The Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award


Mr. Earl Russell
Original Member, OSU Board of Regents
Rancher, Cattleman

Earl Russell

The highest honorary award that is conferred by the University is named for one of its former presidents who, during the period 1928-1951, made outstanding contributions to the University, to higher education, and to the benefit of mankind as the first Director of America's Point Four Programs, designed to provide technical assistance to nations around the world.

Mr. Earl Russell is a pioneer in the ranching and cattle business. Born in Davis, Oklahoma, when it was still a part of Indian Territory, he bought his first calf when he was eight years old and began a lifetime career of ranching and raising cattle.

He has had a long and varied career which rages from law enforcement to agriculture and agribusiness. Mr. Russell was elected Sheriff of Stephens County and served from 1932 to 1936. He owned and operated several businesses in Duncan, including Farmers and Traders Community Auction and Duncan Farm Machinery. Mr. Russell has now divested himself of all but ranching and raising cattle and remains active in the management and operation of the Russell Ranch, located east of Duncan. He was elected a director of the Oklahoma National Bank of Duncan in 1946 and still remains on the Board.

Mr. Russell has had a tremendous impact upon the growth and development of Oklahoma State University. He was member of the original Board of Regents for OSU and the A&M Colleges and served on the Board for twenty years. During this period of time, the master plan for the location of major buildings was developed, and several buildings were constructed. His sound judgment, business acumen, and interest in education proved to be an invaluable asset to him as a Board member, and particularly during the year in which he served as Chairman.

Year of Award: 1978