Cherokee Nation Makes Major Investment in Proposed RSU STEM Center

  • Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation Chuck Hoskin, Jr. speaking from podium.

With a focus on future workforce needs and its sovereign commitment to education, the Cherokee Nation is committing up to $4 million to the Rogers State University Foundation in funding to support the construction of the proposed Center for Science and Technology on the Rogers State University campus in Claremore.

Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation Chuck Hoskin, Jr., RSU President Dr. Larry Rice, and Susan Kirtley, executive director of the RSU Foundation, signed a memorandum of understanding May 1 outlining the gift agreement. The signing took place inside the Dr. Carolyn Taylor Center on the RSU campus in Claremore.

This investment by the Cherokee Nation represents the largest single gift in the history of the Foundation and begins the effort to secure private funding to support the construction of the facility.

“The partnership between the Cherokee Nation and Rogers State University is long standing and this investment will have a transformational impact on our ability to educate future generations for the high-demand careers of tomorrow,” said Dr. Larry Rice, RSU president. “We offer our gratitude to Principal Chief Hoskin, Deputy Chief Warner, Speaker of the Council Mike Shambaugh and all Council of the Cherokee Nation members for their support of this project and the mission of the University.”

Chief Hoskin said the collaboration will ensure students are well-prepared to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals in critical new health, technology, and other science fields.

“Today’s agreement and gift of up to $4 million toward construction of a state-of-the-art STEM education facility will create new pathways for students to pursue careers in health and allied health fields and bring new opportunities for all students, including Cherokee citizens,” Chief Hoskin said. “Cherokee Nation has an unwavering commitment to the education and future of our youth, and the well-being of our communities. This collaboration will ensure students are well-prepared to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals in these critical areas as well as serve Cherokees pursuing degrees in nursing.”

As part of the memorandum, the RSU Foundation will provide privately funded scholarship assistance to Cherokee Nation citizens accepted into RSU’s nursing program for a period of 10 years.

Additionally, this memorandum constitutes Cherokee Nation’s intention to strengthen a partnership with RSU and the Foundation to provide for growth and future planning in the areas of economic development, training opportunities and higher education career paths for Cherokee Nation citizens.

“With a record setting number of Cherokees attending college on scholarship, Cherokee Nation’s commitment to higher education has never been stronger,” said Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner. “We are at our best when we work with great partners like RSU.”

The proposed Center for Science and Technology will become the new home for RSU’s programs in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. The Center will replace Loshbaugh Hall, which no longer meets the needs of today’s STEM education programs. The Center will feature approximately 52,000 square feet of laboratory, classroom, and office space.

The Center will support continued growth in RSU’s chemical engineering, pre-medicine and nursing programs, along with other STEM and allied health degrees.

RSU is the only public residential regional university that has its main campus located in the Tulsa metropolitan area. For more information about RSU, visit