Following the passing of OSU alumnus and mega-booster T. Boone Pickens, reactions poured out from across the country. A sampling:
OSU president Burns Hargis
“All of us in the Oklahoma State University family are deeply saddened by the passing of Boone Pickens. At the same time, we join in celebrating his incredible life. He was the ultimate Cowboy. It is impossible to calculate his full impact on Oklahoma State. His historic gifts to academics and athletics not only transformed the university, they inspired thousands of others to join in the transformation. OSU will not be the same without the legendary Boone Pickens, but his mark on our university will last forever.”
OSU head football coach Mike Gundy
“Mr. Pickens is a big part of our success and we’re all thankful for the lasting impact he’s had on Oklahoma State. It would have been difficult for us to climb as high as we have without him. He’ll be missed, but his legacy here will live on for a long time to come.”
Former president George W. Bush
“T. Boone Pickens became a household name across the country because he was bold, imaginative and daring. He was successful - and more importantly, he generously shared his success with institutions across Texas and Oklahoma. He loved the outdoors, his country, and his friends and family, and Laura and I send our condolences.”
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
“Boone was a personal friend, confidant of mine. He was inspirational and he was a man of sports. His love for competing, frankly, was unmatched. People didn’t know that about him. He wanted to beat you shooting quail. He had a lot of (Tony) Romo in him. He was a natural-born competitor. So (many) of the things he accomplished were not about the dollar, but were about the competitiveness and the game that he was involved in. At a time where many people could think your best days are behind you, that’s when he was at his very best. He really should in my eyes be known as the ‘Fourth-quarter guy.’"
Texas Senator Ted Cruz
“T. Boone Pickens lived a life marked with kindness and generosity. Boone was a friend, and he was a legendary Texas entrepreneur. He was larger than life, had a passion for others, and embodied Texas values. An extraordinarily generous philanthropist and a passionate advocate for American energy independence, Boone will be remembered as a legend in the hearts of Texans and Oklahomans alike. Heidi and I send our condolences to the entire Pickens family as they grieve the loss of a loving father, grandfather, and friend. May he rest in peace."
OSU public address announcer Larry Reece
“What a huge life, lived by a giant of a man. They say leave the world better than you found it... Boone did that in many places... especially his alma mater. Thanks my friend for being the leader of the band.”
OSU Board of regents statement
“On behalf of the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents, we remember today the remarkable life of our alumnus Boone Pickens. His eternal optimism, kindness, and competitiveness inspired us to always reach higher. He never forgot his roots and his love for Oklahoma State University was incalculable. We will be forever thankful to Boone Pickens for his big ideas, bold vision, and unshakable spirit. There is no question that Boone Pickens put the “Bright” in America’s Brightest Orange.”
OSU athletic director Mike Holder
“The greatest Cowboy of them all has taken his last ride. It will never be the same again. We could never thank him enough for all that he did for our university. He gave us everything he had and all that he asked in return was that we play by the rules and dream big. He was living proof that anything is possible if you’re wearing orange. ‘Great ride Cowboy, great ride!’”
Former OSU football player Blake Jarwin
“(I) had the amazing opportunity to meet (T. Boone Pickens) this past offseason. Incredible moments I’ll cherish forever. His generous contributions to Oklahoma State helped change our trajectory as a program and for that we will always be thankful.”
National Football Foundation chairman and former NFL star Archie Manning
"T. Boone Pickens is the epitome of an American success story. He came from humble beginnings to become one of the country's most lucrative entrepreneurs. Maybe even more impressive was his commitment to philanthropy, donating more than $1 billion in his lifetime. We were honored to have him serve on the National Football Foundation's Board of Directors, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his family."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott
“Although born in Oklahoma, Texas has always considered T. Boone Pickens to be one of our own. He was a passionate man who always stood by his principles on his path to success. T. Boone Pickens’ commitment to establishing American energy independence will have a lasting impact on the state of Texas, and the United States of America. Throughout his life and career, he generously gave to charitable causes to advance education, medical research, and humanitarian needs. I ask that all Texans join Cecilia and me in remembering the legacy of T. Boone Pickens, and keep him and his family in their prayers.”