OBU’s spiritual foundation will be missed

By Kedrick Nettleton, Faith Editor

There are a lot of things for a graduating senior to be anxious about.

First of all, of course, you have to be sure that you do graduate, which means taking care of the schoolwork that remains on your plate.

For many, this includes wrapping up capstones or final theses, meaning that those ideas you’ve had in your head for two years finally have to actually coalesce into something real.

You’re actually going to have to finish – and you’re going to have to do so while writing those final papers or completing those final projects that are a part of the end of every semester, including your senior semester.

Not an easy task.

Then you have to figure out what comes next. Now, I’m not saying this is hard for every senior – there are friends of mine who know exactly what they’re doing after May 17.

Some of them are headed to grad school, and others have jobs and apartments lined up.

They’re going to step seamlessly into their new life, no prob. They’re excited, and I’m excited for them.

But I know just as many others who have no idea what’s happening next. I include myself and my wife in this category.

We have leads, sure. Lines in the water. Eventually, something’s going to bite, and we’ll be fine.

But until that point, what we have is stress. Loads of it.

And we’re not alone.

Even with all of these stressors bouncing around inside my skull for the past few months, I’ve become aware of something else that I’m worried about: losing my spiritual foundation.

That sounds more ominous than I mean it to. I’m not talking about losing my faith or rejecting the church; I’m talking about leaving the strong spiritual environment that I’ve come to enjoy here on Bison Hill, and leaving some of the people that have become mentors in my life.

Because I am leaving. It’s happening.

My wife and I are leaving Oklahoma, we’re headed to a new adventure.

The church that we’ve come to be a part of will be left behind.

Our professors and mentors here on Bison Hill can’t come with us.

We’ll have to find a new church family. A new small group. New people that we can open up to about our faith, that we can encourage and be encouraged by.

And like it or not, I’m going to miss the environment of faithfulness that Bison Hill encourages.

Think about it. First of all, we have chapel. I know that these can be annoying at times – I know that you’re certainly not just amped to go every Wednesday.

But these services, I’ve found, have a way of really sneaking up on you.

Often it was the Wednesdays when I least wanted to be there that I found God speaking to me the clearest – and what He was telling me, often, was to slow down. To focus up.

Then there’s the classes themselves.

It’s an unusual thing to have Christian truths sprinkled into your study, into your disciplines.

This isn’t going to happen at work. My boss isn’t going to stop a staff meeting to make connections to the Gospel.

There won’t be a spiritual life office at my company. There won’t be an RA or an RN asking me how my walk with the Lord is going.

I’m trying to say that we’re inundated with the Christian message around here, and while I know that can feel annoying at times during your college career, it’s a blessing. An unusual blessing.

At no other time of my life will I have all these resources to grow spiritually.

I’m leaving that behind, and it’s a worry to me.

Sure, OBU is a bubble. But there’s a part of me that’s going to miss that bubble


OBU graduation requirements for senior students

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor  (Courtesy photo/PR Department)

Graduation is two and a half weeks away. There are several things graduates need to do before and after graduation.

The RSVP deadline for both the Senior Recognition Dinner and the President’s Reception is Friday, May 4.

The Senior Recognition Dinner is being hosted Thursday, May 10 at 6 p.m. The President’s Reception will be hosted Friday, May 18, right after graduation. Both events will be in GC 218-220. The registrar’s office will send out information about commencement day, including an itinerary that has the times and locations students need to know for graduation.

“Graduating seniors should be on the lookout for commencement announcements and information from the registrar’s office at OBU,” interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of the graduate college, Dr. Susan DeWoody said.

“Pay special attention to the commencement day itinerary so students will know where they need to report and what time they are expected to line up.”

Chapel credits are a requirement for graduation. Seniors who have not finished their chapel credits will write chapel reports. This process occurs through Dean Griffin’s office.

“Students that have not completed their requirements will work with Dean Griffin’s office to complete the graduation requirement by listening to archived chapel programs and writing reports on those chapels,” associate vice president for student development and dean of students Odus Compton said.

Students can check remaining chapels on the OBU website the OBU app, or by stopping by the office of the dean of students.

“The total number remaining can be viewed online at http://www.okbu.edu or by using the OBU mobile app,” assistant vice president for spiritual life and dean of chapel Dale Griffin said.

“For an accurate ruling, students may go to the dean of students’ office to secure a report on their total number of chapel credits due.”

The bookstore will have regalia available through graduation day for seniors who either have not purchased any yet or who run into an issue with the regalia they purchased.

“If a graduate has any issue with their regalia they can just come back to the store and we will get it swapped out for them,” Duncan Lyle, OBU bookstore manager, said.

“We are keeping regalia in stock all the way through graduation day, so if a graduating senior has not come in yet, there are still plenty in stock and plenty of time to get their regalia.”

Embellishments are not allowed on the cap and gown, and only approved academic cords are allowed during commencement.

“Keep in mind that regalia should be purchased from the OBU bookstore and worn without adding personal embellishments on the cap or gown,” DeWoody said.

“Only pre-approved OBU academic-related cords will be worn with regalia during the ceremony.”

Students who have not purchased regalia can purchase them at the bookstore. Regalia can be bought as a set or as individual pieces.

“The whole package costs $54.48 this year,” Lyle said. “If a student just needs one piece we also have pricing for that: gown $38.69, cap $9.80, tassel $5.99. We also have plenty of alumni merchandise in stock and available anytime.”

Fees for unreturned items will be charged to a student’s Banner account. If students have not paid their balance, they won’t be able to receive transcripts or their diploma.

“Before leaving campus each student should make sure that they have returned any rented books, mailbox keys or anything else that belongs to OBU,” student loan/ collection manager Melinda Newpher said.

“If things are not returned, they will be charged to their Banner accounts. Remember that any balance on an account will put a hold on the student’s transcript and diploma.”

According to the mailroom, mail will not be forwarded if a forwarding address form is not completed. Seniors should circle either “graduating” or “not returning at all.”

The mailbox key must be turned in by May 17 or students will be charged a $25 fee.

Students with loans are advised to make sure they understand how to pay their loans.

Not staying on top of loan payments can have a negative impact financially.

“Students should make sure they know how much their loans are for, who they will be paying and when those payments will be due,” Newpher said.

“After graduation, one of the most important things is to make sure they stay current on their loans (this could help or hurt their credit scores). Ignoring their loans will only hurt them down the road. Students need to keep in mind that their government loans can be put in deferment or consolidated, which in a lot of cases will help the student.”

The career development office will send out emails this fall. This email is to collect information about graduates for OBU.

“Please read your email from me or the career development office,” director of career development and alumni engagement Lori Hagans said.

“We will be checking in between September and November to see where our graduates have landed. This is important information for us to collect – what companies are hiring our graduates, what graduate schools are our students attending, is there some way we can help with a graduate still looking for a job, etc.”

Students graduating from the Honors program are advised to ensure they have completed all the honors requirements and paperwork.

“Honors students need to ensure that they have (a) completed all of their Honors Program requirements; (b) submitted their honors graduation forms to the honors office, including ticket request, faculty hooding, and program information; and (c) passed all of their spring 2018 classes,” director of honors program Dr. Tawa Anderson said.

Students who want to check that they have met the requirements for graduating with their degree are advised to meet with their academic advisor.

“If [students] have questions about degree requirements at this point in time, they can schedule a meeting with their advisor to discuss their degree check,” Teri Walker, assistant registrar/degree counselor, said.

Graduates entering the professional world are advised to keep their email and social media professional and to network, she said.

“Network on LinkedIn. Use other networking opportunities and use your connections to make new connections. Be sure to do so in an ethical and professional manner, no one wants to feel used.”

Graduates who have not found a full-time job are encouraged to consider internships in their field.

“Check out internships in their areas of interest; some paid internships are available for recent grads,” Hagans said.

“This is a great way to get some experience if full-time employment has not been acquired,” she said. “Quite often successfully completed internship opportunities provide an offer of full-time employment.”