Two concerts and thousands of lives changed.
Garth Brooks, Oklahoma State University alumnus and country music superstar, is partnering with his alma mater to make the dream of graduating college possible for thousands of OSU students.
Brooks will perform two concerts at The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts as fundraisers to support the creation and launch of an initiative for a new scholarship program.
In an exclusive interview with The O’Colly, Brooks announced a show for only OSU students on April 14 and detailed his second show on April 15 for OSU alumni and donors. Each show will target a specific audience.
“You just never know what you’re going to do when it’s just you and the guitar,” Brooks told The O’Colly. “It’s going to be a fun, family reunion. I’ll be playing music, which is my favorite thing to do, but we will also be opening doors for thousands of students.”
Brooks said OSU President Kayse Shrum set a goal to reach a million dollars to put toward the new scholarship program and the money will go to students pursuing a degree at OSU.
The funds from the donors show will provide the base of the scholarship program. Details of how students can apply for the program have yet to be shared.
In 2022, Brooks said he would love to play at Boone Pickens Stadium but the stadium is not equipped for his type of stadium shows. He said the two concerts at the McKnight Center are not a consolation for that.
It’s something better.
“It’s an opportunity for me to get to play at Oklahoma State,” Brooks said. “Stillwater has always taken care of me. It doesn’t matter if there are five or 50,000 people on the ground, Stillwater makes you feel like one of them, but they never let you forget you are somebody special."
The first concert will be open to OSU students at all campuses who can register for a general admission ticket with the donation of a nonperishable food or hygiene item. Stillwater donations will benefit Pete’s Pantry or the Red Pantry. Student IDs will be required for registration and one ticket is allowed per student.
The first 900 students to donate and register will receive tickets in advance of the concert.
Once the first 900 tickets are registered, a lottery system will determine the recipients of any remaining tickets for those who have donated an item and registered.
Shrum said a scholarship made it possible for her to get a degree and expand her view of the world. The OSU president attended college on a softball scholarship and said students should have an opportunity to broaden their horizons and get an education.
“It’s what got me away from my hometown, expanded my view of the world and got me an education,” Shrum said. “That is what scholarships are for.”
Shrum said having Brooks help with this initiative energizes her and enhances her commitment to keeping the cost of education down while working hard to raise more scholarship opportunities.
An email with donation dates and other details will be sent to all students on Friday.
“OSU was created to expand access to an education for classes and people who have never thought they could go to college,” Shrum said.