Twenty students in Baylor University’s Philanthropy and the Public Good class presented $62,500 in grants to eight nonprofit organizations. A gift of $50,000 from anonymous Baylor graduates and $12,500 from the Fort Worth-based Philanthropy Lab provided the funds for this fall’s class grants. Students awarded $15,000 to the Waco Family Abuse Center, including funds for its Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support program, and $10,000 to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for remodeling of its facility to accommodate more advocates. Other grant recipients were Elijah Rising in Houston for its Kendleton Farms residential facility for survivors of sex trafficking to receive restorative care; the Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation in Dallas to launch a Hope Squad, a national school-based peer-to-peer suicide prevention program, at two schools; Caritas in Waco to update its technological infrastructure; the Talitha Koum Institute in Waco to purchase equipment for a sensorimotor lab, gym and infant playground; the One Acre Fund in Kenya to help 100 family farms move toward becoming self-sustaining; and start-up funds for SHE is Freedom in Waco as the organization seeks to provide a safe house and comprehensive restoration for survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking. In the last four years, students in Baylor philanthropy courses have given 98 grants totaling $612,785 to 52 organizations.
Howard Payne University named Sarah Abigail “Abi” Brown, a junior from May, as the first recipient of the Jack White Character Scholarship. Brown, a member of the Gamma Beta Phi honors organization, is involved in the HPU Baptist Student Ministry, serving on the BSM leadership team and as a leader of the Pray and Do ministry. She also serves First Baptist Church in May as a youth leader.
At fall commencement, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor presented the President’s Award for meritorious service to Jenna Forrester of Weatherford. During her time on campus, Forrester served as a University Ambassador and took active roles in the Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Pageant, Easter Pageant and Crusader Knights. UMHB recognized Shelby Rogers of Round Rock as recipient of the Loyalty Cup, awarded to the student who is most representative of the ideals, traditions and spirit of the university. Forrester and Rogers were among nine graduates who received the Provost Medal for highest overall grade point average. Other Provost Medal recipients were Mackinzie Browning of Pflugerville, Cody Cowan of Belton, Maci Davies of Marble Falls, Breanna Etheredge of Smithville, Allison McKeown of Saginaw, Kelsey Newton of Joshua, Kyle Revis of Temple, Warren Sanders of Kempner and Rhondalynn Tyler of Lawrenceville, Ga. Each graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Mpanga Chanda from Lusaka, Zambia, received East Texas Baptist University’s President’s Award at fall commencement. ETBU presents the award to a graduate who is considered an excellent example as a Christian leader, scholar and servant. At ETBU, Chanda has been involved in Enactus, where she serves both the campus and the community through business-related projects. She also served as a supplementary instruction tutor in accounting and economics, and was a member of Mobberly Baptist Church.
Due to on-campus space limitations and the renovation of Behrens Auditorium, Hardin-Simmons University will hold its graduation ceremonies at the Convention Center in downtown Abilene on Dec. 14. Graduates of the Logsdon School of Theology, along with the Cynthia Ann Parker College of Liberal Arts, the Holland School of Science and Mathematics and the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing, will attend a 10 a.m. ceremony. Graduates of the Kelley College of Business, the College of Human Sciences and College of Fine Arts will attend a 2 p.m. ceremony. George Newman, Taylor County judge and chair of the HSU board of trustees, will deliver the charge to graduates in both ceremonies.