Dr. Kelly delivers the Last Lecture on the Kingdom of God

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor  (Photo by Jonathan Soder/The Bison)

Ruth Dickinson professor of religion Dr. Bobby Kelly delivered the Last Lecture in the Tulsa Royalties Room Friday afternoon.

Kelly has been a professor at OBU since 1997 and was chosen to speak by OBU’s Mortar Board. Kelly’s lecture was titled “Purple Reign: the Story of How God became King” which focused on the kingdom of God.

“The topic was focused on the kingdom of God. It is the most important single theme in the Gospels and formed the thesis of Jesus’ teaching and preaching,” Kelly said.

“To understand the nature of the kingdom of God as God’s rule rather than a physical location and to recognize the aspects of it that are already present as well as aspects that are yet future is at the heart of New Testament theology.”

Last Lectures are sponsored by the Mortar Board. Their purpose is to give professors the opportunity to lecture on what they think is most important, what they would choose to say if it was their last chance to give a lecture.

“The Last Lecture is a Mortar Board tradition,” senior family and community services major and president of OBU’s chapter of Mortar Board Jamie Knox said.

“The members of Mortar Board select a professor, and that professor is asked to speak on a topic that they are really passionate about or what they would talk about if it was actually the last lecture of their life.”

Kelly chose to talk about the kingdom of God because, as he says, it is the most important topic he teaches.

“I think at this point I just thought I would do the lecture that if there was only one lecture that I could do in a semester, what’s the topic, what’s the lecture that I would want to talk about,” Kelly said.

“I say this every time I cover it, this is the most important topic I cover, so I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t go ahead with it and so I’m going to talk about the kingdom of God.”

The tradition of Last Lectures started with Randy Pausch, a professor who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and had only a semester left to teach.

“If you’re not familiar with the concept, it originated with a professor of computer science,” assistant professor of English and faculty advisor for OBU’s chapter of Mortar Board Dr. Brent Newsom said.

“He received a very severe cancer diagnosis and it became evident that he probably had one semester left to teach and so he really took that as an opportunity to bring to his students what he felt were the most important lessons he could learn, and he packaged them into one inspiring message.”

Kelly’s approach differed from some topic choices chosen by others, such as how to live a good life.

“I did not choose to go the route of ‘here’s my recommendations of how to have a good life’ or ‘tips that I’ve learned over 21 years,’” Kelly said. “I think I’ll save that one for my last lecture, like if I’m retiring and I know it’s the end.”

Mortar Board is a national honor society made of college seniors who exemplify scholarship, leadership and service.

“Mortar Board is a national senior honor society that focuses on the three pillars of scholarship, leadership and service,” Knox said. “The members consist of seniors that exemplify these three pillars throughout their college career.”

Kelly was chosen as speaker by the Mortar Board because of his passion and embodiment of Mortar Board ideas.

“He connects well with his students, Newsom said. “He’s clearly passionate about his area of expertise, he’s passionate about the gospel and embodies quite well the Mortar Board focus on scholarship, leadership and service, so we couldn’t ask for a better representative to speak to us.”

Last Lectures are not only sponsored at OBU, but are sponsored by Mortar Boards nationally.

“[It] became an event that not only our Mortar Board, but Mortar Board chapters around the country have sponsored,” Newsom said.

OBU MBA students and faculty publish academic paper

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor

In March, an academic journal published a case study by students and faculty in OBU’s Master of Business Administration program. The study was published in the Management and Economics Research Journal.

The project was completed by Dr. Daryl Green, assistant professor of marketing and management, Dr. Craig Walker, Wheeler professor of economics and three MBA students: Abdulrahman Alabulththim, Michele Phillips and Daniel Smith.

The paper looks at the gig economy, essentially the economy of freelancing. There are two main features of freelancing.

One is that it allows companies access to cheaper labor because they don’t have to go through a long hiring process or provide lots of benefits. Two is that it allows freelancers more flexibility on where and when they work.

According to the paper, “Gig economies are those economies where individuals market their skills, whether in unskilled labor markets, such as Uber drivers, or as skilled professionals, such as coders who bid out their services on sites such as Upwork.”

The paper looks at gig economy, but specifically it is a case study on Upwork, a website that helps freelancers and employers connect.

“One of the things that I try to do is I try to connect [the students] to real world situations, so they do case studies, ” Green said. “This particular research
was done on Upwork. Upwork is the largest freelance website in the world.”

The group’s research resulted in three main findings.

According to the paper these findings are, “A. The gig economy is here to stay, offering unlimited opportunities to workers worldwide… B. Freelancers will continue to struggle with insignificant income on Upwork owing to global competition… C. Upwork should further differentiate itself from the competition.”

Not much research has been done on Upwork, so one purpose of the paper is filling in gaps in the research.

“If you go into databases in the library there’s not a whole lot of things about Upwork as a company,” Green said. “Five years from now, if something happens with Upwork, students across the country are going to be trying to find out do we have any research? and they’ll be going to our paper to help them build their research.”

Having an academic paper published benefits the individuals involved in the research. It also helps the program and university involved.

“Participation in scholarly research increases the knowledge of all those involved,” Walker said. “For faculty members it helps us to stay current in our field and contribute to field. The publication of this study in a peer-reviewed journal enhances the reputation of everyone involved including the Dickinson College of Business, the MBA program, and OBU.”

Publication is particularly helpful to the students involved. These MBA students are already working in their fields and academic publication can help their reputation.

“To work along with your professor and to publish something, that’s valuable,” Green said. “I think it’s a big deal. A lot of these MBA students are working in the industry and it helps them stand out, build their brand, build their credibility.”

The publication of this paper was a group effort. The students and teachers worked together to complete it.

“Dr. Green worked with students to develop the original idea for the project,” Walker said.

“He brought an early draft to me and asked me if I wanted to participate in the project. With Dr. Green’s assistance, the students applied the business research skills they have acquired in their MBA program to review news articles, academic literature and websites to evaluate the gig economy and the platforms available to participants in the gig economy,” he said.

“From there we all worked to improve the quality of the final article.”

The paper started off as a class project. The students spent much of last semester doing the research as an assignment for their class about four months of research that they did,” Green said.

“The first part of the class the students had to work virtually and they had to try and pull together the research.”

The students continued the project after the class ended.

“I asked them to go 130 percent by doing this,” Green said. “This was extra work. I mean the class was already done. They were engaged in getting this paper done outside of the
classroom and that just shows you how dedicated they were to get it done. It takes a special type of student to do this outside of the classroom.”

The paper was finished last December, after a semester of work. After final alterations, it was sent for a peer-review. It was approved for publication about a month later.

“Dr. Walker and myself we looked at it, critiqued it and then after several alterations submitted the paper,” Green said. “It took about a month for them to evaluate it and get back with us; I’ve written papers and I hadn’t heard anything for three to four months, so it was very fast, so I think that was good.”

The paper can be accessed online at https://merj.scholasticahq.com/article/3399-fueling-the-gig-economy-acase-study-evaluation-of-upwork-com.

Enactus partners with Spero Project to organize sprint

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News editor   (Courtesy photo/Libby Unruh)

OBU’s Enactus has organized the Spero Sprint, a fundraiser for refugees in Oklahoma City.

The Spero Sprint will be Saturday morning, April 21 at the Wheeler District in Oklahoma City.

The event is part of a joint fundraiser between OBU’s Enactus and the Spero Project, a nonprofit based in Oklahoma City.

The fundraiser is to help the Spero Project raise funds and awareness for the refugees in Oklahoma City.

“We chose a 5K because it serves two purposes: to raise funds and awareness for the OKC refugee community,” Enactus president and junior finance major, Libby Unruh said. “The race proceeds will expand Spero’s outreach by allowing them to provide additional quality care to the refugee community.”

According to the event website, https://okbuenac-tus.wixsite.com/sperosprint, registration for the fun run is $25 online and $30 in-person on the day of the race. Registration for the 5K is $35 online and $40 in-person on the day of the race.

The one-mile fun run will start at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K will start at 9 a.m.

Beyond the run, the event will also have other attractions.

“Our family-friendly event will include food, music, and Ferris wheel rides,” Unruh said.

Enactus and the Spero Project have been working together since last fall. The Spero Sprint is only one of the projects the two groups have worked on together.

“Enactus first got involved with the Spero Project last semester,” Enactus vice-president and junior marketing major, Isabella Scarinzi said.

“In the Fall we taught citizenships as well as financial classes for the refugees. Three of them were able to pass their citizenship test.”

The Spero Sprint was planned and organized by Enactus. This was done to help meet the Spero Project’s goals in expanding their services to the refugee community in Oklahoma City.

“They have had a longtime dream to expand their services to provide better quality care for the refugees, but they did not have a business plan or a source of funding for this project,” Unruh said. “OBU Enactus seeks to partner alongside ministries to expand their outreach by finding sustainable solutions, so we came up with a business plan for the project and found the solution to host an annual 5K as an awareness event and steady source of income for the project.”

Enactus chose to make the fundraiser a race with the intention of establishing it as a yearly event to raise funds and awareness.

“We chose a race because our hope is that it will be an annual event,” Scarinzi said. “It is also an awareness event, so we wanted people to be able to have fun and cultivate wellness as they support their fellow new neighbors.”

Enactus has worked with restaurants in Shawnee to help raise the funds for setting up the fundraiser. These restaurants agreed to give Enactus a portion of their profits from a specific day.

“We have held a couple restaurant fundraiser nights in order to promote our event and allow local restaurants to sponsor the event,” Unruh said.

“Generous restaurants such as Freddy’s and Schlotzsky’s have allowed us to hold fundraiser nights where they give us a percentage of profits to go to-wards paying the race expenses.”

Enactus has been working with the Spero Project since the fall and they plan to continue working with them in the future.

“Our relationship just began this past year, so we still have a lot of work to do,” Unruh said. “We plan to continue assisting them with this project and hope that there will be more opportunities to expand their ministry in the future.”

Enactus was in charge of the Spero Sprint this year, but in future years the Spero Project may be the primary organizers. Enactus’s president said they hope to train the Spero Project so this will be possible.

“We completely started from scratch in planning this event, so we have done a lot of learning along the way,” Unruh said. “Enactus has pretty much been completely in charge of the event, but our hope is to train Spero after this year, so they will be able to host this event on their own for years to come.”

OBU celebrates Arbor Day with tree planting

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor   (Photo by Jacob Factor/The Bison)

Oklahoma Baptist University has received two honors for its trees in recent months. These are national accreditation as a level II arboretum and recognition as a Tree Campus USA.

Part of maintaining these honors is planting a tree every year on Arbor Day, a holiday encouraging tree planting. Wednesday, March 28, OBU celebrated Arbor Day with a tree planting ceremony.

The ceremony took place in front of Taylor Residence Center and the new tree is a Taylor
Juniper.

“We’re going to plant our 2018 tree this year, appropriately it’s a Taylor Juniper, I thought of no better place for it than here at Taylor Hall,” Lisa Hair, groundskeeper II/gardener for OBU, said. “This tree is only going to get four feet wide but it’ll get about 15-20 feet tall.”

While only one tree was planted during the ceremony, two Taylor Junipers will now be
in front of Taylor Residence Center.

“We’ll have another one on the other side to match so that it’s more symmetrical and then we’re going to continue planting trees and growing pretty flowers and mowing all the pretty grass that’s been sprayed for weeds and it’s going to look absolutely gorgeous this year,” Hair said. “At the end of the year last year we were rewarded level two in our arboretum and we are the only accredited arboretum in the state of Oklahoma,” Hair said.

As part of the Tree Campus USA recognition OBU received a plaque and a flag. These
were displayed at the ceremony.

“We got a very nice plaque from the Tree Campus USA where each year we’ll get a different symbol to put on the bottom for the years that we’ve been participating,”
Hair said.

At the ceremony, Tom Terry, the community member for OBU’s tree advisory board, spoke about the history of Arbor Day.

In particular, Terry spoke about the first Arbor Day in Nebraska in 1872 and the expansion of the tradition from there.

“They planted over one million trees on the first Arbor Day,” Terry said. “Other states started establishing a similar program so that by 1920 over 45 States and territories were observing Arbor Day.”

Gaining national accreditation for OBU’s arboretum was one of the goals of the OBU 2020 plan, written in 2009.

“Part of that plan was campus beautification and in that section we identified a major goal of designating the OBU campus as a nationally accredited arboretum,” Dr. David Whitlock, president of OBU, said.

“It wasn’t just for the sake of having an accredited arboretum, it was for the sake of campus beautification and meeting a core value of OBU, which is excellence and having excellence in our grounds and excellence in the campus beauty is important because it says something about who we are as a university.”

This ceremony represents growing national and local attention to the campus’ grounds/ foliage.

During the inaugural year of having the ceremony, the Murrah bombing was memorialized also.

“The first year that we did it, last year, we planted a survivor tree seedling and that’s a seedling from the survivor tree from the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial,” Hair said.
“It’s very important to me to have a survivor tree on campus.”

Every year a tree advisory board decides what tree to plant for the next year and where and when it will be planted.

“We have a tree advisory board that meets quarterly and it’s composed of a member or two of the faculty and staff, the grounds supervisor, myself, two student members and a
community member,” Hair said. “Our last meeting of this coming year we will be deciding when we have Arbor Day, what tree we’re going to plant [and] where we’re going to plant it.”

There are many considerations that go into what trees to plant and where they will go.

“The tree will never be able to move to where it needs to be no matter how much it wants to,” Hair said. “Once you plant it it’s there and so you have to take soil, light, air movement [into consideration]… it’s a balancing act.”

Aesthetics are also considered in the planting of trees and flowers. In particular, what will make the campus more enjoyable and beautiful is a key concern for the groundskeeping crew.

“I try to plant to where my students are going to enjoy all the plants that we plant,” Hair said. “I want beauty on this campus and I want our students to realize that all of the grounds crew work very hard to make this campus extremely beautiful.”

Preparation tips for graduating seniors

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor   (Courtesy Photo)

Seniors gathered in the bookstore Monday, March 12, and Tuesday, March 13, for Senior Salute. The event had various stations to help seniors complete steps for graduation preparation.

Students who could not attend or did not go to every station can still complete these steps, but some purchased items will be more expensive. Seniors who missed Senior Salute will receive an email with information on the necessary steps.

“Teri’s [Teri Walker, OBU degree counselor] going to email everybody that [didn’t] come and then they’ll have a list of places they need to go, which is basically to see all of us,” Melinda Newpher, student loan/collections manager, said. “We just try to make it simpler for these few days, so that they can get it all in one place and be done.”

Seniors must submit a graduation application. Seniors who have not submitted their graduation application yet will receive an email prompting them to do so.

“It’s not important right now, but it’s the name you want on your diploma and a diploma mailing address, stuff that will get important to you,” Walker said. “So make sure you get that to me.”

Seniors who have not completed their chapel requirements will not be able to graduate. For some, this will mean completing chapel reports.

“If they don’t meet the requirement they won’t be allowed to participate in graduation,” Sharon Eulberg, secretary to the dean of students said.

The first step in starting chapel reports is visiting Eulberg’s office.

“They have to come to me,” Eulberg said. “We look and see how many reports that they need to write and then I contact Dale Griffin and Kelley Chlouber.”

Students at Senior Salute also received information on their Stafford loan, if applicable. The form and a booklet given had information on determining the amount of money owed and how to go about paying off the loan.

“[http://www.nslds.ed.gov] is where you would be able to go online right now and see exactly how much you owe on your Stafford loan,” Newpher said. “[http://www.studentloans.gov] will tell you what to do from here, what your options are for repayment.”

Graduation tickets will be picked up the week of graduation at Eulberg’s office. An email with more details will be sent out later.

“You’ll receive an email from me that’s going to let you know to pick the tickets up. You can start picking them up the week of graduation,” Eulberg said. “You’ll come to my office to pick the tickets up.”

Seniors will have a $50 graduation fee, which must be paid before graduation. Additional fees will be applied later if seniors don’t return mail keys and books.

“If you have a mailbox key you’re going to want to be sure you return that before you leave so you don’t get charged a re-key fee,” Lisa Cook, senior student financial services counselor, said. “If you’ve rented any books or checked out any books, you want to make sure you return those so you don’t get charged. Upon leaving campus, if there’s any remaining charges or anything like that, those won’t even hit your account until the summer so make sure you open up any emails that you get from OBU.”

The campus bookstore sells both regalia (cap, gown and tassel) and alumni merchandise (shirts, stickers, mugs, and diploma frames). The 20 percent sale for alumni merchandise only applied at Senior Salute, but the price for regalia remains the same.

“We always do 20 percent off the day of Senior Salute,” Duncan Lyle. OBU bookstore manager said. “The 20 percent doesn’t apply to regalia. So, the regalia packages are always going to be $49.99 and then each individual item has its own price…You can stop by anytime between now and graduation.”

Graduation announcements and rings can be purchased online at http://www.jostens.com. However, if not ordered in time, announcements will not arrive before graduation.

“It takes three weeks to get [the announcements] and about six weeks [for the rings],” Carrie Bricker, Jostens’ sales associate, said.

While announcement prices remain the same after Senior Salute, ring prices increased by more than $100.

“We have an event special [for Senior Salute], it starts at about $269 and then if you go online it’s about $389,” Bricker said. “The announcements can be ordered online and you do not have to pay any extra online.”

One stop at Senior Salute had seniors leave an email address that they will be using after leaving OBU, so that OBU can follow-up on what seniors do after they graduate.

“We will be following up with all the graduates after graduation in that six-month window to do our reporting for the next year to show, where our graduates went to work and where they went to grad school,” Lori Hagans, director of career services and alumni engagement, said. “So, we hope everyone will respond.”

Maintenance facilities explain weather policy

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor  (Photo by Preston Morris/The Bison)

Snow days can be fun and frustrating for teachers and students, providing extra downtime. For administration and staff that can involve a lot of work.

Wednesday, Feb. 21 and Thursday, Feb. 22 OBU’s campus was closed due to inclement weather. Winter weather can affect multiple things around campus beyond delayed or canceled classes, in particular, the tasks and workload of Facilities Management.

One of the main considerations during bad weather is the condition of the roads. Road condition is one of the main factors in considering whether to delay or cancel classes.

“If classes are delayed due to bad roads, we use the inclement weather schedule,” Paula Gower, associate vice president for marketing and communications, said. “If the weather and road conditions aren’t going to clear up in time for the start of class times on the inclement weather schedule, we cancel classes.”

Once the decision to delay or cancel classes has been made, notifications are sent out to students and staff. These notifications are transmitted through a variety of mediums.

“As soon as a decision is made, students and employees are notified via the Rave campus alert system,” Gower said. “This system sends text messages and emails and posts to Facebook and Twitter. We also notify the news channels, so the information is added to their closing/late start list that scrolls across the screen on bad weather days. The information is also posted on the okbu.edu homepage at the top.”

Roads are also a priority for the Facilities Management groundskeepers. During and after bad weather, clearing the roads and sidewalks is their first step.

“What we do if we have an incident is, like for instance the ice, we start with the areas that obstruct sidewalks, streets, and things that obstruct flow of foot and vehicular traffic and our main concern is to make sure that the students can get to [the cafeteria],” Berry Nichols, grounds and athletic fields supervisor said.

“We do that and then we work our way up to administration, then the educational buildings, those are kind of the last.”

Oklahoma weather can be unpredictable. Preparing for bad weather and deciding whether classes need to be delayed or canceled can be difficult.

“The difficult issue is that in Oklahoma you can have snow and freezing weather one day and a sunny, warm day the next,” Gower said. “It is difficult to predict precisely what the weather will do, when inclement weather will hit this particular part of the state, or even if it will hit here. It is also difficult to predict what the conditions of the roads will be the next day. And the amount of precipitation isn’t usually the issue; the form of the precipitation is the issue. We can get a little bit of ice on the roads and end up with travel conditions that are much more hazardous than several inches of snow.”

Groundskeepers do a lot around campus. Their day-to-day tasks involve caring for a large area, which is made more difficult during bad weather. This difficulty is mitigated some by careful preparation.

“We take care of all the landscaping, the trees, beds, athletic fields [and] turf, from Kickapoo to Airport and from Franklin to 39th street, which is north of the baseball field,” Nichols said. “We prepare [for bad weather] by having a stock of ice melt and having certain pieces of snow and ice removal equipment ready to deploy.”

The stock of ice melt consists not of a few bags worth, but of several thousand pounds.

“We might have five tons. It’s not a lot, but it’s pretty much all we need,” Nichols said. “Last year I hardly [used] any and this year I consumed quite a bit. We consumed about 3,000 pounds this last little incident.”

The equipment must be prepared beforehand as well. This requires close attention to the weather as the preparations for snow and ice limit the regular uses of the equipment.

“Up until the first of February I was utilizing the equipment in other ways because once you put certain pieces on that’s all you can use it for,” Nichols said. “So, I really monitor the weather all the time and if I see a pattern coming then I’ll make sure that we get those pieces of equipment prepared and ready to go, just in case.”

The administration also monitors weather conditions, so they can decide if classes need to be delayed or canceled. They consider the effects of current and forecasted weather conditions on the roads.

“Multiple people are involved in the decision,” Gower said. “Usually the executive leadership team consults together to make the decision… Weather forecasts and the current condition of the roads are two of the major factors taken into account.”

Announcing an inclement weather schedule or canceling classes is not unheard of at OBU and this is not the first time several days of classes were canceled, nor the record. Even so, multiple cancellation days is unusual.

“It seems like one day [of canceled classes a year] is probably the average, but I can’t say for certain because some years we don’t have any,” Gow-er said. “Most years it has been no more than two days.”

Tornado season is expected to bring storms and bad weather. This may cause more damage around campus, but it is unlikely that it will cause canceled classes.

“It isn’t likely that a tornado warning will last long enough to cancel multiple classes,” Gower said. “However, with Oklahoma weather, we can never say something won’t ever happen.”

Student Professional Oklahoma Educators hosts book drive

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor   (Photo by Preston Morris/The Bison)

A couple of small boxes have been placed around campus with the intention of making a large impact.

The Student Professional Oklahoma Educators association (SPOE) has placed painted boxes in the lower GC and on the second floor of Shawnee Hall. These book drive collection boxes will remain until April 13. The donated books will be given to students at Horace Mann Elementary School.

Two goals of the SPOE are the professional development of its students and supporting the community.

“Our initial goal in SPOE is to provide professional development for our teacher candidates,” Dr. Kellie Young, assistant professor of education, said. “We really do want to provide support for the people going through the program through that professional development, but then we also want to reach out. We don’t want to just be reaching in and only providing for our candidates, but also reaching out to the community and supporting them as well.”

Some Shawnee children don’t have books at home.

“Books are pretty expensive as a whole,” Young said. “[Sometimes] you don’t really realize that a lot of students don’t even have one book at home.”

Reading affects a child’s future studies.

“Literacy is a huge component of teaching and learning,” a junior interdisciplinary major in elementary education, early childhood education and special education and president of OBU’s SPOE chapter, Jessica George said. “Especially third-grade on up, most of your other areas like math and science and social studies comes from reading and so if you’re behind on reading that has a huge impact on other areas as well.”

The book drive is for elementary grade-level books.

“So, we’re looking at ages first through fifth-grade,” Young said. “So, they can be picture books; they can be chapter books, really anything that we would consider children’s [litera-ture].”

SPOE requests that books be in good condition.

“The books that we are collecting can be used, but we ask that they are gently used,” George said. “If it’s been through a couple generations and it’s faded or falling apart that might not be a good one to donate.”

Books may be of any type within the appropriate age range, fiction or nonfiction.

“The hope is to give them a book about something that they’ll be interested in and that will grow their interest in reading,” George said. “Because no child is the same and all children are different we need all kinds of books.”

One factor in a book’s reading level is its length.

“One key thing is going to be how big the books [are],” George said. “If it’s a really long chapter book, like some of those Harry Potter books or even Series of Unfortunate Events, they’re probably going to be more on your middle school or high school level.”

The AR Book Find website may help determine the reading level of some books.

“On AR Book find it will tell you one if it’s an AR book,” George said. “We don’t necessarily care if it’s an AR book or not, but if it is it will let you know the book level. So, if it’s a 4.3 that means it’s a fourth-grade level book, if it’s a 6.0 that means it’s a sixth-grade level book.”

The book drive is part of SPOE’s goal of serving the community.

“We really want to give back to the community because we have a lot of teachers that offer their classrooms for our student teaching or field experiences,” Young said. “So, we want to try and give back to the community and our goal is to raise enough books through this book drive to be able to provide all of the students at Horace Mann with a book they can take home during the summer, so that’s our ultimate goal; we hope we make that.”

SPOE staff advisor and SPOE president said they hope to have more book drives in the future.

“I think we are probably going to continue to do this, that’s the plan, every spring semester through April and try to collect books,” Young said. “That’s our goal is to do this annually and get everyone involved, but also to do it campus-wide so that other people have the opportunity to donate books, but also have an awareness that there is a need in our community.”

So far about 30 books have been donated.

“Right now we definitely still need a lot more books,” George said.

St. Greg’s students absorbed into OBU community

Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor   (Photo by Preston Morris/The Bison)

St. Gregory’s University (SGU) closed in the fall of 2017. Some of their students came to OBU, but their admission has had little effect on OBU’s spring enrollment numbers. Bruce Perkins, associate vice president for enrollment management, said OBU has 1,919 students total for the spring 2018 semester, including nine new freshmen and 40 transfer students. Some of these transfers are from SGU.

“I can gladly say that OBU was quick to our aide and was at SGU the next day to give us information on the what we would need to for the transfer process,” sophomore health and human performance major Mackenzie Palmer, who transferred from SGU, said. “Once the acceptance letters were confirmed, staff from OBU came and helped with enrollment on the day of the college fair. All of the staff were very helpful and sympathetic towards our situation and made all the paperwork easy to get through.”

OBU reached a teach-out agreement with SGU. “Teach-out is what happens when an institution closes and they reach teach-out agreement with other universities,” Perkins said. “We were not the only one that had a teach-out agreement with St. Greg’s. I think there were three or four others that did as well.”

This teach-out agreement means that SGU students can receive an SGU degree presented by OBU.

“It’ll be a degree from St. Greg’s that will be conferred by OBU because the bulk of their work will have been taken at St. Greg’s,” Perkins said.

SGU students who can’t graduate within two semesters don’t qualify for the teach-out program and are counted as regular transfer students.

“To be a teach-out student you have to be able to finish your degree within the academic year, one academic year,” Perkins said. “So, this spring and December – two regular academic terms – if it was going to take longer than December for you to finish the degree then you’re not under the teach-out agreement.”

While not all the SGU teach-out students will graduate in the spring, a fall graduation will work out for some.

“The main reason I chose OBU is because I was still eligible to graduate a semester early, so I’ll graduate in December of 2018 instead of May of 2019,” junior health and human performance major Alexis Diggs, who transferred from SGU, said. “This helped me because I have been applying to chiropractor schools and it is easier to start in the January trimester than either summer or fall. Since I have transferred and learned that I’m graduating in December, I have been accepted into chiropractor schools already.”

OBU’s teach-out agreement has two components: OBU will try to match a student’s remaining course requirements and the OBU residency requirement will be waived.

“Basically, what it means is that we’re going to do our best to try to offer courses that we currently offer; we’re not creating any new courses to match as close as we can what their remaining course requirements would be,” Perkins said. “The other element is we have a residency requirement: they have to take so many hours in residency before you can get an OBU degree and those are waived for teach-out students.”

While the total num-ber of students is up from last spring, the number of undergradu-ates is down. “[The total headcount is] up a bit over last spring,” Perkins said. “Undergraduates are down a little bit from last spring. Everything’s always down in the spring compared to the fall because people graduate in December and if everybody stayed you’d still be down.”

OBU’s return rate has not changed significantly.

“We’re still trending pretty much the same as we’ve done,” Perkins said. “We’ve been trending for several years at an over 90 percent return rate.”

The enrollment numbers from this semester are not expected to have a significant impact on future enrollment numbers.

“We won’t realize a lot of difference probably,” Perkins said. “Going forward in the fall we’ll still bring in 500 or so freshman, and we’ll still graduate about 300.”

Ben Rector to perform on campus in March

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor   (Courtesy Photo)

 

March 3 at 7 p.m. University Concert Series (UCS) will present a concert in Potter Auditorium. The main performer of the concert will be Ben Rector.

“Ben Rector was chosen because he’s pretty well known and loved on OBU’s campus,” Sarah Claibourn, a UCS co-chair said.

“I had a lot of people asking if UCS could bring him to campus while we were still establishing the concert for the 2017-2018 school year.”

The Gray Havens will be opening for Ben Rector.

“[The Gray Havens] traditionally play at churches and universities,” Melissa Stroud, assistant dean of students: community and leadership engagement said.

“They are a husband and wife team that have amazing storytelling lyrics in their music, so I just thought they would be a good fit as well.”

The 300 free concert tickets sold out quickly.

“It only took three hours for the free 300 student tickets to be gone,” Claibourn said. “We opened the ticket table at 9 a.m. and had students lining up before then. It was very exciting.”

The remaining tickets are available for students and the public to purchase.

“Now we’re selling individual tickets for 10 dollars each for students and then the public tickets are for sale online and they’re $25,” Stroud said.

With a venue capacity of 1800, UCS is hoping for a sold-out concert.

“From a practical standpoint, UCS is expecting a big turn out from the public and the student body,” Claibourn said.

“Ultimately, we want Potter Auditorium to be packed and the concert to be sold out. Success in this concert means that UCS can continue to bring talented artists to Bison Hill.”

UCS hopes this concert will be enjoyed by students across campus.

“We hope to see students across campus come together for a really encouraging, but also energy filled night,” Stroud said.

“It’s going to be a great show and I think they will come together with friend groups. I hope to see RAs bringing their halls and different group clubs on campus coming as groups and making it an experience to have together.”

UCS views the concert as a way to bring the OBU community together.

“Overall, the concert is a great way for students to come together and enjoy a set of amazing music by an incredible artist and this, I believe, will bring OBU’s community closer together,” Claibourn said.

“Sharing concerts with my friends, or soon-to-be-friends, is one of the most bonding experiences. There is just something about standing in a room full of people singing the same song that brings people closer.”

Events like this concert are a way for OBU to connect with students and the surrounding community.

“I’m thankful that OBU as a university provides the opportunity for these types of experiences on campus,” Stroud said.

“It helps build community. It keeps us relevant to our students’ interests because it’s student led. Hopefully it brings in surrounding community to see a little bit about OBU because they’re going to come on campus and have a good experience.”

UCS events are paid for with money from student fees.

“Concerts and UCS events are covered by student fees, so I see it as a service to our students as part of what they’re expecting when they come to OBU, it’s part of the experience,” Stroud said.

UCS is also responsible for other campus events.

“UCS is a student lead organization that puts on multiple events each semester,” Claibourn said.

“Ultimately, our main purpose is to bring great artists to perform on OBU’s campus. However, we also host open mic nights and a trivia night each semester.”