Page 1




FA L L 2 0 1 0


From the

P r e si d e n t

Read more from Dr. O’Neal at

Dear Alumni and Friends: In 2002, Nancy and I followed our hearts and returned to Oklahoma Christian University. Now, we ask you to do the same on November 5-6 at Homecoming 2010, which will celebrate OC’s 60th anniversary. You will be amazed at the beauty of the campus and the many recent improvements. What attracted Nancy and me to OC were the marvelous people, and OC’s mission, which is worthy of our very best. With the able assistance of a dedicated faculty and staff, we have accomplished far more than Nancy and I could have dreamed eight years ago. I am confident that those Bartlesville pioneers who sacrificed so much to get this university going in 1950 would be proud of their legacy. Academically and spiritually, our faculty does as much or more than any faculty in the country in preparing students for exceptional lives here and for eternal life thereafter. What we’re doing here – integrating faith and academics – is working very well. Our graduates have meaningful careers in teaching, medicine, business,

government, and many other fields, providing daily benefits to our communities and changing our world for the better. Financially, your university is weathering the economic storm better than many. This fall’s enrollment stands as the second-highest enrollment in our university’s history. Over the past few years, we have reduced operating expenses to live within our resources, successfully completed the $60 million Higher Learning~Higher Calling campaign, and significantly increased the endowment. The most visible progress is our beautiful campus. We have upgraded student apartments and residence halls. We have remodeled and expanded science facilities in Herold Science Hall, Vose Hall, and the brand-new Noble Science Wing. The heart of the campus has been transformed with the development of the beautiful and functional Lawson Commons, Freede Centennial Tower and McGraw Pavilion. We are rejoicing in many other campus improvements, many of which you can see in this issue of

Vision or, even better, see when you visit during Homecoming. (Go to homecoming for a detailed schedule of events). I am proud of all the outstanding accomplishments of our students, faculty, and staff during the past year. You can read about many of them here in Vision, but I encourage you to go read the comprehensive list available at www. During our 60th anniversary year, Oklahoma Christian can point with pride to decades of increasing success. But more important are the lives that have been and are being shaped for Christian faith, scholarship and servant-leadership. What could be more exciting than watching OC’s marvelous story continue to unfold? In the years to come, the story promises to get even better. Please join us as we celebrate our past and look forward to a bright future. See you at Homecoming 2010! In His service,

Mike E. O’Neal

FALL 2010

On The Cover: The Noble Science Wing opened this fall, giving OC’s elite science programs a new home.


Alumni prepare for fun and face-to-face fellowship at Homecoming 2010.


Longtime business professor to be recognized as honorary alumnus.


Mission-minded graduate honored as Outstanding Young Alum for her work in Honduras.




32 News/Sports


40 Milestones

Current students continue family’s legacy at OC.

Distinguished alumnus reminisces about his days on campus.

New executive vice president takes the baton.


OC alumnus makes it to the big leagues as a bullpen catcher for the Baltimore Orioles.

Follow us online

International touring group spreads the word about OC overseas.

Information on the latest happenings and accomplishments at OC.

Comings and goings of your former classmates.


executive director of alumni relations:


Dr. Mike E. O’Neal (68)

Bob Lashley (74)

Judson Copeland (02), Jonathan Curtis (03), Rachel O’Donnell (02)

Vice President for Advancement:



Dr. John deSteiguer

Wes McKinzie (98)

Steven Christy (01), Judson Copeland (02), Jeremy Gan, Laura Jacobs, Keith Lancaster, Todd Olszewski

Vice President for Communications:


Ron Frost

Will Blanchard (07), Ron Frost, Amy Gower (88), Chelsi Rodriguez (10), Dawn Shelton (90), Matt Vensal, Josh Watson, Josh Wayland (09), Ann White (04)

vice president FOR alumni relations: Kent Allen (79)

VISION Alumni Magazine of Oklahoma Christian University (USPS 405-420) Volume 12, No. 2, FALL 2010 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to VISION Box 11000, Oklahoma City, OK 73136-1100

© Oklahoma Christian University 2010 Oklahoma Christian University admits students of any race, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, handicap, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarships and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.



Earn your wings & KITE DAY OC celebrated 10 years of collaboration with Western Village Academy at the annual Kite Day during Earn Your Wings. 1 2 3


OC students and Western Village students form a bond that help build the elementary kids’ self-esteem. Earn Your Wings directors Macy Mason and Shawn Sikes. EYW directors and assistant directors: Bryan Stangland, Nic Thompson, Blake Mullins, Shawn Sikes, Trevor Wilkerson, Cole Montgomery, Jacob White, Kayla Sharp, Kirby Killen, Macy Mason, Keely Gibson, Leslie Smith, Amy Kelly. OC students and Western Village students in the Thelma Gaylord Forum. 3


New Seats In Hardeman Auditorium

The old blue seats are gone. Students gathering for daily Chapel and other events in Hardeman are enjoying new seats thanks to your support of the Retire-A-Seat campaign. Try out the new seats at Homecoming Chapel on November 6!



CAMPUS IMPROVEMENTS Gifts from alumni and other friends of the university have made possible many campus enhancements. 1 2 3 4 5


Demolition of Phase I of the OC student apartments. A new park area will be constructed on the site where Phase I once stood. The new Noble Science Wing opened at the start of the fall semester. Construction is in progress on the new Bobby Murcer Indoor Baseball Facility. The Barn was recently renovated to make it more functional for OC’s athletic programs and OC’s classes for physically and mentally disabled students.






FIRST WEEK FOLLIES Faculty and staff members let their hair down at one of OC’s best traditions, First Week Follies. 1





Vice President for Alumni Relations Kent Allen as the old Tonight Show character, Carnac the Magnificent. Wes McKinzie, Bob Lashley, Gary Bruce and Scott Young provided a patriotic highlight with “In God We Still Trust.” Dr. Jim Baird and Dr. Stafford North delighted the crowd with a Shakespearean rendition of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First.” Dean of Students Neil Arter joined Vice President for Advancement Dr. John deSteiguer as emcees for the show. Alumni director Bob Lashley, the heart and soul of First Week Follies for three decades, with Pat Smith and Lucas Ross during the show’s finale.



9 WWW. OC. E D U

Saturday, November 6


Friday, November 5 11:30

Dedication of the Noble Science Wing, Mabee Labs at Vose Hall, and the Gaither Center for Biology

6:00 Alumni Banquet (Gaylord University Center, Main Dining Room) Honoring this year’s recipients: Distinguished Alumnus Award: Andy Benton Young Alumnus Award: Amber Foster Honorary Alumnus Award: Howard Leftwich Legacy Award: the Branch family RSVP: Amy Gower 405.425.5110, 8:00 Homecoming Musical: “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Hardeman Auditorium) Contact:


OCWA Pancake Breakfast and Reunions (McIntosh Conservatory)


60th Homecoming Chapel: Honoring Dr. Harold Fletcher and featuring the OC Chorale (Hardeman Auditorium)


Inflatables for Children (Lawson Commons)


Student Parade (outside Thelma Gaylord Forum)


Complimentary Lunch (Lawson Commons)


Central Christian College Reunion (Gaylord University Center)


Belize Reunion (Gaylord University Center) Contact:


Class of ’75 Reunion including classes of 1973-1977 (Gaylord University Center) Contact:


Lady Eagles vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan (Homecoming Court between games)


Eagles vs. Texas Wesleyan (Murcer Indoor Training Facility Hard Hat Tour immediately following games)


Track and Field Reception (Payne Athletic Center, upstairs 203-204)

6:00 Barn Rededication Contact: 8:00

Homecoming Musical: “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Hardeman Auditorium) Contact:

10 VI SI O NFALL2010

The story of Oklahoma Christian University began in 1946, when discussions started among members of Churches of Christ in Oklahoma about establishing a college designed primarily to serve their needs. While this fellowship had a college in Cordell, Oklahoma, from 1908 to 1931, no such institution had existed for 15 years. After four years of meetings, fundraising, purchasing a campus, and hiring administrators, faculty, and staff, Central Christian College opened for students in 1950 at Bartlesville. Its beginning with 97 students and a campus of three buildings was hardly auspicious, but it was a start. From those seeds has grown the Oklahoma Christian University of today. From “Soaring On Wings Like Eagles” by Dr. Stafford North The Oklahoma Christian University of today boasts 2,216 students – the secondhighest enrollment in school history. It’s a place known for quality academic programs that prepare graduates to be successful, for cutting-edge innovations in technology, and for strong programs in athletics and the arts. Most of all, though, Oklahoma Christian University is known for its people and its community. Current students and alumni alike talk about the caring Christian atmosphere that first drew them here, about the professors that genuinely wanted them to succeed, and about the lifelong friendships they made at CCC,

OCC, OCUSA and OC. We, the people, have reason to celebrate. We have plenty to reminisce. And while it’s fun to catch up with friends and former professors on Facebook, there’s nothing like face-to-face fellowship. Give a hug. Get a hug. Spend a couple of days sharing with friends … without being bound by Twitter’s 140-character limit. That’s what Homecoming 2010 is all about. People. Family. Community. You helped make this university what it’s become since it began 60 years ago. And as beautiful as the campus is today, it won’t be the same if you’re not here November 5-6. Come join the celebration!

11 WWW. OC. E D U



12 VI SI O NFALL2010


Third generation making its mark at OC Building a legacy takes time, vision and commitment. Seeing that legacy live out through your grandchildren must be one of God’s greatest blessings. And the blessing for Oklahoma Christian is that Dr. Charles and Sylvia Branch have lived a legacy not just for their family, but for all of us. At our 60th-Anniversary Homecoming in November, Oklahoma Christian will bestow its first Legacy Award on the Branch Family: Dr. Charles and Sylvia Branch of San Antonio, their sons, daughter, son-in-law, daughters-inlaw and 13 grandchildren. Dr. Charles Branch, a renowned neurosurgeon, and his family are longtime friends of Oklahoma Christian. His wife, Sylvia, is a valued member of the board of The Christian Chronicle, which is housed on campus. The Branch children – Charlie (77), Warren (77), Dan (80), Alfred (84) and Cynthia (86) – all attended OC and have gone on to remarkable careers of their own while actively supporting their alma mater. The torch is being passed to the Branch grandchildren, many of whom are coming to OC and making the most of every opportunity. During the first week of this semester, three grandchildren took time out of extremely busy schedules to talk about their grandparents and parents, who dug the wells from which they drink. Henson Adams, the oldest of Don and Cynthia Branch Adams’ children, is OC’s Student Government Association president and a senior studying business and pre-law. Meagan Branch, daughter of Alfred and Judy (Lovejoy 85) Branch, is a senior education major. She is president of her club, Gamma Rho, is part of the Summer Singers, and will direct Spring Sing this year. “We are so involved because we have seen how our family was impacted by OC, and they have shown us that anything is possible,” said Meagan, who says it is great fun to swap Spring Sing ideas with her dad, who had a

thing or two to do with the show during his student days … long before he served OC as executive vice president from 1999 to 2008. Today, Alfred has returned to real estate development as president of Moriah Properties Inc., of Midland, Texas. Alfred and Judy’s son, Lee, began at OC this fall. Right off the bat, he ran for freshman class treasurer … and won. “Our family has always encouraged us to find our passion, work hard and, if we make a name for ourselves, to give glory to God,” said Lee, who plans on following in his father’s career path in business. Of all the accolades Henson shared about his family, the most poignant was a description of how his grandfather begins each prayer. “He says, ‘Kind and gracious heavenly father, we recognize you as the great creator and sustainer of all things.’ To me that embodies the life of my grandfather, who has had a very successful career by the world’s standards and has always been a follower of Christ,” Henson said. He said the same is true for his dad, an ophthalmologist in San Antonio, along with the rest of his uncles: Dan, who represents the Dallas area in the Texas legislature; Warren, a dentist in San Antonio; and Charlie, a neurosurgeon in Wake Forest, N.C. Charlie and his wife Lesa (Williams 78) established a $1.5 million endowment at Oklahoma Christian in 2004 to name the Williams-Branch Center for Biblical Studies. Charlie and Lesa’s son, Daniel, graduated from OC in 2005 and married Kate Jackson (09), daughter of Mark (78) and Susie (Patterson 79) Jackson of Fort Worth. (Susie is on OC’s Board of Trustees). Daniel is currently in medical school at the University of Texas. The Legacy Award will be given during the Alumni Banquet November 5. Oklahoma Christian is grateful for the legacy of the Branch Family and for the many alumni and friends who have invested in the legacy of Christian higher education. By Dawn Shelton (89)

13 read more a b out G e n u i n e ly Lov IN G alumni at w w w.o c . e d u/ fa i t h f u l ly




14 VI SI O NFALL2010

Beloved professor becomes honorary alumnus He’s been one of us for so long, it’s time to make it official. Dr. Howard Leftwich will become an Eagle at Homecoming this year. He’ll join his students – many of whom turned out to be CPAs, presidents, senators, chairmen, professors and ministers – as an OC alum. Although Dr. Leftwich retired more than a decade ago, his legend continues. Phil Roe, a member of OC’s Board of Trustees who graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1982, says it best: “Dr. Leftwich influenced my experience in business studies in many ways, but what I remember the most was the realization that a man who had been very successful in the business world chose to come and share his experience, knowledge and passion with a bunch of college students,” said Roe, senior vice president, chief administrative officer and controller of Vanguard Health Systems in Nashville, Tenn. “He had an amazing ability to take a potentially dry subject – accounting – and explain it in a way that made sense and enabled me to understand how that discipline related to so many aspects of the business world. I believe his success in business allowed him to relate our academic studies in a very practical and useful way.” In the 1960s, Howard Leftwich was building a very successful career as a CPA in Kansas City when he started getting calls from school president Dr. James O. Baird, who shared his plans and vision for a business program at then-Oklahoma Christian College. “We kind of felt sorry for him,” laughed Marilyn Leftwich as she recalled all of those calls during an interview for Vision in 2006. “We finally decided to tell him we’ll do it.” Leftwich resigned his job, took a huge pay cut, moved his family to Edmond, pursued his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma and eventually became chairman of OC’s

business department, a position he held until 1992. He retired in 1996. Howard and Marilyn’s son was a young teenager when they moved. “I was absolutely influenced by my dad as I watched him in his role at OC. I saw a lifestyle that I wanted to emulate, and eventually got the opportunity to be on the faculty here as well,” said Don Leftwich (76), now the chair of OC’s Department of Mathematical, Computer, and Information Sciences. The lives and careers Howard touched are so numerous that one might need a business course to know how to quantify it. One of those lives was Don Millican, who had limited exposure to Oklahoma Christian when he was a young rising star in accounting. He met Dr. Leftwich at church. Before long, Howard started calling Millican to tell him about his dreams for OC’s business program. Millican began adjunct teaching at Oklahoma Christian and today chairs OC’s Board of Trustees. In 2005, he established a $1 million endowment in accounting in honor of his father, JJ (Joe) Millican. Last year, Don Millican was named an Honorary Eagle, an honor he will now share with Dr. Leftwich. “Dr. Leftwich brought practical knowledge from the field to the classroom, which was extremely important, and produced results as evidenced by our high CPA pass rates and the great success of our business graduates,” Millican said. While today’s business students don’t “sit at the feet” of Dr. Leftwich, they benefit from his contributions. For alumni, that’s a gift that keeps on giving. “I use the business principles and life examples I learned from Howard every day of my life,” said David Seat (73), executive vice president of BancFirst. By Dawn Shelton (89)

15 read more a b out DYNA M ICALLY E Q UI P P ED alumni at w w w.o c . e d u/ fa i t h f u l ly


An d y

B e n t o n

16 VI SI O NFALL2010

Benton’s work in Christian education nets Distinguished Alumnus honor Andy Benton is not in Kansas anymore. The journey that took him from his Kansas home didn’t lead to Oz, but to the closeknit campus at Oklahoma Christian, and eventually to Malibu, California, where he serves as president of Pepperdine University. While he isn’t at OC anymore, his alma mater remains near and dear to his heart. “I am the product of many wonderful mentors who saw something in me that I really didn’t believe,” said Dr. Benton, who will be named Distinguished Alumnus at Homecoming. “Oklahoma Christian opened my eyes to the world, and I am grateful.” Dr. Benton was a member of the class of 1974 – the greatest class ever, according to all of that year’s grads, including OC alumni director Bob Lashley. His other claims to fame include serving as Student Senate president and being one of the Nine Noises, where he learned to never wear bib overalls and red and white shirts in public, and that “spelling the word Eagles with one’s body is harder than it looks.” Another claim to fame? “I am a proud founding member of Delta Gamma Sigma. There, I said it. We were at OC during a time when a little, shall we say, ‘spark’ was needed,” he said. “Sure, we tested the rules and proved a little troublesome here and there, but so many of our number have gone on to meaningful careers in society and the church. The association and the type of people we attracted then – and now – is not coincidental.”

After he graduated from Oklahoma Christian, Andy pursued his law degree at Oklahoma City University and spent 10 years working in the OC administration for former president Dr. J. Terry Johnson (64). In 1984, he moved to Pepperdine and worked in various senior administrative roles. He was named Pepperdine’s president in 2000, succeeding his friend David Davenport. Spending a career in service to others in higher education, Andy has a keen perspective on what it is to be an alumnus of a university, whether it’s Pepperdine or Oklahoma Christian. “No college or university can be successful without abundant alumni support. We need a robust, supportive and active alumni association. If we have benefited from OC (and I have immensely), we need to invest ourselves in its future,” he said. “The very phrase alma mater calls us home.” Andy and his wife Debby (Strickland 74) will be “home” in November for Homecoming festivities. They plan to drive the city streets, probably stop for a Johnnie’s burger and fries, and reminisce. “Oklahoma Christian should make us all proud,” Andy said. “If each one of us would give just a little, speak up just a little louder or show a little more pride, we all will benefit and make a significant difference. I believe that with all my heart. I simply will never forget where it all began for me.” By Dawn Shelton (89)

17 read more a b out S P I R ITUALLY R OOTED alumni at w w w.o c . e d u/ fa i t h f u l ly




18 VI SI O NFALL2010

Young Alumna Honored for work in honduras In a recent Vision story about OC alumni ministering in Honduras, Amber Foster (04) said, “I can imagine being hungry. I can imagine being thirsty. I can even imagine being on drugs. But I cannot imagine having no one who cares about you. There aren’t many things I do well, but I care about people.” Her clarity of mission and focused, compelling love are two big reasons why Amber has been named OC’s Young Alumna of the Year. When we last told you about Amber’s work in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, it was in the context of political chaos and upheaval last fall. Now that has passed, the government is stable again, and the Breaking Chains ministry to Tegucigalpa’s homeless is growing spiritually and numerically. In the past year, Breaking Chains acquired a building that has greatly expanded the number of services available through the ministry. The attendance for a new, weekly church service numbers between 40 and 60 people each week. “The best part is how excited they are to step up and lead in the services,” Amber said. “We invite them to pray aloud for the group each time, and when they do, it is encouraging to see them grow closer to the Lord and our community.”

The venue is more than a church building. It recently began to host an after-school program for homeless children, and serves as a vocational school and store to sell crafts participants learn to make. They hope it will soon become a halfway house for single moms living on the streets with their children. In addition to helping Honduras’ homeless, Amber has made an impact on countless students and visitors who come to work with her on spring break and summer campaigns. Amber estimates that she hosted about 500 campaigners this summer. Amber believes in the power of short-term mission work because of the impact it made in her own life. During the spring break of her freshman year, Amber went to Honduras with a group led by Dr. Dudley Chancey. She knew then that her life was changed. She credits Chancey for exemplifying “service regardless of the sacrifice” and credits Dr. Bailey McBride for teaching her “what it means to love completely.” Amber’s ministry is a labor of love. She encourages other young alumni and students thinking about mission work to try it out for a month or two and see how it goes. “If people are willing to be changed when they come, then it’s an invaluable experience,” she said. By Ann White (04)

A slice of life from Amber’s blog

Osman is a 22-year-old homeless person who goes by the name Payaso (clown). He’s a bit of a troublemaker, and to be quite honest, I’m usually not too excited to see him walk through the door at church. He tends to wind people up more than he participates in the service. On Sunday, I announced that we would start taking

up an offering next week. The first destination for our offering will be chairs so that we can get up off of the floor for the church service. As we were getting ready to go have dinner, Payaso scoots over next to me on the floor, puts four tostones in my hand (a toston is equivalent to about 2.5 cents of a dollar) and shyly says, “This is all I have,

but you can have it.” I was incredibly humbled. I’ve never been in the position where, in order to give, I had to literally give all that I had. I have a feeling there will be more of these stories to come. I learn more from these people than I could ever hope to teach them.

19 read more a b out G LO B ALLY EN GAG ED alumni at w w w.o c . e d u/ fa i t h f u l ly



OC alumna earns Miss Oklahoma crown

20 VI SI O NFALL2010

Seven-year-old Emoly West had a dream. Watching the Miss America pageant with her great-grandmother, Jewel Harris, inspired her. “I saw all these beautiful women with poise and presence who were so well put together and had so many talents. I said, ‘I want to be Miss Oklahoma. I want to be Miss America.’ And my great-grandmother told me, ‘You can do this,’” Emoly said. Seventeen years later, the dream is alive. Emoly was crowned Miss Oklahoma in June and will compete for the right to become Miss America in January. Becoming Miss Oklahoma was “everything I thought it would be, but better,” she said. The state title was the culmination of years of dedication and family investment. But the end of every journey begins another. Her days and nights are filled with public appearances and other commitments that take her all over the state and nation. The job definitely has its perks, but Emoly embraces the responsibility that comes with it. She wants to inspire people to be the best they can be … the way she was inspired as a seven-year-old. With her platform of leadership and character development, Emoly is honest about her life experiences as she shares her story and her faith with others. Her transparency helps her connect with young girls and others who look up to her as Miss Oklahoma. “That is my ministry,” Emoly said. “It isn’t about perfection. It’s about excellence – that is actually achievable. We’re not going to be perfect, but we are made perfect through Christ and through God’s grace and mercy.” Emoly has partnered with Character First, an organization dedicated to helping people see the value of good character in building better workplaces and communities. “One thing I love talking to kids about is that it’s up to them to make good choices,” Emoly said. “We’re not immune to character flaws. We have to practice character. I’ve learned the hard way, and I know how good life can be when you make good choices.” Emoly is quick to say that starting at OC was a great choice. Her professors pushed her to excel. Her friends supported her faith. The chance to study abroad with the Pacific Rim program and to participate in the Student Government Association and Gamma Rho enriched her life. “I’m so glad I had my college experience at OC. I was nurtured and connected, and surrounded by a positive community,” she said. “I had so many opportunities. They weren’t handed to me; I had to work for them.” Emoly transferred to nearby University of Central Oklahoma to earn her degree in dance performance (she works as a dance instructor and choreographer in the area), but she still calls OC home. “In my heart, OC is still my alma mater. I try to take advantage of any opportunity I have to come back and be a part of OC,” she said. For now, Emoly is trying to take advantage of the opportunities she has through her status as Miss Oklahoma. In addition to impacting others, her position allows her to network with well-connected people as she looks toward a potential career in broadcasting. The longtime competitive swimmer and former anchor for OC’s studentproduced Eagle Angle newscast dreams of becoming a reporter at the Olympic Games. Her goal is to become someone that TV producers call on when there’s a positive story to be told. It’s a big dream, but she has always dreamed big. And as Emoly continues her journey toward January’s Miss America pageant and beyond, her greatgrandmother’s words of encouragement push her toward her goals: “You can do this.” By Wes McKinzie (98)

Ronnie Deck pulls a Baltimore Orioles jersey over his head and straps on his shin guards every afternoon. The 1998 OC graduate is always one of the first guys on the field at Camden Yards. He gets heckled by opposing fans just like anyone else. Inside the clubhouse, Deck’s efforts don’t go unnoticed. The Orioles see the contributions of their generous bullpen catcher, his 10-hour days at the ballpark, and how he works hard behind the scenes. “A lot of people say this is a job they’d love to have, but it’s a blue-collar job,” Deck said. “I come here to sweat every day.” Much of the bullpen catcher’s work comes when players are getting their minds and bodies ready before the first pitch. “Ronnie is as good as they come at doing the job he does,” said Orioles starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie. Deck tosses the ball around with pitchers and gives them quality feedback on their deliveries and the movement of their pitches. He throws pitches during batting practice and helps hitters in the cage. “He’s always doing something to help somebody and he’s always happy, always in a good mood,” catcher Craig Tatum said. Deck is at the intersection of staff, coach and player. He’s listed as a staff member on the team’s website, but Tatum said he looks at Deck as a coach and also as “just one of the guys.” Deck’s road to Camden Yards wasn’t quite what he expected — but through persistence and a Single-A work ethic, he got there nonetheless. “It’s probably the prototype trial-and-error career,” he said. “I didn’t have a fast track to professional baseball. I feel like I have a lot to offer (the younger players) with my journey.” After earning all-conference and NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors in both 1997 and 1998 at Oklahoma Christian, Deck spent three years in independent leagues (teams without affiliations to major-league organizations) before signing with Tampa Bay. Over two years, he played at five different levels in the Rays’ minor-league system. After two more years of independent baseball, Deck bailed on the dusty motels and his major-league hopes. “I saw that the window was closing so I decided to get into coaching,” he said. Deck worked as a coach for a Division III university in Atlanta, a junior college in Colorado and a Frontier League team in Illinois before getting a call in 2007 from then Orioles manager Dave Trembley, who had received a recommendation from one of Deck’s former managers. He appreciates his bond with the players, but professional responsibilities come first. All he can do is continue to support and assist the players. “I come in and keep my mouth shut – unless there’s a football discussion going on – and let the guys know I’m here to work and be available for whatever they need,” Deck said. Alone in public, Deck goes unnoticed. But like the rest of the Orioles, Deck is treated to the perks of a VIP lifestyle. First-rate dining. Four- and five-star hotels. No lines at the airport as the jet-setting Orioles head from city to city. The biggest difference is the salary. Deck said he has a comfortable living (he lives in Ellicott City and is unmarried), but didn’t want to elaborate. “I don’t want to dwell on that,” he said. “I just want to soak it in – these stadiums, the fans, the big-league food. This is an unreal opportunity. I just want to enjoy every day in the big leagues, work as hard as I can and let that take me where it may.” By Matt Vensal, courtesy of the Baltimore Sun Photo courtesy of Todd Olszewski and the Baltimore Orioles

Invisible Oriole:

OC alumnus Ronnie Deck 21 WWW. OC. E D U

MAN ON A MISSION Langford leads new OC program If they don’t go, they won’t go back. There’s power in the statement and you will hear it more and more through OC’s Center for Global Missions. The Center for Global Missions is a new program led by alumnus Ben Langford (98) who knows a thing or two about going and going back when it comes to missions. He spent a summer in Kenya as a student and went back to Africa as a fulltime missionary in 2004. “Our hope is that during their time here, students will get a sense of what God is doing in the world and will be influenced to form mission teams who will answer God’s call by participating with Him in sharing the good news somewhere in the world,” Ben said. He and his family returned to OC this summer after serving the Basoga tribe in Uganda for six years. Whether it is as full-time missionaries or as a vocational minister anywhere in the world, near or far, Ben says the center will help equip believers to GO. Future plans also include offering services to churches such as resources,

seminars and counseling for those who support and send missionaries. One of the first to-do items for the Center for Global Missions is to send out short-term mission teams to serve as interns. During those internships, students will walk a mile in the shoes of missionaries who are on the ground – from sunup to sundown – through language study, Bible classes, service projects and even writing the newsletters that go home to supporters. Ben and his wife Kym (whom he met while working at Cascade College), Ben’s brother Adam (01), and four other families made up the team that worked in rural church planting, leadership development and theological and ministerial training (among other things) in Uganda. Adam tragically died in a vehicle accident there in 2006. Adam majored in business at Oklahoma Christian and had a promising future as a financial planner. Ben explains that Adam would say, ‘What am I doing? I just make rich people richer!’ before he gave up his job to join the mission field.

“In view of how he understood God and what he did in Jesus Christ, he gave himself that the poor might become rich,” Ben said about his brother. Ben’s passion for missions brings him back to OC with his experiences, wisdom and energy to lead the Global Center for Missions. He also brings back a new perspective on time, and how it is used. “Everything moves so fast in the U.S., and there is so much at stake in time here in terms of productivity,” he said. “Americans have very high expectations of what they can do in a small amount of time.” Still, the work to do at the Center for Global Missions certainly is work worth doing. “There is no greater time to think about what God is doing and about your future life and vocation than in college,” Ben said. “OC is the perfect place to think about a life of mission and giving yourself to God’s mission in the world.” By Dawn Shelton (89)

22 VI SI O NFALL2010

read more a b out G LO B ALLY EN GAG ED alumni at w w w.o c . e d u/ fa i t h f u l ly

RUNNING THE RACE Goad takes baton as executive VP When the faculty and staff gathered in August to gear up for the new academic year, Executive Vice President Dr. Bill Goad handed each person a baton, the kind you use in a relay race. The baton prop reminded us to pass “it” on to the next runner in the longdistance relay of working in Christian higher education; the “it” being our passion, our experience, our loyalty, our support and our faith. He also asked everyone to remember who passed them the baton when they were students or new employees. The baton was passed to a young Bill Goad after he graduated with his accounting degree in 1979. He received it from Dr. Stafford North, executive vice president at the time, when he hired Bill. That stint as assistant to the executive vice president started Bill on a lifetime of service to Oklahoma Christian. He has served the university in a variety of ways. He taught in the College of Business for 15 years.


As Vice President of Information Technology, he helped Oklahoma Christian become a technology trailblazer in higher education. OC was among the first universities to give each student a laptop computer to use on a wireless campus. Seven years ago, Bill and his family, including wife Rita (Eicke 81) and four children, left OC to serve Christian higher education at our sister school, Cascade College, in Portland, Oregon. He served as provost at Cascade and was eventually named president. In 2009, he had the task of guiding the small college through the difficult process of closing. He returned to Oklahoma Christian a year ago and now serves in the same role Dr. North once did: executive vice president. One positive outcome of that experience has been the establishment of the Northwest Endowment Fund, a scholarship program for students from the Pacific Northwest.

“I want to help any student who wants a Christian education to be able to come to OC,” he said. And they are coming. This fall, 64 students from Oregon and Washington are part of the second-highest enrollment in the university’s 60-year history. Goad says that his vision for OC is that God finds us faithful in passing the baton to the next generation because Christian higher education is worth it. “We all have to articulate the value of a Christian worldview. Education that doesn’t start with God is incomplete and misguided,” he said. As alumni, he says we can be part of passing the baton by remembering who passed it to us, and being intentional about passing it on – whether it’s by supporting OC with our money and time, or encouraging young people we know to come to OC. With each leg of the race, we get stronger and better. And we keep passing the baton. By Dawn Shelton (89)

Mary Young worked as a residence hall director

Dr. Goad isn’t the only Cascade transplant

• Bonnie Howard, Executive Assistant to the

last year. Jon Bristow served as the transition

Twenty-one former Cascade students earned

• Paul Howard, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

returned to Portland with his wife Leanndra, a

keeping the college’s legacy alive at OC.

Executive Vice President

their degrees last year and 25 former Cascade

• Heather Steele, Administrative Assistant for


• Dr. Willie Steele, Professor of Language and

are continuing their work in Christian higher

• Jimmy Young, Instructional Technologist

students are currently enrolled at Oklahoma

In addition, five faculty and staff members

Academic Affairs Literature

education at OC.

counselor for Cascade students at OC and has now former Cascade student who graduated from OC last year.

In addition, “Cascade Grove,” a grove of

trees on the OC campus, honors the 49 students who initially came to Oklahoma Christian from Cascade.

23 read more a b out S P I R ITUALLY R OOTED alumni at w w w.o c . e d u/ fa i t h f u l ly


JONES PLAYS JAZZ IN EUROPE OC Associate Professor of Music Dr. Heath Jones (94) had the opportunity to perform at jazz festivals in France and Italy over the summer. The accomplished saxophone player served as a guest soloist with the Jazz Ensemble from the University of Central Oklahoma. The ensemble, directed by Brian Gorrell, journeyed overseas in July to perform at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy and at the 50th anniversary of the Jazz a Juan Festival in France. “The Umbria Festival is widely considered the most prestigious in

Europe,” Jones said. In addition to teaching applied saxophone, music education, music technology, and jazz improvisation at Oklahoma Christian, Dr. Jones directs OC’s Jazz Ensemble and the OC Sweat Band. He is an active professional performer in the Oklahoma City area, playing with artists such as the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Frankie Avalon, Jim Nabors and Leslie Gore. By Chelsi Rodriguez (10)

ITALIAN JOB OC grad gets international music experience Oklahoma Christian University alumna Rebecca (Bruce) Parker was selected to perform in Italy over the summer in the prestigious program “Si Parla Si Canta.” “Living in Italy was an amazing experience, and I learned more than I could have imagined possible,” said Rebecca, a 2010 OC graduate. “The instruction was top-notch, and I was able to work with world-renowned musicians as well as make many new friends.” After the phone call offering her the opportunity to perform and study in Italy, Rebecca just had a few hours to find a way to raise the money needed to pursue the opportunity.

“A big thank-you goes out to the OC music faculty, especially Dr. Ken Adams, Dr. Kathy Thompson and Pattie Groves, and to my home church, Quail Springs Church of Christ, for supporting me, urging me to go to this festival and helping me raise funds,” Rebecca said. “I would not have been able to go to Italy if I hadn’t received support from them.” Rebecca left for Italy shortly after her graduation, giving her the opportunity to use her music knowledge right from the get-go. “I also want to thank my family, friends and especially my husband James (09) for always encouraging me to pursue my passions,” Rebecca said. By Chelsi Rodriguez (10)

24 VI SI O NFALL2010

read more a b out DYNA M ICALLY E Q UI P P ED alumni at w w w.o c . e d u/ fa i t h f u l ly


OC’s partnership with renowned Christian recording artist Acappella continues to bear fruit. In addition to promoting Oklahoma Christian at concerts throughout the United States, Acappella recently spread the word about OC on a seven-city tour of Brazil. Acappella sang and ministered in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Recife and Sao Paulo. Every concert attracted large crowds, including a sold-out, standing-room-only crowd of 6,000 people at the tour finale in Sao Paulo. Most of the concerts were held in church buildings to assist congregations with outreach to their communities. The group also partnered with local churches and missionaries in their ministries to orphans, the homeless and others in need. “Being on the front lines and interacting directly with churches, one can sense and

know how the Spirit is working – powerfully and directly through the hearts of our brothers and sisters,” said Acappella founder Keith Lancaster, who accompanied the group to Brazil. “Praise God that He can use broken vessels like us for His purposes.” Acappella’s members include Robin Brannon, OC alumnus Wes McKinzie (98), and current OC students Zac George, Anthony Lancaster and Zachary Wilson. Though Acappella promotes Oklahoma Christian at its concerts, it does not function as an OC performing group like Summer Singers and New Reign, and is booked outside the university. To book Acappella for a concert in your city, contact John Bynum at john.bynum@acappella. org or at (580) 399-4758. For more information about the partnership between Oklahoma Christian and Acappella, go to

25 WWW. OC. E D U

C0UNT1NG BLESS1NGS Trustee thankful for OC’s impact on family

Not all members of OC’s Board of Trustees are alumni, but Phil Roe is a graduate who has served on OC’s governing board for the last eight years. And if you ask him, he’ll do anything for the team, even let us feature him in Vision. Instead of talking about himself, he’d rather give a good word about his mentor Dr. Howard Leftwich, who is being honored as an honorary alumnus at Homecoming this year. Or high-five fellow alumni like Jeff Bingham (88), who worked for Phil back in the day when they both were with the accounting firm, Ernst & Young. Jeff is now OC’s chief financial officer, making his first boss proud. Phil Roe also would rather talk about his father-in-law Bailey McBride (54), or Phil’s bride of 27 years, Melissa (82), or their children: daughter Jennifer (07) Thurman and her husband Joe (07), son Luke (09) and daughter Savannah. He’ll talk about health care, fine points of accounting strategies and strategic plans. He’ll share about how important and special it has been for their family to take mission trips together to Honduras. He’ll brag about OC and encourage you to do the same. If you have a conversation with him on any of those topics, you get a sense of who Phil Roe is … and personal details come out along the way. A native of Burleson, Texas, Phil graduated from OC in 1982 with an accounting degree and worked for a decade in public accounting at Ernst & Young (Ernst & Whinney at the time). He then moved to the health care industry. Since 1997, he has been the executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Vanguard Health Systems in Nashville, Tenn. He met Melissa on a mission trip to Brazil in 1982. They married a year later. Now, as empty nesters, they are enjoying time together as a couple, but also miss the daily interaction and focus of raising a family. Phil and Melissa come to Oklahoma City several times a year for board meetings and to visit family. Phil was named to OC’s board in 2003. He predicts the next 10-15 years in Christian higher education will be pivotal and praises the board leadership and administration for their vision and strategic planning to prepare the future. He also asks alumni to remember to be stakeholders. There’s no end, he says, to the compelling stories of those in business, ministry, missions, education and other careers who live out a mission of faith, scholarship and service. And we all came from OC. “I would encourage all alumni to stop and honestly reflect on how our time at OC prepared us for our lives,” he said. “If we give an honest assessment of the investment that donors, faculty and staff made for us, we have to come away with a feeling of indebtedness. And that indebtedness calls for a response.” Our response could be financial support, showing our pride for OC and praying for our alma mater. “I feel indebted for the education and relationships I received and for how they continue 30 years after leaving,” Phil said. “I would like to find a way as a trustee and an alum to help students develop pride and fully appreciate the value of their OC education.” By Dawn Shelton (89)

26 VI SI O NFALL2010

read more a b out G ENUINELY LOVIN G alumni at w w w.o c . e d u/ fa i t h f u l ly

THE WRITTEN WORD Here is a sampling of recent books authored by OC alumni:



Dr. Stafford North’s book, “Soaring on Wings Like Eagles: A History of Oklahoma Christian University,” traces Oklahoma Christian from its beginning in 1950 as a 97-student junior college in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to a 2,500-student, internationally-recognized university in Oklahoma City. This history includes chapters on the university’s presidents, faculty and staff, board of trustees, donors, students, and some of its successful alumni serving in various fields around the globe.

“Two Parts Sunshine” is both a cookbook and a biographical sketch of Marty (Mitchell 71) Johnson, former first lady of Oklahoma Christian University. Associated with OC for almost 40 years, Marty radiated warmth and friendliness to every person she met. Students, faculty and million-dollar donors enjoyed being in the president’s home, where she entertained hundreds of campus guests. The book reveals many facets of her personality and shares more than 60 of her favorite recipes.

The book recounts key decisions and shows the university’s strong religious commitment; two particular chapters focus on OC’s spiritual life and missionary spirit. Other chapters detail the university’s athletic programs, musical and theatre presentations, and student life. Order Dr. North’s book online ( services/bookstore) or pick one up while you’re on campus for Homecoming!

Former OC president J. Terry Johnson (64), Marty’s husband, wrote the book. Sherri (Buben 87) Coale, head women’s basketball coach at the University of Oklahoma, wrote the book’s foreword. A foundation grant has made it possible for the Oklahoma Christian Women’s Association to net the entire $20 on each book that it sells to the public. To purchase your copy, contact Christine (McClelland 91) Merideth at or 405.425.5122.


MARTY Johnson

In addition to these books, OC faculty members have been published in numerous journals and presented at prestigious conferences throughout the world over the past year. For a listing of these and many other accomplishments by OC’s faculty, staff and students, go to

27 WWW. OC. E D U


28 VI SI O NFALL2010

When graduation rolls around each year, OC families come together to celebrate their students’ accomplishments. Occasionally, more than one child will graduate together. Even more rare is what happened to the Brotherton family in 2010. Sisters Amanda and Jenny were joined by their mother, Elesa, as all three graduated with honors on the same day. The Brothertons’ OC story began in Alaska, where they lived until all three began their freshman year. Since Amanda and Jenny were ready to start college, the family began visiting Christian schools. “Oklahoma Christian was a unanimous choice for us,” Jenny said. “When we started meeting people from OC, we just knew this was where we would fit in.” Elesa’s husband, David, is a public school psychologist and a minister. He found a position in an Oklahoma Cityarea school, allowing the family to move across the street from the OC campus. That paved the way for Elesa to enroll as well. “I had always planned to finish college, but once we had children and began homeschooling them, I just never did,” Elesa said. “When the girls started at OC, I had more free time. So, David and I decided this was the perfect time to finish in a Christian environment.” All three students excelled while at OC. Jenny graduated summa cum laude and was hired by Chapparal Energy as an accountant before she graduated. She was chosen as the top graduating student by the School of Business Administration’s faculty. After graduation, she started in OC’s MBA program.

“The professors at OC encouraged me to learn, excel and continually push myself,” Jenny said. “It was like OC gave me the tools to build a starting point for my career. All I had to do was choose my material and start building.” Elesa and Amanda were both prepharmacy majors who graduated magna cum laude. Elesa is now taking pharmacy classes at the University of Oklahoma, while Amanda will enroll next year. “Amanda and I knew OC was the right choice for a career in a science field,” Elesa said. “The college has such a high acceptance rate for medical programs that I knew we would be well prepared.” Being in the same program allowed the

one income required budgeting, but Elesa said they didn’t mind. “We knew that attending OC would be more expensive than a public college, but it was definitely worth it,” she said. “We were surrounded by Christian faculty and staff, and the Bible was not something people were embarrassed by. OC teaches the sciences in an academically demanding way, but we also learn how science complements the Bible. I was very pleased with OC as a parent and a student.” The Brothertons celebrated a fourth graduation last spring as well. Elesa and David’s youngest child, Matthew, graduated from high school. True to recent family tradition, Matthew is a freshman at OC this fall. While

it was definitely worth it. I was very pleased with OC as a parent and a student.

two to spend more time together. “We took many of the same classes, so we were able to do homework and study for exams together,” Amanda said. “We have always been close, but going to school together has added a new dimension to my relationships with my mom and sister. Plus, it was really fun for Jenny and me to do Spring Sing and serve as officers in the same club.” Sending three students to college on

he won’t have the chance to graduate together with his sisters and mother, he knows they will be there to cheer him on when graduation rolls around. By Josh Watson

This feature originally appeared in Parent View magazine, a service to parents from OC’s Financial Services Office. Request your free copy at

29 WWW. OC. E D U

FORWARD THINKING Young alumni invest in OC

Retire A Seat Join us in honoring a group of humble servants who have “touched” more students at OC than even our most beloved and storied professors.

The old seats in Hardeman Auditorium labored away to support OC students for more than 16 years. In seat years,

that puts them way past retirement age!

They did their duty, so we sent them off

to enjoy the good life of crosswords and

Planned giving is not always a hot topic for OC’s young alumni, especially for those fresh off the graduation stage. For OC graduates Barry (10) and Jill (Newell 09) Kelley, however, the timing could not be better to get a jumpstart on giving back to their alma mater. Still in their early 20s, the Kelleys have already made substantial strides. Barry’s company, Elite Mobile Wash Systems (, which he started as a student in 2006, has grown from a small operation serving only two clients into a lucrative business serving more than 200. Barry and Jill found great benefit in their OC experience, including finding each other. The two met and married at OC. The Kelleys recognize that the vibrancy of Oklahoma Christian 60 to 70 years from now depends on generous and creative gift planning today. Knowing this, they have already made a bequest through their estate plan that will fund an endowed scholarship at the end of their lifetimes.

30 VI SI O NFALL2010

“While we could not make a large gift right now, we can make sure that a portion of our estate goes to support the university we love when we have both passed from this life,” Barry said. “We’d love to help encourage anyone else to take advantage of this opportunity in any way we can.” Like many OC alumni and friends, the Kelleys are taking advantage of a generous matching pledge, which is serving to double all deferred gifts made before December 31. Their bequest, when realized, will be matched dollar-for-dollar. The Kelleys’ gift is a meaningful testament to the excellent student experience still alive at OC, and illustrates that powerful planned giving does not have to wait until our golden years. For more information on unique planned and estate gift matching gift opportunities, contact OC’s Office for Planned and Estate Giving at (405) 425-5112. By Will Blanchard (07)

early-bird buffets.

You can retire one of our old seats

and sponsor the recently-completed installation of a new and improved

seat for just $200. Moreover, as a sign

of respect, our young, incoming seats

will proudly wear an engraved plaque

of your choosing for each of their elders

you retire. This is your chance to leave a lasting mark on Hardeman Auditorium and to honor a friend, loved one, or

cherished professor or staff member

with a permanent fixture at Oklahoma Christian.

The new seats went in over the

summer. Please help their predecessors retire by making a tax-deductible

donation today! Go to

seats to make a secure online donation,

or contact Michael Mitchell at (405) 4255126 for more information.

A Campaign for the Future of Oklahoma Christian University Our university stands on the shoulders of many supporters who give to our general scholarship fund each year. Those selfless gifts benefit every OC student. But the future demands that we move beyond our reliance on general scholarship funding and increase our endowment. Endowment is the financial engine that propels a university toward achieving its greatest potential. “Remember OC” is a two-year campaign to secure our future through endowment funding. Please consider how you can Remember OC in your charitable estate, financial and tax planning. You can help create an endowment income stream that will continue your support of OC until the Lord returns. To find out how you can help through planned and estate giving techniques, call Stephen Eck at 405.425.5118 or email


TRANSFORM A LIFE Text MISSIONS to 85944 to make a $5 gift to OC’s Student Missions Program!

A one-time donation of $5 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Standard messaging rates and additional fees may apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of Oklahoma Christian University by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to 85944.

Keep up with YOUR ALMA MATER at

OC Enrollment is School’s Second Highest OC’s fall enrollment is the school’s second highest ever, following a two percent increase in the number of full-time students. Total enrollment is 2,216, compared to 2,172 last year. This fall, there are 511 freshmen, an increase over last year’s total of 471. In addition, the university experienced a 25 percent increase in graduate students with 317 enrolled, compared to 254 last year. Total undergraduate enrollment dipped slightly to 1,899 following the graduation of one of OC’s largest senior classes in the spring. “We are very excited to see continued growth in enrollment during challenging economic times for many families,” OC president Dr. Mike O’Neal said. “This is a significant achievement and a reflection of the hard work of our faculty and staff. We are truly blessed by the trust these outstanding students have given us for their higher education.”

OC RANKED BY U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT Oklahoma Christian was ranked 44th in the western region of the United States in the college guidebook, “America’s Best Colleges, 2011 Edition.” This is the 12th consecutive year that U.S. News & World Report has ranked Oklahoma Christian in its guidebook. “We are honored to be ranked above 62 percent of regional universities in the western region,” President Dr. Mike O’Neal said. “This is a reflection of the hard work of our dedicated faculty, staff and students, as well as the generosity of our alumni and other supporters.” U.S. News bases its regional university rankings on academic reputation, peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. Oklahoma Christian is well represented in these categories. For example, the university’s chapter of the national history honor society has been named a top chapter in the nation among universities under 3,000 students for the past 15 years. Nearly all of OC’s science students who have conducted undergraduate research and applied to graduate, medical or other professional programs have been accepted. All of OC’s history, political science, and language and literature students who applied to graduate school were accepted as well, with many going on to highly-ranked graduate schools. “The OC community truly embraces our mission of transforming lives for Christian faith, scholarship and service,”

32 VI SI O NFALL2010

O’Neal said. “We are excited about the impact our faculty and students continue to have on the world, an impact that fuels honors such as this ranking.”


The Princeton Review also honored Oklahoma Christian as one of the best colleges in the West. The university was among 120 institutions from 15 western states – and just six in the state of Oklahoma – recommended by the Review. “We’re pleased to recommend Oklahoma Christian University as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree,” said Robert Franek, the Review’s senior vice president of publishing. “We chose it primarily for its excellent academic programs.” The Review produces the rankings to help raise awareness of academically excellent colleges for students looking to study within a specific geographic area. “We take great pride in being recognized as an academically excellent university,” said Dr. Allison (Dabbs 84) Garrett, senior vice president of academic affairs at Oklahoma Christian. “Our students continue to excel in their academic disciplines, often outperforming students at much larger institutions. The faculty and staff are incredibly dedicated to helping prepare these students achieve and sustain success.”

OC FEATURED IN COLLEGE ACCESS & OPPORTUNITY GUIDE A recent USA Today article reported that 89 percent of lowincome, first-generation students leave college within six years without a degree. Oklahoma Christian’s work to change that trend was recognized in the Center for Student Opportunity’s 2011 College Access & Opportunity Guide, which highlights supportive college environments for low-income, first generation students. OC was one of just two colleges in the state to be selected. “We are honored to be selected as a university that values and seeks out low-income, first-generation students,” OC director of admissions Darci (Grisso 00) Thompson said. “This is an outreach that we are dedicated to and that we seek to grow as well.” OC’s Bridge Program helps students whose secondary education has not fully prepared them for college. It provides these students with special tutoring, developmental classes, instruction in time management and study skills, career counseling, guidance and mentoring. In addition to offering the Bridge program, Oklahoma

Christian offers tutoring for all students in other areas. “We want every student to succeed, and we want to make sure they have the tools to do so,” said Dr. Allison Garrett, senior vice president for academic affairs. The guidebook also highlighted that many students, faculty and staff at Oklahoma Christian spend thousands of hours each semester in local, national and global volunteer work.


over traditional textbooks. Oklahoma Christian is a longtime leader in integrating technology into the academic environment. It was the one of the first universities in the country to offer laptops to all students and to offer a completely wireless campus. According to Hermes, technology can transform the way students study and learn through enhanced communication with faculty and instant access to course content in and out of the classroom. “The usability for e-mail and word processing is great, as well as for making digital presentations,” Hermes said. “The iPad connects straight to the projector, so we really see a great application for many disciplines across campus.”


OC became the first university in Oklahoma to offer the iPad, the newest mobile device from Apple, to all new undergraduate students. Fulltime undergraduate students already receive a MacBook laptop and their choice of an iPhone or iPod touch. As an alternative to the latter devices, undergraduate students can now choose to pay an upgrade cost and receive an iPad. “The bigger screen and the usability factor really make this device stand out,” said John Hermes (93), vice president and chief technology officer. “The impetus for us to add this device is that there are potential advantages for students. The e-book reader is very advanced. If publishers adopt this technology and develop content for it, I believe students will have better access to course content as well as see potential cost savings

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation has granted a six-year accreditation to OC’s interior design program. Oklahoma Christian is just the third school in the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities to have an accredited interior design program, and is one of a just a few accredited programs in Oklahoma. “Receiving accreditation really benefits our students,” interior design professor Amy Beauchamp (00) said. “Accredited programs are held to the highest standards of quality in the profession. This translates to better prepared graduates, especially in regard to applying for and taking the national certification exam.” According to CIDA, accredited programs help ensure that interior design students are prepared, responsible, informed and skilled at creating attractive, safe and comfortable spaces that respect the earth and its resources. “We are honored to be approved for accreditation by such a selective and thorough institution,” said Dr. Allison Garrett, senior vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma Christian. “This furthers the interior design program’s mission to educate students for professional excellence. We are especially pleased to be able to offer such a high-caliber program in the strong Christian environment that Oklahoma Christian provides.”

Four Star Debate Four Star Debate: Developing Leaders with

General Tommy Franks went international this year.

The leadership and debate camp, sponsored by OC’s Academy of

Leadership & Liberty along with the General Tommy Franks Leadership

Institute and the National Center for

Policy Analysis, took 24 outstanding high school students from the United States to Jordan in July.

The U.S. students combined with 24

students from the King’s Academy in Amman, Jordan, to debate whether the United States should support a

comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

In addition to interacting with General Franks and other leaders from all over

the globe, students received leadership development and communications

training from OC’s nationally-recognized faculty, staff and academy contributors. For more information about Four Star

Debate and other Academy of Leadership & Liberty programs, email academy@ or call (405) 425-1065.

Pictured above: Academy Multimedia

Coordinator Ben Hobbes (09), Academy

Intern Alyssa White, Academy Associate

Director Beau Bailey (03), OC student Chase Phillips, Academy Executive Director Dr.

Brian Bush, Four Star Debate Guest Speaker Islam Azzam.

33 WWW. OC. E D U

History Students Win National Award ... AGAIN! OC’s history honor society was honored as a Best Chapter in the nation among smaller universities for the 15th consecutive year and 16th time overall. “We continue to be incredibly proud of our students’ outstanding performance in chapter activities,” said Dr. John Maple (72), the group’s sponsor and chair of the department of history and political science. “The students truly earned this excellent achievement.” OC’s chapter is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for college history students and professors in the United States. The society hosts regional and national conferences in which more than 350,000 students from 860 chapters compete. The OC chapter, known as Tau Sigma, competed against other universities that had won five or more Best Chapter awards, and that have up to 3,000 students. The Best Chapter honor comes with a $250 stipend. “By winning this competition so many times, our history students have earned $4,000 to help fund library purchases here at Oklahoma Christian,” Maple said.

WRIGHT NAMED GRADUATE THEOLOGY CHAIR Dr. Richard Wright is new chair of OC’s Graduate School of Theology. Dr. Wright, who joined the faculty in fall 2006, is an Associate Professor in the College of Biblical Studies. Dr. Wright has a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio; a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Dr. Richard Wright Oberlin College; a Master of Arts degree in Ancient Church History from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas; a Master of Theological Studies degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas; and a Ph.D. in the History of Religions: Early Christianity from Brown University in Providence, R.I. Prior to teaching, Dr. Wright was head of Information Technology at Pitts Theology Library at Emory University and Director of Information Technology for the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has published in the area of early Christianity and its Greek and Roman context and presented papers at national and international conferences. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the North American Patristic Society. “Dr. Wright has shown rapidly developing leadership in scholarship, teaching, and student and church relations,” said Dr. Alan Martin, dean of OC’s College of Biblical Studies. He offers much to take the Graduate School of Theology to the next level.” OC’s Graduate School of Theology offers the Master of Divinity, the standard degree to prepare persons for ministry 34 VI SI O NFALL2010

and for general pastoral and religious leadership responsibilities; and the Master of Arts in Ministry, which prepares persons for leadership in youth, family, or congregational ministry. Available online is the Graduate School of Theology’s Certificate in Christian Ministry, which provides students the opportunity to receive a graduate-level education in biblical studies and ministry skills. More information is available at

Professor Honored by Marketing Professionals The Oklahoma City chapter of the American Marketing Association has named its lifetime achievement award after Dr. Burt Smith, a professor of marketing and management at Oklahoma Christian. Smith won the inaugural award in 2008, and the chapter’s past-presidents’ council decided that the award should bear the name of its first recipient. Dr. Burt Smith “We wanted to honor Dr. Burt because he has been such a great force in our organization,” said Brian Blake, the current president of AMA OKC. “This award honors someone who has integrity, a lifetime commitment to being a marketing leader and someone who has been a mentor in our chapter.” Smith, who is an advisor and professor in OC’s MBA program in addition to his undergraduate teaching at Oklahoma Christian, earned the university’s Gaylord Chair of Distinguished Teaching award in 2009. “Dr. Burt Smith is an ideal professor and professional,” OC president Dr. Mike O’Neal said. “His energy, his intelligence, his entrepreneurial spirit, his effectiveness in advancing any organization or initiative of which he is a part, and his commitment to his students are exceptional.” Smith co-founded and owns EMI Research Solutions. He has served clients such as Cox Communications, OG&E, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Subway and the Oklahoma City Zoo. He is one of fewer than 1,600 professionals worldwide to hold the Sales and Marketing Executive International’s Certified Marketing Executive designation, and he also holds a Certified Quality Manager designation from the American Society for Quality. Smith is the only professional in the world to hold these designations as well as a doctorate.

CHARLES BRANCH EARNS PRESTIGIOUS HONOR The renowned Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas in Dallas recently created the Charles L. Branch BrainHealth Award. The award honors neuroscientists who have made unparalleled breakthroughs in brain discovery. Dr. Branch was chosen because his work continued the

tradition of Drs. Wilder Penfield and Theodore Rasmussen, under whom he studied at the prestigious Montreal Neurological Institute. The institute is famous for developing a surgical treatment of epilepsy, as well as for creating some of the first 3-D images of strokes and tumors. Dr. Branch has served on OC’s board of trustees for many years and is now a Life Trustee. His wife, Sylvia, is a trustee for The Christian Chronicle newspaper. The Williams-Branch Center for Biblical Studies is co-named in honor of Dr. Branch and his wife, Sylvia. All five of their children attended Oklahoma Christian. Their son Alfred served the university in various roles from 1999 to 2008, including executive vice president, chief operating officer and interim president. Four of their grandchildren have attended Oklahoma Christian as well (see story on page 13). Dr. Branch’s legacy in brain health now extends through his son, Charlie, who is a nationally renowned neurosurgeon at Wake Forest University and a 1977 OC graduate. He just finished his tenure as president of the North American Spine Society and has recently been appointed as chairman of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. “Christian scientists have made and will continue to make a real difference in our world,” Charlie said. “Dad’s work empowers young people to maintain their faith and to contribute in the field of science at a high level.”

McMILLON CHOSEN FOR FIRST ENDOWED CHAIR Dr. Lynn McMillon (63), distinguished professor of Bible at Oklahoma Christian, has been named the first recipient of an endowed position named in his honor. An anonymous donor gave $1.5 Dr. Lynn McMillon million to create an endowed chair in the College of Biblical Studies to honor McMillon and his wife Joy (Cole 68). The endowment funds a full-time salary

and provides release time and a working fund for research and scholarship. “Lynn is most deserving of this honor for his many years of distinguished service to the university and its students,” OC president Dr. Mike O’Neal said. “We are pleased that not only is the chair named in his and Joy’s honor, but that he will be its first recipient.” McMillon will use his time in the new position to do academic research. “I am honored to be the first appointee to this position,” McMillon said. “It will allow me to continue research into the 18th and 19th century Scottish roots of the restoration ideal, an effort to return to the authority of the Bible. I hope to produce articles showing how the restoration concept influenced religion in America during the 19th and 20th centuries.”

OC PROFESSOR STUDIES WITH TOP HOLOCAUST SCHOLARS Dr. Willie Steele, associate professor of language and literature, spent part of the summer examining Jewish responses to the Holocaust in diaries, letters, artwork and community Dr. Willie Steele documents at the nation’s premier Holocaust museum. He also discussed and learned best practices for teaching the important topic in the classroom. Steele’s two-week study was made possible when he was selected to attend the 2010 Curt C. and Else Silberman Seminar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The 2010 Curt C. and Else Silberman Seminar for University Faculty is a program that promotes, protects and strengthens Jewish values in democracy, human rights, ethical leadership and cultural pluralism. “Having the opportunity to study under some of the top scholars was truly a once in a lifetime experience,” Steele said. “The entire staff at the Holocaust museum went out of its way to provide resources and materials that I plan on integrating in my Holocaust literature course. Realizing the impact that the Holocaust continues to have amazes me, and

Summer Honors Academy The Oklahoma Christian Honors

Summer Academy is a seven-day college experience hosted by OC’s Honors

Program to encourage the pursuit of

excellence by gifted and talented high school students.

This year’s program attracted students from six states; they earned university

credit at Oklahoma Christian for courses in science, humanities, and Bible. Activities included tours of the

Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the

History of Science Collections at the

University of Oklahoma, the Dickinson Research Center and National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the

J-Bar Ranch, and the Prairie Center Schoolhouse.

Participants must have an ACT of 22 or be recommended by a teacher or

counselor. They also must engage in a service project. For more information

or to nominate a student for next year’s Honors Summer Academy, email lisa. or call (405) 425-5300.

35 WWW. OC. E D U

this seminar greatly reinforced the importance of teaching this subject for generations to come.” Steele also was one of three faculty winners in the 2009 Faith and Learning scholarship contest at Oklahoma Christian. Steele won for his essay titled “Suffering with Faith: The Holocaust and Christian Education.”

Student Papers Chosen By PRESTIGIOUS National Journal OC language and literature majors Wil Norton and Cady Haas had papers accepted for publication in the National English Honors Society journal, The Sigma Tau Delta Review. Their papers, from OC’s Film as Literature course, were two of only 15-20 essays accepted from thousands of submissions. “Clearly, Wil’s and Cady’s papers represent the very highest level of undergraduate research possible in their discipline,” language and literature professor Cami Agan said. Haas’ paper explored the representation of women’s bodies in pregnancy in recent comedic films. Norton’s paper examined masculinity and violence in films directed by Stanley Kubrick.

OC REPRESENTED IN ACADEMIC CONFERENCES AND PUBLICATIONS Many OC professors engaged in academic research and publishing over the summer. Associate Professor of Family Studies Scott Harper represented Oklahoma Christian at the International Asia Research Institute in Singapore in July. Harper was one of just five scholars from the United States selected to present on issues pertaining to fathers in Asian cultures. He was joined by professors from Stanford University, Penn

State University, the University of Florida, the University of California, and scholars from top universities across Asia and Australia. Harper discussed his research about the effect of transnational migratory labor on families in the Philippines. In addition, Dr. Allison Garrett was cited as an expert source in Research Magazine, which serves the investment advisor industry. Garrett, senior vice president for academic affairs and an adjunct professor of business law, was quoted in the article “Think Locally: Global Investors Face Diverse Rules.” The article was published in a special issue, “The Research Magazine Guide to International Investing 2010.” Sponsored by Nasdaq OMX, the supplement focuses on trends in global investing, with views from portfolio managers and other experts on the debt crisis in Greece, bright spots in Eastern Europe and related trends.

OC GRAD NAMED ASSOCIATE DEAN AT PEPPERDINE OC graduate Dr. Michael Williams (90) has been appointed Associate Dean for Full-time MBA and Full-time Master of Science in Applied Finance and Global Business degree programs at Pepperdine University. He will also oversee the Office of Alumni and Career Services and recruitment operations for full-time programs. Williams, an associate professor of information systems, served as the interim director of Pepperdine’s Center for Faith & Learning last year. Prior to entering academia, Williams created technology and business process solutions for a wide variety of clients as a consultant in Washington, D.C. He has developed business solutions and worked with firms such as Dynamac, the U.S. Army, SkillsUSA, and Aspen Publishers.

Vision is still Oklahoma Christian University’s alumni magazine, but you’ve never seen it like this before. All of the same OC news and stories are now available in an easy-to-read online format. Find out what great things OC alumni have been doing in their time since college. See Christian higher education at work in the world. And see why, after all these years, you should still be proud to be an Eagle!


S P O RT S N E W S Keep up with OC SPORTS at www.ocEAGLES.COM



Oklahoma Christian placed eighth in the NAIA in the 200910 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, placing first among Sooner Athletic Conference schools. The Directors’ Cup awards points to an institution based on its presence and performance at national championships over the course of a school year. Oklahoma Christian was led by a national runnerup finish in men’s golf and quarterfinal appearances by the women’s basketball and men’s and women’s tennis programs. Other top-10 national finishes included sixth place in men’s indoor track and field, seventh in men’s outdoor track and field, ninth in women’s indoor track and field, and ninth in men’s basketball. OC’s highest ranking in the Director’s Cup standings was seventh overall in 2003, the year that Coach Kris Miller’s Eagles captured the national championship in men’s tennis.

Oklahoma Christian recently broke ground for the Bobby Murcer Indoor Facility. When it is completed later this year, it will provide a place for OC’s baseball players to practice and train year-round, regardless of weather conditions. The facility will function as a premier training and recruiting tool and will provide a large step in the growing OC baseball program. The facility will commemorate Bobby Murcer, an All-Star outfielder and revered broadcaster for the New York Yankees. Murcer, an Oklahoma native, was defined by his humility, Christian faith, optimism, and his heart for his friends, fans, family and Lord. Murcer passed away on July 12, 2008, after a long and hard fight with brain cancer. He will remain as a model for the kind of player, the kind of leader, and the kind of Christian servant that OC ballplayers should emulate.



Oklahoma Christian produced 12 NAIA Scholar Teams in 2009-10. The award recognizes teams with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. OC’s women’s basketball team, coached by Stephanie Findley (82) had the school’s highest GPA at 3.61 while advancing to the national quarterfinals. Also receiving Scholar Team honors were OC’s women’s cross country team (3.48 GPA), women’s indoor track and field team (3.47 GPA), women’s softball team (3.38 GPA), men’s tennis team (3.30 GPA), men’s cross country team (3.24 GPA), men’s golf team (3.20 GPA), men’s baseball team (3.11 GPA), women’s soccer team (3.09 GPA). men’s basketball team (3.08 GPA), men’s indoor track and field team (3.08 GPA), and women’s tennis team (3.07 GPA). OC’s 12 Scholar Teams were the most in the Sooner Athletic Conference and for any school in Oklahoma. The cumulative GPA for OC’s entire athletic department was 3.2.

David Lynn, who built OC’s golf program into a perennial power on the national scene, has returned as head coach after a two-year hiatus. Lynn (96) replaces Kelsey Cline, who left his post at OC to become personal assistant to St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. Cline and Bradford, who won the Heisman Trophy at the University of David Lynn Oklahoma before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, have been friends for years. Cline led the OC golf team to the program’s first national championship in 2009 and coached the Eagles to a runnerup finish in 2010. Oklahoma Christian has placed in the top four at the NAIA national tournament for 11 straight years, with the first nine of those coming under Lynn. “It is an honor to be back at Oklahoma Christian as the men’s golf coach,” said Lynn. “OC is a place that is very special to me and my family and I feel this is a wonderful opportunity to have a positive impact on young people’s lives. The golf team has done exceptionally well since its inception in 1996 and I look forward to carrying on and building more positive momentum in the future.”

Stephanie Findley’s team had a 3.61 GPA and advanced to the NAIA quarterfinals.

Mi l e s t on e s Keep up with milestones online at

1976 Ron Bruner completed his Doctor of Ministry degree at Abilene Christian University. His doctoral research covered ministry done at Westview Boys’ Home in Hollis, OK, where Bruner has been Executive Director since 1999. wbhdir@ Teresa (Parker) Killebrew announces the birth of her first granddaughter, Emma Michele, born April 2 to Alan and Christine Killebrew.

nearly six years now and Leah continues to help others as a Beachbody Coach/ Distributor.

1995 Rick Reed has been hired by Language Associates to teach Japanese at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.


Andre and Amanda (Davenport) Mueller recently moved to Chemnitz, Germany, and are attending the Church of Christ there.

2002 Annika (Thornburg) Bryant announces the birth of her son, Dax Coleton, born June 15 in Temple, TX. He joins big brother AJ. Annika and family live in Killeen, TX.

Keith Mauck has been promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Asia Pacific for Belden. Keith, Jennifer and their children have relocated to Singapore.

2004 Matthew Meredith completed his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Oklahoma and has accepted a postdoctoral research position at St. Louis University, where he will work on the development of enzymatic biofuel cells.

2000 Shawna (Robinson) Steplock announces the birth of her son, Clinton Maxwell, born June 7. He joins brother Caden.

Emm a Mich ele Kill ebr ew

1980 Jane Cole received the CornerBank 2010 Cornerstone Award July 9. Nominations are based on a citizen’s time and efforts dedicated to serving people and enhancing the quality of life in Sumner County, KS. Cole is an insurance agent for Farmer’s and a member of Lion’s Club, CASA Board, Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and Wellington Church of Christ.

2001 Mark and Tamra (Townsley) Blankinship announce the birth of their daughter, Marin Grace, born April 11. She weighed 5 lbs., 14 oz., and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Gra nt Eth an Moy er

Dax Col eto n Bryant Adam Hoffhines successfully completed his medical training, earning his M.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

Philip and Lisa Snell announce the birth of their first child, Aline Rebecca, born May 31. She weighed 7 lbs., 12.2 oz., and was 19 inches long.

Charles and Lyndsey (Crowder 01) Perez announce the birth of their son, Donovan Luis, born July 30. He weighed 7 lbs., 11 oz., and was 20 3/4 inches long. He joins two-year-old sister Delia Jean. lyndzpea@;

Alin e Reb ecc a Sne ll


1984 Steve Guymon was named the Gulf South Conference Coach of the Decade in cross country. Guymon has led Harding University to seven GSC championships and seven South Regional crowns, and has led his teams to six top-10 national finishes in his eight years as coach.

Mar in Grace Bla nkin ship Barrett and Rachel (Maple) Huddleston announce the birth of their daughter, Livi Kate, born April 26. She weighed 7 lb., 13 oz., and was 19 1/2 inches long. She joins big brother Ethan. Proud grandparents are John and Connie Maple. rachelandbarrett@

Jonathan Tyler and his wife have accepted a position to be houseparents at the Shults Lewis Child and Family Services Children’s Home in Valparaiso, IN.

Don ova n Luis Per ez



Steven Dye is the new Senior Minister at Quail Springs Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.

Chris (03) and Andrea (Brophy 02) Moyer announce the birth of their son, Grant Ethan Moyer, born August 14, 2009. He joins big sister Ava. moyers2003@gmail. com.

1994 Aaron and Leah (Guyer) Redling are actively involved in the Worship and Technology Ministries at Heartlands Church of Christ in Lincoln, NE. Aaron has worked with Lincoln Public Schools for 38 VI SI O NFALL2010

Livi Kat e Hud dle stio n

2007 Tyler and Candace (08) Brassfield’s son, Gunner, had open-heart surgery at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas on July 22 and is doing wonderfully now. They ask for continued prayers for Gunner. Waynokia Viltz married Warren C. Roberts on September 18 at Ville Platte Church of Christ in Ville Platte, LA.

The Ninth Annual Celebration


Lee Allan Smith Spirit of Oklahoma Awards to Oklahoma City Mayors Mick Cornett, Kirk Humphreys and Ron Norick




• Academic All-American and team captain for three conference championship teams at Oklahoma Christian

SHERRI COALE • Winner of 10 Big 12 championships as head women’s basketball coach for the University of Oklahoma • Coached the Sooners to three NCAA Final Fours and the 2002 national championship game

For information on becoming an OC Associate, contact: Oklahoma Christian University Office of Advancement ph: 405.425.5102 email: Thank you for investing in Christian education!



NAME: CHRIS SMITH (01) Current Job: Family Law Attorney. Childhood Ambition: Play shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals. Be a marine biologist. Fondest Memory: Most anything involving my dad and basketball, summer road trips with my family, stopping at every museum, battlefield, and notable “point of interest”. Wildest Dream: Have my own show on the Food Network. Alarm Clock: Usually earlier than I want, but always to an iPod. Favorite OC Bible Class: Dr. Baird’s Old Testament Survey. Biggest Challenge: To be innovative in using the law to help families overcome the challenges they face with the ultimate goal of eliminating the need for divorce attorneys. It’s Pollyannaish I know, but I think it is what God calls Christian attorneys to strive for within this area of law. Inspiration: My grandparents. Both sets have been married more than 60 years. Both grandfathers still work full-time, and both are Godly men who I hope I make proud. My Life: I hope my life has meaning. Wherever my life takes me, I hope it always has meaning and when my time has come those who know me will say, “He had an impact.” My School: As cliché as it may sound, I don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for Oklahoma Christian. I owe a lot to Dr. Maple and Dr. Brian Collins for working with me to give me the opportunity to go to work in the Oklahoma Governor’s office full-time my last semester. It set the stage for a lot of what I did following that experience. I also know that the spiritual foundation that OC fostered has helped bolster my faith in difficult times, and I know I would have not had that same support anywhere else.

NAME: JOYCE ANN SMITH-SWANSON (73) Current Job: Homemaker and homeschool mom. Hometown: Missouri City, Texas. Childhood Ambition: To be a mom and teacher. Fondest Memory: Family vacations/Christmas Day with family. Wildest Dream: Learning to fly a plane. Alarm Clock: Ditch the snooze button … Just get up! Favorite OC Bible Class: The two I took with Raymond Kelcy. Proudest Moment: Birth of both of my children. Biggest Challenge: Trying not to meet too many needs at one time. Perfect Day: Watching a good movie and/or reading a book and not having to do any housework or run errands. Indulgence: DARK chocolate of any form! Inspiration: My mom and her life of servitude to her family, friends, OC and church. My Life: Amazing Grace. My School: I doubt anyone had a better time than I did for four years at OC, but I am certain there are many who made a higher GPA than I did! When I am back visiting on campus, it feels like ‘coming home.’

40 VI SI O NFALL2010



find out about the latest events going on at Oklahoma christian university and how you can get involved with your alma mater by visiting

HOMECOMING • November 5-6





DECEMBER 6 Lighting of the commons • NovEMBER 30

Holiday Hustle • December 4

Cocoa & carols • DECEMBER 6

ADMISSIO N S w w w.o c . e d u/a d m i s s i o n s C a m p u s C O N N EC T • O c t . 1 1 , D e c. 3 C a m p u s C O N N EC T + P LUS + • N ov. 5

Honoring President

The Libertas Award • January 20

T h e s e d ays a re g re a t o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r p ro s p e c t i v e s t u d e n t s t o v i s i t c a m p u s a n d l e a r n m o re a b o u t O C .

Spring SIng • February 4-5

41 WWW. OC. E D U

Ben Hobbes (left) with one of the Four Star Debate participants in Jordan.

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OC? Here’s a three-point plan for the next time you take that vacation or mission trip to some famous or exotic location:

Mandy (McDonald) Flaming (left) at the Abilene Turkey Trot last Thanksgiving.

1 Take some OC gear. 2 Take your picture with you wearing it. 3 Tell us where you are and what you’re doing.

If you email or mail the photo to us, we’ll post it on our alumni website … and it might even appear in the next Vision. We look forward to seeing those pictures! SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO:

OC alumna Taryn (Caylor) Kingery ran into Acappella in Recife, Brazil, while she was on a separate mission trip with a church group from Texas.

Alumni Michael Cady (with his wife Kim), David & Amy (Mereness) Cady, and Sarah (Cady) Landes (with her husband Lane) went on a mission trip to Indonesia over the summer. Their children Parker Landes, Jonathan Cady, Mackenna Cady, Mason Cady, Lauren Cady and Jackson Landes are pictured above with two children from Indonesia.

42 VI SI O NFALL2010

The OC softball team at a Texas Rangers game as part of an event hosted by the North Texas Alumni Chapter.

Interactive Marketing Coordinator Ann White 10,000 feet above Oklahoma on a recent sky-diving trip.

aerie Archive

1 97 5

A blast from the past

STUDENT SENATE Their theme: unity. Their task: To draw the students closer together as a group working together and playing together. This was achieved by planning various activities for the student body. Freshmen Orientation ... Elections ... Variety Show ... Movies ... WPA ... Christmas Banquet ... Grease Day Party ... Spring Sing ... Homecoming ... Bowling ... Skating ... Talent Show ... Western Day & Beard Contest ... Youth Forum ... Banana Split Party ... Road Rally ... Inauguration Activities ... All-School Picnic. Officers: President: Alan Phillips Vice President: Ron Verner Secretary: Carolyn Kemplin Treasurer: Jill Drummond

MEMBERS: Rex Ackerman, Beth Badgett, Dana Baker, Mark Brazle, Teresa Brewer, Jacquie Campbell, Jill Drummond, Kent Hartman, Carolyn Henry, Mark Hill, Jennifer Jackson, Mark Jackson, Susan Kasbaum, Carolyn Kemplin, Steve Lashley, Vicki McElroy, Gary McNally, Sue Ott, Alan Phillips, Ken Porter, Kent Royse, Bella Shade, Ron Spoils, Kevin Thomason, John Thompson, Lynn Vaughn, Ron Verner, Darla Dean, Rhonda Estes, Don Williams.

44 VI SI O NFALL2010

Lasting VisionS

Below: The Nine Noises and the 1974-75 Men’s Basketball Team.

EAGLE BASKETBALL TEAM (LEFT TO RIGHT): Trainer Dennis Crawford, Mike Arnold, Bobby Beall, Kyle Kudjoe, Wes Arnold, Buddy Capps, Rick Dearinger, James DeGrate, Phil Crews, Brad Jones, Decell Lewis, Stan Dacus, Richard Wallace, Coach Bill Villines, Assistant Coach Don Whitehead.

45 WWW. OC. E D U


Visit to update your name, address, email and other information.


@okchristian on twitter A sampling of OC tweets from the spring semester.

Celebrating 10 years of friendship with Western Village Academy through Kite Day!



@Risa35: Excited to hear @okchristian alum Mark Henson of @sparkspace on campus today! 3 @JBinghamOC: Going green @okchristian via trayless dining! You asked for it, you got it!


Prayer night underway. Please join us by covering the upcoming school year in prayer.



@bgravy: CTF (Capture the Flag, for the layperson) at 10:30 in the Pavilion at @okchristian! The most honored and ancient tradition on campus :) President O’Neal flipping pancakes as a United Way celebrity chef this morning.


@mmitch05: Another fun afternoon of pond swimming at @okchristian.


@JoshuaMac22: New Reign farewell concert for Bryson and Tiff!


F O L LOW O C O N L I N E at w w w.o c. e d u/CONNECT



Vision - September 2010  

Oklahoma Christian University's alumni magazine