ROGERS – Tom Jones, president of Williams Baptist College, gave the college’s report during the Oct. 29 evening session of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) Annual Meeting held at Cross Church Pinnacle Hills in Rogers.
Jones shared several of the college’s achievements from the past year, including receiving a full 10-year accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, their business students bringing home eight national awards from the Phi Beta Lambda competition and the Lady Eagles softball team finishing fourth at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship.
But Jones’ main focus was on the college’s future.
“This past year, a 15-member planning committee made up of faculty, staff and students was formed in order to help focus the work of the college for the next several years,” he said. “The result of their work is the Diamond Destiny Plan, a strategic plan concluding in 2016 when the college will observe its diamond anniversary – 75 years of education and service.”
He said, like other parts of the economy, higher education has and will continue to face rapid change, and he described the Diamond Destiny Plan as the college’s strategy for facing those changes “with a deliberate, missional response.”
The plan will address the areas of academics, athletics, facilities, personnel and marketing.
“But even though a strategic plan is critical to the continued growth of Williams Baptist College, we do not forget that these are only supportive tasks, not the primary work of shaping student lives,” he said. “We do all these things because of the students.”
He shared the college’s new vision statement, which he said is “to produce exceptional graduates prepared to confidently engage local and global cultures though a Christ-centered worldview.’”
He invited Tieara Burks, a senior liberal arts major whom he said reflects the spirit of Williams’ vision statement, to share a poem with those in attendance.
“Tieara’s testimony through her poetry and personal witness stands as a really good example of the caliber of student supported by the Cooperative Program at Williams,” he said.
Jones concluded by thanking Greg Addison, ABSC president and senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Cabot, for his leadership, council and encouragement as Williams’ chairman of the board during this year of planning for the future.