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Ouachita Stories


Dr. Ben Sells delivers a Convocation address at Ouachita Baptist University

I believe, help my unbelief

October 12, 2023

With Convocation, we formally bring together new and returning students with faculty and staff to begin the 138th year of Ouachita Baptist University.

Dr. Ben Sells delivers 2023 Commencement address at Ouachita Baptist University

Words of wisdom: Learners rather than knowers

May 18, 2023

Based on what your predecessors report, your Ouachita education and experience have prepared you exceedingly well. Indeed, the investment in you by faculty and staff, the support of your family and classmates, the time and effort you have put forward and the grace of God help you go from this place with an advantage.


Hope grows in a nourished imagination

September 02, 2022

I like Chapel and seldom miss attending. I like being with students in Chapel. There are probably fewer than 100 universities in the country where essentially the entire student body can all be together. In my first six years, I’ve appreciated how students respect and engage in Chapel. I believe it’s an important part of what makes Ouachita, Ouachita.

Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita president, delivers the 2022 Commencement address

Getting to where you want to go

May 20, 2022

Last academic year, Ouachita was one of the few universities to provide a fully in-person education. As we prepared for this year, we challenged ourselves to provide all the benefits of a traditional campus experience.

Dr. Ben R. Sells addresses students, faculty and staff during the 2021 convocation service.

Casting a vision for a race run well

September 07, 2021

Each year we select a theme to help us focus on Ouachita’s essential purpose. That theme is based on our university’s vision, mission and value statements. This year’s theme is: “Vision, Integrity, Service.” Each year, my convocation remarks introduce the theme. This morning, I want to spend a few moments to offer one perspective on the idea of “vision.”

President Ben Sells gives 2021 Commencement address

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

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

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

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.



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