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Gaylords leave lasting legacy

Community leaders respond on the sale of OPUBCO
Oklahoman Published: September 18, 2011

Larry Nichols, Executive Chairman of Devon Energy:
“The Gaylord family and The Oklahoman have been strong advocates for Oklahoma's business community for many years. The newspaper consistently has supported policies and initiatives designed to create jobs, a stronger economy and a better quality of life for Oklahoma City and the entire state. Christy Everest, her father and her grandfather are great Oklahomans who have made an enormous impact on our state through their newspaper and their passion for philanthropy. Meanwhile, we look forward to welcoming Mr. Anschutz into the Oklahoma City community. He has been successful in numerous business ventures, including the newspaper industry. He also has enterprises in agriculture and oil and natural gas. These are ties that should help him identify with our values and our heritage. This will serve him well as the new owner of The Oklahoman.”

Mick Cornett, Mayor, City of Oklahoma City:
“Their impact through the years is immeasurable. They've been associated with virtually every positive public initiative that the city has accomplished. Their support of the business climate has been instrumental in helping to create the vibrant economy we enjoy today.”

Joe Foote, dean of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma:
“I especially appreciate the Gaylord contribution given the changes in media over the past 20 years. You can certainly see the benefit of having a company that began even before Oklahoma was a state. The impact is huge. As a native Oklahoman I look back and it would be hard to overestimate the contributions the Gaylord family has made over my lifetime, my parents' lifetime, my grandparents' lifetime in the development of this state and the Oklahoma City community. The Gaylord fingerprints are on so many things, both as a family and as a business, that it's difficult to separate the two. If you use a religious analogy, in 2000 we were born again as a journalism program. We had been quite successful for many years. We're approaching our centennial in 2013, so we're one of the oldest in the U.S., but the Gaylord gift gave us the ability to jump into the realm of elite programs in this country and do exciting things for our students that we could have never dreamed of before. I hope that we will be able to carry on the Gaylord legacy in another form. They will not be publishing the newspaper any more, they will not be in the ventures they were earlier, but for generations to come the Gaylords will have an impact on the kinds of students who move into the profession and how they are equipped to lead journalism into this next century. Some may say that the Gaylords are getting out of journalism. They are really not by any means because of their very thoughtful investment in future generations they may be more into it and make a bigger impact in the future, than they ever dreamed.”

Bob Blackburn, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society:
“I've been doing histories of Oklahoma City and Oklahoma families for 30 years and in my opinion, the Gaylord family, I'm talking about three generations now, have been synonymous with the business, social and physical history of Oklahoma City. We see the business imprint of the family in Tinker Air Force Base, because the newspaper and E.K. Gaylord were so aggressive in trying to recruit the Midwest Air Depot. You see it with the strength and the effectiveness of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, which has been synonymous with the Gaylord family for three generations. You see it in the social history of Oklahoma City through the state fair, which after 1916 was guided and formed largely through the Gaylord family and especially E.L. who became chairman of the executive committee in the 1940s and guided the relocation to the west side where there was more land, more opportunity. We see it in the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Then in terms of the physical history of Oklahoma City, we see it of course in the two campuses that OPUBCO has developed over the years. There is no other example of that leadership role in all of these different areas, like the Gaylords.”

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