Shannon, an alumnus of the law school, encouraged attendants to donate to the campaign, saying the university is good not only for education, but also as a driver of economic development and a cultural center.
OCU Board of Trustees Chairman Ron Norick said the building is a major piece of Oklahoma City's history for a number of reasons.
When Oklahoma City launched the original MAPS program in the 1990s, the area around the building was identified a part of the city that needed revitalization, Norick said.
Later, the building served as a command center for the response to the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The attack was just blocks south of the old high school, which was owned by Southwestern Bell at the time. In the days after the attack, the telephone company turned the building over to the city to house workers and stage recovery efforts.
It's appropriate that the school make the move now, in the midst of efforts to revitalize Oklahoma City's Midtown district, Norick said.
OCU President Robert Henry said the university would make good use of the building.
“It is a temple of learning,” Henry said.