Around the State: Beth Moore speaks at ETBU commencement

East Texas Baptist University President Blair Blackburn presents an honorary doctorate to Beth Moore. (ETBU Photo)

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Beth Moore delivers the commencement address at East Texas Baptist University.

Christian author and Bible teacher Beth Moore delivered the commencement address at East Texas Baptist University on Dec. 7. “We don’t always have the luxury of knowing that a brand new beginning is in front of us—that change is in the wind and that the wind is a hurricane. You do have that luxury in this moment,” Moore told the 100 students who received undergraduate degrees and 34 who received graduate degrees. “You are of this generation on divine purpose, in this current culture. You have been sent not to be of the world, but to be in this world—to serve faithfully in the name of Jesus, to be alert, to be astute, to be brave, to be bold in love and truth. You are carriers of the gospel, and you have been called to speak into this generation. Graduates, go therefore and invade the globe—embrace your new beginning.” ETBU President Blair Blackburn awarded Moore, founder of Living Proof Ministries, an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

Blair Blackburn presented the ETBU President’s Award to Landin Brown. (ETBU Photo)

Also at the commencement ceremony, Blackburn presented the President’s Award to Landin Brown, who graduated Magna Cum Laude and was captain of the men’s basketball team. The award is given to a graduating ETBU student who is considered the best representation of a Christian leader, scholar and servant. As a student, Brown volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Marshall and at Marshall Junior High School. He is a member of Greater Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Marshall and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The 36th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University provided 2,300 meals. The university’s food service staff prepared and served 600 meals on campus, while volunteers delivered more than 1,700 meals in the Brownwood and Early areas. Bill Fishback, an organizer of the event and associate vice president for business and human resources at HPU, noted more than 550 volunteers and donors helped make the meal possible.

A Baylor University senior was one of only 46 American students awarded a Marshall Scholarship to pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom, and two other Baylor students were awarded other highly competitive graduate fellowships. Lawson Sadler, a University Scholar from San Antonio, will study for a master’s degree in migration and global development at the University of Sussex, where she will research comparative U.S.-U.K immigration policies. After completing her degree, she plans to return to the United States to attend law school. At Baylor, she was part of the Global Migration Project, a multi-semester social innovation laboratory on child migration directed by Victor Hinojosa as part of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty. Gabbi Mucerino, a Baylor senior political science major from Lakewood, Colo., was awarded a Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University. The fellowship will support Mucerino through a two-year master’s degree program and provide professional development opportunities designed to prepare graduate students for appointment as Foreign Service officers. Zane Zovak, a Baylor international studies graduate, has been named to the Schwarzman Scholars class of 2021. The fellowship will allow him to pursue a master’s degree in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

Adam Wright, president of Dallas Baptist University, and Head Baseball Coach Dan Heefner present a commemorative jersey to Sam Johnson, recipient of the 2019 Russell H. Perry Award. (DBU Photo)

Dallas Baptist University presented the 2019 Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Award to Sam Johnson, a highly decorated fighter pilot and former congressman. Johnson served 29 years in the U.S. Air Force, flying combat missions both in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts and directing the U.S. Air Force Weapons School. He spent nearly seven years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, including 42 months in solitary confinement and two and a half years in leg irons. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 2019. The Russell H. Perry Award Dinner recognizes individuals for their community service. Over the past 32 years, the gala diner has provided scholarship support for more than 2,400 DBU students.

Howard Payne University surpassed its goals for Giving Tuesday on Dec. 3, both in terms of dollars raised and in the number of donors involved. HPU received $68,303—more than triple its $20,000 goal. The school received gifts from 177 donors, 77 more than its goal. Donors were given the choice of directing gifts to the HPU Annual Fund, student scholarships, campus improvements or the renovation of the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom building, home to Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. “There was also motivation for supporters to give because of a $10,000 matching gift and then an additional $5,000 matching gift,” said Dale Meinecke, vice president for development. “With the matching gifts, every dollar given was doubled up to $30,000.”

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