The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) was created through legislative action in 1983 and enrolled its first class of 44 juniors from across the state in 1990. It has graduated more than 1600 students since 1992.  More than one-half of them are still involved in completing their educational and professional training. 

This webpage is intended to celebrate this milestone in the School’s life. It will continue to evolve, and we welcome your “Pearls of Wisdom.” Please send any correspondence to 

This document was created in 2015 by OSSM student Ingrid Gao. In it, she interviews several OSSM visionaries, including Edna Manning, Ph.D., Senator Penny Williams and Dr. Earl Mitchell, the person credited with the idea of OSSM.

In this audio clip, OSSM President Frank Wang, Ph.D., interviews Senator Penny Williams, the legislator who “made OSSM happen!” The interview occurred at the University of Tulsa on March 6, 2013.

Pearls are the metal that celebrate the 30th anniversary. Accordingly, members of the OSSM community offer their “pearls of wisdom.” Send your “pearl” to

Sara Marie Dillard Bodenstein poses with her father, Charles Dillard, also a professor at OSSM for many years.

Sara Marie Bodenstein, OSSM Class of 1994 and Current Faculty Member

Probably the most profound time in my OSSM experience was when I began walking in the doors at OSSM as a new member of the faculty. I was in total awe that I was to be a part of the faculty that had shaped me as a student (Class of 1994). I was overwhelmed when, at convocation 2010, I stood next to Dr. Ken Lease, Dr. Dorothy Dodd, Dr. Fazlur Rahman, Dr. Ann Dell, Dr. Xifan Liu, and especially my dad, Charles Dillard, and Dr. Edna Manning, who had given me this opportunity. Excepting Dr. Rahman, in my ten years as part of the faculty, I have watched all those who saw me as a student (including Gary Salwierak, Suzanne Donnolo, Johanna Lee, and Lynn Morgan) retire and move on. But I know on whose shoulders I stand. I want to make them proud. I want to carry on their legacy. I want to make an impact on my students every year, just as that cloud of witnesses impacted me. Every day, I walk past the place where my name is written on the wall to face a room full of dedicated students. I am mindful that any one of them may someday walk in the doors of OSSM and take a place as a new member of the OSSM faculty, prepared to make a difference for the next generation.

Fazlur Rahman,Ph.D., OSSM professor, Oklahoma Chemist of the Year 2015

For the past three decades, The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics has evolved as the symbol of academic excellence not only in Oklahoma but also across the nation and the world. Every day at OSSM we seek to reach the pinnacle of academic excellence by nurturing and challenging Oklahoma’s brightest and most brilliant youth. In addition to put forward the break through idea of heptavalent Carbon (George Wang, Class 2017), OSSM students have carried the flag of the Unites States to International competitions to bring Gold, Silver, Bronze in Physics and in Chemistry Olympiad. It has been a fortune for me to be able to be part of this great institution (OSSM) where my students inspire and challenge me to learn better and to think better on a daily basis. The best part of OSSM is the team spirit where both my students and I are learners.  This platform of partnership gave me many moments of learning, humility, and inspiration.  I take this opportunity to thank my students, colleagues and to the people of Oklahoma for making OSSM as one of the finest academic powerhouse of the State and the country. 

Bella Ngo, OSSM Class of 2018

Find your “why” in the things you do and then everything you do will make sense.

Sunil Kumar Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D., FAAPMR (Class of 1997) (Originally written for the 25th anniversary of OSSM)

This year’s graduation marked a milestone in the history of OSSM. It was the year that the school graduated its 25th class. I am fortunate to count myself as an alumni of the school–a member of the sixth class to graduation. This year, I had the honor and great pleasure to attend our class’s 20th graduation reunion, organized by my classmates Marty Scantlen and Cherie Herren. This was a joyous event full of reconnection with old classmates and professors, and walking grounds old and new and still full of memories. On this occasion we are marking of a quarter-century of OSSM graduations, I’ve been graciously invited by Professor Fazlur Rahman to share some of my thoughts and ideas, both at OSSM and beyond.

Read the full article.