Oklahoma Baptists officially thanked John W. Parrish for his effective leadership as interim president of Oklahoma Baptist University through a resolution presented at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Nov. 10-11. Parrish led the university from Nov. 11, 2007-Oct. 31, 2008.
The resolution read: "We, the messengers to the 2008 Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, meeting at The Church at BattleCreek of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, November 10-11, 2008, express our genuine appreciation to John Parrish for his dedicated service and extraordinary leadership as Interim President of Oklahoma Baptist University over the past year."
"In an academic year marked by transition, OBU experienced a number of milestone achievements" under the leadership of Parrish, said Marty O'Gwynn, OBU associate vice president for university communications. "The tenure of John W. Parrish as interim president demonstrated that 'interim' is not a synonym for 'waiting.' Parrish delivered on his promise that the year would be a busy time in the life of the University."
Accomplishments during Parrish's tenure as interim president included:
* OBU opened the doors to the massive Recreation and Wellness Center in November 2007.
* OBU personnel worked to complete a self-study report for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools as the University sought continuing accreditation, which it received in August 2008.
* OBU added its 17th varsity sports team, re-launching the women's volleyball program. The team completed its first season Nov. 13, 2008, with a winning record of 24-16.
* OBU launched a master of science degree in nursing. The graduate program, designed to equip nursing educators, is based out of OBU's International Graduate School in downtown Oklahoma City. OBU's Graduate School also offers a master of business administration degree.
* Friends and alumni helped OBU set a new record for gifts received during an academic year. A total of $9,246,414 was received during the 2007-08 school year.
* The University's athletic facilities were enhanced with new locker rooms for varsity basketball, a new outdoor track, and lights added to the new baseball park.
Parrish has been affiliated with OBU as a faculty member, administrator, or broadcaster for the past 44 years. He retired as OBU's executive vice president in 2002. Shortly thereafter, he was named executive vice president emeritus by the OBU board of trustees. His retirement has been an active time for the Oklahoma native who served in many dual roles as a full-time OBU employee. In addition to serving as president of the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society, Parrish is chairman of OBU's Centennial Committee, and continues to be the voice of the OBU Bison, serving as play-by-play announcer for Bison basketball. He has written two books since retiring.