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Annual Alumni Awards Dinner Expects Big Turnout

November 9, 2001

Oklahoma Baptist University's popular Friday evening Homecoming Harvest Dinner that traditionally attracts more than 400 alumni and friends, will be tonight at 6 p.m. in the Geiger Center

The program will include the presentation of Alumni Achievement Awards to Dr. Jay P. Chance and Alvin W. "Al" Clark. OBU's Graduate Of the Last Decade Alum of the Year Award will be presented to Tiffany Sprague Brown.

The program also will include the induction of Bob Hoffman into the OBU Athletic Hall of Fame member.

Alumni and friends attending the Harvest Dinner should enter the Geiger Center through the lower level doors on the south side of the building.

John W. Parrish, OBU executive vice president, will serve as master of ceremonies and Michael Edge, a 1986 OBU graduate, will offer the invocation.

Hoffman, a 1979 graduate of OBU, is head men's basketball coach at the University of Texas-Pan American. Hoffman finished a nine-year run as head coach of the OBU men's basketball team in 1999. He is the only coach to take the Bison to five consecutive NAIA tournaments. His squads made six trips to the national tournament.

OBU made steady progression from sporadic contender to a team of national prominence under Hoffman. The 1992-93 season saw a team that was 16-17 the year before gain an appearance in the national championship game. The Bison followed that with a Final Four appearance in 1993-94. The team returned to the NAIA championship game in 1997. Hoffman was named Sooner Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in both 1996 and 1997.

Hoffman played guard and forward for the Bison from 1976-79 and is one of only 32 players to score 1,000 points at OBU.

He served as assistant men's coach at OBU for two seasons before being named head coach of the Southern Nazarene University Lady Redskins. While there he took SNU to its first national championship in 1989.

Hoffman and his wife, the former Kelli Lumry, have one son, Grant. They are members of Baptist Temple in McAllen, Texas.

His award will be presented by H. Gene Wallace, a 1964 graduate of OBU, and Robert A. Funk, a 1999 honorary graduate.

Brown, a 1993 OBU graduate, is executive director of the Memphis and Shelby County Sports Authority. She has served in that position since May 2000. The North Carolina native has worked in sports-related positions for most of her career.

While in college, Brown worked with the Duke University boys' summer basketball camp program. She was OBU's sports information director during the 1992-93 year, when the Bison basketball team was the #1 seed in the national tournament and reached the championship game. After graduating from OBU, she joined the sports information staff at Texas Christian University. At the age of 23, she was named director of marketing and events for the Charlotte (N.C.) Regional Sports Commission. She worked with a variety of national events and with Charlotte's NFL and NBA teams.

In her position in Tennessee, Brown was able to work with representatives of the Vancouver Grizzlies to negotiate the NBA team's relocation to Memphis in 2001. She currently is directing a $250 million financing of a new arena project for the city.

During her term at the sports authority, Brown already has worked with the NCAA men's basketball tournament first and second round games in Memphis, with the Southeastern Conference men's and women's basketball tournaments, and with many amateur sports events.

The Browns have one son, Tate. They reside in Collierville, Tenn., and are members of Kirby Woods Baptist Church.

Her award will be presented by Julie Kaye Jennings, a 1993 OBU graduate.

Chance, a 1956 graduate of OBU, has invested his career in gaining support for Baptist educational and health care causes. He is president and chief operating officer for the TRUST, the foundation for Baptist Health Systems of Mississippi.

Chance became executive vice president of The TRUST in 1995, when the foundation was only one year old. He was promoted to president in September 2000. As a startup foundation, the TRUST has had a giving record greater than the national average. Between 1994 and 2000, the organization secured more than $12 million for Baptist Health Systems.

Prior to joining the TRUST, Chance was vice president for institutional advancement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served as vice president for development at California Baptist College.

He is a board member for several healthcare and philanthropy-related institutions. In addition, the former OBU track standout has been a medalist in Senior Olympic swimming in Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Chance currently serves as the Region 3 representative for the OBU Alumni Association. He has participated in leadership roles in the alumni phases of several OBU capital campaigns.

He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Jackson, Miss. He and his wife, the late Gailya Chance, have two sons, Jay and Jeffery. Chance resides in Ridgeland, Miss.

His award will be presented by Dr. Stephen P. Carleton, a 1959 graduate of OBU.

Clark, a 1971 OBU graduate, is vice president for marketing with El Paso Natural Gas Company. He has worked with the energy firm for more than 27 years.

Born in McAlester, Clark grew up in Midwest City. He was a magna cum laude graduate of OBU and completed a master's degree in economics at the University of Oklahoma in 1974.

Clark joined El Paso Natural Gas in the spring of 1974 as a certificate analyst. He was promoted to management positions in several offices within the firm before being named vice president for rates and regulatory affairs in 1989. He also has served as vice president for rates and mainline services, marketing and operations control, and marketing and tariffs. In his current position, he oversees transportation marketing, customer accounting services, and business development.

He has been a featured speaker for several energy associations, and has taught as an instructor and lecturer at four universities.

Clark has served in alumni leadership positions in three OBU capital campaigns. He was a regional representative for the alumni association from 1988-91.

He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, Colo. He and his wife, Susan, have three children, Alexander, 16; Jenny, 3; and Chandler, 2.

His award will be presented by Dr. James D. Farthing, professor of history at OBU and a 1964 graduate.

The Harvest Dinner also will include the presentation of the student candidates for the 2001 Harvest Court. The six-member court will be announced from the eighteen senior candidates during Saturday nights Alumni Showcase and Harvest Festival at 8 p.m. in Potter Auditorium.

The court will include Best All-Around Man and Woman, Most Popular Man and Woman, and Harvest King and Queen.