The Beginning of Knowledge Lamascus Focus on Faith and Learning Prepares Students
Dr. Scott LaMascus (84) grew up browsing through yearbooks of Central Christian College and listening to his parents tell stories of fun, learning and friends.
So it should come as no surprise that LaMascus is now one of the professors whom students clamor to take, alumni come back to visit, and colleagues appreciate.
LaMascus has served many roles at OC, beginning as a Language and Literature faculty member, moving to chair of that department, and now acting as director of the Honors Program and the McBride Center for Public Humanities.
Though it might seem like a daunting challenge to take on the mantle of the Honors Program from Dr. Bailey McBride (54), a member of the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame, Dr. LaMascus is a natural choice to follow in those footsteps.
Scott says that the Honors Program “will always bear the seal of people like McBride, Larry Jurney, and others involved in the foundational design of the program.” He shares with them the grand vision of what the Honors Program and OC can become.
Scott has been integral in designing programs and physical spaces that nurture community, such as the study and lounge areas in the Language and Literature Department and in the new Honors House.
He is grateful to mentors like McBride, Darryl Tippens (68) and Joy McMillon (63), who have shaped and challenged him through the years.
"... indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding ... then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. "
McBride’s excellence in teaching and love of the written word have inspired generations. Tippens taught him to pursue excellence in all things.
And McMillon, Scott says, taught him how to write in his first job with The Christian Chronicle.
“I would submit a piece, and it would return to me marked up. But somehow she made editing my own writing fun,” he said.
Reminiscing on the changes that have taken place on the OC campus in the 13 years since his arrival, Scott is most excited about the campus-wide rededication to great teaching and undergraduate research.
He recalls the way that eagles train their eaglets to leave the nest. Eagles never push the eaglets out of their nest before they are ready to take flight; that would be disastrous.
Instead, the eagles nourish and provide a foundation for the eaglets. And when they are ready, they leave the nest to begin their life, fully prepared.
Scott fully anticipates having many students who go into the world to do great things.
“Our students will outgrow us if we do our jobs correctly, but I hope they will never outgrow their love for OC and its people,” he said.
With his numerous professional and academic accomplishments, the quality that keeps Scott at OC is simple: community.
“Too often today, community is used as a buzzword, but it is real at OC,” he said.
Scott says that the greatest poetry was never written to be kept in an ivory tower; instead it was meant to be read around campfires and shared with friends.
“Words can be used as a weapon or words can be used to build bridges. You have to be careful in what you use to motivate students to learn,” he said. “I hope that students not only gain knowledge from me, but also see humility modeled. You can’t only receive from a place like OC; you also have to give back. To whom much has been given, much is required.”
Above all else, Scott believes that education is the gateway to growing in wisdom.
“With great learning, comes great insight,” he said.
And with his continued influence, generations of Eagles will continue to leave the nest to begin their life, fully prepared.
View more stories from the Spring 2012 issue of Vision magazine.