Dr. Tommy Thomason retired from TCU in 2019 as a journalism professor and the director of the Texas Center for Community Journalism.

A former Southern Arkansas University instructor is among 10 Ouachita Baptist University alumni receiving the university’s Alumni Milestone Award in conjunction with Ouachita’s Homecoming celebration.

Dr. Tommy Thomason of Fort Worth, TX, a native of Magnolia, was journalism instructor at Southern Arkansas University from 1973-1976. He was a member of the Ouachita Class of 1971.

Based on their professional achievements, community service and dedication to their alma mater, they were chosen by a committee of Ouachita faculty and staff and Ouachita President Ben Sells.

“Every year, several exemplary graduates are nominated for the Alumni Milestone Award,” Sells said. “They’re all worthy recipients, so we aspire to select a group of inductees that each year and over time live lives of service and best represent the generations of extraordinary students who are the heart of Ouachita.”

Thomason said he chose to attend Ouachita in part based on his impression of what was at that time known as the university’s Department of Communications.

“Ouachita gave me a great background in journalism,” said Thomason, “but more importantly, Ouachita was where I learned to think critically.”

After graduation, Thomason worked in journalism and public relations in Arkansas, Texas and Virginia before joining the faculty at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He is the founding director of TCU’s Bob Schieffer College of Communication, where he’s now professor emeritus.

The 2021 Milestone Award recipients were presented Saturday, October 2, during halftime festivities at Cliff Harris Stadium, where the Ouachita Tigers took on the Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers.

Other honorees were:

Amber Wilson Bagley of Little Rock, Class of 2001, managing director of the Little Rock law firm Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus.

Mitch Bettis of Little Rock, Class of 1990, president of Arkansas Business Publishing Group.

Dr. Cari Cordell of Hot Springs, Class of 2000, the only female orthopedic surgeon in Arkansas who is fellowship-trained in both hand and shoulder.

Suzanne Ferrell of White Hall, Class of 1991, co-owner of Hunter’s Refuge, a sporting goods store in White Hall.

Ronald Greenwich of Manaus, Brazil, Class of 1970, who has dedicated his life to church planting and social ministries.

Edwin Payne of Woodbridge, Va., Class of 1981, who held command positions within the DOD for the Army and the United States Air Force. Payne retired with the rank of U.S. Army colonel.

Lyn Pruitt of Little Rock and Dallas, Class of 1980, who recently joined the international law firm DLA Piper, where she practices in the areas of products liability defense and toxic tort litigation.

Abby Turner of Rogers, Class of 2011, an associate director with Walmart.

Philip Williamson of Cincinnati, Class of 2010, a partner with the Taft Stettinius & Hollister law firm in Cincinnati.

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