By all means, ride the campus shuttle. But don't say, simply, "Chapman, please."
You see, there's Chapman Hall; the Allen Chapman Activity Center; the Mary K. Chapman Center for Communicative Disorders; Chapman Theatre; and, now, the stately Chapman Commons and H.A. Chapman Stadium – key elements of the university's dramatic "front door" along Eleventh Street.
Standing behind each of these landmarks are the H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Foundations, a pair of trusts, one established in 1977 by the late Harry Allen Chapman, and the other founded in 1996 by his wife, the late Mary K. Chapman.
The Foundations operate on a noble and broad directive to "better mankind." Trustees Jerry Dickman and Donne Pitman have put their discretion to good use, allocating support to numerous education, healthcare and social services organizations throughout the Tulsa community, most notably private schools at all levels of education, from early childhood to universitystudy.
TU is the Foundations' single largest beneficiary, with 36 grants totaling more than $18 million since 1981. These include the aforementioned facilities, support of the Donald W. Reynolds Center, partnership in the Collins Student Fitness Center, gifts to TU's University School, and scholarship support.
"We don't have a predefined agenda for our support of TU," Pitman said. "We like to remain open to the university's needs and to be advised by the leadership as to where our gifts can make the most difference."
The H.A. Chapman Stadium renovation is a good case in point. The university enlisted the Foundations as a partner that would provide a substantial anchor gift and a fast launch to a project that was big, highly visible, and demanding of quick completion.
The university's Embrace the Future Campaign was well under way when the opportunity emerged for TU to assume management of the city-owned Gilcrease Museum. The Foundations responded with an immediate and highly visible 5-year pledge of support. Although in retrospect, the TU-Gilcrease partnership was a master stroke of public-private collaboration, it was hardly a foregone conclusion at the time, and the Foundations' support was a key early step in aligning other philanthropists around the opportunity.
"The Gilcrease partnership will be a huge arrangement for Tulsa for years to come," Dickman said. "It underscores the fact that TU is an important asset for the City of Tulsa, and in many ways we're still realizing that value as a community. We're proud of our support of TU and everything that we've accomplished together."