obu magazine—spring 2008

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  • O B Um a g a z i n e

    WINteR 2007SPRING 2008

    JameS RalPh ScaleS GRady c. cotheNJohN WeSley Raleyhale VIRGINuS daVIS

    JohN B. laWReNceJudSoN a. tolmaN WIllIam cooke BooNeWaRReN W. PhelaN

    FRaNk m. maSteRSJ.m. caRRoll

    BoB R. aGee maRk a. BRISteRe. euGeNe hallWIllIam G. taNNeR


  • oBu maGaZINe StaFFSpring 2008 | Vol. 4 No. 3

    editorMarty OGwynn

    WritersChris Doyle, Marty OGwynn

    creative ServicesChele Marker

    PhotographerWilliam Pope

    View oBu magazine onlinewww.okbu.edu/obumagazine

    contact oBu magazineobumagazine@okbu.edu405.878.2111

    uNIVeRSIty admINIStRatIoNInterim PresidentJohn W. Parrish

    Senior Vice President for academic affairsDr. Deborah Blue

    Senior Vice President for Business affairsRandy Smith

    Senior Vice President for developmentJohn Patterson

    coNtact INFoRmatIoN(area code 405)

    Academic Center .....................878.2023Admissions ..............................878.2033Alumni ....................................878.2706Business Office ........................878.2020Campus Ministry .....................878.2377Career Services ........................878.2416Development ...........................878.2703Mabee Learning Center ...........878.2251Presidents Office .....................878.2002Public Relations .......................878.2107Residential Life ........................878.2404Student Development ..............878.2406Student Financial Services .......878.2016Switchboard ............................275.2850

    OBU Magazine is published quarterly by the Public Relations Office, Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma. It is mailed to nearly 40,000 alumni, parents and friends of OBU throughout the country and world. To change your mailing address send an email to update@okbu.edu; write OBU Magazine, OBU Box 61275, 500 West University, Shawnee, Oklahoma 74804; or call 405.878.2706.

    In compliance with federal law, including the provision of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Oklahoma Baptist University does not ille-gally discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities, its admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic or other university administered programs; or employment.

    Why should I choose OBU over other schools? This is a frequently asked question by prospective students. Some of the features I mention are:

    OBU has offered a distinctive, nurturing Christian environment for students for almost 100 years.

    Outstanding teachers in small classes allow for and promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas. An OBU student is not lost in classes of 100, 200, or more. The average student-teacher ratio is less than 15-to-1. In the classroom, the student will be known by the teacher, and the student will find that the teacher is accessible outside the classroom. Some 70 percent of OBUs faculty have doctorates, and OBU rarely uses graduate students in the classroom. OBUs primary emphasis is classroom teaching, not research; although, many of our faculty conduct research to remain current in their specialties.

    OBUs academic program is strong and equips graduates for a variety of careers, graduate study, or advanced professional training. OBUs national rankings in U.S. News and World Reports Americas Best Colleges attest to our academic quality.

    From the classroom to the chapel to discipleship training to missions opportunities, OBU students are challenged to grow spiritually and to live worthy of the high calling of God in Christ, as proclaimed in OBUs mission statement.

    OBU has one of the highest four-year graduation rates in the region, and OBU was tied for the best four-year graduation rate in Oklahoma in the latest statewide report. This is a very important statistic because graduating in four years instead of five or six means important savings in time and financial resources.

    Faculty and staff are working very hard to recruit and retain students. We believe that the 2008 freshman class will show a significant increase over 2007 and that overall enrollment will grow. Please join us in this effort. Encourage students you know to consider OBU. They can check us out and get the information they need to start the exploration process at www.okbu.edu.

    OBU can grow in enrollment again!

    John Parrish OBUInterimPresident

    on the cover: J.M. Carroll, 1910-12; Frank M. Masters, 1915-19; Judson A. Tolman, 1919-21; John B. Lawrence, 1922-26; Warren W. Phelan, 1926-30; William Cooke Boone, 1930-32; Hale Virginus Davis, 1932-34; John Wesley Raley, 1934-61; James Ralph Scales, 1961-65; Grady C. Cothen, 1966-70; William G. Tanner, 1972-76; E. Eugene Hall, 1977-82; Bob R. Agee, 1982-98; Mark A. Brister, 1998-2007.

  • 8f e a t u r e s 2 Q&A The search is well under way for OBUs 15th president. Stephen Allen, chair of the presidential search committee, gives a glimpse into the groups work and the criteria they have listed for the process.

    6 Rhetta After 37 years of full-time service on the OBU faculty, Rhetta Hudson is hanging up her hat. She has worn many of them in her career as an educator, performer, and faculty leader. From musical productions to chairing the Universitys committee studying the possibility of adding varsity football, she has played a key part in the life of the OBU family.

    d e p a r t m e n t s 8 Profiles in excellence An innovative business leadership consultant, a longtime Oklahoma Baptist leader, and a real live rocket scientist are among the 2008 OBU Alumni Association honorees.

    14 campus life WMU Memorial Dormitorys closing (its temporary), a new graduate program launching this summer, and Odus Comptons return to Bison Hill are some of the recent highlights from the campus.

    21 telling the Story This spring, OBU faculty and students created a showcase experience to demonstrate ways the University fulfills its mission of Christian higher education. These pictures help tell the story.

    22 alumni Notes Catch up on the life and times of OBU alums from across the years.


    Spring 2008


    Next?O B U

    m a g a z i n e


    withStephen Allen

    ONEOK Attorney, OBU Graduate, OBU Trustee,Presidential Search Committee Chairman

    ThereareseveralreasonswhybeingpresidentofOklahomaBaptistUniversityisnotapositionenteredintolightly.Forone,itcanbealengthytimecommitment.OBUhadsevenpresidentsinitsfirst24yearsofexistence.Ithashadonlysevenpresidentsinthe74yearssince.Thatisanaveragetenureof10.4years.Theexpectationsarehigh.TheUniversityssecondpresident,FrankM.Masters,calledthefacultytogetherin1915andsaid,Gentlemen,weareabouttomakeBaptisthistory.YouareassembledbythewillandwishoftheBaptistsofOklahomaandIampersuadedbythegraceandpurposeofAlmightyGod,ourHeavenlyFather.Wearechargedwiththechallengingtaskofbuildingauniversityontheashheapofdeadschools.Wecannotaffordtomakeamistake.IsuggestthatwegodownuponourkneesandaskAlmightyGodtogiveguidanceandwisdomwithoutwhichwecannotperfecttheorganizationofthisinstitutionproperly.Theydidmakehistory,andtoday,asOBUnearsitssecondcentury,theexpectationsareashighasever.An11-memberpresidentialsearchcommitteehasbeengiventhetaskofidentifyingthetopcandidateforthepresidency.StephenAllen,95,chairsthecommittee.HevisitedwithOBU Magazinethisspringtogiveusaglimpseofthesearchprocess.HiswordsaresomewhatreminiscentofG.LeePhelpsprayeronBisonHill98yearsagowhenheaskedGodtobidushopegreatthings.


    We are going to pick a leader who has a vision

  • SPRING 2008 | 3

    Q: your name is going to be tied, whether you like it or not, to the next president of oBu. What were your thoughts, both when asked to serve on the search committee, and when elected chair of the committee?

    It is a daunting task. I am very busy in my career and I have a seven month old son, and my wife, who I want to spend time with. The idea of serving on the search committee, and the time commitment it would involve, took a lot of consideration. On the flip side, OBU impacted my life so profoundly and this was an opportunity to give back. The University also plays such a critical role, not only in the lives of the students, but in Oklahoma Baptist life and beyond. It was so important that I felt I could not not accept the nomination. Not because I felt I had anything special I could add to the process, other than a willingness to serve, but that God had given me that opportunity to use my talents and I wasnt going to turn that down.

    Everything that I have is a gift from God. Hes given us all talents and we can choose to bury them, or we can choose to use them and try to grow His kingdom. It is just good stewardship to use those gifts, especially for something as important as OBU and the impact that OBU can have.

    Q: What was the process of determining the skill set and qualifications you are seeking for the universitys president?

    I think the first thing we had to do was really turn our focus inward and look at OBU. When you are choosing a future leader of an institution that has been around as long as OBU has, you have to understand the institution. So we did that. We looked at OBUs history and heritage and its mission. We looked at OBUs strengths and its weaknesses. That process of really getting to understand the university, where it was and where it is going, helps a tremendous amount in deciding who the next leader of the university should be. We also read the David Dockery book, RenewingMinds. That helped us understand the importance of Christian higher education in a sec