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CASNR announces 2014 Distinguished Alumni

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University announces Ross McKnight, Dr. Barry Pollard and Larry Shell as the 2014 CASNR Distinguished Alumni.

STILLWATER, Okla. – The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University announces Ross McKnight, Dr. Barry Pollard and Larry Shell as the 2014 CASNR Distinguished Alumni.

 

“These DASNR alums are all terrific examples of sustained excellence in their industries and are testaments to the impact our graduates have in their career fields and in their communities,” said Tom Coon, vice president, dean and director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “We look forward to our OSU Homecoming celebration and to honor these deserving Distinguished Alumni of our college.”

 

McKnight, of Throckmorton, Texas, received his Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from OSU in 1971. As a senior, serving as president of the Student Government Association, Ross met his wife, Billie, and the two have continued to build long-lasting relationships with the OSU family ever since.

 

Serving as co-chairs for the $1 billion Branding Success campaign, the McKnights’ committed a $15 million gift, to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match program. The commitment established The McKnight Leader Scholars Scholarship Endowment to recruit up to 50 students annually from rural areas and smaller towns outside Oklahoma, primarily from the north Texas area, where the McKnights live and manage their banking, energy, real estate and ranching businesses.

 

Pollard, of Enid, Oklahoma, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from OSU in 1973 before receiving his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma. He is now a practicing neurosurgeon, owns nine John Deere dealerships through P&K Equipment and operates Pollard Farms, a farming and ranching operation in Enid.

 

He founded the OSU Medical Cowboys, which supports scholarships for future health care professionals. He also endowed a professorship in agribusiness and P&K Equipment funds two scholarships annually.

 

Shell, from Glencoe, Oklahoma, earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in agricultural education from OSU in 1970 and 1982, respectively. After more than 30 years of service to the university, Shell retired from his position as OSU Alumni Association president last year.

 

He began his professional OSU career in 1982, as he became OSU’s first constituent fundraiser serving CASNR with the OSU Foundation. Eight years later, he was named vice president of the OSU Alumni Association, serving in that capacity until becoming president in 2009.

 

Receptions for each recipient will be held Oct. 24. during OSU Homecoming festivities.

 

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Oklahoma State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local Governments Cooperating: The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or status as a veteran, and is an equal opportunity employer.

 

REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
145 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu