The University of Oklahoma is truly an extraordinary institution, known for its academic excellence and strong sense of community. Attracting top students from across the nation and more than one hundred countries around the world, OU provides a major university experience in a private college atmosphere. OU is number one in the nation in the number of National Merit Scholars enrolled at a public university, and is in the top five of public universities in the nation in the graduation of Rhodes Scholars. OU’s McClendon Honors College offers one of the largest honors programs among public universities in the United States, matching the university’s best and brightest students with faculty in small classes. OU is one of the few public universities in the nation to cap the class size of first-year English composition courses at no more than 19. The University of Oklahoma is a national leader in international exchange agreements and provides students with over 200 study abroad program options across 50 countries and 100 cities, including OU's Italian campus in beautiful Tuscany.
There is a true sense of family on the OU campus. Serving as a model for other public universities, OU established the Faculty-In-Residence program which places faculty members and their families in each of our residence halls to foster faculty and student interaction and encourage intergenerational friendships. Further, a different professor adopts each floor of the residence halls as well as each fraternity and sorority, allowing students and faculty to build relationships outside of the classroom. These and other student-centered efforts helped OU earn recognition from the Templeton Foundation as a “Character Building College.”
OU has also been recognized as a great value. OU's tuition and mandatory fees are the second lowest in the Big 12, and OU offers significant scholarship support to keep the door of opportunity open for all qualified students. Just one year after launching our five-year Campaign for Scholarships, the original $50 million goal was achieved, and a new goal of $100 million was established. This allowed the university to award hundreds of new scholarships to ensure that OU will remain affordable. The Campaign for Scholarships is ongoing, having now reached $195 million. In addition, OU’s private endowment has grown from just $204 million in 1994 to more than $1.1 billion today, placing OU in the elite group of public universities with endowments greater than $1 billion.
The number of endowed faculty positions has also increased from 100 to 560 in the past 17 years, demonstrating our strong commitment to educational excellence. OU is extraordinary, too, because of its excellent programs and resources. Our two public museums, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, rank among the top university-based museums in the country. OU’s Bizzell Memorial Library features the largest history of science collection in the world, and is the only place in the United States where you can hold a book with Galileo's handwriting in your own hands.
I invite you to visit campus and explore becoming part of the OU family. There is not a university in the nation that will care more about your academic and personal success.