OSU New Frontiers Donor Names Space in Memory of His Mother

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Media Contact: Mandy Gross | Senior Manager of Strategic Communications and Special Projects | 405-744-4063 | [email protected]

The Lee family has cultivated a love of the land, nature, animals and agriculture that goes back generations. For Tammy Lee of Bandera, Texas, that love grew even stronger through her experiences at Oklahoma State University.

“I didn’t grow up in what you consider production agriculture,” Lee said. “I think it’s more what you would describe as Old MacDonald’s farm plus lots of horses. However, my family loved our land, grew nearly every fruit and vegetable that grows in Oklahoma, and my mother had a 2-acre flower garden that would rival the Myriad Botanical Garden. For me, coming to OSU and continuing this legacy rooted in agriculture was just natural.

Her experiences led her to support the New Frontiers campaign to build a new state-of-the-art teaching, research and extension facility for OSU Agriculture and to name the rodeo coordinator’s office in memory of her mother, Mary Lee.

Lee said his mother was the most influential person in his life.

“She worked overtime to make sure I could pursue my dreams of attending Oklahoma State, and it wasn’t always easy,” Lee said. “She was proud of what I wanted to accomplish and believed in me so much she practically wanted it. Her strength and courage always inspire me, and I often find myself quoting her when times get tough.

Lee chose to name the office Rodeo Coordinator due to his family’s love of rodeo growing up. One of Lee’s brothers was a roping calf, and the other was a bull. Lee and one of her older sisters competed in barrel racing and pole bending, while her older sister was a saddle bronc rider.

“We spent our summer evenings tending to the family farm, making sure our horses were in top shape, and going to the rodeo on the weekends,” Lee said. “When I had the opportunity to choose a location in the new building, the rodeo office was my first choice.”

Lee couldn’t think of a better way to honor his mother than to name the rodeo coordinator’s office the Mary Lee Rodeo Excellence office.

“She was always focused on being the best at everything you do, whether you were going to class, cleaning the barn or riding the rodeo,” Lee said. “She supported the individual interests of our families as long as we were committed to doing it right and having a personal brand for being great. That meant we had to practice, do our research, study and take the time to prepare. .

The Mary Lee Rodeo Excellence office will be located on the first floor of the new Student Success Center facility. This location will provide a welcoming destination for students to study alongside their peers and access important resources that will enhance student success. The Student Success Center will be equipped with 16 individual computer stations, a flexible co-working space, support space for graduate student ambassadors, staff offices for program coordinators, and direct access to flexible meeting rooms and tutorial rooms.

The New Frontiers Agricultural Hall will strengthen OSU’s research, education, and outreach missions while addressing two key challenges: attracting and retaining science leaders and students and equipping collaborative teams with teaching and research laboratories. at the cutting edge of technology.

Lee said the agricultural industry has a huge challenge to increase production by 70% by 2050 to feed a rapidly growing population. Plus, there will be fewer acres of farmland as urban communities continue to expand, she added.

“To achieve this goal, it is essential to have the best and brightest research and extension services to continuously advance the agricultural technology of crops, soils, animal production and the conservation of our natural resources” , said Lee.

Inasmuch as OSU Ferguson College of Agriculture Alumnus and head of production and marketing for John Deere, Lee was the host of the groundbreaking New Frontiers event on April 23, 2021.

“It’s always nice to see successful alumni come back and participate in activities, but it’s greatly amplified when you see so many alumni like Tammy investing in the vision of our college,” said Thomas G. Coon, vice president and dean of OSU Agriculture. “It has been exciting to share naming opportunities with donors and to see them select a space where their name will be displayed in the building, and for many it has evolved into a way to create a family legacy and honor a mentor or a loved one.”

Lee hopes students and other alumni will follow in his footsteps and donate to the New Frontiers campaign.

“It’s never too early to start giving back,” she says. “Even the smallest donation can make a huge difference, and you can even inspire others to do the same.”

For more information, visit new frontiers for campaign progress, build updates and donor stories.

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