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My Take On TU: I Love TU!

The email below was sent by Amy Smith, a freshman biochemistry major from St. Louis, to her admission counselor, Teresa Bont, just a few weeks after she arrived on campus this past fall. Amy’s excitement is contagious, don’t you think?

Hi Teresa!

I freaking love TU. The campus is beautiful, and everything is exactly as I hoped it would be. I have made so many new friends here and I love the atmosphere. I really love how big TU feels, but at the same time is small and homey. My classes are great and my professors are all really nice. Since I came in with so many credits, I’m already taking pretty much all science classes, which is great for my major of Biochemistry.

I’ve joined a few clubs on campus, and they are a blast! I go to two-step every Thursday and I have met and danced with so many new people and learned lot’s of new moves. I’ve also gotten involved in the Red Cross club on campus, as well as AED (the pre health professions club) and Student Health Advocates Association (SHAA). All of them are so much fun, and there is always free food 😉

I did not get involved with greek life, but that definitely doesn’t mean that I am excluded from anything. I know at a lot of big schools greek life is necessary to get involved, but at TU that certainly isn’t true. I have plenty of greek friends and I hang out with them all the time, and I still get invited to a lot of the greek events.

Homecoming this past weekend was also so much fun! It’s really cool to become a part of all the TU traditions, and being at the bonfire and going to the game was quite the experience. Also, campus was the most lively that I have seen it. There were so many people and so many festivities that it was impossible to be bored. I love that at TU there is always something to do and someone to hang out with and that you never run into a face that isn’t friendly. I really do feel so much at home here.

The city of Tulsa is beautiful. I love the view of downtown from the library steps, and I even got really lucky that I can see the skyline from my dorm room in Hardesty! So far I’ve tried a bunch of the local restaurants (all amazing by the way), and explored some of the hotspots, such as Cherry Street, Utica Square, and Guthrie Green. I didn’t end up going to the state fair, but I heard a lot about it from people on campus. We went to the center of the universe, watched the fireworks from the driller stadium, and went to the Rose Garden all in the same evening! There is always something to do in Tulsa, and I never get bored.

All in all, TU is such a wonderful place to be, and I could not be happier with my choice to enroll here. I love TU with all my heart and I’m so glad to call this place my home. Hope this is helpful 😊


My Take On TU: Giving Back After Graduation

Emboldened with a vision of a thriving north Tulsa, TU alumna Ebony Easiley (BFA ’14) is cultivating young community leaders. As the director of operations at Greenwood Leadership Academy, Easiley incorporates technology, citizenship, entrepreneurship and rigorous academics in the classroom. By transforming the neighborhood with holistic education and economic growth, Easiley is giving back to a place she calls home.


My Take On TU: Music Scene in Tulsa

Today’s My Take on TU comes to us from Tali Harris, a sophomore Computer Science and Mathematics major from Owasso, Okla.

Tulsa is home to a number of unique music venues, each bringing in a different crowd and mood. Here are seven of the best:

7. Reynolds Center – This is the basketball arena for The University of Tulsa. It made the list because once a year, TU has a week of fun called Springfest. This themed week includes exciting events, games, raffles, and more food than imaginable. At the end of the week, TU brings in an artist voted on by the students. We’ve seen bands from Misterwives and The Mowgli’s to Imagine Dragons to NEEDTOBREATHE (2017). The Reynolds Center may only host a concert once a year, but it’s sure to be spectacular.

6. Foolish Things Coffee House – While many local Tulsa coffee shops bring in live music, Foolish Things does it to the next level. They host several events per month highlighting varying local artists. The ambiance of the modern yet quaint little shop has a New York-esque vibe in urban Tulsa.

5. The Vanguard – The Vanguard is an intimate music venue in the heart of the downtown Brady Arts District. Concerts here are guaranteed to be affordable, fun, and loud. The Vanguard has hosted bands like Nevershoutnever, Colony House, The Wombats, and several local Tulsa artists.


4. The Brady Theater – This allegedly haunted theater also resides in The Brady Arts District. Its medium size accommodates larger artists such as The 1975, Ben Rector, and Ke$ha. The building was built in 1914 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Cross visiting one off your bucket list while enjoying live music!

3. The BOK – The Bank of Oklahoma building is the largest venue in the Tulsa area. Its downtown location compliments a weekend dinner at a local restaurant. The BOK is relatively new, and has had wild success. Bands from all genres have played here, including Brad Paisley, Ed Sheeran, Eric Church, Imagine Dragons, The Black Keys, The Chainsmokers, Florida Georgia Line, Chance the Rapper, Billy Joel, Journey, Miranda Lambert, Greenday, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and more. This venue brings in popular artists and creates spectacular shows.

2. Guthrie Green – Guthrie Green is an expanse of grass in the middle of downtown. During First Friday Art Crawl, there is always live music playing, kids playing in the fountains, and couples dancing. When The Green is not being used for live music, there are people practicing yoga, doing barre, taking pictures, and enjoying the outdoors. But the real excitement surrounding Guthrie Green is its yearly music festival, Center of the Universe. Center of the Universe is relatively new and recently took a year off to make the upcoming year’s festival extra special. In 2013, its opening year, OneRepublic, OKGO, and Neon Trees headlined. The next year, Young the Giant, Foster the People, and Capital Cities. The following year, Panic! At the Disco, Three Days Grace, and American Authors. The Center of the Universe festival perfectly illustrates the growth of Tulsa’s music scene in the last few years.

1. Cain’s Ballroom – Cain’s Ballroom takes the number one spot for music venues in Tulsa. It is rich in history, as it was a popular performance location for Bob Wills in 1932, as boasted on the stage. It then became a popular dance hall, and now serves as a historic music venue. It is a smaller venue, but proudly hosts vibrant, upcoming bands appealing to all genres. Cain’s has recently hosted The Head and the Heart, Young the Giant, The Mowgli’s, Band of Horses, Eli Young Band, and others. This iconic venue provides a closer experience with the band.

My Take on TU: Music in Tulsa

tali-4Today’s blog comes to us from Tali Harris, a sophomore Computer Science & Mathematics major from Owasso, Okla.

Growing up near Tulsa, I never really thought of it as a hip college town. But as I’ve gotten older and Tulsa has evolved, I have realized I could not be more incorrect. Tulsa is a thriving city with plenty of opportunities, increasing community involvement, and, most importantly, extensive entertainment.

My absolute favorite aspect of Tulsa is the live music scene. I have been able to see some of my favorite artists in the past few years thanks to Tulsa’s developing music culture. Even though I have a particular taste, I have been exposed to several different genres of music.

We saw Young the Giant at Cain’s Ballroom!

One of the best parts of a concert is the venue. Tulsa has several different venues that bring in a diverse array of artists.

The Vanguard is one of Tulsa’s more intimate venues. Many local Tulsa groups play here. I fulfilled my middle school dream of seeing NeverShoutNever when they came this past summer. It is located in the heart of the Brady Arts District, and is near coffee shops, brunch spots, and Guthrie Green.

Cain’s Ballroom is one of the most iconic Tulsa music scene symbols. It is just down the street from The Vanguard, and it brings in the most artists I like. I have seen artists like The Head and the Heart,  Young the Giant, The Lumineers, and Ben Folds. Cain’s often hosts bluegrass festivals, country nights, and other popular bands.

I saw Brad Paisley at the BOK Center. Country isn’t my genre of choice, but he put on a great show!

From Taylor Swift to Ed Sheeran, from Justin Bieber to Mumford and Sons, the BOK is centered downtown and brings in the most popular names. It was here I attended my very first concert (Imagine Dragons), won tickets from a radio show (The Black Keys), and experienced my first ever country concert (Brad Paisley). Artists who play here appeal to the largest majority, and trending music stars frequent this venue.

In addition to the multiple venues Tulsa has to offer for live music, one of Tulsa’s most valuable musical events is the music festival Center of the Universe. It is a fairly new music festival, but it is quickly gaining momentum. Three years ago, it featured Young the Giant, Foster the People, Capital Cities, and other local artists. Two years ago, Panic! At the Disco was the headliner. The festival did not return this past summer in order to give the planners ample time to prepare, but I am ecstatic for them to release the lineup for summer 2017. This festival brings in an audience from across the nation and attracts multiple bands.

Despite the flourishing venues for live music in Tulsa, much of the entertainment comes locally. At each First Friday Art Crawl, there is free live music on Guthrie Green downtown. This event has brought in the Tulsa Symphony, a steel drum band, and other local talent for entertainment.

My friends and I went to see Knox Hamilton in Tulsa!

Growing up near Tulsa, I never thought of it as a strong presence on the music scene. After hanging out downtown on the weekends, my opinion has completely changed. Tulsa has so much to offer musically, even to a pretentious music lover like myself.

TU Helping To Improve Mental Illness

This article was written for the Spring 2016 issue of The Univeristy of Tulsa Alumni Magazine. For more alumni stories, visit

Based on research of community needs, TU’s True Blue Neighbors Behavioral Health Clinic was formed to provide an experiential  learning environment for psychology graduate students while providing free services to the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood and a handful of agencies that require a mental health resource.

The facility, which opened near campus in 2015, offers therapy for individuals and families as well as testing for children referred by Tulsa Public Schools to determine what the underlying cause may be for academic issues.

However, the clinic was unable to serve some students from the nearby Kendall-Whittier Elementary School because many of the children are Hispanic and are just learning English or have parents who only speak Spanish.
BODY-jennifer-coronado-107That’s where Jennifer Coronado (BA ’15) comes into the picture. Coronado grew up in the neighborhood and attended Kendall-Whittier. Her native language is Spanish, and her undergraduate degree is in psychology.

“I love this community. I’m glad I can help open doors at the clinic to Spanish-speaking clients,” she said. “I chose psychology as a profession because I wanted to find ways to help people live better lives. Sometimes, someone’s psychological state affects their physical state.”

The Behavioral Health Clinic offers therapy based on the clients’ needs. Coronado said the graduate students, who are supervised by TU professors, employ empirically supported treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy that teaches clients to deal effectively with stressors, modify their thoughts and focus on their strengths. They also administer IQ tests to children and show them ways to cope with learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“There’s been a high level of interest already. So far, we’ve been able to see everyone with only a short waiting list, mostly for Spanish-speaking clients. Now, we’ll be able to address their needs efficiently,” Coronado said.

She added that the teachers at Sequoyah Elementary and Kendall-Whittier Elementary, just a few blocks from the clinic, appreciate the university’s presence in the neighborhood. “TU volunteers and facilities mean increased resources for the school,” Coronado said.

And simply having a world-class college next door has opened the minds of the neighborhood children. “The children see the university as something attainable,” she said. “TU serves as a sort of role model, an example of how an organization can positively impact an entire community.”

Bob Dylan Archive moving to TU’s Helmerich Center for American Research

2015-02-08 sp-tubkbThe Bob Dylan Archive has been acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and The University of Tulsa and will be permanently housed in Tulsa, under the stewardship of TU’s Helmerich Center for American Research, for subsequent public exhibition in the city’s burgeoning Brady Arts District, it was jointly announced Wednesday by GKFF Executive Director Ken Levit and TU President Steadman Upham. Comprised of more than 6,000 items spanning nearly 60 years of Bob Dylan’s unique artistry, singular career and worldwide cultural significance, the archive includes decades of never-before-seen  handwritten manuscripts, notebooks and correspondence; films, videos, photographs and artwork; memorabilia and ephemera; personal documents and effects; unreleased studio and concert recordings; musical instruments and many other items.

The alliance of GKFF and TU was chosen by Dylan’s representatives over other suitors vying for this historic collection, and both entities view the archive as an important acquisition for Tulsa in many ways. As Levit explained, “Bob Dylan is a national treasure whose work continues to enrich the lives of millions the world over, and we are proud to be bringing such an important, comprehensive and culturally significant archive to Tulsa. Our combined philanthropic and academic approach made a strong case for assuring Mr. Dylan and his representatives that Tulsa would provide the ideal environment to care for and exhibit this collection, and the result is a boon for Tulsa that will soon attract Bob Dylan fans and scholars to our city from around the world.”

“The University of Tulsa is pleased to collaborate with the George Kaiser Family Foundation in assuming the role of steward for this invaluable collection. Because of the level of scholarship available through the university and its partners, TU is the perfect keeper of the Bob Dylan Archive,” said TU President Steadman Upham. “Dylanology is a growing aspect of social science and humanities research, and Tulsa will soon become the international epicenter for the academic pursuit of all things Dylan.”

Bob Dylan said, “I’m glad that my archives, which have been collected all these years, have finally found a home and are to be included with the works of Woody Guthrie and especially alongside all the valuable artifacts from the Native American Nations. To me it makes a lot of sense and it’s a great honor.”

Nearly 1,000 items from the Bob Dylan Archive have already been brought to the Hardesty Archival Center inside the university’s Helmerich Center for American Research – which is affiliated with Tulsa’s prestigious Gilcrease Museum – where they are being digitized and preserved by a digital curation team for eventual public exhibition and academic access. The process of physically acquiring the complete archive will span two years, as the individual components are gathered from their numerous locations, inventoried and carefully shipped to Tulsa.

The acquisition of the Bob Dylan Archive was facilitated by Glenn Horowitz Bookseller of New York City, one of the world’s foremost authorities and dealers of literary, historical and art-related rare books, autographs and manuscripts.   

Representatives from GKFF and TU will soon begin the process of selecting a curator and additional staff, forming an advisory committee for the Bob Dylan Archive, and will announce initial plans for public exhibition and academic access to the collection later this year. Ultimately, a permanent exhibit space for the archive will be designated near the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa’s Brady Arts District, which houses a museum dedicated to American folksinger and Oklahoma native Woody Guthrie. Guthrie was one of Dylan’s most significant early influences, even inspiring one of Dylan’s first tracks, Song to Woody on his 1962 self-titled album.

The Bob Dylan Archive is a comprehensive anthology that encompasses thousands of historic items that exemplify the evolution of masterpieces that today are woven into the annals of American music, such as:

  • A notebook from 1974 containing Dylan’s handwritten lyrics to songs that were eventually recorded for the artist’s biggest-selling album, Blood On The Tracks, including Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist Of Fate and Idiot Wind.
  • Sketches, writings and edits from Tarantula, Dylan’s 1965 groundbreaking collection of experimental poetry.
  • Dylan lyrics and chord progressions for unrecorded songs, circa 1970.
  • Handwritten notes from Dylan and director Howard Alk, detailing editing notes and shot selects from the films Eat The Document (1971) and Renaldo And Clara (1978).
  • Dylan’s 1962 signed contract with Witmark Music, his first music publisher.
  • Dylan’s 1966 wallet containing numerous inserts, including paper with Johnny Cash’s address and phone number, as well as a business card from Otis Redding.
  • Complete, never-released Dylan concert films from Toronto’s Massey Hall in 1980 and New York’s Supper Club from 1993.
  • Dylan’s earliest music recordings from 1959.
  • The leather jacket worn by Dylan onstage at The Newport Folk Festival in 1965, the year he “went electric.”
  • The surviving harp from inside the piano on which Dylan composed Like A Rolling Stone.
  • Lyrics to Chimes Of Freedom, handwritten by Dylan in 1964 on hotel stationary, complete with annotations and additional verses.
  • In-progress and final lyrics to all songs from Dylan’s latter-day masterpiece Time Out Of Mind, handwritten and annotated by the artist.





First Fridays In Tulsa: Taking A Break From Studies

IMG_3077Today’s video blog comes to us from Haley A., a junior Communication and Psychology major from Sand Springs, Okla.

This past weekend one of my best friends and I escaped the stress of finals at a First Friday event in downtown Tulsa.

On the first Friday of each month, the Brady District hosts an art crawl that is open to the public to give exposure to local artists. There were plenty of food trucks lining the streets, so we grabbed a quick dinner before exploring the galleries.

One of the first stops on our art tour was a glass blowing shop. They offered a free demonstration, so we had the chance to watch them in action. After that, we went to the downtown location of the Philbrook Museum of Art. One of my favorite aspects of this gallery was the interactive experience they offered. At select pieces of art, there were long strands of ribbon in various colors. Guests had the opportunity to choose the color of ribbon that best represented their understanding of the artwork. At the end of the tour, we tied all of our ribbons together and then hung them on a structure in the lobby.

The Zarrow Center for Art and Education was also a fantastic gallery. They offered free hot chocolate and appetizers, and there was a live band playing. This center has a partnership with The University of Tulsa’s School of Art, so it was nice to see TU connections in the Tulsa community.

Exploring events downtown is a great way to escape campus for a little while. There are a number of fun activities in the Tulsa area, and I can’t wait to discover more!

20 Reasons Why Tulsa Is Actually A Happenin’ City

Aerials 2007056From The Huffington Post:

Don’t believe what’s said about cities in fly-over states. Tulsa, Oklahoma has got it goin’ on.

With its vibrant food culture, ever-growing art scene and rich history, the oil capitol is bursting at the seams. This makes it the perfect place to visit for a quick vacay, food crawl or shopping spree. Plus, the people couldn’t be nicer, which puts the cherry on top of this up-and-coming destination.

Click here to check out 20 reasons to head to the spirited city nestled in the northeast corner of Oklahoma.