ADDING MULTIMEDIA T. Boone Pickens Makes $100 Million Gift to Oklahoma State University,...

Wed May 21, 2008 6:06pm EDT

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ADDING MULTIMEDIA T. Boone Pickens Makes $100 Million Gift to Oklahoma State University, Largest Academic Donation in Oklahoma History

   Gift Will More Than Double OSU Endowed Faculty Chairs
STILLWATER, Okla.--(Business Wire)--
A historic $100 million academic gift from legendary energy
executive, philanthropist and Oklahoma State University (OSU) alumnus
T. Boone Pickens will dramatically transform OSU academic advancements
by providing funds to endow major faculty chairs and professorships.

   The gift, the largest single academic donation ever made to a
university or college in Oklahoma, will be eligible for a
dollar-for-dollar match through the State of Oklahoma's endowed chair
program, doubling the gift's value to $200 million. The unprecedented
gift will more than double the current endowed faculty chairs at OSU.

   With the beautiful OSU Edmon Low Library in the background, OSU
President Burns Hargis and Pickens stood on the library lawn in the
heart of the 250-acre campus where faculty, students, staff, alumni
and leaders in government and business gathered to celebrate the
announcement of Pickens' $100 million academic gift.

   "This most recent gift from Boone is indescribable in terms of
what it means in our committed pursuit to advance and elevate OSU's
academics to a new level of excellence in the world," commented
Hargis. "Without question, Boone's gift will enable us to retain and
attract extraordinary faculty members better ensuring OSU students
will be inspired by exceptional and accomplished professors and
researchers. It launches us on our way to achieve big dreams."

   Hargis continued, "We cannot say enough about the generosity and
impact Boone Pickens is having on Oklahoma State University. The scope
and magnitude of his generosity is astounding and we are deeply
appreciative.

   "I believe this unparalleled gift from Boone will inspire others
to step forward with gifts to further our pursuit of academic
leadership and our vision to become a new land-grant university, one
that cuts across disciplines to form a truly new structure that will
better prepare students for a new world, and will expand our menu of
outreach missions across our state and around the globe. Today is
indeed a great day for the future of OSU," Hargis said.

   "I am privileged to give even more to my alma mater," said
Pickens, founder and chairman of BP Capital Management, who previously
has donated about $300 million to OSU. "It gives me great pleasure to
make a gift, that when matched by the state, will transform academics
at OSU.

   "My goal has always been to make OSU more competitive in all
areas. I believe my donations to athletics and now this gift to
academics will do just that. OSU has an excellent faculty and I am
pleased that this gift will create higher expectations and promote
greater achievement in learning and research," Pickens said.

   "This gift is due in large part to the vision and leadership of
Burns Hargis," said Pickens. "He is absolutely the right person at the
right time to be OSU president and I believe he will guide OSU to
levels of success we have never seen before."

   "Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University are blessed to have a
great friend like T. Boone Pickens," said Governor Brad Henry. "With
his philanthropy, he's taking OSU to new heights and bringing exciting
opportunities to students, faculty and staff. His latest gift to the
endowed chair program is historic and will provide a lasting benefit
for generations to come."

   The $100 million gift is one of the largest ever to a United
States university and is nearly double the largest non-bequest
donation to a U.S. university so far in 2008. The previous high
non-bequest gift this year was $55 million to the University of Texas.

   Pickens' $100 million gift and the state match will have a
tremendous impact on OSU academics. The minimum amount to establish an
endowed chair is $500,000 and a professorship is a minimum of
$250,000. The $100 million gift will endow more than 150 chair and
professorship positions in academic programs identified as priorities
by the university. OSU has 101 fully funded and matched chairs and
professorships today.

   The gift also serves as a matching gift incentive for other OSU
donors. Pickens has agreed that if other donors match a chair or
professorship, they may name the chair and determine the academic
program to be supported.

   Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor for the Oklahoma State Regents for
Higher Education, said, "We commend Boone Pickens for his vision and
incredible commitment to Oklahoma State University. This is truly a
historic day for Oklahoma higher education and for the outstanding
faculty at OSU. We also congratulate President Burns Hargis for his
leadership in securing this transformational gift which will provide
our students at OSU even greater educational opportunities in the
future."

   "This is an incredible gift and it underscores Boone's deep desire
to not only foster athletic excellence but also academic excellence at
Oklahoma State," commented the Chair of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents
Lou Watkins. "This gift will benefit faculty and students for
generations to come and will certainly enhance Oklahoma State
University's standing nationally."

   "Mr. Pickens' gift makes a powerful statement about supporting OSU
academic advancements and the OSU faculty," said Bob Miller, Regents
professor and chair of the General Faculty. "His gift challenges us to
further excellence and it greatly enhances our efforts to recruit and
retain outstanding faculty. Endowed chairs represent the backbone of a
university that is achieving at the highest academic level. On behalf
of the OSU faculty, I want to thank Boone Pickens and congratulate
Burns Hargis on this monumental gift."

   "My accomplishments at OSU are due in large part to faculty
members who have inspired, challenged and supported me," said Cortney
Timmons, a junior from Ada and 2008 Truman Scholarship winner. "OSU
faculty are truly deserving of this unbelievable gift. On behalf of
all OSU students, I want to say thank you to Mr. Pickens and also
thank President Hargis for his leadership and the excitement he has
brought to OSU."

   Pickens's $165 million gift to OSU in 2006 was the nation's
largest single gift to a university athletics program. With this
latest academic gift of $100 million, Pickens, who graduated with a
geology degree from OSU in 1951, has donated approximately $400
million to OSU through gifts, pledges and waived fees.

   Pickens has now given more than $700 million to philanthropy. He
has established the T. Boone Pickens Foundation and in recent years
has regularly appeared on the Chronicle of Philanthropy's list of top
U.S. philanthropists. His foundation focuses on improving lives
through grants supporting educational programs, health and medical
research and services, athletics and corporate wellness, the
entrepreneurial process, at-risk youth, and conservation and wildlife
initiatives.

   Oklahoma's only university with a statewide presence, Oklahoma
State University is a five-campus, public land-grant educational
system that improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and
the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research and
outreach. OSU has more than 32,000 students across its system and
nearly 21,000 on its Stillwater campus. Established in 1890, the
Stillwater campus is the home of the OSU System. OSU boasts students
from all 50 states and more than 110 nations, and has more than
200,000 alumni throughout the world.

Oklahoma State University
Gary Shutt, 405-744-6260
gary.shutt@okstate.edu

Copyright Business Wire 2008
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