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$10,000 in Scholarships Awarded to McBride Scholars

Cruzscholarships 2020 13

Oklahoma Christian University McBride Scholarship

The McBride Scholars selected for the academic year 2020-21 are Isabel Belisle and Sarah Beavin. Chosen for the strength of their academics, clear demonstration of leadership skills, the embodiment of an OC Graduate and in consideration of financial need, we are thrilled to honor them with this scholarship.

Isabel Belisle received her certificate and $5,000 scholarship via live stream, celebrating with Dr. Gail Nash and fellow $5,000 scholarship recipient Sarah Beavin.

The awards were presented at the end of the Language Literature chapel service by Division Chair Dr. Gail Nash. Nash asked those in attendance to hold applause until after the two scholarship recipients were announced. Belisle attended via livestream and Beavin occupied a seat on the front row. When Nash announced Belisle as the first recipient, Beavin could not contain her joyful applause and squeal of excitement for her classmate.

Then, when Nash identified Beavin as the second to receive a $5,000 scholarship, she was stunned into silent, emotional disbelief and gratitude. It was a heartwarming presentation to witness Beavin's pure joy and heartfelt thankfulness.

Nash shared some background on each of the students.

"Isabel excels in academics, while presenting an encouraging and pleasant demeanor in spite of whatever challenges she faces outside of the classroom," said Nash.
Senior English Writing major and recipient of the McBride Scholarship Isabel Belisle. photo provided

Belisle is a senior English Writing major from Georgia. Heavily involved as a Lang/Lit student, Belisle directs the writing center and serves as co-chaplain of the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, Rho Mu chapter.

Beavin is also an English Writing major. The junior from Texas transferred to OC last year. She joined Sigma Tau Delta right away. She is not afraid to ask questions, she stretches out of her comfort zone with presentations and leadership opportunities. Her love for OC, encouraging demeanor and her desire for academic excellence embody the spirit of the McBride Family.

"Sarah immediately and fully embraced Lang/Lit at OC. Her commitment and enthusiasm are palpable," said Nash.

Bailey and Joyce McBride Center for Public Humanities

Joyce and Dr. Bailey McBride

Oklahoma Christian University established an endowment for the Bailey B. and Joyce McBride Center for Public Humanities in 2004.

Family, friends and admirers of the McBrides funded the endowment in their honor. The ultimate goal for the center, which features the McBride Scholars Program and the McBride Lecture for Faith and Literature, is one million dollars in endowment funding.

"This is a wonderful compliment, but it is also a challenge. I have been personally rewarded by my role as teacher and mentor to two generations of OC students, and this center offers the opportunity to extend my work into the future," Bailey McBride said.

Bailey McBride was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2004. He held many key roles at Oklahoma Christian before retiring in 2014, including Professor of English, initial chair of the Department of Language and Literature and chief academic officer from 1975 through 1996.

He served as director of OC's Honors Program and as editor of The Christian Chronicle, the only international newspaper serving the Churches of Christ. The university honored him as a distinguished alumnus during its annual Homecoming festivities in 2004. McBride's late wife, Joyce, partnered with him in touching lives and displaying the love of Christ throughout the years.

The McBride Scholars Program provides annual scholarships to outstanding OC students who embody the spirit of Christian university life at its best. The chair of the Department of Language and Literature, in cooperation with OC's Office of Financial Services, selects recipients based on their academic success, their financial need and their leadership skills. Scholarship amounts may vary from year to year.

The McBride Lecture for Faith and Literature brings nationally-recognized humanities scholars to campus to provide public dialogue and student interaction. The intent of the lecture activities is to provide valuable, out-of-the-ordinary educational experiences for students, faculty, and the community.

The McBrides

In 1956, a very young alumnus of Central Christian College arrived back on campus as an English teacher. Since that time, no single person has been more loved and revered by alumni than Bailey McBride. As a friend and mentor, he is legendary. He remembers alumni by name and knows their children, careers and concerns.

Dr. Bailey McBride loved teaching, people and reading. He cared deeply for individuals as a wonderful mentor and friend.

Returning to campus after doctoral studies, Bailey and his bride, Joyce Warren, settled down to raise a family, model Christian living and teach students. Joyce’s authentic Southern charms comforted many a homesick student, guided newlyweds and encouraged young parents. Many people first learned the 23rd Psalm as a child because she was a tireless kindergarten Bible class teacher.

Bailey’s career included nearly every role available to faculty at Oklahoma Christian, including Professor of English, department chair, chief academic officer and provost. He also led OC’s Honors Program and The Christian Chronicle.

Bailey’s mantra to faculty members has been to read new books in the subject matter, regardless how many times they have taught the course. His love of important books and ideas has influenced generations of Oklahoma Christian students.

The McBride Center for Public Humanities celebrates their legacy by championing what they loved and by nurturing Christian young people for generations.

The Bailey and Joyce McBride Center for Faith and Literature is made possible by the generosity of many alumni, friends and family who loved these two special Christian teachers.