Ouachita Baptist University’s Elrod Center for Family and Community honored Ouachita alumnus Sharon Heflin with the Community Service Excellence Award at its recent University Community Service Awards banquet. Dozens of Ouachita students, faculty and staff were also recognized for their service during the past year.
The Elrod Center’s emphasis this year was based on a quote by author Annie Dillard: “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”
“One of the things that makes Ouachita unique is the value it places on service,” noted Judy Duvall, assistant director of the Elrod Center. “Many of our students volunteer their time to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2013, more than 45,000 volunteer hours were logged by OBU students serving in various capacities. This night is special because we get to thank and pay tribute to these individuals that give so much to our campus and community.”
As Dr. Ben M. Elrod, chancellor and former president of Ouachita, introduced Sharon Heflin, he noted, “A casual stroll through OBU’s campus is proof that the Heflin family has been faithful and generous supporters of Ouachita through the years.”
Sharon Heflin, a 1967 Ouachita graduate, and her family have been longtime supporters of Ouachita. Sharon, who grew up in Little Rock, married Johnny Heflin (OBU class of 1967) the summer after they graduated from Ouachita. She previously was honored by Ouachita at the 2010 Stepping Up for Ouachita luncheon.
“I am so grateful to receive this honor tonight, but I also feel so underserving,” Heflin responded as she received her award. “I am so pleased that these students at such a young age have already learned that by helping others, you are doing exactly what God put you on this earth to do.
“It doesn’t have to be money,” Heflin explained as she described the many ways individuals can serve. “It can be time, talents, giving someone a ride to the doctor’s office, writing a card or even just a smile.”
Members of the Heflin and Elrod families gather with Dr. and Mrs. Horne at the Elrod Awards.
Always willing to give back to the community, Helfin’s community service leadership roles include serving as president of the Baptist Health Foundation Board, president of the Little Rock Central High School Alumni Board, vice president of the Alzheimer Arkansas Board and 2010 co-chair of Art and Soul for Easter Seals of Arkansas. She also is president emeritus of the Arkansas Hospice Foundation Board and has served on a number of other local and statewide boards.
“You can rest assured that I have a smile and will keep it ever present,” Heflin noted, “not only because you have blessed me tonight with this honor, but also because I am a witness firsthand of how wonderful this program is and what promising and encouraging young people you are.”
Major projects underwritten by the Heflin family include funding for Heflin Plaza, the Heflin Tennis Center, the Jay and Lynn Heflin Chair of Business and the Heflin Family Scholarship. Sharon Heflin also has served as a member of the Ouachita Baptist University Development Council.
“You should know that the first person to trust me to build a new tennis center and fund a first class tennis program was Johnny and Sharon Heflin,” Dr. Elrod said. “I can’t tell you what encouragement it was to me to have this wonderful couple instill that level of confidence in me at that time.”
Other Ouachita students, faculty and staff honored during the banquet include:
America Reads: Kaitlyn Belk, Joseph Breckenridge, Haylee Garland, Cassie Lynch, Ashlyn Meece, Kelly Mezzanato, Megan McLaughlin, Azalea Smith, Kelly Strickland and Sarah Talley
America Reads Senior Awards: Lynn Anderson, Chelsea Ariola, Lorna Kirkpatrick, Tayler Koller and Cara Smith
America Counts: Kaela Butler, Arden Hall, Bonnie Magee, Rebecca Sanchez, Joel Ubeda and Chelsea Villanueva
America Counts Senior Awards: Korey Byrd, Sarah Liz Carter, Rebekah Dindak, Heather Ellis, Jordan Howard, Clay McKinney, Ben Schleiff, Marissa Selden, Stephen Williams and Seth Wilson
Missionary-in-Residence Award: Don and Teresa Bolls
ElderServe: Johnathan Boyce, Kaela Butler, Elise Cobb, Libby Gracia, Mariah Gough, Arden Hall, Nina Hefner, Libby Hilliard, Peyton Hutchins, Neelie Lee, Hannah Osborne, Marissa Pilcher, Hannah Pinkerton, Alexa Reed, Elva Rosas, Allie Smith, Lauren Snow, Shannon Talley, Joel Ubeda
ElderServe Senior Awards: Molly Bowman, Amy Campbell, Jennifer Coon, Rebekah Dindak, Adam Dood, Ellen Flint, Emily Hastings, Sara Huneycutt, Chelsea Morehead, Alex Trevino, Logan Webb, Kaitlin Williams, Holly Wray
Cargill Leadership Fund Award: David Willhite
International Student Service Award: Ben Lange-Smith
Healthy Relationships Week Leadership Team: Brynn Alford, Amy Campbell, Mariah Gough, Emily Harris, Hunter Threadgill, David Winkler and Justin Young
Thanksgiving Baskets: Kate Collins, Jennifer Coon and Kelly Cortez
Kluck Service Enrichment Grants, Fall 2013: Kelsey Willis and Sara Hubbard for the American Chemical Society, Alyssa White and Ashley Randels for Kappa Delta Pi, Rachel Wicker for Campus Ministries Outreach, Tim Horton for the Alpha Chi Honors Society and Melissa Smith for Dietetics
Kluck Service Enrichment Grants, Spring 2014: Crista Riggs for Alpha Chi Honor Society, Hannah Shull for Campus Ministry Monticello’s Children’s Home, Jessica Allen for Project 13:11, Joseph Koon for Campus Ministry Backyard Bible Club and Dawson Pritchard for the Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team
Campus Ministries Leadership Team: Amy Campbell, Jared Carlin, Jacob Catlett, Kate Cody, Kelly Cortez, Sophie DeMuth, Rebekah Dindak, Adam Dodd, Drew Farris Jake Fauber, Kyle Fischer, Brandon Freeman, Kelsey Frink, Connor Goad, Meg Hart, Joseph Koon, Clay McKinney, Katherine Melson, Ashley Randels, Sadie Sasser, Treslyn Shipley, Savannah Shotts, Hannah Shull, Zach Smith, Jessica Stewart, Alex Trevino, Kaiti Walker, Alyssa White and Rachel Wicker
Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team: Bridget Bloxom, Titus Brooks, Jeremy Cooper, Jeremy Dixon, Drew Farris, Ben Lange-Smith, Coleson Lechner, Craig Martin, Haley Martin, Reagan Parsons, Griffin Peeples, Anna Sikes, Emily Speer, Treslyn Shipley, Rachel Wicker, David Willhite and David Winkler
Tiger Serve Day Senior Leadership Awards: Rachel Gilmer, Katie Hopmann, Jasper Jackson, Dawson Pritchard, Buck Schroeder, Jessica Stewart, Garet West and Rachel Williams
Transerve Award (150 or more hours of service for the academic year): Jace Bradshaw, Michael Crow, Jonathan Curry, Arthur Johnson, Emily Payne, Elva Rosas, Anna Sikes, Cara Smith, Sara Walker and David Winkler
For more information about the Elrod Center for Family & Community, visit www.obu.edu/elrod or call (870) 245-5320.