Tuesday, September 30, 2008
ONEOK Gives $1 Million to OSU-Tulsa for Endowed Chair in Finance
Once matched, the gift will make $4 million impact on business school at OSU-Tulsa TULSA – Oklahoma State University announced today a $1 million gift from Tulsa-based ONEOK, Inc. to establish a faculty chair to enhance teaching and research in the area of finance. Once fully matched dollar-for-dollar by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and T. Boone Pickens’ chair match commitment, the gift will provide $4 million in endowed funds for OSU-Tulsa. “We are extremely grateful to ONEOK for its generous gift that will elevate the level of teaching and finance research in OSU’s Spears School of Business," said OSU President Burns Hargis. "ONEOK has been serving the state of Oklahoma for more than 100 years and is now considered one of the nation's premier energy companies. We’re honored to partner with a company that shares a vision for academic development that will benefit the people and economy of Oklahoma.” ONEOK Chief Executive Officer John Gibson said endowing the chair through the OSU Foundation is a result of the company’s commitment to higher education and relationship with the university. “It gives us tremendous pride to know that our investment will help OSU attract and retain a faculty of the highest quality and reputation, producing graduates of exceptional ability, who will help Oklahoma companies like ONEOK meet the energy challenges that lie ahead for our country,” said Gibson. “We understand that education is the key to ensuring the economic prosperity and quality of life that all Oklahomans desire and deserve, as well as providing companies like ours with the talent and expertise we will need in the coming years.” OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl said the gift will create the first endowed Chair in finance at OSU-Tulsa. “ONEOK is providing a valuable resource by establishing permanent funding to attract and retain world-class faculty to OSU-Tulsa,” Trennepohl said. “The ONEOK Chair in Finance will enhance the learning experience of Tulsa’s business students, making them valuable contributors to our economy.” Professorships and chairs are academic designations whose privately funded endowments provide support for faculty salary, graduate assistantships, equipment and research needs, as well as other support. In order to take full advantage of the state’s dollar-for-dollar match, and make the most significant impact on OSU academics, ONEOK made the gift prior to the July 1 change in the state’s endowed chair matching program. This gift is part of the $68 million in endowed faculty gifts OSU announced this summer. The impact of the ONEOK gift will be leveraged by Pickens’ historic $100 million academic donation on May 21. Pickens’ donation was used to match other donor gifts to faculty chairs and professorships in the area of the donor’s choice. As a result, the donors’ original gifts will quadruple once matched by the State. Over the course of ONEOK’s 102-year history, the company has become an industry leader in the gathering, processing, transporting, marketing and distribution of natural gas, and, more recently, in natural gas liquids. ONEOK is a Fortune 500 company.