Williams Baptist University board of trustees approves $20 million budget

by George Jared ([email protected]) 523 views 

Enrollment numbers have been strong during the last several years at Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge and that growth has led to an increase of the school’s predicted budget for the upcoming school year. WBU’s board of trustees on Friday (April 8) approved a $20 million budget for the 2022-23 school term that will begin on July 1.

Specific areas that will see increases in spending were not released. WBU President Dr. Stan Norman said the budget increase is just another sign of growth within the private university.

“We have been blessed with enrollment growth of more than 30% over the past three years,” Norman said. “This budget addresses many of the needs of our growing university, but it is also the product of a strategic planning process.”

The board approved the list of prospective graduates for the WBU Class of 2022. The university expects to hand out diplomas to more than 80 graduates at its commencement exercises, set for May 7.

Two WBU employees, with 80 years of combined experience, were recognized by the board as they prepare to retire.

Dr. Bob Magee and Mrs. Lynette Rose received a standing ovation from the board for their years of service at WBU. Both plan to retire this year. Magee, who is completing 37 years at Williams Baptist, is chair of the Department of Fine Arts and longtime director of the Williams Singers choir. Rose, a 44-year employee and a WBU alumna, serves as administrative assistant in the Office of Business Affairs.

“Dr. Magee and Mrs. Rose personify what I call the ‘William’s Way,’” Norman said. “They have poured their lives into this university and its students. They have demonstrated a passionate commitment to our mission of Christ-centered higher education. Thousands of WBU students over those years are the beneficiaries of their commitment.”

While they were on campus, trustees helped with the ribbon cutting at the Williams Corner store. The store, at the corner of U.S. 67 and Fulbright Ave., sells produce from WBU’s Eagle Farms and a wide assortment of gift and home decor items. The board also took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at WBU’s meat processing plant. Construction at the plant, which will process local beef and pork, is expected to be completed later this year.