The University of Oklahoma has received $22 million from editor and publisher Edward L. Gaylord and his family to build a college of journalism and mass communication.
The donation is the largest single gift to a public university in Oklahoma history, and is also believed to be the largest one-time donation ever made to a journalism program at any American public university or college.
The gift will fund construction of a new $14 million building for the program, OU president David Boren says. The school’s journalism and mass communication program will be elevated from a “school” to a “college,” greatly increasing its prestige.
The OU journalism program currently has about 700 undergraduate students and 30 graduate students.
“This extraordinary gift will assure the University of Oklahoma a place among the leading U.S. institutions engaged in journalism and media education,” Boren says.
The donation includes an $8 million endowment to fund faculty positions, student scholarships and internships. An extra $4 million in state funds will be requested to help fund teaching positions, Boren says.
Edward L. Gaylord edits and publishes The Oklahoman. His sister, Edith Gaylord Harper, was the first woman to serve on the general news staff of The Associated press in Washington, D.C. His daughter, Christy Gaylord Everest, is an OU regent.