September 30, 2002
Major Donation to Watchmaking School
Three major timepiece manufacturers pledged $500,000 to the watchmaking school at Oklahoma State University, Okmulgee, OK. Representatives from the Richemont Group (which includes Cartier, IWC, Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Montblanc, Lange & Sohne, Jeager-LeCoultre, Dunhill and Panerai), Breitling and Audemars Piguet flew to Okmulgee from Switzerland to sign the agreement last month.
The funds will be used over five years to expand the schools instructional capabilities and to enable more students to take classes. In January 2003, 36 students will begin classes, up from the 24 currently enrolled. The funds will also underwrite the cost of a six-month faculty-training program in Switzerland, additional courses for the faculty, new equipment and scholarships.
OSU-Okmulgee was one of the first of four institutions in the U.S. to successfully implement the 3,000-hour plan of study designed by the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program (WOSTEP).
"This sponsorship strengthens OSU-Okmulgees 50-year heritage of watchmaking education and positions us to train students for lucrative careers in advanced watch repair," says Dr. Bob Klabenes, OSU-Okmulgee president. OSU, Okmulgee, OK; (918)293-5180.
by Michael Thompson