Historian to Speak at WBC

Historian and author Dr. Calvin White, Jr., will present “Reconstruction, Reformation, and the Roots of the Church of God in Christ” at WBC on Thursday, October 26 at 7p.m.  The lecture will take place in the Eagle Coffeehouse & Grill of WBC’s Mabee Student Center.

White is chair of the Department of History at the University of Arkansas.  He is a native Arkansan, raised in Stuttgart, and attended the University of Central Arkansas where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history.  He completed his Ph. D. at the University of Mississippi in 2007.

He is a published author, with his most recent book “The Rise to Responsibility: Race, Religion and the Church of God in Christ,” which was released in 2012.  The book was one of the 2014 winners of the “Choice” Outstanding Academic Title awards.

White is also the recipient of several national fellowships and awards, including Fulbright Master Teacher and Fulbright Master Advisor awards.

White’s lecture is presented as part of the WBC Lecture-Concert Series.

Williams is a Christian, liberal arts college in Walnut Ridge, Ark.  It will formally become Williams Baptist University in July of 2018.

Williams Homecoming is Nov. 4

Williams Baptist College is set to host its annual Homecoming on Saturday, November 4, when alumni and other friends of the college come to campus for a day of reunions and activities.

The day’s activities will kick off at 10 a.m., with a 20th Anniversary Reunion of The Cast in the Swaim Administration Building atrium.  At 11 a.m. there will be both alumni baseball and softball games, and picnics, at their respective fields.

100 Years of Williams Basketball will be celebrated with a meet and greet at 11 a.m. and special luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  The event will celebrate 60 years of Eagles and 40 years of Lady Eagles basketball teams.  Former coaches Jerry Ann Winters and John Sheehy will offer remarks about the Williams basketball programs, and there will be a jersey retirement ceremony for Brian Tanner (’02) and Jeremy Bell (’16).

Performances by The Williams Singers, The Cast and The Reunion Cast will begin at 1 p.m. in Manley Chapel.  The Williams chapter of PBL business society, the Golden Eagles and Distinguished Alumnus Clifford Toney will all be recognized during this time, as well.

The newly renovated Jerry D. Gibbens Atrium, located in the Maddox Center, will have a dedication ceremony at 2 p.m.

The Eagle’s basketball squad will take the court at 3 p.m. in the Southerland-Mabee Center when they face Hendrix College.  The Homecoming court and coronation will be presented at halftime of the game, as well as recognition of 100 Years of Williams Basketball.

The day will conclude with the Theatre Department’s production of “This Random World,” which is set for a 7 p.m. curtain call in the Old Chapel.  Tickets are $3 for students and senior citizens and $5 for general admission.  The play will run both Friday night, Nov. 3, and Saturday, Nov. 4.

WBC’s Spirit Store, Felix Goodson Library, and the Maddox Center art gallery will also be open throughout the day.

For a complete list of Homecoming details, visit www.williamsbaptistcollege.com/homecoming.

Williams is a Christian, liberal arts college in Walnut Ridge, Ark.  It will formally become Williams Baptist University in July of 2018.

WBC Theatre Program to Stage “This Random World”

Williams Baptist College’s Theatre Program is set open its new production season with a fitting new play.  Steven Dietz’s This Random World, which premiered at the Humana Festival in Louisville, Ky., in the spring of 2016, will run Friday, Nov. 3 – Saturday, Nov. 4.

“It’s both exciting and a little nerve-racking working on a play that is only a few years old,” said Melinda Williams, director of production.  “In one aspect, you are breaking new ground.  In another, you don’t have many past productions to reference.”

Through a series of nearly missed connections, This Random World follows a group of intersecting lives: a mother determined to maintain her independence, a daughter longing for adventure, two sisters seeking common ground, and a son involved in an Internet prank gone terribly wrong.  The play, subtitled “the myth of serendipity,” explores the lives that may be happening just out of reach.

“Some of the scenes are very frustrating because the characters’ lives are intertwined, but they keep missing the connections, sometimes by seconds,” Williams said.

The cast includes Kristin Britt of Cleburne, Texas, Brittany Jo Wilson of Doniphan, Mo., Luke Windham of Kansas City, Mo., MaKenzie Free of Beebe, Ark., Emily Morgan of Harrison, Ark., Arthur (A.J.) Rogers of Camden, Ark., Alison Turbyeville of Black Rock, Ark., and Ridge Briney of Corning, Ark.

“Five of the eight performers in the play are making their first appearance on the WBU stage,” Williams noted.

“The show runs a whole range of emotions, humor, sadness, and in some cases, heartbreaking,” Williams said.  “We are discovering something new about the characters and their lives each day of rehearsal.”

The production is part of WBC’s Homecoming weekend, and will have a curtain call of 7 p.m. each evening.  Tickets are $3 for students and senior citizens and $5 for general admission.  The play will take place in the Old Chapel on the WBC campus.

Williams is a Christian liberal arts college in Walnut Ridge. It will become Williams Baptist University in July.

WBC Harvest Fest is Oct. 25

Harvest Fest will take place Wednesday, Oct. 25th, at Williams Baptist College.  The annual event is a popular festival for local children and church groups, with Williams students operating the games and activities.  There will also be a costume contest for different age categories.

Harvest Fest will be in WBC’s Southerland-Mabee Center from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.  Admission is free, and tickets for games and activities can be purchased at the door with money or with a donation of canned goods.

Participants will receive four tickets per canned food item, or they can purchase four tickets for $1.  Children are asked to have their cans counted before they arrive to speed up the entry process.

Canned goods will go to the food pantry at Walnut Ridge First Baptist Church, while cash proceeds will go toward WBC student missions.

Williams is a Christian liberal arts college in Walnut Ridge. It will become Williams Baptist University in July.

Ouachita to host Rex Nelson in “News and Fake News” lecture Oct. 24

The School of Humanities at Ouachita Baptist University will host Rex Nelson, senior editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, in a lecture Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Hickingbotham Hall’s Young Auditorium. His lecture, “News and Fake News,” is part of Ouachita’s Birkett Williams Endowed Lecture Series.

“Amid all the confusion about journalism today, we are pleased to have a senior editor of the state’s leading newspaper talk about the future of journalism,” said Dr. Jeff Root, dean of Ouachita’s School of Humanities. “Rex Nelson has been at the forefront of news coverage in Arkansas for decades. We are proud he is a Ouachita graduate and excited he is coming back to campus to speak on this topic.”

Nelson also is a columnist for the Democrat-Gazette and writes a blog titled “Southern Fried,” focusing on southern culture and cuisine. He previously served as director of corporate communications for Simmons Bank, president of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities, senior vice president of government relations and public outreach for The Communications Group, Inc. and was a presidential appointee to the Delta Regional Authority, working on economic development projects in an eight-state region.

Nelson is a native of Arkadelphia and a 1981 graduate of Ouachita Baptist University. He also is in his 35th season as the radio voice of Ouachita football. The Rex Nelson Radio Booth in Cliff Harris Stadium’s Dunklin Family Press Box was named in his honor in 2015.

Ouachita’s Birkett Williams lecture series was established in 1977 through a gift from the late Birkett L. Williams, a 1910 Ouachita graduate. His generous endowment established the lectures as an opportunity to extend the concepts of a liberal arts education beyond the classroom by bringing renowned scholars and public figures to Ouachita’s campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Jeff Root, dean of the School of Humanities, at 870-245-4186 or rootj@obu.edu.

U of O Alumni Association to honor eight

The University of the Ozarks Alumni Association will honor eight of the university’s distinguished graduates during the 2017 Alumni Awards Banquet on Friday, Oct. 13.

The awards banquet, which is part of this year’s Homecoming ceremonies, begins at 6 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center. The banquet will also include the Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at 479-979-1234.

The recipients of the 2017 alumni awards include Lonnie and Levada (Mathis) Qualls of Clarksville, both 1956 graduates who will received the Alumni Merit Award; Ray Hobbs ’77 of Springdale, Ark., and Peter Van Dyke ’87 of Chicago, who will each receive the Alumni Achievement Award; Ian Bryan ’13 of Russellville, Ark., and Lauren Ray ’13 of Jasper, Ark., who will each receive the Young Alumni Award; and the Rev. Dr. Ralph Ehren ’56 and his wife Betty (Hodges) Ehren ’53 of Plano, Texas, who will receive the Alumni Legacy Award.

The Qualls, who have been associated with Ozarks for more than 65 years, will receive the Merit Award for meritorious work on behalf of the university. They first arrived on campus as students in the early 1950s. Lonnie coached numerous sports, including football, baseball and tennis, at Ozarks from 1962 until his retirement in 1995. Levada served as a health and physical education instructor at Ozarks for more than 35 years. They celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in August. They have both stayed involved with the university since their retirements.

“When we were working at Ozarks, it never seemed liked a job,” Levada said. “The relationships that we made and the fun that we had is what stands out to me. We felt like we were making a difference.”

Hobbs serves as the president and CEO of Hart Tackle Company. A native of Clarksville, he is also president of the Economics Arkansas Foundation. He previously served as president and CEO of Daisy Manufacturing Company, Inc., and as a senior vice president for merchandising of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He worked for Wal-Mart for 24 years. Hobbs has worked as a merchandising consultant for firms like Hanna’s Candle Co. in Fayetteville and Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Missouri. He served as Interim CEO of Bass Pro for 14 months before being recruited by Daisy.

Van Dyke is a senior litigation counsel for CAN Insurance, where he manages and resolves many of the company’s most significant commercial insurance claims. A graduate of Notre Dame Law School, Van Dyke worked in private firms in Florida and Indiana before joining CAN in 2004 to help the company manage its highest exposure litigation on a national level. He was elected to a three-year term on the university’s Board of Trustees in January 2017.

Bryan is a business development officer for Arvest Bank in Russellville. The former baseball player at Ozarks is on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and is an alumni representative on the university’s Sports Hall of Fame Committee. He is also a member of the River Valley United Way Board of Directors and a graduate of the 2017 Leadership Russellville program.

Ray works for the National Park Service as the upper district interpreter at Buffalo National River. As a student, Ray was heavily involved with Ozarks Outdoors and the Planet Club, and these leadership experiences shaped a clear career path for her after graduation. Today, she is known by many as the “Rapping Ranger.” She produces educational music videos about various issues in the national parks in order to promote preservation and resource protection. She was named 2013 Student Conservationist of the Year by the Arkansas Wildlife Federation and 2014 Environmental Educator of the Year by the Arkansas Environmental Education Association.

The Ehrens are retired in Plano. A graduate of Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, Ralph served as a Baptist minister for 34 years in churches in Wyoming, South Dakota, Maryland, Arkansas and Texas. He also taught at Houston Baptist University before retiring in 2000. Betty served as a media specialist for 18 years for several schools before retiring in 1991. The Ehrens, who will celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary on Dec. 19, have both served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Four alumni will also be inducted into the U of O Sports Hall of Fame during the Oct. 13 banquet — Steve Higgins ’79 of House Springs, Mo., a former baseball standout; Don Kessler ’70 of San Diego, an accomplished collegiate and professional athletic trainer; George Loss ’54 of Little Rock, a highly successful high school football coach; and Lindy (Swatzell) Mantooth ’05 of Kansas City, Mo., a former soccer star at Ozarks.



Mary Pat Anthony to be honored Oct. 19 at Stepping Up for Ouachita

Mary Pat Cook Anthony, a longtime educator who holds two degrees from Ouachita Baptist University, will be honored by her alma mater at Ouachita’s eighth annual Stepping Up for Ouachita luncheon. The event, which helps fund scholarships for female students at Ouachita, will be held Thursday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m. at the Benton Event Center in Benton, Ark.

“We are so proud to honor Mary Pat Anthony this year at Stepping Up for Ouachita,” said Terry Peeples, vice president for development. “Mary Pat is one of Ouachita’s best. She is a talented musician and educator and a wonderful representative for her alma mater. Everyone needs to know this talented and dedicated lady.”

“I am honored and flattered to be chosen as the honoree for this year’s Stepping Up for Ouachita fundraiser,” Anthony noted. “I was blessed to attend such a special place. I love the fact that this event raises money to help other young women have the same life-changing experience I had at Ouachita.”

Anthony, a 1981 graduate of El Dorado High School, holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from Ouachita. A lifelong resident of El Dorado, she has served as a fourth grade teacher at Hugh Goodwin Academy for the Arts, director of education at South Arkansas Community College and first grade teacher and fine arts coordinator at Southside Elementary School. She also has served as a fitness instructor and swimming instructor. She retired in 2012 after serving 26 years in education.

Anthony has served since 2013 as a member of Ouachita’s Board of Trustees, including serving as secretary. She was honored in 2015 as a Ouachita Alumni Milestone Award recipient. She also has served on the South Arkansas Arts Center board of directors, South Arkansas Regional Health Center board of directors, South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra soloist, Sing for the Cure director and producer and Arkansas Girls State music director.

Among her many professional recognitions, she has been the recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award for El Dorado Public Schools, International Reading Association/Arkansas Reading Association Promotion of Literacy Award, Outstanding Faculty Member of South Arkansas Community College and NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) Community College Leadership Program Excellence Award.

She and her husband, Aubra Anthony, Jr., live in El Dorado. She is a member of First Baptist Church, where she has been involved in the Celebration Choir, Celebration Orchestra and Handbell Choir as well as directing the children’s choir, VBS preschool music, nursery and mothers’ day out program.

Stepping Up for Ouachita benefits outstanding Ouachita women as it provides luncheon participants the opportunity to invest in scholarship funds that directly impact students’ lives and their collegiate experience.

For more information about Stepping Up for Ouachita, visit www.obu.edu/steppingup, call 870-245-4278 or emaildevelopment@obu.edu.

WBC To Host Arkansas Master’Singers

Williams Baptist College will host the Arkansas Master’Singers for a free concert of worship on October 12 at WBC’s Manley Chapel.  The doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7 p.m.

With over 200 voices, Arkansas Master’Singers consists of ministers of music/worship leaders, directors, accompanists, choir leaders, pastors, staff members and staff spouses from Arkansas Baptist churches in every corner of the state and all places in between.  The men’s chorus began in 1961, while the women’s choir started in 1973.  In the early 1990s the groups came together under the name of Master’Singers.

The Arkansas Master’Singers are currently preparing for a return mission trip to Ukraine in April of 2018.  The choir previously visited Ukraine in 2014, where the choir and orchestra were able to present eight concerts to standing room only crowds.  The group has also toured Guatemala, Brazil, Germany, and Russia in past years.

The concert will include selections by the men’s chorus, women’s chorus, combined chorus, and the orchestra.

Everyone is invited to attend the concert of worship at Williams.  For more information about the concert, visit the Arkansas Master’Singers website at www.arkansasmastersingers.com.

Williams is a Christian, liberal arts college in Walnut Ridge, Ark.  It will become Williams Baptist University in July of 2018.

WWI Display Coming to WBC

“The Great War: Arkansas in World War I” will be displayed at Williams Baptist College’s Felix Goodson Library from October 10 through October 22.  The free, traveling exhibit that tells the story of Arkansas’s role, at home and on the battlefields, during World War I.

The traveling exhibit consists of 12 panels that showcase images from the Arkansas State Archives’ holdings, including original documents, photographs, posters, maps and historical objects, giving a first-hand look at the lives of Arkansans during the war.

The exhibit covers the chronology of the war as well as various facets of the conflict, such as training troops in Arkansas, actions overseas, the Home Front, providing for the war, healthcare and Arkansas heroes.

“It is exciting to showcase Arkansas’s role during World War I, including training troops in Arkansas, actions overseas, the Home Front, providing for the war, healthcare and Arkansas heroes,” said Pamela Meredith, WBC’s director of library services.  “We look forward to community visitors, including individuals and groups.”

The Arkansas State Archives is located in Little Rock. It maintains the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world and is dedicated to collecting and preserving the documentary history of Arkansas. The State Archives also has two branch locations: the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, located in Powhatan, Ark., and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives, located in Washington, Ark.

This exhibit is funded in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council, the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The display is open to the public and free to view during regular operating hours, which are: Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. – midnight; Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – midnight; Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; and Saturday noon – 4 p.m.

For more information, or to schedule a group tour, contact the Felix Goodson Library at (870) 759-4139.

Williams is a Christian, liberal arts college in Walnut Ridge, Ark. It will become Williams Baptist University in July of 2018.