Oral Roberts University Unveils New Book on Its Recent History

A student holds her copy of "The New ORU."
A student holds her copy of "The New ORU." (Oral Roberts University/Facebook)

The story of the near-demise and miraculous resurgence of Oral Roberts University is told in a new book, The New ORU: Empowered for the 21st Century by Neil Eskelin. This book was released on Jan. 24, 2018, in honor of the founders' 100th birthday.

Drawing from numerous interviews conducted with the major players in the story, as well as from an extensive array of historic sources, The New ORU is the definitive record of a tumultuous—but ultimately triumphant—time in the university's history.

"It was an honor for myself and the entire Green family to be part of this chapter in ORU's long history," said Mart Green, board chair of Hobby Lobby and Trustee Emeritus for ORU. "For me it is and always has been about the students. Raising up students to hear God's voice and go change the world. This book tells that story well."

Green played a prominent role in ORU's turnaround, becoming the driving force behind the financial infusion that breathed new life into Oral Roberts University in 2007-2008.

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"Now that Oral Roberts University has its feet firmly planted, the time was right to tell this story in this way," said Mike Rakes, the Chair of ORU's Board of Trustees. "We've had 10 rock-solid years of growth, and our future looks incredibly bright."

The New ORU tracks the progress of the university from its founding through its rocky troubles up to 2007, when Mart Green and the Green family stepped in with a sizeable financial contribution that allowed the University to get back on track with new leadership, new focus, and a new plan for growth in the new century and beyond. The book closes with a look ahead to the bright future of the new ORU.

"I felt it was important to capture this crucial cornerstone of ORU's rich legacy," said Neil Eskelin, the author of The New ORU. "It was a work of love for Oral Roberts, for the university he built, and for the future of this great institution."

The New ORU is available now in the campus bookstore and online at oru.edu/neworu.

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