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Ouachita announces 2024 Stepping Up honorees

Stepping Up for OuachitaApril 18, 2024 - Felley Lawson

Ouachita Baptist University will host its annual Stepping Up for Ouachita luncheon Friday, Nov. 8, at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock. The event will honor Susan Doshier of Frisco, Texas; Shari Edwards of North Little Rock, Ark.; Carol Miller Gresham of Springdale, Ark.; and Kathy Rainwater of Little Rock, Ark. Ticket and sponsorship information is available at obu.edu/steppingup.

Each year during Stepping Up for Ouachita, the university honors women alumni or friends of Ouachita who have demonstrated grace, leadership, integrity and faith.

Doshier is chairman of the Dallas-based telecom and investment company D-Quattro. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree at Ouachita, where she was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota international music fraternity for women, Ouachita Singers, Chamber Singers and the Ouachi-Tones ensemble. As a member of the Ouachita Student Foundation, Doshier was on the committee in 1979 that planned OSF’s first Tiger Tunes signature fundraising event.

Doshier and her husband, Wade, also a Ouachita alum, have three daughters. They live in Frisco, Texas, where they attend Stonebriar Community Church. Doshier is also involved with Community Bible Study as an area director and an ambassador to Europe.

Passionate about improving the lives of orphans, Doshier says her proudest accomplishment — apart from her family — is the Shining Stars Preschool for special needs children established by her family at the orphanage in Zhanjiang, China, where two of her daughters lived before they were adopted. “I’m so very thankful that God allowed my family to be a part of this huge blessing for the children,” she said.

Doshier describes Ouachita as “a great place to find yourself, for your faith to become real in your life under the guidance of Christian professors and staff who don’t see you just as someone filling a chair in their class, but as a friend. It’s hard to really describe Ouachita to someone because it’s just so special, so different from other schools. Ouachita is a place where you feel you’re at home.” 

Edwards is network coordinator for Arkansas Baptist Women at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention in Little Rock, Ark., and an adjunct professor who teaches Ministry to Women at Ouachita. She began working on her Bachelor of Arts in journalism and public relations at Ouachita, where she participated in Tiger Tunes and the Miss OBU Pageant. Edwards was a member of the EEE women’s social club and the Ouachi-Tones all-women’s ensemble, directed by Shambarger.

She and her husband, Ouachita alum Andy Edwards, have three sons and three granddaughters. They are longtime members of Park Hill Baptist Church, North Little Rock, where Edwards leads MomConnect, serves on the worship team, co-teaches a high school girls Sunday School class and is a consultant in the Women’s Ministry, which she helped start.

Edwards found her mission investing in young women’s lives in a variety of ways and says she loves getting to see the results when God is working — from young moms finding encouragement and community through MomConnect to women learning to lead in their own churches.

“Being part of the Lifeway Women Trainer Team has been especially rewarding,” Edwards said. “During the past four years, I’ve traveled to different parts of the country and interacted with amazing women at our leadership development conferences. Having the opportunity to equip and encourage women as they serve and lead in the local church and seeing the fruit that comes from it brings everything the Lord has done in my life full circle.”

Gresham, a senior business broker for the CBI Team in Northwest Arkansas, is a charter member of the Ouachita Student Foundation. Named as a student to Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities, she was a member of the Chi Delta women’s social club, President’s Forum, Alpha Chi national college honor society and Concert Choir.

Despite earning a Bachelor of Music Education degree, she became interested in entrepreneurship under the guidance of the late Dr. Bill Downs, Ouachita professor emeritus of communications. She started CMP Market Research working with national apartment developers; Little Rock Apartment Locators and Corporate Lodging; and R&C Rentals.

While serving as vice chancellor for development at Arkansas State University–Mountain Home, she acquired a grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation that facilitated her work in helping families move out of poverty. She created Cornerstones for Success, chaired the local hospital foundation board and was a founding member of the Mountain Home Education Foundation.

Gresham and her husband, Rip, are actively involved in First Christian Church, Rogers, where they serve in lay leadership and Carol sings in the choir. She has served on the OSF Advisory Board, Rotary International and the boards of organizations including the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges, National Council for Resource Development and the Rogers Chamber of Commerce.

In 2016, Gresham was honored with an Alumni Milestone Award at Ouachita, which she describes as “the most solid Christian campus with excellent training, a friendly environment; a place you can easily feel at home and build lifetime friendships.”

Susan DoshierShari EdwardsCarol GreshamKathy Rainwater

2024 Stepping Up for Ouachita honorees (from left) Susan Doshier, Shari Edwards, Carol Gresham and Kathy Rainwater

Rainwater is deeply connected to Ouachita through her family, friends and church.

A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education and was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority and the Wesley Foundation. She taught English and speech at Ridgeroad Junior High School in Little Rock, has taught the Arkansas Department of Education’s Arkansas Writing Project and has provided teacher in-service instruction statewide. She and her husband, Mike, have served together 40 years at Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock, where they’ve taught Sunday school and marriage and parenting classes, led retreats and participated in missions projects in Turkey, Paraguay and Panama.

Rainwater has mentored young moms through the WINGS ministry; she teaches 5- and 6-year-olds in VBS every summer and works in the Immanuel City Center’s emergency dental clinic.

Throughout the Rainwaters' 40 years at Immanuel, “It seemed like all our friends attended Ouachita or wished they had,” she recalled. “Their fond memories and continued connection struck a chord with us.”

Dr. Terry Carter, Vaught Professor of Christian Ministries at Ouachita, has served Immanuel as interim pastor and is a close friend of the Rainwater family. Carter recruited Rainwater to the Pruet School of Christian Ministries advisory board.

The Rainwaters have three sons and eight grandchildren; daughter-in-law Sarah Shepherd Rainwater is a Ouachita alum, and daughter-in-law Abigail Benson Rainwater is the granddaughter of legendary Ouachita football coach Buddy Benson and his wife, Janet.

“We love Ouachita,” Rainwater said, “and we want to do our part to make sure it can continue its very important mission.”

"We’re proud to celebrate these extraordinary women, whose unwavering dedication to service represents the essence of Ouachita,” said Terry Peeples, Ouachita vice president for development. “Since its inception in 2010, Stepping Up for Ouachita has not only honored outstanding women but has also raised more than $1 million for scholarships, benefiting the success of our students.”

Lindsey Catlett, vice president and senior corporate counsel at Simmons Bank in Little Rock, chairs Stepping Up for Ouachita 2024. Catlett is a 2014 graduate of Ouachita, where she was Tiger Tunes director for OSF, Student Senate president, a member of the EEE women’s social club and was named Outstanding Senior Woman. She earned a juris doctorate from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Catlett and her husband, Ouachita alum Jacob Catlett, have two children.

“One of my favorite aspects of Stepping Up for Ouachita has always been the opportunity to look back at God’s faithfulness in the lives of honorees and look forward to the opportunities he has for current students,” Catlett said. “This year’s event will be no different as we celebrate the extraordinary lives of service of four women who are very special to Ouachita, while investing in women students at Ouachita with confidence that God will use Ouachita to prepare them for their own extraordinary lives of service.”

For information about Stepping Up for Ouachita, contact Carrie Roberson, director of development, at [email protected] or (870) 245-4278.



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