Eufaula GEAR UP seventh graders tour Oral Roberts University


WILBURTON, OK (Oct. 17, 2018) – Forty-four GEAR UP students recently traveled to Tulsa to tour Oral Roberts University (ORU). Students began the morning by participating in a guided tour at ORU led by Student Ambassadors Allyson Woods majoring in Environmental Sustainability and Joseph Thomas, a freshman from Montgomery, AL who just changed his major to Business Administration. Eufaula students saw numerous buildings, met ORU students and learned about various programs ORU offers.

Students began the tour in front of the rotating globe at ORU’s Global Learning Center. Ambassadors led students to the Graduate Center, which is a hub of activity. This building houses the campus library, bookstore, various dining establishments and classrooms. Students got a brief moment to relax in the “Study Pit” before continuing to explore campus. Student ambassadors pointed out a valuable office in this building for student success—the Student Success and Retention Center. The staff works with students to help them overcome obstacles that may have become barriers to their success at the university. They not only partner with students to ensure their academic success, but help to create solutions that allow students to remain on campus. Each ORU student is required to meet with a success coach weekly to review progress and struggles.

Next, students ventured outside to the “Eternal Flame.” Much of campus is a representation of something biblical and the flame symbolizes the Holy Trinity. Twelve small waterfalls pour off the backside of the flame representing the 12 Disciples. Student ambassadors then took students to the Prayer Tour, a focal point on campus. Students were able to view one of the Prayer rooms downstairs and go up into the space needle like facility to get an aerial view of campus and Tulsa. There were many historical facts and photos lining the walls in this building including the school’s Vision and Mission Statement.

Both groups saw inside the Armand Hammer Alumni-Student Center. This is known as a recreational space for ORU students. The main room features four huge, flat screen televisions with a lounge area. This is a great space for the televised athletic events or movie nights hosted on campus. It also houses air hockey tables, billiard, gaming console stations and computers. Students got a look at the outdoor Fire Pit where devotionals and other student gatherings are held. From here, they had a view of the athletic facilities including the track, Aerobics Center, baseball field and soccer field.

They also saw the outside of Susie Vinson Hall. This is senior housing where the Student Ambassador pointed out the top of the building is shaped like the Star of David. Campus housing sleeps two students per room and includes Wifi, cable, a microwave, a mini fridge, free laundry and access to a Fitness Center in the building. There is also an Aerobics Center with an indoor track, weights and swimming pool for student athletes to use. ORU takes student health very seriously. Students were surprised to learn that as a Health/Physical Education course grade, all students are required to wear a Fitbit and walk at least 10,000 steps each day, reach a certain heartrate goal, and pass a swim test before they can graduate.

Students had many questions for the student ambassadors such as what type of majors the university offers, if freshmen are required to stay in the dorms, and how ORU students pay for things on campus.

Eufaula student Lane Holmes asked, “Do you had to be a certain religion to attend ORU?” The answer was no. All religions are accepted and welcomed at ORU. Lane also said he “liked the pool tables and recreational options in the Armand Hammer Alumni-Student Center.”

Lastly students ventured past the International Student Learning Center where over 100 nations are represented on campus. Eufaula students met an international student from Uganda, Africa. Samuel is a freshman who is majoring in Electrical Engineering. He said he decided to come to ORU because he loves the Christian faith. Students asked how often he goes back home to see family. He said only in the summer time.

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 recently received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and will serve over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.

Eufaula students gather for a group photo in the “study pit” inside the Graduate Center at ORU. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Braylen Burton, Jeffrey Hicks, Preston Dalton, (row 2) Quade Laughlin, Hunter Menees, Joshua Lee, Jason Hill, LB Colbert, Tucker Leathers, Dakota Stinebrickner, Cory Thomas, Charles Simmons, (back row) Michael Lee, Shawn Kiely, Ashton McIntosh, Joey Reiter, Gavin Watkins, Rocky Sallee-Hicks, Lane Holmes, Logan Johnson, Bryan Scarborough, and Aidin Hinnenkamp.

Student Ambassador Joseph Thomas discusses recreation options around the Fire Pit behind the Armand Hammer Alumni-Student Center at ORU. Pictured are (left to right) LB Colbert, Logan Johnson, Joshua Lee, Dakota Stinebrickner, Gavin Watkins, Hunter Menees, Shawn Kiely, Michael Lee, Bryan Scarborough, Aidin Hinnenkamp, Cory Thomas, Jeffrey Hicks, Tucker Leathers, Braylen Burton and Charles Simmons.

Students assemble in front of the Graduate Center on ORU’s campus. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Kyan Brillo, Keith McGuire, Landon Mills, Draven Gragg, (row 2) Ryan Swepston, Andrew Robinson, Kaden Cragg, (row 3) Arrow Deere, Dale Hill, Jonas Kaulaity, Ming Lin, Kamden Miller, and Principal Chris Whelan.

Eufaula students listen as the Student Ambassador points out athletic and dorm facilities on the ORU campus behind the Graduate Center. Pictured are (left to right) Ming Lin, Ryan Swepston, Kyan Brillo and Prestin Letcher.

Eufaula 7th graders pause before stepping into the private Prayer Room on the first floor of the Prayer Tower at Oral Roberts University. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Joey Reiter, Tucker Leathers, Dakota Stinebrickner, Logan Johnson, (row 2) Braylen Burton, Cory Thomas, Hunter Menees, Shawn Kiely, Michael Lee, (row 3) Aidin Hinnenkamp, Lane Holmes, Bryan Scarborough, Rocky Sallee-Hicks, Ashton McIntosh and Gavin Watkins.

Eufaula boys gather for a photo outside the Graduate Center near the Eternal Flame at ORU. Pictured are (left to right) Quade Laughlin, Hunter Menees, Tucker Leathers, Cory Thomas, Joey Reiter, Michael Lee, Shawn Kiely, Charles Simmons, Jeffrey Hicks, Braylen Burton, (row 2) Preston Dalton, Dakota Stinebrickner, Joshua Lee, (row 3) Lane Holmes, Aidin Hinnenkamp, Jason Hill, LB Colbert, Ashton McIntosh, Rocky Sallee-Hicks, Bryan Scarborough, Gavin Watkins and Logan Johnson.

Student Ambassador Allyson Woods shows students the various dorm buildings and explains who lives where. Pictured are (left to right) Ryan Swepston, Landon Mills, Keith McGuire, Draven Gragg, Trent Montgomery, Nathan McNatt, Taber Grider, Principal Chris Whelan, Jayden Watkins, Jaydin Bray, Ayden Tsoodle and Kaden Cragg.

ORU Student Ambassador Joseph Thomas walks students through the Hall of Mirrors inside the Graduate Center at ORU. Pictured are (left to right) Dakota Stinebrickner, Joshua Lee, Shawn Kiely, Tucker Leathers, Cory Thomas, Jeffrey Hicks, Logan Johnson and Lane Holmes.

Eufaula students got an aerial view of the ORU campus and the Tulsa area inside the Prayer Tower on ORU’s campus. Pictured are Kamden Miller and Jayden Watkins.

Eufaula students gather for a group photo on ORU’s campus with the Prayer Tower as a backdrop. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Kyan Brillo, Keith McGuire, Prestin Letcher, Kaden Cragg, Ryan Swepston, Jayden Watkins, Xander Smith, Taber Grider, Jonas Kaulaity, Teacher Courtney Green, (row 2) Ayden Tsoodle, Andrew Robinson, Jaydin Bray, Brady Hughes, Draven Gragg, Trent Montgomery, Nathan McNatt, Ming Lin, (row 3) Student Ambassador Allyson Woods, Dale Hill, Kamden Miller and Arrow Deere.

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