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Loss of an all-star

We felt the loss when the news came last week that Roshundalyn Scribner, the top-ranked senior in a class of 250 at Hall High School, had been killed in a car accident on Markham Street. She was crushed by another car as she attempted to move her stalled car off the street.

Scribner was — and will remain — a nominee for our annual Arkansas Times Academic All-Star team, to be announced in April. Her 4.269 gradepoint average came in a full slate of advanced placement courses — English, calculus, biology, European history, psychology and Spanish 5.

The daughter of Kevin Scribner and Sheila Dobson, she was a prize-winning poet (including in Spanish), student council president, winner of Hall’s award as the top science and math student, a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council and, in the words of counselor Linda Jones, “brilliant, an amazing leader and a lady in every positive aspect of the word.”

Scribner wrote in her essay for the contest: “A leader hears, but a great leader listens. A leader talks, but a great leader communicates effectively. A leader sees through her eyes, but a great leader sees through the eyes of the community. ... My experiences are enabling me to blossom into a determined individual who is aware of her goals and who plans to reach them.”

She had hoped to attend an Ivy League university. Brown seemed to be her preference, though she’d met the night of the accident with a representative of Yale. That detail inevitably brought a shivering memory of another searing loss of a student with great promise, Roosevelt Thompson, the Central High graduate and Rhodes scholar who was killed in a 1984 auto accident during his senior year at Yale. So much promise. So little time.

Methodists mix it up

The proposal to put George W. Bush’s presidential library and a related policy institute on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas has stirred up controversy on the SMU faculty. A number have opposed the facility.

Some Arkansas Methodists have contributed to the debate.

Rebekah Miles, a United Methodist clergywoman and ethicist who teaches at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology and is a native Arkansan, wrote an article for a United Methodist publication endorsing the Bush facility, though she described herself as a Democrat who’d never voted for Bush. She said it would be a good teaching resource.

Kenneth Hicks, retired Methodist bishop of Arkansas, in an interview with Cybercast News Service said he was happy to be among the first to sign an Internet petition opposing the Bush facility.

“I happen to feel that the Bush administration has transgressed human rights, the way you go to war, the issue of torture and retaining political prisoners,” Hicks said. “I just felt that this was something the United Methodist Church should not necessarily be related to ... I think that President Bush has been influenced in his theology and his religion by right-wing religious interests more than he has by the traditional United Methodist social policy,” he said. “It’s sad to say, but I just don’t trust what that kind of an institution would be about.”

Ready to make good

Dan Wilson, the Minnesota singer-songwriter who just won a Grammy Award for best song for the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice,” performed in Little Rock last November at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The occasion was the 20th anniversary at UAMS for his father, Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson. Dodd and Ginger Wilson moved to Arkansas in 1986 from Minnesota; their son never lived here.

Dan Wilson was joined by his brother, Matt, and sister, Kit, in the performance of “Shaboom, Shaboom,” a song his father sang with a band in his youth.

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