Ouachita Baptist University’s Riley-Hickingbotham Library will host a ribbon cutting to formally open two new special collections in university archives on Thursday, Nov. 7. The collections feature the papers of former Ouachita faculty members Dr. Jim Berryman and Dr. Tom Greer. The ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. in the library’s main floor lobby.
“During their tenures here, Jim Berryman and Tom Greer offered tremendous service to the university, denomination and community,” said Dr. Ray Granade, OBU’s director of library services and professor of history. “Their collections are significant because they represent a good portion of the university’s story as seen through the writings of two very active and engaged faculty members.”
Berryman served on faculty at Ouachita from 1964 until his death in 1993. He was a professor of religion and philosophy and served as chair of the Department of Philosophy. Berryman was also active in the community, was instrumental in founding Arkadelphia’s Festival of Two Rivers and was a charter member of the local Civitan Club. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ouachita and his Doctor of Theology degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Greer served on faculty at Ouachita from 1977 until his death in 2006. Greer was the Clarence and Bennie Sue Anthony Professor of Bible and the Humanities and also served as the chair of the division of humanities. He played a significant role in establishing Ouachita’s academic exchange program with China. Greer also was active in the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas, Civitan International and the Arkansas Humanities Council. He was a graduate of Louisiana College, University of Evansville and New Orleans Theological Seminary.
“Berryman and Greer touched every corner of the university’s life and in a very real sense made the university what it was in the 1980s and 1990s,” Granade added. “They epitomized what Christian education is all about as they practiced their religion and used their academic training as a springboard to touch their world – actually, their worlds: campus, local, national and even the world.”
Ouachita President Rex Horne will welcome those in attendance at the ribbon cutting, and Dr. Byron Eubanks and Dr. Ray Granade will make brief remarks about the legacy of Dr. Berryman and Dr. Greer. Select items from both collections will be on display.
According to Dr. Wendy Richter, Ouachita archivist, the James C. Berryman Collection is comprised of approximately 35 cubic feet of the research and teaching materials, correspondence and memorabilia from Ouachita. Included in the materials are papers, articles and publications on a variety of topics on theology, history and the philosophy of religion. Berryman’s sermon materials contain research, manuscripts and notes on many sermons delivered throughout his career. There is also memorabilia from his academic careers at Ouachita, Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The John Thomas Greer, Sr. Collection contains approximately 68 cubic feet of archival materials that illustrate Greer’s wide variety of interests and activities. Personal items include correspondence from friends, family and colleagues. Baptist materials include church bulletins and newsletters, written and recorded sermons by Greer and others, and reports from local and regional meetings. Conference papers and programs range from psychology, history and international studies to ethics and international trade. Greer’s teaching materials include those from the fields of religious studies and humanities. There are also personal mementos and photographs.
The mission of archives and special collections in the Riley-Hickingbotham Library is to contribute to the preservation and transmission of culture by identifying, protecting and making available materials of enduring value that document life on the university campus, in Clark County and in the state of Arkansas.
For more information, contact Dr. Ray Granade at email@example.com or (870) 245-5121.
By Jessica Stewart