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OU’s Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts Celebrates Centennial

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Members of the University of Oklahoma Orchestra, circa 1906

OU’s Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts Celebrates Centennial

February 28, 2024

NORMAN, OKLA. – This year marks the 100th anniversary of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma. Established in 1924, it was the fourth college founded at the university. It was renamed the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts in 2004 in honor of the Weitzenhoffer family, who have given extraordinary support to the college as well as to many areas of the university.

At its inception, the college offered courses in music, painting, drawing, and oratory and dramatic work. Today, it boasts the largest and most comprehensive fine arts program in the state and the region, offering more than 50 degree programs and ushering its alumni into the professional world of the arts.

“It is our great pleasure to celebrate the centennial of the only College of Fine Arts with five discrete schools in the country,” said Mary Margaret Holt, Dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts. “Our history is characterized by the quality of its graduates, the excellence of its faculty and staff, and its significant contributions to cultural communities across the state and nation, leaving an enduring mark on the arts worldwide.”

“While we celebrate this milestone, we also look to the future with confidence based on our foundation of accomplishments and those creative opportunities to come in an exciting future,” she added. Holt has served as the dean of the college for nine years and is an award-winning educator who continues to teach in the School of Dance and serves as the producer for OU’s University Theatre.

The college is composed of five schools: the Peggy V. Dow Helmerich School of Drama, the A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre, the School of Dance, School of Music and OU School of Visual Arts. The college’s faculty is OU’s second largest, comprised of professionals dedicated to the creative growth and education of young artists.

More than 400 on-campus concerts, performances and exhibitions showcase student talent and entertain attendees each year. Each event is hosted in one of eight theatres, performance halls or galleries located within the College of Fine Arts on the Norman campus.

Kiowa Five Artists with School of Visual Arts founding director Oscar Jacobson.
Historic Holberg Hall in the early days after it's construction.

“As we recognize this remarkable milestone for the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, we are profoundly reminded of the transformative power of the arts in enriching our lives,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “The college has been a source of inspiration, resonating not only within our university community but also among supporters around the globe. This century of excellence serves as a testament to the enduring vitality of the arts at OU, and we joyfully embrace this centennial year as a time for celebration and reflection.”

Centennial celebrations for the year will be launched with the Arts! Arts! Arts! Gala on March 3, 2024, bringing back esteemed alumni to be recognized and honored with the Gala’s Luminary Awards. Additional celebratory events in each school are also planned throughout the coming months, including special productions and exhibitions.

A Centennial Scholarship fund has been created to sustain the tradition of excellence in the Weitzenhoffer College of Fine Arts so students may continue to receive the finest instruction with the promise of a successful future. To support the Centennial Scholarship Fund, go to https://give.oufoundation.org/WFACentennial.

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit ou.edu.

About the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts

Established in 1924, the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts is an integral part of the University of Oklahoma. Located in Norman, Oklahoma, the college recognizes the universal language of the arts and its crucial role in creating and sustaining a vibrant, culturally diverse environment. The college is committed to a standard of excellence in the fine arts encompassing the university’s directive for teaching, research/creative activity, and service in its schools of dance, drama, music, musical theatre and visual arts. For more information visit www.ou.edu/finearts.


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