On Saturday, fans, players and coaches gathered for the statue ceremony of not only OSU's biggest donor, but also their biggest fan, the late great T. Boone Pickens.
The new nine-foot statue of Pickens was revealed before OSU's game against Texas Tech. Pickens was a key contributor to the growth of both OSU's athletic and academic programs. He donated more than $600 million to Oklahoma State during his time as an alumni before passing away in September 2019.
In 2005, Pickens donated an NCAA record $165 million to the football program, which led to brand new training facilities, and Boone Pickens Stadium, the house that President Burns Hargis said Boone truly built. Pickens' name is also on OSU's school of Geology, the school that Pickens graduated from in 1951. That said, to Hargis, Pickins' biggest contribution was something that money couldn't buy.
"What Boone Pickens gave us was the inspiration that we can be more than we ever dreamed we can be. And sure enough that's happened," Hargis said.
No one had a deeper connection to Pickens than OSU Athletic Director Mike Holder, who established a deep bond with Pickens since he took over as AD in 2005. Holder's fondest memory with Pickens was quail hunting. Holder said, whenever he would go hunting with Boone, it would be best day of his life every single time.
"I guess if I can do one more thing for the rest of my life it would be quail hunting with Boone Pickens. I found out that hunting quail without him is not the same," Holden said.
Pickens is now the third person to have a memorial statue on campus. Fans won't forget his name anytime soon, but with this statue, his name, his face, and his legacy will always live on.
"Nobody ever stood taller for Oklahoma state University than Boone Pickens, and now he'll stand taller forever," Hargis said.