February 6, 2007
One of Oklahoma’s most respected leaders and a prominent figure in the United States Senate will be remembered during Oklahoma Baptist University’s Founders’ Day program on Feb. 7, at 10 a.m., in the university’s Raley Chapel.
Former Oklahoma Governor and U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr was an OBU alumnus and benefactor of the university. In his Founders’ Day address, OBU President Mark Brister will highlight the life of Kerr, who attended OBU’s first session in 1911-12.
Kerr, founder of Kerr-McGee Oil Company, became Oklahoma’s first native-born governor in 1943. He also was elected president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma that year.
In 1948, he was elected a U.S. Senator and re-elected in 1954 and 1960. In the early 1960s, he was frequently referred to as “King of the Senate.”
Kerr was a close friend of OBU President John W. Raley. In 1956, he gave $250,000 toward the construction of OBU’s Mrs. W.S. Kerr Memorial Dormitory. In today’s economy that would equal approximately $1,850,000.
Founders’ Day commemorates the anniversary of OBU’s incorporation in February 1910.