The City of Chickasha was founded in 1902, and the Oklahoma Industrial Institute and College for Girls – now known as the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma – was founded in 1908, making the city the university’s oldest partner. Over the years, the city and Science & Arts have made considerable strides in strengthening the partnership to include internships for students, joint tourism ventures and other community partnerships. Mayor and Board of Regents chair Chris Mosely and director of Chickasha’s Economic Development Council Jim Cowan have been pivotal in fostering a working relationship with the university. Both the EDC and the city started several internship programs with the EDC, the city accounting department and the Chamber of Commerce and continue to promote the hiring of Science & Arts students in Chickasha. The university also began offering the community opportunities to earn micro-credentials to advance their skills in the workforce.
Science & Arts works with the city and EDC to forge community partnerships focused on the revitalization of Chickasha’s historic downtown commercial district. Science & Arts faculty supervise the art plaza in the new downtown park project. The university is developing plans for the renovation of additional historic downtown architecture into mixed-use space that would include student housing, retail and commerce, as well as recreational, entertainment, and arts and cultural opportunities for the entire region.