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Distinguished Alumni: Excellence in Communication, Business and English

Each year, the departments of Oklahoma Christian University select an alumnus to represent and honor during the homecoming season through the Distinguished Alumni Award. 

The heads of the communication, business and English departments spoke with the Talon about their respective alumni.

Dr. Brian Simmons, Chair of the Communications Department, spoke about the communication department’s honorable alumni, Allan Stanglin, who now preaches in Midland, Texas. 

“Allan has accomplished a lot in not only one, but two professional careers,” Simmons said. “He had one career in sports casting and radio management and his second career has been in preaching. In both of his careers, he has been well recognized for outstanding service. We felt he was a perfect honoree for the spirit of this award.” 

Dr. Jeffery Simmons, Chair of the Business Department, spoke on behalf of his department’s alumni selection, Keith Mauck, who is now Executive VP of Sales at Dunlop Protective Footwear. 

Simmons explained why the business department chose Mauck as a distinguished alumni. 

“Keith graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1997 with a BBA in Management and also earned an MBA in International Business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management,” Simmons said. “He has had a robust career in international business, building successful sales and marketing teams. Currently, he is serving as the Executive Vice President of Sales at Dunlop Protective Footwear.” 

Travis Montgomery, Chair of the English and Literature Department, spoke on behalf of the department’s choice to select the honorable Rebekah Taylor, who is now the Associate Professor of Clinical and Legal Education at the University of Oklahoma, as their distinguished alumni.

Montgomery touched on why Taylor was chosen as an honorable alumni. 

“We have so many worthy candidates. When Rebekah’s name came up during a faculty discussion, I remembered my days at Oklahoma Christian when she and I took some of the same classes.” Montgomery said. “Even back then, Rebekah displayed so many of the skills, gifts and talents which have made her a great lawyer today.” 

The Department Chairs agree the purpose of these awards is to honor those who have achieved great things and guide current students towards greatness.

Jeffery Simmons explained how the tradition of choosing alumni has encouraged the faculty of Oklahoma Christian. 

“I think it’s neat how Oklahoma Christian recognizes how much we play a role in the development of the people we honor. All the experiences and people you meet along the way  shape you.” Simmons said. “The fact we can recognize we have played a role in shaping these individuals who have accomplished a lot is encouraging to us as faculty,” Simmons said. 

Simmons said his vision for students is to admire and look up to the distinguished alumni to inspire them to become great one day.

“I would hope students at Oklahoma Christian now can catch a vision of what and who you can be 30 years from now. This is what they can be someday,” Simmons said. 

Simmons said honoring alumni through the Distinguished Alumni Award brings honor to God. 

“I like this tradition because it provides us with an opportunity to honor people who have demonstrated excellence and, hopefully, inspires others to pursue excellence,” Simmons said. “It is important for Christians to demonstrate excellence because, in so doing, we are further living into the image of God and bringing honor to his name.” 

Simmons said he has seen great talent among all of the departments across campus. 

 “God has blessed and continues to bless Oklahoma Christian with great students. There are many great things our alumni, from all departments across campus, have accomplished. We have much to be thankful for and to be proud of,” Simmons said. 

Montgomery said Taylor’s education at Oklahoma Christian helped shape her future as a professional in the real world.

“Rebekah was gifted when she arrived at Oklahoma Christian, but the training she got from Dr. Agan and other professors helped her take her writing and thinking to another level. She’s an absolute powerhouse now.” Montgomery said. “She’s doing so well at Oklahoma State University, and we’re very proud of her.”

Montgomery said it is important to award alumni who not only showcase professionalism in the workplace, but who truly care about others, such as Taylor.

“Alumni award candidates are successful in the professional world, but they are also people with good character, people who show integrity in what they do.

“I know Rebekah checks both of those boxes.” Montgomery said. “She’s not only a brilliant lawyer, but also a wonderful human being who cares deeply for other people. Her love for others shaped the way she practices law, and I think she’s passing that love on to her students.”

Montgomery reiterated how alumni award winners are continuing to inspire students who are currently in college looking to the future. 

“Seeing someone like Rebekah achieve what she has inspires students to follow her example.” Montgomery said.

The Talon will be showcasing various alumni each Wednesday until Homecoming. Click here to learn more about the award and this year’s recipients.

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