DALLAS — Sitting in a lively New York City bar might seem intimidating to a recent University of Oklahoma graduate who has never traveled beyond the plains and open, blue Oklahoma sky.
But when a few hundred individuals clad in crimson and cream join that graduate to cheer on OU football, he or she won’t feel so far away from home, said Grant Haines, OU journalism and advertising 2009 graduate.
Now a New Yorker, Haines said he is happy to be a part of the OU Alumni Club of NY, and coming together for OU football is a nostalgic experience that allows him to spend time with friends and network.
“Oklahomans stick together,” Haines said. “Every weekend is like a family reunion.”
Support of OU football will be at an all-time high this Saturday for the OU/Texas game. Hordes of fans will travel to Texas for the game, and OU alumni clubs will host receptions, tailgates and watch parties.
OU/Texas weekend, while primarily about the football face-off, is a chance for alumni to reconnect, help raise funds and recruit new students by fostering OU pride.
JP Audas, associate vice president for alumni and development and executive director of the OU Alumni Association, said the University of Oklahoma relies heavily on private support and couldn’t operate without the state of Texas, and in particular OU/Texas weekend.
One thousand ninety-four students in this year’s freshman class are from the state of Texas. That’s about 27 percent of the freshman population, said Andy Roop, OU executive director of recruitment services.
“Texas is second only to Oklahoma in the number of our alumni living in the state,” OU President David L. Boren said.
With such a large number of OU alumni coming to and living in Texas, Audas said alumni can’t help but take advantage of the weekend’s momentum.