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The History of Headington College

Our Founding

Headington College was established in 2015 as one of two inaugural residential colleges of the University of Oklahoma. Created at the initiative of former OU President David Boren, Headington College and its sister college, Dunham College, transformed the cultural and physical landscape of the university by providing a vibrant residential, social and academic experience.

In August of 2017, Headington College became home to nearly 300 undergrad and graduate students from over 33 states and 38 countries. These first residents came from every possible social and cultural background and were enrolled in over 75 distinct programs of study. Together with the dedicated faculty and staff, they established a unique living-learning community that continues to develop and grow today. 

Tim Headington

The benefactor and namesake of Headington College is University of Oklahoma alumnus Tim Headington, who is passionate about helping provide the very best environments to facilitate student success. His generosity to the University is demonstrated in a number of facilities across campus which bear his name, including Headington Hall (across from the College), and the Headington Family Tennis Center. 

Mr. Headington earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from OU in 1972. He was a member of the tennis team, and, upon graduation from OU, he went on to earn graduate degrees in theology and psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. He is president and sole shareholder of the Dallas-headquartered Headington Resources, Inc., one of the premiere independent oil exploration and production operators in south Texas. Active throughout the major oil and natural gas basins in the continental United States, the company also has interests in real estate and hotel development, film production, private equity and entertainment.

He co-founded the Headington Institute, a nonprofit that supports caregivers worldwide by determining the best ways to promote the physical hardiness, emotional resilience and spiritual validity of humanitarian relief and development personnel. In addition to providing free online training materials, its team of psychologists travels to places including Japan, Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan, South America and throughout Africa to provide counseling, resilience training and management consultation. He was honored in 2005 with the OU Regents’ Alumni Award and in 2011 with OU’s highest award, the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

He has made notable contributions to the nation and world in business, but also in architectural development and the cinematic arts. Mr. Headington has been engaged in major redevelopment work of downtown Dallas, where he owns the Joule boutique hotel. Further, he is executive producer or producer of numerous films including the Oscar-winning movies ‘Argo’, ‘Hugo’, and ‘Rango’, and the film adaptation of the novel World War Z.

The Headington Shield & Coat of Arms

The shield of Headington College is inspired by the shield of Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church in Old Headington, Oxfordshire. It consists of a red field, surrounded by a black border and emblazoned with a white saltire (the diagonal cross). The shield also features a pair of black fleur de lis, located above and below the intersection of the saltire in the chief and base of the shield, respectively.

The full coat of arms of Headington College enhances the shield with a crest, wreath, motto banner and the name of the college. The crest, located above the shield, is the ’46 star’ of Oklahoma, taken from the state’s original 1907 state flag, the ’46 flag.’ Oak wreaths flank the shield and are presented in an art deco motif on a silver-steel ring. This ring also serves as the scroll for the Latin inscription of the brief Headington College motto, Expetenda Beata Vita (‘aspiring to the good life’).