Picking up the Shillelagh!

Friday, June 3, 2022

Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,

Happy Friday, and a warm Rolla welcome to all of our alumni and friends who are back on campus this weekend to celebrate the first in-person gathering of our Order of the Golden Shillelagh, or OGS, since 2019.

The 1,700-member-strong OGS is committed to investing in the future of our university and dedicated students. The formation of OGS was inspired by S&T’s renowned St. Pat’s celebration, where every March, S&T students march across campus carrying their oversized shillelaghs. When a devoted group of S&T’s generous alumni and friends decided to form a recognition society in 1977, they included the shillelagh, a symbol of strength and protection, in their name. And so the Order of the Golden Shillelagh was born.

Our OGS founders include some now-familiar names to our university, such as Amy Shelton McNutt, the widow of 1910 graduate Vachel H. McNutt, for whom McNutt Hall is named, and Fred and June Kummer, whose generosity continues to transform S&T. The collective support of our OGS members has provided tremendous benefits to the university in the form of scholarships, fellowships, faculty support, and unrestricted gifts. Then as now, our OGS members talk about how they “picked up the shillelagh” to support their university.

It is remarkable to note that, since 1977, OGS members have contributed:

  • $66 million in scholarships and student support.
  • $18.9 million for faculty support and endowed professorships.
  • $48.4 million for new building construction and renovation.
  • $14.1 million in unrestricted support.

And that does not include the transformative Fred and June Kummer gift.

It is amazing to think of the many lives transformed through the generosity of our donors over the past 45 years, all because a small group of dedicated alumni and friends decided to “pick up the shillelagh” and advance their university.

This weekend, our OGS members are back on campus, where it all began 45 years ago, to celebrate this wonderful support system and to welcome new members into their fold. For many, it will be their first visit to campus in several years, and it will be the first in-person OGS Weekend since 2019, when the group met in Chicago. I was pleased to join them for that occasion as one of my first acts as incoming chancellor. There I saw firsthand the support and loyalty of these proud OGS members.

To our OGS members, our most steadfast supporters, I say THANK YOU for picking up the shillelagh! Your support continues to provide a margin of excellence for S&T that would not have been possible otherwise. Many who have followed you in pursuit of their S&T education were able to do so because of you. Please know that you have made a difference. What more is there to say?



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Mohammad Dehghani, PhD
mo@mst.edu | 573-341-4116

206 Parker Hall, 300 West 13th Street, Rolla, MO 65409-0910