Cameron University honors alumnus Dr. Charles S. Graybill

Cameron University will honor alumnus Dr. Charles S. Graybill by naming the courtyard adjacent to the CETES Conference Center the "Charles S. Graybill, M.D. Courtyard," CU President Cindy Ross announced today. The naming, approved by The University of Oklahoma, Cameron University and Rogers State University Board of Regents, comes in recognition of Dr. Graybill's leadership and contributions on behalf of the university.

"For more than 70 years, Charles S. Graybill, M. D., has made a lasting impact on Cameron University through his involvement and leadership," says Ross. "He is the epitome of what an alumnus should be. As a community leader, his accomplishments are unrivaled. As a philanthropist, he sets a high standard for others to follow. Dr. Graybill's contributions to Cameron University and the community of Lawton/Fort Sill cannot be overstated. In him, we have been blessed with a citizen who demonstrates selflessness and the concept of ‘community first.'"

The Charles C. Graybill, M.D. Courtyard will provide a place of beauty and tranquility in the midst of Cameron's campus to be used by students, faculty, staff and visitors. Key features in the courtyard include a gazebo, meandering pathways, bench seating, picnic tables, two running water features, a "Great Lawn," and a rock-lined creek bed.

"When I attended Cameron, it consisted of just a few buildings on a gravel road two miles west of Lawton," says Graybill. "Only those of us who are still around 72 years later can truly measure and appreciate Cameron's physical growth and influence in southwest Oklahoma. It has been my privilege to support education at Cameron University."

After attending Cameron in 1937 and 1938, Dr. Graybill obtained his medical degree at The University of Oklahoma. Following service during World War II as a battalion surgeon, he returned home and distinguished himself for more than 42 years as a medical practitioner in the Lawton community. He was founder of the Great Plains Orthopedic Clinic, president of the Comanche County Medical Society, president of the Oklahoma Orthopedic Society, and chief of medical staff for both Southwestern Hospital and Comanche County Memorial Hospital.

A life-long advocate of the university, Dr. Graybill was particularly influential from his position as the chairman of the Cameron Committee of the Lawton Chamber of Commerce in the late 1960s, researching trends and examining reports in order to garner not only community but also state support for the advancement of the university. From that position, he also actively promoted the successful Urban Renewal project increasing the size of the Cameron campus with the addition of a major block of land between 27th and 28th streets. And moving Cameron from a two-year to a four-year university.

Dr. Graybill also shared his medical expertise as a frequent guest lecturer in Cameron nursing program classrooms. In 1995, he and his wife Betty made a generous donation to furnish a classroom in the newly constructed Sciences Complex. Lifetime President's Partners, they also continue to generously support the university's radio station and many other Cameron activities.

Dr. and Mrs. Graybill recently established the Charles Shelly Graybill, M.D. Endowed Scholarship in Pre-Medicine Studies. In addition, he currently serves on the CU Foundation Board of Directors and Cameron's Centennial Commission, has been honored as an Acclaimed Aggie, and is a past recipient of the Cameron University Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award.

In 1971, Dr. Graybill was appointed to the Louise D. McMahon Foundation Board of Trustees, assuming the chairmanship in 1980. Since 1971, the foundation has contributed or pledged more than $15 million to help establish scholarships; develop the Presidential Leaders/University Scholars program; provide matching funds; create an endowed chair; expand KCCU-FM; renovate and construct athletic facilities; construct the McMahon Fine Arts Complex, the McMahon Learning Center and a state-of-the art Fitness Center; invigorate the community with a $4 million lead gift for construction of the McMahon Centennial Complex; and enhance numerous other academic programs and projects.

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June 8, 2009
PR#09-141