St. Gregory’s campus gets a new name

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

OBU’s newest addition has a new name. The former Saint Gregory’s University campus, which OBU is leasing from Hobby Lobby, is now called the “OBU Green Campus.”

Paula Gower, Associate VP for Marketing and Communications, said the new name draws inspiration from a few sources.

“The name carries a double meaning honoring the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and the color green, as one of OBU’s official university colors,” she said.

In 1970, David Green started a home business with a 600-dollar loan of making miniature picture frames.

Now, Green and his family are worth 7.6 billion dollars, Forbes reports, and Hobby Lobby stores in 47 states have brought in 4.6 billion dollars.

Hobby Lobby also founded the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. in 2017.

In December 2018, Hobby Lobby purchased the campus after SGU ceased operations. They then decided to lease the campus to OBU.

Gower said OBU is already starting to use the campus and has plans for future use.

“Several of our athletic teams have been using the gyms for practices,” she said. “Plans are still underway to use the theatre as a venue for some of our fine arts events. However, inspections had to be completed prior to being able to host any performances there.”

Gower said evaluations are in progress for spaces in Benedictine Hall.

“Science labs and other academic spaces are being evaluated by faculty to determine their use based on need in the coming semesters,” she said. “Other parts of campus will be used for meeting spaces, to host events, and to supplement and enhance our ability to rent spaces for community use.”

OBU recently put signs up as well so visitors know the campus is part of OBU now.

Dr. Coley guest-directs Three Sisters at OBU

By Olivianna Calmes, Assistant Arts Editor

OBU Theatre department’s next show of the season is coming up at OBU, and auditions have already taken place.  

Three Sisters is guest directed by Dr. David Coley, who used to work at St. Gregory’s University. 

The cast consists of 12 and will be performed April 25th through the 28th. 

Dr. David Coley has a Ph.D. in Theater and has taught at St. Greg’s for 12 years in the theatre department.

He directed and produced shows as well as teaching theatre-related classes. He is friends with OBU’s Director of Theatre Matthew Caron, which is how he got involved with OBU’s theatre program. 

 “When St. Gregs announced they were closing, Matt [Caron] was my first phone call,” Coley said.  

Dr. Coley ended up teaching some classes at OBU, including writing this last fall.  

Last spring Matt [decided he] wanted to do an Anton Checkhov [show] and he knew I really liked Checkhov so he asked me to direct it, and I jumped at the chance,” Coley said. 

Checkhov wrote this show in 1900 and it was based in Moscow, Russia at first. 

Three Sisters was one of Checkhov’s best works, Coley said. The reason he wanted to direct this show in particular is because it showcases a family who is stuck in the midst of societal and cultural change. 

 “I’m always really drawn to stories about people who are victims of history,” he said. They may want this or that but history and culture takes them in a different direction. This family…try as they might, can’t escape the world around them, they are going to be carried along with it. It was written in Russia before the revolution, but Checkhov sensed what was on the horizon. This family has to balance the changes that are happening [all around them]. 

He says that the content of the play has both serious and dramatic elements. 

Checkhov thought his own works were comedies, but most people who watch his shows think they are very serious.  

“[Checkhov] has a very dark strange sense of humor, so that’s something we are going to balance in the show,” Coley said. It is certainly going to play dramatic for many of us but I’m going to try and find that strange levity that he saw, whereas we saw many of these characters as tragic, he saw them as ridiculous, so we’re going to try and balance that.”  

He sees this show as an interesting challenge and is excited to work with OBU to create something unique. 

“The show is in an alley configuration, where the audience sits in both sides of the stage, and I am excited to experience what this show has to offer,” Platter said.

This is different than the last show, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that debuted in February. Another unique part of this show will be the music. 

One of my favorite things to do as a director is to pick the soundtrack, I have some interesting ideas for that,” Coley said. I am [also] looking forward to working with the actors here because they are a very talented bunch. 

Bailey Platter, a sophomore double major in Theatre and Student Ministry, has just been cast in the show and is especially looking forward to participating. 

I’m excited for this show because it will be challenging and will stretch me as an actor because it is realism and Russian,” Platter said. I’ve always wanted to be in a Checkov play, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity.”  


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.”