Sooner Club donor spotlight: Kelly mitchell
Kelly Mitchell is no stranger when it comes to being a Sooner for Life. Whether he is helping make OU Athletics the desired destination for future Sooners or donating funds to help students in need on our university campus, Kelly is always there to support fellow Sooners.
Kelly was Sooner born and Sooner bred as his father attended the University of Oklahoma and served on the OU Board of Regents from 1972 to 1979. His brother and sister are also Oklahoma alumni. After graduating from Sallisaw High School in 1978, there was never a doubt Kelly was going to continue his family’s legacy while playing football for the Sooners as an offensive tackle. Following a successful football career, Kelly graduated from OU in 1983 and began his career in petroleum land management. He has since founded and is the President and CEO of the Heart to Heart Hospice, an organization that offers compassion and services to families of terminally ill patients.
As an OU graduate and letterwinner, Kelly is dedicated to giving back to the university that made him who he is today.
Every time you can help out the Sooners, it keeps the tradition and the spirit going."
As a Sooner Club member, OU Football suite holder, and Varsity O member Kelly has supported numerous athletic initiatives such as Headington Hall, the Ransom Short Course, Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium South End Zone Renovation Project, the Champions of Magic Statue & Recognition Project and the Sooner Air Program. One of Kelly’s biggest motives for supporting OU Athletics is to help student-athletes. “Being a student-athlete is very difficult, especially when you have to learn all the plays, do all the exercises, deal with injuries and then still go to class,” says Kelly.
Aside from athletics, Kelly is also passionate about helping OU students who are experiencing personal emergencies and unexpected financial difficulties. Kelly generously contributed to start Sooners Helping Sooners, a fund that raises money for current Norman, Health Sciences Center and Tulsa campus students facing extenuating financial circumstances beyond their control. “Back in 2012, there seemed to be a great, unmet need for non-traditional aid to OU students who had an immediate crisis,” said Kelly. “With the recent COVID-19 crisis, the OU Student Affairs Office was flooded with immediate needs like food, rent and medical supplies. I am glad the fund was there to help.”
Kelly truly exemplifies what it means to be a Sooner for Life. His contributions to both OU Athletics and Sooners Helping Sooners has impacted current and future student-athletes as well as supported hundreds of students on all three OU campuses. “To me, it’s about commitment,” Kelly explains. “When you make a commitment to give your time, your efforts or donations, the satisfaction you receive is priceless.”