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ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (OBU) -- When it comes to stepping up for Ouachita Baptist University, Molly Kircher is among the school's many alumni who are proud to support their alma mater. In recognition of Kircher's longtime commitment to Ouachita, she will be honored this fall at the third annual Stepping Up for Ouachita luncheon.

"Molly embodies the very best of Ouachita," said OBU President Rex Horne. "Her devotion over her lifetime is exemplary. Her gifts of time, resources and goodwill to Ouachita have an immeasurable impact. While many talk about devotion, Molly goes quietly about living her commitment."

This year's Stepping Up luncheon will be held Thursday, Nov. 15, at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock. Proceeds from the luncheon are designated for scholarships for outstanding women students attending Ouachita.

"Women have played a significant role in Ouachita's rich history," emphasized Terry Peeples, OBU vice president for development. "They have worked diligently in the classroom, excelled as campus leaders and graduated as difference makers. By funding scholarships, we can ensure women will continue to be afforded a quality Christian education at Ouachita."

Cheryl Williams, a 1983 Ouachita graduate, is serving as chair of this year's Stepping Up for Ouachita event. Williams, who is active on several boards in the Little Rock area, was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges while at Ouachita. She and her husband, Dr. Paul Williams, are the parents of three children: Andrew, who is attending law school; Stephen, an accounting and business administration/finance major at Ouachita; and Sara, who will be a freshman pre-med student at Ouachita this fall.

Williams encouraged fellow Ouachita alumni and supporters to "purchase a table at Stepping Up and host some of your friends who either attended Ouachita or need to be introduced to Ouachita."

Affirming the importance of investing in quality Christian higher education at Ouachita, she added, "Fundraisers are also friend raisers for our alma mater."

In addition to scholarship support, the annual women's luncheon is designed as a time of fellowship and recognition of an honored university supporter. Past recipients of the Stepping Up for Ouachita recognition are Sharon Heflin, a 1967 Ouachita alumna, benefactor and community leader, and Margaret Wright, professor emerita of accounting at Ouachita.

This year's honoree, Molly (Goforth) Kircher, is a 1964 cum laude graduate of Ouachita with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. Her mother and one of her daughters also attended Ouachita.

"I really don't remember 'choosing' Ouachita," Kircher noted. Because of her mother's connection to Ouachita, "I was just always sure I would follower her right into Cone-Bottoms Hall - and that I did."

Recalling many happy memories and lifelong friends during her years at Ouachita, Kircher said her "most vivid memory" was meeting Larry Kircher who she married in 1964. Their first daughter, Laura, was born the following year.

After living in Missouri and Illinois, the Kirchers returned to Arkansas in 1969 when Larry Kircher accepted a position with Citizens State Bank in Bald Knob. Following the birth of their second daughter, Jennifer, in 1972, "I have been privileged to fulfill my heartfelt dream of becoming a full-time housewife and mother," Kircher said. "I am still thankful, daily, that I was granted that opportunity.

"Our years in Bald Knob have been rewarding," she added. "Besides serving on the board of directors of Citizens State Bank, I have served the community in many local activities through the years." She has served for 40 years as church organist for Central Baptist Church in Bald Knob and has served twice as president of the Bald Knob Garden Club. She also is a past president of the Bald Knob Country Club and currently is a board member of Friends for Life, a non-profit Christian organization that ministers to individuals dealing with unplanned pregnancy.

Kircher has served as a member of Ouachita's Alumni Advisory Board and Development Council. Her husband, a 1965 Ouachita graduate, is a member of the Ouachita Board of Trustees. He also is chairman of the Board of Trustees campaign as part of the university's current $25 million "Defining the Difference" campaign.

"I am very blessed with a wonderful husband who has a love for Ouachita," Kircher said. "Together, we enjoy the blessing of spreading the news about Ouachita wherever and whenever we can."

The Kirchers, who have four grandchildren and a great-granddaughter, are committed to helping future generations of students discover the Ouachita difference.

"We look forward to seeing what God has in store for the future of Ouachita," she emphasized, "and hope we see our grandchildren cheering on the Tigers."

This year's Stepping Up luncheon will feature a live decorating demonstration by Providence Ltd. Design. Event registration and gallery begin at 11 a.m. and luncheon doors open at 11:30 a.m.
Tickets are $100 each for individuals and $1,000 for a table of eight. For more information about attending or sponsoring this year's luncheon, contact development@obu.edu or 870-245.5169.

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