JANUARY 18, 2006


OU receives $5 million from ExxonMobil to build world-class engineering training facility

First of its kind engineering training facility to be named for Lawrence G. Rawl
OU alumnus and former ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO

A $5 million gift from ExxonMobil Corp. for a world-class Engineering Practice Facility will better prepare University of Oklahoma engineering students for careers in the industry by allowing them to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world challenges. The facility, which will be the first of its kind in the nation, also will be used for activities designed to inspire kindergarten through 12th-grade students to become future engineers and scientists.

The OU Board of Regents has formally recognized the contribution through the naming of the building as the ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility. Rawl, who died Feb. 23, 2005, at the age of 76, was an OU petroleum engineering graduate who served as chairman of the board and CEO of Exxon Corp. from 1987 until his retirement in 1993.

Born June 4, 1928, in Lyndhurst, N.J., Rawl entered OU after serving a two-year tour of duty in the U.S. Marine Corps at the end of World War II. He earned his bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering in 1952, the same year he joined Humble Oil & Refining Co., predecessor to Exxon Co. USA. In 1973, he became senior vice president of Exxon Co. USA and executive vice president in 1976. He was elected executive vice president of Esso Europe Inc. in 1978, senior vice president of Exxon Corp. in 1980, president in 1985, and chairman of the board and CEO in 1987.

Rawl was inducted into the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering’s Distinguished Graduates Society in 1992 and awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1993 from OU. He served for a number of years on the College of Engineering’s Board of Visitors and, in 1995, established the Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Scholarship at his alma mater.

The Engineering Practice Facility is part of a multi-phase plan for a comprehensive engineering quadrangle to anchor the northeast corner of OU’s Norman campus. Groundbreaking for the Engineering Practice Facility is planned for spring 2006 with completion expected in late summer or early fall of 2007.

The facility will be a two-story, 40,000-square-foot building that will provide 10,000 square feet of space in which students can design and build interdisciplinary projects and complete senior capstone projects. It also will contain:

• a reference library, computation and computer-aided design facilities combined into a single learning environment;

• project team meeting rooms/conference rooms with presentation and communications technologies for student project meetings, industry interviews and seminars;

• a new Engineering Student Leadership Center that will house more than 40 engineering student organizations;

• an observation gallery for viewing of student projects and guided tours for K-12 students, including work space for K-12 hands-on projects;

• shared fabrication shops;

• and a tutoring center for all College of Engineering students.

Contact: OU Public Affairs, 405.325.1701