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Staff Celebration Day returned to Boone Pickens Stadium on May 18 for the first time in two years.

Staff Celebration Day returns for the first time in 2 years

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Media Contact: Jordan Bishop | Editor, Department of Brand Management | 405-744-7193 |

After a two-year hiatus, Staff Celebration Day returned to Boone Pickens Stadium on May 18, bringing in one of the biggest turnouts the event has seen.  

The two-hour celebration was hosted by the Staff Advisory Council (SAC). The council worked together to show the staff gratitude with a day dedicated to their hard work. 

Each attendee was treated to an assortment of smoked meats and sides catered by Smokin’ Jones Stilly Barbeque. More than 25 local vendors attended the event and many door prizes were available. Special guests like mascots Pistol Pete and Bullet as well as many members of Pete’s Pet Posse were also in attendance to show their appreciation.

Gary Lawson, university photographer and communications specialist for the SAC, said the eagerness for the event was shown in the staff’s attendance.

“I thought it was great for the staff to come out and be together, and they certainly showed that they were ready,” Lawson said. “It was a really good turnout. People showed up early and we even had a couple of people show up late. For the most part, it was just a jam-packed event. I think everyone was anxious to get out and get together.” 

The SAC consists of five committees and numerous representatives across the university. The events committee was responsible for planning and implementing most of Staff Celebration Day. 

“It takes a real strong effort for the people on the events committee to select the right food vendor and to get all of the businesses that we got to come in,” Lawson said. “Logistically, it’s really a lot to have to file through to get this accomplished. Hats off to them, because they do a great job in getting everything together and making sure we had everything we needed.”

 Smokin’ Jones Stilly Barbeque started working 24 hours before the event to have the food ready in time. Owner Scott Stedman said it took around 700 pounds of meat to prepare for the event. 

“It’s a defining moment for us if we can come here and pull all of this off without a hitch,” Stedman said. “It gives us exposure and could help us land future business.”

Trisha Gedon has been a part of the Cowboy family for 30 years. She works as a communications specialist in the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. As a former member of the council, she loves to attend and see the event improve each year. 

“It’s great to come out here after the two-year break and get a chance to see people that I normally don’t get to see,” Gedon said. “I was on the SAC for six years, a long time ago. It’s fun to see how everything has changed and evolved. It’s gotten so much better.” 

While a lot of the staff was eager to return to the event, others were excited to attend the celebration for the first time. Katherine Banguero is wrapping up her first year working as a chef inside Boone Pickens Stadium. The event was much larger than she expected. 

“It’s really cool being a part of a community like this,” Banguero said. “It makes it exciting to come to work knowing that they see the effort we put in. Even if it’s just a one-day celebration, it’s one day more than what most employers do.”

Since 1975, the SAC has worked toward helping the staff feel heard. The return of Staff Celebration Day is a way for the council to show employees that they are not only heard but appreciated.

Staff members can find the winning raffle numbers and where to pick up door prizes here:

Story By: Bailey Sisk |

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