Kameron Nettleton

Oklahoma Wesleyan University recently unveiled the newly renovated Mission Lodge at OKWU, known formerly as the Buell House.

OKWU hosted members of the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce and other community leaders at the ribbon-cutting event on April 22.

In 2020, OKWU received the Buell “Mission Ranch” house on 2200 Price Road, adjacent to campus. During the 2021-22 academic year, OKWU received a grant from The Parsons Foundation to renovate the house and use it as host home for visiting missionaries, university guests, and small events.

“Mission Lodge blends mid-century modern elegance with the hospitality of the pioneer spirit, offering a unique discovery in every room. This timeless retreat beckons guests to experience renewal,” said Kory Pence, VP for Creative Impact and Mission Lodge Designer.

OKWU partnered with Levi Richmond Construction for the renovation, which took place over a period of five months and was completed in early 2024. The home has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a sunroom, 2 conference rooms, and a remodeled kitchen. It can hold up to 8 overnight guests and will be used by OKWU as a retreat center and event venue.

The home was originally built in 1945 for Newell G. Welty and his family. It was designed by acclaimed architect Charles Dilbeck, of Tulsa, and dubbed the “Mission Ranch House.”

In 1950, Albert E. Buell and his wife Bernice purchased the home. The Buells lived in the home until 1978. Their son, Barry Owen Buell, and his wife Joy were pillars of the Bartlesville community and generous supporters of OKWU during their time working at Phillips Petroleum. Buell established the Joy Buell Scholarship Fund at OKWU in honor of his wife’s legacy.

“Thanks to The Parson Foundation’s generosity and OKWU’s dedication to preservation, Mission Lodge has been revitalized, embodying the essence of OKWU’s mission to develop and send servant leaders into the world,” Pence said.

Take a photo tour of the Mission Lodge below.

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