'Soundings' scholarship named to honor Varners
Friday, September 7, 2007
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
"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.