FEBRUARY 16, 2005

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Two UCO colleges benefit from large Inasmuch Foundation grants

Pictured during the Inasmuch Foundation’s $312,500-check presentation to the University of Central Oklahoma from left are UCO President W. Roger Webb, Inasmuch Foundation President and CEO William Ross, Inasmuch Foundation Vice President and Executive Director Robert Ross, Edmond dentist William Lee Beasley and UCO College of Mathematics and Science Dean William Caire (Photograph by Daniel Smith, UCO Office of Photographic Services).

The University of Central Oklahoma College of Mathematics and Science and its College of Arts, Media and Design are benefiting from the generosity of the Inasmusch Foundation, which presented the UCO colleges with $300,000 and $12,500, respectively, to better educate students in science and art.

Inasmuch leaders William Ross, president and CEO of the Foundation, and Inasmuch Vice President and Executive Director Robert Ross recently presented the money to the UCO colleges in the College of Mathematics and Science Atrium.

The Inasmuch Foundation supports such programs throughout Oklahoma.

“These are areas of education that we want to support,” said Robert Ross. “When it was brought to our attention that UCO needed the money to improve and add space to its science laboratories, and that the UCO-based Oklahoma Center for Arts Education needed the money for its purpose, we were excited for the opportunity to help.”

The $300,000 Inasmuch Foundation grant will go toward completion of phase I of the College of Mathematics and Science’s three-phase “Investing in Excellence” project to provide additional laboratory classrooms for courses in biology, chemistry, and physics and engineering.

A Laboratory Annex Building to add lab space to the university’s Mathematics and Science building, Howell Hall, was completed in 1997.

Although a number of laboratory rooms were placed in the new building, funding limitations totaling more than $1 million have kept UCO from finishing nine biology and two physics and engineering labs with needed supplies and equipment to sufficiently teach from.

The Inasmuch Foundation $12,500 grant to the UCO College of Arts, Media and Design’s Oklahoma Center for Arts Education (OCAE) will be used to complete “The Arts Education Perception Survey.”

Through the survey, the OCAE will discover classroom teachers,’ administrators,’ business leaders’ and legislators’ perceptions of the importance and nature of arts education in the public elementary schools of Oklahoma.

The first-of-its-kind perception research survey will be titled “Journal of Arts Education in Oklahoma.” It will be published next fall, and will provide valuable feedback to educators, lawmakers and funders.

The OCAE was established in 2002 to assure excellence in arts education through professional development, advocacy and collaboration, and research.

It currently provides professional development throughout Oklahoma, with special emphasis on 39 rural school sites.

UCO President W. Roger Webb said the Inasmuch Foundation grant to UCO means more than money donated.

“The projects being funded by the Inasmuch Foundation are so very important to education on all levels,” Webb said. "And it shows that the Foundation has a feel on how important arts and science education is to the state.

“We value our friendship with you and our partnership with you,” Webb said during the grant presentation.

Edith Kinney Gaylord founded the Inasmuch Foundation in 1982 to support charitable, scientific and educational causes that enhance the progress and quality of life for Oklahomans.

Today, the Foundation is committed to carrying on the immense interests of its late founder by giving to education, health and human services, cultural organizations, the arts, historic preservation and environmental concerns.

For more information about UCO’s “Investing in Excellence” project, contact Beverly Endicott at (405) 974-3563. To learn more about the university’s Oklahoma Center for Arts Education, contact its Executive Director John Clinton at (405) 974-3776.