Work continues on new home for OSU Agriculture – Oklahoma State University

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Media Contact:
Mack Burke | Editorial Coordinator | 405-744-5540 | [email protected]

Cornerstone Donors and completely differents rejoice floorbreaking Of latest $50 million constructing

This spring, Oklahoma State College rejoiced the floorbreaking for The mannequin new house
of OSU Agriculture. Although rain pressured the April 23 event indoors, the climate did
little to dampen The thrill as Greater than 350 people, collectively with many donors, gathered
for Definitely one of many first in-particular person events on campus By way of the spring semester.

“This pandemic sluggished down A lot of issues over the previous yr, However it Did not sluggish
the momentum for the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall,” then Prefacetnt Burns Hargis
said On the event. “Our Ferguson School of Agriculture frifinishs and alumni are amongst
In all probability the most loyal Inside the Cowboy household.”

The power will strengthen OSU Agriculture’s evaluation, educating and Extension missions,
the placeas tackleing two key challenges: attracting and retaining scientific leaders and
equipping collaborative teams with state-of-the-artwork laboratory and area amenities.
It is going to redefine What’s potential for OSU Agriculture’s school, college students, and the
industries and communities that Depfinish upon OSU’s important evaluation.

A quantity of Cornerstone Donors ceremoniously broke floor By way of the April 23 celebration.
Pictured are (from left): Jeff and Lynn Hilst, A.J. and Susan Jacques, Frank Robson,
Kay Ingersoll, Dr. Barry and Roxanne Pollard, John Grofinishyke, Kayleen and Larry Ferguson,
Blaire Atkinson, Burns Hargis and Dr. Thomas G. Coon.

“This enterprise Goes To assist us place our school and our college students in amenities
Which will equip them with The expertise, information and The power to work collectively in
order To assist clear up world hunger. It’s So straightforward as that,” said Dr. Thomas G. Coon,
OSU Agriculture Vice chairman and dean of the Ferguson School of Agriculture.

Oklahoma State is already affecting change When it Includes tackleing world hunger. OSU
recently acquired extreme marks from The Occasions Greater Education, which ranks universities
on how properly they tackle the Sustainable Enchancment Goals of the United Nations.

“This enterprise Goes To assist us place our school and our college students in amenities
Which will equip them with The expertise, information and The power to work collectively in
order To assist clear up world hunger. It’s So straightforward as that.”

– Dr. Thomas G. Coon, OSU Agriculture Vice chairman and dean of the Ferguson School
of Agriculture

General, OSU ranked eighth Inside the U.S. and Eighty fifth On the eartworkh in tackleing all 17
objectives set by the United Nations. OSU ranked second Inside the U.S. and Tenth On the eartworkh
in tackleing the objective of eliminating hunger by the yr 2030.

“The Ferguson household has related OSU with their household’s objective of serving to to feed
the world, and this rating reveals that we’re making progress,” Coon said of lead donors
Kayleen and Larry Ferguson and the Ferguson Family Basis.

“With these new investments in our packages recurrented by the New Frontiers Agricultural
Hall, we’re going to increase our influence even further in serving to To finish world hunger.”

The couple dedicated $50 million to OSU Agriculture in January 2020, and Hargis introduced
the present all through a particular event launching the New Frontiers advertising campaign A few month
earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic pressured spring 2020 packages on-line.

Half of the funds will create an finishowment to assist operations On the Ferguson School
of Agriculture, and The completely different half will contribute to the $50 million fundraising
objective for The mannequin new facility, which is scheduled to open By way of the 2023-2024 school
yr.

The Fergusons said they needed to encourage completely differents to Spfinish money on education and The Prolonged time period
of OSU Agriculture, They typically’ve carried out simply that.

At the floorbreaking, they ceremoniously shoveled dust on stage subsequent to completely different Cornerstone
Donors Who’ve given $1 million or extra to the enterprise. As of this journal’s printing,
Greater than 375 donors have dedicated Greater than $45 million in particular personal funds to the
enterprise. Lots of them attfinished the April 23 celebration, the place donors have been met with
a standing ovation. Coon said the reception was a placing reminder of The extent of
dedication and dedication current Inside the OSU Agriculture household.

Cornerstone Donors

“The complete event was energizing and exactly assisted construct A lot extra momentum for the
advertising campaign,” he said.

Larry and Kayleen Ferguson echoed the sentiment, saying it was significant To fulfill
completely different people Enthusiastic about OSU Agriculture.

“The Number of donors and partworkicipants current reveals the significance of this enterprise
for The biggest method forward for not solely OSU, However in addition the advertising campaign To assist feed the world,” they
wrote in an e-mail. “Putting exact faces with donor names is so inspirational. Listening to
their backfloors and pursuits reveals The differ the New Frontiers advertising campaign brings
to OSU and The Prolonged time period Throughout the globe. We can’t wait to see the constructing and packages
come to life with professors, college students and households.”

Jered and Lindsey Davidson have been so moved by the event thOn they pledged $25,000 to
the enterprise days later.

“The floorbreaking is what pushed us over The sting Inside The selection to make A current.
It wAs a Outcome of the thrill for The good future The school has deliberate,” Jered said. “We
felt Choose it was our obligation as alumni to make a dedication … All of us know The good investments
The school made in us.”

Jered earned his bachelor’s diploma in agricultural economics in 2009 and was chosen
As a Outcome of the school’s excellent senior. Lindsey earned her bachelor’s diploma in agricultural
management in 2010 earlier than she added a grasp’s diploma from OSU in 2015. As properly as
to working as an lawyer, Jered serves as the prefacetnt of the Oklahoma 4-H Basis.
Lindsey works as the digital supervisor for OSU Agricultural Communications Providers,
and, till recently, had her office Inside the now-razed Agriculture North constructing.

“One distinctive influence is thOn the university has torn down my spouse’s office constructing
to make room for The mannequin new constructing, However it’s symbolic of the fixed change that
we’ve witnessed from our time Inside the mid-2000s to now. The university Is fixed
to make good strides forward,” Jered said. “We talked about currents of all completely different
portions, but we knew that Our dollars might exactly go further earlier. If We will put
The school and The college students of tomorrow in Definitely one of the biggest place We will right now, why would
we wait To startwork out our philanthropy yrs down the road?”

Dr. Cynda Clary, affiliate dean of the Ferguson School of Agriculture, said it was
significant to see so Many people Spfinish money on the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall.

“It’s exactly a privilege and honor for our college students And school to know thOn there
are Individuals who They’ve by no means met Who’re investing Inside their future,” she said. “We
are so appreciative of what all Of these people have come collectively to do as donors.
They confacetr we Cannot solely make A gooder Oklahoma, but A gooder Usa and
A gooder world.

“They’re exactly making a dedication to serving people proper and meeting their wants
… and that’s whOn their present does. It makes it potential for us and evokes us to
discover new issues and Be In a place to make A much greater contribution.”


Story By:  Amanda O’Toole Mason

Photographs By: Todd Johnson

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