Oklahoma State University
Garth Brooks, Barry Sanders, Robin Ventura selected for OSU Alumni Hall of Fame PDF  | Print |
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 18:14

Trio will serve as Grand Marshals for OSU Homecoming

(STILLWATER, OK, September 1, 2009) – The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association announced today that it will be inducting into the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame three of the most celebrated and famous names in OSU history when Garth Brooks, Barry Sanders and Robin Ventura take part in this year’s Homecoming events.

“The Hall of Fame award recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in society and professional life and few have reached the heights Garth, Barry and Robin have reached,” said OSU President Burns Hargis.  “They have entertained and thrilled millions around the world, as well as served their communities. They have made their fellow Cowboys proud.”

Brooks, Sanders and Ventura will serve as Grand Marshals for OSU Homecoming on Oct. 17.  The three will lead the Sea of Orange Homecoming parade and be recognized during OSU’s football game against Missouri.  They also will present the student Homecoming awards.  The OSU Band will perform special music to honor the three OSU greats.  The OSU Alumni Association presents “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration” each year.

This year’s OSU Alumni Hall of Fame honorees are:

Garth Brooks, of Yukon, Okla., graduated from OSU in 1984 and is now certified by the Recording Industry Association of America as the number 1 selling solo artist in U.S. history.  Brooks has sold in excess of 128 million albums and has received every accolade the recording industry can bestow on an artist.  His body of work - including the groundbreaking No Fences, Ropin' The Wind, The Hits and Double Live - propelled country music as a genre to the front pages of newspapers and magazine covers worldwide.

Brooks is currently in retirement, but when called upon by events greater than his own self-interest he returns to the stage. The latest of these was when the President himself requested that he be a part of President Obama's Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.  He performed as a crowd of more than 300,000 attended the historic event and did the "wave" to Garth's performance of "Shout" while the President sang along.  Brooks also performed for President Obama’s first late-night TV appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

When the Governor of California asked for Garth's help he responded by performing five concerts in two days, selling out all five shows (83,000 tickets) in less than an hour and generating more than $6 million for victims and firefighters of California Wildfires in a single weekend. Portions of the live concerts were shown as a TV special titled, "Garth Brooks: Live in L.A.” where viewers donated to the organization Fire Intervention Relief Effort (FIRE).

Barry Sanders, of Detroit, Mich., is one of the most electrifying running backs in the history of college and professional football.  In 1988 Sanders had the greatest individual season in the history of college football on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. He rushed for 2,628 yards, scored 39 touchdowns, rushed for more than 300 yards in four games, and established 34 NCAA records in 11 regular season games.

After his record junior season at OSU, he joined the Detroit Lions and became one of the most thrilling players in the history of the NFL. The Wichita, Kan., native rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his 10 NFL seasons, making him the first running back to do so.  In 1997, he became just the third person to gain more than 2,000 yards in a season.  He finished his NFL career rushing for 15,269 yards and 99 touchdowns.

A first- or second-team All-Pro all 10 of his NFL seasons, Sanders became the first NFL running back to record five 1,500-yard rushing seasons, in addition to being the only back to do so in four consecutive seasons (1994-1997).  He is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame.

Robin Ventura of Santa Maria, Calif., was one of college baseball’s greatest players and an All-Star major league third baseman.  Ventura had a remarkable three-year run at OSU from 1986-88. Baseball America named him Player of the Decade, the starting third baseman on its all-time team, and he was third in its Player of the Century poll.  He was elected into the inaugural class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. 

He was named All-America all three years at OSU and was Player of the Year his sophomore year in 1987.  He still holds college baseball’s hitting-streak record at 58 games and had a .428 career batting average.  He holds seven OSU batting records, including the highest single season average at .469.

Ventura was drafted by the Chicago White Sox following his junior year and spent 16 seasons with the White Sox, New York Mets and New York Yankees.  He was a Gold Glove winner and All Star.  In 1995, Ventura became the eighth player in major-league history to hit two grand slam home runs in one game.

OSU Alumni Association thanks Corporate Partners ConocoPhillips and the OSU Foundation for their support for this special event.