Oklahoma Baptist University and the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts hosted a grand opening and dedication for the newly renovated Ford Hall Friday, April 20, at 1 p.m. Attendees gathered at the corner of Kickapoo Street and University Street to witness the ribbon cutting for the fine arts building.
As part of the ceremony, the Bison Glee Club performed a rendition of “Ode to Friendship” and OBU’s “Hymn to the Alma Mater.” Dr. Will Smallwood, senior vice president for advancement and university relations, presented the welcome and Dr. Chris Mathews, dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, and OBU President Dr. David Whitlock presented remarks on behalf of the University. Corey Fuller, associate professor of graphic design, prayed over the ceremony.
Ford Hall, previously Ford Music Hall, is the primary practice facility for OBU’s Division of Music and has provided a space for generations of students to hone their musical talents. The building was constructed in 1951 after a generous donation from the Ford family. With the building in need of update and repair, a new vision emerged for the future of this iconic OBU landmark.
The renovations, performed by Lingo Construction, served to transform Ford Hall into a state-of-the-art location for present and future generations to hone their skills as musicians, artists, debaters, actors and creative thinkers.
Mathews looks forward to seeing the friendships and creative works developed within Ford Hall.
“For at least three generations these practice rooms, offices and rehearsal spaces have faithfully fostered the transformation of lives both within and without,” he said. “With our dedication today, we celebrate not only the restoration of this historic facility but also the commitment to see all who work within it hone their skills, find their place in a thriving community of artists and share their stories.”