Written by: Jonathan Clayton
The Johnson and Griffin families are two Oklahoma Wesleyan families that soon will become one. They are comprised of siblings Savannah and Jeffrey Johnson and the soon-to-be husband of Savannah, Josiah Griffin. They are all current students, with Savannah in her last semester, Josiah in his junior year in the education program, and Jeffrey in his freshman year. I interviewed Jeffrey, Savannah, and Josiah to find out some of their favorite memories of OKWU.
I first asked Jeffrey and Josiah how they came to attend OKWU. Jeffrey told me that he found the university through Savannah after she had been a student for two years. Savannah found the school through Josiah, as he wanted to go into education and liked the program, with excellent hiring rates. Though Josiah was unable to attend OKWU right after high school, Savannah made the decision to attend, and did for two years before Josiah and Jeffrey followed suit last fall.
I then asked Jeffrey and Josiah when they committed to attend OKWU, and Jeffrey said that he was certain it was the place for him a little while after his graduation from high school back in May 2018. “I visited the school and met Savannah’s friends, and really liked it,” Jeffrey told me. Josiah committed around the same time but had wanted to attend earlier and planned to during his two years of community college. Savannah chose to attend after a summer visit to campus. She told me, “I walked around, and I could hear God saying, ‘this is where you’re taking your first steps.’ I thought it was just going to be freshman year, but then I made friends and couldn’t leave.”
I asked what some of their favorite OKWU memories were, and Jeffrey commented that Savannah’s trips with the university have been cool, and Josiah agreed, as students at a lot of other colleges do not have the opportunity to travel the world while earning college credit. They also mentioned some movie nights in Lyon Hall. Savannah said that some of her favorite memories have been movie nights in the Keating center with her friend groups “The Faster Jimmie Group Chat” and “Quad and Four Pillars.” She thought it was funny that most of her classes were in the Keating lab, but she also spends a lot of her free time there. In addition, she has enjoyed hammocking behind the mansion and outside the library.
I asked all three of them why someone should attend the university, and Josiah said, “The small classroom size and one-on-one with professors pays for itself.” Jeffrey said that people should because of the great professors. Savannah said one should attend OKWU because “you may never have the opportunity to live in such an amazing, close knit community of people who are devoted to Christ.”
I asked Josiah how he and Savannah met, and he told me that they met during home school co-op in biology class but got to know each other and got together in Spanish class. Josiah’s favorite memory with Savannah is their yearly Hangar Dance. Jeffrey’s favorite memory with Savannah is with parents and grandparents and growing close during trips around the country. Savannah’s favorite memories with Josiah are their first Valentine’s Day when a 15-year-old Josiah surprised her with flowers and peace rings and a big, goofy smile on his face, and when he would walk her to her car, and they stood and talked longer than they should. Another great memory together is their family trip to Lake Tahoe, when they walked to the beach together one day and sat in the cold, watching the waves and looking at the mountains on the other side of the lake.
Their family enjoys traveling, with many trips around the United States and to other places. They especially enjoy trips to Disney World in Florida, which they make as often as they can. Their enjoyment of travel is reflected in their sense of adventure and desire to have fun.
Savannah said that she is excited to graduate. She also said, “I’m excited to get to really dig into my passion outside of a classroom setting, but I am going to miss it. I will miss the community that lives right outside my door and having such easy access to all my friends, as well as the relationships with all the amazing professors.”
Lastly, I asked them how Oklahoma Wesleyan has impacted their spiritual development, and Josiah said, “It has been good to be exposed to other Christians of varying beliefs and denominations.” Jeffrey did not have many comments but said that he came to OKWU with a Christian belief system and it has been reinforced. He also said that it has been fantastic to see people come together in community. Savannah said that the school has made her decide if her faith is her own or simply something she grew up with. OKWU has forced her to rely on God in some of the biggest moments of her life, but it also has become a vessel for God’s grace and love towards her.
Savannah and Josiah are looking forward to their wedding, and Jeffrey is happy to get a brother-in-law! They all enjoy being together at OKWU and cannot wait for more adventures in the future!