Mitchell Manlapig of Shawnee received OBU’s W.P. Blake Award, the highest award given for a senior man at the University. The presentation was made by OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas in a surprise visit to Manlapig’s home.
Awards to outstanding seniors in all Colleges and Divisions are typically presented in a special awards chapel, which was not held this year due to the University’s move to distance learning. Instead, these students received a personal touch in their individual presentations.
The W. P. Blake Award is named for the chairman of OBU’s first board of trustees, who was an Oklahoma Baptist pioneer from Okmulgee. The award was established in 2011 to recognize an outstanding man in the graduating class who embodies Blake’s written desire that OBU “perpetuate the heritage of Christian citizenship.” The selection is made by a committee named by the University president. In making the selection, the committee chooses the man of the graduating class who most nearly exemplifies the qualities which characterize the ideal OBU man, including personal character, scholarship, leadership, concern for others, and Christian commitment.
Manlapig was also recently recognized as the Outstanding Senior in the Division of Music. He is a double major in musical arts with an emphasis in piano and in psychology. He serves as the accompanist for the Bison Glee Club as well as the pianist for the OBU Symphonic Winds when needed. He has performed as a soloist in OBU’s annual Concerto-Aria concert and as the principal percussionist of the OBU/Shawnee Community Orchestra. He is also a member of OBU’s percussion ensemble and is an instructor in OBU’s Music Preparatory Department.
Dr. Chris Mathews, Dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, was proud of Manlapig’s many accomplishment and noted how deserving he truly is of the W.P. Blake Award.
“Mitchell Manlapig is academically determined and musically gifted. I have had few students who compare to his curiosity and drive to develop holistically as a musician. He is a fine pianist, having been invited to perform as a soloist for the Concerto‐Aria concert and serving as accompanist for the Bison Glee Club for three years. In addition, he has served throughout his academic career as timpanist for theOBU/Shawnee Community Orchestra and regularly performs with the Symphonic Winds. In recent years, he has dedicated himself to development as an orchestral conductor and was asked this year by faculty to conduct public performances of both the OBU/Shawnee Community Orchestra as well as Mozart's "Magic Flute," a full production of the opera.
“In my personal interactions with Mr. Manlapig, I have witnessed his gracious spirit, his thoughtful approach to ideas and people, and his genuine concern for Biblical faithfulness. I am proud to have had him as a student and believe him to be a worthy recipient of the W.P. Blake Award.”