I’ll admit it. I didn’t expect much out of my visit to University of Tulsa. I was thinking urban campus with facilities befitting my image of a non-AQ conference. The image in my head couldn’t have been further from what I experienced on the University of Tulsa campus.
Out of all the campuses I’ve visited, Tulsa is the only one where I could see myself as a student. Perhaps this is because it’s small (just over 3,000 undergraduates and just over 1,100 graduate students) and that along with the architectural theme carried throughout campus reminds me of my undergraduate alma mater, Oglethorpe University. Whatever the reason, I was enchanted by University of Tulsa. Yes, enchanted. I’m making a push to bring “enchanted” back into everyday vocabulary.
I doubt many of you have visited University of Tulsa, or ever will. So, I hope this pictures do it justice. This tour, along with a subsequent tour I took of Western Kentucky University, proved to me that the divide between AQ and non-AQ schools in terms of facilities isn’t nearly as wide as I imagined. In fact, there’s no divide at all between some schools.
This picture below on the left is of dorms. Yes, those are dorms. I’ve lived in apartments not as nice. The only reason I’m including these in the athletic facilities tour is that these particular ones are adjacent to the football stadium and actually house the bathrooms and concession stands for the stadium on the bottom floor. You can’t tell from the picture, but they’re just over to the right of this shot. (Sorry, I never claimed to be a professional photographer.) The picture on the right is the outside facade of the football stadium.
Next up are some shots of the 30,000 capacity football stadium from the inside:
Below are shots of the club seating area and accompanying suite within H.A. Chapman Stadium:
Tulsa has 400 club seats and 20 luxury suites. Club seats cost $300/seat for each season and are purchased for 10-years at a time. Likewise, luxury suites are sold for ten years each at a cost of $30,000. Both club seats and luxury suites currently have a waiting list.
Inside the Case Athletic Complex, located at the northern end zone and pictured above on the left, are locker rooms and an impressive display of Tulsa alumni playing in the NFL.
Next we headed over to the Donald W. Reynolds Center, which houses basketball and volleyball facilities. The $28 million mutli-use center is 138,000 square feet and includes an 8,355-seat arena. The arena served as the host site for the 2001, 2002 and 2003 WAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, and NAIA basketball tournaments and concerts for stars such as Reba McIntyre.
There are also nice practice gyms and a weight room in the Reynolds Center…
Here’s a look at the men’s basketball locker room:
And some shots of the men’s basketball lounge:
Next we visited some practice facilities: rowing, volleyball, football and a golf lounge (which had an attached indoor practice facility I didn’t capture). I’ve never seen a rowing practice facility. Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham pointed out that this setup allows coaches to walk in the water on each side and work individually with rowers. There was also an adjacent room with training equipment.
The softball stadium (seen below) had an interesting concept for bleachers that allows for plenty of seating, but doesn’t look empty when no one is there.
And last, but far from least, the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The indoor and outdoor tennis facilities at Tulsa are one of the best in the nation. Virtually everyone I’ve spoken with in collegiate athletics has told me Tulsa and UGA have the finest tennis facilities.
Outdoor tennis facilities…
Indoor tennis facilities…
There is also a nice suite off the indoor courts that overlooks the outdoor courts that’s used for entertaining:
Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham, who led us on our tour, emphasized how involved coaches are in raising funds for their respective sport. The area shown above in the tennis complex is a great example of a space that was built specifically for coaches to host and entertain guests.
Some other notes of interest on University of Tulsa:
- 75% of students live on campus
- 39% of students are from Oklahoma
- 21% of students are international
- The largest major is petroleum engineering
- 350 student athletes
- 85% of football players are from Oklahoma and Texas
- Would cost approximately $1 million to raise athletic scholarships to cover cost of attendance
A special thanks to Tulsa’s Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham for taking spending a few hours showing us the athletic facilities. I was absolutely blown away with the quality of facilities and the beauty of this campus.
I’ll leave you with some nice shots of the front of campus…
Here on BusinessofCollegeSports.com I never charge for content. If you like the site, I only ask that you return again and that you support my friends when you can. One of those friends is Courtyard by Marriott. While visiting Tulsa, I stayed at Courtyard Tulsa Downtown. It is one of my favorite hotels I’ve ever stayed in, perhaps because of the history of the building where it’s located. Having previously centered my law practice on historic preservation law, I love that this hotel is in the historic Atlas Life Building and has an Art Deco theme. Some of the features of the building date back to 1922, and nothing about the experience feels like your average hotel. The lobby of the hotel features Courtyard by Marriott’s new interactive GoBoard, a large touchscreen that allows you to sneak a peek at local attractions, find the best restaurants nearby for dinner, check the weather and even your flight. I truly enjoyed my stay at the Courtyard Tulsa Downtown and would personally recommend it.