Stillwater News Press

June 23, 2011

Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis and wife Ann pledge $1.5 million to support freshmen scholarships

Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match magnifies impact to $3 million


Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State University President and alumnus V. Burns Hargis and his wife, Ann, are giving $1.5 million to the OSU Branding Success campaign to fund scholarships for freshmen students entering the university.

The Hargises’ gift qualifies for the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match, pushing the total impact to $3 million.

The gift establishes the University Leadership Scholarship Fund to provide financial support for freshman students from Oklahoma to attend the university. It includes a $1 million estate gift and a pledge of $500,000 over the next 10 years, which will allow the fund to start supporting students this fall.

“One of the high points of being at Oklahoma State is working with students,” Hargis said. “Ann and I love being with our students. And they are incredibly inspiring to us.

“Many students across our state have the ability to succeed in college and recognize the benefit a degree from Oklahoma State can provide them. But they simply must have some financial support to pursue it. We decided to help those students through this gift to the Branding Success campaign.”

Hargis said Boone Pickens’ scholarship match program inspired him and his wife to take advantage of this historic opportunity.

“Ann and I are pleased to join more than 62,000 donors who have already stepped forward with gifts to support our campaign and their gifts represent a launching pad for Oklahoma State to achieve new levels of success,” Hargis said.

Since the launch of the Branding Success campaign in December 2007, $749.3 million has been raised to fund scholarships, endow faculty positions, create and enhance academic programs and fund construction and renovation of campus facilities.

“Burns and Ann lead by example,” said Ross McKnight, co-chairman of the Branding Success campaign, along with his wife, Billie. “Burns is a visionary and he has brought tremendous energy to the campus. We are very grateful to Burns and Ann for their generous gift to the campaign. Their gift will have a lasting impact on the lives of countless Oklahoma students who will benefit from earning a degree at one of the finest land-grant universities in the country.”