Today at lunch I had the pleasure of meeting Rob Hale. Rob and his wife, Karen (Killebrew ’82), are good friends of the University and current OC parents. I wasn’t expecting to meet Rob—I was just on a rush lunch to Jimmy Johns—but as I sat beside him, feverishly crunching my salt and vinegar chips, it became clear that our meeting was quite serendipitous.
To my surprise, Rob’s first words to me (which were no doubt more encouraging than he realized) were: “I believe I’ve read some of your work. I’ve been following the Thrive Blog.”
If you have experience in web marketing or blogging or any other area that calls you to cast your voice and your passion out into the infinite abyss of the internet, then you know how meaningful it is just to know someone heard…especially if that’s a someone other than your mom.
Two quick sentences and Rob made my day. But his next statement was even better: “I like how you don’t worry about polishing everything up. You tell it like it is...and that’s what people want to hear.”
I flinched at the “polished” line at first, thinking “wow…is my writing that haphazard?” But the more I’ve reflected, the more I like Rob’s assessment. Thrive is real. It’s personal. The dull, the edgy, the broken, the unrefined—it’s all here.
Thrive isn’t about making Oklahoma Christian seem shiny and perfect. Don’t get me wrong, we wouldn’t call this ‘Thrive’ if compelling and momentous things weren’t happening here. But the marketing philosophy (if you want to call it that) behind this Campaign is much less about us looking polished and much more about giving our students what they need and giving it all to you “like it is.”
And I think you’ll find over the next few years that the way it is, even with all its rough edges, is still really something.
To all of you (especially Rob): thanks for reading, for spreading the word, for trusting our sincerity, and for introducing us to new ways to think and talk about Thrive. Keep bringing it. We value your insights, your prayers, and your voices so much.
Thrive: Fast-Impact, Momentum-Building, Student-Focused, Unpolished.
I love it already.