Oklahoma Christian celebrates 319 graduates

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Microsoft’s chief operating officer and a respected minister and missionary will speak to the graduates at Oklahoma Christian University’s spring commencement ceremonies on April 26-27.

Oklahoma Christian will present degrees to 265 undergraduate candidates from 61 majors on Friday and to 54 master’s degree candidates from 13 areas of study on Saturday.

Kevin Turner, who is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of Microsoft’s worldwide sales, marketing, and services organization, will deliver the commencement address at the undergraduate ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday.

Along with Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer and other senior executives, Turner serves on the Senior Leadership Team, which sets Microsoft’s overall strategy and direction. Prior to Microsoft, Turner worked nearly 20 years at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. His honors include selection as one of Time magazine’s People To Watch In International Business and Fortune magazine’s No. 4 Top 10 Most Influential on 40 Under 40.

Oklahoma Christian will welcome alumnus and current trustee David Duncan to speak at Saturday’s 10:30 a.m. graduate commencement ceremony.

Duncan is the pulpit minister at Memorial Church of Christ in Houston, Texas. He previously served as the outreach minister at Edmond Church of Christ and as an adjunct instructor at Oklahoma Christian from 1999 to 2006.
He and his wife, Barbara, helped plant a church in Vitoria, Brazil, and served as missionaries there from 1992 to 1999. He has had speaking engagements in Chile, Honduras and South Africa, and serves on the board for Continent of Great Cities.

Duncan earned two degrees from Oklahoma Christian: a B.A. in Bible in 1988 and an M.A. in Ministry in 1991. He received the Doctor of Ministry degree from Houston Graduate School of Theology in 2010.

“We are proud of our graduates and the way they live out the idea that ‘OC is Mission.’ They are prepared for success in their lives and careers, and we can’t wait to see what God has in store for them,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “Both of our commencement speakers have had a significant influence around the world. They embrace the need for teamwork, innovation and servant leadership, and we’re happy to have them at OC to share those values.”

Oklahoma Christian will present an honorary doctorate to board member Richard Lawson, a 1966 OC graduate, during Friday’s ceremony. He founded and built Lawson Software into a respected worldwide enterprise, which he sold for $2 billion in 2011.

He and his wife Pat, a 1967 Oklahoma Christian graduate, gave their alma mater a gift worth almost $30 million in 2004. In 2008, OC honored them by dedicating Lawson Commons, which features the McGraw Pavilion and 100-foot Freede Centennial Tower.

The Lawsons helped start OC’s North Texas Alumni Chapter and were integral in OC’s partnership with the Rwandan government that has brought more than 100 Rwandan Presidential Scholars to the United States to pursue their education at Oklahoma Christian.