M A G A Z I N E FALL 2018 | obumagazine.com
Integrating Faith with all areas of knowledge
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Greetings from Bison Hill! The beginning of the fall semester is always an enjoyable time as we welcome new and returning students to campus. On the cover of this edition of the OBU Magazine is a photo taken during Welcome Week of our incoming freshmen and transfer students joining with upperclassmen and employees to worship together as a family of believers. This is a tradition on Bison Hill that many of our alumni look back upon with fond memories. In preparation for the fall semester, we completed two renovation projects on campus this summer including interior updates to Agee Residence Center and remodeling and repurposing spaces in the Geiger Center. Our faculty and staff are committed to delivering the best academic experience possible along with providing support, encouragement, and personal and spiritual growth opportunities for our students. Because of our employees’ dedication and faithful service, The Wall Street Journal recently recognized OBU as the second highest ranked university in the nation for student engagement. These rankings included 968 colleges and universities of all types and sizes. We are proud of the accomplishments of our faculty and alumni and enjoy recognizing them for their successes. OBU’s 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award recipient has a passion for transforming students’ lives both inside and outside of the classroom, while our 2018 alumni award winners live out their callings as they work in the fields of music and higher education. You will read about both of them in this edition. OBU’s commitment to excellence also is displayed by our athletes and coaches as they strive for success not only on the field or court, but more importantly, in life. With a total of 550 collegiate athletes, our second year of full NCAA Division II membership is well underway. Volunteer chaplains provide spiritual and personal support and serve as mentors for these student athletes. Each year, we commission hundreds of students and mentors to take the gospel to the world. This summer one of our many Global Outreach trips took several nursing students, an alumna and a nursing professor to Indonesia to use their skills at a local hospital and to visit an English support community. Both experiences opened doors to share the gospel with those who needed to hear. We ask for your continued prayers as we seek to fulfill our mission as a Christian liberal arts university to transform lives by equipping students to pursue academic excellence, integrate faith with all areas of knowledge, engage a diverse world, and live worthy of the high calling of God in Christ. May God bless you as He continues to bless OBU.
David Wesley Whitlock OBU President
FORD HALL RENOVATION
Features 3 Dr. Bret Roark
Distinguished Teaching Award Winner
6 A Decade of Achievements
Dr. David Whitlock Reaches Ten-Year Mark
10 Q&A with Dale Griffin
Transforming Students through Spiritual Life
12 Chaplains at OBU
Shepherding Student Athletes
14 Nursing Students in Indonesia Global Outreach Trip
16 Hobbs Adds New Programs New Degrees for the Next Generation
18 Faculty News
New Faculty and Faculty Books
A PUBLICATION OF OKLAHOMA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY FALL 2018 | VOLUME 13, NUMBER 2
email@example.com | 405.585.5410 Editor
Contributing Editors Kenny Day Dr. Will Smallwood Writers Brittany Barrett Kenny Day
Lane Castleberry Joshua Midgley
Damon Seymour _____________________
UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION President
30 Departments 20 Vision 2020
Campaign Update Student Services Center New Offices for Student and Spiritual Life
Jacqueline Corley, ’12
24 Alumni Achievement Award Paul Langford, ’88
26 GOLD Award 28 Hall of Fame
Baptista, Chambers, Costa and Hilton
30 Second Year of NCAA
Athletic Excellence at the Next Level
34 Alumni Notes Future Bison, Marriages, Class Notes, In Memoriam
On the Cover
Integrating Faith with all areas of knowledge PAGE 10
OBU MAGAZINE FALL 2018
Senior VP for Dr. Will Smallwood Advancement and University Relations VP for Enrollment and Student Life
VP for Academic Affairs
Dr. Susan DeWoody
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M A G A Z I N E FALL 2018
Dr. David W. Whitlock
Executive VP for Randy L. Smith Business and Administrative Services
Students worship together at the Unity Gathering, an annual tradition on Monday night of Welcome Week. The lighting of candles and powerful time of worship is a bonding experience for new Bison each fall.
In compliance with federal law, including the provision of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Oklahoma Baptist University does not illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, disability, military service, or genetic information in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities, its admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic or other university administered programs, or employment.
Destined for Bison Hill …Twice Dr. Bret Roark received the 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award during Spring Commencement in May. The award is the highest honor for OBU faculty members, presented annually to a professor who has taught at OBU for five consecutive years or more and has “distinguished himself or herself in the teaching profession over a period of several years as acknowledged by former students, peers and current students.” Roark serves as professor of psychology, Ralph and Marie Barby Chair, and division chair for Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Dr. Bret Roark spent his earliest childhood years in McKinney, Texas. He came to Oklahoma during junior high, attending school in Midwest City and ultimately graduating from high school in Ponca City, where his father, Dr. Mack Roark, ’58, professor emeritus of Bible, was pastor of First Baptist Church, Ponca City. In 1984, both came to OBU, Bret as a student and his father as vice president of religious life. The third generation to attend OBU, Bret went on to earn a bachelor’s degree on Bison Hill in 1988 and both master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas Tech. Before finishing his doctorate, an opportunity arose for an assistant professor position at OBU. “I want to express my deep appreciation to OBU Professor Emeritus Dr. Oscar Jeske for his role in starting my career at OBU,” Roark said. “When I went to graduate school he kept track of me, and when an opening for a psychology professor became available, he reached out to me to see if I would be interested. Even though I still had coursework to complete in my graduate program, his efforts on my behalf allowed me to apply the following year.” Roark joined the faculty that fall as an assistant professor of psychology. He was grateful for the opportunity, as he knew teaching at OBU was a great fit for him.
While Roark has been recognized with both the Promising Teacher Award and the Distinguished Teaching Award, he remains humble, seeking to continuously improve his craft while learning from and admiring the manner in which other professors instruct their students. “It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with the colleagues I have here at OBU. So many great faculty
OBU MAGAZINE FALL 2018
Investing in Students to Transform Lives In addition to the impact his colleages have made on his career, Roark credits another group on campus with affecting him deeply: the students. “The vast majority of OBU students are eager to learn, willing to work hard and serious about the task of integrating their faith and discipline,” he said. “Quality teaching is about challenging, shaping, guiding and influencing students to stretch their minds and hone their abilities. I’ve seen students who are too shy to speak up in class grow into competent professionals in their field. I’ve seen students’ faces light up when they finally understand a difficult concept. I’ve seen students serve
“The vast majority of OBU students are eager to learn, willing to work hard and serious about the task of integrating their faith and discipline.” – DR. BRET ROARK
“While in graduate school, I enjoyed my research assistantships, but even more rewarding were the teaching opportunities I had. From those experiences I knew that my goal was to work at an institution that emphasized teaching over research activity. I also knew firsthand the benefit of a Christian, liberal arts education, and so I was delighted by the opportunity to return and join the ranks of faculty here at OBU.”
members have been role models for me, and not just the ones who have gone before me. At every rank, OBU has faculty who inspire me and I know I am a better educator because of their influence.”
God in a variety of amazing ways. I consider my career at OBU incomplete because I want to see more of this for years to come.” Roark cherishes the time spent with students and is passionate about helping shape their lives and careers in positive ways, just as his professors did for him. “Many of my favorite memories during my career are of my interactions with students. Whether it is the experiences we share at professional conferences or the times I have them over and we fellowship around the fire in my backyard, these moments with students are valuable to me because I consider it an honor to share in their lives.” Roark also has a clear vision for what he intends his students to learn as well as the knowledge he believes they value most from taking his courses.
“If you were to ask my students what are the three most important things I want them to learn, they would answer ‘Define an interaction, identify the variables in a study and use APA format correctly.’ Technically, they would be right because I do think that every psychology major should be able to do those things. “However, the really important things to learn are things that we, all OBU faculty, teach collectively. I want my students to learn how to serve God in their chosen field with professionalism and integrity and how to care for others with compassion and empathy. It’s sometimes difficult to get that across in a research methods class, so I’m thankful to work at a place where those concepts are built into the mission of the university.”
Distinguished Teaching Award Not only is Roark a third generation Bison alumnus, but he is also a second-generation Distinguished Teaching Award winner, with his father receiving the honor in 1997. “This is an immense honor. As I look at the names of past recipients, I find I am truly standing among giants, and the weight of being named with them creates, in my mind, a responsibility to live up to the honor I’ve been given. What stands out most are not the publications or professional accomplishments of past recipients, but the significant influence they had on the lives of their students. Of particular significance to me is that my father, OBU Professor Emeritus Dr. Mack Roark, is a past recipient of this award. He, more than any other person, has shaped my ideas of what distinguished teaching should look like.” One of his nominators wrote of Roark, “He is one of the most influential people in my career. As a student at OBU, I was challenged by him to pursue academic excellence and to dream big. As with all of his students, he unapologetically set the bar high for me, believing that I was capable of accomplishing great things.” A fellow faculty member said, “When I joined OBU as a faculty member, he not only welcomed me into the OBU faculty community, but provided invaluable mentorship from the beginning. My hope is that I will somehow
inspire my students in the same way that he has inspired me.”
Roark receives the Distinguished Teaching Award from Dr. David Whitlock during the 2018 Spring Commencement.
Roark’s dedication to teaching excellence extends beyond his undergraduate teaching duties. He is a faculty sponsor for the OBU chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. He also teaches graduate courses in the Marriage and Family Therapy program as well as a course in the MBA graduate program. He is currently supervising 12 students conducting research projects and is providing supervision to the Psi Chi Research Team as they engage in their research project. Recently named chair of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences, he serves as chair-elect of Faculty Council.
When not teaching, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his granddaughter, Addison, who just turned one. Yet, he doesn’t need to get away from work to see most of his family members. His wife, Radonna, is assistant professor of French at OBU and they have three children currently attending as fourth-generation Bison. Brianna is a senior early childhood and elementary education double major, Alyssa is a sophomore finance major and Brennan is a freshman management major.
VIRTUS IN BACKGROUND
of University Achievements Ten years ago, OBU welcomed its 15th president, Dr. David W. Whitlock. The following year, in 2009, “OBU 2020: Vision, Mission, Values” was implemented as an outline for future growth. Since that time, the University has made tremendous progress toward achieving that vision.
OBU MAGAZINE FALL 2018
Take a look back over the past decade to read about some of the changes on Bison Hill. In the past 10 years, OBU has experienced a 20% growth in enrollment, constructed new buildings, renovated multiple current buildings, added undergraduate and graduate programs, modified and expanded curriculum, enhanced community outreach, improved relations with churches and our denomination, improved faculty compensation and professional development, expanded student scholarships and advanced student services.
JANE E. AND NICK K. STAVROS HALL
New Construction ❙ Construction on the Village Apartments, designed to accommodate 230 students, began in May 2012. Two apartments were completed in August 2013 and the third was completed in August 2014. ❙ The Lodge was opened in August 2015 and provides housing for 160 students in suite style accommodations. ❙ The 32,000-square-foot home for the College of Nursing was completed in Janary 2016 and dedicated as Jane E. and Nick K. Stavros Hall. ❙ The Mathena Center for Sports Medicine was added in fall 2014 thanks to a gift from the Mathena family.
“The Board of Trustees acknowledges the many significant accomplishments achieved under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Whitlock … and expresses its sincere appreciation for his untiring service and dedication to the University and, more importantly, to growing the Kingdom of God through the mission and ministry of OBU.” – STEVE ALLEN Chairman of the Board
GEIGER CENTER CAFETERIA
Renovations OBU’s Mission Statement and five Core Values were an outgrowth of “OBU 2020: Vision, Mission, Values.” MISSION STATEMENT As a Christian liberal arts university, OBU transforms lives by equipping students to pursue academic excellence, integrate faith with all areas of knowledge, engage a diverse world, and live worthy of the high calling of God in Christ.
CORE VALUES Christ Centered Excellence Driven Learning Focused Missional Purposed Community Directed
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❙ Completely repurposed and remodeled, Ford Hall opened in Spring 2018 with new furnishings, modernized practice rooms, a recording studio, an art and animation lab and Steinway-designed Boston pianos among other features. ❙ Shawnee Hall underwent extensive cleaning and renovation of the exterior during the summer of 2015 for its centennial celebration. Two main classrooms also were remodeled and updated with state-of-the-art technology. ❙ Montgomery Hall’s second floor was remodeled to house the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry faculty and was dedicated in May 2012. ❙ A gift from Sara Lou and Bob Cargill provided the funding to renovate the president’s house into offices, meeting rooms and gathering spaces for alumni and friends. The offices of alumni and advancement moved to the Cargill Advancement and Alumni Center in May 2014. ❙ Agee Residence Center was renovated in phases during 2012, 2015 and 2018. ❙ A former restaurant located close to campus was purchased and remodeled into the Kemp Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic thanks to a grant from the Avedis Foundation and a major endowment from alumni Ron and Lou Kemp. ❙ Through a new partnership with food service vendor, Chartwells, the first floor of the Geiger Center was renovated and a new grill, Chick-fil-a and coffee shop were added. On the second floor, the entire cafeteria and kitchen area were expanded and remodeled.
RON AND LOU KEMP MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY CLINIC
AGEE RESIDENCE CENTER
❙ The first floor of the Geiger Center was renovated in the summer of 2018 to house a new combined area for Student Life and Spiritual Life. The family of Dick and Sue Rader provided the lead gift for this renovation and the Women of Vision provided a donation for the Women of Vision Spiritual Life Center. ❙ A building close to campus was acquired and remodeled in 2013 to use as the Science Annex for the Wood Science Building.
Campus Beautification ❙ Three life-sized Bison sculptures were placed on the northeast corner of campus at the intersection of Kickapoo and MacArthur. The work is named “Virtus,” meaning valor, excellence, character, courage and worth.
The OBU Board of Trustees dedicated a statue of Dr. David W. Whitlock in honor of his 10 years of service to OBU. The head bobs a bit and it’s only 8 inches tall, but guests to the event thought the likeness was stunning. Dr. Will Smallwood presented the “statue” during the Board of Trustees meeting in October.
❙ OBU has been awarded a level I accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens.
Academic Achievements ❙ The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) reaffirmed OBU’s status as an accredited institution of higher learning until 2027. ❙ Two new online Master of Arts degrees in Christian Studies and Intercultural Studies were launched. continued on page 32
Seeing Students Transformed Through God-directed Lives Why is it important to have an office of Spiritual Life?
Dale Griffin serves as assistant vice president for spiritual life and dean of the chapel and was recently named interim dean of students. A 1984 OBU graduate, Griffin spent most of his life working with college students. He came to OBU as an employee in 2002 having served as director of the Baptist Student Union (now called Baptist Collegiate Ministries) at the University of New Mexico.
OBU MAGAZINE FALL 2018
Spiritual Life is at the heart of OBU. As an unapologetically Christian university and an unashamedly Baptist university, we integrate the highest in academic excellence with spiritual fervor. The founders of the university prayed for a blend of the most earnest piety with the most active intelligence. They asked the Lord to bless the university saying, “Let… Thy Spirit dwell in this place from generation to generation through Thy Son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… Our Father, cause this Oklahoma Baptist University to stand very high among the powers which bid us hope great things.” The role of Spiritual Life is to foster that kind of spiritual fervor in the context of personal development in the academic disciplines. We “hope great things” as we foster Bible studies, service projects, worship opportunities, global engagement and personal devotion. Spiritual Life is made up of Student Ministry, the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach, the OBU Center for Discipleship and chapel. Students experience spiritual life initiatives integrated into the entire OBU experience. Residential life, athletics, individual colleges and affinity groups all have spiritual formation elements for personal benefit. What services can a student expect from Spiritual Life? Through initiatives fostered by Spiritual Life, students have opportunities to be discipled by peers, faculty and/or staff. We offer Noonday lunches on Wednesdays for fellowship and encouragement provided through the support of local churches. Students can participate in Global Engagement trips and events including Global Outreach trips, “Going Green” academic trips, international studies and extended times of service. We offer worship opportunities at Canterbury every other Thursday evening, chapels on Wednesdays and Connect chapels on select Fridays. Students can serve the local community through the ministry of the local church and service projects in the immediate area. They can discover resources for personal growth, develop as a spiritual mentor and ministry leader, and so much more.
What are some of the long-term goals for Spiritual Life? A primary goal of Spiritual Life is to call students into a personal dynamic relationship with God, sending laborers out to the nations to worship him. The call is centered around the gospel. Our relationship with God comes to us in gift form only. That gift is to be opened and enjoyed. Therefore, we desire for every student to have a dynamic relationship with God as he speaks over them his faithful love. Receiving that love sends the student on a quest for responding to that love by loving God in return with their whole heart, soul, mind and body as he develops them to go into all the world with their many gifts and talents to bring glory to God in every field of study and endeavor. That is a lofty goal. And yet, it is a goal achieved year after year as graduates leave OBU to see the world transformed through their God-directed lives. What are some things that people may not know about Spiritual Life? Spiritual Life is woven throughout the university. It is not a club for only certain people to enjoy. It is a way of thinking and interacting while a student at OBU. The Spiritual Life staff includes Dr. Joy Turner, director of the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach, and Clay Phillips, director of student ministry and the OBU Center for Discipleship. Student ministry associates are recruited each year to foster discipleship in residential life and to assist with the details of Spiritual Life initiatives. Student workers also play a significant role in the day to day details. But, we could not complete the task without churches that volunteer for Noonday, road trips, service projects and more. And much of the work depends on volunteers who serve as chaplains, disciple-makers, GO Trip mentors, peer leaders and so much more.
Griffin invests in the lives of students to challenge them in their spiritual walk, encourage them to fulfill God’s purposes for their lives and develop them as disciple-makers.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your position at OBU? One of the most rewarding aspects of the job is seeing how the chapel program develops each year. So many voices are involved in the process, and yet, one cohesive theme and program emerges. But the greatest reward is the joy of seeing students transformed through the overall OBU experience. To know that Spiritual Life has played a significant role in the student’s overall transformational experience keeps me motivated for the next year. It encourages me to believe God for more and pray with fervency for another generation of God-honoring students in training on Bison Hill. What should prospective students know about Spiritual Life at OBU? If a student is looking for a university that keeps Christ at the center of the overall experience, if the prospective student wants an integrated rather than club-like Christian experience in college, if the student wants to participate in something much larger than they are individually, and if the student wants to be challenged in their spiritual walk while experiencing the best in academic excellence, they need to give OBU the highest consideration.
College is often a challenging time full of discovery and growth, especially for student athletes, who, on top of their course work, balance a rigorous training regimen and constant travel. These athletes benefit from support and encouragement from those who understand those demands. At OBU, chaplains offer this encouragement through guidance, conversation and prayer.
Clay Phillips, director of student ministry, and Linda Perkins, volleyball chaplain, are two such individuals serving as chaplains to OBU’s student athletes. For the past year, Phillips has served as chaplain to the Bison football team, where he has been able to lead team devotionals, join them in prayer, travel to games, assist
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injured players and spend as much time as possible with each of them. “Chaplaincy is important because faith and your walk with Christ should permeate every area of life, including recreation and careers,” he said. “For our student athletes, their sport is both of those things.” In only one season as chaplain, Phillips has seen the impact the chaplaincy program can make on OBU’s athletes, many of whom are struggling to maintain their priorities. “One of the most important things students gain is a constant awareness of the spiritual side of everything they do,” he said. “Having someone around them whose sole job is to challenge them and minister to them spiritually always keeps their faith in the picture.” For more than 10 years, Linda Perkins has served as chaplain to the women’s volleyball team. She and her husband, Bruce Perkins, vice president for enrollment and student life at OBU, have used that time to cultivate
relationships and care for the young women who come through the athletics program. As a former All-State volleyball competitor, she can relate to the struggles student athletes face on a daily basis. “The management of class time, study time, practice time and game time is a daunting task,” she said. “Added to that is the pressure to perform at a high level in both practices and games. The need for balance and perspective is vital. The place to find this is in one’s relationship with Christ through God’s Word. It is our daily relationship with Christ that reminds us of God’s sovereignty and his power working through us to produce the fruit of the Spirit.”
Each year, she chooses a book by a Christian author that she feels best addresses the needs of the young women in the volleyball program. She also schedules meetings with them, prays with them, joins them in conversation and even makes them dessert. Her hope is that the team feels loved and encouraged in a way that supports growth. “From the moment I was asked to assume this role, I have considered it a great stewardship, which I take very seriously,” she said. “I am continually amazed that these young ladies want to spend time with me. They are, have been and will continue to be some of the greatest blessings in my life.”
Since 1910, OBU has been committed to transforming lives by equipping students to pursue academic excellence, integrate faith with all areas of knowledge, engage a diverse world and live worthy of the high calling of God in Christ. This truth is not only made evident through the many programs, activities and events that take place on Bison Hill, but it is also on full display through the dedication and compassion of the University’s faculty and staff. These professors, staff, ministers and administrators serve students year-round, supporting them and encouraging them in both their education and their walk with Christ.
Nursing Students Experience New Culture By Payton Clark
OBU MAGAZINE FALL 2018
group of six OBU nursing students and two mentors took the voyage of a lifetime this summer, traveling to Bandar Lampung, Sumatra, Indonesia, on a multiweek, cross-cultural ministry experience. The journey was a Global Outreach (GO) Trip, with the purpose of extending the Gospel of Jesus Christ while also giving students a chance to experience a different culture. Dr. Robin Brothers, assistant professor of nursing, and OBU nursing alumna Hannah Christian served as mentors for the team,
which traveled May 30 through June 21. The team included students Sarina, Alex, Blythe, Malia, Devyn and Julianna. Throughout the trip, the team of nursing students had the chance to observe nurses, doctors and patients at a local hospital, Rumah Sakit Imanuel, and assisted with a local English support group. “The name [of the hospital] alone opens the door to important conversations, and some come to the hospital feigning illness to hear the good news,” junior nursing
major Devyn, from Meeker, Oklahoma, said. “There, we got to observe nurses, talk and build relationships with nurses and doctors at the nurses’ stations, and visit with patients. Many patients, or their families, let us pray for them and whatever they were facing in the hospital, whether that was an illness, procedure, dying family member, birth or any other issue.” The team also visited with Connect, an English support community, where they had the chance to learn about and share cultures with the “Connectees.” “We built relationships and practiced English with other young adults, allowing them to see that not all Americans are like the media portrays them, just as the Muslim members of Connect helped us to see that not all Muslims are like the media portrays them,” Devyn said. “The time spent at Connect was some of my favorite time in Indonesia.” Devyn had never been out of the United States before her GO Trip but wanted to gain more practical experience in both nursing and sharing the gospel. Now, she is considering returning to Indonesia in the future on another GO Trip. “Aside from the fact that God called me to go somewhere this summer, I chose to go to Indonesia because it was a trip for nursing majors and I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn some basic nursing skills for my upcoming junior year,” Devyn said. “I also chose to go because serving hospital patients, even with my limited skills, seemed like a wonderful way to build relationships and possibly to share the good news with them.” According to Devyn, simple things like transportation were more hectic in Indonesia. “Traffic was crazy [because] there aren’t really any rules and the primary family car is a motorbike (not a motorcycle, which is a larger vehicle). Parents often transport one to three children on a single bike,” Devyn said. “Bikes would weave in the small spaces between cars on the road, so while there were lines on the road that would denote two or three lanes in America, roads were actually more like five to seven lanes.”
Along with cars and motorbikes, the streets and city were also filled with people selling various things to get tips or donations. While employment isn’t hard to find, Devyn said well-paying employment is, resulting in shops hiring many employees for small wages. “As part of Ramadan, Muslims are more generous to the poor, so we often saw children aged four to 10 trying to sell newspapers at stoplights, pressing their faces and the papers to your car window,” Devyn said. “Some also had small instruments and would offer to play them, and older children would sometimes be seen in animal costumes, trying to get tips. Disabled adults and anyone else who could have reason to seek donations from strangers would also weave between stopped cars to ask for money.” Devyn believes GO Trips are essential in allowing OBU students to experience the world and to see how Christianity looks around the world. “I think it is important for OBU students to participate in GO trips because it shows them that the world is so much bigger than the bubble we all live in,” she said. “It can show them, as it did me, just how universal the church is. Even if they don’t understand any word in a church service, they can still feel at home because they are surrounded by like-minded people.’” Devyn believes participating in GO Trips most importantly shows people God’s power through their weaknesses. “GO Trips truly show us how much we are incapable of, and how dependent we have to be on God to use us and work through us. It can be incredibly difficult to be on the other side of the world, away from home and all its comforts, with few people you know, and with few people who speak the same language,” Devyn said. “GO Trips allow God to work in us and change us in a way unlike any other.”
PAYTON CLARK is a senior communication studies major. She interned in the OBU Marketing and Communications office during the summer of 2018.
HOBBS COLLEGE OF THEOLOGY AND MINISTRY
New Degrees for a New Generation “The turn of the 21st century saw some fundamental shifts in our culture. We witnessed the radicalization of religion, the economic crisis of 2008, the malaise of the study of religion in the western world, and the rise of atheism and spiritual ‘nones’ as indicators that we are in a new religious landscape. Coupled with these challenges are the radical shifts in demographics of states and churches. Overall, Christianity in the western world is in retreat while Christianity is exploding in the majority world. How do we train ministers for this world? The needs of the day require us to revisit and revise our curriculum to ensure that our students have training that enables them to meet the challenges of the 21st century rather than the challenges of the 20th century.” – Dr. Heath Thomas Dean of the Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry Associate Vice President for Church Relations
Under the leadership of Dr. Heath Thomas, the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry recently revamped its curriculum to include two new degrees, designed to prepare to meet ministry needs in the 21st century. With a mission to inspire and equip students for Christcentered, transformational, practical leadership and ministry, the Hobbs College shapes leaders with knowledge and skills necessary to transform the world for Christ and His Kingdom. Thomas believes these curriculum changes will help further accomplish that mission. “Our curriculum changes help our students take biblical teaching, orthodox theology and practical ministry training into the uncharted waters of tomorrow,” Thomas said. “The change is vital to stay true to our mission.” With its two new degree options – Global Marketplace Engagement and Biblical and Theological Studies – the Hobbs College prepares its students for the possibility of bi-vocational ministry while instilling firm foundations in leadership and ministry. “Major research reveals that the growing number of jobs in ministry are found in bi-vocational ministry platforms, both in North America and around the globe,” Thomas said. “As such, bi-vocational ministry will serve as a significant, if not predominant, mode of ministry for our students.”
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The new Global Marketplace Engagement (GME) degree prepares students to enter both marketplace and ministry by blending marketplace skills, ministry training and extensive internships in business and ministry settings. This degree prepares students to pursue graduate school or seminary, or to enter the workforce in areas such as business, education, politics, bi-vocational ministry and missions.
foundation courses. On top of the 27-hour “Hobbs core,” students can select from an emphasis in one of the following concentrations: Biblical Studies, Biblical Languages, History
OBU’s new Biblical and Theological Studies (BABTS) major takes the best of the former Bachelor of Arts in Religion and expands it to include more Bible, theology and ministry
and Theology, Practical Theology, Bible and Theology, Philosophy and Theology, and Biblical Apologetics. Students can also double major by taking the 30-hour core and
completing a second major in a different college. “Based upon our research, the BA in Biblical and Theological Studies is the most robust undergraduate theological
“Based upon our research, the BA in Biblical and Theological Studies is the most robust undergraduate theological education that one can receive in the nation,” Thomas said. education that one can receive in the nation,” Thomas said. “This is a major achievement and will serve students going into ministry, teaching or nonprofit work in the future.”
New Faculty and Lecturers Join to Further Hobbs College Mission In his quest to retool and diversify the Hobbs College, Thomas added two new lecturers and a new faculty member this fall. “God’s kingdom is comprised of people from every nation, tribe and language. Because of this, we have a passion to see God’s kingdom fully on display in our student body and faculty in the Hobbs College,” Thomas said.
brings diverse ministry experience, having served in churches in Nigeria and Texas. And as a Nigerian, he provides a global perspective in ministry formation,” Thomas said. “Our students already love his passion, wisdom and clear ability to leverage biblical and theological wisdom into the life of ministry.”
Dr. David Gambo,* assistant professor of Christian ministry, was installed as the Reverend A.E. and Dora Hughes Chair of Christian Ministry this fall. Two new lecturers joining the Hobbs College are Dr. Joy Turner, ’87, OBU director of global mobilization, and Dr. Lawrence Kirk, ’88, director of Christian education at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.
Turner graduated from OBU with a Bachelor of Arts in religion and earned a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She ministered with the North American Mission Board as director of international ministry for nearly 20 years.
“We were thrilled when we had the opportunity to hire Dr. Gambo. He
Kirk graduated from OBU with a Bachelor of Arts in religion and
earned a Master of Divinity in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has decades of ministry experience to help shepherd and mentor students. “Our students will glean decades of practical skills from devoted ministers who have spent their lives serving Jesus and his Church. Their wisdom is pure gold for our students,” Thomas said. “Hobbs College is committed to a Revelation 7:9-10 vision for theological education: people from every tribe and nation worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ and serving him in whatever capacity he calls them.” *See more on Dr. Gambo on page 19.
OBU Welcomes Eight New Faculty to Bison Hill Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts Kelsey D’Emilio, assistant professor of music, earned her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Oberlin College, before going on to earn a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to being hired as assistant professor of music, she served as an adjunct professor of voice at OBU. Dr. Patricia Nelson, associate professor of music education, is a lifelong music educator working with students from preschool through adults. She has taught public school music, as well as private piano and organ lessons; worked as a choir director, coordinator, organist and academy director in churches in Texas; and taught at the university level. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity University, a Master of Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Education from Baylor University.
Jake Yenish, assistant professor of theatre and design technician, has been designing for the stage for the last 15 years. In that time, he has designed for over 70 productions, including 13 world premieres and 18 annual productions of the vaudeville revue “Theatre Physics.” He served 11 years as an adjunct professor of theatre at Bethany Lutheran College, teaching a variety of classes in theatre arts. He received his Master of Fine Arts in theatre arts from Minnesota State University in 2012. Dr. Abigail Mace, assistant professor of music and director of the preparatory department, earned her bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Vanderbilt University, before going on to earn both a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Texas in Austin. She also was a Fulbright Fellow at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in the Netherlands. Before joining OBU, Mace served as the director of keyboard studies at Northern Oklahoma College.
OBU Faculty Publish Three Books Walking Through Infertility: Biblical, Theological, and Moral Counsel for Those Who Are Struggling by Dr. Matthew Arbo, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies
“This book was written to help you see and understand that God is the Giver of life. You are his child. He cares deeply about you. When you hurt, he hurts with you.” (from the Introduction) Infertility is the profoundly wounding experience of many couples, often leading to feelings of despair and shame as they
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grapple with shattered dreams and unanswered questions. But God does not leave them alone in their pain. The Creator and Redeemer of life has not forsaken the infertile, but has called and equipped them to participate in his church, kingdom and mission. Overflowing with warmth and sensitivity, this book explores what the Bible says about infertility, helping the church walk alongside couples struggling with infertility and assessing the ethical issues surrounding common fertility treatments and reproductive technologies.
Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age by Dr. Alan Noble, Assistant Professor of English
We live in a distracted, secular age. These two trends define life in Western society today. We are increasingly addicted to habits – and devices – that distract and “buffer” us from substantive reflection and deep engagement with the world. And we live in what Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor calls “a secular age” – an age in which all beliefs are equally viable and real transcendence is less and less plausible. Drawing on
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
James E. Hurley College of Science and Mathematics
Jason Eaker, men’s basketball coach and instructor of physical education, has more than 15 years of coaching experience, with nine of those in Division I competition. Before joining OBU, he served as the assistant coach at Mercer University, where he helped guide the team to three consecutive postseason appearances, which included the most successful season in school history. Eaker holds a Bachelor of Science from Texas Pan-American University and a Master of Education from Mercer University.
Dr. Nathan Drake, associate professor of mathematics, earned his Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from MidAmerica Nazarene University, before going on to earn his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in mathematical sciences from Clemson University. Before joining OBU, Drake filled a number of roles, including associate professor of mathematics at Southern Nazarene University, mathematical consultant to Harms Law Firm in Greenville, South Carolina, and chair of the department of mathematics at North Greenville University.
Samantha Maples, softball coach and instructor of physical education, was a recognized pitcher in Division I competition prior to her coaching career. After earning her bachelor’s degree in health administration, she became the graduate assistant coach at Colorado Christian University and was later named the interim head coach of the softball team. In 2017, she became the full-time pitching coach and served as an active recruiter. Maples holds a Master of Business Administration from Colorado Christian University.
Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry
Taylor’s work, Alan Noble describes how these realities shape our thinking and affect our daily lives. Too often Christians have acquiesced to these trends, and the result has been a church that struggles to disrupt the ingrained patterns of people’s lives. But the gospel of Jesus is inherently disruptive: like a plow, it breaks up the hardened surface to expose the fertile earth below. In this book Noble lays out individual, ecclesial, and cultural practices that disrupt our society’s deep-rooted assumptions and point beyond them to the transcendent grace and beauty of Jesus. Disruptive Witness casts a new vision for the evangelical imagination,
Dr. David Gambo, assistant professor of Christian ministry, and Reverend A.E. and Dora Hughes Chair of Christian Ministry, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Jos in Nigeria. He later earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy in preaching from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has spent several years serving in Nigeria as both an instructor and minister. Before coming to Bison Hill, Gambo served as the Church Planting Resident at Omni Fellowship in Cedar Hill, Texas.
calling us away from abstraction and cliché to a more faithful embodiment of the gospel for our day. A Greek Reader’s Apostolic Fathers by Dr. Alan Bandy, Rowena R. Strickland Associate Professor of New Testament
The writings from the postapostolic period of the early church (ca. 70–150 CE), known as the Apostolic Fathers, comprise the earliest extant Christian writings outside of the New Testament. The Apostolic Fathers furnish us with an invaluable repository of insights related to the issues, theology, and exegetical practices during this period in church history. Due to the frequent
allusions to and quotations of the Gospels and Epistles, the Apostolic Fathers are also an important witness to the text of the New Testament. While several Greek–English diglot editions exist offering excellent English translations, this is the first annotated version of the Greek text that provides a contextual English gloss for all vocabulary occurring less than 30 times in the Greek New Testament. A Greek Reader’s Apostolic Fathers will help one develop the necessary skills for an advanced familiarity and fluency in the Greek texts of early Christianity. This reader is designed primarily as a textbook for an advanced Greek readings course, but is intended for general reading or scholarly research as well.
CAMPAIGN VISION FOR A NEW CENTURY ⏐ OBU Development
vision new century for a
The Campaign for Oklahoma Baptist University
Continued Support Impacts Lives on Bison Hill God bless OBU.
Dr. Will Smallwood Senior Vice President for Advancement and University Relations
MAKE A TO OBU 405.585.5412 or
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These are the words that close our Alma Mater. If you are like me, the words bellow out every time you sing them. For me, they also serve as a prayer to God – would you continue to be faithful to Oklahoma Baptist University and pour out your blessings on faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends? Through the pages of this magazine, we hope you will encounter and experience the incredible ways in which God has remained faithful to his University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. You will read of the blessings from the vision and leadership of Dr. David Whitlock as the campus celebrates his 10th anniversary as president. The blessings of God will be evident through stories about world-class faculty who transform the lives of students as well as alumni who left Bison Hill to impact others around the world. God has blessed OBU through the faithfulness of alumni and friends to provide financial resources to support students in their campus engagement and faculty in their teaching and research. Without question, the mission is most visible in the classrooms of the campus. Life transformation begins with the investment of faculty in students, continuing in the countless number of activities offered through student and spiritual life. We are confident of this work, even receiving some outstanding recognition for our commitment to the mission. You may have read that the Wall Street Journal ranked OBU the second best university (out of more than 900) in the
entire nation for student engagement. This is a testimony and affirmation of what we already know to be true – student lives are transformed on Bison Hill to pursue academic excellence, integrate faith with all areas of knowledge, engage a diverse world, and live worthy of the high calling of God in Christ. We continue to make great progress toward the Vision for the New Century Campaign 2.0 goals and objectives. The “hallelujah” goal of $60 million is well within sight with more than $52 million gifted as of this publication. In recent months, significant gifts have enabled OBU to renovate the first floor of the Geiger Center into the Dick and Sue Rader Office of Student Life and the Women of Vision Center for Spiritual Life, as well as renovate and purchase new furniture for Agee (Brotherhood) Residence Center. On the following page, you will also see a rendering for the proposed Student Services Center. Serving as a welcome center and grand entrance to the campus, the facility will be located immediately to the north of Raley Chapel. Every administrative function housed currently in Thurmond Hall – admissions, registrar, academic center, student financial aid, bursar, marketing and communications, business office and executive offices – will have a new home in the new building. Not only will the center serve as a one-stopshop for current and prospective students and a welcome center for all campus visitors, the project allows OBU to clear out
and renovate Thurmond for muchneeded academic space including faculty offices, classrooms, and areas potentially for science, math and engineering laboratories. The Women of Vision philanthropic circle just completed its fourth annual meeting on campus in late September. With more than 100 women joining together to provide a gift of nearly $90,000, members voted to use the dollars raised to invest in three major projects: an admissions recruitment vehicle branded with an OBU wrap, safety phones on campus that dial 911 directly and a new endowed scholarship fund to be awarded annually. Women of Vision
continue to make a transformational difference in the lives of students, and we are thankful for their faithful investment in tools that will help recruit new students to Bison Hill and award outstanding current students for their achievements. Finally, on March 5, 2019, OBU will host the seventh annual Green and Gold Gala featuring Emmy award winning actor, producer and philanthropist Henry Winkler. For nearly 50 years, Winkler has been on our television and movie screens. But he is so much more. Married for more than 40 years – a rarity in Hollywood – and committed to serving others, Winkler spends much of his time championing
the causes of young people with disabilities. Once again, this year’s Gala will be a great night of celebrating the blessings of God at OBU. For nearly 109 years, God has blessed Oklahoma Baptist University for its commitment as a distinctively Christian liberal arts university that prepares students, through the integration of faith and discipline, to be transformative servant-leaders and agents of change in their families, churches, workplaces and ultimately, throughout the world. I hope you will join me in singing and praying the words of our Alma Mater: God bless OBU.
Student Services Center Serving as a grand entrance to the OBU campus, the Student Services Center will provide a beautiful first impression and an inviting welcome center for guests, prospective students and their families. The addition of this facility is another step forward in enhancing the services and appearance of the University. Future Bison and their families will meet here with the admissions team to learn more about the OBU experience. Student financial services, registrar and bursar offices also located here will provide future Bison with convenient access to the services they need for enrollment. Visiting groups will enjoy engaging video presentations in the theater to acquaint them with the history and community life of OBU as well as success stories of our graduates. Current students will discover this building demonstrates the university’s continuing commitment to quality customer service by providing
them easy access to essential services. A gift to this project will leave a lasting mark on Bison Hill, helping build this critical facility for the University’s growth and success. Those who provide financial support for the
Student Services Center will make a profound difference on campus, touching the lives of thousands of future Bison and impacting generations to come. For giving opportunities, please visit okbu. edu/giving or email development@ okbu.edu.
STUDENT SERVICES CENTER
New Centers for Student and Spiritual Life Open in GC OBU hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the dedication of the Dick and Sue Rader Office of Student Life and Women of Vision Center for Spiritual Life Friday, Oct. 5. The newly renovated section of the Geiger Center officially opened at the beginning of the fall semester and will continue to serve students and faculty for years to come. The family of Dick and Sue Rader provided the lead gift for the remodeling project while an earlier gift from the Women of Vision giving circle served as the catalyst for the project resulting in nearly twice as much meeting space available for spiritual life activities and events. “We are extremely grateful to the family of Dick and Sue Rader for this donation that enabled us to bring these two offices together in
the heart of the OBU campus,” President David W. Whitlock said. “This move provides improved access and increased interaction between students and staff members.” The renovation included relocating OBU’s copy center to The UPS Store on the corner of Kickapoo and MacArthur and moving the mailroom to the southeast side of the GC. These areas along with the original offices and meeting spaces on the lower level of the GC were remodeled and reconfigured to provide spaces for all student life and spiritual life offices, meeting
Connelly Rader, ’18, a grandson of Dick and Sue Rader, spoke at the ribbon cutting.
spaces for employees and students, conference rooms for student clubs and organizations to use, and an event center.
Photo courtesy of Color Works Design
Meeting space for worship and events inside the new offices for Spiritual and Student Life
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“At OBU student life is spiritual life, and spiritual life is student life,” said Dr. Will Smallwood, senior vice president for advancement and university relations, as he welcomed guests to the ceremony. “This move represents physically what we have already been doing philosophically. We are so thankful for the opportunity to bring these two together in the heart of the campus to demonstrate our love for students and our desire to see them grow.” Connelly Rader, a grandson of Dick and Sue Rader and 2018 OBU alumnus, spoke on behalf of the Rader family saying he was grateful
that his grandparents’ legacy would continue to have an impact on OBU students for years to come.
The new office for the director of international student services
A view of the new reception area, facing into the Geiger Center
Photo courtesy of Color Works Design
Dick and Sue Rader are OBU alumni and lifetime supporters of the mission of Oklahoma Baptist University. Dick was a longtime OBU administrator and faculty member. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from OBU in 1963, while Sue earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from OBU in 1961. He also earned a bachelor of divinity from Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary in 1966 and a Ph.D. in Christian ethics from Southwestern Seminary in 1980. The Raders were appointed as missionaries by the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1967 and served for 12 years in Zambia and South Africa.
Photo courtesy of Color Works Design
“What’s incredible about people like Dick and Sue Rader is that they can live on so significantly through so many people,” he said. “I didn’t experience that as fully or holistically until I came to OBU.”
Dick joined the OBU faculty as an adjunct professor of religion in 1979 and over the next 23 years, served in several academic and administrative posts. He was named associate professor of religion in 1984, served as dean of the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service (now the Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry) from 19852002, was named WMU professor of missions in 1989, and served as vice president of religious life from 1994-2002.
the Women of Vision. Each year, members of the Women of Vision make individual gifts, which are then pooled together to fund a project voted on by the collective organization. Last year’s selected project was the remodeling of the center for spiritual life.
Gretchen Trimble, director of development, spoke on behalf of
“It is so fulfilling and rewarding to know that last year’s investment
helped move spiritual life to a central location here on campus, offering our student body better access to resources and meaningful encounters,” she said. “We did that together, and it is an honor to know that what we have been doing together over the last three years resulted in something like this.”
Paul Langford, ’88, came from Hong Kong to Oklahoma looking for a good music program, but he never imagined how much the decision would shape his life.
Sometimes the most extraordinary journeys have unexpected beginnings. Chicago-based singer, arranger, keyboardist, producer and conductor Paul Langford has created music that has been seen and heard across the globe. His high-level of excellence has led to a spectacular 25-year career and an extraordinary journey.
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Whether it’s performing for presidents, working with celebrities or spending time with his family, Langford carries with him the lessons he learned on Bison Hill. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he used the summer before his senior year of high school to visit and explore American universities. Of all the places he visited, OBU was his favorite. “I don’t remember all the reasons, but I knew right away that OBU was for me,” he said. Langford was looking for a small school with an exemplary music program where he could hone and develop his skills. “I didn’t realize at the time that attending OBU would be one of the most life-changing decisions I’ve ever made,” he said. “The professors and friends I met forever impacted me and prepared me for life after college.” In his first few years on Bison Hill, Langford felt his skills and knowledge were rudimentary, and he often felt “behind” the other students. “Like a lot of college kids, I was partly a goofball,” he said. “But, I was eager to learn and hardworking.” In an attempt to saturate himself with learning opportunities, Langford became involved in several music-based activities, including the Bison Glee Club and a student-led music group called “Bison Transfer,” which he helped start. He remembers his time in the Bison Glee Club as being especially impactful. “The music-making, the brotherhood, the goofing off, the fun, the travel and the friendships are things every musician should have the opportunity to experience,” he said. “It was a great thing to be a part of.” However, nothing was more beneficial to his musical foundation than the direction and attention provided by his professors at OBU. Mary Kay Parrish, professor emerita of music; Norma Partridge, professor emerita of music; Sandra Meyer, retired associate professor of music; and Michael Cox, former director of the Bison Glee Club, are all remembered by Langford as having had a tremendous impact on his development. “All of them were incredibly kind, patient, diligent, thorough and masterful teachers,” he said. “I use what they taught me every single day. They never discouraged me in any way, they met me where I was and gave me the building blocks, tools and
skills needed to move to the next level. I stay in touch with all of them and frequently let them know what they mean to me.” Under his professors’ tutelage, Langford was able to take a basic foundation and develop it into the professional-level skills and knowledge he would need in the years to come. “Everything I learned was necessary for everything that came after, and I now use those skills every day in a variety of settings,” he said. After graduating from OBU, Langford began an impressive career that took him around the world to work with and perform for a variety of people. His works have been performed by many renowned vocal and instrumental groups, including The Chicagoland Pops, West Michigan Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Voices of Liberty, GLAD, Willow Creek Community Church, multiple Disney parks and many orchestras around the nation. Langford has been a vocal and piano artist in studio and live performances with headline and Grammy Award-winning artists David Foster, Yolanda Adams, Kenny Rogers, Heather Headley, Abraham Laboriel, Michael Bublé, Josh Groban and Celine Dion. He once had the opportunity to perform for President Bill Clinton and again later for First Lady Michelle Obama. Along with his composition and performance work, Langford’s voice can be heard on radio and TV commercials for companies such as Ronald McDonald House, Oldsmobile, L.L. Bean, Old El Paso, Nintendo, Frigidaire and Nickelodeon. Today, Langford works as a freelance musician, creative director and owner of Paul Langford Studios, his state-of-theart Chicagoland recording facility. He produces, engineers, composes and plays for a variety of leading artists, corporate clients and television and film projects all across the world. Though freelance work has its challenges, Langford finds joy and satisfaction in contributing to creative works and working with such a high-level of professional musicians. Langford and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters, Chloe and Cassidy, and reside in Mundelein, Illinois. As a family, they enjoy watching movies and spending as much time together as possible. “My family is my pride and joy,” he said. “Jennifer manages my bookkeeping, scheduling, clients and consults with me on projects. She is also an incredible cook, homemaker and mother to our children. She supports me in a million ways, and I cannot imagine life without her.”
LIVING WITH PURPOSE While fulfilling her calling by teaching computer science at OBU, Jacqueline Corley, ’12, encourages young girls to find their calling and passion through Girls Inspiring Generations International.
From the time Corley became a Christian at age 15, she knew staying grounded in faith was her top priority, so she sought out ways to do so. Corley was first introduced to OBU through Super Summer, a Christian camp hosted annually on the campus in June. The atmosphere and Christian influence on Bison Hill won her over. “I was intrigued by OBU and knew that I wanted to go to a Christian university. I fell in love with the campus and decided to attend,” she said. “Even though I came to OBU with a strong faith, I was able to grow and get grounded in my faith here.”
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Corley recalls Dale Griffin, assistant vice president for spiritual life and dean of the chapel, helping her work through her faith. “I worked a lot with campus ministry when I was here and Dean Griffin helped me stay grounded,” she said. “We had many conversations about faith. It was great to be able to stay grounded even on the days when I felt like I couldn’t.” Corley is grateful for both the spiritual support and professional encouragement she received from faculty and staff. “OBU prepared me personally, professionally and spiritually. There were a lot of people here who believed in me,” she said. “Dr. Renita Murimi [associate professor of computer information science] has been a great encouragement. I have loved learning about her life in India and being overseas. She has always been encouraging to me both when I was a student and now as a co-worker.” Corley was on the track team at OBU and won AllConference Athlete in the 100-meter-dash. Track Coach Ford Mastin and the track team were important influences in her life. “Coach Mastin was always concerned about your life first,” she said. “There were times when I was injured during the track season, but he was always more concerned about me getting healthy, than me coming back to run. As an athlete, I just wanted to get back out there, but he was very good about monitoring that.” Corley’s favorite OBU traditions include the beanie and “The Walk,” along with the memories they bring back for her. “The beanie reminds me of classmates and makes me feel like I am connected with a group that is not just here on campus, but all around the world,” she said. “I also like ‘The Walk’ because I had the opportunity to do both walks, one as a freshman and the other as a senior. While they are a little bit different, it was so meaningful to do my first walk around campus to places I had not even been yet and then to walk to commencement as a senior and remember all of the amazing things that happened around campus. It was amazing to see and think about all of the different ways I had grown here.”
After graduating from OBU, Corley began graduate school at Oklahoma City University, where she studied computer science in the master’s program. In 2012, she met her future husband, and they married in 2016. They are now expecting their first child. In June 2017, Corley founded Girls Inspiring Generations International, Inc. whose goal is to inspire teen girls to become who they are meant to be and not to let society dictate who they are. GIG was inspired by Corley’s own journey to discover who she was meant to be. Growing up, she was told she shouldn’t be involved in certain things or aspire to do other things because she wouldn’t make enough money or gain prestige doing them. This didn’t resonate with Corley and she realized she needed to discover who she was meant to be. “Girls Inspiring Generations came out of that quest because I knew that I needed to share what I had learned,” she said. “I got tired of watching so many girls not really step into who they were called to become and ending up being with or around the wrong people. I realized that they didn’t know who they were.” So Corley now teaches them the lessons which took her years to discover on her own, helping girls understand the importance of surrounding themselves with the right people and following their calling. One of the core programs, Teen Girl Revolution, is an eightweek program designed to inspire them to be who they are called to be. She has even begun taking this message online to other countries. “There are girls in other countries who are participating even without me trying to get them to do it,” she said. “I love watching girls step into the things that they really want to do because of their impact with this organization. It has been so beautiful to see how many girls are now leading other girls to empower others.” In her spare time, Corley still loves to run. She is on the worship team at People’s Church in northwest Oklahoma City and enjoys reading, journaling and trying new things. “You have to have a purpose for life,” she said. “Once you know your purpose, you can truly give God glory.”
Four Legends Added to OBU Hall of Fame
“Coach Cox told me nobody would remember how many home runs you hit or what your batting average was, but they would remember how you made them feel and what kind of teammate you were. I’ve carried that forward.” -- Daniel Baptista
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OBU inducted four All-Americans into its Athletic Hall of Fame at the annual Bison Legends event Sept. 14 in the Geiger Center. The four also were recognized during a presentation of the 2018 Hall of Fame class during halftime at the yearly Hall of Fame Football Game Sept. 15.
“Coach Mastin has been like a father to me and his whole family has been like a second family to me. Coming to OBU was the best decision I ever made and if I had to do it over again, I would always choose OBU.” -- Verone Chambers
Track and field champions Verone Chambers and Jonathan Hilton, along with baseball All-American Daniel Baptista and women’s tennis All-American Paola Costa join the Hall of Fame’s previous 122 inductees to bring the OBU Hall of Fame membership to 126. With 33 National Championships, three Learfield Sports Director’s Cup titles and well over 300 All-America honors in its history, being selected for the Hall of Fame at a program with the tradition of OBU is a tremendous honor. The criteria for selection vary by sport, but all OBU Athletics Hall of Fame members have been determined by the Hall of Fame Committee to have made significant contributions to the legacy of Bison Athletics during their time on Bison Hill. These athletes have brought honor and distinction to OBU and have exhibited the qualities of character and standards of conduct consistent with their status as a role model in the community.
Daniel Baptista Baptista was a 2012 First Team All-America and First Team All-Sooner Athletic Conference. He hit 18 home runs (third-best single season) and drove in 82 runs (fourth highest single season) to go with his 84 hits in 2012. He played in the NAIA World Series in both his seasons on Bison Hill and finished his career with 32 home runs (third all-time), 129 RBIs (12th all-time) and a .379 batting average (19th all-time).
Verone Chambers Chambers finished her career in 2012 with 18 NAIA national championships, including 11 outdoor titles – both of which are the most championships in the storied history of OBU women’s track and field. Her 25 AllAmerica honors, 13 indoor and 12 outdoor, stand as an all-time high for the Lady Bison. She highlighted three OBU national championship teams, was on all eight 4x400 relay national championship teams, won the 400 hurdles as a freshman, the indoor 400 and outdoor 4x100 relay as a sophomore, the indoor and outdoor 400s and the indoor 200 as a junior, and the outdoor 400 and 4x800 as a senior. Chambers still owns school records in the indoor 400, outdoor 400 and 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays. She earned NAIA Most Valuable Performance honors (total points scored) at the 2011 Indoor Championships.
Paola Costa Costa became Oklahoma Baptist’s first singles AllAmerican as a freshman in 2009. She went on to add singles All-America recognition all four seasons of her career at OBU. Costa also earned All-America honors in doubles with Lilian Ferreira in 2012, her senior season, becoming the program’s first five-time All-American.
Jonathan Hilton Hilton put OBU on the map as a multi-event power, winning back-to-back NAIA heptathlon crowns and back-to-back decathlon titles in 2008 and in 2009. He set school records in both events in 2009 with a 5519 in the heptathlon and 7233 in the decathlon. He is a six-time NAIA All-American.
Second Year of NCAA With a total of 550 collegiate athletes, OBU’s second year of full NCAA Division II membership is well underway. The women’s cross country team continues to climb in the national polls, the men’s and women’s swim teams have already had several members qualify for the NCAA DII National Swim Meet, and the Bison football team has seen some strong performances during the early part of its season. With additional success in soccer, volleyball, tennis and golf, OBU Athletics is poised for another great year.
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New undergraduate majors added
❙ The Master of Science in Nursing moved to a fully online program and an RN to MSN program was added.
❙ The Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program began along with a certificate in Medical Family Therapy.
Worship Arts Women’s Ministry Christian Apologetics Creative Writing Digital Animation Family and Community Service Psychology/Pre-Counseling
❙ The Master of Business Administration became available fully online and a new on-campus program in Shawnee will begin fall 2019.
Vision for a New Century Capital Campaign ❙ The Vision for a New Century Capital Campaign met and exceeded the goal of $42 million, raising $52.3 million.
❙ Endowments for scholarship have increased by $20.8 million and University funded student scholarships increased from $8.3 million to $28.9 million.
Athletics ❙ Athletics successfully transitioned from NAIA to full membership in NCAA DII and the Great American Conference in 2017. ❙ Athletic accomplishments include: • 28 National Championships • 3 NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character awards • 8 coaches named NAIA Coach of the Year • 2 coaches named Coaches of Character, and • 3 Learfield Sports Director’s Cups.
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