Transcript Staff Writer

Last spring, University of Oklahoma President David Boren hoped donors would pledge $50 million over the next five years for scholarships.

Boy, was he wrong.

The $50 million Scholarship Campaign has already raised $27 million in gifts and pledges within eight months of its launch. Boren announced the updated figures Monday during the OU Board of Regents' December meeting.

Through Nov. 30, donors have given $16.8 million and pledged another $10.2 million.

"We are determined that in spite of the pressure of costs and tuition increases over the past few years that OU will remain affordable and will keep open the door of opportunity for all qualified students," Boren said.

The latest gift, announced Monday, is an $800,000 gift from the estate of Mildred Lundberg Kienlen, a 1942 OU graduate who died nearly two years ago. The scholarship fund will be unrestricted, an uncommon designation that "will benefit students with the greatest need, regardless of their majors."

The board also learned of a "substantial endowment gift" to support the energy library at OU. Half of the unspecified amount will create the Laurence S. and Loyce L. Youngblood Maintenance Endowment to keep the library updated, the other half will endow a chair for the Youngblood Energy Library's librarian position.

Later, board chairwoman Christy Everest had tears in her eyes as her fellow regents voted to rename the Health Sciences Center's section of hematology/oncology within the College of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics as the Jimmy Everest Section of Hematology/Oncology.

Jimmy Everest was 17 when he died of bone cancer in 1992. OU physicians cared for him in Oklahoma City at the children's cancer center of the time, and 10 days after their son's death, Jim and Christy Everest announced plans to establish a comprehensive cancer center at Children's Hospital of Oklahoma.

The couple later helped recruit William Meyer from St. Jude's Children's Hospital to head the hematology/oncology section and establish a visiting professors program.

"I want to thank you all so much; this is the most wonderful memorial Jimmy could ever have," Everest said. "I know he's looking down and is so excited."

In other actions, the board named a restored lounge at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art after the late Daniel Kiacz, who taught 31 years at the School of Art, and passed a resolution of praise for Dan Gibbens, the decades-long law professor and NCAA representative who retired in June.

Athletics director Joe Castiglione called Gibbens "an icon in conference history," and a great champion and advocate for student-athletes, OU and college athletics.

James S. Tyree 366-3539 jtyree@normantranscript.com

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