By: Christopher Davis | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2015
Union High School holds graduation services at ORU’s Mabee Center each year.
This spring, the Mabee Center at Oral Roberts University continues to serve as a venue for community gatherings. In addition to hosting sports and performance events, the Mabee Center also provides the backdrop for commencement ceremonies for many Tulsa area schools.
“We really enjoy having the privilege of hosting 19 total school graduations during this time as these are great events for the community,” says Tony Winters, ORU Conference & Event Services general manager. “This year, both Union and Jenks high schools will be returning to the Mabee Center for their commencements, and we are expecting over 120,000 visitors to come through the building during the month of May. This is also an amazing opportunity to have the feet of potential students on ORU’s campus.”
For years, the Mabee Center has been the setting for Tulsa Community College graduation ceremonies. As one of the largest community colleges in Oklahoma, TCC requires the Mabee Center’s space to ensure everyone has a seat. Thousands attend TCC’s commencement – graduating students, their families and friends, as well as staff and faculty.
Whether the students come from a large school like TCC or a small high school on the outskirts of town, they all love the chance to be on a big stage for their big moment. The ceremony is exciting for families, too. Hearing their loved one’s name on the sound system with the crowd cheering and clapping in congratulation has a way of giving a special evening a magical feeling.
Of course, it also helps that the Mabee Center has a convenient location. Situated only a few miles away from I-44, I-75 and the Creek Turnpike (at the intersection of Lewis and 81st Street), the facility solves a slew of logistics considerations for organizers and attendees alike. With ample parking on site and swift access to main streets, even full-capacity events are a breeze.
Especially for event organizers, such considerations are major factors. In addition, Winters and his staff can provide full services for their events. From catering to marketing, ORU’s Conference & Event Services handles every detail to ensure community events are successful. Whether the event is indoors or outdoors, they are ready to facilitate the vision.
Conferences and concerts featuring world-class talent frequently fill seats at the Mabee Center. On April 7, the OSU Tulsa Business Forum brings Steve Wozniak for a question and answer session at the Johnston Theatre. Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and inventor of the Apple II computer, is offering a rare opportunity for Tulsans who are interested in his storied career and thoughts on the current state of technology. On April 11, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Matthew West will perform for a packed house. Touring with West are special guests Mr. Talkbox and Colton Dixon.
Every year, ORU hosts community events that benefit causes including the CureSearch Walk for Children’s Cancer and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Charity events are especially well-suited for the campus, which boasts a scenic walking path and wide open green spaces with plenty of shade trees. The campus offers two sanctioned courses, so city streets are seldom closed for races. On Sunday, April 19, the Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma hosts A Walk in the Park. The sanctioned 5K and 1 mile fun run/walk is open to people of all ages and abilities, as well as dogs on a leash. Registration is free, though donations are encouraged. A Walk in the Park kicks off in the Mabee Center parking lot at 2 p.m. with registration at 1 p.m.
Oral Roberts University is a world-recognized institution with deep ties to Tulsa. The Mabee Center serves the surrounding community by attracting top business leaders and performers, while giving local schools and organizations a world-class venue for events. For more information on upcoming events or to book your next community event at the Mabee Center, visit www.mabeecenter.com.
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Christopher Davis is an educator and musician, as well as a writer. A California native, he resides in Tulsa with his wife, two sons and a modest menagerie of pets. When he isn't inspiring young minds, you will most likely find him spending time with his family or playing drums and percussion with Project Huckleberry or the Movetet. In addition to Value News, Davis also writes for Currentland. You can view his work at https://seedavis.wordpress.com.