Texas Tidbits: Baylor receives major gift for film and digital media program

Chris Hansen (right, in black crew shirt), director of the Baylor University film and digital media program, on the set of his award-winning film, "Endings." The program received a $2 million gift. (Photo: Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing and Communications)

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Baylor University received $2 million from Matthew B. Lindner, a producer and investor in the independent film industry, and his father, Carl H. Lindner III, of Cincinnati, Ohio, to create the Matthew B. Lindner Endowment for Excellence in Film and Digital Media. matthew lindner130Matthew B. LindnerThe gift will help make the film and digital media program, currently housed within the department of communication, a freestanding department within the College of Arts and Sciences, effective June 1. Funds distributed in the coming years from the endowment will make possible activities including the production of feature-length films under the direction of film and digital media faculty members and the collaboration of industry professionals in mentoring and engaging undergraduate and graduate students. Leading the department as its inaugural chair will be Chris Hansen, an independent filmmaker and director of the film and digital media program since 2009.

Culp and Spooner to receive Legacy Awards. Two longtime Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board staff members—Jim Culp and Bernie Spooner—will receive Texas Baptist Legacy Awards during a June 7 presentation at historic Independence Baptist Church, between Brenham and College Station. After Sunday school at 10 a.m., the Legacy Awards will be presented during the 11 a.m. worship service. A lunch will follow. Culp served from 1982 to 2001 as coordinator of black church development with the BGCT. During his tenure, the number of African-American churches related to the BGCT grew from 80 to more than 700. Culp was pastor of several churches in Texas and Oklahoma. Spooner served 22 years as director of the Sunday School/Discipleship Division of the State Missions Commission. He later joined the faculty at Dallas Baptist University, where he was inaugural dean of the Gary Cook School of Leadership and professor of Christian studies. 

Texas WMU relocates. Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas has relocated from 333 N. Washington in Dallas to 10325 Brockwood Rd., Dallas 75238. The location—just east of I-635 at the Miller Rd./Royal Ln. exit—is four miles from 7557 Rambler Rd., where the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board has leased office space and will be moving later this year. The BGCT staff and WMU had shared a building near the flagship Baylor Scott & White Health hospital campus. The BGCT Executive Board voted to sell that building to Baylor University for its Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

HPU center surpasses goal. Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center exceeded its $10,000 fund-raising goal during the first nine hours of a 24-hour event. By midnight, 36 people had made gifts to the university totaling $14,505. That includes a gift from an anonymous donor who agreed to match up to $5,000. Howard Payne has maintained a presence in New Braunfels since 2012, and the center now offers degrees for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as coursework for dual-credit students. James Scardami Jr. recently earned a bachelor of arts and sciences degree in  business administration as the center’s first graduate.


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