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With T. Boone Pickens’ gift, OSU kicks off drive for $1B

BY SUSAN SIMPSON Published: February 27, 2010

STILLWATER — Energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens said Friday he’ll give another $100 million to his alma mater Oklahoma State University as part of a $1 billion fundraising campaign.

The $100 million estate gift will fund a major endowment for scholarships, said Pickens, who has now given more than $500 million to OSU.

"You’ve got a guy who loves the school more than anything, and I am very competitive,” Pickens said. "And from time to time you catch me with money.”

OSU President Burns Hargis made the announcement with Pickens before hundreds of OSU supporters, students and staff in the Student Union.

Hargis said he was publicly launching the $1 billion campaign, called "Branding Success,” but has quietly been raising money since he was appointed president in 2007, including $100 million from Pickens in May 2008 for faculty endowments.

With Pickens’ latest gift, $537 million now has been raised toward the $1 billion goal, which OSU hopes to reach by the end of 2014.

Hargis said he intends for OSU to be the nation’s premier land grant university. He urged alumni and supporters to make donations of any size.

"We have 225,000 alums,” Hargis said.

"If everyone gave us $100, it would be transformational in itself.”

About half of the $1 billion will go to endow scholarships and fellowships for students.