Last month I gave you some insight into what happens when the Thrive progress bars stop moving. The long and short of it being this: even though the bars may slow for a week or two, our team and our donors never stop moving.
In fact, since Thrive started just two months ago, President deSteiguer and Vice President Kent Allen have proposed more than $10M in collaborative projects to generous OC families and businesses. And these awesome men and women have already committed more than $3M to Thrive!
Today that changes.
I’m blessed to be the bearer of incredible good news: Benton and Paula Baugh, who just one year ago gave $1.7 million to establish the Baugh Preaching Chair, have committed to giving an additional $1 million to fully fund the College of Engineering and Computer Science Launch!
This means that Dean Byron Newberry and his team can begin work immediately on expanding and enhancing our programs in that College. (Expect more details on that front very soon.)
You might not know the Baughs. They’re relative newcomers to the OC family. But, as you can tell, they’re something special and they’re already making a big impact on our community.
Benton and Paula are active members at Memorial Church of Christ in Houston, Texas, where Benton serves as a deacon. Their connection to OC is owed in large part to their great relationship with OC trustee David Duncan (’89) and his wife, Barbara (’89). David is the pulpit minister at Memorial Church.
Benton is a wildly creative engineer, with more 50 years of experience in oilfield and subsea systems and more than 100 U.S. patents to his name. Founder and former president of Radoil, Inc., Benton is currently living life as an avid inventor, investor, evangelist, and professor.
Paula, meanwhile, works closely with Impact Houston Church of Christ, serving hungry, hurting and homeless people throughout the inner city. The Baughs have also helped develop the Spring Branch Iglesia de Cristo and lead in the Day of Good Works, an initiative of Houston-area churches of Christ.
They’re also just a kind and genuine couple, with God on their hearts and students on their minds. We love them!
The game-changing gifts the Baughs are making today are a testament not only to their great faith in the OC mission and our students, but also to the power of telling the OC story. Benton and Paula did not attend OC. They’ve never worked for OC. They’d never spent much time on campus, in fact, prior to 2012. But they’re Eagles now because they caught David and Barbara’s passion for OC.
If you’re like me, it’s probably hard for your family to scrape together a million dollars. And, when your financial impact feels “small” in the grand scheme, it’s hard to commit to a campaign like Thrive at all.
Now I’ll argue for the power of gifts of all sizes in a later post. (Believe me, if you’re giving to Thrive, you’re making a Kingdom-difference.) But for right now let me just say that, beyond the financial, you can do astounding things for Oklahoma Christian by simply telling your OC story.
There are thousands of families around you with giving spirits and an ache for being part of a unique, mission-minded, Christ-centered community like OC. You never know when your story, like the Duncans', might find the ears of a Benton or Paula Baugh.
Many, many thanks to the Baughs for this wonderful gift. And a round of applause and prayer for our College of Engineering and Computer Science!
More as it develops.