The Board of Trustees at Williams Baptist University voted Tuesday, Sept. 20, to confer the title professor emeritus upon Dr. Bob Magee, retired professor of music and director of choral programs. The board, meeting in regular session on the WBU campus, also pledged a challenge gift for an upcoming fundraiser and recognized four trustees who are rotating off the board.

Magee recently retired after 37 years at WBU. He served as chair of the Department of Fine Arts and was the longtime director of the Williams Singers choral group. The board voted unanimously to honor Magee as professor emeritus, which signifies faculty who have provided noteworthy and longstanding service to WBU.  Any member of the faculty who retires after at least 20 years of full-time service to Williams, with a minimum rank of assistant professor, and who has rendered “distinguished and meritorious services” to the university, may be appointed professor emeritus.

“Dr. Bob Magee personifies the Williams Way on all levels,” said Dr. Stan Norman, president of WBU. “He is a gifted musician and director, outstanding academician, a spiritual advisor and mentor, and above all, a man of godly wisdom. The board’s action today in bestowing professor emeritus status is a high honor, and it is richly deserved.”

Norman announced to the board that a matching gift has been offered by an anonymous donor for the university’s “24K in 24 Hours” campaign, and board members then collected individual pledges for yet another challenge gift. 

On September 27th, WBU aims to raise $24,000 in 24 hours in order to help fund four fundraising projects on the WBU campus: Startup Chapel Renovation, Williams Works Program, The Annual Fund, and WBU Athletics.

Both the board and the anonymous donor will match $24,000 if it is raised within the prescribed 24 hours, effectively tripling the initial goal and giving the university a potential windfall of $72,000 for the one-day effort.  More details are available at williamsbu.edu/24-hour-challenge/.

“The generosity of our board members and this anonymous donor will make September 27 a great day for Williams,” he said. “We encourage everyone to go online that day and help us make sure we meet these gift challenges. All gifts matter, and all gifts make a difference for Christ-centered higher education in northeast Arkansas.”

Dr. Norman and the board took time to recognize four trustees who are completing their terms and will rotate off the board this fall. The president expressed appreciation and presented plaques to outgoing members Brenda Doty of Salem, John Lane of Paragould, Carol Belford-Lewallen of Pocahontas and Dr. Sarah Teague of Fayetteville.

“All four of these trustees have been great supporters of WBU, and their wise counsel has been helpful to me on many occasions,” Norman said. “I, along with the board, offer my heartfelt appreciation for the fine service of these four trustees. Each of them served sacrificially and with distinction. They will all be missed.”

The WBU board is composed of 24 trustees who are selected by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Trustees are appointed to three-year terms, and they rotate off the board after two consecutive terms.

And the board approved the yearly audit report from Landmark Certified Public Accountants in Little Rock.  Sherry Chesser with Landmark reported to the board that WBU had an excellent audit with no negative findings. The audit found that the university’s financial health is strong, with a composite financial index score of 3.0, which is the highest score possible.

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