Three public universities announced this past week that they each had received private donations of historic proportions. : The University of Oklahoma was one of three public research universities that received historic ... [+] private gifts this past week. The others were Iowa State University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) This week brought news that three public research universities had received private donations of historic proportions. These major gifts are just the latest in what has been a month that’s seen record-setting philanthropy in higher education circles.