Rain­bolt fam­ily gives sig­nif­i­cant gift to OU

The Oklahoman - - BUSINESS - FROM STAFF RE­PORTS

The Univer­sity of Ok­la­homa’s new grad­u­ate busi­ness school in the heart of Ok­la­homa City has been named to honor busi­ness­man, civic leader and phi­lan­thropist H.E. “Gene” Rain­bolt.

The OU Board of Re­gents voted Thurs­day to call the 27,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity the Gene Rain­bolt Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness in ap­pre­ci­a­tion of a gift from the Rain­bolt fam­ily to OU’s Michael F. Price Col­lege of Busi­ness.

OU of­fi­cials said the gift is the sec­ond largest in the his­tory of the busi­ness col­lege. The donors asked that the amount not be dis­closed.

The grad­u­ate school is in Univer­sity Re­search Park on the OU Health Sciences Cen­ter cam­pus just east of down­town Ok­la­homa City.

OU Pres­i­dent David Boren an­nounced the gift from the Rain­bolt fam­ily and rec­om­mended the re­gents ap­prove the name change.

“The univer­sity has been a ma­jor in­flu­ence in our fa­ther’s life,” said Les­lie Rain­boltForbes, who serves on the board. “It is fit­ting that his name be con­nected with it in the years to come.”

Boren ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the Rain­bolt fam­ily for “this his­toric and ex­tremely gen­er­ous gift.”

“I am es­pe­cially pleased that it honors Gene Rain­bolt, who has ded­i­cated his life to the cause of equal op­por­tu­nity for all young peo­ple. He is truly a vi­sion­ary leader for our en­tire state. As a busi­ness leader, he is a wor­thy model for the busi­ness lead­ers of the fu­ture,” Boren said.

Rain­bolt is an Ok­la­homa na­tive who was raised dur­ing the Dust Bowl and earned his bachelor’s (1952) and mas­ter’s (1957) de­grees in busi­ness from OU, be­fore grad­u­at­ing from the Grad­u­ate School of Bank­ing at the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin.

He was pres­i­dent of the Ok­la­homa Bank­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and formed the first statewide multi-bank hold­ing com­pany be­fore or­ga­niz­ing BancFirst Corp. in 1989 in Ok­la­homa City. Rain­bolt cur­rently serves as chair­man emer­i­tus of BancFirst Corp.

His two chil­dren — Rain­boltForbes and David Rain­bolt, both OU grad­u­ates — made the gift as a trib­ute to their fa­ther’s im­pact on their fam­ily, state and na­tion. David Rain­bolt serves as ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of BancFirst Corp. and Rain­boltForbes is a med­i­cal doc­tor.

In 2008, the fam­ily made a large gift in honor of Gene Rain­bolt’s late wife to name OU’s ed­u­ca­tion col­lege the Jean­nine Rain­bolt Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion.

The Gene Rain­bolt Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness is strate­gi­cally an­chored be­tween the down­town en­ergy and fi­nan­cial sec­tors to the west and the

grow­ing health care and aero­space sec­tors to the east. The fa­cil­ity is now home to OU’s full-time

and pro­fes­sional MBA pro­grams, grow­ing ex­ec­u­tive ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams and the Ok­la­homa City lo­ca­tions for the Ron­nie K. Irani Cen­ter for the Cre­ation of Eco­nomic Wealth and the Of­fice of Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment,

two com­po­nents of the col­lege’s En­trepreneur­ship and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Di­vi­sion.

“The new lo­ca­tion for the Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness in the In­no­va­tion District is good for both prospec­tive stu­dents

and the city of Ok­la­homa City. We are pleased to be a part of it,” said David Rain­bolt.

A cer­e­mony will be sched­uled this fall to cel­e­brate the fam­ily’s sig­nif­i­cant sup­port and the open­ing of the Gene

Rain­bolt Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness.

Daniel Pullin, dean of the busi­ness col­lege, praised Gene Rain­bolt’s ded­i­ca­tion to help­ing all Ok­la­homans pur­sue a brighter fu­ture.

“Gene has in­spired

Ok­la­homa’s work­force to reach higher and chal­lenges our stu­dents to do the same. There could not be a more fit­ting name­sake for our world-class grad­u­ate school of busi­ness school than Gene Rain­bolt,” Pullin said.

H.E. “Gene” Rain­bolt

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