Letter from the President

Dear Alumni and Friends,

This is an exciting time at OC. Just in the past few weeks, we had two students named among the best in the United States for their scholarship and leadership.

Cody Milner was named a Newman Civic Scholar. And Parker LaMascus is OC’s first-ever student to be named a Goldwater Scholar.

A few weeks ago, our aircraft design team placed fifth at an international contest. Of course, we don’t even offer Aeronautical Engineering, but we beat the University of Michigan and the University of Texas. But, who’s keeping score?

The Princeton Review again honored OC’s gaming and animation program as one of the top programs in the nation. Again, I’m not keeping track, but we beat out Texas A&M, MIT, North Carolina State, Purdue, Cornell, Case Western Reserve, and the University of Tulsa.

Our ethics team again placed in the top 10 nationally after winning its fifth straight state championship competing against the likes of OU and OSU. And our own Tau Sigma was named the best history chapter in the nation for the 21st straight year!

Speaking of history, our annual History Speaks event in February welcomed Diane Nash, one of the foremost civil rights leaders from the turbulent 60s.
And another sellout crowd packed Hardeman Auditorium to hear famous travel writer Rick Steves inspire us to experience other cultures.

Current Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin and former Governor and First Lady Frank and Cathy Keating joined us at our recent Associates Gala, where we honored the Green Family of Hobby Lobby fame with the Lee Allan Smith Spirit of Oklahoma Award.

We’ve been blessed to feature remarkable items from the Green Collection of biblical artifacts here on campus, and we’re excited to see the Greens open the magnificent new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., this fall.

Our spring commencement ceremonies gave us the chance to honor Don Millican for his 15 years of service chairing OC’s Board of Trustees. He and his wife Donna have helped transform OC in so many positive ways, and I’m grateful they’re not going anywhere. Don will continue to serve on the board and they’ll be hanging out at this place they call home quite a bit.

And home’s getting better thanks to the smashing success of our Thrive! campaign. We’re meeting needs with new academic programs. Our campus dining experience is getting a dramatic makeover with great new options like Alfredo’s, Chick-fil-A, and the new Brew coffee shop.

Hartman Place. Das Millicanhaus. The Citizens Bank Finance Lab. Cail Auditorium. The Eckhart Nursing Classroom. The Ethos Spiritual Life Program. Our alumni and friends are making our students’ college life – and learning – better than ever. And we thank you.

There are so many ways our students are touching and changing lives, and I hope you’re blessed by our cover story on page 12. For this competitive president, I’m proud that story tells of our students winning the Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup statewide contest (formerly known as the Governor’s Cup) in only our second year competing!

But the trophy and accolades pale in comparison to the impact these young people are making. Thanks to the heartfelt passion of one of our graduate engineering students, the help of faculty mentors, and the inspired determination of six OC undergrads, a man with ALS who’s lost the ability to speak can tell his wife, “I love you.”

The eye-tracking system our very own students developed has given Carl Phelps a new lease on life, and it promises to do the same for many others down the road.

This is just one example of how OC is Home for Life Changers. Thank you for changing lives in the ways God has called you. Thank you for pouring into and praying for your university. We look forward to seeing you on campus soon.

John


Spring 2017

View more stories from the Spring 2017 issue of Vision magazine.