‘Homeward’ sets alumni giving record

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Oklahoma Christian University shattered its previous record for alumni giving in a fiscal year, officials announced today.

An unprecedented 1,479 OC graduates gave to their alma mater during the 2013 fiscal year as part of the university’s “Homeward” campaign. As a result, OC’s alumni participation rate (13.6 percent) surpassed the national average (11.2 percent).

“This is a big victory for Oklahoma Christian,” President John deSteiguer said. “I’m blown away by the generosity and community spirit of our alumni. I’ve long been convinced that OC grads are some of the most caring, hardworking people around – and this proves it. Homeward is their triumph, and I want our alumni everywhere to know we’re celebrating them today.”

The Homeward effort, initiated by OC’s Board of Trustees and developed by the university’s Advancement, Alumni, and Marketing offices, was launched in response to a significant decline in alumni participation, which mirrored a nationwide trend.

A national benchmark for university health and performance, the alumni participation rate measures the percentage of graduates who give any amount to their alma mater in a single fiscal year. Alumni participation impacts OC’s national ranking, community profile, faculty grant opportunities and, ultimately, the ongoing value of an Oklahoma Christian degree.

OC’s total of 1,479 participants not only surpassed the Homeward campaign goal of 1,300 graduate givers, it represented an increase of more than 500 alumni from the previous year.

Homeward participants could give any amount to any campus project. Alumni also had the ability to track participation live online at www.oc.edu/homeward, and each graduate giver received a handwritten card with his or her counter number listed.

“For the first time I can remember, we had alumni calling to verify they had given this year and pointing out other grads we needed to contact,” said Will Blanchard, director of advancement operations. “We had groups ask for materials to share, and Homeward updates saw hundreds of likes and posts on Facebook and Twitter. I want to give a big ‘thank you’ to all of these alumni for participating and getting the word out.”

Oklahoma Christian, recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in business, engineering, ministry and divinity.

The last eight years have featured OC’s eight highest total enrollments ever, including a record 2,271 students in 2012-13.