William Wilson on What Makes Oral Roberts University the Cinderella Team of the 2021 NCAA Tournament?

(Note:  This piece was originally submitted as a Letter to the Editor at USA Today but was not published.)

Dear Editor,

You recently published an article with the headline, “What and who is Oral Roberts? Meet the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Cinderella team and school”.  By the way, you’re not the only one asking. After defeating Ohio State and the University of Florida, ORU twice trended #1 on Twitter. Google searches for “Where is ORU” and “Who is Oral Roberts?” have soared. Our student applications increased tenfold last weekend. Analytics for social media, website searches and brand awareness surged as well, reaching beyond 100 million people. So, since you’re asking, “Who is ORU?” I’d like to answer.

ORU is America’s “Cinderella” team because many categorize ORU as a “Cinderella” school. The truth is, ORU has grown in enrollment every year for the past 12 years. ORU students come from more than 110 nations and all 50 states, seizing the opportunity to learn in a challenging educational environment and a thriving social community. These students study in state-of-the-art facilities, including a new nursing wing, “Shark Tank” styled business school, our advanced Global Learning Center, a world-class golf facility and more. ORU features 168 undergraduate programs, 16 master’s program and four doctoral programs.

In national rankings, ORU is ranked as the #1 best value in the West by US News and World Report and #1 in the region for undergraduate teaching. Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranked ORU among the top five universities in the nation for student engagement. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, 98.32% of the 2020 ORU graduates were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation, compared to the national average of 86.6%.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, William Wilson