Trustee gives $1 million to ORU scholarship fund

Trustee gives $1 million to ORU scholarship fund

A trustee of Oral Roberts University and his wife have given a $1 million gift to the school’s scholarship fund that, when matched through a fundraising campaign, will whittle its debt from more than $50 million to around $2.5 million, school officials said Thursday.

The gift was made Wednesday at the evangelical school’s board of trustees meeting by Michael Hammer, chairman and CEO of the Armand Hammer Foundation and grandson of the late industrialist Armand Hammer.

Since 2007, the Tulsa-based school, known for its 60-foot-high bronze sculpture of praying hands, has slowly emerged from a financial scandal that tarnished its reputation.

– Source / Full Story: Trustee gives $1 million to ORU scholarship fund, AP via the Joplin Globe, April 16, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Incoming ORU president envisions school’s next stage

TULSA €” Oral Roberts University will be out of debt “very soon,” as it starts to transition beyond what its founders began, ORU President-elect Mark Rutland said Tuesday.

Rutland, who will begin duties as president after ORU graduation ceremonies, was featured speaker at the Tulsa Press Club’s Page One Luncheon.

ORU must begin to reshape itself as a strong and lasting institution, he said.

ORU has already reduced its debt, which at one point reached $55 million, to less than $5 million, its Web site states.

The debt grew as the university struggled in 2007 amid lawsuits alleging financial and administrative scandal. Then-President Richard Roberts soon resigned.

– Source / Full Story: Incoming ORU president envisions school’s next stage , The Oklahoman, Apr. 15, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Dr. Rutland’s formal induction at ORU will follow May 2, the graduation date set for both universities.

Now becoming acquainted with ORU and settling his family in Tulsa, he is excited to begin the task of leading a school he describes as bigger than life. “ORU is like a pin~ata. All the candy is ready to fall out if you hit it right,” he said in reference to the clear and powerful potential he is dedicated to bring to fruition.

He praised Mart Green, chairman on the Board of Trustees at Oral Roberts University who recently donated millions to reduce the University’s debt. It was Mr. Green who pursued him to take the position and Dr. Rutland was quick to mention it was not by his own grand design that he decided to accept. “I am going to believe he knew what he was doing in that courtship,” Dr. Rutland said with a smile. […]

Dr. Rutland holds nearly ten years of experience as the president of Southeastern University which has a similar profile to that of ORU.

Dr. Rutland is also the founder of Global Servants, a non-profit organization that emphasizes worldwide evangelism through missions and outreach. He is the author of eleven books and owns a 30-minute daily radio broadcast called “Herald of Joy.”

With titles such as Dream, Character Matters, and his latest, Most Likely to Succeed, Dr. Rutland’s books emphasize Christian living, education, and even some political themes.

– Source / Full Story: Oral Roberts University’s new president , Emily Hunt, Tulsa Today, April 15, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Monday, April 20, 2009 at 12:42 PM, Central European Time (CET)