Oklahoma Baptist University

Freshmen ‘Serve Shawnee’ during Welcome Week

Oklahoma Baptist University freshmen Sam Walker (left), a biology major from Stigler, Okla., and Andrew Gabbert, a nursing major from Acworth, Ga., paint trim at Coney Island restaurant as part of Serve Shawnee’s downtown project.

About 250 Oklahoma Baptist University freshmen joined more than 100 upper class Welcome Week Workers, crew members and campus ministry members in an effort to "Serve Shawnee" Monday, Aug. 24, at about 15 area locations.

As a part of Welcome Week the new students join upper class workers to connect with the local community through the service-oriented event which involves a variety of projects such as painting, landscaping and other tasks. Students worked with Harvest Farms, Hope House, Shawnee Care Center garden and with the residents, Rose Garden Park, Salvation Army Thrift Store, Good Shepherd Chapel, downtown Shawnee, Georgia Street, Blackburn Chapel, Project Safe, Golden Rule Nursing Home, Colonial Nursing Home, Family Promise and the Point in Time project.

"The service project is a particularly important aspect of the Welcome Week experience," said Monica Mullins, assistant dean of enrollment management / director of Student Success. "It aims to orient new students to OBU's commitment to engaging the city of Shawnee through involvement in community service activities."

"Coupled with Spotlight on Shawnee, OBU hopes to demonstrate to students both what they have to offer the community as well as what the community has to offer them."

OBU's Welcome Week is designed to celebrate incoming freshmen and transfer students' transitions to Bison Hill. As a part of that emphasis, Serve Shawnee is made possible by partnering with local churches and charitable organizations. The event was led by Welcome Week Steering Committee members Drew Melton, a senior biblical languages major from Oklahoma City, and Stephanie Robbins, a senior English education major from Farmington, Ark.

"The Welcome Week service project is the best way for new students to become aware of some of the many needs around the city of Shawnee," Melton said. "We think it is important for new students to recognize that OBU is not self-contained, but that we are members of a larger community and therefore have an opportunity to be responsible, contributing members of that larger community."

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