Top Seniors Honored at Awards Assembly

Oklahoma Baptist University presented its 2005-06 outstanding student awards during the university’s weekly Chapel service on Wednesday, April 10. Five special presentations were given, and each of OBU’s five schools and colleges honored its top graduating students.

Amy Harris, a nursing major from Gruver, Texas, received the Rosalee Mills Appleby Award. Established in 1936 as OBU’s first award, the Appleby Award is given annually to the woman of the graduating class who “most nearly exemplifies the qualities which characterize the ideal OBU woman, including personal character, scholarship, leadership, concern for others and Christian commitment.”

Heather Rountree, a junior secondary education and history double major from Mansfield, Texas, received the John Wesley Raley Scholarship. Named after OBU’s president from 1934 to 1961, the honor is awarded to a rising senior with a grade point average of at least 3.00 who plans to continue at OBU. Criteria which guide the selection committee’s nomination to the university’s president include leadership, moral courage, self-determination and communicative skills.

Loren Eaton, a junior anthropology major from Rowlett, Texas, received the Evans T. Moseley Leadership Award. Established by OBU’s Class of 1966 and named after the university’s interim president that year, the award is given to a rising senior who demonstrates the greatest leadership potential.

Michael Ware, a theory and composition major from Edmond, Okla., received the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Presidential Scholarship. The honor is presented to an outstanding ministry student who has been called to serve in a Southern Baptist context.

Brent Purkaple, a religion major from Ponca City, Okla., received the Gaskin Baptist History Award after submitting a research paper to the Baptist Historical Collection. Named after Dr. J.M. Gaskin, Oklahoma Baptists’ first Historical Society director, the award is given to encourage student research in the history of Baptist life and thought.

Dr. Debbie Blue, dean of OBU’s College of Arts and Sciences, presented five awards. Bradley King, an English major from Altus, Okla., received the outstanding senior award from the language and literature division; Rachel Swing, a history major from Norman, Okla., claimed the honor from the division of behavior and social sciences.

Julie Watson, an exercise science major from Muskogee, Okla., was the top senior from the division of kinesiology and leisure studies. Shannon Martin, an elementary education major from Southlake, Texas, received the senior honor from the teacher education division.

Melanie Warren, a professional accountancy and finance major from Porter, Okla., was named the outstanding senior in OBU’s Paul Dickinson School of Business. Dean Rich Rudebock presented Warren with The Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award.

Dr. Warren McWilliams, interim dean, announced three awards from the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service. Collin Bullard, a religion major from Ardmore, Okla., was named the outstanding senior in religion; Mandy Stanek, a youth ministry major from Fort Dodge, Iowa, received the applied ministry award; and Clayton Mauritzen, a biblical languages and philosophy double major from Longview, Texas, claimed the philosophy award.

The Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts presented three accolades. Dean Paul Hammond honored Gena Keffer, a studio art major from Louisburg, Kan., as the outstanding senior in art. Derek Watson, a telecommunication major from Granbury, Texas, received the communication arts award; and Elise Anderson, a musical arts major from Tishomingo, Okla., was the top senior student in the music division.