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Foundation chair says Pickens' gift prompted board to act

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Puterbaugh Foundation’s board of trustees chairman said T. Boone Pickens’ latest gift was one of the factors behind his foundation’s move to fund a new professorship in the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business.

“The board saw Boone Pickens’ gift to OSU as reason for excitement and confidence in the university’s future and proposed to fund the professorship,” said Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Steven Taylor, an OSU alumnus and the only OSU graduate on the foundation board. “I think there’s a message there that Boone Pickens’ gifts can serve as a catalyst.”

Taylor announced the establishment of an endowment for the Puterbaugh Professorship in Legal Studies and Ethics in Business for Spears Business on Wednesday, Feb. 15, while serving as the first lecturer in the Puterbaugh lectureship series established by the same foundation last year.

“This professorship is exactly what J.G. Puterbaugh would have wanted to see his money used for since he was a strong advocate of education and businesses that give back to their community,” said Taylor, who emphasized government service and ethics in business and government to the students and others who heard his lecture at the ConocoPhillips Alumni Center.

Taylor was appointed to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma in 2004. In his 21 years as a trial judge, he has presided over more than 500 jury trials, including the Terry Nichols Oklahoma City bombing case.

After earning his bachelor's in political science from OSU in 1971, Taylor attended the University of Oklahoma College of Law and received his juris doctor degree in 1974.

Taylor said he is honored to chair the Puterbaugh Foundation and recommended that students readily accept invitations to serve on the boards of foundations and trusts.

Taylor explained that Puterbaugh, the foundation's namesake, was a successful McAlester, Oklahoma, businessman dedicated to educational and civic activity. Puterbaugh established one of the first business-funded local charities in southeast Oklahoma. The Puterbaugh Foundation also funds a professorship at the OSU Edmon Low Library. 

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