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ORU Dedicates First New On-Campus Building In Over 30 Years

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Unlike many universities, ORU didn't have a student center on campus. Unlike many universities, ORU didn't have a student center on campus.
Artwork inspired by ORU students hangs in the new Armand Hammer Alumni-Student Center. Artwork inspired by ORU students hangs in the new Armand Hammer Alumni-Student Center.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Oral Roberts University opened the first new building on campus in 30 years Friday.

It also marks a milestone in the financial turnaround on campus.

There's was a crowd in the student center Friday, in part because there's never been anything like this on the ORU campus. It's the first true student center ever built there.

The students of ORU had plenty of reason to celebrate and they did, praising God for the surest sign yet their school is on a solid financial path.

The major donor behind the new building, Michael Hammer, and the Armand Hammer Foundation, said the timing was right for them to support the mission of ORU.

"They caught the vision of the campus, they understood the dream, what we wanted here, and produced this gorgeous building," said ORU President, Dr. Mark Rutland.

Rutland praised the architects for transitioning the style of the new Armand Hammer Student Center into something that fits, but looks new.

"They came to us and said, ‘We don't want to repeat that, but we don't want to abandon that, the architecture here,' and so they wanted us to come up with something that represents the past but looks forward to the future," said chief architect Mark Bragg.

Following the ribbon cutting, the students flooded into their first real student center on campus.

It has every modern feature a student could want: a giant television, plenty of room to goof off, or study, and there's a restaurant and coffee shop inside.

President Rutland, due to retire in a few months, said the building's architecture reflects change on campus.

"Everything that ORU is about today is in this building; excellence, clarity, light, long clean lines--that's where we are," Rutland said.

The first big event at the student center was Thursday night, when students watched a 3D light show on the outside walls.

The show introduced them to not just the most technologically advanced place on campus, but what's intended to be the new center of campus life.

And that new big screen TV inside is made up of 36 HD TVs. On Sunday, that's how they'll be watching the Super Bowl.

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