The 2018 Alumnus of the Year Honorees

 Click here to make a 2019 AOY nomination.

Elizabeth (Wood '80) Chen: Distinguished Service to God

Elizabeth’s life changed after she took a short-term missions trip to Tainan, Taiwan. It helped form her life’s mission: To raise up this generation to prepare the next generation to usher in the return of the Lord. She and her husband, Matt, established Living Water Christian Church in 1993 in Tainan. In 2006, they partnered with many other churches to launch a youth conference called SHINE, which is now a full-fledged nationwide youth ministry. In 2008, Elizabeth started a summer internship for youth called 222 (from 2 Timothy 2:2); young people are challenged to live disciplined lives while attending classes and prayer meetings and cultivating their gifts and talents. Living Water also has a prayer room—All Nations House of Prayer—where more than 150 people meet and serve weekly. In 2018, Living Water sent out its first international missionaries.





Dr. Micah Hill ’97: Distinguished Service to the Community

Micah has been an exemplary military medical officer in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and more recently as a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) specialist. He works to improve fertility services for active duty families. He is the IVF director at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he has been stationed for the last 10 years. There, he has helped build the program into the largest fertility service in the U.S. military and the site for reproductive Wounded Warrior care. In 2017, Micah was awarded the Lieutenant General Claire L. Chennault Award from the Army for his excellence in research and education. In 2015, he was recognized as the best educator in OBGYN at Walter Reed. In 2007, he received the Michael K. Yancey award for best teacher in all of Tripler Army Medical Center. He has mentored more than 30 physicians, won numerous other awards, published dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles, and presented over 130 abstracts at national and international research meetings.





Chris Busch ’73: Distinguished Service to the Alma Mater

Chris has served ORU in one fashion or another as a student and in the years since his graduation. He was on the inaugural Alumni Association Board of Directors, has been its chair, and has served multiple terms. In the 1970s, he was ORU’s business manager and VP for Business Affairs. He has mentored campus leaders and alumni and used his influence to promote ORU and impact the kingdom of God. He was the Alumni Board’s chairman during the transition from Dr. Mark Rutland to Dr. William M. Wilson, and in that same role when the Alumni Foundation was dissolved in 2017—a signal of trust between ORU and its alumni. Most recently, he has been on ORU’s Board of Reference and participated in the President’s Commission on Alumni Engagement. Chris and Linda (Salisbury-74), married 45 years, have seen all three of their children—Christina, Kim, and Ryan—graduate from ORU. Chris is the founder and CEO of LightQuest Media.





Clay Jacobsen ’78: Distinguished Service “In Every Person’s World”

It didn’t take long for Clay to establish himself in the entertainment industry. Fresh out of college with a telecommunications degree, and having honed his skills on Oral Roberts’ primetime specials and Sunday-morning program, he got a job running camera for Jerry Lewis and his Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon—and worked with the show for 22 years (six as director). He is currently directing the 35th season of Jeopardy! Clay’s other production credits include programs such as People's Choice Awards, Entertainment Tonight, Alf, Arsenio Hall, American Idol Extra, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and Full House. He is also a writer with several novels ("The Lasko Interview," "Circle of Seven," "Interview with the Devil," "The Ultimate Reality Show") and a nonfiction book ("Authentic Relationships," coauthored with brother Wayne ’75) on his résumé. 





History and Details on the AOY Program

In 1998, the Alumni Association Board of Directors established an "Alumnus of the Year" awards program. The first awards were handed out in 1999. In 2014, a new award was introduced for Distinguished Service "In Every Person's World." (Note: In 2015, as part of its 50th Anniversary celebration, ORU presented 50 Lifetime Global Achievement Awards to alumni, friends, and other notable individuals. Alumnus of the Year awards were not presented in 2015.)

Nominations for the 2019 AOY awards will open in the near future. Watch for the announcement!

The categories and criteria for AOY nominations are as follows:

Distinguished Service to God--Excellence in fulfillment of Oral Roberts' vision for students to go into "every person's world" through full- or part-time ministry in a church, missions organization, or other ministry.

Distinguished Service to the Community--Excellence in serving the community and society, including those outside the Kingdom of God, by bringing God's voice, light, and power into their world; and excellence in meeting unique challenges presented by their environment.

Distinguished Service to the Alma Mater--Excellence in their field of service, contributions to the total life of the university, and spiritual impact on students, the ORU community, and fellow alumni. Nominations based in part on outstanding or faithful financial support of ORU are welcomed, but this is not a prerequisite for the award.

Distinguished Service "In Every Person's World"--Excellence in carrying out ORU's founding vision through service and achievements in non-ministry/non-missions fields, and by representing Christ in their particular corner of "every person's world." 

In all four categories, quality and longevity of service and ministry will be considered. Those who have served "quietly and faithfully" will be on equal footing with those who are widely recognized for their work. Each nominee's life and conduct should reflect Christ's character as revealed in scripture.

For more information, contact your board representative or the Office of Alumni Relations at or 918.495.6610.    

2017 honorees: Bill Hull (69), Distinguished Service to God; Jeff Lippencott (87), Distinguished Service "In Every Person's World"; Mary (Edwards-80) Banks, Distinguished Service to the Alma Mater; and Larry Derstine (79), Distinguished Service to the Community.

AOY 2017

Previous Winners 2016-1999


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