The Norman Transcript

April 14, 2013

Remodeled University Club reopens this week

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The University Club, tucked inside the Oklahoma Memorial Union, was a place where town and gown mingled. It replaced the faculty club which existed for many years west of Boyd House.

The late novelist and professor Jack Bickham wrote about it “Murder at Oklahoma.”

Inside the union, faculty were recruited over lunches.

Students were made to feel appreciated and staff rewarded for exemplary performance.

That venue has been closed for many months while craftsmen worked behind closed doors. President David L. Boren cut the ribbon and re-opened the Jan Marie and Richard J. Crawford University Club this past week.

The beautiful, expanded club reopens for lunch Monday. It was designed similar to the Union’s Beaird Lounge and the Great Reading Room inside Bizzell Memorial Library.

The club has a new director and chef, one coming from Oklahoma City and the other from Santa Fe.

Artwork from the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and Frankoma pottery add to the club’s decor.

The tables have been replaced with booths, red leather seats, stained glass light fixtures, a fireplace, lots of wood and an expanded wine bar. A private dining room looks like just the right place to put the hard rush on a faculty recruit.

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A day later and just a few blocks north, inside the new S&B Burger Joint, more than a dozen cyclists were feeling fairly relaxed Wednesday evening. They are part of R4WH (Ride for World Health), a cross-section of medical students and professionals making a 3,400 mile cross-country journey.

They left San Diego March 20 and will end up in Washington, D.C. May 12.

They are passionate about the need for change in both international and domestic health care. Some of the riders are medical students who will begin residency programs soon.

Their Norman stop included a fundraiser at a private home Tuesday night that brought in about $2,500 for the cause and a burger benefit night at S&B Wednesday night. Dr. Dana Martin, of Norman, is part of the team that is now mid-way through the journey. Jody Watson, also of Norman, took part in the ride’s first leg.

Local riders Phil Trotter, Greg Groshans and Scott Moses rode with them from Weatherford to Oklahoma City, mostly along Route 66.

A “solidarity ride” with members of the Bicycle League of Norman was canceled Wednesday evening.

The riders are in Tulsa today before continuing east towards Muskogee. Along the way, they have touched or will touch California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and then Virginia before pedaling into the nation’s capital city.

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We have now officially entered the busy season in Norman. This weekend’s Red-White football game, followed by April 20 89er Day parade and assorted festivities, the Lions Club Carnival and Norman Music Festival weekend, May Fair, then OU and high school graduations.

It’s also a time when spring sports are ending and the summer seasons are gearing up.

We’ve seen more than a few parents moving their kids from one sports event to another, all the while changing clothes in the back of the van on the way to practice, all the while eating food from a sack.

We can imagine the frustrated child not remembering whether to kick the ball, tackle a teammate who has the ball, throw it towards a net or pick it up and throw it to home base.

Andy Rieger


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