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A publication of the University of Oklahoma Foundation

Your Letters

1920s stadium expansion recalled


    My mother, Velma Maureen Cole, graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1926 with an education degree. She made a pledge to the Oklahoma-Memorial Stadium Fund in 1925 for $50. Receipt #84 reflects her September 1925 payment, receipt #5068 of March 19, 1930, reflects a $10 payment, which I assume was the final payment. Also enclosed is her commitment of April 1, 1925, to make the pledge payments. 

    I think the money was used to build the last side part of the stadium. She said the University promised those paying $50 could always get free admission. When my sister, Marilyn Cole, started in 1955, Mother inquired about a free seat but by that time no one seemed to remember the promise. 

    My mother moved to Stigler, Okla., after graduation and taught mathematics for 40 years before retiring. She was a proud OU alumna and she enjoyed OU alumni reunions, especially her 50th. She passed away in April 1984. 

    My sister Marilyn graduated in 1959 and began a career in early childhood development and was director of the OU Child Development School before she married Dr. William Stavinoha, who taught at the University of Texas Medical School. Before she was married my sister worked at the Head Start program and lived on Indian reservations in South Dakota and Arizona. 

    My mother, then retired, joined her and greatly enjoyed the experience. Two wonderful educators of whom OU should be proud. 

    I graduated from Stigler High School in 1962 and was an All-State football player. I had a scholarship to OU which lasted one year—I was just not fast enough. 

    I graduated in 1966 with a journalism degree and was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and became a Second Lieutenant. Then I spent a year in Korea as an infantry platoon leader. 

    I eventually settled in Houston, working for Southwestern Bell/SBC/AT&T, and retired after 40 years. I have been a lifetime member of the OU Alumni Association for 50 years. 

    Anyway, the purpose of this letter was to send the enclosures about my mother’s stadium expansion pledge. I know they are hard to read—but I trust you can decipher them. 

Richard Cole

’66 ba,  journ

Bellaire, Texas

Editor’s note: Does anyone else recall contributing (or family members contributing) to the stadium expansion of the 1920s? If so, drop us a line at or Editor, Sooner Magazine, 100 Timberdell Rd., Norman, OK  73019-0685.

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