The John Thompson Leadership Program
Continue the Legacy
Dr. John Thompson's Life & Legacy
When John Thompson stepped on the OC campus as a student in the mid-70s, a legend was in the making.
He was freshman class president and student body president. He earned the Student History Award. He went on the become a longtime professor at OC, earning the university’s Gaylord Chair of Distinguished Teaching in 1998.
“There are two places on the face of this earth that I absolutely love, and this place is one of them,” Dr. Thompson said. “This place did so much for me as far as deepening my faith and sharpening my mind. On another campus, particularly a state school campus, I wouldn’t be forced to try to understand my faith and the discipline of history.”
And what OC did for him, he did for his students.
“We’re trying to teach the whole person. We’re trying to deepen the faith of our students. We’re very concerned about character, about the type of person you’ll be,” Thompson said. “We’re not just trying to recruit students because we’re concerned about a number. We truly believe that this school will be good for them, that they will make relationships that will last all their lives.”
Thompson was an expert in African-American history, African civilization, the Civil War and many other topics. We might also say he was an expert in making the love of history contagious for many self-proclaimed “history haters” who sat in his classes to fulfill general education requirements.
His perseverance through years of chronic kidney problems was extraordinary. He taught with fervor, and students and faculty alike were thankful he stayed devoted to the classroom.
He almost didn’t teach in his final semester in Fall 2008. That August, he was hospitalized in ICU combating another round of health complications.
But his students energized him. His family energized him. His work on an important project to research and write a book on the NAACP in Oklahoma energized him. The presidential election energized him. His passion energized everyone else.
On December 11, 2008, the last time his Civil War and Reconstruction class met for the semester, Dr. Thompson said, “That was the most fun I’ve had teaching since the first time I taught that class.”
That is how he died on Friday afternoon, December 12, 2008.
We remain deeply blessed by Dr. Thompson today. The John Thompson Leadership Program bears the name of one of OC’s most beloved and remarkable scholars, a man of great Christian faith who worked hard and was committed to his discipline, who made his students want to achieve. There is no better academic legacy.
To be eligible for the John Thompson Leadership Program, the following requirements must be met:
- Apply for admission to Oklahoma Christian University.
- Submit the John Thompson Leadership Program application.
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and/or ACT score of 21.
- Complete the FASFA.
- Eligibility is restricted to domestic minority students.
- FTC and Transfer Students
- The tuition discount scholarship amount is 75% of tuition when coordinated with all other institutional, state and federal grant aid.
- Applications for this scholarship submitted after February 15 will not be used to increase financial aid award packages.
- This scholarship will not combine with an OC discount (All discounts are listed at www.oc.edu/scholarships), with the exception of the Children of Minister’s Discount. Students who qualify for both the Children of Minister’s Discount and the John Thompson Leadership Program will receive a total of $6,000 for both awards.
- The scholarship will combine with an academic scholarship, performance award and/or Biblical Studies endowed scholarship.
- Additional Information
- Recipients must maintain a 2.5 GPA, comply all Ethos requirements, and comply with all John Thompson Leadership Program requirements.
- Award is renewable for four years.
SELECTIONS & ACCEPTANCE:
- Recipients will be selected following an interview process.
- Applicants will be notified of selection within two weeks of receipt of all application requirements and interview.
- The award must be accepted within three weeks of the offer.
- Total recipients will be no more than 10 students per year.
- Complete and sign the application.
- Attach a resume.
- Attach two recommendation letters.
- Request that a copy of your transcript be sent Oklahoma Christian University.
- Complete an interview with Gary Jones, Multicultural & Service Learning Coordinator.
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- Letter from Birmingham City Jail
- My Larger Education
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- Simple Not Easy: Reflections on community social responsibility and tolerance (Our National Conversation)
- Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
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- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
- The 33 Laws of Stewardship: Principles for a Life of True Fulfillment
- The Mis-Education of the Negro
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
- The Souls of Black Folk
- Twelve Ordinary Men: How the Master Shaped His Disciples for Greatness, and What He Wants to Do with You