BY World's Editorial Writers
Monday, March 01, 2010
3/01/10 at 5:52 AM
No one can accuse T. Boone Pickens of not supporting his alma mater. He has kick-started an ambitious $1 billion fund-raising effort by Oklahoma State University by donating $200 million.
The fund drive, the largest of its kind in state history, was officially announced Friday by OSU President Burns Hargis, where Pickens said he would make a second $100 million gift to the effort. His initial $100 million gift was made during a "silent" fund drive that started about two years ago
Pickens, a 1951 OSU graduate, has previously donated millions of dollars to the OSU athletics program, funding a stadium expansion and a sports village among other things.
This $1 billion, four-year campaign will raise money for scholarships and other academic purposes, including new buildings.
Hargis said that with Pickens' latest donation the fund already stands at $537 million.
OSU is well on its way to achieving its goal. Pickens' contributions are, of course, important but it will take more than simply his money to reach the final goal. There are other generous donors of all ranges who have and will make the drive successful.
There was some isolated criticism following Pickens' donations to the athletic department that he should have done more for academics. He seems to have taken care of that. There are also those who sarcastically say that the university should be renamed Boone Pickens University. That, however, is nothing more than sour grapes.
Pickens and several other generous people have taken on the job of making OSU a better all-around school. And anything that helps the Stillwater campus helps the OSU-Tulsa campus, too.
Pickens and other donors realize that, especially in difficult economic times, education is one of the keys to the state's and the country's future. They deserve everyone's thanks for their efforts.
T. Boone Pickens has donated $200 million to a $1 billion, four-year OSU fundraising project. ZACH GRAY / For the Tulsa World