Posted: Jan 2, 2014 8:28 PM by Brent Pearson, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Jan 2, 2014 10:05 PM
STILLWATER, Okla. - One man helped boost Oklahoma St. University's facilities into state of the art complexes.
T. Boone Pickens, an oiler and businessman, grew up in Holdenville, Okla. and graduated from OSU in 1951 with a degree in geology. After graduation, Pickens began to build his oil giant in Mesa Petroleum. By the 1980s, Mesa grew to one of the major independent oil companies in the world.
With his wealth, Pickens gave back to his alma mater, Oklahoma St. Throughout his contributions, he has donated close to $500 million. Pickens set the record for the largest gift ever donated to a university with $165 million in 2006.
The gift helped start a movement toward building up an athletic village north of the football stadium at OSU. New facilities were a part of a $700 million project.
Boone Pickens' Stadium can seat more than 60,000 fans. The stadium had its largest attendance against Big 12 rival Baylor in 2013.
Other newer facilities funded in party by Pickens at OSU include a new football training facility, tennis complex, indoor track and soccer stadium. Gallagher Iba Arena, the site of OSU basketball and wrestling events, is a newly renovated spot on campus. The arena was once called the "Rowdiest Arena in the Country".