God Is Still Good
For Such a Time as This
When I was inaugurated in October of 2019, I had no idea what lay ahead of me in my first year as president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. I was expecting to embrace the unique joys and challenges that come with the job. My focus was on building a foundation, on building a team—on building the Next OKWU.
I had no idea that in a matter of months we’d be facing this challenging season. Like most every other school in America, we made the difficult decision to close our physical doors and move to online learning. It was certainly a new experience, but I’m proud of the way we came together as a school. Our professors worked overtime to help this transition go smoothly. Our students adjusted in a moment’s notice, encountering the longest spring break in history. Our staff had to be flexible to shifting schedules and timelines. It wasn’t easy for any of us, and it hasn’t been easy for you.
Around this same time, people here in America were seeing with fresh eyes the need for biblical justice. Many all over the country lifted up their voices to call for human dignity, especially for people of color. Through OKWU’s website, I shared my own response, hoping that this cultural moment could spark positive change and that we would see every person as made in the image of God, both in our country as a whole and for our own campus community. Despite what some may say, we who hold a Christian vision of how God’s world should operate cannot look away from cultural issues. We will engage with our students, faculty, and staff from a biblical perspective. And we commit, as before, to listening first and leaning in with the light of Jesus in a dark world, influencing all with His transforming grace and truth.
“Thank you for believing in the transformative mission of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.”
Jim Dunn, president
An Everyday Calling
These situations aren’t unique to OKWU. Every college alumni magazine in the nation will feature a similar message of hardship this year. They’ll write about how they overcame the challenges of 2020. I’m proud to say that OKWU can claim this, too. Even in the face of COVID-19, we brought in steady enrollment numbers on our traditional campus for the fall semester. We’re taking the necessary safety precautions to have a wonderful year, continuing our dedication to delivering the life-changing experience of an OKWU education.
And let me tell you: we’re still focused on building the Next OKWU. We were doing it before this pandemic, we are doing it through the pandemic, and we will continue it past this strange season. Even with these challenges, I’m pleased with where we’re at.
Annual giving exceeded expectations for the fiscal year. On April 2nd, we hosted our virtual, record-breaking #OKWUGiveDay.
We’ve revamped our Admissions team and brought key players to join Team OKWU. Our renamed Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) program has evolved to provide a better online experience for our students. Our entire OKWU brand has shifted—we’re changing our logo, our color scheme, and our website to assist in our marketing efforts and student recruitment. The future really is bright, and we seek nothing other than advancing the Kingdom of Jesus Christ through Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
We continue to nurture OKWU’s relationship with our local community and with our Wesleyan and pan-Wesleyan church partners. God-willing, we are on the verge of a major campus addition, the Eagle Campus Expansion, which will dramatically impact our community. When the world returns to “precedented” times, we’re prepared to launch into the future.
Tomorrow Needs You
Whether you’re a recent OKWU grad or an alumnus of one of our preceding institutions, you’ll find something to love in this magazine. You’ll hear from our faculty and from other alumni, and you’ll read stories of the life-changing influence an OKWU education continues to have. More than anything, I hope that you’ll be encouraged in these times, when discouragement and division seem to be the default state.
Thank you for your prayers as I seek to lead OKWU with excellence. God is still good. He remains the Lord over all. He’s still in control. And He’s still working in and through OKWU.
For the Transformation of All!
Dr. Jim Dunn, President
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