Oklahoma Christian University will honor longtime professors, servant-hearted alumni and a local philanthropist at its annual Alumni Banquet on Friday, Nov. 2.
The honorees include Dr. Bailey and Joyce McBride and Dr. Stafford and JoAnne North (Legacy Award), Dr. Lynn McMillon and Dr. James Cail (Distinguished Alumni), Henson Adams and Wil Norton (Distinguished Young Alumni), Jose Freede (Honorary Alumna), and couples Dale and Sheila Hartman, Kent and Nancy Hartman, Tony and Betty Keesee, and Charlie and Debbie Powell (Missions Award).
The banquet, scheduled for 6 p.m. in OC’s Gaylord University Center, will help kick off an eventful Homecoming weekend at Oklahoma Christian. Banquet tickets cost $20 and can be purchased by calling (405) 425-5110 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Discounted prices are available for a table of eight.
“The impact that this group of honorees has made on Oklahoma Christian, on our community and around the world is immeasurable,” said Bob Lashley, OC’s executive director of alumni relations. “A celebration of their lives and accomplishments really is a celebration of OC’s history, too. This banquet will be a great opportunity for family, friends and alumni to come together to thank them for all they’ve done.”
Bailey McBride earned his associate degree from Oklahoma Christian in 1954 when it was a two-year school known as Central Christian College. Since returning in 1966, he has served as a faculty member, dean, vice president, provost, and director of OC’s acclaimed Honors Program. He also was a longtime editor of the Christian Chronicle. In 2004, Oklahoma Christian launched the McBride Center for the Humanities in the McBrides’ honor.
Stafford North came to Central Christian as a faculty member in 1952 and also has served as executive vice president and chief academic officer during his 60 years with the school. He helped put Oklahoma Christian on the forefront of academic technology, starting with a nationally-recognized dial access tape system in the 60s and continuing today with OC’s partnership with Apple and the North Institute for Teaching and Learning. JoAnne has helped raise support the university through Stepping Stones and the Oklahoma Christian Women’s Association.
The McBride and North family legacies at Oklahoma Christian include a combined seven children and nine grandchildren who have attended the university.
The distinguished alumni honorees have served Oklahoma Christian since the 1960s. McMillon graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1963, joined OC as a faculty member in 1966, and later served for 13 years as dean of the College of Biblical Studies. He also serves as chief executive officer and editor of the Christian Chronicle.
Cail retired in 2003 after teaching at Oklahoma Christian for 31 years. He graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1958, returned in 1963 as director of admissions, and later became a popular psychology and sociology professor.
Adams and Norton, the distinguished young alumni honorees, both served as presidents of OC’s Student Government Association. After graduating from Oklahoma Christian in 2011, they were accepted into the prestigious Teach for America program. They teach at Douglass High School in Oklahoma City.
The distinguished honorary alumna, Freede has been involved with Oklahoma Christian since the 70s when she hosted on-campus luncheons for civic leaders. She later supported Enterprise Square USA and helped enhance OC’s campus landscape with her generosity through the 100-foot-tall Freede Centennial Tower, built in 2007 and dedicated in 2008.
Oklahoma Christian’s long history of global outreach moved the university to launch the new “Missions Award” this year. The Hartmans, Keesees and Powells had various stints in Australia between 1979 and 2000, combining for 42 years of mission work there.
In addition to the Alumni Banquet, Homecoming weekend will feature OC’s production of the musical “Seussical” at 8 p.m. on Nov. 1-3 in Hardeman Auditorium. Tickets cost $15, with discounts for groups, senior citizens, and OC students, faculty and staff. Tickets can be purchased on weekdays at the OC Box Office or by calling (405) 425-5540.
Other big events include Homecoming Chapel at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, followed by the Homecoming Parade and Homecoming Carnival/Lunch. The Homecoming Chapel service will feature a message from new president John deSteiguer, a devotional, a performance by the OC Chorale, and recognition of OC’s first class of four-year graduates, who earned their degrees 50 years ago in 1962.
OC’s season-opening basketball games tip off at 1 p.m. (women vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan University) and 3 p.m. (men vs. Central Bible College) on Saturday in the Payne Athletic Center. The “70’s Barn Bash” for 1970s-era alumni begins at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Dave Smith Athletic Center.
Numerous reunions, receptions and other Homecoming events will bring alumni from all eras back home to Oklahoma Christian. A complete schedule is available at www.oc.edu/homecoming.