What is now known as the Willham House, at 1600 N. Washington St., was first used as a residence for Oklahoma State University presidents in 1962 when Dr. Oliver Willham and his wife Susan (pictured) moved in.
The couple had remained in their own home even after Dr. Willham had been named president in 1952, never using the $400 set aside each month for operating expenses of the president’s official residence. The money saved was used to pay three-fourths of the $60,000 price tag for construction of the new presidential residence, which started in 1960.
Each year, OSU’s first family hosts gatherings and functions for hundreds of students, alumni, guests and friends of the university, making their home one of the most publicly visited private residences in Stillwater.
The home was named in honor of the Willhams in October 2005, follow a recommendation from its residents at the time, President David Schmidly and First Lady Janet. “Naming the OSU presidential home for the Willhams is a fitting tribute for their legacy and contributions to OSU,” said Schmidly. “Janet and I are privileged to live in such a unique and wonderful home. We are thrilled that it now honors the Willhams.”