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STATE

The official magazine of Oklahoma State University

Larry and Kayleen Ferguson began their path together at OSU

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Fergusons

Larry and Kayleen Ferguson met while students at OSU in the mid-1970s, believe in giving back to their alma mater and have supported many programs at OSU, including animal sciences and athletics.

Larry Ferguson built a successful career at Schreiber Foods, the world’s largest employee-owned dairy company, following his graduation from OSU in 1975. Together, he and Kayleen raised three sons — Bryant, Kyle and Stephen — and lived in several locations as his career grew.

The family eventually made it to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where Larry retired as Schreiber CEO\ in 2007. Throughout his career, he served on and led numerous organizational boards, including the National Cheese Institute, Bellin Heath Care Systems and Associated Bank Northeast Regional.

Kayleen attended Oklahoma State and received her degree in secondary education from Utah State University in 1978. She has used her love of music and teaching to help influence students and currently serves on the advisory board for Baylor University’s Center for Christian Music Studies.

"Welcome, students and faculty, to the Ferguson College of Agriculture. We look forward to you being here and being inspired by your future education. We want you to know that you are not alone; there are a lot of people behind you. We support your research, we support your studies, and we just want to encourage you to find your new future here at the Ferguson College of Agriculture."

Kayleen and Larry Ferguson at the New Frontiers announcement ceremony

The Fergusons, who now split their time between Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Marco Island, Florida, have given personally and through their Ferguson Family Foundation to benefit dozens of causes, including schools, churches, Christian organizations, the United Way and Make-a-Wish Foundation, to name a few.

The Fergusons are also passionate about helping ministers and youth groups experience the Holy Land through trips to Israel.

In 2015, the couple announced a lead gift through the Ferguson Family Foundation to revitalize and name the state of- the-art Ferguson Family Dairy Center at OSU. The gift empowered the program to attract the brightest students possible and enhanced the research-based education offered at the facility, which opened in 2017.

The Fergusons were also instrumental in the creation of Helms Hall, the on-site student housing for students who work at the center. Its name pays honor to Kayleen’s parents, who also met at Oklahoma State and who received master’s degrees in education from the university.

Both have received several alumni awards from Oklahoma State University over the years. Larry was named the OSU Animal Science Graduate of Distinction in 2002 and was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 2016. Both were recognized as Distinguished Alumni by the OSU Alumni Association in 2017.

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