Around the State: Cook marks 30 years service at DBU; national speakers slated at UMHB, ETBU and BUA

Dallas Baptist University recognized Chancellor Gary Cook and his wife Sheila (center) for 30 years service to DBU. They are pictured with (left) son and daughter-in-law Mark and Shannon Cook and (right) daughter-in-law and son Nicole and David Cook. (DBU Photo / Efrain Carbajal)

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Dallas Baptist University celebrated 30 years of service to the university by Chancellor Gary Cook. When Cook was elected fifth president of DBU on April 6, 1988, the university was close to closing its doors due to financial difficulty. During his tenure as president, the university lived within its budget 28 consecutive years, and its assets grew from $27.7 million to more than $171 million. Enrollment grew from 1,859 to more than 5,000 students, and Cook handed diplomas to about 27,000 graduates. In February 2015, he announced plans to step aside as president and accept the role of chancellor to spearhead a campaign to raise $100 million in scholarship funds for DBU students. He maintained a dual role as president and chancellor until May 2016, when trustees elected Adam C. Wright as president. Cook is a deacon at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, and he is chair of the board of trustees of Baylor University Medical Center.

Robert Gates

Former U.S. Secretary of State Robert Gates will deliver the 2018 McLane Lecture at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. The lecture at 11 a.m. April 18 in the arena of the Frank and Sue Mayborn Campus Center is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. Gates, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, spent nearly 27 years with the Central Intelligence Agency, serving as its director from 1991 to 1993. He is a former president of Texas A&M University and now is chancellor of William and Mary College. The McLane Lecture—made possible by the donations of Elizabeth and Drayton McLane Jr.—brings internationally recognized speakers to UMHB each year to share their experiences and insights about leadership, government, business and faith.

Kent Hance, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and former chancellor of Texas Tech University, will speak at the 22nd annual Sam B. Hall Lecture Series at East Texas Baptist University. Hance, who also was Texas Railroad Commissioner and a Texas state senator, will speak at 7 p.m. April 17 in Baker Chapel of the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center. The lecture series also will include a musical tribute to America performed by the ETBU Concert Choir and Orchestra. Steve and Penny Carlisle of Marshall will receive the 2018 Sam B. Hall Civic Service Award, named in memory of the late congressman and federal judge.

Henry Cisneros, former San Antonio mayor and secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will be the keynote speaker at the Black & White Scholarship Gala to benefit Baptist University of the Américas students. The semi-formal event will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 1 in the Red Oak Ballroom at the Norris Conference Center, 618 NW Loop 410 in San Antonio. Individual tickets are $35, and sponsorships are available. Reservations are requested by April 20. For more information, call (210) 298-3180, email or click here.

Shawna Roy

Buckner Children and Family Services named Shawna Roy director of the Buckner Family Hope Center of Houston, slated to open in June in South Houston. Roy has served since 2014 as director of the Buckner Family Hope Center at Aldine. In her new role, she will oversee the functions of the new Family Hope Center, including family coaching, after-school programs and adult empowerment initiatives. Roy previously served as a director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston and in multiple roles for the Aldine Youth Community Center.

Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau recently competed at the 2018 National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. Pictured (left to right) are Julie Welker, speech and debate coach, and chair and professor of communications; junior Tyler Olin; freshman Lucy Manning; sophomore Madi Neal; senior Aimee Orozco; junior Christopher Freeland; and Richelle Hair, instructor of communications.

Christopher Freeland, a member of the Howard Payne University Student Speaker Bureau’s speech and debate team, earned the university’s first national champion title in prose interpretation during the National Christian College Forensics Association tournament in Azusa, Calif. Freeland is a theater major from Bangs. HPU freshman Lucy Manning of Fort Worth won second place as top speaker in junior varsity International Public Debate Association debate. Manning also advanced to quarterfinals in debate. More than 220 students from 21 universities from across the nation participated in the 2018 championship.

Craig Evans, the John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins at Houston Baptist University, serves as host of the documentary film Fragments of Truth, produced by Faithlife Films. The film seeks to demonstrate the integrity and reliability of the New Testament manuscripts. It will be screened in 741 theaters nationwide via Fathom Events at 7 p.m. April 24.

Serving as 2018 officers of the El Paso Chapter of the Howard Payne University Alumni Association are Priscilla Macias, president (top right); Roxanne Jurado, vice president (bottom left); Irene Guerra, treasurer (bottom right); and Nelda Valerio, secretary (top left). (HPU Photo)

Newly named officers of the El Paso chapter of the Howard Payne University Alumni Association are Priscilla Macias, president; Roxanne Jurado, vice president; Irene Guerra, treasurer; and Nelda Valerio, secretary. Mentors and advisers to the group are Blanca Gamez, former chapter president, and Adrian Gil, director of the HPU El Paso Center and associate professor of business.


40th for Lynn Christie as minister of music at Northlake Baptist Church in Garland. The congregation will mark both his anniversary and his retirement June 3. A special recognition service is scheduled at 10:45 a.m., followed by a catered lunch in the church’s multi-purpose center. Reservations are requested by April 30. To make a reservation for the meal, email or call (972) 487-1293.



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