Upon their retirement from Williams Baptist University, Dr. Sheri Midkiff and Dr. Kenneth Startup have each been given the title of professor emeritus. Midkiff is retiring after 43 years of service to Williams, and Dr. Startup spent more than 35 years at WBU.
Awarding the title professor emeritus enables Williams to acknowledge faculty who have provided meritorious and longstanding service to the university. Any member of the faculty who retires after 20 years of full-time service to WBU, with a minimum rank of assistant professor, and who has rendered “distinguished and meritorious services” to the university, may be appointed professor emeritus.
Midkiff spent her time at Williams as a professor of English. Along with professor emeritus, a new scholarship has been created in honor of Midkiff’s legacy and service to the institution. WBU has established the Dr. Sheri Midkiff English Scholarship, an endowed scholarship for select English and English education majors at Williams
“Dr. Midkiff has taught for 43 years with genuine passion and presented the content of her courses in a dynamic fashion,” said Dr. Brad Baine, vice president for academic affairs at Williams. “During her years of service, she has put forth extraordinary efforts in all her institutional responsibilities. Dr. Midkiff has truly provided distinguished and meritorious service to the university.”
Over the course of his time at Williams, Startup served as a professor of history, chair of the history department, chair of the Division of Arts and Sciences, and spent many years as the vice president for academic affairs. He concluded his career as the interim president. WBU’s historic WWII era chapel will now be named Startup Chapel, in honor of Startup’s leadership at Williams.
“Dr. Startup has been an exceptional faculty member and leader for Williams for the last 35 years,” added Baine. “He has earned the highest compliments from his students and colleagues, due to his teaching, leadership and commitment to the university on and off campus. As attested by the faculty and staff, Dr. Startup has devoted 35 years of superior service to Williams.”
Williams is a Christian, liberal arts university in Walnut Ridge.