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May 6, 2013

University Partnership with MidAmerica Honored

The partnership between MidAmerica Industrial Park and Rogers State University was recently recognized as one of 27 innovative higher education collaborations strengthening Oklahoma's workforce.

From left: Chancellor Glen D. Johnson; RSU President Larry Rice; Larry Williams, general manager of MidAmerica Industrial Park; Jeri Koehler, director of the RSU Innovation Center; and Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.

From left: Chancellor Glen D. Johnson; RSU President Larry Rice; Larry Williams, general
manager of MidAmerica Industrial Park; Jeri Koehler, director of the RSU Innovation Center;
and Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education's Economic Development Grant for the Regents Business Partnership Excellence Awards are designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents' Economic Development Grants.

MidAmerica has generously supported RSU by funding student scholarships and other key initiatives. Its support reached a new level when park administrators announced that they would fund and construct a 38,400-square-foot building on an 84-acre site to serve as the new RSU campus in Pryor.

The largest single gift in RSU's history, the $8 million project more than doubles the size of the existing campus. The two-story facility will feature classrooms, computer labs, science labs, library, food service and dining facilities, a bookstore, faculty and administrative offices, meeting rooms, and a 150-seat auditorium.

Construction started in 2012 and will be completed in fall 2013. The new RSU campus will join Northeastern Technology Center and Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology at MidAmerica, creating a regional educational hub serving northeastern Oklahoma.

Institutions recognized as Business Partnership Excellence Awards honorees are provided $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses, internships for current students of the institutions to work at the partnering businesses, faculty externships with the partnering businesses and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the tuition waivers.

Past RSU partners to earn the honor include the H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trusts, Jane Phillips Medical Center, the City of Claremore, Grand River Dam Authority, ConocoPhillips, Claremore Regional Hospital, and Manufacturing Service and Innovation. 

The awards were presented during an April 29 ceremony at the University of Central Oklahoma.