USAO to celebrate 110th birthday with major gift announcement, dedication of the Giles Room

A graphic of the USAO seal and the text "celebrating 110 years"

USAO to celebrate 110th birthday with major gift announcement, dedication of the Giles Room


The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma will celebrate 110 years as Oklahoma’s only public liberal arts college with a dedication ceremony for the newly-remodeled Giles Room in the Lawson Court Clubhouse on May 16 at 4 p.m. The event, with complimentary wine and cheese, is free and open to the public.

President John Feaver will make a special announcement on a recent development that will have a significant and long-lasting impact on the university.

A long-time supporter of the university, the late Nita R. Giles was born in 1949 and grew up on a farm northwest of Chickasha, the only daughter of Ray and Mary Giles. She was born into a family dedicated to serving others—her father, a decorated Air Force veteran of World War II, served as an Oklahoma State Senator from 1976-1992, and her mother, an alumna of the Oklahoma College for Women, was a teacher and passionate advocate for agricultural issues.

Nita graduated from the University of Oklahoma Law School in 1974, opening a successful practice in Oklahoma City that specialized in long-term care and other health care law until her retirement in October 2011. She was known as a leader in staff development and education, always ready to mentor others in developing the skills and confidence necessary to succeed in their chosen fields.

The influence of Nita and her family is still felt at USAO in the annual Ray, Mary & Nita Giles Symposium for Citizenship and Public Service, which brings world-renowned intellectuals to discuss pertinent issues affecting our society and encouraging everyone to be informed and thoughtful global citizens. The series is sponsored by the USAO Foundation through endowed funds from the Giles family.