When OU's first president David Ross Boyd stepped off the train in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1892, he was greeted with a barren expanse of prairie, no tree in sight. His only remark at this sight was "What possibilities!" At the University of Oklahoma, we have that same spirit: anything can grow if you have the drive to make it so.
The mystique of Sooner Magic was coined by legendary football coach Barry Switzer in reference to numerous come-from-behind victories over the former rival Nebraska Cornhuskers in the mid-1970's and 1980’s. Sooner Magic would often be the words people used to explain an unbelievable victory for Oklahoma football.
Have no doubt, there was no magic involved. Those miraculous victories from the Switzer era and beyond were the product of great players working hard, day in and day out, to set themselves up for success, even when all hope seemed lost.
Over time, Sooner Magic has been adopted for all Sooners to use – athletics, academics, research and more. No matter the field, classroom, laboratory or location, Sooners create their own success through countless hours preparing, studying and developing. It has become the rallying cry for all who don the crimson & cream and dream of success. No matter the situation, a Sooner is never out of the game.
Legendary football coach Bud Wilkinson placed a sign in the Oklahoma Sooners locker room at the beginning of his career in the late-1940's. Upon leaving for the field, each player would reach up and touch the board, giving it an almost mystical property.
The sign continued to overlook the great players and teams during Barry Switzer’s reign, into the Bob Stoops years at the turn of the century. Today, every Sooner player touches the sign to tap into the great players and teams of old before going onto Owen Field.
Just like the great tradition of the Oklahoma football program, Sooners of all walks of life strive to perform like a champion. When students step on campus, they walk upon much of the same ground the champions of old have trudged. By going into each classroom, lab, gym or arena, Sooners aim to execute to the best of their abilities – like a champion.
The Clock Tower’s architecture echoes the façade of the west entrance of Bizzell Memorial Library just a few steps away. With benches and greenery around, it is no doubt one of the most photographed spots on the campus for students and alums alike.
If graduating on time is important to you, it may be important to heed the much-shared campus myth of the Clock Tower.
It is said that those who walk underneath the Clock Tower will not graduate within the standard four-year period. The suggestion is to always admire the Clock Tower from a safe distance and to walk around it during your academic career.
Located on the North Oval lawn, the Spoonholder was originally built as memorial for the Class of 1910 – the university’s third class since Oklahoma became a state. While the Class of 1910’s cause was noble, their expertise in construction engineering was lacking. The original Spoonholder was hand made with imperfect sides by free-form concrete.
The poorly made Spoonholder cracked and wore over the following decades. It was reduced to rubble during a redesign of the area in 1983 and later rebuilt – this time with a larger budget and expertise -- by the Class of 1999.
The name “Spoonholder” refers to an old dating practice where mates would sit side by side with one’s arm over the other as they gazed at the stars together. It is a campus myth that if you kiss someone sitting in the Spoonholder, you are destined to marry that person later in life.
One of the physical mementos a Sooner can dream of is their class ring. The class ring represents memories of exciting discoveries, fun times with friends and completing your OU journey.
During Homecoming Week, students and alumni who ordered their rings are honored at the Ring Ceremony. Each member is congratulated by the president upon receiving their ring box. At the end of the ceremony, recipients are finally able to open their boxes and place their rings on their finger with the OU logo facing inward.
Upon the closing comments during commencement, students are then asked to turn their rings with the OU logo facing out to the world, as graduates leave OU and begin to make positive change in their lives.