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OBU Celebrates Dedication and Ribbon Cutting of McCabe Family School of Education Oct. 23

October 29, 2021

OBU held a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony Oct. 23 for the Henry F. McCabe Family School of Education. The event took place in Shawnee Hall’s Craig-Dorland Theatre during The Weekend, OBU’s homecoming celebration.

Tim Rasnic, vice president for advancement, opened the ceremony and welcomed guests.

“Today is a celebration of our university and our students, and of the promise they hold for the future,” Rasnic said. “We also celebrate and recognize the wonderful generosity of this special family with deep ties to our beloved university. What an honor and privilege it is for our team to work with special donors such as Henry McCabe, who gave so thoughtfully and generously of his financial resources to impact our students and in turn impact our nation and our world.”

Dr. Susan DeWoody, provost, spoke briefly about the importance of educating future teachers and expressed her gratitude to Henry McCabe and the McCabe family for the transformational gift to the School of Education. She then briefly discussed the ways in which this gift will benefit current and future teacher education students on Bison Hill, ranging from updates and advances in the space utilized by the Henry F. McCabe Family School of Education, increased training and growth opportunities for students and faculty within the School, and more.

Dr. Elizabeth Justice, chair of the School of Education and assistant professor of special education, then spoke on behalf of the McCabe Family School of Education. Justice is also the granddaughter of Henry F. McCabe.

“As the McCabe Family School of Education moves forward,” she said, “we will be visionary as we prepare teacher candidates to create classrooms for children that are safe, nurturing, developmentally appropriate places to socialize and grow in dynamic, customized, technology-filled learning environments. We also commit to be visionary as we look to the future of public education focusing on contemporary, innovative teaching methods that enable children to fulfill their full potential as empowered individuals, constructive members of their communities, productive participants in the economy and engaged citizens of the United States and the world.”

Justice discussed her grandfather’s deep and steadfast commitment to education and his belief in its transformational power.

“Henry McCabe knew that a strong foundation in education impacts one’s future,” she said. “He invested in countless individuals’ education, in addition to his generous donation to our program. Globally, education has been and continues to be a solid pathway to success. Through education, children are empowered and equipped with knowledge and essential problem-solving skills which lead to infinite opportunities.”

She also discussed her grandfather’s faith and how the McCabe Family School of Education will likewise carry on that legacy.

“For Henry McCabe, everything he was and all that he did was for Jesus. His faith was integral and radiated from his very being. Our nation and our educational system has been deeply shaped by Christian moral truths. OBU has historically been and continues to be unapologetically Christian, grounded in the truths of the Bible. Therefore, as we look to the future, the McCabe Family School of Education will continue to pursue Christ in all that we do. As we use this transformational gift, we pray that our every action is a picture of Colossians 1:10, that we may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. In the words of our president Dr. Thomas, we commit to living ‘all of life, all for Jesus.’”

OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas then offered remarks reflecting upon Henry McCabe’s life and the impact both he and his family have made on OBU.

“Today marks a milestone, and it’s a milestone not only in the McCabe family. This is also an extraordinary milestone and in the School of Education at Oklahoma Baptist University, because both the family and the school celebrate the life and legacy of Henry McCabe.”

“Scripture reminds us to remember moments and people, as these become encouragements in the life of faith and these also spur us to go into our world and venture great things for God. Today we remember. We remember the legacy of Henry McCabe. We remember the legacy of his family. We celebrate their investment in the lives of future educators, coming from Oklahoma and beyond, equipped here to go out into Oklahoma and beyond. Today we celebrate together, as we remember, the launch of the Henry F. McCabe Family School of Education.”

Thomas highlighted key events and aspects of McCabe’s life, detailing several valuable lessons we can all take from McCabe and from the manner in which he lived his life.

“So my friends, do you see this legacy? We can remember a life well lived. We can be inspired and we can allow God to do great things in and through us as we look to those who have been faithful before us. We can be courageous to do new and hard things. We can love Christ and His Church. We can love one another. And we can work hard. My friends, these are lessons for all of us as we launch this very distinguished school. As we remember the past, let us anticipate what God will do in our present and future through the Henry F. McCabe Family School of Education.”

Thomas likewise expressed deep gratitude from the university for the investment into the education of future teachers on Bison Hill.

“McCabe Family, friends, we are deeply honored to carry this distinguished name. We are honored to hold this investment in the future of OBU. We pray that our stewardship of the values and the legacy of the McCabe family will lead us forward to new heights in teacher education. We are profoundly grateful.”

Thomas was followed by Verne McCabe, 1971 OBU alumnus and son of Henry F. McCabe. Josh Trimble, former director of development, joined McCabe on the stage and shared about the process by which Henry decided to provide this gift to the University. Verne McCabe then shared some anecdotes about his father and his own time at OBU, then concluded with a reflection upon his father’s impact.

“Words cannot express what a great influence he had on my life and countless others. Truly a man of integrity who showed love, compassion and generosity to everyone who crossed his path. I will miss his extraordinary mind, which was full of vision and drive and an insatiable curiosity and entrepreneurship in his life. He was never satisfied with the status quo, always looking for new and better ways to do everything. Never deterred by setbacks, delays or defeats, but he was always positive with any goal ahead of him, or those around him, that those goals could be accomplished as long as you keep moving forward. I had the great honor to work with him in our business for over 44 years and I pray that I can follow in his footsteps because he left a well-beaten path of service to his Lord.”

Members of the family, including Verne McCabe, Cathy McCabe McPherson (Henry’s daughter) and Dr. Elizabeth Justice then gathered on the stage for the ribbon cutting. They were joined by OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas, OBU Provost Dr. Susan DeWoody, and OBU Vice President for Advancement Tim Rasnic.

Dr. Larinee Dennis, dean of business, health science and education, closed the ceremony in prayer.

Henry Frank McCabe was born in Cleveland, Oklahoma, Sept. 3, 1922. He attended Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State University, prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force in October 1942. After an honorable discharge in January 1946, Henry worked in the management and sales of oil well production equipment for more than 13 years.

In 1959, Henry made a career change and became vice president and general manager of Texas Mining Corporation in Dallas. The company operated an oil well frac sand plant and silica flour plant in Brady, Texas. Henry also served as vice president and general manager of Pulverized Sand Company in Riverside, California, an affiliate of Texas Mining. In 1967, he became president and general manager of Delta Mining Corporation in Mill Creek, Oklahoma, a producer of chemical grade limestone.

Beginning in 1976, Henry served as president of McCabe-Woody and Company. In 1995, following restructuring of the corporation, he assumed the role of chairman and CEO of McCabe Industrial Minerals Inc. and continued to focus his energies on corporate development until his death Aug. 15, 2021.

Henry and several generations of his family have supported OBU for many years. With four generations of OBU graduates, more than 20 alumni family members, a current faculty member and two currently enrolled students, the McCabe family legacy continues to grow on Bison Hill.

The McCabe family was recognized on the field before the homecoming football game later that evening, with an announcement regarding the establishment of the Henry F. McCabe Family School of Education. Verne McCabe then performed the coin toss for the football game.

Learn more about the Henry F. McCabe Family School of Education.