News Story

ORU Alumnus of the Year Recognizes Internationally Acclaimed Songwriter, Successful Businessman and Nonprofit CEO

2014 HomecomingThe Oral Roberts University Alumni Association will present Alumnus of the Year awards during the annual Alumni Homecoming Banquet on February 8, 2014. Recipients include the following: Scott Howard, Service to the Alma Mater; Marty Nystrom, Service to God; and Mark Tennant, Service to the Community.

Candidates for these awards exemplify Oral Roberts’ vision to “go into every person’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.

Howard, a 1979 graduate, is a third-generation roofer/contractor in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company his grandfather started in 1959, Howard Roofing, later became Commercial Roofers, Inc. In recent years, the company has received a number of civic and industry awards, including "National Commercial Roofing Contractor of the Year."

Howard is also committed to giving back. His company has donated labor, materials and entire new roofs for numerous community and charity projects. In 2005, Howard came to the rescue of his alma mater, serving as a consultant and owner’s representative when ORU was working with the insurance company to evaluate and repair roof damage caused by a violent hailstorm. The value of his assistance was estimated to be worth nearly $3 million to ORU. Howard has served on ORU’s Board of Trustees since 2008.

Nystrom, a 1980 graduate, has written more than 120 songs including “As the Deer,” “I Will Come and Bow Down” and “Times of Refreshing.” He holds a degree in Music Education from Oral Roberts University and, after teaching in public schools for three years, he became the director of the music department for the New York branch of Christ for the Nations. He also served for three years as the song development manager for Integrity Music, Inc.

Nystrom has taught on praise and worship at events all over North America as well as in the nations of Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Italy, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. He has a special heart and vision for the nations and believes that praise and worship will be a major influence in spreading the gospel worldwide. He is also the author of two children’s books: "Don’t Mess with Moses" and "Zack, You’re Acting Zany!"

Tennant, a 1984 graduate, is the founder of Arrow Child & Family Ministries, which focuses on treatment foster care for children who have been severely traumatized by abuse and/or neglect. In addition to offering high-quality, Christian value-based care to foster children in Texas, Maryland, California, and Pennsylvania, Arrow operates a home in Honduras that rescues sexually abused girls from life on the streets. The nonprofit serves to advance the well-being of children, families, communities, and culture by providing an array of services and engaging the local church to promote Christian responsibility and commitment to strengthen family life.

Tennant, a former foster child, has an extensive background in the administration of children and family service agencies. Before beginning Arrow, he worked for several years as vice president of another agency that provided foster care. He currently serves as chairman/CEO of Arrow Child & Family Ministries.

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