Around the State: UMHB dedicates Lord Hall; Baylor names provost

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor President Randy O’Rear and his wife, Julie, (center) participated in the dedication of Lord Hall, the school’s newest and largest residential facility, on March 1. Joining in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were (left to right) Kathy Lord, Griff Lord, Sharon Lord Daggett and Michael Daggett. (UMHB Photo)

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The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dedicated Lord Hall, the school’s newest and largest residential facility, on March 1. At the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony, UMHB President Randy O’Rear noted the school will open the building at the same time it welcomes the largest freshman class in its history. The 49,614-square-foot, 214-bed residence hall includes a large central lobby, a common area with a kitchen, study rooms on two floors, computer kiosks throughout the building and two laundry rooms on each floor. The residence hall is named in honor of Griff and Kathy Lord, Michael and Sharon Lord Daggett, and their families, who have made frequent personal gifts and family foundation grants to UMHB through the years. Katelyn Blackhurst, a sophomore at UMHB whose parents serve as missionaries in Taiwan, spoke at the dedication ceremony. She is a recipient of the Ida Myrtle Roberts Manning Endowed Scholarship, established by the Lord family.

Baylor University named Nancy W. Brickhouse of Saint Louis University as provost following a national search. She will assume her new role May 1. Brickhouse previously served as provost at Saint Louis University, a Jesuit research university with 8,000 undergraduate students and 6,000 graduate students at its main campus in St. Louis. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry magna cum laude from Baylor and both her master’s degree in chemistry and her doctorate in science education from Purdue University. “Our aspirations are great as we grow Baylor’s research impact while maintaining our strong tradition of undergraduate education in an unambiguously Christian environment,” Baylor President Linda Livingstone said. “Dr. Brickhouse not only understands this distinctiveness, but embraces the belief that the world—and higher education in particular—needs a Baylor. We look forward to benefiting from her experiences as an academic leader, scholar and advocate for Christian higher education.”

Houston Baptist University has established the Gideon Institute of Christian Psychology and Counseling within its College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Eric L. Johnson, founding director of the Society for Christian Psychology, heads the institute. Johnson, author of God and Soul Care: The Therapeutic Resources of the Christian Faith, taught undergraduate psychology for 10 years at University of Northwestern, and Christian psychology and counseling for 17 years at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges, HBU plans to offer Master of Arts degrees in Christian psychology and Christian counseling through the institute. The institute also will include a Christian counseling clinic on or near the HBU campus to provide counseling both to students and the surrounding community.

Wayland Baptist University is launching an accelerated five-year Master of Divinity degree program in the fall semester. It allows undergraduate juniors and seniors to earn graduate-level credit that transfers directly to the master’s degree program. “The accelerated program allows students the opportunity to trim up to two years off the traditional seven-year college and seminary path,” said Stephen Stookey, dean of Wayland’s School of Religion and Philosophy. “We did a thorough examination of trends in theological education as well as an examination of the needs of our constituent churches and students. We went into this process with the idea of how can we best serve our students and our churches.” The program is available at all Wayland campuses and online. For more information, email

Baylor University, in conjunction with the Baylor Line Foundation, announced the slate of alumni-elected regent candidates presented for election this spring. They are Suzii Paynter of Austin, David Slover of Dallas and Lindsey Davis Stover of McLean, Va. Information about the candidates will be provided to alumni in the spring issue of Baylor Magazine, on the Baylor website here, the Baylor Line Foundation website here and through the university’s social media channels. Credentials for voting will be provided to all degree-holding Baylor alumni by mail and/or email in advance of the voting period. The election will be conducted by an independent third party from April 29 through May 9. The candidate receiving the most votes will serve a three-year term on the Baylor board of regents. The candidates, whose nominations were supported by the signatures of at least 50 other Baylor graduates or who were nominated by official advisory and advocacy boards and groups associated with the university, were considered by a nominating committee. The committee was comprised of two sitting alumni-elected regents not up for re-election and two other regents. A full list of guidelines for the election can be found here.

Buckner Southeast Texas received a $35,000 grant from The Edaren Foundation. It includes $10,000 applied toward 13 educational scholarships for young adults who have aged out of foster care and received transitional support from Buckner. While the state pays tuition for any foster care alum who attends a state university, the Edaren Foundation scholarship provides funds for books, room and board or rent, school supplies, school fees or other educational needs. The grant also includes a $25,000 matching gift for the Buckner Family Pathways program for single mothers.


10th for Leslie Hollon as pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio.

Editor’s Note: The item regarding Baylor’s alumni-elected regents candidates was edited after it originally was posted when the university announced the dates of the voting period.


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