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The Women for OSU annual spring symposium is a unique opportunity to gather in Stillwater and 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.

2017 Women for OSU Philanthropist of the Year

Linda Cline

Linda Cline,
2017 Philanthropist of the Year


Linda Cline
Char-Lin Ranch
Cushing, OK
Orange Passion: Students and the Equine Program

Linda Cline’s life has taken many unexpected turns, but it always seems to work out for the best. Along the way, she enjoys opportunities to share her blessings with others.

She met her future husband, Charlie, on a blind date in 1954, when Linda was in high school and Charlie was a junior-college cadet at Claremore’s Oklahoma Military Academy. They married three years later, and remained together until Charlie passed in 2012. They also raised two children and had plenty of professional success.

The couple joined Charlie’s brother, Neil, to establish and run Cherokee Lines trucking company from 1963 until 1990. The business thrived, peaking at more than 100 trucks and even more trailers, hauling across the 48 contiguous states.

The Clines moved from Oklahoma City to Cushing in 1967. In 1985, they purchased the country acreage on which they planned to retire. That year they bought the 17 horses that established Char-Lin Ranch, now a renowned producer of registered quarter horses and Angus cattle.

Char-Lin Ranch grew to more than 2,500 cattle and 300 horses, earning more than 200 world and reserve world championships before downsizing in recent years.


Neither Cline attended OSU, but they credit much of their success to the faculty’s willingness to visit the ranch, working with and teaching them. They fell in love with the institution where their daughter, Amy, earned a journalism degree and their son, Cary, sent his two daughters.

With OSU helping Char-Lin Ranch establish such a successful beginning, the Clines immediately started helping the equine program. Along with donations, they opened their ranch to student tours and hired countless OSU students. They also allowed the Department of Animal Science to use their animals for teaching opportunities, judging team practice, clinics and contests. They even donated several world-class horses to improve the genetics of OSU’s teaching herd and endowed a professorship.

In 2014, Linda made a major gift to fund the state-of-the-art Charles and Linda Cline Equine Teaching Center. It includes a teaching barn with stalls for foaling mares, a small indoor arena, classroom, conference room, feed and tack room, a wash rack, treatment area and offices. OSU Extension Services can host workshops and learning opportunities for students, 4-H clubs and FFA chapters, as well as the general public.

Linda was recognized by OSU with two major awards in 2015. The Department of Animal Science presented her the Distinguished Service Award, and she was named a DASNR Champion.

Cline supports many non-OSU causes as well, including the Right Path Riding Academy, which provides therapeutic horseback riding for those with special needs. She also supports Special Olympics, as well as Love, I.N.C., which helps people in need and purchases Christmas presents for children. Another cause close to her heart is Shiloh Camp, a day camp for inner-city children in Oklahoma City. First United Methodist Church of Cushing also benefits from Linda’s service. Linda also established a youth scholarship through the American Quarter Horse Association.


It was an exciting year for the Women for OSU. If you are looking to be involved or would like to become a sponsor for the 2018 Symposium, contact Mandy Heaps.


Past Philanthropists of the Year

2016 - Malinda Berry Fischer, Stillwater, OK2016
Malinda Berry Fischer
Stillwater, OK
2015 - Billie McKnight, Throckmorton, TX2015
Billie McKnight
Throckmorton, TX
2014 - Nancy Payne Ellis, Oklahoma City2014
Nancy Payne Ellis
Oklahoma City, OK
2013 - Sue Taylor, Enid2013
Sue Taylor
Enid, OK
2012 - Martha Burger, Oklahoma City2012
Martha Burger
Oklahoma City, OK
2011 - Linda Shackelford, Oklahoma City2011
Linda Shackelford
Oklahoma City, OK
2010 - Lola Lehman, Woodward2010
Lola Lehman
Woodward, OK
2009 - Marilynn Thoma, Chicago2009
Marilynn Thoma
Chicago, IL

To learn more about giving opportunities within Women for OSU, contact Michal Shaw.