Joe Hughes spent a lifetime serving others before he lost his battle with cancer April 13. Now the Joe and Lynn Hughes Endowed Scholarship at Oklahoma State University will help his name and passions live on.

Hughes was the first Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service 4-H livestock specialist, serving from 1971 to 1999. A testament to Hughes’ impact was the more than 200 individuals who gathered at Oklahoma State University on Oct. 17, 2008, as the Oklahoma Legislature proclaimed the day “Dr. Joe Hughes Day,” in honor of his contributions to the Oklahoma 4-H program. The group announced an endowed scholarship in Hughes’ name to benefit future OSU students.

“Trying to get Joe to let us do something for him was a struggle; that’s just not him,” said Steven Cooper, associate professor of animal science. “Everything he did was directed toward others. He didn’t want a plaque or his picture on the wall, but a scholarship to give back and help others — he was willing.”

The Joe and Lynn Hughes Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate student in animal science with the intent of supporting those students who have benefited from the youth livestock programs Hughes established.

“We wanted to set something up in a major way,” Cooper said. “So many people benefited in the state from Joe Hughes, and we don’t want people to forget what he meant to OSU.”

The department has not set a monetary goal for the endowment. Instead, the hope is that anyone who met Hughes or benefited from his work in some way will have the opportunity to contribute to the scholarship. To make a gift, contact Kathy McNally at 744-7964 or

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