Tulsa, OK – Oral Roberts University is saddened to hear of the death of one of its founding members and iconic leaders, Carl H. Hamilton, Ph. D. Dr. Hamilton died Thursday morning at St John Hospital. He was 82 (1935-2017).
“Carl Hamilton was a giant of a man. He worked tirelessly to see the birth of this amazing educational institution,” said Dr. William M. Wilson, ORU President. “His legacy is the alumni who are all over the globe engaged in industry, business, commerce, media, ministry as well as the legal and medical professions.”
Hamilton came to Tulsa to work for the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association after earning theology and education degrees at colleges in Oklahoma City. He believed God had called him to be a Christian educator at a university but instead began working for OREA. During that time, Hamilton earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Tulsa. When Oral Roberts felt the call to build a Christian university, he called Hamilton into his office and asked how long it would take him to earn his Ph.D. That was 1962 and by 1966, Hamilton had earned that degree from the University of Arkansas and signed the first faculty contract at Oral Roberts University. His calling had been realized.
In 1968, Dr. Hamilton became the Dean of Academic Affairs. He was named Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1972 and then from 1976 through 1984 he served as Provost. He left the university in 1985 but came back in 1990 to, again, serve as Provost and Chief Academic Officer until he retired in 1998.
Hamilton always believed Oral Roberts University would become an outstanding liberal arts university through God’s grace and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. During his 1968 induction as Dean of Academic Affairs, Hamilton said, “We are on a journey. We are on a quest for wholeness. We will never reach the absolute but we will absolutely not stop striving for it. This is part of our way of life. It is not an easy way. Our experience at ORU will mark us for life.”
Dr. Hamilton marked this university and all of its students for life and we are forever grateful. “Dr. Hamilton was an amazing servant to the Oral Roberts University Community,” said ORU President Dr. William M. Wilson. “All of us have been beneficiaries of Dr. Hamilton’s stellar academic leadership at ORU. Our hearts are saddened by his passing and eternally grateful for this life so well lived.”
Hamilton was married to Joyce for 62 years and they had three children and one grandchild.
A Memorial Service on the ORU Campus is scheduled for Monday, February, 2017, at 11 a.m. at Christ Chapel. Friends can greet the family in Kennedy Chapel starting at 10 a.m.
[Editor's Comment: I got to know Dr. Carl Hamilton when I became the third president of Southwestern College, now Southwestern Christian University. He became a counselor and mentor to me as a young college president. He was helpful with information I needed about accreditation and other matters. His godly parents were friends of Oral and Evelyn Roberts before Oral began his ministry of healing in Enid, OK. His younger brother, Wallace Hamilton and his family, attended Muse Memorial Church in Oklahoma City with us.]