OU Honored for Work Improving Lives of Veterans


Army veterans uniform, Operation Hat Trick

OU was recently honored by Operation Hat Trick, a nonprofit organization that supports wounded U.S. combat veterans, for helping in the recovery of wounded U.S. service members and veterans.

The organization named OU as one of five finalists for its 2017 Excellence in Service Award at the Collegiate Licensing Company conference in May.

By offering officially licensed Operation Hat Trick merchandise to fans, alumni and friends of OU, the university has helped raise thousands of dollars in donations. In recognition of its efforts, Operation Hat Trick will make a donation to the Warriors for Freedom Foundation on OU’s behalf.

OU was chosen based on its efforts to fully integrate Operation Hat Trick by offering special merchandise in bookstores and retail outlets; promoting veterans’ causes on social media and in advertising; and generating additional revenue that will help veterans recover from both the visible and invisible injuries they’ve suffered in combat.

“Raising funds is a critical part of meeting their needs, but just as important is raising awareness of their struggles so we never forget our obligation to help them overcome their injuries and enjoy full lives.”

“The University of Oklahoma has shown the kind of commitment to our veterans we’re hoping to inspire all over the country,” said Dot Sheehan, Operation Hat Trick founder and president. “Raising funds is a critical part of meeting their needs, but just as important is raising awareness of their struggles so we never forget our obligation to help them overcome their injuries and enjoy full lives.”

Other finalists for the award were Texas A&M University, Boise State University, the University of Alabama and Old Dominion University.

“The University of Oklahoma is committed to honoring the men and women who bravely serve our country. Participating in Operation Hat Trick is one way we can fulfill that promise,” said Candace Stimmel, director of trademark licensing at OU. “We are honored to be chosen as a finalist for the Excellence in Service Award and look forward to seeing the impact the donation will undoubtedly have on the Warriors for Freedom Foundation.”

Operation Hat Trick has partnered with hundreds of sports teams and companies, including more than 350 universities and colleges. A portion of each sale of Operation Hat Trick-branded merchandise is donated to select organizations that support the recovery of wounded service members and veterans.

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Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.