OSU President Emeritus Burns Hargis to launch OSU Hargis Leadership Institute

Oklahoma State University is creating a legacy of leadership with the opening of the OSU Hargis Leadership Institute. OSU President Emeritus Burns Hargis, former First Lady Ann Hargis and OSU students launched the new program with a ribbon cutting ceremony and block party celebration on the OSU-Stillwater campus on Oct. 14 on the Student Union Plaza.

Mike and Anne speaking

The Hargis Leadership Institute is initially funded by a $2 million endowed Chair for Ethical Leadership donated by OSU alumni Carol and Frank Morsani. Hargis will hold the Morsani chair for the benefit of the institute. He will be a frequent guest speaker, mentor and fundraiser for the institute.

“The overarching vision of the Leadership Institute is to help every OSU student find the leader within them,” said Burns Hargis. “This institute will provide an opportunity for all of our students to explore and nourish their leadership potential.”

“OSU’s leadership programming concentrates on impacting students for a lifetime to help set them on a path to continually explore, grow and serve,” said Hargis Leadership Institute Director Josh Taylor. “The institute will support leadership programs across the breadth of the university where faculty equip students, students mentor others, and leaders engage in student government, serve as campus ambassadors, lead in the Greek system and Residential Living Centers, and serve in cultural organizations — all of which bring a rich diversity and inclusiveness to OSU. An important goal for this new institute is to give these student organizations new tools for discovering and developing leaders at OSU.”

OSU is known for three hallmark competitive leadership scholarship programs: the President’s Leadership Council, the McKnight Scholars Leadership Program and the Devon Ingenuity Scholars.

The President’s Leadership Council is a competitive scholarship and leadership program for freshmen that teaches the importance of leading and serving throughout life. Hargis was a member of the first President’s Leadership Council at its inception in1967.

The McKnight Scholars Leadership program provides a four-year out-of-state tuition waiver and offers an opportunity to develop essential leadership skills through exclusive coursework and seminars. The McKnight Scholars Leadership program was founded by a $10 million endowment by Ross and Billie McKnight.

The Devon Ingenuity Leadership Program is funded by a gift from Devon and includes scholarships for sophomores and juniors in STEM fields. The program specifically develops emotional intelligence, leading inside of teams through collaboration, and effective communication skills.

“President Emeritus Hargis is beloved by OSU alumni and donors who are eager to support important Hargis initiatives,” said OSU Foundation President Blaire Atkinson. “Through this fall’s Hargis Legacy Celebration fundraiser, we have already raised over $1 million to support leadership initiatives in addition to the Morsani endowment funding, to set this program up for success. We are grateful for the many donors who stepped up to show gratitude for the transformational impact the Hargises have made at OSU and believe this institute will expand their impact for generations to come.”

Immediate programming provided by the new institute will include leadership coaching programs, conferences, retreats and seminars. The institute continues to design its academic offerings as it collaborates and partners with academic colleges, businesses and industries.

OSU students who want to lead and serve in college and beyond may visit the OSU Hargis Leadership Institute at leadership.okstate.edu and click “Get Involved.” The Hargis Leadership Institute staff will gladly follow up and support each individual’s leadership growth through the programs that best fit their needs.