The Women for OSU annual symposium is a unique opportunity to gain valuable knowledge about philanthropic decision making and leadership. Women for OSU celebrates members of the OSU family who display leadership in philanthropy by naming the Philanthropist of the Year and awarding scholarships to outstanding OSU students.

The 2002 abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed cases of our time. At age 14, she was kidnapped for nine grueling months before being found by police.

Through this traumatic experience, Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. The founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, she has helped promote the National AMBER Alert and The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act.

Elizabeth chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, My Story, and worked with the Department of Justice and other abduction survivors to create a survivor's guide, titled You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction To Empowerment.

Her newest book, Where There’s Hope, shares inspiring insight into what it takes to overcome trauma and reclaim one’s life.

Elizabeth’s example is a daily demonstration that there really is life after tragedy.

Download the 2023 Symposium Sponsorship Opportunities Brochure.

2022 Symposium

2022 Symposium Sponsors


OSU Foundation


Bank of Oklahoma

Sheryl Benbrook

Becky Steen and Robin Byford

Amy Cline

Suzanne Day

Kayleen Ferguson

Ferguson College of Agriculture

Susan Glasgow

Anne Greenwood

Jill Hainkel

Virginia Hellwege

Amy Mitchell and Vicki Howard

Claudia Humphreys

Susan Jacques

Jami Longacre

Gail Muncrief

OSU Athletics


OSU College of Arts and Sciences

OSU College of Education and Human Sciences

OSU President's Office

Jan Polk

Jenelle Schatz

Spears School of Business

Karen Stewart

Lucina Thompson


Kirsten Daniel

Traci Jensen

Pat Knaub

Julie Lambert

McAfee & Taft

Retta Miller

OSU Academic Affairs


Gwen Shaw

Terry Slagle

Melinda and Joel Stinnett

Sharon Trojan

Kristine Waits

Denise Weaver

Leslie Woolley

Past Keynote Speakers


Lauren Bush Lauren

Founder and CEO of FEED, Model


Leigh Anne Tuohy

Motivational speaker and philanthropist


Dr. Tererai Trent

Educator, motivational speaker and Oprah's "favorite guest of all-time"


Amy Cuddy

Social psychologist and author


Marg Helgenberger



Joan Lunden

TV host, author and cancer survivor


Laura Bush

Former First Lady


Marlee Matlin

Academy Award-winner and activist


Jean Chatzky

Financial editor, author and TV host


Holly Robinson Peete

Actress, activist, author and philanthropist


Jennifer Buffett

Co-chair and president of the NoVo Foundation


Lisa Ling

Author, reporter and TV host


Nancy G. Brinker

Founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure


Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Six-time Olympic track and field medalist