Q&A - June 30, 2017

OSUIT is proud to be one of the largest employers in Okmulgee since 1946. OSUIT is proud of our reputation of being the premier postsecondary technical training institution in the State of Oklahoma. OSUIT is proud of our experienced faculty and staff who produce highly skilled technicians to industry standards. OSUIT is proud of our students who have a job placement rate of well over 90% upon graduation. We have many reasons to be proud at OSUIT. So, when we started our fundraising campaign, we named it “OSUIT PROUD.” As we work hard to expand opportunities for students as well as our community, we are looking for individuals who want to support the success of this institution and join us in being OSUIT PROUD.

Q:What are you raising money for in your capital campaign?

OSUIT has a problem—student housing is at capacity, with an average of 98% occupancy over the last few years. We have housing for just over 800 students on campus and a total enrollment of approximately 3,000. In order to keep up with the demand for student housing in Okmulgee, OSUIT has purchased two properties in the historic downtown district in support of the “Okmulgee Rising” revitalization movement. We’re excited to be part of this community-wide initiative and to be expanding our campus downtown. With the renovation of buildings and the housing of students in downtown Okmulgee, OSUIT hopes to be a driving force for the continued economic revitalization of the entire community. Already, numerous buildings in downtown Okmulgee have been or are in the process of being renovated in anticipation of more students living downtown.

I’ve provided my readership with several updates about the Grand Old Post Office, but OSUIT actually has two projects in downtown Okmulgee: the first is the Old Post Office and the second is the Bell Building. The Old Post Office Complex is undergoing a full renovation at this time and will be converted into apartments for 75 students. The Bell Building is being planned for additional student leisure and recreational activities. Not only do these unique projects help to solve our problem, we believe the downtown placement of student housing will serve to boost the local economy while providing a much richer experience for our students.

In our OSUIT PROUD capital campaign, we are actively partnering with individuals, local banks, and charitable foundations who wish to support our downtown projects. We have set a private fundraising goal of $3 million to help fund the projects which will have an estimated cost of more than $13 million. This is a major investment in Okmulgee. In addition to downtown student housing and activities, part of the funds raised in this campaign will go toward the establishment of additional need-based scholarships for students.

It’s exciting to see the community and the college working so closely together to find solutions for the challenges that face us. The potential prosperity for such a partnership is unlimited.

I hope to share more details about the OSUIT PROUD campaign in future articles. In the meantime, please continue to send your inquiries to osuit-president@okstate.edu