United States Senator James Lankford will speak during OBU's chapel service Wednesday, April 8, at 10 a.m. The service takes place in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium. Lankford will speak during the annual Hyde Park Chapel, when student candidates for 2015-16 student-elected school and class officer positions are introduced prior to elections.
Hyde Park Day was instituted at the university in 1958 after Dr. John W. Raley, then OBU president, visited Hyde Park in London, England. At "Speakers' Corner" in Hyde Park, anyone may set up a soap box and lecture on any topic. Spectators then are allowed to question the speaker. When the event started at OBU, based on the idea of free oratory, SGA candidates would gather in the Quadrangle on campus, set up "political booths" and vie for students' votes.
Prior to his time in Congress, Lankford served as director of the Falls Creek Youth Camp and director of student ministry at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma from 1995 to 2009. Falls Creek is the largest youth camp in the United States, with more than 51,000 students and adults attending each summer. He left that position upon being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
After serving four years in the house, he was elected to the U.S. Senate Nov. 4, 2014, to finish the remaining two years of retiring Senator Tom Coburn's term. Lankford serves on the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Indian Affairs Committee. Within the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, he is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management. Additionally, he serves on the Senate Republican Whip team for the 114th Congress.
Lankford lives in Edmond with his wife Cindy. They have been married for more than 20 years and have two daughters, Hannah and Jordan. He enjoys spending time with his family, sport shooting and reading.