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Marta White, a native of Czechoslovakia, received degrees from her home country and Indiana University. She left Czechoslovakia after Russian troops invaded her country in efforts to halt political reform and was granted political asylum in the U.S.


After retiring from Eli Lilly & Co., White and her husband, Dennis, enjoyed the ranch life in Ninnekah, Oklahoma, before landing in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where they have philanthropic interests. The Whites generously donated their ranch to OSU through a trust at the OSU Foundation.


Some of their greatest contributions have benefited the Ferguson College of Agriculture and the Department of Animal and Food Sciences with a focus on research, securing resources for faculty and creating funding to attract top graduate students from across the nation.


The Whites were the first donors to establish a chair in animal and food sciences, leading other donors to follow. The Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair in Animal Sciences focuses on beef cattle research, and the couple has expanded their research support to fund graduate students with the Dennis and Marta White Animal Science Fellowship.


In Clint Rusk’s nomination letter, the department head of the Animal and Food Sciences Department wrote, “I cannot think of a more deserving individual to be named a Champion than Marta White. She is one of the most giving individuals I have ever met.”


Marta volunteers and serves as a leader in many organizations such as Women for OSU and the Diamond Hats, where she was named the Diamond Hat of the Year in 2008. She is also a lifetime member of the OSU Alumni Association.

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