Alumni and friends of William Carey University play a major part in our success and in the future of the university. The captions below represent several of the many donors to Carey that have made a tremendous impact.
Nathan Barber, Sr.
“Because William Carey University has had such a powerful effect on our life and ministry, how could we not desire to continue to be connected and supportive of this institution,” said Nathan Barber Sr., class of 1967.Nathan and his wife Pat, also class of 1967,believe that it was in the Providence of God that they both came to Hattiesburg to be a part of this particular Mississippi Baptist college. It was at Carey that they met, married as seniors, and began their journey together as a couple. Nathan has served nearly 50 years in the ministry, including pastoring three churches and serving as associational missions director for Covington and Jefferson Davis Baptist Association, a position from which he recently retired after eight years. He currently serves as a chaplain for Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg and as command chaplain for the Mississippi State Guard. Nathan and Pat have three sons. Their oldest son, Nathan Jr., ‘94, is principal of Second Baptist Church High School in Houston, Texas. He and his wife, Christy (Barton) ‘94, an attorney, met while students at William Carey. Their youngest son, Patrick, ‘00, is presently a student doctor in his third year in the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Their third son, Todd, is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, an Air Force Pilot, and commander of the 71st Rescue Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. “So four out of five of our immediate family, plus one daughter-in-law, are all graduates of William Carey University. We have all reaped the benefits of some kind of financial support from this institution, whether it was a scholarship or a work study program,” said Nathan. “We will always be grateful for the distinctly Christian education which we received at William Carey. Our lives have been greatly enriched. Even though our financial support to William Carey is relatively small, we try to be consistent with our gifts. We seek to encourage potential university students to consider and connect with our alma mater, William Carey University!”
Ray and Jean Strebeck
Dr. Ray and Mrs. Jean Strebeck have been long-time contributors to William Carey University. A 1955 Carey graduate, Dr. Strebeck has been a leader in secondary education for many years. Dr. Strebeck served as superintendent for several public school districts, including Gulfport, Brownsville, Fla., and Union Parish, La. In addition to this role as superintendent, Dr. Strebeck also served as Mississippi’s first conservator for the State Department of Education. In this role, he assisted bankrupt school districts to become fiscally sound and improve the quality of education provided. Mrs. Jean Strebeck, a secondary language arts and gifted studies teacher, taught in Harrison County and Union Parish. The Strebecks have demonstrated their loyalty and commitment to Carey by giving every month for the last 24 years. “I have felt loyalty to Carey ever since I graduated. Knowing that the Lord’s hand is on the university, I am pleased with the progress that I have seen, and I am impressed with the growth of the campus,” said Dr. Strebeck. The couple is now retired and resides in Seminary. The Strebeck’s have three grown children, Ron Strebeck, Sylvia Hughes, and Debra Vasquez.
Stephen and Sharron Garner
Dr. Stephen and Mrs. Sherron Garner are faithful contributors to the arts at WCU. A 1969 Carey graduate, Dr. Garner is a recently retired professor of music at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. Dr. Garner had previously served as minister of music for churches in Georgia and Texas and also served on the faculty at William Carey from 1981–1984. Mrs. Sherron Garner, class of 1967, served as an active social worker in various capacities. When reflecting on the family's contributions to Carey, Dr. Garner responded, “My contributions have focused on supporting the Clarence Dickinson Collection in the Carey library. My great interest in Clarence Dickinson caused me to write a biography on him, which is still in progress. I began contributing due to a number of needs related to cataloging, organizing, and building the collection. In addition to the Dickinson Collection, we also enjoy contributing to the music department and other related activities in order to help advance the arts at William Carey University.” Dr. and Mrs. Garner have two daughters, Stephanie and Elizabeth, and two grandchildren, Garner and Cadence. The couple currently resides in Arkadelphia.
Robert and Nancy Hensarling
Robert and Nancy Hensarling, class of 1963 and 1961 respectively, have been dedicated alumni to Carey for many years. Having met at the University, the couple married in 1962, and started their 51 years of marriage in McComb. Robert, a biology major, began a prosperous 40-year career with Parke Davis Pharmaceutical Company. Nancy, an elementary education major, dedicated 32 years of her career teaching in the McComb School System where she eventually retired and began part-time teaching, including a short stint at North Pike High School. “I did not fully appreciate the quality of the education that I received at Carey until I began my career as a pharmaceutical sales representative,” Robert wrote. “We were exposed to a number of trainings and tests, and Carey had given me the background that I needed to be successful. This is why I continue to support Carey on a regular basis.” Robert and Nancy are active in retirement with church and other civic engagements. They have a daughter, Robynne, and a son, Robert Jr., along with three grandchildren, Jack, Hannah and Harrison.
Don and Mona Stewart
Dr. Don and Mrs. Mona Stewart, class of 1957 and 1956 respectively, understand the importance of a Christian education. As alumni of William Carey University, they have enjoyed a rich history with the university and have given generously of their time, talents and resources. A professor and chair for the Department of Philosophy at Carey, Don served on the Hattiesburg Campus for 15 years. Mona currently serves as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees. “I believe in William Carey University,” stated Don, “and I have an intense interest in the kind of graduates it consistently turns out.” Following his tenure at Carey, Don served as executive vice president at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, directed the school's professional doctoral program, and served as professor of New Testament and Greek from 1997 to 2003. He is also professor emeritus of New Testament and Greek and has served as pastor for several churches. “William Carey graduates have a strong sense of responsibility and involvement in churches. They also demonstrate a commitment to missions worldwide,” he added. For this reason, Don and Mona started a scholarship for religion majors that is awarded on an annual basis. They also contribute to the university’s annual fund and other special projects, such as the chapel campaign. They are also members of the university’s Covenant Society. Don and Mona Stewart have produced a great legacy at Carey. The Stewart’s children and grandchildren with a connection to Carey include the following: Rev. Jimmy Stewart ’80 and his wife Janice ’83 as well as their son Kyle Stewart ’11 and his wife Laurie; Sandra Sparrow ’82 and her husband Gary ’83 as well as their daughter Victoria, who is a current student at Carey; and Donna Mansfield ’82 and her husband Carey ’89.
Charles J. Brown
A Hattiesburg native, Charles joined the U.S. Army straight out of high school. He began his Army career stationed overseas with the 101st Airborne Division, and soon after, served as Platoon Sergeant in the 173rd Airborne Brigade. After injuries from taking shrapnel in both legs, Charles still returned to the front lines and fought in the battle of Dak To in 1967. He endangered his own life to rescue wounded soldiers during this deadly battle, and was awarded two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart for his leadership role and courage. In 1994, he was honored as Hattiesburg’s first Veteran of the Year. Following his service to our country, Charles enrolled at Carey as an education major. “William Carey offered a peaceful environment that added to my recovery and peace of mind,” he said. While a student, he helped start the first Afro-American Club on campus that was open to students of all races. Brown graduated in 1973 and credits his time at Carey as the foundation for his success. “I was able to make a living because of the training, care and love I received as a student at William Carey,” added Brown. Since his graduation, Charles has faithfully given back to Carey in appreciation for all it has meant to him. In addition to consistent contributions, Brown also serves on the Chapel Campaign Committee. “It is an honor to have this place consecrated on campus. The new chapel will have an awesome impact in the spiritual lives of our students,” he said. Charles is also a member of the university’s Covenant Society. Now a local businessman, Charles is very active in the Pine Belt community. He was one of the original commissioners appointed in 1991 to serve on the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, and in 2011, was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship Award as the Hattiesburg Rotary International Non-Rotarian of the Year. Charles has two sons, Jerome Brown and Jermaine Brown.
Ms. Elsie Parker
Ms. Elsie Parker, MWC class of 1949, has been a faithful contributor to William Carey University for many years. Ms. Parker, whose educational career includes teaching in Mississippi and Florida schools and serving as coordinator of guidance services for the Escambia County School District in Florida, was honored in 1999 as Mississippi Woman’s College Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. “Mississippi Woman’s College played an integral role in my life. My mother, aunts, two cousins, and I attended Mississippi Woman’s College, so it is very much a part of our family history.” Recalling her time at MWC, Ms. Parker remembers Mrs. Sarah Rouse, wife of the college president at the time. “Mrs. Rouse played such an important role at MWC. She was a gracious hostess, making the students feel at home and affirming parents’ decisions to send their daughters to Mississippi Woman’s College.” Her loyalty to her alma mater has remained consistent through the years. She sees and knows the needs of a small private university and this has prompted Ms. Parker to include Carey in her planned giving in addition to her annual giving to the university.