STILLWATER, OK -- Oklahoma State University began a $1 billion fundraiser Friday and it got a big jumpstart from their favorite alum.
Billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens made another huge donation to his alma mater -- $100 million.
OSU calls the fundraiser "Branding Success." It's an initiative to help fund scholarships, faculty and new buildings.
"You got a guy that loves the school more than anything and I'm very competitive and from time to time you catch me with money," said Pickens.
Pickens' gift brings the total already raised in the fundraising campaign to $537 million.
The money has four priorities. The majority of it, $500 million, will be used for scholarships. The rest will be split among the various programs at OSU, as well as the construction of new buildings, such as a new business building and performing arts center.
OSU President Burns Hargis says $200 million of it will go to faculty.
"Our faculty's compensation scales are such that to retain and attract top faculty, we need the money," said Hargis.
President Hargis says he's grateful to Boone Pickens for another multi-million donation, but he's quick to add the school needs all of its graduates to help with the campaign.
"It can't just be Boone Pickens, although a heck of a lot of it has been Boone Pickens. We can do this, even in this economy," said Hargis.
President Hargis says this is the perfect time for the campaign to begin. State funding now makes up only 25 percent of OSU's budget. He hopes others follow Pickens' lead and wants the world to know how much the 1951 graduate means in Cowboy country.
"We can't say thank you enough, but I'm going to try. Thank you, thank you, thank you Boone Pickens," said Hargis.
Pickens gift brings his total donations to Oklahoma State over the years to more than $500 million.
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