OKLAHOMA CITY – University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren today announced a leadership gift to the university from Christopher C. Gibbs in support of the College of Architecture.
In appreciation of this gift, the largest in the college’s history, the OU Board of Regents has approved Boren’s recommendation to name the College of Architecture in honor of Gibbs.
“The university is grateful to Christopher Gibbs for this generous gift to the College of Architecture,” said Boren. “It will enable the college to continue its significant momentum and progress and its impact to the entire state, including communities across our state.”
After graduating from OU in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, Gibbs founded two construction and land development companies, Christopher Homes and PLC Land Company, which are responsible for the planning, designing and building of more than 15,000 homes, neighborhoods and planned communities in California, Texas and Florida. Over his 50-year career, Gibbs has received numerous regional and national awards for planned communities and neighborhoods he has designed and developed.
“Since graduating from OU, I have had many opportunities to reflect on what the university has provided me. OU gave me the instrumental tools I need to envision, design and develop beautiful homes and strong communities, ultimately shaping my life and career,” said Gibbs. “The Borens’ accomplishments at OU have made me even more proud as an alum and donor to the institution. The university has been a major influence on me, and I am honored to give back to the College of Architecture.”
The leadership gift will establish an endowment to support and enhance existing College of Architecture programs and operations in the divisions of architecture, construction science, environmental design, interior design, landscape architecture, regional and city planning, and urban design, as well as the doctorate program in planning, design and construction. The gift will also fund new scholarly initiatives and student opportunities that will expand the college’s abilities to support graduate and undergraduate students, industry professionals, entrepreneurs and community members.
“Since the first day I met him, Chris Gibbs has focused on the students and how he and his wife Ania could do more to support our students’ dreams for their education and their futures,” said Hans Butzer, dean of the College of Architecture. “Chris has wonderful memories of being a student here at the OU College of Architecture. His growing support for the students and doing what he and Ania can to help ensure current and future students also take with them great memories remain Chris’ priority. With this principal and naming gift, students from all of our programs will be impacted in perpetuity. The gift will also facilitate the recruitment and retention of the best teachers and researchers to work with our students.”
Gibbs is a longstanding supporter of the university and its athletics programs and has also provided funds for the Christopher C. Gibbs Integrated Learning Center in Gould Hall as well as the Christopher C. Gibbs Endowed Scholarship in the College of Architecture. In May 2017, Gibbs was awarded the OU Regents’ Alumni Award in recognition of his superior dedication and service to the university, at which time he also served as the honorary speaker at the College of Architecture’s convocation ceremony.
The College of Architecture is home to more than 550 undergraduate and graduate students. It is comprised of nationally accredited professional divisions in architecture, construction science, interior design, landscape architecture and regional and city planning, in addition to emerging programs in environmental design, urban design and the Institute for Quality Communities. With this leadership gift, the college joins less than ten percent of nationally accredited architecture programs that are both named and endowed.