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Legacy Award: McBrides lead with loving example

“As a child, I didn’t realize how much we shared Dad with OC. I actually thought he shared us with OC.”
– Lynette McBride Brown on growing up as Dr. Bailey McBride’s daughter


As Bailey and Joyce McBride receive the Legacy award at Homecoming, we are grateful they made OC home back in 1966.

With his adoring bride and young family, Bailey set out on a track that took him from his faculty post to academic dean, vice president, provost, director of the Institute for Learning, and the first director of OC’s acclaimed Honors Program.

Bailey, who earned his associate’s degree from OC’s predecessor, Central Christian College before it became a four-year school, has worked for 25 years (and counting!) with the Christian Chronicle.

In 2004, Oklahoma Christian launched the McBride Center for the Humanities in Bailey’s and Joyce’s honor, bringing together academics and the community with interesting public symposia.

Along with their titles and contributions, we all know something more about the McBrides – something deep within our hearts. Bailey and Joyce invest in people, including many of us.

Lynette, the McBride’s middle child and a nationally-certified math and science teacher at Oakdale School, talked to us in collaboration with her siblings, Melissa and Mike.

Their tender reflections give us a glimpse into their parents’ off-campus life.

“Dad worked hard and worked long hours, but he included us in so many OC functions that I felt it was a natural part of our lives,” Lynette said. “But Dad also made sure to focus on each one of us as individuals. I remember Saturday breakfasts at McDonald’s … he would rotate through the kids to give each of us this special time. Since I am blessed to live close by, we have made Saturday breakfast a weekly tradition to this day.

“Dad also took us (or dragged us, according to my brother) to many student weddings, games, performances and activities. His philosophy was (and still is) that if you support students and show them how much you care about them, you can teach them just about anything. This is a philosophy that I try to put into practice in my own career.”

All three of the McBrides’ children graduated from OC and met their spouses here. Melissa is married to OC trustee Phil Roe (82), Lynette (86) is married to Patrick Brown (86), and Mike (91) is married to Karen (Cloud 87).

Lynette’s daughter, Kailey, is an OC sophomore while one of Melissa’s daughters, Jennifer, graduated in 2007.

As adults, the McBride children recognize their dad’s legacy of faith, hard work, leadership, support and encouragement … and his devotion to their mother.

“Last year, when Mom became seriously ill, he and I were standing together as they loaded her into the ambulance. Dad wrapped his arms around me and said, ‘They have my life in that ambulance!’ His love and support for her has been unwavering as they have cared for each other through life’s hills and valleys,” Lynette said.

With Joyce’s health much improved, she and Bailey continue on those hills and valleys … through 56 years of marriage and counting, all the while investing in students, family and friends.

As Bailey might tell us … “The best is yet to be.”

By Dawn Shelton (90)