Chapel to Celebrate 100 Years

Under the banner, "Proudly Stand on Bison Hill: The First 100 Years," Oklahoma Baptist University's Founders' Day chapel will celebrate the history of the organization incorporated on Feb. 9, 1910. The special chapel service will be Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 10 a.m. in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium.

Highlights of the event include a message presented by Dr. Paul R. Corts, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; the presentation of honorary doctorates to Dr. Bob R. Agee and John W. Parrish; and the premiere of the Centennial Anthem, "Grow in Grace." The service also will include the re-enactment of the historic prayers offered for the foundation of OBU by W.P. Blake and G. Lee Phelps.

Dr. Bob R. Agee

John W. Parrish

The program will feature special guests including Dr. E. Eugene Hall, OBU's 12th president; Dr. Mark Brister, OBU's 14th president; and Dr. John Wesley Raley Jr., a 1954 OBU graduate and son of OBU's eighth president.

Corts is the fifth president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. He previously served as assistant attorney general for administration for the U.S. Justice Department and president of Palm Beach Atlantic University and Wingate University. He served as executive vice president of OBU from 1978-83.

The university faculty and the board of trustees voted to award honorary doctor of humanities degrees to Agee and Parrish, two former OBU administrators. Agee served as OBU's 13th president from 1982-98, achieving the second-longest tenure of the school's chief executive officers. He led the university to records in student enrollment and achieved significant success in fundraising with three major capital campaigns during his tenure, resulting in new construction, renovation of existing facilities and growth in endowment for scholarships and academic positions. During his administration, OBU began achieving national recognition from U.S. News & World Report. Under his leadership, OBU initiated international programs in China, Russia and Brazil and expanded missions opportunities for students throughout the world. Agee and his wife, Nelle, a retired OBU faculty member, live in Jackson, Tenn.

Parrish, OBU executive vice president emeritus, served as OBU's interim president from November 2007 through October 2008. He came to OBU in 1964 as director of publications and publicity. He also served as an instructor in journalism and student publications advisor. Through the years, he served as public relations director, alumni director, assistant vice president for development, vice president for institutional advancement, senior vice president for business and external affairs, and executive vice president and chief financial officer. He has received OBU's Distinguished Service Award and Meritorious Service Award and is a member of the OBU Athletic Hall of Fame. He was named an honorary OBU alumnus in 1989. He has served as chair of OBU's Centennial Committee since 2005, and he is in his third tour of duty as the broadcast voice of the Bison basketball team. Parrish and his wife, Mary Kay, professor emerita of music, live in Shawnee.

The Centennial Anthem, "Grow in Grace," is based on a prayer offered by W.P. Blake, a founder of OBU. Music for the anthem was composed by OBU alumna Donna Butler Douglas, who graduated in 1982. Orchestration was provided by Dr. C.L. Bass, a 1957 OBU graduate who also served as an OBU faculty member for 12 years.