The University of Oklahoma is one of three universities chosen by Dolese Bros. Co. to receive equal portions of a stock gift currently valued at more than $200 million. The gift to the OU Foundation will be used to enhance the education of students in the College of Engineering.
In addition to OU, the foundations of Oklahoma State University and Kansas State University have received approximately $70 million each in stock from the Oklahoma City-based private company. The gift makes the foundations nonvoting majority shareholders in Oklahoma’s largest supplier of ready-mix concrete, crushed stone, gravel and sand.
Dolese officials say the gift is the result of the vision of the late Roger Dolese, who died in 2002. As part of Dolese’s plan to keep the company privately owned and increase the number of engineers coming from nearby universities, he finalized the charitable partnership prior to his death.
“At Dolese we value our employees and the communities that we impact,” said Mark Helm, president of Dolese Bros. Co. “Every day Dolese delivers products that make everything from the roads you drive on, the offices you work in, the schools you learn in, and the foundation of the home where you live. This gift is a true testament of how Dolese delivers on our commitment to our employees, the communities we serve and planning for the future.”
Each year Dolese Bros. will buy back at least $500,000 worth of stock from the foundations so the universities can use the money to enhance their engineering programs and significantly grow the number of engineering graduates from each school. Company officials refer to the gift as a type of long-term annuity that will also eventually lead to the company being 100 percent employee owned.
“The size and durability of this gift will have generational impact on the College of Engineering at OU,” said Guy Patton, president of the OU Foundation.
Company officials say it is their hope the foundations will receive more than the current stock value and the impact on the three engineering programs will be even greater as a result.
At OU the gift supports retention scholarships and other effective methods of increasing the engineering workforce. This year, the funds permitted doubling the number of incoming students in a summer camp that is proven to boost retention through math readiness, team projects and orientation to college life.