IRVING, Texas – Building on its strong Texas student and alumni bases, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will open an office in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in June.
The Texas office, on the sixth floor of Las Colinas Tower One at 201 East John Carpenter Freeway in Irving, will serve as a local hub for student recruiting, church relations, fundraising and outreach to OC’s Texas alumni.
OC is located just 220 miles from Dallas/Fort Worth in Oklahoma City, the state capital of Oklahoma with a metro-area population of 1.25 million people.
Named one of the best universities in the region by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report, Oklahoma Christian attracts more than 20 percent of its students from Texas and has approximately 2,000 alumni in the Metroplex.
One of those alumni, Alan Phillips, will lead the office as OC’s new vice president for Texas operations.
“This is an ideal way to make OC’s presence in Texas even stronger while serving our current students, prospective students and alumni in the area. Dallas/Fort Worth is a natural fit as the largest metropolitan center in Texas, just three hours away from the largest metropolitan center in Oklahoma, where OC is home,” said Phillips, who graduated from Oklahoma Christian. “This office will give the OC family more ways to connect, not just through the people here, but through the meetings and special events we can have here in Las Colinas.”
Phillips and his wife Donna met as students at Oklahoma Christian, where Alan served as student body president. The San Antonio native began working at Oklahoma Christian in 1976 after graduating with a degree in business administration. He served for 17 years in the development and president’s offices, and was OC’s vice president for development from 1987 to 1993.
In 1994, he established Phillips Consulting, a fundraising consulting practice serving churches and church-related non-profit organizations. He began consulting with Missions Resource Network in 2000 and currently serves as the organization’s vice president for advancement and administration.
Named OC’s College of Business Alumnus of the Year in 1998, Phillips was the founding chairman of OC’s North Texas Alumni Association in 2003 and the founding chairman of OC’s National Alumni Council in 2004.
He has helped make the North Texas Alumni Association OC’s most active alumni chapter. The organization has contributed more than $150,000 over the past nine years for north Texas students to attend Oklahoma Christian and hosts special events for current students, prospective students and alumni.
Alan and Donna have three children, Kristi Plumlee (a 2009 OC graduate), Jason and Anna. The Phillips family lives in Keller, Texas, and attends Lake Cities Church of Christ in Trophy Club, where Alan serves as an elder.
“Alan has been a strong advocate for Oklahoma Christian in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for many years,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “With his vast experience consulting with non-profit organizations, serving churches, serving OC and serving here in the Metroplex, he is the perfect choice to lead our Texas operations.”
In addition to Phillips, the OC Texas staff will include Assistant Director of Financial Services Carrie Hamilton, two admissions counselors, and an administrative assistant.
“When I was a teenager, I was lost, meandering and trying to find my way. When I came to OC, it was a game changer,” Phillips said. “People took me under their wing and helped me find direction and relationships that blessed my life. We want to do the same thing for students and their parents. Our staff here will provide hands-on attention and counsel for our Texas students before, during and after their time at OC.”
OC has many Texas ties beyond the university’s large student and alumni populations in the Lone Star State. Eight members of OC’s Board of Trustees live in Texas, including Metroplex-based trustees Susie Jackson and Richard Lawson.
Two of the university’s seven presidents, Terry Johnson and Alfred Branch, came from Texas to become OC students. Johnson is now an author based in Marble Falls, Texas, while Branch is the president and chief executive officer of Moriah Real Estate Company in Midland, Texas.
Dudley Chancey, associate professor of youth ministry at Oklahoma Christian, leads one of the Metroplex’s largest youth rallies. Winterfest draws more than 4,000 teenagers to the Arlington Convention Center each January.
OC alumni Richard Shough, church life minister at MacArthur Park Church of Christ in San Antonio, and Gary Cochran, singles minister at Prestoncrest Church of Christ in Dallas, help lead camps that bring hundreds of Texas students to OC’s campus each summer.
Oklahoma Christian offers 60 undergraduate majors and 30 additional areas of study, plus graduate degrees in business administration, engineering, ministry and divinity.
The last five years have featured the five largest enrollments in OC history, including 2,193 students for the 2011-2012 academic year. OC’s student body, which includes 30 National Merit Finalists, is composed of students from 42 states and 61 countries.
Pending approval of its application for athletic membership in NCAA Division II, Oklahoma Christian has been accepted into the Heartland Conference, which includes six Texas universities: Dallas Baptist (Dallas), McMurry (Abilene), St. Edward’s (Austin), St. Mary’s (San Antonio), Texas A&M International (Laredo) and Texas-Permian Basin (Odessa).
“As we continue to grow, we’ll have more and more Texas students make OC their home away from home,” deSteiguer said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to have a bigger presence through local churches, through our growing alumni base, through athletic competition, and through other events our Texas staff and alumni chapters can offer throughout the state.”