Oklahoma Christian Appoints Eck VP, General Counsel

John deSteiguer, president-elect of Oklahoma Christian University, has appointed as Stephen Eck vice president and general counsel. Eck is currently vice president for estate and planned giving and will retain those responsibilities. 

“We are very fortunate and pleased to have someone with Stephen’s ability already on staff and willing to accept this important additional role,” deSteiguer said. “Stephen’s legal expertise, combined with his thorough knowledge of the university and its many evolving legal requirements, make him uniquely qualified to be our chief legal officer.”

Eck said he is excited about the challenges the new position will bring. 

“There is a definite need for this position in view of the rapidly changing legal environment for higher education and in particular for private faith-based higher education,” he said. “My challenge will be to stay on top of those changes, ensure that the university is in compliance and that the interests of the university are protected.”

Eck will be responsible for handling a broad range of legal matters and regulatory issues.

Dr. Cree Gathright, planned and estate giving counsel, and Emily Stringer, planned giving marketing coordinator, will continue to report to Eck. 

Eck joined Oklahoma Christian on September 1, 2000, as director for advancement of OC’s Cascade College branch campus in Portland, Ore. During his time there, Cascade had significant success in planned and estate giving as well as current gifts.

Since Eck was named director of planned giving at OC in 2006, the university has received more than $8.3 million in planned and estate gifts. He was named vice president for planned and estate giving in December 2009. Eck led the two-year, highly successful Remember OC micro-campaign for planned and estate gifts. The campaign generated more than $17,000,000 in planned gifts and estate expectancies. 

Eck is a 1992 graduate of Oklahoma Christian, with a bachelor’s degree in Bible. He also holds an MBA from MidAmerican Nazarene University in Kansas City and a Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University. He is a Certified Fundraising Executive, and is licensed to practice law in both Kansas and Oklahoma.

He is a member of the American Bar Association, Kansas Bar Association, Oklahoma Bar Association, and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning. He serves as secretary for the Oklahoma Planned Giving Council.

He and his wife, Megan (Thomas), have two children and live in Edmond. Megan is a 1993 OC graduate; she and Stephen met at Oklahoma Christian. They are members of the Memorial Road Church of Christ.