After almost 12 and a half years with Oklahoma Christian University, admissions director Michael Mitchell said goodbye to the job he called home.
Mitchell’s last day with Oklahoma Christian was on Jan. 15, when he left to work for Water4, an organization that fights the water crisis around the world.
“My job now is to go out and build relationships with cause-minded people so that I can connect them to Water4 and our mission to eradicate the world water crisis,” Mitchell said. “I think God has been preparing my heart for a long time to be receptive to an opportunity like this.”
According to Mitchell, the position at Water4 was intriguing to him because of their goal to bring clean water around the world.
“What drew me to Water4 is that they are committed to more than just charity,” Mitchell said. “They are actually putting the solution, through investment in infrastructure and training, in the hands of the people in the countries where water is needed most.”
Mitchell said he felt this career move was God’s plan for him.
“I can remember driving back from my interview with the CEO and thinking to myself, ‘If God opens this door for me, I have to walk through it’,” Mitchell said. “When the job was offered, I felt a real peace about accepting the position, even though it felt like a huge career leap for me.”
Mitchell’s most recent role with Oklahoma Christian as admissions director required him to lead a team of counselors to to recruit potential students to find their ‘home’ at the university.
“Michael led with grace and compassion, and always put the needs of our team before his own,” Admissions Counselor Kelly Hughes said. “He was positive, encouraging and genuinely cared about the personal and professional development of everyone on his team.”
Jake Odell, a sophomore who formerly worked in the admissions office, said Mitchell was a strong influence for him professionally.
“Working with Michael was not only fun but was always a good learning experience,” Odell said. “He has such a positive and loving attitude, and I really appreciated getting to work with him.”
Mitchell graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 2004 with a bachelors degree in business administration and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a master’s degree in higher education administration in 2006.
Before his work as admissions director, Mitchell served as coordinator of alumni relations and then alumni director.
“Any success I have had or will have in the future is directly connected to my time at OC,” Mitchell said. “As an employee, I have had the privilege of working for so many talented leaders that have taught me so much. It is difficult to put into words the kind of impact that people like Judy Davis, Stephen Eck, John deSteiguer and Risa Forrester have made in my life.”
Mitchell said the thing he will miss the most about Oklahoma Christian is being around college students.
“Few people are as open to being led by Christ and making an impact on his kingdom as college-aged students are,” Mitchell said. “I was regularly humbled and inspired by the lives and dreams of OC students.”
Although Mitchell said he is going to miss his time at Oklahoma Christian, he said he believes God is leading him in the correct direction.
“I am always a little bit hesitant to credit things like career moves directly to God, but I definitely see his fingerprints all over everything that had to happen for me to get from where I was a few months ago to where I am today,” Mitchell said. “I can’t help but believe he put all of this into motion.”
Risa Forrester, vice president for admissions and marketing, is taking Mitchell’s place, serving as the interim director of admissions while the university searches for a permanent solution.