Written By: Jonathan Clayton
The Wilson family is one of the most well-known families within the larger family of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Their four children have all attended OKWU, and dad, Billy, serves on the Oklahoma Wesleyan Board of Directors. I had the privilege to sit down with Daniel, their youngest son and final Wilson to attend OKWU, and talk about his family legacy and how this helped him to choose to attend the same school his older siblings did.
I first asked Daniel why his family first began attending OKWU. He told me that it all began with his uncle, Mike Wilson, who attended OKWU on a scholarship for singing. His uncle’s twin brother attended for a time as well, but he did not graduate with his degree from OKWU. Mike Wilson also got his master’s degree here. Daniel told me that, after he and his family visited, the older siblings began to attend. This began with his oldest twin siblings, Caleb and Hannah, then his older sister, Grace, all before the Oklahoma Wesleyan family gained the last Wilson child in the fall of 2018.
I then asked Daniel how old he was when he knew he wanted to continue his family legacy of attending OKWU. He explained, “I was probably eight years old; that’s when I visited [my uncle and his wife] on campus.” I went on to ask Daniel if his older siblings gave him advice or helped him as he made his college decision, to which he said that they had a great time at the university. Each time they came home they told him how good it was, and their positivity continually encouraged him to attend the school as well.
When asked if Daniel’s siblings had told him any cool stories or memories from their time at the university, he told me, “Yeah, my brother and sister got homecoming king and queen their first year here.” He also told me that his brother, Caleb Wilson, was crazy, and Caleb told him a lot of crazy stories about a lot of weird activities from his time on campus. For example, Daniel’s brother would dress up in a suit and tie but wore shorts rather than slacks. When he participated in speed dating, he used puppets in a briefcase as a prop. His brother did a lot of other fun activities during his time at OKWU.
When asked what his favorite part of being on campus his first year has been, Daniel told me about the community, and that it has been better than he expected. His expectations were that people would keep to themselves, but the welcoming atmosphere is great and makes campus a nice place to grow and learn. He also commented that his professors are very nice and are a lot more involved than many professors at other universities, as friends at other schools have told him. His favorite memory from his first two semesters is when his roommate, Benjamin Bender, wrote a song about him, entitled “#RoomateGoals,” and sang it at the talent show (for more on this, see Blythe Freshwater’s article about last semester’s talent show).
I asked Daniel how Oklahoma Wesleyan has impacted his spiritual development, and he said that “since I’m on a Christian campus, it’s a lot easier to get involved in Christian activities and stuff like a Bible study every morning here in Doc’s individually, weekend worship, and Altar. I didn’t have that back at home [since] I just have church youth group, so having Jesus around all the time at a Christian university has definitely allowed me to grow a lot more.”