David L. Boren

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David L. Boren

David L. Boren

“Public service should be about service and not about personal power or partisan advantage. Too many people in public life have confused power with service.”
David Boren, 2004


David L. Boren has served Oklahoma as Governor, U.S. Senator, and President of the University of Oklahoma. He is the first person in Oklahoma history to have served in all three positions and marked 50 years of public service in 2017. Boren is widely respected for his academic credentials, his longtime support of education, and for his distinguished political career as a reformer of the American political system. A Rhodes Scholar, Boren earned degrees from Yale and Oxford before receiving a juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma in 1968. In his tenure as Governor of Oklahoma from 1974-1978, Boren instituted sweeping reforms of state government. During his 16 years of service in the U.S. Senate, he continued his commitment to reform, leading numerous efforts to make government work better for Americans. He was the longest-serving chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Boren established the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence in 1985 to promote academic excellence in public education. Under Boren’s leadership from 1994-2018, the University of Oklahoma emerged as a pacesetter university in American public higher education with dramatic increases in enrollment, academic programs, private fundraising, facility construction, student scholarships, and endowed professorships. Boren retired after nearly 24 years as president and continues to teach a freshman-level course in political science each semester.

Fun fact

David L. Boren, at age 33, was the youngest governor or governor-elect in the nation.

Oklahoma connections

Boren grew up in Seminole, Oklahoma.




Governor, U.S. Senator





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