OCU Website

OCU Website

okcu.edu website reaches its first anniversary.

Stephen Jennings

Stephen Jennings becomes 15th president.

Kristin Chenoweth


Alumna Kristin Chenoweth wins a Tony Award for her performance as Sally Brown in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." During her acceptance speech, she says thank you to OCU's Florence Birdwell "for teaching me how to sing."

NAIA Champs


The Women's Basketball Team wins the NAIA National Championship. As of 2013, OCU Athletics boasts 51 national championships.

Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center


Hall of Fame baseball catcher Johnny Bench, Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Johnny Unitas and broadcaster Curt Gowdy join the OCU community in an opening celebration of the Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center.

The Stars


OCU adopts the Stars as its mascot.

Tom McDaniel

July 2001

Tom McDaniel becomes 16th president.

Columnist George Will

October 2001

Columnist George Will discusses “Public Affairs, Public Policy and American Society” at OCU.

Marvel Williamson


Marvel Williamson becomes dean of the Kramer School of Nursing.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

May 2002

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. visits OCU as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series.

Costume Storage


Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management builds costume storage facility to organize and house nearly $600,000 worth of costume inventory, which grows with each production.

All-Steinway designation


The music school earns All-Steinway designation with a record-breaking purchase of 105 Steinway pianos.


The university garners international attention by awarding Honorary Doctor of Performing Arts degrees in American Dance to nine African-American dance greats who contributed significantly to the development of tap dance as an American art form.  The recipients were Cholly Atkins, Bunny Briggs, James “Buster” Brown, Jeni LeGon, Henry LeTang, Fayard Nicholas, Leonard Reed, James T. “Jimmy Slyde” Godbolt, and Prince Spencer.

Dance Magazine


KC Patrick, Editor-in-Chief of Dance Magazine, declared the Oklahoma City University dance program as “the best preparatory dance program in the nation.”

Norick Art Center


Norick Art Center renovations give the art building a facelift.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

March 2004

Archbishop Desmond Tutu gives a public lecture in the Freede Center as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series.

OCU Centennial

September 2004

More than 1,000 gather for OCU’s centennial celebration.

Oklahoma Regatta

October 2004

10,000 people attend the first OCU Head of the Oklahoma Regatta.

The American Spirit Dance Company

December 2004

The American Spirit Dance Company brings the Home for the Holidays – A Gift of American Dance show to the Oklahoma City University campus.  

Herman & LaDonna Meinders


An $18 million gift from Herman & LaDonna Meinders establishes the 80,000-square-foot Meinders School of Business.

Wanda L. Bass School of Music


The music school adopts its new name as the Wanda L. Bass School of Music.

Love's Entrepreneurship Center


A $1 million gift from Tom and Judy Love creates the Love’s Entrepreneurship Center.

Meet At Beijing


The OCU Symphony Orchestra represents the U.S. at “Meet At Beijing” International Arts Festival, kicking off an historic 18-day tour of China.

American Dance Teacher Program

August 2005

The American Dance Teacher program is created for students who want to focus on teaching dance and/or managing dance studios and academies.  The program is the first in higher education to include in-depth instruction in tap and jazz pedagogy in addition to ballet pedagogy.  It is also the first to provide business and arts management education in addition to courses in dance technique and dance pedagogy.

Jo Rowan


Jo Rowan, dance department founder and chair, is inducted into the Higher Education Hall of Fame.

Martha Burger and Don Rowlett


$1 million in combined gifts between 2002 to 2005 from Martha Burger and Don Rowlett establish the Martha Burger Career Services Center, the Donald Rowlett Executive Classroom, and the Martha Burger Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Lois Salmeron


Lois Salmeron becomes the Kramer School of Nursing’s first assistant dean.

Lighting the World

January 2006

$100 million Lighting the World – One Star at a Time campaign completes 14 months ahead of schedule.

The Wanda L. Bass Music Center opens

April 2006

The Wanda L. Bass Music Center opens, doubling facilities for the music school with a 106,000-square-foot, $38.5 million addition.

Daily Good News

June 2006

Daily good news campus e-newsletter launches.

Moving Image Arts

August 2006

Arts and Sciences begins offering the Moving Image Arts program.

Higher Education, Flo-Bert Awards


Dance and Arts Management Dean John Bedford is inducted into the Higher Education Hall of Fame. Rowan and Bedford receive Flo-Bert Awards, known as “the Tony of Tap,” in New York City for their contributions to the preservation of tap through creation and development of the premier program in higher education emphasizing tap.

New York Cultural Life


Scott M. Stringer, president of the Borough of Manhattan, in separate proclamations, stated that Jo Rowan and John Bedford, through the establishment of the Oklahoma City University dance and arts management programs have "...contributed greatly to the cultural life of Manhattan and all of New York City."

A $750,000 gift


A $750,000 gift from the families of Henry Norick create an Endowed Scholarship Fund for students.

Clara Luper Scholars

May 2007

The first class of Clara Luper Scholars graduates.

Edith Kinney Gaylord Center


With the help of Ann Lacy, the Inasmuch Foundation, and the Mabee Foundation, renovations and construction begin on the Edith Kinney Gaylord Center.  This building now houses state of the art dance floors,  natural light, spacious locker rooms and showers, and study and relaxation areas for students.  The facility is one of the finest for dance in higher education in the western hemisphere.

National Endowment for the Arts symposium


The Bass School of Music hosts the National Endowment for the Arts symposium, “Arts Education in 21st Century America," under auspices of Arts Education Partnership. The featured speaker on the arts and technology is Dean Mark Parker.

Saint Paul School of Theology

August 2008

Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University opens.

Oikos Scholars Program


OCU’s Oikos Scholars Program is introduced.

Community Dance Center


The Community Dance Center opens.

Economic Research and Policy Institute


The Economic Research and Policy Institute is developed to provide resources to the community and state for economic impact studies, forecasting and policy analysis.

Dulaney-Browne Library


Major remodeling in the Dulaney-Browne Library begins.

Ann Hundley Hoover endowed chair


The Bass School of Music establishes the Ann Hundley Hoover endowed chair.

Improved Lighting


Improved outside lighting is installed around campus.

Mark Davies

July 2009

Mark Davies assumes the role of Petree College of Arts and Sciences dean.

Gift from B.C. Clark Jr.


A $1 million gift from B.C. Clark Jr. creates an endowed chair for distinguished faculty.

Oxford Plan Introduced


Oxford Plan introduced at the Petree College of Arts and Sciences.

Doctorate Plans Introduced


The Doctor of Philosophy in nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are introduced.

Capital Renewal Plan Introduced


A comprehensive Capital Renewal Plan is established encompassing more than 90 projects prioritized according to life safety, insurance requirements and energy efficiency.

Cradle of Dreams Campaign

February 2010

University completes Cradle of Dreams campaign, surpassing the $50 million goal for a total of $50.975 million raised.

Robert Henry

July 2010

Robert Henry becomes 17th president.

Chesapeake Energy Presidential Scholars

July 2010

A $5 million gift from Chesapeake Energy establishes the Chesapeake Energy Presidential Scholars program at the Meinders School of Business.

Music Student Enrollment

August 2010

Music student enrollment surpasses 400 music majors for the first time.

Conversations with a Storyteller

November 2010

The university hosts “Conversations with a Storyteller” with N. Scott Momaday.

Women in Leadership Conference


The first annual Women in Leadership Conference is held.

Karl and June Martin Family Energy Speakers


The Karl and June Martin Family Energy Speakers Series is created. The series includes the annual Governor’s Energy Conferences.

iCivics Program

March 2011

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor discusser her iCivics program at the OCU School of Law.

Joining Forces for "Requiem"

April 2011

More than 350 Bass School singers and orchestral musicians join forces for Berlioz’s “Requiem.” The performance, held in conjunction with the inauguration of President Robert Henry, was commercially recorded for CD and DVD.

Bill Moyers

October 2011

Journalist Bill Moyers gives a public lecture at OCU.

New Masters Programs


Master’s degree programs in energy management and energy legal studies are created.

New Entry to Campus


A new entry to the campus is built at N.W. 23rd Street and Blackwelder.

Gold Star Memorial Building


Capital renewal work on the Gold Star Memorial Building begins.

KSN East


KSN East opens.

Innocence Clinic


The Innocence Clinic opens.

New Chair for Nursing School


The nursing school creates a chair for global and transformational education.

New Trees on Campus


In partnership with the Tree Bank Foundation, the Facilities Department plants 104 new trees on campus.

Michael Sandel Lecture

February 2012

Harvard Professor and author Michael Sandel lectures at OCU.

Mass Communications Dept. Grant

March 2012

The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation awards a $50,000 grant to OCU’s mass communications department.

Valerie Couch

April 2012

Valerie Couch becomes the 12th dean of the School of Law.

Emily Sanders

April 2012

Emily Sanders is named a Goldwater Scholar.

Maymester Accelerated Courses

May 2012

Maymester accelerated courses are offered for the first time.

Fulbright Scholars

July 2012

DeEtta Cravens and Shamari Reid are named Fulbright Scholars.

New Home for OCU School of Law

December 2012

University purchases the historic Central High School building in downtown Oklahoma City as a new home for the OCU School of Law.

25th Annual Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor


The Meinders School of Business celebrates its 25th Annual Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor luncheon, raising a record amount of revenue for student scholarships.

Tony Awards


Music alumni Kelli O’Hara and Ron Raines are nominated for Tony Awards as best featured actress/actor in a musical. O’Hara was nominated for originating the role of Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Raines was honored for his portrayal of Ben Stone in the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies.

Addiction Prevention Studies Program


Addiction Prevention Studies Program begins and is the only one of its kind in the nation.

Draper Hall Remodeled


Draper Hall is remodeled.

Silent Movie Soundtrack


The OCU Symphony Orchestra performs the soundtrack for the world premiere of the restored 1920 silent movie “Daughter of Dawn.”

Energy-Efficient School


The Facilities Department develops an energy plan aimed at making OCU one of the most energy-efficient schools in the nation.

Freshmen Retention


Freshmen retention rate reaches 80 percent.

Education Dept. National Accreditation

January 2013

The education department earns national accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Kramer School of Nursing

January 2013

The Kramer School of Nursing celebrates 23 semesters of record-breaking enrollment.

Martha Jean Lemon Lecture

February 2013

United Methodist of the Year Rev. Adam Hamilton delivers the Martha Jean Lemon Lecture at the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel.

Dedication at Kramer School of Nursing

April 2013

The third floor of the Kramer School of Nursing East is dedicated.

Leonard Bernstein’s “MASS”

April 2013

Bass School of Music joins forces with Canterbury Choral Society to present the Oklahoma premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “MASS” at the Civic Center Music Hall. Rick Rogers in The Oklahoman declared the April 13 milestone event "one of the most satisfying musical achievements in this community's history."

Honorary Doctorate to Jonathan Tunick

April 2013

The Bass School of Music awards an Honorary Doctorate to Jonathan Tunick, one of only 11 people in the world to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award.

New Logo

April 2013

New logo and brand identity are unveiled.

Market Value Up

April 2013

The market value of the university’s endowment is $86.3 million, up 40 percent from $61.4 million in the summer of 2009.

first Ph.D. graduate

May 2013

The first Ph.D. graduate in university history accepts her diploma after completing the Doctor of Philosophy in nursing program.

Kristin Chenoweth

May 2013

Tony and Emmy-winning alumna Kristin Chenoweth receives an Honorary Doctorate.

Dr. Edward Knight

May 2013

Dr. Edward Knight becomes the first music professor to be named OCU’s Outstanding Faculty of the Year. Since his appointment as director of music composition and composer-in-residence in 1997, when he founded Project 21: Music for the 21st Century, the number of OCU composition majors has quintupled to 30, and more than 800 OCU-created works have been premiered.



OCUCreates celebrates the published, performed and commissioned works of arts and sciences faculty.

Melody Metivier


Alumna Melody Metivier is selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

Nursing school Expands


Nursing school has 31 faculty, 10 staff and more than 500 students compared to 3 faculty, 1 staff and 50 students 12 years earlier

Bass School of Music Vocal Lab


The Bass School of Music vocal laboratory opens.