Q & A with Michelle Stephens
Catch her if you can. Michelle (Thompson) Stephens was really busy during her days at OC – leading student government, singing with Chorale, excelling in her courses. Her professional and adult life is even busier … and more fulfilling.
A practicing attorney who worked in the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office – and in advocacy areas including sustainable agriculture – Michelle is a wife (to Brian, also an OC grad) and mother who has turned her attention to serving near her home in Weatherford, Oklahoma.
She is a Bible class teacher and 4-H leader. She also serves on OC’s Board of Trustees, and is chairing the Presidential Search Committee. Amidst her meetings, trips and horse shows, we caught up with Michelle Stephens for this Q&A.
How did you and Brian meet?
Officially, Brian decided to come down from “science hill” and take an elective accounting class. However, I had my eye on him long before that. At that time, the Gamma Rho and Kappa Sigma Tau social service clubs did activities together so I would see him at those joint activities.
Tell us about your girls …
We have two girls – Reagan and Madison. They are only 17 months apart so they are very close and enjoy many of the same activities, including horses. Reagan is a fifth grader and Madison is a fourth grader. They both study piano and love ballet.
Reagan enjoys reading, hiking, wildlife and horseback riding. Madison enjoys reading, visiting large cities and American Girl stories.
Those of us who were in school with you remember that you were the first female president of Student Senate (as it was called at the time) ... and you were the biggest Ronald Reagan fan around! What are some of your very fondest memories about your time as a student at OC?
Oh, I have so many fond memories, it is hard to pick! My favorite class was Christian Family with Dr. Lynn McMillon. I also loved auditing Dr. Jim Wilson’s constitutional law class and sparring with Dr. Philip Patterson in a few journalism classes.
My favorite activity by far was being a member of Chorale. While I was not the most talented, I loved every minute and every practice. I knew I was out of my league with the talent in that group, but the music and camaraderie as well as the leadership of Dr. Adams made everyday at noon something to look forward to. Many of my lifelong friends are Choralers.
I loved Student Senate and College Republicans, too. I remember one morning getting a call from Dean (Richard) Mock, our advisor in Student Senate. He didn’t call often and he sounded a little nervous when he said, “Where were you last night?”
Unbeknownst to me, a couple of our College Republicans had gotten in a bit of trouble at a political rally the night before. I told him that I had been on campus all evening. He said, “Oh, that’s good. That’s very good!”
What do your girls think about OC?
They know they are going there, and they used to think they had pony rides there all the time (from Alumni nights in the summer). When they are supposed to wear their favorite team shirt to school, Brian and I always make sure they have an OC Eagle sweatshirt to wear.
Tell us about your service on the Board of Trustees …
The opportunity to serve my Alma Mater in this capacity is such an honor and my most favorite work. OC, through its faculty and students, have touched so many lives, including those of our family. The team of trustees is an amazing group of wise men and women who truly seek God’s counsel.
Brian has a dental practice in Weatherford. He works in the area of family dentistry. As a tea and coffee drinker, my favorite fringe benefit is the teeth whitening. Brian loves to golf, refinish antiques, watch the Food Network and try Alton Brown’s recipes. He also likes photography and editing pictures.
Michelle graduated from OC in 1988 and Brian graduated in 1989. She went to law school, and Brian attended dental school, both at the University of Oklahoma. Michelle currently serves on the Weatherford School Board. Previously, she served on the Oklahoma Board of Education, and as a commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
View more stories from the Fall 2011 issue of Vision magazine.