We continue to experience God’s gracious hand on Bison Hill! In this issue I am delighted to share with you many of the incredible and innovative movements emerging within our great university. You note I say “many” of the movements, but not all…our issue is not big enough to contain them all! So, you need to come to campus to see them! I warmly invite you to make your visit just as we have hosted others in the past year.
We’ve had the privilege of hosting hundreds of prospective students and families as they have travelled to OBU for campus visits. One family visited for the first time after a friend shared with them their excitement about OBU. This prospective student had only been looking at schools in Texas, but by the end of the campus visit, not only did she have a positive perspective of OBU, she had also decided this was exactly where she wanted to study and grow over the next four years. She committed to OBU that very day! This story reminds us that Bison Hill is special and extraordinary. Our guests experience the difference immediately upon their first visit to our beautiful campus.
I would also like to share with you that God has been faithful during this time of pandemic. Just like you, OBU has navigated once-in-a-lifetime realities during the past 24 months, and I am thrilled to tell you that God has been so good. Like you, we have witnessed both joy and pain. Still, we have MUCH to celebrate thanks to the astounding gifts of long-time supporters and the gracious donations from new partners who believe in our mission. Our partners are crucial. We have been blessed with an amazing gift from a family who has had strong relationships with OBU through multiple generations of alumni and supporters. The Henry F. McCabe Family School of Education was named last fall in honor of this gift. We have also been blessed with an extraordinary gift from new partners who graciously funded the launch of the new Tom Elliff Center for Missions.
God has also provided a new alumni director with a wealth of experience who is leading us to establish new alumni programs and services. Lea Ann Quirk joined us at OBU in October 2021 and has been enthusiastically creating and implementing plans to re-engage with alumni in new and exciting ways.
Strategically, we have expanded our capacity for investing in OBU’s future through our increased resources and investments, and we have strengthened OBU’s cash availability over the past year, resulting in improved financial health for the future. God has been good.
I’m excited to share with you that our recruiting numbers for the upcoming fall semester are tracking well above last year and I continue to receive enthusiastic reactions about OBU from prospective students and their parents.
I am privileged to represent OBU at speaking engagements in churches and other venues to share the OBU story. Recently, I was visiting with prospective students and their families following an event in Texas. One of the parents told me: “All I hear about right now is how OBU is the place our students should be.” The word is getting out about OBU! Join us as we tell the OBU story. Join us as we advance the OBU mission. And join us as we ask the Lord to multiply our future at OBU!
Dr. Heath A. Thomas