Mineral Rights Start Gushing Cash for Colleges

Janet Lorin

At the time OU received the gift in 1976, the mineral rights generated about $30,000 a year. According to the foundation’s records, the attorney who handled the estate expected their value to decline as wells were depleted and sealed. Yet the Mosiers’ mineral rights—which are spread all over Oklahoma, including the patch of land in Kingfisher County pictured below and elsewhere in the so-called Scoop and Stack plays—are located in the third-most active area in the U.S. for oil and gas development and acquisition. As hydraulic fracturing unlocked oil and gas reserves, the donation spun more money for OU. Last year the Mosier mineral rights generated $763,000 in cash flow. In 2014, with a lease bonus, they produced $2.35 million.

“Both track and pharmacy have benefited tremendously from the Mosiers’ largesse—and in a way that Henry and Ida could have never imagined,” says Guy Patton, chief executive officer of the University of Oklahoma Foundation, which oversees investments for OU’s $1.1 billion endowment. The donation helps pay tuition for about a third of the school’s pharmacy students and provides the equivalent of full tuition for about 20 members of the 100-strong track team. It’s also funded new buildings including an indoor track facility.