Around the State: DBU honors Orville Rogers; ETBU athletes support Operation Christmas Child

East Texas Baptist University sports teams enjoy wrapping shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child initiative. The Tiger Athletic Department packed 208 boxes with donations for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child from more than 500 student-athletes. (ETBU Photo)

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Orville Rogers (center), recipient of the 2017 Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Award, is pictured with is longtime friends, Millie and Kenneth Cooper, co-chairs of the awards dinner gala, sponsored by Dallas Baptist University. In the past 30 years, the dinner has provided scholarship support for more than 2,400 DBU students. (DBU Photo / Brittni Bean)

Dallas Baptist University presented the 2017 Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Award to Orville Rogers, longtime volunteer missions pilot and 100-year-old fitness enthusiast. Rogers served in the Army Air Corps as a pilot in both World War II and the Korean War. After his military service, he flew for Braniff Airlines until retiring at age 60. He and his wife of 64 years, Esther Beth, spent 13 months in Tanzania, East Africa, as mission volunteers flying missionaries, children and volunteers as part of Baptist Air. Rogers ferried more than 45 small planes for the Southern Baptist and Wycliffe Bible Translators’ mission work. He completed his flying career in 1999. Inspired by his personal physician and friend Kenneth H. Cooper, pioneering proponent of aerobic exercise, Rogers logged more than 42,000 miles running. He holds eight individual world records and six relay world records. At age 90, the started competing in the Masters Track and became the only 90-year-old to run a mile in less than 10 minutes. Rogers has been a member of First Baptist Church in Dallas since 1946 and a deacon since 1953. Sen. John Cornyn was keynote speaker at the award banquet.

The East Texas Baptist University Athletic Department sponsored a wrapping party to prepare toy-filled shoeboxes donated to the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child initiative. Tiger Athletics collected 208 boxes for children through donations from more than 500 student-athletes. Every sports team at ETBU participated by contributing toys and wrapping the boxes.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor recognized seniors Abigail McPhail of Copperas Cove and Jonah Fox of Waco with the Gary and Diane Heavin Servant Leadership Award. (UMHB Photo)

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor recognized seniors Abigail McPhail of Copperas Cove and Jonah Fox of Waco with the Gary and Diane Heavin Servant Leadership Award, in recognition of their devotion to ministry and community service. The recognition included a $1,000 cash award for each student, a portion of which could be donated to an organization of his or her choice. McPhail is a communications major with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in marketing who helped to plan and promote campus activities such as homecoming, revival and Easter pageant. She serves this year as president of the University Ambassadors and has been recognized with both the Timothy Award and the Doulos Award as a student who demonstrates the teachings of Jesus in her daily life. McPhail gave a portion of her cash award to U.K. Missions, a program through which she has made several mission trips to Great Britain. Fox, student body president at UMHB, is a Christian studies major with a minor in international business. In addition to his involvement with local ministries, he spent last summer in Lebanon with Mena Partners, learning and implementing strategies for reaching Syrian refugees with the gospel. He chose to give a portion of his cash award to Mena Partners.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation announced Dallas Baptist University’s College of Education received accreditation for its educator preparation program. It marks the end of a seven-year process by the DBU College of Education, which involved extensive research and documentation. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation—created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council—is the sole nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation.

The annual Christmas open house at the offices of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board staff is from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 7, at 7557 Rambler Rd., Suite 1200, in Dallas. Refreshments will be served, and all who attend will receive a small gift.

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