Ouachita Baptist University will hold its 131st spring commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12, at 9:30 a.m. on the front lawn of the university’s historic Cone-Bottoms Hall. The ceremony will honor 336 graduates earning degrees including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education and Associate of Arts degrees.
Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita president, will preside over the annual commencement exercises. Dr. Terry Carter, W.O. Vaught Professor of Christian Ministries, and Dr. Ray Granade, director of library services and professor of history, will serve as commencement marshals. Honorary marshals are Dr. Scott Holsclaw, professor emeritus of theatre arts, and Dr. Phil Rice, professor emeritus of business administration.
Additionally, two emeriti administrative staff will be recognized: Sharon Cosh, director of English as a second language emerita, and Phil Hardin, assistant to the president for administration emeritus.
The ceremony will include an invocation by Senior Class President Lauren Ford, a political science major from Cabot, Ark. The university’s vision, mission and values statement will be read by Rickey Rogers, dean of students; Kori Bullard, a biology major from Pearcy, Ark.; and Dr. Rachel Pool, assistant professor of education.
Scripture reading will be led by the top three graduates from the Pruet School of Christian Studies: Ashley Sharpe, a Christian studies/Christian missions and Christian theology major from Houston, Texas; Sarah Shepard, a Christian studies/Christian missions, Christian ministries and Christian theology major from Benton, Ark.; and Kristopher Torres, a Christian studies/Christian missions major from Conway, Ark.
Dr. Jeff Root, dean of the Huckabee School of Education and the School of Humanities, will introduce the graduates. Dr. Danny Hays, dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies, will lead a responsive reading and Dr. John McCallum, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, will deliver the prayer of dedication.
Dr. Gary Gerber, dean of the School of Fine Arts, will lead in the singing of the university hymn, “See God’s Light,” and student leaders will lead the alma mater. Both selections will be accompanied by the Ouachita Wind Ensemble, which is directed by Dr. Craig Hamilton, Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music and director of bands.
Ouachita Baptist University, a leading liberal arts university, is ranked nationally among “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes magazines. Founded in Arkadelphia in 1886, Ouachita seeks to foster a love of God and a love of learning in a Christ-centered learning community.