When Roger Metcalf, Chairman of Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s Board of Trustees since 2002, was first attending Bartlesville Wesleyan College in the 1970s to earn his Associates Degree, he had no idea the large part that the university was going to play in his life—or the large part he would play in shaping his Alma Mater.
“I never would have dreamed that I would have even been on the board,” Metcalf said. “Chairman of the Board, certainly not.”
And, he admits, it is a pretty surprising development. “A lot of my classmates are probably shocked, too,” he said jokingly.
The only reason Metcalf even ended up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma was because of the recommendation of a few people in his church who had attended the school. So Roger gave it a look. “I checked it out,” he said. “I liked it, I said I’ll go there.”
It was a simple approach to making a decision that would affect the rest of his life—and not only academically. BWC shaped Metcalf’s personal life, too.
“Oklahoma Wesleyan has always had a special place in my heart because that’s where I met my future wife,” he said.
Roger eventually moved on from the school, going to get his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at Northwest Nazarene University, because BWC didn’t offer the program at the time. But he had been shaped by the school, so when he was recommended by Wesleyan General Superintendent Joe Watkins to join the OKWU Board, he wanted to give back.
A Firm Believer in OKWU’s Mission
For Metcalf, OKWU stands out in Christian higher education because of its strong commitment to its Biblical principles. “I believe in the four pillars as we have established them,” Metcalf said. “I believe there’s a lot of Christian universities out there who aren’t holding steadfast to those.”
Specifically, Metcalf is proud that OKWU has stood on the foundation of Scripture’s inerrancy instead of folding to outside pressures. “A lot don’t think that’s a big deal, but I do,” he said.
Metcalf is proud to have served the university so faithfully and is especially proud to follow in the footsteps of other recipients of OKWU’s President’s Award, like Dr. Steve Babby, another longstanding member of the board. “He’s been a good friend, someone I have a lot of respect for,” said Metcalf. “It really is an honor because I have a lot of respect for Steve… getting something like Steve Babby, that’s quite an honor.”
Babby, for his part, speaks just as glowingly of Metcalf. “Roger… is a steadying force on the board,” he said. “It’s obvious that Roger is a strong Christian always seeking to be Biblical in leading the board.”
Of special significance to Metcalf is the transitional nature of this year’s President’s Award, having been picked for the honor by former president Everett Piper, but receiving it from newly inaugurated president Jim Dunn. “That, for me, kind of tied the two together,” Metcalf said. “It’s kind of, okay, we’re ready to move forward here.”
Metcalf’s message to the university that he has spent so much time assisting is one of simple admiration. “I am a firm believer in Oklahoma Wesleyan University and what it stands for,” he said. “I have no doubt in my mind that whoever comes there will get not only a great education, but they’re going to experience firsthand that our faculty cares about them as a person and as an individual. They’re not just going to teach class; they’re going to make sure that you as a person develop in all areas. Not just your knowledge, but your spiritual life.”
“I have no doubt in my mind that whoever comes there will get not only a great education, but they’re going to experience firsthand that our faculty cares about them as a person and as an individual.”