Ouachita Baptist University has won the Forbes Magazine’s 2016 #MyTopCollege competition, eclipsing much larger schools in a month-long social media contest demonstrating school spirit.
Each year the American business magazine founded in 1917 crunches numbers to compile its list of America’s Top Colleges, topped this year by Stanford University followed by runners up including Princeton, Harvard, MIT and Yale.
For the third year in a row Forbes assessed intangibles, asking students and alumni to express what makes their college outstanding via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as Google Plus, Vine and Pinterest.
Students and alumni from Ouachita, located in Arkadelphia, Ark., and affiliated with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, not only won small schools division (under 2,000 students) by a landslide, but with 320 unique entries also topped runners-up California State University in Fullerton and Michigan State University, which have student enrollments of 40,000 and 50,000 respectively compared to Ouachita’s enrollment of 1,500.
“There’s a case to be made that the real stars of the 2016 #MyTopCollege competition are the students, alumni, and faculty of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., reported a Forbes article headlined “Small but Mighty: The Comeback College that Snagged the #MyTopCollege Crown.”
Reasons given for ranking Ouachita No. 1 included “because no matter how long it’s been since I graduated, it still feels like home,” “wonderful friendships that will last a lifetime” and “because it is truly a unique place where I made lifelong friends and gained an excellent college education.”
Shortly before the contest deadline, former Arkansas governor, two-time presidential candidate and 1975 Ouachita graduate Mike Huckabee registered a tweet lauding his alma mater: “Grateful for OBU — life changing experience.”
“Being crowned national champions in school spirit is an incredible feat,” said Trennis Henderson, Ouachita’s vice president for communications. “For those who know Ouachita, it is no surprise that our students and alumni rose to the challenge to tell the nation what makes Ouachita such a special place.”
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