Rainbolt family gives significant gift to OU
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