Ex-KU Golfer Dan Rooney Receives National Award

Jan. 18, 2012

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Former Kansas golfer Maj. Dan Rooney received the William D. Richardson Award from the Golf Writers Association of America in recognition of his work with Patriot Golf Day and the Folds of Honor Foundation, which he founded in 2007.

Maj. Rooney, who served three tours of duty in Iraq as an F-16 Fighter Pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, began the Folds of Honor Foundation to provide scholarships to children and spouses of veterans who were killed or disabled while serving the country. The organization’s primary fundraiser, Patriot Golf Day, asks golfers across the nation to contribute an extra dollar for each round of golf they play over Labor Day Weekend. In its five years, the collaboration between The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association has raised more than $12 million, including a record $3.7 million in 2011. Folds of Honor has used that money to provide more than 2,600 scholarships to qualified candidates.

“The PGA of America is proud to congratulate PGA Professional, Maj. Dan Rooney, on being such a deserving recipient of the William D. Richardson Award from the Golf Writers Association of America,” said PGA President Allen Wronowski. “Dan’s extraordinary contributions to the goodwill of the families of soldiers through Patriot Golf Day and the Folds of Honor Foundation define what it means for the game of golf to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for our country.”

The Richardson Award recognizes individuals who have consistently made an outstanding contribution to golf. Past recipients include President Dwight D. Eishenhower, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan. Rooney will be honored at the GWAA Annual Awards Dinner April 4 in Augusta, Ga., along with GWAA Players of the Year Luke Donald, Yani Tseng and Tom Lehman and other GWAA award recipients.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the William D. Richardson Award from the Golf Writers Association of America,” said Rooney. “I look forward to accepting in Augusta on behalf of all of the PGA Professionals and the millions of golfers who have made Patriot Golf Day possible. Together, we have positively impacted the lives of those who serve this great nation.”

In 2008, Rooney was the first-ever recipient of the PGA’s Patriot Award as well as one of People Magazine’s Heroes of the Year. He was also named one of the Persons of the Year by “ABC World News Tonight” in 2008. Rooney has also received the White House’s Presidential Volunteer Service Award, the Air National Guard’s Distinguished Service Medal and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. His many decorations for service include the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Anti-terrorism Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, and Air Expeditionary Medal.

Rooney played golf at Kansas from 1992-95 and earned a Master’s degree in performance psychology.