Oklahoma Baptist University students will participate in four days of events on the Shawnee campus from March 24-27 celebrating and surrounding the inauguration of Dr. Heath A. Thomas as the University’s 16th president.
The festivities start with a special inauguration week chapel Wednesday, March 24, at 10 a.m. in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. Thomas will bring the chapel address and music will be provided by Jamie Smith-King and the Charlie Hall Band. Students will receive double chapel credit (two credits) for in-person attendance, as it is a previously scheduled day off from classes.
Students will have another opportunity to earn chapel credit Thursday, March 25, by attending the inauguration prayer service at 5:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. This will be a time to pray for Dr. Thomas, the OBU campus and churches across the state. It will also include an incredible worship experience led by the worship team from Keystone Church in Keller, Texas.
The inauguration ceremony will take place Friday, March 26, at 2 p.m. on the south lawn of Raley Chapel. The inaugural address will be delivered by Dr. David S. Dockery, founding president of the International Alliance for Christian Education and renowned Christian higher education leader. A reception will immediately follow the inauguration ceremony in the Inauguration Festivities Tent west of Sarkeys Telecommunication Center. Refreshments will be served and music will be provided by the OBU jazz ensemble.
Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. students can enjoy a Bison football scrimmage. The annual Harvest Court, recognizing outstanding seniors in various categories as voted on by the student body, will be announced during halftime of the game, immediately followed by a halftime fireworks display. Admission to the game is free.
Saturday, March 27, marks the final day of events. Prospective students will be on campus starting that morning for a Preview Day event. Current students can participate in a sweet 16 sand volleyball tournament from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., including three different divisions for 4x4 Men, 4x4 Women and 4x4 co-rec. Free smoothies will be provided by the Surf Bar.
After the volleyball tournament, students can enjoy the “Back to the Future Parade.” The parade will begin at 5 p.m. beginning at the YMCA on Saratoga and winding down Airport Dr. before turning onto University street and traveling east on University through campus, concluding near the Oval.
Food trucks and games will be available at the Noble Complex Parking and Raley Lawn starting at 5 p.m. before the Bison Concert Festival hosted by the University Concert Series. Cavern Company will take the stage at 7 p.m. and Colony House will headline at 8:15 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket.
Those attending all events will be asked to maintain physical distancing and wear face coverings per COVID-19 protocols on campus.
View the full list of inaugural events.