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Ouachita to hold Commencement exercises May 11

Spring Commencement at Ouachita Baptist UniversityMay 01, 2024 - Felley Lawson

Ouachita Baptist University will host its 137th Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 11, at 9:30 a.m. on the front lawn of Cone-Bottoms Hall.

The ceremony will honor more than 360 graduates, which includes those who have earned Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, as well as Master of Science degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates for Dietetic Internship. Graduates recognized will have completed their degree requirements in August 2023, December 2023 or May 2024.

Commencement exercises will be led by Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita president, who will also serve as Commencement speaker. Dr. Deborah Root, professor and chair of the Rogers Department of Communications and director of assessment and institutional research, will serve as Commencement marshal. Honorary marshals include Dr. Craig Hamilton, professor emeritus of music and director emeritus of bands; Dr. Rob Hewell, professor emeritus of music and director emeritus of instruction and learning; Carol Morgan, associate professor emerita of communication sciences & disorders; Dr. Marvin Pate, professor emeritus of Christian theology; Dr. Brenda Trigg, professor and director emerita of nursing; Dr. William C. Viser, professor emeritus of Christian ministries; and Dr. Kathy Collins, associate professor emerita of education (posthumous).

Senior Class President Vivian Pryor, a business administration/entrepreneurship and political science double major from Manila, Ark., will deliver the invocation. Following a welcome from Sells, Ouachita’s vision and mission will be read by Lori Motl, director of admissions counseling, and Dr. Rickey Rogers, vice president for student development.

Scripture will be read by Emma Smith, a biblical languages major from North Little Rock, Ark.; Breanna Watson, a communications & media/integrated communications, community & family services and Spanish triple major from Bartlett, Tenn.; and Addison White, a biomedical sciences and Christian studies/Christian missions major from Quitman, Ark. All are students in the Pruet School of Christian Studies.

Singing of the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and of Ouachita’s alma mater will be led by Dr. Ian Aipperspach, lecturer in the Division of Music. Root will also share distinctive data about the Class of 2024.

Following Sells’ remarks, candidates for graduation will be presented by Dr. Justin Hardin, vice president for academic affairs. Sells will confer degrees upon graduates and recognize those with military commissions.

Dr. Jeremy Greer, dean of the Pruet School, will lead a responsive reading, and a prayer of dedication will be offered by Scott Street, chair of Ouachita’s Board of Trustees and chief executive officer of Pediatrics Plus.

In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to Cliff Harris Stadium. The event will be streamed live online at obu.edu/graduation-live. Find out more about Commencement 2024 at obu.edu/graduation.


Photo by Sarah Dean

Lead photo by Sarah Dean



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