The university announced the renaming during a surprise campus event that included colleagues and former students recognizing his impact on their lives and the regional art community. The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, which governs RSU, approved the renaming of the Baird Hall gallery as The Gary Moeller Gallery of the Arts during its most recent meeting.
Moeller began teaching art at the university in 1979, along the way holding several administrative positions, including department head for the Department of Fine Arts. Upon his May 2018 retirement, he was named a Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts.
One of RSU’s longest tenured faculty members, Moeller developed RSU’s bachelor of fine arts program as the institution successfully transitioned from community college to four-year regional university. During that time, he also served as the self-study coordinator for RSU’s first accreditation process with the North Central Association that led to the university receiving a maximum of 10 years of accreditation without any required follow-up reports or visits, a rarity for a newly established regional university. He has received numerous honors and awards both for teaching and community service.
Moeller helped expand opportunities for RSU students by leveraging his deep connections in Montone, Italy, to establish RSU’s Studies-at-Large Summer Art Program in 2008, while also facilitating campus visits to RSU by Italian artists and performers.
He has been a champion for the arts throughout the state by volunteering his time and talents to develop Oklahoma’s artist community, including creating campus and community events that showcase area talent. An accomplished artist in his own right, his works have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the nation. He also designed the wooden mace that leads RSU’s commencement ceremonies.
A showing of Moeller’s art works is scheduled for Sept. 27 through Oct. 17 at the gallery that now bears his name. The opening event will be held the evening of Thursday, Sept. 27.