Taylor to Bring Founders' Day Address

February 2, 2014

Taylor served as OBU's chief academic officer from 1986 to 1996. As senior vice president and provost, Taylor was responsible for OBU's five colleges and schools as well as student development, admissions, religious life, library services and athletics.

He was selected as the 24th president of SBU in 1996 and since that time, he has been instrumental in the success of the Partners in Excellence campaign and the addition of two master's degree programs and two doctoral programs.

Prior to his time at OBU, Taylor served as associate vice president for academic affairs at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., from 1979-86. From 1975-79, he was an assistant professor of education at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

A native of Salem, Ky., Taylor received his doctor of education degree with emphasis in history and philosophy of education from Memphis State University. He received a master's degree in history from Western Kentucky University and a bachelor's degree in history and secondary education from the University of Tennessee-Martin.

OBU will confer honorary doctorate degrees upon three individuals during the Founders' Day celebration. Honorees include Willa Ruth Garlow, with the Doctor of Religious Education degree; Dr. Emerson Falls, with the Doctor of Divinity degree; and Linda Capps, with the Doctor of Humanities degree.

Willa Ruth Garlow Dr. Emerson Falls Linda Capps

Garlow is a motivational speaker, childhood specialist and writer. Her latest book is "Sharing God's Love and Joy," devotionals for senior adults. She has written curriculum materials and articles for LifeWay publications and various other magazines and periodicals. She currently is writing curriculum for the Southern Baptist Stewardship Association and devotional materials for Oklahoma Baptist Village Communities. Garlow has spoken in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and 34 states in the United States.

A 1950 OBU graduate, Garlow also attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1980, she was presented OBU's Alumni Achievement Award. In 2003, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the faculty of the School of Educational Ministries at Southwestern Seminary. In 2012, she presented the OBU Winter Commencement Address.

Falls is a Native American of Sac & Fox and Choctaw descent. Born and raised in Oklahoma, he left to attend Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California where he earned the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees. For many years he has pastored churches in California and Arizona, and most recently, Glorieta Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.

In 1989, Dr. Falls founded and was Director of the Rocky Mountain Campus of Golden Gate Seminary, located in Denver, Colorado. He has served as President of Cook College and Theological School. Dr. Falls also became the first elected Native American to serve as President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. He currently serves as the Native American Specialist for the BGCO.

Capps is the Vice Chairman of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, holding the second top-elected position for approximately 31,000 tribal members since 1990. She worked in the education field for nearly 25 years as a high school business teacher, adult education instructor, and as a government-contracting specialist with the Oklahoma Bid Assistance Program. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) in 1975 and completed a Master of Science degree in education from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1986.

She presently serves on the Board of Directors of First National Bank & Trust of Shawnee; the Gordon Cooper Technology Center Foundation; and the Oklahoma City Branch Bank of the Tenth District Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. She also serves as the Chairman of two Legislative Committees for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation; Health & Human Services and Natural Resources.