Facebook can be a blessing and a curse. Most days I glance at it but don’t post very much personally, just occasionally on behalf of the OU Softball Diamond Club. This past Wednesday, however, I was grateful for a posting by a friend and colleague, Debbie Copp. She posted a tribute to someone who meant a lot to the University of Oklahoma, David Maloney. I was so sad to hear of Mr. Maloney’s passing. As Debbie and I both shared via e-mail, he and his wife are such classy people and make an immediate impression on anyone they meet. I have just returned from attending his prayer service. Many of the memories people shared about him were of no surprise to me and only reiterated what I already knew. One particular story shared was by his brother, Tom. He spoke of how Dave taught him to “stand up every time a woman walks into a room.” He didn’t think much of it at the time (he was only 10 years old) but said that to this day, approximately 57 years later, he still stands up when a woman enters the room.
I first met Dave Maloney when I was taking graduate courses at OU. He taught my Sports Marketing course and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing of how he was successful at getting people to donate money to the university. Simply put, he would have a conversation with them, get to know the potential donors and basically invite them to take part in a project with OU. Though I only had him for one course, his methods have stuck with me and think of him every time I meet with a student who wants to go into sales or development.
The past few years, I had the pleasure of seeing Dave and his wife Roberta at almost every home football game. I couldn’t help but smile when I would see them walking, hand-in-hand, into the Santee Lounge. He’d greet me with that sweet, genuine smile and put his arm around me for a hug. When he asked how I was doing, I knew he was sincere. Being an avid basketball fan as well, once football was over, I could count on seeing the Maloneys walk to their seats to attend basketball games at Lloyd Noble Center.
I consider myself blessed for knowing David Maloney. My home football and basketball games will not be the same without him but I know he’s with us in spirit. I was once again reminded this week of how precious life is and how we need to appreciate every day we have.