NORMAN – One of America's longest-serving presidents, David L. Boren, announced Wednesday that he plans to retire after this school year.
His retirement will take effect June 30, 2018, unless a permanent successor has not been named by that time, in which case he will remain as President until the search is completed and his successor has been named. Upon his retirement, he will have served as OU's president for over 23 years.
Boren thanked the OU students, faculty and staff who have been committed to excellence during his time at OU. Boren also expressed his deep gratitude to his wife, Molly Shi Boren, for her full partnership during his tenure.
Boren's retirement from OU will come after he completes 51 years of public service in Oklahoma. Boren is the first person in state history to have served as Governor of Oklahoma, U.S. Senator and President of the University of Oklahoma. He also served in the Oklahoma Legislature.
Boren and OU Athletics
Throughout his tenure, Boren has been an unwavering supporter of Sooner student-athletes in both their academic and athletic endeavors, playing a pivotal role in OU's pursuit of championships and record success rate in the classroom.
Quotes from the Sooners
Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione
"It's incredibly rare to watch or actually experience the actions of a transcendent leader in one's lifetime, but it's exactly what's happened to many of us who have had the privilege of working with President Boren. When the almost unfathomable results are tallied, or the daunting task of trying to assess the vast number of lives he and Molly Shi Boren have positively impacted, even more people will start to understand the profound impact on the course of Oklahoma history they have created. It's absolutely enormous and difficult to imagine if it will be seen again.
"On a personal note, my family and I are Oklahomans because David Boren believed in us. From the day we stepped on this campus, we locked arms to create and establish the right values and culture for intercollegiate athletics to prosper while serving the greater University community and our state. Throughout the journey, we've always realized that the true formula for Sooner Magic began with the investment in the lives of others.
"I'm abundantly grateful to David and Molly Boren for the incredible blessing to be part of their team and how they proudly impacted my life. I'll be forever indebted to them for the faith they've had in us. We look forward to working with them throughout the remainder of this year in pursuit of even more success to celebrate."
Head Women's Basketball Coach Sherri Coale
"On a personal note, the Borens' collective belief in me and their willingness to entrust the University of Oklahoma's women's basketball program to a 31-year-old with big dreams changed the entire trajectory of my life. I will forever be indebted to them.
"As a lifelong Oklahoman, I am grateful beyond words for their passionate service to our state at both the institutional and governmental levels. I know of no other individuals who have more profoundly impacted the state of Oklahoma throughout the course of their lives than David and Molly Shi Boren.
"The fingerprints of the Borens can be found in every inch of our campus, every conversation of our intellectual corridors and in every student who has passed through our doors. Their lives of public service may be ending, but the ripple of their deeds never will. What a privilege it has been to be on their team."
Head Softball Coach Patty Gasso
"President Boren hired me 24 years ago and it's amazing to witness what he has done for the University throughout the years. To be led by a president with such professionalism and poise in all situations is what keeps OU at the top. He has a heart for people, for equality, for diversity and offering the best overall college experience for all students. It has been an honor being led by President Boren and I will work endlessly to follow his lead and make him proud both on and off the field. 'THERE'S ONLY ONE OKLAHOMA'...and his name is David Boren."
Head Men's Golf Coach Ryan Hybl
"President Boren has been a tremendous leader for the University of Oklahoma and a constant supporter of our program. His leadership has created tremendous growth for the University and his vision for excellence has been a driving force across campus. Our team wishes him the best in retirement and thanks him for dedicating his life to public service and to the state of Oklahoma."
Head Men's Basketball Coach Lon Kruger
"President Boren has been a champion for the University of Oklahoma. His tremendous leadership has been a catalyst for success in academics, student life and the OU community as a whole. We've appreciated his support of our men's basketball program and athletics department in the six years we've worked together. We wish him nothing but the best in his next stage of life and look forward to the future of the University of Oklahoma."
Head Football Coach Lincoln Riley
"In my two-and-a-half years here, I've known President Boren to be a compassionate leader who has a deep, deep love for our University community and our state. He's been at the forefront of so many positive changes in his 20-plus years on campus, and his body of work is phenomenal. I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to work under his direction. We've had a lot of great conversations and I'm fortunate to have received some excellent guidance from him. I'll be very sad to see him retire after the school year, but at the same time I'm very happy that he gets to go out on his terms. He's sure earned that."
Head Men's Gymnastics Coach Mark Williams
"In 1996, President Boren invited Shannon Miller and me to a lighting ceremony of the library after the Atlanta Olympic Games. From that day until now, he has been a huge fan and supporter of the men's gymnastics program. We've celebrated each of our last eight national championships at Boyd House with he and Molly.
"During his time as president, he has transformed the landscape of campus, the infrastructure of the buildings and the academic standards at OU. This has made my job easier as a recruiter and a coach of the best NCAA program in the country. I am very grateful for the opportunities he has personally given me through the years. I applaud the work he has done for OU and will miss his leadership."
OU's Consistency Starts at the Top
In 2014, we went in depth with Boren in celebration of his 20 years as President of the University of Oklahoma at that time. Full story >>