JANUARY 16, 2008

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Nation’s premier undergraduate engineering scholars program created at OSU

Photo of four dignitaries signing an agreement at a table.
OSU Foundation President and CEO Kirk Jewell and College of Engineering, Architecture & Technology Dean Karl Reid; (Sitting L-R) Alumnus Wayne Allen and Interim OSU President Marlene Strathe.

The Oklahoma State University Foundation announced a landmark gift from 1959 mechanical engineering alumnus W. Wayne Allen, which will create the W.W. Allen Scholars Program, the premier undergraduate engineering scholarship and enrichment program in the nation. The program will accelerate the intellectual development of engineering graduates destined to become leaders of innovation and giants of industry.

The primary focus of the program is for Allen Scholars to be competitive with the best engineering students in the nation. These students will be recruited from across the nation, selected based on extraordinary intellectual success and leadership development while in high school, and on their potential to make significant contributions to their professions.

All scholars will receive generous scholarships throughout their undergraduate study, and will engage in national and international travel, leadership and professional development, and will have an opportunity to pursue a one-year post-graduate educational opportunity abroad.

Allen, a former CEO of Phillips Petroleum Company, was inspired to fund the new program after first observing the high impact of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Scholars Program initiated in 1989. He then observed first-hand how lives of outstanding students were changed by the subsequent Phillips Scholars Program he established in 1996 and the W. W. Allen Scholars Program he established in 2004.

“This new endowed program takes the earlier concept to an entirely new level of scholarship and enrichment support and adds an opportunity for Allen Scholars to study abroad for a year after graduation,” said Karl Reid, dean of the CEAT. “Mr. Allen’s generosity and passion for enriching the educational experience of our engineering students has made and will continue to make an incredible difference in our ability to recruit outstanding students into the college. Because of the unique scholars programs, more than 40 percent of the new freshmen entering the CEAT each year rank in the top four percent of students in the nation.”

Photo of three engineering students with W. W. Allen.
Several Allen Scholars and engineering students were present during Allen’s endowment signing ceremony, which will provide a significant boost to the program’s funding and stature. Pictured are (L-R) Ward Cable, Wichita Falls, Texas; Heather Beem, Stillwater; Allen; Tanner Sims, Pauls Valley.

A dedicated champion of OSU, Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in industrial engineering and management from OSU. He has served on the OSU Foundation Board of Governors and Board of Trustees. He is a member and past chairman of the CEAT Associates, and was inducted into the CEAT Hall of Fame in 1992 and the OSU Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 1993. He currently resides in Houston.

In 1996, Allen received the Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award, the highest humanitarian award given by OSU; and in 1997, Allen was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive from the state. Long a major contributor to his alma mater, Allen served as chairman of the university’s first major comprehensive campaign, “Bringing Dreams to Life,” from 1995 to 2000.

“Wayne has steadfastly grown his vision and support of an undergraduate scholarship and enrichment program that is the best in the entire nation. We are grateful that Wayne has such a passion for providing an unparalleled educational experience for a select group of engineering students at OSU,” said Kirk Jewell, president and CEO of the OSU Foundation.

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.

For more information on the OSU Foundation, log on to our Web site at www.OSUgiving.com or call 405.385.5100.