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OU to Dedicate Residential Colleges

The University of Oklahoma will dedicate the Residential Colleges, Dunham College and Headington College, at a public ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 1406 Asp Ave.

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma will dedicate the Residential Colleges, Dunham College and Headington College, which serve as living-learning communities and the cornerstone of the undergraduate experience, at a public ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 1406 Asp Ave.

            “The Residential Colleges will have a lasting impact on the university,” said OU President David L. Boren. “They will enrich the academic life of the campus and will help create lasting bonds between residents and a special sense of community. We are especially grateful to Tim Headington and Linda and Archie Dunham for making lead gifts to make the colleges possible.”

Patterned after those at Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge, OU is the first university in the state and one of the first public universities in the nation to adopt the residential college model. The Residential Colleges provide an intimate and supportive community designed to promote the social, intellectual and personal growth of OU undergraduates.

President and First Lady Molly Shi Boren serve as honorary fellows to the Residential Colleges. Senior fellows include Keith Gaddie of Headington College and Mark Movant of Dunham College. As senior fellows, Morvant and Gaddie build community and unity within their respective Residential Colleges. They define goals and expectations while encouraging academic and social achievement and camaraderie built upon the participation of residents in “family” dinners, civic dialogue, intramurals and college traditions, such as house motto, colors and crest. Additionally, there are 24 Faculty Fellows who teach seminar-sized courses in the colleges.

The Residential Colleges increase the availability of campus housing, allowing upper-division students who wish to continue living on campus the opportunity to do so. Research in higher education demonstrates that students who live on campus earn better grades, are more likely to graduate and are more likely to pursue graduate studies. Research also shows that students living in residential colleges gain valuable leadership experience that helps them manage time more effectively and better equips them for the competitive job market.

The Residential College facilities include student living spaces, study lounges, dining areas, faculty offices and apartments, classrooms, seminar rooms, a music room, a meditation room, a library, creative commons and storm shelters. Courtyards and outdoor spaces enhance the community feel of each Residential College. The Residential Colleges will build close bonds between students who live there and the faculty fellows in each college.

Tim Headington and Archie and Linda Dunham each gave a lead gift that helped fund the living-learning colleges.

Headington earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from OU in 1972. He was a member of the tennis team, and, upon graduation from OU, he went on to earn graduate degrees in theology and psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Headington is president and sole shareholder of the Dallas-headquartered Headington Resources, Inc., one of the premiere independent oil exploration and production operators in south Texas. Active throughout the major oil and natural gas basins in the continental United States, the company also has interests in real estate and hotel development, film production, private equity and entertainment.

He co-founded the Headington Institute, a nonprofit that supports caregivers worldwide by determining the best ways to promote the physical hardiness, emotional resilience and spiritual validity of humanitarian relief and development personnel. In addition to providing free online training materials, its team of psychologists travels to places including Japan, Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan, South America and throughout Africa to provide counseling, resilience training and management consultation. He was honored in 2005 with the OU Regents’ Alumni Award and in 2011 with OU’s highest award, an honorary doctorate of humane letters. OU’s newest athletic housing facility and tennis complex are named after Headington and his family.

The Dunhams have been longtime friends of OU, often hosting student scholarship and alumni events. Dunham, who was born in Durant and raised in Ada, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geological engineering from OU in 1960 and a master of business administration degree from OU in 1966. Linda Dunham, who also grew up in Ada, attended East Central University.

After graduating from OU, Dunham went to work for Conoco Inc., where he rose rapidly through the ranks and served in almost every area of the company. He was elected to the Conoco Board of Directors in 1985 and became president and CEO in 1996. He was elected chairman of the board in 1999. Dunham is the recipient of OU’s highest award, an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

For additional information about the dedication ceremony or for accommodations, call the Office of Public Affairs at (405) 325-3784.