During their spring meeting on the Shawnee campus May 19, the Oklahoma Baptist University Board of Trustees attended a “first nail” ceremony for the new Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic, approved faculty promotions and new faculty contracts, and authorized replacement of heating and cooling systems at Ford Hall.
Trustees, community members, OBU employees and students attended a “first nail” ceremony to begin the day, celebrating a remodeling project that will create a new counseling clinic for the OBU community and Shawnee area residents. The project was made possible by a $200,000 grant from the Avedis Foundation.
In his report to the board, Dr. David Whitlock, OBU president, told trustees that 330 students would graduate during the commencement ceremony taking place on campus at 3 p.m. Friday.
“I have a strong sense of gratitude when I see our graduates walk across the stage, knowing we have completed our mission to transform lives and that through these graduates this mission will be multiplied many times over throughout the nation and the world,” he said.
Trustees authorized construction contracts for renovations on Ford Hall to progress as funds are raised for the project. Installation of a new air conditioning system and improvements to the heating system will begin this summer with further improvements made as resources become available. A little more than $1.1 million has been gifted and pledged to meet the $1.4 million goal.
The board approved the rank of Professor Emeriti for Dr. Carolyn Cole, retired Crouch-Mathis professor of literature, and Dr. William Hagen, retired professor of English.
Also approved were faculty promotions including Dr. Matthew Emerson, assistant professor to associate professor of religion; Dr. Karen Longest, associate professor to professor of psychology; Dr. Sarah Marsh, assistant professor to associate professor of mathematics; and Dr. Renita Murimi, assistant professor to associate professor of computer information science.
Board members also approved new faculty contracts for Jacqueline Corley, assistant professor of computer science; Dr. Teresa Purcell, assistant professor of instrumental music, director of bands; Dr. Brian Horn, associate professor of education; Dr. Julie Parrick, assistant professor of anthropology; Jessica Rohr, assistant professor of English, TESOL; Dr. Daniel Spillman, associate professor of history; and Laura Gramling, assistant professor of nursing.
Trustees also attended OBU’s Spring Commencement ceremony where 330 graduates received their diplomas. John Raley, nationally renowned Texas attorney and grandson of former OBU President and Chancellor Dr. John Wesley Raley, delivered the commencement address to an overflow crowd in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.
Stephen Allen, chair of OBU’s 31-member board of trustees, moderated the board’s plenary session. Allen is vice president and associate general counsel at ONEOK.