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spring 2016 Special Section:

President J. Blair Blackburn INAUGURATION Prayer Emphasis Sweeps ETBU Campus Also Inside: Learning & Leading Program Impacts Marshall


Contributors President Dr. J. Blair Blackburn Managing Editor Allison Peteet (’99) Assistant Vice President of Advancement and Director of Alumni Relations Publication Fluency Organization, Inc. Diane Kronmeyer Art Director Contributing Writers Mike Midkiff Director of Public Relations Emily Roberson Director of Marketing Photos Graysen Cummings Ben Daily Ruel Felipe Mike Midkiff Emily Roberson Brendan Sceroler

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. [ PROVERBS 3:5-6 ]

University Leadership Dr. J. Blair Blackburn President Dr. Thomas Sanders Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Scott Bryant University Chaplain and Vice President for Spiritual Development Mr. Kevin Caffey Vice President for Enrollment and Administrative Affairs Mr. Ned Calvert Senior Vice President for Financial Affairs Dr. Heather Hadlock Vice President for Student Affairs Mr. Kent Reeves Director of Athletics Deans Dr. Joseph D. Brown Dean, Frank S. Groner School of Professional Studies Dr. Rebekah Grigsby Dean, School of Nursing Dr. Colleen Halupa Dean, Online Learning Dr. John L. Harris Dean, School of Christian Studies Dr. Lynn New Dean, School of Natural and Social Sciences Dr. Scott Ray Dean, Fred Hale School of Business Dr. John Sargent Dean, School of Education Dr. Jerry Summers Dean, School of Humanities Dr. Thomas R. Webster Dean, School of Communication and Performing Arts Dr. Karen Wiley Dean, Academic Services and Institutional Research Hilltop is published by the OfďŹ ce of the President and University Advancement. For news or information, join us on Twitter: @ETBU www.etbu.edu


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Contents 4

President's Message

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SPECIAL SECTION: President J. Blair Blackburn Inauguration

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Ministry in Marshall

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Learning & Leading Program Impacts Marshall

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Campus Happenings Tigers Spring into Action

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ETBU Sports Highlights Baseball Team Scores Big Win in Community Downtown Bible Study

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Faculty & Staff Updates

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Dr. Sandy Hoover Chair, History & Political Science Department Associate Professor, History

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Dr. Emily Prevost Assistant Professor, Leadership Director, Leadership Development

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Alumni Feature Dr. David Ritsema ’00: An Unexpected Calling Leon Carter ’80: Prepared for the Pinnacle of Success

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Servant Leadership in Africa

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Student Profile

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Letters and comments can be sent to: alumni@etbu.edu

Alisa Hamilton: Overcoming the Odds

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Prayer Emphasis Sweeps ETBU Campus

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Celebrating ETBU History

Update Online: Visit: www.etbu.edu/alumniupdate

ETBU Receives Two State Historical Markers

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Accent on Alumni

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Please send any information for publishing or change of personal information to: Alumni Relations East Texas Baptist University One Tiger Drive Marshall, TX 75670


President's Message As I shared in my Inaugural speech in February, I want to thank the University and the Marshall community for welcoming me, for walking with me, and for getting ready to run with me. I say “run” because God has given me a bold vision for the future of East Texas Baptist University. This vision will require more from all of us at every level of our University Family— more commitment, more support, and more faith than ever before in our school’s history. Part of that vision is already unfolding and involves the fact that today in America our religious liberty is at stake. As you may know, I have the opportunity to represent ETBU at the Supreme Court regarding the Affordable Care Act Mandate. I have encouraged our Board to remain strong in our efforts to address this issue because I am certain that our cause is much greater than the abortifacient challenge. We must stand boldly and speak truthfully about the magnitude of the threats facing the religious freedoms our forefathers fought so hard to obtain. I consider it a God-ordained opportunity that He has placed ETBU in a position of leadership to represent other Christian institutions as we share God’s truth and proclaim our Christcentered mission. We must be able to fully integrate our faith into every aspect of our University’s operations and not be constrained by the federal government to tell us what we can and cannot do. We are fighting for the ability to continue to operate as Christian institutions and to ensure that the light doesn’t die on the hills of Christian campuses across our nation. My goal is for our students to shine their light as models of Christ and examples of servant leadership who speak His truth, seek His wisdom, and follow passionately His call on their lives. In this way, ETBU will be an example to other colleges and universities and set a standard of excellence that Christ has commanded all of us to achieve. As a University, we should pursue and reflect the excellency of Christ. Not that we will obtain it, but we should strive to accomplish it. When I look at our University, I see a small college with a big heart. I see a campus community that loves each other and lives to serve the world around them. Scripture says, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). We cannot look down on our community and our world from our safe position on an academic hill. If you put a light under a bushel, it extinguishes. If we only talk about the “light on the hill” and never take it beyond our gates, we will never illuminate the darkness. ETBU has a responsibility to light the darkness in every corner of the world for Christ, and by God’s grace we will do so. I appreciate your faithful support for ETBU and your fervent prayers for our students, faculty, and staff as we move forward into an inspiring future that brings honor and glory to God. All for God’s glory,

Dr. J. Blair Blackburn President

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THE INAUGURATION OF

President J. Blair Blackburn 13TH PRESIDENT OF EAST TEXAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY

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The Inauguration of President J. Blair Blackburn 13th President of East Texas Baptist University

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February 19, 2016, was a day of celebration and consecration when EAST TEXAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY inaugurated DR. J. BLAIR BLACKBURN as the 13th president of the 104-year-old institution.


The Honorable Chris Paddie Texas State Representatives, District 9

Rev. Sam Dennis, Senior Pastor Parkway Hills Baptist Church

Quantel Williams, Chaplain Student Government Association

his is a sacred time of worship, of thanksgiving, and of celebration,” said Dr. Ben Raimer, Chair of the ETBU Board of Trustees during his opening remarks. “We praise God for His divine leadership in the call of J. Blair Blackburn to fill this critical role of leadership.” A capacity crowd witnessed the Inaugural Ceremony on February 19, 2016, in Baker Auditorium inside the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center, including delegates of several educational institutions from across Texas and the nation. At President Blackburn’s request, the ceremony included meaningful prayers, Scripture reading, and thoughtfully selected worship music, praise songs, and hymns to ensure the entire event brought glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Raimer and President Emeritus Dr. Bob E. Riley conducted the investiture of Dr. Blackburn, presenting him with the University Mace and the Presidential Medallion and Chain of Office. Dr. Raimer (’69) is a professor in the School of Medicine and Senior Vice President, Health Policy and Legislative Affairs, at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Riley served as the University’s 11th president from 1992-2009.

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Sam Baxter, Principal McKool Smith


Pastors, Prayer Breakfast

Student Leadership Luncheon Heavenly Father, You are merciful and mighty. We see Your hand in all of creation and all of our lives. We glorify and worship Your sovereignty over us. And now we call upon that sovereignty to guide my dad as he works with the outstanding people here at East Texas Baptist University and in Marshall. So that this institution will become more than that but be a light on a hill, casting out the surrounding darkness to all who gather near to it. Let our words be as influential as Jeremiah’s, our hearts as strong as David’s, our actions as courageous as Daniel’s, and our message spread as far as Paul’s. Father, I’ve seen the clear signs of Your work in my dad’s life and the undeniable events that show You have purposefully placed him in this position. He is here, Lord, and my family and I are here with him to pursue Your vision for East Texas Baptist alongside the amazing people You have also chosen. Continue to provide him the strength and guidance he needs to carry out the mission of this University. Let love and faithfulness never leave him. Bind them around his neck. Write them on the tablet of his heart. So that he shall help East Texas Baptist University win more favor and an even better name in the sight of You, God, and man. We say all these things in Jesus’ name, Amen. Parker Blackburn February 19, 2016 Inauguration Ceremony East Texas Baptist University

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In one of the most moving parts of the program, Parker Blackburn, the youngest son of President Blackburn, offered the Prayer of Blessing for his father. First Lady Michelle Blackburn, along with their other children, Taylor and Elizabeth Blair, were also in attendance. Dr. Blackburn’s pastor in Plano, Texas, delivered the Inaugural Charge to the President, emphasizing the importance of servant leadership. “I want to challenge you to take this call to lead as a godly leader who serves,” said Rev. Sam Dennis, Senior Pastor of Parkway Hills Baptist Church of Plano. “Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. We know that is what God teaches

in His Word, to be a servant leader—never ashamed to take the towel. Be a godly leader who serves and walks by faith.” President Blackburn then delivered his Inaugural Response, explaining how “God called us to this Hill and this marvelous Marshall.” He continued, “The inspiration and motivation for my leadership calling is to serve God, to shepherd and lead His people, to serve His people, and to build East Texas Baptist University into a great institution.” He also issued a strong challenge to make sure “all that we do is for the glory of God.” An Inauguration Reception for guests and a special Inaugural Celebration Luncheon followed the


First Lady,s Inaugural Tea

Tiger Revel Dance

Inaugural Ceremony. The Inaugural events also included a Pastors’ Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning, featuring Dr. David O. Dykes, senior pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, followed by a Student Leadership Luncheon. First Lady Michelle Blackburn hosted the First Lady’s Inaugural Tea at the Marshall Grand in downtown Marshall. The University also hosted Tiger Revel, a dance for students on Thursday evening at the Marshall Grand. The Inauguration events concluded with Tigers Serve Saturday, a special event for the ETBU Family to reach out to the community of Marshall. Q

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Meet Presi J. Blair B HILLTOP: How did God call you to become the 13th president of East Texas Baptist University?

“Prayer is the essential key to ETBU’s success and spiritual significance.” PRESIDENT J. BLAIR BLACKBURN 10

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PRESIDENT BLACKBURN: God has been preparing us to accept His call to ETBU for longer than we even realized. Early in the summer of 2014 we stopped by the campus on a college tour through the South with two of my children, Elizabeth Blair and Parker. I remember wondering then if God might one day call us to ETBU. Michelle and I attended the Council for Independent Colleges Presidential Mission and Vocation Summit later that same summer and were challenged to be open to God’s vocational calling as a president and spouse. On the night we returned home July 22, I received an email from Dr. Paul Corts inviting me to apply as a candidate for the ETBU presidency. Michelle and I committed to pray about this, but at that time our daughter had two years remaining of high school. Our youngest son would be entering his freshman year. Still, I earnestly sought the Lord and committed to follow however He directed us. I asked God to grant me His peace to discern whether or not to apply for the position, but as the days passed I heard no direction from Him—only silence. The application deadline approached, still no answer. Michelle and I prayed for the Holy Spirit to speak, but we simply had no sense of discernment. With the application deadline finally over, we determined that God had closed the door. Oh, how loudly God can speak in the sovereignty of His silence. God speaks according to His time frame, not ours. Fast forward to February 18, 2015, when Dallas Baptist University President Gary Cook made a surprise announcement to retire in October in order to serve as Chancellor. I served for 20 years at DBU and was currently the executive vice president. Instead of feeling excited about the possibility of serving as president there, I sensed only an overwhelming urging from God to seek Him again about ETBU instead. After praying with Michelle, I spoke once more with Dr. Corts, who said the committee was still looking for a president.


dent Blackburn The Presidential Search Committee then agreed to meet with me to initiate a conversation. From that first meeting, God revealed how He was working through ETBU’s Christ-centered commitment, and I began to pray fervently about joining God in His work there. My soul longs to follow the will of God. Michelle and I have a passion to live our lives in service and devotion to God and His people. Regardless of where God called us, we sincerely wanted to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.

HILLTOP: How did you know what God was calling you to do next? PRESIDENT BLACKBURN: Two days later, I went on a mission trip while Michelle and Blair enjoyed a girls’ spring break trip. God wanted us to be in solitude with Him, separated from one another as we tried to understand His plan. As I flew over Peru to Chile, I re-read Jim Cymbala’s book, Fresh Faith and realized the Holy Spirit had prompted me to select it off my shelf so God could speak to me plainly and powerfully about my calling to ETBU. Cymbala, the pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York, explained how Abraham (then Abram) developed a towering trust in God. Genesis 12:1 says, “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.’” Cymbala says of God’s call: God directed Abram to do only one thing—LEAVE…[he had to] leave his country, his people, and his relatives—in other words, his comfort zone. He had to give up the land he knew best, the culture he had grown up in, the familiar sights and sounds. People who walk by faith often hear God’s voice telling them, “You need to leave now. It’s time to move on to something new.” When you walk by faith, God never lets you settle into some plateau. Just when you reach a certain place spiritually and decide to pitch your tent and relax for the rest of your life, God says, “LEAVE.”

This was the story of Abraham, and I saw it was also my story. God confirmed I was to leave Dallas for Marshall and carry out His vision for ETBU. Michelle and I obediently stepped forward in faith, and I agreed to serve as ETBU’s next president.

President J. Blair Blackburn recently sat down with the staff of Hilltop to share about his call to ETBU, the strengths of the University, his faith, and family.

HILLTOP: Why did you make a dedicated time of prayer one of your first official acts as president? PRESIDENT BLACKBURN: Prayer is the essential key to ETBU’s success and spiritual significance. I challenged the University Family to pray for ETBU as we read a book together called Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson. God began igniting our hearts and revealing to us His wisdom as we passionately sought His heart for ETBU. My prayer today is that we will faithfully serve as a Christ-centered University that reflects excellence in all we do—all for the glory of God. I ask the Lord daily to empower us to reveal God’s truth, proclaim the Gospel, and build servant leaders to influence the world for Christ.

HILLTOP: What do you think are ETBU’s greatest strengths? PRESIDENT BLACKBURN: We possess a uniquely strong sense of family and are a close-knit Christian community. ETBU is devoted to student learning and success through holistic education and an unwavering commitment to the transformation of mind, spirit, and body. With a large number of first-generation college students, ETBU has made great strides in serving a diverse population of students. We have outstanding staff and faculty who are called by God to teach and invest their lives in our students. Our greatest strength is the fidelity of mission in being a dedicated, Christ-centered University. The Lord Jesus Christ is central to all of our teaching and learning as we serve the Lord, students, alumni, and surrounding community. We are committed to integrating biblical faith and learning throughout our entire ETBU educational experience. This is who we are, and this is what we have been called to do. Q President Blackburn and his wife, Michelle, have three children: Taylor (23), Elizabeth Blair (18), and Parker (16). Hilltop

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Ministry in Marshall Learning & Leading Program Impacts Marshall Students Accumulate 5,000 Service Hours When ETBU students arrive at Lee Elementary in Marshall, the kindergarten and first grade children know it’s time to read. What they don’t know is that this mentoring experience is part of a greater plan to inspire change in Marshall through servant leadership. nce a week, young men and women from ETBU serve the students, faculty, and staff in seven elementary schools throughout Marshall as part of the Learning & Leading service learning program at the University. All ETBU freshmen are enrolled in one of 23 classes challenging students to faithfully live as Christian servant leaders on campus and beyond. The program prepares students “to lead while they are here on campus, living in the community, and when they graduate,” said Assistant Professor of Leadership Dr. Emily Prevost. Classroom instruction focuses on developing skills to become servant leaders as students plan and implement ways to change the world around them for the sake of Christ. “The students are equipped with knowledge that will help them to be able to plan, work with others as a team, and to learn the character and integrity traits [needed to] lead change,” according to Prevost. Sheldon McGowan, Secondary Education major from Tyler, served one semester as an assistant in a kindergarten class. He focused on a group of boys who “always seemed to be in trouble.” “From the very beginning, I [explained] why they shouldn’t act up and why they should follow the rules,” McGowan said. “I became a mentor to them, and it’s the best feeling in the world to have someone looking up to you. Each week their behavior got better and better.”

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Tiger Volleyball player Elyse Shaw of Spring volunteered in a physical education class and is also an Early Childhood Education major. “I love coming to the school each week to be welcomed by her with a big hug and smile,” Shaw said of a particular fourth grade student who needed extra attention. “At the beginning of the year, she would not participate in any physical activity at all. She had a ‘0’ in the class and would sit out every day.” Shaw worked to gain her trust, and the student eventually began doing exercises with her. Shaw continued, “The P.E. coach has complimented me in investing my time and efforts into her. It is very rewarding to see her growth.”

This past October, ETBU students conducted Fall Festivals for the children and their families at both Lee Elementary and South Marshall Elementary. “The volunteer time in the schools helps our students to observe the leaders in MISD on a daily basis,” said Prevost. “They see the ins and outs of working in our community.” She added, “Community service becomes beautiful when it’s not just us giving, but we become the community and serve one another. That’s my dream for this program. I hope that Marshall is changed and ETBU is changed because we learn to serve one another.” Q

ELYSE SHAW

“I became a mentor… it’s the best feeling in the world to have someone looking up to you.” SHELDON MCGOWAN SECONDARY EDUCATION MAJOR

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Campus Happenings Tigers Spring into Action Servant leaders set the standard at ETBU for what it means to follow Christ. Students participate in a variety of leadership service opportunities throughout the year—ministering and reaching out to those who need Christ’s love.

Operation Christmas Child What a difference one person can make. In December, many ETBU students, faculty, and staff supported Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child by providing gift-filled shoeboxes for children. “It broke my heart,” said senior Stevi Slaughter of those who would receive her shoeboxes. “I feel so amazing, knowing that I have given children gifts who have never received anything before.” The ETBU Family finished collecting boxes as the students left for Thanksgiving Break. They sent over 200 boxes to the local collection point and then on to Samaritan’s Purse for worldwide distribution. The student organization “Speak” 14

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donated several shoeboxes. Member Sara Corley explained, “Knowing the joy that these shoeboxes brings makes me feel both happy and humbled.” ETBU collected 160 more Christmas gift boxes than last year. The Office of Spiritual Development coordinated the effort.

Turkey Trot Who can trot faster—a turkey or a Tiger? ETBU hosted its inaugural Turkey Trot fundraiser on campus in November with a 2K and 5K course that wound through campus, finishing at Centennial Hall. The fundraiser focused on needy children, emphasizing that whatever we do "for the least of


these," we do for Christ (Matthew 25:40). “Even though I could have just donated money, I participated because it seemed like a fun way to be actively involved,” said Martha Dudley, Assistant Professor of Nursing. She walked the 2K but admitted, “The fun part was standing at the finish line and cheering…” Over 250 runners/walkers raised almost $2000 through entry fees supporting the shipping costs for Samaritan’s Purse shoebox ministry. Many thanks to Centennial Hall Resident Director Devin Cummings, Centennial Hall Resident Assistants, Intramural Sports staff, and Student Affairs for organizing and hosting the inaugural event.

Holiday Food Drive How much difference can a food drive make? A ton. Literally. ETBU joined KSLA-TV in December for its annual Holiday Food Drive to help the Marshall community donate over a ton of canned goods and non-perishable food items. During the 13-hour drive, over 14 different ETBU groups from athletic teams to students, faculty, staff, and student organizations volunteered. “Our office wanted to participate in the food drive as a group,” said ETBU Director of Financial Aid Tommy Young. “I know how easy it is for students to live on the hill and be isolated from the larger Marshall community,” said ETBU graduate and Food Pantry Director Alisa Roberts. “This food drive is one way for them to make a difference in the lives of Marshall residents.” ETBU Chair of the Department of Teacher Education Dr. John Sargent added, “The School of Education participates in drives like this to show the mercy of God to the people of our community.” Q Hilltop

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ETBU Sports Highlights Football

Basketball

The ETBU Tiger Football team won its first American Southwest Conference Championship in 12 years. The Tigers finished 4-1 in ASC play and 7-3 overall. A total of 17 players earned an ASC award as five student athletes were named to the First Team-All ASC. Four players were selected to the Second TeamAll ASC. Eight more Tigers were selected Honorable Mention-All ASC. For his excellent coaching and the Tigers’ remarkable championship season, the ASC awarded Head Coach Joshua Eargle the 2015 ASC Coach of the Year. Bryce Hale was also named to the ASC Outstanding Sportsman Team of the Year. In his third year at ETBU, Eargle took the team from three wins in 2013 to winning an ASC Championship in just three seasons. The Tigers also received their first national ranking for ETBU since 2004. Heading into the final week of play, ETBU was #23 in the D3football.com poll, receiving votes in the American Coaches Football Association national poll, and #10 in the NCAA regional ranking.

The ETBU Tiger Basketball team won its first-ever American Southwest Conference regular season and tournament championship during the 2014-2015 season. A ring ceremony was held in the Phillips Great Room on October 10, 2015, for team members to receive their championship rings. “That team had such a great family bond, and they will be brothers for life after they leave ETBU,” said Head Coach Bert West. The 2014-2015 season saw ETBU win 26 games and finish in the NCAA Division III National Tournament Elite Eight, losing out to eventual national champion, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The team also went 18-0 playing at home in Ornelas Gym.

2015 All-ASC Selections Coach of the Year: Joshua Eargle Outstanding Sportsman Team of the Year: Bryce Hale

Second Team Defense (LB): Caleb Taylor Second Team Defense (DB): Sam Williams

First Team Offense (WR): Tyler Bates First Team Offense (OT): Tyler Scott First Team Offense (QB): Josh Warbington First Team Offense (RB): Kendall Roberson First Team Defense (LB): CJ Johnson

Honorable Mention (TE): Cody Gandy Honorable Mention (OG): Torrance Leonard Honorable Mention (C): Bryston Parker Honorable Mention (RB): Jourdan McNeill Honorable Mention (PK): Ryan Travis Honorable Mention (RS): Dominic Haggerty Honorable Mention (DB): Marcus Harris Honorable Mention (DB): Jarrell Williams

Second Team Offense (OG): Tony Jones II Second Team Defense (DL): Xavier Davis

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Cross Country Both the men and women’s Cross Country teams made program history this past season. For the first time, the women competed as a team at the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional held in Winchester, Virginia. Five members of the men’s team qualified to run at the regionals—the most runners to qualify for the regional meet under Coach Natalie Bach-Prather. The women’s team qualified for the regionals by finishing third in the American Southwest Conference title meet. Team members who ran at the regional meet include: Shelby Taylor, Megan Merrill, Shelby Sparks, Chloe Hudson, Amy Daly, Hannah Crisp, and Alyssa Cummings. The men’s team finished fourth at the ASC title meet and qualified five runners to advance to the regional meet. A top 25 finish by an individual runner moved them on to the next round. Runners at regionals included: Landon Price, Ian Spencer, Aaron Durham, Ramiro Mendez, and Beau Billings. Q

Baseball Team Scores Big Win in Community ot every statistic shows up in a box score. But if volunteer hours in the community appeared alongside batting averages and slugging percentages, the ETBU Tiger Baseball team would be champions by any reckoning. Last year, the Tigers accumulated over 350 hours of community service, and Head Coach Jared Hood plans for the team to surpass that mark this year. “I don’t think I have challenged the team to be involved to serve as much as Christ has challenged all of us,” Hood explained. “If we can influence just one person to follow Jesus Christ…then we have done as He commanded.” The Tigers are involved in an ongoing

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mentorship program at J.H. Moore Elementary. “For the past four years, every one of our players has been assigned a student to mentor,” Hood said. “The players go to the campus and meet at least once a week for an hour to mentor their student.” They enjoy the opportunity to put their Christian faith into action through service. For Tiger junior catcher and team captain Zach Ervin, serving the community is “what we are called to do as Christians.” He added, “It gives me a sense of satisfaction but also pushes me to serve as Jesus served.” Conner Combs, a junior and team captain who plays second base, called the opportunity “another way for us to be a

light in the community.” In the past year, the team also participated in a 9/11 Heroes Run benefiting the Travis Manion Foundation, served 160 people at Mission Marshall, took part in a fundraiser for Marshall High School, and served hot dogs to children and families at Washington Early Childhood Center. Combs and Ervin both believe they are blessed to be a part of Tiger Baseball, which has a broader purpose than playing games. “Yes, we want to win games and even championships,” Ervin said. “But our emphasis on discipleship and building community throughout Marshall is of greater importance. The Lord is doing cool things among this team.” Q


ETBU Sports Highlights

Downtown Bible Study Weekly Bible Study at Local Marshall Restaurant t first, it was just a small group of athletes meeting together to study the Bible. Through the encouragement of a Marshall restaurant owner to use his place to meet, the group of ETBU students grew to over two dozen each week. The initial group on campus started as an accountability and discipleship group for men, including Tiger Baseball players and some members of other Tiger athletic teams. Carlton Davis, owner of the Davis Grill in downtown Marshall, invited the growing group to meet at his restaurant after meeting baseball player Jaxon Rader one Sunday afternoon after church. Rader, in a story published in the Marshall News Messenger, shared about Davis, “He’s just a really great guy. He had a lot of wisdom and ended up inviting everyone to do the Bible study at this restaurant. That’s when everything kind of took off last year.” Rader explained that the all-male group began with the name “Kingdom Men.” The leaders of the weekly meeting then realized that limiting the participants to men would hinder their potential to help others. They now have 40-50 young men and women in attendance. Davis has also been instrumental in mentoring attendees wanting to know more about how the Bible applies to everyday life situations. Q

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Stay tuned for exciting Traveling Tigers trips scheduled for 2016 and 2017. Join us as we journey to New York City, Italy, and Colonial Williamsburg! Hosted by President Blackburn and First Lady Michelle Blackburn. Contact the University Advancement OfďŹ ce for more information: travelingtigers@etbu.edu 2 903-923-2071


Faculty and Staff Updates Dr. Sandy Hoover

Dr. Emily Prevost

Chair, History & Political Science Department Associate Professor, History

Assistant Professor, Leadership Director, Leadership Development

Dr. Sandy Hoover is the last one to talk about his accomplishments, preferring instead to place his focus firmly on his students. However, as a Piper Professor Award nominee, he is now sharing the spotlight. “We canvassed the campus looking for our Piper Professor nominee, and Dr. Hoover is so deserving,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Tommy Sanders said. “He invests in students every day. When people graduate from his program, the first person they want to thank is Dr. Hoover.” According to the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, the prestigious award is presented annually to only 10 professors across the state for “superior teaching at the college level.” “Teaching is what I love,” Hoover said of his lifelong passion. “If I was trying to limit my interaction with students, I don’t think I would like it here,” Hoover said, referring to the University’s intentionally small faculty to student ratio. “I’ve been able to have students over to dinner and build relationships with them. That’s not something you could do at a larger institution.” After serving nine years at ETBU in the History Department, Hoover still finds student achievements the most rewarding. “My students’ success is my success,” Hoover said. “I am so proud of the students who may feel overwhelmed at the beginning of the semester but persevere . . . I am even more blessed when I see those students, over four years, develop into questioning, thinking, curious life-long learners.” Ph.D. History – Texas Tech University M.A. History – Oklahoma State University B.A. History – Southeastern Oklahoma State University

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Dr. Emily Prevost is spearheading advancements in a dynamic leadership development program called Learning & Leading. All incoming freshmen enroll in one of 23 different leadership classes, led by almost two dozen different members of the ETBU faculty, staff, and administration. Each Learning & Leading student is also involved in a service learning project, serving an hour a week at one of seven Marshall elementary campuses. In addition, students meet in the classroom once a week to discuss what behaviors and skills are necessary to be an effective Christian leader in the world, combining a study of Scripture with academic research. When Prevost first moved to Marshall, she prayed the Lord would open her eyes to the realities of the community and to give her a heart for its people. This desire has now become the heartbeat of this program. “We have a student body that is now more invested in this community,” Prevost said. “You cannot help but have your world expanded when you go and serve in this city.” The program is part of President J. Blair Blackburn's vision for expanding the University's commitment to city-wide community service and ministry. Beginning in August, every ETBU freshman and Christian Leadership Scholarship recipient will also participate in a service learning partnership one hour each week. Ph.D. Leadership Studies – Dallas Baptist University M.A. Religion – Hardin-Simmons University B.A. Bible – Hardin-Simmons University


How to Give

beyond your

Lifetime

“Only one life; will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” —C. T. STUDD, MISSIONARY

Gifts to the Blue and Gold Fund and the Legacy 1912 Society will benefit both ETBU now and the Kingdom of God forever. Contact the University Advancement Office for more information at 903-923-2071. Give online at www.etbu.edu.


Alumni Feature An Unexpected Calling As a young man, Dr. David Ritsema did not plan to attend college and rarely went to church. Today, he pastors a congregation in one of the fastest growing communities in Texas. od’s plan for Ritsema’s life began revealing itself when he decided to enroll at Tyler Junior College in Tyler. “Everything I learned about Christianity, I learned after high school,” he explained of his journey from uninterested teen to pastor. “I made a profession of faith when I was young, but I didn’t start attending church until a girl in one of my classes at TJC invited me.” Ritsema then became involved at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler. He also joined the Baptist Student Ministry and surrendered to the ministry while attending a student conference with the BSM. At that point, he began looking for universities to support his new calling. “I applied to schools across the country and around the world,” Ritsema said. “After weighing all of my options, I really felt like the Lord was calling me to ETBU.” Recalling the opportunities he received at ETBU to grow in and out of the classroom, he added, “I couldn’t have had a better experience at ETBU. I had professors who saw fit to my spiritual growth. They invited me into their homes, encouraged me, and helped me hone my skills as a preacher. I wouldn’t be where I am now as a pastor if it wasn’t for their influence.” After Ritsema graduated from ETBU in 2000, his life continued to evolve under God’s direction when he received his Master of Divinity from George W. Truett Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from B.H. Carroll Theological Institute. He and his wife, Angela, currently serve at FBC Waxahachie. Ritsema was

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also recently appointed to the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. As pastor, he offers an innovative way to access nationally accredited theology courses that he teaches at church. “When I was at ETBU, an adjunct professor told me a ‘sharp axe cuts down more trees,’” Ritsema said. “That encouraged me to continue my education, and I think offering these courses will allow us to know who we are as the

“There have been times when I’ve just stared at the sky and asked God how I got here.” DR. DAVID RITSEMA, ’00

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body of Christ.” Not surprisingly, Romans 1:16 is Ritsema’s life verse. It reads, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” Considering the way God set his life on an unexpected trajectory, Ritsema can only point to the Gospel. “Everything I do needs to revolve around the Gospel and be about living the Gospel out. As long as I am doing that, I am doing something right.” Q


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Prepared for the Pinnacle of Success When others seek Leon Carter for advice about choosing a university to attend, he tells them, “If you want to be prepared for the future, if you want to learn in a Christian environment, and if you want to go to a university where professors and staff care about their students, ETBU is the place for you.” he drive to be a lawyer came at the early age of nine for East Texas Baptist University alum Leon Carter. Today, he is a partner in Carter Scholer Arnett Hamada and Mockler, a minority-owned, mid-size litigation and intellectual property firm based in Dallas. The 1980 graduate has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2016 and was also selected for inclusion in Thomson Reuter’s Super Lawyers 2015 for his expertise in IP litigation. “My success is no doubt due to my faith in God,” Carter testified, also noting that his time at ETBU laid a firm foundation for him to become a successful lawyer. He received his law degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University and was admitted to the Bar in 1986. He said of his journey thus far, “Each time I get tired or feel insecure, I realize that God put the drive and perseverance in me to be the best lawyer that I can be.” Carter was drawn to ETBU because of a relationship he had with Tiger Basketball Coach Jim Webb. Webb coached his older brother at ETBU and Carter soon followed, playing

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basketball for the Tigers from 1977 to 1980. The Carthage native also wanted to attend college close to home, making ETBU a perfect fit. “The academic requirements at ETBU prepared me to be prepared each day. The difference between a great student and a good student or between a great lawyer and a good lawyer is being prepared,” shared Carter. “Whatever it takes to be prepared to do your best, do it. My confidence level goes through the roof when I am prepared.” Looking back on how God wove together his life experiences thus far, he points to Romans 8:28 as his favorite Bible verse. “I truly believe that all things work together for our good. God has a plan for all of our lives. I have had a lot of adversity, a lot of detours and delays, and lot of disappointment. But I always knew that God had a purpose for my life if I stayed true to Him.” Carter and his wife, Debra, have two grown children, Micah and Brittany, and two granddaughters, Brenan and McKenly. Q

“The academic requirements at ETBU prepared me to be prepared each day. The difference between a great student and a good student or between a great lawyer and a good lawyer is being prepared.” Hilltop

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Servant Leadership in Africa Two student groups from ETBU recently traveled to Africa and served 1,800 miles apart, but they shared a common purpose—to learn about cross-cultural missions and servant leadership. ix ETBU nursing students spent three weeks in Zambia to participate in a combined nursing course and mission trip, led by Dr. Rebekah Grigsby, Dean of the School of Nursing. Another student group served in Ethiopia under the leadership of ETBU Great Commission Center Director Dr. Lisa Seeley, Baptist Student Ministry Director Mark Yates, and BSM Intern Clint Salmon. During the first two weeks in Zambia, ETBU nursing students stayed in the home of missionaries Sherrie and Jerry Avery. The students organized a Holiday Bible Club—a contextualized version of Vacation Bible School. More than 200 children attended, and 46 made professions of faith in Christ. The local hospital also allowed the nursing students to serve and rotate through the labor and delivery ward, children’s ward, outpatient department, and the medical and surgical wards. “The students also had the experience of community health nursing and made home visits to patients out in the bush or remote areas of the village,” Grigsby said. They also held a health fair in a neighboring village and saw 204 patients, giving them firsthand experience of healthcare dynamics in a third world country. Grigsby explained, “Patients must bring everything with them when they come to the hospital—like linens for their bed, food if they want to eat, and medications if they need medications.” The experience made a lasting impact on nursing student Hannah Beggs of Hawkins. “I definitely view my home and hospital environments differently having been to Zambia,” Beggs said. “Just experiencing the lack of supplies was eye-opening…” The ministry-oriented mission team in Ethiopia taught English, volleyball, and soccer drills at local schools and churches. Seeley explained, “Our prayer was to open doors for local church planters to build relationships with the people of these villages, many of whom were closed to church planters.” The students saw what they had previously only learned in missions class “lived out before their eyes,” Seeley added. “Each of them was flexible, displaying great Christian compassion and service to everyone they came in contact with.” Each team returned to the United States with a wider view of God’s work in the world. “One of the greatest things gained

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by my students from this experience is that they conďŹ rmed their calling by God to be nurses,â€? added Grigsby. Service learning trips like these are just one of the ways ETBU strives to transform the hearts and minds of students and give them an eternal perspective on their vocational calling. Q

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Student Profile Overcoming the Odds Alisa Hamilton does not let adversity get in her way when it comes to achieving her goals. Graduating from Bellaire High School in Houston last year and enrolling in ETBU has not been an easy path for this freshman student. While in high school, Hamilton worked two and sometimes three jobs to help her family make ends meet. She also experienced what it is like being homeless, and her perseverance did not go unnoticed. In fact, as a reward for her determination to succeed against the odds, Houston Independent School District Superintendent Terry Grier surprised Hamilton with a $10,000 scholarship to attend college. The funding for the scholarship was part of the Council of the Great City School’s Green-Garner Award, an honor Dr. Grier received upon being named as the organization’s Urban

minoring in Finance. “I feel like those two combinations can get me really, really far,” she said of her future plans after graduation. Although her story is anything but ordinary, the quiet young lady with a huge smile is enjoying just being a typical freshman for now. Once homeless, she now calls ETBU home. “I feel like everybody is my family, so I am free to be myself,” Hamilton shared. “I find all my professors very helpful. They are the people who are making it easy for me to get the education I want and need [in order to] get where I want to be.”

“Keep fighting. If you keep fighting to get where you want to be, good things willALISA come.” HAMILTON, ’19 Educator of the Year. He selected Hamilton because of her drive to succeed academically and also be involved at Bellaire High School despite her significant personal challenges. “This young woman has been brave throughout her whole life,” Dr. Grier said on the day he presented the scholarship to Hamilton. “She understands the reality of the world, and she does not let that hold her back. She has come to school, worked hard, and makes good grades.” Hamilton, now in her second semester at ETBU, is majoring in Business with a concentration in Accounting and 28

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Her advisor and Accounting professor, Dr. James Hamby, provides her with spiritual encouragement and academic support. “Every time I go to his office, he makes sure he prays with me,” Hamilton said. Dr. Hamby said of this special student, “Alisa comes to class prepared, takes an active role in any class discussion, and can always be counted on to answer the ‘tough question.’ She was first introduced to the University on a Tiger Day, and since that day she has never wavered about wanting to be at ETBU. Alisa is an exceptional student and an outstanding person who embodies the ETBU values.” Q


Help Grow ETBU Enrollment and Refer a Future Tiger Let,s go get ,em, Tigers! Contact the Admissions OfďŹ ce at 903-923-2000 or 800-804-ETBU or visit www.etbu.edu/refer for a student referral form.


Prayer Emphasis Sweeps ETBU Campus ETBU’s history reflects a faithful commitment to prayer, asking for God’s direction and hand upon the University. With the inauguration of a new president, a renewed emphasis on prayer is even more evident as we see God at work throughout our campus. t began last summer when President J. Blair Blackburn urged the University Family to experience a prayer journey together, praying through Mark Batterson’s book Draw the Circle, the 40 Day Prayer Challenge. “We prayed daily for the needs of the campus community, prayed for God to reveal Himself to us and pour out his Holy Spirit on us,” President Blackburn said in an interview with the Marshall News Messenger. “We were asking for the Lord to reveal Himself to us as we concentrated our focus on Jesus.” Through this concerted prayer effort, God led the University to provide even more opportunities for the ETBU community to pray together and ask God to pour out His wisdom and knowledge. One of those opportunities is the new Intercessory Prayer Ministry, located on the second floor of Scarborough Hall. God also recently called Leigh Anne Delk to direct this organized effort to bring a greater awareness of prayer needs to the campus community. Delk makes various prayer needs known through a campuswide email sent each day to faculty and staff. In addition,

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Intercessory Prayer Ministry prayer boxes are available in high traffic areas on campus for individuals to write their specific needs on cards. The cards are then delivered to the ministry where people read the requests and pray for each need. Prayer intercessors commit to individual 15-minute prayer times one day per week. Delk sensed last spring that God was asking her to stop teaching at Elysian Fields ISD Elementary School and be open to another opportunity. Not knowing exactly what God had in mind, she resigned in faith and waited on the Lord to reveal the next step. President Blackburn said the timing was perfect and in God’s hands the whole time. “God knew Leigh Anne was going to be appointed to do this, but she had to be called out of teaching,” he explained. “She was obedient to stop and wait for the Lord to reveal the plan to her. The Bible tells us in Psalm 46:10, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’” The grassroots emphasis on prayer is drawing the campus together in exciting ways as we see God’s answers to prayer on behalf of our University Family. Q

We invite ETBU alumni, friends of the University, churches, and retirees to join the Intercessory Prayer Ministry. Contact Leigh Ann Delk at pray@etbu.edu or 903-923-2184 to become an ETBU Prayer Partner.

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“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD. JEREMIAH 29:12-14 Hilltop

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JOIN US FOR 24 HOURS OF ONLINE GIVING that benefits non-profit organizations throughout East Texas. ON MAY 3, go to www.EastTexasGivingDay.org to make your donation to support East Texas Baptist University. Look for emails and social media reminders and help spread the word.

Help more students follow God’s call on their lives.

GIVE BACK AND GIVE FORWARD!


Celebrating ETBU History ETBU Receives Two State Historical Markers ounder’s Day marks the fulfillment of what began as one man’s dream to establish a Christian institution of higher learning in Marshall, Texas. William T. Tardy, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Marshall, was one of the founding fathers who filed the charter for the College of Marshall on October 22, 1912. Having prayerfully walked a beautiful tract of land on Van Zandt Hill in northwest Marshall, they decided to establish the campus there—a future city on a hill whose light cannot be hidden. “The Lord made this for a college,” Tardy had declared. “We must have this land.” In honor of the 103rd anniversary of Founder’s Day this past October, two new Texas historical markers now grace the front lawn of Marshall Hall where ETBU’s founding fathers had left their footprints so many years ago. The Texas Historical Commission and the Harrison County Historical Commission presented the two markers in a dedication ceremony outside Marshall Hall. There is one for the institution and one for Marshall Hall, the first building completed in 1916. One of the markers reads in part:

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The first freshman class registered in 1917 and by the 1918-19 academic year, around 300 students were enrolled. In 1944, the college changed its name to East Texas Baptist College and was authorized to offer Bachelor’s degrees. In 1984, it was renamed to East Texas Baptist University.

President J. Blair Blackburn said of the historical markers, “They tell us the history of the institution and remind us of the vision of our founding fathers. It also helps the students to know that we’ve remained dedicated to a Christ-centered mission that still lives today in the hearts of the people of ETBU. That mission is lived out in the lives of our students and our faculty as they seek to serve others and God.” The historical markers continue to serve as a visual reminder of the University’s key role in Texas history and as a charge to remain true to its original calling to transform minds and hearts for God’s glory. Q

“These Texas historic landmarks will stand as symbols for educational excellence committed to advancing the cause of Christ.” PRESIDENT J. BLAIR BLACKBURN Hilltop

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DEDICATION CEREMONY: OCTOBER 22, 2015 ETBU President Emeritus Dr. Bob Riley voiced the opening prayer, followed by the reading of Scripture by student leader Quantel Williams. Retired ETBU Professor of Mathematics and administrator Dr. Rutledge McClaran (1965-2006) offered his personal reections on ETBU. Texas State Representative Chris Paddie of Marshall was also on hand to read proclamations declaring ETBU and Marshall Hall as state historical sites. Dr. Jerry Summers, Dean of the School of Humanities and the Sam B. Hall Professor of History, along with Dr. Jerry Hopkins, Professor of History, were instrumental in working with the Harrison County Historical Commission and the Texas Historic Commission to apply for the markers. Dr. Blackburn, Rep. Paddie, ETBU Board of Trustees Chair Hal Cornish and ETBU Trustee and Chair of the University Advancement Committee D.M. Edwards unveiled the markers. Q 34

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east texas baptist university 2 marshall, texas

JUNE 1-3, 2016

REGISTRATION: Contact the OfďŹ ce of University Advancement sroden@etbu.edu 2 903-923-2071 2 etbu.edu/sac16


SAVE THE DATE! October 21-22, 2016 Contact the Alumni Office: alumni@etbu.edu 2 903.923.2071


Accent on Alumni ANNIVERSARIES

BIRTHS AND ADDITIONS

Charles (’55) and Ora Nell (Garner, ’54) Peden celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 3, 2015, on the campus of ETBU, where they met 64 years earlier. They were recognized at the 2015 Hilltop Experience: Senior Adult Conference. Ora Nell watched as Charles walked into the classroom on her very first day at ETBC and knew he was the one. The Pedens are retired on their own little piece of heaven on earth. They have one daughter, five grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

Jacob (’07) and Kelli (Pruitt, ’09) Richardson announce the birth of their first child, daughter Kate Lauren Richardson. Kate was born March 12, 2015, weighed 8 pounds, and was 21 inches long. Mom and Dad agree that Kate is overflowing with personality.

Robert and Betty (Farmer) Meek (’57) celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on April 8, 2015. A reception was given by their two children. They have four grandsons and one great-granddaughter. Betty and her sister Shirley (Farmer) Hardgrave both graduated from East Texas Baptist College on August 21,1957, their mother’s birthday. Betty attributes her success as a teacher and her career with the State of Texas to her degree that she obtained from ETBC. The Meeks reside in Tyler. Leman (’69) and Nancy (Brackman) McNeal (’73) celebrated 50 years of marriage on June 5, 2015. Leman is serving in many areas of mission work and Nancy is an adjunct professor at Texas A & M in Texarkana. Both are involved in Church Under the Bridge in Texarkana. They have two children, seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Adam (’12) and Elaine (Hunter, ’11) Thacker welcomed their first child, daughter Stella Rose. She was born on June 10, 2015. She weighed seven pounds, 12 ounces, and was 21.25 inches long.

Phil and Lauren (Shuman) Luetchford (’09) welcomed their first child, daughter Tinley Ann. She was born on August 13, 2015. She weighed eight pounds, 13.5 ounces, and was 21 inches long. Mom and dad love being new parents and Larry (’86) and Anna (Ethridge, ’85) Shuman are Tinley’s proud new grandparents. Shawn and Alicia (George) Hudson (’07), along with big brother Chris, and big sister, Rachel, welcomed Caroline Nicole Hudson with love on October 1, 2015.

George and Antay (Pond, ’08) Parker welcomed their daughter, Peyton Elizabeth, to their family through adoption on October 16, 2015. At 11 years old, she joins ten-yearold brother, Shawn David, to complete their family. Antay graduated

in December with her second Master of Science in Nursing in Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner from the University of Cincinnati. She plans to begin her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in June 2016. UPDATES Sam Houston (’58) of Hillsboro served as Chaplain for the Baptist Scouting Ministry Reaching Youth for Christ at Philmont Scout Ranch in the summer of 2015. Each summer 22,000 youth and 5,000 adults visit the ranch. Dr. Byron Reeves (’65) retired from pastoral ministry after serving for over 50 years. He and his wife, Ellen (LeFleur, ’65), have moved to Conroe, where Byron is currently serving as interim pastor at North Woods Baptist in Spring. A.J. “Jim” Teague (’68) was elected to succeed the chief executive officer at Enterprise Products Partners L.P. upon the CEO’s retirement at the end of 2015. Jim was Enterprise’s chief operating officer. Brenda (Hutcheson) Fickey (’80) was recognized by Worldwide Branding for showing dedication, leadership, and excellence in children’s literature. She is an accomplished author with a number of publications. Brenda has also helped with the ETBU Christian Writers’ Conference held annually on campus. Rob Brack (’89) celebrated his 20th anniversary as the Minister with Youth at First Baptist Church, Mt. Pleasant, on January 28, 2016, marking 31 years as a youth pastor. His wife, Betsy (Petrea, ’89), is in her tenth year of teaching English at Chapel Hill High School in Mt. Pleasant. Downa (Loden) Moore (’92), and her husband, Jeff, moved to Spring in September 2014. They have two sons. Dawna taught junior high for 17 years and is now at home full time and leading a weekly ladies Bible study and participating in momsinprayer.org. Terri (Vandagriff) Cassels (’96), a teacher at Cain Elementary in Whitehouse, adopted ETBU as one of the universities highlighted in her school. On October 2, 2015, several ETBU cheerleaders and Toby the Tiger made a visit to Mrs. Cassels’ class for “Crazy College Spirit Day.” Hopefully we recruited some future Tigers 13 years in advance.

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Accent on Alumni Billy (’07) and Julie (Parker, ’07) Collins dressed their daughters Makynzie (5) and Kamdyn (3) in ETBU outfits for College Day at their school. Dr. Andrew O’Kelley (’07) of Texarkana, Texas, has been sworn in as Captain (’03) in the United States Air Force, serving as a family physician to the men and women in “the most powerful military this world has ever seen.” Andrew and his wife, Courtney (Brinker, ’07), and their children will live in Texarkana where he is completing his residency. As a reservist, he can be deployed if called upon and will be involved in humanitarian missions. Congratulate their family at andewokelley@gmail.com. Jenna Jones (’10) coached the Tacoma Baptist Crusaders soccer team of Tacoma, WA, to a second place title in state during her first year as varsity head coach. Tim Howe (’93), whose children attend Tacoma Baptist Schools, shared this Tiger Pride story. Hannah (Rigg) Shirey (’10) is now a member of the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants. She sang the National Anthem at the New England Patriots v Washington Redskins game on November 8, 2015. DEATHS 1930s Ellie (Hall) Hopkins, College of Marshall Class of 1933, passed away on June 30, 2014. 1940s Rev. H. Franklin “Frank” Dearing, College of Marshall class of 1942, passed away on September 26, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Marilyn Ruth Dearing. Henry Hood, Jr., longtime English professor at ETBU, passed away on July 24, 2015. Myrtis (Stuart) Lemmon passed away on November 2, 2014. She was Ector County’s first female court bailiff. Mary Fitts passed away on August 29, 2015. She attended ETBC and served as an ETBU trustee for the past five years, where she loved supporting the faculty and students. She was

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preceded in death by her husband, George, who also served as an ETBU trustee. Allen Kent “AK” Lacy, College of Marshall class of 1940, passed away on August 20, 2015. Betty (Dacus) Shrum, College of Marshall class of 1942, passed away on November 27, 2015. Mary Gayle (Hall) Reagan (’47) passed away on April 20, 2015. She is survived by her husband, B. J. “Bill” Reagan. E. P. (Waggener) Storie (’47) passed away on May 19, 2015. Lillian (Johnson) Hunnicutt (attd ’48) passed away on June 23, 2015. She is survived by her husband of over 69 years, Rev. William Hoyt Hunnicutt, Jr. (attd. ’48) 1950s Sheila (McCullough) Hurtte (’51) passed away on August 23, 2015. She is survived by her husband Robert E. (Bob) Hurtte (’51). One of her notable accomplishments included serving on the Board of Trustees at ETBU for 20 years. Bennie (Reneau) Beacham (’53) passed away on September 17, 2014. Billie J. West (’55) passed away on June 10, 2015, just after her 81st birthday. Gwina Dene (Powell) Anderson (’56) passed away on October 17, 2015. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Bill Ray Anderson (’60). Ruth (Bolyard) Keen (’56) passed away on November 4, 2014. She is survived by her husband, Jerry Keen. James Cecil Morgan (’57) passed away on January 28, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Maxine (Bruce) Morgan (’73). Dorothy (Johnson) Snyder (attd ’56-57) passed away on October 3, 2015. She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Charles Snyder (’59).

Thomas Edwards “Eddie” Simmons (’63) passed away on October 20, 2015. His wife, Wilma Jean (Carpenter, ’63), preceded him in death on April 13, 2015. Bill Caffey (’64) passed away on June 18, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Jimmie (Stack) Caffey (’63). Annise (Moore) Lewis (’65) passed away on March 27, 2015. She is survived by her husband, Olan “Bud” Lewis (’65). Barbara (Johnson) Mote (’65) passed away on June 5, 2015. She was married to Wells Mote (’67). Billy Wayne Skinner (’65) passed away on July 25, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Eva. Lester Ralph Dailey (’69) passed away on April 16, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Judy. He was an avid historian and was a freelance reporter with the Tampa Bay Newspapers for over 20 years, after he retired from practicing law. Helen Rosemary (Trusler) Mizzles (’69) passed away on January 7, 2016. She is survived by her husband, Truman. 1970s David Hall (’70) passed away on June 20, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Wanda (McDuffie) Hall (’70). Anthony “Pete” Hillin (’71) passed away on July 18, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Lisa. Pete played basketball for ETBU. Vera Walton (’71) passed away on July 19, 2015. She was married to Seth Walton, a longtime professor of ETBC, who passed away in 2007. Dr. Russ Polson (’74) passed away on August 6, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia (Keefer) Polson (’75). Melvyn Ray Goodwin (’75) passed away on January 13, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Virginia.

1960s Johnnie (Thompson) Hamilton (’60) passed away on December 27, 2014. She is survived by her husband, Ernest Hamilton (’60). She was a member of Sigma Iota Chi. Ernest and Johnnie were members of the 1959 ETBC Cheerleaders.

1980s Deborah (Stewart) Arnold (’83) passed away on February 25, 2015. She earned a bachelor and master’s degrees from ETBU.

Rev. Willis Pollard (’61) passed away on February 4, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Peggy.

2000s Sarah (Walton) Coon (’01) passed away on December 24, 2014. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Q

Don Norris (’63) passed away on December 18, 2013. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Elizabeth.

Sharla (Tewalt) Woods (’89) passed away on July 3, 2015.


STAY CONNECTED WITH US New jobs, weddings, births, accomplishments, updates— whatever your news, share it with your ETBU Family.

Send to: Alumni Relations East Texas Baptist University One Tiger Drive Marshall, TX 75670 Email: alumni@etbu.edu Or update online: etbu.edu/alumniupdate

Allison Peteet

Assistant Vice President of Advancement and Director of Alumni Relations


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One Tiger Drive Marshall, TX 75670

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