Oklahoma Baptist University

2011 Faculty Hall of Fame Inductees to be Honored

To honor former OBU faculty members who were master teachers, making a significant impact on OBU students, the university will induct its second Faculty Hall of Fame class during the Homecoming chapel service Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m. in Raley Chapel.

The inductees include Dr. John William (J.W.) Jent, Dr. Shirley Jones, Clair R. McGavern, Jaunita Proctor and Dr. Tom Wilks.

Dr. J.W. Jent Dr. Shirley Jones

Jent served as registrar and faculty member in philosophy and social science from 1915-26 and 1933-41. In the interim, Jent served as dean of the theological seminary at Mercer University, as president of Southwestern Baptist College in Bolivar, Mo., and as a professor at Union University. When he was hired at OBU, Jent was paid $150 per month. Jent received an honorary doctorate from OBU in 1926. Prior to his work at OBU, he served as secretary to Dr. B.H. Carroll, brother of OBU’s first president and founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jent was the first registrar at Southwestern, writing its first catalog and devising most of its first admissions and record forms. In 1937, the J.W. Jent Apartments for faculty opened. Today, the facility is the Jent Alumni Center north of Raley Chapel. Jent died on May 29, 1941.

Jones joined the OBU faculty in 1964. In addition to her teaching duties during 37 years at OBU, she served as chairman of the Department of English and as chairman of the Division of Language and Literature. She held the position of vice president for academic affairs from 1983-86. She was twice elected chairman of the OBU Faculty Council and she served as faculty marshal. In 1990, Jones was installed as the Crouch-Mathis Professor of Literature, OBU’s only endowed academic position in English. She received OBU’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1983, and OBU’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2003. She was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Sigma Tau Delta, Alpha Lambda Delta, Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa. She began breeding and showing Basenji dogs in 1961, winning numerous honors, and she was voted a Life Member of the Basenji Club of America. She died in 2005.

Clair McGavern Jaunita Proctor Dr. Tom Wilks

McGavern, known to his friends as “Mac” and to his students as “Mr. Mac,” served as a member of the OBU faculty from 1949-75, working as a piano faculty member, associate dean of fine arts, men’s varsity golf coach, curriculum adviser and piano technician. He was a master concert pianist, giving many recitals, concerts and workshops throughout his life. In 1974, he helped establish the Concerto-Aria Concert, an ongoing tradition which features auditioned OBU music majors performing selected works with a full orchestra. He was a life member of Phi Mu Alpha, a national music fraternity, and the Oklahoma Music Educators Association, of which he served as vice president three times. He was an excellent amateur and senior golfer, winning several awards in local events. McGavern died on his birthday, May 10, 1978.

Proctor, a faculty member of OBU’s first nursing program, served on Bison Hill from 1953-84. She joined the program as an instructor; was promoted to assistant professor in 1957; received tenure in 1960; and was named associate professor in 1971. Proctor graduated from Atoka (Okla.) High School in 1941 and attended the Wesley Hospital’s nursing program in Oklahoma City. She served through the Red Cross at Balboa Park Hospital in San Diego, Calif., during World War II. Simultaneous with her work at OBU, Proctor trained corpsmen at Tinker Air Force Base for 11 years, the only female serving in the Air Force Reserve at that time. At OBU, she was the faculty advisor for the Student Nurses Association. The OBU tradition of giving each nursing graduate a yellow rose during the pinning ceremony was begun by Proctor and continues today. She was named professor emerita of nursing in 1985.

Wilks joined the OBU staff as university chaplain in 1980. He was named assistant professor in 1984; named associate professor in 1987; achieved senior faculty status in 1988; and named professor in 1993. He has helped prepare hundreds of students for youth ministry, teaching courses ranging from youth, pastoral and family ministry to Old and New Testament and psychology of religion. Wilks served as an example to students through his involvement in the local church and his active schedule of preaching and working with community high school students through various programs. He was noted by many coworkers and students for his excellence in teaching, caring for students, research, writing, and especially for his expression of his personal faith in Christ. After 27 years of service at OBU, he retired in 2008 from his post as Jewell and Joe L. Huitt professor of applied ministry. He was named professor emeritus of religious education in 2010.

Any emeriti or former full-time faculty member who has an exemplary teaching career at OBU is eligible for the award. The OBU Faculty Handbook lists seven aspects of excellence in teaching: teaching with a knowledge of the subject matter, ability to communicate, organization and planning, and self-criticism and improvement; interest in students; professional development; research and writing; the life of the mind; service to the university; and Christian faith and professional life.

More information about campus awards for faculty and staff can be found here.

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