The deadline for the Golden Grizzly Spirit Award is coming up as its deadline is Friday, Nov. 15.
Originally funded by eight OU alumni, the Golden Grizzly Spirit Award scholarship, has been continuously encouraging students to be more engaged.
Ryan Mostiller, a founding member of the Grizz Gang and one of the founding donors to the Golden Grizzly Spirit Award, said that small donations from the community are the key part in continuing to offer this scholarship.
“It is not a scholarship funded by a business or some kind of financial institution,” Mostiller said. “Instead, there have been hundreds of small financial donations through the last five years.”
Each year, this scholarship provides $1,000 to the winner. Though the monetary prize is not significantly high that it cannot cover much, but the winner can get a joy out of the recognition, according to Mostiller.
The foundation of such scholarship was inspired by his desire of recognition of the most spirited student on campus.
“I was simply hoping to find a way to recognize students who are the most spirited, those that truly bleed black and gold,” Mostiller said. “Also, the other idea was to award a great student not for what program they are in, but just for being someone who would be a great spokesperson for the spirit of the university.”
The scholarship recognizes the most OU spirited student, as proven by the essay they submit. Mostiller also cited that the long-term goal of the scholarship is to become endowed ($25K) to help fund the scholarship.
This scholarship will help promote social interactions among students, and provide students the opportunity to get connected to the founders.
“Interacting with the winners and their family has been fun, and I’ve been able to stay connected to most of the winners,” Mostiller said. “This is a great community and I love being a part of it.”
This scholarship not only provides the connection between the winners and the founder, but it also provides recognition and honor to the winners.
“Knowing that my dedication to OU and school spirit isn’t going unrecognized made me ecstatic,” said Brandon Scoppa, 2018 Golden Grizzly Spirit Award winner.
Scoppa is a senior at OU, majoring in information technology. He is also involved in the Grizz Gang where he has previously served as treasurer and president.
As a member of the Grizz Gang, he has dedicated much of his time in spreading school spirit, planning extracurricular activities for students to be more engaged and boost their OU pride in his work with the Grizz Gang.
“I believe that coming to sporting events, cheering loud and proud, and always wearing the bear on and off the campus were important factors in me receiving the award,” Scoppa said. “While there are many other scholarship opportunities, the Golden Grizzly Spirit Award scholarship presents a unique opportunity for students to be recognized for their school spirit.”
Every year, one student is chosen and awarded $1,000. As this scholarship award for the student embodies Grizzly pride (open to both undergraduate and graduate students), the preference is given to students involved with the Grizz Gang. Though several of the previous winners have been active members of the Grizz Gang, students do not have to be members of the Grizz Gang, according to Mostiller.
Mostiller hopes to grow the scholarship that would allow them to offer aid to more students in the future.
“The network of donors and winners is a very tight group, and I would love to continue to grow the scholarship into a social society where there are yearly meetings as well as fundraiser events,” Mostiller said. “We have had one fundraiser and are going to have our first mini banquet to honor our winner and original donors this year before the Jan. 5 game which is where the winner will be honored.”
To learn more information about the scholarship, students can reach out to Ryan Mostiller at [email protected].