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AlumNews: Talon Articles

'Soundings' scholarship named to honor Varners

Friday, September 7, 2007  
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By Sarah Gogarty

Each year the Literary Arts students work towards their end-of-the-year project. This project is a collection of student's work made in to a book called Soundings. Soundings allows students to show their peers, family members and the public what they have been working on throughout the year.  Since these books are for the public, students put a lot of time and effort into the art they submit and the book's design. 

For these hardworking students, the Language and Literature Endowment has been in place for many years to them with the cost of school. 

Paul Varner and Jeanine Baker are examples of students who worked tediously as undergraduates at Oklahoma Christian University. Paul was dedicated to the Literary Arts department; he was the editor for the first edition of Soundings in 1972. Both went to graduate school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and later worked as teachers at Michigan Christian College in Rochester, Michigan before returning to Oklahoma Christian University.

Since that time, both Paul and Jeanine Varner have made a large impact on Oklahoma Christian. Jeanine was named Chair of the Language and Literature department, faculty sponsor of Soundings and later the President of Academic Affairs for the Oklahoma Christian. Paul became an important part of the Language and Literature department, teaching Honors and Senior Philosophy while becoming a nationally-recognized scholar on the works of Frederick Faust.

Now that the Varner's have moved on from Oklahoma Christian University to Abilene Christian University, the Language and Literature faculty and staff felt that the Varner's impact on the Language and Literature department should not be forgotten. 

"An idea was raised, as a surprise to the Varner's, that the language and literature endowment would be renamed as a scholarship endowment after Jeanine and Paul." said John Desteiguer, Vice President for Advancement.

The Language and Literature Faculty and staff voted, and the Language and Literature Endowment was renamed the Dr. Paul and Dr. Jeanine Varner Scholarship Endowment for Literary Arts.

The new Varner Scholarship is available annually to one or more Oklahoma Christian University full-time students who are majoring in areas related to literary arts. Students are able to receive the scholarship in back to back years, but must be in good standing.  Applicants who have demonstrated financial need will be given preference overall. 

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