NORMAN — University of Oklahoma Libraries Dean Sul H. Lee was one of 112 people, primarily seniors and alumni, who received OU rings during a ceremony Friday afternoon outside the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
The official OU ring is a class ring with an interlocking OU symbol on top and university arches on each side. Each year during homecoming week, the university hosts a ceremony in which recipients get their rings.
This year’s honored recipient was Lee, who plans to retire in June from the dean’s position he’s had since 1978. He will be grand marshal of the OU homecoming parade, which is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
“Sul Lee is the right person to be honored at the Ring Ceremony,” OU President David L. Boren said. “It will give the entire university an opportunity to thank him for his outstanding leadership of the library system for more than 30 years.
“The OU ring was adopted because of a student initiative to create a symbol that would capture the true essence of the university’s history and tradition,” Boren said. “The OU ring honors graduating seniors and alumni from all classes, highlights students’ commitment to higher education and recognizes the heritage of the OU community.”
During Lee’s tenure, OU Libraries’ collections have grown from 1.7 million to 5.5 million volumes and from more than 14,000 to 70,000 serials. The 5 millionth volume, presented as a gift in 2008 from Mr. and Mrs. John Nichols of Oklahoma City, was Herman Melville’s “The Whale,” aka “Moby Dick.”
The library’s endowment also achieved significant growth during Lee’s tenure, from less than $300,000 to more than $25 million.