Fall 2018 Features

A Decade of University Achievements

Ten years ago, OBU welcomed its 15th president, Dr. David W. Whitlock. The following year, in 2009, “OBU 2020: Vision, Mission, Values” was implemented as an outline for future growth. Since that time, the University has made tremendous progress toward achieving that vision.

Take a look back over the past decade to read about some of the changes on Bison Hill. In the past 10 years, OBU has experienced a 20% growth in enrollment, constructed new buildings, renovated multiple current buildings, added undergraduate and graduate programs, modified and expanded curriculum, enhanced community outreach, improved relations with churches and our denomination, improved faculty compensation and professional development, expanded student scholarships and advanced student services.

New Construction

  • Construction on the Village Apartments, designed to accommodate 230 students, began in May 2012. Two apartments were completed in August 2013 and the third was completed in August 2014.
  • The Lodge was opened in August 2015 and provides housing for 160 students in suite style accommodations.
  • The 32,000-square-foot home for the College of Nursing was completed in Janary 2016 and dedicated as Jane E. and Nick K. Stavros Hall.
  • The Mathena Center for Sports Medicine was added in fall 2014 thanks to a gift from the Mathena family.

“The Board of Trustees acknowledges the many significant accomplishments achieved under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Whitlock … and expresses its sincere appreciation for his untiring service and dedication to the University and, more importantly, to growing the Kingdom of God through the mission and ministry of OBU.” – Steve Allen, Chairman of the Board

The OBU Board of Trustees dedicated a statue of Dr. David W. Whitlock in honor of his 10 years of service to OBU. The head bobs a bit and it’s only 8 inches tall, but guests to the event thought the likeness was stunning. Dr. Will Smallwood presented the “statue” during the Board of Trustees meeting in October.


  • Completely repurposed and remodeled, Ford Hall opened in Spring 2018 with new furnishings, modernized practice rooms, a recording studio, an art and animation lab and Steinway-designed Boston pianos among other features.
  • Shawnee Hall underwent extensive cleaning and renovation of the exterior during the summer of 2015 for its centennial celebration. Two main classrooms also were remodeled and updated with state-of-the-art technology.
  • Montgomery Hall’s second floor was remodeled to house the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry faculty and was dedicated in May 2012.
  • A gift from Sara Lou and Bob Cargill provided the funding to renovate the president’s house into offices, meeting rooms and gathering spaces for alumni and friends. The offices of alumni and advancement moved to the Cargill Advancement and Alumni Center in May 2014.
  • Agee Residence Center was renovated in phases during 2012, 2015 and 2018.
  • A former restaurant located close to campus was purchased and remodeled into the Kemp Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic thanks to a grant from the Avedis Foundation and a major endowment from alumni Ron and Lou Kemp.
  • Through a new partnership with food service vendor, Chartwells, the first floor of the Geiger Center was renovated and a new grill, Chick-fil-a and coffee shop were added. On the second floor, the entire cafeteria and kitchen area were expanded and remodeled.
  • The first floor of the Geiger Center was renovated in the summer of 2018 to house a new combined area for Student Life and Spiritual Life. The family of Dick and Sue Rader provided the lead gift for this renovation and the Women of Vision provided a donation for the Women of Vision Spiritual Life Center.
  • A building close to campus was acquired and remodeled in 2013 to use as the Science Annex for the Wood Science Building.

Campus Beautification

  • Three life-sized Bison sculptures were placed on the northeast corner of campus at the intersection of Kickapoo and MacArthur. The work is named “Virtus,” meaning valor, excellence, character, courage and worth.
  • OBU has been awarded a level I accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens.

Academic Achievements

  • The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) reaffirmed OBU’s status as an accredited institution of higher learning until 2027.
  • Two new online Master of Arts degrees in Christian Studies and Intercultural Studies were launched.
  • The Master of Science in Nursing moved to a fully online program and an RN to MSN program was added.
  • The Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program began along with a certificate in Medical Family Therapy.
  • The Master of Business Administration became available fully online and a new on-campus program in Shawnee will begin fall 2019.

Vision for a New Century Capital Campaign

  • The Vision for a New Century Capital Campaign met and exceeded the goal of $42 million, raising $52.3 million.
  • Endowments for scholarship have increased by $20.8 million and University funded student scholarships increased from $8.3 million to $28.9 million.


Athletics successfully transitioned from NAIA to full membership in NCAA DII and the Great American Conference in 2017. Athletic accomplishments include:

28 National Championships
3 NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character awards
8 coaches named NAIA Coach of the Year
2 coaches named Coaches of Character, and
3 Learfield Sports Director’s Cups.