Dale M. and John R. Roberson - Chapman Legacy Society
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Gifts Established:

  • Benton I. Springer Athletic Scholarship Endowment | Est. 2011
brick engraved with name Dale M. and John R. Roberson

Dale M. and John R. Roberson

Benton I. “Ben” Springer was a naturally gifted and strikingly handsome multi-sport athlete from Robinson, Illinois, who played for the Henry Kendall College Football Team in 1917, served in World War I in 1918, and then played for the college again in 1919, a season in which the football team was undefeated and outscored its opponents 593 points to 27 and was regarded as the state champion and champion of the Southwest.

Springer was recruited to play for Henry Kendall College by Tulsa oil magnates and Coach Sam McBirney, who sent him a train ticket to Tulsa. Springer accepted this offer in spite of being heavily recruited by other top-notch schools, including the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University.

He went on to play professional basketball for several years after college, and posters for the games touted Ben’s extraordinary talents on the court.

Springer married Lonietta Coville, who also attended Henry Kendall College, and the couple went on to establish a University of Tulsa dynasty, as several of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren graduated from the university.

Springer continued to be an avid TU football fan, attending games as often as possible until his death in 1975. He was inducted posthumously into the TU Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

Springer’s granddaughter, Dale Maples Roberson (BS ’73, Journalism), and her husband, John Ronald “Ron” Roberson II (BA ’71, English; JD ’73), are also devoted TU alumni and supporters. The couple has expressed their loyalty to the university and Golden Hurricane Athletics through several generous gifts since 1978 to support an array of programs, including the Golden Hurricane Club, the Thomas Challenge for H.A. Chapman Stadium, Stadium Club Seating, Gilcrease Museum, KWGS, and scholarship funds.

Ron and Dale Roberson established The Benton I. Springer Athletic Scholarship Endowment in 2011 to honor the legacy of Dale’s grandfather and to support TU’s deserving student-athletes.

The University of Tulsa is deeply grateful for the generous and inspired philanthropy of Ron and Dale Roberson and has recognized them as members of the President’s Council and the Chapman Legacy Society.