The Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) commemorated 75 years in 2021.
The Okmulgee-based school opened in October 1946, on a plot of land that Oklahoma A&M College President Henry Bennett bought from the military for just one dollar.
The vast majority of the first students were veterans, but civilians quickly realized the type of educational opportunities available and began enrolling, nearly tripling the headcount by 1949.
The OSUIT campus now has 38 academic programs, including associate in science, associate in applied science and bachelor of technology options. It has grown to include over 1 million square feet of educational space, 21 academic buildings and seven residence halls.
Even as it evolves and grows, OSUIT’s founding mission of serving and prioritizing veterans remains essential to its foundation today; OSUIT is consistently named a military-friendly school.
Many original programs — programs vital to the state’s workforce — are still offered today, including culinary arts, construction, air conditioning and refrigeration, automotive service, diesel mechanic, design drafting, electrical engineering and graphic design.
The school’s fourth and current president, Dr. Bill Path, continues to lead with an ambitious strategic plan to provide advanced technical education to enhance the institution’s ability to meet global workforce demands.