Oklahoma City University | President's Message - Spring 2023 Skip to content

President's Message - Spring 2023

President Evans congratulates the National Champion Esports team members, from left, Edward Bennett, Cooper Patrick, Karl Huber, Ryan McLaughlin and Kaleb Cosgrave.

Greetings Alumni & Friends,

As we approach the end of the academic year, I am proud of our students, faculty, staff and alumni and their many accomplishments throughout this time. Some of these undertakings directly affect our communities and showcase the OCU servant-leader mentality that are featured in this issue. Our College of Health Professions’ partnerships with diverse nonprofits and health facilities in the Oklahoma City area make a difference to those they serve and, equally, impact our students. Circle K International’s OCU chapter is a very active student organization on campus that is built upon the notion of collegiate service to others, our student-athletes and other campus groups volunteer often, and business student Connor Burton already owns a company that gives back with every purchase made. Additionally, we welcome anyone in our campus community to the university’s Pantry of Hope which helps those in need with food, clothing and other necessities.

OCU Alumni often choose career fields where they can not only utilize their talents in an area they enjoy but where they can make a difference. This is true for Rayshon Payton, featured, who serves as the senior confirmations counsel at the White House, where his commitment to servant-leadership is on full display for the entire nation to witness. Tana Fitzpatrick’s work at the University of Oklahoma as the associate vice president of tribal relations helps facilitate the connection of the university to the tribal community. Alumnus David Wilson is the first Native American United Methodist Church bishop, while Margaret Freede’s background in health and law, along with a family legacy of giving, provides her a unique perspective on philanthropy.

Within the Oklahoma City community, the university has partnered with entities to provide support and assistance. El Sistema, supported by alums Phil and Casey Busey, is a music education program that teaches city youth how to play musical instruments and provides OCU students the opportunity to teach and help others through their volunteering. Positive Tomorrows’ president is alumna Margaret Creighton and for almost two decades, OCU dance students have created Halloween costumes for the children at this elementary school and social services agency for families experiencing homelessness. We also highlight the work OCU does with the local homeless population in Oklahoma City.

You may notice a few changes with this issue of Focus. As you might recall, a great deal of my passion lies in marketing as I taught in this field for decades. I see exciting potential to enhance our branding and strengthen our university’s recognition and reputation across the country. We are taking this opportunity to update a few things with the magazine, and I hope you enjoy the many stories it tells.


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