Ouachita earns national championship in 2016 #MyTopCollege competition

What’s the top university in the nation in school spirit? The answer is Ouachita Baptist University, according to Forbes’ 2016 #MyTopCollege social media competition.

Ouachita was named the nation’s No. 1 university in school spirit, outdistancing runners-up California State University in Fullerton and Michigan State University which have student enrollments of 40,000 and 50,000 respectively compared to Ouachita’s enrollment of 1,500.

In a release titled “Small but Mighty: The Comeback College that Snagged the #MyTopCollege Crown,”

Forbes wrote, “There’s a case to be made that the real stars of the 2016 #MyTopCollege competition are the students, alumni and faculty of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. The university not only won the small schools division (under 2,000 students) by a landslide, but it also submitted by far the most posts overall—despite an undergraduate population of only 1,500. To top it off, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Class of ’75) closed out Ouachita’s amazing week of posts with a tweet about his alma mater just minutes before the end of the competition.”

“Being crowned national champions in school spirit is an incredible feat,” said Trennis Henderson, Ouachita vice president for communications. “For those who know Ouachita, it is no surprise that our students and alumni rose to the challenge to tell the nation what makes Ouachita such a special place.

“It’s particularly significant that we outpaced major state universities with enrollments 25 to 30 times larger than Ouachita,” Henderson added. “Congratulations to each of our students, faculty, staff and alumni who helped tell the Ouachita story in such an outstanding way.”

The annual competition invites students, alumni, faculty and staff to post comments and photos on social media highlighting why their university is #MyTopCollege. This marks the third year in a row that Ouachita has earned a national Top 10 finish in the annual competition. Ouachita finished fifth nationally last year and eighth in 2014, the first year of the contest.

Ouachitonians posted a total of 320 comments during the four-week competition. A sampling of posts includes:

·       From the people to the places, @Ouachita is so beautiful. The light of Christ shines so brightly at #MyTopCollege!

·       @Ouachita is #MyTopCollege because of profs who invest deeply in students both in and out of the classroom.

·       Reflecting on God’s blessings today @Ouachita is one of those. It not only helped me reach my dreams, it prepared me for life. #MyTopCollege.

·       @Ouachita is #MyTopCollege because its past is cherished, its future is inspiring and its present is lived to the fullest.

·       A rare environment where lasting friendships are forged with gifted classmates preparing to be true change agents. @Ouachita #MyTopCollege.

·       @Ouachita is #MyTopCollege bc of the incredible opportunity I had to travel and study abroad.

·       Ouachita may be small, but its network is HUGE! We’ve run into OBU folks all over the world. @Ouachita #mytopcollege.

·       Best 4 years of my life were spent at @Ouachita #MyTopCollege.