Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jacob's Homecoming Adventure

What a day!  I saw some old friends, made some new ones, and got to meet (ever so briefly) Provost Stan Norman and Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry Dean Mark McClellan.  Here's a rundown of the day's events.  There were so many things going on, I couldn't attend them all.  And I forgot to take pictures at the basketball doubleheader, but the women's and men's teams were both victorious in dominating fashion).

I tweeted a couple dozen observations, which you can see here.

I made some awesome Save OBU brochures, but I just didn't have the heart to leaflet the parking lot like the Christian Coalition on the Sunday before Election Day.  A lot of people think any attention is good attention, but I thought it best not to detract from people's affectionate feelings toward OBU.  So now I have a bunch of flyers if anyone wants them!

I attended my frist-ever non-compulsory chapel service.  That's right, I went of my own free will (though OBU's religion department is getting so Calvinist, I don't know if we still believe in free will...)  The alumni chapel service was inspiring!  The music was absolutely sublime, as it always was during my student days.  President Whitlock gave a warm welcome and highlighted the many exciting, wonderful things going on at OBU.  Eight outstanding alumni/ae were honored and three esteemed professors were inaugurated into the OBU Faculty Hall of Fame.  The Rev. Dr. Hance Dilbeck brought a testimony/reflection based on John 15 ("Abide in me and I in you..."), a chapter he was challenged to memorize as a freshman at OBU.  Did I mention that the music was beautiful?!

At a reception honoring the award recipients, a former professor of mine briefly introduced me to the provost.  I just said, "I know I'm not your favorite person in the world, but my best wishes to you."  I said the same thing to Dean McClellan, and we had a brief, honest, and respectful exchange.

My home for 3 years: Agee Residence Center (formerly Brotherhood Dormitory).

On my way to lunch, I paid homage to the late Dr. James Ralph Scales, OBU's ninth president and one of the several that the BGCO has managed to get rid of over the years.  The fundamentalists in the BGCO are frankly more powerful than the OBU faculty.  So there's a natural tendency for OBU presidents to appease the former at the expense of the latter.  But President Scales stook for principle over politics, and I think he is a wonderful example for Baptist college administrators to follow.  President Whitlock doesn't need to look to Jackson, TN (or God forbid Ft. Worth or Louisville) for role models.  He should just look across the Oval at someone a little closer to home:

I actually went to the wrong room for my Class of 2002 luncheon.  I got there and though, "Wow, these people look good."  Then I realized I was at the Class of 2007's luncheon.  My class luncheon was a lot of fun.  My thanks to the organizers, banquet servers, and other staff who made it run smoothly.

It was a pleasure to sit with Save OBU Contributing Editor Veronica Pistone and her husband, Scott, as the Bison basketball teams cruised to victory over Manhattan (NY KS) Christian.  I had worked up quite an appetite, so I naturally drove to Van's Pig Stand.

Now I'm enjoying the hospitality of my new friend, Parker.  And a view of the spectacular new Devon Tower.  To the east are the Bank of America Center (tallest building in OKC from 1931-1971) and the Chase Tower (tallest building in OKC from 1971-2011).

I went to see the good guys at Tobacco Express at NW 63rd and May in Oklahoma City, where I bought a new pipe to commemorate my inspiring and hopefully fruitful trip to Oklahoma!

So that was my day in a nutshell.  I've been critical of certain policy and personnel changes in my writing here.  But let me be clear: 99.5% of what is going on at OBU is absolutely wonderful!  We just believe that the problem areas are actually quite consequential for the mission and character of the institution.

If you're in the area, please meet with Veronica in the lower level GC tomorrow (Sunday, November 11, 2012) to learn more about Save OBU.  And plan on attending our strategy session at 4:00.  We'll meet in front of the library and then proceed to the meeting.

God bless OBU!

[EDIT]: See my posts on Sunday's activities (worship and strategy meetings). Veronica will add her perspective on the meeting by midweek.


  1. A new pipe is always good. Wish I could have been there to smoke a bowl with you.

    1. Someday soon, I hope! Also, to clarify: Clayton is referring to smoking a bowl of TOBACCO.


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