For Oklahoma State University to maximize its ability to improve lives throughout the state, nation and world, it must attract and retain quality teachers and researchers. That is why endowed faculty positions are one of the university’s top fundraising priorities.
OSU President Burns Hargis made those points and praised donors and faculty for their dedication Feb. 28 during a medallion presentation in the Student Union Ballroom on the Stillwater campus. The event honored donors who have supported endowed faculty positions and the professors who hold those positions. The university presented both groups bronze medallions to signify their importance in establishing a standard of excellence in research and education.
“It is undeniable that much of the progress we are witnessing at Oklahoma State is directly attributed to our outstanding faculty,” Hargis said. “And the generosity of our chair and professorship donors is helping pave the way.”
Hargis added that donors have committed $189 million toward faculty support over the past eight years, increasing OSU’s endowed faculty positions from 160 to 298. The event honored 22 such positions from seven colleges. The Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources led the way by celebrating 12 positions, followed by four from the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. The Spears School of Business added two. There were also one each from Academic Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Human Sciences and the Edmon Low Library.
“Endowed professorships and chairs are the highest academic designations,” said Pamela Fry, interim provost and senior vice president. “These positions provide annual funding for faculty salaries, graduate assistantships, equipment, research and other academic needs. Endowed positions will enable OSU to continue attracting and retaining the best and the brightest academic minds in the world.”
Fry said honorees are “dedicated to advancing their fields of study and desire to share their knowledge with the next generations.”
“Every great university is distinguished by prized teachers and knowledge leaders,” Fry added. “Thanks to the contributions of generous donors, we are able to strengthen the very heart of Oklahoma State.”
“As an OSU graduate myself, I have long had an appreciation for what an outstanding place this is,” Hargis said. “I feel lucky to be part of all that is being accomplished here. On behalf of the university, I want to extend my congratulations and personal gratitude to all of these honorees. Thank you for establishing an even brighter future for Oklahoma State.”