Path Home Shows 2009 Show Archive March 2009 Show 0912 Interview with Donna McSpadden - Clem McSpadden Endowed Chair

Interview with Donna McSpadden - Clem McSpadden Endowed Chair

We visit with Donna McSpadden, widow of Clem McSpadden, about a new scholarship fund her late husband's name that will continue his efforts in helping young people get started in an agriculture career.
Interview with Donna McSpadden - Clem McSpadden Endowed Chair

Clem McSpadden

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Clem McSpadden Endowed Chair at OSU

Show Dates

Show 0912: Interview with Donna McSpadden - Clem McSpadden Endowed Chair

Air date: March 22, 2009



Rob:  Well Lacey Dale, we certainly appreciate you being here.  Miss Rodeo America, Amy Wilson, thank you for being here as well.  Well when it comes to youth livestock activities, no one was ever a bigger supporter than the late Clem McSpadden.  With a career that spanned from the halls of congress to the rodeo arena, he was always more than willing to help young people start their own careers.  In a moment, I’ll visit with his widow and talk about a new scholarship fund that will help his efforts live on, but first a look back at a life well lived.

Alisa:  On any given Saturday night, in rodeo arenas around the country, it’s Clem McSpadden’s voice you may hear.  For more than fifty years, McSpadden has announced rodeos, from big to small, and plenty of in-between.

Clem McSpadden:  I’m probably prouder of the longevity of a few rodeos, when you look at something inside me.  I started announcing Vinita in 1953.

Alisa:  McSpadden’s interest in rodeo comes naturally.  A great nephew of the late Will Rogers, McSpadden has always worked in and around animals.  And while best known for his rodeo work, McSpadden’s life is as diverse as the state he’s so proud of.  First elected to the Oklahoma senate in 1954, McSpadden’s political career eventually led him into the halls of congress, and later into lobbying.  But despite such political success, it’s his memories, of all the cowboy greats, he enjoys the most.

McSpadden:  I’ve been fortunate enough to meet several Presidents, and lots of U S senators, and bank presidents, da-dah, da-dah, da-dah.  The most genuine people I’ve ever met are rodeo people period, over and out.  Freckles Brown had an 8th grade education.  I wouldn’t trade the friendship I had with that man for anything in the world.  Loved him like a brother.

Rob:  And joining me now is Donna McSpadden.  Well while the state capitol and youth expo will never be the same without Clem’s presence there, really his influence does live on with this endowed chair.

Donna McSpadden:  I think that the chair is probably one of the nicest things, as a tribute to a human being in that so many people see that there is a legacy to leave.  And if Clem was anything, he was good.

Rob:  And what is the purpose of this chair?

McSpadden:  Oh, I’m so glad you asked that.  Of course it’s at OSU.  And it is in agriculture and youth leadership.  He was such a believer in young people and in education.  And as anyone that ever met Clem knows, he never quit learning or trying to learn something.  And he just, I think, would love the chair and what it means to the young people, and not necessarily just young people from Oklahoma, but anyone who chooses to come to OSU and be concerned with agriculture, as that was a love of his life.

Rob:  And spent all his life working with young people too.

McSpadden:  Oh yes.

Rob:   If Clem was with us today, what would you think he would say, and such a great storyteller, I have to start off with that; what do you think Clem would say about all this?

McSpadden:  About the tributes, and the chair, there is an existing scholarship here at OSU, and the chair is being finalized.  He would say, they must be down to the M’s, if they’re going alphabetically in creating these.  And he would be touched, as Bart and I are too.

Rob:  Yes; well it really is something special, and as we said before it was really a life well lived.  Donna, thank you for being here.

McSpadden:  Thanks for having me.

Rob:  Now if you’d like to know more about that chair, just visit us at where we have all the information that you will need.