Dedicating the Charles and Linda Cline Equine Teaching Center

I have long believed that when it comes to land-grant universities, our successes are ultimately reflected in how well we help others succeed. And sometimes, those who benefit from our services find it in their heart to help support our programs with gifts. Nothing illustrates that better than the story behind our new state-of-the-art equine center.

This week, we dedicated the multi-million-dollar Charles and Linda Cline Equine Teaching Center in Stillwater. The 60-acre complex features a teaching barn, small indoor arena, classrooms, feed and tack rooms, a wash rack and a treatment area. It also provides excellent facilities for mares during foaling season and for students who assist in the foaling process.

Charles and Linda Cline Equine Teaching Center Dedication.

Charles and Linda Cline Equine Teaching Center Dedication.

This outstanding facility will give us another tremendous advantage in recruiting top students from across the nation and world. It also will give our students and industry partners a chance to master cutting-edge production management practices, as well as engage in hands-on activities year-round through use of the classroom space and indoor arena.

Finally, the center will no doubt benefit our Extension programs and 4-H youth activities when needed, helping to ensure our programs will reach across the state.

None of this would have been possible without generous benefactors, who were honored by DASNR during dedication ceremonies Feb. 16.

The center’s namesakes, Linda Cline of Char-Lin Ranch near Cushing, and her husband Charles established one of most successful horse operations in the state. Linda provided the gift that sparked the effort as a way of honoring her late husband and their longtime patronage of equine students.

Interestingly, neither Linda nor Charles attended OSU, but credit much of their success to working and interacting with DASNR faculty over the years to learn every aspect of the horse business, including production, animal well-being and ranch management. Without her gift, our students with equine interests would still be shivering in open barns.

Other donors include Shawnee Milling, which underwrote the feed and tack room; Mel and Jackie Bollenbach, premiere breeders of Quarter Horse racing stock, who sponsored the viewing and office areas; and Preifert, manufacturers of farm, ranch and rodeo equipment, which provided the stalls.

Heritage Place, the industry-renowned 40-acre equine sale enterprise in Oklahoma City, contributed funding for the center’s foyer, while Cross Bar Gallery donated artwork and accessories.

As each donor acknowledged, they are proud and happy to make such a significant investment in the future of OSU students, the state of Oklahoma and the equine industry. We’re deeply appreciative of their support of our commitment to excellence.

These are exciting times to be part of the OSU Cowboy and DASNR families as we take a huge step forward in helping others reach their goals, and in so doing, fulfill our mission of enhancing the lives of Oklahomans of all ages.

For more information about this and other financial support programs for DASNR and OSU, visit www.osugiving.com.

Research Week 2016 is here

Research is a critical function at most institutions of higher learning in this country. However, the pursuit of new knowledge holds an extra special place here at Oklahoma State. As one of the nation’s premiere land-grant universities, research – along with teaching and Extension outreach – forms the very basis of our educational mission.

In fact, I would say research is the foundational mission in that the new knowledge it generates feeds into the content of courses offered in our academic programs and into the Extension programs that translate research findings into practical uses by Oklahomans across the state.

Wheat Breeding program at Oklahoma State University. staff of Plant and Soil Sciences work long days crossing thousands of wheat prodigy using genetic stock from around the world.

Within DASNR, research is vigorously supported and encouraged among faculty, graduates and undergraduates. One example of this commitment is the Undergraduate Research Scholar program, which is a partnership between CASNR and the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station that allows student participants to engage in a research project with faculty mentors for a full year. There were 31 students chosen for the program for the 2015-16 academic year.

In another example, CASNR students have the opportunity to present their research as part of the college’s annual Three-Minute Thesis competition. This year’s contest was Feb. 11, with the top two finishers moving on to the university wide 3MT competition March 3.

Given the strong emphasis on research throughout the university and DASNR, it’s probably not so surprising we dedicate an entire week to celebrating the broad spectrum of scientific, technological and artistic research and scholarly activity of our undergraduate and graduate students as well as our faculty.

Even so, I’m excited to acknowledge Research Week 2016 kicks off today, Feb. 15, with a special panel discussion featuring OSU faculty representing the arts, civil engineering, geography, history and physiological sciences. The week closes on a strong note with an OSU Department of Theatre performances of “Almost, Maine” Thursday and Friday, Feb. 18 and 19.

In between, there’s a full slate of symposia, guest lectures, student research presentations/competitions, art exhibits and a special series of faculty panels highlighting a range of scientific, scholarly and creative research happening at OSU.

DASNR will be well represented throughout the week. Individuals from the division and college will be participating on panels on Wednesday and Friday.

I encourage everyone to take advantage of all Research Week 2016 has to offer, keeping in mind this is just a small taste of all the important scholarly pursuits taking place across campus. It underscores how meaningful research is to sustaining and advancing the land-grant mission.

It’s also a great reminder of how seriously we take our commitment to promoting and encouraging research in an academic setting. Consistently pushing the boundaries of our knowledge and seeking new discoveries is crucial to enhancing the quality of life of Oklahomans and others across the nation.