Kirkpatrick Family gives $1 million to OU College of Dentistry | News

A prominent Oklahoma family is donating $1 million to the University of Oklahoma’s College of Dentistry to create an endowment that will serve underprivileged Norman residents.

The Kirkpatrick Family Fund has established the Dr. E. E. Kirkpatrick Dental Fund to honor Elmer Ellsworth Kirkpatrick Sr. who became the 25th licensed dentist in the Oklahoma Territory in 1893, according to Liz Eikman, executive director for the Kirkpatrick Family Fund.

“That’s really special to make that history come alive through Oklahoma’s school of dentistry,” she said. “It’s really significant.”

The dental school will use the interest from the endowment each year to support dental students who perform dental services on locals who can’t pay for their own work.

Paul M. Mullasseril, OU College of Dentistry, said he believes the fund will help build the school’s offerings for years to come.

“The OU College of Dentistry is proud to partner with the Kirkpatrick Family Fund to expand access to affordable dental care to the people of Oklahoma,” he said. “For oral health care to be effective, it needs to be accessible.”

The fund was established in cooperation with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, and it is intended to grow over time, as more people are being encouraged to add to the endowment. With every contribution, the college will accrue more interest indefinitely.

“The endowment is perpetual,” Eikman said. “The interest that is derived from that endowment would support those dental services for individuals who need assistance for dental care.”

The Kirkpatrick family fund was founded in 1989 and supports community development, education, environment, human sources, arts and humanities, animal wellbeing, youth and family programs, and more.

Christian Keesee, a descendent of E. E. Kirkpatrick, is president of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund. He helped establish the family’s relationship with OU.

“We are honored to pay tribute to my great-grandfather’s work by establishing the Dr. E. E. Kirkpatrick Dental Care Fund at the OU College of Dentistry,” Keese said. “He would be delighted to know 130 years later the family is still supporting oral health care for Oklahomans in need.”

The Kirkpatrick family is a longtime Oklahoma family that predominantly made its money in oil and banking, according to Eikman.


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