Photo by Matthew Simonson
Nine-year-old Jack Nash and his family road-tripped 18 hours from Rochester, NY to Tulsa, OK to support a world-renowned man and his university. This man was Oral Roberts, the great grandfather of Jack.
“Everyone in my family called him Andy,” said Jack, who is now a freshman at ORU. “Although he was often serious, on this night he had a great sense of humor.”
That night would be one Jack would never forget, as the whole family spent quality time together in Roberts’ hotel suite. The family soaked up what would become final memories with their beloved father, grandfather and great grandfather.
“My brother, sister and I took off our shoes and put our knees inside of them to look like midgets. Andy found that hilarious,” said Jack. “I know this was one of the most difficult times he faced. That’s why it meant so much to me to share a moment of laughter.”
Later that year, Oral “Andy” Roberts died from pneumonia at 91 years old. Nine years later, his great grandson would walk the halls of the university he built.
The son of Jon Oral Nash and Hillary Lloyd, grandson of Rebecca Roberts and Marshall Nash, and great grandson of Evelyn Lutman and Oral Roberts, it’s safe to say that Jack was no stranger to Oral Roberts University.
“ORU has always been in the back of my mind. I’ve been here throughout my childhood,” said Jack. “But I told my parents, ‘I wanna visit ORU for real.’”
Upstate New York natives, Jack’s family now lives in Orlando, Florida. Although his brother, Connor Nash, attends Liberty University in Virginia and his father teaches at Full Sail University in Florida, Jack sought to give ORU a chance.
During his first college-scouting visit to ORU, his dad showed him around and they did a few of the activities. When he returned home to Florida, he “wasn’t feeling it.” But he wanted a connection with the school that went beyond his family’s history. His senior year, Jack visited ORU alone and decided to partake in the weekend’s events, which helped him make the ultimate decision of attending.
“College weekend sold me,” said Jack, remembering the activities and friendships he made. “After that trip, I made up my mind. How many people can say they went to their family’s university?”
The son of a business and finance professor, Jack grew fascinated with the idea of making money. When he wasn’t reading for school, he read business books for fun, his favorites including “Rich Dad,” “Poor Dad” and “The Millionaire Next Door.”
In fact, he decided to start “a small drop-shipping business” on eBay his sophomore year of high school. He would buy a product on Amazon for cheap, sell it on eBay for more and ship it right to the customer’s house from Amazon. Although Jack ran his business efficiently for two years, eBay wasn’t so enthusiastic of his entrepreneurial endeavor.
This experience fueled his passion for business and finance and helped him decide to major in Business Administration at ORU. Jack can see himself being an entrepreneur or investor, but as of now, he hasn’t settled on any specific careers.
“At ORU I’m trying to find inspiration and creative ideas. I’m just hoping for some direction,” said Jack.
Since being at ORU, few things have differed from what Jack expected. He and his floor grew close within the first week of school, and they now practically do everything together. The community is something Jack loves about the university.
Even if Jack does not follow in the footsteps of his great grandfather and build a university, one thing is for sure: he won’t be making any little plans here.