Presidents of OC

L.R. Wilson

L.R. Wilson

L.R. Wilson, a highly respected minister, served as the institution’s first president when it was known as Central Christian College and located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Under Wilson’s leadership, the student population grew from 97 to 175, and many of OC’s foundations were established: required daily Chapel, a required Bible class each term, outstanding musical programs, student devotionals, student publications, intramural athletics, social service clubs, a high moral expectation of students and faculty, and a high level of academic excellence.

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James O. Baird

James O. Baird

Dr. James O. Baird became president in 1954, and aided by the generous financial support of the Oklahoma City business community, the institution moved to our current 200-acre campus in 1958 and became Oklahoma Christian College in 1959. Dr. Baird led the effort to move Oklahoma Christian from junior to senior college status and to secure accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Under his leadership, the campus expanded and the institution’s net worth and endowment soared, making the Baird presidency the time of “the great leap forward.”

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J. Terry Johnson

J. Terry Johnson

Dr. J. Terry Johnson, a 1964 Oklahoma Christian graduate, was the first alumnus to hold the office of president. During his 21-year tenure, the longest of any OC president, he led the institution to unprecedented growth in campus development, student enrollment, and institutional endowment. Oklahoma Christian achieved university status on March 28, 1990. By adding more faculty and new degree programs, he strengthened the academic programs. He strengthened ties between the university and both the local civic community and the church constituency. Outstanding on-campus events included visits from the President of the United States, governors, business leaders, and those famous in the arts and media.

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Kevin Jacobs

Kevin Jacobs

Under the leadership of Dr. Kevin Jacobs, a 1982 Oklahoma Christian graduate, the university set enrollment records for five straight years, added an MBA program, had significant fundraising success, and extended our long history of leadership in the innovative use of technology by implementing a wireless campus network and providing a laptop for every full-time student. The improvement of campus facilities included the expansion of the Garvey Center with the McIntosh Conservatory and Recital Hall, and the renovation of the Gaylord University Center.

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Alfred Branch

Alfred Branch

Alfred Branch served as Oklahoma Christian’s president in 2001 and 2002, showing courageous and effective leadership as he guided the university through a pivotal time in its history. He came to OC as its executive vice president and chief operating officer in 1999 and served in those roles following his presidential tenure from 2002 until 2008. He oversaw the development of more than $48 million in student housing, campus renovations, and retail projects.

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Mike O’Neal

Mike O’Neal

Mike O’Neal became OC’s sixth president on June 17, 2002. He connected OC with leaders from all over the globe, including a partnership with Rwanda that brought some of that nation’s best and brightest students here to study at OC. He also established new relationships with alumni, churches, and friends in the local business community. His tenure included vital improvements in the university’s financial stability, numerous enrollment records, the construction of many new facilities through the $64.3 million Higher Learning~Higher Calling campaign, the growth of OC’s academic programs, and the strengthening of the faith foundation upon which OC was built.

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John deSteiguer

John deSteiguer

John deSteiguer became the seventh president of Oklahoma Christian University (OC) on May 1, 2012. He was inaugurated in special ceremonies on August 27, 2012.

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