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Dr. Ann Caine and her husband, Tracy, pose on campus with their family. From left: Conner and Laura Steen, Ann, Tracy and Chris Caine. Front from left: Charlotte and Madeline Steen.

Introducing Dr. Ann Caine: Get to know the new OSU Alumni Association president

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Media Contact: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 |

On Sept. 1, Dr. Ann Caine became the 16th president of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association.

Caine graduated from OSU in 1998 with her doctorate in educational administration. She has spent her career in education, including serving as the Stillwater Public Schools superintendent for seven years. She recently sat down with STATE Magazine for a Q&A to talk about her background and her love for OSU.

Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood and upbringing?

I am a proud “Air Force brat.” My dad was a career Air Force pilot, so I was lucky enough to live all over the world after being born in Enid while he did his pilot training. My mom was a high school teacher the first five years of my life. I am the oldest of four children. My dad was my first mentor and told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. My greatest “growing up” lesson from my dad was how to be a servant-leader.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in college at OSU?

This lesson will date me, but I worked on my doctorate “pre-computer time.” I typed my dissertation on a typewriter. I remember when the Edmon Low Library got internet. My committee chair suggested I talk to the library about how to do research on the internet. When I asked the librarian for help, she said she hadn’t learned how to do that yet. She then suggested I talk to the student sitting at one of the computer terminals. So, I did!

Where did life take you after college, and how did your career prepare you for your new role as president?

Dr. Ann Caine and grandkids
Caine loves to spend time with her granddaughters, Charlotte and Madeline Steen.

I have been a career educator. I taught emotionally disturbed children and autistic children at the beginning of my career. I was going to teach my entire life until I had two weak principals. It made me think that I could do that job, and I had an amazing principal afterward who encouraged me to get certified. I served as a principal in a high poverty school, then an affluent school, worked in the central office supervising multiple schools and programs, and then moved to Stillwater to serve as superintendent. I retired from public education in 2015. For the past seven years, I have been with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.

What makes OSU stand out to you?

OSU is such a friendly campus. One of the things I love is to greet students as I walk to a meeting. I truly believe we should go out of our way to talk to students in a positive manner. It may be the only positive they hear all day, and that can have a huge impact on them.

What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?

My favorite thing is the relationship piece of the job, and working with alumni is so enjoyable. Of course, that includes the relationship with our amazing staff, and building relationships with our campus and corporate partners.

Caine makes her famous Swedish Spritz cookies for her family and friends every Christmas season.

What do you like to do for fun outside of the office?

I love to walk! Before I started this new job, I was walking four miles a day. I also love spending time with my family. They are so supportive of me. There is nothing better than having my granddaughters (ages 6 and 4) see me and come running up “Petey, you’re here!” My nickname, Petey, is from my maiden name Peterson. Our daughter, Laura, named me when I became a grandma. So, I’m Petey, and my husband, Tracy, is Pops.

Do you have a fun story or fun fact about you to tell our alumni?

Something everyone should know about me is that I love celebrations. My dad, besides being ornery, loved to celebrate birthdays and Christmas. I inherited those same traits from him. Growing up, my dad’s Swedish mom would make Swedish Spritz cookies and ship them in a size 5 shoebox to us. She only made them at Christmas. The neat thing about the cookies is that she didn’t use the Christmas tree disc or any of the other designs with her cookie press. She handwrote the letter “S” for Swedish Spritz. She wrote an “S” because she was proud of her heritage. When Tracy and I were married 43 years ago, I carried on her tradition of making “S” cookies at Christmas. Each year, I send them to family and friends. Most years, I average 175 dozen.

Photos by: Phil Shockley and Provided by Dr. Ann Caine

Story by: Will Carr | STATE Magazine

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