Funding Life-Changing Experiences

Scholarships to the Doel Reed Center help students access one-of-a-kind cultural experiences and credit courses.

Each summer, 25 to 30 OSU students travel to the Doel Reed Center in Taos for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience and credit courses. Located in beautiful Taos, New Mexico, the Doel Reed Center allows students to take in the rich culture and history of Northern New Mexico while learning unique and valuable skills through the diverse courses offered.

These courses often expose students to new topics and ways of thinking and can even impact their approach to their education.

“Whenever students have the opportunity to experience a form of life outside of their known cultural experience, it moves them closer to appreciating the variety and richness within humankind,” Oklahoma State University Professor Chris Ramsay said. “The experience gleaned from travel programs is without a doubt priceless, and compared to travel abroad programs, this experience is much more accessible, being only a 10-hour drive away.”

Jewelry Students

Ramsay taught a jewelry making course in Taos this past summer and saw first-hand how scholarships gave students access to this experience.

“The majority of students I’m familiar with use the summer as a time to return home and work to support themselves financially through the fall and spring semesters,” he said. “I’m not sure how many of them would be able to afford losing out on working for a travel course without a scholarship.”

As many as 26 scholarships are given for the students to attend the various summer classes that range from creative writing to clothing and textile design, and jewelry making. "Scholarships end up being the deciding factor for whether many students can attend," said Carol Moder, Director of the Doel Reed Center.

Currently, there are five endowed funds that assist students in accessing these incredible courses and cultural experiences. The Doel Reed Center for the Arts Annual Scholarship Fund, Dave and Louise Maher Endowed Scholarship, Smelser-Vallion Endowed Scholarship, Franklin and Louise Nash Endowed Scholarship and the Estelle A. Hammond Endowed Scholarship. Each fund provides $1,000 to $1,250 to its recipients.

Visiting Artist and Students

The Doel Reed Center would like to grow scholarship support enough to fund the full cost of attendance for each of its student participants.

Paul Armstrong attended Sarah Beth Childers’ class on non-fiction creative writing this past summer. The Ph.D. creative non-fiction student said he would have missed the opportunity without the support of the Smelser-Vallion scholarship.

“I experienced a great personal cultural growth and awareness through this class in Taos,” Armstrong said.

“I would have taken this much-needed class this coming fall semester in Stillwater, but Professor Childers is on leave in the fall,” he said. “Since I am close to finishing my Ph.D. course, not being able to enroll in this summer class would have significantly delayed my scholarly process and could have detrimentally affected my ability to graduate in a timely manner.”

Armstrong’s experience was made possible by the generosity and support of donors, for which the Doel Reed Center is extremely grateful.

For more information on how you can help create more opportunities for students, contact Deb Engle at 405.385.5600 or