FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: OU Public Affairs, (405) 325-1701
NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma has received a $250,000 gift – one of the largest gifts ever to the Division of Student Affairs – from the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma to endow OU’s Leader Summit, an annual event that draws current and aspiring student leaders who represent many student organizations on campus.
OU President David Boren announced the gift at the March meeting of the Board of Regents. In appreciation, the Summit will be known in perpetuity as the OU Leader Summit, Presented by the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma.
“Training future leaders who have a strong commitment to a spirit of community is an essential mission for the University of Oklahoma,” said OU President David L. Boren. “This generous gift from the Masonic Charity Foundation will provide important help in reaching that goal.”
Randall Rogers, Grand Master of Masons, said, “The Masonic Fraternity is honored to have the opportunity to demonstrate our support for higher education by supporting the OU Leader Summit. We know this is a quality program that makes a positive impact on students who we hope will make a positive impact on their communities and our state. This gift is especially gratifying for our fraternity in that with this gift, the Masonic Fraternity has now established an endowment at every state-supported university in Oklahoma.”
The Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma supports higher education programs that make a positive impact on the students and communities influenced by the universities. This gift to OU continues the Oklahoma Freemason legacy of charity that dates back to 1888.
Some 300 student leaders representing a wide and diverse group of OU organizations participate in the universitywide Leader Summit that is held each January. Now in its seventh year, the event features keynote presentations, educational breakout sessions, small group consultations on special topics, and opportunities to network with other students and OU leaders.
Annual earnings from the Masonic endowment will be used to enhance the Leader Summit, including attracting additional nationally noted speakers and providing students with more resources to take back to their organizations.
“The Masonic Charity Foundation's gift is one of the most significant in the history of Student Affairs,” said Clarke Stroud, OU vice president for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. “It is appropriate that a gift of this size be used to endow a program that brings a wonderful leadership development opportunity to a large cross-section of our student body. The Leader Summit has grown to be an event that OU students look forward to every year. This gift will assure that a tradition of top-notch speakers continues for our students.”
The Leader Summit makes a powerful impression on the student participants that can make a positive difference in their future leadership endeavors, whether in the workplace or their communities, he said.
The gift supports the goal of Student Affairs is to enhance students’ academic success by developing student skills, cultivating diverse, campus life experiences and enriching the university community through programs and services, Stroud said.