In 2012, the University of Tulsa acquired a new building for the sitting president of the university to reside in during his term. Located at 2101 S. Madison Avenue, Skelly Mansion was the home of former President Geoffrey Orsak first. Previous owners range from the families of former U.S. representatives to local architects. The current estimate for the house value is 2.6 million dollars, and it is approximately 9,000 square feet.
The name Skelly might ring a bell to some, as it is also the name of TU’s football field, Skelly Field. The same family that donated the funds to make Skelly Field a reality also donated the house. William Skelly passed in 1957, and the mansion was donated to the University. However, TU sold the property only two years later, in 1959. During that time, the house became an iconic symbol in Tulsan history, as well as nationally. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the late 70’s.
Now, the house is the current residence of President Gerard Clancy and his family. I was able to speak with President Clancy about his stay in the house. It is part of his contract that he must reside in the house. The ground floor of the house is fully equipped for entertaining all types of guests, Clancy says, with a “large scale banquet level kitchen” to hold and feed more than 120 people.
He, his wife Paula and their son Joey live in a private section of the second floor of the two story mansion. Locks on their section are keyed differently than the rest of the mansion, Clancy says, allowing him and his family privacy when events are ongoing.
Since their move in late November, Clancy and his family, along with the University, have held over 16 TU events at the mansion in the 6 week period they have been staying there. He says the average for events is about 50 per year.