Six Alumni to be Honored at Harvest Dinner
November 9, 2009
Six outstanding Oklahoma Baptist University alumni will be honored during the university's annual Homecoming Harvest Dinner Friday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. in OBU's Geiger Center.
Allen Eaker and Jimmy Bryan Hodges will receive the Alumni Achievement Award; Dr. Jadee Upshaw Neff will be honored with The Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) award; and W. Ford Mastin, Destini Anderson and Jadrea Seeley will be inducted into the OBU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dr. Jadee Neff
Eaker, '68, and Hodges, '61, will receive the Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor given by OBU's Alumni Association in recognition of outstanding life service which has brought honor to the individual's alma mater. A longtime investment representative, Eaker retired in 2009 after a 32-year career with Edward Jones. He invested the majority of his career in Altus, Okla., operating a regional office for the financial services firm. He was a general partner in the company from 1990-99.
The Oklahoma City native earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from OBU and a master's degree in business from Texas Tech University in 1971. Before joining Edward Jones, he worked with Southwestern Bell and Missouri Baptist Hospital. He is active in civic and church roles, having served as president of the Altus Public School Foundation, and president of the Salvation Army board. He is a past member of the Altus Rotary Club. He has served as a deacon and financial committee chair at the First Baptist Church of Altus, were he also taught junior high school Sunday School. He served on the OBU board of trustees from 1992-96, and on the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma board from 2004-08.
While attending OBU, Eaker was a member of the Bison basketball team and is one of only three men who played on all three OBU teams which reached the NAIA championship game from 1965-67. In 1967 he earned Honorable Mention All-America honors. He also played left field for the Bison baseball team. He was inducted into the OBU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980.
Eaker and his wife, Bobbie, have two sons, Todd and Jason. The Eakers now reside in Scottsdale, Ariz., and are members of North Phoenix Baptist Church.
Founder and president emeritus of Reaching Souls International, Hodges has served in full-time evangelism for more than 45 years. Born in Temple, Okla., he earned a bachelor's degree in religion from OBU. While a student, he served as a youth and music pastor at Northside Baptist Church in Lawton, Okla. He entered full-time evangelism in 1962 and conducted more than 1,000 church and area-wide crusades and concerts over a 24-year span.
In 1986 he founded Jimmy Hodges Ministries International. Through JHMI, Hodges and his associates have conducted 44 ministry projects in Africa and India, including pastoral training institutes, evangelistic crusades and church planting. The ministry has provided training for more than 9,200 pastors and church leaders. The ministry is focused on helping indigenous missionaries and currently supports more than 400 African missionaries and 10 Indian missionaries. The ministry also supports 260 orphans in five African countries.
Since JHMI was founded, more than 6,800,000 people have professed faith in Christ through the organization's efforts, and 3,900 new church starts have been recorded. The ministry's name recently was changed to Reaching Souls International.
Hodges and his wife, Dee, have been married for 44 years. They have three children, Steve, Robin and Shelli. The Hodges reside in Edmond, Okla.
Neff, a 2001 alum, will receive The Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) award, an award given to a young alum (not necessarily a graduate) of OBU who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in his or her life and career and brought pride and honor to the University.
A native of Shawnee, Neff currently is a medical student at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn. After graduating summa cum laude from OBU with a double-major in biology and chemistry, she was accepted to the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine M.D.-Ph.D. program. She completed two years of medical school, and then earned a Ph.D. degree in immunology from the Mayo Clinic in 2007. She added extra research to her repertoire with a post-doctoral fellowship in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine School of Graduate Medical Education.
In April 2009, she entered her third year of medical school and is working toward her medical doctorate. She has worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and as an instructor of biology at Rochester Technical and Community College. She received the National Research Service Award in 2007 from the National Institutes of Health, and received the Outstanding Abstract Award from the Society of Natural Immunity in 2005. Her work has appeared in several publications, including the Journal of Immunology.
In addition to her academic pursuits, she is a toddler Sunday School teacher and directs the toddler/preschool choir at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Rochester. Neff and her husband, Kevin Neff, have two children, Dixie Lee Xiaomei Neff, 3, and Ezekial Lee Ziaolong Neff, 21 months.
Mastin, a 1977 alum, Anderson, a 2001 alum, and Seeley, a 2004 alum, will be inducted into the OBU Athletic Hall of Fame for their record-setting tenure at the university.
Mastin has served as OBU's head track and field and cross country coach since 1996. He was a member of the Bison track team while a student. During his coaching tenure, OBU has won three national championships, and Mastin has been named NAIA National Coach of the Year four times. In 2007, Mastin led the OBU women to the Indoor National Championship and the men's team to the Outdoor National Championship. He won National Coach of the Year honors for both teams. He also won Coach of the Year recognition in 1998 and 2005. On the national level, the Lady Bison have won two National Championships, with two runner-up and three third place finishes. The Bison have won one National Championship, with three runner-up, and seven third place finishes in Mastin's 12 years. The women's cross country team has won nine out of the last 13 SAC titles. The men's track team has won 11 out of the last 13 titles, while the men's cross country teams have won eight out of the last 13. Under Mastin, the OBU cross country and track programs have produced more than 300 All-American awards.
Mastin earned a bachelor of music education degree from OBU and completed a master's degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Terri, have three children, Linsey, Trevor and Kaely.
Anderson garnered several awards and set numerous school records as a Lady Bison softball standout. She was named OBU's Senior Female Athlete of the Year in 2001 and served as captain of the Lady Bison softball team. The native of Minco, Okla., holds OBU career records for most strikeouts (473) as a pitcher, hits as a batter (213), runs batted in (146), runs scored (133) and doubles (49). She also owns Lady Bison season records for doubles (15), walks as a batter (28), games pitched (42), complete games (31), innings pitched (229) and strikeouts (210).
Anderson completed a bachelor's degree in exercise and sports science in 2001. She is now head softball coach at East Central University after a successful stint as head coach at Canyon (Texas) High School.
Bethel, Okla., native Jadrea Seeley was a standout player for the OBU Lady Bison basketball team. After transferring to Bison Hill from the University of Oklahoma, Seeley played two seasons for OBU. She earned NAIA Player of the Year honors in 2002 when she also was Sooner Athletic Conference Player of the Year, a First-Team All-American and a First-Team All-Conference selection. She led the Lady Bison to the second round of the NAIA Tournament in her first season, averaging 24.2 points with 350 field goals and 798 points - all OBU single-season records. After a knee injury stole her 2002-03 season, she bounced back in 2004, claiming First-Team All-Conference and All-America honors.
Seeley earned a bachelor's degree in English. She left OBU with a school-record 60.1 shooting percentage. She is second all-time at OBU in scoring average at 21.9 and seventh all-time in scoring with 1,492 points in just two seasons. Seeley has been a coach and teacher at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, Okla., for the past five years.
The Harvest Dinner, part of OBU's Homecoming celebration, will begin at 6 p.m. Senior Harvest Court nominees will also be presented during the dinner. Tickets for the event are $15 per person and may be purchased through OBU's alumni office by calling (405) 878-2706.
For a complete list of OBU Homecoming activities, go online to www.okbu.edu/alumni/homecoming_2009.