Vikings superstar RB Adrian Peterson grew up in Texas and plays professionally in Minnesota, and he’s given generously to the local communities in both areas. But Oklahoma also has a special place in Peterson’s heart, as he starred at the University of Oklahoma before becoming the best RB in the NFL.
Peterson’s commitment to making a positive impact in the community extends to Oklahoma as well, as the University of Oklahoma announced on Thursday that Peterson has pledged a $1 million donation to their athletics department. The donation will support the construction of Headington Hall — OU’s new student housing facility — and will also establish the Adrian Peterson Football Scholarship Endowment. Peterson’s financial gift is the largest ever to OU Athletics from a former Sooners football player.
“This was something that I had been thinking about doing for a long time,” said Peterson, who played at OU from 2004 through 2006 and is OU’s third-all-time-leading rusher. “I always hoped to be in a position to be able to donate back to the University of Oklahoma and make it an even better place; do whatever I could to help the university that did so much for me. It was something that I always wanted to do and there just came a time when I got established and comfortable enough to make it happen. It was a no-brainer to do it and I am thankful that I’m in a position to give back to OU and to show my appreciation.”
In recognition of his gift, the football team meeting room, currently referred to as “The Red Room,” will be renamed “The Adrian Peterson Team Meeting Room.” Plans are also being finalized for Peterson’s name to be associated with Headington Hall’s academic area and study lounge.
“I am extremely grateful for the gift from Adrian Peterson, which will be of great benefit to future student-athletes at OU,” said OU President David L. Boren. “I not only appreciate his generosity, but also the example he is setting for others by giving back to the program in which he was an outstanding participant. He is helping to assure that OU’s excellence in athletics tradition will continue.”
“All of us here at the University of Oklahoma are grateful for Adrian’s generosity,” said Joe Castiglione, OU Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics. “As great of a player as he was in a Sooner uniform, he was always thoughtful and respectful of everyone from coaches, teammates, fans and fellow students. Moreover, he fully recognized the great tradition here at OU and what former student-athletes did to make it possible for him to have a wonderful experience. This special act of kindness furthers the tradition of making it possible for future student-athletes to enjoy the same opportunities to pursue greatness like he was afforded.”
OU head football coach Bob Stoops added, “Adrian is certainly special. He possessed great natural ability, but never took that ability or his teammates for granted and it was common for him to place the interests of others above his own. I’m excited that his name will appear in Headington Hall to remind others of his example of selfless dedication and generosity. I’m also grateful to him for helping us continue the great Sooner legacy.”
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