A few weeks ago, the OU Alumni Association received an email from a soldier serving in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Kleinsorge told us that there were entirely too many Texas fans (meaning more than zero) where he is stationed and asked if we wouldn’t mind sending him and his fellow Sooners some OU gear that would boost morale and maybe bug the Texas fans a little. Of course we are always willing to support our troops, and ruffling the feathers of a few Longhorns is just the icing on the cake. The care package included t-shirts, sunglasses, dog tags, a pennant and a few other OU items.  

The brave soldiers featured in this picture are (left to right) Staff Sergeant Labryant Venson, Staff Sergeant Michael Kleinsorge and First Lieutenant Samuel Vaughn. Even though these soldiers never attended OU, they are still connected to the university and are devoted Sooners at heart. SSG Kleinsorge’s wife is an OU alumna, who received her master’s in social work. First Lieutenant Vaughn’s father received a bachelor’s degree in nursing and SSG Venson is the nephew of one of OU’s favorite quarterbacks- JC Watts.

We are extremely grateful to these men and the other service men and women of the US Armed Forces who are overseas fighting for our country and we hope that the care package provided them a little comfort and a touch of home.

Live on, University and live on, America!

I’m sure you’ve noticed, and probably agree, that OU has the coolest telephone booths. The distinctive red boxes are a campus favorite and we’ve all at least thought about going into the them to pretend to phone the Queen and ask her (in a British accent, of course) if she’d like a “spot of tea”.
The six phone booths were brought here by President David Boren not just for the beautification of our campus but for the convenience and safety of our students as well. The idea of the phone booths came from the President’s time spent in Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.
We hope that these unique telephone boxes are serving another purpose, too. As the twelve athletes and the seven staff members with OU ties, who are currently in London, see the signature British phone booths, we hope they are warmly reminded of Norman and know that everyone back at home is supporting them and sending them positive thoughts.
Five Sooners are running, jumping and throwing in various Track and Field events. Brittany Borman (Javelin) and Tia Brooks (shot put) are representing the United States. Three Sooners are representing their native countries: Latoya Greaves (100-Hurdles) of Jamaica, Kerri-Ann Mitchell (100 meters) of Canada and Laverne Jones- Ferrette (100 & 200 meters) of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Freestyle Wrestlers Sam Hazewinkel, competing in the 55kg, and Jared Frayer, in the 66 kg, are pinning down the competition for the United States.
Jonathan Horton, Jake Dalton and alternates, Chris Brooks, Steven Legendre and Alex Naddour, flipped their way to glory for the US Men’s Gymnastics team.
Helping athletes achieve their goals are the Sooner Olympic staff members: Brian Blutreich (Team USA-Track & Field Personal Coach), Dr. Robert Hines (Team USA-Wrestling Team Doctor), Michael Lightner (Team USA-Wrestling Personal Coach), Tom Meadows (Team USA-Men’s Gymnastics Assistant), Bo Overton (Team China-Women’s Basketball Assistant), Mark Williams (Team USA-Men’s Gymnastics Personal Coach) and Keith Williams (Team USA-Women’s Wrestling Assistant).
The OU Alumni Office is ecstatic about all the Sooners participating in the Olympics. Talk about Sooner domination!

Live on, University!

Just when you think the University of Oklahoma couldn’t get any more awesome, five Sooners are in London right now to compete on the Men’s USA Olympic gymnastics team. We are so very proud of our boys!

Jon Horton, OU letter winner from Houston, attended OU from 2005 to 2008. London will mark Jon’s second Olympic appearance. During his time at OU, he was the 2008 Nissen Emery Award winner and a six-time NCAA individual champion.

Jake Dalton is currently a junior at OU via Reno, Nevada.  ”I think it’s very special for our program,” Dalton said. “It says a lot about what we have accomplished here, thanks to amazing coaches, facilities and all the support. I am very honored to go over there (London) and represent Team USA and OU. It’s pretty amazing for all of us to be going. It’s going to be fun.”

Chris Brooks, a native of Houston, Texas, who attended OU from 2006 to 2009, is making his first Olympic appearance as an alternate. Brooks is an accomplished gymnast. When he competed for OU, his team won the 2006 and 2008 national titles and he was a seven-time All-American as well.

Steven Legendre, from Port Jefferson, New York, is another alternate and first-timer to the Olympics. Legendre was a student at our great university from 2008 to 2011 where he was the 2011 Nissen Emery Award winner and a 12-time All-American. He also helped his team win the 2008 National Championship and has six individual national titles.

Alex Naddour is the third alternate for the Olympic team and London is his Olympic debut as well. He is from Gilbert, Arizona and attended OU from 2010 to 2011. As a Sooner, he was a five-time All-American and the 2010 and 2011 National Champion on pommel horse.

Even OU’s very own Gymnastics Head Coach Mark Williams, who has coached all five gymnasts at Oklahoma, is in London for his fourth Olympic Games as a coach. Williams says, “I think it’s pretty incredible that we are talking about a select group of eight athletes and five of them are from the University of Oklahoma program. It’s an amazing accomplishment to have such representation. I am proud of these guys and the work they’ve put forth and to display it on the biggest stage in the world should be very exciting.”

We could not be any more excited for these fine young men and look forward to watching them lead our country to victory.

Visit SoonerSports.com for complete coverage of the Sooners in London and print/download the calendar here so you don’t miss any of the action!

We wish them luck and, of course, Boomer Sooner!

Hello, Sooners!

Did you miss us? Don’t worry, the Alumni Association is back on the blogging wagon and we have no intentions of getting off. We are starting a weekly blog to keep you all updated on what’s going on in our office and with your fellow Sooners.

This week in the Alumni Association world, we’re all busy, getting ready for the fall. RSVPs for OU/Texas are pouring in, plans for our Boomer Bashes are coming along nicely, there are some exciting changes coming to Alumni College and the 2013 Sightseeing Sooners brochure is out!  If traveling the world with other OU alumni and friends sounds like your kind of thing, we’d be happy to get a brochure to you (click here and follow the form). We have tons of fabulous trips planned and spots are filling up quickly!

We are very excited about getting this little project going and have lots of good blogs planned. Of course, we would love to hear from you, too. If you have any ideas for a blog that you would like featured, just let us know! You can give us a call, shoot us an email or come by our office. We want to hear from you!

Live on, University!

Hello Sooner Country!  Hope you had a happy commencement day!  The Alumni Association spent Friday morning with President Boren celebrating some outstanding alumni in Beaird Lounge in the Oklahoma Memorial Union.

President Boren greets the crowd.

President Boren opened this prestigious awards ceremony and offered several comments related to the line “Live on, university” from our school chant.  “Institutions alone cannot live on themselves.  An institution is sustained by individuals.  And today we honor some remarkable individuals.”

JP Audas, Associate Vice President of the Alumni Association was up next and gave a brief overview of this award.  The Regents’ Alumni Awards are presented each year to honor alumni and friends for exceptional dedication and service to the University of Oklahoma.  The OU Board of Regents and the OU Alumni Association present the awards.

Nominations are accepted from alumni, friends and OU faculty and staff.  The names of each year’s recipients are engraved on a permanent plaque that hangs in Oklahoma Memorial Union as a testament to the important role that OU’s alumni play in the life of the university.  Below are this year’s recipients:

Marie Alley

Marie Alley, a native of Germany, is known locally for her support of OU and the arts. She has led the way for significant financial assistance for the students and programs of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, and has generously dedicated her time to such entities as the OU Theatre Guild, for which she created the annual scholarship fundraising tour to New York City and London; the Weitzenhoffer Family College’s Board of Visitors and Arts! Arts! Arts! Committee; the University Women’s Association; and the Norman Community Foundation. 
Under Marie’s leadership, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Association doubled its membership and revised its methods of gaining contributions. As a docent at the museum, she has promoted the arts to hundreds of visitors who have visited the collections. As a member of the museum’s Board of Visitors, she spearheaded efforts for an ongoing enrichment fund for students and faculty.
Throughout her more than three decades as a resident of Norman, Marie has made a lasting impact on the community. For her support of Norman, the state and the arts, she was honored with the 2011 Governor’s Arts Award for Community Service, as well as for her work with the Norman Firehouse Arts Center’s Chocolate Festival.
Ann Alspaugh
Ann Alspaugh, an Oklahoma native and civic leader, has dedicated her life to enriching both OU and the state of Oklahoma. An enthusiastic supporter of almost every college and program of study at the university, she has directly contributed to the excellence of the OU Foundation; Athletics; colleges of Medicine, Public Health and Allied Health; Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication; College of International Studies; College of Arts and Sciences; Oklahoma Center for Continuing Education; and administrative offices on both the Norman and OU Health Sciences Center campuses. 
Ann has served on the boards of the Allied Arts Foundation, Oklahoma Arts Institute, and National Council of the Aspen Music Festival and School, among many others. In the community, she has contributed to such organizations as the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole; Habitat for Humanity; Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence; Oklahoma Educational Television Authority; Red Earth; International Women’s Forum; Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund; and the Oscar Jacobson Foundation. She is a founding member of the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C.
Ann has been honored countless times for civic service with honors and awards, including the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Distinguished Trustee Award; Oklahoma City Arts Council Mayor’s Award; Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the National Society of Fund Raising Executives; Women of the Year Award from the Red Lands Council of Girls Scouts; and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Oklahoma City University. She also is the recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award and the First Annual Grande Reverence Award from Ballet Oklahoma, and has been named as an Oklahoma Health Center Foundation Treasure for Tomorrow and a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Alan Armstrong – ’85 Civil Engineering

Alan Armstrong in January 2011 became president and CEO of Williams, a 104-year-old, Tulsa-based company that today is a leading energy-infrastructure service provider in North America. Since joining the company in 1986, Alan has served in numerous leadership positions, including president of the company’s natural gas gathering, processing and olefins-production business.
A 1985 graduate of OU’s civil engineering program, Alan and his wife, Shelly, who earned a degree in communications from the OU College of Arts and Sciences in 1984, are energetic leaders in the OU College of Engineering. In support of the OU Water Technologies for Emerging Regions Center, he has served as an informal adviser and fundraising advocate, and has supported the College of Engineering Development Office by engaging potential benefactors and with the lead gift to privately fund a new development officer position. In the Tulsa area, Alan has worked diligently to promote the university and recruit National Merit Scholars to OU, as well as hosted fundraising events for the university in his home.
Alan serves as chairman of the College of Engineering Board of Visitors, and in that capacity has spearheaded support of the college through such initiatives as the founding of the Felgar Society. In his role at Williams and as a board member of the company’s charitable foundation, he has ensured that OU and other state educational institutions receive funds to recruit, retain and graduate the next generation of engineers and business leaders.
Alan is past president of the Gas Processors Association and a board member of the Natural Gas Supply Association and the American Petroleum Institute, and serves on the National Petroleum Council and Business Roundtable. Alan serves on the board of directors for Junior Achievement, USA. In the community, he is a board member and past board chairman of Junior Achievement of Oklahoma and is a member of the executive committee of the Tulsa Metro Chamber. He is a board member of Tulsa’s Future II Oversight Committee, the Williams Foundation, Teach for America – Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition. 
Jim Dicus – ’63 Business Finance
Jim Dicus, a 1963 graduate in business administration and finance, is the president of Dicus Supermarkets. During his years at OU, he was president of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, and currently serves as vice president of the OU Club of Ada. 
Jim’s passion for helping others and dedication to young people defines his life of service. In honor of his late son and daughter-in-law, Jim organizes an annual charity golf tournament, which raises more than $25,000 each year for such endeavors as the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center and to help scholarship students from the Ada area attend OU, with funds matched each year by the university. 
Jim serves as vice president of the Ada Industrial Development Corp. He has served in numerous leadership positions in his community, including as president of the Ada Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club of Greater Ada, Ada Boys Club, Retail Grocers Association and Oklahoma Grocers Coupon Association. For 30 years, he has served on the board of the Valley View Hospital in Ada, including one term as chairman of the board.
Bill Hancock – ’72 Journalism

Bill Hancock graduated from the university in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Since that time, he has been an avid supporter of OU, especially in OU Athletics and the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. A member of the Gaylord College Board of Visitors, Bill has been a supporter of the college’s JayMac alumni association since its inception in 1983. 
After the tragic loss of their son in the 2001 plane crash that took the lives of 10 members of the Oklahoma State University men’s basketball team, Bill and his wife endowed a scholarship benefiting Gaylord College students pursuing careers in either the newspaper industry or sports public relations.
After three years in the university’s sports information office, Bill, a native of Hobart, followed in his father’s footsteps for a time as editor of his family’s newspaper, the Hobart Democrat-Chief. For more than a decade, he served on the staff of the Big Eight Conference, first as the media relations director and then as assistant commissioner in charge of championships and marketing. In 1989, he was tapped as the first full-time director of the NCAA Final Four. Named as an administrator of the Bowl Championship Series in 2005, he became executive director in 2009. He has served on the U.S. Olympic Committee staff at nine Olympic games and two Pan American Games, and in 2005, was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors Hall of Fame.
In Bill’s first book, Riding With the Blue Moth, he describes how he used a transcontinental bicycle journey to deal with grief after his son’s death. The book became one of the top-selling sports volumes after its publication in 2005. He also is the author of This One Day in Hobart, a chronology of his hometown. 
Che Miller, M.D. – ’98 Chemistry/Biochemistry, ’02 Medicine, ’07 Surgery
As an undergraduate who graduated with honors in chemistry and biochemistry before attending the OU College of Medicine, Che distinguished himself through his pioneering research in geochemistry and neurochemistry, as well as such honors as being named to the President’s Leadership Class and as a recipient of the Phillips Petroleum Chemistry Scholar Award, the Department of Chemistry Award and the Undergraduate Teaching Award. As a medical student, he was voted president of his class, Outstanding Medical Student and chair of the Oklahoma State Medical Association Student Section. During his time in the College of Medicine, he also was the recipient of the OU Leadership Award and Multicultural Service Award.
An exceptional alumnus who has been dedicated to the success of the College of Medicine and its students, Che was the first donor to commit $100,000 to the college’s Second Century Scholarship Campaign. He serves as a role model for current students and as an ambassador for OU, promoting the university both nationally and internationally. In addition to providing surgical services to the university’s trauma center, he has served as a member of OU’s Medical School Admissions Committee and as an adviser to the Graduate Medical Education Committee. 
Che has been honored numerous times for his research and expertise with such awards as the Aesculpian Award for most outstanding resident teacher at OU; the Lloyd and Ruth Rader Award for Resident of the Year; nomination for the Gilson/CMDA Award recognizing commitment and service to the global community; and appointment to the Gold Humanitarian Honor Society. A local and national leader in medicine, he was appointed to the American Medical Association Committee on Long-Range Planning and was asked to serve on the Oklahoma State Medical Association Foundation executive board. 
In addition to his professional activities, Che has earned a national and international reputation as a philanthropist who has dedicated his time and medical abilities to providing education and health care to seven nations on four continents. From ministry to mobile surgery operations, he devotes time each year to helping communities abroad. For his commitment to others, he has been recognized by leaders in such countries as the Philippines and Bosnia. 
Carolyn Clark Powers – ’96 Business Finance
A 1996 graduate in business administration, Carolyn Clark Powers is both a dedicated alumna and generous supporter of OU. The daughter of OU Regent Tom Clark, she made a $100,000 gift to the Department of Aviation in the OU College of Continuing Education in 2009 to endow the Tom Clark Scholarship.
Carolyn is known across the nation for her philanthropic endeavors, particularly in the arts. She currently serves as chair of the National Committee for the Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and was recently appointed to the board of the Grammy Awards.  She has served in numerous leadership positions on boards and committees for such organizations as the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Philharmonic and Colleagues of Children’s Institute; Aspen Art Museum; Aspen Santa Fe Ballet; Dockery Farms Foundation; DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center; Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz; and many more.
In addition to her leadership in the arts, Carolyn is a passionate advocate of causes that empower underprivileged children. She helped cultivate The Painted Turtle, a camp created by Paul Newman for children who are seriously ill, for which she serves as a board member and chair of its annual fundraiser. In addition, she has dedicated her time to extending arts education to low-income schools in Los Angeles and the rural South. Among her numerous personal accomplishments, she has run five marathons, including the Boston Marathon and scaled the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. 
Richard Trautman, M.D. – ’71 Medicine
Richard Trautman earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University before graduating from the OU College of Medicine in 1971. He spent years of service in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve and U.S. Air Force Reserve Medical Corps.
After serving his internship and residency at the OU Health Sciences Center, he joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1978. He now holds the Arnold and Bess Ungerman Endowed Chair in Psychiatry in the OU Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and is vice chair of general psychiatric services and the medical director for the Oklahoma Center for Alcohol and Drug-related Studies, an entity dedicated to preparing researchers and clinicians to address issues related to the acute and chronic effects of alcohol and drug abuse. Throughout his career in the OU College of Medicine, he has served as an adjunct professor of anesthesiology; vice chair for Adult Services and for Clinical Services; professor and director for Adult Outpatient Mental Health Services; and in numerous instructor positions.
Leon Unger, Ph. D.
Leon was recruited to the faculty in the OU College of Medicine in 1966. In the following four decades, he has revolutionized both the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (where he serves as David Ross Boyd Professor and Regents’ Professor) and the teaching of his field. Since joining the OU Health Sciences Center, he has designed, organized, coordinated and taught major portions of the Biochemistry and Medical Molecular Genetics course for first-year medical students. Because of his outstanding teaching skills, he has been ranked first in the medical student evaluations of the biochemistry teaching faculty in almost every one of those years.
In 1975, Leon designed, organized and implemented the first Biochemistry Review Course for Step I of the National Medical Licensure Exam for medical students, and in so doing, improved dramatically the performance of OU medical students on the biochemistry portion of the exam by an average of 96 points per student. He also was responsible for introducing concepts into the OU curriculum that are now widely practiced at medical schools throughout the nation, such as the conceptual relationship between biochemistry, medical genetics and medical nutrition; clinical correlations, in which physicians, patients, their families and teams of students interact to think creatively and solve problems; and biochemistry concept mapping as a tool for integrative thinking.
During his career, Leon has been honored with numerous teaching awards, including selection by medical students as the recipient of the Aesculapian Award for Teaching Excellence in the Basic Sciences in 1991, 2003 and 2008; the Stanton L. Young Master Teacher Award; the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Teaching; and the College of Medicine’s Edgar W. Young Lifetime Achievement Award.
Reggie Whitten – ’77 Political Science, ’80 Juris Doctorate
The first member of his family to graduate college, Reggie graduated from OU in 1977 with a degree in political science and from the OU College of Law with a juris doctor in 1980. Since then, he has devoted significant time and resources in support of activities that benefit the university, its students and the greater community. As a member of OU’s Seed Sower Society honoring donors of $1 million or more, he is especially focused on programs that enhance the education, health and well-being of young people from all walks of life. Together with his partner, Michael Burrage, Reggie recently made a major gift to the OU College of Law to establish the David L. Boren and Molly Shi Boren Public Service Fellowship, which allows law students to pursue unpaid public interest work during the summer.
In memory of their son, Brandon, Reggie and his wife, Rachelle (along with brother-in-law Robert Newman), founded the Whitten-Newman Foundation. As part of its mission to enhance the lives of young people, the foundation partnered with the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History to create ExplorOlogy, a science education program that makes science education exciting and relevant to Oklahoma youth by engaging them in authentic science experiences. As a member of the museum’s Board of Visitors, Reggie and the foundation also made possible an exhibit highlighting the flora and fauna of Oklahoma’s Black Mesa area in the museum’s Noble Drilling Corporation Hall of Natural Wonders. 
Reggie is the co-founder of Pros for Africa, a nonprofit relief organization that has partnered with sports professionals, physicians and engineers to provide food, water, clothing and medicine to at-risk children in northern Uganda and southern Sudan. In cooperation with the OU College of Law, Pros for Africa has provided students in the International Human Rights Clinic the opportunity to travel to Africa to experience other cultures, develop a lifetime commitment to meaningful service and prepare for the increasingly global practice of law. In addition to his work with Pros for Africa, Reggie spends countless hours of his personal time sharing the story of his son’s addiction and tragic death with students and parents through another nonprofit organization he founded called F.A.T.E. (Fighting Addiction Through Education), warning of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse while providing resources for those who already suffer from addiction.
For his service to others, Reggie has been honored with the Jasmine Foundation Benefactor Award, the Journal Record Leadership in Law Award and the Jefferson Society Award from the Oklahoma Association for Justice.  
Robert Zinke – ’75 Business, Petroleum Land Management
After graduating from the Petroleum Land Management Program in the OU College of Business in 1975, Robert Zinke went on to found Zinke and Trumbo Inc., now known as Zenergy Inc., one of the most active exploration efforts in the oil and gas industry. His success led him to be featured in a Forbes magazine article titled “The New Breed of Wildcatters.”
Robert has been a member of the Price College Energy Management Board of Directors since its inception in 1996 and its president since 2003, and has been a member of the college’s Board of Advisors since 2004. His generous commitments to the college include a $1 million gift to fund a Chair for Energy Management and establishing an endowment to support the program and its director; the transformational role he plans to fill in the proposed people and program campaign for Price College, which includes a challenge grant to the Energy Management Program and a major gift to an energy expansion initiative in the college; service as a member of the Energy Management Program’s Capital Campaign Team; and service as chair of the Arthur B. Adams Society. In honor of his dedication to OU Energy Management, the program has been named the Robert M. Zinke Energy Management Program. In 2008, he received the Price College Distinguished Alumni Award.
Robert is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Association of Petroleum Landmen; Tulsa Association of Petroleum Landmen; Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association; Independent Petroleum Association of America; Northern Alliance of Independent Producers; North Dakota Petroleum Council; and Natural Gas and Energy Association of Oklahoma.
Singing of the OU Chant after award presentations.
When the award presentations were over, everyone raised their right hand, first finger extended and sang the OU Chant.
2012 Regents’ Award Recipients and presenters.
Later Friday night at Commencement, our Commencement Scholars were recognized.  Commencement Scholar requirements are a 3.0+ GPA, Oklahoma resident, must be a working student, must be a student on the Norman campus and must attend Commencement.  Those who were selected to receive this scholarship receive $1500 to apply to their tuition for the fall of 2012.  These ten scholarship recipients were chosen from a pool of 160 applicants.  Winners are Jacintha Bachman (political science, senior), Julie Butler (petroleum engineering, senior), Amber Ely (social work, senior), Crystal Hines (finance, senior), Brian Jack(civil engineering, senior), Chase Magnuson (aviation, junior), Emily Siegrist (health and exercise science, junior), Travis Poole (civil engineering, graduate), Eric Ray (zoology, senior) and Skye Tylich (international studies, junior).

2012-2013 Commencement Scholars

Are you a graduate of OU?  Maybe not a graduate, but you love the university?  Do you know someone who should be a member of the OU Alumni Association but isn’t?  If so, now is the perfect time to join or purchase a membership for someone.  Not only is it a great way to show your support, but members also receive exclusive perks.  And with three ways to join, it’s easier than ever:

Going online is a quick and simple way to join OR renew.  Click HERE or copy and paste this link into your browser:  https://www.oufoundation.org/onlinegiving/JoinAlumniAssoc.aspx

Once on the page, fill out the simple form and you will receive your membership kit in the mail in a few weeks.  The online form is available 24/7, so no matter your schedule, it will be there when you need it.

Joining by phone is also simple and can be done by calling us at (405) 325-1710.  Our office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

And finally, if you are in Norman and would like to stop by our office, we’d love to meet and talk with you!  We are located on the fourth floor of the Oklahoma Memorial Union, at 900 Asp Avenue.  Didn’t know the Union had a fourth floor?  Surprise, we’re up here!  We have a form to fill out to join or renew your membership and will process it upon completion.


What is the cost of a membership?
Membership rates vary and are as follows on the chart below:

Please note, all gifts are 100% tax deductible.

How can I pay for a membership?
Payment can be made by check (made out to OU Foundation) or any major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover).

What are the perks to having a membership?
Perks of having a membership include receiving Sooner Magazine, special consideration at Boomer Bash, a discount at the OU Alumni Store, Legacy Program for kids, Library checkout privileges, discount at university book stores, career services and online career resources, discounted membership rate for the Huston Huffman, discounted alumni membership rates to the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course and discounts at many other national and local stores.

OU’s Sooner Schooner – much like Purdue’s Boilermaker Special or Georgia Tech’s Ramblin’ Wreck – is a highly recognized symbol of school spirit has been the official mascot of every sports team at the university since 1980.  Matching white ponies named Boomer and Sooner pull the Schooner, which is modeled after the Conestoga wagons that brought settlers to Oklahoma Territory.

In 1965 Dr. M.S. Bartlett and his brother Charles “Buzz” Bartlett donated the original “Sooner Schooner” and the ponies, Boomer and Sooner, to circle the field on home game days and at bowl games. After several groups passed on the care-taking of the Schooner, the RUF/NEKS, the oldest male spirit group of any college in the country, took the reigns. In 1980, the University of Oklahoma officially named the Sooner Schooner as its mascot. Today the Schooner is kept in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, at the Bartlett Ranch. The RUF/NEKS are still the official caretakers and drivers of the Conestoga wagon and each year one member is selected to become a Schooner Driver.  These well-trained young men are responsible for driving the Schooner out onto the field after OU touchdowns.

It’s also tradition for the RUF/NEK queen to sit beside the driver and a young member of the RUF/NEKS usually hangs by his legs off the back, waving the university’s flag as the Schooner is driven out onto the field and then back into the tunnel.

To honor the tradition, a retired Schooner has been placed in the student union in the Clarke-Anderson Room, adjacent to the union food court.

The Sooner Schooner…just one more reason there’s only one Oklahoma!  Boomer Sooner!

Jonathan Horton, ’08

When the 2012 Olympic games open this summer in London, a Sooner will be among the world’s elite athletes.  Jonathan Horton, Olympic Gymnast, earned his bachelor’s degree in 2008 in Business Management from the University of Oklahoma, with hopes of using his Price College education to open his own gym someday.  While at OU, he became one of the most successful and decorated gymnasts in university history.  As a freshman, he took home over 10 event titles and two all-around titles.  As a sophomore, he accomplished more, winning 13 event titles and an astonishing six all-around titles and qualified for his first world team.  In his third season as a Sooner, Jonathan set records at OU, breaking Bart Conner’s career marks for career NCAA titles (5) and career All-American honors (15).  He was also the first athlete since Blaine Wilson to win back-to-back American Cup titles.

His senior year was one for the record books as well. He was one of five finalists for the 78th AAU James E. Sullivan Award presented to the nation’s top amateur athlete, but the best was yet to come.  He was the sixth OU gymnast to be named a Nissen-Emery Award winner. OU took home its eighth national title – five of which were in the last seven years. He finished first in the all-around at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team trials, and was named to the 2008 Olympic team.  He was also the 2008 USA Gymnastics Men’s Athlete of the Year.

He’s now on another US Olympic Team.  The 2012 Summer Olympics are sure to set more records and push more limits.  Jonathan is proud to call the University of Oklahoma his alma mater and is a great representative of our university anywhere he goes.  Here’s to Jonathan!  The Sooner Nation will be rooting for you!

Oklahoma’s Arbor Day celebration is the last full week of March.  It’s a little earlier than some communities nationwide due to different planting times.  Arbor Day is very near and dear to the University of Oklahoma and our first lady, Molly Shi Boren.  Today we celebrated on campus with a picnic at the David A. Burr Park and then a tree planting on the grounds of the Oklahoma Center for Continuing Education.

Today was extra special because we were planting the 1,000th tree since OU began officially recognizing Arbor Day in 1997.  It’s a Water Oak, also known as spotted oak or possum oak.  This type of tree grows quickly and reaches 50′ to 80′ in height and lives hundreds of years.

During the picnic, President David Boren spoke about the importance of Arbor Day and gave a brief history of the significance of trees on our beautiful campus:  It all began when OU’s first president, David Ross Boyd stepped off the train and saw what would eventually become the University of Oklahoma.  At the time, there were only nine students who had class in a tiny building and there were no trees on campus.  Boyd had a vision and was so determined to make his vision a reality that he took half of his first year’s salary, which was $2,000, and purchased as many trees as he could.  He enlisted in the help of others, telling them he’d give them a tree if they would take care of it.  He planted the rest on campus.

“Planting a tree is an unselfish act.  It’s for future years.  The tree you plant will not provide shade for you, but for other people in future generations.”  – OU President, David Boren 

Chances are, when you attended OU you participated in some sort of Arbor Day celebration.  Maybe you planted a tree or perhaps you were one of the many lucky ones who got to bask in the shade provided by other generations.  Either way, these trees are yet another special bond that tie us together and unite us as Sooners.  Happy Arbor Day!

OU President David Boren addresses the crowd gathered in Burr Park for Arbor Day festivities.

Student, staff and members of the community enjoy a picnic for Arbor Day in OU’s Burr Park.

OU Jazz Combo plays in the gazebo prior to OU’s Arbor Day presentation.
The planting of the 1000th tree on OU’s beautiful campus.

Saying hello to the 1000th tree.
Debbie Copp, ’78, ’84

Longtime University of Oklahoma Athletics Department employee, Debbie Copp, has been selected for induction into the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame and will join the 2012 class at the Hall of Fame dinner on June 25 in St. Louis, MO at the annual CoSIDA convention.

Debbie received her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1978 and later went on to complete a master’s degree in education in 1984 at OU.

Throughout her career, Copp has garnered the attention of her peers for her outstanding work. In 2008, she was named the recipient of the 2008 Bob Kenworthy Community Service Award by CoSIDA. That award came on the heels of her 25-year award, which she earned from CoSIDA in 2001.

Speaking of the hall of fame selection, Copp said “I am absolutely overwhelmed with this honor and would like to thank the current hall of fame members and the friends who were involved in making my nomination and the upcoming induction possible.

“When I received the Bob Kenworthy Award in 2008, I thought that would be the highlight of my professional career. Four years later, I am to be inducted into the hall of fame and that has left me speechless, a place I don’t often visit.”

Former Oklahoma football Academic All-America student-athlete Dewey Selmon – himself a 2010 CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America Hall of Fame inductee – said of Debbie, “I could go on and on about Debbie’s accomplishments. But what I really want you to know is her heart and compassion.

“I first met Debbie as a member of the football team at the University of Oklahoma,” Selmon continued. “She was continually supportive, enthusiastic, and interested in contributing to my success both off and on the field. It has been over 30 years since I donned a Sooner football uniform, but Debbie remains continually supportive, enthusiastic, and interested in contributing to my success. It is amazing to me that when I had a daughter playing basketball for OU, Debbie was there with the same enthusiasm she had when I was playing. I am only one of hundreds of athletes that Debbie has supported throughout her life; she has been a constant advocate for student-athletes. And when Debbie Copp is in your corner, she is in your corner for life!”

Brad Lund, owner of SOLDOUT Strategies noted of Debbie, “Ms. Copp was my direct supervisor during my stint as a student assistant at Oklahoma from 1984 thru 1989. Dozens and dozens of student assistants benefited from her tutelage – none more than I.

“Debbie not only paved the way for my career in professional sports, but she had a sincere desire for me to succeed in my personal life as well,” Lund concluded. ”I would be hard pressed to find someone that had a more positive influence on my collegiate experience than Debbie.“

She has been active in CoSIDA since the 1970s, serving as the CoSIDA Committee on Committees’ chairperson the past six years. She has also been active on the special awards, publicists for women’s sports, publications awards, and computer committees. She has welcomed women and minorities into the profession and mentored many as an active member of FAME.

Debbie joined the Sooner staff as a student in 1975 during the first year that women’s athletics were a part of the department. She went to full-time status in 1977 and has worked events in 19 of the 21 sports that OU sponsors. She moved into her current position in 1990. As the director of publications for OU athletics, she has worked on numerous award-winning publications, including national award winners for football, post-season, softball, track and field, soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, and wrestling media guides. She also has received writing awards from the organization.

For the last six years, Debbie has coordinated the award nominations for the department. In that time, OU has produced two NCAA Top VIII Award winners; one NCAA Sportsmanship Award winner; four NACDA McLendon Memorial Minority Scholarship winners ($10,000 each); three NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners ($7,500 each); two Wooden Citizenship Cup winners; four Big 12 Sportsmanship Award winners; one Big 12 Athlete of the Year, and one NCAA Inspiration Award winner.

Additionally, two former student-athletes have been inducted in the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame while others have been honored with OU Regents Award for their contributions to the university. Several Sooner athletic staff members also have received national awards as well in that time period.

“None of this would ever have been possible without the many incredible opportunities that I have been given by the University of Oklahoma, my alma mater and only “grown up” world employer I have ever had,” Debbie said. “I truly am Sooner born and bred and it is because of that this award has become a reality for me.”

Congratulations on this remarkable honor, Debbie!  We’re proud to call you a Sooner!

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