OBU recognized its outstanding students during the annual Awards Convocation Wednesday, May 7, in Raley Chapel, with seniors Nicole Lankford and Aaron Fullbright receiving the highest awards given to students by OBU.
Fullbright, a Christian ministry: youth minister major from Sallisaw, Oklahoma, was the fourth recipient of the university's highest award given to a male student, the W.P. Blake Award. Fullbright will graduate with the scholastic predicate magna cum laude. The award was presented by OBU President David W. Whitlock.
The W.P. Blake Award is named for the chairman of OBU's first board of trustees. Blake was an Oklahoma Baptist pioneer from Okmulgee. The award was established in 2011 to recognize an outstanding man in the graduating class who embodies Blake's written desire that OBU "perpetuate the heritage of Christian citizenship." The selection is made by a committee named by the university president. It recognizes the man of the graduating class who most nearly exemplifies the qualities which characterize the ideal OBU man, including personal character, scholarship, leadership, concern for others and Christian commitment.
Lankford, an elementary education major from Middleton, Idaho, received the university's highest award given to a female student, the Rosalee Mills Appleby Award. Lankford will graduate May 16 with the scholastic predicate magna cum laude. The award was presented by Whitlock.
The Rosalee Mills Appleby Award is named for the donor, a member of the class of 1929 who served as a missionary, writer and teacher in Brazil for many years. The award was established in 1936 as OBU's first award and has been given annually since that time. The selection is made by a committee named by the university president. It recognizes 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.
Anthony Lawson, a senior Christian ministry: pastoral ministry major from Wynnewood, Oklahoma, received the Gaskin Baptist History Award, given annually to encourage research in the history of Baptist life and thought. The award is made possible through a fund established by Dr. J.M. Gaskin, pastor, educator, historian and friend of the university. The winning research papers submitted for the award are included in the Baptist Historical Collection housed at OBU.
Chelsea Abinah, a junior from Edmond, Oklahoma, received the Evans T. Moseley Leadership Award. The award was established by the senior class of OBU in 1966 to honor the man who served as interim president of the university during that year. It is given to a rising senior who demonstrates the greatest leadership potential.
Cody Moser, SGA president and junior from Noble, Oklahoma, received the John Wesley Raley Scholarship. The John Wesley Raley Scholar receives a scholarship from funds provided by the Fay Taylor Pierson Trust, part of which was designated to establish a memorial to Dr. John Wesley Raley, who served as university president from 1934 to 1961 and as university chancellor from 1961 to 1965. The Scholarship is awarded annually to a rising senior with a grade-point average of at least 3.00 who plans to continue at OBU. Additional criteria which guide the selection committee's nomination to the university president include leadership, moral courage, self-determination and communicative skills.
The university also recognized outstanding seniors in each of its five colleges, as well as outstanding senior athletes.
The seniors will participate in Spring Commencement Friday, May 16, in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium. Students graduate with the scholastic predicate summa cum laude for maintaining at least a 3.95 grade-point average. Students who maintained at least at 3.70 GPA are designated magna cum laude. Students who maintained at least a 3.40 GPA are designated cum laude.