The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Featured Story

February 14, 2013

Pickens’ portrait unveiled at Okla. Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY — Texas oil magnate, billionaire philanthropist and Oklahoma State University megabooster T. Boone Pickens was honored Thursday at the state Capitol with the unveiling of a portrait by Oklahoma artist Mike Wimmer.

Pickens is the fifth person to have a portrait displayed in the Capitol while still living, said former State Sen. Charlie Ford, who heads the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund. There are more than 100 other works in the building.

“It’s a big day,” Pickens said at the ceremony, adding of Wimmer’s portrait, “I think he did it better than I am.”

State officials, legislators and OSU officials and alumni — groups that often overlap — gathered for the unveiling in the Governor’s Blue Room. Nearly all wore OSU orange in support of Pickens’ alma mater.

The mood was light, and many speakers jokingly made digs at Pickens, to which he usually responded in kind.

“Boone always reminds me that no one’s here because of me,” OSU President Burns Hargis said. “It’s fitting that this ceremony is on Valentine’s, because Boone, Oklahoma loves you.”

Gov. Mary Fallin, who joined members of her cabinet and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb at the event, said Pickens exemplifies Oklahoma spirit and the honor was “probably long past due.”

“Future generations of Oklahomans can look at it and say, ‘I want to be like that man,’ “ Fallin said.

Pickens was repeatedly praised Thursday for retaining his ties to the state throughout his business success. Pickens credited his grandmother Nellie Molonson for inspiring him to keep Oklahoma in mind.

“She’s the one who said, well, two or three things, but one of them was, ‘Don’t ever forget where you came from,”’ he said. “I wish that grandmother was here.”

Pickens grew up in Holdenville, Okla., where he first entered business with a newspaper delivery route. As an adult, he started and acquired a string of oil companies, becoming a billionaire in the process.

He has since donated hundreds of millions of dollars to charitable organizations in Oklahoma and Texas, according to his foundation’s website. The bulk of that money has gone to OSU.

He has pledged to donate at least half of his fortune in his lifetime.

“It’s easy for me to say that I know now that his works and his actions will far outlive my painting,” Wimmer said.  “And I just want to say thank you for letting me be a part of it.”

 

1
Text Only
Featured Story
Featured Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
NDN Video
Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America
House Ads
Facebook