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OBU Director of Campus Services Larry Walker retires after 43 years

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Larry Walker

After 43 years as the Oklahoma Baptist University Director of Campus Services, Larry Walker retired and will move on to the next chapter of his life.

“It’s the time for me to retire. It’s been a good situation. It wasn’t exactly planned but in God’s plan,” Walker said.

While his retirement was a little unexpected, he said OBU offered a good retirement package and he appreciates the time he’s had at the university. 

Walker said he came to Shawnee in 1969 to attend OBU for his undergraduate degree and he graduated in 1973 with a Spanish degree. 

After receiving his undergraduate degree, Walker said he worked full time at OBU in the facility division.

“In January of 1975 I went into the Army for four years and I went to what’s called Defense Language Institute where they teach foriegn languages to all military branches, FBI and Secret Service,” Walker said. 

The OBU graduate said he learned how to speak Chinese Mandarin at the Defense Language Institute. 

Walker said he returned to OBU after his four years in the military and worked in the facilities area from February of 1979 to May of 1989.

“Then I became the Director of Campus Services May 1 1989,” Walker said. 

During this time Walker said he also received an accounting degree from OBU and an MBA from Oklahoma Christian University.

Walker said he is well known for speaking many languages and while he can speak a little bit of several languages, he primarily speaks Spanish, Chinese Mandrian and Korean. 

“I believe we’re all born with certain gifts and so I think I have an affinity to learn foriegn languages and I also have a love to know foriegn languages,” Walker said. 

Walker said he knows a little bit of Russian, Portuguese and some other languages.

“I always like to learn phrases in a lot of (languages) so people think I speak a lot more than I do,” Walker said. 

Walker said he will miss the people he has worked with for the last 43 years and the relationships he has built.

“(I will) miss the hearts of people that make the university run,” Walker said. “I just love the fabric of life at a university being able to be around young students who still have high ideals of what they want to.” 

While he will miss the school he has been a part of for the last 50 years, Walker said he is looking forward to his retirement. 

“(I’m looking forward to) reading. I love to read. I hope to see our (family),” Walker said. “Because this kind of came suddenly I don’t have any glorious plans but I truly believe there are plenty of things to do.” 

Walker said he will continue honing his language skills and working with Shawnee Public Schools as one of the district's education board members.

Walker said he is looking forward to what the future holds for him and he will continue to help people and his community. 

“I hope the future for me is to just find whatever is the next way to serve and going forward with the time I left I hope to have meaningful ways where (I) make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Walker said. 

If you know someone with an interesting story you feel should be told please email Elisabeth Slay at eslay@new-star.com or call her at (405) 214-3926.