OC launches 'grand experiment' with new campaign

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) kicked off June with a new fundraising initiative.

“Thrive: The Complete Campaign” will raise approximately $30 million to fund near-term, high-impact projects in around 30 strategic areas by May 31, 2017.

Unlike most university fundraising campaigns, Thrive had no silent phase and will be public from start to finish.

“This is an exciting grand experiment,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “Most campaigns are long-term, endowment-heavy efforts that are secret for years until the timing and resources are right to announce them. But higher education is rapidly changing, and Thrive gives us the agility to respond to new market realities, donor wishes and student needs.”

Thrive will be student-focused – emphasizing building projects and programmatic efforts that quickly and directly impact OC’s campus experience and spiritual environment.

Among the first-year Thrive projects with fundraising goals of $1 million or more are a new home for OC’s School of Nursing, startup capital to launch three new academic colleges, funding for a new spiritual life initiative, and a new campus dining area.

OC will seek additional facility funding for a new coffee shop and upgrades to the Davisson American Heritage building, Hardeman Auditorium, on-campus student housing, and Das Millicanhaus, the university’s living-learning facility in Vienna, Austria.

“These projects are mission-driven and build on OC’s strengths,” deSteiguer said. “They are for our students – providing tangible things that will enhance their collegiate experience while keeping tuition affordable.”

Bolstered by nine straight years of the highest enrollments in school history, including a record 2,424 students last year, Oklahoma Christian kept undergraduate prices flat the past three years before announcing a 3.26 percent increase for 2014-15.

OC’s cost of attendance of $25,790 per year is significantly less than the national public-school average of $31,701 for out-of-state students and the private-school average of $40,917.

Alumni have helped Oklahoma Christian remain affordable; the university’s successful Homeward campaign doubled OC’s alumni participation rate over the past two years. More than 2,200 OC graduates financially supported their alma mater in the just-completed fiscal year.

Thrive is OC’s largest campaign initiative since the Higher Learning~Higher Calling campaign raised $64.3 million in less than six years, concluding in 2009.

“Thrive is a whole different breed of campaign,” deSteiguer said. “It’s unorthodox in higher education, but we’re raising money that can make a difference quickly. OC’s strength and spirit mean this campaign isn’t about surviving. It’s about thriving.”

More information about the Thrive campaign is available at www.oc.edu/thrive.

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.

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