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Tag Team: Kent Allen And Bob Lashley Leading Alumni OfficeDo you like your job?
The answer is an emphatic YES for Kent Allen (79) and Bob Lashley (74), even though they had to say it on the run.
Allen is OC's new vice president for alumni relations. Lashley is the executive director. The dynamic duo, along with alumni relations coordinator Amy Gower (88), reflect the university's renewed commitment to our alumni.
"No group of people is more important to Oklahoma Christian than our alumni," OC president Dr. Mike O’Neal said. "For that reason, there are no better people than Kent Allen and Bob Lashley to lead our alumni relations team. They care deeply about our current students and former students, and will work tirelessly to serve our alumni."
Kent and Bob sat down (briefly!) to talk about their new positions for the VISION audience ... while Bob fielded calls and tended to details for the Mike McDonald Eagle Run and as Kent was about to hit the road to meet with an alumnus who wanted to reconnect with OC.
Bob and Kent clearly are fired up to take OC's Alumni Relations program to a new level.
"We feel called to do this. The only problem will be that we are so gung-ho and want it to work so well. There aren't enough hours in the day," Bob said.
Bob says part of their mission is to reconnect with thousands of OC alumni who just haven't been a part of the flow at their alma mater for a long time.
"To do that, we want to find their point of interest, whether it's Chorale or theater, academic areas, international studies, etc. The more specific connections we have, the closer the ties alumni have with one another and the school," he said.
Once more alumni are connected, Bob has a vision about the ways we could all help each other.
For example, one alumnus with a business connection or job opening could help another who has been laid off.
Someone moving to a new area can connect with other alumni to find a church or the best coffee shop in town.
Maybe an alumni chapter in one area is planning a trip to campus for Homecoming, and there might be room for one more to come along.
From Facebook to Twitter to the email newsletter AlumNews, the OC alumni office has more ways to connect than ever. Bob, Kent and Amy plan to use those technology resources to the fullest to inform and help alumni.
As alumni, we can help, too. Alumni chapters are being considered in several locations. The North Texas Alumni group is the most active and holds a successful dinner and auction every year that raises money for scholarships.
Kent hopes to connect the more than 3,000 alumni in the Oklahoma City area with many service projects happening on campus.
"What could benefit the school more than what we're doing? This is where it's at," Bob said.
He notes that many universities are echoing OC's renewed emphasis on alumni relations.
The economy is tight and higher education is not immune to it, particularly small Christian universities that do not collect federal funding and rely on donations of all sizes from alumni and friends.
"Our job is to remind alumni how great this place is and was," Kent said. "Over time, we forget our professors, Chapel, ballgames, retreats, mission trips. We want to rekindle that and mobilize alumni to continue to serve their communities, each other and their alma mater."
By Dawn Shelton (90)
Kent Allen graduated from OC in 1979. He didn’t go far when he joined the ministry staff at Memorial Road Church of Christ, which was then the College Church of Christ. He spent 25 years there, and 14 years as the preacher. Before joining OC in 2008, Kent and his wife Phyllis moved to Dallas, where Kent worked as director of operations for Continent of Great Cities. CGC is a ministry that places missionary teams throughout the Latin world. Before being named vice president of alumni relations, Kent was a senior gifts officer for OC. He and Phyllis have two grown sons, Kelly (04) and Kory (05), who both played basketball at OC. Kelly’s wife Kristin (Hill 07) also attended Oklahoma Christian.
Bob Lashley graduated from OC in 1974. He has spent his career serving the university he loves in a variety of roles. He is the brains and brawn behind First Week Follies, Spring Sing, Freshman Fanfare and other campus events. Bob served in the alumni office early in his career and has worked in development and as special events director, and also created the popular “Throw Me a Rope” program for parents of students. Bob knows students, parents, staff, donors and alumni – just about everyone associated with the university. He and his wife Judi (76) have two married children, Andy (00) and Summer (Sehon 00) Lashley, and Aubrie and Lucas Ross (both 03), and three grandchildren who are destined to be future eagles.