Updated with video: John deSteiguer named sixth president of Oklahoma Christian University
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John deSteiguer, senior vice president for advancement at Oklahoma Christian University, will move into the president’s office this summer.
Trustees for the 2,200-student Christian university chose deSteiguer today to succeed retiring President Mike O’Neal, who announced plans in 2010 to step down at the end of this academic year.
“This is an exciting day for all of us at Oklahoma Christian University,” board chairman Don Millican said in a prepared statement. “Dr. deSteiguer is well-known and well-respected in the community and on our campus, giving Oklahoma Christian a visionary leader who possesses a strong appreciation and respect for Christian education and the difference it makes in the lives of our students.
“Dr. deSteiguer has a proven track-record in the area of development that is critical to our future success. We look forward to working with him to advance Oklahoma Christian University as one of our country’s finest private Christian universities.”
DeSteiguer said in a statement: “I am deeply honored and humbled by the board’s decision and confidence in me. OC is a one-of-a-kind university, and I appreciate our board, faculty, staff and alumni. During my nine years here, I have been inspired by the personal engagement our students receive to ensure they are intellectually and spiritually ready to succeed and serve when they graduate.”
DeSteiguer and Allison Garrett, Oklahoma Christian’s senior vice president for academic affairs, were named finalists for the top post late last year. Both were interviewed by the 33-person board this weekend. Milligan said the university was blessed to have “two well-qualified and talented finalists.”
DeSteiguer’s appointment marks the second time in two days that a university associated with Churches of Christ has named a new president. He will be the sixth president in Oklahoma Christian’s 62-year history.
L. Timothy Perrin, vice dean and professor of law at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, Calif., was tabbed Friday to serve as president of Lubbock Christian University in Texas. Perrin will succeed Ken Jones, the Lubbock Christian president for 18 years before transitioning to the role of chancellor last year.
Meanwhile, Harding University in Searcy, Ark., has launched a website to accept applications and recommendations for its next president.
Harding President David Burks plans to retire at the end of the 2012-13 academic year after 26 years at the helm.
More on DeSteiguer, via Oklahoma Christian:
A native of Tahlequah, Okla., deSteiguer has spent almost two decades in higher education. He served at his alma mater, Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, as a senior development officer before arriving at Oklahoma Christian in 2002 as part of President O’Neal’s new administration.
During nine years as OC’s chief advancement officer, a record $110 million was given to the University, including the successful $60 million Higher Learning~Higher Calling campaign, that was completed ahead of schedule.
The campaign led to significant improvements for the campus, including the new Lawson Commons, featuring the Freede Centennial Tower and McGraw Pavilion, and the $7.5 million initiative to build the Noble Science Wing and upgrade the Mabee Laboratories at Vose Hall. The campaign also produced four new endowed chairs and more than 60 new or enhanced maintenance, operating and scholarship endowments.
Dr. deSteiguer is a member of several civic organizations, including the Edmond Chamber of Commerce’s executive committee, the Oklahoma Planned Giving Council, the Edmond Rotary Club and the Oklahoma Bar Association.
He received his undergraduate degree at Northeastern State, summa cum laude, in 1984. He was a Rotary International Scholarship recipient at the University of Kingston, Jamaica, and earned his juris doctorate from Pepperdine University, magna cum laude, in 1989.
He and his wife, Darla, also an attorney, have two teenage children, Joe and Abby. He is a frequent Bible class teacher and a deacon at Memorial Road Church of Christ.
See the full news release from Oklahoma Christian.
FeedbackCongratulations! I think John is a great choice.David BrassfieldFebruary, 4 2012Congratuations from Gerd and Lucky Fecht! The board made an absolute great choice. We know you will be a tremendous asset to OC and will bring a level of commitment, fervor and Christian ethics that will be a blessing to this great institution. God bless!Gerd FechtFebruary, 4 2012The selection comittee made a great choice. John will be an excellent president and voice for Oklahoma Christian University in the coming years.
Jay and Clari NormanJay NormanFebruary, 4 2012I am so excited about John being named the new president. My family has known John and Darla for many years going back to me and my wife’s time while students at NSU and attending the South College congregation. They are genuine, dedicated and true Christian people who love the Lord and His church and will do nothing but the best to honor God in this great new position of leadership at OC. John certainly has all the credentials and experience and talents to serve in this role, and he also has a down to earth and humble spirit and great family history and love for churches of Christ in Oklahoma and I’m confident he’ll work to continue to strengthen OC’s relationship with the body of Christ. I’m also thankful for all of Allison Garrett’s great work and influence on the OC campus and hope she will continue to serve in her role and work on campus. God’s richest blessings on OC during this exciting new period of leadership.Robert PraterFebruary, 4 2012Congratulations on your appointment. We’ve never met but hope to soon as you move into the Presidency. I’ve known Dr. Mike O’Neal for over twenty years and know the kind of person that will succeed him will be successful as he was. We currently live in Camas, WA and attend Church with one of your Board members, Kerry Barnes.Don FosterFebruary, 4 2012We so happy for John and his family. He is a very outstanding young man. Good luck and God bless you. Miss you in Tahlequah!Rod & Vicki WyersFebruary, 6 2012Congratulations to OC and to John R. It’s a great fit. John R., we’re very proud of you. You will be a great president of Oklahoma Christian. May God continue to bless you.Carol DavisFebruary, 10 2012