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Mayor proclaims Burns and Ann Hargis Day at A Stately Affair gala

Published: Friday, June 25, 2021

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum proclaimed June 24 as Burns and Ann Hargis Day in honor of Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis. 

The mayor issued the proclamation and handed the Hargises a key to the city during the sixth biennial A Stately Affair in Tulsa fundraiser at the Cox Business Convention Center.

“It’s a great honor for me tonight as the mayor of Tulsa to say how grateful we are for the leadership of Burns and Ann Hargis and what they’ve meant for our city,” Bynum said.

“[Burns] is someone who focused the Stillwater team on Tulsa, which I am especially thankful for.”

This year’s A Stately Affair in Tulsa gala recognized both Hargises as the event’s Icons for their significant contributions to Tulsa and Oklahoma, as well as their unwavering support for OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences.

“What an incredible night to be a Cowboy,” said OSU-Tulsa trustee John O’Connor, who co-chaired the gala with his wife, Lucia. “Burns and Ann, thank you for your leadership. We’re so grateful for each of you.”

The connection between Tulsa and OSU has flourished during Burns Hargis’ 13 years of transformative leadership.

OSU-Tulsa has created pathways to higher education through new academic programs and partnerships as the city’s public, metropolitan urban-serving research university. New OSU-Tulsa initiatives under the leadership of President Pamela Fry include College Park, the OSU College of Professional Studies and the 100 Points of Truth and Transformation.

Dr. Kayse Shrum, president of the OSU Center for Health Sciences, has expanded access to medical care throughout the state with rural health initiatives and the opening of the new OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation, the first tribally affiliated medical school in the country. The OSU Center for Health Sciences partnership with the new Veterans Hospital in Tulsa, The National Center for Wellness and Recovery, and the Hardesty Center for Clinical Research and Neuroscience are each achievements in advancing the land-grant mission for all Oklahomans. Shrum will succeed Hargis as OSU president on July 1.

The Hargises have enthusiastically united the broad OSU community of students, employees, alumni and donors behind a bold vision of a modern land-grant university that cuts across disciplines to better prepare students for success. The results have been historic.

Under President Hargis’ leadership, OSU has seen record enrollment and record fundraising, with pledges and cash surpassing the $1 billion Branding Success campaign goal nearly two years ahead of schedule. In total, OSU has raised more than $2 billion in private support and added more than 81,000 new donors during his presidency.

“Burns has made a huge difference in our university and its perception across the country,” said Jay Helm, an Oklahoma State Regent for Higher Education. “Burns and Ann, I hope you take with you all the heart and love and admiration from your fans and friends.”

A Stately Affair in Tulsa aims to raise scholarship funds for students of both OSU-Tulsa and the OSU Center for Health Sciences. This year’s gala raised more than $1.3 million.

“We’re all here tonight because of the students,” Ann Hargis said. “That’s what generates us to have such passion — to see these bright, talented students having a wonderful opportunity thanks to all of you, and watching them flourish going into their adult lives.”

“This is the best job in the world,” Burns Hargis said. “We’ve been so blessed to have this job, and Tulsa has been such a special part of our time here.”

For more information about A Stately Affair and Burns and Ann Hargis’ legacy in Tulsa, visit astatelyaffair.com.

Ann and Burns Hargis, along with Oklahoma State Regent for Higher Education Jay Helm, hold up an original artwork by Native American artist Ben Harjo, gifted to the Hargises at the A Stately Affair gala.
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Media Contact: Aaron Campbell | 918-594-8046 | aaron.ross.campbell@okstate.edu