For Mark and Kandi Molder, Oklahoma Wesleyan University is a family affair. From their time as students to their combined 20 years as OKWU employees, the couple embodies the essence of this year’s Outstanding Service to Oklahoma Wesleyan University award. This award recognizes OKWU staff members for exemplary service to the University and the community. The Molders more than measure up through their years of coaching and advising students, assisting families, initiating community service, and inviting students into their home.
The daughter of alumni, Kandi (Secondary Math Education, 1999) was looking for a college that honored biblical values, and when she was recruited to play basketball and volleyball at OKWU, she found her college home. Mark (Exercise Science, 2000 and MBA, 2010) was also an athlete playing basketball, and while he was drawn to the beautiful campus and the athletic opportunities, he quickly developed an even deeper appreciation for the OKWU community.
After graduating, Mark and Kandi moved forward in their careers, Kandi to teaching and Mark to sales. In 2003, they welcomed their twin boys, Cameron and Grant, and the next year, moved back to Bartlesville to open Molder Motors. Three years later, both Mark and Kandi made the decision to join the Oklahoma Wesleyan team again, this time as employees. Mark was hired as an assistant coach, and Kandi became a financial aid counselor. Today, Kandi is the Director of Financial Aid at OKWU and Mark is the Athletic Director and Women’s Basketball Head Coach.
The Molders both credit OKWU with being the place where their faith truly became their own, and the place where they built strong relationships with mentors such as coaches and professors. Like many OKWU love stories, Mark and Kandi share the same best memories from school: each other. Says Kandi, I was in the gym shooting, trying to blow off some steam and he came in to talk to me and shoot…the rest is 21 years of history. Mark follows, saying I still remember how she looked the night I picked her up for Christmas banquet. I’m blessed to have attended OKWU where I could find a great young lady like Kandi who loves the Lord.”
They also share similar best memories of being on the OKWU staff:
“As a coach, my greatest memories all revolve around the ability be a part of some of [our students’] great experiences and memories,” explains Mark. “It’s more than a blessing to see a young person accept Christ and then to also see them accomplish something special like the men’s basketball team winning the national title in 2009, or our women’s basketball team making the national tournament and win the conference tournament.”
Kandi agrees, “We have watched students accept Christ, be baptized, lead devotions, and volunteer in the community…I have watched them with the pride of a mom as they walk out on the floor on Senior Night, across the stage at graduation, or up the aisle at their wedding.”
Congratulations Mark and Kandi, both as faithful alums and for 10 years of dedicated service to OKWU!