STILLWATER - Dr. Robert B. Kamm, whose career included a nearly 11-year run as president of Oklahoma State University and a bid for the U.S. Senate, died Friday, university officials said. Kamm, 89, died in Okmulgee, but a cause of death wasn't released. Kamm served as Oklahoma State's president from July 1, 1966, to Jan. 31, 1977, but was teacher, counselor and administrator at the school for more than 45 years. He resigned to launch what would be an unsuccessful run for the Senate against then-incumbent David Boren. It was under his leadership that OSU became known as a national leader in telecommunications and international outreach, officials said. "The Oklahoma State University community is saddened to learn of the passing of one of our university's most beloved presidents," said OSU President Burns Hargis. "Dr. Kamm made a lasting difference in the lives of students, and had a real impact on the Stillwater community, our state and our world. He became president during my undergraduate days at OSU and truly inspired me to seek opportunities in public service. Dr. Kamm will be remembered for his warmness, his friendliness and his philosophy of putting people first." Kamm was born on Jan. 22, 1919, at West Union, Iowa. He received his bachelor's degree in English and theater arts in 1940 from the University of Northern Iowa. He completed his master's degree in 1946 and his Ph.D. in 1948, both in counseling psychology and higher education from the University of Minnesota. His service in the Navy in World War II initially brought him to the campus of Oklahoma A&M College. Kamm spent three months in Stillwater as part of a yearlong radar study. After the war and college, he was named dean of students at Drake University in Iowa and also served as student personnel dean and freshman dean at Texas A&M University. He came back to Oklahoma State University in 1958 to be dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and was promoted to vice president for academic affairs in 1965. When OSU began preparations for its 1990 Centennial Celebration, Kamm was named the director of the Centennial Histories Project, which produced 26 books. He wrote 72 journal articles and five books, including "The Best of Mind and Spirit," published in 2002. Kamm was appointed to the executive board of the U.S. Education, Scientific and Cultural In 1988, he was presented with OSU's highest award, the Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award for outstanding citizenship and leadership, at the university's 93rd commencement ceremony. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1972; the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame in 1987; the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 1994 and the College of Education Hall of Fame in 2000. Kamm was preceded in death by his wife of more than 60 years, Maxine. They were the parents of two children, Steve Kamm of Okmulgee and Susan White of Boulder, Colo.
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