Susie Everett has maintained a love and respect for Ouachita Baptist University since she was a student there in the mid-1970s.
Though she obtained her nursing degree from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, she earned her basic college credits during her two and a half years at OBU and now she's helping the school in an advisory capacity.
Everett, who spreads her talents and leadership among many area groups and agencies, is one of the four newest members of the OBU Board of Trustees.
The board includes 24 members, all Arkansas residents and members of Arkansas Baptist State Convention churches, elected after consultation with the Convention.
Everett recently attended her first board meeting and says she is "excited" about this new opportunity for service.
Her term is for three years.
"When Dr. Horne (Rex Horne, president of the school) approached me about serving on the board, I was so honored," Everett said.
She noted that the board elects it own officers and members of three standing committees: Executive, Finance and Endowment.
Everett is serving on the Finance Committee, which meets on a regular basis at selected locations. The full board holds four regular meetings a year, though additional meetings may be called upon the request of the chairman, the president of the university or at least seven members of the board.
"I have a lot to learn, but I hope that as a former student I will be able to help the school," she said.
Everett has a strong commitment to her individual church, First Baptist of Benton, as well as to her denomination.
"I enjoyed the first meeting," Everett said. "Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and we were encouraged to give our opinions and contribute to the discussion.
"I was impressed with the warmth and down-home feeling I received," she added. "I want to do whatever I can to make OBU a better place."
She said she is hopeful that her board presence will be beneficial during the selection of scholarships.
"This is a great board and a great university," Horne said about the new trustees. "We are so proud of what you are going to do to make us ever better."
Everett noted that board members are encouraged to bring family members and other guests — especially prospective students — to the campus on meeting days. Guests are welcome in the general sessions of the board and at an accompanying luncheon.
General agenda items at the board meetings include a devotional, approval of minutes, reports from the administration, other presentations and updates on earlier board actions. Executive sessions typically are devoted to personnel, policy and financial matters.
Everett is no stranger to board leadership. She has served on numerous boards, serving as a founding member of at least one local service organization, the Christian Community Care Clinic.
Everett and husband Dwight are the owner of Everett Buick GMC in Saline County. She works three days a week at the dealership and is its continual goodwill ambassador.
Through the business, the Everetts have helped many local causes and also have done so on a personal level.
Susie Everett, who has survived cancer twice, is a staunch supporter of Relay for Life, the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, and participates in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
The agency recently supported the Benton Kiwanis Club/Dixie Car Club Christmas toy drive and regularly supports the Royal Players, the community theater group in which Everett is actively involved.
The Everetts' family includes two daughters and their husbands, Anna and Chad Hendrix and Christa and Brandan Hudspeth; and their four grandchildren. Chad Hendrix and Brandan Hudspeth serve in key positions at the dealership.