Last October, the Erdoes Family Scholarship Fund made a significant donation to Oklahoma State University- Oklahoma City’s President's Leadership Council scholarship program at the school’s biennial fundraiser, Paint This Town Orange.
The Erdoes Family Scholarship Fund — established by Oklahoma State University alumni, brothers and successful businessmen Philip and Peter Erdoes — made a $1 million commitment to support students at both Oklahoma State University- Oklahoma City and OSU.
At OSU-OKC, the donation has already enabled the President's Leadership Council program to significantly increase the number of students receiving a scholarship.
“The Erdoes family is committed to helping our students reach their potential in today's fast-paced, changing world,” said Brad Williams, president of Oklahoma State University- Oklahoma City. “Their generous contribution goes a long way toward helping us develop leaders who are destined to make a difference in their communities.”
OSU-OKC's PLC scholarship recognizes outstanding students who demonstrate talent and distinguished achievement in the areas of leadership, citizenship, service, and communication with a full tuition waiver for up to 15 credit hours for a full school year.
The Erdoes brothers’ philanthropy is rooted in their humble beginnings. Peter and Philip Erdoes graduated from Northeast High School in Oklahoma City in 1978 and 1981, respectively, and went on to graduate from OSU in 1982 and 1985. Their experiences growing up in a working-class neighborhood in Oklahoma City led to their interest in community efforts that make a difference in the lives of lower-income students.
A prolific entrepreneur based in New York with a range of investments in everything from U.S.-based home furnishing manufacturing to edge computing, from film production to competitive fitness, Philip Erdoes sums up the family’s philanthropy approach.
“We grew up without much, so we totally understand the financial struggle college can be,” he said. “We want to help those with huge potential who just need that extra lift. (We) figured if we could help alleviate that struggle for a set of special students, we should, or — as I like to say — ‘Play offense, or don’t play.’”
Peter Erdoes, founder of Oklahoma City-based Erdoes PC, added that the culture of service and family they found at OSU inspires their philanthropic efforts.
“OSU is a lifelong family,” Peter Erdoes said. “We've always treated one another like family. Welcoming and helping new members to that community has been most rewarding.”
Years removed from their time in Stillwater together, the brothers remain in sync on their commitment to “paying it forward” the Cowboy way.
“I think our biggest hope is that these kids go on and do great things and then turn around and help the next generation,” Philip Erdoes said. “Break one cycle, create another. Reach out and help. It's easy. It's simple. Show people what OSU really means. Cowboy up!”