The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor presented the Gary and Diane Heavin Servant Leadership Award to seniors Bailey Bohlken, an education major from Mount Vernon, and Maddie Rarick, a Christian studies major from Sugar Land, for the time and energy they devoted to ministry and community service while at UMHB. Each student received a $1,000 cash award, a portion of which could be donated to an organization of their choice. Bohlken, a four-year member of the Crusader softball team, is involved in Athletes in Action and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, volunteers at Ralph Wilson Youth Club in Temple and recently traveled to Kenya to work at the Naomi’s Village orphanage. She used part of her cash award to make gifts to the orphanage and to Love Thy Neighbor charity in Mount Vernon. Rarick has been a Sunday school teacher and life group leader two years at First Baptist Church in Temple. At UMHB, she is co-director and founder of The Merge Project, a student organization designed to minister to students. She was student government chaplain two years, and for the last three summers, she worked as an intern at several churches across Texas. Rarick donated a portion of her award to Compassion International’s fund for disaster relief in Haiti.
Student athletes at East Texas Baptist University filled 181 shoeboxes with small toys and other gifts for impoverished and vulnerable children around the world. They delivered the filled boxes to Summit United Methodist Church in Marshall, the local collection point for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse.
An anonymous San Antonio donor with family ties to Howard Payne University established the first endowed scholarship for the university’s New Braunfels Center. The scholarship is named for Marjorie DePriest, a 1957 HPU graduate and longtime Spanish teacher who died July 18, 2015.