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A publication of the University of Oklahoma Foundation

Lessons learned from OU football

Few would argue that much of the educational value of college and the college experience is not limited to classes and coursework. Much of education is in other experiences: social, personal, career-oriented, psychological and extracurricular. 

At the University of Oklahoma, it can include sports, especially football. Even though we had season tickets, my friends and I usually met up at the Town Tavern on Campus Corner and had a couple of Sooner Schooners while watching the first half of the new live TV game broadcasts.  If the game was close by halftime, we would usually walk the few blocks to the stadium and take our seats.  

I went through OU’s Journalism School in the ’50s, and in my senior year was editor of the Oklahoma Daily. When I started in 1953, the Sooners lost their season opener to Notre Dame 28-21. Then they began the streak of 47, not losing another game until the year after I graduated — again to Notre Dame at Norman, also by one touchdown.

I was privileged to bear witness to the development of the most successful college football program in history: Oklahoma’s record winning streak, the longest ever.  

Since 1950, the Sooners have won seven national championships, 46 conference titles and have had 12 undefeated and untied seasons. Since the end of World War II, OU has enjoyed 598 wins and a winning percentage of .764, leading the nation in both statistics.

Powerful stuff: winning streaks and the highest national stature.  

Although my time in Norman was more than 60 years ago, some of the lessons learned are more recent. Conclusions that now seem obvious were not apparent back in the day when no one at OU expected ever to lose a football game. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned: Sooner football teams are going to win most games — enjoy them! Whether coached by Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer, Bob Stoops or Lincoln Riley, they’re also going to lose a few. Get over it and move on. 

It’s taken a long time for me to learn this. Finally, treasure the memories and share them with other Sooners.

                                                                                                                                           John C. Campbell

                                                                                                                                           '56 ba, journalism

                                                                                                                                             Washington, D.C.

OU still great 

The spring 2019 issue arrived this week in far-flung Hawai’i.  Your Postscript is masterful, carefully edited, and I am sure the result of considerable word-smithing.  Thank you for addressing the chaos at OU this past year ... carefully, gently, and helpfully.  OU is a great university and I am a proud undergraduate Sooner.

A flurry of e-mails concerning the A.O.I (American Organ Institute) and regular reports from my sister (’70 bs, home ec), who resides in Edmond have kept me on edge this past year.  I am sad to read that you list a $47m budget cut as an “achievement.”  Only a bean-counter could consider that kind of budget cut to be important. The University will not soon recover from a wound this size.

Dean Harroz’s letter last month was helpful, if non-committal and not specific.  Please encourage him to write in every issue of Sooner as a source of encouragement to us alumni who are currently saddened and befuddled.

Please continue good journalism and your balanced focus between athletics and everything else. Mahalo nui me a hui hou.

                                                                      Prof. Willis H A Moore, History and Humanities and Chair

                                                                                                                 Adjunct Faculty Advisory Taskforce

                                                                                                                  Chaminade University of Honolulu

Compliment for Surratt

I just want to compliment the outstanding article on David Surratt written by Anne Barajas Harp. She truly captured the heart and essence of the man.  Well done!

                                                                                                                         Marcia M. Bennett, MBA, Ph.D.

                                                                                                                        Vice Provost for Health Sciences

                                                                                                                               The University of Oklahoma 

                                                                                                                                         Health Sciences Center

Setting Banowsky’s record straight

I enjoyed reading the spring issue of Sooner Magazine. I appreciated the photo and memoriam of Dr. William Banowsky. The photo of him was so nice! I was confused, however, when I read the caption saying that his term as president of OU ended in 1982. Dr. Banowsky was the university president on the day he presided over my marriage vows in the First Baptist Church of Tulsa to a fellow Sooner, John Raley. Our wedding was in September 1984. 

                                                                                                                                          Kelly Williams Raley

                                                                                                                                           ’83 bs, microbiology

                                                                                                                                                   Houston, Texas

Editor’s note: William S. Banowsky served two terms as OU president. One from 1978 to 1982, and after a brief hiatus, from 1982 to 1984. Sooner Magazine regrets the omission of his second term in the spring issue.

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