Hundreds of delighted onlookers, family and friends witnessed the moment that Kyle Ferguson proposed to Chloe Tadlock at the OU 2015 Homecoming Parade. It was the perfect spot, since Chloe is chair of the Campus Activities Council and coordinated 2014 Homecoming. Kyle graduated from OU in December, and Chloe will follow in May. The couple attended the same elementary, middle and high schools. “You can say we have known each other a while,” quips Chloe.
Hall of Famers
OU President David L. Boren and First Lady Molly Shi Boren were inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in October. The award recognized the unparalleled growth of the Boren era, including more than $1 billion raised during the couple’s first decade of service. Endowed professorships have more than quadrupled to $2.4 billion; campuses have been added in Tulsa and Italy; and multiple new colleges, programs and building projects have enriched the university. The Hall of Fame also recognized President Boren for authoring the National Security Education Act and establishing the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
Sooner quarterback Baker Mayfield is a man of many talents. After winning the Burlsworth Award in December for the top college football player who began his career as a walk-on, Mayfield wowed the audience of a Norman Public Schools PTA Council fundraiser when he walked onstage lip synching to Katy Perry’s “California Girls.” Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Earth Rebirth, an organization with plans to build a community garden at every public school in Norman.
A Rare Researcher
OU College of Medicine’s Dr. Zhongjie Sun is one of only 13 researchers in the nation ever to be awarded six R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health. The grant is the oldest funding mechanism of the NIH, and just 5 percent of researchers have earned more than two. Sun, a professor and vice chair of research in OU’s Department of Physiology, is exploring better methods for treating diabetes and cardiovascular disease through gene therapy. His work focuses on a gene called Klotho, named for the Greek goddess who carried a spindle and was thought to spin the thread of human life.
OU Professor of Chemistry Donna Nelson became known as science adviser to the megahit AMC series Breaking Bad, but her peers know her as the new president of the American Chemical Society. Nelson’s role as an ambassador for “science diplomacy” will include boosting public appreciation of science and networking with international scientists. The Eufaula native and OU alumna is a highly respected researcher who has taught more than 10,000 students, advised Congress, and been named a Fulbright Scholar, Ford Fellow and recipient of a Guggenheim Award.
A Daily Difference
Hold onto your pork-pie hats, OU journalism grads: The Oklahoma Daily has gone (mostly) digital. The paper, which has been in production since 1916, will be printed on Mondays and Thursdays. Digital-only issues will be published the remaining three days each week. See online issues here. “We know (our) founders started something special – the independent, student voice of this university,” the paper’s editorial board wrote. “We treasure the Daily’s past, but now it’s time to map its future.”