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Oklahoma State University

OSU praises donors, faculty at medallion presentation

Fri, February 27, 2015

Generous donors and outstanding faculty have united to help Oklahoma State University do more than ever before to fulfill its land-grant mission through teaching, research and outreach.

OSU President Burns Hargis discussed that impact as he praised donors and faculty for their dedication during Thursday’s Medallion Ceremony at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. The event honored donors who have supported endowed faculty positions and the professors who hold those positions. The university presented both groups bronze medallions to signify their importance in establishing a standard of excellence in research and education.

“Our faculty members and the donors who support them are key to Oklahoma State University’s ongoing transformation,” Hargis said. “We are delighted to honor them this evening.”

Gary Sandefur, OSU’s provost and senior vice president, attributes the university’s unprecedented growth to Hargis’ leadership and the generosity of donors, whom he applauded.

“We all recognize that private support is more vital to the success of higher education than ever before,” Sandefur said. “It is because of your foresight and generosity that OSU is moving into a brighter future full of possibilities. I cannot thank you enough for the investments you have made in the future of our university, state, nation and beyond.”

The event highlighted just a portion of the 146 new endowed chairs and professorships added during the seven-year Branding Success campaign, which included more than $188 million in gifts and commitments designated for faculty support. These endowments provide annual support for salaries, graduate assistantships, equipment, research and other academic needs.

On Thursday, OSU recognized 30 positions from six colleges and units. The Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources honored the largest group by celebrating the donors and faculty associated with 13 positions, followed by nine from the Spears School of Business and three from the School of International Studies. There were also two each from the College of Human Sciences and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. Finally, the OSU Library added one.

Sandefur, who came to OSU in July, said he has been especially impressed with the faculty’s expertise, passion and commitment.

“These men and women are on the forefront of educating our students to not only have an impact locally or regionally, but across the world,” Sandefur said. “Endowed chairs and professorships, the highest academic designations, allow us to continue attracting and retaining the best and brightest academic minds.”

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