Skip to main content

OBU BlogAbout: Professors and Staff

 

In the continuing celebration of 125 years of Ouachita Baptist University, we've got a month-long batch of blog posts going up here, there, and everywhere. It's part of the OBU Blogabout, and you can find all the links at this link.

This week, the goal is to post about our favorite professor, instructor, or staff member. I don't doubt that there will be a few posts about how hard it is to choose or how wonderful everyone was at Ouachita. There will be posts about great rescues or deep inspirations or lifelong friendships.

What will this post be?

I consider an extended gripy-blog about faculty members I didn't like or a statement or two about how I didn't really know staff members and such because I stayed holed up in my room most of the time. But you're not here to read about bad things, are you? After all, if you can't say something nice, you should say nothing at all, right? Right.

So, of whom shall I speak? I was a Religion major, back before the "School of Christian Studies" became a "school." That means there's Drs. Steeger, Hays, Duvall, Carter, Vang, Stagg, and Eubanks to discuss. They were all good, and well worth the time to know and write about. There are still days I doubt my need for seminary for having gone through the gauntlet that was the Department of Religion and Philosophy.

I minored in Speech, and Dr. Phillips remains one of my favorite people on campus, while I still feel a gap from the passing of Dr. Buckelew. The Speech Department was the best experience of my time at OBU, without a doubt. Everyone ought to take speech and argumentation.

But my favorite faculty member?

Dr. Andy Westmoreland, President of Ouachita Baptist University in 1999.

Why?

He signed my diploma. Well, technically he did. I'm sure it was some form of auto-pen, but if it's good enough for the President of the United States to sign a law or two, it's good enough for me.

Dr. Westmoreland signing my diploma was an act of grace. I graduate from OBU after picking up a few extra hours to balance my GPA. I was immature beyond my years, and really deserved to be sent back for another round. All the knowledge and wisdom from the general education work, the major, the minor, and I was still a self-absorbed problem.

Yet that piece of paper, now framed and on my wall, put the reputation of a good place in my hands. When I finally got it, I was headed out of state to a city with no OBU Alumni. (As opposed to now, where I see about 10 alumni on a regular basis.) The only impression of Ouachita that Dalton, Georgia, was going to have was, well, Ann Hibbard and me. Which meant a good show for the women's dorms and a bad rap for the men.

Looking back at the wonderful people and the great experience that is Ouachita, my favorite person is the one who pushed me out carrying the Ouachita name. I had no choice but to grow up a little more and move forward towards who God was calling me to be.

Of course, Dr. Westmoreland up and left for Samford. Alabama's gain was truly Arkansas's loss. No beef with Dr. Horne, but he wasn't there when I was. I started with Dr. Elrod (Grass or mud?) but finished with Dr. Westmoreland.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Independence Day 2017

I don’t know if Thomas Paine will be aggrieved that I paste his thoughts from Common Sense here, from the electronic edition. It’s a Public Domain work at this point, so hopefully none will be bothered that I am not paying for it...I think there is value in seeing the underlying reasons of Independence. I find a couple of things noteworthy in his introduction:First, he speaks of those who disagree and, while calling those out, holds the strength of his affirmative argument will be enough to straighten them out. We could do well to think more like that.Second, his final sentence should be a required view: the influence of reason and principle. Not self-interest masquerading as principle. Not party propaganda disguised as reason.That being said, not everything Paine said is right. If he and I lived at the same time, we’d argue religion over a great deal. However, the idea of “natural rights of man” follows from the idea of humanity as a special creation—that all are created equal and en…