Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Van Horn Wants Ou to Reach out to Communities

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Van Horn Wants Ou to Reach out to Communities

Article excerpt

By Nancy Raiden Titus University of Oklahoma President Richard L. Van Horn wants to see the Sooners reach into more communities with cultural and other activities.

In speaking about such projects, Van Horn said the university is for all of Oklahoma. ``We want to help Tulsa, Elk City, the whole state.''

The president said he would like to see the university offer graduate evening courses in Oklahoma City and have musical groups provide concerts in communities across the state.

``There is no reason why anyone (in Oklahoma City) should have to drive to Norman, at least not for part-time graduate students.''

Besides the purely academic focus, Van Horn would like to see OU share more of its cultural emphasis.

``The University of Oklahoma can make the state attractive from a cultural standpoint. I would like to see fine arts become more visible around the state. They are too locally focused.''

He said he was in Altus recently, and the people there asked for a musical group from the university to come to town for a concert. A couple of years ago, a group from OU had done just that.

``This is one thing we could do,'' Van Horn said, adding that he would be willing to fund such a project.

Van Horn said the proposed museums for natural history and art and the proposed music center would be another way for the university to provide a community service.

Bringing such an idea to pass would take a cooperative effort, he said. Estimates on the endowment needed for the natural history museum alone range from $20 million to $48 million. The natural history museum would house the university's collections which are worth $200 million to $300 million.

Van Horn said the state would need to contribute at least $10 million, and the private sector would need to donate $10 million for the project.

He also suggested that Cleveland County or the city of Norman could contribute to the project by way of street improvements or parking lots. …

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