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Distinguished Alumnus: McMillon making a differenceFew Oklahoma Christian graduates have received as many honors as distinguished professor of Bible Lynn McMillon. He will be recognized as the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus at this year’s Homecoming.
McMillon graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1963, then earned a doctorate degree in religion and church history from Baylor University.
He joined OC as a faculty member in 1966 and later became dean of the College of Biblical Studies. McMillon served as dean for 13 years, stepping down in 2010.
That year, he was also named the first recipient of an endowed position named in his honor. An anonymous donor gave $1.5 million to create a chair in honor of McMillon’s years of service to the university. The endowment funds a full-time salary and provides release time and a working fund for research and scholarship.
McMillon met his wife, Joy (Cole 63) at OC, and they celebrated their 50th anniversary this year. Their two children, Jeff (87) and Greg (90), also attended OC.
Jeff, who serves as the campus minister at Memorial Road Church of Christ, says the recognition is well deserved.
“Dad really is as good as people say he is,” Jeff said. “He is so loving and kind to everyone he meets, and he is very humble. I’m so glad to see OC honoring people who make a big difference. Dad is a product of OC, and they invested in him as a faculty member. Their investment really paid off.”
McMillon also serves as CEO and editor of the Christian Chronicle. Under his leadership, the Chronicle has become financially stable and currently has a circulation of nearly a quarter of a million.
While McMillon was dean, the endowment for the College of Biblical Studies grew to almost $200,000. Additionally, the college added nine faculty members, a master of divinity program, and more than 11,000 Bible-related volumes to the library.
McMillon twice revised the curriculum, increased scholarship offerings, increased the number of Bible majors, developed an experienced corps of adjunct professors, oversaw the refurbishment of the Williams-Branch Center for Biblical Studies and promoted service to churches of Christ worldwide.
“I am greatly honored to be selected for this award from OC, which has been a major part of our family’s life,” McMillon said. “OC reaches deeply into our hearts and we are blessed by the countless students that have passed through our classes and lives. We are also humbled by the many alumni who have preceded us in this honor.”
Joy taught English and worked in public relations at Oklahoma Christian. She served as managing editor for the Christian Chronicle from 1983 to 1989, and now works as an associate editor. Jeff said his mother is integral to Lynn’s success.
“Mom has been a great partner,” Jeff said. “She’s so passionate and articulate, and Dad has so much wisdom and knowledge. I didn’t realize growing up that what I was seeing was a very special partnership between two people whose energy and emotion allowed them to accomplish great tasks.”
Jeff also added that Lynn has been intentionally slowing down so he can focus on what he enjoys most at OC.
“His first and greatest love is being in the classroom with students,” Jeff said. “He is enjoying doing what he is best at. That is what he enjoys the most.”
By Josh Watson