Originally founded in 1910 under the former name ‘The Baptist University of Oklahoma’, OBU set about providing a liberal arts education to Shawnee, Oklahoma. Back then, J. M. Carrol took position as OBU’s first president. Now, 111 days later, OBU is led by the fantastic Heath A. Thomas. Despite leading over a century later, OBU continues in service of God and man, taking a moment to look back and celebrates all the time it has served, with the celebration of its “Founder’s Day.”
On February 3rd, 2021 OBU provided festivities for students outside the GC to celebrate its eleventy-first birthday year. The momentous day, so called “Founder’s Day” was the celebration of OBU turning one year older. The event witnessed a large group of students come to celebrate and take part in the snacks and games provided. The celebration lightened the boring mid-week drawl of the normal Wednesday, giving students a moment to think about the history of OBU, as well as chat with others and take a moment to relax during the busy day.
Various party games and cupcakes were provided as part of the set up for the occasion. The games and cupcakes were what primarily attracted students to stop by, particularly those in between classes. Joshua Graham, a sophomore studying to obtain a computer information major, said that “I thought it was really cool that they care about the history of the college, and want the students to as well, by putting on a little celebration for us.” Although he was only able to participate for a few minutes, he was nevertheless glad to have stopped by and witnessed the fun. Moreover, he mentioned how reassuring it was to see how extensively other OBU students cared about the college to celebrate with each other, especially with COVID unfortunately still being relevant in how it affects gatherings at the college and elsewhere. Though, Joshua also said that it reportedly “brightened his day to see such festivities during the mid-week madness.”
Since the event was multiple hours long, many students came and went throughout the day. Even then, several students expressed satisfaction with the celebration, regardless of how little or long a time they stopped to chat and play. Dillon Dunk, a junior here at OBU, studying hard for a biblical studies major and for a minor in pastoral ministry said, “I thought it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the music and the legendary cupcake – it was my breakfast for the morning. I think it was a good birthday for OBU and hope that one day it celebrates the legendary 222. I think we have a great legacy here at OBU and I’m glad to see people stopping to notice.”
The multi-flavored and multi-colored assortment of cupcakes truly was the highlight of the event. College students love sweets, after all.
Perhaps one day, as Dillon mentioned, OBU will potentially one day be able to celebrate its two hundred twenty second birthday. Until then, however, it will no doubt continue serving the Shawnee community and beyond with its continued education and spreading of the faith. As long as both students and faculty take a moment to observe and honor OBU’s “Founder’s Day,” and think back on the history and legacy of those who served the university in the past, then OBU certainly might one day hit another numerically legendary birthday celebration with some future generation.