University of Tulsa President Steadman Upham is among eight honorees being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame this year. Upham has led TU for more than a decade and currently serves as the university’s 19th president.
Being inducted to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive from the state.
Highlights of Upham’s administration include the addition of nearly 40 academic programs, including doctoral programs in chemistry, physics and anthropology; the creation of interdisciplinary research institutes in fields including nanotechnology and bioinformatics; the launch of the College of Health Sciences; a partnership agreement with the City of Tulsa whereby TU manages Gilcrease Museum; the opening of the Henry Zarrow Center for Art & Education in downtown Tulsa; and construction of the Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum.
The president also has fostered a culture of community service engagement. TU’s True Blue Neighbors initiative in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood includes youth mentoring, tutoring, food and clothing drives, home maintenance assistance and close partnerships with neighborhood schools.
The university is ranked No. 86 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report (2015), and the College of Law and the graduate business programs are ranked among the top 100 in their categories. During the past decade, TU has added more than 1 million square feet of usable space, including student apartments and activity centers, academic and administrative buildings and athletic facilities. The university’s Embrace the Future campaign raised more than $698 million.
Upham, who completed a doctorate in anthropology at Arizona State University, previously served as president and CEO of Claremont Graduate University. He is a widely published archaeologist, having written or edited 10 books and more than 75 book chapters and journal articles.
His extensive professional service and accomplishments include commissioner of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges; chairman of the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools; president of the National Physical Science Consortium; director of The American Mutual Funds; director of the St. Francis Health System; director of the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce; director of the American Council on Education; director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association; director of the College Football Playoffs; and director and chair of the Tulsa Community Foundation.
Upham and his wife, Peggy, were married in 1971 and have two children and one grandchild.
Other 2015 honorees are Kevin Durant and William Ross of Oklahoma City, Jim Halsey of Tulsa, Bill Hancock of Hobart, Mike Larsen of Perkins, Sharen Jester Turney of Ardmore and Francis Tuttle of Wellston, who will be inducted posthumously.
Since the Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s inception in 1927, 669 accomplished individuals have received this commendation. The 2015 banquet and induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 19 at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center. Tickets go on sale Aug. 28 at 405-523-3203.