OSU mascot Pistol Pete is known for his larger-than-life cowboy hat and pistols firing.
But for the two students each year who portray the character modeled after Frank Eaton, another part of Pete’s attire holds even more significance.
“In 2003, longtime banker and spur collector Bob Clark offered to donate custom-made spurs to the students serving as Pete,” says Scott Petty, a 1988 OSU graduate and former Pistol Pete.
“Mr. Clark’s daughter, Lynn Elsberry, and her husband, Max, have continued the tradition her father began.”
On Sept. 6, OSU students Landon Stallings and Preston Whitlaw will receive their official Pistol Pete spurs from the Elsberrys, continuing a tradition that has gone relatively unnoticed until recently.
“The Pistol Pete alumni group concluded it was time to begin publicly recognizing the student leaders who invest so much of their college experience as the ultimate school ambassador,”
Petty says. “After discussing the idea with the OSU Alumni Association’s leadership, they embraced it, and we’ve been introducing the new Petes and presenting them their spurs at the Cowboy Corral ever since.”
OSU alumni and fans have been flocking to the Cowboy Corral on game days for the past decade. The free event inside the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center offers family-friendly tailgating in a climate-controlled environment.
“Your game day in Stillwater isn’t complete without a trip to the Cowboy Corral,” says Chris Batchelder, OSU Alumni Association president. “From the great food to the exciting pep rally, everything you need to get fired up for Cowboy football is right here under one roof.”
The highlight of each Cowboy Corral is a pep rally held 30 minutes before the Spirit Walk. The Cowboy Marching Band and OSU Spirit Squads entertain the crowd while Pistol Pete poses for pictures. Outside on the terrace, Bullet and the Spirit Rider team also make an appearance for photos with families. And no game day is complete without a slice of Hideaway pizza or a hamburger from Freddie Paul’s — both of which are available at the Cowboy Corral.
“Not only is the Cowboy Corral a spirited affair, but it’s also an opportunity for the Alumni Association to recognize its most distinguished graduates,” says Haley Brorsen, Alumni Association marketing director.
This fall, two of the five Cowboy Corrals will recognize alumni award winners. The Sept. 13 event will recognize the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees, while Nov. 15’s event will pay tribute to Jeraldine “Jerry” Brown, who is receiving the OSU American Indian Alumni Society’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Cowboy Corrals are also planned for the Oct. 4 game and the Oct. 25 Homecoming game, which has discounted tickets for Alumni Association members.
“There are a lot of reasons to attend the Cowboy Corral, but Pistol Pete is a fan favorite at every event,” Brorsen says.
The season’s first Cowboy Corral opens at 11 a.m. Sept. 6. The Pistol Pete spurs presentation will be at high noon inside Click Family Alumni Hall.
“We’re proud to share this heritage and the legacy of Pistol Pete with our fellow alumni at the first home football game,” Petty says. “It’s the perfect venue to create this recognition with active alumni and our two Pistol Petes.”
For more information about the Cowboy Corral including a schedule of events for each game day, visit orangeconnection.org/cowboycorral or call the OSU Alumni Association at 405-744-5368.