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May 14, 2014

OU family learns of Saxon’s passing

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma family was saddened to learn of the death Tuesday morning of one of its most loyal stewards, Bill D. Saxon.

“No one ever loved the University of Oklahoma more than Bill Saxon,” OU President David L. Boren said. “He was a true steward of the university. It was a great privilege for the University to award him an honorary degree last Friday night. He was able to hear the ceremony, which was broadcast to him in Dallas.”

Saxon, who was residing in Dallas at the time of his death, was born and raised in Norman, where he began a life-long friendship that spanned more than 80 years with James Bumgarner, aka James Garner.

Saxon earned his bachelor’s degree from OU in business administration and petroleum management in 1951 and founded an independent oil and gas company engaged in the acquisition, development and production of oil and natural gas reserves. He served as chairman of the board for Saxon Oil for more than 50 years.

Saxon made it a priority to serve his alma mater, which benefited from his leadership. He advanced the arts and culture of Oklahoma through his support of OU’s two major museums — the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art — both enjoyed annually by thousands of Oklahomans.

At the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, he created the Wylodean Saxon Memorial Lecture Series in honor of his late wife to bring distinguished artists, collectors and authors to the state to share their expertise with Oklahomans.

He helped build and maintain many of the cornerstones of OU, providing support to the Boyd House Renovation, OU Centennial Arches and the Energy Center.

His alma mater benefited from his leadership and service on committees and boards, including the Reach for Excellence Campaign, Centennial Committee, Energy Center Advisory Board, Sam Noble Museum Campaign Council and the Price College of Business Alumni Council and Alumni Board, as well as OU’s Scholarship Campaign.

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