Former Oklahoma Sooners pitcher Dan Burrell donated $850,000 to the University of Oklahoma baseball program. Burrell, who passed away in April 2009, wanted to give back to the program that he was a part of more than 60-years ago.
The $850,000 will be set aside for endowed scholarships for current and future members of the Sooners baseball pitching staff.
“As we look at some of our outstanding pitchers, like Jeremy Erben and Bobby Shore who played at a high level this season and helped us return to the College World Series, this gift will benefit current and future Sooners and assist our program in maintaining that high standard,” said head coach Sunny Golloway.
Burrell passed away in his home in San Francisco, where he worked in insurance since graduating from Oklahoma.
Burrell played for the Sooners in 1947, 1948 and 1949 after fighting in World War II. He received a Bronze Star, an honor presented to soldiers who demonstrated heroism or meritorious service, while serving in the artillery division and finished his military career with the rank of captain.
Burrell helped OU make their first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 1947, the first year the sanctioned NCAA postseason determined a National Champion. The Sooners won their conference that year, finishing with a 15-13 record.
“Dan Burrell has truly left a legacy in the Oklahoma baseball program,” said OU Athletics Director/Vice President Joe Castiglione. “His extremely generous gift will make it possible for dozens of young men to follow in his footsteps, and we hope each of those young men can live as successfully as Mr. Burrell. He succeeded in business, but also was a war hero obviously a loyal man. I wish we could thank him personally, but we will use his gift in such a way as to bring tribute to him.”
The endowment is the single largest given to any Oklahoma sport. The endowed scholarships will be available for the 2011 season.
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