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George W. Bush to help celebrate grand opening of Oklahoma State’s Cecil O’Brate Stadium

Monday, March 9, 2020

President George W. Bush will throw the ceremonial first pitch to headline the grand opening celebration of Oklahoma State’s Cecil O’Brate Stadium in advance of the Cowboys’ game against TCU on March 20.

He has a longstanding relationship with the stadium’s namesake, Cecil O’Brate, and Oklahoma State. He delivered the keynote address at the 2006 commencement ceremony. The ceremonial first pitch is scheduled for 5:49 p.m. and the game is scheduled to start at 6:02 p.m.

Bush famously delivered a strike when he threw the ceremonial first pitch at Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, just 49 days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

As for O'Brate, he was born in Enid and attended Oklahoma State (then-known as Oklahoma A&M) from 1946-48, then went on to a career as a self-made serial entrepreneur. He is the owner, developer, and operator of multiple businesses in numerous and diverse industries such as agriculture, banking, manufacturing, energy, hospitality, real estate, alternative energy, medicine, and food science.

“Frances and I had a vision for Cowboy baseball, and we’re excited to see Oklahoma State University Athletics make O’Brate Stadium a reality,” O’Brate said. The event "will bring together family, friends and fans to the new stadium, and we’re greatly honored that President Bush will join us in the celebration. We are so grateful to those who have helped ‘Make it Happen’.”

Other elements of the grand opening celebration include a flyover and a post-game fireworks show. Fans in attendance will receive a special commemorative ticket.

“This is special because it shows anything is possible if passionate people believe in something and pursue it relentlessly,” OSU baseball coach Josh Holliday said. “This day never comes without the vision of Mike Holder, his commitment to excellence and belief this could become a reality and obviously Cecil, his family and the amazing supporters of this project.

“We will honor their generosity and investment into the lives of our players by working with a passion and detail every day in all phases of our lives.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Monica Roberts | Director of Media Relations | 405-744-4800 | monica.roberts@okstate.edu

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