Previously published in the 2018 Ouachitonian yearbook.
Canoe trips, bonfires, swim parties and Halloween cookouts. “Just meet us at the Eubanks’.” It was a staple command in the life of every student. Most of the student population knew the directions from campus to the Eubanks’ lake by heart, and most had spent quite a few hours there by the time graduation rolled around. The land and lake provided an escape from campus for students to enjoy the outdoors by fishing, swimming off the dock, canoeing, camping or even throwing parties in the pavilion.
These off-campus comforts were provided by Dr. Byron Eubanks, chair and professor in the Department of Philosophy, and his wife Amy, adjunct instructor of human anatomy. Both graduates of Ouachita, the couple came back to campus in 1987 to fill a short-term teaching position for one of Dr. Eubanks’ former professors.
“He stayed away. We stayed here,” said Byron. “It really wasn’t part of the long-term career plan. It just kind of fell into our laps.”
Thirty years later, the Eubanks were still at Ouachita, serving the school in every way they could. The family lived about 15 minutes away from campus and owned a man-made lake, dock, pavilion and woods. Over time, the Eubanks’ land became somewhat of a destination spot for all students, as the family was so generous with offering up their home for campus events and recreation. From student retreats and birthday parties to wedding showers and baptisms, it seemed as if there was nothing the couple would not give through their land.
The lake was in the family and the community for longer than many would expect. Its original owner was Amy’s father. He was the one who started the tradition of welcoming people to their land.
“He wasn’t real social, but he felt like that was almost God letting him do something and still not have to go talk to strangers,” said Amy. “He loved seeing people use it and helping get it to the place where people could use it.”
Following in his footsteps, Byron and Amy continued to use their home as a ministry to Ouachita and the Arkadelphia community.
“We didn’t do anything to deserve having the place,” said Byron. “We call it ‘our little corner of paradise’ sometimes, and it’s just too nice not to share.”
By Addy Goodman
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