The Edmond Sun

August 24, 2012

Oklahoma Christian to inaugurate its 7th new president Monday


Special to The Sun

EDMOND — Oklahoma Christian University will inaugurate John deSteiguer as its seventh president on Monday.

The installation ceremony, scheduled for 11 a.m. in the Payne Athletic Center, will highlight a week of special activities to celebrate deSteiguer’s presidency and the start of the 2012-13 academic year. Aug. 27 also is the first day of the fall semester at Oklahoma Christian.

In addition to OC representatives, participants in the installation ceremony will include Jose Freede, an Oklahoma City philanthropist who provided the lead gift for OC’s Freede Centennial Tower; Glen Johnson, chancellor for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education; and Joe Brumfield, professor of Bible at Harding University.

Inauguration Day will begin with a private breakfast for church leaders and a private brunch for civic leaders. Guests at the 7:30 a.m. breakfast will include Church of Christ elders and ministers from Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.

Participants at the 9 a.m. brunch include Lee Allan Smith, president of Oklahoma Events Inc.; Tom Ward, chief executive officer of SandRidge Energy Inc.; Rep. Randy Grau, Oklahoma District 81; and Oklahoma state treasurer Ken Miller, who also serves as an associate professor of business at Oklahoma Christian.

An on-campus picnic lunch for students, faculty, staff members and guests will follow the installation ceremony, which will include elements from OC’s traditional opening Chapel service.

Former OC presidents will keynote three of the university’s Chapel services during Inauguration Week. J. Terry Johnson, the longest-tenured president in OC history (1974-1996), will speak on Tuesday. Alfred Branch, who served as president in 2001 and 2002, will speak on Wednesday. President Emeritus Mike O’Neal (2002-12) will speak on Thursday. President deSteiguer will conclude the week with Friday’s Chapel address.

Other special events include the First Ladies Tea, hosted by Darla deSteiguer, at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Gaylord University Center. The new program builds on the tradition of hospitality and civic involvement built by previous first ladies of the university. It also will launch the First Ladies Collection, an initiative to honor women through donations to Oklahoma Christian’s Beam Library.

The week also features an All-School Devotional at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Thelma Gaylord Forum and OC’s annual First Week Follies faculty/staff variety show at 7 p.m. Thursday in Hardeman Auditorium.