Oct 31, 2020; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma State Cowboys mascot Spirit Rider holds an OSU flag as she rides Bullet on the field after a Cowboys touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Texas Longhorns at Boone Pickens Stadium. Texas won 41-34. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

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Oklahoma State statue will honor benefactor Pickens

Oklahoma State will unveil a statue of benefactor T. Boone Pickens, who died last year at age 91.

The 9-foot-statue will be located west of the football stadium that bears his name and is scheduled for unveiling before the Nov. 28 game against Texas Tech. He will become the third person memorialized with a statue on the Stillwater campus, following former school president Henry Bennett and Nancy Randolph Davis, who was the first Black student at Oklahoma State.

Pickens donated nearly $600 million to departments campuswide at Oklahoma State, which he graduated from in 1951.

Much in the same way as Nike founder Phil Knight at Oregon, Pickens and his money helped raise a football program. Oklahoma State renamed its football stadium Boone Pickens Stadium in the fall of 2003.

His signature donation to Oklahoma State athletics was a $165 million gift in 2005 — with about $120 million earmarked for football facilities — that helped launch a wave of football success for the Cowboys and coach Mike Gundy, their new coach at the time.

Since 2006, the Cowboys have finished with a record above .500 each year and have won nine bowl games. The No. 14 Cowboys (4-1) are scheduled to play Saturday at Kansas State (4-2).

“We could never thank him enough for all that he did for our university,” athletic director Mike Holder said. “He gave us everything he had and all that he asked in return was that we play by the rules and dream big.”

The statue is being sculpted out of bronze by artist Harold Holden of Enid, Okla.

–Field Level Media

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