ORU Recognizes 50 Lifetime Global Achievement Award Recipients
Oral Roberts University (ORU) will recognize 50 Lifetime Global Achievement Award Recipients during their 50th Anniversary Gala on Friday evening. The award honors individuals or organizations that have made a significant impact in the history of Oral Roberts University and in the world in positive ways as an extension of the University and its mission. Honorees have shown outstanding excellence or deep impact in one or more of the following areas: intellectual advancement, spiritual vibrancy, physical discipline, social adeptness, professional excellence, global focus, University support and/or healing initiative.
Growing up in Teshie, Ghana, Dr. Seth Ablorh (’85 M.D.) was inspired to study medicine when he saw how desperately the people needed proper medical care. He began his medical studies in the former Soviet Union, where his faith also drove him to minister to persecuted churches. He completed his Doctor of Medicine degree at ORU’s former School of Medicine, did his residency in Chicago, Illinois and returned home to found Manna Mission Inc. Ghana, for which he also serves as president. Today, Manna Mission operates a 40-bed hospital, a Christian school, Manna Mission Academy and several churches.
Dr. Daniel Amen (’82 M.D.) is the founder and CEO of Amen Clinics, located in five states. He is a physician, television producer, double board-certified psychiatrist and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has authored or co-authored over 60 professional articles and more than 30 books, including nine New York Times bestsellers; among these are “Magnificent Mind at Any Age,” “The Daniel Plan” and “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.” Amen has also conducted research on brain injuries in professional football players, proposing rehabilitation solutions.
Michele Bachmann (’86 J.D.) was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in 2000, and then became the first Republican woman to be elected to the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota, where she served from 2007-2015. In addition to her Juris Doctorate, Bachmann earned an L.L.M. in Tax Law at the College of William and Mary. In 2012, she became the first ORU alumna to run for President of the United States. Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, have five biological children and have been foster parents to more than twenty children.
Andretti Bain (’07, ’09 MBA), a native of Nassau, Bahamas, is an Olympic medalist and 11-time All-American. He won a silver medal in the 4x400 meter relay with the Bahamian team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Competing for the ORU track team, he was the 2008 NCAA indoor and outdoor 400 meter national champion—ORU’s first-ever national champion in any sport. Bain set numerous school and conference records and twice received recognition as the Summit League Athlete of the Year (outdoor track and field). Bain won 11 Summit League championships and was inducted into the ORU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
S. Lee Braxton (Sherrod) (Posthumous)
S. Lee Braxton was the president of, or an official in, 22 companies. From humble beginnings, he attended Bible college and became an auto mechanic. Ever thrifty, he saved money, bought property, and by 1950, he owned an auto parts store. With continued business success, Braxton became a millionaire. He also served as the mayor of Whiteville, North Carolina. In 1949, Braxton attended one of Oral Roberts’ crusades. After a lengthy conversation with Roberts about his ministry, Braxton was invited to join the team. Braxton served as a vice president for the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. He was the founding chairman of the ORU Board of Regents, serving as such from 1962 to 1979. Braxton received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from ORU in 1975. The former Braxton Hall, one of ORU’s first three buildings, was named for him.
Dr. James B. Buskirk was the first professor of the Arthur J. Moore Chair of Evangelism at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta and founding dean of ORU’s School of Theology (1976-1984), which rapidly achieved accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and introduced a Doctor of Ministry degree program. Post-ORU, Buskirk was Senior Minister at First United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma (1984-2001). The church grew from 5,300 members to nearly 8,900 during his tenure and expanded its facilities and ministries to better serve the community. Buskirk served the Oklahoma Annual Conference in many capacities and has received awards for his ministry in evangelism.
Amick Byram (’77) is a recording artist and two-time Grammy nominee. He has contributed vocally to several Broadway cast albums, including “Civil War,” “Sunset Boulevard” and “Jekyll and Hyde,” to commercials and to more than 100 episodes of “The Simpsons.” He has sung for hundreds of recordings including the films “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Shrek,” “Pocahontas,” “Hercules,” “Mulan” and “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” He is perhaps best known for singing the role of Moses in the animated film, “The Prince of Egypt.” Byram has recorded two original albums, “Encounter” and “Hymns Renewed.”
Michael Cardone, Jr. (’70) and wife Jacqueline Cardone (’69) co-founded CARDONE Industries with the late Michael Cardone, Sr., in 1970. Today the family business, spanning three generations, is the largest family-owned remanufacturer of automotive parts in the world. Jacqueline Cardone serves on the CARDONE Board of Directors, is president of the CARDONE Foundation, and is a trustee emeritus of the ORU Board of Trustees. Michael and Jacqueline’s son, Michael Cardone III (’96), previously served as the president and is now the Executive Vice Chairman of CARDONE Industries. He also serves on the ORU Board of Trustees.
Dr. Delta Cavner (’72) has a passion for missions, serving initially in Europe. Over the years, she has persevered through trials and losses including the loss of a husband, daughter, and grandson. Being a professor has opened many opportunities and over the past 15 years, she has used summers and sabbaticals for mission projects, primarily in China. She received the prestigious Fulbright Award to teach in Ethiopia. She has written children's books, published peer-reviewed articles, and presented at international conferences. She is an ordained minister and recently resigned as a tenured professor from Southwest Baptist University to teach at Addis Ababa Bible College, plant a Chinese church in Ethiopia, and continue making strategic trips into China.
In 1983, Mathews Chacko (’70) opened Bethany Academy, a K-12 English residential school in Kerala, India, that now serves more than 900 students. This school is a Christian institution, committed to the development of the whole person. The academy has become one of the top schools in India and accepts students regardless of race, religion, creed, gender or disability. In addition to serving as chairman for the academy, Chacko serves as managing director for Powervision, the first and only evangelical Christian TV station in India. The government licenses the station, bringing the gospel to more than 50 million people.
Dr. Don Colbert (’80, ’84 M.D.) has practiced medicine in Central Florida for over 20 years. Board-certified in family practice for more than 25 years, he specializes in anti-aging medicine. Colbert is a New York Times bestselling author who has written over 40 books. He has ministered health and healing to thousands. He is a frequent guest on programs with John Hagee, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland and many others. Colbert has been featured on “The Dr. Oz Show,” “FOX News,” “ABC World News,” the “BBC,” and in The Atlanta Journal Constitution and Reader’s Digest.
Writer/speaker/director Phil Cooke (’76) has produced media programming in nearly 50 countries around the world. He’s been shot at, survived two military coups and fallen out of a helicopter. His company, Cooke Pictures, has helped some of the largest nonprofit organizations use media to tell their story. Cooke lectures at many prestigious universities and has authored three books. “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do” was named one of the Top Five Business Books for 2012 by the Washington Post. Cooke holds a Ph.D. in theology and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., MPH, has inspired millions to exercise, beginning with his bestseller “Aerobics.” He is a pioneer of preventive medicine and helped get physical education in Texas schools through the passage of Senate Bill 530. In 1970, he trained the Brazilian soccer team to a World Cup victory. During his service in the U.S. Army and Air Force, Cooper served as a flight surgeon and director of the Aerospace Medical Laboratory. In 1970, he founded the Cooper Aerobics Center and coined the term “aerobics,” submitting the definition to the Oxford English Dictionary. He inspired ORU’s founder to add aerobics to the university’s curriculum.
Billy Joe (’74, ’92 M.A., ’02 D.Min.) and Sharon (’76) Daugherty founded Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1981. They went on to establish Victory Christian School, Victory Bible College (VBC), the International Victory Bible Institute and the Tulsa Dream Center. In 2007, Billy Joe served as ORU’s interim president until Ralph Fagin assumed the role. Sharon served as lead pastor after Billy Joe’s passing in 2009. The Daughertys have four children, all of whom are in ministry: Sarah Wehrli (’00), Ruthie Sanders (’02), John Daugherty (’07) and Paul Daugherty (’08). Paul and his wife Ashley began serving as lead pastors of Victory Christian Center in 2014. Sharon continues to teach at VBC and is the Oklahoma State Director for Christians United for Israel.
Bernis Duke spent 33 years as ORU’s men’s tennis coach, compiling a 563-225 record. He’s ranked sixth among NCAA Division I coaches in career wins. The 2002 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame inductee enjoyed winning seasons in his first 28 years as head coach. His teams made several appearances in the Top 10 rankings and featured future ORU Hall of Famers Peter Van Lingen and Pekka Saila. Duke holds a reputation as a compassionate and loyal member of the ORU family. When he stepped down from coaching tennis, he began teaching badminton. He’s been a favorite of ORU students for many generations.
Ralph and Darlene Fagin
Dr. Ralph Fagin (’70) served as an ORU professor in the Behavioral Sciences Department for 10 years before moving into administration, serving in a variety of positions. He became provost in 1998. He served as interim president for 18 months during a leadership transition, from 2008 until the installation of President Mark Rutland in 2009. In all, Ralph Fagin served the University for more than 40 years. Ralph and Darlene (’74) have two children, Andrew (’11, ’14 M.A.) and Elissa (’09, ’13 MBA). Darlene also served the University in various capacities and was a chairwoman for the Hospitality House in Tulsa.
Richard “Rick” Fenimore
Richard “Rick” Fenimore (’77, ’79 MBA) is the president and co-founder of Trinity Chemical Industries, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Founded in 1985, Trinity Chemical provides railcar leasing and logistics management services in handling bulk liquids and chemicals. At his alma mater, Fenimore has been very active in the Alumni Association, as both a member and chairman of its Board of Directors. He has served on the Alumni Foundation Board (1994-2015) and is a charter member of the Golden Eagles Champions Club and Golden Eagle Club. Fenimore joined the ORU Board of Regents in 2004. He served on the Board of Trustees from 2008-2015 and is now a member of the Board of Reference.
Richard Fuqua (’74), referred to as “The Man Who Built Mabee Center,” was a three-time basketball All-American and the NCAA's second-leading scorer in 1972. He is ORU's all-time leading scorer at the Division I level. During his career, Fuqua averaged 27 points per game…before there was a three-point shot. Between 1969 and 1973, Fuqua scored 3,004 points in a 111-game career. In 1971, he scored 60 points in a game against the University of the South. After finishing college, he was drafted by the NBA’s Boston Celtics. To honor Fuqua, his jersey, No. 24, was retired by ORU.
Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Lee Gifford has enjoyed a four-decade career as a television host, actress, singer, playwright, songwriter and author. Though best known for her 15 years on “Regis and Kathie Lee,” she currently serves as the three-time Emmy-winning co-host of the fourth hour of the “TODAY” show. She is a New York Times bestselling author of many books including “Party Animals” and “The Legend of Messy M’Cheany.” Gifford devotes much of her time to the Association to Benefit Children, which spawned the Cody Foundation. The resources from the Association benefit foundations that provide care for children with severe disabilities and medical problems.
Mart Green is the Chief Strategic Officer for the Green Family businesses. He established Mardel, a Christian educational supply chain, in 1981 and serves as the board chair of Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores. Green also works to build a Digital Bible Library with the alliance of Every Tribe Every Nation, with the goal of making the Bible accessible to every people group in the world. Green served as the board chair of the ORU Board of Trustees from 2008-2014. Green is also the producer and CEO for Every Tribe Entertainment. The company made the feature film “End of the Spear” and the companion documentary, “Beyond the Gates of Splendor.”
Dr. Carl Hamilton served as ORU’s chief academic officer for almost 30 years. He moved to Tulsa in 1960 to work with the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association. Hamilton was OREA’s manager of publications and editor of Abundant Life magazine before becoming an ORU assistant professor in 1966. Through his career at ORU, he served as assistant dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, dean and executive vice president, provost and vice president of academic affairs. He was intricately involved in the process that led to ORU’s initial accreditation in 1971. Hamilton received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from ORU in 1998.
Marilyn Hickey began hosting a television program in 1973, and in 1996 was joined by her daughter Sarah Bowling. Today their show may be viewed on Trinity Broadcasting Network, Daystar Network and many other networks around the world. She holds the record for tenure on ORU’s original Board of Regents, and also served as chair of the board (1988-2007) longer than any other chair. Marilyn Hickey and her late husband, Wallace Hickey, founded Full Gospel Chapel, later renamed Orchard Road Christian Center.
Son of William Howard, the donor for whom Howard Auditorium was named, Scott Howard (’79) is the president of Commercial Roofers, Inc. His grandfather started a roofing business in 1959, making Howard a third-generation contractor. Commercial Roofers, Inc. received the National Commercial Roofing Contractor of the Year award. Howard gave back to his alma mater by serving as ORU’s representative and consultant in working with the insurance company to assess damages after a violent hailstorm hit the campus in 2005. Howard served on the ORU Board of Trustees as the chair of the Finance Committee from 2008 until April 2015. Now, he serves on the Board of Reference.
In His Image
In His Image Family Medicine Residency Program (IHI) is a Christian community-based training program that considers itself an offshoot of Oral Roberts University. During their residency, residents help provide free, high-quality medical care and at the same time, share the hope and love of Christ with patients in the Greater Tulsa area. In His Image International (IHII) focuses on bringing healing to the world. Over the past 30 years, more than 5,000 medical professionals have been trained by In His Image medical teams and over 16,000 individuals have received life-changing medical care.
Bill Kuert (’68 M.Div.) has dedicated his life to sharing the gospel in Africa and has served in Kenya since 1978. After earning his degree from ORU, he received his missionary accreditation from the Assemblies of God World Missions. Kuert served for four years as the Protestant Chaplain for Nairobi University. He worked with East Africa School of Theology (EAST) located in Nairobi, Kenya. Bill and his wife, Barbara, were actively involved in collecting support for the construction of KAG (Kenya Assemblies of God) EAST University, which opened in January of 2015.
Terry Law (’69) is the founder of World Compassion Terry Law Ministries and one of the most influential missions leaders to nations hostile to the gospel in the last 45 years. He has dared to do the impossible in some of the most dangerous environments in the world, impacting over 40 nations including Russia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Ukraine. Law is passionate about equipping the next generation to minister the gospel with the same boldness that has characterized his life of ministry. He has authored several books, including “The Story of Jesus” which has sold over 27 million copies worldwide in 52 languages.
Dr. Dennis Lindsay
Dr. Dennis Gordon Lindsay (’04 M.A., ’14 D.Min.) is the president and CEO of Christ for the Nations, Inc. (CFNI), a worldwide missions organization and Bible Institute headquartered in Dallas, Texas. In 1999, he received an honorary doctorate in Divinity from Beacon College for decades of significant contributions to global Christian education and ministry. As a missions-focused leader, he has ministered in over 74 nations. Lindsay has published 17 volumes of a projected 25-volume series on the subject of creation science.
Madeline Manning Mims
Madeline Manning Mims (’11 M.Div.) was a member of four U.S. Olympic Teams. She is the only American woman to win gold in the 800 meters, which she did in 1968. She won a silver medal in the 4x400 meter relay in 1972. Mims is a National Track and Field Hall of Fame and Olympic Hall of Fame member. She founded the United States Council for Sports Chaplaincy and has been a chaplain for seven Olympic Games. This ORU graduate has spoken at ORU Athletic Chapel and other events. Mims is also a gospel recording artist and was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2005.
Dr. Stephen Mansfield (’81) is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker who coaches leaders worldwide. He came to the world’s attention with his book, “The Faith of George W. Bush,” a bestseller that Time magazine credited with helping shape the 2004 U.S. presidential election. His latest book, “The Miracle of the Kurds,” was released just as Kurdish troops were taking a stand against ISIS. It was named “Book of the Year” by Rudaw, the leading Kurdish news service. Mansfield speaks on men, leadership, faith, the power of heritage and more. His firm, The Mansfield Group, is based in Washington, D.C.
J. D. McKean
Dr. J. D. McKean, founder of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, has served on numerous national committees and spent six years on the national ACEP Board of Directors, serving as national vice president in 1986-87. In 1989, he received the James D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award, the second-highest honor awarded to an Emergency Physician. In 1997, he founded The JDM Foundation, which has provided scholarship funding to hundreds of ORU students. McKean is also founder and chairman of the board of The Eagle Sky Foundation, whose mission is building a Christian Challenge Camp and Conference Center in the heart of the Ozarks. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Frontier State Bank in Oklahoma City and of Washita State Bank in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.
John and Ruth Merrell
John and Ruth Merrell were both members of ORU’s “Alpha Class.” They married in 1966 and spent several years serving in the music industry. In 1978, they were appointed missionaries with the Assemblies of God, serving for 38 years in more than 85 nations. They have dedicated their lives to bringing music ministry around the world with an emphasis on reaching the illiterate. The couple has ministered to oral learners through technology such as solar-powered mp3 players and cellphones. They were the directors for International Media Ministries, pioneered the Oral Learners Initiative and spent six years with tribal groups in Africa.
Don Moen is a singer/songwriter and producer of Christian worship music who has written more than 100 songs, recorded multiple albums and led worship on six continents. He received a Dove Award for his work on the musical “God With Us” and has received several other Dove Award nominations. He has been featured on FOX News, NPR, and in USA Today. His concerts and seminars have taken him to Ghana, South Korea, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Honduras and beyond. Moen also founded Worship in Action to “care for orphans, respond to natural disasters, and bring hope to people trapped in the cycle of poverty.”
Mike Moore was a 1981 Baseball All-American at ORU and was the first player selected in the 1981 Major League Baseball Draft. Moore ranks as ORU’s highest draft pick in any sport, chosen by the Seattle Mariners. During his 14 seasons as a pitcher in the major leagues, he was an American League All-Star (1989) and pitched for the World Series champion Oakland Athletics. Moore also pitched for the Detroit Tigers. He was a first team All-American at ORU and is the only baseball player to have his number retired at ORU.
Myles Munroe (Posthumous)
Dr. Myles Munroe (’78) was a gifted motivational speaker and consultant to governments and Fortune 500 companies who authored over three dozen books. He founded Bahamas Faith Ministries International and Myles Munroe International. Munroe was the Bahamas’ youngest recipient of the Queen's Birthday Honors of the Order of the British Empire Award for his spiritual and social contributions to the national development of the Bahamas. He received the Bahamian government’s Silver Jubilee Award for providing 25 years of service to the Bahamas in spiritual, social and religious development. Munroe and his wife Ruth lost their lives in a plane crash in 2014.
David Osborne (’81) is known as “Pianist to the Presidents,” having played at the White House more than any other pianist—for the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations, among others. The Steinway Artist has been a favorite of former President Jimmy Carter since 1986. In 2012, Osborne was recognized as Concert Pianist of the Year at the L.A. Music Awards. He has performed for the American Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, “The 700 Club,” the Steinway and Sons International convention and many more. A fixture at Caesars Palace for 12 years, Osborne currently performs at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. He has sold almost five million records throughout his career.
Dr. Paul Osteen (’78, ’82 M.D.) was on ORU’s first missions team. He spent 17 years as a surgeon before joining the pastoral team at Lakewood Church in Texas. Paul Osteen is the older brother of Joel Osteen, lead pastor of Lakewood. Paul serves at the church, providing insight to the pastoral team. He has been pivotal to the growth of Lakewood and is a constant support for his brother Joel. Osteen and his family have been called to serve around the world at mission hospitals, schools and orphanages. Each year, he spends months in Africa, caring for patients, performing surgeries and visiting orphanages with his wife Jennifer and their children.
Winnie Perdue worked at the City of Faith before taking a job at ORU. She served for a total of 28 years. This great-great-granddaughter of the famous Cherokee, Sequoyah, was a marvel to all during her tenure in the Alumni Relations office, quoting lengthy passages of poetry and lines from popular movies, displaying up-to-the-minute knowledge of current events and cultural trends and earning medals in race walking, weightlifting and other events at the Senior Olympics. Her demonstrations of appreciation for staff at every level made her popular with all. Although she left ORU in 2010, she returns each year to help with Homecoming...to the delight of alumni.
Dr. Cindy Perry (’74) journeyed to Project Kibbutz in Israel in 1978, served in the Nepali churches in 1980 as a member of the International Nepal Fellowship and served as coordinator of the Nepal Church History Project. She founded Himalayan Ministries and was the director for 10 years. In 2005, she joined Development Associates International (DAI) as senior consultant for the Himalayan Region. In 2015, Perry was appointed South Asia regional director for DAI. She continues to serve and walk alongside national leaders throughout the region. She is the leader of a DAI program, Leadership Himalaya, focusing on the development of young Christian leaders.
Laura Pratt Nelson
Laura Pratt Nelson (’88 MSN), along with the medical team at Roca Blanca Mission Base in Oaxaca, Mexico, has ministered to approximately 80,000 patients since 1991. Many have come to know Jesus Christ through their quality medical care, spiritual counseling and prayer. Through Roca Blanca’s efforts, churches have been planted, a Bible school launched and a 24/7 House of Prayer has been built. Nelson directs the clinic where training is an important part of her work. ORU College of Nursing students go on medical missions to the clinic and receive quality training while serving the community.
At 15 years of age, Ruth Rooks volunteered to help evangelist Oral Roberts by typing letters to assist his budding ministry. She would transcribe letters as the evangelist dictated them. Roberts hired Rooks as a full-time secretary, and she continued to serve in this capacity for decades, including Roberts’ time as President of ORU. She was the only secretary Roberts ever had. “Her efficiency is only exceeded by her Christian character,” Chancellor Roberts once said of her. Rooks, now 85 years old, has lived in Oklahoma her entire life.
Robert “Brother Bob” Stamps
Dr. Robert Stamps served as ORU’s second chaplain for 13 years. He helped establish many ORU traditions, including the summer missions program. Stamps earned a doctorate in Systematic Theology from Saint John’s College (England). He is a lecturer and presenter who is especially appreciated for his beloved hymn, “God and Man at Table Are Sat Down.” He authored “The Sacrament of the Word Made Flesh: The Eucharistic Theology of Thomas F. Torrance.” A pastor at heart, he served as Dean of Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary and now resides in Virginia with his wife, Ellen.
Larry Stockstill (’75) and his wife, Melanie, served as senior pastors of Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from 1983 until he passed leadership of the 7,000-member church to his son Jonathan in 2011. Since 1984, Bethany has given nearly $63 million to missions and has supported over 300 outreaches. In 2001, Stockstill launched the Surge Project, an international church-planting venture. Since its inception, Surge has planted over 22,000 churches in more than 35 nations. Today, while directing the Surge Project and serving as a teaching pastor at Bethany, Stockstill travels across the U.S. and around the world.
Onetime national champion Olympic weightlifter Jim Stovall (’81) is the president of the Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network and a highly sought-after platform speaker. He is the author of over 30 books, including the bestseller “The Ultimate Gift,” which became a major motion picture. The President’s Committee on Equal Opportunity selected Stovall as the Entrepreneur of the Year for his work in making television accessible to our nation’s 13 million blind and visually impaired people. He was also chosen as the International Humanitarian of the Year, joining Jimmy Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Mother Teresa as recipients of this honor.
Clifton Taulbert (’71) was born on the Mississippi Delta during the era of legal segregation. Opportunities were few and barriers were plentiful, but Taulbert was undaunted. Today, he is the president and CEO of the Freemount Corporation, a human capital development company that serves clients nationally and internationally. He was the first African-American to win the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Non-Fiction. His books include “Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored” (made into a major motion picture) and the Pulitzer Prize-nominated “The Last Train North.”
Ted T. Timmermans (’78) is the Chief Accounting Officer for Williams Partners GP LLC. He served as the vice president, controller and chief accounting officer for Williams Partners GP LLC. His groups also provide accounting services for the corporate business activities and facilitate technical accounting to support the Williams finance organization. He was previously a director at the former Williams Employee Credit Union and frequently volunteers at Tulsa community events. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Ken Trickey (Posthumous)
Coach Ken Trickey was "one of the most influential and colorful characters in this state’s basketball history,” according to the Tulsa World. In 1969, he became ORU’s men's basketball head coach. Between 1969 and 1974, his teams won more games than any other teams in the country except UCLA. They led the nation in scoring in 1972. In 1974, the ORU Titans made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament by beating Syracuse University in the first round and the University of Louisville in the second round. Trickey was inducted into the ORU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. He passed away on December 4, 2012.
Architect Frank Wallace designed a campus that was future-focused, divinely inspired and magnetic to prospective students, donors and visitors alike. Prior to ORU’s construction, Wallace visited scores of leading universities to gather inspiration. He worked closely with founder Oral Roberts in designing every major building on campus, and virtually every building carries symbolic meaning. The Learning Resources Center was named “the most innovative facility of its kind” by the Ford Foundation and the Prayer Tower remains a Tulsa landmark. In 1977, Wallace received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from ORU.
Pansy “Miss Pansy” Wallace
Pansy Wallace has served ORU students for over 40 years. During her time at ORU, she has served in the dining hall in several different capacities. Wallace’s roles as front of house supervisor and cashier have created the most opportunities for her to interact with students. Her kind words have left decades of students with the indelible mark of ORU. Her love for students, staff and faculty has made her impactful in showing the love of Christ every day. She makes it a point to learn students’ names as they come and go through the dining hall.
Larry Wayne Morbitt
Singer/actor Larry Wayne Morbitt (’74) played the role of Ubaldo Piangi in “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway for eight years and then spent six years reprising his role in “Phantom—The Las Vegas Spectacular!” The résumé of this ORU alumnus also lists 15 years as a minister of music in churches, two CDs, performances for notable personalities such as the Vice President of the United States and the former Empress Farah Diba of Iran, and leading roles in “Fiddler on the Roof” and other musical theater productions. He is currently working to bring a new show called “Las Vegas Christmas Spectacular”—with contemporary and traditional music as well as the Nativity—to the Vegas Strip.
After beginning his college career at ORU in the 1970s, Kelly Wright (’08) left school early to serve in the U.S. Army and then pursue his passion for journalism. Following stints with local TV stations, he joined FOX News Channel, where he is a general assignment reporter and co-host on “America’s News Headquarters.” He has secured many high-profile interviews, including a 2007 exclusive with First Lady Laura Bush, and has covered stories such as the U.S. handover of sovereignty to Iraq. He co-produced a documentary and news series on the transatlantic slave trade and has earned two local Emmy Awards.
Recipients will be honored during ORU’s 50th Anniversary Gala, which will be held at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 23, 2015.
Those selected for this notable award were chosen by a committee comprised of ORU alumni, students, administrators, faculty and staff. The committee utilized a rigorous selection process, choosing only 50 recipients out of thousands of potential candidates to receive this honor. Recipients come from all walks of life and offer a multitude of contributions on behalf of Oral Roberts University around the world.
For more information about ORU’s 50th Anniversary Global Celebration Week, visit www.oru.edu/50.