St. Gregory’s University is excited to announce its inaugural Scholarship Gala at the Skirvin Hilton in downtown Oklahoma City on Saturday, August 26.

“This event is an opportunity for us to thank our incredible alumni and benefactors who have come together for an evening of philanthropy and celebration,” said President Michael A. Scaperlanda.

The Gala will benefit the St. Gregory’s University Scholarship Fund and honor Coach Don Sumner. President Scaperlanda is “thrilled to recognize an institutional pillar, Coach Sumner whose dedication to the students and mission of the University has been an inspiration for so many.”

This is the first time St. Gregory’s University is hosting such an event that will have a direct impact on its students. By attending the Scholarship Gala, your gift will help deserving Cavaliers receive an integrated liberal arts education that is rooted in our Catholic tradition and formed by our Benedictine values.

As the only Catholic university in Oklahoma, St. Gregory’s University continues to build on the pioneering success of the Benedictine monks at St. Gregory’s Abbey, who established Catholic education in Oklahoma more than 140 years ago.

“We are transforming St. Gregory’s University from Oklahoma’s best kept secret into a nationally recognized Catholic university,” said President Scaperlanda. “Our mission is to provide students with the framework to live joy-filled lives in service to others.”

Mass will be celebrated onsite in the Skirvin Hotel at 4 p.m. and all are welcome to attend. The Scholarship Gala will begin with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. followed by dinner and dancing. Tickets are $100 per person. To register, please visit For more information about this event, please contact Sarah Schimpf, Event Coordinator, at or 405-878-5351.

About Coach Don Sumner

A Shawnee resident for more than 70 years, Don Sumner received his bachelor’s degree in science from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1958 and earned a master’s degree in natural science from the University of Oklahoma in 1966.

Coach Sumner took over the basketball program that was only three years old in 1961, serving as head men’s basketball coach and interim women’s basketball coach. During his tenure, he compiled 621 wins, led the women’s basketball team to its first winning season, was named the Bi-State Conference Coach of the Year five times and earned the Region II NJCAA Coach of the Year Award. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Baptist University Sports Hall of Fame in 1967, the St. Gregory’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2009.

Coach Sumner also served as an instructor of natural sciences, teaching biology, zoology and nutrition courses. He was named St. Gregory’s College Teacher of the Year in 1977. In 1997, he served as alumni director and men’s golf coach. He served as athletic director from 1970 to 1996.