More than a quarter-million dollars in donations from supporters are enabling Cameron University to add improvements to its agricultural teaching facilities, including the university farm.
Cameron received more than $270,000 in donations during the 2020-2021 academic year that have been earmarked for the ag program and are being used to renovate classrooms, add technology and replace farm equipment.
“Agriculture is an essential part of the history of Cameron University and southwest Oklahoma in general,” stated the chair of the Department of Agriculture, Biology and Heath Sciences, Dr. Mike Husak. “As a department, we have a responsibility to do our best to provide students an education that uses modern technology and tools of the field. These donations not only allow us to continue our agricultural tradition as an institution, but also allow us to insure our students are prepared for the future of where the agricultural field and careers are heading.”
Hillary Communications donated and installed wireless fiber optic cable in the Animal Science and Plant Science facilities on 38th Street. The donation provides the ag teaching complex, originally constructed 40 years ago, with internet and Wi-Fi access – something that has existed on the main Lawton campus for years, but not at these facilities due to their location. In addition, classrooms in the two buildings were renovated to provide a more effective learning environment. The renovations were funded through donations from Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma and from U2 Ranch, operated by Cindy and John Zelbst.
Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma also donated a drone for use in the university’s research involving precision agriculture, and replaced the agriculture program’s aging tractor.
Lupi Construction lent its expertise in solving drainage programs at the university farm, installed concrete floors in the Aggie Barn, cleaned pens at the Animal Science Complex, and made an unrestricted donation to the agriculture program.
Donations have also been received from the Historical Association of the Lawton Rangers Rodeo that will fund the establishment of an endowed scholarship for Cameron students who plan to major in agriculture, and from professor emeritus Dr. Gale Hagee and his wife Marcie, who are regular contributors to the university’s agriculture program.
“Because Cameron offers the only four-year agriculture program south of I-40, it’s critical for the university to provide not only a relevant curriculum, but the tools and resources necessary for our students to succeed in earning their degrees and entering the agriculture industry,” said Albert Johnson Jr., Vice President for University Advancement. “We were able to make the enhancements and improvements that benefit our students because these donors understand the value and importance of a Cameron University degree.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic impacted spending ability on budgets that are already under constant scrutiny, making investments, such as these supporting Cameron’s agriculture program, even more important in CU’s ability to ensure students are receiving a top-quality education,” Johnson added.
Anyone who is interested in making a donation to the Cameron University Foundation in support of the agriculture program – or any of CU’s other academic programs – can contact the Office of University Advancement at 580-581-2999 for more details.