The Oklahoma Wesleyan University President’s Award is selected each year by Dr. Piper. The honor is given to individuals who are considered special friends and supporters of OKWU. The 2015 recipient, J. Mike Stice, is that and more.
“Mike has become a dear friend of Oklahoma Wesleyan,” Dr. Piper commented, “Without him we would not have the Keating Center. It is only by God’s grace that we are blessed to have such strength in the leadership of the OKWU Foundation.”
President Piper met Dr. Stice on a fishing trip in Alaska. Stice says he “became an immediate fan of [Dr. Piper’s] beliefs and influence.” In the months and years since then, Stice and the university built a relationship that eventually led to his position as Chairman of the Oklahoma Wesleyan University Foundation Board.
Dr. Stice has a long list of accomplishments as a highly successful businessman, as the retired CEO of Access Midstream (formerly Chesapeake Midstream Partners), and in various technical and managerial positions at ConocoPhillips. During his time at ConocoPhillips, Dr. Stice traveled the globe in executive roles such as President of ConocoPhillips Qatar, and Conoco Asia Pacific, Ltd. He also served as managing director of Conoco Australia.
His experience in the business world and in teaching leadership provides Dr. Stice with great advice for being an “excellent” leader today. “Build relationships founded on trust,” he says, “focus your actions on benefiting others first. Also prioritize your time to work on the things that create an environment for success…”
It is clear that Dr. Stice puts this advice into action. Today, he serves on a number of boards and is the Dean of the College of Earth and Energy at the University of Oklahoma. He is active in the community, and is passionate about “enhancing education, beating cancer, and contributing to the well-being of children and families with special needs.”
While Dr. Stice has a wealth of knowledge in many areas, some of the most valuable lessons from his career, he notes, relate to his faith:
“Faith and career are not separate constructs. They are intertwined and only develop into their full potential if they openly work together to achieve God’s will… Faith must be transparently shared with others creating an environment of inclusion that extends beyond our own beliefs.”
The most rewarding part of working with Oklahoma Wesleyan, Dr. Stice emphasizes, is the fellowship. “[OKWU has] great people who are unapologetic about their beliefs and live accordingly.”