Thundering Applause

Thundering Applause

Dobson honored for special needs work

“Faith, integrity, character and service are the qualities that Max has represented and instilled into all who have been around him.”

Dr. Max Dobson was honored as a Devon Community Hero on New Year’s Eve for his decades of work with special-needs children.

Dobson, who began teaching at Oklahoma Christian in 1966, was presented with the honor at Chesapeake Energy Arena during the Oklahoma City Thunder-Phoenix Suns NBA game.

The Devon Community Hero award honors outstanding Oklahomans who are making a significant difference in their community through their personal contributions of time, talent and/or finances.

“Max and Ray Vaughn are the cornerstones on which Oklahoma Christian athletics have been built,” Curtis Janz (86) said about two of his longtime predecessors as OC’s athletic director. “Faith, integrity, character and service are the qualities that Max has represented and instilled into all who have been around him. I cannot think of anyone that could be more deserving of an award like this than Max.”

As a coach, Dobson guided the baseball team to a third-place finish in the 1972 NAIA World Series and started the women’s basketball program in 1977. He will retire from full-time teaching this year, though he plans to keep working with the special-needs classes he started at Oklahoma Christian in 1976.

He estimates that at least 3,000 OC students have taken the class and assisted in his efforts to aid special-needs children. Dobson teaches the class in “The Barn,” also known as the Dave Smith Athletic Center, every Wednesday and Friday during the academic year.

More than 80 special-needs students currently participate in the program, along with 24 teachers from Edmond Public Schools, allowing Oklahoma Christian to partner with a key player in local secondary education.

“I feel like there are so many who are more deserving and I was very surprised to get the call telling me Devon wanted to do this for me,” Dobson said. “I am very appreciative, however. This program has been very close to me for 37 years. The kids are special and I know they love the attention they get when they walk or are carried into The Barn on Wednesdays and Fridays.”

Dobson said the program doesn’t only benefit the special-needs children, but the college students who work with them.

“I have read hundreds of evaluations on the courses and I keep hearing ‘this course has changed my life.’ I have seen it and their lives have been changed and that is what OC is supposed to be all about,” Dobson said. “God truly has blessed my life by giving me this opportunity to touch the lives of hundreds of children and I could not have done it without the support of these wonderful college students.”

By Murray Evans