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Facilitating Greatness

OSU builds, renovates and expands

Center for Veterinary Health Sciences Campus Beautification Doel Reed Center for the Arts America's Healthiest Campus Museum of Art

Oklahoma State University's commitment to premier spaces for teaching, research and outreach quickly came into focus when three very different examples of progress were celebrated during a 16-day period in September.

Orange Grove

The university dedicated the Orange Grove, a unique outdoor gathering place for students, faculty, staff and visitors, northwest of the Classroom Building, on September 9. The Orange Grove features a group hammock, posts for individual hammocks and slacklines, a two-person accelerometer swing and stands to display student artwork.

"This is a signature piece of America's Healthiest CampusĀ®, and we are extremely grateful to the Merrick Foundation for making it possible," says OSU President Burns Hargis. "Their continued support advances the improvement of the health and well-being of our students, employees and community."

The Merrick Foundation funded the project with a $50,000 grant, which pushed the organization beyond $1 million in gifts and commitments to the OSU Foundation since 1967. Established in 1948 by Ward S. Merrick Sr., the Merrick Foundation strives to promote a healthier Oklahoma through research, education and awareness, and by supporting charitable organizations and philanthropies.

Center for Veterinary Health Sciences Academic Center

Along with the commitment to wellness, OSU is also dedicated to addressing the growing national shortage of veterinarians. The Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, one of only 30 American colleges accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, officially opened the new Academic Center to house faculty offices on September 12.

"When the Boren Veterinary Medical Hospital opened in the late 1970s, the only space for veterinary clinical sciences faculty was in the basement," says Jean Sander, dean of CVHS. "The cubicles did not provide privacy for the counseling of students and clients. Those conditions made it difficult to recruit and retain the best faculty. Once this Academic Center started becoming a reality, we brought on many bright young faculty members who are enhancing our teaching and research, and expanding our clinical services."

The new building connects to the Boren Hospital, better equipping OSU to support progressive clinical education, accommodate additional growth and meet the challenges and advancements in 21st-century veterinary medicine.

Doel Reed Center for the Arts

Nearly 500 miles away, the commitment to premier facilities is evident in Taos, New Mexico. On September 25, the Doel Reed Center for the Arts hosted a dedication event to celebrate completion of major facilities work. Casa Cooper was named to honor Lerri and Rick Cooper's generous support. A sculpture, Magpie Totem, and a terrace overlooking Artists' Ridge are dedicated to the memory of Jeannette Sias, an Oklahoma philanthropist and arts advocate. Also celebrated was the new property entryway funded by Dick and Malinda Berry Fischer.

"Completing the renovations is huge," says Carol Moder, DRCA director. "We can now house three people at a time at the center as opposed to having to pay for lodging elsewhere. It makes it much easier to offer multiple courses in the same session without dramatically increasing expenses. With visiting artists and scholars able to stay at the property, it creates more spontaneous interactions that will greatly benefit the students."

"We are so grateful for all of the donor support we have received," she adds. "Through enormously generous contributions, we have realized Martha Reed's vision of creating this amazing place. Now our focus shifts to funding the enhancement and expansion of programs, which will add even more value to this unique project."