Anthony Freeman and Tyranni Hubbard receive Ouachita’s Annie Abrams Living Legacy AwardJune 18, 2021 - Mandy Halbert
Ouachita Baptist University has named Anthony Freeman from Monroe, La., and Tyranni Hubbard from Little Rock, Ark., as the 2021 recipients of the second annual Annie Abrams Living Legacy Award for Black student leaders. They each will receive $2,500.
Named to honor the living legacy of civil rights activist Annie Abrams, the award was established in 2020 to recognize students who have demonstrated leadership and service within Ouachita’s Multicultural Organization Reaching Equality (MORE), living out the university’s mission to live lives of meaningful work.
“Mrs. Abrams is a native of Arkadelphia and spent her formative years growing up in this community,” said Dr. Lewis A. Shepherd, special assistant to the president. “Mrs. Abrams is a nationally recognized civil rights activist who makes her home in Little Rock where her museum is located in the residence. For six decades, Mrs. Abrams has given her life to make life better for others.”
Abrams was named to Arkansas’ Black Hall of Fame in 2010, and she is the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Award given by Coretta Scott King, the First Lady’s Women in Public Service Award and the Brooks Hays Award for Civil Rights Champions.
“The idea of providing this award to Ouachita students is to encourage them to become servant leaders and make a difference in the local communities where they will live and work,” Shepherd said.
Freeman, a rising senior kinesiology and leisure studies/pre-professional major, is a member of Ouachita’s football team, recently took a leadership role in Ouachita’s MORE program, serves as a resident assistant and has been named to the Dean’s list. He is the son of Alisha Freeman of Monroe and is a graduate of Neville High School.
“This reward was very unexpected,” Freeman said. “I always thrive to do my best in everything I do, and with that hard work, it paid off. I am overwhelmed, excited and thankful for the people who chose me for this reward."
“Anthony has a great personality and the ability to establish a comfortable rapport with our campus and the local community,” said Nicole Porchia, director of multicultural student programs. “He is continuously looking for ways to help others or for opportunities to be involved in programs that advance the mission of diversity and inclusion.”
Hubbard, a rising sophomore theatre arts and choral music education double major, is the co-chair choir director of MORE and enjoys theatre and vocal performance opportunities. She is the daughter of Gwendolyn Critton and Sam Hubbard of Little Rock and was a graduate of Pulaski Academy
“This award will help me continue my journey in my education for theatre and music,” Hubbard said. “The remembrance of Annie Abrams’ remarkable accomplishments in her education and her astonishing career as a civil activist makes it an honor for me to accept this award. Annie Abrams’ achievements in desegregating Little Rock Central High School and her service in the Arkansas Teachers Association, motivate me to pledge my dedication to serve and inspire others in education through theatre and vocal performance.”
“Tyranni’s commitment to MORE and many other programs at Ouachita have been evident in her involvement and dedication to each student she has come into contact with on our campus,” Porchia said. “As a valued member of our leadership team, her determination has been well recognized. She has always gone above and beyond to ensure the organization's success.”
The award serves to acknowledge the service these students have portrayed both on campus and throughout their communities.
“Similar to Ms. Abrams’ legacy, Anthony and Tyranni exemplify the leadership skills to make positive change on our campus,” Porchia said. “Dedication and service are two words that best describe these students; I have personally watched them both pour into the lives of their peers.”
To donate to the Annie Abrams Living Legacy Award fund, visit obu.edu/give and list “Annie Abrams Living Legacy Award” in the instructions line.