Southern Nazarene University Awarded Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant

Southern Nazarene University Awarded Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant

The Oklahoma Historical Society has announced that Southern Nazarene University has been awarded a grant through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program.

“One of the most powerful ways we can invest in the future of our community is by preserving and remembering the ways Oklahomans have been creating and making our state a special place to live for generations,” said Sen. Julia Kirt, Oklahoma City. “I’d like to congratulate Southern Nazarene on receiving an Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant from the Oklahoma Historical Society. I can’t wait to visit the new Route 66 exhibits that will be possible as these pieces of history are digitized.”

The Southern Nazarene University Archives has been awarded $8,810 to fund a project that will focus on identifying, gathering, and digitizing collections materials related to the impact of Route 66 on the community of Bethany. Grant funds will pay for technology for converting older media: a camera, lighting, and wall backdrop arrangement to capture images from scrapbooks, student organization materials, three-dimensional objects, and the City of Bethany archives that cannot be scanned, as well as tape players and recorders for interview digitization and transcription. SNU will contribute an additional $881 to overall project expenses.

Photo of Broadhurst from the 1960s courtesy of Julia Lyles

“Southern Nazarene University enjoys a rich history, having been a part of the founding of the City of Bethany and located on Route 66 before the Mother Road was created,” said Dr. J. Keith Newman, president of Southern Nazarene University. “The Route 66 project provides a great opportunity to preserve the narratives of the Mother Road across Oklahoma. We are grateful for this grant and the research it makes possible for the centennial celebration of Route 66 in 2026.”

A total of just over $460,000 in grant funds will be distributed by the Oklahoma Historical Society, with projects ranging from collections care and exhibit development to strategic planning and educational programming. The Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program is a grants-in-aid program offered by the Oklahoma Historical Society with a goal of encouraging the collection, preservation, and sharing of Oklahoma history at the grassroots level in all parts of the state. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites, and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs, and publications, the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit