STILLWATER — A “transformative” $50 million gift to Oklahoma State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will launch a new era of research and development at the school, officials said Wednesday.
The contribution from Larry and Kayleen Ferguson of Hot Springs, Arkansas, will create a $25 million endowment for the operation of what will become the Ferguson College of Agriculture and put another $25 million toward a capital campaign for the construction of a $100 million teaching and research center on the Stillwater campus.
“Not only will we have the right tools in place with this wonderful new building, but the Fergusons’ gift ensures we can always recruit and support the brightest minds in the world,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “That impacts the way we teach, the way we research and how we share that information with others through OSU Extension.
“One can only imagine what discoveries will be made and how the world will change because of the work being done in OSU Agriculture.”
Gov. Kevin Stitt, an OSU alumnus, attended the announcement.
“The agriculture industry in our state employs over 300,000 Oklahomans who are truly feeding and fueling the world,” Stitt said. “The success and rich history of agriculture in our state is due in large part to this institution.”
The Fergusons met at OSU as students in the 1970s, and Larry Ferguson recently retired as president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin-based Schreiber Foods, the world’s largest employee-owned dairy company. It primarily produces cheese products. The Fergusons have previously been a major donor to OSU’s dairy program.