Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) held a dedication chapel and ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate their new campus building, The Keating Center for Capitalism, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Liberty, on Friday, March 8th. The building was named after former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and his wife Cathy for their exemplary service to the State of Oklahoma and the nation, and was established to encourage and promote the ideals that are so important to the couple: capitalism, free enterprise, and constitutional liberty.  

The Keating CenterIn addition to former Governor Frank Keating, several other business and political leaders were in attendance. U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine, 1st District of Oklahoma, opened the dedication chapel by honoring the namesake of the Keating Center by saying it “could not have been named after a stronger political advocate for the free market from our state. Governor Keating’s political career was filled with accomplishments that were aimed at preserving the very principles that this center now aims to foster.”

Mr. David Preston, Executive Director of the OKWU Foundation, followed with a tribute to the opportunities made available to the students and the community by The Keating Center and to the University’s liberal arts education. “The Keating Center will enhance how we are able to prepare our students to succeed in the real world.  Most schools recoil in horror when one dares to broach the subjects, much less promote, Capitalism, Free Enterprise, and Constitutional Liberty. We don’t. And as a fundamental American principle, the development of the free enterprise system in our country has been the engine that has driven almost inconceivable economic success and personal freedom.”

Dr. Brett Andrews, School of Business Dean and Vice President for Program Development at OKWU, emphasized the connection between Christianity and capitalism by quoting our second president, James Madison— “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” According to university president Everett Piper, the argument of The Keating Center is “that capitalism, free enterprise, and liberty – Constitutional Liberty – can only be enjoyed, preserved, protected if such ideals are grounded in something more enduring and permanent than even the our Country’s most sacred founding document.  Freedom is a gift of God it is not endowed to us by man.”

The Keating Center is a beautiful new building on Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s campus, but according to President Piper, “The Keating Center is about ideas – It is not really about a building.  And the Ideas taught in this Center and at OKWU indeed will bear fruit, and will have consequences – good fruit and good consequences today, tomorrow, for ourselves and for our posterity.”

At The Keating Center, we will champion the fundamental precepts of individual liberty, free market economics, the rule of law, and Judeo-Christian morality. Discussion on these fundamental precepts can be found on The Keating Center blog found at okwu.edu/keating-center.

The Center also houses the university’s School of Business, which has been renamed the Chesapeake Energy School of Business to reflect the generous donation to the university from the Chesapeake Energy Corporation.