The Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center, built in 1918 as part of the University of Oklahoma’s original campus, is one of Oklahoma’s most historic buildings and one of the university’s key educational and community facilities. Originally named The Auditorium (1918) it was renamed Holmberg Hall (1938), after Fredrick Holmberg, professor of music and first Dean of the College of Fine Arts.
In 2002 the building began a multimillion dollar renovation. The original building with the addition of the new dance wing and renovated practice rooms were renamed the Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center (2005), after Donald W. Reynolds.
The Building’s centerpiece is Oklahoma’s only European-style performance hall, the setting for appearances by famous visitors to Oklahoma, generations of OU student performers, and a wide range of community activities. Sometimes called “Oklahoma’s meeting house,” the building has housed some of the state’s most memorable events.
Famous visitors include President William Howard Taft, statesman William Jennings Bryan, poet William Butler Yeats, Composer Aaron Copland, and dancer Martha Graham. Former high school students from across the state remember it as the site of music, band and speech competitions, and events.
In addition, many of the University of Oklahoma’s landmark events, from former OU President James Buchanan’s funeral to football Coach Bud Wilkinson’s national trophy presentation, were held in the facility. Former OU President David L. Boren chose this stage as the place to announce his acceptance of the OU Presidency and resignation from the United States Senate.