Two former Oklahoma Baptist University faculty members were inducted into the University’s Faculty Hall of Fame Friday, Oct. 20. The ceremony was held at the Cargill Advancement and Alumni Center as part of The Weekend celebration and events.
Oklahoma Baptist University proudly inducted Dr. Juanita Franklin Johnson and Dr. Joe Hall into the OBU Faculty Hall of Fame. The Faculty Hall of Fame recognizes former OBU faculty members who demonstrated a significant impact on students throughout their teaching careers.
Dr. Juanita Franklin Johnson
Dr. Johnson, a distinguished OBU alumna and the first Black inductee, dedicated her life to nursing, education, and community service. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from OBU in 1967 and became a registered nurse in 1967. She obtained a Master of Science in Nursing in 1975 from OU Health Sciences Center. She earned a Ph.D in higher education administration in 1998 from OU.
Her OBU journey included serving as an associate professor of nursing until her retirement in 2003, earning the title of professor emeritus. Even in retirement, she tutored students in various subjects and co-authored a pharmacology textbook, teaching it for 17 years. Johnson also played a vital role in enhancing OBU's student handbook and catalog, focusing on plagiarism prevention and sexual assault reporting.
Beyond academics, she offered tutoring, warm meals, and a sense of belonging to students. Her contributions earned national recognition from the American Bar Association and international acclaim through the Diana Award for her social action and humanitarian work. Dr. Johnson's commitment to excellence and advocacy left a lasting impact on education and the community.
In the Hall of Fame nomination process, John W. Parrish, executive vice president emeritus and former interim president, remarked on Johnson's role as a mentor and trailblazer at OBU. Dr. Robbie Henson, former dean of nursing, praised Dr. Johnson's wisdom and innovative ideas. Dawn Westbrook, assistant professor of nursing, shared how Dr. Johnson's encouragement shaped her nursing career. LaShane Hill, LMFT, director of Kemp MFT Clinic, highlighted Dr. Johnson's impact as a role model for the community. Dr. Kenneth Chapman Jr., executive pastor, and former assistant dean of students at OBU, expressed his gratitude for Dr. Johnson's guidance and mentorship.
Beverly (B.J.) Glover, vice president of university culture at OBU, said, "What an honor it was for me to learn of Dr. Juanita Johnson and the tremendous impact she has had on the lives of so many people at this university. The phenomenal thing is that some of them are still here thriving at OBU while others are doing so elsewhere and it's because Dr. Johnson encouraged and empowered them years ago. That's a powerful testimony!"
Dr. Joe Hall
Dr. Hall was a scholar and educator known for his commitment to intellectual exploration and faith integration. He earned his B.A. at Oklahoma City University in 1959. Later, he pursued a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree at Garrett Theological Seminary in 1962, followed by an M.A. from North Texas State University in 1970, with a focus on theology and literature. His academic journey culminated in a Ph.D. from North Texas State University in 1974, where he specialized in American literature.
His career included roles as a Campus Minister at Texas universities and joining the faculty of Oklahoma Baptist University in 1974, where he became a professor and received the Distinguished Teacher Award in 1988. He made significant contributions to scholarly journals, particularly in American literature, focusing on authors like Thomas Pynchon, Saul Bellow and Wright Morris.
Dr. Carolyn Cole taught at OBU for 25 years. Cole said, “From my earliest days as an English department colleague, and in our continuing friendship, Joe inspires me with his unending search for truth, commitment to justice for all people and care of the Earth and his community. His deeds speak as clearly as his words.”
Beyond teaching, Hall mentored students on honors projects covering diverse topics, reflecting his commitment to guiding student growth. His legacy at Oklahoma Baptist University continues to inspire generations, embodying a harmonious blend of academic rigor, spiritual insight, and dedication to nurturing personal and intellectual development.
His beloved and late wife Dr. Ronda Hall was inducted into the OBU Faculty Hall of Fame in 2015.
The OBU Faculty Hall of Fame named its first inductees in 2010. The award continues to recognize those individuals who have exemplified high standards of teaching and upheld OBU’s ideals and mission through noteworthy service to students and the betterment of the university.