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OU Receives $2 Million Gift from Ronnie K. Irani to Enhance Energy Technology Research

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September 8, 2022

OU Receives $2 Million Gift from Ronnie K. Irani to Enhance Energy Technology Research

Photo Cutline: From left: OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, OU alumnus Ronnie K. Irani, OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. and Dean of the OU Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Mike Stice

NORMAN, OKLA. – The University of Oklahoma has received a $2 million gift from OU alumnus Ronnie K. Irani to promote research and commercialization of emerging energy technologies at OU. His gift, the first of its kind at OU, will allow the university to make “risk-free” investments in promising energy technologies with all potential future proceeds from commercialization targeted for reinvestment in OU’s energy-related enterprises. 

“Ronnie’s generosity is an outstanding illustration of how donor support can directly advance OU research,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “At OU, we are making bold strides toward achieving our goal of becoming a nationally recognized public research university. Alumni and friends like Ronnie Irani who invest in our research enterprise enable us to more rapidly seize innovative research opportunities, leading to discoveries with far-reaching impact. We are incredibly grateful to Ronnie for his longstanding support and enthusiastic belief in our research mission.”

Irani, an entrepreneur and a geoscience enthusiast whose 43 years in the energy industry led to many commercial developments in oil and gas, earned both his bachelor’s and master’s in petroleum engineering from the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy at OU. He has been a consistent supporter of the University of Oklahoma since 2001, with significant contributions funding students, faculty, and programs in several key colleges, as well as establishing the Ronnie K. Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth in the Price College of Business and the Ronnie K. Irani Center for Energy Solutions in the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy.  

“Ronnie Irani continues to promote innovation in energy, and this latest gift is yet another investment in emerging energy technologies,” said Mike Stice, dean of the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy. “Gifts like his benefit our students and our state economy just as much as they benefit the university. New technologies drive economic growth and development, and our students can learn from the results of this research firsthand.”

Irani’s support of advancements in energy technology illustrates the growing number of donors who choose to contribute directly to research efforts on campus. By giving to a research fund of choice, donors can support specific projects and fields of research. 

“Donors are critical to fostering the groundbreaking research that happens at OU,” said Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, vice president for research and partnerships. “In this era of innovation, those who contribute to research funds, like Ronnie Irani has done, are vitally important. Our university is an economic engine that greatly empowers Oklahoma because of the innovative technologies and advancements in knowledge that are made possible by private funding.”

To learn more about how to contribute to OU, visit


About the University of Oklahoma 
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit