OU campus

The OU campus, which features the Bizzell Memorial Library shown here, was rated as one of the top 10 historic campuses in America.

The University of Oklahoma has been named in the top 10 of most impressive historic college campuses in the nation, according to College Values Online. 

OU is the only Big 12 University in the top 10, joining the ranks of other universities, such as Princeton and University of California at Berkeley.

“OU is especially honored to receive this recognition because we believe that it is important for students to be connected to the history of their institutions,” University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren said. “To remain great, we must understand the effort of those who came before us.”

To be considered, colleges had to have at least three historic buildings, landmarks or historic districts, according to the National Register of Historic Places Listings at Colleges and Universities in the U.S. The rankings were based on multiple historic sites that also prided themselves in a remarkable campus aesthetic experience.

According to College Values Online, some historic areas are more impressive than others — more beautiful, well-kept and inspiring to the spirit. The list was further narrowed based on a list of criteria, such as intriguing historical circumstances or figures, uniformity of architectural style, mountain views, remarkable green spaces, exceptional climate, adjacent bodies of water, varied campus terrain, arboretum, other impressive flora and student enjoyment potential of campus natural/historical resources.

The University of Oklahoma was selected based on the unique Cherokee Gothic architectural style of its buildings. 

Influenced by the Native American style evident since the institution’s founding in Oklahoma territory in 1890, the Cherokee Gothic style is apparent throughout most campus buildings. Bizzell Memorial Library, a National Historic Landmark that sits at the heart of the campus, was built in 1929 in this style. 

The largest library in Oklahoma, it is home of one of the most important History of Science collections in the nation. This collection contains 12 original works by Galileo, four of which are in his own handwriting.

Stately trees, landscaped gardens and statues and sculptures arranged around campus ovals are the pride of the University community, the ranking stated.

Previously, OU was the only Big 12 university to be selected as having one of America’s 25 most beautiful campuses.

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