By Felley Lawson
OBU News Bureau
ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University welcomed community leaders to the newly-updated Tatman Corner student apartments April 15 for a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event honored the Tatman family’s gift to the university and celebrated additional improvements to student housing.
Formerly known as Pine Square, the 16-unit complex is now part of Ouachita’s campus. It sits at the corner of 6th and Hardin streets on land that has belonged to the Tatman and McMillan families of Arkadelphia for more than 120 years. Working with the Arkansas Baptist Foundation, Scott and Kim Tatman transferred ownership of the apartments and the lot to Ouachita in 2020. The complex was renamed Tatman Corner in honor of their gift.
Updates to the 40-year-old units include the addition of energy-efficient windows and siding, vinyl plank flooring, stainless steel appliances, and granite kitchen and bathroom countertops. Scott Nelson of Scott Nelson Construction served as contractor for the project.
Renovations were completed as part of Ouachita’s Project Foresight, launched in 2018 to acquire and enhance property immediately adjacent to the southwest of campus. Project Foresight represents a $24 million investment in eight acres and 30 properties, including construction of a 144-bed student apartment complex underway on Hickory Street; the Project Foresight initiative was also instrumental in bringing alumni-owned Pediatrics Plus to Arkadelphia.
“With almost 100% of our students living in university housing, it’s in the physical spaces of this campus, inside and outside the classroom, that life together occurs,” said Dr. Ben R. Sells, Ouachita’s president. “We believe that living, learning, working, serving, playing and worshipping together over four years cultivates and fosters what we articulate in our vision statement: a love of God and a love of learning. This place matters to the Tatmans and to Ouachita, and we pledge to steward it well.”
The Tatman and McMillan families have a multi-generational connection with Ouachita that converges on the Tatman Corner property. In 1899, a house was built on the lot by Doug McMillan and his wife Anne, who had taught art at Ouachita. A black wrought iron fence that’s original to the home still stands on the property. McMillan’s sister Estelle also was a Ouachita faculty member; she taught English at the university for 50 years.
The McMillans’ daughter Laurie graduated from Ouachita and married Donald Tatman, a fellow alum. Their son Mac attended the April 15 dedication; he was honored along with Scott and Kim Tatman—his son and daughter-in-law—and their families.
When the McMillan home was removed from the property in 1971, apartments were built on the site and eventually were named Pine Square. These units were rented exclusively to Ouachita students beginning in 2003.
For more information about Tatman Corner, contact Dr. Keldon Henley, vice president for institutional advancement and chief of staff, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (870) 245-5405.