GARTH BROOKS RETURNS TO OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY FOR TWO SCHOLARSHIP BENEFIT CONCERTS
Garth Brooks returned to his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, for two concert fundraisers benefiting student scholarships at The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts on April 14 and 15. The first show was open only to current OSU students, and the second was open to alumni, donors, faculty, and staff.
Brooks’s concerts were part of the university’s “We Are Land Grant” initiative to improve access to higher education and reduce student debt through scholarships.
At a press conference with Brooks before Friday’s concert, OSU President Kayse Shrum said, “You won't be surprised to hear that when I told him that we had set an ambitious goal last year to increase student access to scholarships the first thing he asked was, 'How can I help?' Actually, the first thing he said is, ‘Ms. Kayse, how can I help?’”
The concerts raised more than $2 million, and the Oklahoma State University Foundation is working with donors to secure additional support.
“I'm very proud of this statistic that over 50% of the people that come here, leave debt free,” Brooks said. “And they're not happy with that. Oklahoma State's not. They want to keep pushing that percentage up. For me, that means they have the student in mind more than the university itself.”