Oklahoma Christian University is proud to feature Mike Carroll in the Alumni Spotlights section of AlumNews. Mike graduated OC in 1975 and is currently the President & CEO of Heritage Trust Company.
What advice would you give to current or prospective students? Relax, enjoy, get involved, and you can not have too many friends.
What was the most important thing you learned while attending Oklahoma Christian University? That is an interesting question. As an accounting major and a CPA you would think that the most important thing learned would be analytical. Actually I enjoy people and how they interrelate whether in a business setting or family dynamics which is an important part of trust work. Understanding another person’s motivation is key to resolving potential conflict, leadership, and success. Maybe it was theatre where you constantly hear the question, “What’s my motivation?” Think about it next time you’re in a group of people. I have been told I am good at it.
What is your passion in life? My passion in life is people in general and my family specifically. My 3 boys are just plain fun to hang with although they would tell a different story about dad.
What is your favorite memory from or favorite thing about OC? Needless to say there are a lot of stories that I will leave in the past. Having just gone to Spring Sing recently, I remember the year that Delta did songs from “South Pacific”. The shows back then were not nearly as well done as they are today but Delta is still Delta. Dana Baker, Ed Zack and I convinced an army surplus store in Oklahoma City to loan us a real torpedo to use as a prop in our show. That is my story and I am sticking with it. This was a real torpedo that was almost as long as a car. The only transportation that we had was Zack’s convertible. No problem right, we laid the torpedo down the middle of Zack’s car with a significant part of the torpedo hanging out the back of the car. Again, no problem, Dana and I will ride this torpedo like a horse to prevent it from exiting the vehicle. It was eerily similar to the scene from “Fail Safe” where Slim Pickens rides the H bomb dropped from the bomber over Russia. Needless to say we drew a lot of attention driving through Oklahoma City. We were pulled over by a car honking it’s horn and flashing it’s lights. We were fearless after all we were in possession of a torpedo. A lady and her husband got out and start taking pictures and we were more than willing to provide many poses. They were from New York and traveling across country gathering funny material for a book about America. I guess that we are in that book.
Another reason this story is timely is that Dana, Zack, and I met in Connecticut this past fall. Zack is from Connecticut and Dana now lives in Colorado Springs. We were three best friends remembering the good times that we had at OC more than 30 years ago. Zack had long since sold the convertible and we could not find any torpedoes.
What advice would you share with a soon to be graduate of OC about "the real world"? I recently gave this advice to my youngest son who is a senior in high school and soon to be a freshman at OC:
1) Nothing in life is more important than your family and friends. Choose wisely and cherish those relationships.
2) Seek a profession that you find interesting and fun. Money is secondary. If you can have fun and make money you are truly blessed.
3) Don’t get in a hurry. Each stage of your life has its own lessons and rewards. You sometimes have to slow down to learn the lessons or enjoy the rewards. You will be an old man soon enough.