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Henderson alumni to be honored at awards banquet

Henderson State University will honor eight alumni at the Alumni Association’s annual awards banquet April 1.

Distinguished Alumni awards will be presented to Brown Hardman, the late Maurice R. Horton Sr., and Anita Cabe and the late Charles Cabe. Lloyd Jackson and Chris and Debra Wewers will receive the “H” Award, and the Young Alumni Award will be presented to Beau Baker.

The event will be held in the Garrison Center’s Grand Ballroom at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at hsu.edu/RSVP.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Hardman

Brown Hardman, a lifelong resident of Clark County, graduated from Henderson State in 1961 with a degree in psychology. He has been a principal broker for 56 years and an appraiser for 57 years. He has also served as a personal financial advisor for IDS Financial Services.

Hardman is heavily involved in the Arkadelphia and Henderson community. He served as an Arkadelphia city director for 12 years and justice of the peace for 14 years, was a member of the Arkadelphia Planning Commission, and was a board member for the 2025 Commission. Hardman served on the Henderson State Board of Trustees for seven years and is a member of the Reddie Club.

Maurice R. Horton, Sr. became the first African American student to receive the B.S. degree from Henderson State Teachers College in 1957. He also was the first African American to receive both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Henderson after earning a master’s degree in mathematics. 

Horton

Horton frequently stated, “It’s all about the children,” during his 43 years of service in education. He was the first African American principal of the integrated Dollarway High School, and later became superintendent of the Dollarway School District. Horton helped establish the Peake High School Foundation, serving as president and seeking funding for the restoration of the historic Rosenwald Building in Arkadelphia.

The Horton family established the Maurice R. Horton Sr. Emerging Leader Scholarship in 2012 through the Henderson Foundation, and the HSU Black Alumni Chapter initiated the Maurice R. Horton Sr. Awards Ceremony in 2018. In 2021, Horton’s portrait was unveiled and is currently on display in Henderson’s Garrison Center.

Charles and Anita Cabe

For the past 50 years, Charles and Anita Cabe have been synonymous with Henderson State. After meeting at Henderson in 1964 and getting engaged on the site of what is now the Charles and Anita Student-Athlete Success Center, they married in 1967.

Charles Cabe served as president of Cabe Land and Timber Company, president of the C. Louis and Mary Cabe Foundation, and was a board member of the Horace C. Cabe Foundation until his death in 2017.

Anita Cabe has worked as secretary and treasurer for the C. Louis and Mary Cabe Foundation for 23 years, served on the Henderson State Board of Trustees for 15 years, and was a Henderson Foundation board member. Henderson presented her the “H” Award, and the couple was inducted into the Reddie Athletics Hall of Honor in 2018 with the Distinguished Service Award.

“H” Awards

Jackson

Lloyd Jackson graduated from Henderson in 2002 with a degree in mathematics and earned a master’s degree from Henderson in educational leadership in 2006. He received a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He currently serves as assistant superintendent for school leadership for Kansas City Public Schools.

Jackson was very involved in campus activities while attending Henderson, participating in numerous organizations and activities. He served two terms as president of the Student Government Association, and as an alumnus, he was the founding president of Henderson’s Black Alumni Chapter. Jackson also served as Henderson’s director of alumni services.

Chris and Debra Wewers

Chris and Debra Wewers have consistently supported their alma mater since graduating from Henderson. They are members of the Reddie Club and have established endowed scholarships in business and education. Chris is also a member of the School of Business Advisory Board and serves as chairman of the Henderson Foundation Board.

Debra received a bachelor’s degree in education with an early childhood emphasis in May 1993, graduating Cum Laude, and a master’s degree in education in May 1995, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Chris received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in accounting, graduating Summa Cum Laude in December 1992. While at Henderson, he played on the Henderson golf team for two years, was a resident assistant for two years and was a member of Alpha Chi. Debra teaches Zumba, and Chris currently serves as the chief financial officer for Southern Bancorp Inc. and Southern Bancorp Bank.

Young Alumni Award

Baker

Beau Baker graduated from Henderson in 2016 with a degree in finance. He played football for the Reddies, helping the team win two conference championships. He has been an Edward Jones financial advisor in Texarkana for six years, and plays an active role on the Henderson Business Advisory Council. Baker also mentors Henderson business school students.

Baker and his wife Haylee (also a Henderson alum) established the Beau and Haylee Baker Financial Planning Scholarship through the Henderson Foundation.

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