Norman, part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area, has an estimated 100,719 residents. Norman is a fast growing suburb of Oklahoma City. The area was first established as a railway station site in Indian Territory by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, and became populated during the Great Land Run of 1889. The city was named after Abner E. Norman, a land surveyor who had mapped the area 16 years earlier and whose presence was noted in a nearby tree carving.
From the city's almost instant beginnings it became a booming center of culture and commerce in the state. Today, the city is best known as the home of the University of Oklahoma, which is a leader in innovative technology and the sciences. From the University-operated Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History to the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art, the University has a continuous positive influence on the community at large. The best example of this is the Weitzenhoffer Collection, which was given to the museum in 2001. At that time, it was the single most important collection of impressionist art ever given to an American University. Some of the works included in thecollection are by artists Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Pierre-Auguste Renor, and Mary Cassatt.
The city is also a global center to many National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration organizations, and the University's meteorology department is one of the most highly regarded in the world. To support these agencies and University departments, many businesses have operations in the area to take advantage of the opportunities. These include major employers like Hitachi, UPS, Albon Engineering, Xyant Technology, Office Max, ClientLogic, the USPS National Training Center, the USPS/Marriott Conference and Housing Facility, the NCED National Center for Employee Development, and Immuno-Mycologics, Inc.
Norman's traditional and quaint Main Street is a great source of pride for residents. From tree-lined streets with turn-of-the-century houses to community events, it's no wonder that Money Magazine ranked Norman as the 40th best place to live n the United States and the highest of any cities in Oklahoma. Community events for all to enjoy are the Medieval Fair, Jazz in June, the May Fair Arts Festival, the Summer Breeze Concert Series, and the downtown Mardi Gras Parade.