An Arkansas family’s $50 million donation to the OSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is being saluted as a “transformative” opportunity for the school.

On Friday, the Oklahoma State University regents formally accepted the huge donation from OSU graduates Larry and Kayleen Ferguson of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The couple gave $25 million toward construction of a new $100 million teaching and research center on the Stillwater campus. OSU plans to begin construction on the new agriculture facility in the spring of 2021.

The Fergusons donated another $25 million to endow the operation of what will henceforth be known as the Ferguson College of Agriculture.

OSU President Burns Hargis said the donations will put the university in the forefront of agriculture research with outstanding facilities and the resources to recruit and support the brightest minds.

“The Ferguson College of Agriculture will be a destination for researchers, professors and students,” Hargis said. “One can only imagine what discoveries will be made and how the world will change because of the work being done in OSU Agriculture.”

The Fergusons met at OSU as students in the 1970s. Larry Ferguson recently retired as president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin-based Schreiber Foods, the world’s largest employee-owned dairy company. He credits his OSU education as the essential starting point for his successful career.

All Oklahomans owe thanks to the Ferguson family, whose generosity is remarkable.

Congratulations also are due OSU. The Ferguson donation is the start to more great things in Stillwater.

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