$40 million big ones

Wow! Talk about a shot of much-needed great news. TU officials have announced a multi-year commitment of $40.2 million from the George Kaiser Family Foundation to "accelerate several strategic initiatives" at the university.  Among them, a bridge loan that will allow TU to begin construction of its new Lorton Performance Center this fall. That's welcome news after the economic downturn hit the university's endowment hard, and also forced the performance center project to come to a temporary halt. In a  release, officials say the university "has substantially completed fundraising for the center, but many of those gifts will be paid over the coming years." Kaiser Foundation's $24 million bridge funding for the center will be a low-interest loan, for which TU will begin reimbursing the foundation in 2011. The other $13.5 million will go for 11 other projects including

  • the National Energy Policy Institute;
  • a student volunteer center;
  • campus and Kendall-Whittier neighborhood improvements;
  • faculty support and and an Immigrant Rights Project at the College of Law;
  • the newly re-established local news bureau at KWGS;
  • a new nonprofit management program in the Collins College of Business;
  • and general support of the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge (a fabulous program for some of TU's brightest younger undergrads),
  • the film studies program
  • and the James Joyce Quarterly.

Another spectacular example of Tulsa generosity.

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