Oklahoma City University’s Clara Luper Scholarship program honors the legacy of the Oklahoma City civil rights leader (1923-2011) by providing a private college education to deserving students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds who demonstrate financial need. In addition to maintaining high academic performance, community service activities are an integral part of this highly competitive scholarship program. Engaging in community service combined with the vital financial assistance also demonstrates the United Methodist tradition of leadership in scholarship and community.
The Clara Luper Scholarship program promotes the United Methodist tradition of scholarship and service by removing the primary barrier to a private university education--cost. Luper served as a schoolteacher in Oklahoma City as well as mentor to members of the NAACP Youth Council during its campaign to end the segregation in Oklahoma City. Her efforts contributed to the desegregation of Oklahoma City as we know it today. OCU honors Luper’s legacy in its local history and mission, small classes, individual attention from caring faculty and staff, and emphasis on community service. While the standards of the program remain highly demanding, Luper scholars mature in leadership roles both on and off campus and graduate with impressive resumes reflecting their academic excellence and active service in their community. OCU is uniquely positioned to serve a need-based population that greatly benefits from these unique assets provided in a private, Methodist, faith-based setting.