Friends Dinner

Celebrating Books by OSU Authors

Center for Oklahoma Studies Symposium

Constitution Day

Noon Concert Series

Oklahoma Ovation

Library-Botany Lecture

James B. Wise

James and Elizabeth Wise at the piano they gave the Library.

This story previously appeared in the 2010 Fiscal Year Annual Report

Wise Adds Another Library Scholarship

When T. Boone Pickens made his inspiring announcement to provide a testamentary matching gift of $100 million for University scholarships, Library supporters quickly stepped up to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Dr. James and Elizabeth Wise of Oklahoma City pledged $50,000 to endow a scholarship for students working at the OSU Libraries. Their gift qualifies for the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match, resulting in a total endowment of $100,000.
Dr. Wise served as a Library student assistant during his undergraduate career at OSU. For the last 20 years, his Wise Outstanding Student Assistant Award has encouraged outstanding performance by Library student workers while providing assistance to students supporting themselves through school.

Endowed scholarships, such as the one created by the Wises, leave a lasting impact at Oklahoma State because spending is made from earned interest only, leaving the fund’s principal intact.

The Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match was initiated on February 26 at the Branding Success campaign launch event. Pickens’ $100 million pledge will match donations of at least $50,000 directed to scholarship endowments. For more information on the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match, contact the OSU Foundation.

This story previously appeared in the 2007 Fiscal Year Annual Report

Music is in the Air Thanks to James & Elizabeth Wise

As the heart of the university, the OSU Library strives to enrich the minds of everyone who passes through the doors. For most this means books, journals and databases, but to truly enrich the mind encompasses so much more.

The OSU Library is a place where students can actively engage in the cultural as well as the academic side of the college experience. Each semester, a variety of events is hosted by the Library: speakers from all disciplines, poetry readings, author receptions and interpretative book reviews. One of the most popular Library events is the Noon Concert Series, which features OSU music student performances in the Peggy V. Helmerich Browsing Room.

The Noon Concert Series and other similar programming will be elevated to a new level thanks to the generosity of James & Elizabeth Wise of Oklahoma City. The Wises underwrote the purchase of a Steinway seven-foot grand piano now housed in the Edmon Low Library.

“Many performers require a piano accompaniment. This was not easily accommodated in the Library before this gift,” said Sheila Grant Johnson, Dean of Libraries. “The James and Elizabeth Wise gift has created new potential for cultural offerings at the Library.”

To learn more about cultural programs in the OSU Library, visit


This story previously appeared in the Spring 2002 Legacy

Dr. James Wise and late wife Verena.

Dedicated Library Benefactor Honors Late Wife

Stillwater native and class of 1957 alumnus Dr. James B. Wise has distinguished himself in various areas. The American Academy of Ophthalmology selected the clinical professor and opthalmic physician as the 1992 recipient of its Honor Award for his contributions to the profession. Dr. Wise is the inventor of argon laser trabeculoplasty, a laser procedure used to treat glaucoma. In addition to his distinguished medical career, Dr. Wise has demonstrated an avid interest and proficiency in other areas as well. In 2001, the National Corn Growers Association recognized Dr. Wise's Long View Ranch in Hughes County with a first place award in corn yield for the ridge-till, non-irrigated class. "Besides Jim's many well known distinctions, he is also an excellent fisherman who travels extensively in search of peacock bass," said Dr. Edward R. Johnson, former Dean of OSU Libraries. But, for most at the OSU Library, Dr. Wise is best known for his philanthropy.

Dr. Wise is a dedicated benefactor of the Library, where he served as a student assistant during his undergraduate years and was one of the first recipients of the OSU Library Outstanding Former Student Assistant Award. In 1990, he established the Dr. James B. and Verena J. Wise Outstanding Student Assistant Award to encourage outstanding performance by student workers in the OSU Library and to provide some assistance to students supporting themselves through school. The award's endowment has continued to grow with Dr. Wise’s support. In 2001, the endowment paid four $500 student scholarships.

Student employees at the OSU Library are nominated for this honor each spring. Recipients are selected based on their dedication to the Library, academic performance, extra curricular activity and financial need. Every April, Dr. Wise attends a luncheon and awards ceremony to meet the students receiving the award he established.

When Verena "Franny" Joss Wise passed away in July of 2001, memorial gifts poured into the Library. Dr. Wise matched and doubled the gifts to create a new endowment to honor his wife of 33 years. The Verena Joss Wise Endowment will support horticulture studies, one of Franny's favorite pastimes.


For more information on giving to the Library contact the Tylerr Ropp, Senior Director of Development, at or 405-385-5664.