Paint-splattered board becomes OCCC tradition

“The Painted Board,” created by History Professor Ray McCullar, is an OCCC legend full of unique history.

Traditions are strange things. Every organization has them and they arise when least expected.

The OCCC Faculty Association has its own tradition within its annual scholarship fundraiser that is special to many people at OCCC.

At least 20 years ago, History Professor Ray McCullar said he was asked to buy or create something for sale by the Faculty Association for their annual sale.

“I said ‘yes,’” McCullar said. “But I forgot about it until the day before.”

In a rush he said he grabbed a 15 inch by 6 inch board that he had been testing paint on the day prior and entered it into the sale as art.

“Then people got to bidding,” McCullar said. “It just sort of happened that people kept it for a year, put their signature on the back, and returned it.”

Today’s board is much larger than the original.

“About five or six years ago a student bought the board for $45 and didn’t return it,” McCullar said, “So the only thing left to do was make another one.”

Owners of the second board have included OKC Downtown College Director Gus Pekera, Executive Vice President Jerry Steward, Academic Affairs Vice President Felix Aquino, Macintosh Computer Technician Cathy Bowman and English Professor Marybeth McCauley, each with their own reasons.

McCauley said she possessed the board for two years, winning it in the auction in spring 2010 and again in 2011. Under her care it “lived in the Absolute office,” McCauley said. She said the reason she bid on it was because the artist was Ray McCullar.

“He is a wonderful professor,” McCauley said. “Since he was the artist, I had to have it.”

McCauley said she wanted to buy it again for 2012, but she decided to let someone else win it this time.

Cathy Bowman had the board prior to McCauley in the spring of 2009 where she hung it proudly in her office. Bowman said that she purchased the board to support the Faculty Association.

“I didn’t want or need anything,” she said. “It’s just a rental for a year.”

Vice President Felix Aquino rested the board atop a shelf in his office after he outbid others for it in the spring of 2008. Aquino said he enjoyed being a part of history.

“It strikes me as a really cool tradition. I’m glad that my name was part of that tradition.” he said.

The current owner of the painted board is Alice Vile, a student at OCCC, who was unable to be reached for comment.

It is currently unknown if a third painted board will need to be made.

Ray McCullar said that he is unsure whether the tradition will continue when he eventually leaves OCCC.

“I thought that when I leave it may be the only thing left of me,” he said. “But I may buy it myself and take it so I can have something to remind me of my time here.”

For more information about the Faculty Association’s Scholarship Committee, contact Jeff Carlisle at 405-682-1611, ext. 7391.

For more information about the painted board, contact Ray McCullar at 405-682-1611, ext. 7301.

To contact, Mike Wormley email

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