More than 50 OBU students, faculty and staff earn Presidential Service Awards

Ouachita Baptist University President Rex Horne presented the 125th Anniversary Presidential Service Award to more than 50 students, faculty and staff members on Monday, Dec. 12. Recipients were recognized for each performing at least 125 hours of community service in 2011, Ouachita’s 125thanniversary year. The group served a total of more than 11,800 hours throughout the year.

“The Presidential Service Awards brought to a close our 125th Anniversary celebrations in a special way by focusing on the spirit of service that is so widely demonstrated by members of the Ouachita community,” said Ian Cosh, vice president for community and international engagement and chair of the 125thanniversary steering committee. “The awards were given as a final salute to a wonderful year of celebrations in which we remembered and honored our institution’s 125 years of making a difference in our community locally and internationally.”

“The number serving and the time given to service makes a statement of the character of our faculty, staff and students,” Horne said. “The exemplary servant leaders infuse our university with the vision for others rather than self.”

“Our Christian calling to lose ourselves in service to others was at the heart of this award,” Cosh explained. “We are proud of each person who went the extra mile to show their love of others through their service commitments.”

“There are so many opportunities to serve in the community and so many needs that if each person chose one need and committed to serving in that area consistently, it could make a huge impact in that community,” said award recipient Amy Vaughan, a senior Christian studies major.

“Service is important because we have been greatly served by Christ,” said Hannah Ramsey, a junior English major and award recipient. “We are the hands and feet of Christ in this community. It is our duty as Christians to serve the people of this community.”

Faculty and staff members who received the award include: Dr. Hal Bass, professor of political science; Ian Cosh, vice president for community and international engagement; Dr. James Files, assistant professor of accounting; Gail Hennagin, library assistant to circulation/reference, instructional media and special collections; John Hill, senior programmer/analyst; Rebecca Jones, instructor of communications; Dr. Wesley Kluck, vice president for institutional advancement; Karen Matros, assistant to the dean of interdisciplinary studies and transcript specialist; Shirley McMillan, director of the Foster Grandparent Program; Brenda Bradley-Philson, TRIO director and director of Educational Talent Search; Keisha Pittman, development officer; Dr. Mike Reynolds, professor of kinesiology and leisure studies; Jim Rothwell, assistant dean of the Hickingbotham School of Business and assistant professor of accounting; and Becca Woodall, hall director and assistant director of campus activities.­­

The following students received the award and are listed in order of hometown:

Arkadelphia, Ark. – Lindsey Fowler, a sophomore political science and business administration major, and Tim Horton, a sophomore physics and professional chemistry major

Batesville, Ark. – Mary Castleman, a junior Christian media/communications major, and Whitley Poole, a senior early childhood education major

Benton, Ark. – Lacey Brooks, a junior mass communications major; Ryan James, a junior biology major; Devan Malone, a junior speech communication major; and Alyson Walker, a senior Biblical studies and psychology major

Bolivar, Mo. – Leigha Hill, a senior communication science and disorders major

Cacak, Serbia – Kurt Bannert, a junior psychology and Russian major.

Conway, Ark. – Jennifer Coon, a sophomore dietetics and nutrition major; Buck Schroeder, a sophomore accounting major; Laura Sikes, a senior communication science and disorders major; and Wendy Vick, a senior biology major

Dallas, Texas – Sarah Anderson, a senior sociology major

Denison, Texas – Melissa Butters, a senior early childhood education major

Donaldson, Ark. – Michael Crowe, a sophomore business administration/finance major

El Dorado, Ark. – Stephanie Butcher, a sophomore accounting major

Fort Smith, Ark. – Britta Stamps, a senior political science major

Frisco, Texas – Brittany Green, a senior psychology and Spanish major

Grapevine, Texas – Amy Vaughan, a senior Christian missions major

Lewisville, Texas – Katelyn Mustain, a senior dietetics and nutrition major

Little Rock, Ark. – Chris Chandler, a senior biology major

Lowell, Ark. – Hayley Hill, a sophomore Spanish major

Maumelle, Ark. – Hannah Pilcher, a junior Spanish major

Monticello, Ark. – Cheyenne Flemister, a senior accounting major

Naperville, Ill. – Hannah Ramsey, a junior English major

Nixa, Mo. – Catie Bennett, a junior early childhood education major

Queen City, Texas – Jacob Lively, a senior biology major

Redfield, Ark. – Kelsey Willis, a sophomore chemistry major

Richardson, Texas – Natalie Holmes, a senior early childhood education major

Rockwall, Texas – Ugo Nkalari, a junior business administration major

Rogers, Ark. – Brynn Alford, a junior biology major, and David Sypult, a sophomore business administration/management and business administration/finance major

Sachse, Texas – Abby Dekle, a senior biology major

Searcy, Ark. – Elizabeth White, a sophomore mathematics and secondary education major

Sheridan, Ark. – Jessica Winston, a senior biology major

Sherwood, Ark. – Hannah Nolan, a sophomore dietetics and nutrition major; and T.C. Squires, a senior Spanish, math, and education major

Shreveport, La. – Kaitlin Williams, a sophomore business administration major

Spring, Texas – Stephanie Warren, a senior Christian missions major

Texarkana, Texas – Lindsey Hackett, a senior biology major

For more information, contact OBU’s Elrod Center at (870) 245-5320.

By Nicci Fillinger

OBU School of Fine Arts to feature Point of Grace in Festival of Christmas Dec. 2-3

Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts will present its annual Festival of Christmas in Jones Performing Arts Center on Dec. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. The show will feature the Christian music group Point of Grace as the final event of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary celebration. Tickets are on sale now for $20 each at www.obu.edu/boxoffice. Ouachita students may each purchase one ticket at the discounted price of $10 with their student IDs.

“The Festival of Christmas featuring our own Point of Grace graduates is a fitting end to what has been a rich celebration of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary year,” said Ian Cosh, vice president for community and international engagement and chairman of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary steering committee.

Since forming at Ouachita Baptist University 19 years ago, Point of Grace emerged as one of the biggest names in Christian music. The two-time Grammy nominees have sold more than 6.5 million albums and earned 24 consecutive No. 1 singles, including radio staples “Steady On,” “The Great Divide” and “Circle of Friends,” a feat unmatched by any other artist in any musical genre. Point of Grace has won 13 prestigious Dove Awards, including three in 2011: Recorded Song of the Year for “There Is Nothing Greater than Grace,” Country Album of the Year for “No Changin’ Us” and Christmas Album of the Year for “Home for the Holidays.”

“The presence of these alumni, who have done so well in the music world, will be a reminder that our mission as a university is to graduate students who are competent, compassionate and committed to Christ,” Cosh said.

The program will include performances by students in Ouachita’s vocal, instrumental and theatre programs as well as dance students. Ensembles performing include Concert Choir, Ouachita Sounds and the Festival of Christmas Band.

“We wanted to do something special for the 125th year of Ouachita, so the show will be a little bit of us and a little bit of Point of Grace,” said Dr. Gary Gerber, Division of Music chair.

The first half of the show will feature the “best of” audience favorites from the past, including “Jingle Bells” “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Silent Night,” “Breath of Heaven,” “O Holy Night” and many more. Following this, Point of Grace will perform “Home for the Holidays,” followed by intermission.

After intermission, Point of Grace will perform a selection of sacred Christmas tunes with the OBU Concert Choir.

“The second half of the show will be special because our Concert Choir will be singing with Point of Grace,” Gerber said.

Emphasizing that this year’s Festival of Christmas will be a memorable performance, Gerber encouraged individuals to purchase their tickets before the shows are sold out.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.obu.edu/boxoffice or call the box office at (870) 245-5563 from 1-5 p.m. weekdays.

By Lara Overman

Pillay highlights higher education in OBU’s Birkett Williams Lecture

Ouachita Baptist University hosted internationally respected scholar Dr. Gerald Pillay on Nov. 15 as part of the university’s Birkett Williams Lecture Series. Pillay’s lecture addressed the status of and challenges facing global higher education, emphasizing that “Christian foundations influence universities all around the world.

Pillay serves as vice chancellor and rector of Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom, a university with which Ouachita has recently entered into an international education partnership. Pillay is respected throughout the world for his scholarly work, having served on the faculty of institutions in South Africa, New Zealand and the U.S. He earned his Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Divinity and Doctor of Theology degrees from the University of Durban in South Africa as well as his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Rhodes University in South Africa.

Pillay explained that from the start, the world’s first universities were faith-based. Today, this principle still rings true for many universities. Institutions such as Liverpool Hope and Ouachita need to join together with one common goal, he said, to make a difference and seek truth throughout the world.

“It is a great opportunity to bring an English university alongside an American university and to create pathways between both our intuitions,” Pillay said. “In some ways, it’s easy because we have a common mission and vision about the world. We can do much more together.”

Although Pillay acknowledged he is unsure about what the future holds, he said is confident about Ouachita’s and Liverpool Hope’s purpose in the world. “As a church foundation, we bring a great vision about the world. We want to make a difference to our world,” he said. “Every one of our staff members and students must have that in mind. We must have the judgment to know what knowledge is and what information is not. Our world needs wise people, not just clever people.”

It is important to remember, Pillay added, that “good universities allow freedom of thought, to think and question. We not only seek truth, but we’re seeking beauty and goodness, as well. For the Christian university, these three things are non-negotiable.”

Pillay was hosted as part of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary celebration. In addition to delivering a Birkett Williams lecture, he spoke during Ouachita’s Tuesday morning chapel service.

Ian Cosh, Ouachita’s vice president for community and international engagement and chair of the 125thanniversary steering committee, affirmed the opportunity “to have an educator with Professor Pillay’s extensive international experience on our campus to share his insights with every member of the campus community.”

Ouachita’s Birkett Williams lecture series was established in 1977 through a gift from the late Birkett L. Williams, a 1910 Ouachita graduate. His generous endowment established the lectures as an opportunity to extend the concepts of a liberal arts education beyond the classroom by bringing outstanding scholars and public figures to Ouachita’s campus.

By Lacey Brooks

Stepping Up for Ouachita luncheon honors OBU professor emerita Margaret Wright

Ouachita’s second annual Stepping Up for Ouachita luncheon was held Nov. 10 in honor of Margaret Wright, professor emerita of accounting, and benefiting scholarships for outstanding women students at Ouachita.

“When I hear people speak of Margaret Wright,” said President Rex Horne, “they talk about Margaret and her life and the impact that she continues to have upon students, upon lives, upon this institution.

“I often wish there was a more concrete way of saying thank you to those who have so helped and inspired those of us here at Ouachita,” Horne continued. “Today we will give a couple of gifts to Margaret to say thank you, but as we give them we’re reminded that we’re the ones to really say thank you because of the gifts that she has given to all of us in her service to Ouachita across many years.”

Wright was presented with a one-of-a-kind ceramic bowl painted by 2005 Ouachita alum Beth (Woolley) Carlisle, owner of Firefly Studio in Little Rock.

“To be recognized by my alma mater as well as my former employer in such a beautiful way is indeed very special, and I thank you so much,” Wright responded. “Former students … what a thrill to see you. … I hope you know that you are truly, truly the reward of being a teacher, and I love each one of you very much and thank you for being here.”

Wright, a faculty member at Ouachita for more than three decades, served as chair of the Department of Accounting, chair of the Division of Business and Economics and director of corporate and foundation programs and was instrumental in helping establish the Frank D. Hickingbotham School of Business. She and her husband, Charles Wright, former dean of Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts, moved to Little Rock upon their retirement in 2004.

The event, sponsored by Southern Bancorp, was held on campus as part of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary celebration and featured a FASHIONating History Vintage Style Show, courtesy of Little Rock philanthropist Grace Steuri. Terri King, a 1983 Ouachita alum and mother of a current Ouachita student, served as chairperson for the Stepping Up advisory committee, and Keisha Pittman, OBU development officer, served as staff coordinator.

“An event like Stepping Up for Ouachita is not possible without the generous donations of our sponsors,” Pittman said.

Additionally, Pittman noted that the advisory committee “not only committed their personal resources to making sure Stepping Up was successful, but they committee their time and creativity over the last year … to make sure that this is a premier event.”

The partnerships forged among Ouachita women to make Stepping Up for Ouachita happen are only the beginning of the event’s lasting effects, Pittman said.

“Stepping Up for Ouachita is about living a legacy,” she said, “a legacy that started from the beginning by educating women and continuously making sure that they had every academic advantage afforded them. Ouachita has always been committed to educating women students, and Stepping Up for Ouachita is an opportunity to financially invest in them as we carry that legacy forward.

“It is also a challenge to our students,” Pittman continued, “ to live worthy of the calling they have received and to invest their personal time to honor the financial commitments of those who make their Ouachita experience possible.”

“I’ve read in recent years that when you refer to Ouachita, you always refer to students as difference makers,” Wright emphasized. “I want to say thanks to each person in this room today for being a difference maker. With your purchase of a ticket to this beautiful luncheon today, you’ve made an investment in the lives of many young women and you will forever be a difference maker in their lives.

“What a beautiful thing you are doing, and thank you so much for giving me this special, special memory. I will treasure it for all of my life.”

By Brooke Zimny

Pillay to deliver Birkett Williams lecture at Ouachita on Nov. 15

Ouachita Baptist University will host Dr. Gerald John Pillay, vice chancellor and rector of Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom, as part of its endowed Birkett Williams Lecture Series on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. The lecture, which will address the status of and challenges facing global higher education, will be held in Mabee Fine Art Center’s McBeth Recital Hall on Ouachita’s campus. Pillay will also speak during chapel that morning at 10 a.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

“We are excited to have an educator with Professor Pillay’s extensive international experience on our campus to share his insights with the campus community,” said Ian Cosh, Ouachita’s vice president for community and international engagement.

Cosh noted that Pillay’s visit is especially timely since Ouachita and Liverpool Hope have recently entered into an international education partnership. The lecture also will be part of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary celebration.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, such a visit highlights the fact that an OBU education in the 21st century has to produce globally aware and engaged students,” Cosh added.

Pillay, a citizen of New Zealand and the UK, was named LHU’s first vice chancellor and rector when the school earned full university status in 2005. He previously had served as rector there since 2003.

Pillay earned his Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Divinity and Doctor of Theology degrees from the University of Durban in South Africa as well as his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Rhodes University in South Africa.

After lecturing at the University of Durban-Westville, Pillay was named professor of ecclesiastical history at the University of South Africa. He was also a guest professor at Northwestern University and Rhodes University as well as a research fellow at Princeton University.

Pillay has published extensively, served on editorial boards of two international journals, presented papers at numerous international conferences and served on various public and educational boards. He also was elected a life fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce.

Ouachita’s Birkett Williams Lecture Series was established in 1977 through a gift from the late Birkett L. Williams, a 1910 Ouachita graduate. His generous endowment established the lectures as an opportunity to extend the concepts of a liberal arts education beyond the classroom by bringing outstanding scholars and public figures to Ouachita’s campus.

For more information, contact Ian Cosh at coshi@obu.edu or (870) 245-5320.

By Lacey Brooks

Annual Battle of the Ravine Week activities under way

The annual Battle of the Ravine Week showdown between the Ouachita Baptist University Tigers and the Henderson State University Reddies is officially under way, culminating with Saturday’s 1 p.m. kickoff at A.U. Williams Field.

“Although this game will not affect Ouachita’s conference standings, there is pride, history and tradition on the line,” said Dr. Kevin Motl, faculty sponsor of Tiger Nation. “Winning would be very good for Ouachita’s regional rankings and might give us the momentum we need to get us into post-season play.”

This will be a tie-breaking game, with the rivalry currently standing at 39-39-6. Coach Todd Knight said the football team has been having intense, focused practices to prepare for the big game. “We are looking forward to a great game,” he emphasized.

There have been a few changes in this year’s Battle of the Ravine Week activities, most notably a changing of the guard in front of the Ouachita Tiger statue. This year, instead of the responsibility of guarding the Tiger resting solely on the shoulders of the Rho Sigma men’s social club, each class has been assigned a night to protect the Tiger from Monday to Thursday. Friday night the Rho Sigmas along with the rest of the student body will be responsible for the Tiger’s protection.

Motl explained the reason behind the change, saying, “We want more people to get involved in the week and we want to promote class identity. By asking each class to pull together for a night, we hope to create more of a community feel. We want everyone, not just the social clubs, to participate. We have a vision of dozens, if not hundreds, of students out in Grant Plaza participating in the protection of the Tiger.”

In addition to guarding the Tiger, the social clubs will be holding different events throughout the week.

Monday, the men of Eta Alpha Omega and Beta Beta hosted a Monday night football viewing and the class of 2013 was on Tiger guard duty.

Tuesday, the women of EEE and Chi Delta will host a flag football game between the students and faculty members at 6 p.m. on the Student Village green. The class of 2014 will take their turn watching over the Tiger.

Wednesday evening will kick off with dinner by Sodexo and inflatables in Grant Plaza. A live broadcast by KTHV-11 highlighting Battle of the Ravine activities will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Clark County Courthouse. Next, the men of Kappa Chi will host a car bash at 8 p.m. and the women of Chi Rho Phi will provide refreshments. The security of the Tiger will rest of the shoulders of the class of 2015.

The events on Thursday evening will begin with a torchlight parade at 6:30 p.m. from the Tiger to the Battle of the Ravine bonfire and pep rally, hosted by the men of Rho Sigma. Refuge will be held at Second Baptist Church at 9 p.m. and the women of Tri Chi will serve hot chocolate and s’mores at 10 p.m. The class of 2012 will protect the Tiger throughout the night.

Friday morning from 5 to 7 a.m., KATV-7 will broadcast a morning pep rally-style event for its Daybreak show on the HSU intramural fields. The Rally on the Ravine carnival will be held in the same location from 3 to 7 p.m. After the carnival, students can sing karaoke with the women of Chi Delta at 7 p.m. and Campus Activities Board will show a movie at 10 p.m. Rho Sigma will begin their traditional all-night bell ring at 5 p.m. on Friday, and will ring the bell every hour on the hour until kickoff. The Red Shirts, along with the rest of the student body, will guard the Tiger Friday night.

Saturday, the day of the big showdown, Rally on the Ravine events will begin at the Henderson intramural field at 9 a.m., with the Tiger Tailgate Competition starting at 11 a.m. The annual Battle of the Ravine football game between the Tigers and the Reddies will kick off at A.U. Williams Field at 1 p.m.

By Nicci Fillinger

Second annual Stepping Up for Ouachita luncheon celebrates “Looking Back, Stepping Forward” Nov. 10

Ouachita Baptist University will host its second annual Stepping Up for Ouachita luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, in the Walker Conference Center on Ouachita’s campus. Celebrating the theme “Looking Back, Stepping Forward” and honoring Margaret Wright, Ouachita alumna and professor emerita of accounting, the event will benefit women’s scholarships at Ouachita.

“We wanted to tie into Ouachita’s 125th anniversary and bring this signature women’s event to campus,” said Keisha Pittman, OBU development officer and coordinator of the event. “It was important for us to look at honoring the legacy of the many Ouachita women who have gone before us.”

Wright, a faculty member at Ouachita for more than three decades, served as chair of the Department of Accounting, chair of the Division of Business and Economics and director of corporate and foundation programs and was instrumental in helping establish the Frank D. Hickingbotham School of Business. She and her husband, Charles Wright, former dean of Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts, moved to Little Rock upon their retirement in 2004.

“Margaret influenced a generation of business students,” Pittman said. “Our event will honor her life and commitment to Ouachita.”

Prior to the luncheon, a ticket-only men’s reception sponsored by Dr. Paul and Cheryl Williams will be held to provide men the opportunity to honor Mrs. Wright. A gallery reception showcasing student art will also be held before the luncheon in the lobby of Walker Conference Center.

“Since the luncheon will be primarily women, this gives some of the men that Mrs. Wright has influenced a chance to interact with her and say thank you,” Pittman said.

During the luncheon, Little Rock philanthropist Grace Steuri will share items from her vintage women’s clothing collection in a FASHIONating History Vintage Style Show. Steuri, a Dallas native, has collected fashions covering the full range of the 20th century. Her style shows not only examine the clothing and accessories from the past but also the historical context from which they evolved, a fitting subject as Ouachita reflects on 125 years of educating young people.

“The luncheon is designed around the vintage style show and honoring Mrs. Wright, all the while telling the Ouachita story to our university guests,” Pittman said.  “Events like this are always a great way for students to interact with donors and alumni who make so much of their Ouachita experience a possibility.”

In addition to Pittman, a committee of Ouachita alumni, parents and friends as well as a host of private and corporate sponsors donated their time, talents and financial support to make Stepping Up for Ouachita come to fruition.

“We are grateful to Southern Bancorp for their partnership as the presenting sponsor of this event,” Pittman said, adding that the committee members “love Ouachita, and they love this opportunity to get Ouachita women together and be reminded of this great place—a place where women have always been encouraged to make a difference.”

Terri King, a Ouachita alumna and parent of a current Ouachita student, serves as chairperson for the advisory committee. For a full list of sponsors and committee members, visit www.obu.edu/steppingup. For additional information, contact Keisha Pittman at pittmank@obu.edu or 870-245-4278.

By Breanne Goodrum

Limited edition OBU Christmas ornament features the Tiger and anniversary logo

It’s beginning to look a little like Christmas at Ouachita Baptist University – at least in the campus bookstore.

As part of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary celebration, the university’s anniversary steering committee recently unveiled a limited edition anniversary Christmas ornament. The custom-designed ornament, which features the Ouachita Tiger statue and the 125th anniversary logo, is available in the OBU Bookstore and at campus events throughout the fall semester. Read the rest of this entry »

OBU to host 125th Anniversary Community Celebration Oct. 19

To say thank you for 125 years of community support, Ouachita is inviting the residents of Arkadelphia to a community celebration. The celebration will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the center of OBU’s campus. The event is free and open to everyone in the Arkadelphia community. Read the rest of this entry »

EEE’s outer space performance earns top Tiger Tunes honors

Nine Ouachita Baptist University groups, 456 participants and more than 21,000 hours of practice culminated into one outstanding Tiger Tunes production, performed last weekend at Jones Performing Arts Center. Audiences were entertained Oct. 6-8 during four shows by the Tiger Tunes 2011 hosts and hostesses, campus groups and organizations and Tiger Blast band. The announcement of EEE Women’s Social Club as the overall winner brought the show to a close Saturday night. Read the rest of this entry »