Annual Womack Award presentation, President's Convocation open Centenary's 192nd academic year

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College students, faculty, and staff celebrated the beginning of a new academic year this week with several annual events, including the presentation of the David Womack Leadership Award and the President's Convocation. The Thursday, August 25 convocation marked Dr. Christopher L. Holoman's first public address to the College community since becoming Centenary’s 31st president on July 15, 2016.

Dr. Holoman directed his words primarily to the entering freshmen in the Class of 2020, exploring the theme of college as a journey with sometimes unexpected paths. "I encourage you not to be so focused on what you think is your goal that you shut out other destinations," said Holoman. View full video of the convocation and Holoman’s address here.

The President's Convocation brings together students, faculty, staff, and members of the Board of Trustees for the traditional opening of the academic year at Centenary. In addition to Holoman's address, the event featured the Centenary College Choir and the installation of the student Honor Court for the 2016-2017 year.

On August 23, Holoman convened the faculty and staff for the College's annual Faculty/Staff Development Day. During the mid-morning session, he recognized Janet Ingram with the 2016 Womack Award. Ingram came to Centenary in February 1998 and currently serves as Office Manager for Admission in the Enrollment Division.

The Womack Award was established in memory of former Centenary Dean of Students David Womack, who passed away suddenly in August 2009. Nominations for the Womack Award are considered each August by the Cabinet of the College, and a recipient is chosen if a worthy candidate is identified. Honoring the example and the memory of the late David Womack, Womack Award winners are chosen on the basis of their leadership skills, their ability to work across divisional and departmental lines, their commitment to and skill at building bridges, and their capacity to be inclusive of all members of the campus community.

"Her bridges are solid because they are built with obvious and genuine concern for her colleagues and her constituents," said Holoman during the award presentation. "Her cross-divisional work is executed with a professionalism and pride that is universally revered and often leaned upon."

Ingram has worked in various positions in the Office of Admission since coming to Centenary and is frequently the first point of contact between the College and prospective students. The award citation noted that her deep institutional knowledge and thoughtful perspectives have made her a valuable member of many collaborative efforts at Centenary, including most recently the Diversity Committee.

"Receiving the Womack Award was definitely a surprise, but such an honor," said Ingram. "David Womack was a truly inspirational man and he led by example, making his mark all across this campus. One of the things I love most about working at Centenary is the feeling of family and community, and that has never wavered for me. Even after 18+ years, I still love my job, my co-workers, and the Centenary family."

Past recipients of the Womack Award include Dr. David Hoaas, Dr. Chris Lavan, Eddie Walker, Connie Whittington, Mark Miller, and Monica Powell.