2017 brings change as Oklahoma Christian University says farewell to a familiar face and hello to a new chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Mark Brewer will succeed current chairman, Don Millican, as the 13th Oklahoma Christian Board of Trustees chairman. Brewer, a member of the board since 2003, graduated from Oklahoma State University with a doctorate degree in electrical engineering.
Brewer said he admires the developments Oklahoma Christian has made over the years and is proud to continue paving the way for further advancements in the university.
“I believe in OC’s mission,” Brewer said. “I think OC is a good place with a good group of people. It’s doing things in the community, in the state and in the country.”
According to Brewer, one of his goals as a chairman is to focus on helping current programs at the university grow and prosper.
“We need to find areas of growth,” Brewer said. “We need to find programs that are blooming, have bright futures and perhaps invest more in them. We need to find ways to help the place thrive. I think that’s a great word: Thrive. We don’t want OC to just get by, we want it to thrive.”
Brewer has been an active contributor to the Thrive program at Oklahoma Christian. The three-year program aims to provide funding for quick-impact projects on campus. Will Blanchard, head of Thrive operations, said Brewer and his family have played an important role in the success of Thrive, specifically with the new university coffee shop.
“Dr. Brewer and his wife, Beth, have been major donors to Thrive,” Blanchard said. “They have been major contributors to The Brew, which was actually named in their honor, as well as the student’s pick initiative we held two years ago.”
Blanchard said he credits Brewer with the fundamental design of the Thrive program.
“Mark is actually one of the main reasons that Thrive exists the way it does,” Blanchard said. “A typical campaign is behind closed doors, you don’t know all the details and they’re long and drawn out. Mark was one of the first people to suggest we do something shorter and very specific: to make a menu for donations and tell the story of what’s happening here. So the president was meeting with Mark and that sparked what eventually became Thrive. Mark was a big player in the design of the campaign.”
Oklahoma Christian President John deSteiguer said Brewer is well equipped to take the board chairman position.
“Mark is very smart and he has the ability to look at situations and understand them quickly,” deSteiguer said. “He is able to understand where people are coming from and to kind of envision what the future could look like. Mark has a real great mix of strategic thinking as well as tactical thinking. Dreaming, but also practical at the same time.”