Julian J. Rothbaum (1913-2003)
The Rothbaum Lecture is named in honor of Mr. Julian J. Rothbaum of Tulsa, Oklahoma – a leader in Oklahoma civic affairs, an important supporter of the University of Oklahoma, and a lifelong friend of Speaker Carl Albert. Mr. Rothbaum attended the University of Oklahoma from 1932 to 1936 and was president of the student body during his senior year. In 1938, he graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He served a four-year tour in the Army during World War II. In 1946 he moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to serve as the first director of the newly created Tulsa District of the Federal Housing Administration and was the youngest FHA director in the United States at that time. In the early 1950s, he owned and operated the Julian J. Rothbaum Mortgage Banking Company, and he served as president of the Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association in 1953. He later became associated with Francis Oil & Gas, Inc. of Tulsa, and eventually served as chairman of the board from 1966 until his death on September 26, 2003.
Mr. Rothbaum actively supported education in the state of Oklahoma throughout his life. He established student awards in honor of Carl Albert at The University of Oklahoma and McAlester (Okla.) High School as well as the Carl Albert Prize at St. Peters College, Oxford University.
In addition, Mr. Rothbaum sponsored awards in music and in petroleum land management for outstanding students at the University of Oklahoma and, with his wife Irene, endowed a Presidential Professorship of Excellence in the College of Fine Arts. After his wife's death in 1996, Mr. Rothbaum honored her by endowing the Irene Rothbaum Award for the Outstanding Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1998 he established at the OU College of Law an annual award in honor of his son, Joel Jankowsky, to recognize the graduating student who exemplifies the highest standard of excellence in leadership, scholarship, and selfless service to others. In 2003, Mr. Rothbaum established the Irene and Julian Rothbaum Professor of History endowed chair.
Mr. Rothbaum served two terms on the Board of Regents of The University of Oklahoma. He was also a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1986. He was the Special Advisor on Higher Education to Governor David Walters in the early 1990s. In honor of this record of service, The University of Oklahoma awarded him the Distinguished Service Citation in 1974 and an honorary doctorate in 1993.