OBU Board Gets Update On Major Construction Work

In their summer board meeting, Oklahoma Baptist University’s board of trustees received an update on major construction projects, approved the hiring of five new faculty members, and commended a coach who brought home two national championship banners this year.

In his state-of-the-university report, OBU President Mark Brister told board members that construction of the university’s recreation/wellness center is slated for completion this fall.

“Wynn Construction hopes to complete construction on the new wellness center in October,” said Dr. Brister. “Construction is proceeding well.”

The $10 million center is the largest of several construction projects nearing completion on the campus. In addition to the recreation/wellness center construction, OBU is completing elements of the Winning Spirit Campaign, which is funding a new baseball/softball complex, a track facility, and renovation and expansion of the Noble Complex for Athletics. The campaign, with a goal of $4.78 million, was bolstered by a challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa.

“On April 10 we were able to notify the Mabee Foundation that we were able to meet the terms of their challenge grant of $717,000 toward the overall Winning Spirit Campaign. We are grateful for the support we have received for these projects.”

“There are so many wonderful things taking place on our campus,” said Brister. “We are solid financially. OBU endowment continues to grow. It was over $50 million when I came to OBU nine years ago. It has grown to over $90 million today.”

The board approved new contracts for six new faculty, including Dr. Andrew Armond, assistant professor of English; Timothy McCollum, assistant professor of anthropology; Canaan Crane, assistant professor of psychology; Timothy Miller, assistant professor of philosophy; Ronald Lana, associate professor of art; and Steven Phillips, assistant professor of accounting.

Board members also crafted and passed a resolution commending OBU track and field coach Ford Mastin. The resolution, which passed unanimously, states “Whereas Ford Mastin has distinguished himself and brought honor to Oklahoma Baptist University by leading OBU’s women’s indoor track and field team and men’s outdoor track and field team to NAIA national championships in 2007, the OBU Board of Trustees hereby recognizes Mr. Mastin for his exceptional leadership and service on behalf of the university.”

Brister recognized board members who will complete their terms of service before the next scheduled board meeting in December. Those include Missy Mitchell, Tulsa; Mike Ross, Oklahoma City; Dr. Tim Russell, Oklahoma City; Robert Shelton, Owasso; and Mike Sperry; Shawnee. Board members who will complete their terms on the board who were not present included Larry Payton, Tulsa; Dr. Mark Walters, Midwest City; and Dr. Charles Wibben, Hugo.

The board also elected officers for 2007-08. Dr. Alton Fannin, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ardmore, will serve as chair. Richard Streeter, a Claremore businessman, will serve as vice chairman. Griff Henderson, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Newalla, will continue serving as board secretary.

Board chairman James Howell, a Midwest City attorney, presided over the meeting.