Northwestern agriculture, business students benefit from Eugene B. Vickers Scholarship

| More

Northwestern agriculture, business students benefit from Eugene B. Vickers Scholarship

June 27, 2016

VickersLinda Vickers, Northwestern Oklahoma State University alumna and wife to the late Gene Vickers, established the Eugene B. Vickers Scholarship to assist students at Northwestern and to honor her husband’s remarkable career in agriculture trade promotion.

A native of Alva, Okla., Gene graduated from Northwestern in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. Linda, from Jet, Okla., also graduated from Northwestern in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and later received a master’s degree in guidance and counseling in 1975.

“We loved the collegiate atmosphere of Northwestern and were able to meet so many new people and experience different cultures than what we were used to,” said Linda.

Although knowing each other while growing up, Gene and Linda realized later in life they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. They were married on August 23, 1975, and enjoyed a close, respectful and loving relationship.

Gene’s career in agriculture started in Alva as a flour mill technician and led him to manage a flour mill in the Philippines. He then became Director of Western Wheat Associates, later known as U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), a partnering organization between states and the U.S. Department of agriculture. Eventually his career path took him to Washington, D.C., where he served as Executive Vice President for USW. After a period assisting the secretary of agriculture in promoting agriculture world trade, he became special assistant to the Under Secretary of Agriculture in 1992. In this role, he was responsible for interacting with various USDA agencies promoting agriculture world-wide trade and domestic farm policy.

Gene retired in 1997 while the couple was living in Arlington, Va. With a successful career built in agriculture insurance, Linda continued working. The couple built a house on the coast of Neskowin, Ore. in 1995 and later moved there full time in 2008. Gene passed away in February 2015.

Linda desires students learn of the man for whom the scholarship is being named. She hopes this scholarship will benefit Northwestern students and will honor Gene’s legacy of impassioned agriculture trade promotion, and for his work in supporting excellence in education for youth.

“We both felt so fortunate to have gone to college and because of Gene’s roots in Alva, I want to allow other people to experience the same opportunities that we both had learning at Northwestern,” said Linda. “My husband was a very loving person and could have given back in a hundred different ways at a hundred different places, but Alva was always home to him.”

Full-time, continuing students majoring in agriculture or business with a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average are eligible for the Eugene B. Vickers Scholarship. The scholarship may be applied toward university-related expenses, such as tuition, fees, room, board or books.

For more information on the Eugene B. Vickers Scholarship, or about investing in Northwestern students, call Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation CEO, at 580-327-8599 or email him at