The man, the myth, the president

Andrew Westmoreland showed his comedic side with a video message sent to all students last week. What appeared to be serious message turned out to be a crafty football hype video. It can be refreshing to see the president of a top-ranked university show his fun side and support for the athletics.

But what many do not know is that Westmoreland actually got his start out of college in student activities at his alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas, Westmoreland’s home state.

“I really didn’t think it would turn into a career in higher education,” Westmoreland said.

Westmoreland would spend 27 years working at Ouachita including serving as their President for eight years. Westmoreland says he has very fond memories from his time at Ouachita including meeting his now wife his senior year while she was a freshman. She was one of the reasons he chose to stick around campus.

Another college memory of Westmoreland was working for the school’s student newspaper.  

“I took an early interest in the student newspaper,” said Westmoreland.

Westmoreland said he got into his fair share of trouble with school administration.

“My appreciation for the student newspaper now comes from those experiences,” Westmoreland said.

The first time, during his sophomore year, he chose to only highlight the negative aspects of a mainly positive report about the school.

“I thought it was a fair article, but emphasized the two or three negative points. That was not well received,” Westmoreland said.

Later on, Westmoreland began writing editorials for the paper.

“I wrote an editorial on deadline an hour before it was due and not having any good ideas to write the editorial about, I chose to write about the food service,” Westmoreland said. “I think it began with ‘we’re tired of beating a dead horse but frankly we’re tired of eating just that.’ And that was my gentle way of getting into the opinion piece.”

Westmoreland claims he’s never really gotten up in arms about critical writings of students about administration. He calls student media a ‘learning laboratory.’

“Students are learning their craft and administration needs to chill a little bit,” Westmoreland said.

Daniel Dodson, Staff Writer

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