Family and Friends of Richard G. Lawrence - Chapman Legacy Society
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Gifts Established:

  • Richard G. Lawrence Scholarship for Accounting | Est. 1978
brick engraved with name Family and Friends of Richard G. Lawrence

Family and Friends of Richard G. Lawrence

When Dick Lawrence’s supervisor set him up on a blind date with Mary Barnard, the young couple couldn’t have imagined they’d be married four short months later – and for the 55 years to follow. They met in Colorado, where he was attending officer’s candidate school and she was a nurse’s aide at Camp Carson. Dick was from New Rochelle, New York, and he had been drafted into the Army Air Corps in 1942. He went on to become a captain and served as a statistical officer. Mary, a native Tulsan, had attended college in New York for two years before working with the nursing service.

The couple moved back to Tulsa, and Dick attended TU through the GI Bill® while living in married student housing. In 1949, Dick graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and took the CPA exam a few years later. He worked for Arthur Young Company before founding Colony Company Realtors and R.G. Lawrence Investments in 1968.

They reared two children: Mary Helene Lawrence and Richard Jr. and became proud grandparents several times over.

Dick was an accomplished pianist and golfer, and the Lawrences were members of Tulsa’s Southern Hills Country Club and the Boulders Club in Carefree, Arizona. They also were members of Boston Avenue United Methodist Church.

The couple had always had an attachment to TU, not only because of Dick’s time as a student. Mary’s family had a long and storied association with the university. Her father, H.G. Barnard, was the uncle of Leta McFarlin Chapman – members of a well-known family whose generosity (including the Chapman Trusts) did much to make TU the university it is today. Mary’s brother, H.G. Barnard Jr., was a prominent Tulsa architect whose designs included the University’s Sharp Chapel.

Due to this family history, it wasn’t a surprise that Dick and Mary Lawrence also wanted to support TU. On Dick’s birthday in 1977, Mary surprised her husband by making the couple’s first gift toward the establishment of the Richard G. Lawrence Scholarship for Accounting. At the time, the Lawrences said they wanted to help future students and show their appreciation for the financial aid they received through the GI Bill.

Although Dick passed away in 2000 and Mary in 2005, their scholarship endowment continues to help young people get a steady start in life – a gift given by two members of the Greatest Generation to generations to come.