Oklahoma State University has announced that a conference table used daily by the late legendary philanthropist T. Boone Pickens will be lent to the Oklahoma governor’s Cabinet Room for the next decade.
In one of his last acts, Pickens sold his conference room table and its 22 chairs to Gary and Claudia Humphreys, who in turn donated the table set to OSU. Humphreys is co-founder, executive chairman and CEO of Vista Proppants and Logistics LLC.
Pickens designed and bought the table 14 years ago. In January 2018, after suffering health setbacks, he announced that he was closing his hedge fund, BP Capital, to concentrate on his private investments. He began downsizing his offices and no longer had room for it.
“For now, the table I have long loved has to go. Come and take it and the history that goes with it,” Pickens said then. “We put close to $75,000 into the table and 22 leather chairs that go with it. We’re starting at $25,000.” The table is a four-pedestal behemoth, measuring 24 feet long by 5 feet wide, inlaid with golden cherry and walnut wood.
Humphreys purchased the set for $30,000.
“Thanks to the generosity of alumni Gary and Claudia Humphreys, Oklahoma State is honored to play a part in placing a historic piece from Boone Pickens’ legendary career in the Oklahoma State Capitol,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “We are especially proud of the OSU Cowboy link between alumni Pickens, Humphreys and Gov. Kevin Stitt.”
“We are thankful for the generosity of the Humphreys family and honored to house this conference room table that is tied to the legacy of Mr. T. Boone Pickens,” Stitt said. “T. Boone Pickens is a successful entrepreneur, proud Oklahoman and generous philanthropist who has made a significant contribution through job creation and economic growth in our great state. Residing in the State Capitol, this table will be a signature piece to host Oklahoma’s thought leaders, decisionmakers and delegates from around the nation as they shape today’s policies and continue to make history.”
At this table, Pickens negotiated deals worth billions, hosted athletes, philanthropists, business people and celebrities – and politicians.
Luminaries who have sat around the table include former President George W. Bush, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, former New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, musician Garth Brooks and cable television pioneer and philanthropist Ted Turner, among scores of others.
The last VIP to sit at the table was Stitt, who inquired about the table after reading an article in The Dallas Morning News. Pickens died Sept. 11 at the age of 91.
Boone’s parting deal
Pickens negotiated bringing all those parties together.
“It was the last deal Boone made before his death,” Rosser said. “Clearly Boone liked the idea of having his conference table so proudly displayed at the capitol, where undoubtedly many leaders from both OSU and rival OU will be hashing out critical state issues.”
OSU President Burns Hargis said the university is delighted to have acted as the conduit between Cowboy alumni Pickens, Humphreys and Gov. Stitt in “placing this historic piece from Boone Pickens’ legendary career in the Oklahoma State Capitol.”
And Stitt is thrilled to have it.
“T. Boone Pickens is a successful entrepreneur, proud Oklahoman and generous philanthropist who has made a significant contribution through job creation and economic growth in our great state,” Stitt said in a statement. “Residing in the State Capitol, this table will be a signature piece to host Oklahoma’s thought leaders, decision-makers and delegates from around the nation as they shape today’s policies and continue to make history.”
I’m pretty sure Pickens will be eavesdropping from above.