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Walkers credit OC for success, give to soccer programs

The Walker family -- (from left) Anna, Todd, Jana and Grant -- has deep ties to OC and has given a gift to help with improvements to the university's soccer field.
The Walker family -- (from left) Anna, Todd, Jana and Grant -- has deep ties to OC and has given a gift to help with improvements to the university's soccer field.

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 12, 2013) – While Todd and Jana Walker’s careers have taken them away from Oklahoma Christian, the foundation they built here has led to their success.

Todd is the senior vice president of product management at Comcast Corporation.

One of his product lines is home security and automation, which was started last year and is growing so quickly that it is expected to be the fifth-largest home security provider by the end of the year.

Todd, a 1986 graduate, and Jana (Rogers), a 1987 graduate, live in the Philadelphia area and treasure the lessons and memories they had at OC.

“One of the most positive aspects of OC is that it allows students to have a voice easily,” Todd said. “You can get involved in student groups and be a leader quickly, something students just don’t get at bigger universities.”

That experience was important for the Walkers because Jana’s first job allowed Todd to pursue an MBA in Dallas.

“Jana found work immediately after graduation,” Todd said. “She worked for the former CEO of American Airlines. She excelled in the interview and on the job because of the confidence she gained at OC.”

After Dallas, the Walkers moved to Tulsa, followed by additional moves and jobs.

Each position brought greater responsibilities and leadership, ultimately leading one company to a joint venture with Comcast.

The company hired Todd and his business team to help launch the home security business and applications for Comcast’s new TV set-top boxes. Todd credits his influences at OC for preparing him to lead.

“I was a shy kid who did not give speeches well,” Todd said. “Teachers like Ralph Burcham and Jack Skaggs encouraged me and let me be on the business competition team. I served as vice president in my social club. Those experiences allowed me to learn a lot about leadership and presentation skills. When I began applying for jobs, my degree at OC carried a lot of weight.”

Another reason the Walkers enjoyed their time at OC was the personal attention they received from professors.

“I still remember getting a phone call from Kevin Jacobs (a 1982 graduate) for his media law class,” Jana said. “I had stayed up all night to study for his final and had accidentally fallen asleep. He called my dorm room and graciously allowed me to take the test.”

The Walkers’ fond memories of OC made an impression on their daughter, Anna, a freshman biology major who plays on the women’s soccer team.

“She made up her own mind to go to OC, and she has loved it,” Todd said. “It has been challenging being an athlete, and she can’t go home every weekend, but she has made OC her home away from home.”

Anna’s time at OC influenced the Walkers to make an additional investment in their alma mater. They recently made a donation to help fund improvements to OC’s soccer facilities.

“We were very impressed with coach (Randall) Robison and his wife,” Todd said. “As a family, we love soccer. Randall reached out to us, and we just really wanted to help the players have a facility they can be even more proud of.”