Oklahoma Christian University’s largest and most utilized indoor venue—home to daily chapel, Spring Sing and major speaking engagements—now has a new name.
The Garvey Center Auditorium will now bear the name Baugh Auditorium in honor of university donors Benton and Paula Baugh of Houston, TX. In addition to donating a $1 million unrestricted gift to the university in December, the Baugh family has contributed millions to the College of Biblical Studies, College of Engineering and the gaming and animation program since 2013.
Prior to revealing the new auditorium name at the beginning of Club Night on Tuesday, Feb. 26, President John DeSteiguer said the names of important places on a university campus are influential and must represent people who have left their mark on the world in a positive manner.
“You want names that give you the opportunity to feel excited, to be comfortable, to feel welcome, to feel like this is your place,” DeSteiguer said. “We want names on our campus that help you feel like you’re at home.”
The Baughs—longtime members of the Memorial Church of Christ in Houston who are actively involved in outreach and evangelism efforts—are worthy of being ingrained into the fabric and history of Oklahoma Christian, according to DeSteiguer.
“They are movers and shakers in some very important programs and ministries,” DeSteiguer said. “They work with the Impact Church of Christ that serves very, very important people in the inner city of Houston. They spend time with Hispanic congregations as well. They’re a part of World Bible School. Benton and Paula love God, and Benton and Paula love people.”
Following the public renaming announcement, a plaque commemorating the Baughs was unveiled on the wall near the main auditorium entrance.
“Though Benton and Paula never attended Oklahoma Christian, it’s been our privilege to adopt them, as they have adopted so many others,” DeSteiguer said at the dedication ceremony.
An engineer, inventor and adjunct professor who specializes in oilfield and subsea technologies, Benton has more than 100 patents in his name. In 1980, he founded Radoil, Inc., where Paula served as vice president for 17 years.
While not alumni of the university themselves, the Baughs have two grandchildren, junior Chad Blythe and sophomore Bailey Blythe, who currently attend Oklahoma Christian.
“[The naming of Baugh Auditorium] means a lot,” Chad Blythe said. “They spend so much of their time serving others; it’s nice to see them get this recognition.”
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