ORU Continues Campus Expansion with the Groundbreaking of a New Library

by Angela Sample, Ph.D. on 2021-11-16T16:20:07-06:00 | Comments

ground breaking for LibraryOral Roberts University (ORU) commemorated construction of the new technologically-advanced J.D. McKean Library with a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. The state-of-the-art library, which will be completed debt-free, is the second of four new buildings that will be added to ORU’s growing campus. Currently, ORU’s new Welcome Center is under construction, and plans are being made for a new Athletics Center and Media Arts Center.

ORU President Dr. William Wilson stated, “The new J.D. McKean Library is an essential addition for the University. It serves as an intellectual hub for students’ research and academics. Because of the technological advancements, each student will have an array of resources at their fingertips. This new building will enhance the community life of our students, allowing for improved collaborative studies. The J.D. McKean Library is destined to be an ORU landmark.”

Construction will begin within weeks and completion of the structure is expected to take up to two years. The total estimated cost of the new library is $18 million. This is part of the first phase of the Whole Leaders for the Whole World campaign which will raise $75 million and enable ORU to complete the buildings debt-free.

The three-story structure will comprise almost 40,000 square feet of media and technology, while providing panoramic views of ORU’s Healing Hands and iconic campus. The library will include a “Creativity Lab Room,” using state-of-the-art technology to allow ORU students to develop bold visions for the future. ORU’s renowned Holy Spirit Research Center (HSRC) will also be located in the new library building. The HSRC, started in 1962, now houses one of the largest and most comprehensive Pentecostal-Charismatic and Holy Spirit collections in the world.

“We are grateful,” President Wilson added, “for the visionary donation of J.D. McKean, an ORU alumnus who grasped the significant need for this contemporary library. We so value the donors and alumni who are supporting ORU’s continued expansion and future growth.”

The new library serves as another commitment to student services and to the future of higher education in Tulsa. Over the last five years, ORU has made extensive additions and improvements to its campus. Since 2015, ORU has added several new facilities, including the Global Learning Center, an advanced technology space, the Nursing and Engineering Complex, the Stovall Center for Entrepreneurship, and Niko Njotorahardjo Hall, an apartment-style residence for ORU students.

“ORU is globally recognized,” said Provost Dr. Kathaleen Reid-Martinez, “and the influence of this new library will extend around the world. The collection of resources will not only serve ORU students for generations to come but also contribute to the advancement of higher education everywhere.”

ORU’s unprecedented student growth requires campus development. For 13 consecutive years, ORU has experienced an increase in enrollment for its incoming fall class. This fall, ORU officially welcomed 4,753 students, an increase from 4,303 in 2020. With an over 10 percent surge in student enrollment, this marks the largest year-over-year recorded percentage growth in over 25 years.

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