Brewers Adopt OC as Home Trustee and Family Called to Live Great Adventure

Will Blanchard

On a campus like Oklahoma Christian’s, where roughly 3,000 stories meet and intersect every day, it can be overwhelming to consider all the possible futures cascading out from today. 

Few stories illustrate this quite like the one that brought Mark and Beth Brewer into the OC family … because there’s no earthly reason for them to be here.

Mark and Beth are not OC graduates. Beth grew up in the St. Louis area and Mark in Oklahoma City. 

They met at Oklahoma State University in the early 1980s. After completing their degrees, including three for Mark (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.), the Brewers left Oklahoma for Chicago.

“It was a great time of learning for us, as we only had each other to depend on for the longest time ... and it was cold there.” Beth said.

After a few years in Chicago, the Brewers returned to Oklahoma City, where Mark began his long (and ongoing) career at Seagate Technology. 

Soon, though, their family would move again, this time to Singapore. Joining them in their globetrotting adventure were the Brewers’ two young children: Allison, today an OSU grad living and working in Oklahoma City, and Clayton, now a senior at Oklahoma Christian.

“We were being called to a great adventure,” Mark said. “And living an adventure is about deciding to live an adventure. It’s about making decisions that move you from the ordinary and the boring to the extraordinary and the amazing. I cannot remember our thinking on that decision, but our life has not been the same since.”

When the Brewers returned to Oklahoma City in the late 90s, they had developed a rich cultural background, greater spiritual depth and knowledge, and a growing passion for the work of the Kingdom. 

Their professional influence had grown, too, as Mark became chief information officer at Seagate. However, there was still one place they’d rarely been: Oklahoma Christian University.

But that was about to change.

We believe in the leadership at OC. We believe OC is on the path to greater things and that OC is going to thrive in the coming years. Mark Brewer

“Out of the blue, I was asked to join the OC Board of Trustees in 2003. I think Alfred Branch (84) put my name in, or at least he took the blame for it at the time.” Mark said. “At that point, I don’t think I had been on the campus more than two or three times in my lifetime.”

At the time of Mark’s appointment, President Mike O’Neal and his team were working to bring new people to the board, men and women with a fresh perspective on OC. 

“I looked at Mark and Beth as the complete package,” Alfred said. “They have hearts for the Kingdom in that they were vocational missionaries in Singapore. Mark is a talented business leader. He’s smart, credible, articulate, thoughtful, hospitable and generous. Plus, Mark is not an Oklahoma Christian graduate and that is extremely helpful in providing some objectivity to the OC board.”

With little background to make the leap, Mark and Beth went on faith and dove right into the OC mix. 

Mark now serves as vice chair of the board, and he and Beth have devoted considerable time, talent and treasure to the future of this campus.

“We believe in the leadership at OC. We believe OC is on the path to greater things and that OC is going to thrive in the coming years,” Mark said. “We believe in the faculty and the staff, who are all there to impact students’ lives. The world needs more people of character, who have strong, solid values and who have a Christian worldview. We believe that OC is making a difference.”

The Brewers believe so much in OC’s difference-making potential that they made a lead gift of $2 million to launch Thrive, the university’s innovative three-year campaign. 

In fact, Mark’s creative thinking inspired Thrive’s unique design.

“We’ve never let OC reveal our involvement in giving before,” Mark said. “However, this time we’ve let OC use our names because we know the need for stories about those who are behind OC and are investing in the school ... and we want to encourage others to catch that vision.”

The Brewers’ vision is catching, in no small part due to their unique path toward adopting Oklahoma Christian as their own. 

While there may be little earthly reason for the Brewers to be here, there is most definitely a heavenly one.

Fall 2014

View more stories from the Fall 2014 issue of Vision magazine.