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Oklahoma State University

The official magazine of Oklahoma State University

President's Letter - Spring 2017

Oklahoma State University is one of America’s best values for earning a college degree. 

OSU President Burns Hargis


     In a time of rising costs and declining state support, OSU works hard to keep tuition and fees significantly below national averages while maintaining top quality. Still, many students need support.

     This issue of STATE offers a snapshot of students who are pursuing their academic dreams thanks to need-based scholarships. I’m sure you will be touched by their stories and the difference a scholarship can make in a student’s life. A big Cowboy thanks to all who support student scholarships.

     Justice Steven Taylor is featured in “The Cowboy Way” as part of a special military section. He has served our country as a Marine and served our state as a district judge and as a justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court. He is also a loyal alumnus who never hesitates to help his alma mater.

     OSU’s new Veteran Success Center is playing a vital role in serving those who have served us. Oklahoma State was proud to receive the prestigious designation as a Purple Heart University, the only one in Oklahoma.

     We took another exciting step in the history of The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts when we named Oklahoma native Mark Blakeman to lead the transformative facility. The Center is under construction south of the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center and Bennett Chapel. Mark comes from the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, where he was president and CEO. A generous $5 million gift from alumni Marilynn and Carl Thoma established the position.

     The McKnight Center is moving forward ignited by the $25 million programming gift from alumni Billie and Ross McKnight, and it is already having an impact on future students. Be sure to read how the building is influencing the recruitment of music students from here and abroad.

     We will soon complete another successful academic year. Thanks for your ongoing support. First Cowgirl Ann and I wish you all the best.

Go Pokes!




Burns Hargis

OSU President 


OSU President Burns Hargis receives the Purple Heart University proclamation from retired United States Army Sergeant 1st Class James Battles Jr., commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 820.


More stories like this are available for members of the OSU Alumni Association. STATE magazine is a benefit of membership in the OSU Alumni Association. To join or update your membership go to or call 405-744-5368.


Published by STATE Magazine Editor Elizabeth Keys, Spring 2017, Volume 12, Number 3


Uploaded on May 1, 2017