Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Robert Henry assumes presidency of OCU


President Robert Henry's first day in office was July 1.

Oklahoma City University welcomed Robert Henry as its 17th president on July 1.

In late May, when United Methodists gathered at the recent Oklahoma Annual Conference in Tulsa, outgoing OCU President Tom McDaniel introduced his successor as "a proven leader, an intellectual teacher, a man of faith who loves students and has the heart of a servant."

Henry began his remarks to the conference by noting OCU’s beginnings, in the days before statehood, developed from a vision by Methodist layman Anton Classen. This dream has been fulfilled in that OCU is now "one of the crown jewels of this Annual Conference and indeed of Methodism in America and beyond," Henry said.

"It is an honor to accept this task," he told the delegates. "I am leaving the judicial monastery to enter the real world of the academy."

Henry also announced the nomination of four outstanding Oklahomans to join the OCU Board of Trustees: Bob Long, Judy Benson, Justice Steven Taylor, and Linda Petree Lambert. He praised them as "great friends of Oklahoma City University."

On the closing day of the conference, Rev. Dr. Long of OKC-St. Luke’s, and Henry, who attends that church, stood together to invite the delegates to hold the 2011 Annual Conference in Oklahoma City.

Henry comes to OCU after serving as Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He has a long-standing relationship with the university, serving as dean of the OCU School of Law and tenured Professor of Law from 1991 to1994.

Henry has been a lifelong advocate for common and higher education. He co-authored the legislation that established the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics and established the Henry Family Lecture Series at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

In addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at OCU, he has taught in the OU Honors College, Oxford Program, and the OU College of Law; served as Distinguished Judge in Residence, University of Tulsa College of Law; and taught Business Law at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Henry served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for 16 years. Prior to his appointment to the court by President Bill Clinton, he served as attorney general for the State of Oklahoma. He also was elected and served 10 years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Henry is married to Jan Ralls Henry, an Oklahoma City dentist. She now serves as first lady of Oklahoma City University.


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