The Oliver Dewey Mayor Foundation has pledged a $250,000 gift to the Rogers State University Foundation to establish the Oliver Dewey Mayor Endowed Chair at RSU’s Pryor campus.
The endowed chair will allow RSU to bring a highly qualified professor to the Pryor campus. The gift – to be matched dollar for dollar by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education – will be paid out over a period of years.
“Establishing the Oliver Dewey Mayor Endowed Chair will set a high academic standard for the Pryor campus, and will aid our efforts to improve the educational opportunities available to Mayes County residents,” said RSU President Joe Wiley.
O.D. “Jock” Mayor was a rancher, businessman, entrepreneur and lifelong resident of Mayes County. One of 12 children in the Mayor family, he was a 1917 graduate of Pryor High School and played on the school’s first football team. He was a mail carrier for 20 years, owned several thousand acres of land in Mayes County, became involved in several businesses, and owned and operated several parts stores in Pryor and other towns for more than 50 years. His thriftiness and shrewd business dealings helped him amass a personal worth of more than $9 million at the time of his death in 1985.
The foundation operates exclusively for public, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes in Mayes County and in Grayson County, Texas, where Mayor also had business interests.
“We firmly believe that bringing exceptionally qualified faculty to the RSU campus in Pryor will serve as a catalyst for retaining our talented students, as well as drawing new students to the area,” said Dana Lamb, a Mayor Foundation board member from Pryor. “The Mayor Foundation is pleased that its contribution will improve higher education opportunities for Mayes County residents.”
The Oliver Dewey Mayor Endowed Chair is the fourth endowed faculty chair for RSU. The other endowed chairs are the Sarkeys Endowed Chair in Business Information Technology, the Greg Kunz Endowed Chair in Communications, and the John W. Norman Endowed Chair in Business Information Technology.
The RSU Foundation is currently engaged in the Campaign for Endowed Chairs, which will raise $5 million to fund 10 endowed chairs for the university. The campaign’s goal is to raise $2.5 million in private funds, which will be matched by the Oklahoma State Regents’ Endowment Trust Fund for a total of $5 million.The private contributions and state regents matching funds will establish the principal of the endowments. The principal will remain intact while earnings on the endowments will be utilized to recruit and retain a qualified professor.
Creating an endowed faculty chair at the Pryor campus is an integral part of RSU’s expansion plans in Pryor. Other improvements call for doubling the size of its current facility by constructing new classrooms, a physical science laboratory, a student commons area, a resource center, and faculty offices.
RSU is one of Oklahoma’s fastest growing universities with an enrollment of more than 2,800 students during the spring 2001 semester. The Pryor campus has about 400 students enrolled.
For more information on RSU’s Campaign for Endowed Chairs, contact the RSU Foundation at (918) 343-7773.