Dr. Ronald and Lou Kemp visited the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University Wednesday, May 16, to support the new Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic. Both OBU alumni, Ronald in 1958 and Lou in 1957, the couple have spent their lives dedicated to serving others, with the latter part of their careers working in the field of marriage and family therapy in their clinic in Missouri.
After OBU announced plans to open its new Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic facility, to serve not only the campus but also the community at large, the Kemps were moved to action. The couple generously provided a $250,000 gift to establish an endowment to help fund the operation of the new clinic.
The Ronald N. and Lou T. Kemp Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic is located on Kickapoo, just south of the art building and art annex. It provides a welcoming space for MFT faculty and students to provide services to both the OBU and Shawnee communities.
With the clinic having recently opened to use for the OBU campus community, the Kemps came for a visit to see the clinic firsthand. They spent part of the day touring the new facility, meeting and visiting with students, speaking with MFT faculty about OBU’s MFT program, and reflecting on their hope that this gift will impact the training and education of future generations of marriage and family therapists for decades to come.
Dr. Ronald Kemp first entered the world of therapy through pastoral care, specifically through his ministry work with prisoners.
“Chaplain Johnson was providing clinical training for us, and he wanted us to be able to do the kind of counseling with prisoners that you would expect of a professional,” Kemp said.
His wife, Lou Kemp, began her career as a kindergarten teacher, but soon found herself counseling the parents of her students. As a result, she began to pursue her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy with an emphasis in play therapy.
Their investment was a very personal way for the couple to support future generations of therapists.
“I found a real love for families and a belief that MFT was the way to go in terms of therapy,” Kemp said. “It became a legacy for us, especially after Lou became a marriage and family therapist. It was a way to give back to the therapy community.”
Dr. David W. Whitlock, OBU president, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the entire OBU community.
“You leave a legacy written on the hearts of thousands of students,” he said, “but it will be a legacy to impact tens of thousands of students in the future, and we are so appreciative.”