The Sooners Athletics Communications Department announced in August that they had accepted nearly double the amount of donations and pledged contributions from the previous year. Boomer Sooner! FY 2021 was a record-breaking year as well. This year $1 million was programmed for G.R.I.T. (Growing Resilient, Innovative Thinkers); a program to empower current and former student-athletes to continue developing academically and to approach education as a lifelong journey towards success. It was Sooner philanthropists Randall and Lenise Stephenson who pledged the $1 million gift to the Prentice Gautt Academic Center. Mr. Stephenson is now a retired executive chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc., but currently serves on the Walmart Board of Directors.
According to the University, the GRIT will be administered by OU’s Prentice Gautt Academic Center staff. The center is located inside Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Read the entirety of the release below.
Athletics August 03, 2022 OU Athletics Communications
OU ATHLETICS RAISES RECORD $109 MILLION IN FY22
NORMAN– The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department received a record-breaking $109 million in total donations and pledges during the 2021-22 fiscal year (FY22) that ended June 30, topping the $100 million mark for the first time. The previous OU Athletics record was $58 million, set in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
The impressive FY22 fundraising efforts were accomplished through generous donations to OU Athletics by an all-time high 14,000 Sooner Club members and helped result in another remarkable year.
After receiving one gift more than $10 million prior to FY22, OU Athletics received three such gifts over the last year and totaled seven donations of $1 million or more.
With no state appropriations or student fees, private contributions to the Sooner Club serve as a cornerstone to OU Athletics’ finances – funding approximately one-third of the department’s annual operating budget. Additionally, the $109 million raised by OU Athletics contributed to the overall University fundraising record of $317 million.
“Providing world-class resources for our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority, and we simply cannot pursue and accomplish this standard of excellence without support from our stakeholders, donors and fans,” said OU Vice President and Athletics Director Castiglione. “OU Athletics and our generous and passionate stakeholders have worked year after year in lockstep to endow scholarships, increase services and resources for student-athletes, as well as help fund state-of-the-art facilities. We’re grateful to receive this record-setting support. This inspires us even more in our ongoing pursuit that only continues to evolve in the ever-changing landscape of college athletics.”
An OU-record 53% of all members invested in key initiatives above and beyond any seating donation requirements. Notable FY22 pledges for facility projects and initiatives included:
$25.2 million towards the Women of Championship Excellence Fund and facility projects for female student-athletes
Nearly $25 million for football and special initiatives
$19.2 million for Love’s Field
$10.6 million for the Inspiring Champions Fund
$3.2 million for L. Dale Mitchell Park and Baseball Performance Center
$1.4 million for the Wadley Indoor Tennis Pavilion at the Headington Family Tennis Center
$1.25 million for McCasland Field House
$1 million for G.R.I.T. (Growing Resilient, Innovative Thinkers)
$900,000 for the Viersen Gymnastics Center
The OU Athletics Department continues to fundraise with the goal of enhancing the student-athlete experience through philanthropic contributions. Pursuing excellence in sport and in the classroom remain at the core of OU Athletics’ fundraising vision and the following student-athlete focused initiatives are at the forefront of the departments’ priorities:
L. Dale Mitchell Park & Baseball Performance Center
(Press Release University Of Oklahoma; OU Athletics Communications; Editing by Robbie Robertson)
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