Donation, Partnership Good for Tulsa’s Higher Ed
GIFT FOR TECHNOLOGY: A $9 million gift from Peggy and Walter Helmerich is helping fund a new advanced technology research center at OSU-Tulsa. Here, the Helmerich’s stand before an artist rendering of the 123,000 square-foot building which will be built near the main entrance of OSU-Tulsa, just north of Interstate 244 and west of Detroit Ave. The center will house laboratories for faculty and graduate students who will develop the next generation of composites and materials used by many Oklahoma industries.
Walter and Peggy Helmerich and the Helmerich Foundation have pledged $9 million to OSU-Tulsa’s first research and technology development center, which will be named the Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center.
OSU-Tulsa began construction on the 123,000-square foot center in October and hopes to have the center open in the fall of 2007. The city of Tulsa committed $30 million through its 2025 initiative and the state of Oklahoma committed $12.9 million through its higher education capital bond issue to make the center a reality.
“This is a monumental gift and a substantial boost to our vision of building a center that will be a state and national model for academic and economic stimulation through innovative university-industry collaboration,” said OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly. “We are extremely proud that our new Advanced Technology Research Center bears the Helmerich name.”
When fully operational, the center is expected to house 40 faculty and 100 graduate students with a payroll of $8.5 to $10 million. The $9 million Helmerich gift, which will be paid over five years, will help pay construction costs and for the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment for the center’s core and thrust laboratories.
The Helmerich ATRC will focus on four strategic research and technology development thrusts that are part of the fabric and the future of the Tulsa region—materials science and engineering, bio-based technologies, energy technologies, and information and control technologies.
Across these four areas, the ATRC will focus on development of advanced materials that are derived from the application of nanotechnology to biological and biomedical materials, ceramics, composites, sensors, aerospace materials, polymers and metal.
Two of the state’s educational powerhouses, Tulsa Community College and Oklahoma State University, are teaming up for the establishment of a dual admission program, a unique partnership and the first of its kind in Oklahoma.
OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly and TCC President and CEO Thomas K. McKeon said TCC and OSU have been working together for more than three years and the TCC/OSU Dual Admission Program is the culmination of that partnership. Students who qualify can gain admission to both institutions at the same time and utilize academic resources and student development programs on all TCC and OSU campuses.
“This program is first and foremost about expanding student access and success,” Schmidly said. “The collaboration between TCC and OSU paves the way for students to move seamlessly between the two institutions. Students can fulfill their educational goals smoothly and efficiently. This is an exciting day for Tulsa-area students.”
McKeon said high school and transfer students can submit one application for admission to any of the TCC campuses and the OSU campuses in Tulsa and Stillwater.
“Students can start classes at TCC knowing that they are also OSU students, which is an important advantage when creating a four-year plan to earn a degree,” McKeon said. “The legislative intent in creating the Tulsa model for higher education was to make pathways for students to attain degrees in the Tulsa area. The dual admission program is intended to meet the legislature’s intent and enhance graduation opportunities.”
Students admitted to the TCC/OSU Dual Admission Program may enroll in classes at either TCC or OSU or both institutions simultaneously. OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl said the ability to co-enroll creates an increased flexibility in scheduling for students.
Students admitted to the program will also benefit from joint financial aid and scholarship opportunities, student employment services, career counseling, honors programs, study abroad opportunities and internship programs at TCC and OSU. Students can also participate in campus life activities at both institutions such as student organizations, recreation centers, intramural sports and OSU athletic events, like OSU football, at student rates.