OU received a gift commitment of $600,000 from the Rainbolt family, President David Boren announced at the September meeting of the OU Board of Regents yesterday, according to a press release.

A $400,000 portion of the money will be used to endow scholarships, and a $200,000 portion will endow a presidential professorship, which honors and rewards outstanding faculty members in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, according to the press release.

“The University is deeply grateful to the Rainbolt family for this generous gift, which will provide new opportunities for students who want to dedicate their lives to teaching the next generation,” Boren said in the release.

The Campaign for Scholarships, which according to its website, is in place to ensure that no hard-working, qualified student is ever turned away from the university because of financial need, now has over $41.5 million in annual gifts and donations, which are used immediately, and $165 million in endowed gifts that create a permanent fund.

According to the campaigns website, more than 6,000 students applied for scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year. The greatest need, the website says, is for unrestricted scholarships, which could benefit students of all majors at OU.

“One of the favorite parts of my job is to be able to tell a student that he or she has received a scholarship,” said Matt Hamilton, the Norman Campus vice president for Enrollment and Student Financial Services and Registrar. “Scholarships help students now only to continue their education at OU but also to earn their degrees in a timely fashion and graduate with less loan debt.”

According to the campaigns website, over half of all OU students take out student loans, with an average debt at little more than $20,000.


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