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RODEO LEGEND HONORED WITH ENDOWED CHAIR AT OSU

(STILLWATER, Okla., Feb. 4, 2009) – To honor the legacy of the famous rodeo man, cowboy and Oklahoma congressman Clem McSpadden, an endowed faculty chair has been established in his name at Oklahoma State University.

“Clem McSpadden was well known for the phrase ‘good people on good soil,' and I believe it was his passion for young people and agriculture that guided his stellar career,” said Dr. Ron Kensinger, head of the department of animal science at OSU. “He also had a passion for OSU and the development of this endowed chair is a perfect fit for his legacy.”

The 1948 OSU animal husbandry graduate was a championship roper before lending his voice as a professional and highly esteemed rodeo announcer. He went on to serve the state of Oklahoma as a state and federal lawmaker before his death last year to cancer.

McSpadden was a native of Chelsea, Okla., and the great nephew of famous American cowboy and Hollywood star Will Rogers. McSpadden is also credited for helping to start country singer Reba McEntire's career by booking her to sing the national anthem at the National Finals Rodeo.

Clem and his wife, Donna, shared a passion for helping young people and together they created the Clem McSpadden Endowed Scholarship awarded today to animal science students at OSU.

McSpadden is remembered also for his patriotism and religious beliefs, which he shared with the world through his original works, “If This Flag Could Talk” and “The Cowboy's Prayer.”

The Clem McSpadden Chair in Agricultural Youth Leadership will provide funds to endow a program within the OSU animal science department to provide a select group of students with leadership and international experience involving state and national government and the agriculture industry.

“This chair will benefit the department of animal science by having a faculty member who will focus on developing the next generation of outstanding leaders for agriculture,” Kensinger said. “We are thrilled to be a part of this effort.”

For more information about the Clem McSpadden Chair in Agricultural Youth Leadership or to make a gift, please contact Kathy McNally at 405-744-7964 or kmcnally@OSUgiving.com. Contributions may also be sent directly to the McSpadden Chair c/o the OSU Foundation, P O Box 1749, Stillwater, OK, 74076.

Oklahoma's only university with a statewide presence, Oklahoma State University is a five-campus, public land-grant educational system that improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research and outreach. OSU has more than 32,000 students across its system and nearly 21,000 on its Stillwater campus; with students from all 50 states and around 110 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 200,000 students who have made a lasting impact on Oklahoma and the world.

The Oklahoma State University Foundation serves as the private fundraising organization for OSU, as designated by the OSU Regents. Its mission is to unite donor and university passions and priorities to achieve excellence.

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