January 29, 2014 Edition

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Grant to pave road to WBC

Trustees at Williams Baptist College met on Jan. 17 to discuss upcoming events at the college. The meeting was originally scheduled to be held in December, but was pushed back due to inclement weather.

During the meeting, trustees learned that College City has been approved for a grant that will benefit the college.

College City has received a grant through the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department's State Aid Street Program, which will pay for the city to widen and resurface Fulbright Avenue.

The 70-year-old concrete street, which serves as the entrance to Williams Baptist College, is narrow and bumpy and has developed drainage problems.

The city plans to pave the road with asphalt and widen the street from 20 feet to 28 feet. The $200,000 project will be completely funded and engineered through the AHTD.

Williams Baptist College President Dr. Tom Jones noted that improving Fulbright Avenue is a stated goal in WBC's strategic vision, known as the "Diamond Destiny Plan." Williams officials have worked closely with College City's leaders in securing the AHTD grant for the project.

Also, board members heard of progress in WBC's launch of online degree programs. Williams will offer degree completion programs in both psychology and pastoral ministries starting March 10, and a program in business administration is slated to begin in May.

The board also approved promoting Dr. Brad Baine, who is chair of the Williams Teacher Education Program, to La Delle Moody Professor of education. The move makes Baine a tenured faculty member.

Trustees also approved the hiring of Blake Perkins to serve as assistant professor of history. Perkins, a Lawrence County native, has been serving as an adjunct history instructor at WBC. He is nearing completion of his Ph.D. at West Virginia University.

The board also welcomed new members to its 24-member board of trustees. New members are: J.R. Cox of Walnut Ridge; Ken Brunt of Bryant; Sue McGowan and Larry Singleton, both of Paragould; and Dr. Heather Moore of Cabot. This year's board chair is James Miller of Melbourne.

The board meets three times each year, and its next meeting will be April 4 at WBC.

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