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OSU pair earns $10,000 in competition
OSU students Zack Moore and Matthew Briscoe recently earned $10,000 by placing 2nd in the statewide Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition. The competition encourages students to act on their ideas and talents in order to produce tomorrow’s businesses, according to coordinators with i2E, a not-for-profit corporation focused on growing Oklahoma’s technology-based, and entrepreneurial economy. Moore and Briscoe submitted and presented a business plan that took second place among 26 undergraduate business plans submitted for this first year of competition. Their concept, called “Fit-2-Eat,” involved a quick-serve restaurant and web-based diet management system that addresses today’s need for healthy fast food. Moore is a graduate of Midwest City High School and Briscoe is a graduate of Tulsa Union.Faculty advisor Dr. Jan Wagner, professor, Chemical Engineering, joined the pair during an awards luncheon May 4th at the Nigh University Center on the Campus of the University of Central Oklahoma.  First Lady Pam Henry and Greg Main, president and CEO of i2E, Inc., presented the awards, which included a $10,000 cash prize.The winning graduate team was from the University of Tulsa and the winning undergraduate team was from Cameron University. The competition was funded by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. i2E managed the Oklahoma competition in cooperation with the Oklahoma EPSCoR, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education, the Presbyterian Health Foundation, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), and the State Chamber of Commerce.
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$3 Million SBC Foundation Grant Will Fund Major College Transfer Scholarship Program
At the State Capitol today, Oklahoma State University announced that the SBC Foundation has given OSU $3 million to fund one of the largest college student transfer scholarship programs in Oklahoma and to support academic enhancement initiatives at OSU. OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly said OSU expects to have more than 120 SBC/OSU Presidential Transfer Scholars enrolled this fall. SBC Oklahoma President Don Cain presented Schmidly with the grant, saying that OSU and SBC “create a natural synergy that addresses head-on our state’s need to increase the number of residents with four-year college degrees to a level at or above the national average.” “A better educated population means a stronger and more competitive Oklahoma,” Cain said. “Citizens with a bachelor’s degree or better will earn more over their lifetimes, be more productive citizens and contribute to a growing and prosperous economy.” President Schmidly said the grant is a major step forward in his President’s Opportunity Scholarship Trust campaign, which is raising $50 million for student scholarships. Schmidly announced the campaign shortly after his arrival at OSU in January 2003.  With the SBC grant, the OSU Foundation has received, on behalf of OSU, $37.4 million in scholarship gifts, pledges, and deferred gifts.  Of that total, $11.1 million is endowed.  “In an era of rising educational costs, I think it is imperative that we do everything we can to help students with their educational expenses,” Schmidly said. “As Oklahoma’s land-grant university, we have an historical mission and a duty to continue providing opportunities and access to higher education at the comprehensive university level. SBC’s forward thinking and willingness to partner for such a noble cause will pay substantial dividends to Oklahoma students and the state for years to come.” Read more about this story at
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OSU campus master plan moves forward during charrette
Representatives of The Benham Companies, the consulting firm leading the development of a new master plan for OSU’s Stillwater campus, and university representatives recently participated in a three-day charrette. Approximately 30 faculty, staff and students comprising the master plan stakeholder committee joined Benham planners and engineers at the Wes Watkins Center for the April 20-22 design and planning exercise. An initial stage of the development of the new master plan, the charrette allowed each stakeholder to voice the current and future needs of his or her department and vision for OSU. The first task involved developing guiding principles. These principles (listed below in no specific order of importance) will be used to define and guide the development of the master plan, according to Doug Hartwig, Benham corporate vice president and managing director of its Oklahoma City office. Incorporate Bennett Plan design principles Embrace recognized sustainable principles Enhance core vitality and synergy Value special buildings and spaces Promote safety and security through design Prioritize interdisciplinary interaction on campus Establish campus gateways Incorporate aesthetics and art throughout the campus Improve wayfinding Encourage complementary land uses on the perimeter of campus Coordinate campus and community development Each principle has objectives that will be identified throughout the planning process. Additions or clarifications to these principles may be made at subsequent planning exercises. On the charrette’s first day, stakeholders’ expressed their current and future needs as well as their vision for OSU as a whole. Much of the time was spent listening and trying to understand everyone’s needs and objectives, according to Hartwig. The discourse grew more specific on Thursday, with discussions focusing on design elements, traffic, parking and other ideas for the overall campus. Other issues that surfaced and were discussed included: Core campus Housing Vision of future campus and surrounding community Campus aesthetics Building locations Building uses Campus atmosphere Growth Traffic, internal and external to campus Parking Pedestrian traffic Implementation and management strategies Citing traffic patterns, land uses and commercial development in and around campus and the impact they have on campus life, the stakeholders expressed their desire to see campus master planning efforts coordinated with the City of Stillwater’s master plan. According to Hartwig, the stakeholders are committed to working with the city to develop land use plans specifically for these areas in an effort to add value to the university setting. Benham developed a draft of the campus plan in an effort to validate ideas collected from the two previous days and to begin to focus the multitude of ideas into one all encompassing plan. On the final day of the charrette, the stakeholder committee reviewed the initial concept, and, individually, each member discussed his or her initial reaction to the plan. Clarifications to previous comments were made and additional items, not discussed prior, were offered. It was a very important review and discussion time in the development of the plan, Hartwig said. Collaboration between stakeholders quickly provided a clearer picture for the needs of OSU. As anticipated, the initial plan did not meet the complete needs or ideas of the Stakeholders. This was expected and is typical for this master planning process, according to Hartwig. The stakeholders determined the plan had undeveloped issues and decided it would be premature to offer the plan for review to those outside of the stakeholder committee. Though eager to share the ideas and concepts with others, they felt it to be prudent not to issue a plan at this time. All stakeholders anticipate that an additional two or three iterations of the concept must occur before the picture is sufficiently clear to share with others outside the planning team. As a result of the charrette, the following future actions were developed: All departments will provide information relating to current occupied building area and future required space to meet their five-year and 20-year projections for the size of their department. Benham will take the ideas from the third day and develop Concept Plan 2. The Stakeholders and Benham will meet on May 11 to review Concept Plan 2. A general, flexible timeline for the planning process also emanated from the charrette. Public meetings will be held on campus and with the City of Stillwater during the process to allow additional comments from interested parties outside of the stakeholder committee. Additional dates may be added as future activities are developed. May 11 – Stakeholders meeting to review Concept Plan 2 May, June – Benham develops Concept Plan 3 July – Meeting with OSU Regents in work session to review Concept Plan 3 August – Benham develops Concept Plan 4 September – Stakeholders review Concept Plan 4 October - Benham develops final Master Plan and stakeholders review Master Plan November – Benham writes Master Plan December – Master Plan presented to OSU Regents for approval
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OSU Outstanding Seniors Announced
STILLWATER, OKLA. – Thirteen Oklahoma State University Seniors have been selected as OSU Outstanding Seniors for the class of 2005. This award recognizes students who distinguish themselves through academic achievement; campus and community activities; academic, athletic or extra-curricular honors or awards; scholarships and work ethic during their time at Oklahoma State University. After reviewing their applications, the Alumni Association Awards and Selection Committee met with the top 20 candidates and selected 13 of them to receive this honor. A public reception honoring the OSU Outstanding Seniors will be held April 27 in the Centennial Lounge at 6 p.m.    Cheyene Charles will graduate in May 2005 with an honors degree in accounting and a minor in finance.  He is the son of Greg and Gwenna Charles of Vinita, Oklahoma. Amber Elliott will graduate in May 2005 with an honors degree in marketing and a minor in Spanish. She is the daughter of Phil and Susan Elliott of Enid, Oklahoma. Macey Hedges will graduate in May 2005 with an honors degree in agricultural communications and a minor in agricultural economics.  She is the daughter of Bob and Marian Hedges of Burden, Kansas. Cole Marshall will graduate in May 2005 with degrees in agricultural economics and accounting.  He is the son of Loy and Linda Marshall of Enid, Oklahoma. Ashleigh Hildebrand will graduate in May 2005 with an honors degree in chemical engineering and minors in chemistry and philosophy with an environmental option. She is the daughter of Bonnie Hildebrand of Wichita, Kansas. Ryan Jenlink will graduate in May 2005 with degrees in plant and soil science biotechnology, and cell and molecular biology.  He is the son of Gary and Launa Jenlink of Cherokee, Oklahoma. Cristin O’Connor will graduate in May 2005 with an honors international business degree and a minor in Spanish.  She is the daughter of John and Lucia O’Connor of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Maggie Hill will graduate in May 2005 with an honors degree in advertising and a minor in marketing.  She is the daughter of Gary and M.L. Hill of Edmond, Oklahoma. Nicole Milton will graduate in May 2005 with a degree in human nutrition and premedical sciences. She is the daughter of Mike and Jan Milton of Empire, Oklahoma. Matthew Panach will graduate in May 2005 with a degree in agricultural communications and a minor in agricultural economics.  He is the son of Jim and Beverly Panach of Braman, Oklahoma. Bill Shelby will graduate in May 2005 with a degree in agricultural business and a minor in finance.  He is the son of Rick and Peggy Shelby of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma. Joel Halcomb will graduate in May 2005 with degrees in history and mathematics and a minor in English.  He is the son of Leon and Priscilla of Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Libby Shinn will graduate in May 2005 with a degree in marketing and a minor in accounting.  She is the daughter of Tony and Kelly Shinn of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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Clerico Gift to Oklahoma State University Will Renovate Library Plaza
To honor his late wife who was an alumna of Oklahoma State University, Tulsa businessman John Clerico has donated $500,000 to renovate the original 1953 South Plaza of the OSU Edmon Low Library in Stillwater. The new plaza will be named the Beverly Clerico Plaza in her honor, according to OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly, and construction will take place this summer. The gift equals the largest single donation ever made to the library. “The library is a cherished visual and academic symbol of the campus, and the plaza should reflect this,” Schmidly said. “With this extraordinary gift, the plaza will become the proper ‘front porch’ for one of the university’s most recognized and important buildings. The library is the heart of a university, a facility used by all students and faculty, and this gift is meeting an important need.” Schmidly said, “We are deeply grateful to the Clericos for their long-time support of OSU and for this gift. Beverly loved OSU and we’re honored to recognize her with this lasting tribute. OSU has a special place in its heart for Beverly and John Clerico.” The Clericos met at OSU, where John received his B.S. degree in general business in 1963. “It’s up to those of us who enjoyed this campus and benefited from a wonderful education to give back for students today and in the future,” Clerico said. “I know Beverly would have appreciated this opportunity to beautify the campus that she loved and which played such a meaningful part in our life together. Our family is proud to know that her name will forever be a part of our alma mater.” Schmidly said gifts from valued donors such as the Clericos are more important than ever in today’s challenging economic environment. “The funds we receive from the state, which 20 years ago were close to half of our total budget, are less than a third today. Donor gifts are critical to the future health of OSU.” Sheila Grant Johnson, dean of the OSU library, said, "The Edmon Low Library has served students and faculty for 50 years as a place to meet, study and work. Our goal is to ensure that this wonderful building is preserved for generations to come. Thanks to the generous gift of the Clerico family, the front of the Library will be beautifully restored and will be ready to welcome students, faculty, staff and alumni this fall." The OSU library is one of the finest in the nation, housing nearly 2.6 million volumes. It welcomes nearly a million visitors a year and has expanded its services with its web site and online catalog. The Clerico’s support of the university has been on-going for more than two decades. Clerico is chairman and a registered financial adviser at ChartMark Investments, Inc., in Tulsa, which he co-founded in 2000. He serves on the board of directors of Community Health Systems, Inc., headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn., which operates more than 70 hospitals in more than 20 states. From 1983-92 he was an executive officer in various financial and accounting areas of Union Carbide Corporation, and when Praxair, Inc., was spun-off in 1992, he served as its executive vice president and the chief financial officer and a director until 2000. Mrs. Clerico passed away in Tulsa on Aug. 18, 2004. They are the parents of one daughter, Diane Clerico Deakin of Newtown, Conn.
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OSU Regents Hear about Preparations for Institutional Accreditation Visit
OKLAHOMA CITY – Members of the Oklahoma State University Board of Regents were briefed today about the university’s extensive preparations for an accreditation site visit this fall from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Dr. Brenda Masters, an associate professor of statistics and director of university accreditation, told board members that OSU undergoes a comprehensive accreditation review every ten years and that the university has earned continuous institutional accreditation since 1916. She said a team from the commission, formerly called the North Central Association, will visit OSU Sept. 26-28. The accreditation review will cover OSU-Stillwater, OSU-Tulsa and two graduate degree programs at the OSU Center for Health Sciences.   “The team will evaluate the university and review a comprehensive self-study report, which is currently being finalized by faculty teams and university staff,” Masters said. “The accreditation is crucial because it assures the university community, our constituencies and our educational peers that OSU is providing a quality education that meets strict national standards.” Masters added that institutional accreditation also is a requirement for student eligibility to obtain government-backed student loans. She told regents that HLC grants accreditation based on several criteria. The first is that the university should operate with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the regents, administration, faculty, staff and students. The commission also examines whether the university allocates resources in a way that helps fulfill its mission, improves the quality of its educational programs and gives it the ability to respond to future challenges and opportunities. Universities also must demonstrate that they are doing an excellent job of teaching and that they have mechanisms in place to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching programs. Masters said the university must provide evidence that it promotes a life of learning for its students, faculty, administration and staff by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity and social responsibility. An institution also must demonstrate that it does a good job of engaging and serving its statewide constituency. “The self-study process is almost over, and the report is being finalized,” Masters said. “Our faculty teams have given their input, and we are currently taking comments from other members of the university community. We are focusing on achieving maximum participation by giving the community and our constituents every opportunity to voice their comments and concerns. The next step is to finish the final draft, take additional input and prepare the final report for the commission’s review.” Masters said persons can visit to review the various documents and reports concerning the accreditation process.
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OSU Board Approves Personnel Actions
The Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents approved several personnel actions during its April 22 meeting on the campus of Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City. Dr. Gail E. Gates, professor and interim associate vice president for Academic Affairs since 2002, was named professor and associate vice president for Undergraduate Education. She received her B.S. degree in food and nutrition and her M.S. degree in nutrition, both from Texas Tech University, and her Ph.D. in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the OSU nutritional sciences faculty in 1996, she was an associate professor and directed the coordinated program in dietetics at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where she also had served as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Health Related Professional; was coordinator of the Nutrition Peer Education Program at Penn State University; and was a coordinator and assistant professor of dietetics at South Dakota State University. Gates was named the 2004 Distinguished Alumna in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University, and in 2000 received an OSU Regents Distinguished Teaching Award for the College of Human Environmental Sciences. She is a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Upsilon Omicron honoraries. Dr. James P. Wicksted, interim head of the Department of Physics and professor and Noble Research Fellow in Optical Materials, was named head of the department. He received his B.A. cum laude from New York University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the City University of New York, all in physics. He joined the OSU faculty in 1985, and was named a Noble Research Fellow in 1987. He has served as associate director of EPSCoR an as director of the Department of Energy EPSCoR Program since February 2004. His research interests include using noninvasive confocal Raman spectroscopy to detect hydration changes of ocular tissue as well as to sense the pharmacokinetic behavior associated with ophthalmic drugs applied topically to the eye, and he also is working on developing Bragg gratings for applications in wavelength division filtering, optical storage, and for fiber optic temperature and pressure sensor applications. The Board approved a title change for Dr. Robert E. Whitson from professor, dean and director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources to vice president of Agricultural Programs, dean of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and professor.  The new title is more in line with the scope and duties at one of the nation’s premier land-grant universities in one of the nation’s top agricultural states.  Whitson, who was named to head OSU’s agriculture division at the March regents meeting, comes to OSU from Texas A&M.  He brings vast experience and outstanding leadership skills to OSU and his hiring has been widely praised by Oklahoma agricultural leaders. APPOINTMENTS: Jayson L. Lusk, Willard R. Sparks Endowed Chair and professor, agricultural economics; Hongbo Yu, assistant professor, geography; Anne-Marie Condacse, Refugia L. Lopez Compton, Richard A. Novak II, and George M. Speed Jr., assistant professors, music; David M. Neal, professor, political science; Scott Johnson, assistant professor, management; Susan E. Little, Krull Endowed Chair and professor, pathobiology; and Kurt J. Budke, head coach, women’s basketball. CHANGES IN TITLE: David K. Lewis, from associate professor, adjunct professor and director, environmental science undergraduate program, to associate professor and adjunct professor, forestry; Jeffory A. Hattey, from professor to professor and director, environmental sciences program, plant and soil sciences; Preston S. Carrier, from manager to director, software services. LEAVE OF ABSENCE: Eduardo A. Misawa, mechanical and aerospace engineering, to complete a temporary assignment as program director in the Division of Civil and Mechanical Systems, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Va., May 16, 2005, to May 15, 2006. SABBATICALS: Kathleen Kelsen, agricultural education, communication and 4-H, 100 percent sabbatical to study and gain experience in quantitative and evaluative research methodologies at the Division of the Bureau of Educational Research, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, July 1-Dec. 31; Marcella Sirhandi, art, 50 percent sabbatical to complete research for the book “Contemporary Miniature Painting in Pakistan” at the Spencer Art Reference Library at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Mo.; H.K. Dai, computer science, 50 percent sabbatical to research theoretical computer science with an emphasis on computational complexity and resource complexity tradeoffs, with the attempt to identify and analyze the mathematical structures embedded in the problems, from Sept. 1, 2005, to May 31, 2006; Edward Jones, English, 100 percent sabbatical to begin editorial work on a volume of the state papers of John Milton, which has been commissioned by Oxford University Press at the Butler Library of Columbia University, Missouri, from Jan. 17-May 31, 2006; Martin Wallen, English, 100 percent sabbatical to conduct research on dogs portrayed in the art and literature of England from 1650 to 1840 and their relation to social and cultural history in England, Jan. 17-May 31, 2006; Dennis L. Seager, foreign languages, 100 percent sabbatical to research ambivalence as a trope of resistance in the context of postcolonial narrative in the English, French, and Spanish speaking Caribbean at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Jan. 17-May 31, 2006; James F. Cooper, history, 100 percent sabbatical to conduct research in the unpublished works of the early American theologian Jonathan Edwards at the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, Sept. 1, 2005, to Jan. 16, 2006; Richard C. Rohrs, history, 100 percent sabbatical to complete his monograph comparing the Antebellum political culture in Wilmington, N.C., and Newport, R.I., Jan. 17-May 31, 2006; Jami A. Fullerton, journalism and broadcasting, 100 percent sabbatical to complete the research and writing of a book that broadly examines new approaches to U.S. public diplomacy since Sept. 11, 2001, from Sept. 1, 2005, to Jan. 16, 2006; Leticia Barchini, mathematics, 100 percent sabbatical to conduct irreducible unitary representations geometrically and to describe representations via their invariants at Cornell University and the Institut fuer Mathematik, Bochum Universitaet, Germany, from Sept. 1, 2005, to Jan. 16, 2006; William H. Jaco, mathematics, 50 percent sabbatical to research low-dimensional topology, in particular toward the understand and ultimate classification of 3-manifolds at The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J., from Sept. 1, 2005, to May 31, 2006; D. Allen Scott, music, 100 percent sabbatical to conduct qualitative archival research in Poland as part of a study of the history and development of Reformation and Counter-Reformation liturgies and sacred music in the duchy of Silesia from c. 1520 to 1648, from Sept. 1, 2005, to Jan. 16, 2006; Xincheng Xie, physics, 100 percent sabbatical to carry out joint research in spintronics, a promising field for quantum information and quantum computing at University of Texas at Austin and Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sept. 1, 2005, to Jan. 16, 2006; Robert E. England, political science, 100 percent sabbatical to gather and analyze data focusing on women and minority representation in local, state, and national institutions at Loyola University in Chicago, Sept. 1, 2005, to Jan. 16, 2006; Charles I. Abramson, psychology, 100 percent sabbatical to create a new program of research investigating the plastic behavior of the vectors of Chagas’ disease in Venezuela, Jan. 17-May 31, 2006. RETIREMENT: Nicholas W. Bormann, art, May 9; George E. Arquitt, sociology, May 31; Wayne C. Turner, industrial engineering, June 1. For the OSU-Center for Health Sciences, a change in title was approved for Sherril M. Stone from director of research to director of research and assistant professor, family medicine.
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Regents Hear about 'Cool' New Twist to OSU Body Armor Suit
OKLAHOMA CITY - One of the three researchers who has developed a new armored suit for U.S. soldiers, told Oklahoma State University/A&M Regents Friday that she and her co-workers have added a cooling system on the latest model of the suit. While presenting an earlier model of the lightweight armored outfit to the regents, Dr. Cheryl Farr noted that the military requested and researchers recently forwarded a newer prototype that included a micro-engineered, thermal powder cooling system. The new prototype was funded by the Naval Research Laboratory, which is currently putting it through various tests, according to Dr. Donna Branson, head of the OSU Design, Housing and Merchandising Department. Branson, Farr and Semra Peksoz have researched and developed each new suit. The latest model represents the third contract between the military lab, private contractor FS Technologies Inc., and the trio of professors who work for the department in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at OSU. Sgt. Ryan Wallace, a cadet with the U.S. Army ROTC at OSU, demonstrated the suit’s mobility to regents during Farr’s presentation.  In addition to its flexibility, the suit offers the protection of multiple layers of a ballistic cloth that is known as Dyneema.   The fabric, made up of fibers that are 15 times stronger than steel, rapidly absorbs the energy of an explosion to protect a soldier’s vulnerable arteries, joints and nerve bundles. Though layered, the material remains lightweight, weighing about 10 lbs. per suit. OSU Body Armor Suit 2-2-2-2-2 Researchers say the only downside to the addition of the cooling system is the weight that it adds. “However, depending on the situation, the ability to cool could be much more important than the extra 2.5 lbs. the cooling system adds to the suit,” says Branson. The protective suit, which has gained widespread media coverage in the state could soon be the topic of several network features. ABC, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel have all requested information about the suit.
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OSU Regents Approve Transit, Parking Facility Site, Demolition of Out-dated Building
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma State University’s plans to improve parking at the Stillwater campus and streamline the transit systems it operates, including the daily Oklahoma City and Tulsa shuttles, will move forward following a vote today by its regents. The Oklahoma State University/A&M College Board of Regents approved a site for the construction of a multimodal facility on university-owned property north of the Stillwater campus. OSU will now seek a designer for the three- to five-story complex that will feature 1,500 parking spots, a dozen bus berths and space for office and retail accommodations. The selection of the site at the corner of Monroe and Scott Streets was based on the recommendation of project consultant, Desman Associates. With assistance from a committee of OSU students, faculty and staff, the national firm that specializes in parking and transit planning evaluated 12 different locations surrounding campus. While construction of the facility will require the permanent closing of Scott Street between Monroe and Washington, the site was found to provide the optimal combination of accessibility, centrality and bus routing flexibility with the fewest drawbacks. “The multimodal facility will alleviate the parking problem we have on our campus, and it will allow us to coordinate parking with transit,” said Hugh Kierig, manager of OSU Parking and Transit Services. “At this site, the facility can be a sort of gateway to the campus and potentially improve how pedestrian, automobile and other kinds of traffic flow onto the campus.” The Benham Companies, the consulting firm currently updating the OSU-Stillwater campus master plan, concurred with the Desman recommendation. The master plan will project the facility’s long-term impact on pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns and usage of the community transit system and the Big Orange Buses that travel to and from Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Kierig said construction of the multimodal facility is tentatively slated to begin in summer 2006 and be completed in December 2007. Eighty percent of its cost will be funded by a Federal Transit Authority grant. On a separate infrastructure matter, the board also approved the demolition of the Home Economics/Geography Building on Hester Street north of the Student Union. OSU Physical Plant Services will use its small jobs contracting system to engage a firm to raze the building that has stood empty for the past 10 years. Constructed in 1920 to house the School of Home Economics, Building No. 8 was designed by Frederick W. Redlich, the head of OSU’s School of Architecture, with assistance from Ruth Michaels, dean of home economics. OSU’s geography department moved into the building in the 1950s and stayed there until moving to Scott Hall in 1996. Building No. 8 has since served as makeshift storage. According to Jeff Stewart, interim chief facilities officer for OSU Physical Plant Services, the expense of bringing the building’s physical systems up to modern code was cost prohibitive. Also, the dilapidated three-story structure’s design and lack of an elevator presented almost insurmountable obstacles to making it ADA compliant. Demolition of the structure is scheduled to take place in May, and the location will be returned to a lawn area. The new campus master plan will address future usage of the space.
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McKnight to Deliver OSU Commencement
Rancher, banker, oilman and Oklahoma State University alumnus Ross McKnight of Throckmorton, Texas, will be the featured speaker for Oklahoma State University Commencement Ceremony on May 7 in Stillwater. The Graduate College commencement ceremony will be on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m., and the two undergraduate commencement ceremonies are set for Saturday, May 7, all in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The 10 a.m. Saturday ceremony will feature students from the Spears School of Business, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, and the College of Human Environmental Sciences. The second ceremony, scheduled for 2 p.m., will honor students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. “We are extremely pleased and honored to have Ross deliver this year’s commencement address,” said OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly. “He has achieved tremendous success since leaving his alma mater and has much to share with this year’s graduates. OSU appreciates his dedication and support for the past 30 years.” McKnight, who received his B.S. degree in animal science from OSU in 1971 and served as Student Association president, recently completed a two-year term as chairman of the OSU Foundation. He is one of seven charter members of the Athletic Associates, where he is serving as its first president. He is co-chair of the Boone Pickens Stadium Campaign, and is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. He has been honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from OSU in 1996 and was named a Graduate of Distinction by OSU’s Department of Animal Science in 1998. In addition to his substantial agricultural interests in ranching, farming and feedlots, he also is president and chairman of the boards of RoMac Oil Company, Inc., an oil and gas exploration and production company with holdings in north central Texas, and RoMac Gas Company, Inc., a natural gas gathering company. McKnight is chairman of the board and CEO of two closely held bank holding companies that own independent banks in 14 north central and Panhandle communities of Texas, and is in contract to purchase banking centers that would serve five Oklahoma communities. He is a member of the board of trustees of Scott and White Hospital and Clinic in Temple, Texas, where he currently serves as chair of both the Development Committee and the Investment Committee. He is a former trustee with the Texas 4-H Foundation, where he served as chair of the foundation’s Statewide Campaign 2000. McKnight is married to the former Billie Gaskins of Davis, and they are the parents of two children, Trent, a 2003 OSU graduate and a 2004 graduate of the London School of Economics, and Meggan, a senior at OSU. Other commencement speakers in the OSU System include Dr. Reynaldo Martinez, associate professor of occupational education studies at OSU, who will speak at OSU-Okmulgee on April 22 in Covelle Hall; Jerry Ritchey, D.V.M., associate professor in the OSU Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, who will speak at the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences on May 7 in Gallagher-Iba Arena; Kathy Taylor, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Tourism, who will speak at OSU-Tulsa in the Expo Pavillion on May 9; Scott Meacham, director of the Office of State Finance, who will speak at the Center for Health Sciences in the Tulsa Community College Performing Arts Center on May 14; and Kim Henry, Oklahoma First Lady, who will speak at OSU-Oklahoma City on May 16 at the Cox Convention Center.
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