On Saturday, 250 individuals raised a record-breaking $35,000 at the 12th annual North Texas Alumni Association auction dinner.
Of the money raised, $25,000 will benefit Oklahoma Christian University students from the North Texas area in scholarships.
Chris Adair, director of alumni communication and research, said the auction dinner not only raises money for the university, but also allows Oklahoma Christian alumni to stay in touch.
“It’s a connection point with our alumni in that area that we don’t see as often,” Adair said. “It’s a way to reconnect with people; it’s a way to tighten connections with people. Sometimes, it’s the only time in the year we see some of these people.”
The North Texas Alumni Association was started in 2003 by a group of Oklahoma Christian alumni in the Dallas area. Now, over 3,000 Oklahoma Christian alumni live in the North Texas region.
According to Bob Lashley, executive director of alumni relations, the North Texas alumni chapter makes a point to always show support towards Oklahoma Christian students.
“When our chorale goes down there to sing, they try to rally people up for that,” Lashley said. “And when our sports teams go down there, they tailgate.”
Not only does the North Texas alumni chapter host an annual auction and dinner to raise money for Oklahoma Christian, but each year it also host events for prospective Oklahoma Christian students and their families.
The North Texas Alumni Association holds recruiting parties, or roadshows, every year to mix and mingle with future students at the homes of alumni. Then, each year in late July, the chapter hosts an event called Eagle Exit, in which alumni plan games and activities for incoming Oklahoma Christian freshmen in that area, as well as pray over them for their new school year.
“They do it right,” Lashley said. “This chapter works hard at what they do.”
Even with the other beneficial events that the North Texas Alumni Association hosts for Oklahoma Christian, Lashley said the annual auction dinner increases the number of Oklahoma Christian students from North Texas.
“It’s the matter of getting our name out there a lot,” Lashley said. “But there’s also, through the kids they give scholarships to, our Texas numbers have been up.”
This year, a CBS affiliate auctioned off several items, including vacation packages, an Oklahoma City Thunder package featuring dinner for two with President John deSteiguer and his wife and a T-shirt quilt made up of Oklahoma Christian shirts. The T-shirt quilt sold for $3,000.
Adair said because the quilt was one of the biggest hits at the auction, they are going to make another one.
“We’re going to make a second quilt for the person who lost out on the bidding,” Adair said. “It was a great addition.”
Along with auction, the annual event also honors Oklahoma Christian staff members who have made an impact at the university. This year, Max Dobson and Joe McCormick were honored along with their families for their dedication to Oklahoma Christian.
Adair said he was impressed this year with the number of recent alumni who participated in the auction dinner.
“We’ve had this group that really started North Texas alumni, and so it’s great that this has gone on long enough that our current students hear about it and they want to be involved with it when they move to Dallas,” Adair said.
Lashley said he enjoys the event and that he appreciates the North Texas Alumni Association for working hard to make it great each year.
“It’s a really good thing,” Lashley said. “There’s a lot of detail that goes into an auction and a lot more than people realize. It’s fun to watch a volunteer group commit to that much time and effort to do it.”