“All these things just worked out,” Slauenwhite said. “It’s funny how you connect with people’s lives like that.”
Mission trips lead couple to new home
During those frequent trips to Oklahoma, the Slauenwhites familiarized themselves with the state. But they had no idea then that Oklahoma one day would become their home.
After Slauenwhite retired nearly a score of years later, he and his wife attended a Nationwide Insurance meeting in Syracuse, N.Y., where he was inducted into the company’s hall of fame. They extended that trip by visiting Des Moines, Iowa.
During that trip to Des Moines, Slauenwhite saw a Bacone College display and became interested in the school and its mission. His interest prompted him to sign up as a volunteer in mission for the church, of which Bacone College is an affiliate.
“We had been coming to Oklahoma for years to visit our daughter,” Slauenwhite said. “So I decided I was going to be a volunteer for the American Baptist Churches.”
After debating where the Slauenwhites might want to serve as mission volunteers, the couple opted against Kodiak, Alaska, in favor of Muskogee, home of the Bacone College campus. Slauenwhite said he and his wife visited Muskogee shortly thereafter to begin their mission work for Bacone and the Murrow Indian Children’s Home.
“We went back home with all kinds of stuff so we could represent the college and the children’s home all over New England and the northeast,” Slauenwhite said. “In 2001, we were on the road somewhere in New York. The (Bacone College) president was there and he said, ‘We want you to move to Muskogee.’”
The Slauenwhites answered the call. After selling their longtime home in Connecticut, the couple moved to Muskogee. Nancy Slauenwhite initiated a campus beautification project shortly thereafter, and she still takes advantage of every opportunity she gets to plant flowers and maintain the flower beds she created across campus.