Guy J. Ross, Jr.

2011

Guy J. Ross, Jr., grew up in love with Oklahoma Christian. As a boy in Holdenville, Oklahoma, he learned of the college and attended one of the high school days designed to attract students. He came home with a resolve to come to the new campus in Oklahoma City in the fall of 1960. A popular student, Guy majored in speech and Bible. His favorite professor was Dr. Stafford North, who directed him in debate and “Songs America Sings.” His senior year, Guy was elected class president and named “Mr. Aerie.”

Shortly after graduating in 1964, Guy was hired by Phil Watson as a field representative in the development office. It was here that he learned the ropes in fundraising while also keeping an eye on a co-ed from Muskogee, Mary Ann Hardesty. They married one year later. After graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma, Guy accepted a fulltime appointment at Oklahoma Christian and has been a key figure in the staff and administration ever since.

Although Guy is an excellent fundraiser, his contribution to the university goes well beyond that realm. He became vice president when Dr. J. Terry Johnson was appointed president in 1974. He was named senior vice president in 1986. Throughout the Johnson administration, Guy was in a pivotal role as presidential advisor, institutional strategist and ambassador of goodwill wherever he spoke. In the 1970s and 1980s, he, along with Drs. North and Johnson, made crucial decisions that advanced the college toward becoming a university in 1990. He was highly instrumental in raising the $15 million to build and endow Enterprise Square USA.

Few people have had better rapport with the Board of Trustees than Guy. Not only did he raise endowments, scholarships and operating support from most of the trustees over his almost 40 years of service to Oklahoma Christian, he also preached at their congregations, counseled their grandchildren and traveled with them around the globe on university-sponsored excursions.

No one “works a crowd” better than Guy Ross. People get a smile on their faces when they see him coming. A fabled raconteur of the first order, Guy Ross may well have told more stories about students and faculty at Oklahoma Christian than has any other person dead or alive. He remembers details long forgotten by others, and has been known to embellish on occasions when it suited his purpose. People love to hear him reminisce, and in the process, they fall in love with the idealism of Christian education.

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