This blog, like the OC experience it describes, is diverse—sometimes emotional, sometimes informational, sometimes inspirational (I hope)…but at all times wonderfully maroon and gray.
One reason Oklahoma Christian is such a special place is because of this diversity of experience and expression. Our academics are top-tier. Our spiritual life opportunities are some of the best around. And our on-campus living community is not unlike yearlong summer camp…only with the biggest, smartest, most service-oriented and fun-loving group you’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing a hall with 24/7.
But there’s still more to the OC magic. If you’ve been here, you know. It’s hard to articulate what makes up our “special sauce” (believe me, I tried earlier this summer), but there are two ingredients I know of for sure: (1) a whole lot of Christ, and (2) a dash of personality.
And when I say “personality,” I don’t mean “identity.” Most college campuses have an identity or a brand. (Some more than others.) OC is different, though. Our community is more human than that. We have personality. We have character. When I close my eyes and picture Oklahoma Christian, I don’t see a crest or a jersey or a color scheme. I see people. Wise, big-hearted people who have humor in their eyes and smiles curling on their lips.
I’d expect when you close your eyes, you find something similar. And I think a big factor in why we see our OC home this way is because the human experience is modeled here daily by our professors and staff.
You expect a crew of high-achieving academic types to be stuffy—to have up their shields of invulnerability and sage-dom for the thousands of 18-22 year olds flowing through their classrooms and offices. But that’s not our culture. No one here aims to be prototypical. We let our hair down. We let our hearts show. We open the doors to our homes and our families.
And, in so doing, I think we do more than just make this place home. We also teach our students an important lesson: that the words wisdom, growth, power, success, meaning, purpose, responsibility, and maturity are not synonymous with “putting on airs” or fabricating your professional brand. That denying self does not mean denying personality.
This unique ingredient in OC’s special sauce is never more evident than in First Week Follies, our free employee variety show that celebrated its 36th production last week. It’s an incredibly fun, incredibly human, incredibly embarrassing two hours…and the students eat it up every year.
I’m attaching two videos from this year’s show and I’d encourage you to watch them and laugh. Also, take time to pick out the deans, department heads, administrators, and our president as they cut loose for one reason only: to make you happy.
Yes, they’re horribly goofy. No, we’re not raising money for Follies in this campaign.
But these videos will give you a taste of one of our most special ingredients and a better sense of the powerful culture we intend to see Thrive.
As always, more soon.