SHAWNEE—The Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) spring class of 2023 will celebrate commencement at the same time and date, as planned, but in a new location. Just over a month removed from a devastating EF-2 tornado striking the OBU campus, this year’s spring graduates will be recognized at 2 p.m., May 20, at Del City, First Southern.

Alan Noble will deliver the OBU commencement address.

Following the twister, OBU president Heath A. Thomas stressed to OBU faculty and staff along with contractors working to clean up and restore the campus that he wanted to provide this senior class the commencement ceremony they have worked for.

OBU also has announced that the tradition of “The Walk” of graduating seniors will be on campus Thursday, May 18, at 6 p.m.

Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium on the OBU campus has served as the traditional location for commencement since the iconic building was constructed in 1961. Due to damage caused by the April 19 tornado, the chapel’s auditorium is not available for the commencement ceremony this year.

Alan Noble, OBU associate professor of English and author of numerous books and articles, will deliver the commencement address.

Noble has been teaching composition and literature for over a decade, beginning at Antelope Valley College in his hometown of Lancaster, Calif., and then at Baylor University. He has contributed scholarship on Cormac McCarthy and has published three books with InterVarsity Press: “Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age;” “You Are Not Your Own: Belonging to God in an Inhuman World;” and “On Getting Out of Bed: The Burden and Gift of Living.”

In addition, Noble is a Fellow at the Keller Center for Cultural Apologetics; an advisor for the online magazine, Christ and Pop Culture; co-founder of the evangelical political organization, Public Faith; a member of the Leadership Council of the AND Campaign; and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, Vox, Buzzfeed, First Things, Christianity Today, and The Gospel Coalition.
Noble has given talks on literature, popular culture, technology, secularism, and related issues at several colleges, churches, and organizations.

For more about OBU’s Spring 2023 Commencement, please visit,