STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Oklahoma State University celebrated the inauguration of Dr. Kayse Shrum on Friday at the State of Orange event.

Dr. Kayse Shrum’s inauguration celebration. Image from Oklahoma State University.

In July of 2021, Dr. Shrum made history at OSU for becoming the first woman to lead a Tier 1 research institution and Friday, she was formally inaugurated.

Shrum’s original ceremony was postponed due to pandemic precautions.

“Ultimately, while I have the opportunity to stand behind this microphone, today is not about me. It’s about us,” Shrum said. “And it’s about how we can take this remarkable place and leverage it to create the opportunity for the next generation of servant-leaders.”

The State of Orange event was overwhelmed with excitement which served as a ceremonial milestone in Dr. Shrum’s presidency.

“Today, I invite all of you to join me in embarking on a new era of ambitious progress at Oklahoma State University,” Shrum said to the crowd. “Here at OSU, we know we belong to the land. 

“I invite you to join me as we go where no land-grant has ever gone before.”

According to OSU, Dr. Shrum has already faced struggles as the University’s 19th president. She has led the school through conference realignment, a pandemic and the strategic planning process.

“Kayse Shrum is always the smartest person in the room, but she never acted like it. She is always more eager to listen than to speak,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said. “This university is so lucky to have someone that is innovative, is a hard worker and above all else, what I love about her, she has a get-it-done attitude. And that is Oklahoma.”

Dr. Kayse Shrum and her husband, First Cowboy Darren Shrum. Image Oklahoma State University.

According to an OSU press release, the ceremony was filled with staff and students who expressed their love for President Shrum.

“I just love Shrum. She’s just iconic,” said Anna Hemm, a sophomore majoring in accounting. “I support her in everything she does.”

In November of 2021, Dr. Shrum announced a plan to guide OSU in obtaining land-grant preeminence. On Friday, she announced that plan is almost complete.

“We are land-grant — and that means we step into a singular tradition,” she said. “Through teaching, research and Extension, we steward a timeless responsibility.”

Shrum commented how it is OSU’s time to become the nation’s preeminent land-grant institution. She said land-grant universities have endured challenges throughout their history, and now it is OSU’s time to become the nation’s preeminent land-grant institution. 

Rep. Frank Lucas commented on how he is looking forward to what will come from OSU during Shrum’s “amazing tenure.”

Dr. Kayse Shrum’s inauguration celebration. Image from Oklahoma State University.

“It is the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your president,”

Dr. Kayse Shrum