Students from Buffalo Valley recently toured Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee. Students arrived at the Bailey Business Center and were greeted by tour guide Lily Huff, a freshman Communications major with a double minor in English and French.
Huff crisscrossed campus taking students to many buildings including Montgomery Hall where Bible classes are held; “The Rock,” the campus Fitness Center; the cafeteria which houses both a Chick-fil-A and a Starbucks; The Mabee Learning Center where students can find free tutoring; and the dorms including the WMU Residence Center for female students. Students walked past the Stubblefield Chapel where students get the required chapel credits for graduation by attending services once a week on Wednesdays.
Following the tour, students returned to the Bailey Business Center for a presentation by Lauren Vela, Admissions Counselor. Vela discussed admissions requirements including a GPA of 3.0 and ACT score of 20. She discussed many of the majors that are offered at OBU as well as the required chapel credits for graduation. Vela answered questions about curfew, credit hours, on campus living requirements, opportunities to go on mission trips, participation in clubs and organizations on campus, and the study abroad program.
Buffalo Valley students then traveled to the Oklahoma City Zoo. Students spent the afternoon exploring the indoor and outdoor animal exhibits offered by the Oklahoma City Zoo. They discovered different habitats such as Sanctuary Asia, a 14.5-acre section of the Zoo which encompasses the Inasmuch Elephant Pavilion and habitat, Indian rhinos, Burmese tortoises, Komodo dragons, and red pandas.
They visited the Great EscApe, a habitat designed specifically for the Zoo’s apes. Students ventured through the Noble Aquatic Center, the Cat Forest, the Barnyard, and Island life.
Students visited the Jean Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital where visitors to the Zoo can watch procedures from an observation area above the operating rooms.
Before leaving the Zoo, several of the boys chose to ride camels, while the girls visited the petting area of the Zoo and spent time petting the goats.
“Touring OBU was a wonderful experience,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator LaDonna Baldwin. “Our tour guide was knowledgeable about the campus. Our students were greatly impressed with how large the campus was and yet our tour guide was known by many of the people we encountered on our tour. I look forward to visiting the campus again.”
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature. In 2017, Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and serves over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.