Oklahoma State University President Kayse Shrum and First Cowboy Darren Shrum have been named grand marshals of OSU’s 2022 Homecoming festivities by the OSU Alumni Association.
Shrum made history as the first woman to lead a public research institution in the state of Oklahoma when she was appointed in 2021. Prior to taking office as OSU’s 19th president, she served as president of OSU Center for Health Sciences, and her selection in 2013 made her the youngest and first female president and dean of a medical school in the state of Oklahoma. Shrum trained and served rural Oklahoma as a pediatrician before beginning her academic work at OSU-CHS after former OSU President Burns Hargis appointed her to lead the medical school.
First Cowboy Darren Shrum is an entrepreneur, salesman and craftsman. His business successes include opening a 12,000 square-foot fitness center in Muskogee and starting FTD Motors, LLC. The high-end automobile restoration business is still turning vintage cars and trucks into showstoppers. He has a heart for philanthropy and is an enthusiastic leader and participant in projects that make OSU, Stillwater and Payne County a better place. He has long been involved in supporting groups like Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Payne County Youth Services, Special Olympics Oklahoma and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“The Shrums have already had an incredible impact on the university in just over a year’s time,” said Dr. Ann Caine, OSU Alumni Association president. “With this year’s theme celebrating Cowboy heroes, now was the perfect time to recognize President Shrum and First Cowboy Darren as Homecoming grand marshals.”
This year’s Homecoming theme, "Hats Off to Cowboy Heroes," was chosen to celebrate individuals who serve, create, persevere, discover and learn with diligent, passionate hearts.
“The history of Oklahoma State is full of heroes from many different walks of life,” President Shrum said. “It is a great honor to represent all these heroes as this year’s grand marshals for America’s Greatest Homecoming. Darren and I can’t wait for the festivities to start next month.”
As grand marshals, the Shrums will take part in several Homecoming events during the week, including the Sea of Orange Parade and the presentation of Homecoming awards during the Texas vs. OSU football game.
Events for alumni begin on Sunday, Oct. 16 with the Sign Competition and Orange Fountain Dyeing in front of the Edmon Low Library, which is also when this year’s Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned.