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The University of Tulsa
Motto Wisdom, Faith, Service
Established 1894
Type Private
Religious affiliation Presbyterian
Endowment $646.7 million[1]
President Steadman Upham
Staff 306 (full-time)
Students 4,165
Undergraduates 2,987
Postgraduates 1,178
Location Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Campus Urban, 230 acres (930,000 )
Sports Golden Hurricane
Colors Old Gold, Royal Blue, Yellow, and Crimson                 
Mascot Captain Cane
The University of Tulsa logo.gif

The University of Tulsa (TU) is a private university awarding bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It is currently ranked 88th among doctoral degree granting universities in the nation by US News and World Report and is listed as one of the "Best 366 Colleges" by the Princeton Review. The university is historically affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA.



The University of Tulsa was founded in Muskogee, Oklahoma, as the Presbyterian School for Indian Girls in 1882 under the leadership of Alice Mary Robertson, but was re-chartered as the Henry Kendall College in 1894 under the auspices of the Presbyterian Women's Board of Home Missions. In 1907 the college moved to its current site in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A university was formed in 1920 when the college merged with the proposed McFarlin College to become the University of Tulsa.


The University of Tulsa is noted for having one of the world's premier programs in petroleum engineering, and has distinguished programs in English, computer science, natural sciences, Clinical and I/O Psychology, and several engineering disciplines. The university also maintains a school of law, which is one of the few to specialize in Native American legal issues. The University of Tulsa College of Law Review ranks in the top 15% of most cited legal periodicals as ranked by Washington and Lee University.[3] In its focus on energy, the University of Tulsa maintains both the National Energy Policy Institute and the National Energy-Environment Law and Policy Institute.[2]

The University has a strong undergraduate research program, evidenced by 44 students receiving Goldwater Scholarships since 1995.[3] The Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge (TURC) allows undergraduates to conduct advanced research with the guidance of top TU professors.[4]

Currently, there are six colleges, programs, and departments at the University of Tulsa:

  • Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences
  • Collins College of Business (formerly College of Business Administration)
  • College of Engineering and Natural Sciences
  • College of Law
  • Graduate School
  • Division of Continuing Education

Reputation and rankings

In 2008 Tulsa was ranked ninth in "Quality of Life" by the Princeton Review's "The Best 366 Colleges" guide. The University of Tulsa also placed sixth among all colleges for "Happiest Students," was ranked eleventh in the "Lots of Class/Race Interaction" category, and in "Town-Gown Relations" Tulsa was ranked fifth in the country. In the 2006 edition, the university was described as follows: “The University of Tulsa is one of the sleeper gems of the Great Plains, a private school large enough to house numerous top-flight programs but small enough to facilitate one-on-one instruction provided in a homey atmosphere.”

TU is one of 150 colleges to be included in the inaugural edition of “Colleges of Distinction” and is also included in "The Unofficial Biased Guide to the 331 Most Interesting Colleges, 2005 edition." Cosmo Girl magazine named TU one of the top 50 schools in the country for women in its October 2004 edition. U.S. News and World Report also ranks TU as a top 100 national university (88th as of 2009), the only Oklahoma university to make the list.

The University of Tulsa is known for the large number of National Merit scholars in attendance, one in every ten undergraduate students. According to "The Chronicle of Higher Education" for 2004 The University of Tulsa's freshman class ranked 9th nationally among research universities in the number of National Merit Scholars per capita.[5]

Sustainability Ranking

University of Tulsa has participated in efforts towards sustainability including RecycleMania and Adopt a Recycle Bin. Many campus efforts have been led by student groups like the Sustainability Committee, the Student Association, TU Earth Matters, and the TU Food Garden. The Food Garden is a student-run organic garden that is able to provide food to dining services. The University is also striving to have its buildings meet LEED Standards in order to reduce the school’s overall carbon footprint. The university achieved a D+ on the Sustainable College Report Card in 2009, which is up from a D in 2008.[6][7]


The campus of the University of Tulsa centers on a wide, grassy, quad-like space known as "The U." The predominant architectural style is English Gothic. Most of the buildings are constructed from tan and rose-colored Crab Orchard sandstone from Tennessee interspersed with stone quarried in Arkansas. Other materials include Bedford limestone from Indiana and slate quarried in Vermont.

"The U" as seen from S Delaware Ave.

Bayless Plaza

Completed in 2006, Bayless Plaza houses the Kendall Bell, hanging in the cupola of the former Kendall Hall. The plaza lies directly south of Tyrrell Hall, long time home of the School of Music, and serves as the apex of Tucker Drive, the University's main entrance.

H. A. Chapman Stadium

TU football played in Skelly Stadium until 2007 when the venue was renamed Skelly Field at H. A. Chapman Stadium, following renovations. The Case Athletic Complex in the north end of the field provides office facilities for the football staff, a new locker room and trainer facility, a letterman's lounge and box seating on the top level, and meeting rooms, a computer lab, and study spaces for student-athletes. Renovations are completed and provide renovated seating throughout the stadium, new turf, an updated score board and Jumbotron, and an expanded press box. The changes also include the addition of an extensive plaza area (Thomas Plaza) on the west side of the stadium to accommodate restrooms, food and drink stands, and souvenir shops.

McFarlin Library

At the top of The U sits one of the campus' most notable landmarks, the McFarlin Library, which is named after Robert and Ida McFarlin, the library's primary benefactors. The McFarlins had only one stipulation with their gift, the view of Downtown Tulsa from McFarlin can never be blocked. Ground breaking ceremonies took place on May 3, 1929 and the edifice was dedicated on June 1, 1930. The library continued to grow over the years, adding two five-story additions by 1979. Currently, the library houses over three million items and is noted for its collections of twentieth-century British, Irish, and American literature, including the world's second largest collection of materials by James Joyce. It also houses the papers of Nobel Prize winner V.S. Naipaul. The library also contains a vast collection of books on Native American history.[citation needed] Renovations began in the spring of 2007 on a 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) addition that consolidated the library's computing and technology resources into one location. The library's reading rooms were restored to provide quiet areas for student and faculty study. Construction was completed in 2009.

Donald W. Reynolds Center

Home to women's volleyball along with the men's and women's basketball programs, the Donald W. Reynolds Center houses office and meeting space, practice and weights facilities, as well as the main basketball arena. Commencement Exercises are held in the Reynolds center in December and May.

Sharp Chapel

Sharp Chapel

Named for its principal donors, Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Sharp, Sharp Chapel was completed on November 27, 1959. It replaced the university's original chapel that was located in Kendall Hall before its destruction and replacement by the current Kendall Hall theater building. Sharp Chapel houses the Offices of University Chaplain and serves the religious needs of multiple denominations present on campus as well as hosting many awards ceremonies and weddings.

Additions to Sharp Chapel were completed in the spring of 2004, including the Westminster Room, an atrium, kitchen, and a second floor including administrative offices and a conference room.


On-campus housing consists of six residence halls, six sorority houses, and six university-owned apartment complexes, including eight apartments designed like townhouses.

Residence halls:

  • John Mabee Hall - All male residence hall located at the Northwest end of the U. It is known on-campus as "The John".
  • Lottie Jane Mabee Hall - All female residence hall located at the Southwest end of the U. It is known on-campus as "The Jane" or "Lottie".
  • LaFortune Hall - Coed residence hall close to the athletics areas.
  • Twin South - Coed freshman residence hall immediately adjacent to Twin Towers, first opened to students in the fall of 1984.
  • Honors House - Coed residence hall on Fraternity Row. It is known on campus as "the Ho-Ho." In 2009 it became known as "So-Ho" because of a large influx of sophomore students.
  • 5th Place House - Coed residence hall behind the Center for Global Education. It is an alternative living environment, formerly known as the CHOICE house.

Apartment Complexes:

  • Brown Village
  • Lorton Village (includes townhouses)
  • Mayo Village
  • Norman Village
  • University Square South
  • University Square West

Student life

The University of Tulsa is home to more than 200 student organizations, registered with and partially funded by the Student Association.

Student Association

The Student Association is the University of Tulsa student government body. It is organized into three branches: the Executive Branch, which includes Cabinet and is in charge of organizing large campus wide events and activities; the Judicial Branch; and the Legislative Branch, or Student Senate, which coordinates funding, oversees student organizations, and addresses general issues impacting student life on campus. Its budget is provided partially by the university and partially by a fee paid by students each semester.

Traditionally, the Student Association coordinates Homecoming activities, including cross campus competitions and the homecoming game tailgate. Another traditional event is Springfest, a week long series of events including food, various on campus activities, and a concert bringing in such names as Cake, Guster, and Ben Folds. Activities organized by Student Association are free to all TU students.

Greek Presence

There are 5 IFC fraternities and 6 NPC sororities on campus. The living quarters in the back of the sorority houses are university owned residence halls, but, traditionally, only current members of the sororities live there.



There are also a number of historically black sororities and fraternities on campus that fall under the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Currently, there are five active organizations:



Other fraternities on campus that do not fall under the National Pan-Hellenic Council include:


  • Kendall Bell: The Kendall Bell, now housed in Bayless Plaza, is traditionally rung by graduating seniors upon completion of their last final exam at the university. The bell was broken by a group of students in May 2008. They were trying to steal it, and dropped it in the escape.
  • Homecoming Bonfire: Traditionally held the Thursday evening prior to the Homecoming football game. The Homecoming court is honored and the Homecoming King is named, the Queen is not named until halftime of the football game on Saturday.
  • Alma Mater: 'Hail to Tulsa' is sung by alumni and current students prior to major sporting events and at the end of all commencement ceremonies. Alumni and students remain standing as a sign of respect. The melody is played by the Sharp Chapel carillon daily at 5 pm.

Lyrics: "Hail to thee Alma Mater, Gold and Blue, Praise from thy sons and daughters, Old and new. Pride in our hearts, Our voices let us raise, Filled with devotion We will sing thy praise. Alma Mater, now we honor, Loyal, always true, We will lift our voice in chorus. Hail to Tulsa U!"


Tulsa Golden Hurricane Athletic Logo

Tulsa's sports teams participate in NCAA Division I as a member of Conference USA; its football team is part of the top-tier Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Tulsa has the smallest undergraduate enrollment of any FBS school.

The university's nickname is the Golden Hurricane. The Sound of the Golden Hurricane marching band plays at all home football and basketball games as well as traveling to championships in support of the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa has won six national championships (three NCAA), four in women's golf and two in men's basketball. The University of Tulsa currently fields a varsity team in eight men's sports and ten women's sports.[8] Tulsa's current athletic director is Bubba Cunningham.

Athletic facilities are distributed throughout a number of buildings on campus. Mabee Gym houses an extensive indoor rowing facility, an indoor golf practice facility, and volleyball practice gyms. Renovations in Spring 2008 incorporated FieldTurf into an indoor practice field for the soccer, softball, and football programs. The tennis teams are housed in the Michael D. Case Tennis Center, which includes a number of indoor and outdoor courts. The Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium is home to the track and field and soccer programs.


In September 2009 the university unveiled a new look and back story for its mascot, Captain Cane. He is presented as a muscular, square-jawed superhero clothed in a blue body suit and mask with golden gloves and boots and a hurricane flag cape. He carries a "storm summoning sword" shaped like a lightning bolt. Two-thousand coloring books were distributed to children at a September 26, 2009 home football game presenting the story of a brainy TU student's transformation into Captain Cane as the result of an accident involving storm-generated static electricity. Before this, starting in 1994, Captain Cane was depicted as an anthropomorphized golden hurricane with human attributes such as biceps, clothes, and a perpetual smirk on a swirled over-sized inverted cone-shaped golden head. From 1978 to 1994, the mascot was known as "Huffy," who was similar to Captain Cane in appearance.


The school's colors are Old Gold (PMS 873), Royal Blue (PMS 280), Yellow (PMS 109), and Crimson (PMS 032).[9].

The university's motto used to read, in full, "Faith, Wisdom, Service: For Christ, For State."

The University of Tulsa Collegian is the long-standing independent and student-run newspaper on campus. New to the campus is the 631, another independent and student-run publication offering a conservative alternative to the Collegian.

The following scholarly journals are published by the University:

In 2003 Tulsa joined the efforts of Brown University on the Modernist Journals Project, an online archive of early twentieth-century periodicals. Tulsa has contributed various modernist texts from McFarlin Library’s Special Collections to the project's website.

Dr. Sean Latham, editor of the James Joyce Quarterly, brought the 2003 North American James Joyce Conference to the University of Tulsa.

TU also hosts several meetings of the Tulsa Computer Society, including the Linux SIG.

Tulsa is one of the first universities in the United States to have a mosque located on campus.

Distinguished faculty

Tulsa's faculty includes the famous Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, psychologist Robert Hogan, political scientist Robert Donaldson, Catholic philosopher F. Russell Hittinger, and computer scientist Sujeet Shenoi[10].

Notable alumni

Arts and letters

  • Ted Berrigan (BA/MA) - Poet
  • Gail Farrell (BA, 1969) - Singer
  • P. S. (Patrick) Gordon (BFA, 1974) - Painter
  • Paul Harvey (attended 1930s) - American radio broadcaster
  • S. E. (Susan Eloise) Hinton (BS, 1970) - Author
  • Jennifer Hover (BA, Musical Theater 2001) - Miss Missouri 2001, Quarter-finalist in Miss America 2002 Pageant.
  • Daniel Lang (BFA, 1953) - Painter
  • Bob Losure (BA, Broadcast Journalism, 1969) - Former CNN Headline News anchor and author
  • Kim Manning (BA, Musical Theater) - Singer, Actress, Reality TV Personality
  • Peter Frey (BA, 1987; MBA, 1990) - World known Alaskan Sea Bird expert, 2008 Silver Medalist in Target Shooting, Beijing Olympics.
  • Tami Marler (BSBA, 1990; MBA, 1992) - Television news anchor, and former Miss Oklahoma
  • Anurag Mathur - Best-selling author of The Inscrutable Americans
  • Rue McClanahan (German and Theater Arts, 1956) - Actress
  • Phillip McGraw, a.k.a. Dr. Phil (attended 1968?-1969?) - TV personality and psychologist
  • Mary Kay Place (BA, Speech, 1969) - Actress and singer
  • Carly Rush (BA, Broadcast Journalism, 1989) - Radio Personality, KHTT-FM in Tulsa
  • Gailard Sartain (BFA, 1969) - Actor
  • Wade Williams (BA, Theatrical Studies, ?) - Actor


Politics and law

Science, engineering, and technology


External links

Coordinates: 36°09′06″N 95°56′52″W / 36.151667°N 95.947778°W / 36.151667; -95.947778

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