Seven retiring faculty and staff members, with a combined total of 170 years of service, were recognized during the OBU Awards Convocation May 4. The event was held in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.
Dr. Debbie Bosch, dean of the James E. Hurley College of Science and Mathematics, is retiring after 36 years of service. She joined the OBU faculty in 1980 as professor of mathematics, and she became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University's largest academic division, in 1996. She was named OBU's chief academic officer in 2006 and now serves as dean of the Hurley College. She earned a Bachelor of Science at OBU in 1972 and completed a Master of Science in mathematics from the University of Tulsa in 1975. She earned a Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University in 1991.
Dr. John Farris, associate professor of education, is retiring after 12 years of service. He joined the OBU faculty for the 2004-2005 school year. Before coming to OBU, he worked as a director of teacher education and the graduate program for a Kentucky college. He has been in the public school arena as a middle school and high school teacher, middle school learning director, middle school assistant principal, high school principal and Christian school superintendent. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Fresno State College, a Master of Arts from California State University and a Doctor of Education from University of the Pacific.
Dr. Carolyn Gregory, assistant professor of education, is retiring after eight years of service. She joined OBU in 2008 after 36 years of teaching primary grades for the Harrah School District. One of her passions included teaching young children to read. She was recognized as Teacher of the Year for her school in 1987, and again in 2000, when she was also recognized as District Teacher of the Year. She earned a Bachelor of Science from East Central University and a Master of Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. She then earned a Doctor of Education from Oklahoma State University.
Conchita Hansford, director of the music preparatory department and assistant professor of music, is retiring after 26 years of service. She will continue in her role as director of the Shawnee Honor Choir. Active as a guest conductor and workshop leader for children’s choir festivals, she has presented numerous workshops in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, including the Texas Baptist Church Music Conference at Baylor University on three occasions. Recently, she conducted the 1,100-voice children’s choir for the Capital Association in Oklahoma City, which culminated with a performance in The Myriad Convention Center. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Mississippi University for Women and a Master of Education from Wayland Baptist University.
Steve Hicks, professor of art and the chair of the Division of Art and Design, is retiring after 36 years of service at OBU. His artwork has been displayed at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfork, Virginia; the Eberhand-Faber Company in Crestwood, Pennsylvania; the Louisiana State Collection in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; The Beaumont Art League Collection in Beaumont, Texas; and the First National Bank of Little Rock Collection in Little Rock, Arkansas, among others. In fall 2015, the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee housed an exhibit of his work titled, "Looking Back, Looking Forward," featuring his works produced over the years, including recent works. He has been listed in the 2000 edition of Outstanding Artists and Designers along with “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in the South and Southwest,” and “Who’s Who in America’s Teachers.” He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Arts from Murray State University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arkansas.
Dr. Tony Litherland, professor of political science, is retiring after 26 years of service at OBU. He was selected as a Carl Albert Congressional Fellow in 1984. He is a life member of both the Oklahoma Political Science Association (OPSA) and the Midwest Association of Latin American Scholars (MALAS). He received the OPSA Teacher of the Year Award in 2003. He has participated in more numerous mission projects within the community of Shawnee, across the U.S. and overseas, and has traveled to more than 34 countries. He earned an associate degree from Olney Central College, a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Illinois University, and both a Master of Public Administration as well as a doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.
Bill Pope, OBU’s staff photographer, is retiring after 26 years of service at OBU. A native of Georgia, Pope made the move to Oklahoma and to OBU in 1990. He has since captured more than a quarter of a century of iconic moments on Bison Hill, from commencement ceremonies to presidential inaugurations; from theatre performances to CAB shows; from “The Walk” during Welcome Week to quiet moments during worship in Raley Chapel. His lens has captured it all. Outside of his work on campus, he is a renowned cattle photographer, having published hundreds of photos, including more than 90 on the cover of “Cattle Today” magazine. In 2012, he published the book, “The Voice in the Wilderness.” He earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from the University of Georgia and a Master of Arts in communication from Regent University.