Sunday, July 2, 2017

OBU Arboretum Accredited

One of our OBU's seven strategic initiatives in our plan, "OBU 2020," deals with improving University relations. Specifically, the plan calls for the following:  

OBU will increase and improve external relations with its diverse constituencies including the local community, alumni, donor, and denominational relations. This initiative includes intentional efforts with local schools, community service and learning, and environmental stewardship. Vision: By 2020, OBU will be identified as a leader in community outreach and involvement with specific targeted programs that reach area school systems, home school families, and the general public. OBU programs in service and learning that reach out to underserved and impoverished individuals will be a model for other institutions. Environmental stewardship and creation care initiatives will be cited regionally and nationally including new facility construction and remodeling with specific goals to include conservation and green efforts. By 2020 the OBU campus will be regionally recognized as one of the top arboretums in the state (https://www.okbu.edu/2020/initiatives.html).

This last week, the University reached a major milestone in our environmental stewardship and creation care efforts. OBU received recognition from ArbNet of our accreditation as an arboretum, to date, Oklahoma's only accredited arboretum (https://www.okbu.edu/news/2017/06/obu-arboretum-earns-national-accreditation-from-arbnet.html).


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Independence Day 2017

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

In 1776, those words changed world history. They set in motion a grand experiment that continues today. The ideals set forth were magnificent.  Even if the new nation they birthed did not fully embody those high ideals. 

But those words, and the words of our enduring constitution contained the power and guarantee that would one day liberate those who were originally deprived of these unalienable rights. The men who wrote them may not have lived them, but the ideals they enshrined ensured that right would win the day eventually. 

No nation is perfect. Our nation has its flaws. Our history is littered with injustices and ugly periods, and yet, these marvelous words have been the very means by which wrongs have been righted, by which slavery was finally abolished, and by which civil rights have been established. 

She may not be perfect but I am grateful for freedom, thankful for her promises, and thankful that her high ideals triumph over the imperfect men and women who lead and govern and live within her at any given point in history.