The Oklahoma Christian University family is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. John Thompson, one of the university’s most admired and beloved faculty members. Dr. Thompson persevered to overcome chronic illnesses, often teaching classes from his hospital bed via telephone. He was very passionate about his students and history, and was an expert in African-American history, African civilization, the Civil War and many other related topics.
President Mike O’Neal said that John Thompson epitomized servant leadership and was a model for all OC faculty and staff. “He was truly dedicated to the students and was deeply concerned about their spiritual well being, as well as academics.”
This spring, Dr. Thompson was awarded the “2nd Mile Award,” which recognizes faculty and staff who have committed to go “even further - far above and beyond expectations in service to students.”
Dr. Thompson, who received his bachelor’s degree from OC, has been a member of the OC faculty since 1980, bringing history alive to thousands of students. As a student in the 70s, he was student body president and won the school’s Outstanding History Student award. He earned the university’s Gaylord Chair of Distinguished Teaching in 1998. He held a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.
In a recent interview in VISION, Dr. Thompson said, “We’re trying to teach the whole person. We’re trying to deepen the type of person you’ll be. I think students come to understand that the faculty and staff are concerned about them as people. We’re not just trying to recruit them because we’re concerned about a number. We truly believe that this school will be good for them, that they will make relationships that will last all their lives.”
Services will be Saturday, December 20 at 11am at Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond.
The following is a short video interview with Dr. Thompson explaining his deep love for Oklahoma Christian University.
Feel free to leave your condolences or memories in the comments of this article.
Update: An OC alum has created a Facebook group to share memories and condolences: A Tribute to Professor John Thompson.