ECU receives $5 million gift from Chickasaw Nation for nursing, STEM programs

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ADA, Okla. (KFOR) — Governor Bill Anoatubby and the people of Chickasaw Nation announce a $5 million gift to East Central University that will go towards the construction of a new building to house ECU’s nursing and STEM programs.

“We believe it is important to support this new facility which will enable ECU to meet the growing need for highly trained nurses as well as the need to develop STEM programs that keep pace with advances in science and technology,” said Governor Anoatubby.

“This investment in education is sure to bring returns in the form of students who are better prepared to meet challenges, seize opportunities, and become industry leaders.”

The gift would allow for the school’s nursing program to be extended even further. Along with the $7.3 million in funding from Oklahoma’s American Rescue Plan Act, this School of Nursing and Computer Science Program is expected to be built by fall of 2026.

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Currently these classes are hosted in the Science Hall, which is ECU’s oldest building.

“With the capability and capacity of the proposed building, ECU’s nursing program can admit and graduate an estimated 150 students per year. By fall 2026, we project 375 to 400 admitted nursing students in the program, learning to be safety conscious, competent, and skilled nurses,” said Dr. Darcy Duncan, director of ECU’s School of Nursing.

“We are so appreciative to the Chickasaw Nation and Governor Anoatubby for their generous gift and helping take the next step in making this project becoming a reality.”

Over 25 hands-on learning labs and STEM classrooms will be equipped with the newest technology for the students.

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