Oral Roberts University has established itself internationally as a leader in technology and higher education, and a new campaign has set ambitious goals to continue that impressive trend.
The Whole Leaders for the Whole World Campaign officially kicked off at the first of the year, said ORU President Dr. William M. Wilson.
The first phase of the campaign aims to raise $75 million in three years to be divided as follows: $60 million for buildings, including a media arts center, technologically driven library and welcome center; $10 million in scholarships to draw in at least one student from every country around the world; and $5 million to transform the current library into the Center for Global Leadership.
It is all part of Impact 2030, a long-term envisioning project that focuses on ways ORU can make a maximum global impact by the year 2030.
When Wilson became president more than six years ago, a task force found that students from 79 nations attended the school. A goal was set to increase international student population “because of who we are and who we are serving,” he said.
Now, 115 nations are currently represented in the student body and a new goal has been set as part of the campaign to increase that number to 195 nations.
“We are excited to see what the international community brings to Tulsa,” Wilson said. “We are proud of being in Tulsa, and we want to be a blessing to our hometown.”
Many of the international students who come to Tulsa to attend ORU stay in the community to work, increasing diversity and helping Tulsa be a “global city in the United States.”
Groundbreaking for the first new building, the media arts center, is planned for April. The center will comprise performance, rehearsal and teaching space to bring together students from the Media Mastery Institute, music, theater, dance and visual arts programs.
Not only does the school produce graduates who go on to a range of careers, from scientists to business professionals and teachers, but they also produce people who excel in the performing arts, he said.
“We have a robust theater department, a new really strong dance program and growing media arts program — this building will bring those facets together,” he said. “We are very excited about this new facility.”
The media arts center will also make the shows and performances more accessible to the public, situated right behind the iconic healing hands sculpture.
This year marked the private Christian university’s 11th consecutive year of growth, from about 3,000 students registered in 2008 to more than 4,100 in 2019.
And under Wilson’s leadership, ORU recently completed a $50 million comprehensive development campaign, helping build the Global Learning Center with its Augmented and Virtual Reality learning, as well as the ONEOK Sports Complex.
For the buildings in the new campaign, the David Green family has promised to match every campaign gift up to $45 million with a 3-to-1 match.
“We have a good momentum,” Wilson said. “A lot of people are helping us, we have such great alumni and Tulsa has been an amazing support. We are looking forward to the future.”