From the President

From the President

Most colleges and universities do a great job of instilling traditions and shared values in each generation of alumni. I call these shared connections ties that bind. One is quite unique among the many ties that bind the generations of Williams alumni. This shared connection has a visible, physical expression – Startup Chapel. Since relocating to our current campus, each student – every generation of alumni – has at one time or another attended an event or was involved in learning or student activity in the building now known as Startup Chapel.


For decades, this building has been a point of connection – a physical location – where life-changing experiences happened and relational connections were made. Can you remember the chapel service where God transformed your life? Did you hear Dr. Williams preach in the chapel? What about the mid-week worship service where a good friend shared a testimony, or a fellow student preached his first sermon? What favorite theater production did you attend there? Better yet, what was your favorite play in which you were involved? What life lesson was imparted to you there under the direction of Melinda Williams or Brett Cooper? How many Cast rehearsals did you attend there? Did you attend a class in the chapel? A prayer meeting? Did you attend a good friend’s wedding there? Were you married in the chapel?


Whether a Southern Baptist College alum, Williams Baptist College alum, or Williams Baptist University alum – Startup Chapel has been a physical, tangible place where generations of students have gathered. Startup Chapel is the one building on our campus – the only one –where almost each student experienced life changing moments. Startup Chapel is a tie that binds.


In those early days, students met for chapel in this building. Although our chapel services have since outgrown the building’s capacity, this structure continues to serve the university in a variety of ways.


In 2018, the board of trustees approved the renaming of this building as the Kenneth Startup Chapel in honor of the years of exemplary and faithful service rendered to the university by Dr. Kenneth Startup. Located at the front of our campus, this building continues to serve the mission of the university. Startup Chapel has been a vital part of our story. After decades of constant use, however, the building needs to be renovated. We must ensure the chapel continues to serve the many generations of students for decades to come.


We recently were awarded a Mabee Foundation challenge grant of $200,000 to help us fund much-needed repairs and updates. In addition to the challenge grant, we have also raised in gifts and commitments $540,000. Our goal is to raise $1,000,000 to fund the updates and renovations needed to preserve and improve the crucial purpose of this historic building. We must raise an additional $260,000 to receive the Mabee Foundation challenge grant funds.


We will be launching several initiatives in the coming months to help us raise the remaining funds, so watch for these opportunities. Meanwhile, God may lead you to make a gift to the Startup Chapel renovation. If so, you can make your gift online at Please designate your gift to Startup Chapel in the appropriate space.


We need to do this. This building is a strategically important part of our history and culture – a vital part of our shared, common story. Startup Chapel has been a place where relational connections have been made and life-changing experiences have occurred for many who have entered this building. We greatly desire to continue this legacy.


Please prayerfully consider a gift to help us ensure that Startup Chapel continues to be a tie that binds the previous generations of Williams Baptist University alumni with those alums still to come!

Paterson Offers Evangelical Perspective on COP26

Paterson Offers Evangelical Perspective on COP26

Dr. Ann Paterson has returned from Glasgow, Scotland, where she and a group of fellow Christians took part in the recent COP 26 climate conference. Paterson, the Nell Mondy Chair of Natural Sciences at Williams Baptist University, attended the international conference as part of the Christian Climate Observer’s Program (CCOP).


“This is a non-partisan, Christian group that cares about bringing people together from all over the world to make Christian voices heard and to bring awareness to the needs of people who are suffering,” Paterson said. “This was not an ‘environmental group,’ but rather a diverse group that included a scientist (me), people involved in finance and economics, a farmer, religious leaders, and many others.”


Paterson said she was honored to be invited to the COP 26 conference, noting she has an interest in the environment both as a scientist and as a person of faith. “As a biologist, I care deeply about the natural world,” she said. “Many people say they feel closest to God in nature, whether through hiking, hunting or other activities. We also rely on the natural world for many things that can be easy to take for granted, such as oysters that filter water and honey bees that pollinate crops. But evangelicals are called to care for those who are suffering, to love their neighbors, and to go forward in hope (not fear) that we can make a difference.”


Paterson said she believes her group’s nonpartisan approach makes them more effective.


“Focusing on partisan issues risks losing the focus on what matters – caring for those in need and advocating for ways to preserve the astounding natural world,” Paterson said. “Our focus was on the latter issues, not on politics. We did advocate for people to act quickly to help alleviate suffering, not for specific partisan positions.”


The WBU biology professor said climate-related suffering comes in a variety of forms.


“This suffering includes hardships due to weather and climate events, but also due to people’s fears about their jobs and livelihoods. There is great suffering in many countries due to weather events, including in the United States,” she noted. “There are high costs and human suffering associated with these events and also with potential societal changes, such as shifts in job availability.”


Paterson said the conference itself brings together people from all over the world who serve as delegates and observers.


“This includes all sorts of perspectives, ranging from conservation organizations to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). It brings together people from diverse countries with very varied interests and voices to be heard. Many people are interested in the environment and protecting natural areas, but others are highly interested in finance and the risks to investors as the value of companies changes. The scope of perspectives and interests is remarkable.”


Biology is the most popular major at WBU. The natural sciences department leads its students to explore environmental issues, including the effects of plastic waste in streams and oceans. A group of Williams students has visited Florida in recent summers to do research in coastal waters, working in conjunction with the Christian environmental group A Rocha. Paterson hopes to help her students and others look beyond the heated rhetoric of environmental issues and to focus on workable solutions.


“It’s easy to hear about solutions that sound scary or that make people worry that they will lose their jobs,” she said. “But there are many possible solutions and many ways to help people at risk – and environmental damage will cost far more in the long run (both in money and in human suffering) than having thoughtful discussions about solutions and ways to help others. I would like people to look at evangelicals and see people loving and caring for their neighbors and for God’s creation so that we all have a hope of a brighter future.”


Williams is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge, Ark.

Faculty Recognition

Faculty Recognition

Harris Named Ransom Bettis Award

Williams Baptist University associate professor of history Dr. Rodney Harris was named the 2021 winner of the Ransom Bettis Award for his work within the Randolph County Heritage Museum.


Harris serves as the volunteer director of the museum and has helped fully renovate all exhibits in the space, which has included adding several new exhibits including a Pocahontas founder’s section, a post office a general mercantile exhibit and an exhibit to honor the county’s older business, the Pocahontas Star Herald.


Since its inception in 2005, the goal of the Five Rivers Historic Preservation Inc. has been to discover, preserve and preserve the history of Randolph County to local as well as state groups. Five Rivers Historic Preservation established and maintains the Randolph County Heritage Museum, endeavors to preserve landmarks and stories of the county’s past, sponsors presentations of local history by both local and state historians and many other things.


The Ransom Bettis Award was created by Five Rivers to recognize persons who have contributed to the Randolph County Story through academic or personal research and/ or who have kept alive the memory of individuals and events important to the history of Randolph County.

WBU’s Williams Presents Workshop on Creating Story Store

Williams Baptist University assistant professor of communications arts Melinda Williams recently presented a workshop at the 73rd annual Southeastern Theatre Conference in Memphis, Tenn., entitled, creating “The Story Store”.


The purpose of the “Story Store” is to take the creative ideas of students from Northeast Arkansas areas and bring these ideas to life on stage. A writing prompt is sent to the Northeast and North Central Arkansas Gifted and Talented teachers, and students are encouraged to write a fairytale with their own unique twist.


Williams has been using the “Story Store” as part of her curriculum at WBU since she began teaching and said it is a good way to have her students connect with the elementary students in the area and introduce them to the idea of production and theatre.


“It is all about using imagination and creativity and then seeing your idea come to life on stage,” Williams said.


The elementary students who submit stories see them acted out as performances by Williams’ students over the course of several productions over a series of days.

Williams’ presentation centered on how she came up with the idea for the “Story Store” and how she uses it in her teachings and how it involves community and theatre.

Bells Bring 20 Plus Years of Knowledge to Faculty

Bells Bring 20 Plus Years of Knowledge to Faculty

Dr. Stephen and Tracy Bell will join the Williams Baptist University faculty this fall after 20-plus years of instruction at the College of Ozarks and work in the private sector.


Dr. Bell will serve as Director of Graduate and Professional Studies and as Professor of Family Studies and Social Work. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, having practiced in Missouri for over 10 years. Dr. Bell earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy from Harding University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.


As Director of Graduate and Professional Studies, Dr. Bell will administrate and grow the graduate and professional studies as well as create new degree programs in leadership, ministry, business, and other areas of identified need and opportunity. Dr. Bell will also focus on creating a marriage and family therapy program to assist graduates to achieve professional licensure in marriage and family counseling. As a member of the faculty, Dr. Bell will teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the current and future academic programs at WBU.


“Tracy and I have spent the past 20 years personally and professionally attempting to build stronger communities by focusing on strengthening marriages and families,” Dr. Bell said. “On our first visit to Williams Baptist University, we felt right at home. We experienced a sense of community between the administration, faculty and students that was profound and everyone we encountered made us feel like we were already part of the Williams Baptist University family.”


Dr. Bell is a gifted classroom instructor. In 2014, he received the “Nerdscholar 40 under 40” award, a national recognition given to master teachers who inspire their students with a passion to be transformative leaders. Dr. Bell has also been recognized for teaching excellence by College of the Ozarks, receiving the Eugene Charles Wittick Teaching Excellence Award in 2012.


Tracy Bell will serve as Associate Professor of Family Studies and Social Work, providing instruction for courses in the Psychology department as well as instruction for courses within the social work minor tract. Bell has a Bachelor of Arts in Family Life Christian Counseling from Ouachita Baptist University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


“My family and I are beyond excited for our new adventure at Williams Baptist University,” Bell said. “The University’s mission to move beyond the classroom and into a space for expressing God’s love for marriages and families tangibly is what is most exciting to me. God’s calling was beyond confirmed when we met with Dr. Norman, the administration, and the faculty. Their care, support and shared values are not mere words. We saw these values expressed with our visits to the campus and felt care and support every step of the way.”

Bell is a licensed master social worker. In addition, she has earned professional certifications in Neurosequential Models of Therapeutics from the Child Trauma Academy and as a Professional Life Coach with Focus on the Family. Bell has a special passion for the intervention and treatment of traumatized children.


Among their many professional achievements, the Bells were instrumental in the creation and implementation of the Family Studies and Social Services Department at College of the Ozarks, an initiative designed to prepare students for marriage and family counseling and for social work. This innovative program focuses on teaching students to integrate the Christian faith throughout their courses of study as well as preparing students for graduate school with a high level of clinical knowledge.


The goal of this initiative is to send students with a well-grounded Christian faith into communities to work toward familial, communal, and societal restoration. Under the Bells’ direction, the department went from 20 majors to its current enrollment of 75 majors. Over the past five academic years, the department graduated the fifth most students on the College of the Ozarks campus.


“What makes Christian institutions of higher education distinctive from their secular counterparts? We exist to shape men and women for Christ who display his excellency in every arena of life, even at home,” said Dr. Rhyne Putman, associate vice president for Academic Affairs and the Director of Worldview Formation.


“Stephen and Tracy Bell are accomplished scholars and experienced clinicians who we believe can instill in our students a robustly Christian vision of what marriage should be and who we believe can train the next generation of Christian counselors.” Stephen and Tracy also serve as lead therapists and speakers at the Focus on the Family’s Marriage Institute, helping couples find healing and redemption for troubled marriages. In 2011, the couple founded Family Fanatics, a ministry that conducts seminars focused upon God’s purposes for dating, marriage, and parenting.


“I am extremely excited to welcome Dr. Stephen and Tracy Bell to our WBU family,” said WBU president Dr. Stan Norman. “One of my goals upon coming to WBU was to create courses and degree programs that support what the Bible teaches about marriage and family. All our students need to know and embrace God’s purposes for marriage, parenting, family, and human sexuality. The Bells are eminently qualified to lead this type of initiative. I am deeply grateful that God called Stephen and Tracy to join us in our incredible mission of equipping transformative Christian leaders.”


The Bells have four children and are set to begin their tenure at WBU at the start of the fall 2022 semester.

Broussard Named Choral Director At WBU

Broussard Named Choral Director At WBU

Williams Baptist University has announced that Dr. Trent Broussard will join WBU this fall as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities. Broussard will direct the university’s touring choir, the Williams Singers, the NEA Chorale, and serve as a member of the music faculty.


“Dr. Broussard and his wife, Margie, are a wonderful fit for WBU,” said WBU President Dr. Stan Norman. “He has the experience, the academic acumen and the talent we were seeking to direct the Williams Singers and teach our music students. In addition, they are Arkansas natives and have children in Jonesboro.”

Broussard holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Arkansas State University, and he has also earned the Doctor of Educational Ministry in Christian worship from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently working toward a Doctor of Philosophy degree in church music & worship at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


He has served for the past 26 years as pastor of worship at Calvary Baptist Church in Holland, Michigan. He has also directed high school and middle school choirs for the past 12 years at Calvary Baptist Schools in Holland.


“Dr. Broussard brings with him nearly three decades of experience in local church ministry, music education and professional music,” said Dr. Rhyne Putman, associate vice president for academic affairs. “He is passionate about training the next generation of worship leaders and music educators. We are thrilled that God has brought him to WBU.”


Broussard also sings professionally and is an accomplished opera performer. He sings with the Holland Chorale, Opera Grand Rapids and the West Michigan Opera Project. He has performed in Pirates of Penzance, Don Giovanni, Carmen and a number of other operas, and he has been the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and Rossini’s Stabat Mater.


“After an exhaustive and diligent search to find the right person for this critical position, we are truly blessed that God has provided someone who is both imminently qualified and ideally suited for our campus culture,” said Norman. “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Trent and Margie Broussard to Williams!”

Walker Joins WBU’s Christian Ministries Faculty

Walker Joins WBU’s Christian Ministries Faculty

Dr. Tim Walker has joined WBU’s Christian ministries faculty and will begin teaching this fall. Walker will serve as assistant professor of Christian ministries and church ministry relations coordinator.


Walker has several years of pastoral and church ministry experience, and he currently serves as pastor of pastoral care at First Baptist Church in Biloxi, Miss. He also serves as an adjunct professor for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) and William Carey University.


Dr. Rhyne Putman, associate vice president for academic affairs at WBU, said Walker brings the ideal balance of academic acumen and ministry experience to his new role.


“Dr. Walker is a remarkably gifted scholar with years of teaching and pastoral experience,” Putman said. “He can teach an advanced class in logic, but he also knows how to minister to senior adults and run a student ministry. He has the skill set to help raise up a future generation of WBU ministry students who will have sound doctrine, the right skills for ministry and hearts for Christ.”


Walker has a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from William Carey, a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from NOBTS, a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Master of Theology and PhD in Theology from NOBTS.

He and his wife, Darla, have four children ranging in age from 5-12.


Besides his teaching duties, Walker will be a liaison for WBU to Baptist churches in the state of Arkansas, and he will oversee ministry internship placements.


“Dr. Tim Walker is a tremendous addition to our wonderful Christian ministries faculty,” said WBU President Dr. Stan Norman. “He is gifted on multiple levels, and he will be able to impart both academic excellence and firsthand ministry experience to our students. God has blessed Williams and Arkansas Baptists in general by leading Tim and his family to WBU.”

Putman Authors Book on Christian Theology

Putman Authors Book on Christian Theology

Dr. Rhyne Putman, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Director of Worldview Formation, has authored a new book, “The Method of Christian Theology: A Basic Introduction” that addresses the fundamental question of “What is Theology?”


Putman explains that when we think about God, we all have a method of thinking about the subject whether it is something we are conscious of or not. In this book, he aims to help those understand how we should approach Scripture and what roles tradition, philosophy and experiences play in our method of thinking.


“For anyone studying the word of God and thinking about Theology, it can be a bit overwhelming,” Putman. “In this book my purpose was to break down that process and touch on subjects that play a role in how we think about and form ideas about the subject.”


Theology is an important tool in ministering to others, but understanding how and why we use it can provide critical insight in how to minister better.


The idea for the book came from Putman’s experiences and a theological professor where his students often struggled to understand the roots of theology and how and why it can be different from one person to another.


“I wanted my students to be able to have a guide for using theological sources to find answers to difficult questions,” he said. “My hope is that they take the knowledge from this book and apply it to their lives and perhaps ministries that they may be involved in.”


Putman has also published two other books, “When Doctrine Divides the People of God: An Evangelical Approach to Theological Diversity” and “In Defense of Doctrine: Evangelicalism, Theology, and Scripture (Emerging Scholars).” In addition to his administrative roles at Williams, he also serves as a professor in the Christian Ministries department.

WBU Holds Greenhouse Dedication Ceremony

WBU Holds Greenhouse Dedication Ceremony

Eagle Farms formally dedicated two new greenhouses during homecoming week in November as the Dannah Russell Jones and Nora Leann Shuman Greenhouses were officially put into operation.


The two new structures serve WBU’s Eagle Farms, which is a key component of the university’s Williams Works initiative.


Tekla Research CEO Dave Russell and Chief Financial Officer Beth Russell West, both of Jonesboro, and company President Kevin Wilcutt of Fredericksburg, Va., provided the funds in memory of relatives, Dannah Russell Jones and Nora Leann Shuman. Dannah Jones was Russell’s daughter and West’s sister, while Nora Shuman was Wilcutt’s granddaughter.


“Thank you for allowing us to be part of this and have a small role in the Williams Works program,” said Russell, the former chairman of the WBU Board of Directors. “Tekla Research is thrilled to be able to support Williams Works through these greenhouses. Personally, both Kevin and I are incredibly moved that these two lives that were cut way too short will be able to be remembered as you find new life and new blessings through the plants that will be grown inside the houses.”


Dave and Deb Russell lost their daughter to a sudden heart attack, while Wilcutt’s granddaughter died of a rare syndrome.


“I want to thank the Russell and Wilcutt families for sharing their love of Dannah and Nora with us,” WBU president Dr. Stan Norman said. “These greenhouses are an expression of remembrance and each and every time we see these signs and our students come here to work, they will know that these two families gave to make these greenhouses possible.”


Several types of produce grown on Eagle Farms will begin in the Nora Leann Shuman Greenhouse, allowing the seedlings to get a headstart on the growing process. At the appropriate stage of their growth, they will be transferred into the fields for continued cultivation.


The Dannah Russell Jones Greenhouse is outfitted with irrigation and heating lamps that assist in the growth of tomatoes and other crops year-round.


“Personally, both Kevin and I are incredibly moved that these two lives that were cut way too short will continue to be remembered as you walk through those doors and find new life,” Dave Russell said. “You will find lessons in the life God gives in the plants and the education these students will receive that work in these greenhouses and we both want you to know that we are behind you in everything that you do and we want to see this program and university grow and prosper.”


The Williams Works initiative allows students to work their way to university education. Students work 16 hours per week through the fall and spring semesters to cover their tuition and most fees. Additionally, students can work full-time through the summer to pay for their room and board, giving them the opportunity to graduate debt-free.


“These greenhouses have given us a place to put our grief and our love so that the memory of Dannah and Nora will live on,” said West.


Both greenhouses have helped launch the Williams Works initiative into its next phase. This past year the houses grew specialty crops and flowers that were grown on Eagle Farms and then sold at Williams Corner.

Startup Chapel Renovation

Startup Chapel Renovation

The historic Startup Chapel at Williams Baptist University is one step closer to a major renovation, thanks to a $200,000 challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation. WBU plans to use the funds to substantially upgrade the interior of the chapel and construct a new addition at the rear of the structure.


The Mabee Foundation, headquartered in Midland, Tex., recently notified WBU that it had been selected for the challenge grant. The Startup Chapel project is expected to cost $1 million to complete, and the challenge grant is conditional upon Williams raising the additional $260,000 it needs to fully fund the project.


“The Mabee Foundation gift brings our Startup Chapel project much closer to reality,” said Dr. Stan Norman, WBU’s president. “Startup Chapel is an iconic structure on the Williams campus. It is a part of the campus experience that nearly all of our alumni have in common over the decades. It binds together the experiences and memories of generations of WBU students.”


The chapel, which dates back to the Walnut Ridge Army Flying School in World War II, was one of the first buildings constructed when the military brought that base to life in 1942. The base was decommissioned after the war, and WBU (then Southern Baptist College) relocated its campus from Pocahontas to there in 1947, taking possession of the chapel along with a number of other base buildings.


The chapel, which dates back to the Walnut Ridge Army Flying School in World War II, was one of the first buildings constructed when the air base was built in 1942. The base was decommissioned after the war, and WBU (then Southern Baptist College) relocated its campus from Pocahontas to there in 1947, taking possession of the chapel along with a number of other base buildings. The chapel is one of only two original, military buildings left on the WBU campus.


The chapel was soon moved a few blocks west of its original location to its current setting, in what was becoming the heart of campus. At that location, across from the current Swaim Administration Building, it has been the site of countless chapel services, classes, dramatic productions, concerts, weddings and other memory-making events.


Originally a white-frame structure, its stately red-brick exterior was added to match other campus buildings.


In recent years, the chapel was named in honor of Dr. Kenneth Startup, the retired WBU academic dean and history professor.


“Our vision is to bring new life to Startup Chapel,” said Norman. “This beautiful chapel, which has meant so much to Williams students over the last eight decades, is going to be restored and revitalized. The result will be a modernized facility where memories continue to be made for many years to come.”


The president said the chapel will get comfortable seating, theater lighting, new windows and roof, and other notable upgrades. And there will be new construction on the back of the structure.


“The current addition at the rear of Startup Chapel was not part of the original structure,” Norman said. “That addition has become outdated, to say the least. It has a flat roof that leaks badly, and that section of the building is no longer adequate for our needs. We plan to remove that part of the structure and replace it with a beautiful addition which better accentuates the chapel and serves our needs.”


The president said fundraising is already underway to secure the gifts needed to fully fund the Startup Chapel project. Those interested in giving to the project can designate their online gifts at


Norman said WBU hopes to complete fundraising and begin construction in 2023.

Flynn Donates Collection of Seashells to WBU

Flynn Donates Collection of Seashells to WBU

Kenneth Flynn of Paragould, Ark., has spent more than 75 years of his life collecting seashells and other aquatic life from around the world. The result, known as the Flynn Collection, is a wideranging assortment of 600 marine specimens now on permanent display at Williams Baptist University.


Flynn and his wife, Carol, recently donated the collection to WBU, along with two new cases in which the shells are displayed.


“I started collecting seashells in California in 1942 when my family was living about 20 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 1,” Flynn recalled. “The Pacific Ocean was 500 to 600 yards from our house. This gave me access to the beach whenever my mom would let me go. So, I went often and walked along the beach picking up whatever looked interesting.”


His hobby became a lifelong passion, and as the Flynns had the opportunity to travel around the world, collecting shells was always a part of the itinerary.


“I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to England, Ireland, France, Italy, Hawaii, Japan, Mexico and some Caribbean ports, as well as up and down the east coast of the U.S., the west coast of Florida and all the Gulf States,” he said. “When I traveled, it was always my intent to walk along the seashore or purchase seashells whenever possible.”


In addition to building an impressive collection, Flynn cataloged his finds with great care. Nearly all the items in the Flynn Collection are labeled with the species and place of origin, and that makes the collection all the more valuable to the university, according to Dr. Ann Paterson, the Nell Mondy Chair of Natural Sciences at WBU.


“The Flynn Collection of seashells and related materials is a remarkable assemblage of carefully-identified specimens based on years of dedicated work,” said Paterson. “It can be very challenging to identify these specimens, but Mr. Flynn has carefully researched all of them and therefore we have the specimens and careful documentation for each one. This collection is a valuable resource to show students the diversity of sea life and also to teach them about the challenges of identifying these species.”


The collection is particularly well suited for the WBU natural sciences department, which has been taking students to Florida during the summer months to research plastic pollution in marine environments. The Williams biology students work in collaboration with A Rocha, a Christian conservation organization.


“This collection represents a huge amount of work that has resulted in a wonderful teaching resource that we hope will be appreciated by students for years to come and that will enhance their appreciation of the value of marine natural resources and of our plastics research program,” Paterson said.


Flynn said there were several reasons he chose to donate his collection to WBU. The Flynns are active members of West View Baptist Church in Paragould and have known a number of trustees and staff members at Williams. One of their sons attended the school, as well.


“But mostly,” he said, “it was my hope to interest the students in the wonder, complexity and beauty of God’s creation in the seas that cover more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and contain more than 96 percent of the earth’s total water.”


The Flynn Collection is now on permanent display in the Sloan Center for Science & Professional Studies at WBU.