OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the completion of Oklahoma Christian University’s Kyle Seitsinger Newsroom, a convergence journalism lab in OC’s Department of Communications.
Oklahoma Christian remodeled the office previously used for The Talon, OC’s student newspaper, and made it a combined newsroom and studio for The Talon and Eagle Broadcasting to further integrate their reporting.
The room is named in honor of Kyle Seitsinger, an OC student killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. Serving as an Army Sergeant, Kyle died alongside seven other U.S. soldiers when a weapon cache detonated on Jan. 29, 2004.
“Kyle’s story needed to be told,” OC’s Distinguished Professor of Mass Communications Philip Patterson said. “The best way to approach it was to go to the family and see if we could honor Kyle in a significant way. We wanted to memorialize their son while filling the need for a convergence journalism lab.”
Honorary guests at the dedication ceremony were Kyle’s parents, Dan Seitsinger and Jo Seitsinger, and his sister, Karla Schwarz, along with her husband, Rob, and son, Barrett.
“Of course, I would rather have Kyle present, but in his absence, at least he has a name on the wall,” Dan Seitsinger said. “I appreciate what everyone did to make this day possible. I feel very proud of Kyle and this university.”
Kyle Seitsinger enrolled at Oklahoma Christian in the fall of 2000 and enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves. While he was a student, he edited and wrote for The Talon, and also contributed to The Oklahoman and the Edmond Sun.
He was called into active duty in November 2003, just months from graduating with a dual major in journalism and Spanish.
When he and his fellow soldiers were killed, it represented the United States’ largest loss of life in Afghanistan at the time. Seitsinger was the first Oklahoman killed serving in “Operation Enduring Freedom” and is the only active student in OC’s history to be killed in the line of duty.
Prior to coming to OC, Seitsinger served in the U.S. Marines from 1993 to 2000, guarding U.S. embassies in Brasilia, Brazil, and Moscow, Russia, as well as the U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He also was an expert marksman and rifle instructor at Camp Pendleton. He was named “Top Gun” at his embassy school graduation in Quantico, Virginia.
Eagle Angle, a 30-minute newscast produced by OC students, airs each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on Cox 3 in Oklahoma City and Cox 7 in Tulsa. The Talon publishes weekly online at talonatoc.com.
“Kyle would be pleased that he was tied into innovation,” Patterson said. “He had a plan for his life. If this innovation does the same for the students now and gets them on the ground faster than otherwise, he would be thrilled.”
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 accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity and theological studies.