AD Pledges $1 Million to OU Athletics

NORMAN, Okla. — Former OU Heisman runner up and All-American running back Adrian Peterson has donated $1 million to the OU Athletics Department.

The largest ever financial gift from a former Sooner football player will support the construction of Headington Hall, the new student housing facility scheduled for completion in fall 2013, and establish the Adrian Peterson Football Scholarship Endowment.

"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 currently ranks as 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 the donation, OU's football team meeting room, which is currently known as "The Red Room," will be renamed "The Adrian Peterson Team Meeting Room."

Plans are also being finalized for the former Sooner star'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."

Joe Castiglione, OU Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics, had similar appreciation and sentiments.

"All of us here at the University of Oklahoma are grateful for Adrian's generosity," Castiglione said. "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 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."

Head coach Bob Stoops, who helped groom Peterson into the current star Minnesota Vikings running back that he is today, had even more positive things to say.

"Adrian is certainly special," Stoops said. "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."

The new academic facility for which his funds will be donated towards is a $75 million, 230,000-square foot housing center for OU students and student-athletes being constructed on the corner of Jenkins Ave. and Lindsey St., southeast and across the street from Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

It will have 392 beds in two- and four-bedrooms units and include central dining, computer labs, and study rooms, as well as a faculty-in-residence unit.

The new facility, which will replace Wilkinson, Jones and Jefferson Houses, is being privately funded and fans interested in learning more about contributing to the Headington Hall construction fund should contact the Sooner Club at (405) 325-8000 or toll-free at (866) 766-6372.

Peterson rushed for 4,045 career yards during his three seasons at OU and was a three-time All-Big 12 selection.

He earned All-America honors as a freshman when he ran for a school-record 1,925 yards and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Peterson also set NCAA freshman records for rushing yards, 100-yard rushing games (11), consecutive 100-yard rushing games (nine) and rushing attempts (339) before going on to be selected seventh overall in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Vikings.

He's since went on to be named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year as well as the Pro Bowl MVP in his first season, set the NFL record for single-game rushing yards (296) and become only the fifth player in NFL history to run for more than 3,000 yards through his first two seasons.

In 2010, he became the fifth fastest player to reach the 5,000-yard plateau, doing so in his 51st game.

Currently, Peterson boasts the third highest rushing-yards-per-game average in NFL history (minimum 50 games) at 95.5, trailing only Jim Brown (104.3) and Barry Sanders (99.8).

He's a four-time Pro Bowler since joining the ranks back in 2007.

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