New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

‘A tremendous opportunity’: Tulsa mayor on NYU’s new study away site

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum spoke with WSN about the potential for NYU students to contribute to Oklahoma’s community and economy through its new study away program.
Krish Dev
George Theron Bynum, Tulsa, Oklahoma’s 40th mayor. (Krish Dev for WSN)

NYU’s study away location in Tulsa, Oklahoma is set to offer semester-long programs starting spring 2025, with initial cohorts expected to consist of 20 students. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum sat down with WSN and spoke about programming in Indigenous studies, venture capital and community service for students who plan to study at the new site.

“If you’re a student at NYU and you’re interested in some of the biggest issues that America faces right now, this is a laboratory of democracy for you to work in,” Bynum said. “Tulsa is a city that very much values the input and leadership of young people.” 

Last October, NYU president Linda Mills announced that Tulsa would be the university’s fourth location in the United States, including its main campus in New York. The university will hold classes and events out of a space it is leasing in Tulsa’s Arts District, which will also have offices for staff, faculty and researchers. NYU is also leasing apartments to use for student housing.

Bynum said he hopes to encourage students to stay in Oklahoma after their time at NYU Tulsa to pursue work opportunities in the arts, venture capital, social work and several other fields. 

“You can make an impact very quickly at a young age,” Bynum said. “If you derive a sense of purpose from involvement in a community and making a positive difference in peoples’ lives, this is a tremendous opportunity to do that in a meaningful way.”

Students at NYU have already had the chance to visit the new site in Tulsa. During spring break, 10 students took part in service-based learning with Gathering Place, a public park designed to serve low-income families through enrichment programs, as a part of NYU’s Alternative Breaks program. Over the summer, 10 students will also take part in internship programs with the investment firm Atento Capital and the George Kaiser Family Foundation, a multibillion-dollar organization based in Tulsa that aims to combat generational poverty.

“The purpose of the Gathering Place is to pull people from all parts of our city together into this one place to have this unbelievable experience,” Bynum said. “It’s the greatest park at any city in American history.”

When Mills announced the program last semester, she said it would focus on Indigenous studies — a point Bynum reiterated by calling Tulsa “the best place in the world” for the subject because of its proximity to several Native American tribes.

Through the site, NYU will also collaborate with other universities in Oklahoma — starting with The University of Tulsa — to lead programming and research initiatives in engineering and cybersecurity. It also plans to establish a postdoctoral program to expand Tulsa’s science and technology industries. 

“It’s of tremendous value for us to have NYU students and faculty helping us on a lot of these big issues, bringing outside viewpoints for people who have maybe never even been to Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Bynum said. “You don’t solve major problems until you have a diversity of life experiences and viewpoints around the table to work through them.”

Contact Dharma Niles at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Dharma Niles
Dharma Niles, Deputy News Editor
Dharma Niles is a first-year student currently studying journalism and politics at CAS, and has yet to choose between the six different minors she'd also like to pursue. You can generally find her playing NYT games, skittering around the city with a Celsius in hand or on Instagram @dharmaniles.
Krish Dev
Krish Dev, Multimedia Editor
Krish is a first-year planning to major in Computer Science and Linguistics at CAS. In his free time, he enjoys posting photos on @krish_dev.creations, obsessing over geography, watching new films with friends, taking public transport to new places and letting Arsenal make or break his week.

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