Oklahoma Baptist University President Emeritus Bob R. Agee served as the University’s 13th president from 1982-98. During his presidency, OBU experienced significant growth and attracted national recognition for the quality of its faculty, its students and its education programs. The University became known among church-related colleges and universities for its involvement in missionary outreach and international activity.
Effective with his retirement on Sept. 1, 1998, Dr. Agee became president emeritus, continuing to assist the university with the transition to new leadership and with fund raising and alumni relationships.
Agee began his service in Baptist higher education in 1956. He has been involved actively in numerous national educational and denominational activities and often is called upon to serve in leadership roles for various national organizations.
Following his retirement from OBU, Agee became executive director of the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools. The organization, which became the IABCU in 2006, includes 51 Baptist-affiliated schools across the nation. Agee retired from the IABCU in 2007.
Agee was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 1999. The IABCU presented him the 2008 Charles D. Johnson Outstanding Educator Award. Each year the association presents the award to recognize individuals who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to Christian higher education through Baptist-related institutions.
In his OBU years, he led OBU through a period of steady growth in enrollment, financial resources and facilities. Student enrollment increased by more than 70 percent during his presidency, reaching a record 2,440 in the fall of 1994. During his tenure, the university built 11 new buildings, renovated 12 buildings and saw endowment grow from $11 million to more than $55 million.
Agee is a charter member and a former chairman of the Cooperative Services International Educational Consortium, an organization which provides educational assistance to Third World and developing nations. He led OBU to begin international service projects in China, Russia, Hungary, India and Brazil.
A native of Brownsville, Tennessee, Dr. Agee was raised in Memphis. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Union University, master’s and doctoral degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. degree in higher education administration from Vanderbilt’s George Peabody College for Teachers.
He served Union University from 1975-82, ending his tenure as vice president for religious affairs and special assistant to the president for institutional planning. He has served in graduate and post-graduate teaching and administrative rolls with his alma mater in recent years.
Agee and his wife, Nelle, a former OBU education professor, reside in Jackson, Tenn.