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WBB Completes Endowment Program
June 27, 2007

June 27, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma women's basketball program is making history this week by achieving a feat accomplished by only a few such programs in the nation - successful completion of a fund-raising campaign endowing all 15 scholarship positions.

"We began the endowment program in 2005 with a goal of creating a perpetual source of funding for our women's basketball program," said OU head coach Sherri Coale.  "The full endowment of all 15 scholarships puts us in a position to achieve self-sufficiency, an accomplishment achieved by very few programs across the country."

In the span of only 30 months, Coale and company have completed the campaign, which endows each position with a $200,000 gift from OU alumni and friends.

OU President David L. Boren said, "I am deeply grateful to those generous donors who have helped the OU women's basketball program make history by endowing scholarships for team members."

In April 2005, Coale announced the "Starting Five," supporters whose gifts established the first-ever endowed positions for the team.  The "Starting Five" donors are the family of Jimmie Austin of Seminole in honor of his late wife, Lucille "Marie" Austin; the Jim and Christy Everest family of Oklahoma City; the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in honor of Mary Jane Noble of Ardmore; and Bob and Ann Coleman of San Antonio; as well as an anonymous donor.

Since January 2006, seven other donors have joined the fold: Wayne T. "Dusty" and LaFawn Biddle of Englewood Colo.; John and Sue Gibbs of Ardmore; Robert and Doris Klabzuba of Fort Worth; John and Mary Nichols of Oklahoma City; the Fast Break Club and Sooner Stilettos, women's basketball support organizations, in honor of Marita Hynes, longtime associate athletics director at OU, now retired; the Donald E. Criswell Family of Oklahoma City; and Henry Roberson of Norman.

The three endowments that completed the campaign were gifts from Jimmy Williams and Marty Kavanaugh-Williams, Debbie Morehead and Cody Pogue, all of Edmond, in honor of Coale; Steve and Becki Seay of Cheyenne; and Jeannine T. Rainbolt of Oklahoma City.

"While the financial repercussions are emphatic and will continue to resonate through the years, the relationship piece of this program has already proven priceless," said Coale.  "The individuals and families who have generously endowed these positions have invested in the lives of our past, present and future student athletes."

OU Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione added, "The success of any endowment program rests with the donors who make it possible.  We benefit greatly from individuals and families who share our vision for education and competition, and I cannot thank them enough for the strength they give to our program.

"I also can't thank Sherri Coale enough for her emphasis on the endowment program.  She became very interested in this concept, and her energy was essential in making it a success.  Sherri's focus on the goal was infectious.

"President Boren's initiative to grow the university's endowment is well-documented and extremely important.  It is rewarding for our department to support his direction in this way."

Just the facts on the Endowment Program...
• The $200,000 donation covers the renewing annual cost of one women's basketball scholarship.  The donation is put into a consolidated investment fund with the OU Foundation. The OU Foundation produces an average annual yield of 8.5 percent on the investment, which covers inflation and other variables on top of the 5 percent annual cost of the scholarship.
 
• The financial impact of the endowments is approximately $150,000 for the annual operating budget of the women's basketball program.
 
• Each endowed scholarship will connect with a women's basketball 'Foundation Player'.  This is more than endowing a position on the team.  It is the opportunity to have a connection with a former player who filled that position while attending the University of Oklahoma and helped lay the foundation  for what, and who, the program is today.  The Foundation Player will be the first member of the scholarship family followed by the first years' recipient.
 
• It took OU just 30 months to completely endow all 15 scholarships.  The Starting Five endowments were donated during the opening months of 2005 and announced in April of that year.  The final three endowments were announced on June 27, 2007.
 
• The women's basketball program is the first athletic team at OU to have all of its scholarships endowed.  Similar programs exist with football  and men's basketball, and are being created for every team at OU.  OU President David Boren has led an extensive endowment program within the academic community at OU.  The current donation required to fully endow an athletic scholarship is $250,000.

Below is a list of the 15 OU Women's Basketball Endowments with foundation player and current recipient:

The Lucille "Marie" Austin Scholarship
Foundation Player: Stephanie Simon
Prior Recipient: Lauren Shoush
Current Recipient: Courtney Paris

The Bob and Ann Coleman Scholarship
Foundation Player: Phylesha Whaley
Prior Recipient: Antoinette Wadworth
Current Recipient: Krista Sanchez

The Jim and Christy Everest Scholarship
Foundation Player: Caton Hill
Prior Recipient: Erin Higgins
Current Recipient: Danielle Robinson

The Mary Jane Noble Scholarship
Foundation Player: Stacey Dales
Prior Recipient: Laura Andrews
Current Recipient: Ashley Paris

Anonymous Donor
Foundation Player: Teresa Turner
Prior Recipient: Beky Preston
Current Recipient: Jenny Vining

The Wayne T. "Dusty" and LaFawn Biddle Scholarship
Foundation Player: Jen Cunningham
Prior Recipient: Leah Rush
Current Recipient: Carlee Roethlisberger

The Robert and Doris Klabzuba Scholarship
Foundation Player: Molly McGuire-Snively
Current Recipient: Chelsi Welch

The John and Sue Gibbs Scholarship
Foundation Player: Dionnah Jackson
Current Recipient: Kendra Moore

The Mary and John Nichols Scholarship
Foundation Player: Tami Rogers
Current Recipient: Carolyn Winchester

The Fast Break Club & Sooner Stilettos Marita Hynes Scholarship
Foundation Player: Desiree Taylor
Current Recipient: Britney Brown

The Don Criswell Family Scholarship
Foundation Player: Shannon Selmon
Current Recipient: Amanda Thompson

The Henry P. Roberson Family Scholarship
Foundation Player: Jamie Talbert-Wyrick
Current Recipient: Jenna Plumley

The Sherri Coale Scholarship
Foundation Player: Sunny Hardeman
Current Recipient: Nyeshia Stevenson

The Seay Family Scholarship
Foundation Player:  Lisa Allison
Current Recipient: Abi Olajuwon

The Jeannine T. Rainbolt Scholarship
Foundation Player: Angie Guffy-Koontz
Current Recipient: Rose Hammond

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