The University of Tulsa is responding to a need for financial aid expansion with new opportunities that increase student accessibility and affordability.
From the university’s inception, devoted university friends have established endowments to help students reach their academic and professional goals. Today, the commitment remains, and a new wave of donors are inspiring others to give by pledging more than $6.3 million in scholarships. These financial opportunities place TU on a level playing field with state institutions.
“We recognize the tough decisions families face when determining how to pay for college, and we don’t want students burdened with large student loan debt after graduation,” said Earl Johnson, vice president for enrollment management and academic services. “At TU, they can enjoy the benefits of a quality education at a small, private university for roughly the same price they would pay at public universities in Oklahoma.”
Tulsa Talent Initiative
Among the lead gifts is a contribution from Pat and Mike Case to establish the Tulsa Talent Initiative, which will provide 137 Tulsa-area freshmen with scholarships beginning in fall 2018. The financial assistance is designed to attract the city’s brightest to TU, instead of losing them to competing areas around the country.
“The talent and potential within our own city is extraordinary, and I want to help students take advantage of the small, private top-100 national university that’s right in their own backyard,” Case said. “Students who attend TU are more apt to remain in this area after graduation and become members of Tulsa’s thriving business community.”
Other projects funded by the Case family include the nationally recognized Michael D. Case Tennis Center, Case Athletic Complex and Pat Case Dining Center. The founder of a successful real estate and property management company, Mike has served as a member of the TU Board of Trustees since 2005 and was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame in 2002.
TU Scholarship for Innovation
A gift from TU Trustee Andy MacKay and his wife, Helen, the Andrew D. and Helen G. MacKay TU Scholarship for Innovation will support 34 freshmen pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees. Funding amounts range from $10,000 to $25,000 per year for four years. The scholarships are available to U.S. citizens with preference given to Oklahoma residents and students from a military background.
“Helen and I are eager to grow the innovative environment at TU, throughout Tulsa and across the state,” MacKay said. “We hope to empower STEM students and encourage leadership in areas that will advance scientific and technological research.”
By providing exceptional students, especially those in Oklahoma, with the financial resources to earn an engineering or science degree, TU can empower some of the state’s brightest minds to attend college and launch careers near home.
“Our dedicated trustees, faculty and staff are committed to making TU a financially accessible option for students seeking a personalized experience,” said TU President Gerard Clancy. “TU is better equipped with funding to engage students in our nationally recognized engineering and science programs.”
MacKay is cofounder and president of Maccor, Inc., a Tulsa-based manufacturer of sophisticated battery test systems and a global leader in advanced electronics technologies and computer programming. He also is cofounder and chairman of Unicorp Systems, Inc., a Tulsa company specializing in aircraft equipment repair. Among many scholarships and academic initiatives, the MacKays support Golden Hurricane athletics, Gilcrease Museum and STEM education programs.
“This type of scholarship makes it possible for students to excel academically at a private university that is priced competitively with public colleges,” Johnson said. “Support from the Case and MacKay families as well as other university friends is an important factor in our recognition as a colle
ge value by the Princeton Review and similar organizations.”
Scholarships from generous friends
Additional gifts from Keith and Pat Bailey, Sharon Bell (JD ’85) and Greg Gray (BS ’76, JD ’85), Burt Holmes (BS ’54) and Evelyn Rayzor Nienhuis fund similar initiatives.
Keith Bailey is a TU trustee emeritus and past CEO and chairman of the board for Williams Companies. His gift will provide flexible bridge funding for students whose need-based circumstances would otherwise lead them to enroll at another university in Oklahoma.
Bell is a TU trustee as well as trustee of the Chapman Charitable Trusts; and Gray, her husband, is a Tulsa attorney. Their gift will benefit a museum studies graduate student.
Holmes is a TU trustee emeritus, cofounder of QuikTrip Corp. and chairman of Leaders Life Insurance Co. Holmes’ scholarship money will further his personal mission to support under-represented populations of the TU study body.
Nienhuis is a dedicated supporter of Golden Hurricane Athletics, the Presidential Scholarship Endowment Fund and TU’s electrical engineering and computer sciences facility J. Newton Rayzor Hall. Her contribution will fund an annual scholarship for STEM majors.
“These long-standing members of the community call TU home and deserve recognition for creating new pathways to a competitive private university,” Clancy said.