NORMAN, Okla. - A metro woman is determined to save St. Gregory's University after the school announced it will be closing at the end of the year.
Pat Keithley says St. Gregory's has been the one constant in her life. It's where she met her husband and where she got married.
"It was very special," she said. "We had three of the priests have the ceremony. We had lots of family. It was really beautiful. It was so special because we went there."
Her husband, James, retired from another career and returned as a professor at the university, helping launch a master's program. But one night on his way home from work, he was killed.
"A driver on meth crossed the center line on Highway 9 when he was coming home from teaching," said Keithley.
And news of the schools looming closure was another blow.
"Well, I started crying. It was just another emotional moment," said Keithley. "I mean, it was very hard. It was like losing another piece of my life."
Her daughter, Melissa, even planned to attend the university.
"Well, my heart sank. I just couldn't believe it," said Melissa Keithley. "My mom told me over the phone and I just looked it up on the St. Gregory`s website and read enough of it that I was just upset."
Now, there's a plea.
"We want to challenge all alumni to donate $5,000, more or less, whatever, whatever they can do," said Pat Keithley. "We just want all the alumni that feel so strong about St. Gregory's like I do, to chip in and keep the school going because it's very important for all of our Catholic community.
You can donate through GoFundMe or by mailing checks to:
"Save St. Gregory's"
C/O St. Gregory's Abbey, 1900 W. MacArthur St.
Shawnee, OK, 74804