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Walker Center History

Walker Tower was constructed in 1966 during the final phase of President George Lynn Cross' plans to expand university housing to accommodate the enormous growth OU's student body had experiences during his tenure. Initially a part of Couch Center, the residential tower had been given the name Couch North. However, the Board of Regents officially changed the name of the building to Walker Tower in 1970 to honor Edward A. Walker, a prominent banker and Oklahoma City resident.

Edward A. Walker was born on March 8, 1871, in Johnson County, Illinois. He pursued a liberal arts education at various schools and colleges, and ultimately studied law at the University of Texas. In 1896, Walker was quickly admitted to the bar of Oklahoma Territory and established a legal practice in Ardmore, Oklahoma. After nearly nineteen years of serving society's disadvantaged, he became a bank executive. Walker served as president of three banks; Tradesmen's National in Oklahoma City, Love County National in Marietta and First National of Ardmore. In addition, Mr. Walker became involved in the petroleum industry and real estate.investment. According to the 1931 edition of "Who's Who in Oklahoma, " his real estate holdings across the state exceeded those of any other individual. In 1938, Walker was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in recognition for his years of success and service to his community.

Edward A. Walker died on May 31, 1951. Following his death, his widow, Mrs. Mary Walker, continued the couple's devotion to education, including the University of Oklahoma and to charity. Mrs. Walker died in 1965. Her will designated that property and money be given to the University of Oklahoma as a memorial to her husband, the late Edward A. Walker, attorney, banker, oilman, and philanthropist.