News Story

ORU to Present Alumnus of the Year Awards During Homecoming 2013

HomecomingThe Oral Roberts University Alumni Association will present Alumnus of the Year awards during the Alumni Homecoming Banquet on Feb. 2, 2013, to Jim and Tamara Graff, Gordon and Linda Helm and Stephen Mansfield.

Candidates for these awards exemplify Oral Roberts’ vision to “go into every man’s world.” They are nominated and chosen based on how they meet specific criteria identified by the university. The criteria include: spiritual impact, service to others, initiative, achievements and challenges faced.

Jim and Tamara Graff will receive the award for Distinguished Service to God. This award is given to alumni who fulfill Oral Roberts' vision through full- or part-time ministry. Jim graduated from ORU in 1983 with an undergraduate degree in History and Tamara graduated in 1984 with a degree in Elementary Education. They have pastored Faith Family Church in Victoria, Texas, for over twenty years. Their congregation was recently named one of America’s 300 outstanding Protestant Churches and has grown from 300 to 3,500 people. In addition to pastoring, Jim wrote the bestselling book, “A Significant Life.” He also serves as founder and president of the Significant Church Network—a growing organization dedicated to developing thriving, significant churches in America’s smaller cities and towns as well as historically overlooked places around the world.

Gordon and Linda Helm will receive the award for Distinguished Service to the Alma Mater. This award recognizes alumni for their spiritual impact on students, the ORU community, and fellow alumni, and for faithful support of ORU (financial or otherwise). Gordon serves as the Vice President and Controller at Tulsa-based Helmerich & Payne, Inc., one of the largest land rig contractors in the United States. He received both his bachelor's degree in Business Administration (1975) and his master's degree in Business Administration (1978) from ORU. Linda also graduated from ORU, earning an undergraduate degree in Telecommunications (1975). The Helms are longtime supporters of the university. They have also been involved with Christian Chapel Assembly of God for over thirty years. Gordon currently serves on the ORU Board of Trustees.

Stephen Mansfield will receive the award for Distinguished Service to the Community. This award honors alumni who serve their community and society despite challenges presented by the environment. Mansfield is a 1981 ORU graduate with an undergraduate degree in History and Philosophy. He pastored Belmont Church in Nashville before launching into a writing and speaking career. He is an advisor to leaders around the world, an activist in a variety of social causes and a regular commentator on the Fox and CNN news networks. As an author, he has penned multiple bestselling books, including “The Faith of Barack Obama” and “The Faith of George W. Bush”; the latter was used as a basis for Oliver Stone's movie “W.” Mansfield also founded the Global Leadership Development Fund, which finances character-based leadership training internationally.

For more information on the ORU Alumni Homecoming Banquet, please call 918-495-6610 or visit www.alumni.oru.edu/homecoming.