The Edmond Sun

August 28, 2012

Oklahoma Christian welcomes 7th president

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — OC President John deSteiguer’s integrity, sound judgment and strong ethical and spiritual background will help the university continue its mission in the future, a higher education official said.

Monday morning, deSteiguer was inaugurated on the Oklahoma Christian University campus. He became OC president on May 1. The installation ceremony, held on the first day of the fall semester, is part of a week of special on-campus activities.

At 11 a.m., the installation program began with a procession. Participants included past presidents, OC’s Board of Trustees, university officers, faculty, faculty emeriti and institutional delegates.

The program included elements of an OC chapel service, a welcome from Don Millican, chairman of OC’s Board of Trustees, the Pledge of Allegiance, hymn singing, opening and closing prayers, comments from higher education Chancellor Glen Johnson, the presentation of commemorative gifts and investiture, when a president is invested with his office and duties.

Millican said OC’s family was touched by the outpouring of support for deSteiguer and his family. deSteiguer and his wife Darla live in Edmond with their two children. He is a deacon and frequent Bible class teacher at the Memorial Road Church of Christ.

Johnson called deSteiguer a personal friend and said the purpose of higher education is to convey our history to future generations, to unlock the knowledge of the ages and to blend timeless truths with today’s realities.

“There’s no more noble enterprise than to provide both roots and wings for leaders of tomorrow,” Johnson said.

It’s a mission OC has been fulfilling effectively since it first opened its doors in 1950, Johnson said.

“As the seventh president of this institution, all of us here today are very confident that President deSteiguer will lead our students at the pursuit of both academic and spiritual excellence,” Johnson said.

During his remarks, deSteiguer spoke about OC’s new academic mace, carried during the procession by Stafford North, the faculty member with the longest tenure; he has served OC since 1952.

deSteiguer said the band of the mace features Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” It is in four areas of life — intellect, physical, spiritual and social — that OC students mature while they are part of the campus community, deSteiguer said.

From its beginnings, OC has been all about the building of the whole person, deSteiguer said. OC students are prepared for their careers like no one else, he said.

“The academic experience at OC is very, very strong,” deSteiguer said. “And every year it gets stronger.”

OC initiates, innovates and educates, deSteiguer said. At OC, “social life” is not about us, but about putting the needs of others before our wants, he said. He paraphrased scripture from James about a simple definition of religion.

“It’s taking care of others and their needs and staying unpolluted by evil,” deSteiguer said.

During academic year breaks, OC students organize service trips to St. Louis, build Habitat for Humanity homes in San Antonio, they fly to Honduras to build shelters, build roads at a boy’s home and conduct vacation Bible school at churches, deSteiguer said.

OC also has many local ministries where students serve others, deSteiguer said.

“In all of these service efforts our students change lives — and their lives are changed,” he said. | 341-2121, ext. 108