East Texas Baptist University faculty, staff and community members covered the unfinished walls of the new Chapel on the Hill in blessings of Scripture and prayers. Upon completion, the chapel and adjacent Kenny Ponder Park will serve as a dedicated house of worship on the university campus. “We have reflected on the moments of joy, sorrow, celebration and reunion that will happen within the walls of the Chapel on the Hill and throughout Kenny Ponder Park. Our written and spoken Scriptures and prayers will herald and honor what God will do through this icon and insulate the walls of this symbol for Christ-centered education and the Lord’s providence on ETBU’s campus,” President Blair Blackburn said.
The Hardin-Simmons University board of trustees approved a $51.7 million budget for 2020-21 and several undergraduate degree programs during its May meeting. The budget is a $4.6 million increase over the most recent budget but $2.5 million less than the initial budget prepared for the board to consider. “In a commitment to not spend any rainy day funds, and after careful and thoughtful deliberation, the board of trustees approved a balanced budget,” university spokesman Jacob Brandt said. The board approved the Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies degree program and a minor in Christian Studies, along with seven other bachelor’s degree programs, a minor in communication sciences and disorders, and a certificate program in clinical anatomy.
The H-E-B Tournament of Champions Charitable Trust awarded a $75,000 gift to Baylor University to support its efforts in coordinating, administrating and leading accessibility efforts for children experiencing food insecurity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The gift will provide staffing support for the Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, helping to fund the Emergency Meals-to-You effort over the next six months. Specifically, the Baylor Collaborative’s Texas Hunger Initiative staff will support about 40 school districts across Texas, serving 175,000 students, resulting in approximately 10 million meals served in the coming months. Emergency Meals-to-You is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Baylor Collaborative, McLane Global and PepsiCo to deliver meals to children in rural areas affected by COVID-19-related school closures. Emergency Meals-to-You has 38 states and Puerto Rico in its system and already has shipped meals to the homes of children in 30 states. “The support of our corporate partners is crucial as we work to meet the needs of Texas children who have been left with food insecurity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jeremy Everett, Baylor Collaborative founder and executive director. “We are grateful for H-E-B’s continued support of our work and their commitment to Texas families. This gift will provide vital resources to ensure that we are efficient and effective in administrating the Emergency Meals-to-You food program.”