Ouachita Baptist University’s Riley-Hickingbotham Library will host the grand opening of three new special collections at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 3, in the library’s main lobby. The event will honor the lives and service of Glenn Hickey, Bob Holley and John Knight.
The three men, who all have ties to Ouachita, have served in diverse leadership roles throughout their careers. Hickey is the former director of missions for Pulaski Baptist Association, Holley was the longtime director of Discipleship Training for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and Knight was director of the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics.
Interim president Dr. Charles Wright will offer introductory remarks at the event, and family members of each donor will be present. The event is open to the public, including students, faculty, staff and members of the community.
Dr. Ray Granade, OBU’s director of library services and professor of history, described the simultaneous opening of the collections as “a Ouachita community-building project.”
“In some ways this is like a reunion,” Granade said. “It’s an opportunity for people to get together, talk and tell new stories. That’s really the story here: the community that grows up around people.”
Dr. Glenn Hickey graduated from Ouachita in 1950, where he sang in a barbershop quartet and met his wife, Dorothy. Hickey answered the call to ministry in 1952, and, in 1964 he and his wife were appointed as Southern Baptist international missionaries to Recife, Brazil. During their time there, Hickey served as pastor of Igreja Central da Ibura, taught at North Brazil Baptist Theological Seminary and served as president of the board of directors of the American School of Recife. After returning to the United States, Hickey served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Batesville, Ark., and as the director of missions for Pulaski Baptist Association. Hickey’s service in ministry totaled nearly 60 years.
Bob Holley entered the ministry after graduating from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1954. He was an education minister for 14 years in churches throughout Arkansas—including Conway, Little Rock, McGehee and West Memphis—as well as in Montgomery, Ala. Holley joined the Arkansas Baptist State Convention staff in 1968, where he served for 29 years, including 24 years as director of Discipleship Training. In this role, Holley worked with Arkansas Baptist churches to develop Discipleship Training programs, senior adult ministries and deacon training, among other initiatives, to enhance church outreach and membership development. Holley is the father of Dr. Deborah Root, chair of Ouachita’s Rogers Department of Communications.
John Knight attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello before working in private industry from 1968 to 1988. Knight then worked for the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics for 27 years, receiving numerous honors and awards from local, state and federal government, as well as from civic and aviation organizations. Knight was assistant director under Gov. Bill Clinton and was appointed director by Gov. Jim Guy Tucker in 1992, where he served until retirement in 2014. He serves as an ordained deacon at First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia. Knight is the father of Dr. Tim Knight, dean of Ouachita’s School of Natural Sciences, and Todd Knight, OBU’s head football coach.
In addition to the three personal collections, Arkadelphia city government records also will be on display. The city of Arkadelphia became the Clark County seat in 1842 and has since grown into the political, economic and cultural center of the county.
Dr. Wendy Richter, OBU archivist and associate professor, said, “This event will not only give us an opportunity to recognize the donors and creators of these [personal collections], but also allow us to highlight the wide variety of research materials housed in our library—especially these special collections.”
The mission of archives and special collections in the Riley-Hickingbotham Library is to contribute to the preservation and transmission of culture by identifying, protecting and making available materials of enduring value that document life on the university campus, in Clark County and in the state of Arkansas.
For more information, contact Dr. Wendy Richter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5332.
By Rachel Gaddis