The Edmond Sun

December 21, 2011

Oklahoma Christian University receives $200,000 grant


Special to The Sun

EDMOND — Oklahoma Christian University has received a $200,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant according to senior vice president for advancement Dr. John deSteiguer. The award was part of the $21 million in grants for 215 humanities projects across the U.S. announced recently by the NEH.

“This NEH challenge grant is a huge victory for Oklahoma Christian,” deSteiguer said. “The size of the grant, larger than some states’ total grants, speaks to the high quality of our humanities programs here at OC and the noteworthy track record of nationally prominent guest speakers brought to our campus in connection with the McBride Center for Faith and Literature. Under Dr. Scott LaMascus’ leadership our students have had seven consecutive years of McBride Center excellence.”

The McBride Center was endowed in 2004 to honor Bailey and Joyce McBride. The mission of the center is to engage and inspire OC students, faculty and community in outstanding programs which explore the interrelatedness of Christian faith and literature, according to the school’s website.

“Being selected for such a competitive financial award is not only an acknowledgment of the quality inspired by Bailey and Joyce McBride, but also a signal that alumni and community partners invest in the McBride Center because we continue to place high value on humanities symposia which speak with excellence to the deepest matters of the mind, heart and spirit,” LaMascus said. “Christian faith has a lot to say about human experience and our guest speakers have proven that the resulting dialogues can be civil, intellectual, meaningful and bridge-building.

“In addition to my gratitude to the NEH and its Oklahoma affiliate, the Oklahoma Humanities Council, I’m also personally indebted to all the speakers and their generosity with the McBride Lecture, as well as to the donors, alumni, foundations, faculty hosts and staff — including Will Blanchard, an OC alumnus and amazing grant writer, and Frances Sawyer, who coordinates all the logistics for our annual events,” LaMascus said.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

“The National Endowment for the Humanities supports projects that document and explore the human endeavor in its many forms,” said NEH Chairman Jim Leach. “Whether it is preserving a valuable historical collection, enabling the production of a film or exhibition, or providing support for scholarly exploration of important topics in the humanities, the grants awarded today ensure that the shared stories of our past are available to communities across the nation for generations to come.”

Institutions and independent scholars in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico received NEH support this award cycle.

Noting that NEH gives virtually all its money in challenges, deSteiguer said, “The university will be seeking others who share the McBrides’ commitment to excellence in the humanities and who will want to partner with us to meet the NEH challenge.”



FOR MORE information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs, go to www.neh.gov. For more information about Oklahoma Christian, visit www.oc.edu.