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In November 1885, a vote of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention authorized Ouachita Baptist College as an institution of higher education. Reflecting Ouachita’s longstanding focus on a love of God and a love of learning, Dr. Student enrollment and faculty numbers increased, particularly after World War II when a high of 897 students was reached in 1947. president, the university experienced strong growth through an emphasis on “Academic and Christian Excellence.” Advancements that reverberate to this day include international exchange programs, an expanded honors program and the establishment of endowed chairs of instruction.The institution’s Board of Trustees voted in April 1886 to locate the school in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Conger declared in his inaugural baccalaureate address, “Knowledge is no blessing, unless it is used well and wisely. In dealing with things you see, you must walk hand in hand with faith in the unseen, thus only making life beautiful and blessed.” President Conger’s administration saw the construction of a number of buildings, including Old Main in 1888. After Old Main was destroyed by fire in 1949, the Grant Memorial Building was dedicated in 1953, honoring Dr. Much of the campus was rebuilt with the addition of Evans Student Center (1973), Lile Hall (1973), Mabee Fine Arts Center (1975), the campus drive and pedestrian bridge (1976), Eddie Blackmon Field House (1977), Mc Clellan Hall (1978), Lancelot and Starlight Apartments (1981), Sturgis Physical Education Center (1983) and Riley-Hickingbotham Library (1987).I know of no other word that should more fully describe Ouachita Baptist University.” Dr. Sells, who has extensive leadership experience in higher education, fundraising and missions involvement, previously served more than nine years as vice president for university advancement at Taylor University in Upland, Ind., where he directed record fundraising efforts and had responsibilities for university strategic planning.

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New initiatives during his presidency included launching the Ouachita at New Life Church’s Associate of Arts degree program, Ouachita Online, Biomedical Scholars Program and the Loan Affordability Pledge.

The university also continues to gain national recognition for academic excellence among such publications as .

The amended charter reversed the provision of a 1914 revision that had allowed the election of trustees by messengers to the annual meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Elrod’s leadership, the board continued to collaborate with the convention nominating committee in the trustee selection process.

“An institution such as Ouachita is a living entity, created afresh by each generation,” reflected Dr.

The number of international students and MKs grew to nearly 10 percent of the student body, and each year nearly 100 Ouachita students participated in international exchange programs with universities in several countries.

The campus took on a new look with the addition of R. Lile Hall (1989), Jones Performing Arts Center (1992), Anthony Residence Hall (1994), Maddox Residence Hall (1995), the Tiger Den (1996), the Katie Speer Pavilion and Gardens (1996-1998), the International Flag Plaza (1997) and the Harvey Jones Science Center (1997).Other higher education experience includes serving as vice president for admissions and student life and director of university ministries at Southwest Baptist University and as an English instructor at Huaiyin Teachers College in China. He also has served as vice president for Avis Industrial Corporation, senior vice president of development for Enactus, coordinator of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board’s International Learning Center and director of the IMB’s International Centre for Excellence in Leadership. Sells’ wife, Lisa, served most recently as co-founder and executive director of Lift, an after-school faith-based initiative for elementary school students. Hickingbotham and Westside residence halls in 2010, Cliff Harris Stadium in 2014 and new facilities for the Ben M. Major remodeling projects that have added life and energy to existing facilities include Evans Student Center, Lile Hall, the Grant Center for International Education and the Rosemary Adams Department of Visual Arts.President Horne facilitated Ouachita’s yearlong 125th anniversary celebration in 2011, including launching the university’s 125th anniversary “Defining the Difference” capital campaign.He resigned in 2015 to accept the presidency of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities, a consortium of 11 independent institutions of higher education throughout the state. Charles Wright, professor emeritus of music and retired dean of Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts, was named interim president of Ouachita effective Aug. He holds three degrees from Ouachita as well as a Doctor of Education degree in music education from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas). Sells declared, “I don’t come to Ouachita with a specific agenda for the future.

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