Alums, Donors, Friends - Kevin & Priscilla Gerfen
It's hard to find a couple more connected to OSU than Kevin and Priscilla Gerfen.
Priscilla received her BS in Clothing, Textiles, Merchandising in 1972 and went on to receive her MS in Student Personnel and Guidance in 1974. Kevin's studies were interrupted by his Air Force career, but he returned to OSU to complete his BS in Secondary Education in 1984. Kevin also holds a MS in Strategic Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence Agency's Joint Military Intelligence College.
As students, Priscilla and Kevin met in 1974. Priscilla was in charge of the desk at Kerr-Drummond Hall that summer and hired Kevin to be a desk clerk. They dated for several months before Priscilla completed her master's degree at OSU and left Stillwater for a job at Ball State University. They lost track of each other until February 1991 when, thanks to the OSU Alumni Association, Priscilla found Kevin.
Kevin was a captain in the Air Force stationed in Washington, DC. Priscilla was also living in Washington, working in the US Treasury Department. Kevin says, "On one of my very few days off, I received a phone call at my apartment in Virginia. Much to my surprise, it was Priscilla. She had been browsing through the OSU Alumni Association directory's Virginia listings and found my name. We started seeing each other again and got married in 1994, just before we moved to Hawaii for my next Air Force assignment."
Even though Priscilla found Kevin in 1991, the marriage was put off until 1994 because Kevin was a White House Social Aide. One of the firm requirements for Social Aides is that they must be single, so to allow Kevin to remain working there as long as possible, they put off their wedding until just before leaving Washington for Hawaii in 1994. So, even though there was a 3-year gap between the time Priscilla found Kevin's name in the OSU directory and the time they married, it was clearly due to the Alumni Association that they were reunited.
It was while stationed in Hawaii that the Gerfen's again established another important connection to OSU. "We became members of the Friends of the Library Board by recommendation of Dean Johnson, whom we met in Hawaii in 1995, when he and his wife Benita came to Honolulu with an OSU group to see the Cowboys beat the University of Hawaii football team. He knew we were moving back to Oklahoma and put our names forward for the Board." Upon their return to Oklahoma, the Gerfens joined the Friends of the OSU Library as members of the Board of Directors in 1997. Kevin's term ended in 1999; Priscilla is serving a second.
Since becoming Friends of the OSU Library Board members, one of the Gerfens favorite activities has been to attend the H. Louise and H.E. "Ed" Cobb Speaker Series. The Series is an annual fundraiser for the Friends of the OSU Library and features a different author each year. Priscilla's favorite speaker to date is William Bernhardt, the featured author from 2000. Kevin also enjoyed Bernhardt, but says his favorite was Doris Kearns Goodwin in 1999. He says, "I liked to hear her insight into national figures, especially former President Lyndon Johnson." Both are looking forward to continuing their tradition of attending this year's dinner on November 8, 2002 to hear S. E. Hinton and to help kick-off the Library's 50th Anniversary Celebration.
The Gerfens have many interests that they support at OSU. The Library, Air Force ROTC, KOSU, the Friends of Music, the theater department, and the women's equestrian team have received the benefit of their time and resources. Kevin and Priscilla are very proud of the fact that they have been continuous OSU donors for twenty years and continuous Library supporters for over fifteen. The Gerfens connection with OSU began when they were both students, but their friendship is for life.
For more information on giving to the Library contact the Tylerr Ropp, Senior Director of Development, at tropp@OSUgiving.com or 405-385-5664.