Skip to main content

News and Media

Open Main MenuClose Main Menu
Alumni Center

Alumni Update

Thursday, December 17, 2020

With the OSU Alumni Association, you’re never far from a member of the Cowboy family!

In fact, more than 80 percent of OSU alumni live within 50 miles of a group. These groups host more than 900 events annually for Cowboys of all ages and are supported by membership dues.

The Alumni Association also has affinity chapters and alumni societies for each OSU college and campus.


Dale F. Janes, ’50 industrial engineering and management, has had a major impact on OSU’s School of Fire Protection and Safety Technology. Janes began his studies at OSU after serving as an aviation electronics technician’s mate in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1944-1946. He married Betty Jo Penney, and they were blessed with a son, Nolen Janes. Janes accepted a faculty member position under the OSU College of Engineering and Technology. The Dale F. Janes Professorship in Fire Safety Technology was created in his honor with more than $370,000 from 528 donors provided to create this professorship, making it the largest number of donors at OSU ever to fund a professorship.

Arthur Bieri, ’58 secondary education, ’65 MS secondary education, is still living in Stillwater. He enjoyed a long career in education and fitness, including serving as executive director of physical fitness for the state of Oklahoma. He also has served as an aquatics safety instructor and has authored several books. His hobbies include cooking and cartooning.

Charles Pickens, ’59 math, ’67 doctorate in math, is currently living in Kearney, Nebraska, and would love to reconnect with classmates ’58-60 and ’65-67.


Joy (Chase) Haight, ’61 FRCD child-care program management, and her husband, Allen, escaped the heat and hurricanes of Texas summers by living in Colorado for several months. This year, they celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary.

Martha F. (Norman) Sowell, ’61 HEECS, has enjoyed her OSU Alumni Association Life Membership that was a birthday gift from her husband years ago. Her family includes three sons, 10 grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren. She enjoyed a short work career, being a fulltime mom and being involved in Little Rock, Arkansas, volunteer organizations. The next step in her life journey is to move to a retirement community in Louisville, Kentucky, to be closer to two of her sons.

Carolyn M. Friedemann Garber, ’61 nutritional science, and her spouse moved to River Forest, Illinois, to be closer to their daughter. They are very happy with the recent move. The Garbers live in a wonderful village where they can walk to shops, appointments and easily access just about anything else they need to. The Garbers previously lived in South Bend, Indiana, for 53 years. 

Laree Pacaud Hulshoff, ’61 secondary education, ’65 master’s in marketing analytics, co-founded Aging Mind Foundation in 2013 in Dallas, with her friend Bill Booziotis. AMF is a non-profit organization that raises money for scientific research that seeks the cause of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. AMF has raised over $3.9 million and funded seven different research projects.

Dick Bogard, ’62 agronomy, is grateful for his wife, Avon, of 56 years. She celebrated her 80th birthday in September and is a two-year cancer survivor. The Bogards are enjoying life in Durant, Oklahoma.

Lewis Armstrong, ’65 geography, recently published his autobiography, Oklahoma Boy on the Bumpy Road of Life. This book chronicles his journey in the U.S. Army followed by his career as a university librarian. He retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel.

Dr. Paul Thomas Cox, ‘67 doctorate in agricultural economics, completed his autobiography, Moving On, on his 90th birthday. This story documents 75 physical and career moves in numerous countries and offers insight upon the various cultures he encountered along the way.

Dr. Gilbert (Gill) O. Sanders, ’67 arts, is a recipient of the 2020 Karl F. Heiser APA Presidential Award for Advocacy from the American Psychological Association. This award was created by former APA President Jack Wiggins and has been awarded for 27 years to those who have played a major role in advancing the practice of psychology through legislative and regulatory changes in their states. Dr. Sanders was recognized for his efforts to lead the passage of PSYPACT legislation.

Glenn R. Olson, ’69 psychology, is now retired after 30 years of teaching and administrating in rural Alaska. He enjoys spending time with his five grandchildren, traveling out of the country, golfing, fishing and relaxing. He is fortunate to have a lovely wife and a great set of friends. 


Larry C. Kindt, ’70 forestry, is proud of his time in the OSU Forestry department. Kindt worked in the forestry field for a little over two years. He then began his Army career and became a Defense Department contractor for the next 40 years. Though his career differed from his diploma, his love for forestry never left him, and he has enjoyed many great reunions with his forestry family.

Christine M. (Kunkel) Yasik, ’74 secondary education, attended the Doel Reed Summer Learning Institute in Taos, New Mexico, in July 2019, where she interacted with OSU alumni, teachers and administrators. In June 2020, Yasik participated in a Zoom class about Taos’ famous Mable Dodge Luhan. She looks forward to being able to return to Taos and the Doel Reed Center.

Larry J. Phillips, ’75 master’s in agronomy, is enjoying retirement in McKinney, Texas.

Benjamin Hulsey, ’76 accounting, has been named the 2021 Lawyer of the Year in Information Technology Law by the Best Lawyers in America 2021. Each year, only one lawyer per practice area and designated metro area is awarded as Lawyer of the Year. Hulsey works for Thompson Coburn LLP.

Tom S. Smith, ’77 technical education, is retired and living with his wife, Cynthia, in Mansfield, Texas.

Ron Graves, ‘79 agricultural economics, and his wife, Karen, have retired. He spent 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant colonel, and the aerospace industry and eight years as hotel owners and managers in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

Gary W. Reynold, ’79 journalism, is working for United Stations Radio Network.


Judge Debra S. Sasser, ‘80 sociology, was appointed as chief district judge for the Tenth Judicial District in Wake County, North Carolina. Sasser was appointed to the district court bench in 2005 and has been re-elected in subsequent elections. She worked as a lawyer, litigation associate and attorney advocate for Wake County Guardian ad Litem prior to her judicial election in 2004. Her previous work includes being an arbitrator and mediator and representing abused or neglected children.

Jonita Mullins, ’81 English, released her latest novel, The Cross Timbers, a sequel to The Marital Scandal and the second book in her Neosho District series. It continues the story of the first stages of Native American removal and the difficulties government policy created for the tribes.

Calvin B. Carpenter, ’83 animal science, ’86 doctorate in veterinary medicine, started a new position during the pandemic as the executive director of an independent nonprofit foundation, the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) in Raleigh, North Carolina. CHF is the largest nonprofit funder of health research focused on dogs.

Teresa Randall, ’83 agriculture education, ’02 master’s in environmental science, ’11 doctorate in environmental science, is proud to be partnering with 23 southern and eastern Oklahoma school districts and their science educators to bring authentic teaching practices to their students. Randall works as the science curriculum specialist at the K20 Center for Educational and Community Renewal.

Roger Woolley, ’83 business and public administration, was a football equipment manager during his time at OSU, during the Jimmy Johnson era. During his career, Woolley has held executive level marketing positions for several technology companies and is currently the chief marketing officer for Community WFM. Wooley and his wife have been Cowboys season-ticket holders for years. They are very proud of their daughter who works in labor and delivery in Austin.

Vickie Williams Dahnke, ‘84 management of science and computer systems, is proud that she and her two sons are OSU alumni. One of her sons works at Devon Energy in Oklahoma City, and her other son is preparing to graduate in pre-med.

Mark Chezem, ’84 organization administration, is very proud of the next generation of Cowboys. His middle son, Troy, became an OSU graduate in the summer of 2018, and his youngest, Ty, will graduate in May 2021. They are the Chezem family’s second generation of OSU alumni.

Greg Land, ’85 computer science, ‘87 master’s in accounting, is one of six distinguished leaders at International Business Machines Corp. Land was a founding member of IBM’s Travel & Transportation Center of Competence in 2010. He also serves as the global industry leader in Aviation, Hospitality & Travel Related Services, and Global Market Americas. Land is on the 2020 board of directors for the Open Travel Alliance and is co-chair for the COVID-19 recovery task force of the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Elizabeth (Ripley) Yingling, ’88 marketing, recently started her own law firm, Yingling Law PLLC, where she will represent clients throughout the country in litigations, broker-dealer and securities compliance, and risk mitigation matters. This comes after 29 years practicing commercial and securities ligation for major law firms, including 19 years as a partner at Baker & McKenzie, one of the largest law firms in the world.

Grant Chapman, ’89 political science, accepted the position as associate provost for international programs at Kansas State University. As the university’s senior international officer, Chapman will oversee the comprehensive internationalization of Kansas State.


Ann J. (Gay) Griffin, ’90 hotel and restaurant administration, completed service in the Oklahoma Senate representing Senate District 20 and is now director of government and community affairs for Paycom, a public relations company that is a leader in payroll and HR technology.

Lisa Jacobson, ’92 elementary education, is preparing to take part in her 28th year of teaching. Despite the trials associated with COVID-19, Jacobson continues to teach mathematics at a high school in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Pat Gearhart, ’93 marketing, has been named chair-elect of the board of directors for the American Heart Association’s Midwest Region for a two-year term. Gearhart has been involved with the association since 2004 in a variety of capacities. He received the Heart of Wichita Award at the annual Wichita Heart Ball for his dedication and passion to the association’s work. Gearhart is currently the market president at Simmons Bank, headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Jacqueline Gray, ’98 doctorate in applied behavioral studies, has been named a fellow of the Society for Women Psychologists and for Psychologists in Public Service of the American Psychological Association. Gray is a research associate professor for the Department of Population Health and the associate director of Center for Rural Health for Indigenous programs at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Gray is of Choctaw and Cherokee descent and has worked with tribes for more than 35 years.


Trevor Riddle, ’01 philosophy, earned his fourth consecutive listing in Lawyer of the Year in the practice area of Criminal Defense: General Practice by the Best Lawyers in America 2021. Riddle has received statewide accolades for handling scientific witnesses such as forensic laboratory technicians, doctors, biomechanical engineers and other experts. Riddle is a shareholder in Monnat & Spurrier, a firm with an international reputation for its work in criminal defense, whitecollar criminal defense and appellate practice.

Scott Slagle, ’03 architecture, was promoted to an associate position at Parkhill, an architectural and engineering firm. Slagle’s involvement in the industry began early, as he learned HVAC and plumbing in a family business and continued his education at OSU while working in construction. Slagle’s 15 years of service have included numerous large- and smallscale projects, including corporate office campuses, retail and restaurant finish-outs, athletic facilities, civic buildings and more. Having owned his practice for six years, he sees his projects from beginning to end with holistic, efficient design solutions. He and his wife have two boys, Owen and Miles.

Christopher Alan Taylor, ’04 doctorate in human environmental sciences, received a promotion at Ohio State University to the director of medical dietetics position. Taylor is also the director of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics, co-director of the Master of Dietetics and Nutrition Future Education Model Graduate Program, and a professor at Ohio State.

Ashley M. Steffey Collier, ’06 design, housing and merchandising, was one of several realtors honored at the Texas Realtors Centennial Celebration for acts of kindness in her community. Collier also recently received the Best of Zillow award for her work with her clients. 

Joe Donarumo, ’08 construction management, and colleague Keyan Zandy will receive an internationally acclaimed award from the Shingo Institute for their book, The Lean Builder: A Builder’s Guide to Applying Lean Tools in the Field. Written in a context relatable to construction professionals, the book focuses on respect, personal relations, increased efficiency, and lowering incurred cost associated with construction. Donarumo is currently a senior superintendent at Linbeck Group, a Texas-based technology-driven lean-building construction firm.


Chris Perry, ’10 journalism and broadcasting, currently serves as the external communications and marketing manager at the Dallas Love Field Airport. In this role, he is the airport’s primary spokesperson to the media and community. Since graduating from OSU, he has always worked in the higher education, nonprofit or government sectors. His time within the OSU Athletics Department and serving as a student ambassador for the School of Journalism helped direct him to the non-profit sector.

Ryan Ogle, ’12 business administration, was named the new championship director for the 2021 PGA Championship by the PGA of America. Ogle was an integral force in the strategic planning, development and execution of the 2016, ’18, and ’20 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championships in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Native to Norman, Oklahoma, Ogle’s decade-long sports business career has entailed various involvement in national and global sporting events.

Jason K. Quinn, ’12 nurse science, would love to hear from his fellow Cowboy classmates.

Stephanie Taylor, ’12 journalism and broadcasting, is the online managing editor of Darling Magazine, a media site geared towards women’s strength and equality. Taylor moved to Minneapolis following her graduation from OSU and worked for Delta Airlines’ magazine, Delta Sky. Taylor is thankful for her time interning with the OSU Alumni Association, the OSU Communications office and writing for The O’Colly. Taylor attributes her experiences and education at OSU to laying the foundation for her career success.

Juliet Abdel, ’13 master’s in international studies, won the title of Miss Colorado for America, the official preliminary competition to the newly formed Miss for America Pageant. Abdel is a Sigma Lambda Gamma alumna at large, member of the Westminster Kiwanis Club, Colorado Women’s Alliance Advisory Council and serves on the Leadership Program of the Rockies Advisory Council.

Nicholas P. Prather, ’14 architectural engineering, has recently relocated from Dallas to Rogers, Arkansas, and looks forward to connecting with OSU alumni in Northwest Arkansas.

Debbie Olson, ’15 doctorate in English, was promoted to associate professor of English at Missouri Valley College.

Sandeep Raju, ’15 electrical engineering, will receive the 2020 Engineering Leaders under 40 Award on behalf of CFE Media in spring 2021. The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program recognizes manufacturing professionals under the age of 40 who make significant contributions to their plant’s success, control engineering and plant engineering professions. Raju also serves as the director for the automatic controls and robotics division of the International Society of Automation.

Rikki D. Williams, ’16 nutritional sciences, continues to bleed orange in her recent promotion to regional administrative assistant for Orangetheory Fitness. During her tenure at OSU and Orangetheory Fitness, Williams has been a major advocate for higher learning and both personal and professional growth. Throughout her 18 months with Orangetheory Fitness, Williams has never been prouder to talk about her education and capacity of learning with her community and the company’s members.

Arianna Cole, ’17 management, is an associate in the Tulsa office of GableGotwals, where she worked previously as a summer associate. She focuses on corporate transactions, assisting clients in banking, commercial lending, energy, oil and gas. Her experience also includes labor and employment law, bankruptcy, tax, health care, and family law. Cole was previously a judicial extern for Judge Stephanie K. Seymour, senior U.S. circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Cole was an elite study while at law school, receiving the highest honors of Order of the Curule Chair and serving on the Board of Directors of Tulsa Lawyers for Children Inc. She also received the highest-grade award in six law school classes and was the business manager of the Tulsa Law Review. Cole graduated from OSU with summa cum laude honors.

Christopher Punto, ’19 master’s in health care administration, was one of the four law students awarded a scholarship from Crowe & Dunlevy’s Diversity Scholars Program. Punto is studying at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He is also a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award and ranks in the top 25 percent of his law school class.

Garrett A. Russell, ’19 management, is continuing his academic journey by attending the University of Tulsa School of Law, pursuing a Juris Doctor degree in the class of 2023.

Maria Escobar, ’19 political science and economics, was one of the four law students awarded a scholarship from Crowe & Dunlevy’s Diversity Scholars Program. Escobar is currently studying at Oklahoma City University School of Law. While at OSU, she served as president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) from 2018 to 2019 and is now a member of the Hispanic Law Student Association.


Patrick Ross Smittle, ’20 English, has been able to pursue his dream of teaching kids despite the global pandemic. Smittle was hired in June 2020 by Mustang (Oklahoma) High School to teach junior English. Smittle is overjoyed with his students, team and school. He attests his time and experiences at OSU to his recent career success.


Allison Lang, current student in natural resource ecology and management, wrote a new book titled, Sorry Mort! You’re Just too Short. It was honored as one of Amazon’s Top 10 Children’s Books.

Bob Duggins acknowledges all of his Phi Kappa Tau brothers from 1961. He is very thankful for all of the memories made with his brothers and OSU counterparts.


Ed Stinchcomb, ’83 agronomy, married Lillie Cary, ’80 elementary education, in 2019. Ed is retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Cody Wayne Pinkerman, ’08 aerospace and mechanical engineering, ’10 master’s and ’16 doctorate in aerospace and mechanical engineering, married Renee Suzanne Hale, ’10 chemical engineering, on May 3, 2020. The two met in 2008 while both were living on the fourth floor of Stout Hall. Their friendship grew strong through a mutual love of nerdy things, and they stayed in touch on and off after graduating. After reconnecting in 2016, each with a newly minted Ph.D., they started long-distance dating between Florida and Texas. Eventually Pinkerman moved to Texas to work for Lockheed Martin as a senior systems engineer. Hale works as a research and development principal engineer for PepsiCo.


Tanya C. (Franke) Dvorak, ’09 master’s in agricultural communications, doctorate in philosophy, and husband Joseph Dvorak, ’05 biosystems engineering, ’07 master’s in biosystems engineering, welcomed son William Theodore Dvorak on April 13, 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macy Hula Worley,’15 human development and family sciences, ’16 master’s in teaching and leadership, and husband Brandon Worley, ’17 university studies, welcomed son Jack Thomas Worley on June 9, 2020.

Brice J. Mitchell, ’16 entrepreneurship, and wife Taylor N. Mitchell, ’13 industrial engineering, welcomed daughter Samantha Rose Mitchell on April 15, 2020. Samantha is the granddaughter of Joe, ‘74 architectural studies, and Connie, ’72 business education, Mitchell.

Dr. Roy Ward DO, current master’s student in health care administration, and wife Whitney Rae Ward, welcomed son Wheeler Allan Ward on August 25, 2020. Ward is currently a doctor of osteopathic medicine.

In Memory


John L. Lillibridge Jr., ’50 mechanical engineering, died June 19, 2020. Mr. Lillibridge was born in 1924 in Dover, Oklahoma, and enlisted in the U.S. Army near the end of WWII. After a few years of working intelligence in England, France and Germany, he returned home to Oklahoma and attended OSU. That is where he met Audrey Haurt, who he married in 1948. Mr. Lillibridge went on to work for the Corps of Engineers, where his career took the family to nearly all 50 states and Germany. His passion for genealogy and help from family allowed him to put together a book tracing his family’s history.

Kenneth D. Mitchell Jr., ’50 journalism, died July 29, 2020, at the age of 93. Mr. Mitchell was born to Helen Newman Mitchell Jones and Kenneth D. Mitchell, Sr. on July 21, 1927, in Oklahoma City. He served in the Navy before attending OSU, where he was the sports editor for the O’Collegian newspaper. Mr. Mitchell spent 50 years in the land title business serving the Oklahoma State Title Association and the Oklahoma Land Title Association and became co-owner and vice president of Jelsma Abstract in 1954. He was a loyal and true fan of OSU and served on the OSU Alumni Association board of directors, as a past district director of OSU Posse, and as a member of the alumni lobbying group representing OSU for higher education. He never missed a home football game in 71 years until attending his last one in 2015.

Roger Francis Blessing Jr., ’51 architecture, died Aug. 6, 2020 in Lenexa, Kansas. Mr. Blessing was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Nov. 13, 1928. He married Jeanne Louise Shafer Nov. 14, 1953, and lived a life of love with her for 63 years. His legacy includes many buildings designed as co-founder of Horner and Blessing Architects and many civic contributions. Mr. Blessing was a volunteer and leader in organizations such as the Lake Quivira Country Club, the Symphony in the Flint Hills, the Lakeview Residents’ Council, Scouting BSA, the Architects Institute of America and local school boards. He was recognized for his contributions by the dedication of Blessing Park at Lake Quivira, as a Significant Sig by the Sigma Chi Fraternity, Volunteer of the Year at the Symphony in the Flint Hills, Rotary Club Man of the Year and numerous other awards.

Frederick Ford Drummond, ’53 animal science, died Oct. 18, 2020. He was born July 13, 1931, in Enid, Oklahoma, to Frederick Gentner and Grace Ford Drummond. While at then-Oklahoma A&M, he joined Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and received a second lieutenant commission in the Army ROTC program upon graduation. Mr. Drummond served as chairman of the board of the Cleveland Bank for 50 years. He also served as president of the OSU Alumni Association from 1969-70 and was inducted into both the OSU Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Dr. Jordan J.N. Tang, ’55 master’s in biochemistry, died Sept. 29, 2020. Tang came to OSU from Taiwan, barely able to speak English. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and completed postdoctoral training at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. He joined the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and became a major proponent in studying proteases, a crucial group of proteins to human health. Tang’s research and focus on these proteases led to a new treatment for HIV/AIDS, hypertension and an Alzheimer’s drug undergoing human clinical trials. He held the J.G. Puterbaugh Chair in Medical Research at OMRF for 31 years, lectured and taught at 50 universities on five continents, and he published more than 200 articles in elite scientific journals across the world. His research has been honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, National Institute of Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the United Nations. In 2013, he became the first OMRF scientist inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Dr. Tang is the only Oklahoman to receive the $1 million Pioneer Award — the Alzheimer’s Association of America’s highest research prize. He is survived by his wife, Kuen, his sons, Aaron and Joseph, and his grandson, Jordan.

Thomas H. McCormick, ’58 drafting and design, died June 4, 2020, at the age of 79 with his family by his side. McCormick was born to Robert and Mildred McCormick on Dec. 20, 1940, in Corpus Christi, Texas. The family settled in Oklahoma City in 1947, where Mr. McCormick graduated from Northwest Classen High School in 1959. While at OSU, McCormick was a member of Sigma Tau. He went on to obtain his master’s in chemistry from Kansas State University in 1968. After graduation, Mr. McCormick traveled the world as a chemist in the oil industry and eventually retired from Kimray Inc. in Oklahoma City after 38 years of service as senior vice president and secretary of the board. Among many career achievements is his patent for a specialized method of oil extraction.


Dr. Robert Lee Westerman, ’61 agriculture education and ’63 master’s in agronomy (soils), died Sept. 8, 2020. He was 81. He served three years in the U.S. Army as a helicopter pilot and platoon leader. After his military tour, he enrolled in the University of Illinois and received his Ph.D. in soil science (soil fertility and chemistry) in 1969. Dr. Westerman accepted an assistant professor position at the University of Arizona in 1969. In 1976, he joined Oklahoma State University as an associate professor and team leader of the soil fertility and plant nutrition research group. He was later named a Regents Professor. He supervised research training for more than 40 graduate students and taught graduatelevel courses in soil-plant relations. He was instrumental in securing sustained funding for the Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition Program by working with state clientele, agricultural leadership groups and the state legislature. Among his many honors were selection as a fellow in the Soil Science Society of America, fellow in the American Society of Agronomy, the Agronomic Achievement Award in Soils sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Editor of the Soil Science Society of America Monograph — Soil Testing and Plant Analyses and publication of more than 110 articles consisting of scientific journals, chapters in books, bulletins, research reports and popular articles. In 1991, he became department head of agronomy (later plant and soil sciences) where he served for 10 years. From 2001 to 2013, he served in numerous leadership roles within the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources that included assistant and interim associate director of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station, and assistant vice president for agricultural programs, where he provided counsel to assist in analyzing, formulating, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and revising division activities and functions. He retired in 2013. In 2015, he was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University. His wife, Sharon Yvonne Mires Westerman, survives him. They married May 9, 1959, and had two children, Robert Brent and Nicole Yvonne. He also had four grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the OSU Foundation and designated to the Dr. Robert L. Westerman Scholarship that will go to support graduate student work in soil science. Checks should be payable to the OSU Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076. Memorial donations can also be made online at

Lynda J. (Fulton) Thompson, ‘62 physical education, died April 19, 2020. While at OSU, Ms. Thompson was president of Alpha Chi Omega and Mortar Board in 1962. She was an active golfer, skier and world traveler.

Dr. J. Brent Loy, ’63 horticulture and landscaping, died July 24, 2020, at the age of 79 at his home in New Hampshire surrounded by family. He was born to John and Lorraine Loy in Borger, Texas, and spent most of his childhood in Bountiful, Utah, where he graduated from Bountiful High School in 1959. He went on to earn his master’s and doctorate in genetics and horticulture from Colorado State University. He accepted a professorship at the University of New Hampshire in 1967, where he taught for over five decades. Dr. Loy created the longest running cucurbit breeding program and released over 100 commercial varieties of squash, pumpkins and melons at UNH. He was also the recipient of several awards during his career and was known to be generous with his knowledge. Dr. Loy and his wife, Sarah, were married for 37 years and raised three children.

W. Preston Holsinger, ’64 business education, died June 24, 2020, at the age of 78 in Dallas. Mr. Holsinger was born to Wirt and Juanita (Preston) Holsinger on Feb. 10, 1942, in Abilene, Texas. He graduated from Lawton (Oklahoma) High School in 1960 where he was an honor student, all-state quarterback and the state champion pole-vaulter. He went on to attend OSU on a football and track scholarship. Mr. Holsinger was a Big Eight Champion in pole vault for three years and was one of the 15 vaulters who qualified for the 1964 Olympic trials. After serving in the Army, he obtained his MBA from the University of Oklahoma and embarked on a corporate business career. Mr. Holsinger had successful finance career at Phillips Petroleum Co., Lone Star Technologies and Halliburton Co., where he retired in 2007 as vice president – treasurer. His career allowed him and his family to live multiple places around the world and travel extensively. Since returning to Lawton in 2007, Mr. Holsinger was active in a number of non-profits and church volunteer activities.

Kermit Holderman, ’69 history, ’72 English, returned to Oklahoma State University in December 2019 for the first time in many years. The campus changes and a whirlwind tour of facilities — the McKnight Center, Boone Pickens Stadium and Gallagher-Iba Arena, plus a rugged workout at the Colvin Center — were impressive. But the hour he spent catching up with Burns Hargis, his “pledge pop” from their Sigma Nu fraternity days, was the highlight. They shared memories and laughs. That evening, Mr. Holderman told friends he would return often. Sadly, that won’t happen. Mr. Holderman succumbed to COVID-19 just three months later. “Kermit was a valued fraternity brother with a zest for life and discovery,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “He used his OSU degree to become a gifted teacher and mentor to countless students. Kermit was a proud OSU alumnus and a dedicated public servant.” At OSU, Mr. Holderman became freshman class vice president, competed in intramurals and thrived in his English and history classes. Passionately committed to human rights, he joined the Peace Corps following graduation and was assigned to Ethiopia as an English teacher. On his return, Mr. Holderman married Sue Hennessey, a Californian who had ventured to Stillwater and shared his commitment to education and social justice. After graduation, they made several brief stops as teachers, leading to a job at Sacred Heart School in Atherton, California. Mr. Holderman thrived there, winning many faculty awards. He introduced his students to literary classics and counseled them on college plans and applications. In retirement, the couple moved to the San Diego area to be near family.  Just a few weeks after his trip to Stillwater, Mr. Holderman became ill with COVID-19. He helped in the contact tracing process, and his case apparently resulted from an unwitting exposure to Colorado vacationers. Within a short time, in spite of his optimism and physical stamina, he weakened and was put on a ventilator. His case was so early in the pandemic that family members were not restricted from patient rooms, and on March 31, 2020, Mr. Holderman died with them at his side. Since his death, praises for Mr. Holderman’s contributions to society and reflections on his OSU years have flowed. His fellow students and family recall a bright mind and charismatic personality who thrived on helping others succeed. Mr. Holderman’s roommate of four years, Ken Cook, recalls a “perfect roommate” whose life and example “touched our hearts.” In a recent note to friends, Mrs. Holderman registered the depth of her family’s loss and how thrilled her husband was to return to Stillwater. Above all else, she wrote, he was proud to see how OSU’s commitments to a more diverse campus and challenging academic programs, “the hallmarks of his own undergraduate education,” have been carried out by none other than his fraternity brother Hargis, now president of OSU.

Dr. Daniel G. Shipka, ’01 master’s in international studies, died July 27, 2020, of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a fatal disease that aggressively attacks the nervous system. He was 53. He taught at the University of Florida while attending graduate school and earned his Ph.D. in 2007. Dr. Shipka then joined Louisiana State University. He returned to Oklahoma State in the fall of 2013, where he later earned tenure in the School of Media and Strategic Communications, and only resigned his position as his health declined. His family and friends have created a fund to establish a scholarship at OSU’s School for Media and Strategic Communications. Donations may be made at Please specify that your gift is in memory of Danny Shipka.

Back To Top
SVG directory not found.