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OU Marks Giving Day With $1.4 Million Gift From McMahon Foundation

OU Marks Giving Day With $1.4 Million Gift From McMahon Foundation

April 14, 2022

The University of Oklahoma received a $1.4 million gift from the McMahon Foundation on behalf of OU’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing.

The university is honoring the gift on its fifth annual Giving Day, a 24-hour digital fundraising event that celebrates the generosity of the OU community and raises funds for university programs. The event also aims to educate students on the importance of philanthropy in the educational experience.

The McMahon Foundation gift will provide scholarship support for journalism students in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as for Lawton-based OU nursing students. Eugene D. McMahon and his mother, Louise D. McMahon, established the McMahon Foundation in 1940 in Lawton. From the very beginning, Eugene’s mission was to create impactful scholarships and opportunities for journalism students at his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma.

In 1949, the McMahon Foundation established scholarships that are now among the most prestigious awards given to top candidates seeking a journalism education. With the most recent gift, the McMahon Foundation has broadened its support of journalism education at OU’s Gaylord College. In addition to scholarships, the funding will support apprenticeships in both broadcast and print journalism, offer assistance for students struggling with financial hurdles and provide an opportunity for prospective students to experience a top-tier college education in journalism.

“We at Gaylord College remain forever grateful for the investments that the McMahon Foundation makes in our students,” said Ed Kelley, dean of the college. “The foundation’s commitment is personal to me, as I was a recipient of a McMahon scholarship as a journalism student at OU many years ago. As dean, I’m grateful that the gifts from this great, longtime partner continue to impact the lives of students, just like they did for me.”

The McMahon Foundation established its first OU journalism scholarship in 1949. More than 70 years later, the foundation’s commitment to the college remains steadfast.

“The McMahon Foundation Board of Trustees considers the partnership between the foundation and the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication one of the finest relationships that we have in education,” said Dr. C. Todd Bridges, McMahon Foundation chairman. “As our world evolves into the next chapter, we are excited to support Gaylord College in this new and innovative way to help students seeking a career in journalism. I know Eugene McMahon would be happy to know that his legacy is being carried out through the McMahon Foundation’s ongoing gifts to Gaylord College.”

Recently, the McMahon Foundation and OU’s Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing established a partnership to improve health care in Lawton. The foundation’s most recent gift will provide current health care workers an opportunity to further their education and offer financial relief while meeting the needs of our communities.

“We knew that we wanted to give to the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing on OU Giving Day to amplify our mission to enrich the Lawton community through wellness and community engagement,” said Bridges.

The gift will assist current nurses in furthering their careers, leading to better health outcomes for patients.

“We are honored to partner with the McMahon Foundation to support the advanced role of nurses in Lawton and southwest Oklahoma,” said OU Nursing Dean Julie Hoff. “Elevating experienced nurses into higher levels of education and practice is a retention strategy that will ultimately enhance access and ensure better health for the community.”

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

About the McMahon Foundation

The Lawton, Oklahoma-based McMahon Foundation was founded in 1940 to honor Eugene P. McMahon who – along with his wife, Louise, and their son, Eugene D. McMahon – were among Lawton’s first residents. For more than 80 years, the McMahon Foundation has positively impacted entities around the state of Oklahoma, particularly in support of education and health care.