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Oklahoma State Alum and Benefactor Cecil O’Brate Dies at 95

‘… thank you for changing the world and Cowboy Baseball forever.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Cecil O’Brate, an Oklahoma State alum, super donor and the namesake of the Cowboys’ baseball stadium, died Saturday at the age of 95, OSU announced.

“Cecil was the ultimate game changer for the Cowboy Baseball program, our players and fans alike, for generations to come,” OSU athletic director Chad Weiberg said in a release. “He lived by his creed of ‘Make It Happen,’ and that is exactly what he did every single day.

“He loved Oklahoma State University and would get emotional talking about this special place and the people here. We will miss him, and in his honor, we will continue to strive to ‘Make It Happen’ every single day.”

The Enid native, who grew up in Garden City, Kansas (where he lived out his life), attended Oklahoma A&M from 1946-48 before going onto prolific success across multiple industries, including starting American Warrior, Inc., the largest independently owned oil and gas producer in Kansas. He was also a farmer and owned several banks, farm implement dealerships and more.

O’Brate donated $35 million toward Oklahoma State’s baseball stadium, which opened in 2021 and bears his name. Prior to that, he started the O’Brate Foundation in 2013, which provided over $6 million in scholarships for children that came from foster care and lower-income situations.

Along with personal friend and No. 43 himself George W. Bush, O’Brate threw a ceremonial opening pitch at the stadium in 2021.

“Cecil O’Brate changed the lives of so many, where do you even begin?” OSU baseball coach Josh Holliday said. “He has an amazing family of loved ones who will forever cherish their loving and caring leader. There are countless individuals and organizations who benefitted and will continue to benefit from his generosity, kindness and belief in what people can accomplish if they work hard. He had an amazing business career and was a part of so many creative and successful endeavors over the years.

“As for OSU Baseball, our university, our players, fans and staff will forever be grateful for this amazing new home he made possible. O’Brate Stadium changed our lives, and we will honor his name and his mission in life to “Make It Happen” each and every day.

“We will remember you and celebrate you every day we take the field. Cecil, thank you for changing the world and Cowboy Baseball forever.”

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