Donations From ORU Alumni Up

Saturday, February 21st 2009, 7:36 pm
By: News On 6

The Associated Press

TULSA, OK -- First-time donation levels among Oral Roberts University alumni are at their highest in more than 10 years, even as the school tries to rebuild its image.

According to ORU Alumni Foundation data, during a 15-month period ending in January, almost 2,400 alumni of the private university gave almost $1.2 million. The number of first-time donors increased by almost 200 from November to December and rose to 585 in January.

That's the highest total since 1998.

ORU was caught in scandal in late 2007, when three professors filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. Soon after, then-ORU President Richard Roberts resigned as president amid allegations he and his wife spent school money on home remodels, lavish vacations and a stable of horses for their daughters. Roberts has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Donations totaling $80 million from the family of Oklahoma City businessman Mart Green has helped stabilize ORU, which has a new president in former pastor and evangelist Mark Rutland. ORU also has a new board of trustees and a shared governance system.