Remembering John Poindexter
Longtime OSU supporter continues to make impact even after death
Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
The fall is always special at OSU. Students return to campus, anticipation for Homecoming builds and school spirit fills the hearts of Cowboys and Cowgirls everywhere. For some, the fall, and October especially, is a time to remember longtime Oklahoma State supporter John Poindexter. Even in passing, his spirit continues to impact his alma mater. Poindexter, who died at the age of 54 last October, was instrumental in the growth of the Farm Credit System and an advocate for Oklahoma, agriculture and OSU.
Poindexter was born Nov. 13, 1957, in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and grew up in the Ardmore and Wilson area. He received his associate's degree from Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, and earned a 1980 bachelor’s in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State. In 1981, Poindexter started his career with Farm Credit in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.
“John Poindexter was an amazing person that always led by example. He had a very strong work ethic and I think the people around him always performed at a high level simply because they saw how hard he worked and how dedicated he was to completing the task at hand.” Dennis Green, chief risk officer at Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma
Poindexter celebrated a long career with Farm Credit, moving in 1998 from Pauls Valley to Broken Arrow, where he was named vice president of operations of East Central. From there he went on to serve as executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief credit officer before becoming president and CEO in 2007.
“As president of our organization, he never let his position get in the way of helping someone do something that needed to get done,” Green said. “If the refrigerator needed to be filled with Cokes or loan files needed to be taken back to the file room, if John wasn’t doing something, he would be right there helping that person get their job done.”
As passionate as Poindexter was about his work, he also cared deeply for OSU. He attended football and basketball games year after year, but he was more than a sports fan. He was also a dedicated supporter of academics who helped forge a strong relationship between the Farm Credit System and OSU.
“John helped our students in many ways, including providing opportunities to serve on a Farm Credit Student Board of Directors, which provided leadership skills and insights into the real world. John would always support educational workshops designed to serve agriculture and rural Oklahoma. He was a source of insightful counsel as we designed our Extension workshops and applied research efforts. John was a friend and a valuable colleague.” Dr. Mike Woods, OSU department head and professor of agricultural economics
Thanks to his leadership and inspiration, there have been numerous areas supported by Farm Credit, including the Beef Center Renovation Fund and Farm Credit Chair.
Those who knew him well say John had a passion for people. As much as he was a leader within the Farm Credit system, it has been said time and again that John was a great friend.
“He was a friend to everyone that worked for him; he genuinely cared about all of the employees,” said Green.
John fostered relationships with many people, bringing Farm Credit closer to OSU, and his kindness and generosity was felt throughout the university. “John was a friend and a valuable colleague,” said Woods.
John’s passion for OSU runs in the family. Poindexter’s two daughters, Kirstin and Kara, are both currently attending OSU. Because of his passion for Oklahoma State, Poindexter’s wife, Karen, has asked that monetary gifts be directed to the OSU Foundation in his memory.
These memorial funds will grow with the hope of one day establishing an endowed scholarship or providing program support that will leave a permanent legacy within the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. To make a gift online, visit osugiving.com/memorialfund, and write “In memory of John Poindexter” in the comments box. For more information about memorial gifts in honor of John Poindexter, please contact Heidi Griswold.