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Third Generation Making Its Mark At OCBuilding a legacy takes time, vision and commitment. Seeing that legacy live out through your grandchildren must be one of God’s greatest blessings.
And the blessing for Oklahoma Christian is that Dr. Charles and Sylvia Branch have lived a legacy not just for their family, but for all of us.
At our 60th-Anniversary Homecoming in November, Oklahoma Christian will bestow its first Legacy Award on the Branch Family: Dr. Charles and Sylvia Branch of San Antonio, their sons, daughter, son-in-law, daughters-in-law and 13 grandchildren.
Dr. Charles Branch, a renowned neurosurgeon, and his family are longtime friends of Oklahoma Christian. His wife, Sylvia, is a valued member of the board of The Christian Chronicle, which is housed on campus.
The Branch children – Charlie (77), Warren (77), Dan (80), Alfred (84) and Cynthia (86) – all attended OC and have gone on to remarkable careers of their own while actively supporting their alma mater.
The torch is being passed to the Branch grandchildren, many of whom are coming to OC and making the most of every opportunity.
During the first week of this semester, three grandchildren took time out of extremely busy schedules to talk about their grandparents and parents, who dug the wells from which they drink.
Henson Adams, the oldest of Don and Cynthia Branch Adams’ children, is OC’s Student Government Association president and a senior studying business and pre-law.
Meagan Branch, daughter of Alfred and Judy (Lovejoy 85) Branch, is a senior education major. She is president of her club, Gamma Rho, is part of the Summer Singers, and will direct Spring Sing this year.
“We are so involved because we have seen how our family was impacted by OC, and they have shown us that anything is possible,” said Meagan, who says it is great fun to swap Spring Sing ideas with her dad, who had a thing or two to do with the show during his student days … long before he served OC as executive vice president from 1999 to 2008.
Today, Alfred has returned to real estate development as president of Moriah Properties Inc., of Midland, Texas. Alfred and Judy’s son, Lee, began at OC this fall. Right off the bat, he ran for freshman class treasurer … and won.
“Our family has always encouraged us to find our passion, work hard and, if we make a name for ourselves, to give glory to God,” said Lee, who plans on following in his father’s career path in business.
Of all the accolades Henson shared about his family, the most poignant was a description of how his grandfather begins each prayer.
“He says, ‘Kind and gracious heavenly father, we recognize you as the great creator and sustainer of all things.’ To me that embodies the life of my grandfather, who has had a very successful career by the world’s standards and has always been a follower of Christ,” Henson said.
He said the same is true for his dad, an ophthalmologist in San Antonio, along with the rest of his uncles: Dan, who represents the Dallas area in the Texas legislature; Warren, a dentist in San Antonio; and Charlie, a neurosurgeon in Wake Forest, N.C.
Charlie and his wife Lesa (Williams 78) established a $1.5 million endowment at Oklahoma Christian in 2004 to name the Williams-Branch Center for Biblical Studies.
Charlie and Lesa’s son, Daniel, graduated from OC in 2005 and married Kate Jackson (09), daughter of Mark (78) and Susie (Patterson 79) Jackson of Fort Worth. (Susie is on OC’s Board of Trustees). Daniel is currently in medical school at the University of Texas.
The Legacy Award will be given during the Alumni Banquet November 5. Oklahoma Christian is grateful for the legacy of the Branch Family and for the many alumni and friends who have invested in the legacy of Christian higher education.
By Dawn Shelton (89)