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President Ben Sells gives 2021 Commencement address
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Progress is more about direction than speed: 2021 Commencement address

May 12, 2021

I feel a special relationship with this graduating class. Many of you began in the fall of 2017, but we first met during your senior year in high school – my first year as president. We’ve been on this journey for five years. Our kinship runs especially deep because of our shared struggles and shared responsibilities. The persistence of COVID-19 marked your entire senior year. We asked you to help us manage that threat, and you rose to the occasion.

Ben Sells and student
magazine

Closing Thoughts: Progress in a pandemic

March 12, 2021

In the midst of a pandemic, Ouachita’s progress makes us an encouraging outlier in higher education. While total university enrollment in the country continues to decrease, Ouachita increases – our highest in 20 years. We’re also graduating students at our highest level in history plus a placement rate of 97%.

Students gather in Grant Plaza
magazine

Listening and leading toward biblical belonging

March 11, 2021

Ouachita’s progress in recent years reflects the input and ideas from listening to responses from two questions in regard to our future: “What shouldn’t change?” and “What should change?” A part of our listening includes hearing the voices of our students and alumni of color. Until we listen, we can’t understand how to make Ouachita a place where belonging is central to an outstanding educational experience.

Ben Sells' 2020 commencement address
blog

If you can't see very far ahead, go ahead as far as you can see

December 08, 2020

In an historic commencement for Ouachita, Dr. Ben Sells addressed 2020 graduates on Dec. 5 by reflecting on the difficulties of the year and offering words of wisdom that were once shared with him.

Convocation Chapel
blog

Convocation Chapel 2020: Reasoned engagement with the world

August 26, 2020

By the end of this academic year, and certainly by the time students graduate, Ouachita intends to prepare them to be better – to be more skilled – in their reasoned engagement with the world. Dr. Sells addressed, "What is reasoned engagement with the world?" in Convocation Chapel on August 25.

Center of campus
magazine

Closing thoughts: Defining value

February 27, 2020

What is the value of the Ouachita experience? It depends on who you ask. Students and parents are pleased that Niche.com ranks Ouachita #1 for “Best Value” among Arkansas universities. This helps explain why our undergraduate enrollment increased 4.5% the last three years while overall statewide enrollment decreased 16% the last decade.

ben-sells
blog

All the wiser: Making good choices in our search for happiness

February 10, 2020

As we begin a new semester, I want to share a brief reflection on this year’s theme, taken from our mission statement, “intellectual and spiritual growth.” Here's what I've been reflecting on: How do we make choices that will help us become the person God intends us to be?

Ben Sells speaks on-stage during chapel
blog

Intellectual and spiritual growth

September 03, 2019

At Ouachita, we have fun and don’t take ourselves too seriously. But we’re serious about intellectual and spiritual growth, and I want to spend a few moments introducing this year’s theme.

Beekeeper
magazine

Closing thoughts: Preparing for lives of meaningful work

May 15, 2019

At the beginning of the academic year, I used my Convocation address to help us initiate a university-wide conversation on the theme, “Lives of Meaningful Work.” It’s a phrase from our mission statement that speaks to one of Ouachita’s desired outcomes for graduates: that you will be prepared for such lives and work.

Dr. Sells' commencement address
blog

2019 Ouachita Commencement address: Lives of Meaningful Work

May 15, 2019

Class of 2019 – congratulations! We are proud of you! I’m proud of you! At the beginning of the academic year, I used my Convocation address to help us initiate a university-wide conversation on our theme, “Lives of Meaningful Work.” It’s a phrase from our mission statement. It speaks to one of Ouachita’s desired outcomes for graduates: that you will be prepared for lives of meaningful work.

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