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Sonny Branham

Assistant Professor of Government


Degrees/Credentials

M.A., Western Kentucky University
B.A., Western Kentucky University

B.A. and M.A., Western Kentucky University


Contact Information

phone: 918.495.6071
e-mail: sbranham@oru.edu

Profile

Academic Highlights


Right off the bat, one cannot help but like Sonny Branham.  Obviously popular as a professor, there is often a line of students outside his office waiting to talk to him.  With his good-natured manner and noticeable compassion for others, it's easy to see why.

Branham is a "Renaissance man" (someone with many different trades and skills) if there ever was one.   Before coming to teach at ORU, he worked in several different fields, each one more different than the last.  After earning his undergraduate degree in government, Branham bought a newspaper with his wife  in her hometown of Burkesville, KY, where he grew up.  He became a journalist, although he had never taken journalism or photography in college.  Somehow they were able to transform the newspaper into a booming business, tripling its revenue. 

After his stint in the newspaper business, Branham decided to try his hand at banking . . . even though, in his own words, he "couldn't even balance a checkbook".  He started out as a teller, and eventually became the vice president of the bank, then the chief financial officer.  As if that weren't enough, during the same time he was in the banking business he spent his spare time teaching government at a local college and pastoring churches in need of temporary preachers.

Branham's initial connection to ORU came about as a result of his son attending there as a student.  "From the very beginning, my wife and I knew that he was going to ORU," he said.  He told the story of how his son, as a 2 year-old, would constantly pull books off the shelf and would always bring the same book with a plain cover to his mother.  Although she would put the book back in different places each time, their son would inexplicably manage to find it again.  The book was "Miracles of Christ" by Oral Roberts.

When he was offered a teaching job at ORU, Branham readily accepted because he felt that God was leading him to make a difference in the lives of students there.  "I don't see myself as being wise or knowledgeable," he says, "Instead, I see myself as a coach to guide students to meet their desires."  One of his favorite sayings is "I'm not the sage on the stage, but the guide on the side."

He is quick to emphasize the importance of knowing what government is all about, because it can be a "vehicle for change"…especially in this day and age.  "My generation was the ‘hippie generation'", he says, "We were out to make a difference, not a buck.  More people should have that kind of mindset."
An enthusiastic sports fan, Branham enjoys athletics of all kinds, notably baseball and golf.  Although he doesn't play much, he enjoys the act of being a spectator and the excitement it brings. 

When asked to describe how being at ORU has led to personal growth, Branham said that it has greatly deepened his spiritual experience.  Not only that, but being with like-minded people fills him with inspiration: "It is so great to see the passion with which ORU faculty and students live their lives for Christ."