area, but monitoring at the site has found no evidence of radioactive problems. “That one took only about three days to get under control,” ReVelle says, “but it was a great introduction to Broken Arrows, and I think we did a better job at Goldsboro because of it.” (continues)


Jack ReVelle’s squad uses a crane to remove the parachute pack of the second nuclear bomb that fell in rural North Carolina.


The Night the Bombs Fell At 10:56 a.m. on Jan. 23, 1961, a B-52 stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C., took off for a 25-hour, nonstop flight. Keep 19, the flight’s radio call sign for the mission, was to be a routine patrol with two in-air refuelings. Eight crewman and two MK-39 thermonuclear bombs were on board the B-52, a type of plane known as “the BUFF,” an acronym politely translated to Big Ugly Fat Fellow, because of its size. During the B-52’s second refueling over Columbia, S.C., crew on the refueling plane noticed a fuel leak coming from the bomber’s right wing.





Dobson’s book recounts a harrowing A loud noise echoed from under the struggle to correct the problem and safely airplane, which jerked violently left. land the BUFF. The pilots leveled the plane. A louder Pump problems prevented purging fuel noise boomed from below. The right from the leaking tanks as Keep 19 circled wing dropped slightly. The plane turned over the Atlantic Ocean. Two engines were right. The pilot and copilot yanked the shut down to prevent fuel that was pouryokes hard left and stomped on the left ing into the engine exhaust from igniting a rudder pedals. fire. Crewmembers pulled circuit breakers The Big Ugly Fat Fellow did not respond. to prevent a spark from causing a blaze. At 12:35 a.m. Jan. 24, 1961, Keep 19 Jet fuel covered the bomb bay, soaked the crashed 12 miles north of the air base. Its wheel well and coated the hull’s bottom nose landed in a tobacco field a few paces and electronics. away from Big Daddy’s Road in Faro. The crew mentally rehearsed their ejecThree men — gunner Frank Barnish, tion procedures. radar navigator Eugene Shelton and elecHeading back toward base, Keep 19 tronic warfare officer Eugene Richards descended to 10,000 feet over the North — died in the crash. Five others — flight Carolina countryside, lowered its landing commander and pilot Walter Scott Tulloch, gear and began a high, long final approach. co-pilot Richard Rardin, relief pilot Adam Mattocks, electronic warfare officer Bill Wilson and navigator Paul Brown — parachuted to safety. The plane had lost its wing, barrel-rolled to the right and cracked in the middle. Two thermonuclear bombs — each with enough power to leave a crater a third of a mile wide and exterminate all living things within 8.5 miles of its ground zero — had fallen out of the disintegrating, exploding aircraft.




DY ’


Wake-up Call

















Map details courtesy of Joel Dobson


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A 6 a.m. phone call startled ReVelle out of a sound sleep at his apartment in Fairborn, Ohio. “Jack!” his commander barked. “I’ve got a real one for you.” From the tone of his commander’s voice and his lack of rehearsed protocol, ReVelle knew this one was big. He pulled on his flight suit, grabbed his overnight satchel and sped in his MG to a waiting jet. The pilot asked why they were going to North Carolina. ReVelle was silent. “Can you tell me?” the pilot asked again. “No. I can’t,” ReVelle said, uncharacteristically terse. Within two hours, ReVelle was boots on the ground at Seymour Johnson. ReVelle climbed into a waiting jeep.


Jack ReVelle, left, speaks with Adam Mattocks at a reunion of those involved with the Goldsboro Broken Arrow. Mattocks was one of the pilots of the B-52 from which two nuclear bombs fell when the plane crashed in rural North Carolina. ReVelle led the team that found and deactivated the two weapons.

The driver asked, “Can you tell me why you’re here?” “No. I can’t.” ReVelle rode toward the bombs.

Finding the Bombs The bombs could have gone off as the plane crumbled, ReVelle says. “It could have easily gone nuclear,” he says. “The electrical currents going through the aircraft at the time it’s breaking up could have been sent and misinterpreted by the electronics in the bombs, and that could have caused a nuclear explosion in the air.”

The first bomb to clear the exploding B-52 fell about two miles, its parachute deploying then getting tangled in a tree. The MK-39 thermonuclear bomb, about the size of a large propane storage tank, stood with its nose embedded about 2 feet in the ground, its tail on top and its parachute caught in tree limbs above. As the young ReVelle pulled up to the site, someone asked, “Well, what do you think?” ReVelle stood, studied the weapon, paused and deadpanned, “It’s a bomb.” He climbed a ladder to reach the arm/ safe switch near the rear of the weapon. He saw it was in the safe position.

According to several studies of the incident, the switch may have been the only measure preventing the bomb from exploding on impact. In order for an MK-39 to detonate, seven steps have to be triggered — pulling wires, starting timers and flipping switches, among other things. The arm/safe switch was the only trigger left unpulled. After ReVelle checked for radioactivity, his explosive ordnance disposal team deactivated the weapon, and the bomb was removed. The second bomb was more problematic. (continues) 73

The Rest of the Story: Jack ReVelle After getting his OSU degree, ReVelle spent eight years in higher education as a department chair at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and as founding dean of the School of Business and Management at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. Next he worked 22 years in positions such as chief statistician at Hughes Electronics, the leader of continuous improvement at Raytheon Missile Systems and director of the Center for Continuous Improvement for GenCorp Aerojet. ReVelle authored several works, including Quantitative Methods for Managerial Decisions (1978) and Safety Training Methods (1980, revised 1995); chapters for numerous other texts; expert-system software packages; and hundreds of technical articles. His work has been published in industry journals and magazines such as Quality Progress, Industrial Engineering, Industrial Management and Professional Safety. ReVelle lives in Orange, Calif., with his wife of 45 years, Brenda, an attorney. The couple has a daughter Karen, a graphic designer and photographer (she took her father’s portraits for this article) based in Orange County, Calif. ReVelle is in the consulting business, running ReVelle Solutions. He has consulted for such clients as General Motors, Hallmark, Boeing and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has recently been consulting with the company designing and manufacturing the secondgeneration bullet train in China. Outside his California home is a football-shaped sign boldly declaring, “Cowboy Fans Live Here.” ReVelle says it’s unlikely that without his OSU education he could have achieved all he has since the days in a swampy North Carolina field securing two nuclear bombs. “I am proud to be a Cowboy,” he says. “I want everyone to know it.”

ReVelle’s Industry Awards 2012 Dorian Shainin Medal by the American Society for Quality 2006 Lohmann Medal by OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology 2006 Induction into Purdue University’s ROTC Hall of Fame 1999 Akao Prize by the Quality Function Deployment Institute 1999 Distinguished Faculty Award by the National Graduate School of Quality Management 1997 Led Hughes team awarded Arizona Governor’s Award for Quality 1994 Led Hughes team awarded Arizona Pioneer Award for Quality 1993 Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers 1992 Fellow of the American Society for Quality 1991 Taguchi Recognition Award by the American Supplier Institute 1990 Distinguished Economics Development Programs Award by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers 1987 Fellow of the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering


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PHOTO / Karen ReVelle

OSU alumnus Jack ReVelle’s life since he deactivated two nuclear bombs in 1961 has been anything but low key. He’s continued to be a leader. In the spring and summer of 1962, ReVelle was an operations officer during the final 25 atmospheric nuclear tests at Christmas Island, with the duty of defusing a bomb if something went wrong. After ReVelle’s second tour in Japan, he applied for a master’s program with the Air Force Institute of Technology. He had received his chemical engineering bachelor’s from Purdue University in 1957. The Air Force program contracted with several universities, and ReVelle was a bit surprised when he was assigned to OSU. While still in the military, ReVelle received his OSU master’s in industrial engineering and management in 1965. “The Air Force was allowing me more time than I really needed because I took a full load of courses, so I actually got started on my doctorate,” he says. ReVelle didn’t have time to finish his doctorate because duty called. The Air Force assigned him to posts in Waco, Texas, and Saigon, Vietnam. In 1967 ReVelle returned to the U.S. for a post with the Defense Nuclear Agency, where he was assigned to stockpile management. After nearly 12 years of a successful military career — he rose to the rank of major and was awarded the Bronze Star while stationed in Vietnam as well as the Joint Service Commendation for his work in quality assurance with the Defense Nuclear Agency — ReVelle resigned from the military. With support from the G.I. Bill, ReVelle returned to OSU to finish his doctorate in industrial engineering and management in 1970. The degree propelled ReVelle into a career filled with more awards, including the 2006 Lohmann Medal — the highest honor given by OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

The bomb’s parachute lanyard had been severed. The parachute never deployed. The 11-foot-long, 6,750-pound bomb, with a yield equivalent to 3.8 megatons of TNT, approached the speed of sound during its milelong fall, according to a University of North Carolina study cited in Dobson’s book. The muddy ground swallowed the bomb. Responders located small pieces of the nose section next to the point of impact, which was marked with a 6-footdeep crater spread 15 feet wide. But no bomb. ReVelle carefully poked a long stick into the ground and hit a solid object. His team dug down nearly 8 feet with hand tools before deciding to bring in heavier equipment such as bulldozers and dump trucks. A command post was set up, and over eight days ReVelle’s squad would dig in an ever-widening circle. Each day, the hole deepened 3 to 5 feet and widened about 10 to 20 feet. On day two, the men found the top of the bomb’s parachute pack at 12 feet. On day three, a crane removed the parachute pack, and the squad located parts of the nose and a few pieces of the high explosives that had surrounded the radioactive pit. On day four, the first of 92 detonators and more heavy explosives were unearthed. After the first few days, the worry switched from detonation to radiation exposure. Snow and cold hampered the dig. Groundwater in the swampy area filled the hole as the crew dug. The military brought in high-capacity pumps to remove the water, but it was a constant battle. “You combine the cold with the wind, and then some days it rains and then it would freeze over,” ReVelle says. “We’re trying to dig, and we hit the water table. We’re trying to pump out water at the same time we’re digging. … All these things combined made for a real mishmash of undesirable conditions.” On day five, at 18 feet, the squad uncovered the uranium and plutonium pit. ReVelle taped his gloves to his sleeves to cover his skin, bent at the knees, stuck his hands into the mud, pulled out the heavy metal sphere, gingerly climbed out


The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment at the site where two nuclear bombs fell from a disintegrating B-52 in January 1961.

of the hole, placed the pit on a truck and watched it leave. “The reason I was carrying that pit up the side of the hole is because it’s an unwritten rule that the senior person there — whether officer or enlisted — when a particularly hazardous step needs to be completed, that’s the person that has to do the job.” That same day, the squad would find the second bomb’s arm/safe switch. “And, it’s on armed,” someone yelled from in the hole. Silence reigned. ReVelle scurried back down into the hole and verified what he heard. The military, historians and other have debated for years why the bomb didn’t explode when it struck the ground. Did a broken arm/safe switch give a false armed reading? Was the bomb disintegration so widespread the components couldn’t work together? Was it simply a dud? “As to whether or not we came close to having a detonation when the bomb impacted,” ReVelle says, “I think that’s a matter of argument.”

Finishing the Job ReVelle and his squadron would oversee the digging for three more days. After failed attempts to shore up the hole and keep water out, it was decided the principal hazards were under control, and ReVelle and his men were sent home.

“While we were there, my team and I were going about our business,” ReVelle says. “You’re well trained, you’re experienced, you know what the job is, you know what’s expected of you, and you just go ahead and do it.” ReVelle’s team had located and removed nearly all the bomb’s parts. Only what is known as the secondary, which also contained uranium and plutonium, remain hidden. Digging at the site continued until May 1961. The excavation reached more than 40 feet deep and 130 feet wide. The secondary was never found. “It can’t go off without the primary,” ReVelle says. “All by itself, it’s just sitting down in the ground. It’s just going through radioactive decay.” The federal government purchased an easement to the area. No digging or drilling beyond 5 feet down is allowed, and North Carolina conducts periodic radiation testing of the groundwater. To date, no contamination has been found. After eight days of deactivating the Broken Arrow, ReVelle returned to his Ohio apartment. He sat down at his kitchen table with pen and paper to write a letter to his parents. ReVelle began to write but paused. He lifted his hands from the paper and stared at them as if they weren’t his. “I just saw my hands start to shake.”


Worth Trumpeting Story by Jacob Longan Photos by Elizabeth Hahn

Band member’s friendship with toddler inspires OSU family.


wo-year-old Eliana Brown’s tiny hands perfectly wrapped into the small trumpet. Ellie held the instrument to her mouth, and Cowboy Marching Band member Kegan Tuohy knew he had done something good and meaningful. Together the OSU junior and the shy young girl with a hearing impairment he had befriended over the course of a football season “played” the OSU fight songs during the Cowboys’ Nov. 17 home game. “It was just one of the best moments of my life. It’s the first time I really did something purely for the benefit of someone else, for no selfish reasons,” Tuohy says. “I honestly became so attached to this girl. I thought it was heartwarming how much she took to the trumpet and how much she looked up to me. I wanted to foster that feeling.” Ellie clutched the silver instrument the rest of the game. She held it during the hour-plus ride back to her home in Tulsa and slept with it that night. Months later, Ellie proudly marches with it around the house, pretending she is in the Cowboy band.

Cowboy Marching Band trumpeter Kegan Tuohy and 2-year-old Ellie Brown play OSU fight songs during the Nov. 17 home football game. Tuohy and Ellie befriended each other during the season. 76

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A Trumpet’s Importance Tuohy loves trumpets. He loves to play them and loves to collect them. The finance major and music minor has spent countless hours playing, which is how he became a squad leader on the Cowboy Marching Band. He has collected about 30 trumpets over the last seven years. He acquired the most unusual piece of his collection as a senior at Enid High School. Another student showed him a pocket trumpet, which has the full range of a standard trumpet at half its size.

“I had to have it because it was so different,” Tuohy says. “I didn’t really use it. I kept it in my trunk for random occasions. If I ran into someone on their birthday, I could just pop my trunk and pull out the trumpet. It always turned heads whenever it appeared.” He had no idea it would become the first trumpet he ever gave away, or that the recipient was not yet even born.

The Booming Band On Sept. 1, family surrounded Ellie in the Sodexo suite at Boone Pickens Stadium. The 2-year-old was not as entertained by OSU’s football season opener as her parents, Michael Brown and Suzanne Caruso-Brown, her 9-year-old sister, Olivia, or her grandparents, Jim Thomas and Patricia Macvaugh. Macvaugh, an OSU English professor, and Ellie were walking down a hallway when a booming sound frightened the toddler. She clung to her mother and grandmother as Tuohy and the band performed OSU fight songs. Ellie gradually worked up the courage to follow the band down the hall to its next stop. She was particularly drawn to Tuohy’s trumpet. “I ran into this little girl I knew nothing about,” Tuohy says. “I was walking down the hall, and she just tried to grab my trumpet.” When Tuohy turned around, he realized Ellie was interested in the instrument but nervous about meeting a stranger. When he handed the trumpet to her mother, Ellie explored the horn. “She latched onto me, and from then on, after each performance I kept hanging back and letting her press the buttons on the trumpet,” Tuohy says. “She would always stand right in front of me when I played. The next game, I went back, and she was there. And the next game. And the next game.”



“He created such a special moment for our family.” — Suzanne Caruso-Brown

Caruso-Brown watched her daughter’s attitude toward Tuohy and the band change. “She did look at other instruments, but she always went back to him,” says the 1999 graduate of OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. “There was something about the way he interacted with her. He made time for her.” Before meeting Ellie, Tuohy would volunteer to be among the band members visiting the suites after their halftime performance so that he could get free ice cream. Then his motivation switched to looking for Ellie, who found him at five more games. “It wasn’t until the last few games that I found out about her hearing impairment,” Tuohy says. “Her parents pulled me aside after one of the games and thanked me. They said, ‘You have no idea how big a part of her life you are. She marches around the kitchen and pretends she is in the band.’ That’s when I started thinking that I wanted to do something special for her.”

A Special Gift Tuohy has an emotional attachment to each of his trumpets. Giving one away was not an idea taken lightly. He came to a decision when he thought about how


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Ellie’s tiny hands could hold the pocket trumpet perfectly. “Ultimately, I knew the joy Ellie would gain from the instrument was more than I ever would,” Tuohy says. “Then the choice was obvious.” He brought it wrapped in a special storage box for the home finale. He didn’t let Ellie see it until after the band performed for the last suite. “We all get so busy in all of our schedules that we forget that simple things can really mean a lot,” Caruso-Brown says. “He feels it was a simple thing to do, but what an absolutely amazing gift. He created such a special moment for our family. It ranks right up there with some of the best moments of my life.” Tuohy helped Ellie open the box and showed her that the trumpet worked just like his. Together, they “played.” Ellie believed she hit every note. “After I gave her the trumpet, her parents pulled me aside and her mother was crying,” Tuohy says. “That’s when I knew that I made the right choice.” Ellie was diagnosed with a hearing impairment at 4 months old. After three surgeries, her parents are still unsure about its severity. Speech therapists realized Ellie wasn’t using some basic

words, but she has surprised them with her pronunciation of “trumpet” and “marching band.” For the Browns, it was another reminder of Tuohy’s kindness. People like him are why they live in Oklahoma. “Michael and I didn’t have any children yet when we moved here from Massachusetts for my veterinary degree,” Caruso-Brown says. “When we saw what Oklahomans are like, we decided to raise our family here. And that’s what led to Michael’s parents moving here as well.”

Joining the Band Douglas Henderson, OSU’s associate director of bands, says the group takes pride in representing the university in the best way possible. “I’m very proud of all of the band members,” Henderson says. “Very few people know how hard they work and how much time they put in. It’s great that Kegan was able to transform his position into an opportunity to make such an impact on Ellie.” Caruso-Brown points to Tuohy’s kindness as a lesson about making a difference for others. “This young man has taken so much time out of his life to interact with our daughter and gave something so precious to him as a gift to her,” she says. Along with the trumpet, Tuohy showed the family how to oil the keys. It will still play when Ellie is ready for lessons, which he has promised to provide. Tuohy says, “Wouldn’t it be great in 15 years if she joined the band?” To watch a video of Ellie presenting Tuohy with a gift of her own, visit

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From Cannibals to Students

The head of OSU’s Center for Ethical Leadership uses what he learned about cultures in a South Pacific jungle when mentoring OSU students.

BY Matt Elliott

Photo / Gary Lawson


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The dense vegetation of a South Pacific jungle parted and out stepped spear-carrying men wearing only loincloths. “They asked if I was the one they were supposed to meet,” says Stephen Haseley, the coordinator of OSU’s Center for Ethical Leadership, who taught at a seminary in Papua New Guinea during the 1970s. “It turned out to be so.” And it was the death of another child in Papua New Guinea Haseley, a former Lutheran minister whose job was to that led to one of his biggest learning experiences. educate future teachers and clergy, draws upon his experience After a baby died one night, a wailing crowd, covered head to with the Enga people in his mentoring of OSU students. He has toe in ashes, came to his compound. The mother laid her child at led OSU’s center, located in the Student Union, since its foundhis feet, asking him to make the girl live again. ing in 2010. He takes pride in showing students how to change He had never seen a dead infant before. their lives and how people from other cultures Haseley felt helpless. He told her he couldn’t do it. “They practiced bring her daughter back to life. Among Cannibals

cannibalism, which Haseley, a native of Olcott, N.Y., describes was always an his time with the Enga in Papua New Guinea as ethical challenge feeling as though he had stepped off the edge of in class when we’d the world. “The people,” says Haseley, “were very sit down and talk complex.” about things like That might sound contradictory, given morality.” that the Enga hadn’t yet developed the wheel — Stephen Haseley, coordinator and had little exposure to other cultures. That of OSU’s Center for Ethical is, except for the cultures of their neighbors Leadership with whom they were often at war. Still, their unwritten language was symbolic of their complexity: It was difficult to learn and had many tenses. “There were a lot of things to learn,” he says. “You had to be very specific when you spoke.” Thankfully, he had already had several weeks of language training in Melanesian Pidgin, a working language of the South Pacific, when a little single-engine Cessna dropped him and his then-wife off at a grassy airstrip, and Haseley conducts a worship the tribesmen stepped out of the bush. service in a church in the The couple followed the group through remote Enga province. The the trees to their future home, somewhere Enga people with whom he between the rural settlements of Wabag and worked had little experience Wapenamanda. with other cultures. They lived in a wooden house. A corrugated metal roof trapped rainwater that drained in to a tank for their use. They cooked on a wood stove. In the valley below, their mission built a small hydroelectric plant to provide electricity. They also became parents, welcoming two children.

“That’s when this young, overwhelmed woman demonstrated to me one of the most powerful leadership moments of my life,” he says. She asked him if he couldn’t help her, could he help the tribe? The question struck him like a lightning bolt. She was teaching him the message of the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Instead of wallowing in his powerlessness to revive the child, his mind flew to thoughts of setting up health clinics, nutrition programs and other medical services. “I thought it was time to light a candle and stop cursing the dark,” he says. (continues)


child taught him — the wisdom to know the difference between Another challenge for him came as he taught ethics and reliwhat is immutable and what is not. He tries to get students to gion to people who held some very different ideas. take charge of their lives and learn from other cultures’ practices. “They practiced cannibalism,” Haseley says, “which was He hopes they will see something they could incorporate into always an ethical challenge in class when we’d sit down and talk their own leadership style. about things like morality. I probably spent more time talking “I think all students have the potential to lead things they’re about the world than I did religion.” passionate about, but they’re not often reinforced, encouraged, And he learned that the Enga thought he did plenty of motivated or empowered to do those sorts of things.” immoral things, he says. They were communal and couldn’t In 2004, he partnered with psychologist Steve Harrist from understand how he could leave his extended family behind to OSU’s education college to develop a center for leadership activiwork so far away. ties, development courses and campus opportunities. “Leaving the line,” the Enga expression for doing so, was In developing the center, the two chose to among the worst crimes someone could focus on ethics. “We thought ethics was the key commit. The Enga also couldn’t understand component … teach students, help them develop why he lived with his wife. They believed “Oklahoma State is their moral reasoning as they confront chalwomen were unclean during their menstrual about developing lenges in their lives.” cycles and living with them could make a leaders and not A big portion of what Harrist and Haseley man sick. an elitist definition do involves international travel. Despite the differences, Haseley and the Every year, they try to widen students’ Enga learned from each other. He learned of leaders. I think perspectives with a trip. For example, they how to reach people under difficult circumthat’s really why took a group to Egypt the summer before the stances and how to see what he could change. I’m here.” 2011 revolution toppled the dictatorial regime The Enga learned about the world around of Hosni Mubarak. Students learned about — Stephen Haseley them, about medicine, sanitation and nutrithe nation’s rigid bureaucracy and strict social tion, and how to change what they could to hierarchy. They learned how people can change improve their lives. such systems. Working with Students The center also has a speaker series, informal events that foster interaction between the After returning to the U.S. in 1979, students and alumni speakers. Haseley says it’s Haseley enrolled at the University of Iowa fun for the alumni, and the students get a great and obtained his master’s in higher education deal out of it, too. administration two years later. “Oklahoma State is about developing leaders He spent three years as the campus pastor and not an elitist definition of leaders. We’re a at Wichita State beginning in 1981. He and land-grant university. Everybody should have his wife divorced. He remarried in 1984 and the opportunity to find those proactive opporwent to work in the international office at tunities for themselves so they can affect change Wayne State University in Detroit. He came in their daily lives. I think that’s really why to OSU in 1985 where he started in internaI’m here.” tional student services. Haseley holds his son Peter “I kind of felt that I owed for having and visits with Bishop Waima lived in another culture and had people take Wiese, who has come to see care of me in another culture. You really him at the seminary where he Family Ties are a beggar when you live among people taught in Papua New Guinea Stephen Haseley and his wife, Cindy, live in another culture. When I came back to in the 1970s. in Stillwater. Their daughter Ashley, a 2007 my own culture, I thought I owed it to the public relations graduate of OSU, recently strangers that came here to be an interpreter returned from a year volunteering with the Lutheran church for them.” in Malaysia and a short stint teaching English at Chengdu He gravitated to the role of mentoring student leaders. University in China. Their daughter Kelsey is a senior in He became the coordinator for special programs for the vice president of student affairs and dealt with the OSU President’s high school who plans to attend Oklahoma State. Leadership Council, a program offering scholarship and other Haseley’s children from his first marriage, who were born leadership development opportunities to talented students. He in Papua New Guinea, reside outside Oklahoma. Daughter later moved with that program to Campus Life, to expand the Stephanie Lex lives with her husband and three children leadership opportunities for students. in Little Rock, Ark., while son Peter Haseley manages a Just like he did with the Enga, Haseley helps nurture in restaurant and bar in Dallas. students the ability to see the same thing the woman and her dead


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Dana Brunson, director of OSU’s High Performance Computer Center, stands next to supercomputer Cowboy, which can quickly produce analyses it would otherwise take decades to do.


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by M at t E l l10 t t


OSU’s supercomputer performs nearly 50 trillion calculations per second. AJ Harris’ research was impossible 50 years ago. Harris, a plant science doctoral student, studies hundreds of thousands of records from herbariums and gene databases to determine the importance to genetic sequencing of the ancient practice of collecting and preserving plant specimens. Thanks to Cowboy, OSU’s new supercomputer, her work is thriving. Harris and about 200 other researchers use the computer, located in the basement of the Mathematical Sciences Building, to comb through millions of miles of data. The resulting analysis would take decades if humans did the work themselves. “All of the possible combinations of those data start to become more numerous than atoms in the universe,” Harris says. “In your lifetime, you couldn’t imagine all the different ways of assembling those data to answer whatever questions you have.”

Photo / Phil Shockley

Cowboy Corrals Data Funded by a $900,000 National Science Foundation grant, Cowboy is a leviathan — one big computer made up of 254 smaller computers that all work together and talk to each other inside their tall black cabinets.

What makes supercomputers like Cowboy so useful in science is their speed. And Cowboy does not disappoint. It clocks in at 48.8 teraflops, or 48.8 trillion calculations per second (the biggest, baddest computers in the world run in the quadrillion range). That speed means Cowboy can help scientists understand everything from nuclear explosions to complex weather systems. “You can not only do the work you’re currently doing faster, you can tackle larger problems,” says Dana Brunson, the director of OSU’s High Performance Computing Center. But it’s not its insides that make Cowboy unique. It’s the fact that anyone on campus and any academician in Oklahoma can use it. OSU and the University of Oklahoma lead the Oklahoma Cyberinfrastructure Initiative that makes available the universities’ souped-up computing to any Oklahoma academician. That includes training and education in how to use Cowboy, Brunson says. Cowboy also helps recruit students and faculty members to the university. “We’ve always thought of science as the theoretical aspect and the experimental aspect,” she says. “Now, there’s the computational aspect. It’s been called the third pillar of science.”

How Cowboy Works A trip down to the basement of Math Sciences leads to a locked door. Brunson, a computer engineer with degrees in mathematics, an OSU alumna and a native of Claremore, swipes her card and the door unlocks. Once it’s

(continues) 85

“We’re basically evangelists for cyberinfrastructure.” — Da n a B r u n s o n

opened, the drone of hundreds of whirring fans drowns out all conversation. Brunson walks to one of a row of black cabinets, opens a door to reveal stacks of thin computers mounted on racks. “Each one of these blades is yet another computer,” she says. The whirring sound is the byproduct of all the efforts to keep cool the servers, nodes and other computers that make up Cowboy. When it’s really humming, Cowboy uses 80 kilowatts per hour (about as much as 22 central air conditioners). All that computing generates waves of heat, which must be curtailed by

“We’re basically evangelists for cyberinfrastructure,” Brunson says. That work is needed in academia and at Oklahoma State, says one of Cowboy’s users, microbiology doctoral student Brian Couger. Couger’s doctoral thesis is a project to identify a special enzyme in the stomachs of cows and sheep that could be used in making biofuels. The enzyme degrades the walls of plant cells. Like Harris, Couger uses Cowboy to do the “heavy lifting” of analyzing the gigabytes of data so he can manage the results, and his research group can draw conclusions.

a cooling system. It’s much like what runs a refrigerator — a network of pipes carrying cooled liquid to keep the circuits from melting. “All that power that comes in gets turned into heat by the servers, so you have to have a lot of cooling,” says Brunson, who walks to the back side of the cabinets to show a huge heat exchanger and a series of radiator-like piping on the backs of the computers’ housing. “These are kind of radiator doors down at the bottom,” she says. “There’s chilled water moving through to the doors, and the servers are pushing the chilled air through this, so that’s how we deal with all the heat.”

“Cowboy is really an excellent machine, a very large upgrade from our previous machine we had here on campus,” he says. He found out about it after a departmental PC began to choke on the data he was running for his project. He approached Brunson and began using Cowboy. Cowboy doesn’t work like a typical, click-and-drag personal computer, and Couger had to teach himself the proper coding language. It’s been a smooth ride ever since. If Cowboy weren’t at OSU, Couger says he’d have to go somewhere else or try to buy time on a national lab supercomputer. He believes understanding how a supercomputer works and using it is something most of his colleagues will have to do in the future. That’s because of the ever-larger amounts of data researchers collect as they attempt to model and understand more complex phenomena. “In a year or two, you’re going to have to use one of these computers,” Couger says. “Then, a year after that, even computers like this are going to have trouble with the amount of data we have. … We’ve been so focused on generating data that we haven’t spent an equal amount of time on something that is just as important: being able to efficiently analyze the data.”

Cyberevangelists Cowboy’s users, mostly graduate students, interact with the supercomputer through a remote connection on their computers. They must know Linux, the user-generated operating system code most modern supercomputers use. Brunson, in addition to overseeing upkeep and maintenance, helps them with the code and other issues. She also spreads the word about Cowboy to researchers on campus. When she arrived in 2007, there were only 19 users. Brunson helps with proposal writing and recently participated in a case study with Intel Corp. She also is working on a grant to improve cyberinfrastructure in Oklahoma.


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Spring 20 13

Ever feel like your life is scripted?

story by Matt Elliott photography by phil shockley

Tia Scott

Football games may not seem scripted, but the production of them is. Game day is a rigid schedule planned down to the last second, from when to play Kenny Chesney’s “The Boys of Fall” featuring OSU linebacker Caleb Lavey to when to do the Sonic Fan Cam. The fact that games don’t seem so rehearsed is a testament to the work of OSU athletics staff. They work to the bone to create an exciting, rewarding and fun-filled football experience for fans paying their hard-earned money to support their team. (continues) posse

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


POSSE Magazine went behind the scenes during the TCU game for a front-row account of game day, from the block party to kickoff, from the first score to the final timeout. The following is OSU athletics’ marketing and promotions staff’s experience putting on the big show.

And it begins It’s 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The game is Saturday. Athletics promotion folks, fresh off an eventful Homecoming week, meet in a study room inside OSU’s Joe & Connie Mitchell Academic Enhancement Center. The team of 19 employees (four full time, 14 interns and one part time) does the grunt work of game day, from writing the script to setting up the Hall of Fame Block Party. Melissa Darling, a former cross-country runner with Central Michigan University, handles music played during the games. Keegan Davis’ game day fiefdom is the Hall of Fame Block Party, and he’s joined by Tim Lauderdale, who also does graphic design. All three are promotions coordinators for the Athletic Department. They’re headed up by Tia Scott, promotions director, a six-year veteran of leading game day who comes up with the scripts for each game — one for announcer Larry Reece, and one for timing of in-game events. Scott was a manager for the OSU Cowgirl Basketball team for three years and a high school point guard, so taking the leadership role is nothing new to her. The meeting kicks off with Matt Fletcher, a public relations graduate with OSU Communications who took over the on-field promotional work, most notably the MidFirst Mic, just as the season began.


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There’s been a bit of a learning curve for Fletcher. He had to get used to the sound of his voice over the stadium’s public adress system, as well as its delay and echo. And just as he was getting used to the gig, he was run off the field during the Pistol Pete Partner of the Game segment against Iowa State because of confusion between OSU staff and the TV crew broadcasting the game. “Did they do just one commercial and come back?” Fletcher wonders. “It was just odd,” Scott says. “They went to a little break, and then they pulled right out, so that is why that happened. I’m glad it wasn’t because we were just going crazy.” A number of other things occurred off-schedule that game, due in part to the video crew, and because there was so much going on with Homecoming. The fact that no one in the stands knew anything was amiss is testament to the good job being done by Scott and crew. This game against Big 12 newcomer TCU should go off without a hitch, Scott says. For one, there won’t be as many things going on like Homecoming the week before. She then goes down the script as everyone listens. They raise issues as she goes line by line. The St. Francis junior captains are running off the field too fast. Scott asks if they could stay on the field a little longer. Game announcer Reece will read off their names, and they’ll need to stand in a specific order, she says. “So Larry is really our cue,” notes Kip Racy, a general manager with Learfield Sports who handles OSU athletics promotional sponsors, such as St. Francis hospital. Part of Racy’s gameday job is to ensure the marketing department fulfills all the sponsorship requirements during the game, and to make sure the sponsors are happy. He also makes sure the St. Francis junior captains are in their spots. Everyone coordinates with Kent Doll, sales manager with Cox Communications (which does all the video for OSU games), as to where the

camera guys will stand and who will be filming the coin toss when the team captains stand at midfield. Doll assists with the game’s production — camera crews, video board elements (replays, commercials, the Kiss Cam, etc.) and the OSU Cox OnDemand. They then go over the game’s quarters. Much of the plan doesn’t change from game to game. In a sort of post mortem, the group discusses what went right or wrong with the previous game. For instance, Tracey Wittwer, the spirit groups coordinator and pompon team coach, asked about whether or not the pom squad missed a cue after the first quarter. “It was fine,” Scott says. “I was telling my students to wave them out, and I don’t know if they just didn’t see. I’m not sure.” Part of the confusion may have been due to the TV breaks being shorter than they planned because of the problems with the film crew, Scott explains. They went down the list of other issues, and then moved on with planning the next game. The group then coordinates with the band and let Benjamin Lorenzo, Cowboy Marching Band’s assistant director, know where the Top 10 Freshmen will be heading off the field as the band is coming on at halftime. A request from a fan in the suites comes up. During the Homecoming game, he noted there weren’t many scores from other games across the country posted on the video board. Scott isn’t sure they can help. “With an 11 a.m. kickoff, there’s not many scores to run. And we run them as best we can,” she says. Scores are entered into a computer by hand before they are sent to video boards for the fans to see. It is time consuming, and automating the process is cost prohibitive. After a quick rundown of the fourth quarter’s events, the meeting is done, and everyone is on their way to make it happen on Saturday.

Game Day Inside the stadium, Scott and others are getting ready in the promotional office near South Gate 6. Scott heads over to the video truck to talk with Cox Communications’ Alan Douglas, one of the supervisors handling the video going to the screens inside the stadium. It turns out there’s a problem with the stadium screens. The team’s orange jerseys, because it’s such a deep shade of orange, are showing up red on the screens. And that’s a big no-no. If the crew inside the truck tries to correct for it, the various other shades of orange and the fans in the stadium look way off. It’s up to Scott and her staff sort it out. “If we can adjust the color bar to make our orange jerseys look a brighter orange and then roll a commercial to see how off everything else is, that might help,” Scott tells Douglas. “Right, it changes everything,” Douglas says. She decides the best thing may be to adjust the colors from her monitor in the game management booth on the suite level. She asks Douglas for a radio so she can chat with her crew and runs through some other issues with him. She also lets Douglas know where the on-field recognitions will occur so that he can inform the camera crews. There’ll be the 43-student equestrian team and the Dr Pepper Dance Party, as well as which student sections she wants the cameras to feature and where the Top 10 Freshmen will be. “A wide shot would be perfect, or the guy on the field can just kind of … they’ll just be in a straight line,” Scott says. “It’ll be 10 guys and 10 girls. Start with the guys and just go on down. If you can get a wide shot, and they can step up and wave or you can just follow them on down the line.” She heads to the booth. The windows are open, and that’s letting in cold late morning air. Everyone has a coat on. The fans are still outside the stadium. On the field below, team personnel place equipment on the sidelines. An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper sweeps the area with an explosives-detecting dog.

Meanwhile, it’s a cold morning as the staff and interns set up the inflatables for the Hall of Fame Block Party. Block party attendees typically bring their kids to the block party’s carnival atmosphere (replete with a bounce castle, face painting, fake tattoos, etc.). The block party has also hosted events including the Big Air Bash, which featured Stillwater’s own Kenny Bartram, who’s a professional stunt rider, and the Kicker Car Show. The city shuts down the avenue between Washington and Duck streets. “A parent told one of our interns last weekend, ‘We love coming to this because by halftime our kids are knocked out,’” Davis says. Admission is free, Scott says, so some fans come just for the block party. Interns put up tents and stands for the vendors. Some set out posters of OSU’s different athletic teams. Back inside the stadium, Scott sits at a monitor while Mike Ketchersid, another engineer with Cox, and other employees discuss how to get the orange on the screens corrected. Others discuss how they’ve done it before inside GallagherIba Arena and lament that there can be so many different shades of orange in the stadium. They decide to fix it all through something called gamma correction. They have to do it on all four video boards in the stadium, though, and adjust it as the sun moves and the shadows change. Meanwhile, Darling tests the referees’ mics and the PA system. Ennio Morricone’s theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly echoes over the empty stadium seats. The clock keeps ticking. Just after noon, event staff at the gate let in the students who slept overnight in tents at Camp Gundy outside the stadium for front-row seats. A half-hour later, it’s time for the Walk. Scott moves over to the windows on the opposite side of the stadium and watches as the band and team make their way down Hester Street, which is lined by a mass of cheering fans. While the OSU fight song plays, the team enters the stadium and forms an oval on the field to pray as the music fades out.

They stand out there for what seems like an eternity, heads bowed in prayer, before breaking for the locker room.

Behind the Scenes with Fletcher and Pistol Pete Scott and Fletcher are back in the promotions office during the bit of down time they have before the game starts. Fletcher is a tall, curly-headed guy fans will remember as “the Skirt Guy” from men’s basketball games of a couple years ago. In an obviously beloved, mud-stained white OSU hat and orange polo shirt, Fletcher picks at his lunch.



Matt Fletcher

“I love these McAlister’s sandwiches,” Fletcher says. “But for some reason, by the time I finally get in here, I’ve been going so hard, I’ll eat some of it, and I can’t even put it all down.” Scott says, “I’ve lost five pounds just from not really eating and going all day. It’ll be 2 o’clock, and I haven’t eaten anything.” Steve Young, a tall employee of Learfield Sports who looks like he’s about 19, tells them about one of their employees who wore a pedometer during a game day a while back. “He walked 15 miles,” Young says. “Every week it’s between 12 and 15.” No one doubts him. Soon, it’s time to meet with the game’s referees. Scott and her intern head over to the officials’ locker room. Every ref is different, she says, and she has to know how they communicate. Plus, all the major networks — ABC, ESPN, Fox — have different break formats. Some are longer. Others are shorter. And every TV timeout is a different time. Scott meets the refs and explains that her intern will be watching for his signal. Each game, she relies on a signal from the official in the red hat on the sideline who tells the others when they’re taking a TV timeout. Each time out is a negotiation of sorts. The red hat signals to the white hat (the head ref) that he wants a break for TV or radio. The white hat will either grant or deny that request. Scott’s intern relays to


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Scott that there’s an impending break so her staff can prepare. “We’re always a couple steps behind because I have to signal and tell so many people that we’re headed into a break,” Scott says. “We always lose a couple seconds.” In every game, Scott wears two headsets, and each has 10 people on at once. Meanwhile, back in the promotions office, Fletcher has finished his lunch and talks about his typical day. He’s OSU sports’ equivalent of hip-hop’s hype man. He’s there to get people excited. He meets with Megan Hale, a former cheerleader and intern, and they get their promotional pieces together each Saturday. But before they can hit the field, they take a Gator golf cart to the block party and several tailgating locations where they give away free stuff, play games with fans for prizes and play music. “We get people excited about the game,” Fletcher says. They meet with the Pistol Petes to give them a lift to the stadium. Each Pete head weighs 40 lbs. and toting them long distances can be challenging. The Petes get dropped off at Boone Pickens Stadium, and then Fletcher and company park down at the Walk to meet the band’s drum line, which is awaiting the team’s emergence from the Student Union. “We create the pep rally-type feel for the Walk,” he says.

Later, the office TV shows the KU-Texas game, and he is chatting up the interns who’re filing in from the block party. The two students who play the Eskimo Joe’s mascots, Eskimo Joe and Buffy, join them. One of them suits up in a room off from the office. “I don’t want to tell anyone, but I would do this for free,” Fletcher says. “This is perfect. When they asked me about this job, I was pumped.” Soon, it’s time for Pistol Pete to make his entrance. Fletcher is inside the east end zone’s northeast tunnel on the Gator with Pistol Pete, 40-pound head and all, climbing on the back as the afternoon sun pours in from the tunnel’s mouth. TCU’s players are warming up on the sidelines. “One minute, Pete,” Fletcher shouts back at him. An intern clears the football players and cheerleaders to the side. The Gator rockets forward and the theme from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly plays, this time echoing over stadium packed with orange faithful. Like clockwork, Fletcher stops near midfield, Reece over the PA lets everyone know who is the real sheriff of this Cowboy town, and Pete’s shotgun thunders like a cannon (it’s much louder on the field). Avoiding the band, Fletcher then speeds back to the tunnel, loads up Hale and heads back to the opposite side of the stadium where the team will re-enter the field through smoke to 50 Cent’s

“Ready for War” (don’t step too close to the smoke machine — Fletcher says he got the equivalent of freezer burn on his foot from it). The clock strikes 2:21 p.m. and it’s time for the national anthem, followed by the alma mater. Fletcher has one more bit of hyping up to do before the game — the orange power cheer. “I always get out there and I’m like, ‘OK, which side is ‘orange’ and which side is ‘power?’” he yells, over the din of the crowd. The cheerleaders hold up signs for each side to read. If he switches “orange” and “power,” it could be confusing. Of course, it goes off without a hitch. He runs out on to the field clapping. Cheerleaders line up in front and behind him with their signs. “Cowboy fans, I need you get on your feet and make some noise,” screams Fletcher into his mic. “You know what to do. This side is ‘orange.’ This side is ‘power,’” and 50,000 fans thunder back to him. After that, he’s off until the McDonald’s Pistol Pete Partner of the Game during the first quarter’s second break. He lines up with other students at the team tunnel for the Cowboy’s final entrance before kickoff, stopping to snap a photo for two pretty female students in the stands near the Paddle People (fun fact — stadium security won’t let the Paddle People carry their paddles into the stadium for games, so they stow them in promotions’ office until they need them the next game). “You’ve got to watch your head when you’re over here,” Fletcher warns, as the Paddle People flail away at the padding lining the walls. “That was the first thing they told me about being down here. You’ve got to look out for them because they aren’t looking for you.” TCU takes the field around 2:30 p.m. The famous “Hell’s comin’ with me” clip featuring Kurt Russell from the film Tombstone plays. When OSU takes the field varies according to when coaches can get the players out the door, but the schedule says 2:30. Then, it’s the coin toss followed by the game ball presentation a minute later. The teams huddle up one final time, and it’s time for kickoff.

During that time, everyone is working to pipe video out to the four boards in the stadium: The entrance video. The highlight of the walk. The team tunnel footage for when they take the field during “Ready for War.” A lot of things have to go right, and they do, for the most part. “There are 15 or 18 guys here that are just doing the big board stuff, not counting folks that are scattered everywhere and Kip’s people,” Doll says. “There are probably 50 people easy not counting the band who are just focused on executing this. And nobody’s supposed to know that any of it ever happened.” Things go smoothly in Scott’s booth. But they don’t go so smoothly on the field for OSU. TCU’s Elisha Olabode took a Wes Lunt pass to the house for six. The Horned Frogs went up 14-0 on a pass from Trevone Boykin to LaDarius Brown. Around that time, Fletcher huddles in the east end zone with Colton and Carson, the Pistol Pete Partners of the Game. Their parents hover nearby. “So, are you Carson?” Fletcher asks. One boy nods his head. “You’re Carson, and you’re Colton, huh? Hi, I’m Matt. How are you guys? Good. Are you guys excited?” They nod their heads. “Alrighty. Let me tell you a little bit what we’re going to do. Essentially, you guys are going to walk out here with me and Pistol Pete. I’m just going to talk about how great you guys are and the things you guys won. When I get done, I’m going to hold the mic up to you guys, and you are just going to give me the best ‘Go Pokes’ that you got.” Their mom tells Fletcher that they’re going to be real focused on the game. Fletcher says, “OK, that’s good. Let’s hear it real quick. Can you do it for me Colton? All you’ve got to do is 1, 2, 3,

through his cue cards until he has his next bit, the Shop & Dine Stillwater “Fan of the Game” in the second quarter. The rest of the game goes smoothly. Not only does OSU end up coming back to beat the Horned Frogs, the oranges look as right as can be. Fletcher does his Fan of the Game (he makes the student swear to not use profanity when he puts the mic in front of them or he won’t give them their gift certificate). There’s the Dr Pepper Dance Party in the third quarter. No one does anything obscene during the Kiss Cam or other crowd shots (the guys in the video booth are quick to click away from a camera if they see anything about to happen). “All that is people back in the truck hitting camera one, camera two and camera three,” Racy says. “It’s a TV production within a football production. And nobody has any idea because they can’t get back there.” Once the day is over, the promotions staff members are finished and headed home shortly after the game. For as much work that goes on behind the scenes, it’s amazing the spectacle works out in the end and runs so smoothly. Lauderdale says one of the best things about it is seeing the fans come out and have a good time. Scott says getting it right the first game of the season is the most rewarding, when her staff hits the ground running after a summer of working on their own projects. This year was a little bit rewarding because “we had a lot of turnover,” Scott says. “We had two new employees in our office and new interns. I think getting past that first game, getting back on track, and that first game is over with and everything came together and flowed OK. That’s the most rewarding thing for me.”

Go Pokes! Can we do that? Practice once with me. 1, 2, 3, Go Pokes!” Only one did it. “You’ve got to yell,” Fletcher says. “I’ve got to hear you. Go Pokes! Get in to it! 1, 2, 3 …” And the brothers belt it out.They head on to the field during the next time out. The boys do it without a hitch. Fletcher spends the rest of the quarter going


Blake Webb’s touchdown reception was part of an aerial assault in which the Cowboys gained 311 yards passing in a 58-14 throttling of Purdue in last season’s Heart of Dallas Bowl. The Cowboys hope to build on that success when they open the 2013 season in the Texas Kickoff Classic against Mississippi State.

2013 Texas Kickoff Classic Photo / Bruce Waterfield

On New Year’s Day 2013, the Cowboys traveled into the heart of Dallas for a resounding victory to end the season. In August, the Pokes will travel a bit deeper into Texas and begin the 2013 season against a foe from the vaunted Southeastern Conference. Oklahoma State will play Mississippi State on Aug. 31 at Reliant Stadium at the inaugural Texas Kickoff Classic. “We’re excited to open the season in Houston,” says OSU Athletic Director Mike Holder. “We have a growing number of Texans attending Oklahoma State and a large alumni base in the area. We will be playing a high-profile season opener in a great stadium. I think our fans will be eager for this matchup all summer.” Oklahoma State finished last season with an 8-5 record after beating Purdue 58-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Mississippi State won its first seven games of 2012 but finished with an overall record of 8-5, including a 20-34 loss to Northwestern in the Gator Bowl.


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Oklahoma State’s last regular-season meeting with a member of the SEC was in the 2009 season opener when the ninth-ranked Cowboys beat No. 13 Georgia, 24-10. OSU last played in Reliant Stadium in 2002 when it defeated Southern Mississippi in the Houston Bowl. Oklahoma State and Mississippi State have split their four previous meetings, but they have not played since 1999. ESPN created the Texas Kickoff Classic, working with the Houston Texans and Lone Star Sports and Entertainment. Tickets

Tickets are available through the OSU ticket office. OSU Athletics is responsible for disbursing an allotment of 10,500 tickets. For information on prices, seating and availability, visit or call the ticket office at 877-255-4678.

Orange Savings

CONNECTION The Orange Savings Connection is an online marketplace for OSU Alumni Association members to take Big Names and Bargains advantage of hundreds of Search a list of nationwide vendors that discounts with local and provide discounts on apparel and vacations nationwide businesses. plus everything in between. Shop online at the stores you love and save big.

Shop Local and Save

The Alumni Association works one-on-one with local merchants to provide discounts to members in major alumni bases including Stillwater, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

To begin saving today visit

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

return gifts Photos / Phil Shockley

Drs. Steve Weir, left, and Bob Shoup are partners at the Catoosa Small Animal Hospital.

The words “return gifts” The OSU alumni give generously to the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences in tribute conjure up thoughts of to the education they received. standing in a store line to return an unwanted item. But for two OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences alumni, it refers to continued support of their alma mater. Drs. Steve Weir and Bob Shoup consistently give money, time and referral cases to OSU. It’s in return for the education they received while earning Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees. Weir graduated in May 1980 and began the Catoosa (Okla.) Small Animal Hospital two months later. Shoup graduated in 1982 and joined the practice, buying in as a partner the following year. “After graduation, I was supposed to return to my hometown of McAlester, Okla., and take over another veterinarian’s practice,” says Shoup, who knew Weir


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from Stillwater. “It was a solo practice, and I didn’t want to work in a solo practice. I am known to say that I don’t mind working hard, but occasionally I like to play hard. Having adequate time off has prevented burnout, and after 30 years I still enjoy my job.” Weir notes the Catoosa hospital’s two other veterinarians are OSU alumnae — Laura Embry, class of 2003, and Sarah Smith, class of 2007. “We only hire OSU graduates,” he says with a smile. “OSU produces veterinary students who are well-rounded and make great practitioners.” Located on U.S. Route 66, the clinic offers general veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry. It has an in-house

laboratory, ultrasound and digital radiography, and a boarding facility for dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, rabbits and other small pets. One reason clients travel for miles to bring their animals to Catoosa is that the employees treat each animal as if it was their own pet. It always affects them when one dies. The clinic honors their memories with contributions to OSU’s Companion Animal Fund, which supports CVHS research. “The veterinary center in return sends a very nice letter to the client saying that a donation was made in their pet’s memory by our clinic,” Shoup says. “Of all the things we do, I think this is one of the big things clients appreciate. They know that

their pet is remembered in such a way that the money may go to help other animals down the road. Owners love it.” In addition to the Companion Animal Fund, Weir and Shoup donate about $20,000 annually to OSU’s veterinary center. They support the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association Student Scholarship Fund, the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital Small Animal Equipment Fund, the Alumni and Friends Scholarship, the Dean Michael D. Lorenz Scholarship and the Dean’s Fund for Excellence. They also sit on the Dean’s Development Associates, which meets with Dean Jean Sander and the center’s Veterinary Administrative Council throughout the year. “Caring, giving alumni like Steve and Bob are of such importance to the veterinary center,” Sander says. “They provide a great example for our students of what lies ahead for their careers should they decide to go into private practice. The cases they refer to the veterinary hospital give our students excellent hands-on experience from which to learn. They provide valuable feedback about what practitioners need from future graduates and from us as a referral source. We appreciate all they do and hope more alumni will follow their example of giving back in whatever capacity they can.”

Weir and Shoup credit OSU with teaching them what they needed to know to establish a successful practice. “I received a wealth of information from my instructors at OSU,” Shoup says. “It’s important that we all donate back to the things that we love and trust and really enjoy. That is why Dr. Weir and I have given back to the college. Because this profession has been wonderful to us, we want to give something back so that future generations will have the opportunities that we do.” Adds Weir, “We are blessed at this point in our careers to be in a position where we can donate dollars to the school. We do as much as we can because everybody knows funding from the state level is not increasing, and it’s unlikely to increase. It’s really helpful for practitioners to give. It’s money well-spent and it goes to a very, very good cause.”

Drs. Steve Weir, left, and Bob Shoup examine a patient at their Catoosa Small Animal Hospital.

For information on giving to the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, contact Heather Clay, senior director of development and veterinary center team lead for the OSU Foundation, at 405-385-5607 or


what clients say “I am a huge animal lover. When we moved to Catoosa, I had heard good things about the facility, so this is where we need to be. Strays seem to migrate to my door and when we visit, the staff here is so knowledgeable. The veterinarians and staff here just have such a personal interest in the animals — they really care.” — Beth Ann Jensen, of Catoosa, Okla.

“We love Catoosa Small Animal Clinic and working with Laura and Sarah.” — Sharon Wilson, of Claremore, Okla., who has brought Samoyeds, some of which are also therapy dogs, to the clinic for 18 years

“If they don’t know the answer, they will find it. They are easy to reach and they promptly call you back. Other dog owners I know say their dogs hate going to the vet. Mine love it and don’t mind at all. (My dog) Cracker Jack had kidney problems, so I had to bring him in every day. When I would come to pick him up, he would be sitting with the receptionist. They treat everyone’s dog like he is the most important dog in the world. They have time for you; you are not just a number. I can’t say enough good about them.” — Sharon Price, of Tulsa, Okla., who has been coming to the clinic since 2003 and breeds and shows bulldogs




Former Cowboy Caller Supports Younger Peers Scholarship helps students helping OSU.


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had Crotchett considered himself fortunate to be debt-free when he completed his management information systems degree in 2004. He received what he calls “significant” academic scholarships, which he supplemented by working 2½ years in fundraising with the OSU Foundation as a Cowboy Caller. “I told myself that, when I got the opportunity, I would provide scholarships to others just like donors had done for me,” says the 31-year-old quality assurance engineer. “I decided to do it at a young age because I want to see students use and enjoy the scholarship that they earned.” He set a goal of donating as much to OSU as he had received in scholarships. When his wife, Amy Crotchett, paid off her student loans in 2012, they established the Chad Crotchett Cowboy Callers Endowed Scholarship. A large first donation followed by regular monthly contributions have the fund on pace to be fully endowed and producing annual scholarships in less than five years. “I chose to establish an endowment rather than give money to be spent immediately so that it will be around to help students forever,” says Chad Crotchett, who coordinates the San Antonio OSU Alumni Association Watch Club. “The way I’m doing this, it won’t take long to start paying out anyway.” Crotchett looks forward to meeting the recipients of his scholarship, just as he met and thanked two of his scholarship donors, Olin and Paula Branstetter. When the Branstetters died in a 2011 plane crash along with Cowgirl basketball coaches Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna, Crotchett donated to

a fund in their memory and decided it was time to establish his own scholarship. Amy Crotchett, a University of Florida graduate, supports her husband’s decision. “This was really important to him, so I was happy we could do it,” she says. “It’s something Chad has talked about since I first met him. It was kind of an easy conversation because he had already laid the plans.” Chad Crotchett’s love for OSU is a family trait. His parents, Debbie and Ralph, met on campus while studying business administration. She graduated in 1976 and he followed in 1977. Their younger son, James, is a 2007 advertising alumnus. “OSU gave me a great opportunity to both grow my academic skills as well as my personal skills,” Chad Crotchett says. “There were many wonderful learning opportunities to kind of see how the real world works. The knowledge I gained from OSU laid a foundation for me to be successful in my career after college.” His experience as a Cowboy Caller was a highlight, Crotchett says, which is why his scholarship will go to Cowboy Callers. The program features 60 student outreach representatives working five days a week year-round to connect donors’ passions with university priorities. They call OSU alumni, friends and parents, playing a vital role in establishing and maintaining a strong relationship with members of the orange and black family. “That job helped me understand the need for scholarships and reaching out to alumni,” he says. “It was a great opportunity to work alongside fellow students, contact alumni to keep in touch with them and work with them to make OSU a better place.”

The OSU-loving Crotchett family surrounds Chad Crotchett, who has established an endowed scholarship. Next to him is his wife, Amy. In the back are his brother, James, and his parents, Ralph and Debbie. PHOTO / JACOB LONGAN

Cowboy Callers say Crotchett’s gift will make OSU a better place by encouraging students to do well in school and helping them avoid school-loan debt. “Mr. Crotchett’s generosity shows a lot about his character and feelings for Oklahoma State that I hope I will feel one day myself as an alumnus working to help advance the students and university as a whole,” says Tyler Stone, a hotel and restaurant administration major from Inola, Okla. “I love that someone was generous enough to create a scholarship for us,” says

Katie Harraway, an animal science and agricultural communications major from Sallisaw, Okla. “We try our best to raise money for all OSU students. Mr. Crotchett understands what goes on behind the scenes, and I’m glad that he wants to help us with our pursuit of higher education.” Crotchett’s scholarship fund is a great reward for hard-working Cowboy Callers, says Hannah Michelson, manager of the Cowboy Callers Phonathon. “I know how hard these students work on behalf of OSU,” she says. “Chad Crotchett is truly bringing this passion to

life by starting a Cowboy Caller scholarship fund. I know that all the students I employ hope to give back to OSU one day, and I am so happy that Mr. Crotchett still remembers what it is like to be a Cowboy Caller and has kept them in mind when making this generous donation.” JAC O B L O N G A N

To learn more about the Cowboy Callers and the difference you can make at OSU, visit



g r A D U AT E

S C h O O l


M A N A g E M E N T

What our Executive Doctoral Students have to say …

David Altounian

Dessie B. Nash

Founder Motion Computing Austin, Texas

Tom Totten

Vice President Market Investment Director U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management DeSoto, Texas

“The program has introduced me to research tools and materials that I’ve already been able to put to use in my daily work. The opportunity to be able to integrate academic approaches and practitioner approaches is what makes this program unique.”

“The open discussions and idea exchanges in the program have allowed me to implement several immediate changes in my department. We have been able to redesign our client outreach program to be more proactive and targeted.”

Chief Executive Officer Nyhart Indianapolis, Indiana

“The program has not only taught me to become an evidence-based leader, but also is transforming Nyhart to becoming more evidence based in our decision making.”

Applications now being accepted for 2014 and 2015. p h d e x ec.o k st a t e.e du Inquiries

405.744.9000 |

New Life Members

A lifetime connection to America’s Brightest Orange The OSU Alumni Association would like to recognize the following people who are now connected for life to Oklahoma State University through their life memberships purchased in 2012. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a life member at or call 405-744-5368.

John Brady, ’10

Brian Cathey

Travis Brady

Christopher Cavins, ’00

Vernon Brake Jr., ’02 Melissa Brake, ’02

Frederick Chadsey IV, ’80, ’81

Alison Braly, ’05

Jamie Chastain, ’07

Andrew Brand, ’01

Bertie Chawla, ’86

Stephanie Brand, ’01, ’06

Beverly Chawla, ’89

Shay Braun, ’90

Melissa Cheatwood, ’82

Derek Briggs, ’94

Jamie Chisamore, ’02

Tammy Bright, ’00, ’05

Joshua Christian, ’02

Patrick Briley, ’85

Justin Chronister, ’04

Stacy Briley

Toni Chrz, ’84

Brian Berryman

Stacey Brooks

Leah Clark, ’05

Lance Bersche, ’95

Jennifer Brooks

Cory Clark, ’03, ’04

Glenda Bertelsmeyer, ’69

Lance Brown, ’11

Jack Clark

Jeremy Besco

Melissa Brown, ’90

Sid Clarke III, ’62

Jay Bessinger, ’10

Rick Bruce

Gemy Coates, ’92

Kathy Bizzoco, ’69, ’71

Karen Bruce

Todd Coates, ’93

Kenneth Blevins, ’10

Thomas Brunk, ’69

Tammy Coffee

Gregory Bloyd, ’03

Tim Coffman, ’75

Scott Abbey, ’98, ’02

Steven Ball, ’85, ’87

Jill Bloyd, ’04

Debra Buckalew Campbell

Ann Abbey

Nancy Ball, ’86

Fred Blythe II, ’88

Chad Bullard, ’00, ’03

Laura Coley, ’91

Randy Abbott, ’74

Travis Banning, ’06

Vincent Boelte, ’04

Martin Bullock, ’84

David Coley, ’93, ’93

Julie Adams, ’90

Kristi Banning, ’07

Sarah Bolstead

Gay Lynn Bullock

Logan Collins, ’09

David Adams, ’08

Haylee Barney, ’03

Jason Bolstead, ’02, ’03

Ashley Burk, ’07

Cindy Conner, ’75, ’79

Kristen Adams, ’08

Todd Barney, ’02

Joe Bonilla

Keri Burrows, ’00

Cathie Cordis, ’82

Brent Adkins, ’01

Ken Barrett, ’64, ’65

Ashley Bonniger, ’11

Phillip Crabtree, ’95

Michelle Adkins, ’00, ’03

Erin Barry, ’02

Diana Boules, ’90

Stacey Butterfield, ’89, ’99

Anwar Ahmed, ’11

Greg Bartlett

Tracia Boswell

Heather Akridge, ’03, ’07

Caroline Batson, ’09

Daryl Bowen, ’94

Andrew Albert, ’09, ’09

Carl Bauer, ’03

Kristi Bowen

Pamela Alexander, ’73

Sally Bauer, ’06

Devin Bowen, ’04

Charles Alexander, ’68

Lindy Bauer

Beth Braddock, ’85

Calvin Alexander

Kay Beauchamp, ’85

Jason Bradshaw, ’92

Amy Alonso, ’00, ’04

R. Bennett, ’89

Kristina Amiraslani, ’05, ’06

Tarena Bennett, ’91

Samantha Bradshaw, ’00, ’00

Stephanie Colbert, ’93

Drew Crawford

Daniel Cahalen, ’78

Lisa Crawford

Shelly Cahalen, ’79

Carl Crites, ’86

Carol Calcagno, ’61

Chad Cronin, ’93

Virginia Calkins, ’98

Catherine Cronin

Lindsey Callison, ’11

Sarah Cross, ’09, ’11

Patrick Cameron, ’89

Jason Crull, ’97

Jill Cameron

Gregory Crum, ’92

John Campbell, ’90

Cristina Cude, ’96

Sharon Campbell, ’92

Yosef Amiraslani, ’08

Steven Cummings, ’03

Lisa Cannon, ’93

Linda Andersson, ’64

Christy Daboval, ’85

Keith Cannon, ’93, ’95

Phillip Andrews, ’72

Mark Davey, ’02, ’04

Marc Cantrell, ’01

Jeanne Andrews

Andrea Davidson, ’04

Rashel Carnefix, ’91

Renae Arbuckle, ’07

Thomas Davidson

Jack Carnefix II, ’88

Bruce Arnold, ’84

Trent Davis, ’97

Stephen Carr, ’92

Shari Arnold, ’85

Matthew Davis, ’11

Cynthia Carr, ’92

Virginia Ashley, ’81

Cassie Carradine, ’88

Carol Davis Ricord, ’87, ’90

Anthony Aspden, ’98

Richard Carter, ’11

Doug Dean, ’74

Jena Aspden, ’00

Darla Carter

Victoria Deerman, ’82

Adam Avants, ’01

Dwayne Cartmell II, ’93, ’94, ’98

Casey Delaney, ’02

Rebecca Bailey, ’01, ’04 Wren Baker, ’03

Pamela Cartmell, ’95

Connie Demoret, ’90, ’90

Kyle Baker, ’11

Kylie Castonguay

Phillip Demoret

David Balinsky, ’09

Cindi Cathey, ’02

Robert Berryhill

Elizabeth DeLozier, ’12


Robert Dennis, ’11

Melinda Fenton

Gregory Grant, ’02

Robyn Havener, ’01

Stephanie Ingold, ’93

Tenae Dick, ’99, ’00

Shellee Fenton

Jennifer Grant, ’02

Suzanne Hays

Brooke Ishmael, ’07

Derek Dick, ’00, ’02

Aron Fenton, ’93, ’99

Tricia Gray, ’96, ’98

Larry Hays

Ryan Ishmael, ’06

Tim Dickenson, ’83

Joan Ferrell, ’72

Bobbe Gray, ’09

Robert Heider, ’07

Caroline Diedrich, ’09

Christie Fincher, ’76

Bret Green, ’83

James Hemphill, ’81, ’97

Amy IshmaelGoodpasture, ’99, ’99

Timothy Diehl, ’11

Krista Fincher, ’09

Jack Gregg, ’91

Debra Hemphill

Clint James, ’07

Jed Dillingham, ’83

Jeffrey Fisher, ’92

Jack Gregston, ’99

Tessa Henard, ’11

Jared Janes, ’06, ’06

Catherine Dillingham

Bill Fisher, ’76, ’77

Jeanne Gregston, ’99

John Hendrickson, ’03

Sandy Jay, ’80

Blaine Douglas, ’93, ’99

Scott Flanary, ’01

Dicky Griffin, ’75, ’75

Stacy Hendrickson, ’02

Marlo Jeffrey, ’08

Kellie Douglas, ’88

Donna Fleming, ’84, ’90

Cindy Griffith, ’78

Dennis Hendrix, ’81

Peter Jensen, ’88

Timothy Doutey, ’87

William Focht, ’92, ’95

David Grigsby, ’93

Hanna Hensley, ’08

Jenny Jett, ’89

Bo Downing, ’06

Carol Foor, ’82, ’93

Jennifer Grigsby, ’94

Julie Herzog, ’90, ’91

Greg Johnson, ’80

Renae Dozier, ’96

Rick Ford Jr., ’91

Robert Grizzelle

Anne Hester, ’73

Brandi Johnson, ’03

Kate Dragoo, ’99

Monica Ford, ’91, ’00

Cason Grover, ’95

Sherry High, ’93

Chad Johnson, ’02 Jason Johnson, ’03

Arthur Drain II, ’00

Robert Forslund, ’76, ’12

Fredrick Gutierrez, ’02

Scott Hildebrandt, ’85

Amy Dronberger, ’06

Donna Forslund, ’88

Spencer Haines, ’98

Cheryl Hildebrandt, ’85

Kelsey Johnson Jennifer Johnson, ’07

Seth Duckworth, ’10

Nicki Forte, ’08, ’11

Jaree Haines, ’99

Anna Hill, ’65

Clayton Dunnihoo, ’62

Patti Foust, ’92

Helen Hale, ’02

Bill Hill, ’63, ’67

Robert Johnson, ’10

Alaine Dye, ’83, ’90

Brendan Foutch, ’08

Michael Hall, ’74, ’77, ’80

Mark Hill, ’75

Julie Johnston, ’98

Ryan Eaton, ’99

Laura Foutch, ’07

Seth Hall, ’07

Colin Johnston, ’11

Kylie Eaton, ’03

Blake Freeland, ’04

Callie Hall, ’07

Christopher Hitch, ’96, ’98 Michelle Hoang, ’90

Carol Jones, ’77, ’06

Sherrel Jones, ’70

Mark Eck, ’11

Tom Friedemann, ’70, ’91

Vincen Halley, ’99

Kelsey Eck, ’12

Cindy Friedemann, ’94

Jessica Halley, ’00

Larry Hoberock

Erica Jones, ’07 Kevin Jones

Mandy Edmonds, ’09

Ann Fulmer, ’71

Scott Halstead, ’07, ’10

Judy Hoberock, ’88

Kristy Ehlers, ’00

Susan Furr, ’79

Katrina Halstead

Michelle HofferberFuqua, ’01

Teresa Jones

Kelly Hogue, ’07

Donald Justice, ’61

Jeffrey Holba, ’99

Justin Kana, ’99

Kelsey Holcomb, ’02

Ron Kantola Jr.

Deborah Eidsness, ’00

Adrian Gage, ’97

Matthew Hamilton, ’07

Glen Elliott, ’83

Jennifer Galloway, ’81

Molly Hamlin-James, ’07

Robin Elliott

Allan Gant, ’72

Christa Hammack, ’95

Theresa Ellis, ’95

Dianne Gant, ’77

Kayla Hammer, ’84

Dustin Ellis, ’99

Tom Gardner, ’86, ’92, ’96

Mechelle Hampton, ’91

Amanda Elmenhorst, ’01, ’05

Jana Gardner, ’92, ’96

Rusty Hancock, ’82, ’84

Molly Gardner

Beth Hancock, ’84

Jill Elsberry, ’99

Jade Gibbon, ’90, ’93

Karen Hancock

Joel Embry, ’99

Philip Gibson, ’71

Kelsey Hanebaum, ’12

Missy Embry

John Gillman, ’00

Chad Haney, ’05

Jeff Engle, ’01

Kristen Gillman, ’98, ’06

Jillian Haney, ’08

Susan Gilmartin, ’82, ’11

Adel Hanna, ’76

Ashley Engle, ’02 Merideth Erickson, ’00

Evan Glass, ’09

Sophie Hanna

Rhonda Ernst, ’87

Laura Glentzer, ’91

Samantha Hanzel, ’04

James Eslinger, ’97

Liz Glidden, ’05

Davin Haraway

Dustin Evans, ’95

Bridget Harkin

William Evans, ’77

Darlene Godfrey-Welch, ’82

Tracie Harris

Shonja Evans, ’95

Julie Godwin, ’81

Michael Harris, ’08

Marlena Everett

Rhonda Godwin, ’81

Tera Harrison, ’95

Bill Ewens, ’68

Terri Goedecke, ’83

Curtis Harrison, ’95

Lisa Fansher, ’76

Sean Goodpasture

Ron Harrison, ’85

Corey Farrell, ’03

Donald Goosman, ’02

Denise Haury

Steven Fasold

Melanie Goosman, ’02

Stuart Haury

Inez Fasold

Greg Graffman, ’90

Wendy Hauser, ’84, ’88

Payvand Fazel, ’08

Kemit Grafton

Brian Hauser, ’10

Elvin Fenton


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Jeanette Grafton

Jeff Havener, ’02

Jeffrey Jones, ’99

Allen Hood, ’92

Shelly Kantola

Tracy Hoover, ’88

Erica Kappel, ’07

Mitzi Hoover

Courtney Kastler, ’10

Creed Hoover, ’00

Janine Kay, ’96

Sara Hoover, ’98

Susan Keary, ’81

Chaney Horn, ’97

John Keathley

Joe Hornick Sr., ’71

Renee Keathley

Bradley Horton, ’09

Lauren Keck, ’11

Joel Houk, ’97

James Kelley, ’79

Kami Houk

Katherine Kenbeek, ’11

Michael Howell, ’05 Tara Huddleston, ’04, ’06

Cassandra Kent-Clark, ’09, ’11

Bobby Huddleston, ’03

Scott Killough, ’83

Michael Huskey, ’96

Meredith Kimak, ’01

Melanie Hutchinson, ’10

Charles Kimball, ’72

Tera Hutson, ’04

Nancy Kimball, ’72

Clay Hutson, ’07

Grant Kincannon, ’09, ’11

Ross Hutson, ’06

Lindsey Kinder, ’09

Allen Hutson, ’06

Asa Kinder, ’09

Tabitha Imes Cole

Robert Kindt, ’98

Robert Impson, ’78

Heather Kindt, ’98

Cindy Impson, ’81

Mirelle Kinzie, ’12

Trace Kirkpatrick, ’04, ’07

Trenton LeForce, ’87

Justin McFatridge, ’01

Tessa Moss, ’98

Robert Perry, ’10

Sarah Kirkpatrick, ’06

Gayle Lettenmaier, ’92

Emily McFatridge, ’01

Travis Moss, ’98

Lynn Knight, ’89

John Lewis, ’83, ’85

Levi McGee, ’09

Rickki Moyer, ’96, ’98

Tammy PevehouseTownley, ’89

Lara Koch, ’97

Judy Lewis, ’81, ’84

Chelsea McKay, ’12

Chad Muncrief, ’09

Jon Phelps, ’82

Brent Koch, ’98

Crystal Lewis

Kyle McKinzie, ’09

Rick Muratet, ’71

Bartley Pickens, ’78

Erin Koenig, ’04

Matthew Lewis, ’09

Dennis McMahan, ’85

Shea Murdock, ’02

Debi Pickens, ’77

Doug Koenig, ’03

Cari Lewis, ’06, ’09

Jeff McNaughton, ’82

Jennifer Murdock, ’01

Gerald Poe, ’71

Darla Koetter, ’92

Richard Lieber, ’76

Wyatt Musgrove, ’12

Kelsey Poe, ’05

Kristin Kosanke, ’93

R. J. Lipert, ’98

Lou Ann McNaughton, ’85

Arthur Nall, ’75

Ben Poe, ’05

Tim Locke, ’86

Mark McNitt, ’89

T. J. Nance, ’00

Chase Pollard, ’05

April Locke

Clay Meeks, ’87

M’Kayla Nance, ’00

Bob Poplin, ’82, ’88

Robert Lopez

Kimberly Meeks, ’87

Brittany Nance, ’09

David Porter, ’81

Joe Kreger, ’94, ’99

Cathy Lopez

Tim Melton, ’79

Carol Sue Nasworthy, ’62

Erin Portman, ’07

Mark Kreul, ’96

Jon Lorenzino, ’85

Felipe Meraz

Jack Nasworthy, ’63

Ethan Pounds, ’10

Gina Lowe, ’93

Joe Mercado Jr., ’82, ’83

Cena Nault

David Powell, ’78

Paul Kropp, ’92

Kathy Loyd, ’83

Sara Merrifield, ’08

Mark Nault

Judy Powell

Melissa Kropp, ’91

Richard Loyd, ’83

Henry Merrifield, ’08

Kyle Nelson, ’09

Zeb Prawl, ’98

Jim Kuehne, ’63

Jamie Lucas, ’02

Brenda Miller, ’86, ’97

Mark Nester, ’83

Jessica Press, ’99

Katie Lundquist

Daniel Miller, ’90

Jon-Marc Newberry, ’97

Suzy Price, ’76

Raeanne Lambert, ’95

Gregg Luther, ’89

Sean Miller, ’00

Randilea Nichols, ’11

Stephanie Price, ’89, ’91

Lucy Lambert, ’08

Kirk Madison, ’01

Cherisse Miller, ’03

Katie Nickles, ’08

Bill Price, ’84

Jason Landkamer, ’96

Lauren Madison, ’01

Crystal Miller, ’02

John Nickles, ’08

Angela Price, ’95

Ashley Landkamer, ’04

John Majors, ’72

Adam Miller, ’03

Richard Norman, ’78

Sam Price, ’95, ’96

Gary Makowiecki, ’05

Jason Miller, ’03

Debry O’Brien, ’80, ’81

Lisa Prickett, ’02, ’03

Lesley Maloney, ’00

John Miller III, ’05

Matthew O’Brien, ’80, ’83

Charlie Prickett, ’02

Elise Kovar, ’05 Jessica Kramer, ’08 Traci Kreger, ’97, ’00

Dennis Kroll, ’96

Jan Kuntz, ’82

Timothy Lane, ’79, ’83, ’90 Sarah Lanier, ’12

Thomas Maloney, ’02

Bailey Miller, ’11

Jimmy Ober, ’92

Ross Pruitt, ’08

Ryan Lanman, ’02

Christopher Mangum, ’02

Christopher Miller, ’09

Kim Ober

Jordan Pryor

April Lanman

Tamara Marr Crum, ’92

Gabe Miller, ’09

Danielle Odom, ’07

Levi Rains, ’03

Erik Larsen, ’96

Niles Martin, ’77

Heath Miller, ’07

Kimmie Odquist, ’05

Averi Raleigh, ’09

Amber Larsen, ’00

Brenda Martin, ’77

Rex Miller, ’05

Joshua Odquist, ’07

Matthew Ralls, ’98

Kara Lawrence, ’96

Elizabeth Martin

Caroline Miller, ’05

Kelli Ogle, ’03

Cherish Ralls, ’03, ’03

Joe Lawrence, ’96

Jamie Martin, ’07

Nickey Miller Jones, ’01

Joline Oldenburg, ’00, ’04

Cassie Ramoska, ’04

Aletheia Lawry, ’98

Jarrod Martin, ’07

Joe Mitchell Jr., ’92

Casey Oldenburg, ’10

Jason Ramsey, ’05

Jarrod Ledterman, ’08

Wayne Matthews, ’77, ’83

Raymond Mitchell, ’64

Christopher Oney, ’95

Steve Rauner, ’91

Denise Lee, ’04

Sandra Matthews, ’01

Shel Mitchell, ’06

Phil Opalka, ’05

Sally Ray, ’99

Scott Lee, ’07

Marilynn McAfee, ’59

Michael Mitchell

Lana Ortwein, ’90

Bill Ray

Ronald McAfee, ’59

Tony Mixon, ’80

Christina Ostrander, ’80

Ashley Ray, ’07

Sean McCabe, ’06, ’08

Rachel Monn, ’02, ’04

Rex Ostrander, ’94, ’99

Troy Reavis, ’74

Will McCallum, ’11

Sarah Monn-Mason, ’01, ’01

Kate Overton, ’99

James Reber, ’04

Ryan Owens, ’10

Steve Reeder, ’70

Ted Palmer, ’71

Meredith Revell, ’89

Shirley Palmer

Donald Reynolds III, ’82

Beth LeForce, ’87

Jo McCollom, ’81 Matthew McCollom, ’82 Katie McCollom, ’04 Melinda McCormick, ’90 Dwayne McCormick, ’88

Dennis Moore, ’88 Delene Moore, ’90 Michael Moore, ’99 Amanda Moore, ’12 Ryan Moore, ’11

Richard McCullough, ’74, ’78

Traci Morgan, ’97, ’03

Guy McCune, ’95

Brad Morris, ’92

Kelli McDoulett, ’89

Dirk Morris, ’79, ’05

Joe McDoulett

Robin Morris, ’79

Lindsay McDowell, ’99

Jeffrey Morrissette, ’84, ’84

Brian McDowell, ’98

Eugene Moseley, ’04

Macey Panach, ’05

Lynzi Rice, ’04, ’05

Matthew Panach, ’05

Raelynne Richardson, ’10

Daniel Parker, ’08

James Richardson, ’10

Bill Patterson, ’82

Tyler Richey, ’09

Tracy Patton, ’94, ’97

Allison Richey, ’09

Ketha Pennington Verzani, ’72

Jillian Riggs

Michael Perrier, ’03

Mark Rives, ’87

Caryn Perrier, ’04

Lorene Roberson, ’84

Christopher Rispoli, ’97


Gary Roberts, ’73, ’75

David Semkoff, ’86

Josh Stefancic, ’01, ’08

Richard Thomas, ’83

Jeffrey West, ’91

Rick Roberts, ’88

Toni Shaklee, ’85, ’94

Jeffrey Thomas, ’96

Pamela Whitcomb, ’91

Matthew Roberts, ’00

Casey Sharber, ’02

Robert Steinkirchner II, ’07

Molly Thompson, ’95

Benjamin Whitcomb, ’91

Megan Roberts, ’07

Jeffrey Sharp, ’87

Christopher Stephens, ’02

Chet Thompson

Andy Whitcomb, ’90

Lyn Robertson, ’01, ’05

Meredith Shepard, ’10

Matthew Robertson, ’05

Philip Shepherd, ’09

Jennifer Robertson, ’06

Janet Shideler, ’71, ’77

John Robinson, ’86

Ricky Shields, ’05, ’07

Lynett Rock-Crull, ’96

Bret Sholar, ’90

Herbert Roe Jr., ’78

Angela Sholar, ’88, ’90

Cynthia Roe

Tracy Short, ’10

Sherry Rogers, ’89

Karina Shreffler, ’01

Pam Rogers, ’78

Jeremy Shreffler, ’01

Robyn Rolenec, ’08

Walter Shumate, ’73

Lynne Roller, ’71, ’76

Susan Shumate, ’75

Nancy Roman, ’84

Bambi Sidwell, ’03

Nancy Rooker, ’92

Brady Sidwell, ’04

Lane Royall, ’05

Patrick Sievert, ’05

William Ruedy, ’77, ’79

Russell Simkins, ’83, ’05

Jessica Russell, ’06

Betty Simkins, ’83

Jordan Russell, ’06

Alana Simmons, ’87

Jacob Ryan, ’10, ’10

Kurtis Singer, ’08

Roopesh Sadashiva Reddy, ’09

Rebecca Singer, ’10 Scott Sjulin, ’91

Stuart Sander, ’91

Susan Sjulin, ’89, ’91

Kimberly Sander, ’90

Jim Skaggs Jr., ’72

Ray Sanders, ’80, ’85, ’88

Karla Skaggs, ’84

Jason Sanders, ’04

Jeff Slack, ’85

Tia Sanders, ’11

Jordan Slagell, ’09

Stephen Sanders

Cordis Slaughter Jr., ’78

Ronnie Sarratt, ’75, ’79

Lynette Slaughter, ’76

Wiley Sartin

Sally Sloan

Kelley Satterfield, ’00

Jim Smay, ’96

Heath Satterfield, ’98

Maureen Smith, ’02

Courtney Savage, ’01

Michael Smith, ’10

Eric Savage, ’06

Larissa Smith, ’09

Lauren Schatzel, ’02

Joshua Smith, ’03

Marci Schiel, ’02

Corby Smithton, ’94

Jeff Schmidt, ’02

Colbi Smithton, ’95

Crystal Schneberger, ’99

Luke Snider, ’05

Jared Schneberger, ’00

Stephen Snider, ’05

Michelle Schrader, ’95

Kevin Snowden, ’90

Bart Schultheiss, ’80

Dee Sokolosky III, ’80

Ted Schupbach, ’74, ’77

Dennis Soule, ’92

Cathy Seagraves, ’07

Dawn Sowinski, ’99

Thomas Seagraves, ’11

Christa Spanich, ’02

Brent Sedersten, ’08

Lisa Sperry, ’98

Amy Seiger, ’01, ’03

Sidney Sperry

Jeremy Seiger, ’99, ’03

Stacia States, ’11

Katy Selk, ’11, ’12

Patricia Staude

Cheryl Semkoff, ’81

Robert Steeds, ’75


spring 20 13

Taylor Stevak, ’12 Amanda Stewart, ’02 Connie Stiegler, ’67 James Stiegler, ’67 Homer Still, ’69 Blair Stinnett, ’85 Rae Jean Stinnett Darrell Stinson, ’57 Coleta Stinson Brad Stock, ’06, ’11

Mica Thompson, ’02

Alan White, ’83

Ryan Timms, ’09

Colleen White, ’84

Janice Tipton, ’67

Michael Whitfield, ’96

Traci Todd, ’98

Michael Wiese, ’12

Darryl Toews, ’76, ’78

Montea Wight III, ’96

Gaye Toews, ’79

Clark Williams, ’70

Eric Tollison, ’08

Teal Williams, ’98

Vinh Tran, ’01

Catherine Williams, ’10

Heather Treece, ’09

Blake Williams, ’10

Jenny Trett, ’09

Matthew Willis, ’10, ’11

Ronald Trett

Dawn Wilson

JuLayne Trimble, ’83

Timothy Wilson, ’93, ’09

Jessica Trojan

Gregory Wilson, ’93

Emily Stolworthy, ’11

Michael Trzebiatowski, ’97, ’03

Lauren Storms, ’05

Jessica Wilson, ’99

Tracy Turcott, ’98

Lyndee Strader, ’07

Alex Wilson, ’10

Monika Turek, ’05, ’05

Don Strain, ’64

Ashley Wilson

Torry Turnbow, ’99, ’00

Kimberly Stringer, ’88

Mark Wimmer, ’99

Jason Turnbow, ’99

Jillian Wimmer Jerry Winkle, ’65

Jodie Stockett, ’85 Reginald Stockton Julie Stockton

Latasha Wilson, ’06, ’09

Stephen Stringer, ’80

Cheryl Turner, ’75

Eric Stroud, ’04, ’06

Charles Turner Jr.

Elizabeth Stroud, ’06

Betty Winkle

Lisa Usry, ’08

Kevin Stunkel, ’10

Sara Winsted

Srinivasa Venigalla, ’05

John Sullivan

James Wirt, ’84

Maria Vera, ’11

Dixie Swearingen, ’79

Kelly Witherspoon, ’11

Trevor Viljoen, ’07

Steven Sylvester, ’97

Mary Pat Wix, ’69

Brian Vowell, ’98

Donyelle Sylvester, ’05

Mitch Worrell, ’82

Alyssa Vowell

Deanna Sylvester, ’08

Riley Wright, ’68

Heather Walke, ’07

Magan Wright, ’07

Eric Walke, ’08

Patrick Wyers, ’61

Kathie Tanner, ’86 Richard Taptto, ’98 Lynn Tate, ’81 Anita Taylor, ’92 Kelley Taylor, ’83

Jason Walker, ’01

Jake Wynne, ’10

Stacy Walker, ’02

Paul Yates Jr., ’94, ’01

Scottie Wallis, ’12

Lisa Yates

Jack Walsh, ’85 Misty WangerBeiswanger, ’91

Amy Taylor, ’96

John Ward, ’00

Jason Taylor, ’92

NaQuenya Ward

Cynthia Taylor, ’08

Cory Washburn, ’02

Geraldine Taylor-Winslett, ’70

Sarah Washburn Jeremy Waugh, ’10

Rachelyn Teague, ’11, ’11

Dana Weaver, ’09

Jaime Testerman, ’86

Katherine Weder, ’06

Rebecca Thapa, ’97

Emily Wegener, ’10, ’12

Binaya Thapa, ’01

Patricia Welch, ’83

Matthew Tharp, ’02

Daniel Wells, ’00

Christy Thiessen, ’85

Allison Wells, ’05

Mitch Thiessen, ’83

Cynthia West, ’96

Mary Yeakley, ’81 Tom Yeakley, ’81 Cathey Youk, ’82 Karen Zink, ’68

This list does not contain members making payments on a life membership.

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SENIORS The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes students who distinguish themselves through academic achievement; campus and community activities; academic, athletic or extracurricular honors or awards; scholarships; and work ethic. After reviewing the students’ applications, the OSU Alumni Association Student Awards and Selection Committee met with 46 of the Seniors of Significance who were honored in fall 2012 and selected 14 to receive this prestigious honor. The 2013 Outstanding Seniors will be honored at a banquet April 22 at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.

Kimberly Branham

Andrea Cerar

Grant Dixon

Bartlesville, Okla. animal science

Tulsa, Okla. English and Spanish

Branham has served as secretary of the Animal Science Leadership Alliance, OSU Pre-Vet Club historian, OSU Department of Animal Science student success coach and on the OSU Homecoming Big Committee. She has volunteered for Relay for Life, Remember the Ten Memorial Run, Humane Society of Stillwater and Turning Point Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program. She has also volunteered as a counselor at Osage Christian Camp. Branham was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and was on the President’s Honor Roll for six semesters. She was an OSU Student Employee of the Year nominee and received the General Honors Award from the Honors College. Branham plans to pursue a master’s degree at OSU in animal science with a focus in behavioral genetics.

Cerar has served as editor-inchief of The Odyssey, President’s Leadership Council Group facilitator, Blue Key Honor Society secretary, College of Arts & Sciences Freshman Forum coordinator and Sigma Delta Pi treasurer. She has volunteered with Relay for Life, Up ’til Dawn, Big Event, as event coordinator for Theta Rocks the CASA and as a Camp Cowboy counselor. Cerar received the Honors College’s General Honors Award and was named to OSU Homecoming Royalty Top 15. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, a College of Arts and Sciences Top 10 Senior and made the President’s Honor Roll. Cerar plans to work in Oklahoma City for Teach for America, educating and advocating on behalf of students in lower-income communities.

Stigler, Okla. biochemistry and molecular biology Dixon has served as president of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and executive director of “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration.” He was involved in Varsity Revue Steering, the Interfraternity Council Judicial Board and Student Alumni Board as a membership executive. Dixon has volunteered with Relay for Life, the Skyline Elementary Benefit Auction, Stillwater Aquatic Therapy Lab, Tracey Cox Memorial Walk and the Alpha Gamma Rho Heart of a Champion Special Needs Show. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Order of Omega Honor Society. He was also named the 2009 Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity Outstanding New Initiate and has been on the President’s Honor Roll. Dixon plans to attend law school at Georgetown University and focus on pharmaceutical regulatory law.

Sara Fevurly

Chelsea Garcia

Anna Geary

Lawrence, Kan. strategic communications

Moore, Okla. secondary education mathematics

Edmond, Okla. strategic communications

Fevurly has served as president, treasurer and social chair of Delta Delta Delta sorority and has been involved in the OSU Student Foundation. Her activities include the Homecoming Steering Promotional Design Committee, Panhellenic Public Relations Committee, SPURS spirit team and serving as a formal fall recruitment counselor. Fevurly has dedicated her time to Entrepreneurship Empowerment South Africa, Art With a Heart at OU Children’s Hospital, the Big Event and the Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon Steering Committee. She was a member of Mortar Board, Honors College and Order of Omega Honor Society. She was also named a Top 20 Freshman Woman. Fevurly plans to attend law school.


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Garcia’s activities include the OSU softball team and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She was involved in the Big XII Leadership Summit and was a softball representative for the Student Athletes Advisory Committee. Garcia volunteered her time at events through FCA, Kids Across America sports camp, Life Kids at LifeChurch and Celebration Stillwater. She received the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Women’s Award, Chick-fil-A Big 12 Community of Champions Award and the NCAA Elite 88 Award. Garcia was also named an ESPN/Co-SIDA Academic All-American. Garcia plans to pursue her master’s degree in teaching, learning and leadership with the option of special education. She hopes to obtain her first teaching position within the Stillwater Public School District.

Geary served as the founding member and public relations director of Rooted at Oklahoma State, Blue Key Honor Society vice president, College of Arts & Sciences Student Council secretary and newsletter chair and Ubuntu Youth Empowerment Project campus director. She was also a teaching assistant for Media Style & Structure and Introduction to American Government. Geary has volunteered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, First United Methodist Church community dinners, Humane Society of Stillwater, American Heart Association and Crossings Community Church as a children’s ministry volunteer. She was named an Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Academic Scholar, Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Honor Society Top Scholar and a Paul Miller Memorial Scholar. Geary plans to attend seminary to pursue a Master of Divinity or a Master of Arts degree in biblical studies or counseling.

Katie Haning

Bridget Harkin

Jordan Mayes

Allen, Texas chemical engineering

Alva, Okla. strategic communications

Mount Vernon, Texas accounting

Haning served as treasurer for OSU Crew Club and on the leadership team for the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. She was also involved in the OSU Student Foundation Stewardship Committee and the Institute for Creative and Innovation Steering Committee. Haning traveled to South Asia with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry in summer 2012 to serve students and children for seven weeks. She has also volunteered her time at OSU Foundation events through the OSU Student Foundation. Haning was named the Women for OSU Student Philanthropist of the Year and a Wentz Research Scholar. She also received the Southwest Chemical Association Scholarship. Haning plans to live in East Asia this summer before pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering in the fall.

Harkin has served as President’s Leadership Council facilitator, College of Arts & Sciences Ambassadors co-coordinator and secretary, freshman forum coordinator and community service chair of the College of Arts & Sciences Student Council. She has held various positions for Kappa Delta sorority, including campus involvement chair and formal recruitment counselor. Harkin volunteered her time with the Karman Korner Resale Shop, Girl Scouts of America, Grace Living Center, the Renaissance Assisted Living Community and Highland Park Elementary School. She was named a Mortar Board Top 10 Freshmen Woman and Top Senior Strategic Communications Student. Harkin was a member of Mortar Board Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Order of Omega Honor Society. Harkin plans to work as an Oklahoma Teach for America core member for two years, then pursue a nonprofit career with a mission of closing the gap on educational inequity.

Mayes has served as president of the Blue Key Honor Society and a Relay for Life team leader. His activities include Business Student Council, Beta Alpha Psi and Order of Omega. Mayes volunteered for Habitat Humanity, the Head Start After School Program, Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon and at various projects through Blue Key Honor Society. He was named a ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholar, a Top 10 Freshmen Man, a Spears School of Business Outstanding Senior, a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and has been on the Spears School of Business Dean’s List. Mayes plans to pursue a master’s degree in accounting at OSU.

Dawson Metcalf

Rachel Noland

Meg Sokolosky

Broken Bow, Okla. history and political science

Lake Quivira, Kan. marketing and public relations

Tulsa, Okla. finance

Metcalf has served as a President’s Leadership Council facilitator, Student Government Association Sustainability Committee liaison, ECO-OSU vice president, College of Arts & Sciences Ambassador Program director and Center for Ethical Leadership undergraduate assistant. He volunteered for Real Cowboys Recycle, Real Pokes Pass It On, Sierra Club, Relay for Life and was involved in hosting seminars on Muslim-Christian relations. Metcalf was named a Harry S. Truman Scholarship finalist, OSU Servant Leader of the Year, Wentz Research Scholar, College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Junior and an OSU Homecoming Royalty finalist. Metcalf plans to pursue a master’s degree at OSU in international studies with a focus on environment and ecological resources. He will also be applying to the Peace Corps and plans to eventually obtain his doctorate in international relations and development.

Noland has served as the alumni relations executive for the Student Alumni Board, chapter president and vice president of communication for Pi Beta Phi sorority and Student Government Association Freshmen Representative Council coordinator. She is a member of President’s Partners and the Spears School of Business Student Council. Noland volunteered for the Variety Children’s Charity, Saville Center for Child Abuse Advocacy, FirstBook Literacy Initiatives and at Highland Park Elementary School as a reading buddy. She received the American Women in Communications Rising Star Award and was named to the Homecoming Royalty Top 15. She was also named an Outstanding Panhellenic Junior and Outstanding Panhellenic Delegate. Noland plans to move to Chicago to pursue a job as a marketing consultant. She hopes to eventually attend graduate school and obtain an MBA.

Sokolosky’s activities include serving as president of the Business Student Council and the Mortar Board Honor Society and as executive director of Varsity Revue. She also served on the executive board of OSU Homecoming and was the OSU Athletic Alliance director for the Student Government Association. Sokolosky volunteered her time with the Big Event and was fundraising chair for Relay for Life and Performers on the Rise. She was a tour guide for the OSU Office of Undergraduate Admissions and a member of Student Alumni Board and President’s Partners. She was named an Outstanding Business Senior, a Top 10 Freshmen Woman, a Top 3 Greek Junior Woman and a ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholar. Sokolosky plans to work as a management consultant at Credera in Dallas.

Jace White

Amelia Wilson

Cherokee, Okla. agribusiness

Stillwater, Okla. mechanical and aerospace engineering and Spanish

White’s activities include Alpha Zeta, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Student Council Internal Affairs Committee, Group II Student Fee Allocation Committee, Academic Integrity Panel and GTA Professional Development Task Force. He has volunteered for the Big Event, Hunt for Hunger, Prairie Valley Methodist Church Annual Christmas Food Basket Drives, Humane Society of Stillwater and the Oklahoma Simmental Simbrah Association. White was named a Class of 2016 Hatton W. Sumners Scholar at Oklahoma City University School of Law. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society and the Golden Key International Honour Society. White plans to attend Oklahoma City University School of Law and then practice law in Oklahoma while being involved with the Simmental cattle industry.

Wilson has served as president and vice president of Engineers Without Borders and as a College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Academic Excellence Center success coach. She was also the leader of Team Black Propulsion for Aerospace Capstone Design and was a member of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Student Advisory Board. Wilson was named OSU Student Philanthropist of the Year, a CEAT Scholar, Wentz Research Scholar and Wentz Music Scholar. Her article, “The Effects of Ultrasonic Sound Waves on Frost Suppression for Microchannel Heat Exchangers,” was published in OSU Journal of Undergraduate Research, Volume 1. Wilson plans to attend graduate school to study aerospace engineering.

Scan the QR code or visit to view interviews with the Outstanding Seniors.



Chapters Help with Food Drives OSU alumni chapters are giving back to their local communities to fight hunger. The Oklahoma City Metro Chapter and the Chesapeake Energy Corporate Chapter participated in Feed the Children’s Bedlam vs. Hunger event in November. Although the Oklahoma City OU Alumni Chapter took first place, the families in need received the real trophy. “Alumni chapters helped to serve more than 2,000 families during the holidays,” says Pete Wyatt of Feed the Children. “All of our box packing that’s done for families in need is done by volunteers. We rely heavily on the volunteer workforce here in Oklahoma City.” About 16 volunteers from OSU alumni chapters packed 400 food boxes and 400 essentials boxes in an assembly line at the Feed the Children warehouse. They completed the packing in less than 2½ hours. The OU alumni chapter volunteered the following night, and with several more volunteers on hand was able to complete the packing in about 2 hours. “In the spirit of Bedlam, I think we can say putting two great schools together in competition to face the enemy of hunger is a worthwhile effort and fun,” Wyatt says. “Hunger is an enemy that nobody likes to face.”

Jason Nieuwenhuis, a 1999 OSU alumnus and a Chesapeake Energy Corporate Chapter officer, says he’s a huge believer in paying it forward. “I think as OSU alumni we have to give back to the communities we live in,” Nieuwenhuis says. “I know there were a lot of people who sacrificed and helped me out before, during and after I attended OSU. I didn’t really come out to the event because of the Bedlam competition. I came out because it was a way for OSU and Chesapeake to give back to the community.” Nieuwenhuis brought his wife and children, ages 7 and 8. “I felt it was important for my children

The food and essentials boxes were donated to the Salvation Army and given to Oklahoma City area families. This year, the winner of Feed the Children’s Bedlam vs. Hunger event will be awarded the Bedlam Hunger Cup at the Bedlam football game. “Our goal this year is to have enough volunteers to pack enough food and essentials for 3,200 families,” Wyatt says. “We want to include the opportunity to serve families in Stillwater as well.” The Tulsa OSU Alumni Chapter also gave back to its community. The chapter competed with the local Nebraska Alumni Chapter in a canned food drive. Both chapters raised $1,500 each,

to realize there are people in Oklahoma every day who don’t get enough to eat, and that a few hours of work would help a whole lot of them,” Nieuwenhuis says. “This was a great opportunity to work together with fellow Cowboys while making a difference for those who are less fortunate.” Steven Sturgeon, a 2005 alumnus and the Oklahoma City Metro Chapter vice president, hopes even more boxes can be packaged and donated next year. “The best thing about the event was we were able to bless several local Oklahoma families for Thanksgiving by volunteering only three hours of our time,” Sturgeon says. “It’s always important to give back to the community you live in and support families in need.”

which was donated to the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “We ended up calling it a tie because it was so close,” says Steven Jacoby, a 1980 alumnus and the Tulsa chapter leader. “The goal is not really a competition, but to get food to those in need.” The George Kaiser Family Foundation Matching Grant matched the two chapters’ gifts, and a total of $6,000 was donated to the Food Bank. The funds helped provide about 30,000 meals for families in eastern Oklahoma. “The cash donations go a long ways much further than donating the food,” Jacoby says. “When they buy the food, they buy it in bulk.” Jacoby says he hopes this is something his chapter can participate in yearly with other university alumni chapters. “I think we were pretty successful,” Jacoby says. “The pride our alumni take while supporting a needy cause and their school is invaluable.”

Cowboys for a Cause Several OSU alumni chapters, including Oklahoma City, will be participating in the Alumni Association’s first community service month in April. Visit to locate a Cowboys for a Cause event near you or to recommend an organization to your local chapter leader.

From the left, Lindsey Diel, Tara Roberts and Johnathan Pannes show their OSU spirit in front of some of the 800 boxes that were packed for families in need.


spring 20 13

San Diego Holiday Cruise

Orange County OSU Alumni Chapter officers enjoyed the Holiday Light Cruise around the Newport Beach harbor. From left are Vineet Thanki, president; Pam Meyers, vice president; Jessica Nicholson, treasurer; and Hallie Nicholson, secretary. The Orange County OSU Alumni Chapter in California set sail on the Holiday Light Cruise in December. The chapter rented a boat, and about 70 OSU alumni and friends cruised around the Newport Beach harbor to gaze at lit-up houses. “This was their first event other than a watch party, and it went really well,” says Chapters Coordinator Haley Brorsen. “The chapter has great leadership in Orange County, and it was good to be able to meet them and have face-to-face interaction with the chapter leaders. They are really involved with their chapter, and it was evident from how successful the cruise was.” The cruise sparked the chapter’s interest in hosting more events. “Having the option of family friendly events is important for our chapters to help build their alumni base and their membership,” Brorsen says. “The Orange County Chapter wants to make their cruise an annual event and expand it. There is a boat that seats 200 people, and they say that’s their next goal.” Chapter leader Vineet Thanki, a 2006 alumnus, enjoys connecting with other alumni in the area. “These events make many of us who are too far away to visit Oklahoma feel like we are back home hanging out with other like-minded people who had a common link via OSU,” Thanki

says. “I think it’s important to keep this relationship active as it gives most of us a sense of belonging to a great university and family.” Thanki says the response to the Holiday Light Cruise announcement was so positive that the chapter is beginning to plan more events. “Our next event is likely going to be a visit to Angel Stadium to watch the Angels and Dodgers play,” he says. “We are hoping to get everyone in OSU gear at the event.” For more information about the Orange County OSU Alumni Chapter, visit or find them on Facebook under “OSU Alumni Association — Orange County.”

Pittsburg County Christmas Parade

Pistol Pete excited OSU alumni and fans as he rode on the OSU-themed float. One of America’s favorite mascots was the talk of the town at the McAlester Christmas Parade. The Pittsburg County OSU Alumni Chapter’s float featured Pistol Pete. “I thought the chances of getting him at this time of year were slim to none,” says Mary Ellen Keeter, the chapter’s leader. “I was overwhelmed with joy when I received the acceptance email.” After attending the Officer Leadership Training in 2011, Keeter was looking for a way to get Pistol Pete to a family friendly event in Pittsburg County. “Since we are in the southeastern part of the state, only those who are alums or friends of OSU ever get to see him,” Keeter says. “I knew he would draw a crowd to a parade that has been declining in attendance.”

Saying the lovable mascot attracted a crowd is an understatement. “Main Street of McAlester, sponsors of the parade, estimated the crowd to be around 3,000, and about half were wearing orange,” Keeter says. “Children didn’t want to ride on their floats because they wanted to be in the crowd to see Pistol Pete.” About 20 Cowboy fans rode on the Victorian “Cowboy-style” float. The majority were legacies. “The float looked like the inside of someone’s home, complete with two orange Christmas trees trimmed with black ornaments,” Keeter says. “OSU stockings hung on the fireplace with an OSU wreath above it.” “It was really well done, and they were excited about it,” says Pam Davis, director of chapter relations at the OSU Alumni Association. “We really like seeing a chapter participate in a community event.” Eight carolers walked the parade, planning to lead the crowd in Christmas songs. “Originally they were to sing two carols, but that lasted only one block,” Keeter says. “The enthusiastic crowd ignored these songs and replaced them with the chants OSU fans and alums know so well — ‘Orange Power’ and ‘Go Pokes.’ ”The excitement of the parade even spurred the arrival of one future Cowboy. “One of the moms on the float was expecting her second child on Sunday after the Thursday parade,” Keeter says. “She went into labor while riding the float and delivered our newest legacy at 11 a.m. the next morning.” Keeter says people keep asking if Pistol Pete will be back next year. “I wish I could have counted how many times I’ve been asked that question,” she says. “From the standpoint of being in the parade with him to those in the crowd who were familiar with him, it made us all so proud to be connected to Oklahoma State University.” For more information visit or Facebook under “OSU Alumni Association — Pittsburg County.”




Pistol Pete Visits Fort Smith Orange is making a comeback in the Fort Smith, Ark., area, thanks in part to a recent visit by Pistol Pete. The Fort Smith OSU Alumni Chapter hosted an evening with Pistol Pete at the Hamburger Barn in November. “In an effort to get the word out about our chapter’s reorganization, I organized the Pistol Pete visit,” says Nate Simpson, a 1998 alumnus and the chapter leader. “We had about 100 people attend the event, and it was really successful.” Each child who attended the event received a Pistol Pete goody bag that included a stuffed Pistol Pete, growth chart, Silly Bandz, pompoms, a foam finger and information about the Legacy program. “All of the kids were really pumped and seemed to have a great time,” Simpson says. “I think the adults, including me, were having just as good of a time. Somehow, I was able to keep Pistol Pete’s visit a secret from my 8-year-old daughter. It was a big surprise for her.” Chapters Director Pam Davis attended the event and says it provided great exposure for the Fort Smith Chapter to alumni and fans in the area. “Hosting a family event at the watch party location was a great idea,” Davis

“If we can get the scheduling worked out, we will absolutely make this an annual event,” Simpson says. “There will also be more family oriented events coming up in the future.”

says. “It was a fun and informal evening that everyone enjoyed.” Simpson says he enjoys the watch parties but wants his chapter to host events that appeal to alumni and friends of all ages. “I think it’s important to balance watch parties with chapter events that are geared more toward families and children,” Simpson says. “I want kids and young adults to get excited about OSU around here, so it’s important to host events that everyone can feel comfortable attending.” The chapter and the OSU Alumni Association made sure Cowboy fans in the area knew the popular mascot was

For more information about the Fort Smith OSU Alumni Chapter, email or search for “OSU Alumni Association — Fort Smith” on Facebook.

Southeast Virginia Road Trip

coming to town. “The Alumni Association staff was extremely helpful in getting the word out,” Simpson says. “They sent out mailers and emails to all known alumni in the area. I did the same for everyone I knew, and in addition, I would stop and talk to strangers I saw in town wearing an OSU shirt or hat.” Even the waiters at the restaurant were sporting OSU colors. Simpson says the chapter is lucky to have a restaurant in the middle of Razorback country decorated with OSU memorabilia. “They are constantly getting ridiculed but have refused to take any of it down,” Simpson says. “For a Pokes fan around here, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Members of the Southeast Virginia Alumni Chapter visit Blacksburg, Va., and root for the Cowboys against Virginia Tech.

Photo / Alex Ojeda

About 100 OSU supporters welcomed Pistol Pete to the Hamburger Barn in Fort Smith, Ark.


spring 20 13

The Southeast Virginia OSU Alumni Chapter supported the Cowboy basketball team at its game against Virginia Tech in December. “Our alumni road trip to Blacksburg, Va., was a great success,” says Mike Callaham, a 1996 alumnus and the chapter leader. “Since the founding of our Southeast Virginia Chapter in 2011, we had been pointing to that game as a great opportunity to do something to excite alumni.” The chapter secured a block of hotel rooms across from the campus and gathered at the Lynchburg Buffalo Wild Wings before and after the game. Not only were they able to cheer on the basketball team, but also they cheered on the Cowboys in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. “The Alumni Association shipped watch party decorations to Buffalo Wild Wings ahead of time, and the management had an area nicely decorated for our group,” Callaham says. “It would be fair to say about 60 to 70 Cowboys came through the doors that day. We

even finished the day by singing the ‘OSU Alma Mater.’ ” Callaham says Cowboy fans traveled from as far away as New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. “We met alumni who were interested in starting watch clubs in their area and from this one event, we now have a Shenandoah Watch Club and a Blue Ridge Watch Club in Virginia,” Callaham says. “The event also generated more than $600 toward establishing a scholarship for a future OSU student from the state of Virginia.” “By taking an established chapter somewhere where there’s not a chapter, Mike and his group were able to show them what could be there,” says Chapters Director Pam Davis. “We strongly encourage these outings because it brings people together from all different areas.” Callaham says the Southeast Virginia Chapter is already planning its next road trip to support the Cowboys. “We are now looking at the away football game this fall in Morgantown, W.Va.,” Callaham says. “It should be a blast.” For more information about the Southeast Virginia OSU Alumni Chapter, visit or search Facebook for “OSU Alumni Association — Southeast Virginia.”

Chicago Chapter

Join an OSU Alumni Chapter near you to celebrate OSU and connect with Cowboys in your area. For the most current event listing, visit or scan the QR code. April

OSU Alumni Community Service Month (Nationwide)

April 12–14 OSU vs. TCU Baseball games North Texas Chapter April 16 Board Meeting Tulsa Chapter April 16 Women’s Council of Dallas Spring Fashion Show/

Makeover North Texas Chapter

April 17 Chapter Board Meeting North Texas Chapter April 18 Cultural Dinner NYC Chapter April 18 Networking Dinner and Legacy Event Stephens County


April 23 Singles’ Happy Hour at Pokes Bar & Grill North Texas


May 4–5 OSU Commencement May 5

OSU at the Rangers vs. Red Sox Baseball Game Night North Texas Chapter

May 6

OSU Women’s Council of Dallas Officers Meeting North Texas Chapter

May 7

Networking Dinner North Texas Chapter

May 8

Board Meeting OKC Metro Chapter

May 9

Black Alumni Trailblazer Award Nominations Due

May 10

Bedlam Baseball Tailgate Tulsa Chapter

May 10

Board and Leadership Council Meeting OSU Alumni Association

May 11

Board Meeting Black Alumni Society

May 11

Pokes, Burgers, and Bedlam OKC Metro Chapter

May 15

Chapter Board Meeting North Texas Chapter

May 16

Networking Dinner Stephens County Chapter

May 18

Chapter Leader Training OSU Alumni Association

May 21

Board Meeting Tulsa Chapter


Legacy Stampede Event Tulsa Chapter (no exact date set yet)

June 3

American Indian Distinguished Alumni Award Nominations Due

June 8

Board Meeting and Elections Southeast Virginia Chapter

June 8

Summer Picnic and Senior Sendoff Cleveland County Chapter

June 12 Board Meeting OKC Metro Chapter June 14 Rough Riders Minor League Baseball Game North Texas


June 18 Board Meeting Tulsa Chapter June 18 Dallas Women’s Council Year End Party North Texas Chapter June 20 Meeting, Elections NYC Chapter June 20 Networking Dinner and Board Meeting Stephens County


Former OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden made a surprise visit to the Chicago watch party to cheer on the Cowboys against Texas. S T O R I E S BY K R I S TE N M c C O N N AU G HE Y

July 18

Networking Dinner Stephens County Chapter

July 27 Bedlam Run Tulsa Chapter Aug. 3

Community Potluck Picnic and Senior Send Off Stephens County Chapter

Aug. 10

Vintage OState OKC Metro Chapter

Aug. 15

Networking Dinner Stephens County Chapter

Aug. 19

Classes Begin OSU-Stillwater

AUG. 31

Texas Kickoff Classic Houston Chapter 113

Through the Doel Reed Center for the Arts in Taos, N.M., OSU is

offering students and lifelong learners unique academic opportunities. Students can enroll in one or two 3-credit-hour courses during two different two-week sessions in Taos this summer. From June 10-21, the Center will be sponsoring classes in beginning jewelry making, print making, and “The Nuclear Bomb and the Land of Enchantment.” From July 8-19, it will be offering courses in digital art, preservation of historic sites, and textile surface design. This Center is also sponsoring a pair of one-week, non-credit courses for lifelong learners: “New Mexico Modernism” and “Art & Literature in New Mexico Post 1940.” Enrollment in these courses is now open. For more information, visit or contact Shane O’Mealey with Arts & Sciences Outreach at

The Doel Reed Center for the Arts is named for the renowned artist who directed OSU’s Department of Art from 1924 until retiring to the family estate in northern New Mexico in 1959. Thanks to the generosity of his daughter, Martha, the picturesque property and three historic adobe structures now serve as an inspiring setting for teaching, research and outreach related to the Southwest.





OSU has hosted numerous state and regional gatherings for grade school and high school students over the years, but perhaps none has left an impression like the 4-H Roundup. This year will mark the 92nd Roundup (July 24-26). The event stands out for its longevity and effect on introducing prospective Cowgirls and Cowboys to the university. During their 2009 reunion, the Women of Willard, a group who was at Oklahoma A&M in the 1950s, reminisced with the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program about how they had chosen where to go to college. Virginia Semrad did not hesitate with her answer:

The 4-H Roundup in 1948

Anna Phoebe Kunneman Meyer’s decision wasn’t just about which college to attend, but whether to attend a four-year institution at all:

“I know almost exactly what influenced me to attend

“I know that I had a big decision of whether I was

OSU. I was in 4-H work, and when you were, like, 12

going to go. All of the other girls in my class were going

years old in 4-H, if you did certain things and qualified,

to go to secretarial and business school in Oklahoma

you could come to what was then Oklahoma A&M for

City. I think there was a nine-month course or some-

four days of what was called 4-H Roundup. I think I was

thing. … I think it was the 4-H connection that pulled

a seventh grader when I was able to make that trip, and

me to Oklahoma State, and having come over here for

I decided that week, ‘This is where I’m going to college.’

4-H Roundup for two, three years already while I was

There was no wavering.”

in high school and liking the campus.”

Tomisene Ingram said the Roundup sold her on the charms of Stillwater: “I always wanted to go to OSU because I was in 4-H, and every year you came to 4-H Roundup. I loved it. I loved the campus. I loved everything about it. … The

Pho to / OSU Spec ial Col lec tion s and univ ers ity arc hive s

The 4-H Roundup

The familiarity with Oklahoma A&M was mentioned by a number of reunion attendees, but none made the case for 4-H Roundup’s recruiting influence like Mary Eva Johnson. She said her father had attended Oklahoma A&M, while her mother went to school in Norman. She had a decision to make:

people were really friendly. I just loved the closeness of

“We’ve been a divided family from way, way back.

everyone. We stayed in the dorms, so I just loved it all.

And because of my 4-H relationship with Oklahoma

It was a beautiful campus.”

State, I just knew this was where I was coming.”

O-STATE Stories, a project of the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at the Edmon Low Library, chronicles the rich history, heritage and traditions of Oklahoma State University. Interviews are available online at For more information about O-STATE Stories, or for assistance with searching, contact the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at 405-744-7685.



William H. Haight, ’47 hist, and his wife, Bonnie, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Dec. 22, 2012. William also celebrated his 90th birthday on Jan. 29, 2013. He was involved in ROTC at Oklahoma A&M and became a tank officer during WWII. William received a law degree from the University of Texas and practiced law for more than 50 years in San Antonio. Charles Rodenberger, ’48 eng, retired in 1982 as emeritus professor at Texas A&M University to live in Cross Plains, Texas. His wife died in 2009 after 59 years of marriage, and he remarried in 2011. Charles now lives in Granbury, Texas, and writes a column for The Livestock Weekly.

’60s Malinda Berry Fischer, ’60 sec ed, received Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women’s prestigious Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award in honor of her professional achievements. Malinda’s organizational expertise has made her a valuable leader for many community organizations, including the OSU Foundation. Chet Millstead, ’60 ed, has been married for 56 years. He and his wife met at OSU, and they have eight children and 13 grandchildren. Chet hopes the grandkids will be future Cowboys. Anita Tackett, ’60 hum sci, continues to work as a real estate agent in the Oklahoma City area.

Frank Warnsdorfer, ’53 sec ed, is 86 years old and lives in New Jersey. Frank has lived at his home for 50 years and raised six children and 12 grandchildren. Bill Jackson, ’55 physio, and his wife, Georgine, ’57 hum sci, live in Clinton, Okla., and are proud to be Cowboy football season ticket holders for 50 years. Bill is a retired dentist and Georgine was a stay-athome mom to four children, who also attended OSU. Joella Hundley, ’57 bus ed, is excited her grandson, Reese Hundley, decided to attend OSU. Reese is a junior in biosphere engineering. Frank Burton, ’59 geog, is happy to be an active member of the OSU Alumni Band.

Robert Rodgers, ’67 journ and broadcast, retired after 37 years of working with automobile manufacturers Nissan Motor Co., Hyundai Motor America and Subaru of America. Robert lives on the southern Oregon coast and volunteers for local fundraisers, food banks and scholarship drives. He also enjoys showing his 1932 Ford Hi Boy Roadster in shows around the country.

’70s Diane Culwell, ’70 sec ed, lives in Dallas and will retire from Bell Helicopter on March 29. Leanna Faulkner Mize, ’70 bus ed, M.S. ’71 bus ed, retired from Oklahoma Student Loan Authority after 29 years as chief accountant. John Rennie, ’70 an sci, recently retired from USDA Veterinary Services after 34 years. John has been traveling and visiting his daughter, Jenny, ’05 phys ed.

’50s Joe Sewell Jr., ’50 speech, celebrated his 58th anniversary with his wife, JoAnn, on Feb. 20, 2013.

to work for the American Journal in Westbrook, Maine. She recently worked for The Forecaster and retired in 2008.

Carol Nasworthy, ’62 Engl, and her husband, Jack, ’63 bus, celebrated their 50th anniversary on Dec. 28, 2012. Carol was a teacher for Tulsa Public Schools, and Jack was a member of Sigma Nu and a member of the OSU wrestling team. Joseph Fassler, ’63 HRAD, lives in Arizona and is retired. He is still a consultant for Viad Corp. in the hospitality area. Joseph started with the company two days after graduating from OSU. Gail Hunter, ’63 Engl, married her husband, Tom, in June. The couple has a combined seven children and 13 grandchildren. Linda Maule, ’65 journ and broadcast, worked as a reporter for The Daily Oklahoman from 1966 to 1988. Linda moved to Maine in 1970 and taught English. She got a second degree from the University of Southern Maine in 1992, and in 1996 she went

Robert Hall, ’71 speech, M.A. ’73, is a noted author, consultant and speaker on relationships. His latest book, This Land of Strangers: The Relationship Crisis That Imperils Home, Work, Politics and Faith, focuses on how the decline of relationships affects major social issues such as poverty, education, global competitiveness, political gridlock, cultural divisions and health. Janet Forester, ’73 hum sci, recently celebrated her birthday and OSU spirit with friends.

Steven Fiser, ’74 indus eng & mgmt., is excited to announce his daughter, Sasha, ’03 hum sci, relocated to London with her husband, Lance, ’02

fin. Lance works at Bank of New York Mellon, and Sasha hopes to continue her work as a fashion designer. Linda Hiette, ’74 sec ed, M.S. ’75 personnel and guidance, is a recipient of the Arthur Strauss Award for her many years of service and passionate dedication to the mission of the American Heart Association. In 2007, she received the Mar y Jane Thaman Award for being the volunteer of the year. Linda has been a health educator for the St. Louis County Health Department for 16 years. Bill Seider, ’74 arch, was selected as a fellow of American Institute of Architects. The fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society. Seider is a principal with PIVOT Architecture in Eugene, Ore. John Severe, ’74 pre-law, and his wife, Karen, ’74 spec ed, welcomed two new granddaughters, Ruby Severe and Abigail Weber, in 2012. Jim Shroyer, ’74 zoo, has been a faculty member in the department of agronomy at Kansas State University since 1980. Jim plans to retire within the next year and pursue a career as a children’s author. Fred Oliver, ’75 sec ed, M.S. ’80 phys ed, was inducted into t h e Tex a s H i g h School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Jan. 11, 2013. The induction took place at the Waco Convention Center at the association’s annual convention. Fred has been an educator and coach for 37 years. He was raised in Grove, Okla., and is an avid OSU fan. Eddie Porter, ’75 soc, retired from the Oklahoma government and volunteers his time advocating on behalf of abused and neglected children in the state. Eddie is part of an OSU family and hopes his grandchildren will become alumni one day.


Thomas Puckette, ’75 chem, received the 2011 Paul N. Rylander Award at the 24th Biennial Organic Reactions Catalysis Society Conference in Annapolis, Md., in April. The BASF-sponsored award is presented to researchers who have made significant contributions in the application of catalysis in organic reactions. Thomas is an Eastman Chemical Co. technology fellow based in Longview, Texas. Bettina Larsen, ’78 soc, graduated from OU with a master’s in human and health services administration. Bettina is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and works as a case manager for adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Roger Reinhardt, ’78 geog, spent eight years as the executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Metro Tulsa. In 1986, he accepted the position as the CEO and executive vice president with the Home Builders Association of Metro

Denver. He held that position until his retirement in June 2011. Donna Swinford, ’78 Engl, serves as editor and quality control coordinator at the Assemblies of God national office in Springfield, Mo., where she works on various children and adult products. Donna is married to Larry, ’83 econ, and they have one son. Ken Duncan, ’79 arch, is excited about his new career as health care project manager of Dewberry, a privately held professional services company based in Tulsa, Okla. Ken will be responsible for leading the development a n d p l a n n i n g of h e a l th c a re facilities.

’80s Jim Owens, ’80 fin, is happy to announce his newest grandson, Alexander Santos Owens, was born on Oct. 12, 2012.

Ennetuk Usoro, ’80 broadcast journ, M.S. ’82 mass comm, recently retired after spending 25 years in government service in Nigeria. Ennetuk is planning to set up an online newspaper called the Gulf of Guinea Journal. Bryan Axtell, ’84 art, and his wife, Rene, ’99 ed admin, live in Edmond, Okla. Rene is the assistant superintendent at the Oklahoma Department of Education. Rod Garrett, M.S. ’85 arch, was selected as a fellow of American Institute of Architects. The fellowship program was developed to elevate architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society. Garrett is managing director of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP’s Washington, D.C., office. Mary Maddux, ’85 broadcast sales and mgmt, has been an Edward Jones financial adviser in Ponca City, Okla., for the past 14 years. Mary is happy to announce she has been named a principal with the firm’s holding company. Mary and her husband, Bruce, will remain in Ponca City.

Look for the label Help OSU by buying only licensed products.

A portion of your purchase price goes to support scholarships and other university programs. Like Oklahoma State University: Live Orange. Get information on new retailers, merchandise and promotions.


SPRING 20 13

Kevin Trissell, ’86 physics, lives in the Washington, D.C., area and is happy to be part of an OSU family. Kevin met his wife at OSU and all three of their sons attended. After graduation, Kevin joined the U.S. Air Force and spent many years living in Europe. Kevin’s parents and grandmother also attended OSU. Michael Gresham, ’87 speech, signed an exclusive publishing and staff songwriter contract with HoriPro Entertainment Group in Nashville, Tenn. Michael has several cuts being released this year. Larry Davis, Ed.D. ’88 occupational and adult ed, is happy to announce he is the chancellor at the University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton, but he still bleeds Cowboy Orange.


Dara Dixon, ’91 ind eng and mgmt., and James Dixon, ’91 forestry, celebrated the graduation of their son, Kevin Pollard Jr., ’12 lib studies, in December. Kevin’s graduation from OSU comes 21 years after the three were photographed at James’ graduation. The photo was used in the Oklahoma State Magazine and a brochure for Undergraduate Admissions. Eric Johnson, ’91 acct, is happy to announce that he has joined Hudson Cook LLP as a partner in the firm’s new Oklahoma City office. Jarrod Noftsger, ’91 hist, is the assistant department head for human development and family science at OSU. Jarrod has worked in various leadership capacities at public and private universities for the past 21 years and specializes in creative solutions to complex problems. His free time is spent working as a board member for, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles with the mission to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives.

Jenny Kucera, ’92 journ, is happy to announce she has been working for the Society of Exploration Geophysicsts as the associate editor of The Leading Edge in Tulsa, Okla., for three years. Jenny manages the daily operations of the technical journal. She returns to Stillwater to cheer on the Cowboys in football and basketball.

Keep Us Posted

Michael Millard, ’96 Engl, was honored as one of the Teachers of the Year for his school district last spring. He moved from Kansas to Oklahoma to be closer to family, and he is the math remediation teacher at Anadarko Middle School.

Stillwater, OK 74078. Information can also be emailed to or

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









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


S P O U S E / PA R T N E R






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

Teal Williams, ’98 mktg, is now a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve’s Medical Service Corps. Teal’s unit is the 139th Medical Brigade, located in Independence, Mo. Her husband, Scott, is a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, serving with the 209th Regional Support Group in Belton, Mo. Dee Ann Cooper, ’99 ed, lives in Blackwell, Okla., and is a math teacher at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa. Eric Reid Hoffman, ’99 arch, was one of 15 architects recognized with the 2013 Young Architects Award by the American Institute of Architects. He accepted the award at a reception in Washington, D.C., in March and will present at the AIA 2013 convention in Denver this June. Hoffman currently serves as a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.



P O S I T I O N (n o a b b r ev i a t i o n s p l e a s e)





M O N T H / DAY / Y E A R









M O N T H / DAY / Y E A R


M O N T H / DAY / Y E A R


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





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


M O N T H / DAY / Y E A R

Eric Grote, ’00 const mgmt tech, and his wife, Sarah, welcomed babies three and four — Megan and Gretchen — on Dec. 11, 2011.





C L A S S Y E A R (S)

(a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s , h o n o r s , e t c .)


Chapter Leader Profile: Mike Callaham Growing up, Mike Callaham got an up-close view of the OSU campus when his sister attended the university. “Kathy would regularly bring me to Stillwater, particularly when I had school breaks, but OSU was still in session,” Callaham says. “She would sneak me into Murray Hall where she lived, and I’d get to walk around campus while she was in class. It was then that my appreciation of OSU began.” Callaham graduated from Jay High School in 1983 and came straight to OSU on an ROTC scholarship. “Unfortunately, I enjoyed the atmosphere in Stillwater more than the lectures and books,” he says. “After one year, I found myself without a scholarship and with some unhappy parents.” Callaham left OSU for a tour in the Army. When he returned to Oklahoma, he knew it was time to finish what he had already started. Callaham lived in and worked at OSU’s Iba Hall, which was known as the “graduate house” at the time. “I also worked as a cadet officer for the OSU Police Department. That meant I got to work security for many athletic events, which was wonderful.” Callaham says there was never a question of choosing his major. During his military service, he was selected to attend the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., where he studied basic German. He was later stationed in Germany. “In addition to majoring in German, I earned minors in international business and economics. I figured that combination would get me back to Germany.” His plan faced one obstacle: love. “I met Karagene while living in Iba Hall,” Callaham says. “She was working on her master’s and was in Army ROTC. We became friends and ran with the same crowd. It was nothing more than that until I found out that she was going to be a December graduate and be out of my life earlier than I had expected. That bothered me tremendously.” Callaham persuaded Karagene Thompson to take the next step in the relationship. One night at Theta Pond, he asked her to take the final step. “I called her up at 11 p.m. and told her she needed to get dressed because I was taking her out for a picnic. She thought it sounded crazy, but agreed. Shortly after, we were eating chilled fruit and cheese by candle light on a blanket by Theta Pond.” As the clock struck midnight, violin music surprised Karagene. “As she turned, our friend came around Willard Hall in full tuxedo, playing the violin,” Callaham says. “When she asked what was going on, I asked her to stand. I took one knee and asked her to marry me. After receiving the correct response, I

took out a dozen red roses, a bottle of champagne and two glasses I had hidden, and we toasted our future.” This spring, the couple will celebrate their 20th anniversary. Callaham received his bachelor’s in 1996. When the Army later transferred Callahams to New York City, they became involved in the New York City Chapter of the OSU Alumni Association. “It was completely unexpected,” he says. “In some ways, that location felt more foreign than my time in Europe. Reaching out to fellow Cowboys was the logical way to deal with our apprehension, and I am so glad I did.” Callaham served as the chapter’s president, and the watch parties quickly began to grow at Stillwater Bar & Grill in New York City. Besides cheering on the Cowboys, the chapter started hosting other activities. “As a group we began doing cultural dinners, holding chili cook-offs, attending baseball games and the New York Philharmonic in Central Park. We also began hosting receptions for visiting OSU students, holding fundraisers for disaster victims, reaching out to New York City high schools as OSU ambassadors and establishing scholarships for those students.” After another Army transfer, the Callahams ended up in Virginia. “The Alumni Association provided a map showing the distribution of hundreds of alumni from Richmond to Virginia Beach,” Callaham says. “We had enough alumni to run a chapter, but — Mike Callaham being so widely dispersed made watch parties problematic. The solution was establishing a single chapter with multiple watch party locations.” Callaham became the chapter leader again, this time for Southeast Virginia Chapter. During the football season, the chapter hosted watch parties in Richmond and Hampton. The chapter took a road trip to support the Cowboy Basketball team against Virginia Tech and even hopes to get a Pistol Pete car tag in the state. “Although we are a brand-new chapter, I am proud of the members who have pulled together and are making a difference,” Callaham says. “We have already raised funds and should be able to support a scholarship next year for an incoming freshman.” Callaham says he will continue to expand the Southeast Virginia Chapter. “My wife has asked me if I plan to start a chapter wherever the Army takes us next,” Callaham says. “I told her if there isn’t one there already, why not? I could be the Johnny Appleseed of the Alumni Association. “She responded by calling me Michael Orangeseed. I kind of like that.”

“Although we are a brand-new chapter, I am proud of the members who have pulled together and are making a difference.”


SPRING 20 13

K R I S T E N M c C O N N AU G H E Y

Jacob Sawyer, ’00 mktg, was recently named partner at Foley & Mansfield PLLP, a nationwide law firm. Jacob works out of the Chicago office. Cade Wilson, ’00 an sci, DVM ’04, was recently appointed to Landmark Bank’s community board of directors in Ardmore, Okla. Cade and his wife, Mary Kate, established Carter County Animal Hospital. Scott Biggs, ’01 ag econ, and his wife, Rosslyn, DVM ’04, have one daughter, Maguire Clarke Biggs, who was born in 2010. They hope Maguire will be a future Cowgirl. In November, Scott was elected to the District 51 seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

January 2014 with tentative release dates in June and December 2014 for the following two books in the series.

’10s Ben Poe, ’05 broadcast journ, and his wife, Kelsey (King) Poe, ’05 journ and broadcast, welcomed their first child, Weyland Paul Poe, on Oct. 10, 2012. Weyland weighed 8 pounds, 14 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. Weyland is already an avid Cowboy fan and can’t wait for his first tailgate.

Denny Kramer, Ph.D. ’03 Engl, is the senior assistant dean of Baylor University’s Graduate School.

Friends & Supporters Frank Sutliff began working at OSU Residential Life in 1970 and retired in January 2009. He still lives in Stillwater.

Travis Munson, ’01 mktg, and his wife, Melissa, live in Woodward, Okla. Travis is a sergeant with the Woodward Police Department. Amy Cowley, ’02 ag comm, and her husband, Phillip, welcomed their son, Quinn Davis Cowley, into the world on Nov. 13, 2012. Quinn weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces and measured 21 inches. He has a big sister named Emory.

Seth Gilstrap, ’10 mech eng tech, is happy to announce his company, Borets-Weatherford U.S. Inc., will be expanding with a new research lab in Tulsa, Okla. Seth will help oversee the lab’s construction. His grandparents, Gerald Hicks, ’61 sec ed, and Karen, ’59 elem ed, are proud of him.

Eric Lindaman, ’06 journ and broadcast, and his wife, Meredith Dilbert-Lindaman, ’05 PR, entertained family and friends at an OSUthemed joint 30th birthday celebration at the Dust Bowl in Tulsa, Okla. Special guest Pistol Pete joined the orange and black clad for a great time. Eric’s and Meredith’s birthdays are just 28 days apart. They have been married since 2007 and are expecting their first child in June. Pistol Pete even bowled a strike during the party.

Randy Stolhand, ’03 bus admin, and his wife, Missy, welcomed a new Cowboy into the world on Oct. 9, 2012. Michael weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces and measured 19.5 inches.

Caleb Stevenson, ’06 theatre, his wife, and their son welcomed M adel y n Claire into the OSU family in September 2012.

J. Barrett Shipp, ’04 pol sci, wa s named a 2013 Risi n g S t a r by th e Scene in S.A. magazine. Barrett is an attorney with the estate planning, tax, and probate litigation firm of Heinrichs & De Gennaro P.C., in San Antonio.

Keegan Davis, ’08, PR, married Pamela Stubbs Davis, ’09 mgmt, MBA ’12, on Dec. 15, 2012, in Stillwater, Okla. They enjoyed having their pictures taken on campus and hosting their reception in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. The couple is happily living in Stillwater and love working within the OSU system. Lauren Smith, ’08 hist, has been offered a publishing contract for her historical romance novel, Godric, the first book in her League of Rogues series. It is scheduled to come out in

Marie Thomas recently joined Edward Jones Investments as a financial adviser in Ontario, N.Y.

InMemory Richard Vance, ’50 ind arts ed, died Jan. 22, 2013, in Washington state. Richard was raised in Wymore, Neb., where he met and married his wife, Kathryn Elaine “Keda” Hughes, of 57 years. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II and worked at Boeing Co. For the past 10 years, he tutored in elementary schools. Rita Copeland Matthews, ’55 humanities, died on Dec. 26, 2012. Rita was born in Idabel, Okla., and spent her high school years in Aberdeen, Wash. While at Oklahoma A&M, she met her husband, Paul, ’54 pol sci. The couple raised two sons, Douglas and David. She was a past president of the Oklahoma City Kappa Delta Alumna and was awarded the sorority’s highest national honor, the Emerald Award, for her outstanding service. Don Culbertson, ’66 geol, died on March 30, 2012, in Houston. He was 69. He was married to Roberta Rudolph Culbertson, ’65 psych. He donated his body for medical research and his corneas to Baylor.

Gregory Burton, ’72 bus, died on Jan. 5, 2013, in Grand Prairie, Texas. Following graduation, Gregory enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and received his pilot training at Williams Air Force Base. In 1979, he went to work for Southwest Airlines and remained with the company for 33 years. Dennis Caldwell, ’77 ag econ, died on Dec. 25, 2012, in Weatherford, Okla. He was raised in Thomas, Okla., and graduated from Thomas High School in 1972. He attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University for two years, where he apprenticed to an electrician before graduating from OSU. Dennis married Marilyn Baker on Oct. 25, 1996. Donna Eckhart, Ed.D. ’88 higher ed, died on Dec. 8, 2012, in Edmond, Okla. She was raised in Highland Park, Mich., where she attended the University of Michigan and met her husband of 58 years, Frank. She worked for the Oklahoma Department of Health and Human Services and also became dean of the School of Nursing at Southern Nazarene University. Donna is survived by her husband and five children: Brian; Gale, M.S. ’87 nutri sci; Kevin; Scot; and Frank Jr., ’88 mech eng. Patsy Sutton, the wife of former Oklahoma State Univers i t y b a s ke t b a l l coach Eddie Sutton, died Jan. 8, 2013, at a Tulsa hospital after suffering a stroke in December. She was 74. She was also the mother of Oral Roberts University head basketball coach Scott Sutton and assistant coach Sean Sutton, who succeeded his father as OSU’s head coach before joining his brother at ORU. A third son, Steve, is a banker in Tulsa. OSU President Burns Hargis said, “While she played a quiet role, she nevertheless played a pivotal role in the success of her husband becoming one of the most respected and successful college basketball coaches of all times. And she was a strong and wonderful mother for her three sons. She will be deeply missed by her family and the Oklahoma State family.”


Chad O’Connor, left, and Matthew Grant stand among the historic buildings at Pembroke College, which is the thirdoldest college at Cambridge University, established in 1347. The two studied at Cambridge as W.W. Allen Scholars.

By awarding more than 1,000 new scholarships to deserving students Branding Success: The Campaign for Oklahoma State University and its historical transformation is impacting all five campuses. More than 1,000 scholarships have been created in only five years, and the influence ripples far outside the classroom. The W.W. Allen Scholars Program in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology provides students a generous scholarship and award package that includes the opportunity to study at the University of Cambridge. This and other scholarships empower students to attend college while strengthening the state, national and global economy with well-trained employees.

To learn more, visit OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION 400 South Monroe | Stillwater, OK 74074 800.622.4678 |


The 1941 Varsitonians had a library of musical arrangements with more than 200 tunes. Barney Kessel, in the front row playing the guitar, would become one of the more famous Varsitonians. Some music aficionados consider him one of the greatest jazz guitarists of the century.

Jazzing It Up The Varsitonians kept the beat for many years at Oklahoma A&M. by dav i d c. pe t e r s , o s u l i b r a ry

The Varsitonians playing for KSPI radio audiences. The Mutual Broadcasting System selected The Varsitonians as “the nation’s most outstanding college dance band” in May 1948. The band was broadcast across North America and by short wave overseas. s ial col lec tion sy of osu spec pho tos cou rte


spring 20 13

America’s Jazz Age began in the Roaring Twenties, with bands popping up across the country to perform for audiences who wanted to dance. Within a decade, the jazz bands incorporated swing music into their repertoires and gave birth to the Big Band era, with groups led by musicians such as Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington. From 1925 to the mid-1930s, many bands — the Varsity Five, the Varsity Club, the Collegians, the Norman “Bus” Jones Orchestra and the Jan Price Band a few of them — played university fraternity and sorority dances and Student Senate events at Oklahoma A&M. But those bands never lasted long — until The Varsitonians arrived. Oklahoma A&M lacked a dance band and orchestra in the fall of 1934. Clemon “Pinky” Norcross gathered 11 musical mates, most from the old Jan Price Band, to form a group he named The Varsitonians Orchestra. Norcross purchased a top-of-the-line public address system, and his orchestra was a hit from its first performance. It played student functions, fraternity dances, the Campus Club and other student organization events. In November 1934, the orchestra toured the southeastern United States and headed southwest the next spring. It also began remote broadcasts that spring on KVOO radio from the small college extension studio in Whitehurst Hall. Let’s Dance: The 1930s Most college dances were held off campus in the 1930s. The Varsitonians performed for students at Fiscus Hall, located above Aggie Drug in Peck’s Lodge on Knoblock Street; Swim’s Hall on Elm Street; and at the Katz and Legion’s halls in downtown Stillwater. Admission was cheaper for young women, or “dates,” than it was for young men, or “stags.” The band played for free to support the O Club athletic lettermen’s fundraising events and pep rallies greeting college wrestlers returning with another national championship. It also performed at the annual Varsity Review talent shows and the Redskin Beauty Review competitions for Oklahoma A&M queen candidates. The Varsitonians incorporated in 1936, with ownership divided equally among the band members. They elected the business manager, orchestra leader and treasurer. Trumpeter Harry James — not the gentleman of the same name playing with the (continues) The Varsitonians were frequently the headliners at dances in the old gymnasium after Gallagher Hall opened. It was common to have 1,000 students dancing at the events. 125


Benny Goodman Orchestra — was elected leader the next two years. Jenkins Music Co. provided sheet music for the latest hit songs. The Varsitonians also had competition for the first time as Ralph Williams and his College Club Orchestra featured Varsitonian founder Pinky Norcross on piano. By 1938, many big bands featured women, and local “sweet swingstress” Eileen Ferguson became the first female member of The Varsitonians. That same year, the band bought its first vehicle, a converted hearse that members nicknamed “Fluff.” When Ralph Williams graduated in 1939, his College Club dissolved, and some of its best musicians joined The Varsitonians. By then students were dancing the jitterbug, foxtrot and lindy hop. The band played music that was popular nationally as well as original compositions such as “The Stillwater Stomp” and “The Oasis Blues.” The latter song was named for the popular Stillwater hangout Oasis on Knoblock, where The Varsitonians played regularly. The Varsitonians continued to perform on the radio and at Greek dances, the Redskin and Varsity reviews, local clubs, and dances that spontaneously happened when Aggie athletic teams unexpectedly won. Students would celebrate by leaving classes early. For example, on Oct. 14, 1939, when the football team won a close fought battle with the University of Tulsa and students walked out of classes the following Monday. By the afternoon, thousands were dancing to The Varsitonians. With the completion of Gallagher Hall in spring 1939, the old gymnasium’s second-floor court level became a dance hall on

weekends. The Varsitonians frequently headlined, playing melodies such as “Time on My Hands” and “Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing).” It was common to have 1,000 students at the dances. The War Intervenes: The 1940s In 1941, the 12-member band included guitarist Barney Kessel, then a high school student from Muskogee, Okla. Kessel would go on to play with Charlie Parker, Artie Shaw, Sonny Rollins, Phil Spector and the Beach Boys, among others. He also worked as a studio, television and film session guitarist. Many consider Kessel one of the greatest jazz guitarists of the century. In 1942, three members of the Varsitonians were drafted. Seven more members joined the military in 1943. In the spring of 1944, Kendall Lindsey moved some of the group’s equipment to storage in Oklahoma City and sold the rest to buy war bonds. In the fall of 1944, students returning to Stillwater saw this story on The Varsitonians in the Sept. 23 Daily O’Collegian: “Now if you ain’t hep and you ain’t jivy, and you ain’t groovy like a five-cent movie, get a light in your eye, a dance in your step and take a look at this line-up gettin’ ready to send! … This boogie beatin’ groovy group will make with a fade-in at the Victor mixer to be held Saturday night in the Old Gym at 3:00 o’clock.” Marvin Whisman kept The Varsitonians name for his orchestra until Lindsey and seven other members returned after the

The 1950s would see the end of The Varsitonians. The 1951 version was led by trumpeter Bucky Clayton. The members included, in the front row from left, pianist Don Williams; bassist and vocalist George Weldon; saxophonists Skip Kane, Neal Baker, Les Richards, Bob Lawrence and Tommy Williams. In the back row are, from left, percussionist Don Powers; trumpeters Felix Fullilove, Clayton and Bernie Epps; and trombonists Harry Ward and Gene Allen.


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L eft: Duke Ellington and his orchestra sold out two Allied Arts performances at Gallagher Hall in February 1950.

R ight: Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars visited Oklahoma A&M in 1951 under the auspices of Allied Arts.

war in 1946. Whisman agreed to return the name to Lindsey and then joined the Sonny Robertson Orchestra before later leading his own group called the Varsity Crew. The Collegians also reformed, and the growing student population had three dance bands to choose from. The music of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Tex Beneke, Stan Kenton and Harry James could be heard throughout Stillwater. The Mutual Broadcasting System selected The Varsitonians as “the nation’s most outstanding college dance band” in May 1948 and featured them for 13 weeks in its show Campus Capers, which was broadcast locally on KSPI, across North America and by short wave overseas. In December 1948, The Varsitonians traveled to Memphis, Tenn., with the Oklahoma A&M football team, to the Delta Bowl. On New Year’s Eve, the band played at the bowl game’s official dance party. Each band member would normally receive about $15 for a night’s work, but they each collected nearly $300 for the New Year’s Eve gig. During the school year, The Varsitonians played local dances and toured Oklahoma, appearing in Bartlesville, Burns Flat, Chickasha, Enid, Miami, Ponca City, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The also performed in and Joplin, Mo. The band had 15 musicians and their equipment traveling in a caravan of three to four vehicles.

Barriers and the End: The 1950s Oklahoma A&M admitted the school’s first black students in 1949, as racial barriers began to erode in Oklahoma. Shared musical interests provided a bond. On campus, Duke Ellington and his orchestra sold out two performances at Gallagher Hall in February 1950, and Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars visited the following year. The Varsitonians would occasionally jam with a five-member group of black musicians at the Rock Castle, an establishment on the east side of town with a risky reputation. Most sorority girls were forbidden to go there. But by the early 1950s, the Big Band era was ending. The Varsitonians disbanded at the end of the spring 1954 semester. There had been about 125 members over two decades. The band had survived the Depression, World War II and the Korean War. It had celebrated with returning soldiers, after athletic victories and at regular dances in a variety of venues. But popular music and society was changing. The demand for big band and swing music on campus quietly faded away.



The People of STATE


17. Oversees Cowboy, pictured in background below

1. Oklahoma’s governor

(last names)

2. Chief secretary of Malaysia Across 3. 2007 doctor of the year

19. Commanded a nuclear submarine

4. OSU president

20. Forensics chair

6. Sung her way to OSU

22. Tulsa Community College president

7. Established nursing scholarship

18. Sold out Gallagher Hall twice in 1950

5. OG&E president

21. Bought a brick to propose

8. Defused two nuclear bombs

24. Lived on the water

11. Foundation helps Tulsa natives attending OSU

24. Accepted a brick proposal

13. Couple founded Riata Energy

25. Former OSU president

12. 4-H connection “pulled” her to OSU

27. A former Cowboy Caller

13. Arrested in Mali

15. Lived with cannibals

28. Recently named University of Wyoming president

14. Donated a hog scalder and dehairer

29. Foundation’s gifts improve OSU’s health

16. Founder of Relational Investors

17. Former Oklahoma House speaker

26. The other veterinarian who gives back

10. Veterinarian who gives back

23. Founded The Varsitonians Orchestra

9. OSU’s Big Band for two decades

3. President of Coach Inc.

1 3


4 5 6





11 12 13


15 16





21 22 23 24 25

26 27


Answers online at


spring 20 13


STATE Magazine, Spring 2013  

The award-winning official magazine of Oklahoma State University

STATE Magazine, Spring 2013  

The award-winning official magazine of Oklahoma State University