OSU Institute of Technology and Mabrey Bank were among 28 innovative business collaborations recently recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for furthering the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.
The Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.
For more than 40 years, Mabrey Bank and the Mabrey family have been strong partners with OSUIT, contributing funds for numerous projects on campus including the State Room restaurant renovations and improvements to the Student Union and Donald W. Reynolds Technology Center, said OSUIT President Bill R. Path.
Mabrey Bank has also worked with OSUIT to establish the Carlisle Mabrey Jr. Memorial Lectureship and the First National/Mabrey Bank Professorship.
“Our partnership with Mabrey Bank speaks to the importance of universities and the communities where they reside, working together in order to make both successful. The continuing support of the Mabrey family and Mabrey Bank is vital because it showcases the best of what collaborations like this can produce,” Path said. “They have not only invested in the brick and mortar of OSUIT, but also the continuing education of our faculty and students.”
Most recently, Mabrey Bank contributed $150,000 to the OSUIT PROUD Campaign, which will provide funding to renovate and revitalize two historical downtown Okmulgee locations into much needed student housing, the first of which is scheduled to open in January 2018.
Mark Mabrey, vice president of lending, is also serving as the chairman of the capital campaign.
“At Mabrey Bank, we are proud to join OSUIT in a campaign that will have such a positive impact for both OSUIT students and for our neighbors in Okmulgee,” Mabrey said.
The OSUIT PROUD Campaign has a goal to raise $2 million toward the student housing projects and $1 million for scholarships.
Nearly half of all OSUIT students are the first in their families to go to college and they travel to Okmulgee to learn and hone skills they will apply as highly qualified industry professionals, Path said. Going to school with little or no support is difficult and even though there are good jobs lined up after graduation, when the money dries up, students drop out.
“The OSUIT PROUD Campaign will bridge the gap and enable students to complete their education and realize their dreams. That is why we are so grateful for the Mabrey family and Mabrey Bank,” he said. “Their leadership of the OSUIT PROUD Campaign is one more example of their incredible generosity. We are thankful for the passion and support.”