Single mom 'Skye high' on OC

Skye and Cree Hammond
Skye and Cree Hammond

Cree Hammond was a single mom. Her daughter, Skye, wasn’t even thinking about Oklahoma Christian University as a potential college choice.

Then Skye visited OC’s campus, met OC’s people, and found out about OC’s academic programs and campus life.

The rest is history … in the making.

Skye is a senior public relations major at Oklahoma Christian. She is really involved on campus and has captained the cheer squad.

“She loved how the OC community treated her,” Cree said. “The faculty and staff struck me as people who already cared about my daughter. She loved how it was an intimate campus where she could be a name, not just a number.”

The numbers didn’t necessarily add up when Skye first made her decision to attend OC. But a cost-benefit analysis convinced Cree that this was the place for her daughter.

“I let her come here despite the expense,” Cree said. “Although the cost of a school is important, the fact that my child gets to be in a safe environment with good Christian people, that she’s able to openly and freely praise God every day, that is worth the sacrifice for me.

“Education is very important to our family. I looked at OC’s curriculum. I saw how students do as a whole – getting into grad schools and being successful. That was a big factor for me. I was impressed.”

OC made such an impact on Cree that she jumped at an opportunity to work at the university. She started in the Student Life Office, then became an attorney in OC’s Advancement Office after passing the bar exam. She now volunteers her legal education and training to help the poor, safeguard the interests of indigent elderly people, and protect the abused.

Though her job helped with Skye’s tuition, there were other financial obstacles. But Cree and her family (Skye’s brother, William, and Cree’s new husband, Derick Gathright) are committed to OC … just as the OC family is committed to them.

“The love of the OC community – the faculty, staff and students – adds years to your life. It just fills my spirit,” Cree said. “To know that my daughter is at this place, as a mother, I’m overjoyed.”

By Wes McKinzie