February 15, 2008
Oklahoma Baptist University Founders’ Day is an annual event commemorating the university’s incorporation in February, 1910.
This month, John W. Parrish, OBU’s interim president, chose to recognize OBU’s emeriti and retired faculty during Founders’ Day. More than 40 former faculty members and administrators were in attendance at the Chapel event on campus.
“I would estimate that these friends represent more than 1,000 years of combined service to Oklahoma Baptist University,” Parrish said of the retirees who attended Founders’ Day Chapel.
Dr. William R. Mitchell, OBU professor emeritus of English, offered a moment of reflection.
“I came to OBU in 1958 on a week’s notice to fill a sudden vacancy,” said Mitchell. “I didn’t know any more about OBU than OBU knew about me. But within two weeks, I went to see Dr. James Scales, who was serving as OBU vice president at the time, and pleaded with him to please find a way to keep me on the next year. I stayed 37-and-a-half years. I had already learned that this was a very special place.”
Mitchell served as OBU dean of arts and sciences from 1973-81.
William James Brown and Dr. Ron Lewis, both OBU professors emeritus of music, led music for Founder’s Day.
Parrish delivered the Chapel address, titled “A Proud Heritage.” He surprised the audience with a presentation on the first 50 years of OBU athletics. Using a computer-generated presentation, he showed OBU teams, along with a recap of OBU’s football history – including a 6-0 win at Arkansas.
Parrish taught the students, faculty and guests some early OBU cheers. One cheer brought laughter from the crowd, which willingly recited:
“Vacin, vacin, vaccination! Blood and thunder, consternation. Thunder, thunder, thunderation! Baptist, Baptist, aggregation! Pour it on!”
“As we approach our centennial year, we must recognize and honor the heritage that had made OBU what it is today,” said Parrish.