Old North

We are no strangers to innovation. The great people of our university have been preparing us for these moments for the last 120 years. We have always carried a deep sense of responsibility for who we are and where it all began. We know that without the hard work and determination of those before us, it would be impossible to accomplish what we have today. This is reaffirmed each day we pass by Old North - a historic university icon that still has stories left to be told.

The Beginning
More than 120 years ago, a group of visionary pioneers wisely recognized that this new frontier called the Oklahoma territory needed a center of learning. Local businessman Anton Classen donated the land where Old North now stands. Due in part to Classen’s generosity and vision, the first 25-member class of the Territorial Normal School met
on Nov. 9, 1891. Filled with promise, they diligently began their work toward a mastery of subjects, all in preparation for their teaching careers.

Old North Tower was completed soon after the school’s opening, serving as the first building of higher education in the state and the first permanent structure on the campus of what is now the University of Central Oklahoma. It was considered one of the most significant structures in southwest landscape.

The Need
For many years Old North housed the College of Education and Professional Studies, which was comprised of classrooms, along with faculty and departmental offices. Then, due to structural compromises caused by aging, Old North closed in 2000 resulting in the loss of several classrooms and the relocation of nearly 40 faculty and staff offices.
In recent years student enrollment has grown to more than 17,000, compounding the challenge. This rapid increase, coupled with the loss of classrooms in Old North, has led to space being stretched to the limit. In turn, the offsetting impact of the closure has forced faculty and staff members to office in open cubicle spaces in the Max Chambers Library.

We cannot let our story end here.

As a symbol and landmark of our institution, the renovation of Old North represents an important link to our history and institutional identity. The space within will allow faculty and staff members to return to private office space and ease the growing pressure for existing classroom space. We also will return the President’s suite to its original location on the top floor. See the renderings below that show the future of Old North. 

New Classroom
Leadership Conference Room
President's Office Suite

For more information on giving to Old North, contact Anne Holzberlein, vice president for Development at (405) 974-2770 or aholzberlein@uco.edu.