Northwestern, business partnership recognized by State Regents

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Northwestern, business partnership recognized by State Regents

 Northwestern recognized for business partnership

Members of the Wisdom Family Foundation and Northwestern Oklahoma State University were honored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for their ongoing business partnership. Pictured are Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb; Dr. Peggy Wisdom, chairman of the Wisdom Family Foundation; Dr. Janet Cunningham, president of Northwestern; Robert Boeckman, president of the First National Bank of Okeene; Ken Schultz, president of Alva State Bank and Trust; and Dr. Glen Johnson, Chancellor of Higher Education.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University was recently recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education with the Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award for its successful partnership with the Wisdom Family Foundation. Northwestern and 26 other institutions were acknowledged for their innovative collaborations that furthered the education of Oklahoma’s workforce. 

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Economic Development Grant for the Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.

Northwestern has established a remarkable partnership with the Wisdom Family Foundation. The foundation’s support grows through two areas; support of the region’s agriculture heritage and advancement of the arts. In August 2008 the foundation, led by Dr. Peggy Wisdom, began its journey with Northwestern by presenting gifts of $500,000 to the university to establish two endowed chairs in art. The intent was to re-establish an art minor at Northwestern to offer courses for the first time in more than 20 years, a fitting way to honor the legacy of Wisdom’s mother, Grace, who was passionate for the arts.

With the family’s roots being tied to agriculture, however, the foundation saw merit in Northwestern’s new agriculture education program and established another faculty chair in that department, along with donating several pieces of farm machinery and a gift to help with constructing the facility for the program, which is named the Wisdom Agriculture Education Center. To ensure that students had opportunities to be part of the program, the foundation established another endowment of $205,000 for scholarships.

Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships that enable current students of the institutions to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.

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