The University of Oklahoma Biological Station
Dedicated 24 October 2009
The University of Oklahoma Biological Station was established in 1949 with the primary objectives of promoting research and education in ecology, evolutionary biology and field biology. This was one of the first university-affiliated research facilities to be established on a man-made lake.
Brillhart Hall on the Biological Station was named Brillhart Hall in 2009 after Norman and Mildred Brillhart. Norman Brillhart was the president of the First National Bank in Madill in 1949 and was instrumental in the creation of OU’s Biological Station. The Brillharts were ardent supporters of the Station and also OU’s Western History collection.
The property where the Biological Station is located was originally a partially completed hotel and lodge that had been foreclosed upon by the First National Bank in Madill. Through encouragement from Dr. Carl Riggs, an Assistant Professor in OU’s Department of Zoology, and Mr. James Cleo Mayfield, the director of the University Book Exchange, the Brillharts donated the two and a half acre property to the university.
The University of Oklahoma Biological Station was officially founded on May 25, 1949, when Governor Roy Turner signed House Bill 31 giving the station appropriations. In the summer of 1950, the Biological Station welcomed its first summer session of students.
The dedication of the University of Oklahoma Biological Station was held on October 28, 1950 in Willis, Okla. The dedication ceremony was presided over by OU President George Lynn Cross and music was provided by the OU Band.
Today the station is a year-round research facility and holds a variety of summer academic classes for graduate and undergraduate credit as well as independent study programs.