ConocoPhillips Corp. on Wednesday announced a $1 million donation toward the new home of Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business.
In response, OSU said it will name the new building’s social and collaborative area the ConocoPhillips Student Lounge.
“Oklahoma State University is grateful for the continuing support of ConocoPhillips and its employees, including many OSU graduates,” OSU President Burns Hargis said in a statement. “ConocoPhillips is OSU’s largest corporate donor, giving nearly $40 million through the years along with hiring countless alumni. ConocoPhillips is an Oklahoma business pioneer and leader, so we are delighted and grateful the company is helping build the new home for our business school.”
This donation is in addition to ConocoPhillips’ ongoing annual support for scholarships, programs, faculty and facilities across the OSU system.
OSU is scheduled to break ground this year on the new 160,000-square-foot facility that will double the business school’s current space. The new building will include two auditoriums, meeting rooms for group work, incubators for entrepreneurship and gathering rooms.
“We have people spread out over four buildings on campus,” Interim Dean Ken Eastman told The Oklahoman on Wednesday. “Having the new building will allow us to all be together. It will create spaces for our students and allow us to teach them in a more modern, progressive way. Classrooms will be up to date, and the focus will be on interaction.”
The total cost of the building has not yet been determined, but Eastman said the final price tag likely will be $60 million to $70 million.
The ConocoPhillips Student Lounge will be a gathering place for undergraduate and graduate students, providing a central location for collaboration, studying and relaxation between classes, the school said. The space will include comfortable seating, computers, study tables and entertainment options.
“Oklahoma State University continues to provide ConocoPhillips with top talent,” said Ken Seaman, ConocoPhillips’ executive sponsor for OSU. “We’re proud to continue to support the university and the Spears School of Business through this investment.”
Seaman, an assistant controller with ConocoPhillips, presented the $1 million check Wednesday during a ceremony at ConocoPhillips’ campus in Bartlesville.
“We’ve had a long partnership with ConocoPhillips. They’ve been very supportive financially and — more importantly — in hiring our students,” Eastman said. “This gift is a perfect way to reflect the partnership we have. We’re very appreciative of them thinking of us in this way.”
Construction is expected to begin later this year or early 2015, with the new building scheduled to open in July 2016.