Year's end brings time for reflection


From left are OCU President Robert Henry, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

By Cary Pirrong

As the academic year rolls to a close, we look back at what has been a very eventful and exciting year at Oklahoma City University.

Outside the McDaniel student center, we dedicated a new statue, the Chickasaw Warrior—created by one of our alumni, Chief Enoch Kelley Haney (Class of ’65)—accompanied by an equally beautiful garden.

We welcomed special guests to campus: PBS journalist Bill Moyers, Harvard ethicist Michael Sandel, and retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, just to name a few.

We celebrated accomplishments such as the 30th anniversary of the Wimberly School of Religion and the 60th season of the Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company.

Next year we plan another high moment as we celebrate completion of the third floor in the new Kramer School of Nursing building, expanding the opportunities for Dean Marvel Williamson and the faculty to educate more nurses to send into the world as servant leaders.

During the past year we welcomed new faculty and staff to OCU. Dr. Steven Agee was named dean of the Meinders School of Business, and Judge Valerie Couch was named dean of the School of Law. Dr. Susan Barber was promoted to provost after serving as acting provost since 2010.

This summer we will welcome Kevin Windholz to campus as new vice president of Enrollment Management.

The OCU Advancement office added staff this year, including Mandy Heaps (Class of ’03) as director of Annual Giving, Paige Gregory as director of Special Events, Jeanne Dover as director of Development Services, and Jessi Pingel (Class of ’11) as coordinator of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

This year OCU Stars athletes added to the school’s many national championships. The all-girl and coed competitive cheer squads took first place in the national meet in Daytona Beach, Fla., in April, and the women’s wrestling team won its fourth consecutive national championship in Bristol, Tenn., in January. Several of the wrestlers will try out for the U.S. Olympic team, which competes in London this summer.

The women’s basketball team brought home the sixth national championship for the program, after a 69-48 win over Union University in March at Frankfort, Ky. Latricia Trammell, from Western State College of Colorado, has been named the team’s new head coach.

Looking ahead, we hope you will join us in the coming year at events that include the Oklahoma Regatta Festival on Sept. 28 and 29. Homecoming 2012 is set for Nov. 2-4; we hope to see you on campus then, too. We will honor members of the Class of 1962, marking their 50th anniversary.

We always appreciate United Methodists recommending OCU to students as they consider their college plans. Contact the Admissions Office, 800-633-7242 ext. 2, to schedule a campus visit or for more information.

A special note: We want to hear from OCU alumni. Let us know what you are doing. Call us at 405-208-5463; email us at Check out our Facebook page,

 (Cary Pirrong, OCU director of Alumni Relations, also is an OCU graduate: B.S., 1987; J.D., 1990.)

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