Heflin Plaza, a $2 million construction project that features a 300-foot-long pedestrian bridge, will be dedicated June 10 at 9:30 a.m. on the campus of Ouachita Baptist University.
Heflin Plaza is a key element in the university’s campus redevelopment and expansion effort approved in 2007 by the Ouachita Board of Trustees. The project is designed to link Ouachita’s North campus and main campus both symbolically and functionally.
The plaza is being named in memory of prominent Little Rock businessman Johnny Heflin, former chairman of the Ouachita Board of Trustees, and in honor of his wife, Sharon, and their family, Jay and Andrea Heflin and Marc and Billie Heflin.
Ouachita President Rex M. Horne, Jr., announced to trustees in June 2009 that the Heflin family had provided a generous gift to fund construction of the plaza project.
“For many, many years, if there has been anything good that has happened at Ouachita, the Heflins have been part of it,” Dr. Horne emphasized. “They’re just that kind of people. They’re generous; they love Ouachita; they’re great friends; they’re great supporters of the university. Their generosity continues to inspire us and encourage us and comes at just the right time for us here at Ouachita.”
Heflin Plaza features a 22-foot-wide pedestrian bridge connected to plaza areas leading to the Ouachita Commons and the Student Village. The plaza will be open to pedestrian traffic for the university’s Fall 2010 semester.
The June 10 dedication service will include remarks by President Horne and responses by members of the Heflin family. The service will conclude with a plaza ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a reception under the Walker Conference Center portico. Tours also will be available for guests to view Westside One residence hall, one of two new residence halls scheduled to open this fall on the Ouachita campus.
Johnny Heflin, a 1967 Ouachita alumnus, was the longtime president of Terminix, Inc., as well as chairman of the board of Bird and Bear Enterprises, Inc. Among his numerous honors, Heflin received Ouachita’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2000, was inducted into the Arkansas Tennis Hall of Fame in 2001 and was named American Heart Association Volunteer of the Year in 2003.
Sharon Heflin, also a 1967 Ouachita alumna, serves as president of the Baptist Health Foundation Board. She also has served on the Ouachita Baptist University Development Council.
Jay Heflin, a 1993 Ouachita graduate, is chairman of the Ouachita Board of Trustees finance committee and a principal in Bird and Bear Management, Inc. He and his wife, Andrea, a 1994 Ouachita graduate, are the parents of two children, Ben and Anna.
Marc Heflin, a 1995 Ouachita graduate, has served since 1995 as a principal in Bird and Bear Companies and is a member of the Young Business Advisory Council for Ouachita’s Hickingbotham School of Business. He and his wife, Billie, a 1994 Ouachita graduate, are the parents of two daughters, Grace and Sarah.
In addition to funding for Heflin Plaza, other major projects underwritten by the Heflin family include the Heflin Tennis Center, the Jay and Lynn Heflin Chair of Business and the Heflin Family Scholarship as well as numerous other gifts.
Ouachita Baptist University, a private Christian liberal arts university in Arkadelphia, Ark., has been ranked the No. 1 Baccalaureate College in the South for three years in a row by U.S. News & World Report. With an enrollment of almost 1,500 students from more than 30 states and 50 nations, Ouachita seeks to foster a love of God and a love of learning in a vibrant, Christ-centered learning community.
For more information about Ouachita, visit www.obu.edu or call (800) DIAL-OBU.
By Trennis Henderson, OBU Vice President for Communications