Oklahoma State University has announced a $100 million challenge gift from energy tycoon and alumnus T. Boone Pickens to support scholarships for OSU students.
The gift was awarded as part of OSU's $1 billion Branding Success campaign, which is seeking to raise $500 million to endow student scholarships and fellowships, $200 million to attract and retain top professors and researchers, $200 million to construct and upgrade educational and research facilities, and $100 million to create and sustain programs and services of benefit to Oklahoma communities. More than $437 million was committed during the "quiet" phase of the campaign, which began in December 2007.
Announced at the launch of the campaign's public phase, Pickens's testamentary gift will be used to establish a scholarship endowment to attract students to OSU and provide financial assistance to students who are unable to attend a major research university because of financial limitations. According to the Associated Press, Pickens has already given more than $500 million to OSU, including $165 million in January 2006 for athletics, $100 million in May 2008 for endowed chairs, and additional gifts of $75 million, $63 million, and $5 million.
"We are extraordinarily grateful to Boone for his continued generosity to Oklahoma State," said OSU president V. Burns Hargis. "Boone's astounding gift, combined with the many other advance gifts we have already received, puts us in a strong position to meet and even exceed our billion dollar goal before December 31, 2014 — the target date for the completion of the campaign."