JUNE 28, 2006

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OU receives historic $9 million bequest from David C. Steed estate; names school of accounting in honor of Steed's father

A longtime Ardmore accountant who insisted on anonymity for the gifts he made to the University of Oklahoma during his lifetime has left OU the largest estate gift in its history. The estate gift of David C. Steed, a lifelong Ardmore resident and a certified public accountant there for nearly 50 years, totals more than $9 million.

The School of Accounting is the primary beneficiary of the gift, with $3.5 million in contributions, which includes scholarships and five new faculty positions. When matched by the State Regents Endowment Program, the accounting portion of Steed’s gift will total $5.75 million.

In recognition, the OU Board of Regents formally approved naming the school as the John T. Steed School of Accounting in honor of David’s father, who established the Steed accounting firm in 1924. The elder Steed was one of the first certified public accountants in Oklahoma.

The Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts and the College of Arts and Sciences are the other beneficiaries of the estate gift. The Steed bequest includes $2.38 million in scholarships for fine arts students, and nearly $800,000 to enhance a fine arts enrichment fund established during the donor’s lifetime. The scholarships will be awarded as the David C. Steed Sooner Heritage Scholarships and, in honor of his mother, the Madeline Colbert Steed Sooner Heritage Scholarships, the latter designated for art majors. Mrs. Steed was a 1921 OU art graduate.

Undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences will benefit from a $2.38 million David C. Steed Sooner Heritage Scholarships Endowment.

John T. Steed served on the state Board of Accountancy for 16 years, was a past president of the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants and a past member of the Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

David C. Steed was a 1946 graduate of Ardmore High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1950 from the University of Arizona. He did graduate work at OU and in 1955 joined his father’s accounting firm. He was associated with the firm until his death on Feb. 4, 2003, at the age of 74.

A quiet philanthropist, David C. Steed traveled extensively, collected art, and actively supported OU. Those gifts primarily were in support of the John T. Steed Accounting Scholarship, the College of Fine Arts, and the Lottie A. Conlan Indian Scholarship Endowment, honoring a relative of his mother.

Included in the Steed gift to the School of Accounting are $1.25 million for undergraduate and graduate scholarships named for John and David Steed and $2.25 million to establish five new faculty endowments – the John T. Steed Chair, the David C. Steed Chair and three Steed Professorships.

Because John and David Steed had many accounting clients from various counties in south central Oklahoma, one-fourth of the David C. Steed Sooner Heritage Scholarships in the colleges of Fine Arts and Arts and Sciences will be awarded to undergraduate students from Carter, Love, Jefferson, Marshall, Johnston, Murray, Garvin, Pontotoc and Stephens counties.

Contact: OU Public Affairs, 1.405.325.1701