What's Your Question?
With so much going on at ORU, we get lots of questions from alumni and others. For everyone's convenience, we've compiled a list of the most frequently asked (and most recently asked) questions and answers.
How is enrollment?
This fall, undergraduate and graduate enrollment is 3,212. That represents an increase of 72 students over last fall. These students come from 49 states and 51 countries. Retention of freshmen from the fall of 2009 is 81.6 percent -- an increase of 4.8 percent from the previous year. That 81.6 percent number is well above the national average.
How has chapel changed?
The best answer we can provide is simply to send you here to watch a recent chapel service for yourself. Watch Chapel
Who are the "ORU Singers"?
The ORU Singers is a new premier musical team that sings at churches around the region and represents ORU. They are part of the new ORU International Worship Center.
What is the role of the ORU International Worship Center?
There are 150 students involved with the International Worship Center, which is directed by Wayne and Jennifer Lee. Groups include the ORU Singers (see above), Souls A'Fire, and groups such as Music to the Nations, which will travel overseas to minister through music during summer tours. Basically, IWC provides students an opportunity to participate in music ministry on campus, in the local community, in the U.S., and around the world.
Explain the structure of the current Spiritual Life department (now Spiritual Formation).
Dr. Clarence Boyd is the dean of Spiritual Formation. His staff includes the women's chaplain, Carol Holderness, and the men's chaplain, Eric Peterson. Carol and Eric supervise the student chaplain program. The Spiritual Formation offices are in the base of the Prayer Tower.
What's going on in the Prayer Tower these days? Is anyone praying there?
The base of the Prayer Tower was renovated in 2008 and early 2009 and a new Prayer Room was created. A student-initiated Prayer Movement began in 2009; there are prayer meetings being held in the Prayer Room every weeknight. In September 2010, renovations began on the observation deck. These will be completed next spring. The Prayer Room is open to alumni from 7 a.m. to midnight with their Alumni Access Card.
What are the plans for Braxton Hall?
The plan is to raze Braxton at some point in the future.
I heard that ORU sold the homes formerly occupied by the ORU president's family and others. Is this true?
The property commonly known as "The Compound" consisted of six houses -- most built in the 1960s and 1970s. It was sold on June 30, 2010 for $1.55 million to two local businessmen. It was costing ORU about $6,000 per month to maintain this property. A thorough evaluation of the property indicated that it would have cost ORU more than $1 million to make the houses and grounds worth keeping. In a depressed real estate market, and knowing what the buyers will have to spend to improve the property and bring it up to city code, $1.55 million was considered a fair price.
What is the status of CityPlex Towers?
ORU still owns CityPlex Towers. It is not on the market. A substantial sum has been spent on the towers in the past few years to modernize the lobby, add new eateries, and make improvements that will reduce energy bills. The occupancy rate is about 55 percent and the building is making a profit. CityPlex gives a guaranteed percentage of its net income to ORU each year for the endowment fund.
How is ORU Athletics funded?
The university provides most of the annual budget, but Athletics is expected to raise funds for staff salaries and student-athlete scholarships. The department is also responsible for funding its own building programs. Recently, these included Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Golden Eagle Sports Complex (the Burkhart Family Strength and Conditioning Center and the H. A. Chapman Practice Facility) and improvements to J. L. Johnson Stadium and Mabee Center sports facilities (including a new scoreboard).
What happened to the funds raised for the Student Center? Will it ever be built?
The Student Center project was announced in April 2001. Most of the funds raised from that point on were used to complete preliminary work, including: architect's plans, a new, wider bridge over Fred Creek to handle construction vehicles and prevent future flooding, demolition of the Classroom Center, relocation of underground utilities, and construction of a new parking lot (to replace the lot that would be lost during construction of the building). The project was put on hold in 2002. At the President's Forum this fall (2010), Dr. Mark Rutland told students that he would like to see a new center, but ORU needs to complete other work on campus and build up its bank balance before taking on a new building project.
How extensive is Board Chair Mart Green's involvement with ORU these days?
Mart answered this question for us. He said, "Over the last two years I drove from Oklahoma City to Tulsa 50 times per year -- nearly once a week. Since Graduation this past May, I have now started coming to ORU for monthly visits with Dr. Rutland. Besides the monthly visit I also come for Board of Trustees meetings and Quest Whole Person Scholarship competitions. My most enjoyable moments are when I come to see my daughter Amy who is a junior at ORU. Dr. Rutland and I also have a scheduled phone call every week. It is great that we have Dr. Rutland as our president as this allows me to fulfill a more normal role for a University Board Chair."
If I make a gift to ORU, can I give to whatever project I like? And when I give, how do I know my money will go where I want it to go?
Yes! We want you to support that aspect of ORU's mission that most resonates with you personally. There are dozens of departments and programs to which you can make designated gifts. We are absolutely committed to honoring the gift designations of donors. If you want to give to the Biology department, the Men's RA program, the Alumni Foundation Annual Fund, Quest Whole Person Scholarship, or anything in between, we promise that your gift will be used in accordance with your wishes.
Is ORU involved in any lawsuits?