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Annual OU Ring Ceremony to Honor H.E. 'Gene' Rainbolt

The University of Oklahoma Ring Ceremony will honor the class of 2016 and OU alumnus H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt, who has championed Oklahoma, the city of Norman and OU throughout his lifetime.

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma Ring Ceremony, scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, will honor the class of 2016 and OU alumnus H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt, who has championed the state of Oklahoma, the city of Norman and the University of Oklahoma throughout his lifetime. The ceremony will be in the courtyard of Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave.

A dedicated alumni leader and chairman of BancFirst Corporation, his career and his recent book, “Out of the Dust,” reflect the high moral character for which he is well known. The generosity of Gene Rainbolt has touched almost every area of the university, and his family’s dedication has been fundamental to the university’s achievement.

“No alumnus of the university has ever done more to give back to the university in so many ways than Gene Rainbolt,” said OU President David L. Boren. “He truly loves his alma mater and Norman as his hometown. The OU family looks forward to the opportunity to thank Gene Rainbolt for all that he has done.”

Rainbolt has been a strong ally of the university, fervently supporting many efforts. He was joined by his son, David, and his daughter, Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes, in making an exceptional gift to the College of Education to carry forth the legacy of his wife of 57 years, Jeannine Rainbolt.

The Rainbolts’ gift provided support for the renovation and expansion of Collings Hall—now the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education—and for the Jeannine T. Rainbolt Scholarship for Elementary School Teachers. Jeannine Rainbolt was an OU education alumna who was committed to advancing education in Oklahoma and to the importance of a quality education for children and future teachers.

The Rainbolt family also has contributed to the endowment of faculty chairs in cancer, child psychiatry and finance as well as the Jeannine T. Rainbolt Women’s Basketball Scholarship and several other endowment funds.

Rainbolt graduated from OU with a degree in economics and, later, earned his master's degree in business administration. He also served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, for which he earned a Bronze Medal and an Army Commendation Medal.

Gene Rainbolt has served as volunteer vice chairman of OU’s Reach for Excellence campaign, chairman of the President’s Associates Council and is a founding member and endowed OU President’s Associate.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards from OU, including the Regents’ Alumni Award, the Distinguished Service Award, the Arthur Barto Adams Alumni Award from the Price College of Business, and OU’s highest honor, an Honorary Degree.

The Rainbolts’ children, both of whom are OU graduates, also are steadfast supporters of OU. Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes is a member of the OU Board of Regents and is joined in her support of OU by her brother, OU alumnus David Rainbolt, president and chief executive officer of BancFirst Corporation, and a trustee of the OU Foundation.

The OU ring was adopted because of a student initiative to create a symbol that would capture the true essence of the university’s history and tradition. The OU ring honors graduating seniors and alumni from all classes, highlights students’ commitment to higher education, and recognizes the heritage of the OU community. 

In the event of rain, the ring ceremony will be held in Beaird Lounge in Oklahoma Memorial Union.

For additional information or for accommodations on the basis of disability, call OU Public Affairs at 405-325-3784.