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Pickens to deliver OSU Commencement

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dallas businessman and Oklahoma State University alumnus T. Boone Pickens will be the featured speaker for Oklahoma State University’s Commencement Ceremony on Dec. 17 in Stillwater.

The Graduate College commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Pickens will speak at the two undergraduate commencement ceremonies Saturday, also in Gallagher-Iba Arena

The 10:30 a.m. Saturday ceremony will honor students from the Spears School of Business, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, and the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

The second ceremony, scheduled for 1:30 p.m., will feature students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.

“We are honored to have Boone Pickens deliver this year’s commencement addresses,” said OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly. “Mr. Pickens has achieved much success since leaving his alma mater and has been a tremendous friend to the university and a strong supporter of academics and athletics.”

Pickens, who spoke at OSU’s 1984 commencement, received his Bachelor of Science degree in geology in 1951. He worked for Phillips Petroleum for three years before striking out on his own, founding Petroleum Exploration Inc. and Altair Oil & Gas Co., both predecessor companies to Mesa Petroleum, which he built into one of America’s largest independent natural gas and oil companies. In 1986, he founded the nonprofit United Shareholders Association to help shareholders and to inform them of corporate abuses.

Today, Pickens operates BP Capital, which manages successful energy-oriented investment funds. He is pursuing a wide range of business interests, including water marketing and ranch development initiatives to Clean Energy, a company he founded that is advancing the use of natural gas as a cleaner-burning and more cost-effective fuel alternative.

Pickens has been a lifelong generous philanthropist, including gifting more than $100 million to a variety of OSU academic and athletic programs, and the OSU football stadium and School of Geology bear his name. His generosity has extended to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, to the American Red Cross for hurricane disaster operations, and to the Oklahoma Heritage Association, in addition to numerous medical research institutions and treatment centers nationwide.

Earlier this year, Pickens was selected to receive the Horatio Alger Award, one of the most distinguished entrepreneurial honors in America.

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