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OBU trustees name social science school for longtime supporter

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (ABP) -- In appreciation for “consistent and generous support” for Ouachita Baptist University , trustees named the Arkansas school’s social-science division for Buddy Sutton, a prominent Little Rock attorney.

Trustees voted June 12 to honor Sutton, a long-time Ouachita supporter and Arkansas Baptist lay leader. Adopting a resolution noting that Sutton “readily lent his name, reputation and influence to strengthen the standing of the university,” board members named the division the W.H. Sutton School of Social Sciences “with sincere appreciation for the life and service of their dear friend and colleague.”

Sutton, who served 10 years as chairman of Ouachita’s trustee board, is a former president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention .  He served in private practice for more than 45 years with the Little Rock law firm of Friday, Eldredge & Clark until his retirement in 2005. He is a longtime member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, where he has served for decades as a deacon and Sunday school teacher.

“Buddy is a rare individual who brings a blessing to whatever he touches and whatever he is part of,” Ouachita President Rex Horne said. Horne was Sutton’s pastor at Immanuel prior to his Ouachita post.

Horne said the trustees’ decision to link Sutton’s name with the School of Social Sciences will allow Ouachita “to continue to benefit from the influence and character Buddy has now and for generations to come.”

Hal Bass, dean of the Sutton School, enthusiastically affirmed the board’s decision.

“What we want to do in the social sciences is emphasize learning beyond the classroom; the world is our lab,” Bass, who also is the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s moderator-elect , explained. “The Sutton name will give us entrees for various settings beyond the classroom into the broader world.”

Sutton said he is deeply committed to Ouachita’s mission of providing students “a solid and excellent education in the Christian environment that is so important to family life and Christian life.”

The School of Social Sciences, which includes the departments of history, political science, psychology and sociology, “is a very important bridge to service in the Christian life,” he said.

In addition to honoring Sutton’s life and work, Horne said the school’s new name will “help strengthen a fine school in our university.” He is working with Sutton and Terry Peeples, Ouachita’s vice president for development, to enhance endowed scholarship funds for the school.

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