Glenns mark graduation milestone with gift to School of Architecture
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
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Patrick and Briar Glenn have built their success on a foundation provided by the Oklahoma State University School of Architecture.
The Dallas couple recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of Patrick’s graduation from the program with a $25,000 gift to establish the Glenn Prize for the School of Architecture.
"I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for all the professors in the School of Architecture,” Patrick said. “It really had a profound impact on my life, my work ethic and how I approach things. And so in a way, it was a big thank you to the School of Architecture.”
The endowed fund will provide prize money for an annual competition within the school in which students design educational facilities — a nod to the couple’s work as the owners of Glenn | Partners, a firm dedicated to designing innovative and forward-thinking educational facilities.
“With the Glenns, we were able to imagine a path for their legacy that would simultaneously highlight their career focus in the design of educational facilities while providing students more appreciation of this important area of practice,” said Suzanne Bilbeisi, head of the OSU School of Architecture. “The Glenn Prize will annually recognize and reward excellent student design work of this project type.”
Patrick said the balance of design theory and technical training offered within the OSU School of Architecture sets it apart from other programs.
“I think OSU is really a perfect balance between those two philosophies,” Patrick said. “They’re definitely rooted in design theory and critical thinking and those important guiding principles, but they also teach students how to think practically and pragmatically about design, making sure it’s affordable and buildable. I think that’s one reason why I’ve been successful in my career and why other Oklahoma State graduates are successful. They come out of school with this blended, balanced level of knowledge and experience.”
The Glenns have committed to an additional annual gift to bolster its impact on students.
“While the new endowment grows, we felt the earnings available to award weren’t impactful enough for a student,” Patrick said. “So that’s why we’re enhancing it every year. As long as we’re doing well and we’re growing financially, we’ll always be able to enhance the gift with year-end additional contributions just to make it a little bit more impactful and more meaningful for the students.”
While students will see the most direct impact, the Glenns hope their gift will help enhance the school as a whole.
“We are doing it so that the professors and the program are able to offer things to the students that were not offered in the past,” Patrick said. “It’s really about enhancing the program and trying to support the mission that Suzanne and her team are trying to accomplish.”
To further impact the School of Architecture, Patrick and Briar have made plans for a future estate gift. In addition, the couple plans to give another gift to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Briar’s graduation from the program. In the meantime, they feel honored to give back to the program that built them.
“We’re going to enjoy life and enjoy retirement when that time comes,” Patrick said. “We’ve worked extremely hard, partnered with some amazing and talented colleagues, and made a lot of sacrifices along the way to have achieved the amount of success we’ve seen. Sharing in our rewards and giving back to our roots was the right thing to do. We both have wonderful memories of Stillwater and all the professors who helped build that program and continue to guide students today. I can truly say that we would not be the people we are today without that experience.”
Patrick and Briar are excited to support the school with their gifts.
“I feel honored to have something at the school that has my name on it,” Patrick said. “That program, those years, those professors, that town and that university had such an influence and tremendous impact on me.
"So if we’re able to give back and even have my name as a part of the OSU School of Architecture legacy, it just means a lot to me. So to have something that will live on beyond my lifetime is truly special.”
Photos by: Parsacle Photo and Phil Shockley
Story by: Chelsea Dinterman | STATE Magazine