MEMORIAL service set for Wednesday for former OSU president

Tuesday, May 22nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ A memorial service will be held Wednesday for former Oklahoma State University President Lawrence L. Boger, who saw the school's enrollment reach new heights and prepared OSU for the information age.

Boger died Saturday after a six-year battle with acute myeloid leukemia. He was 77.

Boger served as OSU's 14th president from June 1977 to June 1988. While president, he saw more than a dozen new buildings were constructed and student enrollments peak at more than 23,000, a news release stated.

A few months before beginning his job at OSU, Boger came out in support of affirmative action and of recruiting minority students. A decade later, he said, ``Let's not kid ourselves. Racism exists in all areas of our society.''

Boger was hired after a 10-month search involving 150 candidates, according to Tulsa World archives. He received an annual salary of $49,500 in 1978 and succeeded OSU President Robert Kamm.

Boger led OSU's first major capital campaign, resulting in the Noble Research Center. Capital expenditures under his administration exceeded $200 million.

Oklahoma State became the parent institution for the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa in 1988, largely because of Boger's efforts. He also was credited with combining an integrated communications system, the use of computers and the installation of a digital fiber optic telephone system.

The school's Educational Television Services also became a premier institution in distance learning and was the first university in the country to have uplinck satellite capability, the release said.

Boger commissioned a 27-volume history of the school for its OSU's centennial celebration in 1990.

``Lawrence Boger was a caring and compassionate person who loved everything about Oklahoma State University,'' OSU President James Halligan said. ``He was a great president who devoted his life and all his energies to helping people attain their educational goals.

``He will be missed.''

During World War II, he served with the 26th Division, was wounded in action and received an honorable discharge. Boger was awarded a Presidential Citation, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and other awards.

Boger earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University in 1947. He received a master's degree in economics in 1948 and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics and other subjects in 1950 from Michigan State University.

He was named the 1989 National Osteopathic Educator of the Year and was later named to the Advisory Board of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa.

Boger received numerous awards, including the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame Award in August 1998.

The service will be held at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater.