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MBA program unites for Cowboys vs Cancer at Homecoming Parade

Thursday, November 9, 2023

The MBA team with Cowboys vs. Cancer at the OSU Homecoming Parade.


As the leaves begin turning vibrant shades of orange, residents of Stillwater become keenly aware that it’s time for America’s Greatest Homecoming. The traditions of Oklahoma State University run deep, after all.  


One of OSU’s longest-running traditions is the Sea of Orange Homecoming Parade, which is highlighted by a big orange bus called Slow Poke, the signature piece of the Eddie Sutton Foundation’s Cowboys vs. Cancer float. The Spears School of Business MBA program organizes the efforts of the Slow Poke - from registration, coordination and parade-day turnout - with a goal of showcasing the organization founded in the 1990s by the Naismith Hall of Fame inductee himself. 


Sutton and Missouri head coach Norm Stewart were friends and rivals. When Stewart received a cancer diagnosis, he began raising money to fight cancer through basketball. He sought the help of Sutton and other coaches, and they ultimately founded the Coaches vs. Cancer organization. What began as a one-night event at basketball games to raise money for cancer research has launched into a nation-wide foundation that provides millions of dollars to the American Cancer Society. 


In 2022, the OSU organization rebranded into the Eddie Sutton Foundation, which oversees Cowboys vs Cancer. While Coaches vs. Cancer is a national partnership between the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society, the Cowboys vs. Cancer program includes all OSU sports and aligns with additional reputable cancer research foundations.  


At Oklahoma State, no one has done more to elevate the cause of the Eddie Sutton Foundation than its co-president, Kendria Cost. Cost, who is also the director of the OSU Center for Pet Therapy, became involved in the Coaches vs. Cancer program shortly after its inception, and she worked closely with Sutton to build the program. Under her leadership, it grew from a pass-the-bucket collection during a single basketball game to a campus-wide organization that included all sports and several annual events like the Birthday Bash and the CvC Cowboy Classic golf tournament at Stillwater Country Club.  


“It's just expanding in a much greater way,” said Kim Sutton, board member of the Eddie Sutton Foundation and the daughter-in-law of the legendary coach. “Creighton comes to Stillwater on Nov. 30, and since Eddie coached at Creighton and OSU, we’re having an event in GIA. So, we're just expanding it in so many ways and trying to broaden our efforts to raise more and more money for cancer research.”  


Last year, the Foundation was able to donate to Cure Search, an organization conducting children's cancer research. Cure Search funds trials and donated significant sums of money to the Stillwater Cancer Center, a part of the Stillwater Medical Center. 


The Spears Business MBA program is proud to align with the Eddie Sutton Foundation, especially during the OSU Homecoming parade. MBA students spend the morning with pediatric cancer survivors and their families, who ride in the bus during the parade while the MBA students walk alongside and pass out candy throughout the parade route.  


Participating in this meaningful event is not only a commitment to our Stillwater community but also our dedication to making a positive impact beyond the academic realm. This collaborative effort amplifies the organization’s ethos of combining business acumen with a strong sense of social responsibility, contributing to a shared mission of fighting cancer and fostering a sense of unity and support within the community. The MBA program is proud to empower change and bring light to the mission of Cowboys vs. Cancer as we unite for the Homecoming Parade. 


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