Oklahoma Baptist University

OBU to Honor Faculty Hall of Fame Inductees

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

The inductees include Manoi (Smith) Adair, Dr. Laura Crouch and Mary Kay (Higginbotham) Parrish.

Manoi Adair Dr. Laura Crouch Mary Kay Parrish

Adair, professor emerita of business, is a 1950 OBU alumna who earned a master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma. She was named assistant professor in 1958; achieved tenure in 1960; named associate professor in 1969; served as interim dean from 1981-82, 1984-85 and 1987-89; named professor in 1990; and named professor emerita in 1997. She received the Meritorious Service Award, given for faithful service to OBU in faculty, administrative, or support staff positions, in 1986. She has been a member of the National Business Education Association, Delta Pi Epsilon and Kappa Delta Pi, and she was listed in Who’s Who in the South and Southwest. Having played a key role in transitioning the business program from a department to a school, she retired in 1996 after 41 years on the OBU business faculty. She is married to Preston Adair, a 1951 OBU graduate. They have two children, Karen Adair Heflin, a 1981 OBU alum, and Sharon Adair Floyd, a 1983 OBU alum. Adair enjoys travel, and she has visited all 50 states.

“Manoi Adair served OBU well in a variety of areas, particularly as a teacher and interim dean,” said Dr. Carol Sue Humphrey, professor of history at OBU. “Her students speak highly of her, and I always found her great to work with on University business.”

Crouch, professor of English, earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma in 1968; a master’s degree at the University of Texas in Austin in 1970; and a doctorate at OU in 1975. Her dissertation was titled, “The Scientist in English Literature: Domingo Gonsales to Victor Frankenstein.” Following work as a graduate teaching assistant at OU, she was named an assistant professor of English at OBU in 1975; associate professor of English in 1982; and professor of English in 1988. She was named chair of the Western Civilization program in 1976; chair of the Department of English in 1979; and chair of the Division of Language and Literature in 1985. She received OBU’s Distinguished Teaching Award for classroom excellence in 1991 and the Meritorious Service Award in 1998, the year of her retirement. She was on the board of directors of “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma,” a library reading and discussion program. A member of University Baptist Church in Shawnee, Crouch died in January 1999 at age 52 after a long illness.

“Laura Crouch was an excellent English teacher,” Humphrey said. “Her students enjoyed her classes and talked often about how good they were. Laura also served OBU well as a division chair and the author of accreditation self-study reports.”

Parrish, professor emerita of music, is a 1962 OBU alumna who earned a master’s degree from North Texas State University. She served on the faculty of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts from 1964-2002. She was named assistant professor in 1967; achieved tenure in 1969; and named associate professor in 1980. She received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1981. Throughout her career, Parrish has been known as a respected handbell composer and clinician. She founded the University Ringers, which she directed for 19 years. The group, recognized as one of the top collegiate handbell programs in the nation, toured in 31 states and several foreign countries. Jeffers Publishing named her composer of the year in 1983. Parrish retired in 2002 after 38 years of service at the university and was named professor emerita in 2003. She is married to Dr. John Parrish, executive vice president emeritus at OBU, and they are members of University Baptist Church in Shawnee. They have two children, Dr. John Michael Parrish and Robin Parrish McAlister, a 1999 OBU graduate.

“Mary Kay Parrish was a powerhouse in the College of Fine Arts: conductor, composer, teacher, organizer and performer,” said Tom Terry, vice president emeritus for business affairs. “When she organized the University Ringers, OBU’s handbell choir, she started a program that brought regional and national attention to the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts.”

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.

For more information about campus awards, click here.

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