David Boren discloses history of gift-giving to OU
NORMAN — In a surprise move, David Boren has released how much he and his wife gave to the university he led for nearly 24 years.
The total is close to $1.8 million, according to a breakdown of their gift-giving to the University of Oklahoma.
The release of the information comes as OSBI agents work to wrap up a sexual misconduct investigation of the retired president.
"This quiet generosity of the Borens deserves comment in light of the spiteful harangue from Mr. Boren's successor that unleashed a costly investigation — in dollars and personal anguish — which we pray will soon be over," his attorney, Clark Brewster, told The Oklahoman.
The total includes $318,910 in outright cash gifts and $800,000 in salary that Boren signed over to the university, according to the breakdown. The rest consists of the appraised value of paintings and sculptures donated by the couple from their personal collection.
An additional $924,000 went to the university at Boren's direction from foundations, associations and corporations where he served as a board member or consultant, the attorney said. Those donations were described by the attorney as given in Boren's honor because of a belief in him or to match his gifts to OU.
Three of those donors have pledged to give a total of $2 million more to OU upon Boren's death.
Boren, a former governor and U.S. senator, served on the boards of major corporations like American Airlines, Texas Instruments, ConocoPhillips and Phillips Petroleum Co. He also served until last year on the board of a major charitable organization, the Bloomberg Family Foundation.
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Brewster, a well-known Tulsa attorney, prepared the gift-giving breakdown from a Jan. 13 confidential giving history sent to the Borens by the University of Oklahoma Foundation. The attorney released the breakdown to The Oklahoman last week. The total directly gifted to OU is $1,778,825.
The disclosure comes as a surprise because Boren has kept mostly quiet since coming under investigation in 2018, at first by a law firm hired by the university.
Boren retired as president in 2018. He agreed to end all further official affiliation with the university in 2019 to resolve a personnel matter that arose from the sexual misconduct allegations.
"I was tempted to pursue a continued battle to protect my reputation and demonstrate that I was innocent of any wrongdoing," Boren said in 2019.
Instead, he decided "it was best for the university and all concerned for me to suggest a resolution to end this divisive and unfair controversy," he said.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation began looking into allegations against Boren in March.
Boren and his attorney blame his successor, Jim Gallogly, for the investigations. Gallogly, who retired as president in May, has said OU "was required by law to commence an investigation upon the receipt of complaint(s)."
The gift-giving breakdown reflects the value of each painting and sculpture at the time of donation, based on appraisals done by independent professionals, Boren's attorney said. The artwork is worth more now, he said.
Appraised the highest was a painting by Alfredo Ramos Martinez, an artist regarded by many as the father of Mexican modernism. Its value was put at $345,000. Boren's attorney called it a sensational and incredible piece probably worth twice that or more today.
Appraised at $75,000 was "Abbi of Bacabi," an oil painting by influential Native American artist T.C. Cannon. It is one of the last works of the Oklahoma-born artist. He died in a car crash in 1978.
Boren will be 79 in April. He and his wife, Molly, have been married more than 40 years.