Ouachita Baptist University’s annual University Community Service Awards, presented by the Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community, recently honored two community leaders and dozens of university students for their service to the community and region.
Bill Wright, chairman and CEO of the Western region of Southern Bancorp, was honored with the Community Service Excellence Award, and Annie Mae Pearson, a volunteer foster grandparent at Malvern HeadStart for 18 years, was honored with the Foster Grandparents Program Award.
Dr. Ben Elrod, chancellor of Ouachita, presented Wright’s award, describing him as “a citizen of Arkadelphia who has distinguished himself in many ways in service to the community.”
Citing Wright’s service as chairman of the Clark County Industrial Council and other areas of community involvement, Elrod emphasized that Wright “is seriously committed to the economic development of Arkadelphia and Clark County.”
Voicing appreciation for the award, Wright said, “I am a definite supporter of this university and all it stands for.”
Addressing the students who were being recognized, Wright added, “You started at a much younger age that I did of giving back to the community. … I urge you to use your service because you may be the one who makes a difference somewhere down the road.”
Shirley McMillan, who coordinates the Elrod Center’s Foster Grandparents Program, presented Pearson’s award. Noting that Pearson “has led a lifetime of volunteering and service,” McMillan said this year’s award recipient has accumulated “13,908 hours of dedicated service” as a volunteer foster grandparent.
Ouachita students and staff members honored during the banquet include:
America Reads: Amanda Baker, Mallory Bussey, Ana Cameron, Ashlee DeVore, Natalie Holmes, Sarah Johnson, Dayton Lavender, Katie Luff, Kathryn Merrill, Darlene Seal, Lauren Smith, Randall Stillwell, Leah Turner, Melanie Williams and Jillian Vire.
America Counts: Megan Antley, Audrey Craven, Matt Engelking, Lori Hilburn, Jenelle Kaske, Autumn Mortenson, Kezia Nanda, Brandon Pearson, Willy Rasilim and Josiah Wheeler.
America Reads/America Counts Senior Awards: Megan Antley (2007-2010), program assistant and America Counts tutor/mentor; Ana Cameron (2007-2010), America Reads tutor/mentor; Mallory Bussey (2008-2010), America Reads tutor/mentor; Brandon Pearson (2008-2010); America Counts tutor/mentor; and Leah Turner (2008-2010), America Reads tutor/mentor.
Elder Serve Awards 2010: Daniel Anderson, Sarah Anderson, Felicia Arnold, David Armstrong, Lindsey Baker, Kinsey Carpenter, Nancy Christner, Jon Cole, Julia Conrad, Allison Cornell, Abby Dekle, Emily Dennis, Danielle Duhon, Judy Duvall, Candace Eudy, Laura Goode, Sara Hanson, Kelly Harris, Anna Hartley, Hillary Hill, Leigha Hill, Adam Hudson, Lydia Jahner, Greta James, Chelsie Kauffman, Kezia Nanda, Jody Persson, Matthew Pope, Chase Rackley, Alyssa Reynolds, Meghan Savage, Mary Smethers, Lauren Tallakson, Taihlor Treat, Wendy Vick and Sarah Waymire.
ElderServe Senior Awards 2010: David Armstrong (2006-2010), Felicia Arnold (2006-2010), Nancy Christner (2007-2010), Emily Dennis (2008-2010) and Laura Goode (2008-2010).
Tiger Serve Leadership Team 2010: Lindsey Baker, Reuben Cash, Nancy Christner, Leanne Cushman, Drew Harper, Leigha Hill, Lauren Jackson, Greta James, Ryan James, Abbey Jamieson, Cami Jones, Caleb Knight, Barry McCaskill, Emily Morgan, Mark Morrison, Seth Northcutt, Gabri Sander, Alyson Walker, Austin Walker, Devin Waters, Nolan West and Philip Williamson.
Tiger Serve Leadership Senior Awards 2010: Cami Jones (3 1/2 years), Lindsey Baker (3 years), Nancy Christner (3 years), Seth Northcutt (3 years), Gabri Sanders (3 years), Philip Williamson (3 years) and Barry McCaskill (2 years).
Transerve Awards: Melissa Butters, Nancy Christner, Daniel Graham, Drew Harper, Natalie Holmes, Cami Jones and J. L. West. Each volunteered a minimum of 150 hours combined for the fall and spring semesters.
Campus Ministries Leadership Team: Backyard Bible Clubs – Daniel Graham and Melissa Butters; Big Brother – Nolan West; Big Sister – Brook Belcher; CFW – Tyler Burleson, Cassie McKinley and Nathan Wade; Chaplain – Gabri Sanders; Chaplain/Refuge – Katelyn Cash; Chaplain/Website – Austin Walker; Dixsonville – Callie Travis and Laura Hogue; FFG – Stephen Johnson and Casie Neal; Internationals – Samantha Frank; Intramurals – Alex Hargis; Men’s Discipleship – Preston Byrd and Sky Howard; Missions – Erin Young; Missions Promotion – Caitlyn Wamble; Missions/Special Events – Haley Whisenhunt; MKs – Kimberly Carlton; Monticello Children’s Home – Andrew Yates; Noonday – Jason Kirk, Hayley Nolan and Philip Williamson; Photography – Kendall Calvert; Prayer – Julielle Vaught; Refuge – Corey Hiscocks; Refuge Music – Jarrett Davis; Rough Draft – Heather Baker and Katie Willhite; Special Events/Publicity – Trinka Newman; Tiger Tunes – Jessica Schleiff; and Women’s Discipleship – Alyson Walker.
Kluck Student Enrichment Grants Fall 2009: Big Brother/Big Sister – Brooke Belcher and James Taylor; Campus Ministry International – Samantha Frank and James Taylor; FCA – Katie Potts, Graham Cole and John Johnson; Freshman Family Groups – Casie Neal and James Taylor; International Club – Hanna Rose and Tricia Wempe; Kappa Delta Pi – Emily Quick and Kay Calvert; KKP and TBS – Jessica Hensarling and Robert Hesse; Operation Christmas Child – Caitlyn Wamble and Terese Cox; OSF – Kristen Glover and Lori Motl; Sigma Tau Delta – Megan Gentry and Amy Sonheim; Tiger Serve Day – Cami Jones and Judy Duvall; and Tri Chi – Megan Antley and Casey Motl.
Kluck Student Enrichment Grants Spring 2010: Campus Ministry – Melissa Butters, Sara Hanson, Alyson Walker, Terese Cox and James Taylor; NSSLHA (Speech Pathology Department) – Heidi Sanders and Nancy Hardman; Spanish – Keeson Martin, Nona Anderson and Julia Jones; Students in Free Enterprise – David Hollis and Jay Robbins; and Theta Alpha Phi – Katie Willhite and Mary Handiboe.
International Student Awards: Daniel Anderson; Ian Cosh; Sharon Cosh; Tanya Jackson; Kezia Nanda; Gray Prichard; Willy Rasilim; Hanna Rose; Caitlyn Wamble and Tricia Wempe.
For more information about the Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community, call (870) 245-5320.
By Trennis Henderson, OBU Vice President for Communications