Advancement Spring 2023

From the Desk of Tim Rasnic: Spring 2023

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to become familiar with a fundraising campaign that highlighted framed photographs of a university campus, followed by photographs of students, alumni and donors. Pictures are indeed worth a thousand words – or more.

Personally, I saw it as a distinctly visual presentation that created a beautiful, powerful story of the reasons behind a much-needed campaign for funds. Rather than just illustrating generic photographs that represented the campus, the framed subjects each had a specific story to tell. Those stories illustrated the history of the campus while demonstrating how important it had become for the current facilities and programs to be updated and improved.

With that introduction, I am pleased to share with our dedicated and supportive OBU alumni, donors and friends that our campus leadership is actively creating a framework for our future. They have recognized and are acting on the great need to begin creating a master plan for the OBU campus. This planning is done with a long-term view in mind that ultimately will determine the day-to-day business decisions and investments of the University. It should mirror our academic vision and guide the creation of a physical learning environment with enduring value.

The process of moving forward to create a master plan is now underway and it is interesting for sure! We have completed the challenging activity of soliciting proposals and narrowing the field of firms who will be our partners in this process. With great confidence, we have decided upon a group of architects who have an extensive and impressive background in creating campus master plans that become workable, living documents to guide our future.

I firmly believe that our campus leadership is engaging all of the appropriate constituent groups in this process and we are taking into consideration every aspect of our changing campus in the best way possible.

We are excited that OBU has been approved to launch a new and needed engineering program and with that comes the challenge of creating classroom, faculty and program space. This is an exciting development for our beloved University. We believe it will garner strong interest from prospective students and families who have long expressed interest in engineering as an academic major at OBU.

There is much needed work to be done in order to enhance our learning spaces for engineering and other areas of study. The master plan should, and will, provide an excellent road map as we move forward together. It is important that we recognize and consider OBU’s history while also propelling forward to determine the best plan to update and improve our beautiful campus. We look forward to keeping you informed of our progress.

Our framework for the future should also include a significant message of gratitude to our OBU donors. We are encouraged and prayerful that the commitment to excellence demonstrated by gifts contributed over the last few years will continue to highlight the importance of this campus master plan and the progress that awaits us.

At the time I am writing this message to our faithful alumni and donors, we are still processing the many end-of-year gifts that will have such a positive and impactful effect upon our campus community. We know with certainty that the gift total for 2022 will surpass by several million dollars the highest gift total in the previous decade and likely in OBU’s history. This tremendous blessing is accomplished through the incredible generosity of alumni, friends, and churches. Every gift made helps enhance our campus and provide financial support for our outstanding students and community.

As a bridge to outlining our vision for campus enhancements, and on behalf of every person associated with OBU, I would ask that you prayerfully consider if you will be able to bless OBU with a gift this coming year.

Your generosity will go toward our increased endeavors to continue providing a world-class education and campus facilities that match the excellence found in those programs. I encourage you to leave a legacy in a significant way and be proud to participate in the Bison Spirit as Uncle Jimmy Owens remarks in his book, “Annals of OBU.”

In his book, “Annals of OBU,” Uncle Jimmy Owens refers to the Bison Spirit in the following manner:

“Nobody can put his finger on the Bison Spirit. It’s part of the faith in God which comes through fellowship with Christian classmates, the straight thinking of the teachers, the reverence of traditions, the freedom of mind and spirit, and the love for one another. It is intangible, everlasting and its influence is unlimited.”

Picture this: Together and through this heartfelt effort we can strengthen and further empower OBU to shape the future. It is important to us that you realize how deeply we appreciate each of you who contribute to OBU with financial gifts, recruitment assistance and connection, and volunteer endeavors. Family is not a cliché’ at OBU, it is a tradition, and a faith-based map for the future. The difference you are making, matched with God’s plan for OBU, is truly remarkable and follows that intangible Bison Spirit. We are blessed beyond measure and genuinely grateful!

Please reach out to our Advancement and Alumni team if we can be of service to you in any way as we are each thankful and proud to represent OBU. Please accept our best wishes to you and your families.

Tim Rasnic
Vice President for University Advancement