The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award
recognizes former students who attain distinctive success in their chosen fields or professions and perform outstanding service for their community. The 2017 Distinguished Alumni honorees were recognized at a reception the evening of September 22 at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center and on the field during halftime of the Texas Christian University and OSU football game on September 23. Meet the newest inductees to join the elite group of Distinguished Alumni Award recipients:
Jack Corgan of Dallas studied architecture at OSU and served Sigma Alpha Epsilon as rush chairman and president before transferring to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master’s of Architecture.
After graduation, he worked at OSU as an assistant professor of architecture. In 1971, the Corgans moved to Dallas so Jack could join his dad’s architectural rm. In 1975, he became president, building CORGAN from a staff of eight to more than 250 employees nationwide.
Corgan and his wife, Carol, were co-chairs of the successful 1985 Dallas Independent School District bond program and founded Positive Parents of Dallas. Corgan was president of Dallas Plan, AIA Dallas and MIT Club of Dallas.
Corgan served as Branding Success chairman for OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology and was inducted into its Hall of Fame. He also served on the OSU Foundation’s Board of Governors.
The Corgans have endowed scholarships and are members of the Heritage Society and life members of the OSU Alumni Association.
Claud D. Evans of Okemah, Oklahoma, graduated from OSU in 1966 with a degree in agricultural biochemistry. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1970.
Evans worked for the Ralston Purina Company before opening his own veterinary practice in 1983. He is currently the sole practitioner and owner at Okfuskee County Veterinary Clinic, in addition to operating a farm with Angus cattle and Spanish meat goats.
Evans has numerous publications to his name and has presented at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s annual convention. For 16 years, he served on the OSU/A&M Board of Regents, including two terms as board chairman.
Evans served on the OSU Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and the administrative council for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. He is a member of the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching and a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.
Larry and Kayleen Ferguson
of Hot Springs, Arkansas, met in 1975 at OSU’s Dairy Cattle Center. Larry graduated that year with a degree in animal science. After studying English at OSU, Kayleen completed her degree at Utah State, though she considers herself a life-long Cowgirl.
Larry worked with Schreiber Foods, moving from production supervisor
to CEO in 1999 and helping grow the company into an international dairy operation. Kayleen focused on her career as a language arts teacher while raising the couple’s three sons.
The couple established the Larry and Kay Ferguson Dairy Foods Scholarship at OSU in 2000 and the Ferguson Family Foundation in 2006, which has donated $2 million and committed to matching up to $4 million more to build a state-of- the-art barn and renovate the OSU Dairy Cattle Center, now named the Ferguson Family Dairy Center at OSU.
The Fergusons operate and manage Maranatha Agriculture LLC in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Jennifer M. Grigsby of Edmond, Oklahoma, graduated from OSU in 1991 with a degree in accounting and went on to earn an MBA from Oklahoma City University.
She currently serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ascent Resources LLC. In 1995, Grigsby went to work for Chesapeake Energy, ultimately serving as senior vice president of corporate and strategic planning, and senior vice president, treasurer and corporate secretary. She went on to serve in a variety of executive positions for American Energy — Woodford LLC and American Energy — Minerals LLC.
Grigsby is also a principal and co-founder of Amethyst Investments LLC. She serves on many boards in the Oklahoma City community and was chair of the OSU Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2013-2015 and the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees from 2015 to June 2017.
Grigsby is a member of the Wilton T. Anderson School of Accounting Hall of Fame and the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame, which also recognized
her as one of its “100 for 100” graduates during the school’s anniversary. She is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.
Piyush Patel of Oklahoma City graduated from OSU in 1998 with a degree in elementary education. He went on to earn a master’s degree in adult education from the University of Phoenix.
As a lifelong educator with more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, he founded Digital-Tutors, a worldwide leader of online training, educating more than 1.5 million students. As an OSU student, Patel created the “I Wonder Fair,” which helped educate 5,000 fifth-graders. Patel and his wife, Lisa, own Conclusion Wines in Napa, California, which donates its proceeds to Oklahoma nonprofits.
Patel was inducted into the OSU College of Education Hall of Fame in 2017, the same year he was a commencement speaker at OSU. He serves on advisory boards for Regent Bank and The Trust Company of Oklahoma, among others, and is a business mentor to several local companies.
Patel has authored seven college textbooks, and his book Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work will be released in February 2018. He is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.
Wilson Pipestem of Skiatook, Oklahoma, graduated from OSU in 1992 with a degree in English. As an OSU student, he was a scholarship athlete for the track and cross-country teams. Pipestem went on to earn his law degree from Stanford.
A citizen of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and an Osage headright holder, Pipestem has dedicated his life and career to protecting the rights of tribal governments and American Indians. He founded
Pipestem Law in 1999 and Ietan Consulting in 2000. He served as lead counsel in Osage Nation v. United States, which was settled for a record $380 million in favor of the Osages after 11 years of litigation.
Pipestem also played a prominent role in the enactment of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He is an expert on federal Indian law and has taught at the Catholic University of America and at American University.
Pipestem has served on the boards of various organizations, all of which provide opportunities for Indian youth. He is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.