Millican, milestones highlight OC graduation

Apr 25, 2017

  • Don Millican delivers the Board of Trustees’ Charge to Graduates at a previous OC commencement ceremony.
Don Millican delivers the Board of Trustees’ Charge to Graduates at a previous OC commencement ceremony.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Kaiser-Francis chief financial officer Don Millican will deliver the commencement address at Oklahoma Christian University’s spring graduation this Friday, April 28.

Millican, who recently ended a 15-year tenure chairing OC’s Board of Trustees, will receive an honorary doctorate from Oklahoma Christian.

The dual commencement ceremonies, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Payne Athletic Center, also will feature the 2,000th graduate from OC’s Master of Business Administration program and the first two graduates from OC’s new combination bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science.

The 288 undergraduate degree candidates come from 30 states and 11 countries, and majored in 65 disciplines. The 115 master’s degree candidates come from seven states and 10 countries and represent 22 graduate disciplines.

The morning ceremony will include master’s degree candidates from OC’s Graduate School of Business and bachelor’s degree candidates from the College of Business Administration and College of Liberal Arts.

The afternoon ceremony will include master’s degree candidates from OC’s Graduate School of Engineering and Computer Science and Graduate School of Theology, plus bachelor’s degree candidates from the College of Biblical Studies, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and College of Natural and Health Sciences.

Millican, who will remain on OC’s board, is the chief financial officer for George B. Kaiser and the Kaiser-Francis Oil Company.

An elder for Park Plaza Church of Christ in Tulsa, he serves on the board of Oklahoma’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, Tulsa Educare, Inc., Oklahoma Policy Institute, Tulsa Neighborhood Networks, and the Central European Christian Education Foundation.

Highlights of Millican’s tenure as OC’s board chair include the success of the $30 million Thrive! campaign, the addition of almost $50 million to the university’s endowment; a comprehensive $34 million student residence project and the construction of other facilities, including Lawson Commons, McGraw Pavilion, the Freede Centennial Tower, and the Noble Science Wing.

The success and growth of OC’s academic programs included five new master’s degrees, expanded undergraduate offerings, and the university’s reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission in 2006 and 2016.

Enrollment surged, with the top 12 enrollment totals in OC history coming in the last 12 years.

OC also remained on the forefront of educational technology and expanded its global reach through missions, a partnership with Rwanda, and the launch of OC’s Das Millicanhaus in Vienna.

“Don and his wife Donna have helped transform OC in so many positive ways,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “Don provided visionary leadership and Christian influence, and graciously allowed OC to benefit from his personal brand. His expertise and integrity on economic issues, along with his heart for those in need, have blessed people all over the world. We’re grateful that OC has become like home to the Millicans.”

Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.

OC set another school record with 2,600 students enrolled this year. The university offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.