Evans Student Center was buzzing with students checking their mail and hanging out between classes. A junior, I headed to my mailbox as I did each day. Inside, I found a large packet inviting me to be part of a task force to plan and start a center for family and community at Ouachita. I was so honored to be asked to help start something new – something that would allow students to live out their faith in the community they now called home.
I walked into the first meeting to find Dr. Ben Elrod, Ian Cosh and several others. I joined Aaron Black and Stephanie Davis as the student representatives. We began to talk, plan and dream. I felt purpose and passion for what we were planning. I had grown up in a family who modeled for me the importance of serving others. My parents, who were Ouachita grads, and grandparents (one set who met at Ouachita and the other who sent four children there) all showed me how to serve both the church and community through their involvement. I am thankful for their influence in that area of my life. Now, it was my turn to be part of this legacy I had been given.
As our task force met, Tiger Serve Day was the main way we felt students could actively be a part and our number one priority for involving them in the center for family and community. Initially, we called the event Into the Streets. Our first Into the Streets (or Tiger Serve Day) happened in response to a tornado that hit Arkadelphia on March 1, 1997.
As I look back on my involvement in planning those first two Tiger Serve Days, I am so grateful for the opportunity that started then and continues. Being a part of this taught me so much about organizing a group around a common purpose, and it helped me feel more confident as a young adult joining non-profit boards in my new community. It is another way Ouachita prepared me for life beyond graduation!
Tiger Serve Day encompasses what our Christian walk is all about – loving and serving others! Ouachita and all of us are called to be a beacon of light and hope to those around us. What better way to do that than by being the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need!
The Ouachita Voices blog is a place for the people of Ouachita to tell the stories of Ouachita. Lend your voice to the conversation. Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.