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University Service Awards

Each spring, the center honors students, faculty, staff and local friends with outstanding commitment to serving their communities during The Elrod Center University Service Awards Banquet.  The 2017-2018 school year awards banquet is scheduled for 5:30  p.m., on April 17, 2018 at the Walker Center.  

In 2017, 53,524 volunteer hours were logged by OBU students, faculty/staff 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. Below is the news release for the April 11, 2017 celebration.

Ouachita’s annual Elrod Center Banquet honors Jim and Janie Smith and Student volunteers


By Katie Smith // Photo above: Janie and Jim Smith of Hot Springs were honored with the Community Service Excellence Award by Dr. Ben Elrod, at right. Photo by Caden Flint.

Ouachita Baptist University’s Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community held its annual awards banquet April 11, 2017. Jim and Janie Smith of Hot Springs were honored with the Elrod Center’s 2016 Community Service Excellence Award. Numerous students, faculty and staff were also honored for their service during the academic year.

“The Elrod Center has been given a mandate by the university to recognize and celebrate the work of volunteers each academic year,” said Ian Cosh, Ouachita’s vice president for community and international engagement. “We believe that the good work that is done to serve the common good ought to be celebrated and highlighted each year and due recognition given to those who have excelled in their service efforts.”

Jim Smith is a lifelong resident of Hot Springs, Ark., and is an alumnus of the University of Arkansas. He also is the second-generation owner of Keith Smith Co. Both Jim and Janie support service opportunities coordinated by the Elrod Center throughout the year, especially Tiger Serve Day.

“The Smiths have been strong supporters of the work done through the Elrod Center, in particular Tiger Serve Day,” said Ouachita Chancellor Dr. Ben Elrod, describing the Smiths’ dedication to the community service completed by Ouachita’s students. “We didn’t go after them, they came after us and offered to help pay for Tiger Serve Day. That tells you of the quality people they are.”

Along with supporting local community service, the Smiths support service globally. They also sponsor children through World Vision and have helped with various development projects internationally, particularly in Haiti and Malawi.

The Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community was established by Ouachita Baptist University in 1977 to encourage and promote community service as a way of life for the university’s faculty, staff and students. For more information about the center or the awards banquet, visit www.obu.edu/elrod or call (870) 245-5320.

Ouachita students honored at the banquet include:

America Counts Tutors: Britney Bost, Sarah Fish, Hannah Gray, Robin Kelley, Stormi Leonard, Paige Snow and Chris Wright

America Reads Tutors: Briley Baird, Delaney Bono, Haley Campbell, Jamie Flowers, Neeshia Harvell, Lizzie Hall, Parker Henley, Amanda Mawhinney, Shelby McCollett, Hannah Minton, Lynde Moore, Alayna Morphew, Kelsey Norton, Micah Overstreet, Madeline Smith, Lauren Terry and Taylor Wade

America Counts Senior Awards: Michael Calhoun, Will Combs, Lizzie Hall, Hannah Pearce, Alexa Reed, Richard Resnick and McKenzie Wells

America Reads Senior Awards: Joshua Acock, Haley Bates, Lynsie Church, Payton Hutchins, Danielle Jayroe, Hanna Schulz, Jordan Sharp and Kelsey Norton

Peake Partnership Volunteer Tutors: Hannah Bridges, Kori Bullard, Alyson Cole, Emily Cooper, Rachel Dilatush, McKenzie Gosser, Savanna Harris, Kailee Jones, Jessica McCauley, Deborah Miliakoff, Beth Naylor, Sara Neumann, Chris Pendley, Sarah Pettit, Rachel Russom, Matt Savage, Tori Stratton and Caroline Sweet

Peake Partnership Volunteer Senior Awards: Maddie Brodell, Kaytlin Mackie and Spencer Soles

Goza Study Club Volunteers: Alex Abbott, Rebekah Biles, Chandler Blake, Emery Brock, Alex Gianelloni, Logan Huneycutt, Jake Knight, Brandon Matros, John Franklin Matros, Elise Nelson, Ashlyn Price and Josh Salim

Goza Study Club Volunteer Senior Awards: Ryan Hammer, Matt Miller and Marley Zochert

Kluck Service Enrichment Grants—Fall 2016: Victoria White and Enactus to sponsor a community-wide canned food drive. Aaron Breeding, Ryan Lewis and Big Brother/Big Sister to give children the opportunity to learn to play music. Jace Bradshaw and Alpha Chi National Honor Society to purchase modeling clay for first-grade students at Perritt Elementary School for students to use to craft Christmas gifts. Meredith Shockey and Campus Ministries to use for outreach programs. Sarah Bolin and Campus Ministries to use to fund Campus Ministries’ Global Focus Week.

Kluck Service Enrichment Grants—Spring 2017: Tori Lackey and Backyard Bible Club to use to fund Camp Wamp. Becca Mattes and Open Hearts, Open Homes to host a six-session cooking and hospitality class. Katie Camp and Boys and Girls Club to start a volleyball club. Cyntanna Hawkins and Alpha Chi National Honors Society to purchase sheep plunks for Goza Middle School and teach the students through the plunks’ dissection. Sarah Hays and ElderServe to host a Valentine’s Day Ball for residents at The Plaza assisted care facility. Aaron Woodall, Eta Alpha Omega and Kappa Chi men’s social clubs to sponsor a service week. Sydney Allen and the Monticello Children’s Home to fund home improvements. Nadalie Gill and Alpha Psi Omega to fund the All-Night Theatre Festival. Chris Rycraw and the Department of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies to fund two classes that offered students various service opportunities. Tristan Benzon and the International Club to fund various activities.

TaxServe OBU Volunteers: John and Yvonne Cloud, Dana Dixon, Logan Hampton and Dalal Salah

Thanksgiving Baskets Ministry: Shelby Reams

Healthy Relationships Week: Courtney Clark

International Student Service Award: Gail Lange-Smith, Nonsi Nxumalo and Andrew John Stambolie

Missionary-in-Residence Service Award: Chuck and Alicia Barrett and Lydia Stebbins

ElderServe Volunteers: Caitlyn Abreu, Mattie Alexander, Olivia Allbright, Josh Altenbaumer, Lauren Archer, McKena Arnold, Meredith Bolin, Kelsey Brown, Hannah Bunch, Weston Cronan, Alyssa Delker, Rachel Dilatush, Maggie Donnell, Andrea Foster, Drew Holland, Ashley Lovely, Jessica McCauley, Garrett Moore, Micah Overstreet, Melody Pruitt, Rachel Russom, Ashley Sharpe, Claudia Sifford, Madison Smith, Paige Smith, Katie Stanage, Shannon Stribling, Bo Sutton, Logan Turner, Katie Young and Maddie Young

ElderServe Senior Awards: Natalie Bingaman, Elise Cobb, Arden Hall, Sarah Hays, Libby Hilliard, Luke Jamison and Jessica Saunders

Campus Ministry Leaders: Sydney Allen, Josh Altenbaumer, Delaney Bedunah, Dani Droste, Jamie Flowers, Abigail Fontenot, Anna Claire Goodroe, Cole Jester, Lindsey Johnson, Tori Lackey, Hannah Rogers, Kinzie Schmidt, Meredith Shockey and Logan Turner

Campus Ministry Leaders Seniors: Rachel Bacon, Collin Battaglia, Sarah Bolin, Kaytee Flurry, Madison Foster, Damaris Garcia, Staci Gore, Nina Hefner, Haley Martin, Marissa Pilcher, Drake Puryear, Suzanna Rieves, Emma Riley, Mary Rothwell, Hanna Schulz, Nathan Street, Dillon Thomas and Emily Weeden

Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team: Tristan Benzon, Meredith Bolin, Molly Boone, Jacob Cottrell, Sarah Davis, Noah Day, Hannah Dixon, Sam Eddington, Jamie Flowers, Adam Graves, Hannah James, Sidney Kelley, Madi Polk, Jonathan Rankin, Sean Ray, Sara Rothwell, Chad Satchell, Katie Smith, Kristopher Torres and Davis Wadley

Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team Senior Awards: Titus Brooks, Seth Bubbus, Brook East, Amber Easterly, Damaris Garcia, Staci Gore, Will Henley, Becca Mattes and Haley Martin

Transerve Award for 75 hours-plus of service for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017: Sydney Allen, Todd Allen, Harrison Bamman, Dani Barney, Hannah Brandon, Maddie Brodell, Caleb Byrd, Katie Camp, Maleek Caton, Aaron Clayton, Blake Clevenger, Arden Hall, Lizzie Hall, Austin Hailey, Tyson Hume, Ezekiel Hunt, Hunter Jones, Tori Lackey, Jerhett Lee, Connar Loderhouse, Tyler Mann, Jessica McCauley, Justin McGee, Kallie Polk, Alex Pollock, Hannah Rogers, Gail Lange-Smith, Paige Snow, Austin Weldon, Aaron Woodall and John Woods   ( The photo, at top of page, is the Transerve Awardees, taken by Caden Flint.)

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