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OSU Housing and Residential Life celebrates centennial

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry has declared Saturday, October 23, 2010 as Oklahoma State University Housing and Residential Life Day.  Oklahoma State University’s Department of Housing and Residential Life is marking its centennial with a special Homecoming celebration on that day. The festivities will begin two hours before kick-off on the south lawn of Bennett Hall, which is located across the street from Boone Pickens Stadium. All who lived in the residence halls and family and graduate student housing on campus are invited and encouraged to attend.    

The celebration includes free all-beef hot dogs, drinks, and of course, birthday cake.  Stillwater Red Dirt artist Jason Savory will be providing entertainment, and inflatable games will be available for children of all ages. In addition, Oklahoma City radio personality and OSU alum, Kathy Yeager, will be the emcee for the day. Housing and Residential Life representatives will be on hand to register alumni and to accept donations to the Centennial Scholarship Fund.  Two OSU warm up suits will be given away to those who register.

To date, thirty-two housing scholarships have been awarded to Oklahoma students who had been accepted at OSU, but due to financial need, were not able to attend.  These scholarships allowed the students to be able to live on campus, and free them from additional stress and financial burden.  The total awarded was $110,720.

“We were pleased to partner with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to identify the worthy students,” said Dr. Matthew Brown, Director of Housing and Residential Life. “The scholarships are paving the way for these deserving students to reach their goal not only to attend OSU, but to reap the many benefits of living on campus.”  

The 2010 awards were the first to be given from the Centennial Scholarship Fund.  The goal is to endow the fund for $1 million dollars, and to be able to offer one hundred housing scholarships. There are a variety of opportunities to provide scholarships in honor of favorite friends, loved ones, professors, or maybe just to honor those favorite residence hall memories. Whatever the reason, donors will be helping to support access to higher education for years to come.  Often the cost of housing is overlooked, but it is a significant portion of the overall cost of attendance for students.    

“This is an amazing opportunity for us to impact the lives of students for many, many years,” said Dr. Brown.  “Oklahoma State has numerous academic scholarships, but until now, there were no general housing scholarships available. This Centennial Scholarship Fund allows us to identify need-based students and provide valuable financial assistance.”

Studies show that students who live on campus consistently have higher grade point averages, complete more credit hours, are more likely to stay in school and are more involved compared to students who commute.  Oklahoma State boasts some of the best residence hall facilities in the nation.  In addition, it offers a number of Living-Learning Communities for students to choose from and a Faculty Associate Program which allows students to routinely engage with faculty outside of the classroom.  Housing and Residential Life employs nearly 200 students and offer outstanding leadership opportunities through the OSU Residence Halls Association, which has won the National Association of College and Residence Halls (NACURH) School of the Year award more times than any other university.

Housing at Oklahoma State University began in 1909 with the construction of two halls: the Boy's dormitory and the Woman's Building. They both opened in 1910 after two years of construction.  The Boy's Dormitory was later renamed Crutchfield Hall and was used as a Residence Hall and as the home for the Music Department. It was torn down in 1995. The Woman's Building was later named Garner Hall and had several features including a dining hall, classrooms and home economic classes, and the women resided in rooms on the upper floors. Today the building is still in use as the Bartlett Center for Fine Arts.

Times have certainly changed.  According to the Oklahoma A&M College 1910 catalog, room and board for students living in the Woman’s Building or in the Boy’s Dormitory cost $3 per month for a furnished room for two students, payable in advance; board included heat, lights, water, etc., and was $2.00 to $2.50 per week, payable monthly in advance.  Today, the cost for room and board can range from $500 to $1,000 a month, and students can choose from traditional halls, suites and apartments.  

For more information about Housing and Residential Life or contributing to the Centennial Scholarship, please contact the Department at 405-744-5592 or on the web at

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