Alum, Age 98, Shares Memories

September 20, 2010

As OBU alumna Lorene Hall May celebrated her 98th birthday, she reflected on her experience at OBU in the 1920s. May celebrated her birthday Sept. 7, 2010, in her hometown of Waldron, Ark.

Because May had family in Shawnee, and her mother was a faithful Baptist, she insisted on attending OBU. Her time on Bison Hill lasted a year and a half before she finished her education at Arkansas Tech, receiving her degree in education.

While at OBU, May resided in the new Women's Missionary Union (WMU) Dormitory that had just been built in 1928, the year May stepped on campus.

"It was one my most memorable moments to stay in the new dorms," May said. "It was beautiful, and that's what impressed me the most on campus."

At the time she was taking basic courses for freshman and sophomore students and had not selected a major yet. She left OBU during her sophomore year.

She met her husband Maurice May in Arkansas while in school. They were married 20 years before he died of cancer. May was left with her two young children, Marion and Robert, who were ages 6 years and 18 months old. During that time her sister was also diagnosed with cancer, and Mrs. May also took in her children, ages 11 and 7. With the help of her mother, she cared and provided for the four children.

During her 45 years of working, May served as a school teacher, principal and special education teacher. She also taught home schooling. She originated the special education program to accommodate the football team in her district, which continues today. She taught special education for 17 years of her career.

"I love kids, and I love to teach them," May said. "Even after retiring, I still taught kids in the neighborhood just because I love teaching so much."

May is still a resident of Waldron, where she drives her Chevrolet to lunch and to her hair appointments every once in a while.

To this day, she said, she remembers the fun times and everlasting experience she had while at OBU.

"Everything was just so wonderful, and I will never forget it," May said.