Capitol Cowboys: OSU Alumni Association hosts annual event to engage with state lawmakers
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Media Contact: Chase Carter | Senior Director of Marketing — Oklahoma State University Alumni Association | 405-744-2066 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The largest university system in the state was well represented at the Capitol on Wednesday as more than 100 Oklahoma State University alumni, students and supporters arrived in orange to advocate for sustained investment in the state’s land-grant institution.
Capitol Cowboys day is a one-day event for members of the Cowboy family to create awareness and share their passion for OSU at the State Capitol.
“This was an opportunity for OSU to get involved with what is happening at our State Capitol,” OSU student Sydney Adkins said. “As many people know, we are a land-grant university, and one of the main goals of our institution is to not only improve our students’ lives but also the lives of everyone in Oklahoma.”
Approximately 100 current OSU students and 50 alumni from across the state visited with elected officials, emphasizing the pivotal role OSU has played in their lives and the importance of higher education in Oklahoma.
“Our students are the real stars of the show,” OSU alumnus Joe Ray said. “The conversations are really focused on bringing their stories and their personalities to the legislators, and it’s a real breath of fresh air for our elected officials.”
The event also included a pep rally in the Capitol rotunda with Pistol Pete, the OSU Spirit Squad and OSU Pep Band, along with comments from OSU President Kayse Shrum, Gov. Kevin Stitt and OSU Alumni Association President Ann Caine — all OSU graduates.
“As the largest university system in Oklahoma, we appreciate everything our state leaders do to support our students, faculty and staff and university communities,” Dr. Shrum said. “We can’t deliver on our commitment to students without the strong partnerships we have with the governor, our senators and representatives, our alumni and our students. These partnerships are critical, and it’s why we appreciate the Cowboy family coming together today.”
Stitt offered some additional words of encouragement.
“Never lose sight of your goals,” he said. “Don’t think your dreams can’t be accomplished. You can accomplish anything you want right here. Oklahoma State offers a great education and community.”
Along with sharing their personal stories, Cowboys’ conversations with legislators touched on the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education budget request, which focuses on workforce development in crucial growth sectors for Oklahoma’s economy — engineering, nursing, STEM education and teacher training programs. They also highlighted the ongoing push for the creation of the OSU Veterinary Medicine Authority through HB 2863, which, fittingly, secured final passage in the Legislature during Capitol Cowboys day.
“OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine plays a vital role in the land-grant mission,” OSU student Elizabeth Perdue said. “It is a vital part of what makes OSU a land-grant institution. Being able to be here today with alumni to show the legislators we really appreciate their support, especially with the passage of HB 2863, it truly shows our mission as a land-grant institution.”
For more information about the OSU Alumni Association or Capitol Cowboys, visit orangeconnection.org.