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A Chat with the First Cowgirl – FAQ’s

People often have questions for the First Cowgirl. Below are some of the standard questions, and also a few of our favorites. Some of the answers might surprise you!

Q: Where were you born and raised?

A: I was born in Middletown, Ohio and raised in Dallas, Texas. I continue being raised in Stillwater!


Q: Did you attend OSU?

A: Had I known about OSU at that time, I certainly would have! I actually have a degree in Math and Latin from the University of Texas, my state school, but I am thrilled to be wearing America’s BRIGHTEST orange!


Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?

A: trapeze artist!


Q: How did you and your husband, Burns, meet?

A: We met in Houston, Texas, June 8, 1968. He was visiting a Stillwater/OSU friend who lived in my apartment complex. I was wearing an orange muumuu (with a donkey embroidered on the pocket), no make-up and my wet hair was wrapped in a towel. I was a true vision of beauty! We married June 8, 1969!


Q: Do you have children?

A: Our son, Matt, lives in Oklahoma City has two children, Peighton and Preston. Our daughter, Kate, and her husband, Richard, own The Earth Café in Norman. Their son, Oliver, is our youngest grandchild


Q: How long have you been in Stillwater?

A: We are no strangers to Oklahoma! We have been married for 50 years (and will celebrate 51 years in 2020), 12 of which have been in Stillwater. Burns became President of OSU on March 10, 2008. The other 38 years were spent in Oklahoma City.


Q: What were your initial feelings when you realized you would become OSU’s First Cowgirl?

A: I knew Burns would be a tremendous asset to OSU, and to the state of Oklahoma. It was a new chapter in our lives, and I had no idea how much orange, there would be in that chapter-- No idea how much BRIGHTER the experiences and people would be.


Q: What is a typical day for you?

A: The truth is there is no typical day! Every day is totally different and subject to change – oftentimes without much notice. It is exciting, exhilarating, and quite honestly, sometimes exhausting! However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are having a great time!


Q: What is your favorite part of being the First Cowgirl?

A: There are a lot of things to love about being the First Cowgirl. In fact, too many things to even mention. Being around so many bright, capable, positive, energetic young people is so inspiring. And the other thing I love – I never have to look for a parking space!


Q: Why did you choose “wellness” as your platform? Why America’s HEALTHIEST Campus? ®

A: Wellness has always been an important part of life for the Hargis family. Not only are exercise and nutrition important, but we also try to embrace a holistic lifestyle and maintain balance. Wellness was a natural fit when we arrived on campus. The goal of becoming America’s HEALTHIEST Campus ® was not started by us, but rather by Bud Seretean, a benefactor at OSU. He planted the seeds long ago. It is our privilege to honor his memory by making his vision a reality.


Q: Do you really wear something orange every day?

A: According to Frank Sinatra, "Orange is the Happiest Color". And who can argue with Ol Blue Eyes? It is my honor to put on America’s brightest orange and share it with those around me. And yes, my goal is to share orange every single day.

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