McClendon Gift Supports New Plaza and Organ

November 30, 2005

 

 

A new student plaza and an organ for the Divinity School are among university priorities that will benefit from a recent $6-million gift from Aubrey McClendon '81 and Katie Byrns McClendon '80, of Oklahoma City.

Three-quarters of the gift will go to support the new student plaza that will replace the Bryan Center walkway in connecting the student center with surrounding buildings and the rest of West Campus. Construction of the 40,000-square-foot plaza began this summer and is scheduled to be completed by fall 2006. Designed to accommodate various types and sizes of activities, the new plaza will feature both fixed and moveable furniture and a main stage for the arts, as well as additional performance space and dining areas.

The remainder of the gift will support the annual funds of Trinity College and the Fuqua School of Business, and the purchase of a new pipe organ for the Goodson Chapel in the Divinity School's new Westbrook Building. The organ, being built by Richards Fowkes & Co. of Ooltewah, Tennessee, will stand twenty-six feet tall and contain 1,900 pipes. The company builds just one organ per year.

With this latest gift, the McClendons' financial support for the university totals more than $16 million. The Tower in Duke's Keohane Quad and the Commons in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions are named for the couple.