Founded on friendship
And how the Ouachita community overflows beyond campusMay 13, 2021 - Erin Calhoon
The Ouachita community truly is something special. While on campus, I was surrounded by faculty and peers alike who uniquely challenged me and pushed me to grow in my relationship with Christ.
At a time when I was unsure where exactly my future was headed, many faculty members continuously reminded me that living for Christ is the ultimate goal. They devoted their careers and lives to pour into the next generation. As I think about the impact my professors had on me, I remember always feeling known in the classroom and encouraged to ask questions. I can remember sitting in so many of my professors’ offices. Whether it was a question about an assignment or a question about my future, their doors were always open!
While Ouachita opened the door for me to gain wisdom from faculty, it also brought me some seriously great friends. Whether through class, clubs or other avenues, the friendships I made were each unique and welcomed new perspectives into my life.
These friendships were founded at a time that was very pivotal in all of our lives; Ouachita was a place where we were pushed outside of our comfort zones and challenged in new ways. We experienced the same late nights, tough decisions and memories I know we will never forget. Experiencing these moments together not only brought us all closer, but it built trust and led us to more intentional, lifelong relationships. I watched many of my friends step into their calling while in college and have continued to watch them pursue that calling.
Since graduating four years ago, the Ouachita community has continued to amaze me. Students graduate and the “Ouachita bubble” overflows. Sometimes I feel there are Ouachita graduates everywhere I go! I love meeting alumni who are continuing to use their skills and their faith to impact the communities surrounding them. While each carries their own calling, they are all living a life of meaning and purpose. They have an eagerness to connect and network with other alumni and a willingness to share lessons they have learned.
Each connection along the way has shown me a different facet of who Christ is – how He acts, how He loves, how He teaches and how He pursues. I am thankful to have this example of community in my life. It challenges me to continue to pursue life-giving community in every season.
By Erin (Jackson) Calhoun, a 2017 graduate, who serves as director of programs and events for United Way of Northeast Arkansas.