Construction on the CHK|Central Boathouse on the Oklahoma River will move forward thanks to a $2.5 million gift from MidFirst Bank to the University of Central Oklahoma Foundation.           

The gift, $2 million of which will go directly to the boathouse, completes the university’s fundraising initiative for the project. The CHK|Central Boathouse will serve as home to the Central Women’s Rowing team, and will also include a live music venue, outdoor performance area and an art gallery, establishing it as a unique presence “where art meets the river” in the growing Boathouse District on the Oklahoma River.

In recognition of their support, the live music venues, including indoor and outdoor performance areas, will be named for MidFirst Bank.

Furthermore, MidFirst has donated an additional $500,000 to endow a faculty chair and assist with the university’s efforts to renovate its landmark building, Old North.  A portion of Old North will focus on leadership advancement and will carry MidFirst’s name.

The gift also advances the university’s “Always Central” comprehensive fundraising campaign, moving it closer to the $40 million overall goal. The university publicly announced the campaign in September with more than three-fourths of the funds raised to support the five pillars of the campaign: students, teaching, facilities, programs and planned giving.

To support the “Always Central” campaign or other efforts at the university, contact the UCO Foundation at (405) 974-2770 or visit