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Why Give?

Much of the progress made over the last two decades at the University of Oklahoma has been powered by private support. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends, OU's world-class educational and cultural experiences and life-changing research has made a real difference in the lives of Oklahomans and beyond.

Generosity of donors helps make students’ dreams possible

The support of our donors is essential in providing our students with the best Sooner experience. It is because of the generosity of our university family that students like Ivy, Braylon, Dylan and Michelle — who are shown in the video above — are able to thrive at OU. They are just four of the thousands of students who benefit from the collective support of our alumni and friends.


Graduate credits her success at OU to scholarship supporters

Paige Colston

Scholarships helped bring more than educational opportunity to 2018 graduate Paige Colston. They also provided financial peace of mind for her family in a time when students are responsible for an increasingly greater share of the cost of a college degree. 

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Donors make a difference in student experience

Thousands Strong logo

In Fiscal Year 2017, private support helped ensure that our deserving students were provided with all of the tools they needed to thrive at OU — from scholarships, textbooks and lab supplies to housing and food assistance.

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Priority logo


Priority has focused a spotlight on OU private giving since 1976. This quarterly publication reaches donors, alumni, faculty and staff with stories demonstrating the power of gifts both large and small to transform Oklahoma’s flagship university.

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Read about fundraising and development news at the University of Oklahoma. Stories are ordered by year.

12/12/2013: OU alumnus establishes scholarship to benefit students from Altus High School and Jackson County

12/11/2013: $1 million gift will establish Journalism Chair in honor of longtime OU staff member Paul Massad

11/1/2013: Beatrice Carr and W. Ray Wallace Scholarship Recipient Terry Hawk shares how his time at OU has impacted his life and broadened his perspective

10/23/2013: OU Receives More Than $8 Million in Matured Planned Gifts Thus Far in FY 2014

10/22/2013: OU Receives Multi-Million Dollar Gift From Dolese Bros. Co.

10/22/2013: OU Artist-in-Residence Paul Moore Receives Top Oklahoma Art Awards

10/14/2013: Adelina Solis, recipient of a Sooner Heritage Scholarship and an OU Club Scholarship, shares her story of overcoming adversity and discovering her passion while at OU

10/14/2013: OU Center for Entrepreneuship Among the Top Programs in the Nation

9/23/2013: Multi-million-dollar Grant Targets Medically Underserved in Oklahoma

9/23/2013: Trippet Scholarship Recipient BerThaddaeus Bailey shares how the award gave him not only financial assistance, but also confidence.

9/18/2013: Private Giving to OU Tops $194 Million in FY2013

9/18/2013: OU-Tulsa Programs Grow From Community Support

8/22/2013: Leaving a Legacy: Karen Westgate

7/25/2013: The 2013 OU Campus Campaign raised more than $2 million in gifts from faculty, staff and retirees.

6/28/2013: A grant from Sonic Corp. and the SONIC Drive-Ins of Norman will support a groundbreaking prototype program designed to help at-risk children.

6/27/2013: Phillips 66’s recent $500,000 gift provides important educational and research opportunities for OU’s students and faculty.

6/26/2013: A $500,000 gift from the Mary K. Chapman Foundation of Tulsa will advance research at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center with the goal of finding new ways to diagnose and treat ovarian cancer.

5/21/2013: The Help OUr Neighbor Fund has been created to benefit OU faculty, staff and students who lost homes or personal property in the recent Oklahoma tornadoes.

5/19/2013: Recent alumnus and Colombian native Juan Galindo established the Colombian OU Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Fund before graduating from the University.

5/15/2013: A $50,000 gift from the Robert Glenn Rapp Foundation will fund state-of-the-art lighting on the Pride of Oklahoma's practice field.

5/9/2013: OU recently received a major gift from Will and Helen Webster of California to endow scholarships and to provide key support for programs and projects in OU’s Honors and Education colleges.

5/3/2013: OU student Angie Quintero has been able to participate in various academic programs and opportunities as a result of the Zarrow Foundation Scholarship.

4/11/2013: A GRAMMY Foundation grant will allow OU’s American Organ Institute to restore its unique recording collection, including irreplaceable master organ player rolls.

4/4/2013: A gift from the OU Athletics Department has helped the University’s History of Science Collections acquire a rare manuscript by Oratio Grassi.

4/1/2013: New OU scholarship honors parents’ commitment to education.

3/29/2013: Private gifts and grants are providing significant funding to recruit medical specialists and cancer research scientists to the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center.

3/29/2013: Because of proceeds from the OU College of Medicine’s Evening of Excellence, more than $2.5 million in seed grants for promising young faculty scientists has been awarded.

3/27/2013: The 2008-2012 senior classes came together to support a unified series of gifts, stained-glass windows, in Oklahoma Memorial Union.

2/15/2013: Delta Dental of Oklahoma Oral Health Foundation has made the largest single gift ever to the OU College of Dentistry.

1/24/2013: Jon and Cathryn Withrow have made a $240,000 gift to establish a new scholarship for doctoral students who will be conducting research and working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

1/24/2013: OU has recorded an all-time high in both the number and total amount of private gifts received for any six-month period for the first half of Fiscal Year 2013 with almost $140 million in gifts through Dec. 31.

1/17/2013: Sooner Heritage Scholarship helps keep student's dream alive.

12/07/2012: Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation of Tulsa makes the largest one-time gift OU has ever received in scholarship support for OU students to study abroad.

12/07/2012: OU receives a significant gift from the estate of the late OU alumnus Crockett H. Page, M.D., to establish an endowed scholarship fund in the College of Medicine.

10/25/2012: OU Harold Hamm Diabetes Center is awarded a $10.8 million diabetes research grant.

10/24/2012: A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation gives $6 million to the OU School of Community Medicine for simulation center.

9/19/2012: A gift commitment from the Rainbolt family of Oklahoma City helps boost OU’s $250 million Campaign for Scholarships to $206.5 million in gifts and pledges.

9/5/2012: A $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will enable researchers at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center to look for answers to a critical problem in cancer therapy.

8/13/2012: The College of Liberal Studies has been awarded a $1 million endowment and a $50,000 bridge grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation.

7/31/2012: The Krampf Family Endowed Scholarship in the College of Earth and Energy not only will help students get an education, it will also serve as a lasting tribute to a loyal OU alumna from the men in her life.

6/24/2012: OU alumnus and former All-America quarterback Sam Bradford makes a $500,000 gift to support the construction of Headington Hall.

6/21/2012: The Oxley Foundation makes a $30 million commitment for proposed Tulsa School of Community Medicine.

6/10/2012: The nation’s top women amateur golfers will gather in summer 2013 at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.

5/10/2012: Gift from former OU Union activities director is helping to renovate University Club.

5/10/2012: OU receives $500,000 from Inasmuch Foundation for Scholars Walk project on Van Vleet Oval.

4/23/2012: Aubrey M. Kerr Sr. Endowed Scholarship established with $500,000 gift.

4/21/2012: Multimedia lab dedicated in honor of Daily faculty adviser.

4/21/2012: First class of Mildred Nichols Hamilton Scholars announced during Gaylord College ceremony.

4/5/2012: Norman campus Presidential Professors named during 2012 Faculty Tribute. Presidential Professorships are designed to honor, reward top faculty members.

3/29/2012: OU alumna Mildred Hamilton’s nearly $1 million estate gift establishes scholarship endowment for female OU journalism students.

3/29/2012: University receives a $250,000 gift from the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma to endow OU’s Leader Summit.  It’s one of the largest gifts ever to the Division of Student Affairs.

3/27/2012: Gifts to support biomedical research administered by the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center are eligible for the Oklahoma Biomedical Research Tax Credit.

2/23/2012: The College of Medicine Alumni Association saw its most successful Evening of Excellence event in history, raising more than $175,000.

02/03/2012: Gift to OU supports the Lanny Ross University Development Internship.

01/24/2012: OU College of Medicine is nearly halfway to reaching its $10 million private fundraising goal in the Second Century Scholarship Campaign and also is the recipient of two major gifts from the estate of Mary M. Jones of Mustang, Oklahoma.

12/15/2011: Taylor family's scholarships help students from the Muskogee and Eufaula communities.

12/01/2011: Parents of OU National Merit Scholar make gift to National Scholars Scholarship Campaign.

11/08/2011: The 2012 OU calendar is available for ordering, and proceeds benefit campus beautification.

10/26/2011: Marathon Oil contributes $135,250 to OU energy programs.

10/26/2011: The College of Medicine’s Second Century Campaign for Scholarships has raised more than $4.1 million in the first seven months of its five-year drive.

9/19/2011: OU School of Drama Named to Honor Peggy Dow Helmerich of Tulsa.

9/14/2011: OU College of Architecture's Gould Hall is dedicated.

8/23/2011: OU dedicates Anne and Henry Zarrow Hall for the School of Social Work.

7/27/2011: Women's Philanthropy Network Cancer Center campaign raises $150,000.

7/10/2011: Friends turn tables on longtime staffer by establishing a scholarship in his honor.

6/30/2011: The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Oklahoma Cancer Center, named for Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson, who made a $12 million commitment in November to benefit cancer programs, was dedicated June 30. 

5/16/2011: Oilman and civic leader Harold Hamm is this year’s recipient of the Friend of Medicine Award presented by the OU College of Medicine Alumni Association.

4/11/2011: College of Medicine launches Second Century Scholarship Campaign.

3/24/2011: Ohio couple’s gift honors the memory and achievements of the late OU anthropology professor Robert E. Bell and his wife, Virginia.  

3/24/2011: The College of Architecture’s new way of learning and teaching is featured in Architect magazine.

3/13/2011: $20 million gift from Harold and Sue Ann Hamm launches five-year, $100 million campaign for the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center.

2/17/2011: Price College scholarship fund honors the memory and legacy of alumnus, staff member Mel Penn.

1/26/2011: OU Law Professor Emeritus Frank Elkouri and Edna Asper Elkouri make historic $6 million gift to fund law student scholarships.

11/30/2010: OU receives $1.5 million commitment from the Stuart Family Foundation to assist in establishing the John B. Turner LL.M Program at the College of Law.

11/18/2010: Stephensons make historic $12 million gift to Oklahoma’s cancer programs.

11/08/2010: OU alumnus’ $11 million estate gift to advance OU’s stature as a pacesetter for American higher education.

10/27/2010: OU supporter makes $100,000 commitment to study abroad scholarships.

10/27/2010: Support from the McMahon Foundation of Lawton exceeds $1.5 million for OU projects, programs.

10/15/2010: The Edward E. and Helen Turner Bartlett Foundation is recognized for its exceptional support of OU.

10/6/2010: Emery Taylor Scholarship provides assistance to incoming freshman students graduating from high schools in Eufaula and Muskogee

9/21/2010: OU receives $65,000 in grants from Exxon Mobil Corporation.

9/20/2010: OU alumnus commits $1 million to Energy Management Program in honor of his mentor, teacher. 

9/15/2010: AT&T presents final check for $1.5 million Native American Scholars Program at OU.

9/01/2010: A bronze sculpture of Curtis Mewbourne, a 1958 OU petroleum engineering graduate and founding donor of OU’s Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, was unveiled and dedicated. 

8/10/2010: Sisters honor parents’ memory through scholarship awarded to active or retired police officers in Oklahoma or their dependents

5/13/2010: New endowed faculty position, the Farzaneh Family Chair in Iranian Studies, will focus on the culture and history of modern Iran. 

4/21/2010: OU surpasses $150 million scholarships goal with $157 million in gifts and pledges. 

4/19/2010: OU breaks ground for a new facility for the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work during a public ceremony on April 19. 

4/16/2010: OU receives a $2.5 million contribution from ConocoPhillips to benefit a wide range of University programs. 

4/1/2010: The 2010 recipients of Norman campus Presidential Professorships were named during ceremonies on April 1. 

3/25/2010: OU receives major gift of Native American art. 

2/16/2010: ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility dedication unveils first-of-its-kind facility.

1/27/2010: Family of Haskell and Irene Lemon make largest gift in the history of the OU College of Architecture.

1/26/2010: Devon Energy Hall dedicated.