October 1, 2008
Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s new agriculture education program received a major endorsement as the Wisdom Family Foundation, Inc., has given the school $250,000 to endow a faculty chair position in agriculture.
The donation from the Wisdom Family Foundation marks the third major gift given by the organization and the Wisdom family to Northwestern this summer. Previous gifts include $250,000 to establish an endowed chair in visual art and the donation of several pieces of farm equipment to the agriculture program.
“The Wisdom Foundation has fully embraced our effort to establish an agriculture education program at Northwestern, and we are humbled by its support,” said Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president.
“The agriculture education program will have an impact on the agriculture industry statewide and position Northwestern as one of the region’s premier centers for agriculture-related education.”
Dr. Peggy Wisdom, chairman of the Wisdom Family Foundation and the daughter of the late C.W. and Grace Wisdom, said agriculture has played a prominent part in her family’s life.
“My grandfather emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1883 and homesteaded in the Cheyenne-Arapaho land run. After the land run he established his farming and shorthorn cattle operation in Okeene,” Wisdom said.
“All of the children and grandchildren were taught an appreciation of the land, and everyone grew up with an interest in farming.
“Many of my fondest memories include summers in the wheat field watching my father (C.W. Wisdom) drive the combine and tractor and playing in the raw wheat at harvest time. My father was a business person who also believed in the importance of farming to Oklahoma’s economy and also believed in investing in rural communities to ensure that farmers had opportunities to develop their farming operations and sell their products.”
Wisdom said the Wisdom Family Foundation is pleased to support Northwestern’s efforts to build an agriculture education program because it matches so closely with her family’s passions.
“I really feel we do not have enough opportunities for young people to learn about farming and gain the same appreciation for it that my family experienced,” she said. “That is why this program at Northwestern is so important.
“I am also very much interested in education and in teaching. We have to support all opportunities to attract more of our young people into the teaching field. Education programs like this are very important. The students who go through the agriculture program will have wonderful opportunities to contribute to the Oklahoma agricultural industry.”
Wisdom said in addition to its support of Northwestern, the Wisdom Family Foundation will be involved in supporting other projects that will benefit the local community.
C.W. and Grace Wisdom were well-known for their leadership of Alva State Bank and Trust Company and the First National Bank of Okeene.
Dr. Peggy Wisdom is Professor of Neurology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She is currently Chief of Neurology/ Rehabilitation at the Oklahoma City Veterans' Affairs Medical Center.
Posted on Wed, October 1, 2008
by Valarie Case