Features Spring 2024

The Data Revolution: Unveiling the Dr. Peggy D. Keck Finance and Business Analytics Lab

A future shaper is many things – including someone who never loses sight of the importance of others. The story of the Dr. Peggy D. Keck Finance and Business Analytics Lab begins with a distinguished alumna whose focus has always been on others.

A visionary and accomplished financial analyst, Dr. Peggy D. Keck, ’54, envisioned a space where faith, education and data-driven decision-making converged to mold tomorrow’s leaders. Her generous endowment became the cornerstone upon which the Keck Lab stands today.

The eye-catching, cutting-edge Keck Lab opened for the 2023 fall semester in OBU’s Paul Dickinson School of Business at the Bailey Business Center.

During the fall ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the Keck Lab, Tim Rasnic, OBU vice president for advancement, said, “This state-of-the-art facility embodies OBU’s dedication to faith integration and workforce preparation, ensuring that tomorrow’s leaders are equipped with both knowledge and a strong moral compass. Dr. Keck’s enduring focus and commitment to Bison Hill continue to inspire, reminding us that her legacy of faith and education lives on.”

The Visionary

Keck graduated from OBU in 1954 with a degree in business and a minor in education and social studies. While a student on Bison Hill, she was active on campus, serving in many leadership roles, including OBU varsity cheerleader for three years, president of Orion, president of the Women’s Athletic Association and executive roles in several other organizations. She served in student government, on the junior-senior banquet committee, Young Woman’s Auxiliary and as FOCUS Week seminar chairman, to name a few.

She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma and later moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky. There, she taught finance courses at Western Kentucky University for 28 years. She was active in the Campus Crusade ministries, mentoring many students during that time. In later years, she worked as a training consultant for the General Electric Appliance Division and the American Gas Association.

She resides in Ardmore, but nearly seven decades later, her focus and commitment continue to be to Bison Hill.

“OBU opened a whole world to me. I really grew up at OBU,” Keck said. “I loved it, and every day was fun. I hope the lab develops a relationship between the faculty and the students. For the world, they need to have that human relationship. Plus, they are going to get current and up-to-date information. The future of OBU looks good. I want to thank (OBU President) Dr. (Heath) Thomas, his administrative staff and the business staff for visualizing and creating this modern, tech-oriented lab and letting me be a part of it.”

Faith in Finance

“Faith is not the enemy of education; it’s the very heart.” These words are etched into the walls of the Keck Lab, serving as a constant reminder of the guiding principles that set OBU apart. In a world where finance and data analytics often seem impersonal and devoid of morality, OBU stands tall, showing that faith can indeed be intertwined with the world of finance.

Students who enter the lab are encouraged to explore the intersection of faith and finance. Through faith-based financial models, they learn how ethical decision-making can shape not only their careers but also the world around them. The lab’s mission is clear: to instill values and principles that will serve as the foundation for a lifelong mission of responsible financial stewardship.

Data, Decisions and Destiny

Walking into the Keck Lab feels like stepping into a realm where numbers come to life, revealing stories hidden within the data. With state-of-the-art technology and software at their fingertips, students hone their analytical skills under the mentorship of seasoned faculty. “Faculty are mentors” isn’t just a slogan at OBU; it’s a reality.

Here, students aren’t just crunching numbers; they’re shaping the future. From stock market predictions to economic impact assessments, the lab’s projects influence not only their academic journey but also the communities they serve. It’s more than a path to a career; it’s a path to a calling, where they use data to make the world a better place.

A crowning achievement of the Keck Lab is the inclusion of the Bloomberg Terminal. This invaluable resource allows students to pursue Bloomberg certification, providing comprehensive coverage of markets, industries, companies and securities across all asset classes. With Bloomberg certification, students gain specialized expertise in the stock market and real-time trading practices, setting them on a path to becoming confident future leaders in the world of finance.

“Everyone wins with this finance lab,” said Dr. David Houghton, chair of the School of Business. “The Bloomberg Terminal will allow finance majors and our data analytics majors to have the gold standard. It will make them even more competitive in the global marketplace. This enables our students as future shapers. This also increases our School of Business’ role as a pace-setting leader.”

Forging Lifelong Relationships

In the Keck Lab, the bonds formed aren’t just between students and data. They are bonds of friendship, mentorship and shared experiences. The engaging campus community at OBU thrives in this space. Students collaborate, challenge each other, and celebrate victories together.

As they work late into the night, poring over spreadsheets and refining algorithms, they aren’t just preparing for a career; they are forging lifelong relationships. They learn that in the real world, success isn’t solely about what you know but also about who you know and how well you collaborate.

Live All of Life, All for Jesus

“Live all of life, all for Jesus” isn’t just a motto; it’s a way of life at OBU, and the Keck Lab is no exception. Faith fuels education, and education prepares students for the world. As they graduate with true knowledge of themselves and something much greater, they carry the light of faith and the power of data with them.

In a world marked by uncertainty and rapid change, OBU equips its students with the tools they need, including a strong moral compass. The Keck Lab is a testament to this commitment, where data analytics and faith integration are seamlessly interwoven to prepare students not just for careers but for lives filled with purpose and meaning.

A Promise

Information is constantly scrolling across the ticker. Things are always changing. However, the Keck Lab is a promise that doesn’t change – a promise that OBU makes to its students, its stakeholders and the world. It’s a promise of leaders who are not only equipped with knowledge and skills but also with a deep sense of faith and ethics. It’s a promise of renewal and transformation of lives lived all for Jesus.

At the ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony, President Thomas told Keck, “Thank you for your investment in the future of our future shapers on Bison Hill. It truly is an investment in the lives of others. Let’s celebrate the students that are going to be equipped here to go into their world and make a difference for God and for good.”