Skip Navigation
OU Public Affairs WebsiteThe University of OklahomaPublic Affairs

Helmerich Foundation Makes $500,000 Gift in Support of University Libraries



Contact: OU Public Affairs, (405) 325-1701

ARDMORE – University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced at the OU Board of Regents meeting today that The Helmerich Foundation of Tulsa is making a $500,000 gift in support of the renovation of a floor in the Neustadt Wing of Bizzell Memorial Library to create a 21st century collaborative learning center.

“University Libraries has been significantly enhanced by the generous support of Peggy Helmerich and her late husband, Walter Helmerich III, who established both a major endowment for the library and an endowed faculty chair for the dean of Libraries,” Boren said. “This most recent gift continues the Helmerich family’s legacy of generosity.”

In recognition of that support and in honor of Peggy Helmerich’s longtime interest in libraries at OU and in the state, OU Regents voted to name the renovated space as the Peggy V. Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center.

The library project, which is expected to be completed for the fall semester, involves the complete renovation and modernization of approximately 18,000 gross square feet on the Lower Level of the Neustadt Wing. The collaborative learning center will feature informal and flexible learning spaces that can be accessed by students between classes and offer an outlet for students as well as professors to continue collaborations begun in the classroom.

This type of environment enhances student-to-student and faculty-student interaction, active learning and immediate feedback, all essential practices for promoting student learning, said Rick Luce, dean of University Libraries.

The renovation also creates a collaborative classroom and flexible work space areas and includes a variety of individual and group study areas, such as seminar space, a Community Room, a Digital Scholarship Lab, and group meeting and research areas.

The open, contemporary design has large windows that take advantage of the Canyon Garden, with comfortable conversation pits offering views into the garden. Additionally, the popular Bookmark Café is being renovated, with expanded customer seating areas that flow out into the common space.

In addition to University Libraries, the Helmerich family and foundation’s support for OU includes scholarships and an enrichment fund for the School of Drama, which carries Peggy Helmerich’s name; a landscape fund, and capital project contributions for the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, and the Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic in Tulsa. 

 2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011

April 2015

OU Commencement to Feature Cornell University President-Elect, Photo Highlights of Graduating Class and Music

Five OU Faculty Named Presidential Teaching Fellows in Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College

University of Oklahoma Professor, OU Alumna Receive Apple Distinguished Educator Awards 

OU Alumnus Named Special Assistant to the Vice President for the University Community

OU Designated Big 12 Conference Champion in EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge

OU President David L. Boren Announces $30 Million in Gifts to Name College of Engineering and Establish New School of Biomedical Engineering

OU and Nanowave Technologies Inc. Enter into Research Agreement

Four OU Students Receive Boren Awards for International Study

2014-2015 OU President's Trophy Winners Announced

OU Engineering Professors among Nation's Best 'Young Investigators'

Oklahoma Water Survey Plans Water Reuse Workshops

OU Students to Serve Hispanic Communities During "Big Event" Day of Community Service

OU’s Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center on List of Most Beautiful Conservatories, Schools of Music

Honorary Degree Recipients to be Honored at OU Commencement Friday, May 8

April 17 Dedication Ceremony Scheduled for Hester Hall, Home of OU College of International Studies

Cornell University President-Elect Elizabeth Garrett to Deliver OU's 2015 Commencement Address

Gary England to Lead New Severe Weather Series Featured on OU's Janux Platform

Two OU Students Receive Goldwater Honors

OU Physicists First to Create New Molecule with Record-Setting Dipole Moment

OU Makes History with Record-Setting Number of Freshman National Merit Scholars

For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or