Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
Since its founding in 1951, Oklahoma Christian University has been home to many students from all over the world. To honor alumni of the university, a monument called Eagle Landing is coming soon to campus.
“The whole idea is to honor our graduates,” Bob Lashley, executive director of alumni relations, said. “That is the bottom line for it. Whatever the design we decide on has got to be expandable. With each new graduating class, we will be able to pull a plate off and add more names, and it will continue to grow.”
The University of Arkansas engraves the names of their graduates on the sidewalk. It is a major attraction for alumni when they return to show their children and grandchildren.
“We liked the idea of engraving our alumni’s names just like the University of Arkansas,” Lashley said. “I don’t know of any of our Christian schools [that] have anything that honors their graduates that way. So we thought, how could we use this idea or a version of this that makes sense on our campus?”
During last year’s Homecoming Week, it was announced that Oklahoma Christian would build Eagle Landing. Eagle Landing is set to be completed a year from now if all goes according to the plans.
“We talked with Midwest Trophy Manufacturing Co. to get ideas on designs and estimated cost,” Lashley said. “We have changed where it will be on campus. The new location is between the Clock Tower and University House, but more towards the Clock Tower.”
When coming up with the designs, the designers had to make sure it went along with the campus theme. Some of the original designs were nice but had to be discarded because they would be out of place on the mostly red brick campus.
“We want Eagle Landing to be a place where people can go and visit and maybe have devotions or outdoor classes,” Lashley said. “I am more excited about the new location because it will be right in the middle of traffic flow.”
Eagle Landing is not funded through money taken from students’ tuition, but money that was given for the project. Senior John Shaw McCranie thinks that the money could be spent on other things that are mandatory.
“We are wasting time, effort and money on something that no one really needs, and we neglect the things that are needed,” McCranie said. “How about better quality food in the caf? I wish they could use the money to hire a new professor.”
McCraine also notes other areas of campus that could use improvement.
“Phases three, and four need some fixing up,” McCraine said. “We need better Wi-Fi and better routers. If they want to have all the graduates names engraved, why not just have their names engraved on bricks? Use clear coat on the bricks to make it last longer under.”
Students are not required to pay anything to get their names engraved. If you graduate from Oklahoma Christian, you will have your name in granite. Alumni and students may decide how much they want to contribute if they choose to contribute towards it.
“We won’t meet everyone’s expectations, but we will consider the major concerns,” Lashley said. “One of the major concerns is how high should the eagle be so kids do not climb on it and get hurt. We want Eagle Landing to be well received and usable.”
For some students, the coming of Eagle Landing is exciting.
“I think it is a good thing to have Eagle Landing,” senior Octave Mugiraneza said. “As an international student, when I graduate it will be wonderful to know that my name is engraved in granite somewhere on Oklahoma Christian’s campus. I think it would be nice to add the countries beside the names to show where they came from originally.”
Senior Mary Watson will be putting together a group from a fairly wide range of students represented on campus to talk about any concerns they may have with the coming of Eagle Landing. Bob Lashley will also have a selection of alumni. This will be an opportunity for students and alumni to voice suggestions and concerns.