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OU-Tulsa Dedicates New Outdoor Learning Space

OU-Tulsa Dedicates New Outdoor Learning Space

OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. (center) with Dee Dee and Jon Stuart during last week’s dedication ceremony of Stuart Square.

OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. (center) with Dee Dee and Jon Stuart during last week’s dedication ceremony of Stuart Square.

The University of Oklahoma–Tulsa dedicated a new outdoor learning space funded by a generous gift from the Stuart Family Foundation of Tulsa on Sept 2. OU President Joseph Harroz Jr., along with former Regent Jon Stuart and his wife, Dee Dee Stuart, spoke and officially dedicated the space for use. OU-Tulsa President John H. Schumann and Student Government Association President Saralyn O’Donnell also gave comments.

“Virtually every area of the University of Oklahoma has been enhanced by the generosity of Dee Dee and Jon Stuart,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “Their most recent support beautifies and improves the grounds of our Tulsa campus, providing an engaging and functional gathering space for our community. We are deeply grateful for the Stuarts and their enduring commitment to OU.”

“Research shows that having an outdoor space for teaching, learning and relaxation is extremely beneficial and conducive for lifelong learning. We all need fresh air to restore concentration and lessen stress. Stuart Square provides a space, right in the middle of the OU-Tulsa campus, where we can go to rest, rejuvenate or just eat lunch,” said OU-Tulsa President John H. Schumann.

Stuart Square provides a cultivated, relaxing place for OU-Tulsa students, faculty, staff and the neighboring community to enjoy campus. A verdant central garden is surrounded by welcoming benches, as well as tables and chairs with festive crimson umbrellas. Wireless internet and campus network access allows this space to be used for outdoor learning and studying.

The Stuarts are avid supporters of OU and have also provided funds for the Stuart Wing in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art; Stuart Landing, a focal point of Oklahoma Memorial Union; the Seed Sower statue, which stands at the gates of the South Oval; and numerous other gifts, including a challenge grant to replace OU trees lost in a significant ice storm in 2007.

Jon Stuart served as an OU Regent for 14 years, including two terms as chairman of the board. He is president and chief executive officer of First Stuart Corp., a Tulsa-based family investment company, as well as managing partner of Jon R. Stuart Interests LLC, principally in the energy business. He is the Royal Norwegian Consul for Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas, as appointed by His Royal Highness King Harald VI of Norway. He currently serves as chairman of the Gilcrease Museum National Advisory Council, has served as a trustee of the Lew Wentz Foundation and has been on seven bank boards, as well as the New York and American stock exchanges.

Dee Dee Stuart serves on the Board of Visitors for the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts. She has been actively involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors and events in Tulsa and throughout Oklahoma for more than two decades.

Together, Dee Dee and Jon Stuart are Honorary OU Associates, lifetime members of the OU Alumni Association and have served as committee members of OU’s Campaign for Scholarships, Reach for Excellence Campaign and the Commitment of Fifty Campaign. The Stuarts are also members of the OU Seed Sower Society, which honors donors who have contributed more than $1 million to the university. In 2018, the Stuarts were presented with honorary degrees from OU – the highest honor bestowed by the university.

Article Published:  Wednesday, September 9, 2020