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OC celebrates successful Associates Dinner

Wednesday, March 31, 2010   (0 Comments)
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A keynote speech by astronaut Colonel Doug Wheelock and a celebration of Lee Allan Smith’s life and career highlighted Oklahoma Christian University’s eighth-annual Associates Dinner. The special event, held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, was attended by more than 500 people and honors supporters of the university. Wheelock has served with the NASA space program since 1998. He was a mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2007, logging almost 400 hours in space and performing three spacewalks. He has served as the primary liaison between NASA and the Russian Space Agency, as well as the Russian aerospace industry. He is scheduled to launch on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft later this year, serving as commander of the International Space Station and its six-person international crew during ISS Expedition 25. In addition to his appearance at the Associates Dinner, Wheelock spent a day on the OC campus connecting with students. He spoke in an engineering class, in Chapel, at another gathering in Judd Theatre, and for a group of at-risk female middle-school students who are mentored by OC female engineering students. OC alumna Diana (Kniffin) Oglesby, who serves as a computer engineer for NASA, joined Wheelock during his time on campus, addressed a college class, and co-presented with him to the middle-school students. At the Associates Dinner, Oklahoma Christian announced a new "Spirit of Oklahoma” award that will be given in honor of Smith, who was an instrumental member of OC’s Board of Governors. His leadership has been a driving force behind big events like the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival, the Oklahoma Centennial Celebration, the Civic Center Music Hall Grand Reopening, the Dome Dedication at the Capitol, and the Stars and Stripes Show, which was nationally-televised by NBC on an annual basis. The dinner included the debut of the 2010 OC Associates Video, produced by the Oklahoma Christian University Marketing Office. It also featured an entertaining performance by a select group of OC music department students and alumni, directed by Dr. Ken Adams and accompanied by Eric Grigg. Acappella sang the national anthem and a special tribute song to Smith, Louis Armstrong’s "What A Wonderful World.” OC Associate Phil Roe led the invocation. Kay Murcer, wife of the New York Yankees’ iconic ballplayer and broadcaster Bobby Murcer, who died last year after a courageous battle with cancer, led the Pledge of Allegiance. -OC-

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