OSU Institute of Technology will dedicate an iconic landmark to the campus on Monday, honoring the man who has become the symbol and mascot of Oklahoma State University.
A dedication ceremony for the new Pistol Pete Plaza and the unveiling of a bronze statue of Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton will begin at 11 a.m. at the campus’ south entrance off 4th Street on Monday, Oct. 26, the day of Frank Eaton’s birth.
Following the dedication ceremony, light refreshments will be served in the Viersen Lounge in the Student Union.
The 12-foot-tall statue will stand on a 6-foot-tall stone base and welcome students, faculty and staff, and guests arriving on campus from the south entrance.
“It’s a beautifully sculpted likeness of Frank Eaton who has become so ingrained in the history and tradition of Oklahoma State University,” said OSUIT President Bill R. Path.
The statue was sculpted by Oklahoma artist Wayne Cooper, who has shown pieces in galleries and museums all over the world. Cooper specializes in Western art on large canvases and larger-than-life sculptures.
“Anytime you do anything large, you’re making a statement,” he said.
Cooper will attend the ceremony and then be available for a meet and greet in the Viersen Lounge after the dedication.
OSU mascot Pistol Pete will also be on hand for photos at the statue following the dedication ceremony.
Cooper’s original Pistol Pete statue stands in Perkins, Frank Eaton’s hometown.
Path said he learned about Cooper and his statue after Vice President of Fiscal Services Jim Smith visited the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza in Perkins and saw the Pistol Pete sculpture.
“With this statute in place, no one can mistake that OSUIT in Okmulgee is a true campus of OSU,” Path said. “This statue will become a source of pride for our campus and a popular backdrop and symbol for the university.”
Cooper said he’s thrilled OSUIT wants to showcase his Pistol Pete statue at the entrance to the campus.
“How many people graduate from there every year, how many people visit OSUIT? My statue will now be part of the campus; that’s very important to my career,” he said. “After we’re all gone, that statue will still be there.”