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100 for 100 honorees

Jesse and Armon Bost makes 'Spears School Tributes: 100 For 100' list

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jessie Thatcher Bost
Oklahoma A&M College (1897)

Jesse and Armon Bost

Jessie Thatcher Bost believed education held the key to independence and opportunity. She became the first female graduate of Oklahoma A&M College in 1897, and was the first woman graduate of an upper institution in the state of Oklahoma. She spent most of her life as a teacher in Oklahoma public schools.

Bost gave the commencement address from her class of three, and it displayed her passionate spirit for women’s rights, stating “The one who rocks the cradle, rules the world.” She also established the Sigma Literary Society to counter the men’s only Webster Literary Society.

Bost accomplished many “firsts” during her life. Besides being Oklahoma State University’s first female graduate, she also established and served as the first president of both the Alumni Association and the Half-Century Club. In 1925, OSU named its first women’s dormitory in her honor.

Following graduation, she taught in Stillwater public schools for nearly a decade, marrying former classmate Henry Bost in 1902. In 1907, the couple homesteaded in western Oklahoma, then moved to Alva in 1908. There she organized a parent-teacher association and was chair of the Northwest District PTA. She put her teaching career on hold until her four children were grown. The family returned to Stillwater where their four children attended OSU, then moved to Cleveland, Oklahoma. She was a teacher there until her retirement.

Since her death in 1963, she has received several awards such as a room in OSU’s Edmon Low Library in her name, the establishment of a scholarship for Special Collections in the library, induction into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame and the Heritage Hall of Fame.

She remained loyal to OSU, her family, women’s rights, and education throughout her lifetime.

Armon H. Bost
Economics (1933)

According to an article written many years ago, Armon Bost has orange blood running through his veins! His mother, Jessie Thatcher Bost, was the first woman to graduate from Oklahoma A&M. His father, Henry A. Bost, also attended, as did his three siblings, three aunts, and four uncles. Bost was up to the challenge of continuing the legacy that his family set before him.

After graduating from Oklahoma A&M in 1933 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Bost went on to establish the Midwestern Engine and Equipment Company in Tulsa, which designed and manufactured hydraulic side-booms. The company is internationally recognized. After 77 years, it still produces specialty products for pipeline construction.

Having completed ROTC in school, he was an officer in World War II and extended his service as a commander in the Korean War, retiring as a Colonel. In later years he served as President of the Reserve Officers Association and The Navy League.

Establishing himself as a civic leader, and entrepreneur, he was able to give back to the community and OSU. He was president of the Tulsa School Board, and a charter member of the Oklahoma Commission on Education. He was president and lifetime member of Tulsa Boys’ Home, Chairman of Royal Order of Jesters, a 32nd degree Mason, and Rotarian. He was a member of the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, served as chairman of the administrative board and was an Oklahoma Methodist Conference Foundation trustee.

Bost has a number of outstanding achievements at OSU. These include member and Presidency of the Board of Regents of OSU. During his tenure he visited and inspected OSU projects in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Thailand, Japan and many other parts of the world at his own expense.

He was inducted into the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame and the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame. He received the Howard G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award and the Edna Mae Phelps Library Award.

There are two current scholarships established in his honor: the Armon H. Bost Scholarship and Advanced Studies for Special Collections and University Archives. The Bost dormitory off campus was also named for him.

The Bost legacy at OSU has strived through his wife, aunts and uncles, two sisters and brother. The tradition continues to live on through his four of five children, son-in-law, three nieces and nephews, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild, which all attended or graduated from his alma mater.

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