The Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award

 

Dr. Lawrence L. Boger
Emeritus President, Oklahoma State University

Lawrence L. Boger

Dr. Lawrence L. Boger

Dr. Lawrence L. Boger served as the 14th president of Oklahoma State University from June 15, 1977, until June 30, 1988.

The Indiana native's college education was interrupted by World War II, where he served overseas with the 26th Division, was wounded in action and received a medical discharge. He was decorated with a Presidential Citation, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and ETO Ribbon with stars, and earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge.

Dr. Boger received his B.S. degree with distinction in agricultural economics from Purdue University in 1947. He received his M.S. with high honors in economics in 1948, and his Ph.D. in agricultural economics, economic theory and international trade, and statistics in 1950, both from Michigan State University.

His distinguished career at Michigan State University began in 1948 when he joined the faculty, attaining the rank of professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural Economics in 1954. He was named dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1969, and prior to coming to OSU, served two years as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

He has served on several commissions and committees of the National Association of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, and in 1980 was selected by the Agriculture Council of America to represent the land-grant system, and for his expertise as an agricultural economist to serve on a Blue Ribbon Committee to develop recommendations on how the U.S. could maximize its farm exports over the next decade.

He conceived merging the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery with OSU, approved in 1988 by the Oklahoma Legislature. He was named the 1989 National Osteopathic Educator of the Year, has served on the board for the Kirksville (Mo.) College of Osteopathic Medicine, and was recently named to the Advisory Board of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Through his vision, he began to prepare OSU for the information age, combining an integrated communications system, the use of computers, and the installation of a digital fiber optic telephone system. Educational Television Services moved into its state-of-the art facility, making it possible for distance learning. In fact, OSU was the first university in the nation to have uplink satellite capability.

Recognizing the importance of Oklahoma State's upcoming centennial celebration in 1990, Dr. Boger began his plans, and called together 100 distinguished state and national leaders as a Centennial Advisory Commission and to help lead the university into the next century. In 1992 he was appointed to the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees for the OSU Foundation.

He spearheaded the first major capital fund drive, which resulted in the Noble Research Center for Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources. Under his administration, more than a dozen new buildings were constructed.

Under Boger's guidance, OSU became a major participant in the consortium to initiate and staff the University Center at Tulsa. He also helped create state support for the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, an organization devoted to encouraging faculty research through grants. He was appointed by the governor to the Oklahoma Science and Technology Advisory Committee to develop a plan to strengthen Oklahoma's economic development through technological innovation.

He chairs the board of the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, and his national service includes years of leadership on the boards of the American Agricultural Economics Association Foundation, the National 4-H Council, and the Science and Technology for International Development of the National Research Council.

He is a member of the Stillwater, Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma State Chambers of commerce, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, Alpha Zeta, Pi Mu Epsilon, Oklahoma Heritage Association, Blue Key, and Omicron Delta Kappa, and is listed in "Who's Who in America" and "American Men of Science."

He is married to the former Frances June Wilbur, and they have two children, Richard Lee Boger of Atlanta, and Judith Boger Schlimpert of Stillwater.

Year of Award: 1994