If you’ve been behind-the-scenes at OC for even a short length of time, you’ve probably heard someone utter the phrase "this campus is the best kept secret in Oklahoma."
It’s meant as a compliment. Here, nestled quietly between Oklahoma City and Edmond, OK, is a small campus with a big bag of tricks—a school with an almost unparalleled knack for intensive, personal, faith-filled, nation-leading education. (Seriously. Check our stats.)
But part of this compliment rings painfully in our ears: "Secret."
Ugh. I hate it. What good is a world-class recipe, after all, if the world spins unsuspectingly along without tasting it?
As a case in point, let's walk the halls of our College of Business Administration (CBA). From our Eagles on Wall Street Program, to our championship Ethics Team, to our regional leadership in the American Marketing Association, to our curve-setting scores on the CPA, our business students have ample reason to flaunt their feathers in the classroom and the boardroom
But, with nearly 60 business programs in Oklahoma vying for attention, the CBA is whispering these awesome secrets in a loud and crowded room. How do we start shouting? How do we convince a searching 18-year-old, lost in this sea of noise, that Oklahoma Christian is the place to be for a top-tier, faith-infused business experience?
Well, our shouting strategy in Thrive boils down to two Fs (ironic, I know). We invest in the formative, in the things that will profoundly influence our students for the long haul. And we invest in the flash, in those "oh wow" experiences that bring new thinkers in the door.
These are not mutually exclusive ideas. To rise from a whisper to a shout, a Thrive project needs to channel both Fs. And, for the CBA, we’re excited to announce our first major effort that meets our loudest criteria: The Citizens Bank of Edmond Finance Lab.
What’s a Finance Lab?
Imagine you carved out a chunk of the trading floor on Wall Street, drove it fourteen-hundred some odd miles, and deposited it just inside the lobby of the Harvey Business Center. Inside this room are more than a dozen trading terminals—dual screen computers tapped into live, real-world information, such as news from exchanges, brokerage houses, media and financial services firms, and more. Touch-screen monitors flank the space, flashing global market analytics, and a live LED stock ticker adds some functional sizzle to the room.
Across North America, only 20% of schools have a lab of this caliber. This is high-tech, hands-on, executive-level stuff. And it’s all going to live right in the heart of our existing business classroom suite, readily accessible to every student who walks the halls of the CBA.
When’s It Going In?
This is a fun question to answer. Right now. Thanks to an incredible lead gift from Citizens Bank of Edmond, as well as generous investments by Security State Bank, Sabre Technologies, The First State Bank, and a number of private donors, we have every penny of the $280,000 we need to bring this lab to life.
If you need proof, here’s a quick video of Jill Castilla, President of Citizens Bank of Edmond, Tip Burch ('82), CEO of Security State Bank, Jeff Bonney ('77), Vice President at RKI Exploration, James Billingsley ('82), Owner/Advisor at Southwest Financial Group, John deSteiguer, OC President, Lydia Harlow, OC Senior, Jody Jones, OC Professor of Finance, and Jeff Simmons ('91), OC Dean of the College of Business Administration swinging the inaugural sledges at our groundbreaking (wall-bashing?) on Monday.
Doesn’t get much louder than taking big hammers to a wall. To all our briefcase-wielding Eagles out there: here’s to taking OC Business to eleven* and never quieting down!
*Yes, the CBA goes to eleven.