Charles B. Gannaway, Jr. - Chapman Legacy Society
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Gifts Established:

  • Charles B. Gannaway, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund | Est. 1993
brick engraved with name Charles B. Gannaway, Jr.

Charles B. Gannaway, Jr.

Charles B. Gannaway, Jr. achieved success in every facet of his life, and his extraordinary way of celebrating his accomplishments was by giving to others. Mr. Gannaway moved his wife, Lillie, and his family from Muskogee to Tulsa in 1935 as he followed his career goals, but he also began a lifelong devotion to civic volunteerism when he settled in his new community.

A structural engineer, Mr. Gannaway rose to become executive vice president and general manager of Flint Steel Corporation, one of Tulsa’s most prestigious construction firms. But as he pursued his chosen profession, Mr. Gannaway also gave back to the community through volunteer work and charitable donations. He served on various committees of the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce for more than a dozen years before his election as chamber president in 1962. He also held leadership positions in the Tulsa Chapter of the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers, the Engineers Club of Tulsa, the Tulsa Manufacturers’ Club, the Associated Industries of Oklahoma, and the Associated Industries of Tulsa. He was a director of the Tulsa Area Safety Council and the Arkansas Basin Development Association, and he was a member and chief fundraiser for the Arkansas River Historical Society and its museum at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. Over a period of roughly 40 years, Mr. Gannaway collected ancient stone tools from riverbeds throughout northeastern Oklahoma. He donated a portion of that collection to the Arkansas River Historical Museum. Today, it forms the core of the Native American tools display.

Charles Gannaway was active in the Boy Scouts of America for 63 years, and one of his greatest roles was serving as president of the Indian Nations Council of the Boy Scouts. In 1949, he received the Council’s prestigious Silver Beaver Award, accorded for distinguished service. In a similar vein, he also supported the Tulsa Boys Home, an interest he shared with Mrs. Gannaway, who served as president of its Senior Women’s Association.

Additionally, he and Mrs. Gannaway were devoted supporters of Gilcrease Museum. The museum’s Gannaway Vista Garden provides visitors with a spectacular spring display of azaleas, dogwood trees, redbud trees and more. Mrs. Gannaway was a charter member of the Gillies, the museum’s volunteer organization.

Although he did not graduate from The University of Tulsa, Mr. Gannaway did spend time on campus, taking eleven hours of coursework from 1942 to 1943. It must have been a good experience because he generously supported TU athletics and scholarships during his lifetime.

His scholarship focus was on helping underprivileged youth, perhaps because of what he saw and learned from working with the Boy Scouts and the Tulsa Boys Home. Through the Charles B. Gannaway, Jr. Inter Vivos Trust, he provided an estate gift to establish the Charles B. Gannaway, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund. This need-based scholarship program assists TU students who have graduated from the Tulsa Public School System, especially financially needy minority applicants.

While Tulsa and its civic organizations lost Mr. Gannaway in 1993, his generosity will continue to help TU students far into the future. The University of Tulsa family will always be sincerely grateful to Charles Gannaway, Jr. for the remarkable legacy he has left.