Oklahoma Baptist University

Six Retire from OBU Posts

Six members of the Oklahoma Baptist University community are retiring from their posts as faculty and staff members on Bison Hill. The retirees – who include Richard Cheek, Dr. Carolyn Cole, Dr. Roger Hadley, Dr. William Hagen, Bill Holley and Gerald “Gerry” Milligan – represent a total of 133 years of service to the University.

Richard Cheek, dean of library services, plans to retire during the summer, concluding 11 years of service at the University. Cheek joined OBU’s administrative staff in 2001. He taught classes, brought the library into the Internet era, and has been actively involved the OBU Theatre Department. Prior to his work as dean, Cheek served four years at OBU as the computer and access services librarian. He previously served eight years as director of the Guthrie, Okla., Public Library. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Jene, have five children and numerous grandchildren.

Dr. Carolyn Cole, Crouch-Mathis professor of literature, taught at OBU for 25 years of service before retiring at the end of the 2011-12 academic year. She joined the OBU faculty in 1987 as assistant professor. She attained the rank of associate professor in 1994 and professor in 2000. She was recognized with OBU’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2000. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi College and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Her varied professional expertise includes medieval and renaissance literature, contemporary Latin American literature, and rhetoric and composition. Cole sponsored student study programs in England, France, Germany, Hungary and Argentina. She and her husband, Tom, have two children and three grandchildren.

Dr. Roger Hadley, Frank W. and Pauline G. Patterson professor of journalism and professor of telecommunication, retired after teaching at OBU for 27 years. He joined the OBU faculty in 1985 as associate professor. He achieved senior faculty status in 1991 and professor in 1995. Hadley received OBU’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2004. He also received the Fred Tewell Outstanding Communication Educator award from the Oklahoma Speech Theatre Communication Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Southeast Oklahoma State University and his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Wanda, have two children and five grandchildren.

Dr. William Hagen, professor of English, retired after teaching at the University for 38 years. He joined the OBU faculty in 1974 as assistant professor. He attained senior faculty status in 1979, and he achieved the rank of associate professor in 1981 and professor in 1987. Hagen received OBU’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2006. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College, a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, and a doctorate from the University of Iowa. He has published numerous articles on Joseph Conrad, Malcolm Lowry and film adaptations of fiction. He is a regular reviewer for World Literature Today. Active as a lecturer in the Oklahoma Humanities Council-sponsored “Let’s Talk About It” series in libraries through the state, he designed the “Oklahoma Experience: Re-Visions” program. He is an active member of the Friends of the Shawnee Library and past chair of the Pioneer Multi-County Library Board. He and his wife, Goldie, have one son.

Bill Holley will retire in June with 28 years of service to the University. He joined the administrative staff of OBU in 1983, and most recently served as an associate vice president for university advancement. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Belmont University and a master’s degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. During his tenure at OBU, Holley served as director of annual giving, coordinator of regional fund raising and assistant vice president for development. His roles on Bison Hill included interim vice president for institutional advancement. He provided valuable leadership for three University capital campaigns. He and his wife, Linda, have two children.

Gerry Milligan, assistant professor of nursing, joined the OBU faculty in 2008 and taught at OBU for four years. He earned bachelor’s degrees from Northeastern State College and Texas Christian University and a master’s degree from Columbia Pacific University. Milligan came to OBU following 31 years of service as a missionary for the Foreign Mission Board, now known as the International Mission Board, of the Southern Baptist Convention. His missionary service as a nurse took him to the Gaza Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip; Jordan University School of Nursing and Baptist Hospital in Ajloun, Jordan; Baptist Nursing Schools of Romania in Arad, Romania; Sha’alan Surgicenter and Hospital in Cairo, Egypt; and the Oasis Hospital in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

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