Dallas Baptist University presented honorary doctorates to Satish Kumar, founding pastor of Calvary Temple Church in Hyderabad, India, and David Brown, former chief of the Dallas Police Department, during May commencement. Kumar and Brown were keynote speakers for the two commencement services, where DBU graduated 698 students—the largest graduating class in the university’s history. Kumar, who grew up in a Hindu family and became a Christian at age 12, founded Calvary Temple Church at age 21 with 25 members. Calvary Temple now holds five worship services weekly with about 40,000 in each service and a total membership of 160,000, making it the largest church in India and one of the largest in the world. Brown, who grew up in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, was named Dallas chief of police in 2010. Brown told students how he relied on his Christian faith following the July 7, 2016, shooting in downtown Dallas in which five officers were killed five officers and nine officers and two civilians were wounded.
Howard Payne University’s board of trustees has named a presidential search committee to find a successor to Bill Ellis, who is transitioning from president to chancellor. David Lowrie, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Decatur and member of the board of trustees, will chair the committee. Other trustees on the committee are Ronnie D. Andrews, business executive from Houston; Marc Dingler, attorney from Midland; Carter M. Sharpe, insurance executive from Brownwood; Jonathan “Jonny” Snow, professional clothier from Dallas; and Lesley Collier Wyse, retired educator from Boerne. Representing HPU employees on the committee are Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Lynn Humeniuk, director of the criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology; and Hunter Sims, athletic director. Paul W. Armes, longtime educator, administrator and minister, will take office as HPU’s interim president June 1.
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor named Joan Berry dean of the College of Education, effective June 1. She has been on the UMHB education faculty since 2007, where she has served as department chair, associate dean and most recently as interim dean of the college. Berry earned her undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas, a master’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin and a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University.
East Texas Baptist University recognized public safety officers at its annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Luncheon during National Police Week. “In the Old Testament, watchmen were the first ones to see and respond to attacking armies or unwelcomed travelers. You have been set apart and see what we do not,” ETBU President Blair Blackburn told the officers. “We are grateful for your protection and our prayers are with you.” Blackburn presented devotional books to Harrison County Sherriff Tom McCool, Marshall Police Department Chief Cliff Carruth, and Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Matt Beatty.
Howard Payne University recognized three graduating seniors from its Guy D. Newman Honors Academy who completed four semesters as Sumners Scholars—Rachel Hughes of Llano, Isaac Sommers of Boerne and Rachel White of Arkadelphia, Ark. The Sumners Scholar program offers students the opportunity to attend special lectures, seminars and conferences featuring leaders from both public and private sectors. It also provides a $7,500 per semester scholarship for two years.
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor celebrated the successful completion of its Momentum fund-raising campaign with a fireworks extravaganza May 18 at Crusader Stadium. UMHB launched the campaign in 2012 with a $60 million goal. By the end of 2017, 4,488 donors gave $82,190,901, providing $18.6 million for scholarships, adding six facilities to the campus and repurposing several more.