Alumni Association History
The Alumni Association was formally organized by Oklahoma A&M’s first graduating class on June 8, 1897, a year after their graduation. In 1920, it became a self-governed association incorporated under the laws of the state of Oklahoma as the Alumni Corporation after formally adopting a constitution and bylaws on May 22. That same year, the Association initiated Homecoming, the A&M Boomer magazine, county and city alumni clubs, support for Old Central and life memberships. An annual membership in 1920 cost only $3.
1929 saw the Association’s first name change to the Former Students Association and the first publication of the magazine. The Association moved into Old Central in 1930 where it would be housed until the Student Union opened in 1950.
One year later, several other new programs were implemented, including class reunions, fundraising for the football stadium, and a push to create a Board of Regents. Membership also reached 2,000 in 1931.
The Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges Board was finally created in 1944 followed by the Alumni Hall of Fame in 1955. That same year, the Association was incorporated with a new constitution and bylaws as the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College Alumni Association.
On July 1, 1957, OAMC officially became Oklahoma State University and the Alumni Association’s name was changed to reflect that of the school’s, becoming what we know today as the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association.
Outstanding seniors were first recognized by the Association in 1960 and the Distinguished Alumni Award was created in 1977. These two awards, coupled with Hall of Fame, have continued to showcase new graduates and outstanding alums alike for more than four decades.
The Student Alumni Board was created in 1988 as a means to tie current OSU students in with the Alumni Association and foster connections between the alumni and the students. In 1996, the Association reached out to the Oklahoma Legislature with the creation of Cowboys for Higher Education, a program designed to promote the interests of OSU at the state capitol.
Membership in 2000 increased to more than 32,000 and the Official OSU Class Ring was implemented to connect old and new generations of Cowboys to their alma mater. The first Association website was developed in 2001 and was redesigned in 2006 and again in 2008 to provide increased services and connections online for alumni around the world.
In 2003, the OSU Legacy Program was established for the children and grandchildren of current members. Today, the program is highlighted by the annual Grandparent University held in June, which places Association members and their legacies in one of several majors for a two-day learning experience on campus.
2005 brought about another move for the Association with the opening of the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. Located on the historic quadrangle just west of Old Central, the building provides 52,000 square feet of space devoted to alumni, their events and other Association and University activities.
In 2006, the Association was re-aligned with the University to further the interest of both entities and provide maximum benefits to current students and alumni.
For more than 110 years, the OSU Alumni Association has been creating and maintaining Connections for Life between loyal and true alums and Oklahoma State University.
1897: Organization of the Early Alumni Association by first graduate class
1920: Renamed the Alumni Corporation, Charted as a non-profit corporate entity.
Programs initiated by the Alumni Corporation:
A&M Boomer magazine
County and city Alumni Clubs
Support for Old Central
$3 annual membership fee
1929: Name changed to Former Student Association
First publication of magazine
1930: Former Student Association offices held in Old Central
1931: More Programs implemented:
An effort for the Board of Regents
Fundraising for the football stadium
Membership reached 2,000
1944: Board of Regents created
1955: OSU Alumni Hall of Fame established
1957: Name changed to OSU Alumni Association
1960: Started a recognition program for Outstanding Seniors
1970: Renovation of Old Central complete and the Oklahoma Museum of Higher Education was housed in it
1977: Distinguished Alumni Award established
1988: Student Alumni Board created
1996: Cowboys for Higher Education organized
2000: Membership increased to more than 32,000
Senior Ring Ceremony implemented
2001: OSU Alumni Association website developed
2003: OSU Legacy Program began
Online store established
2005: Association housed in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center
2006: Association re-aligns with the University
2008: Association launches new orangeconnection.org website