Past Women of Vision Projects
Below are summaries of Women of Vision’s prior annual events and the projects voted on by members. Interested in joining Women of Vision and making an impact on the next generation of future shapers? Sign up today!
2021 Annual Event
The OBU Women of Vision held their annual meeting and dinner October 21, 2021, in the backyard of the Cargill Advancement and Alumni Center on the OBU campus in Shawnee. More than 70 women attended the event, helping to generate substantial contributions to positively impact students and the entire OBU campus community.
OBU First Lady Jill Thomas opened the event and welcomed guests. Rachael Melot, 1999 OBU alumna, brought greetings from Shawnee Forward, and an alumni panel discussed OBU and kingdom impact. The panel included Casey Merrifield,’95; Jenn Hawkins, ’00; Erin Zimmerman, ’99; Celeste Gwynn, ’00; and Susanne Clinton, ’99.
Following the panel, four potential projects were presented for consideration. Women of Vision members selected the renovation and extension of the Cargill Center patio. The space has been used for numerous gatherings and meetings in the past, including Courage and Connections events led by First Lady Jill Thomas for female OBU students, an OBU Alumni Association celebration for graduating seniors, various student meetings and gatherings, alumni and friends events, the Women of Vision dinner and more. The renovation will extend the patio to the north by adding concrete or brick pavers, construct a retaining wall/border and firepit for visual appeal and add seating.
2020 Annual Event
55 women gathered together Oct. 8, 2020 for the sixth annual Women of Vision luncheon. They celebrated raising a collective gift of $53,000 and voted on which project to fund this year. OBU’s first lady was the keynote speaker.
After reviewing several worthy projects, the Women of Vision voted to create more outdoor seating. This seating will give students more areas around campus where they can safely get together while maintaining social distancing. It provides more opportunities for students to gather or study outside in the fresh air.
2019 Annual Event
Members of the Women of Vision giving circle gathered for their fifth annual luncheon Nov. 21, 2019, to celebrate raising over $58,000 as a group and to vote on the project they will fund. OBU alum and Women of Vision advisory board member, Pat Prescott was the keynote speaker.
Women of Vision awarded the first-ever WOV scholarship to OBU senior graphic design major Tori Harrison. This scholarship was one of the projects Women of Vision chose to support last year. It is designed to award scholarships to a junior and/or senior woman who represents OBU’s values, believes in the OBU mission, and honors Christ in her life. The scholarship is given to one junior and one senior each year. The junior scholarship is renewable for the senior year.
After learning about several areas of need on OBU's campus, the women voted to decide which project to fund. The group voted to fund renovations for Thurmond Hall and the admissions lobby. Renovations will include updating the interior of Thurmond Hall with new flooring, paint and furnishing in front of the admissions offices. The exterior of Thurmond Hall will also be rejuvenated by removing the raised planters out front and replacing them with pavers and outdoor seating. This project will impact both potential new students and current students as they utilize the many services provided in Thurmond Hall.
2018 Annual Event
Dozens of women gathered for the Annual Event on Thursday, September 29th, 2018, to celebrate their collective gift of over $85,000 and determine how to direct that gift on Bison Hill.
Amy Elaine Martinez, 1991, was the keynote speaker for the event. Her powerful message was entitled “The Unveiling” and reminded us that we can confidently trust in God, even in the unseen.
In all, over 100 women joined Women of Vision in 2018, raising the most money to date. The Annual Event serves as the time for members to join together to decide, by vote, which project to fund with their collective gift. It is always a hard decision, and this year was no exception. View the 2018 projects for consideration.
The women voted to use their 2018 investment to fund a 2-in-1 project, which included installing blue phones and establishing a WOV endowment.
The blue phones were an SGA (Student Government Association) Initiative and include installing safety phones in strategic areas on campus that will automatically connect to emergency services when picked up. The Women of Vision endowment will be established to award scholarships to students each year that will impact their ability to experience an OBU education. Though unrelated, these projects are important and will greatly and positively enhance the OBU experience.
2017 Annual Event
In its third year, Women of Vision saw 89 members join together to raise $75,000. Since its inception in 2015, the group has invested nearly $200,000 in the life and mission of Oklahoma Baptist University.
The third Annual Event was held on Thursday, September 28, 2017. Jamy Fisher, 1994 OBU alum, delivered a touching keynote address entitled “The New Definition of Greatness," with a stirring reminder about the potential within each of us to make a positive difference.
Each year, members gather for the Annual Event to determine, by vote, which project to fund with their collective gift. View the 2017 projects for consideration -- as always, it was a hard decision! After some deliberation, the members cast their votes. The tough decision was affirmed by a close count -- the Campus Ministry Center Renewal project won by just ONE vote!
The $75,000 investment from Women of Vision will enable Spiritual Life to offer students space and resources for enhancing meaningful, spiritual encounters. The home of Spiritual Life will be moving from Montgomery Hall to the Geiger Center in the heart of campus. The project will include renovating the area in the Geiger Center, creating offices and a meeting space that will offer more room than the current student lounge in Montgomery Hall. Spiritual Life will still have its own space, but being housed right next to Student Life will offer students a one-stop-shop for most of their campus needs. The actual renovation will not begin until immediately after graduation in May 2018 so as not to disrupt the flow of student activities during this school year.
Spiritual Life is the heart of Oklahoma Baptist University. Through the collective gift of Women of Vision, the university is able to emphasize the importance of Campus Ministry and ensure all students are offered a valuable and transformational experience on Bison Hill!
2016 Annual Event
In its second year, membership to Women of Vision increased from 58 to 78, and the total collective gift was nearly $70,000 (up from over $20,000 from the inaugural year in 2015).
The Annual Event was held on September 29th, 2016, when over 50 women joined together for a wonderful time. Brenna Stull, 1990 OBU alum and Women of Vision member, delivered a heartening message about “The Power of the Circle,” a stirring reminder of the meaningful impact we can make by joining together.
The Annual Event serves as the crux of the giving circle, where members were tasked with deciding which project to fund with their collective gift. View the 2016 projects for consideration – all worthy projects. After hearing about each of the needs, the members voted to fund the ‘Keyless Card Access’ project, which won with the majority of the votes. This project, combined with the project funded last year – adding more campus lighting - speaks volumes to the women’s desire to enhance and impact the safety/security of a student’s experience on Bison Hill, as well as OBU faculty, staff, and visitors.
The total cost of the project was estimated to be just over $71,000. The collective gift from Women of Vision 2016, about $70,000, is enough to underwrite the majority of the expenses. All dormitories are already equipped with keyless card access technology, so the project will include all other major buildings that lack it – Ford Music Hall, the Art Building, the Art Annex, Wood Science, Thurmond Hall, Mabee Learning Center, Shawnee Hall, and parts of the Geiger Center. This technology will enhance safety and security for our students, faculty, and staff, insuring access to only those with permission. It also gives the university the ability to lock the buildings electronically.
To be certain, the investment Women of Vision has already made is significant and will meaningfully impact the work of our great university. In just our first two years, Women of Vision has equipped the university to substantially increase security through additional campus lighting and enhanced technology for building entries/exits. By giving together, we have accomplished so much more!
2015 Annual Event
Women of Vision launched in 2015, and the inaugural year saw lots of work – brainstorming, planning, marketing, etc. With an outstanding Advisory Council established, the group surpassed its base goal of 50 women and celebrated a total of 58 charter members! In all, almost $47,000 was gifted.
The first Annual Event for Women of Vision was on September 24th, 2015 – a time to gather as members, review projects in need of funds, and decide how to award the collective funding. It also served as the time to meet other members, fellowship together, and just have a really good time.
The 2015 Annual Event was a wonderful time when many women, who share similar visions and values, come together. Ronda Mikles, 1975 OBU alum and a Women of Vision Advisory Council member, delivered an inspiring and encouraging message about the power there is in working, serving, and simply DOING together.
The members also had the opportunity to hear about the projects on the ballot and then decide how to direct the generous financial gift given by the group. View the 2015 projects for consideration – all very worthy of the WOV funds. The 58 member votes were evenly spread across the board, and the project that was chosen – Additional Campus Lighting – won by only a few votes.
Because of Women of Vision and the $47,000 that was given, approximately 25 additional lighting fixtures will soon be installed on campus as part of phase one of the OBU campus lighting improvement plan. You will note the majority of the Sternberg, 12-foot light poles will be installed around WMU, Kerr, and Montgomery Hall, adding much-needed lighting near student dorms. Three additional mast street lights will be added to University drive, enhancing the lighting of the main street through campus, and about a dozen of the smaller, bollard lights will be installed along the walkway between Sarkeys and Shawnee Hall.
Providentially, the morning of our 2015 Annual Event for Women of Vision, Dr. Whitlock and the OBU administration were petitioned by student body leaders for additional campus lighting. Based on concerns from these students and in conjunction with facilities management, lighting in the areas mentioned above is a necessity. The total cost for this project is around $65,000. The financial gift through Women of Vision will help offset OBU’s investment, allowing the university to provide our student body more peace of mind through the added safety and security, not to mention the improvement it will make to the overall look and feel of our already beautiful campus!