ORU announces winners of the 2012 Alumnus of the Year Awards

By Natasha Mitchell ('94)

The Oral Roberts University Alumni Association recently announced the 2012 winners of the Alumnus of the Year awards.

The awards are designed to reward those individuals who embody the vision of Oral Roberts University. There are three "Alumnus of the Year" categories: Distinguished Service to God, Distinguished Service to the Community and Distinguished Service to the Alma Mater. This year's recipients were honored with a video tribute and an award at the annual Alumni Homecoming Banquet, held Feb. 11 on the ORU campus. The 2012 winners are:

Larry Stockstill, Distinguished Service to God
Larry Stockstill graduated in 1975 with a degree in theological and historical studies. Upon graduation, he remained at ORU and served as associate chaplain until 1976. At that time, he and his wife, Melanie, moved to West Africa to serve as missionaries in Nigeria and Ghana. In 1978, they returned to Louisiana, where Stockstill joined the pastoral staff of Bethany World Prayer Center, the church his parents started. Stockstill became senior pastor in 1983. On October 2, 2011, Jonathan Stockstill officially became the third generation of Stockstills to serve as senior pastor. Pastor Larry Stockstill remains on Bethany's staff as a teaching pastor and is involved in worldwide church-planting efforts. He is also at the forefront of an initiative called Remnant: a movement to restore integrity in the church at large.

Jean Caceres-Gonzalez, Distinguished Service to the Community
Jean Caceres-Gonzalez, founder and executive director of His House Children's Home, is a native of Tarrytown, NY. After graduating from ORU in 1983 with a degree in Spanish and minors in business administration and commercial art, Caceres-Gonzalez began a career at a foreign language publishing company. As a student, she had traveled on missions to orphanages in Brazil and Mexico and felt called to start a home for children in need. In June 1989, she established His House Children's Home, a nonprofit residential program and child placement agency for abused, neglected and drug-exposed children in Miami, FL. Since it began, His House has impacted the lives of more than 4,500 children in South Florida. In 2010, His House was selected by the U.S. government to provide temporary care for orphaned children arriving from Haiti. His House also cares for Unaccompanied Alien Children under age 18 that have left their native lands to escape harrowing situations and seek a better life in the U.S.

Richard Pearson, Distinguished Service to the Alma Mater
Originally from Ontario, Canada, Rick Pearson graduated from ORU in 1977 with a degree in business administration. As a student with a pilot's license, he started a small charter business and flew student missions teams to ministry sites on weekends. He also played bass guitar in Souls A'Fire Choir, a music group that ministered in song across the U.S. After graduation, Pearson returned to Canada and began working for his family's company, Pearson Bus Sales, Ltd., and was eventually named president. He was a member of the ORU Board of Regents for 21 years and also served as chairman of the board of OREA (Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association) Canada. Now retired, he and his wife, Karen, live in Ontario.