Ouachita Baptist University’s annual Tiger Tunes production is about more than music, choreography and entertainment. This year’s scholarship fundraising event achieved both a record total of 6,750 tickets sold and a record number of 630 students participating in the show.
The 39th annual Tiger Tunes competition was performed Oct. 5-7 in Jones Performing Arts Center on Ouachita’s Arkadelphia campus. In addition to staging four performances in front of sold-out audiences as part of Ouachita’s annual Homecoming festivities, the event raises more than $100,000 each year for student scholarships.
Tiger Tunes is coordinated by the Ouachita Student Foundation which has raised a combined total of more than $1.4 million in student scholarships over the past four decades. The scholarship initiative embodies OSF’s motto of “Students Helping Students.”
“This is more good news for Ouachita, building upon our 17.9 percent increase in first-time freshmen and our recent No. 1 rankings,” emphasized Ouachita President Ben Sells. “The record level of tickets sold, extraordinary commitment of students helping students and exceptional engagement of alumni and parents are further indicators that Ouachita is rising.”
In addition to ticket sales, “we also received a record amount of donations in our People’s Choice voting boxes – almost $5,000 – and raised $2,000 in our silent auction,” noted Jon Merryman, director of OSF and alumni relations.
Tiger Tunes is a student-produced competition that features university social clubs and campus organizations. This year’s Tiger Tunes winners included Tri Chi women’s social club, first place and People’s Choice Award; Kappa Chi men’s social club, second place; EEE women’s social club, third place; Campus Ministries, fourth place; Rho Sigma men’s social club, OSF Award; and Tiger Blast instrumental performance band, Shelby Seabaugh Spirit of Tunes Award.
Affirming “the focus of the participants on the mission of Tiger Tunes and OSF of helping students by providing student scholarships,” Merryman said, “When tensions and stress were high, you could hear and read students’ encouragement to each other that all the hours of practice were worth it with the goal of providing even more scholarships to students.”
Jacob Hemsath, a senior musical theatre major from Wylie, Texas, is among students receiving OSF scholarships to help them continue their education at Ouachita. “I’m so thankful for my OSF scholarship and the fact that we go to a school that provides these scholarships for so many students,” he said.
“It was such a personal thing when I found out I got an OSF scholarship because I knew it was something students put together through things like Tunes to create these scholarships,” Hemsath added.
Abigail Brizuela, a junior finance and business administration double major from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, expressed appreciation for her OSF scholarship “because it has helped me pursue a higher education and continue my dream of study abroad and expand my worldview. Thank you, OSF, for helping me become a Ouachitonian.”