Advancement Spring 2024

Journey of Renewal

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Our University has been on a three-year journey that has provided the opportunity for all of us in the OBU community to focus on the Multiply Strategy, an initiative introduced and championed by President Thomas. The Multiply Strategy has been focused on providing excellence, influence, service and value. We have worked diligently to accomplish our strategic objectives to:

  1. Reach Students and Families
  2. Realize Financial Potential
  3. Refocus the University and Shape the Future

This strategy has allowed us to create structure around the work needed to enhance and renew this historic and beloved educational institution.

Already, we have seen some incredible results from the Multiply Strategy, and we are prayerful that it will continue in a strong way. However, our journey is nowhere near complete. Our Father has more for OBU to accomplish, much more.

As you may know, we have been traveling extensively throughout the state and region, and much of this travel has been presented as part of our OBU Day in the Churches. President Thomas has focused a tremendous amount of his time traveling to churches to preach. At the same time, our admissions team has accompanied him to provide enrollment information to students and their families considering their college opportunities. Our alumni and advancement team members have also helped host luncheons during these OBU-themed days. We believe this effort, along with the enhanced work and effort by our admissions team, has resulted in a substantial increase in freshmen and transfer students.

Additionally, we have been blessed to receive significant and generous gifts from our alumni and friends that have certainly made a difference in our effort to renew and enhance our programs and student scholarships while also assisting us in the much-needed renovations of campus buildings.

Much of the work that needs to be done on our campus has been identified by conducting full evaluations of academic and other buildings on campus. Using these evaluations, we embarked on a much-needed master plan process to address the identified needs.

Literally one week after receiving the first major draft of our master plan, the OBU campus was hit by an EF2 tornado. We thank God fervently that no one in the OBU family was injured or killed, as we all survived the tornado. But our campus was drastically different after that April 19 storm. As you may know, we were blessed to have many, many friends from all over the state who came to help us clean up and start the rebuilding process.

Like a roller coaster worth all its raving reputation, the aftermath of the tornado has been a constant wave of ups and downs while we have worked with construction leaders and contractors and so many others to urgently begin the process of saving our historic buildings. For all of us at OBU, this has been significant work in addition to our typical job responsibilities. Still, it has been truly amazing to see the way God has blessed us and the work he has done with the help of an enormous number of faithful servants.

An important part of our journey of renewal has been following the Multiply Strategy that has resulted in our planning of a forthcoming capital campaign. We are praying this campaign will help revitalize and support the work needed to renew and improve our campus facilities and programs. We currently are working through the process of conducting a feasibility study with some of our donors. This has been an excellent way to share ideas and plans that have been influenced by the work done over the last three years.

One of the most exciting and noteworthy aspects of our capital campaign has already taken shape as we have begun a time-sensitive campaign to renew the venerable Shawnee Hall. This wonderful and historic building on the OBU campus already needed significant renovation so we could continue to educate our students with excellent classrooms and other academic spaces. However, when the April 19 tornado struck our campus, Shawnee Hall was one of the most severely impacted buildings. To summarize, what was already going to be an expensive renovation became much more expensive and expansive. The good news about this situation is that our insurance coverage will help significantly, and we are grateful for it. However, more resources are needed to create the high-quality space required for our academic programs.

We are excited to share with our community the opportunities ahead for others to help with this renewal effort to turn Shawnee Hall back into a gemstone of a classroom building that students for many years to come will experience.

We are also looking forward to sharing plans of renewal and renovation for Thurmond Hall, Wood Science and Raley Chapel – all buildings that are vitally important in the future for our campus community and the opportunity to offer first-class facilities matched with our world-class education.

This is an exciting opportunity for OBU to begin reaching out to our faithful alumni and friends to share with you all the highest priority areas where we need contributions to improve our campus and continue to serve our outstanding students. These students will experience the OBU educational excellence that will help them become wonderful servants of our Lord as they shape the future and make a lasting impact.

Please know that we are incredibly grateful to our OBU alumni and friends and so thankful for those able to assist the University with financial gifts, volunteer opportunities, recruitment assistance, and just finding ways to give back to OBU that will truly make a profoundly positive and lasting difference as we continue our journey of renewal!

If our advancement and alumni team can assist you in any way, please know we would be honored to receive your call or email. We are thankful to represent OBU and encourage you to find ways to come back to Bison Hill. We wish you and your families all the best for a wonderful 2024.

Tim Rasnic


Tim Rasnic
Vice President for Advancement