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Arkansas HBCU in financial crisis while Central Baptist gets new dorm

Central Baptist gets new dorm, Arkansas Baptist new dorms and all, is financially strapped.
Central Baptist gets new dorm, Arkansas Baptist new dorms and all, is financially strapped.

Central Baptist College got a lucky break from Magnolia, Arkansas in the form of gift giving. In project "made possible by a lead gift from Max and Debbie Story from Magnolia, Ark", Central Baptist College broke ground for a new residence hall today. The residence hall's price tag is $6.7 mill.

The dorm is good news for Arkansas because it means the college is committed to housing students and keeping them in college. And certainly, on campus-housing is an added perk of college life. It inspires students to reach for independent lifestyles with jobs, homes, vacations, and more. Living on campus is a microcosm of the real world that awaits as long as students are willing to build and get themselves there.

Vision 2020 is a fundraising mission at CBC. According to the college's president, Vision 2020's plan is "to complete 10 major projects in 10 years that will accommodate an enrollment of 2020 students.

Currently the college has an enrollment of 800 and and Vision 2020 plans to more than double enrollment in ten years. It's a nice forecast of Arkansas' vision to educate more students in college than ever before.

The new residence hall houses 150 students. It's the first residence hall the school's had in 49 years. Central Baptist College opened in 1891. It closed in 1947 in what its website refers to as a "demise". The school was purchased a few years later, in 1952. The name was changed from Conway Baptist College to Central Baptist in 1962.

It is probably an interesting story, one that most likely ends and begins with a money trail.

Meanwhile, Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock is facing a "demise." Arkansas Baptist College has 1000 students and even though there is a "no confidence vote" of sorts airing over President Fitz Hill, Hill did the same that Central Baptist College is doing now it appears. He built dormitories.

Housing is one means to encourage families to get their students up and off to college. Students are intrigued by living on campus and parents get their homes back to themselves while their children are away in college.

Students in love with the idea of living on their own get the message fast and quick. They choose education, good jobs, cars and independence over life stuck at home under parents who really can't relate to their visions, dreams and aspirations--and parents who may not at all be aware their child had any.

There are a number of varying colleges to choose from in Arkansas just as there are varying schools in the state. Some schools are in rural areas and dry counties where alcohol is not sold. Other schools are in larger Arkansas cities.

Every professor is as individual and varying as there are counties and cities in the state. In the potpourri of learning, whether faith and religion is an integrated part of the curriculum or not, a college student must always be encouraged to reach for his or her graduation because it is then that the he or she can find that which sustains and satisfy his soul, without the affiliation of student housing.

And when that happens, responsible, creative and prosperous communities are built. And nothing beats intelligent neighbors.

On a side note, students have to be ready for college. They have to understand what they are contracting into with that scholarship so they must choose colleges carefully and sincerely. Any student who squanders a scholarship clearly is not ready, and many will not be.

When that happens, other students, non-traditional students should be considered for the available scholarships, including housing scholarships.

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