Some thoughts from a current student about the OU family and tradition

Finding a single yearbook page to represent the tradition of the University of Oklahoma is an intimidating task. Sitting in the floor of the Jacobson Hall Presentation Room, I delved into decades of historic picture after picture of the University, hoping to find something triumphant that stood out as the epitome of tradition. However, what I was intently searching for in a picture, I discovered in the heartfelt words of J.T. Conway, a 1906 student, in the Greeting of the 1905 yearbook which, at the time, was called “The Mistletoe”:  “Its aim is to picture life in the University as it is, to present its past in a general way and, if possible, to suggest what may be expected from it in the future. This modest volume hopes to find a warm spot in the heart of every true lover of the University.”  His hopes became a reality as the pictures and stories of The Mistletoe warmed my heart, making me feel even more connected to this extraordinary University. His hopeful words express a very unique and special tradition of our University – the tradition of family.


From the day we became Sooners, we became a member of the Sooner family.  We are not just a number, we are loved individuals with unique thoughts, ideas, and stories that OU professors and leaders desire to hear. From understanding that our professors and leaders are not only concerned with the grade we earn or the things we accomplish but in promoting our ability to think, reason, question, learn, adapt, and develop as individuals, we are learning how to continually grow, striving always to be better, productive, giving individuals who will contribute in amazing ways to society.

From the moment we step foot on this campus, professors, staff, and older students pour their wisdom into our lives to help us discover our purpose. I am incredibly grateful for all of the professors, student leaders, and staff members who took the time to invest in my character and help me find ways to use my talents.  I love sharing my OU experiences and lessons-learned with other people and over my time at OU, I have been able to impact younger students in the same way that older students impacted me – serving as a mentor and true friend, helping students discover their unique talents and desires that will shape their career and life choices.

The tradition of family at the University of Oklahoma is the driver behind OU’s well-known tradition of excellence. The many tiny seeds that OU’s administration, faculty, and students have planted each year since 1892 through teachings, thoughts, research, writing, actions, and interactions, developed in each person the can-do, positive, excellent Sooner spirit which produced an overflowing abundance of accomplishments and success for our University. However, the tradition of OU is not about receiving praise or counting the accomplishments. Instead, OU’s tradition is embodied by our seal – “Civi et Reipublicae” – “For the Citizens and the State.” The tradition of our University is about creating a Sooner Family and embracing and cultivating the citizens of tomorrow who will in turn plant the seeds of a brighter and better future for themselves and their communities for decades to come.


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2 Responses to “OU Family & Tradition”

  1. Alexis K. on March 2nd, 2012 11:39 pm

    I am proud to say that i will soon become apart of the sooner family. My family and i have a tradition that everytime we visit the library, we try to find the oldest book and put a crisp dollar bill in it. Its surprisingly really fun(: and its definately one of the things we all look forward to most when going to visit the campus (besides winning the football game that day) BOOMER SOONER!

  2. AnnieS on March 5th, 2012 9:03 am

    Alexis – So excited for you to join the Sooner family! Thanks for your comment.

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