John deSteiguer became the seventh president of Oklahoma Christian University (OC) on May 1, 2012. He was inaugurated in special ceremonies on August 27, 2012.
A native of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, deSteiguer has spent two decades in higher education. He served Northeastern State University, his alma mater, as its director of development from 1993 to 2002 before coming to Oklahoma Christian.
During deSteiguer’s nine years as OC’s chief advancement officer, most recently as senior vice president for advancement, a record $110 million was given to the university, including the successful Higher Learning~Higher Calling campaign, which raised $64.3 million and was completed ahead of schedule.
That campaign led to significant improvements for Oklahoma Christian, including the new Lawson Commons, featuring the Freede Centennial Tower and McGraw Pavilion, and the $7.5 million initiative to build the Noble Science Wing and upgrade the Mabee Laboratories at Vose Hall. The campaign also produced four new endowed chairs and more than 60 new or enhanced maintenance, operating, and scholarship endowments.
The son of a naval aviator, deSteiguer lived in California, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, and on the island of Guam as a child. After graduating from Tahlequah High School in 1980, he attended Northeastern State as a political science major. He was active in the Model United Nations program, became NSU’s first Truman Scholar, and served as president of NSU’s student government and the President’s Leadership Class before his graduation in 1984.
A Rotary International Scholarship recipient, deSteiguer attended the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1984-85 before moving back to Tahlequah and serving as youth minister at South College Church of Christ.
He married Darla, his college sweetheart, in June 1986. The both earned juris doctorate degrees, magna cum laude, from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 1989. They moved to Dallas, where John practiced law with Haynes and Boone from 1989 to 1993.
In August 1993, the deSteiguers again returned to Tahlequah when NSU hired John as a senior development officer and as executive director of the NSU Foundation. He came to Oklahoma Christian in January 2003 as part of then-President Mike O’Neal’s new administration.
John and Darla live in Edmond, where John is a deacon and frequent Bible class teacher at Memorial Road Church of Christ. Their daughter Abby attends Oklahoma Christian.
John is a member of several civic organizations, including OKC Rotary Club 29, the Oklahoma Bar Association, and the Oklahoma Planned Giving Council. He also serves on many boards, including those of the Edmond, Greater Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma State Chambers of Commerce, the Oklahoma State Fair, Allied Arts, Creative Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Independent Colleges and Universities.