Foundation Gives $120M to OSU



STILLWATER—The T. Boone Pickens Foundation recently made a $120 million gift to Oklahoma State University, The Black Chronicle has learned.

Pickens, the energy tycoon died in 2019, but his foundation continues giving to his alma mater.

Kayse Shrum, president of OSU, unveiled the gift late last month.

More than half of the donation will go to academics while the rest will go to athletic programs, the school’s president said.

“Even today, years after his death, he continues to make an impact for good through the generosity of his foundation,” Dr. Shrum said of Pickens in a statement. 

“As a result, a new generation of Oklahoma State students will have access to life-changing scholarships, researchers to world-class facilities, and student-athletes to outstanding academic and athletic facilities.

“Once again, one cannot overstate his impact on our university.”

Pickens’ total giving to OSU now approaches $650 million.

The $120 million gift from the T. Boone Pickens Foundation is the largest of approximately 10 testamentary gifts being made to disseminate the remainder of the foundation’s funds, foundation director Jay Rosser said.

“Boone Pickens’ love for Oklahoma State University knew no bounds,” Mr. Rosser said in a statement.  “His unwavering commitment to seeing the university thrive academically and athletically was inspiring.”

The foundation’s monetary gift will be split three ways:

  • Student scholarships, $63.7 million, which will help ensure more students have access to higher education without financial burden;
  • Karsten Creek, $31.3 million, which will be used to renovate and reconstruct OSU’s golf course.  Pickens had a strong friendship with former OSU golf Coach

The money will be used to renovate and reconstruct with former OSU golf coach and athletic director Mike Holder, who envisioned a plan for a world-class golf course, then brought it to life three decades ago; and

  • OSU Human Performance Innovation Complex, $25 million. 

The recently announced facility will focus on enhancing the health and wellness of students, athletes and Oklahomans. 

Home to the Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute and the Cowboy Football Center, it is slated to be built just north of Boone Pickens Stadium.

“Thanks to this gift, Oklahoma State will be able to provide more students with access to an excellent education while strengthening our position as a leader in research and athletics,” OSU Athletic Director Chad Weiberg said. Additionally, the foundation is donating Pickens’ extensive personal and business archives to OSU.

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