CBS sports analyst Doug Gottlieb served as Master of Ceremonies for a “yippee-yi-yo” evening to honor Ann Hargis — Oklahoma State University’s “First Cowgirl of Orange” – last Thursday, (October 11) at the downtown Skirvin Hilton Hotel.
Oklahoma Israel Exchange (OKIE) hosted the event to present Ann, wife of Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis, with the “Light, Leadership and Legacy Award” for her work strengthening the relationship between OSU and Israel.
Ann Hargis’ connection to Israel began in 2007 when she and husband traveled to Israel as part of an OKIE/OKC Jewish Federation Mission. The visit inspired her to begin envisioning exchange between OSU programs and parallel ones in Israel. She built on established ties between OSU and Israel, supporting direct ties between Bill Ryan, director of the OSU School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, and well-known Israeli chef Avi Sekerel, who participated in OSU’s Distinguished Chef Series.
Discussions are under way for a student culinary exchange between OSU and Rimonim Culinary School in Tiberias. During that trip, arrangements were formalized for Israeli chefs Ilan Roberg and Erez Amos to travel to Stillwater for the Distinguished Chef Series next month.
The evening’s warm and light-hearted tribute to Mrs. Hargis included a modernistic jazz presentation from Barron Ryan, and featured the testimonials of young people who have traveled to/from Israel with OKIE’s support.
Susan Robertson, OKIE executive director, detailed the organization’s work to promote ties in culture, commerce, education and agriculture between the states of Oklahoma and Israel. Robertson expressed appreciate for the turnout of nearly 250 people in the Skirvin ballroom, especially in light of “the vice presidential debate, not to mention the Knights of Columbus chili cookoff.”
The audience sang a special tribute version of the state song “Oklahoma!” – customized to highlight Ann Hargis’ contributions.
Gottlieb, the evening’s master of ceremonies, had a successful college basketball carreer at OSU. The 1997-98 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, in his second second season, Gottlieb led the nation in assists, only the second Cowboy to lead the nation in a statistical category. He broke OSU’s career mark with 500 assists after only two seasons and the school record of 22 career double-figure assist games. He holds all of OSU’s assist records and ranks tenth all-time in NCAA career assists with 947.
After graduation, Gottlieb played on several international professional basketball teams, including an Israeli team. He was hired by ESPN Radio in September 2003, then was a college basketball analyst for ESPN and ESPN2. In July 2012, Gottlieb joined CBS where he will host a show on CBS Sports Radio and serve as a game analyst for CBS Sports TV.
“I am honored to be recognized by the Oklahoma Israel Exchange and am truly humbled by the Light, Leadership and Legacy Award. I have taken great pride in watching the relationship flourish between Oklahoma State University and OKIE to provide unique educational experiences for faculty and students,” said Hargis. Hargis enjoyed a brief ceremony late in the evening, when Edie Roodman of the Jewish Federation “returned” garments borrowed from Hargis when they traveled to Israel together several years ago and Roodman’s luggage was lost.
Rabbi Ovadia Goldman of the Chabad Jewish Community Center delivered a closing “L’Chaim,” giving congratulations to the Hargis family and others for their support of the Jewish community and historic ties to Israel.
NOTE: Associate Publisher Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.