USAO receives largest single donation to date from estate of Nita Giles $7 million gift announced during Founders’ Day celebration

USAO receives largest single donation to date from estate of Nita Giles

$7 million gift announced during Founders’ Day celebration

CHICKASHA, Okla. (May 17, 2018) – Celebrating the institution’s 110th Founders’ Day, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma announced its largest single gift to date. The university recently received $7 million from the estate of Nita R. Giles.

“Nita Giles was a leader, always ready to mentor others in developing the skills and confidence necessary to succeed,” said President John Feaver. “We are truly honored that she chose to leave this university a gift of this magnitude, and with it, we will continue her legacy of helping individuals develop the skills and confidence necessary to succeed both in their personal and professional lives. Nita’s long history of generosity to USAO has always been deeply appreciated, and, though we are sad that she is no longer with us, this gift shows her astonishing magnanimity one last time.”

The announcement was made during the dedication of the Giles Room in the Lawson Court Clubhouse as part of the university’s Founders’ Day celebrations on May 16. The gift will be used for student scholarships and to provide support to the university.

For 110 years, USAO has served an utterly distinct role in Oklahoma’s educational landscape, exposing students to a vigorous and wide-ranging curriculum that prepares them to excel in an ever-changing world. The success that USAO graduates go on to achieve in their personal and professional lives clearly shows the value of such an education.

“Because of this institution’s educational prowess and unparalleled opportunities that aren’t replicated at other Oklahoma institutions, we have attracted not only national recognition, but also generous financial support,” said Feaver. “USAO has built a long legacy as a special place for learning in Oklahoma, one that has always served a distinct student body that is interested in more than just earning a bachelor’s degree.”

The influence of Giles has been present at USAO for a while.

The Nita R. Giles Public Policy Program, the first of its kind to be offered in Oklahoma, provides students with a multifaceted understanding of the political and economic implications of public policy choices, as well as their historical and cultural contexts.

The Ray, Mary & Nita Giles Symposium for Citizenship and Public Service brings world-renowned intellectuals to campus and Oklahoma to discuss pertinent issues affecting our society and encouraging everyone to be informed and thoughtful citizens of the state, nation and world.

Born in 1949, Giles grew up on a farm northwest of Chickasha in a family dedicated to serving others—her father, a decorated Air Force veteran of World War II, served as an Oklahoma State Senator from 1976-1992, and her mother, an alumna of the Oklahoma College for Women, was a teacher and passionate advocate for community and agricultural issues. Giles opened her own law practice in Oklahoma City in July 1982, specializing in long-term care and other health care law until her retirement in October 2011.

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