NORMAN-University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren today announced the largest one-time contribution in the history of the OU College of Law – a historic $6 million gift from OU Law Professor Emeritus Frank Elkouri and his wife, Edna Asper Elkouri, to support student scholarship programs in the college.
“Generations of students will benefit from this generous gift,” said Boren, noting that Professor Elkouri was his teacher and also taught OU’s First Lady, Molly Shi Boren, when they were students in the OU law school. Boren said, “Professor Elkouri’s 58 years of service and the Elkouris’ devotion and ongoing commitment to the law school provide an incredible example to our university community. They demonstrate what is best in the OU family.”
Boren announced the Elkouris’ gift at the January meeting of the OU Board of Regents at the OU Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.
Professor Elkouri, a nationally noted authority on labor arbitration, joined the OU law faculty in 1952, teaching labor law, property, trade regulation, torts and workers’ compensation. He was honored with a distinguished George Lynn Cross Research Professorship in 1975. Though he retired in 1985, he continued his leadership at the law school through 2010 as an inspirational mentor and accomplished scholar, said OU College of Law Dean Joseph Harroz.
In 2002, the Elkouris made a major gift to endow the Frank Elkouri and Edna Asper Elkouri Professorship of Law, which is held by Professor Randall Coyne.
“Professor Elkouri is an outstanding scholar and treasured professor emeritus,” Harroz said. “He is a man of great character, and his contributions throughout the past five decades of service to the college are innumerable. Now, he and Edna, his partner in life and in dedication to the OU College of Law, leave an indelible mark on the future of the college. The Elkouri gift will provide many students with access to an exceptional legal education and inspire generations of excellence.”
Professor and Mrs. Elkouri said they were grateful to have scholarships while they were in law school, and they hope their gift provides similar opportunities to students today.
“We wanted to do for the students what we couldn’t do for those who helped us,” Professor Elkouri said. “OU is a very high quality institution. We always planned to give to the law school, so why wait? We decided to make our donation now, so we could enjoy it and observe it,” he said.
An Oklahoman, Professor Elkouri graduated from the OU College of Law in 1947 and subsequently earned LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. Among his publications is How Arbitration Works, which is regarded as the authoritative treatise on the law and practice of labor arbitration. It was published in 1952 as his doctoral thesis.
Mrs. Elkouri, who graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School and served on the staff of the Internal Revenue Service Chief Counsel, has collaborated with her husband on many projects throughout their legal careers, including working on the second, third and fourth editions of How Arbitration Works and co-authoring Resolving Drug Issues.
Professor Elkouri received an OU Distinguished Teaching Citation in 1974 and was awarded the Whitney North Seymour Medal from the American Arbitration Association in 1980. In late 2010, the wing of professor emeritus offices in the College of Law was named in honor of the Elkouris.
Incoming law students and outstanding first-, second- and third-year students are eligible for scholarships.
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