Thrive RSS Feed http://www.oc.edu/news RSS Feed OC alumni and students in Acappella bring “Good News” to prisoners http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-alumni-and-students-in-acappella-bring-good-news-to-prisoners-in-arkansas/ Oklahoma Christian University is proud of its extensive ties with Christian signing group Acappella. The group enjoyed a special experience performing for the second year in a row for an audience hungry for the Good News. Acappella performed at the Grimes Correctional Facility in Newport, Arkansas this week.

“While it was bittersweet to see familiar faces from our prior visits, there's a sweet, sweet spirit in that place,” bass singer and OC employee Wes McKinzie said.

A member of the Christian Music Hall of Fame, Acappella has sold more than three million units and toured every continent on the globe since the group formed in 1982.

The group’s five members have all graduated or attended OC. Since 2009, members receive a scholarship to attend OC through a unique partnership between the university and the Acappella Company. This partnership builds on a long history between OC and Acappella; 21 former or current OC students have served with the Acappella Company through the years.

After releasing the landmark album "Sweet Fellowship," Acappella signed with Word Records (and later Epic Records), and saw its popularity soar with releases such as “Rescue,” “We Have Seen His Glory” and “Set Me Free.” The song “More Precious Than Gold” became the centerpiece of a Sony Camcorder national television commercial. The group’s "Radiance" album won the 2007 CARA Award for Best Religious Album.

Just a few weeks ago, Acappella performed the national anthem before the Texas Rangers baseball game at Globe-Life Park in Arlington, Texas. The performance was part of “OC Night With the Texas Rangers.”

Those nearby to OC can catch the group perform again soon. Acappella will perform Aug. 1 at Oklahoma Christian Academy’s gospel meeting in Edmond, Oklahoma. 

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Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:10:00 CDT 6805a7dc-d533-410d-8921-e3ab130ac171
OC up for 'Favorite College' honors in Readers' Choice Awards http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-up-for-favorite-college-honors-in-readers-choice-awards/ Oklahoma Christian University is a top 5 finalist in the “Favorite College” category in The Oklahoman’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

You can vote for Oklahoma Christian once a day by going to http://newsok.com/readerschoice and clicking on the “Just For Fun” category tab toward the bottom of the page.

It’s another chance to rally around our alma mater! Voting closes at midnight on Monday, June 23.

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian 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.

-OC-

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Tue, 17 Jun 2014 15:00:00 CDT d00edfa6-9bb5-4cb7-8f02-1cb72d59e8a9
Peters picked for Baugh Chair of Gospel Preaching http://www.oc.edu/news/r/peters-picked-for-baugh-chair-of-gospel-preaching/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Dr. Doug Peters will be the first Baugh Chair of Gospel Preaching in the College of Biblical Studies at Oklahoma Christian University (OC).

Peters has 27 years of experience in ministry and preaching, including the last 13 years as the pulpit minister for North Davis Church of Christ in Arlington, Texas. He also has served churches in Abilene, Texas; Houston, Texas; and Birmingham, Alabama.

Peters has been a guest preacher and teacher in more than 60 congregations, 10 states and eight nations. In his new role at Oklahoma Christian, Peters will focus on recruiting, teaching, training and mentoring future preachers.

“OC’s growing number of preaching ministry majors will be blessed by Dr. Peters’ scholarship, experience and influence,” said Alan Martin, dean of OC’s College of Biblical Studies. “We will benefit greatly from his contributions in the realm of practical ministry and his experience in coaching and mentoring leaders.”

Oklahoma Christian offers a preaching major and preaching scholarships ranging from half-tuition to full tuition. Last March, Benton and Paula Baugh helped Oklahoma Christian build on this foundation by pledging $1.7 million to OC’s College of Biblical Studies.

In addition to establishing the Baugh Chair of Gospel Preaching, this endowment will help Oklahoma Christian offer seminars for pulpit ministers on topics they need to thrive in their roles.

“We are grateful to have this endowed chair for preaching at Oklahoma Christian,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott LaMascus said. “Not only does the endowment provide for program leadership, but also for scholarships and other program funds. We are grateful and eager to see what OC faculty and students can do in this important area of Kingdom work.”

Peters earned an associate of science degree in electrical engineering technology at Midwestern State University, then earned his bachelor’s degree in Bible and master’s degree in biblical studies at Abilene Christian University.

He received his doctor of ministry degree from ACU in 2006. His emphases were in preaching and congregational leadership; he was guided and mentored by the late Charles Siburt.

Peters and his wife Sheryl have been married since 1983. They have two daughters: Alani, 18, and Lauren, 23.

“For the past 13 years, I have been on the front lines preaching and serving in a wonderful and loving local church in Arlington, Texas,” Peters said. “While the decision to transition was not easy, I accepted this call because I am passionate about the kingdom impact of local churches and their preachers. I am convinced that Oklahoma Christian is uniquely positioned to invest in God’s mission by preparing future preachers and congregational leaders.”

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.

The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students during the 2013-14 academic year.

-OC-

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Mon, 19 May 2014 11:00:00 CDT 69b0d493-9126-437c-81fc-41b7db84172e
OC communication students, alumni receive honors http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-communication-students-alumni-receive-honors/ Students and alumni from Oklahoma Christian University’s communication department continue to receive honors and gain acceptance into competitive programs.

OC public relations student Jessica Estrada recently won her second Zenith Award in two years for PR Writing. The Zenith Awards are one of the top national public relations competitions for undergraduate students. The PR Writing category included finished pieces such as a news release, feature story, newsletter, speech or editorial. This is the third year in a row that an OC student has received one of the only seven awards given out each year.

In April, Estrada received the Dean’s Award as the top graduatng student in OC’s communication department. Estrada came to OC from Duncanville, Texas, and she spent the last year interning with Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, one of the fastest-growing franchises in the U.S.

“These honors for Jessica are well-deserved,” said Larry Jurney, chair of OC’s communication department. “She pursues excellence in her work and demonstrates a servant attitude in all she does. It’s been a joy having Jessica in our program.”

In addition to Estrada’s honors, three OC communication students were also accepted by selective programs. Two students were accepted by the Disney College Program for the summer and fall. Another student was accepted by the Los Anglese Film Studies program through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

Devin Dobson, a sophomore public relations major from Edmond, and Sadie Rosenthal, also from Edmond, will spend the summer and fall in Orlando, Florida working at Disney World. Rosenthal graduated with a communication studies degree in April.

“For anyone who has been around Sadie and Devin, it is not surprising that their applications and personalities stood out to Disney,” said Associate Professof of Communication Josh Watson. “We know they will learn and do great things in Orlando.”

Caleb Henry, a senior from Prineville, Oregon, will spend the fall studying film production and working on professional sets. The highly compettive program seeks to train students in the craft of expressing their authentic voice while walking out their faith in Los Angeles.

Fiinally, four OC alumni received six awards from the Oklahoma City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The alumni were recognized at the chapter's 2014 Awards Banquet.

Two awards were given in the Newspaper Division A category, which is for publications with circulations of 25,000 or more. The competition included writers from “The Oklahoman,” “Tulsa World,” “Lawton Constitution,” the Associated Press Oklahoma office, the “Oklahoma Gazette,” “Oklahoma Watch” and tribal newspapers. Four awards were given in the Public Relations division.

Bobby Ross, from the Christian Chronicle, received first place in Education Reporting for his story "Religious Freedom in Public Schools."

Steve Lackmeyer, from the Oklahoman, received first place in Business Reporting for his story "Chesapeake Changes."

Murray Evans, from OC, received first place in Press Release Writing for "Weeden, family work to support Children's Hospital Foundation."

Christy Watson, from the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, received second place in General Writing for "Leading the Way," third place in General Writing for "Giving It Her All" and third place in Annual Report for "Stars."

“We applaud and celebrate the quality of writing that these four alumni continue to produce,” Jurney said. “Their sustained success has been a benefit to Oklahoma City, and it reflects well on the foundation they received at OC. We are proud of them.”

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Fri, 09 May 2014 10:45:00 CDT 966e8950-f767-4e39-bbed-7d4ad208850b
OC awards degrees at Spring Commencement http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-awards-degrees-at-spring-commencement/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will present 198 undergraduate degrees and 39 graduate degrees at its spring commencement ceremonies on April 25-26.

The undergraduate ceremony starts at 10 a.m. Friday in OC’s Payne Athletic Center. The graduate ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in OC’s Hardeman Auditorium.

The undergraduate degree candidates, including 21 graduates from OC’s Honors Program, come from 28 states and 11 countries. They majored in a combined 38 academic disciplines at Oklahoma Christian. 

The master’s degree candidates come from six states and seven countries, and represent 13 graduate areas of study.

Mark Brewer, senior vice president and chief information officer for Seagate Technology, LLC, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on Friday. William “Chip” Kooi, a professor of theology at Oklahoma Christian, will keynote Saturday’s graduate ceremony.

Brewer leads all of Seagate Technology’s information technology operations worldwide and is a member of the company’s Executive Council. 

His area consists of 1,600 IT professionals located in 20 different countries. His responsibilities include all business systems, factory information systems, electronic security, business continuity and collaboration services, as well as other traditional IT support services for Seagate’s 50,000 employees.

Brewer holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University. He serves as vice chairman of OC’s Board of Trustees and also is on the boards of the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank and the Missions Resource Network. He is a member of the Strategic Advisory Council for OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Kooi graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1981, then earned his master’s degree in New Testament from Abilene Christian University in 1990, and his doctorate in religion from Baylor University in 1999.

Kooi worked in education, pulpit ministry and inner-city ministry before returning to teach at Oklahoma Christian in 2001. An accomplished theological scholar, he has written for The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell MovementLeaven, and The Christian Chronicle.

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.

The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students this year.

-OC-

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Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:00:00 CDT 51c455fc-77cb-4437-9b4b-10860b728de5
OC grad lost in Malaysia Airlines tragedy http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-grad-lost-in-malaysia-airlines-tragedy/ Oklahoma Christian University graduate Philip Wood was on the Malaysia Airlines flight that is presumed to have crashed Saturday.

"The Oklahoma Christian University community was shocked and saddened to learn yesterday that Philip was on this flight," Executive Vice President Bill Goad said. "The thoughts and prayers of his many friends in the OC community are with the family at this time."

Philip graduated with a degree in computer science in 1985. He recently moved from North Texas to Beijing, where he worked as an executive with IBM. Please lift up his family in prayer.

"I just want to say from our family that Phil loved Christ, his family, and everyone," his brother, James Wood, said in a comment on our Facebook page. "Our hearts hurt, but we know so many around the world are hurting just as much by this terrible tragedy. Christ is our hope and strength. Please pray for everyone involved during this difficult time."

Click here to watch a report from KOCO, Oklahoma City's ABC affiliate.

Click here to watch a report from KWTV, Oklahoma City's CBS affiliate.

Click here to watch an interview with Philip's brothers on NBC's Today Show.

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Sun, 09 Mar 2014 0:00:00 CST 0ebc932a-e0a7-4f06-a8e1-64090a4a827a
OC student gets to bottom of 500-year-old mystery http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-student-gets-to-bottom-of-500-year-old-mystery/
  • Click here to watch Amelia featured on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.
  • Click here to read a story and watch a video feature produced by The Oklahoman/NewsOK.
  • Click here to watch a video feature from KFOR, Oklahoma City's NBC affiliate.
  • Click here to watch a video feature from KWTV, Oklahoma City's CBS affiliate.
  • OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) student Amelia Hamrick appears to have unlocked a 500-year-old musical mystery. 

    The 20-year-old junior from Bedford, Texas, identified and transcribed a song based on an overlooked section of the famous painting, “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” European artist Hieronymous Bosch created the painting around the year 1500.
     
    Hamrick, a student in OC’s Honors Program, is attending Oklahoma Christian on a music scholarship and plays the baritone, bass trombone and tuba. She is believed to be the first person to transcribe and play the song. 

    Hamrick learned about the painting in her OC Honors course, Western Thought and Expression.
     
    “Another OC student and I were looking at the painting one night,” Hamrick said. “We noticed, much to our amusement, music written on the posterior of one of the characters, in an area that’s easy to overlook. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants from that time period.”
     
    After recording the song, Hamrick posted the audio file on her personal blog, where it began to gain a lot of attention online and around the globe.
     
    “I still can’t believe this took off like it did,” Hamrick said. “I just threw it together in 30 minutes at one in the morning.”
     
    Hamrick is recording a second version of the song with assistance from Oklahoma Christian music professor John Fletcher, who is quite proud of Hamrick.
     
    “It does not surprise me at all that she would jump in and do this,” Fletcher said. “She was simply interested in the joy of discovering something new.”
     
    According to Hamrick, the Music History course taught by Professor Emeritus Harold Fletcher helped her compose the song.
     
    “We read about Gregorian notation and notation for other types of music during that period,” Hamrick said. “We were tested over a lot of recordings, so I had to listen to quite a bit of music that is very different from how music sounds today.”
     
    Music has always played a big part in Hamrick’s life, despite her reverse-slope hearing loss. Her parents both earned music degrees from Oklahoma Christian. Her father has a doctorate in musicology and both are librarians. 

    Hamrick is following in their footsteps; she is double-majoring in music and information sciences, and hopes to become a librarian herself. Her parents are continuing to help as she makes a new recording of the song.
     
    “I am pretty lucky that my dad’s specialty was music from the 1500s and 1600s,” Hamrick said.
     
    Hamrick hopes to expand the project for additional academic and entertainment purposes. She would love to have the Oklahoma Christian Chorale and Band record the song. In addition, there are other unrecorded songs in Bosch’s paintings, though they’re located in less amusing places.
     
    “I hope to transcribe those songs as well,” Hamrick said. “Plus, as an Honors student, I think this experience might make a great capstone catalyst project for research and creative activity.”
     
    Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian 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.

    OC’s 200-acre campus is located in northeast Oklahoma City and borders the city of Edmond. The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students this year.
     
    -OC-

    Listen to Amelia’s audio:

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    Sat, 01 Mar 2014 15:00:00 CST 7c71cb94-6055-4c3f-a80d-e92e3c0af528
    OC maintains affordability with 2014-15 pricing http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-maintains-affordability-with-2014-15-pricing/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – After keeping undergraduate prices flat for three years, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) has announced a small increase for 2014-15.

    OC’s cost of attendance will move to $25,790 per year (including tuition, room and board). That will represent a 3.26 percent increase over 2011-12, the last time Oklahoma Christian raised prices.

    Oklahoma Christian’s approach contrasts with the nationwide trend; according to the College Board, the average cost of attendance at private colleges rose 7.9 percent during OC’s multi-year price freeze, including an increase of almost 4 percent this year. Total charges at private schools averaged $40,917 this year while public schools cost an average of $31,701 for out-of-state students.

    “Our commitment to affordability makes OC a tremendous value for students seeking premier academic programs in a supportive Christian environment,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “We’re dedicated to holding prices down, even as we’re faced with higher operating expenses like rising healthcare costs. We know students and families will appreciate that OC is bucking the trend of the large price increases seen at many colleges nationwide.”

    Oklahoma Christian is continuing its policy of not charging undergraduate student fees. This allows students and families to better compare Oklahoma Christian with schools that charge numerous fees on top of their tuition “sticker price.” Differential tuition will continue for students participating in nursing clinicals or taking private music lessons.

    OC students can take up to 17 hours per semester for the base tuition price, and can further shape their costs with on-campus housing choices that best fit their budgets and needs.

    More than 90 percent of OC’s undergraduate students receive financial aid, including performance and athletic scholarships, need-based financial grants, and governmental assistance.

    OC’s Presidential Academic Success Scholarship rewards academic achievement tied to student performance on ACT and SAT exams. Oklahoma Christian also offers significant scholarships for National Merit Scholars. OC has 37 National Merit Finalists in its student body, the third-most per capita in the state of Oklahoma and the most per capita among all Church of Christ universities.

    On the graduate level, OC’s tuition will remain flat for all students in the Graduate School of Theology ($400 per credit hour) and Graduate School of Engineering ($495/hour), and for returning students in the Graduate School of Business ($470/hour). New graduate business students who enroll this fall will pay $484 per credit hour.

    Complete pricing information is available at www.oc.edu/costs.

    “We’re able to make a first-rate education affordable at Oklahoma Christian through our location in Oklahoma City, which boasts one of the nation’s strongest economies, and through the enthusiastic support of our alumni and donors,” deSteiguer said.

    An unprecedented 1,479 Oklahoma Christian graduates gave to their alma mater last year, helping OC’s alumni participation rate (13.6 percent) eclipse the national average (11.2 percent).

    Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian 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.

    OC’s 200-acre campus is located in northeast Oklahoma City and borders the city of Edmond. The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students this year.

    -OC-

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    Fri, 14 Feb 2014 8:00:00 CST 902a492f-af5b-4d64-b027-8493471e44cf
    OC music students, faculty honored in Tulsa Thursday http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-music-students-faculty-honored-in-tulsa-thursday-night/ OC’s music students and faculty will be recognized as some of the best in the state again Thursday evening in Tulsa.

    OC’s Chorale, led by music professor Kyle Pullen, will perform at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Conference at 7 p.m. at the Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Tulsa. At 8:45 p.m., OC’s Jazz Ensemble will perform as part of the OMEA event just a few blocks away at the Doubletree Hotel.

    “Being chosen to perform at the state convention is quite an honor,” said Kathy Thompson, OC’s department chair and professor of music. “We are excited that our students will share their talents in these honor performances.” 

    OC’s Chorale, which includes more than 65 singers, has been performing and touring since 1950. OMEA is the state affiliate of MENC: The National Affiliation for Music Education, which is among the world’s largest arts education organizations.

    OC’s music department will receive yet another honor in Tulsa as Heath Jones will be recognized as Oklahoma’s Jazz Educator of the Year for the second time in four years. Jones, a professor of music, directs OC’s Jazz Ensemble.

    “I am especially proud of Heath for being recognized for his excellent work, as well as helping make OC’s music program more visible in the state,” Thompson said.

    Jones will receive his honor from the Oklahoma Jazz Educators, a chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators. OJE, which is meeting during the OMEA convention, exists to promote awareness of jazz and encourages the academic exploration of jazz in schools.

    Just last weekend, Jones directed the Jazz Ensemble in its performance at the Jazz Educators Conference in Dallas. He also teaches applied saxophone, music education, music technology and jazz improvisation at Oklahoma Christian.

    An accomplished musician, he has performed with The Temptations, The Four Tops, Leslie Gore, Jim Neighbors, Natalie Cole, and other road show artists. Jones also performs with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Lyric Theatre and the Pollard Theatre.  He serves as a Cannonball Saxophone Artist and has given master classes, lectures, and recitals in China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. 

    -OC-

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    Thu, 16 Jan 2014 2:33:00 CST d12f023a-88fd-46c4-8854-6d19c409762e
    OC partners with YouVersion for Bible reading plan http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-partners-with-youversion-for-bible-reading-plan/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) unveiled a new Bible reading plan on YouVersion this week.

    The plan allows anybody with access to the YouVersion app or online site (bible.com) to read through the entire New Testament by the end of the spring semester.

    Along with a daily Bible reading, OC’s plan features devotional thoughts written by Oklahoma Christian students, faculty and staff members.

    “We are so thankful to YouVersion for their willingness to partner with us,” Campus Minister Summer Lashley said. “I believe that great things can happen when a community commits to reading God’s word together. I hope that others are blessed by reading alongside our campus community.”

    The plan is titled “WORD: OC’s 60-Day New Testament Plan.” Readers can search for and subscribe to the plan for free in YouVersion online or on their smartphones or tablets. More information is available at oc.edu/youversion.

    “This is a great opportunity to share a common goal to read the New Testament this semester. We hope this becomes a yearly endeavor that encourages our campus to read the Bible daily,” Associate Dean of Spiritual Life Chance Vanover said. “One of the difficulties of trying to start a new habit of reading our Bible is knowing when and where to begin. That is why we are excited to partner with YouVersion, which has made this project so accessible for anyone interested in joining the journey with us.”

    YouVersion is the No. 1 Bible app in the world, used on more than 100 million devices around the globe. The free app, created by LifeChurch.tv, offers the Bible in hundreds of translations and in almost 150 languages. 

    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.

    -OC-

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    Tue, 07 Jan 2014 10:32:00 CST dbfec219-ef09-4f65-9051-2121c5c49063
    OC mourns passing of Charles Branch http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-mourns-passing-of-charles-branch/ Dr. Charles Branch, Sr., one of the most cherished members of the Oklahoma Christian University family, passed away Friday, Dec. 6 at age 87.

    He and his wife Sylvia recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. She and other members of the Branch family were with Charles when God called him home.

    The memorial service will be held at MacArthur Park Church of Christ in San Antonio at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Memorials may be sent to Oklahoma Christian University, in care of The Charles and Sylvia Branch Family Scholarship Fund (email: kent.allen@oc.edu), or to IHCF African Christian Hospitals, in care of The Charles and Sylvia Branch Emergency Center at Nigerian Christian Hospital (email: tom.ihcf@sbcglobal.net).

    “Charles was a wonderful man who exemplified Christ in his life,” the family said in a statement. “He was a man of faith dedicated to his God, beloved wife Sylvia of over 60 years, his family, and the many others he helped and served throughout his life. Our family is thankful to all of you and who have been praying for Dad during his illness and encouraging Mom in her steadfast dedication to his care.”

    Dr. Branch was the patriarch of a family that is in its fifth decade of leadership and involvement with Oklahoma Christian.

    Branch family at 2010 Alumni BanquetThe Branch children – Charlie (77), Warren (77), Dan (80), Alfred (84), and Cynthia Branch Adams (86) – all attended OC and have gone on to remarkable careers of their own while actively supporting their alma mater. Alfred was a longtime executive vice president at Oklahoma Christian and served as OC’s fifth president.

    Four of Charles and Sylvia’s grandchildren – Daniel Branch (05), Henson Adams (11), Meagan Branch Lytton (11), and Lee Branch (an OC senior) – have called Oklahoma Christian home.

    There are many more potential OC students in this and future generations of the Branch family. The Branches received the university’s inaugural “Legacy Award” in 2010.

    “Dr. Charles Branch is an Oklahoma Christian hero,” President John deSteiguer said. “A longtime trustee and generous supporter, Dr. Branch made OC his university. He was always encouraging us and always championing us. Charles and Sylvia are inspiring examples of faithful, committed Christians. The entire OC community mourns with Sylvia and the family over Charles’ passing. I will miss this great man whom I loved and admired.”

    Dr. Branch served on the university’s Board of Trustees for 20 years before becoming a Life Trustee. He was an active member of MacArthur Park Church of Christ, where he served as a Sunday school teacher, deacon, medical missionary and elder for more than 43 years.

    Born Aug. 9, 1926, in Bells, Tenn., he later moved with his family to Jackson, Tenn. He honorably served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II.

    After the war, he attended David Lipscomb College in Nashville, known today as Lipscomb University, and graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1949 and Vanderbilt University Medical School in 1953. He completed a neurosurgical residency at the University of Chicago and while there received a fellowship to McGill University.

    Dr. Branch became a prominent and distinguished neurosurgeon, whose expertise in the field was demonstrated in his practice, his teaching, and his numerous published works on a host of neurological and neurosurgical topics.

    He was a clinical professor at McGill University Medical School and at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and a distinguished guest lecturer at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

    He also was a vocational minister in Montreal, Canada, for 15 years and annually served as a medical missionary to African Christian Hospital for many years.

    He received the 2004 AANS Humanitarian Award for his medical mission work in Nigeria, Haiti and Guyana. In 2010, the renowned Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas in Dallas honored him by creating the Charles L. Branch Award to recognize the nation’s leading neuroscientists.

    “My grandfather lived a wonderful life that was full of great accomplishments by earthly standards. He changed the lives of so many people through his skilled hands as a neurosurgeon and left his mark in the medical field,” said Henson Adams, a former OC Student Government Association president who earned one of OC’s Distinguished Young Alumni awards in 2012. “However, his greatest gifts to this world were the countless people he influenced spiritually and the vast many people he lent a helping hand to when they were in need. He was a humble servant of the Lord and a steward of the gifts that God has given to him.”

    Charlie and Lesa Williams Branch gave a $1.5 million gift to Oklahoma Christian in 2004 for the Williams-Branch Center for Biblical Studies, named for Charles and Sylvia and for Lesa’s parents, Charles and Joyce Williams.

    “Oklahoma Christian University is a special place. The university stands for the real value of Christian principles and the value of Christian family,” Charlie said at the building’s dedication. “So many entities in today’s society are tearing down the family, and we hope that, in some way, holding up our parents will remind all of us how valuable and important the family is. This institution, and what it stands for and what it’s doing, is very special to our parents. It’s almost natural that we could honor them and bless other people at the same time.”

    Click here to read a Vision magazine feature on the Branch family from 2010, when they were honored with OC’s inaugural Legacy Award.

    Click here to read Lynn McMillon’s interview with Dr. Branch from a 2010 edition of The Christian Chronicle.

    -OC-

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    Fri, 06 Dec 2013 15:00:00 CST 24503131-8518-4080-8d07-02b22df48bf7
    Alumni Banquet kicks off Homecoming celebration http://www.oc.edu/news/r/alumni-banquet-kicks-off-homecoming-celebration/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Oklahoma Christian University will honor accomplished graduates and friends at the annual Alumni Banquet this Friday, Nov. 8.

    The honorees include: Lon and Jane Winton (Distinguished Alumni); Meagan Hawley (Distinguished Young Alumna); James and Frank Davis (Legacy Award); Pete, Mike, Paul and Mark Brazle (Missions Award); and Becky Durham and Carla Merideth (Honorary Alumni).

    The banquet, scheduled for 6 p.m. in OC’s Gaylord University Center, will help kick off an eventful Homecoming weekend at Oklahoma Christian. Banquet tickets cost $25 and can be purchased by calling (405) 425-5110 or emailing dana.holley@oc.edu. Discounted prices are available for a table of eight.

    “With so many of our alumni doing outstanding and amazing things throughout the world, it’s always difficult to narrow it down to just a few for this event,” said Bob Lashley, executive director of alumni relations. “This year’s slate of honorees totally fulfills the purpose for which these specific awards were created. We’re thrilled to able to honor them in this way.”

    The Wintons, this year’s distinguished alumni honorees, have served Oklahoma Christian in many ways since graduating in the late 1960s. Lon, a former executive with Chesapeake Energy and SandRidge Energy, has been on OC’s Board of Trustees since 2005. Jane is an advocate for all things OC and is constantly spreading the word about the good things happening at her alma mater. Throughout their lives, they have exemplified OC’s desire to see students go on to be better adults and Christians who are grounded in their professions.

    Hawley, the distinguished young alumna honoree, graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 2003. She is the medical and developmental advocate for children at the Haven on the Namwianga Mission near Kalomo, Zambia, Africa. Every day, she strives to show the love of Christ to precious children living in the orphanage.

    Legacy Award honorees James and Frank Davis earned degrees from Oklahoma Christian in 1962 and 1963, respectively. The Davis brothers met their wives, Judy Watson and Karen Oller, while attending the college, and that began a legacy that lives on today. Both couples have watched their children and grandchildren follow in their footsteps; a Davis child or grandchild has been an OC student or employee almost every year since 1958.

    The Brazle brothers will receive the Missions Award for a lifetime of service in many corners of the world – from the Florence Bible School in Italy and a year in India, to summer trips in Belgium and multiple campaigns with Let’s Start Talking.

    Durham and Merideth, the distinguished honorary alumni, have been involved with the Oklahoma Christian Women’s Association for decades. Durham is a former OCWA coordinator and Merideth is a longtime volunteer.

    In addition to the Alumni Banquet, Homecoming weekend will feature OC’s production of the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in Hardeman Auditorium. Tickets cost $15, with discounts for groups, senior citizens, and OC students, faculty and staff. Tickets can be purchased online at oc.edu/fallmusical and on weekdays at the OC Box Office or by calling (405) 425-5540.

    Other big events include Homecoming Chapel at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by the Homecoming Parade and Homecoming Carnival/Lunch. The Homecoming Chapel service will feature a message from President John deSteiguer, a devotional, a performance by the OC Chorale and recognition of OC’s 50-year class from 1963.

    OC’s season-opening basketball games against York (Neb.) tip off on Saturday at 1 p.m. (women) and 3 p.m. (men) in the Payne Athletic Center, with the coronation ceremony for this year’s Homecoming Queen and King between games. The “80’s Back to the Barn Bash” for 1980s-era alumni begins at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Dave Smith Athletic Center, fondly known as “The Barn.”

    Numerous reunions, receptions and other Homecoming events will bring alumni from all eras back home to Oklahoma Christian. A complete schedule is available at www.oc.edu/homecoming.

    -OC-

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    Tue, 05 Nov 2013 13:50:00 CST 5d707a7e-2a8d-4dd8-8ded-b59370765344
    Oklahoma Christian shatters enrollment record http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oklahoma-christian-shatters-enrollment-record/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University set a new school record this fall, with 2,424 students making OC their college home.

    That represents a jump of almost 7 percent over the previous high, set last year with 2,271 students enrolled. The last nine years have featured OC’s nine highest enrollments ever.

    OC’s graduate enrollment is up 26 percent over last year. The 455 graduate students enrolled also sets a new school record. All four master’s programs – business administration, engineering, ministry, and divinity – have record enrollment this fall. Oklahoma Christian will add a master of accountancy degree program in January.

    Undergraduate enrollment stands at 1,969 students, an increase of 3 percent over last year. OC’s 676 new undergraduates compose the second-largest class of new students in school history.

    “Our professors are first-rate. They’re dedicated to helping students grow inside and outside the classroom. Their teaching is leading to successful outcomes that make an OC education more and more valuable. Students see what’s happening here and they want that,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “I applaud the work of our Student Life and Admissions offices. They connected with students and supported them in ways that improved retention and boosted new student enrollment. We’re also seeing the benefits of our commitment to affordability for students and families.”

    For the last three years, the cost of attendance for OC undergraduate students has stayed the same, making Oklahoma Christian the only university in the state and the only reporting member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities that did not raise its total price.

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

    -OC-

    -- ]]>
    Thu, 12 Sep 2013 11:41:00 CDT 0ad57bd4-e9fa-48cb-a346-d22dbdf24e17
    U.S. News & World Report ranks OC among west's best http://www.oc.edu/news/r/u-s-news-world-report-ranks-oc-among-west-s-best/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University rose in U.S. News & World Report’s latest rankings of the best universities in the western United States, published Tuesday.

    Oklahoma Christian is 42nd in the region and second among Oklahoma schools in the “Best Regional Universities” category.

    This is the 15th straight year U.S. News & World Report has honored Oklahoma Christian. Last month, the Princeton Review again recognized Oklahoma Christian on its “Best in the West” list.

    “OC’s reputation as a first-rate university is well-established, but it’s gratifying to be recognized for the great things happening here, especially as we make a high-quality Christian education affordable for talented students,” President John deSteiguer said.

    Institutions that appear in the “Best Regional Universities” category provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs. These universities are ranked against peer institutions in one of four geographic regions because they generally draw students most heavily from the surrounding states.

    Almost 60 percent of OC’s student body comes from Oklahoma or from neighboring Texas, with significant numbers of students also coming from Kansas, Colorado, California and the Pacific Northwest. Overall, Oklahoma Christian attracts students from all 50 states and almost 50 countries.

    The last nine years have featured OC’s nine highest enrollments ever, including a record 2,424 students this fall. Oklahoma Christian has more than 30 National Merit Finalists enrolled, the most per capita of all Church of Christ universities.

    For the last three years, the cost of attendance for OC undergraduate students has stayed the same, making Oklahoma Christian the only university in the state and the only reporting member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities that did not raise its total price.

    The U.S. News & World Report rankings assess seven broad categories: undergraduate academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rates.

    Oklahoma Christian offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business, engineering, ministry, and divinity.

    The Princeton Review and PC Gamer recently ranked OC’s game design program among the top 30 in the nation. OC’s chapter of the National History Honor Society has earned national top chapter honors for 17 straight years.

    OC’s academic reputation is further seen in placement rates at or near 100 percent for accounting, communication design, history, interior design, language and literature, nursing, and political science graduates seeking jobs or acceptance into graduate school and law school.

    OC biology graduates have a 95 percent medical and graduate school acceptance rate, and 100 percent of OC Honors Program graduates have been accepted to graduate school the past four years.

    Oklahoma Christian is one of just two members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities with ABET accreditation for three engineering programs. OC boasts the second-highest state education certification exam pass rate in Oklahoma, and is on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

    -OC-

     

    -- ]]>
    Tue, 10 Sep 2013 17:05:00 CDT 8a7795b5-b859-4aa8-9aa0-2be25caab689
    OC named one of region's top colleges http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-named-one-of-region-s-top-colleges/ Oklahoma Christian University (OC) is one of just six schools in Oklahoma to be named one of the best colleges in the western United States by The Princeton Review.

    The 124 best western colleges are located in 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

    The listing places Oklahoma Christian among the top 25 percent of all four-year colleges nationwide.

    “We’re honored to earn this distinction from The Princeton Review again this year,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “Our students, faculty and staff make Oklahoma Christian one of the best colleges in the country. Rankings and recommendations like this show that OC is a great place to call home.”

    Other Oklahoma universities on the list were the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oral Roberts University, and the University of Tulsa.

    “We’re pleased to recommend these colleges to users of our site as the best schools to earn their undergrad degrees,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher. “We chose these as our ‘regional best’ colleges mainly for their excellent academic programs.”

    The schools in The Princeton Review’s “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region” website section are determined through institutional data, campus visits, college counselor recommendations, and independent student surveys.

    In their responses, students praised Oklahoma Christian for being a college home with a strong focus on God, a family atmosphere, accessible professors, and an attractive location in metropolitan Oklahoma City and adjacent to suburban Edmond.

    The Princeton Review’s full list is available at www.princetonreview.com/best-regional-colleges.aspx.

    Earlier this year, The Princeton Review honored OC as one of the top 30 undergraduate schools in the U.S. and Canada to study video game design. Oklahoma Christian was the state’s only university and one of just two undergraduate schools in the southwestern United States to be honored.

    Oklahoma Christian also is recognized as a “Best University – Master’s” in U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.”

    Oklahoma Christian University offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, 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.

    Oklahoma Christian is the only university in Oklahoma and the only school in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities to hold the cost of attendance, which includes tuition and room and board, steady for two straight years.

    -OC-

    -- ]]>
    Tue, 06 Aug 2013 16:48:00 CDT 51b5faa8-1bae-4d45-99de-9ac61600e5a4
    OC grad Dan Branch in Texas Attorney General race http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-grad-dan-branch-in-texas-attorney-general-race/ Dan Branch, a 1980 Oklahoma Christian University graduate, announced his candidacy for Texas Attorney General in front of family, friends, and hundreds of supporters at Southern Methodist University Tuesday.

    Branch was joined by his wife of more than 28 years, Stacey, their five children, and his parents, Dr. Charles and Sylvia Branch, in kicking off his campaign at his law school alma mater.

    Since 2003, Branch has served in the Texas House of Representatives, where he led the way in balancing six straight budgets without raising taxes, passing the largest tax cut in Texas history, championing pro-life legislation, and enacting tort reform legislation that has helped Texas create nearly one-third of the net new jobs in America over the past 10 years.

    In addition to his service in the Legislature, Branch is a successful attorney in Dallas. After graduating from SMU law school, Branch worked for the Texas Supreme Court before directing the Victory Fund of the Reagan-Bush re-election campaign in Texas.

    “President Reagan inspired a generation of constitutional conservatives to pursue public office across the country. I say this because I am one,” Branch said. “For the past decade, I have tried to uphold his legacy while serving Texas – and this community – as a conservative voice in our state House.”

    Oklahoma Christian honored Branch's parents with its first Legacy Award in 2010. Dr. Charles Branch, a renowned neurosurgeon, is an OC Life Trustee. His wife, Sylvia, is a valued member of the board of The Christian Chronicle, which is housed on OC’s campus.

    The Branch children – Charlie (77), Warren (77), Dan (80), Alfred (84) and Cynthia (86) – all attended OC and have gone on to remarkable careers of their own while actively supporting their alma mater.

    Four of their grandchildren – Charlie and Lesa’s son, Daniel; Henson Adams, the oldest of Don and Cynthia (Branch) Adams’ children; Meagan (Branch) Lytton, daughter of Alfred and Judy (Lovejoy 85) Branch; and Alfred and Judy’s son, Lee – also have attended Oklahoma Christian.

    Charlie and his wife Lesa (Williams 78) established a $1.5 million endowment at Oklahoma Christian in 2004 to name the Williams-Branch Center for Biblical Studies. Alfred Branch, who served as OC’s fifth president, is now on the OC Board of Trustees.

    Click here to read more about the Branch family legacy at Oklahoma Christian.

    For more information about Dan Branch, go to www.DanBranch.com.

    -OC-

    -- ]]>
    Fri, 26 Jul 2013 15:41:00 CDT 2ccf42cf-9ac2-4cdd-b5ba-4164003e2019
    Honors Academy hosts students from 16 states http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-honors-summer-academy-hosts-students-from-17-states/ Gifted high school students from 16 states come to Oklahoma Christian University this week for a preview of college life.

    Whether culturing cells from Henryetta Lacks, volunteering in a summer literacy program or programming a microprocessor for light displays set to music, the 72 students in OC’s Honors Summer Academy will stay busy learning in an academically challenging environment.

    “The Honors Summer Academy brings in very bright high school students and gives them a taste of Christian higher education,” said Dr. Jim Baird, director of OC’s Honors Program. “They take courses for college credit, experience life and engage each other an their professors intellectually and spiritually.”

    The annual, seven-day college experience encourages the pursuit of excellence by gifted and talented students finishing their freshman through junior years of high school.

    By the end of the program, students will have developed the confidence to continue their academic pursuit of excellence, link academics to their faith and demonstrate the impact of experiential learning and service to others. Each participant may earn two hours of university credit.

    Students stay in OC’s Honors House at Davisson Hall, which offers the opportunity to live in a community dedicated to equipping Christian students for the pursuit of academic excellence.

    This is the fourth year that OC has hosted the Honors Summer Academy, and all 72 openings were filled before the end of May.

    Exactly half of the students are from Oklahoma. According to Baird, one student raised the funds to attend through an informal Facebook campaign, and another did so by hosting a series of car washes.

    “The demand for the Honors Summer Academy is very strong, and these students are committed to learning,” he said. “They really have a lot of fun in an excellent learning environment.”

    A few of the week’s highlights include:

    • A cellular biology lab in which students will culture cells from Henryetta Lacks.
    • A community service project with the Lighthouse Medical Clinic and Capitol Hill Church of Christ’s Book Buddy literacy program (Academy students will select, read and give away books to elementary through junior high students in the Capitol Hill area of Oklahoma City).
    • A meeting with Holocaust writer Michael Korenbilit, whose book highlights his parents’ survival in concentration camps, in the Holocaust Literature class.
    • Programming a microprocessor for custom light displays set to music in the Introduction to Engineering class.
    • A visit to Devon Energy’s headquarters as part of the Introduction to Math and Computer Science class.
    • A field trip to see and handle relics from Greece and Rome as part of the class on the Greek poet Homer, and to see one of Galileo’s books.
    • A visit to the Green Collection of historical Bibles at the Hobby Lobby headquarters.
    • A music class project produced through one of OC’s Macintosh computer labs using multiple instruments and GarageBand software.

    The Honors Program at Oklahoma Christian includes more than 130 students and continues to grow each year.

    According to Baird, the average ACT score for honors students is 31, and more than a quarter of these students are National Merit Scholars. Admission is highly selective, but not solely exam-based.

    Accomplished alumni have gone on to attain professional degrees in business, law and medicine, and many others have received scholarships to prestigious doctorate and post-doctorate programs across the United States.

    Most OC Honors students study abroad in the fall or summer of their sophomore year (Vienna, Austria, or Pacific Rim). All Honors students participate in Symposium each Monday; past Honors Symposium speakers have included Civil Rights attorney Fred Gray, astronaut Douglas Wheelock and Constitutional Historian Rufus Fears. More information is available at www.oc.edu/honors.

    About Oklahoma Christian University

    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.

    For the last three years, the cost of attendance for OC undergraduate students has stayed the same, making Oklahoma Christian the only university in the state and the only reporting member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities that did not raise its total price in that time. More information is available at www.oc.edu/value.

    -- ]]>
    Mon, 15 Jul 2013 11:16:00 CDT 667e1787-977a-4161-bcbd-2b4023b6bada
    Former Bush advisor speaks at OC http://www.oc.edu/news/r/former-bush-advisor-speaks-at-oc/ Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush, will keynote the Four Star Leadership Dinner at Oklahoma Christian University on Friday, July 19.

    Doors open at 6:40 p.m. and the dinner program will begin at 7 p.m. Table sponsorships are available. Individual tickets are $50 each and can be reserved in advance by emailing events@oc.edu or calling (405) 425-6300. Tickets will not be available at the door.

    Rove served as senior advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000 to 2007 and as deputy chief of staff in the Bush administration from 2004 to 2007.

    He writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal and is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight.” He has served as a political contributor for Fox News Channel since 2008.

    Rove’s appearance in Oklahoma City is one of the highlights of the Gen. Tommy Franks Four Star Leadership summer program, which begins at Oklahoma Christian on July 14.

    Fifty select high school students from across the country will meet with authors, politicians and global thought leaders during the week-long program. Excursions during the week will provide students with opportunities to develop leadership skills and employ them through cultural experiences and service projects.

    The Four Star Leadership Congressional Debate competition offers students expert policy briefings so they may address those issues in persuasive speech and editorial contests, while collaborating in a model Student Congress. Students will investigate contemporary policy controversies ranging from energy policy to human rights.

    Any of the participants who choose to pursue their college education at Oklahoma Christian will receive a $1,000-per-year scholarship for up to four years.

    Gen. Tommy Franks, former commander-in-chief of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, hosts the Four Star Leadership program, with the National Center for Policy Analysis, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, and Oklahoma Christian as partners.

    Since 2008, Four Star Leadership has welcomed 206 American high school students from 42 states and 32 international students. Kings, governors, senators, Olympic gold medalists and top national policy experts have mentored students through the program.

    More information on the Gen. Franks and the Four Star Leadership program is available at http://fourstarleader.com.

    -OC-

    -- ]]>
    Fri, 12 Jul 2013 14:42:00 CDT 7260f1e2-a348-436a-ba82-e5eb5deb43e0
    OC’s Estrada wins national PR student award http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-s-estrada-wins-national-pr-student-award/ OC public relations student Jessica Estrada recently won a Zenith Award for PR Research.

    One of the top national public relations competitions for undergraduate students, the Zenith Awards contest is the only one in which work previously completed in a class or internship may be submitted.

    Estrada’s entry was an assignment completed in the OC class Public Relations Principles, which she took last fall. 

    For the past two years, the senior from Duncanville, Texas, has also served as an officer in OC’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

    She was also on a team that placed third at the 2012 Oklahoma Speech Theatre and Communication Association PR student competition. This summer, Jessica is interning in Dallas at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas.

    “Jessica is one of our most dedicated and conscientious students,” said Josh Watson, assistant professor of communication and Estrada’s advisor. “We are not surprised that her work was recognized as the best among her peers across the nation. Her servant spirit and pursuit of excellence will continue to set her apart as she begins her career next year.”

    The PR Research category included any public relations project that used primary research, secondary research or analysis of research for academic purposes, internship purposes or personal interest. Estrada submitted a communication audit of a national nonprofit organization.

    This is the second year in a row that an OC student has received one of the only seven awards given out each year in the national competition. Last year, Joshua Richardson won the award for PR Writing.

    Begun in 1998 by the Oklahoma City chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the Zenith Awards are hosted by the University of Oklahoma. 

    To see how some of OC’s recent public relations graduates are benefitting from and contributing to a strong economy in Oklahoma City (and hosting current OC students as interns), see the latest edition of Vision, OC’s alumni magazine. 

    -OC-

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    Fri, 07 Jun 2013 14:39:00 CDT b914a43b-afdb-4585-8590-408965feba6e
    More than 120 from OC serve on summer missions http://www.oc.edu/news/r/more-than-120-from-oc-serve-on-summer-missions/ In the past year, Oklahoma Christian University emphasized “OC is Home” as a key theme to begin John deSteiguer’s tenure as president.

    This summer, more than 120 students, staff and faculty are leaving the comforts of home to serve and spread the Gospel in around 20 countries, showing that “OC is Mission,” too.

    “We are motivated and encouraged by the pure hearts for service that so many OC students have,” deSteiguer said. “We commend them, as well as our many faculty and staff who exemplify OC’s Christian mission to spread the good news and serve others.”

    OC summer missionaries will lead Bible studies, make new friends and work on service projects, all in the name of Jesus. Those traveling appreciate prayers for success and safety.

    Last year, students serving in Tanzania, Africa, helped as a "bucket brigade" that put out a fire at a school dormitory. To read about updates on some of the current OC mission projects, visit OC’s Center for Global Mission’s Facebook page.

    Below is a list of countries and the OC students, staff and faculty that are serving in each location.

    Argentina: Madison Huntsman, Josh McCoy, Jenny Stewart

    Australia: Adam Bowman, Kent and Nancy Hartman, Kyle Keesee

    Austria and neighboring countries: Anna Berthold, Jillian Bryson, Kolby Calhoun, Bradford Eckhart, Daniel Griffin, Ryan Hinds, Elizabeth Maher, Payton Minzenmayer, Alexander McMannama, Candyce Moore, Afton Paris, Alex Powers, Brayden Reiter, Seth Reiter, Shelby Richards, Alissa Stephens, Hardeman Tucker, Hayley Waldo, Dylan White

    Brazil: AnnaBeth Duncan, Kristine Pike, Mindi Powell, Jess Tucker

    Burkina Faso: Quinn Fields, Chelsea Leigh, Jessica Parker, Caleb Smith

    Canada: Zechariah McNeil

    Chile: Abi Johnson, Caleb Johnson, Craig Johnson, Hannah Johnson, Kara Johnson, Sarah Johnson

    Czech Republic: Clayton Brewer, Jeremy Lasso

    Germany: Clyde and Gwen Antwine

    Honduras: Eric Alberts, Erin Bailey, Hope Casey, Dudley Chancey, Kayla Cook, Meredith Corwin, Carli Covalt, Mariah Danley, Kelli Ewert, Miriam Flores, Linda Fly, Shawna Hood, Kym Langford, Bradley Litzkow, Peyton Moehlenbroch, Andrea Moore, Ivan Noffsker, Katie Pryor, Marion Rich, Kaitlyn Schemeissner, Liz Webb

    Japan: Mitch Aufiero, Karley Davis, JoLin Nguyen

    Peru: Kasey Aufiero, Kayla Frei

    Russia: Branson Hartshorn

    Rwanda: Bonaventure Bikorimana, Francois Birori, Ines Dushime, Becca Greenwood, Yves Iradukunda, Christelle Kwizera, Alyssa Lui, Yingui Lui, Hunter Marris, Jeanmarie Ndayisaba, Darian Russell, Ariette Sangwa, Paige Shaw, Marci Smith, Grace Umutesi, Diane Uwacu, Lauren Whitworth

    Thailand and Cambodia: Jonna Bezner, Mahya Inoue

    Tanzania: Bret Arnold, Eddie Brumley, Abbie Bryant, Bethany Dean, Molly Gettle, Mackenna Jones, Ben Langford, Jonathan Parker, Julianne Stinson, Stuart Woodfin

    U.S.-based mission work: Kaler Campbell, Carley Cave, Amber Cox, Quinn Drake, Jamal George, Zeke Gustafson, Loryn Hammer, Sierra Harris, Kelsey Henson, Josh Jones, Dillon and Ariel Leu, Mike Lynn, Jessica Parker, Crystal Robinson

    Do you know someone on a mission trip that is not on this list? Let us know! Please include their name and location.

    -- ]]>
    Tue, 14 May 2013 11:30:00 CDT eea13db8-3475-4382-8fb9-31b643c4d023
    Oklahoma Christian adds three new trustees http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oklahoma-christian-adds-three-new-trustees/ OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Oklahoma Christian University has announced the addition of Curt Shumard, Dr. Michael Walker and Shannon Wilburn to its Board of Trustees.

    “We are incredibly honored to add the combined wisdom, leadership and spiritual vision of these three accomplished executives to our Board of Trustees,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “Each of them has impressive experience leading organizations through growth while excelling in their service to clients and partners. They will help the board as it fulfills the mission of this excellent university.”

    The OC Board of Trustees, led by chairman Don Millican, now has 38 active members and 14 life trustees.

    Shumard, a 1985 OC graduate with a management degree, is vice president of Medical Doctor Associates in Norcross, Ga., a national physician staffing and recruiting company.

    He also serves on the board of Predisan, an international Christian nonprofit organization that provides healthcare, community development and spiritual outreach to Honduras.

    He and his wife Sandra, also an OC alum, have three sons: Luke, Travis and Jesse.

    Dr. Walker is administrative director and a psychologist at the North Texas Pain Recovery Center in Arlington, Texas. He also is an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of North Texas, and he serves as the consulting psychologist for the Kennedale Fire Department.

    Walker has been a member of OC’s National Alumni Council since 2011. After graduating from Oklahoma Christian in 1976, he earned five graduate degrees and accumulated more than 200 hours of graduate education.

    He is a member of 11 professional associations and serves on the board of the Kennedale Public School District. He is an elder at Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ in Arlington.

    Wilburn is co-founder and CEO of Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc., the nation’s leading children’s and maternity consignment sales event.

    In less than nine years, the company has established 132 franchises in 25 states, with several more under development. Its total sales were more than $23 million in 2012.

    Wilburn and the company have been featured in “Entrepreneur” magazine and on “Good Morning America,” “The CBS Early Show,” “The Today Show,” CNN and FOX.

    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.

    For the last three years, the cost of attendance for OC undergraduate students has stayed the same, making Oklahoma Christian the only university in the state and the only reporting member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities that did not raise its total price. More information is available at www.oc.edu/value.

    -OC-

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    Mon, 13 May 2013 15:22:00 CDT 7f17373d-7db2-429a-b06a-77b9dd1d10a9
    KFOR features OC game design program http://www.oc.edu/news/r/kfor-features-oc-game-design-program/

    KFOR recently featured Oklahoma Christian University professor Jeff Price in its "Is This a Great State or What?" series.

    Price leads OC's gaming and animation program, which earned Oklahoma Christian national recognition from The Princeton Review. OC received honorable mention on The Review's list saluting the best undergraduate schools in the U.S. and Canada to study video game design.

    Price also has vintage arcade games like Space Invaders, Pong, Defender and Centipede in his OC office. He uses them as teaching tools and, of course, to have some fun along the way.

    Read more on KFOR.

    -OC-

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    Fri, 10 May 2013 11:34:00 CDT 33d12112-4d30-43f8-85f8-9f668fc372d4
    Oklahoma Christian celebrates 319 graduates http://www.oc.edu/news/r/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.

    -OC-

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    Thu, 25 Apr 2013 10:28:00 CDT 2b04568a-13d3-45e9-99e7-db13eed3cf10
    OC students help raise funds for Gabbi Cook http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-students-help-raise-funds-for-gabbi-cook/ Inspired by Kid President, Oklahoma Christian University students are coming together Monday night in the Thelma Gaylord Forum to help raise funds for a 2-year-old overcoming liver cancer.

    Gabbi Cook's parents were missionaries in Peru and planned a quick visit to the U.S. in August. Unexpectedly, doctors found cancer in Gabbi's liver and her parents have had to give up their missionary calling. Luckily, Gabbi received a new liver right before Christmas, but her family has incurred numerous health expenses. 

    Kid President mentioned Gabbi at the end of one of his most popular videos, OC students are doing good on Gabbi's behalf through the 30 Day 30k campaign aimed at inspiring 30,000 people do good works on Gabbi's behalf. Those good deeds include raising money, but giving encouragement and praise are sometimes just as important. 

    Talented OC students and alumni Sandra Peck, Brett Vanderzee and Laura Vanderzee are performing. Students are also selling drinks, snacks and balloon animals. The event will conclude around 8:30 p.m.

    To learn more about helping Gabbi, visit Facebook.com/30day30k, twitter.com/30day30k or the donation page at Give Forward

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    Mon, 08 Apr 2013 19:22:00 CDT 724246d2-bf65-4677-9b2d-a2bc41ca322c
    Duck Dynasty's Jase Robertson at OC http://www.oc.edu/news/r/duck-dynasty-s-jase-robertson-at-oc/ Jase Robertson from A&E's Duck Dynasty spoke for a standing-room-only crowd at Oklahoma Christian University's Chapel service on Monday.

    Jase came to OC with his wife, Missy, and their three children. Prior to Chapel, he did a video shoot with Oklahoma Christian president John deSteiguer ... standing in the OC Pond. (Click here to watch the video.)

    "The Bible is a weapon of mass instruction, and a love letter from God Almighty. And the message is clear - He is for you, not against you," Jase said during his Chapel talk. "The power is in the message. Share the message and let God water the seed."

    Duck Dynasty is the most-watched program in the history of the A&E Network. The premiere of its third season on February 27 was the No. 1 cable show of the week.

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    Wed, 13 Mar 2013 17:17:00 CDT 51b59039-7237-46fd-87e1-325a16a1d6a1