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President's Letter Winter 2016
As you can see in the pages that follow, it has been a busy and colorful fall semester.
We celebrated the beginning and the completion of several campus projects, highlighted by the groundbreaking for The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts. We also announced that the opening week of the center, expected in the fall of 2019, will feature performances by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
This was made possible thanks to a $25 million programming gift from alumni Billie and Ross McKnight, as well as the support of a number of other donors. We’re still seeking funds if you are interested!
The McKnight Center will be one of Oklahoma’s premier cultural institutions and the partnership with the New York Philharmonic will mean once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunities for OSU students.
We opened a beautiful new Welcome Plaza that masterfully evokes the Cowboy spirit and will be an impressive “front door” for new students, their families, alumni and other visitors. The plaza is located southeast of the Student Union. OSU also broke ground on a much-needed engineering and technology laboratory for undergraduate students. Since 2008, our College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology enrollment has doubled.
This issue of STATE highlights an assortment of special anniversaries. OSU ROTC began in the midst of World War I and this year marks its 100th anniversary. The OSU English Department is nearing the 50th anniversary of its national literary magazine, Cimarron Review. And, President’s Leadership Council for outstanding freshmen is celebrating its 50th anniversary. I know. I was privileged to be in the first class.
Of course, one of the highlights of the fall is “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration.” Many of the activities are captured in this edition. This year’s event had special meaning as we honored the victims, survivors and first responders from the parade tragedy a year ago. The love and power of the OSU family was omnipresent in this Homecoming.
First Cowgirl Ann and I are blessed to lead your university. Have a happy and healthy holiday season.
OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis join Rodeo Team members Alexa Major, left, and Kandi Shuman at the Cowboy Stampede, a rodeo team event which kicked off Homecoming 2016. (PHOTO / GARY LAWSON)