Norman Inaugurated as WBU President

Dr. Stan Norman has been officially installed as the seventh president of Williams Baptist University.  The inauguration ceremony was held Friday morning, Sept. 28, before a packed house in WBU’s Manley Chapel.  The crowd included state and denominational dignitaries, as well as representatives from a number of other colleges and universities.

J.R. Cox of Walnut Ridge, chair of WBU’s Board of Trustees, performed the investiture and then placed the school’s presidential medallion on Norman.

“We entrust to you the task of leading this institution, under God’s divine providence, to be of ever greater service to its students, to the world, and ultimately to Christ’s Kingdom.  As you assume these responsibilities, we pray that God’s blessings will be upon you; that He will grant you wisdom, strength, and courage, and that He will anoint you with vision and leadership as you faithfully and obediently walk with Him,” Cox said.

Dr. David Dockery.

The main speaker for the ceremony was Dr. David Dockery, president of Trinity International University and former president of Union University.  Dockery has been a longtime mentor to Norman and nominated him for the presidency at Williams.

In presenting his presidential charge to Norman, Dockery noted, “I truly believe that exploring every aspect of the life within the Williams community from the vantage point of the Christian faith and the Baptist heritage will both shape and sharpen your focus. We pray that you will be able to do so while relating to one another in love, humility, and unity, bringing new life and renewed hope to the Williams Baptist University family in the days ahead.”

Presenting his response, Norman outlined his vision for Williams.  “What we do here at WBU makes a difference; what we do here matters.  Grounded upon the historical vision and founding purpose of this school, I want to cast anew a vision for Christian higher education that renews minds, transforms lives, and changes the world,” he said.

The WBU president told the audience that the need for Christian universities is greater now than it has ever been.

“We must understand the mission of Christian higher education in terms of gospel good and kingdom influence upon our families, our communities, our churches, our culture, our nation, and even our world.  Our mandate is to be faithful followers of Jesus who embrace the mission of renewing minds in such a way that God transforms our lives and, in so doing, we become a people used by God to change the world.”

Norman concluded his remarks with a challenge to his audience, saying, “I invite you, I implore you – come with me, join your hand with my hand, and let us all commit collectively, by the grace, wisdom, love, and power of our Lord, put our hands, together, to this task.  Will you place your hand with my hand, and join with me, in this task, this task to which I put my hand?”

Dr. Bob Magee leads the Inauguration Choir.

Greetings were presented at the inauguration by Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, District 60 State Rep. Fran Cavenaugh, Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp, Arkansas Baptist State Convention Executive Director Dr. Sonny Tucker, and several others.

Also having a role in the ceremony were Dr. Gene Fant, president of North Greenville University in South Carolina, Dr. David Whitlock, president of Oklahoma Baptist University, and Dr. Kenneth Startup, professor emeritus at WBU, who served as academic dean and interim president at the university.

The ceremony also featured performances by the WBU Band and an Inauguration Choir, which was composed of current members of the Williams Singers and a number of WBU alumni.

Norman came to Williams as president in April, having served the previous nine years as provost and executive vice president at Oklahoma Baptist University.  He has more than 20 years of experience in Baptist higher education

WBU is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge.  It is owned and operated by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

Endowed Scholarship Established for Central Baptist College WISH Circle

Endowed Scholarship Established for Central Baptist College WISH Circle
The Conway Corporation Board of Directors recently approved a grant request from Central Baptist College in the amount of $100,000 to establish an endowed scholarship for the WISH Circle. The scholarship’s priority will be for women enrolling in CBC’s PACE (Professional Adult College Education) Program. “We are so thankful to Conway Corporation for their very generous gift to affect lasting change for women in our community through higher education,” said Sancy Faulk, Vice President for Advancement.

The WISH Circle’s focus is on under-served women who may not have ever dreamed of a college education but have the capacity and the drive to succeed. The WISH Circle exists to foster generational change in women and their families through education, to catalyze others to make change in their lives, and to give women tools which make them more confident parents, employees, and citizens.

WISH stands for Women In Support of Hope, and the WISH Circle is a women’s initiative where women support women in one of the following three ways:
1. Scholarships- The WISH Circle provides scholarships for women to attend the PACE Program at Central Baptist College. The PACE program allows women the opportunity to attend class at night or online so that they can still work full time and take care of their families. Funding for the scholarships is provided through membership dues to WISH.
2. Mentoring- Members of the WISH Circle Mentoring Advocacy Group will be paired with WISH scholarship recipients or current PACE students to support students in the areas of professional dress, job interview skills, and resume writing.
3. Prayer- Members of the WISH Circle Prayer Partner Advocacy Group will be paired with a WISH scholarship recipient or a current PACE student to pray regularly for these women while they are enrolled in college.

The WISH Circle was formally launched on November 9, 2017. To date, approximately 50 individuals have either joined the WISH Circle or joined an advocacy group. Over $30,000 has been received or pledged for scholarship awards. Information about the WISH scholarship criteria and the application can be found online at

The WISH Circle is partnering with the United Way of Central Arkansas, The Salvation Army, the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas, and Y107.1-Crain Media Group, to bring the first designated Career Closet for women in the Conway area. The WISH Circle will be hosting a Come and Go Reception and Career Closet Drive on October 25 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm in the Community Room on the Central Baptist College campus. To RSVP for this event, visit

For membership information visit or contact Sancy Faulk, Vice President for Advancement, at either or 501.205.8799.

“The Signal” earns Gold Medalist rating from Columbia Scholastic Press Association

The Signal, Ouachita Baptist University’s student newspaper, and its accompanying website was awarded a Gold Medalist rating from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in the category of College Hybrid News. The highest rating given by CSPA, the award was announced last week and included a critique of both the print and web editions during the 2017-18 academic year.

Katie Kemp, a 2018 mass communications graduate and the editor of the 2017-18 print edition, said the award resulted from the talent, dedication and hard work of everyone on the staff.

“We are proud of the work we put in every week, but receiving high praise from such a prestigious press association is so exciting,” Kemp said. “The Signal is the publication it is because of the team behind it, and I’m so grateful to anyone who has written a story or picked up a copy in the past year.”

Ethan Dial, a junior communications and media/multimedia journalism major from Little Rock, Ark., won the Online Editor of the Year award from the Arkansas College Media Association last year. He continues his role as online editor this year.

“It is such an honor to hear that the publication I have dedicated so much time and energy to throughout my college career has received this award,” Dial said. “This was only made possible due to the countless hours of hard work put in by each and every staff member. Good journalism is much more than a series of words. It’s when those words are written with passion and jump of the page that great journalism is acquired. The heartbeat of The Signal is in each of its writers, photographers and videographers as they creatively tell stories that make a lasting impact.”

Julie Williams, a senior mass communications and political science double major from Arkadelphia, Ark., is the 2018-19 editor of The Signal and was news editor of the paper last year.

“I think it is a true testament to the skill, hard work and dedication of The Signal staff,” Williams said. “While Ouachita is a ‘bubble,’ that bubble and the surrounding Arkadelphia community have created a home that all of us feel and have a passion for serving, even in our journalistic pursuits. It is a joy to know that even outside networks, like the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, can sense that feeling of home.”

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association, based at Columbia University in New York, is the nation’s largest news organization for college students. The Signal and the online Signal are products of the Rogers Department of Communications. The department’s media emphases combine to represent one of the largest majors on campus with 116 students involved in productions ranging from the yearbook and newspaper to video/TV programming and livestreaming of campus entertainment and sports. Advisers of The Signal are Drs. Jeff and Deborah Root. Dr. Tiffany Eurich advises the online Signal.

KHDX Celebrates 45 Years in Campus Radio

In 1973, there likely were plenty of 45s stacked around the KHDX office in Hulen Hall, keeping music within easy reach for those early DJs at Hendrix College’s radio station. The DJs may not rely on vinyl much anymore at their current space in the Student Life and Technology Center (SLTC), but KHDX 93.1 FM, also known as the “10-Watt Tower of Power,” will be celebrating 45 years of broadcasts throughout this academic year, beginning with World College Radio Day on Friday, October 5.

“Other campuses in Arkansas have had multiple stations over the years, but KHDX has kept the same license at the same broadcast level longer than any of them,” said station manager Jacob Turner ’19. “We’re also one of the country’s last remaining FCC Class D stations, which is a special FM designation for radio stations owned by colleges and universities.”

KHDX is one of the largest campus stations in Arkansas. Fully funded by the Hendrix Student Senate, it boasts a seven-person, all-student staff, about 50 shows per year on the schedule, and an average of 75 DJs, with students, faculty, and staff among that total. In addition to reaching much of Conway over the airwaves, it also broadcasts online at

Though the station’s existence does date back 50 years to 1968, broadcasting began in 1973, “so we’re going with ‘45’ as our celebratory number,” Turner said. “It’s an appropriate theme.”

For October 5, Turner has begun coordinating a 24-hour World College Radio Day marathon of broadcasting from the Burrow (as the lobby of the SLTC is known). KHDX will air live for all 24 hours to highlight student shows and music selections, and to host a series of local celebrities and guest DJs alongside the station manager, who will staff the booth for the entire day.

The 45th anniversary celebration will continue into next semester with projects such as “Hear Hendrix,” an album release of acoustic music produced by members of the Hendrix community; compiling a full history of the station to post on; the Hat Trick Music Festival, which since 2014 has brought up-and-coming musical acts to Conway; and a gathering of past DJs and staff on Alumni Weekend, April 5-7, 2019.

“KHDX has always been a place where students, and even staff and faculty, can express their individuality,” said Dr. Maureen McClung ’01, faculty advisor to the station and a DJ during her years as a Hendrix student. “It’s great to step back and observe the collective diversity in programming we have always generated. From metal to country to indie to avant-garde, we have done it all. I remember as a freshman playing songs from Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster alongside Bjork and Curtis Mayfield. Where else on the radio do you hear something like that?”

While KHDX plays a lot of music, it also serves as a creative outlet for “spoken word and other auditory creations,” Turner said. It reaches beyond its own broadcast concerns, too: Last year, it became a charter member of the Arkansas College Radio Association (ArkCRA), a support and resource network of collegiate radio stations in Arkansas.

More than 770 Ouachitonians serve on Fall 2018 Tiger Serve Day

A total of 774 students, faculty and staff from Ouachita Baptist University served the community of Arkadelphia during Tiger Serve Day on Saturday, Sept. 22, all while rain came down periodically throughout the morning. A total of 89 Tiger Serve Day projects under the theme “Lending a Hand” were completed by 103 volunteer teams.

“Volunteers have the opportunity to build community with each other and those they serve. In the process we are all reminded that we need each other,” said Judy Duvall, associate director of Ouachita’s Elrod Center for Family and Community, which coordinates the event. “As a result, we become a little more like Christ who did not come to be served but to serve and give His life; that’s our goal.”

Every year teams ranging from about six to eight volunteers serve in various capacities all over the community. The projects reached senior adults, individuals with disabilities, non-profits and schools. Some volunteers were able to clean up Lake DeGray and work at the Clark County Library, organizing, cleaning and painting within the building.


“Well the rain definitely didn’t start as a good thing, but it ended up being so awesome,” said Hannah Eddington, a senior business administration/marketing major from Benton, Ark., and chair of the volunteer teams for the Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team. “The teams showed up in the cold rain ready to serve; it was a pretty cool testament to Ouachita’s focus on lives of meaningful work.”

“I love Tiger Serve Day because it signifies a set time each semester Ouachita can help those in need,” said Davis Wadley, a senior social justice studies major from Batesville, Ark., and chair of tools for the Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team.

Hendrix College Expands Popular “Advantage” Program

While families struggle with how to afford a college degree, colleges themselves puzzle over how to help high-achieving students and put their minds at ease when it comes to paying for higher education.

Hendrix College’s answer is simple. Meeting the full demonstrated financial need for every qualified student.

Announced today, the new Hendrix Advantage Plus program is a national expansion of the popular Hendrix Arkansas Advantage. The Arkansas Advantage, announced in 2014 for freshmen entering in fall 2015, benefited 160 students that fall (40 percent of the freshman class), with an average aid package of nearly $40,000 in grant aid alone, not including loans or work-study.

The expanded aid program extends the Advantage to any student with at least a 3.6 GPA and an ACT score of 26 or higher or an SAT score of 1230 or higher.

Hendrix Advantage Plus will meet students’ demonstrated financial need through all forms of financial assistance, including merit scholarships, need-based grants, federal and state grants, federal student loans and student employment.

“All their lives, top-performing students are told that colleges will reward them with scholarships,” said Hendrix President Bill Tsutsui. “Hendrix Advantage Plus makes that a reality. Now every student who meets these criteria can know their hard work will be recognized with merit scholarships and other aid all the way up to their full need.”

Every year, Hendrix earns top honors in national higher education rankings. U.S. News & World Report consistently cites Hendrix in several categories, such as “Most Innovative,” “Best Value Schools,” and its list of colleges most recommended by high school counselors.

This year, Hendrix was ranked 76th among the country’s top national liberal arts colleges – making Hendrix the highest ranked national liberal arts college not only in Arkansas but also in Texas and much of the south central United States – featured in the U.S. News rankings.

“This program is a direct response to what students, parents, and guidance counselors say they value most – strong merit scholarships that reward students for their achievements,” said Tsutsui. “With the Advantage Plus, we want to assure students who would really excel here that Hendrix is not out of reach. You can set your sights on one of the country’s leading liberal arts colleges, and we will help you afford it.”

To be considered for the Advantage Plus program, students must simply apply for admission to Hendrix and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Advantage Plus is available to freshmen enrolling in fall 2019.

For more information on Hendrix Advantage Plus, call the Hendrix Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 501-450-1362 or visit

Four New Programs Come to Lyon College

Competitions, community service, and creativity will characterize four new engaging options for Lyon College students. These programs align with Lyon’s mission—fostering critical, creative thought, service, ethical growth, and lifelong learning. Each program will also provide scholarship opportunities.


Enactus encourages students to adopt integrity, innovation, collaboration, and passion as values for life, helping students develop “a head for business and a heart for the world.”

Faculty sponsor Dr. Angela Buchanan says, “Enactus builds critical leadership and business skills by putting classroom theory into entrepreneurial action. The focus is social entrepreneurship, empowering community members to improve their lives through sustainable real world solutions.”

Any student with an entrepreneurial spirit will be able to join Enactus. Members will form teams that participate in needs assessment and data collection for community impact projects that might support such things as women’s economic empowerment, food availability, clean water supplies, or increased entrepreneurship. Students will connect with business leaders and compete for regional, national, and international titles.

The College’s chapter currently plans an internship workshop for employers in the Batesville area and the return of the pitch competition for budding entrepreneurs in the community, which will expand to include high school students. For more information, contact Dr. Angela Buchanan at

Rock Climbing

A new climbing club will allow students to enter climbing competitions through USA Climbing: Collegiate, an organization that sponsors competitions in bouldering, sport climbing, and speed climbing for students currently enrolled at a college or university.

Bouldering is performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls, without the use of ropes or harnesses. Most climbers still use climbing shoes to help secure footholds, chalk to keep their hands dry and provide a firmer grip, and bouldering mats to prevent injuries from falls. Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors fixed to the rock. In contrast, traditional climbers must place removable protection as they climb. Speed climbing is done on rocks, walls and poles. Competition speed climbing, which takes place on an artificial standardized climbing wall, is the main form. For more information, contact Dr. Rodney Griffin at


eSports is a form of competition using mostly multiplayer video games. Millions worldwide now watch eSports on online streaming media platforms. The majority of viewers are between the ages of 18 and 34. Companies like Nintendo now sponsor tournaments which may last more than a month. Lyon eSports teams will hold on-campus tournaments and also participate in regional competitions.

While training for athletes in traditional sports is based almost entirely on honing their physical prowess, emphasizing strength, agility, endurance, and muscle memory, eSports athletes’ training relies much more on training the mind by studying strategies and new updates in their chosen games. For more information, contact Tommy Newton at and Dr. Rodney Griffin at

Lyon College Radio

With the call letters KILT, Lyon College Radio launches in fall 2018 in a sound-proofed room to support live broadcasts of solo or small band performances. Because KILT will be an online radio station, anyone in the United States can listen in.

Students will program, produce, and market the station with guidance from faculty sponsor Dr. Radek Szulga. Students will decide how KILT will mix music with talk/news/features and sports. A regular rotation of current “college music” will be available alongside dedicated genre shows, featuring categories like gospel, bluegrass, reggae, classical, and more. Exact coverage will depend on student interest.

Szulga says, “We hope to be on air 24 hours although a good part—especially overnight—will be automated. We also very much want to focus on service to both the community and campus.” KILT will offer weekly features on campus organizations and events, producing spots and advertisements for bigger events.

Szulga also plans to involve the community by featuring local musicians, artists, and businesses. Some possibilities are a “what’s happening downtown” show as well as a buy/sell program that will take call-ins from people seeking or selling particular items. He will be contacting individuals in the community and town organizations to gather ideas and expects this kind of programming to enhance Lyon’s connection with Batesville and the surrounding area. For more information, contact Dr. Radek Szulga at

These four new programs are joining Lyon’s programs added last year, archery, shooting, dance and cheer, disc golf, and cycling. For more information about archery, contact Dr. Rodney Griffin at, and for shooting, please contact Dalton Lamons at For dance and cheer, contact Kristen McMullin at For disc golf, contact Austin Smith at And for cycling, contact Dr. Rodney Griffin at

JBU and Mutiny FX Partner on New Motion Graphics Offering

Kyle Agee, John Brown University assistant professor of Visual Arts, and Dustin Solomon, founder and CEO of Bentonville-based Mutiny FX, have partnered to offer the course, Motion Graphics, as part of JBU’s undergraduate Visual Arts program. Agee and Solomon, both JBU alumni, strived to expand the skillset of JBU students who are studying digital cinema and graphic design with additional knowledge in visual effects.

“At JBU, we are committed to our mission of providing academic excellence so that our students will have the expertise to be the best in their field, while also nourishing their spiritual life to honor God and serve others,” Dr. Ed Ericson, vice president for academic affairs & dean of the faculty, said. “We are glad Agee and Solomon, who are both JBU graduates with extensive career knowledge, are able to collaborate and give back to their alma mater on a course that meets the demand of today’s ever-changing market.”

The class, which began this fall semester, addresses a need for education and talent in the growing field while increasing overlapping skills needed for digital cinema and graphic design students.

“The digital cinema students need to know how to do non-cinematic virtual effects,” Agee said. “At the same time, graphic design students need to understand not only how to build for 3D space, but also things like point tracking, so they can create realistic graphics for display prototypes or a store walk-through environment.”

Business at Mutiny FX has been steadily picking up, with 17 film and TV movie projects in 2018 alone. Their services include titles, motion capture, virtual reality and full-service post production. The company has worked on more than 50 films, including “God’s Not Dead 2,” “Greater” (the Brandon Burlsworth story) and the film “Unbroken: Path to Redemption,” which opened in theaters, Sept. 14.

The work was there, but Solomon was having trouble finding talent.

“There hasn’t been the educational opportunities in our area for someone wanting to get into this field,” said Solomon, who opened Mutiny FX in 2011. “They go out of state for their education, then usually stay there for their careers,” leaving Northwest Arkansas without the expertise, talent pool and opportunities that come with VFX projects.

Once a luxury reserved for big-budget Hollywood films, visual effects have moved into mainstream and independent media thanks to improved technology and software. Visual effects is a specialized mix of technology and artistry, using computer software to enhance or create imagery not achieved with live-action filming (for example aliens invading Earth or a massive skyscraper explosion). Visual effects are also used heavily in television shows such as Westworld and Game of Thrones, and to design video games, apps and virtual environments such as retail displays.

Agee started teaching the class this semester as a faculty member. The previous version of the class was taught by adjunct professors and often lacked consistency from semester to semester.

“This is the best of both worlds,” Agee said. “We get the consistency of a faculty member teaching the class every semester, along with outside experts to help develop a curriculum that’s relevant. Dustin and his team are so very good at what they do. Since they do this every day, they’re always up to date in this field, which changes so rapidly.”

Agee and Solomon eagerly await the results and feedback from this semester’s students so they can discuss what happens next with the program. After the fall semester started on Aug. 22, three additional students approached Agee to take the class based on recommendations from friends who attended the first session.

“We are blessed that we have students who want to learn,” Agee said. “We are industry and job focused. We make no apologies for saying our goal is to get students employed. They’re pumped any time they get to learn something hands-on that they can put on a resume that sets them apart from another student.”

Visit to learn more about the Motion Graphics course. Visit to learn more about Mutiny FX.

WBU Ranks Highly Among Arkansas Schools in US News

The latest college survey from US News & World Report shows that Williams Baptist University ranks well among institutions in Arkansas.  Of the 22 colleges and universities ranked in The Natural State, WBU comes in at number two in the Best Value category, and number four overall.

US News released its 2019 Best Colleges edition last week.

Colleges and universities across the nation are ranked in several different categories, based on their size and specialties.  The magazine then compiles a list of institutions in each of the states, listing them in order of their respective rankings on the US News website.

“With so many fine schools in this state, we are truly honored to be ranked this highly by US News,” said WBU President Dr. Stan Norman.  “Williams wants to be known around Arkansas and beyond as a preeminent Christian university, so this is a gratifying position in the rankings.”

Williams climbed overall in the US News rankings this year, rising from 35th to 27th among liberal arts colleges and universities in the South.  WBU is ranked 22nd for Best Value among the Southern schools.

Voorhees Selected for National Register

Voorhees School, the University of the Ozarks’ iconic rock-walled building that has anchored the southwest corner of campus for nearly eight decades, has been selected for inclusion into the prestigious National Register of Historic Places.

Known as Voorhees Hall for much of the past 70 years, it was among 30 properties throughout the U.S. named to the national register by the National Park Service earlier this month. The register is the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation.

Completed in 1941 as Voorhees School, it is the third U of O property on the National Register of Historic Places, joining Munger-Wilson Memorial Chapel (1933) and MacLean Hall (1927).

“Voorhees School tells a story of alumni spirit and the University’s faithful tradition of service to its community, state, and nation,” said U of O President Richard Dunsworth. “The designation is important to University of the Ozarks because it’s a resource that will help the University continue to grow its legacy as a high-quality liberal arts college that honors the people who carved out such an impressive history in the landscape of time.”

Construction on Voorhees began in the late 1930s as a joint project between the college and the Clarksville schools. It was built by the National Youth Administration (NYA) for $21,700 and named after Mary T. Voorhees of Clinton, N.J., who made several donations for the construction of the building.

Voorhees School was originally used as a practice teaching school by the college’s education students to teach ninth-graders in the Clarksville area.

It was used as a school for just over a year before the college turned over the campus to the U.S. Navy during World War II in 1944-45 to be used as a training facility. Voorhees was one of the primary teaching facilities for the early radar training during the 16-month period the Navy utilized the campus.

Over the years, the building has housed the state’s first pharmacy school as well as a student union, alumni and public relations offices, an art museum and art classes, the Walton International Scholarship Program offices and psychology laboratories.

It is currently being renovated and will be leased as a restaurant by Shane and Angela Kasper, former owners of Pasta Grill in Clarksville. Kasper’s restaurant is expected to open in January.

Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.