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Spring 2015, Vol. 10, No. 3 • statemagazine.okstate.edu

Welcome to the spring 2015 issue of STATE magazine, your source of information from the OSU Alumni Association, the OSU Foundation and University Marketing. On the cover, OSU student Mia Winfree is one of the thousands who donated to the seven-year Branding Success fundraising campaign. More than 104,000 individuals and corporate partners, including 45,000 first-time donors, combined to exceed $1.2 billion in gifts and commitments. Read about how the contributions are transforming the university inside this edition of STATE. Cover photography by Phil Shockley PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY


Branded Success


Freshman Mia Winfree didn’t think of herself as a potential OSU donor. When she purchased an OSU Student Alumni Association membership during new student orientation and enrollment, she was recognized as the 100,000th contributor to Branding Success: The Campaign for Oklahoma State University. Her donation, combined with the astounding generosity from the Cowboy family, is touching students and faculty, creating 1,180 new scholarship funds and 146 new endowed faculty positions. ALUMNI PROFILE

Now the senior director of partnership marketing and innovation for A+E Networks, Lindsay Fitz has thrived in the evolving and challenging New York City workforce. The Emmy Award-winner has worked on some of the largest sporting events, television shows and political stages in the world, and she says she owes it all to her Oklahoma roots.




Lindsay Fitz 45

COWBOY COLLECTION 8 City Year Partnership

4 R is for Thursday 5

Program provides mentors for Tulsa Public Schools.

Foster alumni network develops.

70 Quilt Commemorates


2 0 Estate Gift Establishes Media Scholarships

Extension Centennial

Radio broadcaster creates opportunities for students.


Space Pokes Help NASA NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle launched its first flight test with OSU alumni, faculty and students contributing to the next-generation spacecraft’s creation and safe journey.

2 2 Alumni Career Services 2 4 Persian and Iranian Studies


Homebuilders contribute to new international curriculum.

2 5 Friends Fundraiser

33 Seniors of Significance

OSU offers Massive Open Online Course to the world.

9 Gift Adorns New Offices 8

Alumni Association recognizes outstanding students.

35 Alumni Hall of Fame

Veterinarian donates photography.

97 Material Inventions Innovator earns prestigious award.

Association grants OSU’s highest honor to four graduates.

Students travel for enrichment. PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY

78 Panoramic View of Agriculture

Alumni Association selects best of the best in Class of 2015.

42 Scholar Abroad Development 2 Opera: Love, Lust 5

8 Leaving a Legacy 9 Former OSU-Tulsa president retires from teaching.

100 Service Learning Curriculum requires volunteerism.

103 Business Boots on the Ground Veterans program reaps success.

106 Okmulgee Revitalized

and Death

The OSU Rodeo Team hosted the Cowboy Stampede at the Payne County Expo Center, drawing big crowds with many spectators watching a rodeo for the first time.

Equipment assists processing.

8 6 Outstanding Seniors

Author and TV host coming to OSU for library benefit.

Health care professionals support and mentor students.

First Rodeo in 30 Years

75 Unitherm Donates Food

Former to FAPC

New program helps job searches.

40 Medical Cowboys


Project celebrates 100th anniversary of service.

Professors devise creative combinations for singers.

School renovates historic buildings to create dormitories.

D E PA R T M E N T S Letters to the Editor President’s Letter STATEment Wellness with Ann Hargis Snapshot Campus News The Cowboy Way First Person POSSE Replay Legacy Link

5 6 11 12 13 15 19 26 28 51

O-STATE Stories KOSU: Uniquely Oklahoma OSU Medicine Alumni Chapters Class Notes Book Corner Passages Life Members History: Fires of 1914 Essay

81 92 94 109 113 118 119 122 124 128





Celebrating Ten Years

405.744.2509 osualumnicenter.org

UNIVERSITY MARKETING Kyle Wray / Vice President of Enrollment Management & Marketing Mark Pennie / Assistant Director Marketing Services Elizabeth Keys / Editor Dave Malec, Paul V. Fleming, Valerie Kisling & Mark Pennie / Design Phil Shockley & Gary Lawson / Photography Shelby Holcomb, Karolyn Bolay & Dorothy Pugh / Editorial Brandee Cazelle, April Cunningham, Pam Longan & Leslie McClurg / Marketing University Marketing Office / 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078-1024 / 405-744-6262 / www.okstate.edu / statemagazine.org / editor@okstate.edu, osu.advertising@okstate.edu OSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Jennifer Grigsby / Chair Phil Kennedy / Vice Chair Ron Ward / Immediate Past Chairman Chris Batchelder / President and CEO Jace Dawson / Vice President and Chief Programs Officer Pattie Haga / Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Treca Baetz, Chris Batchelder, Gregg Bradshaw, Bill Dragoo, Russell Florence, Kent Gardner, Burns Hargis, Kirk Jewell, Jami Longacre, Tony LoPresto, Pam Martin, Travis Moss, H.J. Reed & David Rose / Board of Directors Lacy Branson, Chase Carter, Katie Parish, Harlie Runner / Communications and Marketing

LONG-HELD PRIORITY I have enclosed a photo of the fifth birthday celebration at the Student Union. I know that Abe Hesser, the Student Union director during that period would be thrilled with all the recognition and awards today. Working with him, and for him, was a real pleasure. He was a perfectionist professional and took great pride in the Union. His number one priority for the Union staff was to meet the needs of the students. By the way — the magazine is terrific! Pat Taylor Wood Class of 1957 Albuquerque, New Mexico

OSU Alumni Association / 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 / 405-744-5368 / orangeconnection.org / info@orangeconnection.org OSU FOUNDATION Jerry Clack / Chairman of the Board Kirk Jewell / President Donna Koeppe / Vice President of Administration & Treasurer Brandon Meyer / Vice President & General Counsel Chris Campbell / Senior Associate Vice President of Information Strategy Shane Crawford / Senior Associate Vice President of Leadership Gifts David Mays / Senior Associate Vice President of Central Development Paula Voyles / Senior Associate Vice President of Constituency Programs Blaire Atkinson / Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Deborah Adams, Mark Allen, Chris Batchelder, Jerry Clack, Bryan Close, Patrick Cobb, Michael Greenwood, Jennifer Grigsby, John Groendyke, Helen Hodges, David Holsted, David Houston, A.J. Jacques, Kirk Jewell, Steven Jorns, David Kyle, John Linehan, Ross McKnight, Bill Patterson, Lyndon Taylor, Phil Terry, Stephen Tuttle, Dennis White, Jay Wiese, Jerry Winchester / Trustees

Dear Readers, We’ve moved! Mail your letters to STATE Magazine, 305 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078. Continue to email your letters to editor@okstate.edu. Got a great idea for a story? Send your news tips and share your stories with us. All letters should include your graduation year, major and daytime phone number. We won’t publish your phone number, but we may give you a call to verify the information. All letters may be edited for length, clarity and style. Sincerely,

Elizabeth Keys STATE Editor

Shelly Cameron, Kasi Kennedy, Jennifer Kinnard, Chris Lewis, Jacob Longan, Amanda O’Toole Mason, Michael Molholt, Matthew J. Morgan, Benton Rudd / Communications OSU Foundation / 400 South Monroe, P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076-1749 / 800-622-4678 / OSUgiving.com / info@OSUgiving.com


STATE magazine is published three times a year (Spring, Fall, Winter) by Oklahoma State University, 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078. The magazine is produced by University Marketing, the OSU Alumni Association and the OSU Foundation, and is mailed to current members of the OSU Alumni Association. Postage is paid at Stillwater, OK, and additional mailing offices. Magazine subscriptions are available only by membership in the OSU Alumni Association. Membership cost is $45. Call 405-744-5368 or mail a check to 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater OK 74078-7043. Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; Phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154. This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by the vice president of enrollment management and marketing, was printed by Royle Printing Co. at a cost of $1.08 per issue. 36285/ April 2015/#5860.


Copyright © 2015, STATE magazine. All rights reserved.


This issue of STATE magazine is highlighting Branding Success: The Campaign for Oklahoma State University. Because of you and thousands of others who love our great university, we have achieved a historic milestone. THANK YOU!

In addition to the more than $1.2 billion contributed and pledged, I am particularly excited that the campaign inspired more than 100,000 to participate, including nearly 45,000 first-time donors to OSU. If we do a good job with the funds donated, I firmly believe these new donors have not made their last gift to Oklahoma State. We offer in this issue of STATE a look at the impact Branding Success is having on the campaign’s focus areas of student scholarships, faculty, facilities and programs. The campaign has made OSU stronger and more competitive in academics, research, athletics, student life and other areas. Branding Success is spurring new levels of excellence and achievement by our students, faculty, staff and graduates. This issue includes examples of just that. Oklahoma State and Stillwater are recognized for their excellence in radiation detection and monitoring. Husband and wife Razvan and Ramona Gaza learned their radiation expertise at OSU and now work for Lockheed Martin, the primary contractor for NASA’s Orion project. The Gazas are playing a key role as NASA prepares to return astronauts to the moon in 2021. OSU graduate Lindsay Fitz has achieved a long list of accomplishments, including an Emmy for her work in television broadcasting. After a successful career at NBC News and NBC Sports, including working three Olympic Games, she is now on the leadership team at A+E Network. This issue also offers a glimpse of the excellence and achievements of current students with profiles of the OSU Alumni Association’s 2015 Outstanding Seniors. First Cowgirl Ann and I want to once again thank you for making Branding Success such a success! Have a wonderful summer. Go Pokes! Burns Hargis OSU President



Thank you! OSU is dedicated to fulfilling its land-grant mission by sharing its work and knowledge for the greater good, with private donations often providing the margin of excellence. The impact of OSU’s generous supporters was a big reason the university received 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation. Carnegie defines community engagement as collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. This five-year classification is based on an extensive and broad assessment of the partnerships between OSU and the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research and creative activity; prepare educated, engaged citizens; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

Thank you, OSU donors, for helping the university reach a nationally recognized level of excellence at staying true to its land-grant roots.

OS U Fo u n d a tio n | 4 0 0 S o u th M o n ro e | Stillwate r, O K 74 074 | 8 0 0. 62 2 . 4 678 2

FALL 2014

By Jacob Longan


hen OSU Foundation staff told OSU administrators about the good work nonprofit City Year is doing in Tulsa Public Schools, they asked, “How can we help?” The result is a partnership that benefits OSU, City Year and Tulsa. City Year, an AmeriCorps program, is completing its second year in Tulsa, with 50 corps members serving more than 800 students daily in six impoverished schools. In support of this effort, OSU is offering up to 20 City Year alumni per year the opportunity to pursue tuition-free graduate degrees. “As a land-grant institution, we have conversations with our broader community about their needs, and we determine where we have the talent and expertise to address those needs,” says Sheryl Tucker, dean of OSU’s Graduate College. “This partnership with City Year came from thinking about the long-term goal of developing programming to support the volunteers in the public schools. How can we help them make a difference?”

BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN STUDENTS AND THEIR POTENTIAL Founded in 1988, City Year works to bridge the gap between what schools can provide and what students need. The organization partners with public schools to help students in third through ninth grades stay on track to graduate. It works in 26 American cities as well as London and Birmingham, England, and


S PR ING 20 15

Johannesburg, South Africa. Its AmeriCorps members, more than 80 percent of whom are recent college graduates, commit to a year of full-time service as tutors, mentors and role models. They say being “near-peers” – younger than the teachers but older than the students – helps them build meaningful relationships with the kids. “We want to create a positive school climate,” says Huw McDonald, City Year’s regional recruitment director for the Mountain Central Region. “We work mainly in high-poverty urban

schools with students who come from tough environments and don’t always look forward to going to school every day.”

AmeriCorps members welcome students to school each morning by singing and dancing. Then they spend most of the day in the classroom, providing one-on-one academic, behavioral and socioemotional support. “We are sitting next to them every day saying, ‘Hey, I believe in you,’” McDonald says. “Then the kids come into our after-school program, and we provide an extra layer of support for them as well. We do homework support focused mainly on math and reading.” In return, AmeriCorps members receive professional development, about $550 every two weeks, and a $5,730 Segal AmeriCorps Educational Award upon completing their service. Another benefit is the program’s partnerships with almost 100 colleges and universities, which offer scholarships worth between 25 to 100 percent of tuition to qualified City Year corps, alumni and staff.

OSU proudly joined the prestigious list of partners, which includes 25 universities ranked among the top 100 nationally, according to “U.S. News and World Report.” McDonald says OSU’s benefits package is the best of any partner.

Go big or go home OSU offers City Year alumni renewable scholarships to cover all tuition for a graduate degree. For master’s students, those 32 hours cost $5,984 for residents and $24,480 for non-residents. The 60 hours for a doctorate is $11,220 for residents and $45,900 for non-residents. “We decided if we’re going to do this, go big or go home,” Tucker says. “So we are all in. We wanted to get in at the ground level for the development of City Year Tulsa, and we want to help facilitate their success. And it really benefits us because this will help us attract outstanding graduate students from a diverse group who will come ready to engage in a different way because of their experiences.” The scholarship can apply toward any graduate program. However, the initial recruiting focus is for master’s programs in engineering and education because of Oklahoma’s need to strengthen its workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Pamela “Sissi” Carroll, dean of the College of Education, says this partnership allows OSU to support prospective students interested in some of the college’s specialties while bringing community service to the forefront of the academic experience. “Many of our students and prospective students seek urbanschool placements, specifically with a desire to work where there are fewer material resources and often less traditional success among students than in other settings,” Carroll says.

When he heard about City Year, he knew the alumni would make great engineers because of the program’s leadership development and varied experiences. “I think there’s also a transformative effect of bringing in people that care about something more,” Bunting adds. “It impacts you. Either you walk away because you’re uncomfortable about it and you won’t have anything to do with it, or you engage in it. So I see recruiting City Year alumni contributing to cultural transformation in the college. That sounds very grandiose, but I think that way.”

BRINGING AND KEEPING TALENT IN OKLAHOMA Tom McKeon is vice president and executive director of City Year Tulsa. The OSU alumnus was previously president and CEO of Tulsa Community College. “We are so appreciative of the vision and leadership of Dean Tucker and her staff and the OSU Foundation for making this partnership a reality,” McKeon says. “We value our relationship with OSU, and we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership. This is a tremendous benefit for our alumni, and it supports our strong desire that this state retains the young talent coming into Oklahoma through City Year Tulsa.” OSU is also helping City Year Tulsa in other ways, such as professional development. For example, the university bused the entire corps to Stillwater for a day of learning about opportunities at OSU, including how to apply for graduate college, preparing for admissions exams and determining a major. “It was a great way to help our corps, particularly those who are undecided about what they want to do next in their career or education,” McKeon says. “It was generous of OSU to provide that opportunity, and we heard very positive feedback about it from our corps.” OSU administrators cite many reasons for supporting City Year, including the great benefit of the university attracting diverse, mature servant-leaders for graduate work. But ultimately, the main motivation is fulfilling the land-grant mission.

We are sitting next to

them every day saying,

‘Hey, I believe in you.’”

Huw McDonald

“This program will give those who are interested in working in those schools – whether as teachers, counselors, librarians, principals or other roles – an amazing opportunity to engage in a supported, well-developed program.” Chuck Bunting is associate dean of research and sponsored programs for the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. He says this partnership is great for CEAT because it will increase diversity among graduate students. “The more broadly we can draw people in from diverse backgrounds, the more it’s going to challenge our faculty,” Bunting says. “As a faculty member, the worst thing I come across is students who are so academically prepared that the only thing they can do is perform well on tests. That doesn’t help you be a good engineer. It’s all the other good experiences you have and the ability to communicate with a wide group of people.”

“For OSU and the OSU Foundation, philanthropy is not just about dollars,” Tucker says. “It’s also about relationships and connections and the way we can serve our community.

Anytime we see an opportunity to facilitate the success of partners that share our vision, we want to try to figure out a way to be collaborative.”



YOU! Help us find the next generation of Cowboys. Recommend a future Cowboy online today.


Dear OSU Alumni and Friends, Although high school graduation brings an end to childhood school days, commencement means a new beginning. It’s not too late to start a bright future at Oklahoma State University. Encourage prospective students you know to enroll at OSU. Applications are still being accepted for Fall 2015. Scholarship dollars and other financial aid remain available. Bring prospective students to visit campus and experience the power of America’s Brightest Orange, delivering excellence in the classroom and beyond. Great things are happening with the OSU Foundation’s seven-year fundraising campaign making the future even brighter. How do we even begin to express our gratitude to everyone who played a part in Branding Success: The Campaign for Oklahoma State University? From December 4, 2007, to December 31, 2014, more than 104,000 donors combined to exceed $1.2 billion in gifts and commitments. The Cowboy family united to transform OSU so completely that it is difficult to describe. Every facet of our university is enhanced because such a large group gave so much to address many needs across the institution. Your support created 1,180 new scholarship funds touching thousands of students and 146 new endowed faculty positions. It also established stellar interdisciplinary programs and built, equipped and renovated premier facilities. You can read more about the incredible things your astounding generosity is doing for OSU on Pages 64–69.

The students who attend OSU will have many outstanding opportunities — thanks to your support. Many exciting Alumni Association initiatives are also covered in this issue including the revamped Traveling Cowboys program on Page 44. Flip to Page 108 to read about the new Alumni Career Services, which is now available to every member at no additional charge. The Alumni Association is also preparing to welcome graduates of the Class of 2015. Many are already life members. Four years ago, we launched the Student Life Membership program allowing students to become life members through biannual bursar payments. This year’s class has 114 students who are graduating as life members. As one class graduates, another arrives to join the Cowboy family, and the Alumni Association is excited to launch Tradition Keepers at freshmen orientation this summer. This campuswide program features a 136-page Cowboy Legend book and accompanying mobile app to guide students through OSU history and traditions that, once completed, will qualify them as true Cowboys. If you know any OSU students, encourage them to get involved at orangeconnection.org/tradition. And remember, it’s not too late to apply and be a part of OSU’s traditions. Visit admissions.okstate.edu for more information and to schedule a campus visit. Congratulations to all the 2015 graduates!

Chris Batchelder

Kirk Jewell

Kyle Wray

President OSU Alumni Association

President OSU Foundation

OSU Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing


Dear Cowboy Family, There is a reason why Oklahoma State University is America’s HEALTHIEST Campus.® We take great pride in identifying a variety of wellness programs that will appeal to a wide audience. From physical activity, to nutrition, to emotional wellness, to fiscal fitness, we are constantly trying to improve what we offer and identify new needs. I am particularly proud of the renewed energy for additional healthy options in University Dining Services. A variety of new programs have been implemented to impact our entire population — students, faculty, staff, and visitors — with quick and inexpensive meals and snacks. Realizing students are somewhat limited when cooking, and many have never cooked for themselves, healthy cooking classes and demonstrations are provided on campus, in various residence halls to teach students how to prepare simple and healthy meals. Ingredients in all recipes can be purchased on campus and recipes are tied to the Farm Fresh focus of the month (a dining program highlighting local produce). Sample menus include Turkey Chili, Light and Quick Taco Salad, Caribbean Chicken in a Pouch, and Soy Lime Chicken with Vegetables. In addition, the Department of Wellness offers Cowboy Cooking School for faculty and staff. A variety of guest chefs

teach classes throughout the year to demonstrate healthy cooking techniques and to educate participants on the simplicity of fresh, healthy cooking. The Student Union has created a unique program empowering its employees to adopt a more nutritious lifestyle. To dispel the common belief that healthy eating is expensive and difficult to achieve, employees are encouraged to plan menus, prepare them, and share them with fellow employees. It creates dialogue and discussion and allows them to encourage each other along the way. I love many things about these programs. But perhaps what I love most is, once the food is prepared, everyone sits down together for the meal. Some of my fondest memories are conversations that have taken place while my family is eating together. And at the end of the day, what could be better than the Cowboy family gathered around the table to feed both body and soul?



Servings: 8

In a heavy Dutch oven or soup pot, sauté onions and garlic over medium heat for two to three minutes. Add all the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients except cilantro. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until beans are hot throughout the pot. Top with cilantro and serve hot.

Ingredients: 1

tablespoon olive oil

1 small chopped yellow onion 3 teaspoons chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon ground oregano ½ teaspoon ground black pepper Kosher salt to taste 2 (16-ounce) cans low-sodium dark red kidney beans 2 (16-ounce) cans low-sodium pinto beans 2 (16-ounce) cans low-sodium black beans 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes 2 teaspoon minced garlic Chopped cilantro to garnish



In health,

Ann Hargis

Nutrition information per serving: 311 calories; 3.8 g fat; 64 g carbohydrate; 23 g fiber; 21 g protein

HONORAMUS MATRES NOSTRAS A calming and relaxing oasis outside the Oklahoma State University Student Union blooms with the changing seasons. Known officially as The Price Family Garden, the “Mothers Garden” was created from funds donated by Linda and Stuart Price, a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education from 2004 to 2013. In the shade of a historic magnolia and sugar maples, the traditional garden greets visitors to The Atherton Hotel, under renovation until the fall semester. Dining alfresco in the garden is still available with full service from The Ranchers Club. Meals feature fresh produce from the garden. Chefs pick herbs daily to flavor dishes. A fountain sparkles with the words “Honoramus Matres Nostras,” in Latin, translating to “We Honor Our Mothers.”

Although formally dedicated during Moms Weekend in 2013, the garden is an ongoing project with rain barrels added to collect rainwater from the Student Union roof to assist sustainability efforts around campus. The garden is artfully laid out and planned as a French parterre to resemble the threads of ancient Celtic knot work with a hedge defining the edges. Quick response code signs are posted throughout the area, giving visitors more information about the plants. A source for edible food, the garden features varieties of mint, basil, fennel, rosemary, lavender and Swiss chard. Everything is organic with zinnias, hibiscus, pansies, peaches, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Squash, pinto beans, okra, soybeans, lettuce, asparagus, peppers and several types of tomatoes are in various stages of planting.


No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love … — Edwin Hubbell Chapin


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

midfirst.com/pistolpete Member FDIC *Subject to credit approval

Apparel Design and Merchandising students shine in the Big Apple


The Young Menswear Association Fashion Scholarship Fund chose, from left, Christine Corbin, Karolyn Espinal-Briley, Meghan Wallace, Brooke Begalka and Elizabeth Schrantz as winners in the 2015 competition. A tradition of excellence continues to flourish in the Design, Housing and Merchandising Department in the College of Human Sciences as apparel design and merchandising students shine in the Big Apple. New York City, the fashion capital of the world, is home to some of the greatest designers in the industry. The Young Menswear Association is a national nonprofit consisting of influential members of the fashion community. The group is dedicated to promoting education of the fashion arts and business by granting scholarships to talented students and facilitating internships, mentorships and career programs. Five DHM students received the experience of a lifetime in January when they were each chosen to receive $5,000 scholarships through the prestigious YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund. Student winners also received an executive mentor, an internship and opportunities to network with key leaders in the fashion industry. Apparel design juniors Brooke Begalka, from Estelline, South Dakota; and Lizzy Schrantz, from Oklahoma City; along with seniors Christine Corbin from Tulsa, Oklahoma; Karolyn

Espinal-Briley, from Chicago; and Meghan Wallace, from Plano, Texas, were honored with 140 other scholarship recipients at the Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Representing Oklahoma State University at the event has become a tradition. Eleven DHM students have received the award over the past three years when OSU became one of only 46 educational institutions eligible to participate. Corbin is a twotime recipient of the YMA scholarship and returning to New York for the second time in 2015 was a moment she will never forget. “My favorite part was that this year, I felt comfortable in New York, and I had career contacts — something that wouldn’t have happened had I not received the 2014 YMA scholarship,” Corbin says. The rigorous application process for the scholarship began in the fall. Based on their submissions, the Oklahoma State University students were selected by some of the top names in fashion to receive the $5,000 scholarships at the YMA Gala in January. During their time in New York, the scholarship recipients also had the unique opportunity to attend an internship fair, where they connected with industry representatives garnering several summer job opportunities. “We were among fashion greats such as Vera Wang, Chip Berg, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Liz Smith, Bill Cunningham and Iris Apfel,” Begalka says. “It was an amazing opportunity.” Previous recipients of the YMA scholarships, who are now DHM alumni, have moved on to successful careers in the fashion industry. Kenneth Cole, Zac Posen, Maggie Norris Couture, Marc Jacobs and Erin Fetherston are just a few of the industry names on the graduates’ résumés. Lindsay Choi, 2013 apparel design graduate, now lives in New York City working as a design and product development assistant for sweaters at Ralph Lauren. While attending the YMA in 2013, she met students and leaders who would become her roommates and bosses. “I love meeting new people and shaking hands with important figures in this industry,” Choi says. “It rejuvenates my passion for this field and inspires me to work hard.” As they move through the scholarship application process, students are given mentors to guide them through the steps which often begins a lifetime connection in the industry. “The faculty and people involved are really great at keeping in contact and providing advice when I need it,” Choi says. “I think it is good to have several mentors and to try and keep in contact with people who can help you succeed, and who are willing to give great advice for succeeding in the fashion industry as well as living in a place like New York.” While the students get a lot out of the mentorship program, the mentors take away a great deal as well. Tamara Saucier, vice president, industry retail solutions at GT Nexus, was a first-time mentor this year for Oklahoma State students. Having had a variety of mentors throughout her career, she was keen to participate. She enjoys getting to know the individual students, while their ambitions and enthusiasm keep her own perspective fresh. continues


DHM department head Kathleen Robinette is not surprised the OSU students do so well in competitions of this type. “Our faculty are dedicated to helping students accomplish their goals and our students are highly motivated to succeed,” Robinette says. “Their success in national competitions illustrates the powerful combination of preparation and motivation.” If past success foretells the future, DHM students will continue to be on the New York City stage among the best and brightest in the nation.

Textile researcher earns international scholarship

“Mahendran was the lead author on two papers that he presented masterfully at an international conference and he has been asked to submit a paper for a special issue of a journal related to measurement and sizing standards,” Robinette says. “These experiences emphasize his capability for both research and public speaking.”

Fashion meets pop art

Fashion apparel students showcased designs at the James Rosenquist art exhibit in the OSU Museum of Art Postal Plaza Gallery. Mahendran Balasubramanian studies apparel sizing for pregnant women. When College of Human Sciences doctoral student Mahendran Balasubramanian received one of three international graduate scholarships from ASTM International, it was a huge honor. But he soon discovered he was the first-ever textile researcher to be recognized by the prestigious organization that sets standards for manufacturing and performance from toys to aircraft. Balasubramanian’s research, “Anthropometric Dynamics of Pregnant Women and Their Implications on Apparel Sizing,” along with a strong academic record earned him a $10,000 scholarship after an extensive review and interview process. Balasubramanian’s selection was based on his research contribution toward improving the ASTM standards in the clothing and textiles domain. “The results of the study showed that the actual measurement changes are significantly different from the ASTM’s estimated changes in the waist and the hips,” Balasubramanian says. “It appears that if the observed differences between the actual and the ASTM’s estimated measurements are taken into consideration, a more reliable and robust sizing chart will be developed in the future.” Kathleen Robinette, DHM department head and Balasubramanian’s dissertation adviser, says he deserves the award and will do credit to ASTM International.

The New York Project featuring the James Rosenquist exhibit at the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art Postal Plaza Gallery presented an opportunity for design students in Mary Ruppert-Stroescu’s apparel class. In planning a fashion show, students had to coordinate hair, makeup, shoes and accessories to style the complete look for the models. Surrounded by authentic pop art, models strutted in fashions inspired by the ’50s and ’60s era modern subculture. Some of the student designers had a theme. Hannah Coury made a body suit with fabric consisting of a pattern of intertwined lips and snakes. She chose to make a statement about biting words and how groups in society often take words and twist them to hurt others. She says her inspiration was thinking about how we don’t think before we speak which can cause harm. The James Rosenquist exhibit is the first in a series of ambitious, annual exhibitions at the OSU Museum of
Art that explores key figures who have worked in New York during the past half century. Curated by Sarah C. Bancroft – co-curator of Rosenquist’s full-career retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in 2003 – this focused survey exhibition elucidates the arc of Rosenquist’s multifarious career. Throughout his career, Rosenquist has devoted his talents to printmaking, collage, drawing and painting. He became well known in the 1960s as an American Pop artist alongside contemporaries Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Claes Oldenburg, and has continued creating new work for the past five decades.




Thank you! PhilanthroPete is the new interactive crowdfunding platform that allows donors to support a variety of projects created by people within the OSU system. These projects could fund a campus program, a professor’s research, a new idea or sustain time-tested plans for the university. When the first six projects launched last winter, the Cowboy community responded with 305 supporters combining for $29,461 in contributions. These gifts are helping to secure the future of Homecoming, purchase new instruments for the Cowboy Marching Band, and empower Oklahoma City’s homeless population to tell their stories in their own words on KOSU. More information is available at PhilanthroPete.org, where new projects will be posted.

Thank you, PhilanthroPete donors, for demonstrating the power that collective giving can have at OSU.

OS U Fo u n d a tio n | 4 0 0 S o u th M o n ro e | Stillwate r, O K 74 074 | 8 0 0. 62 2 . 4 678

The OSU Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Board are proud to introduce the

Tradition Keepers Program for students. This program is designed to strengthen and sustain our university’s rich traditions while educating and encouraging students to experience all that OSU has to offer. Beginning in summer 2015, complimentary Cowboy


books will be distributed to students at enrollment, followed by a mobile app in the fall. This interactive guide is enriched with OSU history and more than 80 traditions. It also encourages students to attend events and document their experiences with photos and ticket stubs, providing a memorable keepsake upon graduation. Encourage students you know to become true Cowboys and participate in the Tradition Keepers Program.

ORANGECONNECTION.org/tradition FLI/okstatesaa



As an associate professor of political science for 20 years, Kirksey had a reputation as a challenging teacher. His class was so tough that the O’Colly  named him to a group of professors known as “The Terror Squad.” Kirksey laughs, explaining the classes weren’t tough for the sake of being hard. If you took his class, he was going to make sure you learned the material. “Education is not a spectator sport — you have to put something into it to get something out. If you could come here and breeze through, then there would be a lot more folks doing it,” he says.

Although the Oklahoma State University campus is much more diverse now, Kirksey says he was welcomed as a freshman coming from Colorado over 30 years ago. He wears a university lapel pin as a proud alumnus. For him, OSU has always been a community that was very supportive with the best interests of the students and “I didn’t get to where I am without a lot of people supporting me.”

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY For the third year in a row, Kirksey has led a team winning the INSIGHT Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. OSU is the state’s only institution honored to receive this prestigious national award. With an unwavering commitment to inclusion, OSU is ranked among the Top 100 degree producers for Native American, African American, Asian American, and Latino students by Diverse magazine. OSU again leads the nation in the number of Native Americans earning a college degree.

GATOR BOWL WATCH On the Cowboys football team, Kirksey earned a 1985 Gator Bowl watch, practicing on the scout team as a walk-on with superstars Thurman Thomas and Mike Gundy. Although Kirksey’s playing days ended his sophomore year, academic work kept him in the game serving on the review board of the Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Higher Education.

RESEARCH AWARDS As the principal investigator for the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, which is a consortium of 11 universities in Oklahoma working together to develop programs aimed at increasing minority student involvement in higher education and other career goals, Kirksey is administering a $3.4 million National Science Foundation grant. The five-year award is in the fifth phase of a program that works to increase the number of students from underrepresented populations who receive degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

With the initials JFK, the Oklahoma State University Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Jason Fitzgerald Kirksey says his mother expected greatness from her boys. “My mother was a fan of President Kennedy and his commitment to civil rights to PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY make the world a better place,” Kirksey says. OSU’s JFK beat the odds growing up as “a poor Black kid in inner-city Denver.” His parents voluntarily bused him to an all-white elementary school, which had greater He earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and political resources and provided a more challenging education. science and a master’s degree in political science, all from OSU. “My parents always encouraged my two older brothers and He “fell in love with teaching” and went on to earn a Ph.D in me to be the best people we could be and strive to excel at whatpolitical science from the University of New Orleans, joining the ever we chose to do,” Kirksey says. OSU faculty in 1995. The early exposure to those who were different than him “OSU has been a great experience ... provided opportunities strengthened his ability to communicate with all kinds of people. to grow that I wouldn’t have had through the years,” he says.


Stories Begin with Opportunities By Brian Petrotta

Couple creates scholarships for multimedia journalism students Gayle Lee is a man with an eye for opportunity. He spotted a path from rural Oklahoma to Washington, D.C., and back to his home state, always willing to change course when the moment called for it. Now retired, Lee recently forged an agreement to leave a transformative estate gift that will provide a significant number of scholarships for multimedia journalism majors at Oklahoma State University in hopes of creating opportunities for students who dream of working in the broadcast journalism and multimedia fields. In addition to relying on a tireless work ethic and willing to shoulder risk, Lee built long-lasting relationships that helped him climb from waiting tables to working in the broadcast industry to owning and running several businesses in the private sector. He greatly benefited from others providing him opportunities early in his career and he, in turn, did the same when he was in a position to do so. Endowing a scholarship at OSU keeps the chain of opportunity going. “I wanted to help some young people accomplish things they might not be able to accomplish otherwise,” Lee says. He first inquired deeply into the program to ensure the ethics of what would be taught matched his own. To Lee, it starts with honesty in reporting. “I’ve always believed that if you have the truth about any situation you can deal with it,” Lee says, citing Paul Harvey and Frank McGee as Oklahoma broadcasters who succeeded on a national stage using such an approach. Armed with the integrity of his values, Lee marched his way to a successful professional life. He fondly recalls those who gave him a start, be it in broadcasting or in other industries. It is with great pride he relates the moments when he was able to pay it forward. Lee recalls one standout in particular, Freddie McBride. The young man wanted a job, and Lee hired him at KBIX radio in Muskogee, Oklahoma



— with one stipulation. He required McBride to go back to school and graduate, which he did. McBride took that opportunity to work his way into larger and larger markets until landing in New York City. Many years later, McBride called Lee out of the blue just to say, “Thank you.” Relationships such as those are also what make Lee’s heart tick. The people in his life mean a great deal to him, not the least of whom is his wife, Pat. They met when she was hired by a civic organization he belonged to, but it was not until years later, well after his first wife passed away, when a romantic relationship blossomed. Lee had been struggling with the loss of his wife and read an article in the newspaper detailing Pat’s own difficult situation including the losses of her mother and stepfather. He called to offer condolences and soon their friendship grew. Of course, with Lee, the story always begins with an opportunity but he had to create one in his courtship of Pat. He could not attend her mother’s funeral as he was in Louisville, Kentucky, on a business trip but called Pat from the airport and told her he would be serving coffee and doughnuts in the morning and asked her to join. “I am not normally directionally challenged,” Pat says, “but that morning I could not find his office.” Fortunately, she overcame her nerves, and a love story wrote itself. Their marriage may well be Gayle Lee’s greatest success story, a true culmination of opportunity and relationship — values that make up the core of his ethic, which he hopes will carry on through the Gayle P. and Patricia A. Lee School of Media and Strategic Communications Broadcast Journalism Endowed Scholarship Fund. “The people I’ve known and been associated with in the broadcast business have been very good to me, very good. I hope I was as good to them as I think they were to me,” he says. If you would like to join Lee in making a gift to support future OSU students who share your values, contact Lauren Kidd of the OSU Foundation at 405-385-0724 or LKidd@OSUgiving.com.

“The people I’ve known … in the broadcast business have been very good to me, very good. I hope I was as good to them as I think they were to me.” — GAYLE LEE

Gayle Lee wants to pay it forward by creating opportunities for students to earn college degrees at OSU. Many mentors helped in his journey including broadcasting at WAOB radio in Washington, D.C. in 1959. The Lees have developed the Gayle P. and Patricia A. Lee School of Media and Strategic Communications Broadcast Journalism Endowed Scholarship Fund.


Get Hired

Alumni Association partners with OSU Career Services to help graduates find jobs By Katie Parish The Great Depression is still affecting the abilities of OSU graduates to obtain jobs — but not in the way you might think. Oklahoma A&M’s Alumni Corp. first put together plans for an employment or placement bureau for graduates in May 1925. Yet it wasn’t until the Great Depression and the formation of the stronger Former Students Association that the Placement Bureau came into its own. Fast-forward nearly a century, and OSU Career Services continues to support students and recent graduates in securing employment. Thanks to an expanded partnership with the OSU Alumni Association, career services tailored for graduates are now available to Alumni Association members as an added benefit at no additional charge. Increasing demand from graduates seeking assistance during career transitions and from employers looking for additional ways to connect with experienced OSU graduates for upperlevel positions led to the new Alumni Career Services program. The expansion adds value to the existing program and leverages resources to capitalize on each unit’s strengths. “A number of alumni utilized OSU Career Services programs and resources, as well as assistance from their college career offices, while they were students to attain internships and their jobs upon graduation,” says Assistant Director of Career Services Lindsay Vallaster. “It was natural for them to reach back to the university to seek help for the next step in their career.”

New benefits, no charge The services are available at no additional charge to all active Alumni Association members. After opting in to the benefit, members have access to the Hire System, where entry-level and



experienced jobs are posted daily, along with additional career development resources, services and events. “While serving alumni and students looks similar on many fronts, serving alumni poses unique challenges because our alumni are so spread out,” Vallaster says. With the help of technology, the new program aims to benefit alumni regardless of their location. Support is available by phone, email or Skype. The challenge of serving more than 200,000 alumni also factored into the addition of a complementary service to the Hire System called CareerShift. This job search and networking tool contains tens of thousands of publicly posted job listings and employer contacts allowing alumni anywhere to expand their professional networks and find available positions near them. But the benefits don’t stop there. Alumni Career Services aims to benefit OSU graduates with much more than just posting jobs. “In an ever-changing work environment, alumni can benefit greatly from understanding the expectations placed on them during various stages of their job search,” says Vallaster. Alumni Career Services offers résumé and cover letter assistance, interview preparation, job search strategies and information on managing job offers. Together, these services can ensure alumni are ready for the next step, confident in the unique skills and abilities they could bring to a new position or new working environment.

Alumni Career Services at work for graduates Karen Armbruster, a 1976 design, housing and merchandising graduate, serves as an Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Services educator in Woods

county. She also assists with the Oklahoma 4-H Annual Job Readiness program leading the interview portion of the event in the OSU Student Union. Through her involvement, she is very familiar with the services OSU Career Services offered. Armbruster was recently nominated for the OCES Distinguished Educator Award and knew she could turn to Career Services for help with her application. She describes the award as a “huge” challenge to complete requiring a letter of nomination, a self-assessment, a career-long résumé and three letters of recommendation — a total of 28 pages of documentation. After reaching out to Career Services, Armbruster and Vallaster traded communications for two straight weeks until her application was perfected. Vallaster helped her with formatting, checking grammar and résumé writing. “I would recommend this to every graduate of OSU as they pursue career choices where professional résumés are in need of updating, critiquing or reviewing,” Armbruster says. “What a fantastic service we have in the Alumni Career Services program and their staff. I can’t say thanks enough!”

Opting in Alumni Association members may opt in to the new Alumni Career Services benefit by visiting orangeconnection.org/careers where information on upcoming career events are also posted. Each member who opts in will receive a login to Career Services’ Hire System website plus access to the new CareerShift tool. Vallaster encourages alumni to make use of both tools in their career development and job searches.


OSU alumni worldwide 13K EMPLOYERS

on the Hire System





JOB SEARCH methods

The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Services gather at a conference with recognition ceremonies including, from left, Jorge Atiles, OCES assistant director for Human Sciences; Dee Cooper, OCES Northwest district director; Karen Armbruster, 2014 OCES Distinguished Educator, and James Trapp, OCES ­a ssociate director.

How can HireOSUgrads. com and CareerShift help your career development? Check out these benefits:

SALARY negotiation



The Hire System • Up-to-date job listings by employers seeking OSU graduates and students • Employer directory with contact information for follow-up • Calendar of events and career fairs taking place in Stillwater, Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas • On-campus interviews (Stillwater campus only)



• Access to tools helpful in preparing application materials and facilitating success in your job search CareerShift




career fairs

• Up-to-date job listings from all public job boards and all company job postings • Contact information for millions of companies in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and Australia • Ability to set saved searches and run personal marketing campaigns • Career-related articles to stay current with an ever-changing job market Opt in at orangeconnection.org/ careers to access both services along with one-on-one support with Alumni Career Services staff.



The Farzaneh brothers gather with the OSU family for an afternoon celebration including, from left, Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges Board of Regents member Andy Lester, Mohammed Farzaneh, Lou Watkins, OAMC Board of Regents, retired Congressman Wes Watkins, Jalal Farzaneh, and David Henneberry, Division of International Studies and Outreach associate vice president.

Farzaneh brothers give $1.6 million for Iranian and Persian Gulf studies At a young age, Jalal and Mohammad Farzaneh’s father taught them the importance of education. Their father encouraged all his children to pursue higher education and believed education was important in building society as well as a person’s character. This strong foundation led the Farzaneh brothers to give back to the Oklahoma higher education system, including a recent $1.6 million gift to Oklahoma State University. On February 5, the Division of International Studies and Outreach at OSU hosted a celebration in the Wes Watkins Center to honor the Farzanehs’ gift and the monumental day. During the gift announcement, guests enjoyed an afternoon of Persian culture with traditional music by the Salmak Ensemble, the Whirling Dervishes of Rumi, and Persian tea and treats. The total impact of the Farzanehs’ gift will be more than $6 million after adding matching funds from Boone Pickens and the Oklahoma Legislature. The funding



will support a faculty chair and four professorships focused on Iranian and Persian Gulf studies. “This gift is going to offer our students an opportunity as if they were in one of the schools on the East Coast that have Iranian study programs,” says David Henneberry, associate vice president of the Division of International Studies and Outreach. “We are proud this development has allowed us to have one of those programs.” The faculty members selected for these endowed positions could come from any college at OSU. The annual support these funds provide will allow the honorees to explore their disciplines — whether that is the liberal arts, engineering, agriculture or another field of study — from the perspective of Iran and the Persian Gulf. “Iran is a fascinating country with one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations,” says OSU President Burns Hargis. “OSU applauds the Farzaneh brothers for their generosity and vision for international studies. This gift will help us

better prepare students to succeed in a global economy.” Jalal Farzaneh says he believes mass communication has a lot to do with why we should be educated about other countries and not just our own. “We have to make sure we are educating our next generation about other cultures,” Jalal Farzaneh says. Both Farzaneh brothers immigrated to the United States in 1978 and made Oklahoma their home. They graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1981 with bachelor’s degrees in environmental design. Immediately following graduation, the brothers began their construction business, Home Creations. In 1984, the brothers received their master’s degrees in architecture from OU. Today, Home Creations is Oklahoma’s largest home-building company, constructing more than 6,000 single family residences since 1981. B R I T TA N Y Z E R R

Tickets are available to hear Brad Meltzer speaking this fall at the H. Louise and H.E. “Ed” Cobb Speaker Series benefiting the Friends of the Library. Call 405-744-7273 or visit www.library.okstate.edu/friends. PHOTO / HERMAN ESTEVEZ

Meltzer headlining library fundraiser Author and TV host visits in November Brad Meltzer has his bases covered. It is not often you find someone who has flourished in so many mediums of popular culture. The prolific writer has authored comics, political thrillers, nonfiction and children’s books. He is a TED talk presenter and hosts Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on H2 and Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel. This fall, Meltzer takes the stage at the H. Louise & H.E. “Ed” Cobb Speaker Series, an annual fundraiser benefiting the Friends of the OSU Library. “This series has showcased a diverse range of authors,” says Dean of Libraries Sheila Johnson. “We’re excited to host

Brad this year because he appeals to so many different kinds of readers.” Meltzer believes ordinary people change the world. It’s a core belief that runs through each of his projects, and a philosophy that will resonate with many OSU supporters. He’ll discuss this viewpoint and more when he visits the OSU-Stillwater campus on November 13. The Cobb Speaker Series includes a welcome reception and dinner. Meltzer will speak and take questions from the audience after dinner. Selections of Meltzer’s work will be available at a book sale and signing reception that follows. “We raise funds for the Friends of the OSU Library throughout the year, but the

speaker series is the largest fundraising event we hold,” Johnson says. The Friends of the OSU Library help provide students with the books, materials and equipment they need to succeed in their studies. Proceeds from the series allow the library to improve physical spaces, provide inspiration with special programs and museum-quality exhibits, and launch new services such as technology checkout programs and extend its hours of operation. Seating for the event is limited. Individual tickets are $100, and half the cost is a tax-deductible gift to the Friends of the OSU Library. Call 405-744-7273 or visit www.library.okstate.edu/friends to purchase tickets. B O N N I E CA I N -W O O D


A convicted felon told his first-person story to Evelyn Ferchau, Correspondence Education manager, to share how OSU is helping incarcerated individuals continue their education while in prison through independent study. His name has been withheld at his family’s request as he moves on with his life to become a contributing member of society. Correspondence Education provides yearlong OSU credit and non-credit courses to any learner worldwide whose work, family responsibilities, physical isolation or medical concerns may preclude participation in regularly scheduled class meetings. The department is also affiliated with the Center for Legal Studies and HealthEd Today certificate programs. For more information, visit ce.okstate.edu, email ics/inf@okstate.edu or call 405-744-6390.

B E H I N D    B A R S Inmate

continues his education in prison


aking in the early hours of another endless day, I glanced around the small, sparse cubicle. Outside the tiny window, razor wire fencing surrounded the secured facility. I was perplexed about how I’d landed in this place. It hadn’t been in my life plan — as much of a plan as one has as a teenager — to find myself confined for sixand-a-half to eight years in federal prison. But here I was, and here I’d stay until it was determined I’d “paid my debt to society.” The time weighed heavy on me, knowing I was facing a mandatory minimum of five years. My arrest — and conviction — had been dramatic turning points in my life. Facing another day locked up, I wondered what was to become of me. At first, my greatest fear was just being in jail. Then, after facing the inevitable, the fear became coming out of prison no different than when I entered. I knew I had to improve my body, soul and mind. Questions I asked myself up to this morning were, “Would this time be wasted? Could I see beyond my difficult circumstances?” Family standard In my family, everybody got a college degree. My grandparents encouraged educational goals. My father earned an MBA. My sister graduated with a degree in marketing and my older brother holds a degree in mechanical engineering. Education was deeply entrenched in my subconscious. Growing up, I was small for my age and it made me feel bigger to go along with the crowd. Some questionable activities I managed to get involved with were inconsistent with the dream of a college education. My conscience bothered me but, as the years passed, I managed to silence the voices inside my head — telling me it was wrong. I rationalized the crimes with my own voice. I didn’t think I was hurting anyone else. Unfortunately, the authorities didn’t agree, and at 19, I was locked inside a rural county jail — a tiny cell in the booking area with four solid walls — my only



window in the door. For nine months, I was out of that cell for a total of one hour per day — usually in the middle of the night. Reality hits

I was eventually transferred into a federal prison. I refused to limit my friendships to only those prisoners who might keep me safe in their special brotherhood. I wanted to be an “eagle” — a regular inmate. I told my worried parents that I could tough it out although “it was going to be a very lonely five years.” I knew what I did was wrong and I wanted to make the best of my situation. In the prison yard, I broke through barriers and joined a softball team. For a while, I worked out in someone else’s exercise program and then started leading my own group. By the time I was 22, I’d grown four inches and gained 25 pounds. I became an active member in the institution’s religious activities. Then I searched for correspondence courses that would help me work toward my degree. I could find only three university programs serving incarcerated individuals who didn’t have Internet access. Few courses were offered, and coursework from two colleges wouldn’t be transferable, not helping my goal of working on an eventual degree. Courses were difficult to find — but Oklahoma State University’s Correspondence Education fit my needs. OSU helped me accomplish my goals within the restrictions of being incarcerated.

I knew what I did was wrong and I wanted to make the best of my situation.

Looking forward to tomorrow Now that I’m approved for five months in a halfway house about an hour from my home, I’ll be able to attend school as well as possibly earn my way to home detention prior to my actual release date. My family is grateful for the good that’s come from this hard situation. They are all so appreciative of OSU for keeping me moving forward during this difficult time. I am thankful I found a distance-learning program through printed correspondence from a reputable and well-known university.









posse replay This story

first ran in the Winter 2014 issue of POSSE magazine. To read other great OSU athletic stories, consider joining the POSSE. Annual donations to OSU athletics of $150 or more qualify for POSSE membership and include an annual subscription to POSSE magazine. Go to okstateposse.com for details.


John Farrell has reached the pinnacle of baseball.

A big par t of how he got there can be traced back to Stillwater, Oklahoma. Before he ever led one of Major League Baseball’s most storied franchises to a WORLD SERIES TITLE, Farrell helped pioneer a college baseball dynasty at Oklahoma State.



And while he may not have known or entirely understood it at the time, Farrell’s four years in a Cowboy uniform, under the tutelage of OSU’s hall of fame head coach Gary Ward, were integral in Farrell hoisting The Commissioner’s Trophy on the field at Fenway Park in 2013. “The years that you spend in college, in my opinion, are the years that put the final imprint on who you’re going to become as an adult,” Farrell said. “Fortunately, I was exposed to (Coach Ward) and his methods. In the fall, I can remember we would go up into a classroom in Gallagher Hall, and we would go through hours of listening to motivational tapes and him speaking on goal setting and all the things entailed that create discipline.


“There’s no question that helped form who I became as an adult.” Over three decades prior to becoming a World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox, Farrell was like many high school baseball stars, just trying to figure out where he was going to play college ball. The right-handed pitcher also had the option of professional baseball having been a ninth-round draft pick of the

Oakland A’s in 1980.

One trip to Stillwater and a weekend with Ward and OSU assistant coach Tom Holliday would answer that question for the Monmouth Beach, N.J., native. The Cowboy coaching duo, just over three years into building a college baseball dynasty, had Farrell hooked. “It was their pursuit of me,” said Farrell when asked what appealed to him about the OSU program. “Both (Ward) and Coach Holliday were active in their recruiting, and it came down to identifying those who you were going to play for. They were a clearcut choice over others that showed interest. “Their persistence and Coach Ward’s vision of what he had in mind for the program, the facility, the level of play — and all that came to fruition as it turned out.”


Farrell pitched four seasons for the Cowboys, from 1981-84, and each of those ended with

A TRIP TO OMAHA AND THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES. The ’81 club marked the first of OSU’s

10 CWS teams under Ward and began a streak of seven-straight years the Pokes advanced to Omaha, which still stands as an NCAA record. “Honestly, in high school I didn’t know what the College World Series was about so my exposure to college baseball was minimal,” Farrell said. “Once I arrived in Stillwater, it became clear what our goal was, and to contribute to that and be a part of it was an incredible experience.” Farrell’s success on the mound mirrored the Cowboys’ winning ways.


Rob Walton, now OSU’s pitching coach, was a teammate and roommate of Farrell’s during his days with the Cowboys, and he remembers Farrell as an exemplary presence on the mound and in the clubhouse. “As a player, he was always prepared and always disciplined in how he went about his business,” Walton said. “The first year I was here, he was in the transition of being a power guy and understanding the pitchability of it. The second year, he really started to hone in on his skills and put it together. “And John was a guy that was a great teammate because he was a guy that would take a younger player like me under his wing and say, ‘This is how it’s done.’ He showed you the ropes, told you this is how you do things and prepare for your next level of baseball. He was always willing to give you some information and try to help you along.” continues

to Red Sox

A big part of how he got there can be traced back to Stillwater, Oklahoma.


Farrell said that type of tireless preparation was necessary on OSU teams loaded with some of the top talent in college baseball. “Playing with so many players that were so talented was an eye-opening experience for me,” Farrell said. “Coming from a very small beach town in New Jersey and coming to OSU where players from all over the country were brought in, it was eye opening the level of talent that was in our own program, let alone who we were competing against. “That was a challenge in its own right, just positioning yourself as a pitcher to get innings.” And while those OSU teams made a name for themselves with eye-popping

“They were deep, they were talented — whether it was Mike Henneman,

Dennis Livingston, Gary Kanwisher, Mike Trapasso, Mitch Coplon, there were a number of guys that

went on to pitch in pro ball,” Farrell said. either as a starter or just getting innings, you had to perform to a pretty high level just to compete with those inside the program. “And as I’ve come to realize, competition within is one of the more healthy things you can be involved with. It drives you to perform and improve, and that was certainly the case while I was there.” Following a senior season that saw him go 12-2 with a 3.16 ERA, eight complete games and five shutouts — numbers that helped OSU win a school-record 61 games and finish third at the 1984 College World Series — Farrell once again had his name called in the MLB draft, this time as a second-round pick of the Cleveland Indians. Three years later, he made his big league debut. One of the highlights of his eightyear Major League Baseball career came during that 1987 season when, in just his second-career start, he held PAUL MOLITOR hitless in four at-bats to end the Hall of Famer’s 39-game hitting streak.



“Because of (Molitor’s) success and the attention he was receiving around the country, to be involved in stopping it was something you don’t think you’re going to be a part of, but fortunately it unfolded that way,” Farrell said.

IN 1988, FARRELL WON A CAREER-HIGH 14 GAMES; in 1989, he tossed seven complete games and two shutouts, racked up a career-best 132 strikeouts and had another brush with history. That moment came in May in Cleveland when Farrell carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals before giving up a single to KEVIN SEITZER.

“You recognize (a no-hitter is) happening probably when you get through the fifth inning, but then with each successive inning following, you felt a sense of something getting closer by the out,” Farrell said. “And I can remember going out for the ninth inning and (teammate) BUD BLACK giving me kind of a look where there were no words that needed to be spoken, and yet everyone knows what is taking place. “Unfortunately, Kevin Seitzer broke it up with a base hit to right field.” Following 36 wins and eight major league seasons, Farrell retired at the AllStar break in 1996.

step down as OSU’s head coach. “It looked like Coach (Tom) Holliday was going to take over, and I approached Tom and said, ‘Hey, if you’re looking for a pitching coach, I would certainly be interested,’” Farrell said. “I knew I wanted to stay in the game and yet really didn’t have an exact idea of what I wanted to commit to. “As I look back, getting into coaching was probably the most fortunate and best thing I could have ever asked for. You had to learn how to coach, you had to learn how to scout, you had to learn how to organize, you had to mentor young men it was a great position to come into after finishing a playing career.” One of those Cowboys that Farrell helped mentor was current OSU head coach Josh Holliday, who starred for the Pokes during Farrell’s time as an assistant coach. “(Farrell) brought tremendous background and credibility as a player, and it was especially cool having him as a coach here at Oklahoma State since he played here as well,” Holliday said. “He had a

“He’d be good at anything he chose to do.” — JOSH HOLLIDAY Soon thereaf ter, his baseball career took an unexpected path — but one that once again crossed in Stillwater. With him and his family still living in Cleveland, Farrell enrolled at OSU for the 1996 fall semester, making the commute from

Cleveland to Oklahoma City to Stillwater every weekend to pursue the 22 credit hours he

needed to earn his degree. While studying for that degree in business management, Farrell heard opportunity knocking when Ward announced after Thanksgiving that he was going to

know him, playing for him and working with him, he’s just a great person, a great dad, a great husband, all the things that when you get to know someone you start to appreciate them for. “John is just a smart person in general — he’d be good at anything he chose to do — and everything that he does, he does with a tremendous amount of passion. He knows the game from multiple angles, whether it be the pitching side and the mental side of the game that he learned as a player himself or the other

elements of the game that he picked up through observation and being a student of the game. You always knew John knew the game, and he had great relationships and a huge amount of respect from everyone he knew.” That respect meant the pros would once again be calling on Farrell, and after five seasons as an OSU assistant, he rejoined the Indians in 2001 as their Director of Player Development. The next step for Farrell was a return to the field, and that came in 2007 when he joined Boston as its pitching coach, a move that paid immediate dividends when the Red Sox captured a World Series title that season. Next stop — Toronto, where Farrell was named the manager of the Blue Jays in 2011. After his second year at the helm in Canada, he made history as the fourth manager in MLB history to be traded and returned to Boston as the Red Sox manager. “I subscribe to the notion that if you stay focused with what you’re doing and do it to the best of your ability, the options or opportunities will arrive,” Farrell said. “It just so happens that things have unfolded in five-year cycles. I was at Oklahoma State for five years, I go to Cleveland as the farm director and director of player development for five years. That opportunity then opens the door to get back on the field as the pitching coach for Boston for almost five years. Then the next opportunity presented itself. “I just knew I wanted to stay involved in the game. In what capacity, I was unclear. “I would say my path isn’t a traditional one – crossing over from college to pro

he led an epic turnaround as a Red Sox team that had finished last in its division in 2012 was crowned the 2013 WORLD


“I was just part of a group of people that achieved it,” said Farrell, who was named Sporting News’ 2013 American League Manager of the Year. “It was a collection of players that fit what our vision was, and that was good teammates, quality guys, talented yes, but had track records of being very good teammates and were about accomplishing something as a group and not as individuals. “Everyone receives their highlight video at the end of the year, and as I watched the film, I would find myself pausing it a number of times because the highlight only represents a portion of the story that is underlying. Holding up the trophy at the end of Game Six, there’s a 178-game journey to get to that point. That snapshot is just the tip of the iceberg to all that took place. From season prior to spring training, coming in new and trying to reconnect with the players that were here when I was here before to

iconic franchises in all of sport and the high expectations placed on him from the legion of Red Sox fans. “It’s humbling, there’s no doubt,” Farrell said. “It’s an honor to wear this uniform and be trusted with the group that takes the field here. When you work in an environment that’s as passionate as Boston is, everything is magnified, good or bad. I became more aware of it and was definitely more equipped after being a pitching coach here. I had an understanding of the expectations and the magnitude of things. But still, there’s not going to be any external expectations that are greater than your own. “Some people from afar might view it as daunting, but I think of it as being normal — that’s just the way it is.” But no matter where Farrell’s baseball journey goes in the future, he’ll always hold a special fondness for his Cowboy roots. “I spent nine years of my life in Stillwater, and it had a huge impact on me. And as I’m sure it is with a lot of people that come to OSU, it’s something that doesn’t leave you.”

“I was just part of a group of people that achieved it.”

It gives me a set of circumstances that are unique compared to others in the game. It still comes down to how you manage people and how you deal with the individuals inside of a team concept.” And once again, it turned out that Farrell was top notch at doing just that. In his first season as Boston’s manager,

every day in spring training to the whole season that unfolded and the challenges you were presented with. “It’s an incredible feeling, and something that was great to share with a lot of people you respect and were glad to do it with them. That’s the thing that really stands out — the people that you share those moments with.” Now a coaching veteran in Beantown, Farrell embraces his role as the leader of one of the most




recognizes students for excellence in scholar-

ship, leadership and community service and for bringing distinction to Oklahoma State University. The 44 Seniors of Significance for the 2014-2015 academic year represent all six undergraduate colleges, seven states and two countries. The OSU Alumni Association honored them at a public banquet on November 17, 2014, at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. For more information about the OSU Alumni Association’s student awards program, visit orangeconnection.org/awards.

CYNTHIA BEJAR, Mustang, Oklahoma Applied Sociology

ARIEL LEFF, Tulsa, Oklahoma Mechanical Engineering

CATRINA D. ROCKHOLT, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Management

KAYLA CASTLEBERRY, Bartlesville, Oklahoma Nutritional Sciences

AMBER LIVINGSTON, Chicago, Illinois Marketing and Management

CHRISTIEN SAGER, Wichita Falls, Texas Electrical Engineering Technology

SKYLA CLIFT, Amarillo, Texas Athletic Training

AUBREY MACKEY, Coleman, Oklahoma Communication Sciences and Disorders

ERIN SCANLAN, Portales, New Mexico Marketing and Management

CAITLYN CLOUD, Hominy, Oklahoma Communication Sciences and Disorders

KEVIN MEEKS, Wetumka, Oklahoma Agricultural Communications

TY SCHOENHALS, Kremlin, Oklahoma Agricultural Economics

JOSHUA JOE CONAWAY, Ringwood, Oklahoma Agribusiness

MARYKATE MILLER, Edmond, Oklahoma Accounting

CHACEY SCHOEPPEL, Fairview, Oklahoma Agribusiness

DALTON DOWNING, Grove, Oklahoma Agribusiness

JESSICA NEAL, Duncan, Oklahoma Animal Science

HARRISON SCHROEDER, Shawnee, Kansas Mathematics and Spanish

LAUREN FOLEY, Tulsa, Oklahoma Zoology and Biological Science

KATHLEEN NELSON, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Mechanical Engineering

AUBREY RAEANN SCOTT, Owasso, Oklahoma Human Development and Family Science

KATLYN FORD, Ponca City, Oklahoma Finance and Economics

HANNAH NEMECEK, Skiatook, Oklahoma Agricultural Communications

CHRIS STOCKTON, Duncan, Oklahoma Finance and Management

SHAE MATISSE GODSEY, Tulsa, Oklahoma Marketing and International Business

NADIR NIBRAS, Dhaka, Bangladesh Mechanical Engineering

PETER STORM, Stillwater, Oklahoma Biosystems Engineering

BRIAN JAMES HIGHFILL, Enid, Oklahoma Agricultural Economics

SUSAN OCCHIPINTI, Dunmore, Pennsylvania Multimedia Journalism and Strategic Communications

CLARA TELFORD, Euless, Texas Physiology

AARON HOAK, Ponca City, Oklahoma Chemical Engineering BRANDON HUBBARD, Kingfisher, Oklahoma Physiology and Psychology MACY LAINE HULA, Enid, Oklahoma Human Development and Family Science MICHAEL JOHNSON, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Civil Engineering KARA LASTER, Shawnee, Oklahoma Human Resource Management

JONATHAN C. OVERTON, Yukon, Oklahoma Biosystems Engineering KATIE PARISH, Ardmore, Oklahoma Sports Media COLEY RALSTON, Stillwater, Oklahoma Marketing EMILY RAY, Pilot Point, Texas Secondary Education

LEAH UNDERWOOD, Edmond, Oklahoma Physiology JO BETH WASICEK, Bartlesville, Oklahoma Vocal Music Education PHILIP WHITE, Edmond, Oklahoma Mechanical Engineering PAIGE KATHRYN WIKLE, Stillwater, Oklahoma Psychology LINDSEY WILLIS, Tulsa, Oklahoma Strategic Communications




he OSU Alumni Association inducted Bryan Close, Frederick F. Drummond, John D. Groendyke and Ramona Ware Emmons Paul into the OSU Hall of Fame at a ceremony February 13 in the

At the 2015 OSU Hall of Fame banquet, OSU Alumni Association President Chris Batchelder, left, and OSU Alumni Association Board Chair Jennifer Grigsby, right, gather during a memorable evening with, from left, Frederick F. Drummond, John D. Groendyke, Bryan Close, and Homer Paul, widower of Ramona Ware Emmons Paul.

ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.

“These four honorees are wonderful examples of

how far hard work and an OSU degree can take you,” says OSU President Burns Hargis. “Each has made a significant impact in their respective field and we are proud to call them Cowboys.” Induction into the OSU Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the OSU Alumni Association. It

recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in society and professional life.

The OSU Alumni Association would like to thank Standley Systems and the OSU Foundation as sponsors of the 2015 OSU Hall of Fame. Katie Parish interviewed the Hall of Fame honorees and compiled the questions and answers. Visit orangeconnection.org/hof or scan this QR code to watch the induction videos of this year’s honorees on OStateTV.



numerous civic organizations and was presented the Maureen Reagan Memorial Award by the Alzheimer’s Association in 2011. Close is a member of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees, OSU Heritage Society, OSU POSSE, President’s Fellows and is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. Why did you decide to attend OSU? I decided to come to OSU because, at the time, I thought I wanted to become a veterinarian. Dr. Joe Whiteman advised me, however, that my love for animals was not a valid reason to become a veterinarian, inasmuch as my “patients” would be sick and hurting or even dying. Because I had run out of money in the middle of my sophomore year, I had taken a job at the local Elks Lodge. Since OSU had a notable School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, I felt a change to this field would be far more glamorous and exciting so I enrolled in the HRAD program. What’s one accomplishment you’re most proud of since graduating from OSU?

BRYAN CLOSE Bryan Close of Tulsa, Oklahoma, graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant administration. He is the president of CloseBend Inc., a company his father started in 1974. Close, a fervent supporter of OSU, has established several endowed scholarships. He also served as chair

I appreciate most, the ability to re-connect to OSU. For 17 years after graduation, I was not on campus more than three or four times. As a consequence of my re-connecting, I have been able to position myself so that I at least think I have made a difference in several OSU students’ lives. Looking back, what’s been the most difficult part of your career and how did that change you? The realization that I cannot really make major changes to the world or to a lot of people. I feel I can make a small difference in a few people’s lives, so I try to do just that, and hope that I can accomplish it. What does it mean to you to be inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame?

of the College of Human Sciences Associates and

This is an overwhelming and extremely humbling honor. Never in a million years would I have imagined it.

Human Sciences co-chair of the Branding Success

What’s your favorite part about being an OSU Cowboy?

campaign. He received the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1996 from the School of Hotel and Restaurant

I enjoy most observing the current student body’s excitement, enthusiasm and energy. I revel in the thought of being so pumped after visiting the OSU campus whether it be for a meeting, a game or a social event.

Bryan Close Administration and was inducted into the HRAD

Hall of Fame in 2003. He is active on the boards of



throughout northeastern Oklahoma. Drummond and his wife, Janet, are the longest consecutive annual donors in OSU’s history and have had an impact in approximately 40 areas on campus. The Drummond Residence Hall at OSU is named after Drummond’s father. Drummond, a life member of the OSU Alumni Association, served as the organization’s board chair in 1969. Why did you decide to attend OSU? I attended honestly because, for me, there was no other choice. My family all went to OSU so it was a logical choice. What are some of the memories that come to mind when reflecting on your time at OSU? One unique memory of mine was in 1953 when we had a terrible hailstorm. The hail peeled the tile roofs and destroyed several buildings. It was right after the Student Union was built. But other than that, my memories were of what a great time I had there. I loved my classes and my friends and I’ve tried to be a great alumnus since graduation.

FREDERICK F. DRUMMOND Frederick F. Drummond of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, graduated from Oklahoma A&M College in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. Drummond began his career in the banking industry but is best known as the owner and operator of the Fred G. Drummond Ranches in Osage County. Drummond was awarded the Charles and David Koch Award for Better Government in Oklahoma

What’s one accomplishment you’re most proud of since graduating from OSU? To be the father of four lovely children and have a wonderful family. Looking back, what’s been the most difficult part of your career and how did that change you? I’ve been an active cattle rancher for 45 years, and I’ve experienced several difficult times. The ups and downs of the cattle industry can be challenging. What does it mean to you to be inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame? I’m very flattered and humbled because I know that so many people are much more qualified than myself.

F rederick F . Drummond from the Academy for State Government in 1995,

inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2004

What’s your favorite part about being an OSU Cowboy?

and the Hall of Great Westerners in 2006, and

Through the good and bad, I will always be loyal to OSU. I’ve had football tickets for 50 years, and I’ve never looked back.

named Oklahoma Cattleman of the Year in 2014. He is also active in several organizations


Fame in 2013. He serves on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees and is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. Why did you decide to attend OSU? I lived in Enid and I attended high school at Wentworth Military Academy [in Missouri]. When I was choosing a school, I knew I wanted to go to school close to my family. My dad graduated from Panhandle Agriculture and Mechanical Institute, and Dr. Oliver S. Willham was the dean and vice president there when my dad attended. He went on to become the president of Oklahoma State when I started my junior year there. I went to lunch with Dr. Willham and my father, and they knew it was a right fit for me. I just felt comfortable at OSU, and I joined Sigma Nu fraternity. What are some of the memories that come to mind when reflecting on your time at OSU? I think just going to class and meeting new people honestly. I enjoyed the camaraderie and relationships I made. When I think of my time at OSU, I have very fond memories. What’s one accomplishment you’re most proud of since graduating from OSU?

JOHN D. GROENDYKE John D. Groendyke of Enid, Oklahoma, graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in business. He is the CEO and chairman of Groendyke Transport Inc. After graduating from OSU, Groendyke earned his law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1969. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army, and after a two-year tour of duty, he returned to Enid to join the

My father started Groendyke Transport Inc. in 1932 with one truck in Beaver, Oklahoma. I think I’m most proud of the fact we have been able to keep the business growing and have it thriving 83 years later. I have several family members involved in the day-to-day operations and all four of my children serve on the board. I have also served as commissioner of the Wildlife Nature Conservancy for the last 38 years and I have enjoyed that immensely. Looking back, what’s been the most difficult part of your career and how did that change you? I think just being able to adapt to all the change of regulation in the trucking business. There have been a lot of changes over the years to where it is more open competition and it feels good that we have been able to move forward, adapt and be successful. What does it mean to you to be inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame?

John D. Groendyke family trucking operation, which was founded by his father, H.C. Groendyke, in 1932.

Groendyke is a member of the OG&E Energy

board of directors and the board of the National

Tank Truck Carriers. He is serving his sixth term

Being a student there and living in Oklahoma my whole life … I am excited and honored to be selected. I’m pleased to know both Bryan Close and Frederick Drummond, and I’m very honored to be recognized alongside them because I consider them outstanding individuals.

as commissioner of District 8 for the Oklahoma

What’s your favorite part about being an OSU Cowboy?

Department of Wildlife Conservation, which honored

It’s the camaraderie, alumni, enthusiasm, dedication and spirit. I take great pride in how far OSU has come in the last 10 years. There are so many positive changes and movement forward. I also enjoy serving on the OSU Foundation Board and enjoy that facet of the university.

him as Commissioner of the Year in 1991.

He was inducted to the Spears School of Business

Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Oklahoma Hall of



to the White House for the 1979 United Nations International Year of the Child and selection to attend the United States Air Force Air War College National Security Forum in 1982. Paul was a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. She died June 30, 2013. Her widower, Homer Paul, answered questions about Ramona’s life. Why did Ramona decide to attend OSU? Ramona grew up in Stillwater, and she’s really a product of the university. Both of her parents were on the faculty. Her father was a poultry specialist. and her mother taught marriage courses in the College of Human Sciences. She went to nursery school here and was very familiar with the campus. It was natural for her to get a couple of degrees from here. What was Ramona like as a student? Ramona was an outstanding student and participated as a natural leader. But she always downplayed her own importance or profile even in her later years. What’s the one accomplishment she was most proud of?

RAMONA WARE EMMONS PAUL Ramona Ware Emmons Paul of Edmond, Oklahoma, graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in family relations and child development in 1958 and a master’s degree in child and family development in 1959. She went on to earn a doctorate degree in child development and family science from Purdue University. Paul was the former assistant state superintendent

It would be hard to ignore her role in early childhood [education]. “The Oklahoma Model,” as they call it, has been recognized and identified, and she gets credit for that. I would think she would recognize her overall achievement in a little broader base and all the things that early childhood [education] involves now. How would you describe Ramona’s feelings for her alma mater? Ramona’s feelings for the university were very strong. She was really a product of the university she went to, and her devotion and dedication to the university never waivered. Any opportunity she had to participate and to use her dedication was sincere. She didn’t stick to the spotlight. She was consistent and dedicated. It was just part of her life, that’s who she was. What do you believe Ramona would say about her induction?

Ramona W are Emmons Paul at the Oklahoma State Department of Education and

is credited with the development and implementation

of an early childhood education program for 4-year-

old children. Her career as an educator spanned more

than 50 years, and she was named Oklahoman of the

Year in 2009.

Special recognitions included Kappa Woman of

the Year by the Greater Oklahoma City Alumnae

Panhellenic, induction into the College of Human Sciences Hall of Fame, Oklahoma representative

I think Ramona would sit in here and recognize she’s been acknowledged as a proper recipient of the OSU Hall of Fame and she would say “Wow,” and she would say, “Gosh, there are others that deserve it so much more.” She would be so pleased.

If you had to describe Ramona in one word, what would it be and why?

If I had to describe Ramona in one word it would be perfection. Not that it was a storybook kind of perfection, but a constant work in progress. What she had achieved and what she had attained in her life, personally, academically, professionally was still going on. When she touched all the right bases, she would touch them. She didn’t have to hit a home run every time but she was there. We were a good team.


a g n i t r o p Sup e t a t S r e i Health udents r pre-medical st e and money fo tim g tin na do By Jacob Longan wboys OSU Medical Co


s a lifelong Oklahoman, neurosurgeon Barry Pollard is completely aware of the state’s shortage of health care professionals, especially in rural areas. Through the OSU Medical Cowboys program he founded in 2007, Pollard and more than 290 other OSU alumni have combined for $2.9 million in gifts and commitments to support the next generation of doctors, osteopathic physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and other medical careers. “OSU has students from all 77 counties in Oklahoma,” Pollard says. “Many from rural areas in particular are attracted to OSU for their undergraduate training. It’s hard to find physicians who grew up in urban areas and want to go out to various small towns and practice medical care. It’s easier to find kids who grew up in that environment and want to get back to that. So we think it makes a lot of sense to help people who come from those areas and want to go back there to practice medicine.”

Courtney Mapes, right, and Sophia Short review options for pre-medical courses to prepare for health care careers.




Pollard explained that important aspect of the program during the annual Medical Cowboys Scholarship Event, which brings donors and students to the Stillwater campus for a celebration. Among the highlights was the announcement of 12 current scholarship recipients, pushing the ongoing total to 31 awardees. These $2,500 pre-med scholarships are renewable for up to four years. Recipients must finish high school with at least a 3.75 GPA or a 27 on the ACT and demonstrate community involvement and leadership. One current scholar is Emmie Humphrey, a College of Human Sciences junior pursuing an honors degree in human

development and family science with a prehealth option. The Choctaw, Oklahoma, native says she has been passionate about becoming a physician assistant since serving on medical mission trips in Nicaragua and Kenya. “My dream is to work with people in rural communities where health care is scarce and the need is great,” Humphrey says. “I look forward to the day I have completed my higher education and medical training so that I can offer all that I have to those most in need.”


Emmie Humphrey assists in a makeshift pharmacy during a medical mission trip to Africa.

Dr. David Russell and Dr. Barry Pollard encourage other health professionals to join the Medical Cowboys to mentor students.

Emmie Humphrey plays with orphans visiting a mobile medical clinic through the Maisha Project in Kenya.

Courtney Mapes is an animal-science and pre-veterinary medicine freshman in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. She came from Alva, Oklahoma, after falling in love with her father’s alma mater. “When selecting a college, my passion for OSU, the strength of the veterinary science program and my desire to be a Cowboy solidified the decision,” Mapes says. “My major is potentially preparing me to enter veterinary school in the fall of 2019, where I have a seat saved through the early admissions program. Ultimately, my goal is to go back to rural Oklahoma, specifically in the Alva area, and open my own mixed-animal practice.” Dr. David Russell, a retired radiologist from Enid, says Humphrey and Mapes show that a gift to the Medical Cowboys will be well spent. “There is nothing we can give to that will make us feel as good as supporting young people who want to go out into the world and help others,” Russell says. “And this event is unbelievably fun because the recipients are so enthusiastic. It’s such a blessing to visit with them and talk about their plans for their lives.”

The newest feature of the Medical Cowboys program is the Pre-Health Shadowing Network, which opened in February 2014. It creates a community of mentors and peers for current and future medical professionals providing students with vital observation experiences. The network is maintained through a restricted site that is accessible only to those who have completed the required HIPAA Compliance Training. The program also addresses appropriate shadowing protocol, etiquette, professionalism and patient privacy. Cathy Southwick, OSU’s coordinator for pre-health programs, says few universities have such an initiative for undergrads. She says about 100 professionals are participating in the network. About 350 students have registered with more than 130 completing the required training. “They are actively utilizing the network to help build their portfolio and get the valuable shadowing that they need to fully understand the occupation they are pursuing,” Southwick says. “We are really proud of both our students and our partners, and we are always looking for new partners in this endeavor.”

Humphrey says OSU is providing her with the skills and tools to be successful in all areas of life, and the Medical Cowboys program is a vital part of that experience. “OSU is truly unlike any other university,” Humphrey says in support of the program. “Your investment in scholarships for students goes above and beyond academics. I have been … challenged, mentored and involved because of donors like you. I am so thankful to be a part of this extraordinary Cowboy family and hope to invest in the lives of Cowboy medical scholars just as you have invested in me.” Pollard says the program has had a good start, but the group expects to do even more in the future. That includes enhancing the scholarship piece with a goal of adding 20 to 30 recipients each year, which will require more donor support as well as increased contact with high schools across the state. “We want the brightest kids we can find,” Pollard says. “We want very successful kids with leadership ability and kids who make the grades. We want kids who want to pursue a degree in medicine to come to Oklahoma State to fulfill their dreams and, by achieving our goals as an organization, we will have a great impact on the health of our state.”

“There is nothing we can give to that will make us feel as good as supporting young people who want to go out into the world and help others.” — Dr. David Russell

For more information, contact the OSU Foundation’s Lauren Kidd at 405-385-0724 or lkidd@OSUgiving.com or True Wallace at 405-945-6714 or twallace@OSUgiving.


Scholar development program guides travel experiences By Shelby Holcomb

the year. OSU Scholar Abroad wants to give everyone a chance to broaden their perspectives. “Combining life experiences with academic experiences allows our students to grow beyond the classroom and further understand the world in which we live,” First Cowgirl Ann Hargis says. The program is designed to allow faculty members to come up with program ideas and corresponding curricula, then Ward and his office help make everything happen through careful

OSU’s Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research is leaving traces of orange across the globe. OSU Scholar Abroad, a new international education program, has guided more than 30 students and faculty members through its series that featured four programs in six countries. The experience is open to all undergraduate students through a competitive application and interview process. Joshua Ward, who became office director in 2013, founded the program with the notion that world travel is an invaluable experience that transforms people personally and academically. The series is also based on OSU’s flagship international experience, “Cowboys in Cambridge,” in which Ward participated as an undergraduate. “International experience gives students a global perspective and a competitive edge to win prestigious scholarships, secure prominent jobs and gain admission to top graduate school programs,” Ward says. The idea was to mimic the Cambridge program and expand it to other countries throughout the school year. With students’ scattered academic schedules, work and internship commitments, “Cowboys in Cambridge” scholars took an excursion to Highclere Castle of “Downton Abbey” fame. it’s not fair to offer experiences abroad during just one part of




planning and securing the necessary funding. Alumni donations help the dreams come to life. “If we were making a movie together, our office would be like the producer,” Ward says. “We handle the logistics, we pay for it, etc., and the faculty member is like the director; they’re the ones who direct the program ... run the academic portion of it.” In 2014, Ward and faculty mentors led students through the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Peru, Bolivia, England and South Africa. The first program, “The Rise of a Global City and the Custodians of History,” which happened over spring break 2014, took Cowboys to the UAE and Oman. The program centered on the Arabian Peninsula’s surge of globalization and how a successful tourist industry can maintain economic growth in the wake of a rapid loss of oil revenues. Business senior Monica Kreymer described her experience as “a prime example of the utility of academic curiosity and an experience that has prepared me immensely for a career in the global community.” The second program, “Sustainable Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Engineering in a Developing Country,” focused on water sustainability of Peru’s Machu Picchu and Bolivia’s giant salt flats. “The program was a truly remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Joshua Sorenson, a junior mechanical engineering major. “Youth Empowerment in the Fight Against Poverty: Education in Rural South Africa” delved into how educational

OSU students partner with the Ubuntu Youth Project, co-founded by OSU 2014 Truman Scholar Chacey Schoeppel. entrepreneurship eases poverty within a community. The program joined forces with the South African Ubuntu Youth Project, an organization created by OSU alumna Alyssa Peterson and 2014 Truman Scholar and OSU agricultural economics senior Chacey Schoeppel. “Our young alumni are exceptional role models as they demonstrated what you can do with hard work, education, passion and a great idea,” says Bridget Miller, associate professor of health and promotion in the College of Education and Scholar Abroad South Africa faculty leader. With “Cowboys in Cambridge,” students and faculty members learned about the overall effect of HIV/AIDS on the United States, global politics and society. It also focused on the role key activists and organizations played in bringing the pandemic to the forefront of minds all over the world. Dillon Jones, a microbiology junior, describes his experience as “an intellectually and culturally stimulating experience that cannot be replaced. It necessitated the development of an eclectic worldview.” Along with OSU history professor Laura Belmonte, who led the adventure, OSU President Burns Hargis and Ann Hargis, OSU alumni Roger and Cindy Cagle, and the John Clerico family joined the group. “I have always loved our study abroad programs,” Ann Hargis says. “And after our Cambridge experience, I see firsthand the value these programs bring to our students. Not only are they immersed in a culture different than their own, but they are also surrounded by a wide range of thoughts and philosophies from other international students.” Study abroad programs open doors, offering an academic component and much more, Ward explains. Perspectives are broadened, and lesson plans are thoroughly illustrated with reallife examples. “Traveling is a window to the world,” Ward says. “But also, traveling is a window into yourself.”

OSU students visit the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the world’s largest salt flat.


Trav eli


boys Cow g n

2016 Destinations January | Pacific Dreams Cruise April | Sorrento, Italy May | Sultans & Palaces: Mediterranean Cruise June | Glacier Splendors of Alaska Cruise July | Baltic & Scandinavian Treasures Cruise September | Grand Danube Passage Cruise October | Mediterranean Mosaic Cruise October | China & Yangtze River Cruise

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Book your next vacation with OSU, and travel with fellow alumni and friends! ORANGECONNECTION.org/travel | FLI /okstatealumni

New York television career blossoms from Oklahoma roots By Katie Parish

Working for NBC Sports Communications, Lindsay Fitz checks the announcer booth before Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.

Lindsay Fitz only knew one thing when she graduated from Oklahoma State University in the spring of 2002 — she wanted to find something that challenged her. She’s not only met her goal, but also gone far above and beyond. continues



ow the senior director of partnership marketing and innovation for A+E Networks, Fitz has thrived in the evolving and challenging New York City workforce. The Emmy Award-winner has worked on some of the largest sporting events, television shows and political stages in the world, and she says she owes it all to her Oklahoma roots. Becoming Lindsay Fitz grew up in Lawton with her parents and two brothers. Active and hard working, she was involved in community theater, tennis, dancing, basketball and more. At Lawton High School, she was class president for several years. “I was very social growing up,” Fitz says. “Our family was always running from one thing to another, and I liked that.”

When it came time to select a college, her relatives were a big influence. Both of her parents, brothers and extended family attended Indiana University in Bloomington. Fitz applied to her parents’ alma mater. “It was always an obvious choice that I would go to Indiana,” Fitz says. “But my dad asked me to look around at some of the Big 12 schools before I made a decision.”

Fitz agreed and visited all 12 schools in the conference at the time, including Oklahoma State. After visiting Stillwater, she knew she would break with family tradition and become a Cowgirl. It took no time for Fitz to make herself at home at OSU, and she dove into college life. As a member of President’s Leadership Council, Fitz made some of her best friends before she attended her first class. Throughout her time on campus, she was involved in Student Government Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the journalism school. She also directed Orange Peel, led the SGA Speaker’s Board and served for two years as president of OSU’s Tau Beta chapter of Chi Omega national women’s fraternity.


“I got a phone call, and they said ‘Congratulations you’re hired. You start Monday morning at 9 a.m.’ When I hung up the phone, I told my parents we had to pack immediately, and I was on a plane the next day.”



“I loved every minute of my time on campus,” Fitz says. “From my sorority to Speaker’s Board to attending football games, I made lifelong memories there.” One of Fitz’s favorite memories at OSU was being able to meet one of her most-admired heroes. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher came to campus through Fitz’s efforts on the SGA Speaker’s Board. In front of a

crowd of 5,000, Thatcher spoke against communism and the encroachment upon individual liberties. “Margaret Thatcher is one of my personal heroes,” Fitz says. “It was a highlight of my time at OSU to meet her and to have dinner with her.” A whole new world Fitz wanted to spend her college summers exploring different cities and countries. She completed internships in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and London — each offering a unique opportunity to explore the cities, culture, food and people. During her D.C. internship, Fitz frequently took the train to New York. She loved everything about

the city and knew she wanted to be there after graduation. “New York felt like a melting pot for me,” she says. “L.A. and D.C. are both focused on one specific career, and New York City is open to all things, ideas and ways of life.” It was her determination to live in the Big Apple that led Fitz to apply to the prestigious NBC Page Program. The highly selective program accepts only 1.5 percent of applicants. Fitz was invited to join the program and is the only applicant from Oklahoma to ever be accepted. “Being a page set the stage for my time in New York and my career in general,” Fitz says. Since she had never spent a summer during college in her hometown of continues

Lindsay Fitz tours the OSU School of Media and Strategic Communications new broadcasting facility during a trip in March.


Lawton, Fitz decided to stay with her parents after her May 2002 graduation. Her plan was to move to New York over Labor Day weekend even if she hadn’t received a job offer. In the middle of June, she received an email saying she had been accepted into the page program, but they wouldn’t have a start date for several weeks or months. All of that changed two weeks before Labor Day when Fitz received a phone call from NBC at 5 p.m. on a Friday. “I got a phone call, and they said, ‘Congratulations you’re hired. You start Monday morning at 9 a.m.’” Fitz says. “When I hung up the phone, I told my parents we had to pack immediately, and I was on a plane the next day.” With nothing more than a suitcase, Fitz lived out of a hotel room until she could find an apartment. New York, New York “It was traumatic because I felt like a fish out of water,” Fitz says. “But when

I got to New York, everything worked out fine.” Fitz started in the page program with 50 other high-achieving, goal-oriented individuals from all over the country — each with different plans and ambitions. Her first assignment as a page was on Last Call with Carson Daly. She then went to work with the Today Show, the NBC News communications department and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast. Because of the positive reputation she had built as a page, Fitz was contacted nine months later with a job offer. She left the page program to start as a production coordinator at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Three months later, NBC called again. “In my first three jobs after the page program, someone called me and asked me to come work for them,” Fitz says. “That’s the power of the program.” Back with NBC, Fitz became a coordinator for the NBC News communications

department. She worked closely with NBC News during the 2004 presidential election year and the evening prime time network newscasts. “I was with NBC when a lot of big things happened, including the start of the Iraq war,” Fitz says. “What you learn in this industry is amazing.” From there, Fitz worked as a publicist and project manager in communications and marketing for NBC Sports Communications, which included events such as NBC’s coverage the NFL’s Sunday Night Football, the Kentucky Derby, the U.S. Open, PGA Tour Ryder Cup and the National Hockey League. Fitz also managed talent and media relations for NBC’s coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games. In 2011, she was promoted to manager of strategic initiatives and integration at NBC, where she won an Emmy Award and multiple Promax Sports Marketing

She left ... to start as a production coordinator at “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Three months later, NBC called again. 48



Awards. She was influential in developing and executing NBC Sports’ “Big Event Strategy,” which aims to attract larger audiences for sporting events. Fitz left NBC in 2012 to become the senior director of on-air talent management and strategy at Discovery and TLC networks before assuming her current position as senior director of partnership marketing and innovation at A+E Networks. Lessons learned Living in New York and elsewhere across the country has exposed Fitz to countless lessons and experiences. She describes working at the Olympics as the highlight of a lifetime and cherishes those three experiences. “When it comes to the Olympics, you live it, breathe it and sweat it,” Fitz says. “But you also learn so much about limits and how much you can stretch yourself.” Round-the-clock breaking news and tight deadlines were only the start of

living in the Olympic village. The best journalists and networks in the world were all working within a five-mile radius, and the news never stopped. Oklahoma roots Fitz says she owes her successful career to her Oklahoma roots. “In New York, if you don’t take chances and jump into something, someone will do it for you,” she says. “You have to take initiative and learn to compete in a thriving environment.” That’s a trait Fitz says she learned at OSU, crediting her helpful professors and the “open door” policy throughout the campus.


o, what advice would she give students who think she has a dream job? Have a great attitude, be true to yourself and work harder than anyone else, she says. “Being from Oklahoma made me original,” Fitz says. “I took advantage of the fact I was different and made the most of it. Oklahoma made me who I am.”

Lower far left: Former NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol greets Lindsay Fitz at the XLIII Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida. Lower left: Lindsay Fitz answers questions during a mentoring day for the OSU’s School of Media and Strategic Communications. Below: Lindsay Fitz, center, prepares to broadcast “Sunday Night Football” with Al Michaels, left and Cris Collinsworth, right, and other members of the team when she worked for NBC Sports.


What magic moment have you had at Eskimo Joe's ? ®



Legacylink PISTOLS FIRING! Can you help Bullet find his way through Pete’s maze?



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

Get Involved. Stay Informed. Give Back. Show Your Pride. ORANGECONNECTION.org | FLI/okstatealumni

Love, Lust and Death

Opera improvises tragic acts

By Brian Petrotta

Improvisation is not traditionally associated with opera. Yet when April Golliver and Steve Sanders took inventory of the talented students at Oklahoma State University, they bucked tradition for OSU’s 2015 opera performance. Instead of staging a single complete opera, they improvised to collect scenes from four different productions and created Love, Lust and Death: Four Tragic Acts of Love. The unorthodox presentation gave Golliver and Sanders the opportunity to serve as co-directors and to feature a greater number of OSU students, especially underclassmen. “I remember being a student,” Sanders says. “As a freshman and sophomore, you often get left out. I wondered how to include everyone.” The result included the mini-opera Face on the Barroom Floor, the final scene from Don Giovanni, and the final acts of Rigoletto and La Bohéme. Sanders was the stage director while Golliver served as producer and conducted musical preparation. Their collaboration set the tone for top-to-bottom teamwork. OSU’s Department of Theatre pitched in with the creation of costumes and sets. When additional work was needed, the cast and crew improvised, too. Students helped by building and tearing down sets, bringing costumes from home and even staying after hours to paint. While such work might not have been in the job description, the extra effort served to strengthen the performers’ investment. Their behind-the-scenes work paid off when they took the stage on February 6 and 7 at the Seretean Center Concert Hall. Ivan Ley, a senior in vocal education from McKinney, Texas, performed two roles, giving him an especially full perspective of the audience.



Ivan Ley and Tiffany Wright sing in the final scene of Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni.”

“The people who came really loved it,” he says. “There were definitely wet eyes at the end of La Bohéme.” While he may have performed two roles, Ley embraced the diversity of material because it allowed so many other students to participate in the performance. He credits the vast opportunity to secure roles as one of OSU’s main draws. “OSU sets itself apart from other schools of music because it really does cater to students, especially undergraduates, who barely get a nod of the head at a lot of other schools,” he says. Sanders and Golliver also bring robust credentials as professionals. While both are native Oklahomans, the two first met in 2001 when they served as apprentices with the Des Moines Metro Opera in Iowa. Their careers took separate paths with Golliver performing internationally in Italy and the Czech Republic as well as with several notable operas, symphonies and orchestras stateside.

Sanders, a tenor, performed across the United States with prestigious opera companies, including the New York City Opera. He is now in his second year at OSU and says Golliver is directly responsible for bringing him to campus. Despite their high-profile careers as voice professionals, the two remain grounded and dedicated to the growth of opera at OSU. With a new Performing Arts Center on the horizon, the program appears to be headed for an even grander future. “Our facilities now are definitely cramped, small, and older, which puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting,” Sanders says. He is quick to point out OSU already attracts talented students but looks forward to featuring that talent in a stateof-the-art facility, along with dazzling future recruits when they make a trip to Stillwater. The nearly $60 million facility will feature an 1,100-seat performance hall, 222-seat recital hall, technologyrich rehearsal spaces and practice rooms and an outdoor amphitheater. It will also house the Department of Music and its master-class curriculum. Ley notes both Golliver and Sanders care deeply about their students, a quality demonstrated within the confines of an intimate practice room just as easily as it does in a grand performance hall. That trust is manifested in greater opportunities for the students to perform and for them to do so earlier in their college careers. The reciprocal respect makes it easier for all involved to improvise, come together, and create a crowd-pleaser. “Together we are able to make something that is really fun to play and to watch,” Ley says.

Michael Kollmorgen and Judith Prenzlow perform in the final acts of “Rigoletto.”



Collaborators across the state work together through the R is for Thursday Foster Alumni Network of Oklahoma. A group in Willard Hall on the Stillwater campus discussed the upcoming annual meeting scheduled at OSU-OKC including, from left, Lisa Will, University of Central Oklahoma adviser and R4T researcher; Kathryn Gage, OSU executive director of student affairs and R4T advocate; Kerri Kearney, R4T project coordinator and OSU associate professor in higher education and student affairs; Brad Williams, OSU-OKC vice president of student services and R4T advocate; Sherryl Nelson, Northern Oklahoma College assistant registrar and R4T advocate; and Ashley Mellor, an OSU student.





n estimated 1,100 former foster youth are enrolled in Oklahoma higher education annually. National statistics indicate that just 2 to 8 percent of foster alumni earn a bachelor’s degree, compared with 30 percent of the general population. A collaboration of Oklahoma higher education advocates, led by Oklahoma State University Associate Professor Kerri Kearney, is working toward increased understanding and support for former foster youth attending state colleges and universities, and also shaping government policies. In 2012, Kearney began conducting research with foster alumni college students, defined as those who were in the foster care system at age 13 or older.

Their stories were incredible. “Many of these students had experienced unimaginable circumstances, but they were now pursuing college degrees. Their strength of character was hard to grasp. During the first round of interviews I realized I can’t just do research,” Kearney says. “They made it to here. Now we need to help them.” Kearney, a faculty member in the College of Education, began to look at resources. Considering the relatively small population, it made sense to work and share knowledge with institutions and individuals across the state. The R is for Thursday Foster Alumni Network of Oklahoma was born. As for the unique name, the credit goes to OSU student Ashley Mellor,

Navigating life on a college campus can be challenging for any student, but PHOTO / CHRISTIE MELLOR

imagine pursuing higher education with little to no family or home support. Kerri Kearney

is for By Christy Lang

Statewide network supports former foster care youth

herself a foster alumni. As a college freshman, Mellor thought TR on her course schedule signified only Thursday, which led her to miss Tuesday class meetings. She joked that she would tell incoming foster alumni students that “R stands for Thursday.” It became a symbol of the gaps that exist for many former foster children. “(Kearney) thought it would be the perfect name for the project. It’s those little small details that are important,” Mellor says. Today, R is for Thursday’s focus is three-pronged — research and statewide coordination of information, direct service to students through advocates on individual campuses and public policy. The group is casually known as R4T.

Thanks largely to R is for Thursday’s work, Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest foundation on foster children, recognizes Oklahoma as one of only 11 states that has formal collaboration between family service organizations and higher education. Eighteen campuses in Oklahoma, including research, two-year and fouryear institutions, have formally designated advocates to assist alumni foster students. “In many instances, foster alumni college students don’t have basic life information or support for navigating our systems. Advocates step in to fill the gaps,” explains Brad Williams, vice president for student services at OSU-OKC and R4T advocate. Services may include teaching a student to drive, advising how

to approach a professor or navigating the financial aid process. Rebeca Hayes, an OSU alumna who participated in those early interviews with Kearney, appreciates the effort to begin connecting foster alumni college students. “Typical kids have a legacy,” Hayes says. “It’s not easy to be the kid who has no family and stays alone in the dorms during school breaks.” Hayes was active with R is for Thursday as an undergraduate, serving as an intern for the project. After graduating, she began working for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services where she is passing along her experience to make a difference for kids who are where she has been. Hayes is one of many foster alumni who are determined to help those coming behind them. continues


Collaboration for service

The Buy for Less-donated stuffed bears, officially known as Bubba bears, are treasures for former foster children because they sacrificed many possessions moving during childhood. Research team members and students from across the state celebrated triumphs at their annual meeting including Christine Cox-Hamby, Beatrize Martinez, Kerri Kearney, Kris Goble, Lisa Will, Theron Ogedengbe, Toni Hail and Cedric Turner.


Research and policy

Each summer, higher education professionals, foster alumni college students or graduates of Oklahoma colleges or universities, interested agencies and community members and other supporters of foster alumni youth gather for a statewide conversation about progress in serving foster alumni within the Oklahoma system of higher education. The meeting provides updates, shares best practices and develops strategic relationships.

In addition to Kearney, OSU doctoral students conduct, publish and speak about ongoing research on foster alumni in higher education. Toni Hail and Lisa Will have been with the project since its inception. Hail teaches in the social work department at Northeastern Oklahoma State University and is an R4T advocate while Will serves as an academic adviser at the University of Central Oklahoma. Other OSU students also contribute to the project. R is for Thursday is a true research to practice project where research influences practice and practice guides additional research. R4T’s work also has led to a request for assistance with 2015 Oklahoma legislation affecting foster alumni.



Every campus has different needs, and Kearney encourages each to develop its own model. Some campuses have R is for Thursday student groups, and many advocates lead on-campus teams of peers. Advocates on all campuses are volunteers with full-time jobs who choose to add to their lives by helping foster alumni students. “It’s an organic and evolving effort by people who have a heart for these amazingly resilient students,” Kearney says. In 2014, Oklahoma City-based nonprofit, It’s My Community Inc., stepped in to host the R4T Fund, which provides emergency money. The 1-1-1 Project and LifeChurch.tv provided videotaping capability that led to publicly available videos of foster alumni telling their stories — something Kearney believes is important for further educating professionals in higher education and the public. Monthly, Kearney shares policy changes and information through the network, and an annual meeting is held each summer to bring together foster alumni college students, higher education officials and other stakeholders. R is for Thursday has functioned with zero budget. “We have depended upon Oklahomans to help,” Kearney says. “Fortunately, we live in a place where helping your neighbor and caring for all of Oklahoma’s children are highly valued.”


“Too often what we know from research does not make it to the right places, and decisions can be made without full knowledge of how changes may impact certain groups such as foster alumni,” says Lisa Seale, vice president of enrollment and R4T advocate at Rose State College. “This gave us a chance to influence legislation for a group that has not traditionally had a voice.” A changing future Despite increased attention on foster alumni both nationally and in Oklahoma, Hail notes that having been in foster care is not something students want to advertise or something that they are proud of. “By providing support and empowering foster alumni, R is for Thursday is working to change that. We want them to wear it as a badge of honor,” Hail says. Kearney cites two recent examples that illustrate progress — students at Oklahoma City University created an R is for Thursday banner for display in their campus gym, and students at UCO asked to use the organization’s logo on T-shirts. “These may seem like small things but it shows that students have reached a point of publicly saying, ‘Yes, I was in foster care and look at me now,’” Kearney says. “It is a critical transition of moving from victim to victor,” Will adds. “We believe, and research supports, that it will change how they live and contribute during their lives.” With support and through education, these foster alumni graduates are more likely to change life trajectories for themselves, their siblings and their children. “A foster alumni graduate is not just one more degreed contributor,” Kearney explains. “Because statistics show that many former foster youth will have longterm dependencies on social systems, a graduate is a plus one, and a minus one of expected demand on shared resources, and a game changer for their siblings and for their children. It is a cascading series of wins for all of us.” More information about R is for Thursday Foster Alumni Network of Oklahoma can be found at education.okstate.edu/risforthursday

Thank you! OSUTeach is strengthening the state’s workforce by enhancing the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in elementary and secondary schools. The program launched last year with a $1.4 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative. OSUTeach helps STEM majors graduate in four years while preparing them for a career in education by earning their teaching certifications, training in public schools beginning their freshman year and being mentored by master teachers. The program will have immediate success and be sustained through the first five years thanks to more than $1 million in matching contributions from the following corporations and foundations: AT&T; Boeing; Inasmuch Foundation; The Kerr Foundation, Inc.; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Sarkeys Foundation; Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; and Williams.

Thank you, OSUTeach donors, for your dedication to supporting the next generation of STEM teachers.

OS U Fo u n d a tio n | 4 0 0 S o u th M o n ro e | Stillwate r, O K 74 074 | 8 0 0. 62 2 . 4 678

Orion exploration vehicle blasts off with America’s Brightest Orange

HELPING NASA GO WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle launched its first flight test to analyze the spacecraft’s safety features while passing through the Van Allen Radiation Belt on December 5, 2014. An Oklahoma State University flag was on board for the trip. OSU alumni Razvan and Ramona Gaza played an extensive role in the creation and safe journey for Orion, a next-generation spacecraft designed to transport humans to interplanetary destinations and bring them home safely. OSU faculty and students helped with the project. The Gazas, both research engineers who live in Houston, work for Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor collaborating with NASA’s Johnson Space Center to develop Orion. In 2004, the Gazas earned their doctorate degrees in physics from OSU, both completing their studies under the leadership of Stephen McKeever, Regents Professor of Physics. Dr. Razvan Gaza is a member of the Lockheed Martin Orion team and the technical lead of the LM Radiation Group, whose work centers on ensuring sufficient radiation protection within Orion. In 2011, he began characterizing and helping mitigate ionizing radiation effects on

the spacecraft’s electronic components. He installed the capsule’s radiation area monitors, prepared by his wife, which allow for real-time measurement of radiation levels. One of the major risks of long-duration space exploration is the danger posed by radiation. Deep space radiation can seriously harm astronauts and damage critical equipment. With radiation engineering being a fairly new discipline, Razvan says he learns something new every day. continues

By Shelby Holcomb



The Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 is providing engineers with data about systems critical to crew safety such as heat shield performance and radiation protection.



“I perform testing of electronic components used on board Orion to characterize their susceptibility to radiation effects,” he says. “From the test results, I calculate probabilities of radiation effects in the space environment and help the circuit designers assess and minimize radiation impacts. In addition, radiation protection for the astronauts will be essential for future Orion manned flights. I help optimize the spacecraft design to provide adequate shielding to the crew and minimize risk of detrimental health effects.” Dr. Ramona Gaza works for Lockheed

Martin’s Bioastronautics team in support of NASA’s Space Radiation Analysis Group, which observes the space radiation environment and provides a suite of instruments to monitor the astronauts’ radiation exposure on the International Space Station. She is manager of the Space Radiation Dosimetry Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and supports projects such as the International Space Station and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Her responsibilities on the Orion Exploration Flight Test included preparing and delivering a suite of radiation detectors called Radiation Area Monitors that were flown on the

spacecraft, including post-flight data analysis and radiation exposure summaries. “Team effort is the key word when your job is to support a manned-space mission, and my everyday work reflects that greatly,” she says. “No day is average in space business.” Shortly before graduating from OSU, she was offered a position with the Space Radiation Analysis Group to implement the use of optically stimulated luminescence, which measures radiation exposure, for NASA’s International Space Station astronauts and the Space Transportation System. OSU’s involvement in the Orion project can be traced to the couple’s work

“The involvement with the Orion program, and with NASA in general, has also grown the reputation of the OSU group.” — Stephen McKeever, Regents Professor of Physics

A rendering of the Orion spacecraft travels in an outer space illustration.



alongside McKeever and others with the radiation area monitors and optically stimulated luminescence — and the Gazas credit their success in space exploration to their studies at OSU. “The experiences in the physics department were literally life-changing,” Razvan says. “We were fortunate to meet exceptional faculty and staff who helped us learn, discover and pursue our academic interests.” The OSU Physics Department is a storehouse of expertise regarding radiation measurements. McKeever, founder of

the Radiation Physics Laboratory, established optically stimulated luminescence techniques that have been used by NASA for many years. The university also provided support through a national high school contest. Started by NASA and sponsored by Lockheed Martin and the National Institute of Aerospace, the Exploration Design Challenge allowed high school students in the United States to create radiation-shielding technology. The winning experiment was placed aboard the test flight. OSU provided the optically

stimulated luminescence dosimeters to measure the absorbed dose of radiation for this project. OSU has worked on similar projects with NASA before. The university’s latest contributions expand hopes to continue the partnerships with the ongoing need to protect astronauts as they venture to places never before explored by humans. continues

OSU alumni Ramona and Razvan Gaza, right, work for Lockheed Martin

“The experiences in the (OSU) physics department were literally life-changing. We were fortunate to meet exceptional faculty and staff who helped us learn, discover and pursue our academic interests.” — Dr. Razvan Gaza, technical lead, Lockhead Martin Radiation Group The Orion crew module is placed in a lift fixture to prepare for the heat shield installation. The heat shield protected the spacecraft from re-entry temperatures as high as 4,000 degrees. No one was aboard Orion for the flight test, but the spacecraft is designed to journey to an asteroid and Mars.


After a successful launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket, Orion orbited the Earth twice, reaching speeds of 20,000 miles per hour and traveling through belts of intense radiation before enduring a fiery, 4,000-degree re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

“The strong reputation of OSU scientists is well-known around the world and attracts more research funds and talented students who can work in well-equipped laboratories and on the new challenging projects under the supervision of the best professors in the field.” — Mark Akselrod, chief scientist and executive manager, Landauer’s Stillwater Crystal Growth Division

“The involvement with the Orion program, and with NASA in general, has also grown the reputation of the OSU group,” McKeever says. “It also demonstrates what a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education can do for young students, getting them involved in exploration of the solar system and other worlds.” Along with McKeever, Mark Akselrod helped the OSU team in its radiation detection efforts. The radiation area monitors aboard Orion contain optically stimulated luminescence material, especially made of sapphire crystals, developed and produced by Landauer Inc.’s Stillwater Crystal Growth Division where Akselrod works.



Akselrod, a former OSU physicist, serves as chief scientist and executive manager at Landauer. He develops new crystals, optical techniques and instrumentation used for radiation detection. McKeever’s and Akselrod’s optically stimulated luminescence-related inventions were awarded with several U.S. patents. Landauer licensed the OSU patents for its optically stimulated luminescence dosimeters, now used as a commercial product by approximately 25 percent of the world’s radiation dosimetry market, including NASA and the U.S. Army. OSU’s patents have produced roughly $4 million of royalties to OSU, and students involved with the project have

made a name for themselves among potential employers and in the academic world. “The strong reputation of OSU scientists is well-known around the world and attracts more research funds and talented students who can work in well-equipped laboratories and on the new challenging projects under the supervision of the best professors in the field,” Akselrod says. As scientists continue to study the data, Orion is set to take flight again in 2018 in an unmanned mission called Exploration Mission 1, which will center on flying around the moon. In 2021, Orion is scheduled to carry astronauts to the moon for the first time since Apollo 17 in 1972.

OSU alumni, faculty and students have countless IDEAS worth spreading. The first three TEDxOStateU events were designed to IGNITE your passion and INNOVATE for modern solutions. These original talks and musical performances showcase the Cowboy family’s inspirational work.

Visit TEDxOStateU.com to access hours of video from those events, with content from this spring’s third installment coming soon.

OSU celebrated the accomplishments of Branding Success with fireworks during halftime of the Nov. 15 football game at Boone Pickens Stadium.






“Transformational is almost an understatement as I look back and see how much Oklahoma State University has achieved and changed over the past seven years,” says OSU President Burns Hargis. “I’m particularly pleased that we attracted support from so many first-time donors who became engaged with us as a result of Branding Success.” Gifts and pledges during the sevenyear campaign addressed needs on all five campuses in the OSU system. The primary funding priorities were divided into the four key areas of student, facility, faculty and program support.

STUDENT SUPPORT GOAL: $500M | FINAL: $594.8M Nearly half of the campaign’s total came from the $594.8 million designated for scholarships, vastly exceeding the area’s initial goal of $500 million. That established 1,180 scholarship and graduate-fellowship funds, which combine to help thousands of students each year since many of these endowments support multiple recipients. For example, the McKnight Leader Scholars program was established with a generous $10 million gift from Branding Success co-chairs Billie and Ross McKnight, an alumni couple from Throckmorton, Texas. The program supports about 50 students annually, providing a full out-of-state tuition

waiver for four years, $5,000 for each of a student’s first two years at OSU and opportunities to develop essential leadership skills through exclusive coursework and seminars. Parker Schultz was part of the inaugural class of McKnight Scholars during his freshman year in 2011. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native is now on the verge of graduating with a Spears School of Business finance degree including minors in accounting and international business. He has also accepted a job with Phillips 66 in Houston. “One of the biggest reasons why I came to OSU was because of the McKnight scholarship,” Schultz says. “It opened a lot of doors for jobs and campus. It was a really great experience to get in with a good group of people early on, and I’ve kept those connections through my entire four years.” Schultz says people he met in the McKnight Scholars program became some of his best friends, including two roommates. The program and his own experience with it also brought his sister, Libby, to Stillwater. She is now a freshman McKnight Scholar. PHOTO / CHRIS LEWIS

ia Winfree didn’t think of herself as a potential OSU donor last August. In fact, she was a recent Westmoore High School graduate still transitioning into college life as she sat in New Student Orientation and Enrollment. She and her alumnus father, Kersey, were enjoying a meal at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center when they noticed a sign advertising annual Alumni Association memberships. “I paid $25, and I got a book of coupons,” the freshman says. “I thought it was interesting, but I didn’t know much about it.” On Nov. 15, she was publicly recognized as the 100,000th donor to Branding Success: The Campaign for Oklahoma State University. She watched OSU’s football game against Texas from club-level seats with her mother, Jana. She also stood in front of more than 50,000 fans inside Boone Pickens Stadium and conducted the Cowboy Marching Band. “Even as a freshman, I’m already starting to make gifts because I’ve fallen in love with OSU,” Winfree says. “And I am so proud to have been a part of such a massive fundraising effort.” By the time Branding Success ended on Dec. 31, gifts and pledges totaled $1,201,729,095.61. That staggering amount came from 104,114 individuals and corporate partners, including nearly 45,000 first-time donors.

One of the biggest reasons why I came to OSU was because of the McKnight scholarship.”

— Parker Schultz Parker Schultz


“I can’t say enough about how much I’ve enjoyed all four years here at OSU,” Schultz says. “I’m not sure I’m ready to leave and get a real job yet. The McKnights are a big reason why I’m here. I am really grateful that they have given their time and money for me, my friends and my sister to be here.”

FACILITY SUPPORT GOAL: $200M | FINAL: $293M Facility support accounted for the second-largest portion of the campaign with $293 million in commitments dwarfing the initial goal of $200 million. These funds are used to build, renovate, equip and maintain facilities to provide better environments for teaching, learning and researching with an emphasis on enhancing the student experience. One example is the Chesapeake Energy Natural Gas Compression Training Center. The 23,920-square-foot, $4.9-million building is the newest addition to the OSU Institute of Technology campus in Okmulgee. This industry dream became a reality thanks to Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy and other major gifts from Devon Energy, ONEOK and Energy Transfer. It is equipped with state-of-theart technology, machinery and tools so

students are ready to work in the naturalgas industry immediately after graduating. It features massive compression skids along the back of the room and dual 30-ton-capacity overhead cranes to move them, creating an atmosphere that simulates the field. Two classrooms offer additional instructional workspace. The building also houses an auditorium with modern video technology and a conference room for faculty to meet with company partners. In April, T.J. Potter completed his associate degree in applied science through the natural gas compression program and countless hours in this facility. He is now working on a business degree with an emphasis in oil and gas management. “Having this new building, you’re up to date and have the technology that’s out there today,” Potter says. “It’s also quite a bit bigger than the old facility. They have brought in complete packages for us to work on, which is a big advantage of this building compared to the old one.” The Elk City, Oklahoma, native says OSUIT’s natural gas compression program is “pretty amazing” and a great way to start a career. “I definitely want to thank Chesapeake and all of the donors for providing the opportunity for us to work in this


T.J. Potter



building,” Potter adds. “It has definitely helped us get hands-on training and experience like we’re going to find out there in the real world.”

FACULTY SUPPORT GOAL: $200M | FINAL: $188.2M Faculty support accounted for $188.2 million toward the $200 million goal. These funds created 146 new chairs and professorships, increasing OSU’s total number of endowed faculty positions to 306. These prestigious designations recognize the best teachers and most innovative researchers. Faculty members greatly value holding endowed positions, which provide ongoing support for increased salaries, hiring graduate assistants, purchasing equipment, funding travel and covering other academic and research needs. Tyler Ley is a 2000 alumnus who returned to his alma mater in 2007 as assistant professor of structural engineering in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. He performs world-class research on concrete, producing practical findings that decrease costs and increase safety for its countless uses such as roads, bridges and buildings. He was promoted to associate professor in 2012 and has earned many awards and honors, highlighted by the National Science Foundation Career award, the ACI Walter P. Moore Faculty Achievement Award and the OSU Regents Distinguished Research Award. In 2013, he added another when he was named Williams Foundation Professor in Civil Engineering. That position was established by a 2008 gift of $350,000 from the foundation of Williams, a Tulsabased energy company. Including matches from T. Boone Pickens and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the total impact is more than $1.4 million in endowed funds. “To receive this title is such an honor,” Ley says. “It provides additional tools to

do my job and help my students more than I could before. I have used this funding to buy and fix equipment, and also to pay for students to attend conferences and meetings. Having that money available helps me immediately keep everything running and keep the team going. It allows me to teach my classes more smoothly and give my students opportunities that they wouldn’t usually have.”

a long history of being involved at OSU. I really like what they stand for and what they’ve been able to do.”



Donors designated $125.7 million for program support, which began with a $100 million goal. These investments in academic excellence have created innovative, interdisciplinary programs that make the most of OSU’s considerable strengths.

One aspect is the Student Startup Center, which provides a support system for launching entrepreneurial dreams. Companies that have launched can apply for a free office in the Riata New Venture Incubator. One of the current residents is Life Out of the Box, which funds school supplies for kids in developing countries by selling handmade bracelets produced by artisans from those countries. The company’s founders are Quinn Vandenberg and Jonathon Button, two California natives who came to OSU because of the premier entrepreneurship program.

I have used this funding to buy and fix equipment, and also to pay for students to attend conferences and meetings … It allows me to teach my classes more smoothly and give my students opportunities that they wouldn’t usually have.”

— Tyler Ley Tyler Ley

He adds, “Being a professor is extremely complicated and diverse. This money helps us overcome some of the challenges. They improve the quality of our teaching and our research by doing so many different things that are great for the students.” Making this professorship even more meaningful to the native Oklahoman is the great respect he has for Williams, which earned worldwide attention in the 1980s for its ingenuity in running fiber-optic cable through decommissioned pipelines. That idea helped build the foundation for modern-day telecommunication networks. “I have always looked up to Williams,” Ley says. “And even during my undergraduate time, I noticed they have

Just one example is the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, established by a $57.2 million gift from alumni Amy and Malone Mitchell 3rd to support academics and athletics in 2008. It created both the Riata Center and the OSU Department of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business. The Riata Center includes a dedicated staff of professionals who foster the spirit of entrepreneurship through innovative outreach programs. The team is dedicated to high-impact entrepreneurial outreach on campus, in the region, around Oklahoma and across America. The center is intimately engaged with the entrepreneurial community and strongly committed to creating unique experiential learning opportunities for students.

“Right before we moved to Nicaragua to start our business, I wanted to study the art of entrepreneurship so I was looking online for the best entrepreneurship program – highest ranking, lowest cost and online courses,” Button says. “That was OSU. I was taking classes online while we were traveling all around Nicaragua, Guatemala and Morocco. We came to Stillwater for my graduation, and they told us about the Student Startup Center. They invited us to bring our business here, and Quinn could get her master’s while we learned as much as possible to create the business we’ve always dreamed of.” Button is now in the Master of Business Administration program while Vandenberg is a Student Startup Center graduate assistant earning a master’s in



Jonathon Button and Quinn Vandenberg

the public on Feb. 26, 2010. That is when Pickens announced a $100 million challenge gift for scholarship commitments before Oct. 31, 2010. He subsequently extended the deadline to Feb. 26, 2011, and added another $20 million in matching funds in response to more than 2,600 donors committing more than $71.5 million for scholarships and graduate fellowships. It was reminiscent of the summer of 2008, when Pickens announced his first $100 million challenge gift, this time for endowed faculty positions. In just 40 days, more than 900 donors combined for another $68 million to take advantage of matches by Pickens and the State Regents for Higher Education.

We are here in large part because of the donation the Mitchells made.”

— Quinn Vandenberg entrepreneurship. They say the unique education, experiences and expertise OSU provides is invaluable to the success of their business. In less than three years, they have donated to more than 3,000 children around the world, and their goal is to help another 10,000 this year. “We are here in large part because of the donation the Mitchells made,” Vandenberg says. “That’s what made this program so special. The things you get here you can’t get anywhere else, and it’s not even that expensive. It’s amazing. It’s such a great opportunity for anyone.”

OTHER CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS Branding Success began Dec. 4, 2007, when Hargis was announced as the 18th president at his alma mater. After a twoyear quiet phase, it was officially unveiled to



“With state support remaining stagnant, we rely on the generosity of our alumni and friends to help the university create new opportunities for students at Oklahoma State,” says Kirk Jewell, president of the OSU Foundation. “Today our students have more financial assistance available than ever before, but the campaign will have a lasting, positive impact on future generations of students as well.” Among the new facilities created during the campaign is the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center. It opened in 2014, featuring six indoor courts and 12 outdoor courts. A tweet from the United States Tennis Association declared it one of the top two collegiate facilities in the nation. The Spears School of Business, which actively incorporates technology into the curriculum and seeks input from leaders in business and government to help create industry-driven degrees, will have a new

home soon. Construction began in 2014 on a new building that will transform how students learn and faculty teach. Work continues on the addition of a third wing to the College of Human Sciences building. Human Sciences is a leader in hospitality, merchandising, nutrition and human development. The revitalized space will allow students and faculty to forge new relationships with industry and professional partners while pushing the boundaries of social and scientific research and technology transfer. Other universitywide enhancements include expanded study abroad opportunities thanks to a $6 million donation from Donald and Cathey Humphreys, as well as academic advising services through the Learning and Student Success Opportunities (LASSO) Center. LASSO features the Paul Milburn Tutoring Program, which was established by a $1 million gift from alumnus Paul Milburn and his wife, Ann. They are passionate about students who need a little extra academic help. Their favorite part of the tutoring program is that it is free for any student. “When I was in school, sometimes I’d have more problems with one subject than with all the rest of them put together,” says Paul Milburn, adding personal attention helps students succeed instead of withdrawing in frustration. “If a student drops out, that’s a stigma that affects their future, whereas if they finish they make a bigger contribution to society, their families, and the future of the state.” The Milburns say it is “wonderful” that they are in a position to help others succeed. They are also glad that they contributed to Branding Success. “We are proud of the way the university has grown in every sense over the past seven years,” they say. “The university’s leadership and the generosity of donors has been truly amazing, and we are so glad that we were able to play a part in this effort to help more students.”

EVERY GIFT MADE A DIFFERENCE In 2007, Hargis’ plan for OSU to raise $1 billion in seven years was considered bold even before the markets crashed and the economy crumbled. But Branding Success exceeded every expectation because of the unprecedented generosity of more than 100,000 people and companies. The value of $1.2 billion is staggering. Consider that it would take 38 years to count that much money at a rate of $1 per second. Winfree has thought about what was accomplished by such a large group working together. “I think most people don’t understand the magnitude of what they are doing when they make a gift,” Winfree says. “They don’t realize that even if they donate just a little, it does so much good for our school.” Amanda Davis, the OSU Foundation’s associate vice president of annual giving, says the vast majority of OSU’s donors give less than $25,000 per year. These annual giving donors number more than 18,000 and collectively give between $10 million and $12 million per year.

“There is so much power in everyone coming together,” Davis says. “Their contributions provide flexibility for the university to meet its most immediate needs. They also make an incredible statement to the rest of the country and to the world that our alumni support us and that we are one Cowboy family together.” Jewell says Branding Success will do even more good for OSU in the future than we can see now because of the way it has transformed the university while uniting those who love this land-grant institution. “Every aspect of the university benefitted,” he says. “Each gift helps OSU produce a better education at a lower cost. These resources and the huge group of people who provided them have built a foundation that will empower the university to achieve amazing things for decades.” Winfree is one person who brings together many aspects of this story. As a young student, she is seeing immediate benefits from the campaign. As a donor, she takes pride in having made a contribution toward tomorrow’s success. As a future

alumna, she looks forward to watching OSU continue to grow. And as a proud member of the Cowboy family, she is already thinking about which areas she wants to support with donations. “I think I’ll make another gift next year,” she says. “I will continue to make contributions. Eventually, I’d like to help renovate a building or something. Our campus is beautiful, but maybe I can add more art.” Davis says the Mia Winfrees of today are the Boone Pickenses of tomorrow. “Every supporter starts somewhere and serves as an example for others who are like them,” Davis says. “Mia and her peers are our future more than anyone else. So the fact that students like her are stepping forward to join the Student Alumni Association and make their first philanthropic gifts before they even become alumni is incredibly powerful.”

Even as a freshman, I’m already starting to make gifts because I’ve fallen in love with OSU.”

— Mia Winfree



Extension’s centennial quilt links yesterday, today and tomorrow




welve-year-old Kaylee Rolph loves horses. She plays the piano, trumpet and occasionally the saxophone and enjoys cooking, leather crafting, gardening and helping her dad with farming and cattle. As if that isn’t impressive enough, she’s also more than a little handy with a needle, some thread and a sewing machine. Since being introduced to the practical art of sewing at the age of 8, she has advanced to making dresses, skirts, bags and hand embroidery. Oh, and quilts, too.


So far Kaylee has completed one lapsize and two king-size coverlets. The smaller one was donated to the Linus Project, which provides quilts to children in hospitals. One of the larger quilts went to her brother as a graduation gift. She kept the other quilt for herself. It features a horse motif and captured first place at her county and state fairs. Not surprisingly, sewing is one of the active Washington County 4-H member’s project areas. Last summer, when she heard during her monthly 4-H meeting that the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service was sponsoring a quilt block challenge in honor of its 100th anniversary, the multitalented preteen decided to enter. The stakes? Besides cash prizes and special recognition in a variety of categories, selected entries would be included in a special commemorative quilt. “I really didn’t think I would get the votes to be placed in the quilt,” Kaylee says. “I knew I was competing against seamstresses all over the state. The blocks I was competing against were all well-made and made to compete.” Turns out, Kaylee’s block – based on a pattern called “Four-Four Time” that caught her musician’s eye as she was thumbing through a pattern book seeking inspiration – was made to compete, too. Her entry, along with more than 40 others, was incorporated in one of the most enduring mementos of an

extensive statewide anniversary celebration: Extension’s official centennial quilt. Telling stories Part of a broader, yearlong series of Extension’s centennial related events, the quilt block challenge drew participants ranging in age from 12-year-old Kaylee to 94-year-old Marie Davis, also of Washington County, who entered a hand-pieced block into the contest but frequently sews on a machine one year older than she is. Out of 152 well-crafted entries from 48 Oklahoma counties as well as Texas and Missouri, 42 colorful blocks were chosen to create the quilt. Charlotte Tucker, a former 4-H’er who lives near Fairview, Oklahoma, and the quilter for the project, added finishing touches such as tight, intricate stitching around each block to create a truly customized quilt. The final product, a stunning 118-by-89-inch creation, debuted last fall, appearing in the Oklahoma State University Homecoming Sea of Orange Parade as well as at other venues across the state. It also was featured on the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources’ 2014 holiday greeting card. “Throughout time, quilts have been a way women, in particular, celebrated milestones such as births, marriages, friendships continues


and going away presents. Quilters are good at telling stories through the use of textiles,” says Recia Garcia, co-chair of Extension’s centennial committee. “Our goal with the quilt block challenge was to engage people, tell Extension’s story and create a lasting keepsake of the occasion.” One glimpse of the quilt’s mix of brilliant color and high quality craftsmanship and it’s clear the committee achieved its goals with the project. But with multiple seamstresses, the official centennial quilt shares more than Extension’s story. It tells a tale inside each block. For instance, Noble County’s Barbara Cook envisioned sharing Extension’s roots through a picturesque block reflecting the agency’s early history. By her own admission, she only entered the contest because it sounded like fun. So, she was surprised when her block placed in multiple categories and was selected to appear in the quilt.

“I wasn’t doing it to win something. I just thought it’d be fun,” says Cook, who has been quilting for the past nine years and also sews clothes along with making and selling purses and scarves. “I looked at the categories and thought maybe I could get enough online votes [for the Online Viewer’s Choice Award]. But when I won the others, I was like, ‘What?’ I was thrilled, but surprised.” Quilting tales Penny Bridal, who began sewing when she joined 4-H at 9 years old, wanted to recreate the centennial logo in her block. “I wanted people to be aware that Extension had been around for 100 years,” says Bridal, whose daughter works for Extension in Garfield county and also had a block included in the quilt. “It is really exciting having my block included in the quilt.”

Then there’s Marie Hogie of Washington County, whose block is based on a challenging pattern called “Star Upon.” Although not completely happy about how it turned out, she entered her block, adding a note to the entry form that she “had tried something new and was not pleased with the outcome. Feel free to toss it or use it — however you see fit.” Turns out the selection committee saw fit to incorporate her block into the quilt. It also was singled out for special recognition in another award category. “I was pleasantly surprised. I had been gone on vacation for five weeks and, when I got home, the phone call was there,” says Hogie, who learned to sew at 12. By the time she was 15, her sisters were paying her to make them dresses. “I love sewing and I love quilting,” she says. “I retired last year so this is my passion and my entertainment. I’ve made draperies and I even made a suit for my husband. I’ve just always been into sewing. It’s what interests me.”

Kaylee Rolph says her favorite part of sewing is getting to use the finished products and seeing the excitement and appreciation from those who receive one of her projects.




“Throughout time, quilts have been a way women, in particular, celebrated milestones … Quilters are good at telling stories through the use of textiles.”

— Recia Garcia, co-chair of Extension’s centennial committee

Touring the state The centennial quilt will tour the state through 2017 before going on permanent display in a location to be determined. In honor of its milestone anniversary, Extension also hosted a Whistle Stop and Festival in April 2014 and produced One Hundred Years of Oklahoma Extension, an hour-long documentary about the organization’s history and lasting impact, which OETA televised. Other centennial activities included birthday parties in each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, publication of a special edition cookbook and recognition at an OSU

football game with the band forming the land-grant triangle and the number 100 during its halftime performance. As a capstone event, Extension personnel contributed letters and other items to two time capsules. One will be revealed in 25 years and the other one will be opened in 100 years. “Extension has worked one-on-one, side-by-side with Oklahomans to make our state’s agriculture more productive and assist families with everyday challenges,” says James Trapp, associate director of Extension. “As a result of our centennial celebration, I believe we’ve

raised the profile of Extension in the state and spotlighted our mission of extending knowledge and changing lives. We’re looking forward to doing the same for another 100 years.” The Smith-Lever Act formally established the national Cooperative Extension Service on May 8, 1914. The legislation created a unique partnership between county, state and federal governments, and provides funding through land-grant schools to expand vocational, agricultural, and home and family programs beyond the universities. In Oklahoma, OSU and Langston University engage in Extension outreach activities and the OSU campus in Stillwater serves as the state headquarters for the organization. For more information about Extension, go to www.oces. okstate.edu and visit www.extensionquilt. okstate.edu to view a listing of centennial quilt tour locations and dates.

In the day and age of so much advanced technology, Charlotte Tucker uses only a steady hand and sharp eye to guide her freehand long-arm sewing machine.



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 | 800.622.4678 | OSUgiving.com/estateplanning.

Forming theFuture BY LACI JONES

Unitherm Food Systems donates equipment to assist in food processing

hicken nuggets. Cookies. Fish sticks. Dog treats. Veggie patties. These are just some of the food products that can be produced by a new equipment donation to the Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center, a part of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The R2200 Forming Machine, R-Series, valued at $23,000, is the newest addition to FAPC’s line of food-processing equipment, donated by Unitherm Food Systems in Bristow, Oklahoma.


“The forming machine will allow us to meet our mission in providing technical assistance to Oklahoma’s valueadded agricultural industry,” says Chuck Willoughby, FAPC business and marketing relations manager. “The equipment donation also allows us to work with a wide range of food manufacturers who are looking to test-market shaped products.” David Howard, president and chief executive officer of Unitherm Food Systems, donated the forming machine to help food-business entrepreneurs who seek FAPC resources to produce different forms of products. continues


Lathan Wiggins, animal science student, loads ground beef in the top of the donated forming machine to produce beef patties.

“If someone comes to the center and wants to sell a Christmas-tree-shaped product at Christmas and then sell an Easter-egg-shaped product at Easter, FAPC will have the equipment available to be able to assist,” Howard says. The forming machine can produce 1,200 to 4,000 perfectly shaped formations per hour, which makes a company competitive in terms of labor requirements. “Other options include using a handcrank unit,” Howard says. “If you wanted to make 10,000 cookies, it would take one person several hours to manually crank out the product.” Before receiving this innovative equipment, FAPC used a hand-crank forming machine for individual projects. Renee Albers-Nelson, FAPC milling and baking specialist, says the hand-crank forming machine worked well, but it was a struggle when using thick cookie dough or making large batches. “It was difficult to use large pieces of ingredients,” Nelson says. “We wanted to use apples to make dog treats, but we had to make sure they were cut small. The new

donated forming machine allows us to have more opportunities.” The hand-crank unit has grooves where dough or batter can get stuck, and the new forming machine has paddles that press the formulations into the drum. “We were losing a couple pounds of dough when forming cookies with the hand-crank unit,” Nelson says. “With the new forming machine, we have reduced waste in processing.” The shaped products ride a conveyor belt to their next stage, whether that’s being baked, fried or frozen. “The forming machine can be lined up with our spiral oven, also donated by Unitherm, to provide continuous forming and cooking of a test product,” Willoughby says. “This could include a new product to be test-marketed by a center client or a fortified product to be utilized in a nutrition study.” Donations from Unitherm have been used to develop new products and conduct research projects at FAPC. “The Unitherm-FAPC relationship is interdependent,” Howard says. “FAPC

uses the equipment for different studies, and we use that information to generate business for Unitherm.” The donation allows FAPC to continue its purpose of supporting value-added enterprises and stimulating businesses in the state. Thomas Coon, DASNR vice president, dean and director, says the equipment donation is typical for the man honored as a 2014 recipient of the DASNR Champion award. Coon says Howard has never put any constraints on his donations, giving because he appreciates the value of what FAPC provides to regional food businesses. Howard also freely gives of his time and knowledge, serving for three terms on the FAPC Industry Advisory Committee, including stints as chair and vice chair. “Mr. Howard is a longstanding cooperating partner with DASNR who provides important assistance in helping us meet our land-grant mission to use science-based knowledge to help the people of Oklahoma improve the quality of life for them, their families and communities,” he says.

“The forming machine can be lined up with our spiral oven to provide continuous forming and cooking of a test product. This could include a new product to be test-marketed by a center client or a fortified product to be utilized in a nutrition study.” — Chuck Willoughby FAPC Marketing



Donations provide innovative equipment Unitherm Food Systems is a market leader in innovative equipment technologies for pasteurization, cooking and chilling of raw, partially and fully cooked food products and agricultural food commodities. The company is known globally throughout the food processing industry for its innovative approach to the design and creation of machines and systems to maximize yields and reduce processing times while enhancing safety and profitability. Thanks to Unitherm’s generosity over the past seven years, OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center has received approximately $260,700 to support food safety research and activities. These donations have included a state-of-the-art boot-wash system and a micro spiral oven to assist in efficient processing. Additional support has been provided through equipment repairs, sponsorship of FAPC events and workshops, and the creation of Oklahoma Gourmet, a program to represent Oklahoma businesses at the Dallas Gourmet

Austin Lemons, animal science student, stacks formed beef patties on a tray, while Lathan Wiggins oversees the formation of the patties.


Market, a wholesale showroom featuring more than 1,000 product lines for retailers around the globe.


You know what happens between the grocery store and the fork, but what about the farm to the fork?

Bailey Norwood, associate professor of agricultural economics, has developed the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offering from Oklahoma State University. The class is an overview of the agriculture industry.

Panoramic View of Agriculture By Melissa Mourer




HIS SPRING, OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY sought to answer this question through a new interactive course, Farm to Fork: A Panoramic View of Agriculture. As the first of its kind at OSU, the massive open online course (MOOC), taught by Bailey Norwood, associate professor of agricultural economics, uses the latest teaching methods to take participants through an online journey connecting agricultural sciences and the food people eat. The 16-week course, offered through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, is conducted entirely online. It focuses on topics from livestock-care techniques and the industrialization of agriculture to the effect of locally grown food on a community’s economy and the role of politics and culture in food. “OSU has been creative about using technology in the classroom, but this course has given me the ability to use technology to take us out of the classroom and onto dairy, beef and swine

farms, and into DNA and soil-test laboratories,” says Norwood. “Ironically, the Internet-based course takes class members outside more than a traditional class. The course facilitates discussion through virtual field trips, video lectures and reading.” Developing the course gave Norwood the opportunity to work with a team of videographers, video editors, software providers and animators. “I had the idea that instead of bringing students to a farm, we could bring the farm to the student,” he says. “This course allowed me to draw upon the expertise of others to create a dynamic and unique educational experience.” The course is separated into modules and even provides online office hours. Students engage in the course by uploading photos related to assignments and participating in forums to discuss topics covered in the class. continues

“OSU is an international leader in agricultural sciences and this course, taught by one of the field’s notable experts, presents the most up-to-date knowledge available about food production and safety.” — Gary Sandefur, OSU Provost and Senior Vice President



Bailey Norwood records video for his MOOC class to spark conversations about the critical role that modern agriculture plays every day in putting food on tables throughout the world. PHOTO / TODD JOHNSON

Participants have the option to take the class for free or to enroll for a reasonable online tuition cost to earn OSU credit. The course began January 12 with nearly 740 class members from 23 states and six countries joining the conversation. “The diversity of the subjects covered in the course blends well with the diversity of the students,” Norwood says. “Some like the virtual farm tours the best, others like the section on local foods, and then still other students more interested in science have favored the tour of the biochemistry labs.”


ROM THE VERY BEGINNING, the class has had active participation from both credit- and noncredit-seeking students. The relevance of the content covered in the MOOC was a key factor in the development of the course, says Tom Coon, vice president, dean and director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU. “When Dr. Norwood and the team began building Farm to Fork, they wanted the lessons to include relevant examples of issues facing the agricultural industry today, as well as enhance the educational experience of our students,” Coon says. “Through this MOOC, students gain insight into real-life topics that are being examined on a daily basis in the news and media.” Coon adds the online platform strengthens student involvement, allowing them to not only learn from the curriculum provided, but also from one another. “Our intention is for the course to engage students from around the world with varied interests and backgrounds,” says Coon. “We want them to become actively involved in the conversation about where their food comes from.” The level of interaction among the MOOC participants interested Blayne Horn, an agricultural economics senior from Chickasha, Oklahoma, when he was enrolling in courses for his final semester at OSU.



“What really appealed to me about the class was that it is open to literally anyone,” he says. “It’s interesting to see some of the points that other classmates make and how their view on a topic varies from your own.” Growing up on a stocker operation in southwestern Oklahoma, Horn says he thought he knew a lot about agriculture, but the Farm to Fork course has further broadened his perspective. “Through this class I have a gained a deeper knowledge about agriculture as a whole and a better understanding of some other facets of our industry that many of us never see,” he says. Horn shares another aspect with fellow course participant Barbara Centis from Italy — the opportunity for continuing education. Centis is an English for Special Purposes teacher training agriculture, viticulture and enology, and animal husbandry students at the Fondazione Edmund Mach Istituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige in Trentino, Italy. She says the topics covered in OSU’s course were of great interest to her, both personally and professionally. “I hope to increase my knowledge on the topics covered so I can give better class lectures,” says Centis. “The format is great because you can follow things at your own pace. You have to organize yourself carefully, but it is indeed very good as it gives time to deepen certain topics as they interest you.” OSU Provost Gary Sandefur believes utilizing new technology and curriculum models such as MOOCs to reach even more people is an outgrowth of the university’s land-grant mission to serve and improve society. “OSU is an international leader in agricultural sciences and this course, taught by one of the field’s notable experts, presents the most up-to-date knowledge available about food production and safety,” he says.

Listen to audio excerpts of OSU alumni sharing their compelling life stories and college memories or read their interview transcripts at w w w.librar y.okstate.edu/oralhistor y/ostate.

The First Cowboys of OSU Rodeo Almost 70 years since the formation of the Oklahoma State University Rodeo Association in 1946, the student organization is going strong, recently hosting its first intercollegiate event in almost 30 years at the new Payne County Expo Center Rodeo Arena. It is easy to see why this group has remained so committed when listening to stories about the camaraderie and passion in the sport during those early years. The late Larry Kilgore was a member of the first rodeo team. Just after World War II, he started practicing roping and riding near campus with several other students including Clem McSpadden, Leo Roberts, Harold Emery, Turner Meadors, Chuck Dancer and Buddy Reger. Kilgore remembered the organization’s first college rodeo. In 1948, the group skipped classes to participate in the Cameron Aggies Club Intercollegiate Rodeo in Lawton, Oklahoma. The inexperienced team decided to hedge its bets on collecting competition category points. Kilgore explained: We understood the more events you could enter, the more points you could get. … We thought if five of us went, and we all entered three events, we’d start out ahead of the game. This meant participating in events that some had little or no previous experience competing in during a rodeo. Kilgore remembered: The highlight of the whole rodeo was when they put me on a bareback horse

Larry Kilgore, sitting, spent his college days with his rodeo buddies at OAMC from 1946-1950. and I remember it as though it were yesterday. Dee Burke was there, who was one of the Burke brothers from Duncan, Oklahoma, all very good ropers. … Dee was there helping at the chutes, and they put me on this bareback horse, and they said, “Well, which hand do you ride with?” I said, “I don’t know. Which one should I ride with?”

And, so, one of ’em said, “Well, if you’re right-handed, you ought to ride with your left to keep your balance with your right.” “Okay, I’ll ride with my left hand.” So they kept asking me questions — “where’d I want the rigging?” “Well, I don’t know.” And, they asked me about eight questions, and I didn’t know the answer. Finally they got down to the question, “Are you ready?” And, Dee said, “Hell, he don’t know! Open the gate.” While Kilgore didn’t end up winning that event, he did earn the “Outstanding Cowboy” award for the competition and the newly formed team claimed the championship of the first rodeo they had ever entered. He said: Everybody placed either in the roping or bull dogging and Bud won part of the bull riding. There were about 12 colleges represented and we won more than any of them. We won the trophy and I won the “All Around.” Fifty years later, the Oklahoma House of Representatives honored the rodeo club founders. As OSU’s president at the time, Sen. James Halligan, pardoned all the team’s absences from class while participating in rodeo events because they represented the university in an exemplary way. The student organization and the college rodeo scene have come a long way since its founding, but the OSU team spirit and competitive nature haven’t diminished. SARAH MILLIGAN

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. Read or listen to more rodeo recollections by visiting www.library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/ostate/. For more information about other oral history collections, contact the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at 405-744-7685. PHOTOS / KILGORE FAMILY COLLECTION



Rodeo comes

home to Stillwater Inaugural Cowboy Stampede draws crowds

OSU student Lauren Underwood races around the barrel on her horse Trick.




S ONE OF THE FOUNDING members of the Central Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, the OSU Rodeo Team has been in existence since 1946. Did you know the last college rodeo in orange country saddled up during the late ’80s? Until last fall, that is. Times have changed with the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the OSU Rodeo team presenting the inaugural Cowboy Stampede in October at the Payne County Expo Center, the first collegiately-sanctioned rodeo hosted in more than 30 years at the home of the Cowboys. With the support of the college, Cody Hollingsworth, OSU Rodeo program coordinator and coach, has been working toward bringing a rodeo to Stillwater since he took hold of the reins in 2012. “The chance to host a rodeo has been an amazing opportunity to take our program to the next level,” Hollingsworth says. “The Cowboy Stampede is our opportunity to build our program and bring awareness to the sport of rodeo.”

After the grand entry, OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis, center, join rodeo team members, from left, Lauren Underwood, Ryan Plummer and Sara Honegger.


The desire to host a rodeo in Stillwater was shared by the college and the community alike. “I’ve been promoting Stillwater for a living since I graduated from OSU,” says Cristy Morrison, Visit Stillwater executive director. “I could not believe we didn’t host an annual rodeo as the home of the Cowboys and one of the most well-known and original college-based rodeo teams.” The Cowboy Stampede took months of planning and preparation and was built from the ground up, literally. “We were notified we had been selected to host the rodeo in the spring and our first decision was where it would be held,” Hollingsworth says. “We worked with the Payne County Fairgrounds to host the event in a new facility they were planning that, at the time, didn’t exist. Construction on the outdoor arena and grandstands took place during the months and weeks leading up to the Stampede. We were the first event to be hosted in the new space.” continues


The rodeo was one of four NIRA Central Plains Region sanctioned events held in the fall semester and drew competitors from 20 colleges and universities from Kansas and Oklahoma, totaling nearly 500 students. The students competed as individuals and as teams in 10 events including barrel racing, bull riding and team roping. Custom-made championship buckles were presented to both event and all-around winners after the final performance. The three-day event included special guest appearances by OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis; Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Vice President Tom Coon and his wife, Rhonda Coon; Provost Gary Sandefur and wife, Kathy Sandefur; Pistol Pete and Bullet. “We enjoyed getting to share the Cowboy Stampede experience with the leadership of OSU,” Hollingsworth says. “We were honored to have them join us and participate in the grand entry. It was the perfect way to incorporate OSU into the event.”


OR SARA HONEGGER, an agricultural communications senior from Arroyo Grande, California, the rodeo was the highlight of her time at OSU. “Looking back at it, it was the best thing that happened to me during my college experience,” Honegger says. “For it to happen during my senior year made it extra special.” As president of the OSU Rodeo Club, Honegger saw the rodeo as an opportunity for team members to share their love of rodeo and OSU with the campus and the community.

“Our team was thrilled to have the opportunity to share the event with members of the campus and community and to teach them about a sport we hold in our hearts,” Honegger says. “Having the chance to host the rodeo in Stillwater and incorporate some orange into it added a bigger component to the event than just competing.” The Cowboy Stampede provided a chance for a hometown crowd — many who had never seen a rodeo competition — to cheer for the team. “The feeling of entering the arena and seeing my friends in the stands and seeing the support from Stillwater was the most humbling feeling I’ve ever had,” says Honegger. “Running into that arena with everyone supporting you instead of being on someone else’s home turf is something that can’t be taken away from you — it’s just the neatest thing.” Cold temperatures and rainy conditions didn’t prevent the OSU campus and the community of Stillwater from showing up and packing the grandstands. “The support from the college, campus and community for the rodeo has been wonderful,” says Steve Damron, assistant dean of academic programs for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “We were thrilled with the attendance at all of the performances. There wasn’t an empty seat to be found.” The strong response from the community was due in part to the efforts of the team and the college to make the event something everyone could enjoy. PHOTOS / TODD JOHNSON

Bullfighters Broc McGuire and Nathan Harp, right, clown around the arena for the safety of competitors.



Nearly 500 participants from 20 schools in the Central Plains Region competed in the Cowboy Stampede including bronc riders.


Pistol Pete and crowds cheer at the Cowboy Stampede with many in attendance watching a rodeo for the first time. Save the date for the 2015 Cowboy Stampede scheduled October 8-10, 2015, at the Payne County Expo Center. PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY

“It’s a reflection of the hard work everyone put into hosting the event and how strong the support of a rodeo in Stillwater truly is.”



OSU student Clint Jackson, left, swirls the lasso over his head competing with his team roping partner, Preston Ogden from Connors State College. “The Cowboy Stampede was something fun for people to attend on a date, as a group, or with family and friends,” Morrison says. “The rodeo was an event that appealed to individuals from various backgrounds, of different ages and interests.” The high attendance numbers coupled with strong support from numerous community and national sponsors helped make the event a financial success as well, something difficult to do in collegiate rodeo. “For us to not only break even on the event our first time around, but to show a profit at the end of the day is something our team and the college can be very proud of,” Damron says.

HE PROFITS GENERATED by the rodeo will be invested back into the program to help pay for facility upgrades, student scholarships and team travel expenses. While CASNR provides the bulk of support to the program, the competitors themselves provide a portion of the funding for team travel expenses and equipment. “Our students work hard to maintain their academics, prepare for competition and take care of their animals and equipment,” Hollingsworth says. “The sport of rodeo is an expensive one, so being able to help offset some of the costs for our students through scholarships is critical to the success and growth of the team.” Support for the team has already enabled them to offer three scholarships to team members, a number Hollingsworth and Damron hope to see grow in the coming years with the continued success of the Cowboy Stampede. While it may have taken a few decades to bring the sport of rodeo back to Stillwater, the home of the Cowboys will also be home of the Cowboy Stampede for many years to come. “Last fall’s event is something we can hang our hats on, but it’s just the beginning,” Damron says. “We are looking forward to seeing what we can do to make it bigger and better in 2015.”


The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes students who distinguish themselves through academic achievements; campus and community activities; academic, athletic and extracurricular honors or awards; scholarships; and work ethic. After reviewing the students’ applications, the OSU Alumni Association Student Awards and Selection Committee met with 44 Seniors of Significance who were honored in fall 2014 and selected 12 to receive this prestigious honor.

Joshua Joe Conaway Ringwood, Oklahoma Agribusiness While at OSU, Joshua Joe Conaway served as president and vice president of Phi Eta Sigma, vice president of Sigma Tau Gamma, vice president of PACE in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, co-family group

Lauren Foley Tulsa, Oklahoma Zoology and Biological Sciences During her time at OSU, Lauren Foley served as president and calendar editor of Mortar Board honor society, Tradition Keepers Program book author with Student Alumni Board, campus involvement and technology

Brandon Hubbard Kingfisher, Oklahoma Physiology and Psychology At OSU, Brandon Hubbard served as a Traditions Keepers Program executive and President’s Partner of Student Alumni Board, secretary and freshman forum coordinator for Arts and Sciences Student Council, chairman

Macy Hula Enid, Oklahoma Human Development and Family Science While at OSU, Macy Hula served as a President’s Partner and alumni relations executive for Student Alumni Board, alumni relations executive of Human Sciences Student Council, chaplain and chairman for Chi Omega national

Kathleen Nelson Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Mechanical Engineering During her time at OSU, Kathleen Nelson served as co-founder of Women Inspiring Successful Engineers, public relations chairman of Society of Women Engineers, a mechanical engineering intern at New



The 2015 Outstanding Seniors were honored at a banquet April 20 in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. Scan the QR code or visit gopok.es/OS15vids to see interviews with each Outstanding Senior.

leader for President’s Leadership Council and was a state FFA officer. In the community, Conaway served at EDGE Youth Camp, JCon Landscaping and FFA Alumni Leadership Camp. He worked as a state FFA convention stage director and as a Faith Center Fellowship lighting technical director. Conaway’s awards include earning an Honors College degree and the American FFA degree. He was a President’s Distinguished Scholar, Phi Kappa

chairman of Kappa Delta national women’s fraternity and College of Arts and Sciences representative for University Student Honors Council. As a Niblack Research Scholar, her work was published in Animal Behaviour journal. Her community involvement includes Prevent Child Abuse America, Wing It Wildlife Rehabilitation, Humane Society of Stillwater, OSU Symphony Orchestra and Sigma Xi scientific research society. Foley’s awards

Phi member and a Sumner scholarship finalist. After graduation, Conaway will attend law school in hopes of becoming an agricultural lawyer.

include being named to Phi Beta Kappa, OSU Top Five Homecoming Royalty and Top Ten Freshmen Woman. She earned an Honors College degree and was an OSU nominee for the Goldwater Scholarship. Foley plans to earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine and possibly study for a doctorate of philosophy degree, too. She hopes to be a small animal veterinarian.

for the Academic Integrity Panel and chairman of the Homecoming Public Outreach Committee. He was a member of the Cowboy Marching Band drumline. Hubbard, a FarmHouse fraternity member, was named 2014 OSU Homecoming King, IFC Outstanding Greek Junior, Top 10 Freshmen Man, a Niblack Research Scholar and an Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Fleming Scholar.

Hubbard plans to complete a master’s degree program in translational medical research at Germany’s Heidelberg University and then attend medical school in the United States. He hopes to work as a research physician, studying individualized medicine to treat disease at the causal, molecular level.

women’s fraternity, logistics executive for Rooted and a mentee with the College of Human Sciences Partners Group. Her community involvement includes serving as director of Make Promises Happen Culinary Camp, working in a children’s ministry program, organizing a 5K race, volunteering in a special-needs classroom and fundraising for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Hula’s awards include Seniors of Distinction for Human Sciences,

Top 10 Human Development and Family Sciences Senior of Distinction, Top 20 Freshmen Woman, President’s Honor Roll and Sigma Alpha Lambda.

Product Development Center, a College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology academic excellence center success coach, and on the Student Union Activities Board’s marketing and recreation committee including work as the SUAB community events coordinator. She also volunteered with the Humane Society of Stillwater and SWE Community Outreach Events. She served as a volunteer during a student-abroad service trip to West

Africa and the Big Event in Stillwater. Nelson’s honors include receiving the CEAT St. Patrick Award, Wentz Leadership Award, President’s Distinguished Scholar Award and Lew Wentz Research Award.

After graduation, Hula plans to attend graduate school at OSU to earn a master’s degree in teaching, learning and leadership with a special education option.

Nelson’s plans are to attend graduate school at the University of Cambridge in England or attain a full-time position in the energy industry.

Catrina D. Rockholt Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Business Management As a student, Cat Rockholt served as the Oklahoma four-year college vice president of Phi Beta Lambda, the OSU-Tulsa president of Phi Beta Lambda, orientation leader for Tulsa Community College Student Leadership, records chairman in Phi Theta Kappa

Erin Scanlan Portales, New Mexico Marketing and Management During her time at OSU, Erin Scanlan served as vice president, personal development chairman and Homecoming chairman for Business Student Council; president and vice president of communications for the Spears School of Business Ambassadors; chaplain, new

Chacey Schoeppel Fairview, Oklahoma Agribusiness While at OSU, Chacey Schoeppel served as a Chi Omega national women’s fraternity vice president, Student Alumni Board membership executive, Student Government Association president’s external chief of

Harrison Schroeder Shawnee, Kansas Mathematics and Spanish As a student at OSU, Harrison Schroeder was a piano protégé with Thomas Lanners. Schroeder was involved with Arts and Sciences Ambassadors, CEAT Scholars Program, Engineers without Borders and OSU

Chris Stockton Duncan, Oklahoma Finance and Management During his time at OSU, Chris Stockton served as Dance Marathon executive director for two years, Freshman Representative Council coordinator, SGA executive and senator, K-Life small group leader and a Phi Gamma

Peter Quinton Storm Stillwater, Oklahoma Biosystems Engineering As a student at OSU, Peter Storm served as College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Student Council CEAT Week committee head and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers social

Paige Kathryn Wikle Stillwater, Oklahoma Psychology While at OSU, Paige Wikle served as a President’s Partner with Student Alumni Board, public relations director for Rooted, sports chair and new member philanthropy chair for Pi Beta Phi national women’s fraternity and a

Honor Society, and president and secretary of Tulsa Community College student government. Her community involvement includes Reading Partners, March of Dimes, Volunteer Tulsa, Food on the Move and Tulsa Community College History Day High School Competition. Rockholt’s awards include being named one of the Top Five Management Students for the Spears School of Business, earning a Cagle Study Abroad Scholarship, representing OSU-Tulsa as a marketing promotions

spokesman, winning Outstanding Achievement honors from TCC Summer Youth Programs and receiving a TCC/ OSU Distinguished Regents Scholarship.

member educator and vice president of communication for Pi Beta Phi national women’s fraternity. She was also a member of Student Alumni Board and Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Her community involvement includes St. John’s Catholic Church, Reading Buddies, Community Dinners, Big Event and Into the Streets. She also worked as a nanny for a Stillwater family. Scanlan’s awards include being named OSU Homecoming Queen, Outstanding Marketing and Management Senior,

ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholar and Outstanding Greek Woman 2011 and 2014. She also won a University of South Australia academic scholarship.

staff, President’s Leadership Class facilitator and College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Career Liaisons volunteer. Her community involvement includes serving as director of the Ubuntu Youth Project nonprofit organization and CASNR Student Academic Mentor freshman orientation leader. She has also been involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Legion Auxiliary Girls State and Camp Cowboy. Schoeppel’s awards

include being named a Harry S. Truman Foundation Scholar, Student Philanthropist of the Year, Top Three Greek Sophomore Woman, Top Three Greek Freshmen Woman and Student Alumni Board Member of the Year.

Spanish Club. His community involvement includes Rebuilding Together OKC, Habitat for Humanity and Veritas Orphanage. Schroeder’s awards include induction into the Halligan Hall of Scholars, Washington Internships for Students of Engineering Fellow and two-time Goldwater institutional nominee. He also participated in the OSU Scholar Abroad program to Dubai, UAE and Muscat, Oman. Shroeder was selected

as a Top Ten Freshmen Man.

Rockholt’s future plans are to continue her education in the OSU-Tulsa MBA program while showing her employer why companies should always hire OSU graduates.

Scanlan’s future plans include working for FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) as a college missionary in the United States for two years.

Schoeppel’s plans include going back to South Africa to work with the Ubuntu Youth Project.

Schroeder’s plans include teaching high school mathematics through Teach for America for two years.

Delta national fraternal organization executive member. His community involvement includes Children’s Miracle Network, K-Life Student Ministries, Special Olympics, Relay for Life and Stillwater YMCA. Stockton’s awards include being named a Top Ten Freshmen Man, OSU Student Philanthropist of the Year and Sigma Alpha Lambda.

After graduation, Stockton is moving to Houston to become a business analyst in the management leadership track for Phillips 66.

director and parliamentarian. He was involved in Alpha Epsilon Honors Society, ASABA Environmental Design team and OSU Winter Drumline. His community involvement includes Lake McMurtry Friends nonvoting board member, Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services, ASABA Events, Texas Conference Choir Clinic counselor and Boy Scouts of America. Storm’s awards include being named W.W. Allen Scholar, Niblack Research Scholar, Wentz

Research Scholar, CEAT Student Council Committee Chair of the Year and Top Ten Freshmen Man.

teaching assistant for the Psychology Department. She was involved with the Oklahoma State running team. Her community involvement includes Stillwater K-Life, Kanakuk Kamps, Family Legacy Mission in Zambia, Africa, and Stillwater Saville Center for Child Advocacy. She was also an intern at Sunnybrook Christian Church. Wikle’s awards include being named a Top 20 Freshmen Woman and earning membership in Phi Beta Kappa and

Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies. She was on the Rooted executive team and Freshman Representative Council. Wikle received the Lou and Wes Watkins Matthew 25:40 Service Abroad Scholarship.

Storm plans to attend the University of Cambridge MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development program and continue to a domestic university for a doctorate degree in environmental-related engineering.

Wikle’s plans include either moving to Dallas, Texas, to work for Watermark Church or attending Kanakuk Institute in Branson, Missouri.


and friends of any age this summer, July 13-17 and 20-24. session, one class will examine Tony Hillerman’s acclaimed novels Dance Hall of the Dead and A Thief of Time. Another class will explore New Mexico’s food and culture. During the second week-long session, adult learners can explore Taos and learn how to draw, with no artistic skill or experience required. as an alternative to traditional etching and relief printing. Enrollment is now open at drca.okstate.edu. For more information about the courses, contact Hollye Goddard at hollyesue@cox.net or 602.465.1644. For enrollment questions, contact Shane O’Mealey with Arts & Sciences Outreach at shane.omealey@okstate.edu or 405.744.5647.

directed OSU’s Department of Art from 1924 until retiring to the family estate in the picturesque property and three historic adobe structures now serve as an inspiring setting for teaching, research and outreach related to the Southwest.

Taking her love of animals in pictures By Derinda Blakeney

Dr. Judy Johnson of Irving, Texas, has been treating small animals since she earned a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine from Oklahoma State University in 1977. Today, she is one of four veterinarians working part time at Lewisville North Animal Clinic in Texas. “We have all been practicing veterinary medicine for awhile,” says Johnson. “I like the flexibility working part time gives me. I value the relationships I have with my clients and enjoy interacting with them and their pets. continues



Unlike human medicine, where physicians are part of a corporate entity, veterinary medicine gives you a little more autonomy.” And that freedom has allowed Dr. Johnson to take her love of animals around the world. By the time Johnson was 5, she already knew she wanted to be a veterinarian. “I grew up on a farm in Covington, Oklahoma, between Enid and Perry, where we raised Hereford cattle and wheat,” she explains. “I would tell people that I wanted to be a vet. I doubt that I understood what all that entailed but I knew I loved the animals.”

people with the same passion and my current husband, Don Lewis,” Johnson says with a smile. Johnson and Lewis found they both enjoyed diving and underwater photography so they started traveling together, going with the Dallas group or another couple who shared their ­interest. Eventually, they branched out into

run to catch their prey. Unlike lions that hunt in a group, cheetahs hunt individually. You may find two litter brothers who hunt together but, the majority of the time, they hunt alone. And while she is hunting, the mother cheetah must still protect her babies. And when a cheetah does find food, anybody can steal it — lions, hyenas, leopards — before the cheetah has a chance to eat it.” While Johnson roots for all cheetahs, one in particular has caught her attention. “One cheetah is famous for jumping on top of vehicles,” says Johnson. “She decided to leap onto the roof of our vehicle two days in a row to gain a better vantage point to scout for food. She ignored us and just kept her eyes scanning the area for anything that could serve as a meal — present company excluded.”

Dr. Judy Johnson is donating one of her photographs to hang in the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences Academic Center Faculty Office Building. From her collection of animal photography, she developed pictures of wild horses into a work of art for display in the new offices.

When she took her first vacation snorkeling in the Caribbean, Johnson ­discovered a whole new animal world outside the walls of her veterinary practice. “I was amazed at what you could see underwater. It was beautiful and I started taking underwater pictures of the animals. I had never been interested in photography before but the photo opportunities were fantastic,” she adds. Johnson decided to take her photography interest to a higher level. She became a certified diver, which led to more things to photograph. It also changed her life. “I joined the Dallas Underwater Photography Society where I met other



photographing animals on land, people of the countries they visited and scenic landscapes. “We have been all over the world including Africa, India, Brazil, Chile, Svalbard in the Arctic, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Falkland Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and more,” says Johnson. “I am a cat lover. We have four cats of our own. I like to photograph the big cats the most – the cheetahs, leopards, lions, mountain lions and jaguars. They are beautiful. “My favorite is the cheetah because they have the toughest time of making it of any of the big cats. Cheetahs have to

In 2014, Johnson and her husband traveled to Tanzania and Rwanda to photograph silverback mountain gorillas. Next up is a boat trip from San Diego, California, to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to see the gray whale migration along with dolphins, sea lions and other wildlife. After that, the couple plans to travel to Raja Ampat, a remote part of Indonesia, for scuba diving and then to the Arctic to photograph polar bears for the third time. “Travel expands our cultural horizon and knowledge. It is a very broadening experience,” she says. “I probably wouldn’t have gotten into the travel if not for diving and shooting underwater

photography. And, I wouldn’t have met my husband!” In her 24 years of traveling, Johnson has built up a wonderful collection of photographs. As a regular donor to her alma mater, she is giving once again but this time in a slightly different format. Johnson has offered to donate one of her photographs to the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. “I have some large photographs in the Convention Center Hotel in Glendale, Arizona,” Johnson says. “I also have some underwater photography in a hotel in San Marcos (Texas) and have won several international underwater photo contests. My veterinary practice and actually traveling and taking the photographs occupy most of my time. I don’t have time to make a job out of marketing the

photographs and videos we shoot so I rarely sell one.” “I talked with Heather Clay, senior director of development for the veterinary center, about hanging one of my photos in the new Academic Center Faculty Office Building. I have selected a photograph of a herd of Chincoteague ponies running. They look like a herd of wild horses and they were wild at one time. I turned it into more of an art piece by layering a photo of ghost-like mustangs behind them with the idea that they are dreaming of their wild heritage. Since OSU is known for their equine veterinary work, I felt that it would be a good representation of that.” “We are very honored for Dr. Johnson to present this beautiful gift to the veterinary center,” says Dr. Jean Sander, dean and professor of veterinary medicine. “We

are excited to have this new office space to house the very faculty members who have trained and will continue to train reputable veterinarians like Dr. Johnson. We appreciate her giving back to the college with this photograph, which is a labor of love for sure.” The new 13,972-square-foot space will house 40 Veterinary Clinical Sciences faculty members. Since the hospital opened 34 years ago, these faculty members have been in temporary offices in the hospital’s basement. The Veterinary Health Sciences Academic Center Faculty Office Building is scheduled to be completed in June 2015. Naming opportunities are still available. For more information, contact Heather Clay at 405-385-5607 or hclay@osugiving.com.


“We have been all over the world including Africa, India, Brazil, Chile, Svalbard in the Arctic, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Falkland Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and more.”

Dr. Judy Johnson demonstrates underwater photography skills for a scuba diving training magazine.


KOSU takes center stage at NPR headquarters T

housands of people have visited National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. since its new headquarters building opened in June 2013. The network’s news, technology and administrative offices, along with the production and performance studios are in a 1920s-era warehouse near Union Station that was once home to a local phone company. A prominent feature of the NPR headquarters lobby is an interactive reader rail that chronicles the development of public radio in the United States. Stretching along an expansive wall of glass on the south side of the building, the exhibit tells the origins of several universityowned public radio stations across the country, including KOSU.

“NPR wanted to profile KOSU because of the station’s track record of growth and commitment to radio journalism excellence, as well as its interest in sharing the voices of Oklahoma history,” says Kelly Burley, KOSU director. “It’s gratifying to know that visitors to NPR from all over the world have the opportunity to learn how KOSU grew from humble beginnings and how we cover stories that define the Oklahoma experience.” KOSU was Oklahoma’s third permanent FM radio station when it signed on the air as KAMC on December 29, 1955. The original antenna was mounted on a light pole in a parking lot and its broadcast signal barely covered the Oklahoma A&M campus. Today, KOSU can be heard on the FM dial throughout a 50,000-square-mile region that includes Oklahoma, southeast Kansas, southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. More than 100,000 people experience KOSU each week with more than

Old effortlessly meets shiny and new at the NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“NPR wanted to profile KOSU because of the station’s track record of growth and commitment to radio journalism excellence … It’s gratifying to know that visitors to NPR from all over the world have the opportunity to learn how KOSU grew from humble beginnings and how we cover stories that define the Oklahoma experience.” — Kelly Burley 92


4,000 listeners and dozens of businesses contributing toward the non-commercial station’s operations each year. The NPR reader rail chronicles other KOSU milestones, from its relationship as NPR’s 100th member station in 1971 to its 2008 format change that more than doubled the number of news hours available each week on KOSU. There’s also information about the State Impact reporting collaboration launched by NPR with member stations in eight states including Oklahoma. Since its inception in 2011, State Impact has developed stories on water rights issues, the drought, and energy and the environment. Its breaking news coverage of the 2013 Oklahoma tornado outbreak heard nationally on NPR won the Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Besides covering current events, KOSU also explores Oklahoma’s past, with NPR sharing the station’s work on the Tulsa Race Riot as part of the exhibit. The NPR lobby interactive display also celebrates one of KOSU’s recent achievements — the 2013 opening of its own new studios and offices in the historic Film Row District of downtown Oklahoma City. Already more than 5,000 people have experienced community conversations and music in the new studios and the station is looking forward to growing community engagement. “KOSU-OKC serves as a perfect complement to the station’s original office and studio space on the OSU Stillwater campus,” Burley says. “Our new space allows us to create community through the content we deliver while creating content through the communities we serve.”



OSU President Burns Hargis, left, greets KOSU Director Kelly Burley in the National Public Radio headquarters in Washington, D.C., where the Oklahoma State University station is recognized in the lobby.


Senior U.S. District Judge Terence Kern and his wife, Jeanette, are helping double the scholarship endowment for the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Jeanette Kern’s brother, Tim Headington, is also generously supporting this effort.



The Kern-Headington Scholarship Challenge helps double the scholarship endowment for OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine


enior U.S. District Judge Terence Kern, a ’66 graduate of OSU, and his wife recognize how incredible OSU Medicine has been in educating doctors who are from Oklahoma, stay in Oklahoma, and practice in small Oklahoma communities. Judge Kern first recognized the difficulty in attracting good doctors to small communities while serving as chairman of the board of a hospital in Ardmore a number of years ago. Judge Kern and his wife, Jeanette, later realized the severity of the physician shortage in Oklahoma while Jeanette’s daughter, Julie, was a student in the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa. According to America’s Health Rankings, Oklahoma ranks 48th in the nation for primary care physicians per capita. Just as alarming is the fact that one in four Oklahoma physicians is over the age of 60. “The mission of the OSU Center for Health Sciences is to train physicians for rural and underserved areas of our state and part of the effort to fulfill this mission is to recruit students from rural Oklahoma,” says Dr. Kayse Shrum, president of OSU Center for Health Sciences and dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “These are individuals who embrace the rural lifestyle and want to return to their hometowns to serve as doctors.” Now Judge Kern and Jeanette are stepping up to support the work of the OSU Center for Health Sciences and President Shrum and combat the physician shortage. In June 2014, the Kerns, along with Jeanette’s brother, Tim Headington, donated $750,000 to establish the KernHeadington Scholarship Challenge. With the donation, the Kerns and Headington seek to significantly increase the number of scholarships available to OSU medical students who plan to practice in rural Oklahoma. By reducing the amount of debt students acquire in medical school, the

Kerns and Headington hope more physicians will be attracted to positions in rural Oklahoma. “Many young doctors seek higherpaying positions out of state and in larger cities in order to pay off their loans,” says Judge Kern. “We hope the impact of the challenge will mean less student debt upon graduation and offer more incentive to practice in smaller communities where doctors are desperately needed.” The Kern-Headington Scholarship Challenge will match each dollar donated to the OSU Foundation for medical student scholarships, ultimately raising $1.5 million to train physicians for service in rural Oklahoma. The donation is the largest cash gift to the OSU Center for Health Sciences to be used for endowed scholarships for medical students. “We believe the gift match challenge has an impact far beyond just raising money,” says Judge Kern. “It creates an opportunity for other individuals and organizations to meet the challenge of helping train young physicians and

Gentner Drummond, an ’85 graduate of OSU, and his wife, Wendy, were among the first to join the challenge. The Drummonds established a scholarship to support a medical student who plans to practice in Osage County. “With six generations of continuity in the rural community of Oklahoma, we are delighted to give back by supporting a more robust medical presence for this underserved but economically vital population,” says Gentner Drummond. OSU alumni Dr. Richard and Beverly Schafer also responded to the challenge by establishing an endowment to support scholarships for medical students who aspire to practice in a rural area. Dr. Schafer, who earned his degree from OSU-COM in ’93, practices family medicine in Bristow, Oklahoma. “We feel strongly that it is important to support the profession that has provided so much for us,” says Beverly Schafer. “With my husband’s practice located in a rural community, we know how important it is for these smaller towns to have good doctors. The scholarship ensures that a future doctor has the opportunity to experience and enjoy the rural lifestyle.” Individual donors and charitable organizations have responded swiftly to the

“We hope the impact of the challenge will mean less student debt upon graduation and offer more incentive to practice in smaller communities where doctors are desperately needed.” — Judge Terence Kern gets more people involved to spread the word about the need for more physicians in Oklahoma.” Once the challenge is complete, the university will have doubled its medical student scholarship endowment. “The generosity of the KernHeadington family will truly have a lifelong impact on our students and health care in Oklahoma,” says Dr. Shrum. “The gifts we receive through this challenge will enable our students to focus on learning patient care and worry less about paying student loans.”

Kern-Headington Scholarship Challenge and stepped forward to help shape the future of health care in Oklahoma. “We are very happy with the response and the fact that so many others feel the way we do about helping OSU medical students,” says Jeanette Kern. To learn more about the KernHeadington Scholarship Challenge or to donate to the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, contact Anhna Vuong, senior director of development, at 918-594-8014 or avuong@osugiving.com.


Lisa Hayes Master of Business Administration student



Lisa Hayes knows the value of earning a Big 12 degree at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa. The strong reputation of the OSU Spears School of Business, the internationally recognized faculty and close-to-home location convinced Lisa to choose OSU-Tulsa for her MBA. You can earn your OSU degree right here in Tulsa, too. Whether your goal is increased earning power, instant credibility or a better quality of life, OSU-Tulsa can help you get there from here.

Learn more about Lisa’s journey to a Big 12 degree at OSUinTulsa.com.

Downtown Tulsa


OSU-Tulsa professor honored as a leading academic inventor From aircraft to autos, the innovations of Raj Singh have had an impact on industries around the world. and Engineering and an editorial board member for the Journal of Materials Science and Engineering, Journal of International Scholarly Research Notices Ceramics, Journal of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials and JSM Chemistry. He is an active member of the American Ceramics Society, ASM International and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Singh has organized many professional conferences and serves on the review committees for several funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of Naval Research, Army Research Office, NASA and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. S E A N K E N N E DY


use scientific and engineering principles to A ceramic matrix develop new materials that address probcomposite material lems in a variety of industries,” says Singh. able to withstand “We can then take these materials to create extremely high new products that will benefit industry temperatures that partners and our economic well-being.” can be utilized in Singh’s research has been used in the the construction of development of many products in the aircraft engines. aerospace, energy, automotive and health A high-powered sodium-sulfur battery used to store energy at a Japanese automo- care industries, including more efficient turbine engines for General Electric that tive factory. are being used in Boeing aircraft and more These are just two ways that compapowerful sodium-sulfur batteries utilized nies around the world have utilized by American Electric Power. innovations from Raj Singh, head of the He has published more than 260 OSU School of Materials Science and journal articles and made more than 200 Engineering based at OSU-Tulsa. research presentations around the world. Singh, director of the Energy Since beginning his academic career in Technologies Program, was recently 1991, he has been granted 27 patents honored for his contributions to and received more than $14 million in science and ability to turn ideas into research funding. products by being named a National Before joining the faculty at Academy of Inventors Fellow. The OSU-Tulsa in 2012, Singh served for Deputy United States Commissioner 21 years in various faculty positions for Patent Operations from the at the University of Cincinnati, includU.S. Patent and Trademark Office ing head of the Chemical and Materials inducted Singh during the Fourth Engineering Department. He spent more Annual Conference of the National than 11 years at the General Electric Academy of Inventors at the California Research and Development Center in Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Schenectady, New York, and six years “Dr. Singh is an internationally recogat the Argonne National Laboratory in nized expert on ceramic materials and has Lemont, Illinois. invented several new advanced materials After earning a bachelor’s degree being used by industries around the world,” in metallurgical engineering from the says OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, “This distinguished honor is an example Singh earned a master’s degree in physiof the outstanding faculty we have at cal metallurgy from the University of OSU-Tulsa and working with our students Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, and in the Helmerich Research Center.” a doctorate degree in ceramics from The NAI Fellowship recognizes inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Singh is an American Ceramic Society of innovation in creating or facilitating Fellow, University of Cincinnati Graduate outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic School Fellow and ASM International Fellow. He is a member of the interdevelopment and the welfare of society. national advisory committee for the “Materials science and engineering Brazilian Journal of Materials Science research provides us with an avenue to

Williams Cos. Distinguished Chair Professor Raj Singh works with former doctoral student Jeff Modarres-Zadeh on a scanning electron microscope at the Helmerich Research Center at OSU-Tulsa.


A LASTING Trennepohl’s 37-year career leaves an indelible mark on higher education By Kim Archer





As OSU-Tulsa president, Gary Trennepohl oversaw the construction of the Helmerich Research Center, which opened in 2008.

ew people can say they have left a legacy that will benefit generations quite like Gary Trennepohl. The ONEOK Chair in Finance, President’s Council Endowed Chair in the OSU Spears School of Business and the former president of OSU-Tulsa retired in December. “During his time as OSU-Tulsa’s president, Gary Trennepohl was a trailblazer who cemented the university’s status as a leader of higher education in Tulsa and as a professor, he educated and inspired thousands of students,” says OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. “His devotion to preparing students for success both in and out of the classroom remains an inspiration to his colleagues.” Trennepohl gave his utmost effort in every role. But as OSU-Tulsa president, he helped change the higher education landscape of Tulsa. Until 1999, Tulsa was the only city of its size in the country without a freestanding comprehensive public university. Trennepohl had been dean of the OSU Spears School of Business in Stillwater for four years when he was asked by then-OSU President Jim Halligan to become president of the new Tulsa campus. It was a challenge, Trennepohl says. With little permanent funding for OSU-Tulsa, Trennepohl and others, including former Gov. Frank Keating and Halligan, now a state senator, fought to make OSU a higher education leader in Tulsa. “My time as OSU-Tulsa president was very rewarding, challenging and unpredictable,” he says. “It was a great learning experience for me to be involved with the political side of higher education and state government.” Trennepohl carefully guided the successful transition from the consortia model of the University Center at Tulsa to OSU-Tulsa. He was instrumental in securing $45 million in funding from state, county and private sources to build the Helmerich Research



Gary Trennepohl, ONEOK Chair in Finance and President’s Council Endowed Chair in the OSU Spears School of Business, accepts the “Loyal and True Award” from OSU President Burns Hargis, left.

“Gary Trennepohl was a trailblazer who cemented the university’s status as a leader of higher education in Tulsa.” — OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett

Center, a state-of-the-art research space for students and faculty in mechanical, electrical and materials science and engineering. A decade after taking the helm at OSU-Tulsa, Trennepohl returned to teaching as a professor of finance. “After I had served as president for 10 years and was nearing retirement age, I finally decided that I wanted to return in a faculty role for the reason I first got into this field — to teach and work with students,” he says. After five more years, he decided to retire because he wanted time for other things. “I am getting older and I wanted more flexibility in my schedule to travel with my wife, Sandra,” Trennepohl says. “The bottom line is — it was time.” The list of his accomplishments during his 37 years in academia is long. He taught classes at the undergraduate, master’s and doctorate levels at five major state universities, co-authored two collegelevel financial textbooks and wrote more than 30 professional journal articles about portfolio management, investment strategies and derivative securities. He was president of and held several other leadership positions in the Financial Management Association International, the largest association for faculty and students in the finance discipline. He was president of the Southwestern Finance Association

and has served as a consultant to pension funds, corporations and college foundations. Trennepohl continues as a visiting faculty member for the Options Institute at the Chicago Board Options Exchange and chairs the affiliate board of directors for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. He recently completed a term on the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System Board of Trustees, which oversees $14 billion of investments for the benefit of Oklahoma teachers. At the state level, he has been honored as an OSU-Tulsa founder and was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. Most recently, he received the “Loyal and True Award” at the University Awards Convocation in Stillwater, which is given to those who personify the spirit of OSU through unwavering devotion and personal sacrifice. Yet Trennepohl always found his greatest inspiration in the classroom, and it is reflected in his work. Last year, he won the Greiner Teaching award as the Spears College of Business Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher. “Interacting with students and supporting their education is one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” he says. “It’s probably what I’ll miss most.”


Learning through Service to the Community For Health Education and Promotion students at OSU-Tulsa, volunteerism is a vital part of the university curriculum


hen Oklahoma State UniversityTulsa student Shawnda Sweger was performing fitness assessments on Tulsa elementary school children last fall, she was learning and giving back to the community. “Any time you get to have an experience in the field, it puts you a step ahead of people who just learn in the classroom,” she says. “It also gives you a jump on your peers when you begin to look for a job in your field.” Community service is an essential element of OSU-Tulsa’s Health Education and Promotion program, which prepares graduates for careers in wellness, public and community health, medical-based and community fitness, corporate



wellness and graduate study in areas such as public health, exercise science or allied health fields. “Our philosophy for our students is to ‘learn about learning’ through community service,” says Amy Bowersock, clinical assistant professor of health education and promotion. “Our students are going to be health educators, fitness professionals and physical therapists so they need to understand the processes people go through in order to learn.” In addition to volunteering at community fairs and helping physical education teachers assess children’s fitness, OSU-Tulsa health promotion students have the opportunity to teach elementary school classes about fitness and nutrition,

By Kim Archer

conduct “Lunch and Learn” workshops targeting employee wellness for local nonprofits, volunteer with local aging organizations and other activities. “The commitment to community service as an educational tool enables students to bring more knowledge and insight to their career,” says OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. “The service learning philosophy ensures that students will make meaningful contributions to help our state’s citizens and graduates.” At the start of flu season in October, OSU-Tulsa HEP students joined the award-winning “Don’t Bug Me!” flu awareness and prevention campaign in collaboration with the Tulsa Health Department and Hillcrest Medical Center.

Left: Students in the OSU-Tulsa Health Education and Promotion program perform a skit on flu prevention for the launch of the Tulsa Health Department’s “Don’t Bug Me“ campaign. Opposite page: OSU-Tulsa junior Noah Elias counts the number of situps completed by a McKinley Elementary School third-grader as part of the service-learning portion of the Health Education and Promotion program.


Using colorful costumes and a skit they developed, the OSU-Tulsa students delivered a simple flu prevention message to elementary school children. After performing at several Tulsaarea schools, word got around about the students’ success and other school administrators requested a visit from “Louie Achooee” the flu bug and the OSU-Tulsa students at their schools. “That kind of experience is something you can only get by going outside the college classroom,” says Cody Hankins, who played the flu bug. “Reading about classroom management and actually managing a group of kids are two different things.” Getting into the neighborhoods provides students a perspective that only “real-world” experience can provide, says Kerry Morgan, clinical instructor of health education and promotion at OSU-Tulsa and certified health education specialist at OSU Family Health and Nutrition Clinic. “Service learning enables education to move beyond the walls of the classroom. Students get to put theory into practice to gain deeper insight into their field,” Morgan says. “I really believe the best way to learn how to work with kids is to get

These scholarships require 20 hours experience working with kids.” of community service per year with a In Bowersock’s exercise testing and nonprofit organization, public school prescription class, students become fitness or church using their skill set in health trainers as part of a learning project. In promotion. four-week intervals, they train a client — Bowersock says students are eager a volunteer from the community — at the for these experiences and volunteer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma for a variety of organizations, includHealth and Human Performance Lab, ing Global Gardens and the Center for the only one of its kind in the Tulsa area. Individuals with Physical Challenges. It provides students the chance to use Often, students develop contacts with cutting-edge equipment for their clients professionals during their service that rather than just reading about new techlead to career opportunities. nology in a textbook. “Service learning is good for the Students learn to program individual students, good for the community and exercise plans and to use best practices good for OSU,” she says. in assessing potential risk or injuries. For Hankins, the leadership, quality In turn, the client gets quality one-onand dedication of the faculty combined one fitness training at no cost from OSU-Tulsa students under the supervision with the many opportunities to perform community service is what sets the degree of Bowersock. program apart. “Students take learning about fitness “The professors pour their hearts and training much more seriously when they souls into the program to prepare their have a real client,” Bowersock says. “The students for real life situations,” he says. students are motivated to ensure their client progresses and get to experience the “That’s something you can only find at OSU.” successes and setbacks along with them.” Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma funds scholarships through the OSU Foundation for students in the program emphasizing community service.





Bob E.


Bishop Edward J.



2015 ICONS FOR OSU IN TULSA The 2015 Icons for Oklahoma State University in Tulsa have made a huge impact on the lives of people in Oklahoma and across the nation. Through their generosity and selfless devotion to helping others, these honorees have helped create a brighter future for our state. The 2015 Icons for OSU in Tulsa will be honored at A Stately Affair in Tulsa on May 18. Proceeds from the black-tie event will support student scholarships at OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences.

Honorary Chair


Gov. Mary Fallin (’77)

Jack Allen (’69) and Dave Kollmann (’82)




BUSINESS BOOTS ON THE GROUND Riata Center mentors veterans for success

major setback in 2007, Graham believed there could only be one more chance for him. “I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a kid. I always had the entrepreneurial spirit,” Graham says, “I was fairly successful (before the 2003 disaster) but I didn’t have all the right tools in the toolbox. I had no education, no upper management skills.” An outstanding wrestler at Notre Dame High School in Chicago who earned an athletic scholarship to Northern Illinois University, Graham’s college wrestling career was short-lived and he dropped out of school. He became a carpenter, returning to college intent on earning an engineering degree. Graham says he probably has over four years worth of college credits but never did earn even an associate degree. What he did earn was a reputation as a hard worker who knew the construction business, working his way up through the trade from lead carpenter to foreman to superintendent to project engineer/facilities manager.

Clay Graham doesn’t have to watch a television episode of HGTV’s Flip or Flop or view a pop music icon-turned-home renovator on DIY Network’s The Vanilla Ice Project to learn about transforming run-down houses into valued properties. “I was flipping homes before anyone knew what flipping homes was,” Graham says. He’s known the highs of business — purchasing and transforming downtrodden historical properties into beautiful homes for profit. Twice, he’s experienced the lows — losing his business and almost everything he had. His wife, Cheryl, a real estate agent, worked next to him on the roller-coaster ups and downs. All the Chicago native has ever known in life is the construction business and the military, completing a 21-year Navy career. After losing his business in 2003, rebuilding it from scratch and then suffering another By Terry




He was enjoying a successful career as a senior project manager for FH Paschen in Chicago, but he wasn’t satisfied. Moonlighting flipping houses on the side with his wife, Graham says, “I decided I wanted to do it full time, but we knew we couldn’t do it in the Chicago market just because it was too costly.” In 1999, he moved his family to the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, to start building homes and developing residential properties. The Naval Mobile Construction Battalion that he was assigned to was dispatched to Iraq from March to October in 2003. After returning home from his tour of duty, he had lost his business. Graham went back to work trying to regroup but his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries hampered his construction business from growing. “I started getting it together and then the housing market crashed. I lost everything again,” he says. He and his family returned to Chicago, where Graham again found employment with FH Paschen. “But the entrepreneurial spirit was always there. I was a manager and had about 26 employees underneath me, but it just wasn’t enough,” he says. On September 22, 2009, with $6,000 he opened Opcon Inc., a general contracting company specializing in government and military construction projects. As with many small business

owners, Graham was working 100-hour weeks trying to do it all. Six months later, he was again at a crossroads with a job offer from a Kansas City company that seemed too good to turn down. “I had to either take the job and move to Kansas City or roll the dice as an entrepreneur would do, and make a calculated choice to move forward with the business,” he says. “I did my analysis and I decided to stay in business.” He’s glad he did. Revenues went from about $280,000 in 2010 to $2.3 million in 2011 with Opcon continuing to grow and prosper. A major reason for his recent growth, Graham says, is his participation in the 2013 OSU Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, presented by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and the School of Entrepreneurship. Since its inception in 2010, the VEP has attracted national attention while empowering American military veterans as they turn their ideas into workable business models. Each February, veterans travel to Stillwater for an eight-day residency similar to military boot camp — intense, rigorous and demanding. The program boasts hands-on learning and interaction with world-class faculty, guest entrepreneurs, business experts and others. The entire program — transportation, accommodations, books, food and instruction — is free for participants. Each veteran is also partnered with a mentor. Graham arrived not knowing what to expect.

“I was actually overwhelmed by how great the university was to us. As a vet, there are things we struggle with … the people at Oklahoma State believed in me. That made a huge difference.” — Clay Graham

Clay Graham is grateful to OSU for helping him reach the mountaintop with his company. His wife, Cheryl, has rode the roller coaster with him through life in the military and the construction business.



The Museum of Westward Expansion under the St. Louis Gateway Arch is closed during construction.

“I didn’t have any expectations other than I was trying to be a sponge,” he says. “I never had any business schooling. I was always pretty much self taught — the school of hard knocks. If I made a mistake, my reaction was, OK, don’t do that again.” Graham gets emotional when describing what the program has meant to him and his business. “I was actually overwhelmed by how great the university was to us. Excuse me. I’m getting choked up here,” he says. “As a vet, there are things we struggle with. There’s unemployment. There’s PTSD … after having lost a business earlier, and even though I was striving to succeed, very few people believed in me at that point in my life. The VEP program gave me the confidence and the people at Oklahoma State believed in me. That made a huge difference.” Interaction with the instructors and mentors are key components in the crash course. Ken Klein, who was in the construction business for 45 years, including owning and operating Klein Company Construction Services in Tulsa, was Graham’s mentor, and still has contact with the VEP graduate more than two years later. The two would visit every other week in the months following the program. They still visit several times a year as Graham values the semi-retired businessman’s acumen. “I think anytime you have someone who is willing to be mentored, as well as someone who is willing to mentor it’s a

win-win situation for everyone,” Klein says. “I believe that was the case with Clay and myself. But mentoring has a lot more to it than just giving advice. My role was to save him time, money and heartache, and I hope I did that.” Today, Opcon has 21 full-time employees, and veterans make up more than half of his workforce. Some of the agencies Graham has contracted with include the Chicago Public Schools, the United States Postal Office and the National Park Service renovation of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial at the St. Louis Gateway Arch. He says the VEP program has helped him make better business decisions, taught him how to analyze the financials, and assisted him in making more sound choices. “There are all kinds of classes out there of people trying to support small businesses — and some are good and some are bad,” he says. “I tell people that you can probably pick any of them and they’ll give you almost the same information but going through the VEP program at Oklahoma State, they had an invested interest in me and wanted to make sure I succeeded. That’s the difference.” To learn more about the OSU Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, go to riata.okstate.edu/veterans/. For additional information on Clay Graham and Opcon Inc., visit www.opcon-inc.com.

The National Park’s renovation of the St. Louis Gateway Arch is a highly visible project for Clay Graham’s company, Opcon Inc. Graham credits the education and mentoring he received through OSU’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Program for his company’s recent stellar growth.


Historic buildings to fill Okmulgee student-housing needs

By Sara Plummer






Top left: Housing renovation plans include the lobby of the Barksdale Apartments. Lower right: The Bell Block building is part of the revitalization. Lower left: The Grand Old Post Office on the corner of Fifth Street and Grand Avenue in Okmulgee is included in the renovation plans.

the building is ready for up to 70 student occupants by 2017. “It’s a pretty major renovation — new electrical systems, new plumbing, new wiring,” Path says. The second property purchased is the Bell Block Building, built in 1900 on the corner of Morton Avenue and Sixth Street, for $95,000 plus closing costs. The estimated renovation costs are still pending. After the former post office is renovated, work will begin to turn the second floor of the Bell building into eight to 10 loft-style spaces. Administrators are reviewing options for the first floor, which faces downtown Okmulgee’s commercial

“We could have spent a lot of money building a brand-new residence hall on campus, but we can accommodate students and help out the community at the same time by renovating these historic buildings,” he says. About a dozen members of the Okmulgee community including downtown building owners and Main Street board members were on hand for the regents’ vote in January. “We know what a vital project this is for the Okmulgee community, and we’re proud to be a part of it,” Board of Regents Chairman Rick Davis said during the meeting. Former regent board member Fred Harlan, who owns a Ford dealership in


he phrase win-win may be overused, but in the case of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology and its investment in historic downtown Okmulgee, the description fits perfectly. OSUIT President Bill R. Path says the university needs additional student housing. Downtown Okmulgee has beautiful structures in abundance sitting empty with enormous potential. Still, it took the vision of an outsider to recognize that each had what the other needed. Ron Drake, a consultant who has spent the last 10 years renovating and revitalizing the downtown district of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, is working to replicate his success in his hometown. With Drake’s help, OSUIT leaders identified two properties in downtown Okmulgee to purchase and renovate. In January, the OSU/A&M Board of Regents approved purchasing the two properties to develop future housing for OSUIT students. The property at Grand Avenue and Fifth Street consists of two connecting buildings, Okmulgee’s original post office, built in 1918, and the Barksdale Apartment Building, completed in 1919. The university bought the halfblock of buildings for $280,000 plus closing costs with renovations estimated to cost between $3 million and $4 million. “It’s a beautiful building with a grand entrance,” Path says about the old post office. “It has a lot of character, and it has such good bones. It really met our criteria for student residential needs.” The building sits a block from the Okmulgee Police Department and a block from retail businesses and restaurants. Construction is expected to start this summer, and administrators hope

Constructed in 1900, the Bell Block building sits along Sixth Street, the main commercial stretch of downtown Okmulgee. district along Sixth Street. Both buildings are just under two miles from the OSUIT campus. “This gorgeous building has been remodeled many times over the years and housed several different retail interests but originally served as Okmulgee’s first opera house,” Path says. “We love the prominent location and wanted to secure the building before someone else buys it.” The board also approved beginning the selection process for an architect and construction manager to determine the layout and floor plans for the buildings. Path says renovating the historic downtown spaces is comparable, or hopefully even cheaper, than constructing new buildings on the campus.

Okmulgee, says he was very happy with the unanimous vote for approval. “I’m looking forward to working with OSUIT. It’s going to be good for both the students and the community,” Harlan says. “It’s going to be exciting.” Drake says OSUIT is stepping up as the leader of the Okmulgee Rising revitalization projects, spurring others in the community to purchase and renovate spaces and buildings downtown. The recent renovation boon means OSUIT can leverage its investment with the owners of these new living spaces, Path says. “This falls squarely within the university’s land-grant mission,” he says. “It is tangible community engagement for the greater good of Okmulgee and OSUIT.”


Campus Chapter develops OSU alumni connections

“We want a variety of activities to appeal to everyone as well as to broaden people’s horizons,” Green-Hicks says. Any OSU employee is eligible to be a part of the Faculty/ Staff Chapter. Visit orangeconnection.org/facultystaff for more information, and network with chapter members at facebook.com/osuaafacultystaff.

Support Cowboy Baseball in Tulsa at Big 12 Tournament

OSU Chief Wellness Officer Suzy Harrington emphasizes healthy living. She spoke to members of the Faculty/ Staff Chapter at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center on February 19. The OSU Alumni Association supports more than 100 alumni chapters and watch clubs across the United States, but the newest one is in OSU’s backyard. More than 3,100 OSU graduates work on the OSU-Stillwater campus, and the new Faculty/Staff Chapter has been developed to foster connections among all OSU employees while supporting the university, its employees and students in new and unique ways. “The purpose of our chapter is involvement,” says Anna Greene-Hicks, Faculty/Staff Chapter president. “Involvement means staying in touch with OSU in a variety of ways — socializing with a diverse group of people who love OSU and seeing more of the university and what it has to offer students, staff, faculty and the community.” The chapter is still in its infancy but has more than doubled its membership in the past year. This spring, it hosted two events beginning with a health and wellness lunch in February featuring OSU Chief Wellness Officer Suzy Harrington. More than 50 people attended the lunch, which came complete with healthy boxed lunches. Harrington shared a variety of ways to stay active and healthy in the coming year. “One of the missions of being America’s Healthiest Campus® is to enrich the lives of our employees, students and communities, with a goal to have successful, engaged, productive, happy graduates,” Harrington said. “It is a win/win if the graduates are also OSU employees successfully living the harmony of physical, emotional, social, professional and spiritual wellness.” For its second event of the semester, the chapter invited everyone to the opening reception of Richard Buswell’s “Close to Home” exhibit at the OSU Museum of Art. The evening featured an artist talk inside the Postal Plaza Gallery in downtown Stillwater. Looking forward, the chapter is focusing on providing events that are informative and fun.

Tulsa is playing host to the Big 12 Baseball Tournament for the first time on May 20-24. Information about tickets and events for OSU fans attending the tournament games will be posted when available at orangeconnection.org/athletics. Oklahoma State Cowboy Baseball is coming off a 2014 regular season conference championship, an appearance in the NCAA Super Regional and a top-10 ranking in the final polls. Third-year head coach Josh Holliday says he hopes to see strong contingents of orangeclad fans at the Big 12 tournament. “Our players are highly energetic and competitive, and they thrive on the energy and passion of our fans,” says Holliday, who was named the 2014 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year. “We want to see our fans embrace how our kids play, and that starts by wearing orange and cheering them on both at home and on the road.” Alumni Association members also have access to discounted tickets to Cowboy baseball games this season. Members may purchase $5 tickets to the Friday, May 8, game against West Virginia at orangeconnection.org/athleticdiscounts.

Cowboy Caravan traveling to eight stops in summer The OSU Alumni Association and OSU POSSE have planned eight stops for the Cowboy Caravan this year in preparation for the start of the 2015 Cowboy football season. All friends, family and alumni of OSU are invited to the events which will begin in May and last through August. Several stops will feature an all-new format including skits, games and more ways for fans to interact with the coaches. The 2015 Cowboy Caravan stops May 20 in Houston. Cowboy Caravan stops in Oklahoma include Enid, June 1; McAlester, June 2; Ponca City, June 8; Woodward, June 9; and Altus, June 16. Dates for Tulsa and Oklahoma City stops will be announced online soon. All proceeds from the Cowboys Caravan events benefit local OSU alumni chapters. Visit orangeconnection.org/caravans for more information and to RSVP to an event near you.


Upcoming Events Join an OSU alumni chapter near you to celebrate OSU and connect with Cowboys. For the most current events listing, visit orangeconnection.org/chapters or scan the QR code.

NORTH TEXAS: Jason Dinsmore, ’05; Evy Dinsmore, ’05; Jocelyn Meyers, ’05; and Dan Meyers, ’04, gathered at the 2015 North Texas Brighter Orange on February 20. This year’s event raised more than $150,000 for scholarships for Texas students attending OSU.


Bedlam Baseball at ONEOK Field — Tulsa Chapter


Warrior Dash for St. Jude’s — Northwest Arkansas Chapter


Chapter Leadership Training — Stillwater


Happy Hour — North Texas Chapter

MAY 15

Professional Networking Events — Tulsa Chapter

MAY 17

Annual Picnic — Northwest Arkansas Chapter

MAY 19

Women’s Council of Dallas — North Texas Chapter

May 20

Houston Cowboy Caravan

MAY 20–24 Big 12 Baseball Tournament — Tulsa TULSA: KOTV News on 6 reporter Tess Maune, ’07, emceed Tulsa Vintage O-State event March 7, which raised more than $50,000 for student scholarships.

NEW YORK CITY: Members of the New York City Chapter showed their excitement during the 2015 Cactus Bowl January 2 when OSU defeated Washington 30-22.

KANSAS CITY: Former Cowboy basketball player Keiton Page joined members of the Kansas City Chapter for a Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament Tipoff social on March 11.



MAY 28

Dining Out DFW — North Texas Chapter


Enid Cowboy Caravan — Cherokee Strip Chapter


McAlester Cowboy Caravan — Pittsburg County Chapter


Ponca City Cowboy Caravan — Kay County Chapter


Woodward Cowboy Caravan — Northwest Oklahoma Chapter


Honor Flight — Tulsa Chapter


Summer Picnic — Cleveland/McClain Counties Chapter


Golf Tournament — NW Arkansas Chapter


Altus Cowboy Caravan — Jackson/ Harmon Counties Chapter


Legacy Day at Philbrook — Tulsa Chapter


Freshmen Sendoff Parties — North Texas Chapter


KC Golf Tournament — Kansas City Chapter


Bedlam Run — Tulsa Chapter

SUMMER TBA Oklahoma City Cowboy Caravan SUMMER TBA Tulsa Cowboy Caravan

’50s Joseph Sewell, ’50 an husb, and his wife, Jo Ann, had their 60th anniversary on February 20, 2015. He has been retired from the banking business since 2000 but remains active. Minnie Lou Bradley, ’53 an husb, was selected for the most prestigious honor an animal agriculturist can receive — having her portrait hung in the Saddle and Sirloin Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky. The portrait presentation took place on November 16 during the 41st annual North American International Livestock Exposition. The gallery is believed to be the largest portrait collection commemorating a single industry with honorees selected by their peers. The collection was established in 1903. Donald Ferrell, ’53 journ and broad, and his wife, Sally, received the Lifetime Achievement award from Preservation Oklahoma for their efforts in preserving historic structures in Oklahoma in November. Robert Ramsey, ’54 an sci, and his wife, Loretta Ramsey, ’55 bio sci, are so thankful their health has remained good so they can enjoy the Homecoming festivities. Jean Hughes, ’55 elem ed, and her husband, Benjamin Hughes, ’55 ansi livestock op, celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary August 15, 2014.

Richard Tredway, ’59 arch, M.S. ’61, and Cherry Tredway, ’61 HEECS, Ph.D. ’92 interior design, celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on August 29, 2014 with a weekend stay at Price Tower in Bartlesville.

’60s Eddie Manley, ’60 agron, retired from the Oklahoma Department of Health. He has worked as an emergency medical service director for Oklahoma since 1999. Chet Millstead, ’60 ed, has been married to his OSU classmate, Shirley, for 57 years. The couple has eight children, and they still love the OSU Cowboys. Anita Tackett , ’60 HEECS, moved to Guthrie, Oklahoma, after her husband died in September. She is enjoying her new home and old friends. Csaba Finta, ’63 mech eng, enjoys playing with his grandkids, cruising and traveling to great places around the world. David Guggenheimer, ’63 elec and comp tech, spent 20 years serving in the Air Force and is fully retired now. He is suffering from post-polio syndrome. Ray Grimes , ’64 econ, M.S. ’67 econ, Ph.D ’70 econ, retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers. He and his wife have six grandchildren and volunteer for CASA.

Bill Baker, ’57 mgmt, is one of the founding members of the OSU POSSE. He is also one of the Cowpokes who stole the Big Red Shotgun in 1954. Bill took his granddaughters to Homecoming 2014 and convinced them to be future Cowgirls.

Gary Johnson, ’64 elec eng, retired from NASA Johnson Space Center. He now works as a consultant for J&P Technologies supporting the SAIC Flight Safety Office.

Pauletta Beaty, ’57 FRCD, and her husband, Ralph, enjoy attending Osher Lifelong Learning classes on the Stillwater campus to renew friendships in learning as retirees.

William Henry North , ’64 sec ed, retired in 2007 after teaching 42 years in Oklahoma and Missouri. He has two daughters who graduated from OSU.

Robert Currie, ’58 sec ed, has a son, John,’97 sec ed, who works as the head baseball coach at AlbaGolden High School in Alba, Texas. His daughter, Laura, ’91 HRAD, works as an aerobics teacher in Las Vegas.

David Wagner, ’64 indus eng & mgmt, retired in 2002. He and his wife, Jeanne, have eight grandchildren. Perry McNeil, ’65 math, M.S. ’67 nat & app sci, Ed.D ’73 ed stud, has two daughters, Tracy, ’85 journ and broad, and Michelle, who attended

OSU. His grandson, Dylan, also attended.

were homesick for Oklahoma and are happy to be back in Green Country.

Terence Kern, ’66 bus, was presented the 2014 Judge of the Year Award by the Oklahoma Association for Justice. He is the Senior U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Ronald Mollet , DVM ’74 vet med, and his wife, Christine Mollet, ’73 med tech, have 11 grandchildren who are all headed to OSU if it’s up to their grandparents.

Richard Litsey, ’69 Engl, retired from the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and is now the director of policy & advocacy at the National Indian Health Board in Washington, D.C. H i s w i fe, El a i n e, works part time as a social worker with the elderly. They have been married 46 years and have one son, Brian. Marilyn Sparks, ’69 elem ed, and her husband, Charles Sparks, ’73 mgmt, are both retired.

’70s Diane Culwell, M.S. ’70 sec ed, retired from Bell Helicopter in 2013. Now she travels, plays golf and works as a docent for the arboretum. Kathy Rhodes, ’71 spec ed, is proud of her son Toby Rhodes, ’02 bio sci, who is practicing dentistry at Dental Depot in Midwest City, Oklahoma. His first child, Presley Paige, was born March 20, 2014. Toby played baseball at OSU from 1999 to 2002. Mark Lobo, ’72 mech eng, works as the managing director at Valve Systems International, a startup company to commercialize patent pending severe service control valve. Geraldine Montgomery, ’72 elem ed, became a purchasing director at Downstream Casino in Quapaw, Oklahoma. Gary Byrd, ’74 bio sci, has been selected to participate in the Phippen Museum 41st Western Art Show and Sale May 23-25 in Prescott, Arizona. He a nd hi s wi fe Karen are now living in Sandia Park, New Mexico. Leslie Easley, ’74 soc, and his wife, Rhoda, moved back to Oklahoma from Florida in June. They

Tony Fleming, ’75 micro, currently works as a process authority for Ameriqual Foods. He and his wife, Carmen, have their daughter and three grandchildren living with them to make life interesting. Donella Hodgkins, ’75 soc, is enjoying life in New Hampshire with her husband, Russell. Fred Oliver, ’75 social sci, M.S. ’80 HPER, retired in May 2013 after a 37year coaching career. His current employer is Cardinal’s Sports Center. Lois Kobel, ‘76 nursing, has one granddaughter born December 10, 2014 and one great-granddaughter. Steve Rader, ’76 gen ag, and his wife, Linda, have three children who graduated from OSU; Justin, ’07 plant & soil sci, Haley, ’09 an sci, and Sarah, ’13 acctg. Vicki McNeil, ’77 music, M.S. ’78 curr instruct, Ph.D. ’81 std per & guid, is the vice president for student engagement at Lamar University in Texas. She is married to Wayne McNeil, M.S. ’79 crop sci, Ph.D. ’82 agron. William Woods, ’77 zoo, M.S. ’79 physio, and his wife, Sue Woods, ’76 micro, M.S. ’79 micro, Ph.D. ’82 micro, have a Cowboy family. Their three sons also graduated from OSU: Chris, ’07 biochem & molecular bio & micro, Will, ’09 cell & molec bio, DO ’14 osteopathic med, and Clifton, ’12 chem eng. Steven Ashby, ’78 fire prot & saf tech, i s h a p py to a n nounce the birth of his fourth grandchild, River Stuart Ashby, who started early in an OSU outfit. Stan Keller, ’78 ag ed, is married to Rose Anne Keller, ’77 acctg. Stan works for Energy Systems International as a tech lead installing pipeline software. Anne is manager of the NGL Research team at Wood Mackenzie, Inc., a global energy consultancy.


Deborah Williams, ’78 CTM, retired this year as an elementary school teacher for Albuquerque Public Schools in New Mexico. She is married to Frank Williams, ’78 civ eng.

Kevin Wheeler, ’79 spch, Phil , ’10 HRAD, Hope, ’80 fin, and Paige celebrated the start of the Christmas season with their Pistol Pete mustaches.

David K. Pennington, center, is the president of the American Association of School Administration in Washington, D.C. Native American dancers from Ponca City, Oklahoma, participated in his installation ceremony.

OSU graduate leads international educational organization David K. Pennington, superintendent of the Ponca City Public School District in Oklahoma, is serving as the new president of the American Association of School Administration. The group is a professional organization for school superintendents and more than 10,000 global educational leaders, advocating for the highest quality public education. AASA celebrated its 150th anniversary at the annual convention in San Diego. Pennington is the second Oklahoma superintendent and the only OSU graduate to serve as president. He earned three degrees from OSU including a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1977, a master’s degree in educational administration in 1981 and a doctorate in education in 1999. Pennington was officially sworn in during an installation ceremony held in conjunction with AASA’s Legislative Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. “The challenges we’re facing in public education today represent significant opportunities for AASA to grow,” he says.



“It will be critical to raise the organization’s membership so that every superintendent in this country will be able to turn to AASA as a valuable resource in their respective efforts to improve school systems nationwide. I look forward to working with AASA as well as thousands of school superintendents in my new role.” Pennington served on AASA’s governing board from 2004 to 2010 and has been a member of the organization as well as the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators since 1993. The president of OASA in 2004, he continues to serve on its board of directors. “David is an outstanding leader in public education, not only in his home state of Oklahoma but throughout the country,” says Daniel A. Domenech, AASA executive director. “Working with David as president will strengthen AASA as we move forward to bolster school districts and continue to improve student achievement. I look forward to his leadership as president.”

’80s Thomas Brunsteter, ’80 for, is a water operator and assistant manager for a water treatment facility in rural southeastern Kansas. Frances Church, ’80 acctg, M.S. ’81 acctg, retired early in December 2014 after 33 years in public accounting. Roger DiSalvatore, ’80 univ stud, and his wife have 13 grandchildren between them. One grandchild is attending OSU now. Barbara Gahagan, ’80 elm ed, is the principal at Mangum Junior High and Middle Schools in Oklahoma. She is married to Bruce Gahagan, ’79 sec ed. Trey Smart, ’80 journ, is happy to announce his oldest daughter, Hannah, married Ryan Sawyers in March 2014. Carol Schmitz , ’75 bus, M.S. ’81 higher ed, recently retired from the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Southern California where she earned her doctorate in 1997 while on staff full time. She has now relocated to Oklahoma and is teaching in the Higher Education program within OSU’s College of Education. Marcia Wilson, ’81 HRAD, has two children, four grandchildren, one great-grandson, two dogs and two cats. She will retire in three years. She is a 12-year breast cancer survivor and two-year heart attack survivor.

Keep Us Posted Alumni Association members may submit information to be published as a classnote online and in STATE magazine based on availability of space. Announcements that are incomplete (such as marriage/union and birth announcements without spouse/partner information) or older than a year may not be considered for publication. Nora Foster, ’83 per mgmt, is the founder and owner of From Here to Africa Safaris. Barry Hinson, ’83 sec ed, is the head basketball coach at Southern Illinois University.

Clearly print your information and mail to Class Notes, 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078. Information can also be emailed to info@orangeconnection.org or submitted online at orangeconnection.org/update. A L U M N U S /A L U M N A


Laurie Cowell, ’85 elem ed, M.S. ’91 FRCD, transferred jobs to the LeFlore County Health Department in Poteau, Oklahoma, to work in the Child Guidance Program as a child development specialist. Brian Russell, ’85 mktg, and his wife, Valerie Russell, ’85 organ admin, have two daughters, Betsy, ’10 nutri sci, who works as a dental hygienist in Oklahoma City, and Bailey, ’12 HDFS, who is finishing her master’s degree in speech pathology at the University of Central Oklahoma. Billie Ross, Ed.D ’86, ed admin, has a granddaughter, Micah, who is currently a junior at OSU studying mechanical engineering.








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


David DeGeorge, ’90 acctg, is happy to announce the publishing of his novel, Friendship, w r i t te n a b o u t a group of friends in college and how they deal with others and their situations. Kimberly Kirschner, ’91 bus, is now working for HomeAdvisors managing their International Accounting group. Marion Fry, ’96 sec ed, was elected as associate district judge for LeFlore County, Oklahoma, and was invested in January 2015. Brian Conly, ’97 FRCD, was recently named the new deputy director of the Office of Early Childhood at the Colorado Department of Human Sciences.





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)


P O S I T I O N (n o a b b r e v 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

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


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







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 Presnal Tulsa is an orange town — at least that’s what Tulsa Chapter President Mike Presnal says. More than 40,000 OSU alumni reside in the Tulsa area. Presnal is in charge of organizing those alumni and leading one of the most successful alumni chapters. “Tulsa is an OSU city, and we want to keep it that way,” Presnal says. A native of Stillwater, Presnal was born a Cowboy. His parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and brother all graduated from OSU. His grandfather, Robert Price, was head of the Agricultural Education Department and later inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame. OSU employed Pistol Pete joins Tulsa Chapter President Mike Presnal after a run. both of his parents. “I felt no pressure to attend OSU,” jokes Presnal. As a student, Presnal took advantage of every opportunity he could to get involved. He participated in Concert Chorale, the Student Union ­— Mike Presnal Activities Board, Kappa Sigma fraternity and President’s Leadership The Tulsa Chapter holds several events throughout the year Council. He also spent a summer studying at OSU-Kyoto in to help raise funds to support OSU students. In addition to watch Japan and worked at Carmike Cinema. He graduated in 1995 parties at Dave and Buster’s, the chapter participates in Albert with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. G’s Bedlam Run through downtown Tulsa. The group hosts an “I loved my time at OSU,” Presnal says. “Some of my favorite annual event for OSU Legacies and a Cowboy Crawl in the Blue memories are just walking through our beautiful campus, going Dome District. In the past six years, the chapter’s biggest event, to basketball games at Gallagher-Iba Arena, collecting Joe’s cups Vintage O-State, has raised more than $150,000 in scholarship and reading the O’Colly.” funds that have been awarded to more than 100 students. The connections he made at OSU also helped him get Under Presnal’s leadership, the Tulsa Chapter has continued involved after graduation. Two of his fellow PLC peers, Nicole to grow. Last year, the chapter raised more than $42,000 and Bostian Trantham and Sonya Beck Widowski, served as Tulsa presented 22 scholarships to Tulsa-area students. Their goal this Chapter presidents. They encouraged him to attend alumni meetyear is to raise $50,000 for scholarships. ings but he resisted until one night about six years ago. “Ultimately, my decision to attend OSU was influenced by the “I went to one meeting and I was hooked,” Presnal says. “It scholarships I received,” Presnal says. “That is one of the reasons feels great to give back to the university that gave me so much.” I’m so passionate about helping our chapter raise scholarship funds.” TULSA CHAPTER BY THE NUMBERS In his spare time, Presnal and his wife, Jaclyn, love to travel. 46,271 alumni and friends They have visited Italy, Hawaii, 4,171 members Puerto Rico, France, Spain and 4,587 current students from Tulsa County Mexico in the last few years. 60 miles from Stillwater They also enjoy running together.

“Ultimately, my decision to attend OSU was influenced by the scholarships I received. That is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about helping our chapter raise scholarship funds.”



Trae Gray, ’98 ag econ, founder of LandownerFirm.com has moved into a 3,600-square-foot, custom designed technologically advanced law office overlooking Lake Carmack on his ranch in Coal County, Oklahoma. Julie Bond–Ledford, ’99 ag econ, M.S. ‘01 ag ed, is excited to announce the birth of her son, Brylan Tucker Ledford, born Feb. 27, 2014. Chad Lukenbaugh, ’99 arch, has been promoted to associate at KSQ Architects. He has been with KSQ since 2010 and specializes in design visualization, building information modeling, and developing and implementing new technologies for the firm. His experience includes the development of early Revit projects and creating design visualizations to support multifamily, mixed use and educational projects.

’00s Tammy Gibson, ’00 elem ed, adopted a daughter from Haiti, Ella Joy Marie Gibson, 4. Ella joins big sister, Evan, 13, and big brother, Ethan, 9. Penelope Haynes, Ed.D ’00 ed admin, retired from education in 2013. She is currently a financial representative for Modern Woodmen of America. Scott Biggs, ’01 ag econ, and his wife, Dr. Rosslyn Biggs, ‘01 ag econ, DVM ’04, welcomed the birth of their second daughter, Spencer Elizabeth Biggs, on October 25, 2014. Spencer joins her older sister Maguire Biggs, 4, as the next generation of OSU Cowboys. Brandon Newland , ’01 int bus, M.S. ’13 int stud, is traveling to Jamaica to spend at least two years as a lay missioner with Franciscan Mission Service, a Catholic nonprofit which prepares and supports lay missioners in order to address issues of poverty. Emily Steele, ’01 ed, and her husband, Jimmy, welcomed a baby girl, Josephine Ruth, in May.

Carrie Hardison, ’02 ag econ, and her husband, Stephen Hardison, ’00 plant & soil sci, have two sons, Grayson and Tristan. Matthew Holland, ’03 an sci, married C. Marie Arnold on April 26, 2014, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Amanda Seidl, ’03 ag ed, switched jobs. She went from working for Hibu for nine years to sales at RN Concrete Products, Inc. in Perry. She sells aerobic and septic systems, storm shelters, concrete pads and ready mix. Leslie Zimmerman, ’03 DHM, has been promoted to senior associate at KSQ Architects. She joined the firm in 2009, bringing expertise in revenue analysis and maintaining operating budgets. She specializes in the operations, office policies, and employee benefit administration for all of KSQ’s five regional offices. J. Barrett Shipp, ‘04 poli sci, has become a partner with the law firm of Heinrichs & De Gennaro, P.C., where his practice will continue to focus on probate, trust and fiduciary litigation. In 2014, he was nominated by his peers in the San Antonio Scene’s publication as a Best Lawyer in the fields of probate law and probate and estate litigation. He has also been elected to serve as president of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association beginning in June 2015. Pedro Moreno, DVM ’05 vet med, and his wife, Dannielle Moreno, DVM ’05 vet med, have two daughters, Charlotte Olivia and Dannielle Jayne. Dannielle Moreno now works at Voorhees Veterinary Center in Voorhees, New Jersey. Matthew Robertson , ’05 fin, and Jennifer (Sepulvado) Robertson, ’06 acctg, are proud to announce the birth of their son, Henr y Mat thew Robertson, on March 17, 2014. Henry joins big sister Sutton. Adam Fenderson, ’06 mech eng, joined Chart Cooler Service Company in Tulsa as an applications engineer in January 2015.

Davis Zane, ’06 geo, married Erin O’Donnell on August 8, 2015. Kyle Griffin, ’07 ag econ, and his wife, Shea Griffin, ’08 ag econ, welcomed Karsten Ian to the family on Oct. 1, 2014. He joins big sister, Kelbry. Jacqulyn Forte, ‘08 fin, ’11 acctg, received her CPA certification in August 2014. She gave birth to a future OSU Cowgirl, Sienna Rose Forte, in December 2014. Jack Werner, ’08 construc tech, will be inaugurated as the 2015 chairman of the Commercial Realtor’s Alliance. He is the owner of A to Z Inspections and the first master inspector in the state designated by the Oklahoma Residential and Commercial Inspection Association. Kandace Carpenter, ’09 pols sci, opened her own law practice, The Law Office of Carpenter & Deisher, LLC in July 2014. The law office is located in Funkstown, Maryland. Myriah Johnson, ’09 AGEC, is happy to announce her engagement to Chris Looney. The pair will be married on June 13, 2015. Their reception will be held at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.

’10s Kenneth Lawson, ’10 soc, was the recipient of a successful kidney transplant on December 11, 2014.

Brandon Byrd, ’11 mktg & mgmt, worked at Warner Bros. Studios and escorted Christian Bale and a Make-A-Wish Foundation family through the Batman exhibits as Bale shared stories about making the Dark Knight trilogy.

Vance Lewis, Ed.D ’12 higher ed, received a postdoctoral fellowship in management and marketing at the University of Florida and has been appointed to The Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. Katherine Liotta, ’12 HDFS, married Wade Taft on December 27, 2014 in Tulsa.

Andrew Giger, ’13 pols sci, enrolled at DePaul School of Law in Chicago after graduation. He will graduate with his Juris Doctorate in May 2016. Lawrence Harris, ’13 music, won Native American Music Award’s Record of the Year on November 7, 2014. His singing career spans 30 years, and he has performed in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. His signature operatic roles are Scarpia and Rigoletto. A former OSU Cowboy football player and NFL lineman for the Houston Oilers, Harris recently stepped back on the field to sing the National Anthem for the OSU versus Florida State NCAA 2014 season opener, and for the Green Bay Packers before the 2012 and 2013 NFC Division Championship Playoff games.

Friends & Family Dean Mendenhall and his wife, Elizabeth Ann, stay very busy volunteering at church, the Lion’s Club and other community organizations. Their significant family includes 36 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Mindi Ratzlaff retired in 2013 after 26 years with the U.S. Postal Service in Boulder, Colorado. Carlene Steele has been a member of the OSU Alumni Association for 60 years.


Book In Corner Memoriam

Alton Carter, ’09

Alton Carter, youth director for First United Methodist Church in Stillwater and a 2009 OSU graduate, recently wrote a young adult novel titled The Boy Who Carried Bricks. In this true account, Carter guides readers through overcoming a troubled childhood filled with neglect, countless foster homes and a boys’ ranch. Through years of turmoil, Carter always found someone — a coach, teacher or counselor — who helped him realize he was better than his circumstances. His book was published by The RoadRunner Press and edited by 1985 OSU graduate Jeanne Devlin. Janelda Lane, a Stillwater artist who serves as assistant youth director at FUMC, created the book’s illustrations. Lane graduated from OSU in 1986. The Boy Who Carried Bricks is available in public libraries, as well as at Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City and Hastings Books in Stillwater, and nationally online at indiebound.org, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Carter lives in Stillwater with his wife and two boys.



Dr. Patricia Noel (Looker) Chism, DVM ‘95, died November 19, 2014 in Etna, California, with her loving husband, Dennis Moyles, at her side after a four-year battle against ovarian cancer. She was 55 years old. She was born December 24, 1959 in San Francisco. She earned an animal science degree at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine at OSU and did her internship and residency in large animal surgery at the University of Tennessee. While a vet student, she was the U.S. representative to the International Veterinary Student Association traveling to England, Europe and South Africa to attend meetings. In California, she worked in equine veterinary practices in Santa Ynez and Salinas before coming to Scott Valley in Siskiyou County in 2006 to set up her own large animal practice. Rick Dixon died June 8, 2014. He was born on July 12, 1942. He graduated from OSU in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He was married to Kay Lou Dixon. Joycele Hemphill died October 2, 2014 af ter a brief bout with cancer. She was 59. Joycele was born on March 18, 1955, in Stillwater. She graduated from Stillwater’s C.E. Donart High School in 1973. She continued her education at OSU, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1977. She was a staunch supporter of the OSU Cowboys, holding football season tickets for many years even after she moved away from Stillwater. Her family built, owned and operated several businesses, including 51 Motel in Stillwater until 1980. In 1978, Ms. Hemphill owned and operated a popular bar, JD & Co. She later worked for Ropers Stillwater Hatchery before moving to Anacortes, Washington, where she worked for Specialty Seafoods. In 1986, Joycele moved to Dallas, and began a 28-year career in telecommunications for Sprint, which resulted in her relocation to Olathe, Kansas. Through reorganizations and merger s, her ca reer concluded at Ericsson.

Martha Jordan died December 8, 2014, in The Woodlands, Texas. She was 80 years old. She was born Martha Morton in Salina, Kansas on January 6, 1934. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lt. Colonel James G. Jordan, whom she wed in Mannheim, Germany on December 7, 1957. She was raised in Wichita, Kansas and she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 1955. She met her husband, Jim, while serving as civilian support staff for the U.S. Army. After Army life allowed her family to settle down in Stillwater, she went on to obtain a master’s degree in counseling in 1974 and a doctorate degree in education from Oklahoma State University in 1978. She dedicated many years of service to the Career Counseling Center at OSU. After retirement, she moved to The Woodlands, Texas, where she excelled as a competitive swimmer in the masters division with The Woodlands Aquatic Club. She was an avid reader and loved to travel both domestically and internationally. Her excursions took her as far as China, Russia, South America, New Zealand and Australia. Margaret Mae Malm died November 15, 2014, after a long struggle with cancer. She was 86. She was born May 6, 1928. She graduated from Oklahoma A&M in 1950 with a degree in psychology, and then received a master’s degree in psychology from a Chicago-area school. She had a passion for gems and minerals, as well as wild plants, and volunteered many hours for several national parks, both cataloguing plants and physically working to eradicate invasive species. After taking annual unpaid leaves to volunteer at Utah’s Zion Park most of her working years, she took early retirement and built her dream home in Silver Reef in order to be near to her beloved Zion, where she volunteered well into her 80s and worked as a ranger when budget allowed. She also traveled to Antarctica, Alaska, Hawaii and Australia, and was a volunteer tour guide with the Sierra Club, as well as a dedicated Elderhostel participant. Before retirement, she worked in Los Angeles for Kodak, trouble-shooting Technicolor film use in the movie industry. At that time she also volunteered for the Los Angeles Sherriff’s department.

Ruth Bullock Ward died May 10, 2014. She was 99. Mrs. Ward was born on January 22, 1915, in Stillwater, where she lived almost 90 years. She graduated with honors from Oklahoma A&M College with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1935, and she began a long career in teaching in January 1936. She was a well-regarded and popular English teacher at Stillwater High School until 1949, when she married Richard A. Ward, a civil engineering student at Oklahoma A&M she had met in the library. She later received a master’s degree in secondary education, also from Oklahoma A&M. In 1970, Mrs. Ward began teaching freshman composition at OSU. She was the last surviving direct descendent of a pioneering Oklahoma family. Her maternal grandparents settled in Stillwater in 1894, and her mother, Eloise Bullock, was among the first students to attend Oklahoma A&M. Mrs. Ward retired from OSU in 1981 but continued to be active and involved in community service work, including volunteer work at the Stillwater Public Library and the Sheerar Museum, until past age 97. A tribute to her teaching, Mrs. Ward continued to receive a steady stream of visits and communications from her former high school and college students until her death. A scholarship is being established in Mrs. Ward’s name at OSU to benefit students studying English. George R. Waller Jr., Professor Emeritus, died March 23, 2015. He was born July 14, 1927, in Clinton, North Carolina. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II. He was married for 64 years to Hilda Marie Lominac, and the couple had three daughters. Dr. Waller graduated in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and biological chemistry from North Carolina State University and received his master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1952. In 1956, he came to Stillwater as an assistant professor in the newly established department of biochemistry. He completed his doctorate degree in biochemistry in 1961, achieving the rank of full professor in 1967.


Boyle Paris, Juanita E., ’48, Medford, Oklahoma

Luttrell, Donald A., ’50, Dallas, Texas

Bradley, Mac L., ’48, Blackwell, Oklahoma

Malm, Margaret M., ’50, Leeds, Utah

Buckner, Jacque, ’48, ’69, Elk City, Oklahoma

Maples, Horace C., ’50, Fort Worth, Texas

Hall, Norma L., ’48, Tallahassee, Florida

Morris, Paul E., ’50, Ardmore, Oklahoma

Huckett, Virginia V., ’40, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Housman, Gerald L., ’48, ’51, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Paris, Jim, ’50, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Beard, Willedra M., ’41, Oklahoma City

McDonald, Jr., T-Bone J., ’48, Wanette, Oklahoma

Brown, Bob D., ’41, Dallas, Texas

Misch, Rose Ella E., ’48, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Pruitt, Wayne D., ’50, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Matoy, Ray R., ’41, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Parkinson, Bill H., ’48, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mitchell, Susan J., ’41, ’58, ’69, Fort Worth, Texas

Schuermann, Alice A., ’48, Perry, Oklahoma

Brown, Harriet M., ’42, Oklahoma City

Schuetz, Bob W., ’48, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Cole, Ralph M., ’42, Katy, Texas

Toomey, Dora G., ’48, Fort Myers, Florida

Metcalf, Harold F., ’42, Honolulu, Hawaii

Ball, Buster, ’49, Lawton, Oklahoma

Murray, David G., ’42, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hayes, Larry K., ’49, ’59, ’62, Oklahoma City

Haight, Bonnie G., ’43, San Antonio, Texas

Henson, Marietta, ’49, Enid, Oklahoma

Schnitzer, Merrill M., ’43, ’49, ’52, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Jennings, Edd E., ’49, Oklahoma City

Trumbly, William D., ’43, ’47, Oklahoma City

LaBass, Helen L., ’49, Fairbury, Nebraska

Wiehe, Rod R., ’45, Menomonie, Wisconsin

Morphis, Bert H., ’49, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Knight, Lewis K., ’46, ’59, Spring Branch, Texas

Osborn, Daniel G., ’49, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Brown, Lee M., ’47, Oklahoma City

Tippens, Jr., Ed E., ’49, Hammon, Oklahoma

Creager, Margie L., ’47, ’71, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Wachtman, Jr., H.C., ’49, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Johnson, H.J., ’47, Norman, Oklahoma

Yarbrough, John L., ’49, Ardmore, Oklahoma

Kerbo, Elton, ’47, Midwest City, Oklahoma

Apple, Clancy E., ’50, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Rawlings, Gloria A., ’47, Norman, Oklahoma

Davis, Jackie A., ’50, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Savage, Ted R., ’47, Ada, Oklahoma

Farmer, Carol L., ’50, Mustang, Oklahoma

Willis, Bill R., ’47, Duke, Oklahoma

Hamilton, Billy G., ’50, Ardmore, Oklahoma

Allred, Bobby J., ’48, Prosper, Texas

Hetrick, Coach W., ’50, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Antene, Gary G., ’48, Oklahoma City

Hopper, John H., ’50, Perkins, Oklahoma

Beasley, Rachel W., ’48, Oklahoma City

Knight, James E., ’50, Tulsa, Oklahoma

The OSU Alumni Association has received notice that the following graduates died from October 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015. Their graduation year(s) and last place of residence are listed:

Ward, Thomas E., ’50, Bartlesville, Oklahoma Willis, William R., ’50, ’54, Granite, Oklahoma Brandenburg, Jim A., ’51, Tulsa, Oklahoma Burrows, John H., ’51, Claremore, Oklahoma Dalke, Dan, ’51, Altus, Oklahoma Ebert, Bill E., ’51, Oklahoma City Fitter, Sy J., ’51, Fort Worth, Texas Hawkins, Eldon, ’51, Roosevelt, Oklahoma Horne, Sr., Bill J., ’51, Ada, Oklahoma Montgomery, Jr., Quincy E., ’51, Bartlesville, Oklahoma Nixon, Maxine L., ’51, Medicine Lodge, Kansas Qualls, Jack D., ’51, ’54, ’85, Oklahoma City Roof, Kenneth E., ’51, Thomas, Oklahoma Taylor, Gene, ’51, Barnsdall, Oklahoma Turner, Glen R., ’51, Oklahoma City Williams, Joyce J., ’51, Tulsa, Oklahoma Ahrberg, Bob F., ’52, Stillwater, Oklahoma Cypert, Mollyann, ’52, Ardmore, Oklahoma Franzmann, John R., ’52, ’56, ’60, Stillwater, Oklahoma Hintz, Gordon D., ’52, ’53, Sugar Land, Texas Knight, Max A., ’52, Ponca City, Oklahoma


Book Corner

Betty Selakovich Casey, ’80

Betty Selakovich Casey, editor of TulsaKids magazine and a 1980 OSU graduate, recently wrote and illustrated her second picture book titled That is a Hat, a tribute to the flora and fauna of the American Southwest. As a published book author, Casey follows in the footsteps of her father, the late Daniel Selakovich, who was a professor in the OSU College of Education from 1963 to 1990 and wrote several books about education. Published by The RoadRunner Press, That is a Hat centers on a group of ranch animals and their desert friends that discover a rancher’s lost cowboy hat. Some are convinced it’s just a highfalutin tumbleweed. While waiting to find the hat’s owner, the animals have a little fun, using the hat in many humorous ways. That is a Hat can be found in public libraries, as well as at The Book End in Tulsa and Hastings Books in Stillwater, and nationally online at indiebound.org, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com. Casey, who has three grown children, writes and paints in her Tulsa home, where she lives with her husband.


Alumna leads minority development Michelle Sourie Robinson, a 1990 Oklahoma State University alumna, is the new president and CEO of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, which facilitates more than $20 billion annually in business contracts between corporations and certified minority business enterprise. A native of Oklahoma, Robinson received her bachelor’s degree in organizational administration at OSU and later earned a law degree from the University of Kansas. She spent 13 years at Home Depot creating its first supplier diversity department and supporting strategy, before founding Give & Receive, a nonprofit organization that connects individuals and corporations to various charities. At Home Depot, Robinson also led the varied functions to support the company’s multibillion dollar Government Services Administration contract including the sourcing and development of women-owned, minority-owned and small businesses, the training and support of more than 400 product and service buyers, and multilevel outreach activities on behalf of the entire Home Depot enterprise.

Her corporate career began as the youngest and first African-American attorney employed by Wal-Mart as corporate counsel. “We are privileged to have Michelle in this role,” says Steve Kiefer, vice president of global purchasing and supply chain. “She brings great value and expertise which will benefit the MMSDC at every level.” Robinson has served on numerous boards including the National Minority Supplier Development Council, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council executive committee, and vice chair of Diversity Information Resources. She is also active in the community where she led her church’s strategic planning committee. Robinson serves on the Howard University School of Communications Board of Visitors, Southern University MBA Advisory Board, and was an active member of Leadership Atlanta. She and her husband, OSU alumnus Michael Robinson, have relocated to Detroit, Michigan.

Ball, Margie E., ’55, Watauga, Texas Beaubien, Philippe E., ’55, Sherman, Texas Howerton, William W., ’55, Alex, Oklahoma Jordan, Martha L., ’55, ’74, ’78, The Woodlands, Texas Nichols, Joe D., ’55, ’56, Fort Worth, Texas Buie, Mary L., ’56, Stillwater, Oklahoma Crossland, Jim I., ’56, ’61, Newkirk, Oklahoma Earnest, Jerry B., ’56, Madill, Oklahoma Evans, Joy J., ’56, ’85, Stillwater, Oklahoma Hinchey, Jr., Keith K., ’56, Oklahoma City Kopel, Bernice, ’56, ’61, ’70, Stillwater, Oklahoma Pope, Billy G., ’56, Loyal, Oklahoma Sharp, William G., ’56, Stilwell, Oklahoma Telford, Bob R., ’56, Oklahoma City Lynn, Georgia M., ’57, ’62, Oklahoma City Spence, John H., ’57, Oak Ridge, Tennessee Donahoo, Lanora M., ’58, ’86, Enid, Oklahoma

Michelle Robinson’s corporate career began as

Gengler, Robert H., ’58, ’59, Enid, Oklahoma

the youngest and first African-American attorney

Williamson, Jack E., ’58, ’59, Maumelle, Arkansas

employed by Wal-Mart as corporate counsel.

Barnett, Donnie G., ’59, Clemmons, North Carolina Beattie, Dick D., ’59, Locust Grove, Oklahoma

Passages (continued from page 119) Moore, Wayne H., ’52, Stillwater, Oklahoma Norton, Wauneva M., ’52, Wilmington, North Carolina Sites, George K., ’52, Norman, Oklahoma Thomas, Mildred A., ’52, ’53, Arkadelphia, Arkansas Casey, Gerald, ’53, Shattuck, Oklahoma Cassell, Gladys M., ’53, Faxon, Oklahoma



Egermeier, Edward R., ’53, ’56, Edmond, Oklahoma

Speaker, John E., ’53, Kerrville, Texas

Kottke, Deloris W., ’53, Guymon, Oklahoma

Tate, Kathryn S., ’53, ’55, Carnegie, Oklahoma

Kouts, Vernon E., ’53, Edmond, Oklahoma

Youngker, Joe L., ’53, Perkins, Oklahoma

Maher, Nancy B., ’53, Ardmore, Oklahoma

Dunn, Joanne H., ’54, Tempe, Arizona

Markwell, Jr., Ed L., ’53, Oklahoma City

Hallford, Jesse L., ’54, Lincoln, California

Mercer, Lyndon L., ’53, Kingfisher, Oklahoma

Lyon, Wade N., ’54, Oklahoma City

Montgomery, Jr., Robert E., ’53, Duncan, Oklahoma

Morris, Billy L., ’54, Othello, Washington

Hale, Jerry B., ’59, ’61, Bixby, Oklahoma Hart, Gordon P., ’59, ’76, Tulsa, Oklahoma Myers-Wapp, Josephine, ’59, Lawton, Oklahoma Taylor, Donnie J., ’59, Colleyville, Texas Wilson, Jim R., ’59, Dalhart, Texas Donley, J.B., ’60, Memphis, Tennessee Jeskey, Arlene S., ’60, ’70, Oklahoma City

Quick, Kenneth E., ’60, Meridian, Idaho

Milner, Billy J., ’67, Edmond, Oklahoma

Manning, Jerry D., ’75, Mesa, Arizona

Reel, Janice F., ’85, ’91, Oklahoma City

Benn, Gerald C., ’61, ’75, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Davis, Darrel D., ’68, ’83, Sugar Land, Texas

Miller, John M., ’75, ’83, Claremore, Oklahoma

Noller, Karen M., ’86, Arlington, Virginia

Burkey, James E., ’61, Seminole, Oklahoma

Marr, Jams L., ’68, ’74, Oklahoma City

Wheeler, Phil, ’75, Chickasha, Oklahoma

Faulkner, Sandra K., ’87, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Carney, Alvie N., ’61, McAlester, Oklahoma

Rulon, Phillip R., ’68, Flagstaff, Arizona

Williams, Daniel B., ’75, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Schnake, Patrick D., ’87, Jenks, Oklahoma

Langley, James D., ’61, Santee, California

Thompson, Edward R., ’68, ’95, Oklahoma City

Heine, Robert B., ’76, ’78, Gainesville, Texas

Roark, Rodney W., ’88, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Moore, Hilliard H., ’61, Littleton, Colorado

Bradley, James N., ’69, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Homer, Raymond E., ’76, ’79, ‘02, Fletcher, Oklahoma

Scudder, Norma I., ’88, Norman, Oklahoma

Perkins, Gary D., ’61, Tonkawa, Oklahoma

Pate, Nancy B., ’69, Durham, North Carolina

Hemphill, Joycele, ’77, Olathe, Kansas

Soult, Timothy A., ’89, Oklahoma City

Schauer, Pat A., ’61, Manhattan Beach, California

Traynor, William T., ’69, Stillwater, Oklahoma

James, Dennis D., ’77, Morrison, Oklahoma

Hadley, Barton C., ’91, Lawton, Oklahoma

Snyder-Reed, Beverly A., ’61, Springfield, Missouri

Trogdon, Jr., Lloyd E., ’69, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Miles, Rodney J., ’77, Oklahoma City

Chism, Patricia N., ’95, Salinas, California

Harper, Larry D., ’62, Skiatook, Oklahoma

Conkling, Gary E., ’70, Yukon, Oklahoma

Sprouse, Jr., Jim B., ’77, ’79, Oklahoma City

Wilson, Annetta C., ’95, Rociada, New Mexico

VanHorn, Jr., William H., ’62, Hot Springs, Arkansas

Pappan, William L., ’70, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Arnold, Steve A., ’78, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mays, Betty A., ’96, ’00, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Woodson, Jim L., ’62, ’63, Atherton, California

Hagan, James C., ’71, ’74, Edmond, Oklahoma

Custer, Susan H., ’78, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Smith, Troy L., ’97, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Zeman, Dale E., ’62, Medford, Oklahoma

Swales, Larry D., ’71, ’72, Irving, Texas

Garner, Richard D., ’78, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Andrews, Hilary K., ’01, Edmond, Oklahoma

Heusel, Ron J., ’63, Oklahoma City

George, Paul A., ’72, Oklahoma City

Hamilton, Lynn M., ’78, Hydro, Oklahoma

Holman, Skyler W., ’03, Sapulpa, Oklahoma

LeForce, Henry C., ’63, Pond Creek, Oklahoma

Rasmussen, Kay K., ’72, Kingfisher, Oklahoma

Matlock, Mark S., ’78, Joplin, Missouri

Coe, Brenda L., ’04, Glencoe, Oklahoma

Perry, Karen L., ’63, Perry, Oklahoma

Shimanek, Evelyn M., ’72, ’75, Enid, Oklahoma

McAbee, Rod K., ’78, ’82, ’94, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Sherbon, Jeremy M., ’04, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Sykora, Butch J., ’63, Marietta, Oklahoma

Becker, John O., ’73, Enid, Oklahoma

Shiever, Vance, ’78, Morrison, Oklahoma

Jenkins, Alana J., ’09, Henryetta, Oklahoma

Helmer, David G., ’64, Roanoke, Virginia

Conway, Patricia K., ’73, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Elsom, Linda H., ’80, Oklahoma City

Wilson, Heather M., ’09, ’14, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Marshall, Chuck L., ’64, Salisbury, Maryland

Dixon, David E., ’73, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Honska, Mark E., ’80, Altamonte Springs, Florida

Taylor, Michael D., ’13, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Peery, Larry J., ’64, ’67, Fayette, Missouri

Hinshaw, Sunny L., ’73, ’75, Springdale, Arkansas

Moore, Steven L., ’80, Houston, Texas

Briggs, Jennifer L., ’14, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Johnson, David G., ’65, Kanopolis, Kansas

Roberts, Gary A., ’73, ’75, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Poindexter, John P., ’80, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Merriman, Tyler T., ’14, Holdenville, Okla­homa.

Oswalt, Denzil E., ’65, ’71, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Sheline, Stephen P., ’73, Oklahoma City

Sojka, Charlie K., ’80, ’84, Salina, Kansas

Biddle, Deanna L., ’66, Edmond, Oklahoma

Thralls, Mike L., ’73, Billings, Oklahoma

Freeny, Ben C., ’81, Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida

Simmons, Mike D., ’66, Jenks, Oklahoma

Brown, Ralph E., ’74, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Howrey, Cindy M., ’81, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Agee, Jr., William E., ’67, Oklahoma City

Ellefson, Janet M., ’74, Oklahoma City

Nichols, Charles C., ’82, Norman, Oklahoma

Baker, Darrel L., ’67, ’78, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Steen, Tom L., ’74, Grove, Oklahoma

Birney, Patrick T., ’84, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Jones, Theador E., ’67, ’69, Salina, Kansas

Boggs, Virgil L., ’75, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Matthews, Felicia, ’84, ’92, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Lowe, Barry W., ’67, ’83, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Cooper, William B., ’75, Wake Forest, North Carolina

Sharp, Pat L., ’84, Edmond, Oklahoma


New Life Members A lifetime connection to America’s Brightest Orange The OSU Alumni Association would like to recognize and thank the following individuals who are now connected for life to Oklahoma State University through their new life memberships purchased in 2014. Learn more at orangeconnection.org/join about the benefits of becoming a life member or call 405-744-5368.

Russ Choate, ’04

Stacey Flener, ’11

Cari Claxton, ’11

Amanda Ford, ’12

Lindsey Clemensen, ’14

Michael Fouts

Dean Clore, ’86

Nancy Fouts, ’79

Emily Cloud, ’13

Barry Fox, ’07

Benjamin Coble, ’12

Lynley Fox, ’14

Kyla Coker, ’04

Tamara Fox, ’06, ’07

Megan Collom, ’07

M.T. Francis, ’88

Jenifer Cook, ’91

Kevin Frye, ’03

Susan Cook, ’70

Michael Fulton, ’09, ’14

Amanda Cooper, ’99

Roger Gaddis, ’79

Mark Cooper, ’98

Darrin Gambill

Tad Cooper, ’89

Dawn Gambill

Danny Correa, ’05

Megan Gardea, ’12

Megan Correa, ’06

Kelly Garroutte, ’12

Ross Cortese, ’10, ’12

Marissa Garside, ’13

Cady Coshow, ’14

Matthew Gass, ’14

Will Cosner, ’09

Edward George, ’12

Zackery Cosner

Eric Gilbert

Johnny Covalt, ’84

Darcie Golden, ’14

Cody Cramer, ’11, ’13

Kevin Gonzales, ’14

Gary Aaron, ’88

Robert Bedford

Kristin Brown, ’07

Jamie Creager, ’92

Fred Gordon, ’59

Laura Aaron, ’90

Beth Beeby, ’70, ’91

Larry Brown, ’83

Kevin Creager, ’92

Kyle Gordon, ’02

James Abbott

Larry Beeby, ’70, ’75

Zach Bryant, ’12

Jan Creveling, ’71

Randy Gordon,’12

Kay Abbott, ’81

Matthew Behrman, ’14

Barbara Buchan, ’83

Ron Crook, ’74

Celia Gose, ’78 Angela Gosnell

Ashton Adair, ’12

David Bellamy, ’13

Bryan Buchan, ’84

Sharon Crook, ’71

Allen Adams, ’91

John Berry, ’06

Richard Buchanan, ’96

Cary Cundiff, ’08

Donnie Gravlee, ’90

Bruce Adams, ’80

G. L. Best, ’70

Cayla Burdick, ’13

Janet Cundiff, ’76, ’80

Joseph Greiner, ’14

Angela Adamson, ’98

Ashton Bishop Jr., ’65, ’73, ’80

Barry Burns, ’11

Robert Dale, ’13

Jan Grisham

Mary Kate Blair, ’14

Bryan Burns, ’75, ’77, ’82

Maria Dang, ’13

Mike Grover, ’90

Victoria Burns, ’76

Michael Daniel, ’85

Dak Hall, ’14

Dora Busch

Nicole Daniel, ’95

Edwin Hall Jr., ’87

Ronnie Byford, ’78, ’80, ’84

Rebecca David, ’14

Larissa Hallmark

Tina Byford, ’78

Deejessie Davidson, ’14

Jon Hamill, ’07, ’09

Elise Cabori, ’14

Derrick Davies, ’04, ’07

Monica Hamill, ’07

Courtney Callison-Davison, ’92

Robyn Davies, ’00, ’07

Hannah Hamilton

Cleve Adamson, ’95 Warren Ahlden, ’93 Ammara Ahmad, ’14 Robert Akridge, ’83, ’89 Ahmed Al-Sakini, ’12 Aaron Allen Austin Allen, ’14 Katy Allen, ’14 Lea Ann Allen, ’80

Steven Blair, ’10 Scott Blankenship, ’11 Lisa Blevins, ’91 Helen Boatwright Travis Boatwright, ’93 Timothy Bodine, ’97, ’99, ’04 Jackie Boes, ’08

Terry Carpenter, ’84 Jim Carreker, ’70, ’72

Traci Day

Nathan Hammond, ’13

Dan Dennehy, ’72, ’76

Ginny Hamrick, ’90

Emily Dexter, ’14

Richard Hamrick, ’89

c nne Roger Allen

Lori Allmon, ’13

Micah Anderson, ’02

Teresa Angeles, ’86

Gregory Arnold, ’90, ’92

Jamie Leigh Arnold Lindsay Arnold, ’12

Corabell Arps, ’71, ’87

Michael Aubuchon, ’95

Ashley Austin, ’14

Mick Boland

Heather Borg, ’14

James Bradley, ’14 William Brezny, ’14 Bret Brickman

Lynn Brickman

Sarene Bronkey, ’13

Cody Brown, ’14

Danielle Brown, ’14

Andrea Cartwright, ’14

John Cassil, ’86, ’87 Karen Cassil, ’88

Colt Castle, ’12

Matthew Castner, ’14

Andrew Cawood, ’14

Jennifer Chandler, ’00 Morgan Chapman

Tammy Charles, ’12

Adam Dodd, ’07, ’09

Blair Hanebaum, ’14

Kevin Doeksen, ’95

Pam Harper, ’82

Gary Dotterer, ’88, ’89, ’97

Larry Harris, ’76

Randall Dryden, ’12

Morgan Harris

Daniel Duke

Jared Harrison, ’04

Judy Duke, ’83

Valerie Hart, ’13

Ryan Edmoundson, ’05

Allison Henderson, ’10, ’12

Tami Edmoundson, ’06

Seth Herring

Mary Eichinger, ’77

Samantha Heuertz, ’12

Brent Baggett, ’10, ’14

Michael Eichinger, ’77

Ivy Hill, ’14

Josie Baggett, ’13

Heather Ely, ’13

Aaron Hoak

Clark Bailey II, ’83

Seth Erdman, ’97

Andy Hodges, ’84

Kevin Bailey, ’95

Crystalle Evans, ’06, ’11

Curtis Hodges, ’12

Shelby Bailey, ’14

Jeremy Evans, ’07, ’14

Kalleigh Hodges, ’12

Tom Barclay, ’79, ’81, ’86

Alex Everett, ’05

Kim Hodges, ’84

Anna Baroni

James Ferguson, ’13

Michael Hodges, ’12

Gillian Barrett, ’14

Adam Few, ’14

Adam Hofman, ’14

Robert Barrett, ’63

Trevor Fieldsend, ’86, ’92

Jordan Hood

Jamie Barrick

Carleen Fischer, ’87

Kellan Hosstetler

Amanda Baskett, ’13

Marilyn Fischer, ’89

Eric Hove, ’96, ’97

Jamie Baumgardner, ’14

Roger Fischer, ’85

Jeromey Howard, ’05

Jerrod Beckloff, ’05

David Flener, ’12

Kate Huddleston, ’09

Jodie Bedford



Tommi Varner, ’80

Kevin Hull, ’12

Mike Mackey

Staci Negus, ’06

Susan Schaefer, ’71

Michael Husby, ’91, ’95

Robert MacKey, ’13

Beau Nelson, ’07

John Scheurich, ’12

Beverly Vavricka, ’01, ’05

Brian Hutchinson, ’09

Robbie Maples, ’13

Janae Nelson, ’14

Bob Schmitt, ’84

Javier Vazquez, ’84

Janelle Hutchinson, ’11

Danielle Marlin, ’12

Glen Nemecek, ’61

Angela Schnell, ’14

Lindsey Vise, ’05

Becky Hutton,’13

Diann Marr

Kelley Neumann, ’14

Troy Schweinberg, ’12

Walt Voss Jr., ’72

Jenny Inlow, ’00, ’02

Gary Marr

Jeffery Newell, ’14

Jonathan Scoggins, ’06

Nena Wadley, ’86

Nicholas Irby, ’11, ’14

Chance Marshall, ’14

Morgan Noland, ’10, ’13

Erik Scott, ’94

Marcy Wakeford, ’12

Gregory Johnsen, ’84

Brad Martens, ’81

Mattie Nutley Bryant, ’10

Jennifer Scott, ’94

Darryl Walker, ’84

Halston Johnson, ’13

Andrew Martin, ’14

Coree O’Donnell, ’00

Bryon Sechrest, ’98

Donna Walker, ’85

Molly Johnson, ’13

Catherine Martin, ’91

Dee Ann O’Neal

Natalie Shappa, ’12

Jana Walker

Ryan Johnson, ’13

Lauren Martin, ’12

Russell Okung, ’09

Kyle Sharon, ’03

Roger Walker, ’73, ’74

Marty Jones, ’14

Matthew Martin

Rachel Ormiston, ’14

Brea Shelton, ’12

Ronny Walker

Samantha Jones, ’14

Michael Martin, ’91

Heather Orr, ’05, ’08

Howard Shipp Jr., ’78

Amanda Watson, ’14

Amanda Kashwer, ’14

Sherry Martin-McCaughtry, ’05

Magan Osborne,’12

Jeanetta Shipp, ’77

Madison Watson, ’12

Chad Otto, ’01

Elizabeth Sholl, ’00

Lauren Waugaman, ’14

John Pannes, ’12

Kathryn Shore, ’12

Mark West, ’98

Margaret Park, ’61, ’63, ’77

Garrick Shreck, ’94, ’99

Tabitha West, ’00

Christie Parker, ’12

Gary Siebenlist, ’87

Robert Whetsell

Mark Parman, ’78

Justin Siler, ’12

LaJean Whitcomb, ’82

Jennifer Payne, ’13

Adam Smith, ’91

Amber White, ’02

Cameron Pearce, ’13

Martin Smith, ’95

Cheryl Whitfield, ’67, ’81

Samantha Pearce, ’02, ’10

Guy Sneed, ’90, ’94, ’98

David Whitfield, ’66, ’68, ’71

Roger Pearson, ’09, ’14

Andy Solomon, ’89

Matthew Wiens, ’14

Steve Perkins Jr., ’14

Melissa Solomon, ’89

Timothy Wigg, ’14

Ryan Kattchee Kirstin Keany, ’10, ’14 Karly Kelch, ’10 Sarah Kester, ’12 Emma Kincade Haley Kincannon, ’14 Timothy King, ’89, ’90 Cynthia Kirk Ryan Kirk, ’93, ’98 Jason Kirksey, ’89, ’91 Kim Kirksey, ’91

Brenda Masters, ’78, ’85, ’97 Katie McAdams, ’12 Amber McCabe, ’13 Joseph McCarthy Susan McCary, ’66 Tim McCary, ’65 Maurice McClain Jr., ’79 Kristen McConnaughey, ’13 Thomas McCurry, ’95

Zachary Kishpaugh, ’14

Michael McFarland, ’87, ’91, ’10

Kaitlin Kliewer

Abigail Peterson

Ty Sommers, ’13

Becky Wiiest, ’00

Justin Pfeiffer, ’14

John Special

Phillip Wilbourn, ’02

Beth McIntyre

Rob Pieratt, ’14

Vina Spickler, ’94

Alexander Williams, ’14

Jonathon Knopfel, ’07, ’11

Edward McIntyre, ’86

Courtney Pinkerton, ’11, ’12

Nancy Spinelli, ’88, ’97

Brent Williams, ’14

Matt Korsmo

Lisa McKelvey, ’87

Kourtney Poe, ’09

Ellen Sprehe, ’04

Lindsey Williams, ’14

Arthur Kutz

Tom McKelvey, ’88, ’91

Anna Poplin, ’14

Emily Springer, ’13

Randi Williams, ’12, ’14

Mary Kutz, ’98

Jeff McMillian, ’83

Davina Proctor, ’12

Ron St. Clair, ’59

Dylan Williky, ’14

Diana Laing, ’76

Robin McMillian, ’96

Michael Pruitt, ’14

Kay Stewart, ’63, ’65, ’73

Beth Wilson, ’05

Lee Lancaster, ’70, ’72

Ashton Mese, ’14

Rebecca Purvis, ’14

Danny Stith, ’78

Courtney Wilson, ’12

Teresa Lancaster, ’70

Daniel Mesenbrink, ’13

Karen Quarles Hassell, ’91

Aaron Strong, ’99, ’00

Lacey Wilson, ’12

Shelby Landes, ’14

Wassim Metallaoui

Robert Raab, ’83

J. D. Strong, ’93

Marissa Wilson, ’14

Cynthia Lane, ’14

Cassandra Mihm

Stephen Raiber, ’85

Whitney Strother, ’12

Matt Wilson, ’08

Charles Langer, ’76

Chris Miller, ’13

Jessica Ramsey, ’13

Jim Sughru, ’73

Dennis Wing, ’80

Kyrstan Langer, ’10

Donald Miller, ’81

Preston Ramsey, ’10

Sarah Summers, ’05, ’06

Karen Wing

Ben Lastly, ’00

Julie Milligan, ’02

Charles Randall, ’14

Stephanie Sumrall, ’12

Cort Winters, ’12

Kevin Launchbaugh,’ 01, ’03

Tommy Milligan, ’95

Brady Reavis

Ashley Swarens, ’13

Lee Wisecarver, ’14

Angela Mills

Tyler Recek, ’14

Lauren Swinney

Rick Wolfenbarger, ’79

Josh Mills, ’96

Robert Redding, ’78

Erica Tafavoti, ’14

David Womack, ’02

Cassie Mitchell, ’04, ’09

Jon Redelsperger, ’94

Katie Taft, ’12

Kim Wood, ’13

Kyle Mitchell, ’99

Tana Redelsperger, ’03

Mary Taggart, ’14

Bradley Woolfolk, ’11

Michael Mitchell, ’02, ’04

Chelsea Reed, ’14

John Taylor Jr., ’73, ’79

Ann Worden, ’79

Tonya Mitchell, ’99

Ann Reeder, ’77

Blake Tedlock, ’13

Randy Worden, ’79

Lindsay Moore, ’07

Darren Reid, ’85

Haylee Terry, ’13

Karrie Wray, ’07

Della Moulson

Clinton Reitz, ’10

Holly Thill, ’14

Ryan Wylie, ’12

Rich Moulson

Staci Riddle, ’13

Bob Thomas III, ’00

Patricia Yannes, ’14

Blanca Moya, ’01

Curtis Roark, ’13

Jonathan Thomas, ’12

John Yeaman, ’63

Randy Mueller Jr., ’11, ’13

Ryan Robinson, ’14

Julie Thomas, ’85

Justin Yearwood, ’12

Shawna Muns, ’08, ’12

Holly Robison, ’11, ’13

Carrie Tillett, ’14

DeLaine Yehle, ’75

Derek Munson, ’08

Susan Rock, ’84, ’86

Shelby Timothy, ’13

Ken Yehle, ’74, ’77 Kevin Young, ’01

ected Sarah Launchbaugh, ’02

Amanda Lawson, ’14 Anthony Lawson, ’12 Anne League, ’12

Ryan Lehnert, ’14

Marcus Lemon, ’80 Maggie Leuck, ’12

Nicholas Leuck, ’12 Dorothy Lilly, ’75

Larry Lilly, ’72, ’73, ’78

Abbey Linthicum

Cristina Lister, ’87 Darren Lister, ’91

Jarred Lopez, ’13

Christa Louthan, ’00, ’06

Jason Louthan, ’04

Mickey Louthan, ’92 Bill Lundeen, ’77

Patti Lundeen, ’80 Kelsey Lyle, ’14

Michelle Munson

Walter Rock, ’83

David Todd, ’01

Shannon Murphy, ’10, ’12

Lisa Rohwer, ’92

Sarah Todd

Patrick Young, ’75

Lester Murray, ’79

Matt Rohwer, ’92, ’07

Scott Tonroy, ’96

Alane Zannotti, ’94

Billy Myatt Jr., ’10

Kelsey Ryan, ’14

Gaylan Towle II, ’12

Dillon Zimmerman, ’08

Joe Myers, ’06

Pooja Sahai

Dani Trueblood, ’13

Kathryn Zimmerman

Jennifer Nangle, ’00, ’03

Sunil Sahai, ’00, ’05

Jim Vallion, ’51, ’54

Trevor Zimmerman, ’06, ’08

Adrian Nault, ’11, ’14

Ryan Samples, ’04

Kerry VanDorn, ’13

Jake Zlomie, ’13

Josh Negus, ’05

Bill Schaefer, ’70, ’74

Kay Vann, ’05, ’14



A crowd watches first responders fight the fire spreading on the top two floors of the Domestic Science Building during the 1914 Harvest Carnival.





he fires of 1914 could have put an end to OSU in Stillwater before Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College marked even 25 years of operation — but adversity spurred the resilient Aggies to begin fire training courses, leading to development of the world renowned fire protection program.


Five shots rang out just after dusk from the northwest corner of campus. It was 6:20 p.m. on January 21, 1914, until then a typical Wednesday evening at the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College in Stillwater. Jim Dent, a Boys Dormitory resident, discovered a fire burning in a first-floor room in the north wing of the only residence hall for men. With no alarm system in place, Dent fired his revolver to notify those remaining on campus. While most faculty and staff had already left for the day, students were eating supper in the new Domestic Science dining facilities. In the coed dining hall, the women’s dorm matron, Harriett Evans, quickly realized the reason for the bullets firing but didn’t want to create a stampede in the dining hall. Calmly, she announced, “Boys, your dormitory is on fire; I guess you’d better go tend to it.” The dining hall emptied; the men ran back to their dormitory rooms and the women watched the blaze. Although smoke poured out of many windows, the fire was concentrated in a first-floor room. Col. George W. Ewell, student cadets’ commandant, directed the young men in their efforts to fight the blaze. Elwell’s student fire crew attacked the fire through an exterior window. Others retrieved the fire hose inside the dormitory to work on the fire from the hallway door into the room. The college’s volunteer firefighters were soon joined by the Stillwater city fire department with wagon, tank and hoses. Water was sprayed on the roof and all three floors. The fire was out by 6:45 p.m. Smoke had filled the building, but the damage from flames had been limited to the one room. The cause of the fire was never determined. Fire-resistant materials used in the facility dramatically reduced the impact and spread of the fire. The quick response of students and city fire personnel also limited what could have been a very dangerous and damaging situation. THEN CAME AUGUST

Morrill Hall was considered the most substantial building on the OAMC campus. Constructed in the last days of the Oklahoma territorial period, it housed the executive offices of the college, experiment station, cooperative extension, and the school of agriculture, along with classrooms and laboratories. The building was only 7 years old in 1914 and one of the first on campus to have electricity installed. Electrical lines were used almost exclusively to provide lighting; however, there were a few electrical connections to operate equipment, mostly in labs.

The smoke and flames in Morrill Hall were first noticed at 2 a.m. August 7. A fire whistle broke the quiet tranquility of the night and brought campus and city volunteer firefighters to the scene. At first, the fire was concentrated on the top floor. Many people rushed into Morrill Hall to retrieve college records and save whatever they could on the lower floors. The Entomology Department on the third floor was already engulfed in flames, destroying everything from departmental records to extensive collections of insect specimens. Low water pressure, and eventually a lack of water, made it impossible to douse the flames and the building was evacuated. As the fire slowly progressed down to the first floor, a pipe burst, soaking — and saving — the limited contents of two vacant rooms. The flames continued to burn after sunrise. Floors collapsed, bringing the interior walls with them, creating a mass of smoldering debris at ground level. Smoke rose from the structure for much of the day. The exterior walls held firm but Morrill Hall was just a shell filled with twisted steel, cinders and ash. The only items salvaged after the fire ceased were several safes. Acting OSU President Lowery Layman Lewis moved quickly to re-establish order and stability at the college. He worked closely with the Oklahoma State Board of Agriculture, the college’s governing body at that time, to move the insurance claim through channels so that reconstruction could begin quickly. The $35,000 amount wasn’t enough to completely restore the $50,000 in damage, but it was enough to get the process of rebuilding started. Faculty and staff in the School of Engineering determined that the exterior walls of Morrill Hall were still in excellent condition, requiring only minor restoration near some of the window openings. Lewis also reassured everyone that Col. George W. Ewell the university’s fall schedule would still be followed. Departments and offices that were in Morrill Hall were reassigned temporary locations across campus. Classes commenced in September as scheduled and the campus settled back into the regular cycle of academic life. THE UNTHINKABLE AGAIN

The annual fall Harvest Carnival was planned for October 16. The celebration brought alumni back to campus for gaming booths, exhibits, parades and a home football game. Many of the students preparing for the parade on Friday were dressed in costumes and adding finishing touches to booths and floats. Someone noticed a whiff of smoke drifting out from the fourth floor roof over the Domestic Science Building just before 11:30 a.m. The women’s dormitory was on fire. The fire whistle sounded soon after and the Harvest Carnival crowd joined those already at the scene who had been preparing booths and floats along Morrill Avenue. It was exactly 10 weeks to the day since the Morrill Hall fire. The charred shell of continues


Morrill Hall sat west of the Domestic Science Building, and both fires had started on the top floor. But this time, the firefighters were better organized with an ample supply of water and attacked the fire almost immediately after it started. Many students and others rushed into the building to save what they could. Those already inside began to collect their personal items to carry them out with the assistance of those who came to their aid. Furniture from the bedrooms, tables and chairs from the dining hall, and even the piano were quickly moved outside. Many items were thrown from second- and thirdfloor windows. Dormitory matron Mrs. Frederick C. Kent made sure the women were safely escorted from the building. Several girls, trapped in the northeast corner of the third floor, had to be lowered out windows using a rope. Two hours after the first alarms had sounded the fire was out. The flames had been confined to the third and fourth floors with the remaining floors suffering only smoke and water damage. Miraculously none of the residents or firefighters had been injured. After the Morrill Hall fire, the college volunteer fire department had been restructured with additional training provided.

nearest window, completely destroying the light fixture. Another student rescued some pies from the kitchen ovens as if they were irreplaceable. An expensive piece of gym equipment on the ground floor was tied to a rope and lifted off of the floor so that it would not be damaged from water collecting at the base of the building. A freshman student later cut the rope to free the piece from its captivity, crashing down to warp in the pool of water rising below. Other collaborations were more successful. Lewis worked closely with members of the Oklahoma Board of Agriculture, including President Frank Gault, to see that all insurance claims were filed quickly. Gault determined that the board must move swiftly, in part to fight rumors circulating that members of the Legislature were considering moving the college elsewhere. Contracts were finalized in late October for the reconstruction of both Morrill Hall and the Domestic Science Building. Both facilities would be rebuilt with the extensive use of fire resistant materials, mostly steel and reinforced concrete. With a new roof and extensive repairs completed, student residents of the Domestic Science dormitory moved back in after the Christmas holiday break. Academic departments and administrative offices housed in the two buildings were able to return during 1915.

The cause of the fires in all three cases from 1914 was undetermined, but some felt the most likely culprit was electrical lines.

Kent worked with Stillwater residents to locate temporary homes for the students and, by that Friday evening, all had been placed with families near the OAMC campus. Over the weekend, J. H. Swope, who was in charge of the kitchen and dining hall, worked with a volunteer crew to clean up that section of the first floor. By the end of the week, meals were once again being prepared and served in the building. A fresh sense of cooperation was born out of the firefighting efforts. Stillwater residents worked alongside members of the campus community to assist those in need. In spite of the damage and losses the campus had not lost its sense of humor. Many of those involved had been dressed in costumes for the Harvest Carnival parade. A clown in red and green tights was seen going up the fire escape to help with one of the hoses. A girl dressed in Native American attire was carried out of the building. And a German peasant was seen removing a camera and other items. Others dressed as French chefs and football players fought the fire. Salvage efforts also met with mixed results. One student carefully removed a glass chandelier, only to drop it out the



The Oklahoma Board of Agriculture began a series of meetings with college representatives, Stillwater and Payne County officials, and Chamber of Commerce leaders to discuss the local water supply and water distribution system. An investigative group looked at developing a reservoir, eventually resulting in the creation of Boomer Lake in 1925. The board also directed that all electrical wiring be inspected on campus. Electricity had been introduced to the campus in 1904 and had been utilized almost exclusively for lighting. Insulation, installation and grounding capabilities were still in development. Wiring had been installed during construction of Morrill Hall, the Boys’ Dormitory, and the Domestic Science Building. The cause of the fires in all three cases from 1914 was undetermined, but some felt the most likely culprit was electrical lines. Lewis introduced a new fire-training program at the college in 1915. Current fire prevention and control procedures would be shared with the campus community and volunteer college fire brigade. Decades later, these efforts would result in a fire station being constructed on the OAMC campus and the creation of a premier fire protection program in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Flames engulfed Morrill Hall on August 7, 1914. The fire gutted the building. Below right: Morrill Hall housed the main administration offices on campus. Much of the early institutional history was destroyed in the fire. Lower right: The boys dormitory was the site of the first fire at the OAMC campus in 1914. Below left: Frank Gault was president of the Oklahoma Board of Agriculture for a number of years and worked closely with the college president, L.L. Lewis, to begin campus repairs quickly on the buildings damaged by fire. All three facilities were occupied again by 1915.



“It was not boldness on my part, and it was a struggle — but I was never afraid. God used me as a vessel at that time — and it is so worth it to know my granddaughter and others can choose to go anywhere.” Nancy Randolph Davis — 1926–2015

By Elizabeth Keys

to get an education. I didn’t know I was a trailblazer. I just wanted A tiny figure opened the door off a long hallway at an assisto earn a master’s degree in my home state.” tant living center in Oklahoma City. With a firm grip sporting the Davis’ parents, only one generation removed from slavery, brightest orange nail polish perfectly painted on every fingertip, were not formally educated but instilled high goals for the family. Nancy Randolph Davis grasped my hand and ushered me into her apartment. She sat down, immediately asking, “What do you want She became the first black student to enroll at OAMC. As a person of color, Davis was not allowed to live in the college dormitoto know?” ries. Every summer, she lived with the principal of Stillwater’s Mrs. Davis was ready to get down to business. Her beloved segregated black school, Lee A. Ward and his family, making the Cowboys were playing basketball that night on television so our long walk to campus each day. Davis was interview would need to be done before forced to sit in the hallway and listen to tip-off. Showing her true colors, she was the professors through the door. After she dressed for the game in an Oklahoma State scored the second-highest grade on an University knitted sweater vest. exam, her fellow students told the teachI asked her, “Who are your favorite ers that they wanted Davis to sit with them players?” And, she shot back, “Oh, that inside the room. Her classmates reached wouldn’t be right to say, they are ALL my out to her as they worked together on favorites — the Cowboys are MY team. My group projects and offered her rides back granddaughter may go to OSU, too.” President Burns Hargis hosted Nancy home to Sapulpa on weekends so she could The Texas teenager, Teklyn JacksonRandolph Davis and her daughter, Nancy see her family. Davis, had started visiting universities to Lynn Davis, during Black History Month. She went to class diligently each make a decision where to attend college. At summer, completing her master’s degree OSU, a highlight was learning she would be in 1953. able to live at Davis Hall, a campus residenDavis said she often wondered about tial dormitory named in honor of her grandher place in history because she never mother. A world of educational choices were thought of herself as a pioneer. open to Teklyn — but those opportunities OSU named Nancy Randolph Davis a were not so available to her grandmother Distinguished Alumni in 1999, dedicated when she came to visit OSU, known as the Davis Residential Hall in 2001 and Oklahoma A&M College in 1949. created the Davis Scholarship in her honor. “I wanted to learn more about home The OSU College of Human Sciences recogeconomics,” Mrs. Davis explained. “And, nized her with the inaugural “Enhancing my daddy had heard that the college in Human Lives Award” in 2009. Stillwater was one of the best so I came “I’m just in awe and humbled by the to enroll.” honors that the university has bestowed She was already teaching high school upon me,” she told me in one of her last but her roommate from her undergraduate interviews before passing away in March. days at Langston, Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, “It was not boldness on my part, and was going to the University of Oklahoma it was a struggle — but I was never afraid. law school. God used me as a vessel at that time — and “I figured if Ada could study at OU, then Nancy Randolph Davis’ granddaughit is so worth it to know my granddaughter I could go to school in Stillwater,” she said. ter, Teklyn Jackson-Davis, came to visit and others can choose to go anywhere.” “My papa planted a seed — the only way for Oklahoma State University with her dad, the black man to rise out of oppression was Calvin O. Davis, from Texas.



Profile for Oklahoma State

STATE Magazine, Spring 2015  

STATE magazine is the official magazine of Oklahoma State University, America's brightest orange.

STATE Magazine, Spring 2015  

STATE magazine is the official magazine of Oklahoma State University, America's brightest orange.

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