Ouachita Baptist University’s Ben M. Elrod Center for Family & Community held its recent 2009 University Community Service Awards banquet at Ouachita’s Walker Conference Center. The annual banquet, which honors individuals who have made service a way of life, is an opportunity to recognize and thank those who serve and strengthen the community.
Dr. Mark Jansen, senior partner of Arkadelphia Medical Clinic, and Dr. Wesley Kluck, OBU’s vice president for institutional advancement, were honored with the Elrod Center’s Community Service Excellence Awards.
OBU Chancellor Ben Elrod presented the two awards. He described Dr. Jansen, who was recognized for his outstanding public service as a physician, as “one of Arkadelphia’s most respected physicians” and “one of the outstanding leaders in the Arkadelphia community.”
Dr. Kluck was recognized for his outstanding public service and for supporting the work of the Elrod Center. Citing Dr. Kluck’s involvement in Clark County’s strategic development plan, Dr. Elrod added, “Here’s a guy who has done tremendous service to the community, to the Lord and to Ouachita.”
Billy “Mr. Bill” Loudermilk received the Foster Grandparent of the Year Award for his 11 years of service to special needs children, compiling more than 7,750 volunteer hours.
Also during the banquet, Ouachita students were recognized for their leadership in America Reads, America Counts, Campus Ministries, ElderServe, International Club, Tiger Serve Day and TranServe volunteer hours. Several campus organizations also received Kluck Student Enrichment Grants.
Among major awards presented, seniors Tracey Beckett, Ren Lewis and Allison Vire received America Reads awards and seniors Casey Bushman and Sarah Monroe received America Counts awards. Daniel Graham was recognized for service as campus ministries president and Willy Rasilim received the International Club service award.
Tiger Serve Day leaders recognized included Sam Bushey, logistics chair; Adam Hurst, team chair; Cami Jones, project chair; and Matt Morrison, publicity chair. ElderServe awards were presented to Molly Throgmorton, Hayden Tucker, Emilee Wade and Hannah Wagley. Students who received TranServe awards for volunteer hours during the 2008-09 school year included two students with more than 300 service hours each: Daniel Graham (366 hours) and Cami Jones (306 hours).
“One of the things that sets Ouachita Baptist University apart is its commitment to serving others under the Lordship of Christ,” said Judy Duvall, assistant director of the Elrod Center. “Service is a huge part of who we are as Ouachitonians and you see it promoted by professors in the classrooms, through programs at the Elrod Center and Campus Ministries and through students, faculty and staff who desire to make a difference in the community and in the lives of others.”
The annual awards “are a powerful way to affirm students in their efforts to build their character and leadership skills through service,” said Elrod Center director Ian Cosh. “We believe that our graduates are being equipped to serve others above themselves and will be a transforming influence in their communities.”
By Genevieve Horton