Going above and beyond is the message that the University of Tulsa student-athletes sent this year when it came to their involvement in the Tulsa and surrounding communities. Golden Hurricane student-athletes volunteered over 5,800 hours of community service during the 2015-16 academic year.
A collegiate student-athlete puts in numerous hours in practice and on the game field as well as academically with studying and classroom work. Yet another aspect of a student-athletes' life, that may go unnoticed, is the community service hours that are volunteered throughout the season.
"We're excited with all of the volunteer hours that our student-athletes give to the community. It's another aspect of college life that we believe is important for our athletes to experience, and it's obviously helping a great community," said Tulsa's Vice-President & Director of Athletics Dr. Derrick Gragg.
Community service hours for Tulsa student-athletes more than doubled from 2,606 hours in 2014-15 to 5,822.85 hours during the 2015-16 season.
"This year, our service hours from the student-athletes dramatically increased from recent years," said Schnea Nealy, assistant athletics director for academic & student services and coordinator for Tulsa's student-athlete community service program. "There are so many elementary school students that our athletes have impacted whether it's volunteering for reading programs, speaking on various topics or just playing games. But, our community service extends farther than just involvement with youth programs."
Some of the community programs Tulsa student-athletes have been involved with in the past academic year have included: Kendall-Whittier, Rogers Middle School, Mayo Demonstration Elementary School, United Methodist Church, Life Church, Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges, Team Tulsa, Marshall Elementary, Sequoyah Elementary Reading Partners, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade, Edison Middle School, Lift Up America, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Oklahoma, St. Francis Children's Hospital, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, Carnegie Elementary, St. Francis Camp Strong, Little Lighthouse, Row for Humanity, Read Across America Day and the Salvation Army.