John A. Clerico - 2011 OSU Alumni Hall of Fame
$1 million gift from Clerico to create premier dean of libraries chair
Story originally released in Summer 2008
A Tulsa businessman gave $1 million in the largest ever gift to the OSU Library.
John Clerico, chairman of Chartmark Investments, made the gift to create an endowed chair library dean’s chair. The chair will be one of the largest such positions in the country.
Oklahoma A&M Regent Calvin Anthony and wife, Linda, added almost $80,000 to Clerico’s gift. The combined gift will be matched by T. Boone Pickens’ $100 million dollar gift. Because the gift was made before July 1, the state will match dollar for dollar.
“OSU Library is so grateful to have two great donors like Clerico and the Anthonys,” said Chad Haney, Director of Library Development for the OSU Library. “This gift is a great start to making us one of the leading land-grant university libraries.”
Clerico’s ambition for the OSU Library is to make it the premier land-grant university library in the country through a strategic plan evaluating student access, proprietary database systems, technology and facilities.
“I’ve had an allegiance to the library for some time, and of course the incredible generosity of Boone Pickens plus the state match made the timing of this an easy decision for me,” Clerico said.
The endowed chair will be first endowed chair at the Edmon Low Library. Endowed chairs and professorships are academic designations which provide support for faculty salary, graduate assistantships, equipment and research needs, as well as other support.
In 2005, Clerico gave $500,000 to improve the Library plaza in honor of his late wife, Beverly. The library plaza held a special place in the couple’s heart because they often would meet there while getting to know each other and dating. At the time, Clerico’s gift was tied for the largest in the history of the OSU Library. The plaza was completely renovated, with non-slip surfaces being added. The Beverly Clerico Plaza was dedicated Oct. 1, 2005.
Clerico graduated from OSU in 1964 with a business degree. He currently serves on the board of trustees of the OSU Foundation.
Clerico Gift to OSU Will Renovate Library Plaza
Story originally released in Fall 2005
To honor his late wife who was an alumna of Oklahoma State University, Tulsa businessman John Clerico has donated $500,000 to renovate the original 1953 South Plaza of the OSU Edmon Low Library in Stillwater.
The new plaza will be named the Beverly Clerico Plaza in her honor, according to OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly, and construction will take place this summer. The gift equals the largest single donation ever made to the library.
"The library is a cherished visual and academic symbol of the campus, and the plaza should reflect this," Schmidly said. "With this extraordinary gift, the plaza will become the proper 'front porch' for one of the university's most recognized and important buildings. The library is the heart of a university, a facility used by all students and faculty, and this gift is meeting an important need."
Schmidly said, "We are deeply grateful to the Clericos for their long-time support of OSU and for this gift. Beverly loved OSU and we're honored to recognize her with this lasting tribute. OSU has a special place in its heart for Beverly and John Clerico."
The Clericos met at OSU, where John received his B.S. degree in general business in 1963.
"It's up to those of us who enjoyed this campus and benefited from a wonderful education to give back for students today and in the future," Clerico said. "I know Beverly would have appreciated this opportunity to beautify the campus that she loved and which played such a meaningful part in our life together. Our family is proud to know that her name will forever be a part of our alma mater."
Schmidly said gifts from valued donors such as the Clericos are more important than ever in today's challenging economic environment. "The funds we receive from the state, which 20 years ago were close to half of our total budget, are less than a third today. Donor gifts are critical to the future health of OSU."
Sheila Grant Johnson, dean of the OSU library, said, "The Edmon Low Library has served students and faculty for 50 years as a place to meet, study and work. Our goal is to ensure that this wonderful building is preserved for generations to come. Thanks to the generous gift of the Clerico family, the front of the Library will be beautifully restored and will be ready to welcome students, faculty, staff and alumni this fall."
The OSU library is one of the finest in the nation, housing nearly 2.6 million volumes. It welcomes nearly a million visitors a year and has expanded its services with its web site and online catalog.
The Clerico's support of the university has been on-going for more than two decades. Clerico is chairman and a registered financial adviser at ChartMark Investments, Inc., in Tulsa, which he co-founded in 2000. He serves on the board of directors of Community Health Systems, Inc., headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn., which operates more than 70 hospitals in more than 20 states.
From 1983-92 he was an executive officer in various financial and accounting areas of Union Carbide Corporation, and when Praxair, Inc., was spun-off in 1992, he served as its executive vice president and the chief financial officer and a director until 2000.
Mrs. Clerico passed away in Tulsa on Aug. 18, 2004. They are the parents of one daughter, Diane Clerico Deakin of Newtown, Conn.
For more information on giving to the Library contact the Tylerr Ropp, Senior Director of Development, at tropp@OSUgiving.com or 405-385-5664.