MEET THE DEANS
Academic Leaders Share Their Hearts for Christian Education
Make Plans for Homecoming 2017 Also Inside: and Let the Good Times ROAR Spring Sports Highlights Tiger Athletic Mission Experience Celebrate ETBU Graduates Hilltop
ENHANCING COMMUNITY EMPOWERING LEADERS
As a Christ-centered institution, East Texas Baptist University educates students by integrating biblical faith and learning to develop mind, body, and soul through community engagement to prepare graduates to be Christian servant leaders in their calling to God and humanity.
Adopted by ETBU Board of Trustees May 5, 2017
Managing Editor Becky Davis Director of Marketing and Communication Writers Allison Peteet (’99) Assistant Vice President for Advancement | Director of Alumni Relations Kristin Williams (‘16) Communication Coordinator Adam Ledyard Sports Information Director Carmen Maciel Graphic Designer Katelyn Cooper Emily Roberson Designers Julie Baugus Graphic Designer Carmen Maciel Photographers Julie Baugus James Coreas Carmen Maciel Jayme Perez (‘17) Emily Roberson Shelby Savoy Helen Spurling University Leadership Dr. J. Blair Blackburn President Dr. Thomas Sanders Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Scott Bryant Vice President for Advancement 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 Ryan Erwin Vice President for Athletics | Director of Athletics Lee Ferguson Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs 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. Emily Prevost Acting Dean, Fred Hale School of Business Dr. John Sargent Dean, School of Education Dr. Scott Stevens Dean, Spiritual Life Dr. Jerry Summers Dean, School of Humanities Dr. Thomas R. Webster Dean, School of Communication and Performing Arts Dr. Marty Warren Dean, Academic Services and Institutional Research Hilltop Magazine is published by ETBU Marketing and Communication
For news or information, join us on Facebook and Twitter www.etbu.edu
Meet the Deans
Dr. Neville Callam Charges December Graduates to be Respectful Reconcilers
12 Christian Servant Scholar Profile Senior Samantha Busby Leads and Ministers to Others
in her Church, School, Community, and Work with CentriKid
16 School of Nursing Expands Reach through Downtown Marshall
22 Spring Commencement 165 New ETBU Graduates Step Out from the Hill
and into their Vocational Callings
26 Homecoming 2017 Schedule Let the Good Times ROAR
28 Meyer Lecture Series Chick-fil-Aâ€™s Dee Ann Turner Motivates Students to Persevere
30 Campus Happenings Theatre Performs, Students Celebrate Arbor Day,
Taylor Rowlands Crowned Miss ETBU 2017, and Erin Miller Recognized at Senior Girl Callout
32 Spring Sports Highlights Tiger Athletic Mission Experience: Costa Rica and Nicaragua
Letters and comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Athlete Profile: Zach Ervin Discipleship on the Court: Coach Brandon Curran
Update Online: Visit: www.ETBU.edu/ alumniupdate
48 Sam B. Hall Lecture Series Jean Birmingham Receives Hall Civic Service Award
Please send any information for publishing or change of personal information to:
56 Alumni Feature Calm in Chaos: Peter Muriungi Reflects on
his ETBU Education
60 Accent on Alumni
Alumni Relations East Texas Baptist University One Tiger Drive Marshall, TX 75670 903.923.2071
President’s Message Dear Alumni and Friends, With each passing semester, we reflect upon God’s faithfulness to lead East Texas Baptist University in fulfilling the vision He aligned for us long ago. As Paul remarks in his letter to the Church in Ephesus, we give praise to God, “Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” As Paul encouraged the Ephesians, we give glory to God for empowering ETBU faculty, staff, and students with more opportunities to advance His gospel through the platform of Christ-centered education. Within this Summer 2017 edition of Hilltop Magazine, readers witness Christ’s purpose for our institution come to life through the powerful testimonies and transformative experiences of those who work and study at East Texas Baptist. As Arthur Holmes described in The Idea of a Christian College, we recognize that Christian education is intended to edify the creative, active, and essential integration of faith and learning— which can then be translated into the integration of faith and culture. Within the classroom, ETBU faculty foster a passion for life-long learning, where students develop a comprehensive biblical worldview as the grid through which they pursue their educational goals and approach their lives. Teachers seek to equip students with an eternal perspective and prepare them to become agents of transformation in our society as Kingdom citizens. A Christ-centered education enables students and faculty to remain externally focused and involved in working for the good of others, while challenging students academically. Academic life at ETBU is designed to bring students into the conversation of their disciplines, where they are given the freedom to benefit from and contribute to the collaborative work of the University as a whole. In this issue, you will enjoy reading the perspectives of the University’s deans, each of whom reveal more of our Christian philosophy through the lens of their particular field of study. Each separate school and department at ETBU work together to develop well-rounded students— holistic in mind, spirit, and body. Beyond the classroom, East Texas Baptist remains committed to sending out Christian servant leaders to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ within the community and around the world. The Global Study & Serve trips and the launch of the Tiger Athletic Mission Experience (TAME) progress the vision to integrate our faith and broaden our ministry. Furthermore, the University is expanding its programs to benefit students and the surrounding community, evidenced in the planned expansion of the School of Nursing in the downtown Marshall Grand and the continued implementation of community initiatives. The University is striving to help build the lives of people across the street and across the globe—a call that is rooted in our commitment to serve God’s Kingdom among this generation. Working together as one to accomplish God’s will, we remember Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” We thank God for the role He has appointed us to fulfill at ETBU as a conduit of His work through the body of Christian believers. Please join me in praying for East Texas Baptist as we magnify Christ’s light, multiply Christian servant leaders, and glorify His name in everything we do. All for Him,
Dr. J. Blair Blackburn President
There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:5-6
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION I believe that any educational environment must create the opportunity for students to discover and grow into awareness. As an educator, I believe it is my responsibility to create a classroom environment that is conducive for every student to have the opportunity to learn, contribute, and discover. This requires seeking to understand my students and nurturing a classroom environment of mutual growth, learning, and respect. It is my responsibility to connect new ideas to previous learning in ways that require them to use and apply material, not merely memorize it. It also requires that I provide additional support when asking them to grapple with difficult concepts or uncomfortable learning situations. Though at times, this means presenting information, more often it means asking questions, guiding discussion, supporting research, and facilitating practice so that students can explore and apply new ideas and concepts in ways that connect to their current and future experiences.
WHY ETBU? I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to serve at ETBU. ETBU has diligently worked to create and maintain an environment where we are able to integrate faith in the classroom, in the way we treat employees, and in the way we disciple and educate students. It’s not only the kind of place where I want to work, it’s the kind of place where I’d want to learn.
WHY BUSINESS? The corporate or business environment is often seen as only being about making money at any cost. I love that in the Fred Hale School of Business we have the opportunity to educate students about best business practices, while considering how a Christ follower should treat others in the business setting. Our students will go out into the world and be able to bring glory to God and to bring people to Christ, because they operate in a way that honors and respects the individuals around them. It’s an incredible opportunity to help prepare students for business leadership. My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore. Psalm 131 6 Hilltop Summer 2017
Dean Emily Prevost, Ph.D.
CHRISTIAN STUDIES PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION I believe that each student is a unique individual who needs a safe, loving, and stimulating environment in which to grow and mature spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially, and I am committed to Christ-centered education as being the best way to see this accomplished. It is my desire to help students develop a love for Christ that involves their heart, mind, and strength. I desire to help them reach their fullest potential by providing classroom experiences that invite the sharing of ideas and provide the freedom that allows for expression and creativity. Teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth. One of my hopes as a Christian educator is to instill a love of learning in my students as I share my own passion for learning with them.
WHY ETBU? From the first day I arrived on campus, I felt part of a larger ETBU family whose focus on students and student learning permeates the campus. This family environment and the support that I have received from the administration, staff, faculty, trustees, and students is unlike any other university. It is an honor and a privilege to work with such Christ-committed, loving, and talented individuals. I have been at ETBU for twenty-two years, and each year is better than the year before.
WHY CHRISTIAN STUDIES?
Dean John L. Harris, Ph.D.
As a minister and a Christian educator, I am committed to making clear Godâ€™s revelation. Teaching in the religion department allows me this opportunity. I am privileged not only to work with students, but also with some of the best religion faculty in the nation. These individuals are excellent examples of Christian educators, who are committed to their faith and to student learning. Together, we strive to mature people spiritually, to prepare people to be effective ministers, and to help people fulfill Godâ€™s calling.
He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in Whom I take refuge, Who subdues peoples under me. Psalm 144:2
PEACE Dr. Neville Callam charges December Graduates to be respectful reconcilers
“Commencement is a special time in the life of a university,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders said. “It is an event that celebrates the relationship between students and faculty. It is also a time for both the University and the families of the graduates to join in pride and celebration. Each student’s hard work under the combined guidance and support of faculty, family, and friends has resulted in the accomplishments we recognize today.” Ninety-nine students crossed the stage of Baker Chapel at ETBU’s 2016 December Commencement. This was the largest fall graduation in University history. “The graduates will commence from here to pursue the calling God has on their lives,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “They will serve God in all walks of life, empowered to salt the Earth with compelling callings, service, and ministries throughout the world. Leaders who will ‘pay the price’ and ‘count the cost’ of impacting communities and reaching the nations with their God-glorifying vocational
callings.” The President’s Award was presented to Gabrielle Besch. The Bonham, Texas native graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 grade point average and earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Each commencement, the President’s Award is presented to the graduating ETBU student, who is the best representation of a Christian leader, scholar, and servant. Criteria for this nomination include Christian character, servant leadership, superior academic performance, campus life engagement in student organizations and activities, involvement in ministry and church, and community service. Besch was an active member of the campus community at ETBU, served in Student Government for three years, and represented the student body as Secretary for two years. Besch discipled others through her leadership in Bible studies. As an academic leader among her peers, she participated in the University Scholars Program. “I feel called to the vocation of teaching because of my love for children, and I have witnessed the difference one teacher can make in the life of a child,” Besch said. “I draw inspiration from Ephesians 4:11 that reads ‘And He gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as
evangelists, others as pastors and teachers.’” Dr. Neville Callam, General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, gave the charge to the graduates. He shared the importance of being respectful reconcilers as they enter the world outside of the University to foster social harmony and peaceful coexistence. Dr. Callam, a Jamaican and leader in many capacities worldwide, has served at the Baptist World Alliance in various leadership roles since 1985. He is an author and editor of seven books, the most recent being Pursuing Unity and Defending Rights: The Baptist World Alliance at Work (2010). In his charge to the graduates, he referenced the biblical principles in Colossians 4 and Romans 12 of gracious speech and loving one another. “God loves each human being unconditionally. It is important for us as Christians to understand the value God places on each person that we meet,” Callam said. “I pray that the ETBU Class of 2016 will be known for the respect they show others. I encourage you to be respectful agents of reconciliation in our conflict-ridden world. As Matthew 5 encourages us, ‘blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.’”
Dean Thomas R. Webster, Ph.D.
COMMUNICATION & PERFORMING ARTS PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION As an educator, I seek to prepare my students for the vast and complex world they will face throughout their lives. I help them become accomplished professionals in their disciplines and chosen vocations, but I also seek to guide them to become productive members of and leaders in our society. Just as important, if not more so, l desire that students grow stronger in their faith and accept their role as Kingdom citizens. Realizing that learning is a joint effort between professor and student, I assume a great deal of responsibility for the success of each student. Learning within the formal educational structure of a university involves a far more personal approach to teaching than when I was in school, and creating an engaging learning environment is critical. Learning results from mutual respect and I do my best to model excellence in my musical life, faith in my spiritual walk, and integrity in my professional work. I cherish the mentoring relationship that develops with my students and continues beyond graduation as they transition from students to colleagues and friends.
WHY ETBU? The rapidly increasing secularization of society and public higher education heightens the need for Christian higher education in todayâ€™s world greater than ever. East Texas Baptist University provides a challenging environment for students to learn and grow. Our faculty, and indeed our entire institutional culture, provides a positive, healthy, and safe context for
students to ask questions, seek truth, develop skills, and challenge themselves under the tutelage of strong academic leaders who are grounded in their faith in God and who care about our students and their personal academic journey. I am privileged to serve in this environment surrounded by people that I admire and respect. In my eighteen years at ETBU, I have come to love this institution, its students, alumni, faculty, staff, and administration.
WHY COMMUNICATION & PERFORMING ARTS? Music has been a critical part of my life as long as I can remember. Since my early childhood, I have been involved in music making and it has always brought joy to my heart. My experiences have been diverse and inclusive of educational and church programs as well as professional performance work. Each emphasis of this work brings unique challenges which provide opportunities for personal, spiritual, and musical growth. The music field and church music landscape is changing rapidly, and this, too, is exciting and demands critical thought and bold leadership for our academic programs.
I want to know Christâ€”yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death. Philippians 3:10 Hilltop Summer 2017
Dean John Sargent, Ed.D.
EDUCATION PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION After nine years of teaching in public school elementary and middle school classrooms, I transitioned to teaching at the university level. In this level, I have the opportunity and the privilege of training future teachers for the students, who will inhabit 21st century classrooms. I take this responsibility very seriously. I affirm the art and science of teaching is best learned by discussion, modeling, and then practice. While the art and science of teaching has general principles to abide by, it also allows creative instructors to tailor their instruction to the individual needs of their students. I emphasize this creativity in my classroom and discuss the notion of fairness as it applies to teaching. I emphasize the concept of fairness means teaching each student as their needs dictate. This leads to teaching the various methods of differentiated instruction and universal design for learning principles that allow each and every student to succeed. I try to instill in my students the same love that I have for teaching students with special needs. I truly want them to profess that all students are capable, given the right differentiation of instruction. My classroom is rich with opportunities to engage in practical teaching applications. I emphasize in all of my instruction special techniques and methods designed to reach all learners.
WHY ETBU? In my faith-filled life, ETBU has allowed me to respond to the call of God in a personal way. Teaching at ETBU and serving the students here provides me with a tremendous opportunity
to not only share my personal faith, but also mentor students on their journey with Jesus Christ. Once a week, we incorporate a reading from scripture in all of my classes and relate the scripture reading to our own life and the world of education in general. We progress through a process of deep contemplation on these assigned scripture passages and how they impact our lives, belief systems, and ultimately our actions.
WHY EDUCATION? First, I was a flight instructor in the United States Air Force and after retiring, became a public school teacher in the states of Texas and Louisiana before I came to ETBU. Teaching at ETBU in the School of Education provides the means to change the world in a practical sense and spiritual sense as well. In a practical sense, I am teaching at ETBU because teachers have the opportunity to influence the world. I train future teachers and in some small measure, through them, have multiple opportunities to influence the world. I adore the profession. I am devoted to empowering students to become teachers. I view teaching as a practice, like the professions of medicine and law, in which you become better the more you engage.
Jesus answered, â€œIt is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.â€? Matthew 4:4
Christian Servant Scholar Profile
Senior Samantha Busby is much more than a typical straight A student; she leads and ministers to others in her church, school, community, and work with CentriKid
s seen in her service with CentriKid, Friendship Baptist Church, the Baptist Student Ministry, and in the classroom, senior Samantha Busby from Como, Texas, is passionate about sharing the gospel with all, whether in the community or on campus. Influenced by her sisters’ experiences as campers, Busby volunteered as a Team Assistant (TA) for CentriKid Camp, a nation-wide camp focused on bringing youth closer to Christ. The TA position, filled by Busby, allows high school students to shadow a staffer at these camps. “I just fell in love with the mission of this organization,” Busby shared. “I get goose bumps when I think about it.” Since completing her summer as a TA, she has been involved in the camp as a staffer, video producer, production leader, and camp director. “One of my favorite things about Centrikid Camp is that it is rooted in scripture,” she added. “That means that after every game you play, you sit down with the kids and relate that game back to a passage of scripture.” Busby was able to apply this concept to her work with the Children’s Ministry at Friendship Baptist Church in Marshall. She became involved once she began at ETBU and now helps lead the Children’s Ministry on Wednesday evenings. “She has a kindness and ease about her,” Director of Student Success Kelley Paul said. “She is able to gain the students’ attention without even raising her voice. I think she is a great example to our children, especially those who may be a little more reserved. Sam’s leadership is quiet, but strong and that is a refreshing thing to see.” Initially, she visited ETBU because she was being recruited for basketball. However, Busby explains that she was drawn to ETBU by, “the intentionality that ETBU has with people and the many opportunities for students to serve.” After being on the ETBU Basketball Team for two years, she felt that God was calling her to share the gospel through a different avenue. As a result of stepping away from the Tiger Basketball Team, she had more time and opportunities to serve in ways she wasn’t able to before. Moreover, she was able to use her experience as a video producer and sound technician from CentriKid to assist the BSM Release Team. Every week, she is involved
in planning the logistics of the student-led worship service. From choosing a speaker to designing engaging games, Busby is focused on building community and enriching relationships for the glory of God. Although she is actively involved in ministry on and off campus, Busby ensures that her studies stay a priority With a family history of parents, grandparents, and greatgrandparents as teachers, she was raised with a strong respect for education. Busby will graduate December 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies. She has made the Dean’s List with Honors every semester. Additionally, she is an active member of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. Professors at ETBU have noticed her dedication and admired her work ethic during her time on the Hill. “The learning experience is demanding in my courses from historical readings to discussion in the classroom,” Professor of History and the Dean of the School of Humanities Jerry Summers said. “In these experiences, Samantha was consistently prepared, ready, and able to contribute as a leader.” Busby is an encouragement and example to all who interact with her as she incorporates her faith with her service and scholarship.
Dean Jerry Summers, Ph.D.
PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION I believe that our University is a dynamic, Christ-centered, present-focused and mission-oriented community and institution. I hear frequently that students are the most important element in a university; others say the faculty are the essential foundation. There is no contest, because we could not get along without both. On the one hand, one classical understanding of education meant that understanding and wisdom were to be “drawn out” of students through processes of rigorous inquiry, dialogue, and self-examination. I like that idea, but, on the other hand, at ETBU my job is to help complete the “furnishing of the mind” that my students need in order to proceed to maturity and greater effectiveness. The process of “furnishing” we call learning is never really finished, but we have to show that our students are better after their experiences with us than they were when they arrived. I believe that learning is valuable for its own sake, but here at ETBU we can emphasize learning for the sake of our calling in Christ that involves purpose and preparation for service. I am convinced that my teaching, our teaching, regardless of the academic discipline, has meaning for the Church, the Kingdom of God, our students, and the world. If that is true, then all our talk about holistic development makes sense.
WHY ETBU? Our country has many wonderful colleges and universities. It is common to hear that a college provides a sense of family, emotional and intellectual security and growth, and opportunities to prepare a student to make his or her way in the world in an excellent way. ETBU is a great place to work, because there is a longstanding positive spirit of purpose and cooperation on this
When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before You. Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from You will perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds. Psalm 73:21-28
campus that is only a dream on many others. Even with our differences, we who teach and administer have been able to see clearly what good the college has done for our students over the years and what our students contribute as well. We have been affirmed in our work together, both by our own efforts and by a tradition that was here before we arrived. ETBU is a good place made better from generation to generation. We believe in growth and improvement for everyone— the students, the faculty, and for the institution itself. It is a wonderful thing to know that our efforts to deepen and strengthen the University and its mission continue to produce graduates of character and purpose.
WHY HUMANITIES? History and politics are foundational studies. What can be more basic to human beings than their concerns about understanding and interpreting the past and comprehending the basic organization of our societies and governments—how we all conduct ourselves in our politics, and why this is so vitally important for our economic, environmental, and cultural well-being? My department and my field of study, history, encompass everything that is valid for human beings, and this is endlessly fascinating for me. For this historian, it is a grand opportunity to consider “all things human” in times and places, so, while there are many things to mourn or find fault with, there are also many exciting people and events to remember and muse about.
Dean Lynn New, Ph.D.
NATURAL & SOCIAL SCIENCES PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION Education can be transformative in the lives of students, in terms of both what they know and how they think. By increasingly developing the complexity of thought, students can be drawn out of themselves, becoming less self-focused and more engaged in working for the good of not only the surrounding community, but even the strange world that lies beyond oneâ€™s own community. For education to realize its promise, teachers must be agents of transformation. Scripture identifies Christ as a life-giving spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), and through union with Him and identification with His calling and purpose, Christ can live through the teacher and become manifest in the classroom to enliven instruction, discussion, and deep reflection. Teachers enliven lessons by creating relevance and enjoyment through the use of meaningful applications â€“ students remember what they have enjoyed. Challenging new ideas must be presented with the benign appeal of a Trojan horse, something that is immediately interesting and acceptable, but from which surprisingly novel complications burst forth to overwhelm and supplant previous ways of knowing. The principle of respectful engagement is at the heart of effective teaching. This is the recognition that learning is never one-way, teacher-to-student. Instead, the process of teaching and learning must invite students to make connections between an academic discipline, on the one hand, and their own thoughts or what seems right to them, on the other. New information connected to existing knowledge will be
better remembered and is more likely to become part of how the student thinks and makes decisions. The engaging relationship is caring, compassionate, and always kind.
WHY ETBU? The people make ETBU great! We have wonderful students, who always are a delight to know and to work with, and our faculty and staff are the salt of the earth. I have learned much from students and faculty alike, and I am always amazed at how beautifully the light of Christ shines through the fellowship that we share.
WHY NATURAL & SOCIAL SCIENCES? We are the School of Natural & Social Sciences, and it is the philosophy of science that connects the work of the faculty from different academic departments. I always have loved the central idea of being able to settle divergent claims to knowledge and create agreement among disparate groups by collecting and examining empirical evidence. So instead of being engaged in argument forever over a single theoretical point, opposing perspectives can form an investigative alliance in the search for greater truth.
And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Hilltop Summer 2017 15 Luke 6:33-35
ETBU NUR T
he ETBU School of Nursing is relocating to the historic Marshall Grand in downtown Marshall. Since 1992, ETBU has been equipping nurses with knowledge, professional skills, and compassion. ETBU Nurses have consistently achieved high pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and 100% of recent 2016 and 2017 East Texas Baptist Nursing School graduates received job offers upon degree completion. The installation of the School of Nursing in the Marshall Grand will provide students and faculty enhanced and expanded space, with an essential simulation learning center. A landmark study indicates that up to 50% of clinical time in simulation can lead to quality outcomes with progression through the nursing school, NCLEX success, and clinical practice upon graduation. As students enter the simulation activity and clinical setting, they transition from the capacity of student and take on the calling of the skilled professional nurse. “Providing our students with the latest innovative techniques, modern simulation equipment, and enhanced clinical facilities will better prepare ETBU nurses with the skills, experience, and confidence to effectively address patient health care needs,” School of Nursing Dean Rebekah Grigsby said. “The relocation to our new downtown campus in the historic Marshall Grand will enable our program to grow and help meet the profession’s acute nursing shortage.” The relocation will not only benefit the University and its programs, but the community as well. “ETBU was created in 1912 by the people of Marshall,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “Expanding East Texas Baptist to a downtown campus in the Marshall Grand reflects the University’s commitment to invest in the economic development of our city. This expansion is a return on the investment that Marshall made in our institution.”
for i will RESTORE health to you, and your wounds 16
THROUGH DOWNTOWN MARSHALL
will HEAL, declares the LORD. jeremiah 30:17 Hilltop
EQUIPPING “SERVANT-HEARTED” NURSES 18
THE HISTORY OF THE MARSHALL GRAND Constructed in 1929, the Hotel Marshall was built by Sam Perkins and designed by the renowned Fort Worth architect, Wyatt C. Hedrick. From its beginnings, the Hotel Marshall was a hub of vibrant activity for the community. In 1957, Earl Hollandsworth bought the building and spearheaded a remodeling. The Hotel Marshall continued to be a popular East Texas attraction until it closed in 1971, due in part, to the rise in popularity of motels. The building stood in a profoundly blighted condition for more than 25 years. In 2003, to help fuel and assist the economic revitalization and historic preservation of downtown Marshall, Marshall native and businessman Jerry Cargill and his wife, Judy Cargill, partnered with former Texas State Senator and former Harrison County Judge Richard Anderson and his wife, Christina Cocek Anderson, on the renovation of the building. With the assistance of community partners, including the City of Marshall, the non-profit Marshall Downtown Development Corporation, the Marshall Economic Development Corporation, and hundreds of donors, the partners worked to renovate and restore the beloved historic landmark. The renovation was completed in 2007 and the Cargills and Andersons used the building for events and meetings for members of the local community. In 2013, the Cargills and Andersons donated the building as a gift to East Texas Baptist University for the benefit of the community and region.
ADMINISTRATIVE & ACADEMIC FLOOR
CLINICAL INSTRUCTION FLOOR
NURSING SCHOOL FLOOR PLANS
Dean Rebekah Grigsby, DNP
PHILOSOPHY ON NURSING My philosophy of education is tightly interwoven with my philosophy of nursing practice. I believe that nursing is a blend of multiple areas of knowingâ€“empirical, ethical, aesthetic, personal, and emancipatory knowledge. The blending of these knowledge bases leads to a solid foundation of nursing practice. As a nurse educator, my philosophy of education is founded on my belief that teaching is truly a partnership with the student. A relationship between the teacher and learner should support a collaborative and creative environment of knowledge discovery, translation, and assimilationâ€“all leading to excellence in nursing practice.
WHY ETBU? ETBU is a community of believers who seek to serve the Lord in whatever discipline God has called them. It is a scholarly environment with individuals committed to pushing themselves to soak up knowledge and experiences that will allow them to be the best they can be in their field. There is also a culture that is focused outwardly on the needs of the world, with which I personally connect and which allows me to pursue my interest in a more global community. I cannot leave out the aspect of community that includes an atmosphere of celebration and enjoyment of life that complements the academic aspect of education. And lastly, ETBU holds a very special place in my heart, as my parents went to school and met here. My roots are truly here at ETBU.
WHY NURSING? I believe that I was called to be a nurse and now called to be here at ETBU to lead our school in providing an environment of learning for new nurses, new nurses who are themselves called to serve the patients they encounter and provide quality health care.
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations. Psalm 100
Dean Joseph D. Brown, Ph.D.
PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION Christian higher education must provide a God-centered theory of knowledge, because God is the source of all truth. Therefore, a faculty member purposely teaches their content area in the framework of biblical authority, and this framework allows faith building through the University’s co-curricular activities. This guides what happens in the dorms, the BSM, intramurals, intercollegiate athletics, social groups, and other University-sponsored activities. Each person involved with Christian higher education must be serious about growing their personal commitment to Jesus Christ. This includes faithfulness, the study of the scriptures, membership, and service in the local church. All policy makers must determine that all policies within all areas of the college are done based on the Christian mission of the institution. Simply, do the policies fit a Christian world view? Within the classroom, faculty are the communicators of truth. The faculty seek excellence to the glory of God, and must not be satisfied with anything less than being superior in the knowledge of their academic field. The faculty are creative in their efforts to bring faith into the classroom. Classroom dynamics create contexts in how this is done. This must be accompanied by grace and patience, because there are differing views of Christianity. No human project is ever complete and faculty must chip away at the project.
WHY ETBU? At ETBU, the focus of faculty is on the students. It is great place to work because of the ability to build relationships with students through small class sizes, campus events, and corporate worship through weekly chapel. As a Dean, I still advise students. In what large state school would you have a Dean as your class instructor, let alone be your academic advisor? Getting an education at ETBU is preparation for a student’s future opportunities.
WHY PROFESSIONAL STUDIES?
FRANK S. GRONER
I have always been interested in human movement, whether it be in training for health, fitness, and athletics or through rehabilitation. Since we are wonderfully made by God’s hand, I have a great desire to learn more about how the body moves. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” At ETBU, I teach students how to train for worldly events and awards, but, most importantly, I have the opportunity to share with them how to receive the crown of everlasting life.
SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
So do not fear, for I am with You; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
SOAR ON WINGS LIKE EAGLES Dr. David Dykes charges ETBU’s Spring Graduates to seek God first in their lives “I was blessed to attend ETBU, where the faculty and staff go out of their way to help you without even having to ask and putting God first is a priority,” Bachelor of Science graduate in Health Science Lacey Lindsey shared. “It was more than I could have ever asked for.” One hundred and forty-two students received undergraduate degrees and 23 earned master’s degrees, for a total of 165 new ETBU graduates. Fifty-six of these students graduated with honors. One undergraduate student, Joel David Rodgers (Bachelor of Science in Biology), completed an Honors Project entitled Using ITS-2 as a DNA Barcode to Elucidate Hemerocallis Hybrid Paternity and Maternity—A Pilot Study. Dr. David Dykes, the Senior Pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas, received an Honorary Doctoral Degree of Divinity and presented the charge to the graduates. Dr. Dykes received these honors from the University for his spiritual leadership, pastoral ministry at GABC, service to ETBU as a trustee, chapel speaker, leader at Hilltop University, and his continued support of the University over the last two decades. “God did not create you to peck around in the dirt and dust of mediocrity. He created you to soar to the levels of excellence. Seek God first in your life, operate according to God’s plan, attempt great things for God, and refuse to give up,” said Dr. Dykes. He closed the charge by quoting Isaiah 40:31, “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Zachary Ervin, a Bachelor of Science graduate in Business Administration, was announced as the President’s Award recipient. This award is given to the graduating student, who is the best representation of a Christian leader, scholar, and servant. While at ETBU, Ervin guided the Chapel worship leadership teams, frequently led worship on campus and at local churches, served as captain of the Tiger Baseball Team, and was a charter member and captain of the Tiger Bass Fishing Team.
Ervin confessed that ETBU has made him a wellrounded person. He is grateful for every opportunity he has been given. “I really think that the coaching staff and my professors have pushed me to become a better man,” he said. Ervin intends to further his career by earning a Master of Business Administration from the Fred Hale School of Business at ETBU. Dr. Lynn New, Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences and professor of Psychology, received the Professor with Distinction Award. Dr. New was awarded this recognition for his excellence in service, scholarship, teaching, and integration of faith and learning throughout his tenure at the University for over 30 years. “I have seen him compassionately serve the most challenging students and I have seen how much they respect him,” one nomination letter read. “I see Christ in Dr. New in a way that makes me a better person. If he is not a professor with distinction in our village, then there are none.” Upholding University tradition, President Blackburn led faculty and staff in a unified prayer of blessing over the graduates, by quoting Colossians 1:9-12, “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” Special music was performed by ETBU’s Concert Choir directed by Dr. Justin Hodges. Dean of the School of Communication and Performing Arts, Dr. Thomas R. Webster, directed the music during the ceremony. Music throughout the service featured Organist Cathy DeRousse and the Faculty Brass Quintet.
Dean Colleen Halupa, Ed.D.
ONLINE STUDIES PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION
Education is a commensal relationship where both the teacher and the student learn and benefit. Both have to do their part in order for effective learning to occur. I think education should be studentcentered, relevant, engaging, and fun. All students learn differently; this must be considered when developing curriculum. In today’s world, in addition to teaching discipline-specific content, we must also teach students the meta-literacy skills that are necessary for them to succeed in college, in the workplace, and in today’s technological world. I believe a large variety of teaching strategies should be employed in the classroom and creativity should be encouraged. Ultimately, my goal is for every student to succeed and perform to the best of their ability. I do everything I can to help our students be the best they can be; however, I do have high expectations for student performance. Every student is a unique individual with different talents and skills. To me, the purpose of higher education is multi-faceted. It assists students to become well-rounded adults, who can think critically and solve today’s complex issues. It helps students explore their Godgiven talents and it helps all of us to overcome our weaknesses and challenge ourselves in ways we might never have dreamed. Ultimately, I hope I can instill in our students a love of learning and knowledge; it is not about grades—it is always about learning.
ETBU is a great place to work, because of its kind faculty and staff. I have only been here for a year, but everyone has been wonderful! ETBU is a great place for students, because of the small class size and personalized attention, as well as the faith integration in the curriculum.
WHY ONLINE STUDIES? I was a health administrator for over 20 years, but teaching was always my first love. I gravitated to it by doing clinical and classroom teaching whenever I had the opportunity. I was pursuing my doctorate in education when online learning was in its infancy and it greatly interested me since I had been in the Air Force and had to take whatever classes were available wherever I happened to be. Online learning opened up a whole new world for students. Since then, I have continued to focus on online education in higher education and do research and write on various aspects of it.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 24 Hilltop Summer 2017 Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
Dean Marty Warren, Ph.D.
ACADEMIC SERVICES & INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION
I believe that each student is a unique individual who needs a caring and stimulating environment in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and socially. It is my desire as an educator to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that invites questions and open discussion. I believe it is my duty to create such an environment by serving as a guide and providing access to information and activities rather than acting as the primary source of information. Teaching mathematics is a challenging, yet rewarding endeavor. Learning mathematics has historically been viewed by many as very difficult and often times unattainable. My philosophy on teaching mathematics is to make it interesting, possible, and relevant. I attempt to achieve these goals by providing relevant examples and hands-on activities that reinforce the lesson being studied and creating opportunities for individual discovery, which I feel is crucial to the learning process. For myself, teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth. One of my hopes as an educator is that my students will see my passion for learning and then be instilled with their own love for learning.
ETBU is a great place to work and receive an education, because it is a community of faith that fosters the integration of Christian values with a quality education. As a small university, there is greater opportunity for building positive and supportive relationships among students, faculty, and staff. As a Christian institution, it provides the ideal setting for leadership and service opportunities to assist students, faculty, and staff in fulfilling their unique calling to God.
WHY INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH? The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness is of special interest to me, because it allows me to use my statistical and analytical background in practical ways in service to the University. Responsibilities of the office include coordinating and conducting institutional research studies, surveys, and reports for both internal offices and external agencies. It excites me to be able to use my talents and skills to fulfill these responsibilities. Other areas of responsibility include assessment, planning, and accreditation oversight. These areas encompass the entire University, which provides me the opportunity to work with many different people across campus.
HOMECOM LET THE Good Friday, October 13 8:00 A.M.
Alumni Awards Chapel/Golden Blazer/ Golden Lightkeeper Ceremony Baker Auditorium, Ornelas Spiritual Life Center
Homecoming Award Recipient and Golden Lightkeeper Luncheon Woods/Cornish Great Room, Ornelas Student Center For HC Award, Golden Blazer, Golden Lightkeeper recipients and their families
Tiger Table Games: Bridge/Dominoes/Billiards Huffman Activities Area, Ornelas Student Center Campus Tours 2nd Floor, Marshall Hall
Blue Revue: A Fine Arts Celebration Recital Hall, Jenna Guest Music Building
Late Night Breakfast Bennett Student Commons
Registration Ornelas Student Center
Tiger Pep Rally and Fireworks The Quad
ING 2017 Times ROAR
REGISTER NOW www.ETBU.edu/hc2017
Saturday, October 14 8:00 A.M. Registration Ornelas Student Center
10:00 A.M. Tiger Family Carnival and Tailgating (lasts until 1:00 P.M.) The Grove Everyone Welcome! 10:00 A.M. 1960s Decade Reunion: 1967 Honor Class Hogue Room, Ornelas Student Class 10:00 A.M. 1970s Decade Reunion: 1977 Honor Class Woods Great Room, Ornelas Student Center 10:00 A.M. 1980s/1990s Decade Reunion: 1992 Honor Class Cornish Great Room, Ornelas Student Center 10:00 A.M. 2000s Decade Reunion: 2002 & 2007 Honor Classes Huffman Activities Area, Ornelas Student Center 11-1:00 P.M. Lunch and Tiger Walk (11:45 A.M.) The Grove Take time to support the ETBU Tiger Football Team! 2:00 P.M. ETBU vs. Texas Lutheran Ornelas Football Stadium
Sunday, October 15 9:00 A.M. Homecoming Worship Service Lampsato Chapel, Ornelas Student Center
Meyer Lecture Series
IT’S MY PLEASURE CHICK-FIL-A’S DEE ANN TURNER MOTIVATES STUDENTS TO PERSEVERE
ast Texas Baptist University hosted its annual Meyer Lecture Series on April 5, 2017. The event is underwritten by generous support from Phillip Meyer. Meyer attended East Texas Baptist College from 1976-1978 before going to the University of Houston. He is the former President of Core International, LLC. Currently, Meyer is a Partner and Vice President with Oilfield Precision Products Inc. in Houston, Texas. He has more than 38 years of experience in various facets of the energy industry. As an alumnus, Meyer began serving as a trustee of ETBU in 2015. The Meyer Lecture Series was initiated with the vision to encourage students to see themselves as Kingdom citizens whose calling is to serve Christ through their vocations. “I love this University,” Meyer said. “I’ve been involved with it for over 40 years. It’s just a way for me to give back.” The 2017 Meyer Lecture Series featured Dee Ann Turner as the guest speaker. Dee Ann Turner is the Vice President of Enterprise Social Responsibility for Chick-fil-A, where she began her career more than 30 years ago. Previously, she served as the Vice President of Corporate Talent. Throughout her tenure, Turner has played an intricate role in fostering the unique and regarded culture of Chick-fil-A. Author of It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture, she has completed numerous achievements, including multiple degrees from schools across the country and completing the prestigious Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Her presentation, entitled The Secret Recipe of a Compelling Culture, emphasized the importance of living a life worthy of the calling that Christians have been given, specifically exemplifying humility through suffering (Ephesians 4:1). “We all have some kind of pit and we all know what it feels like to think that we may never get out,” Turner said. “Now, when I think about being in a pit, I think about the story of Joseph. He was thrown into a pit by his own brothers. Joseph was the favorite son and he struggled a lot with his humility, which is what made his brothers get really jealous and decide to toss him into
the pit that day. He was rescued from the pit, but things only got worse.” Turner described how Joseph was sold into slavery and eventually thrown into prison. However, despite his misfortune, Joseph, “Clung to the character of God in his circumstances,” Turner added. “He remembered that God is sovereign, that He is still on His throne even when we are in a pit. God is not caught off guard; He uses everything to His glory and our ultimate good. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Joseph relied on that very character of God when he was in the pit.” Turner continued, discussing another aspect of Joseph’s response to his suffering. “He used his circumstances to strengthen his own character. He needed to overcome his pride and learn humility. Under all of those circumstances, he learned to serve. It trained him to be faithful. That pit was used to test him in his moral purity. It also prepared him to comfort others.” Turner shared that she worked for the same boss for 30 years. “Then, I had a change in my work and ended up in a different situation,” she said. “I struggled with that for a little bit. When it was over, and I got to the other side of that little pit I was in, I realized that it had given me the opportunity to comfort others.” She urged students to see the purpose in the pits of life and claim, as Joseph did to his brothers,“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). Turner encouraged students to not become comfortable in their pits, but to learn from them, and to leave them. She expressed confidence in God’s provision, “Christ suffered the greatest pit there was. Whatever pit we are in, Jesus made a way of escape through Him.” The Meyer Lecture Series, in reflection of the University’s values, seeks to provide a platform to share the gospel with students in a context of practical application. The information presented through the lectures provide both logistical and spiritual guidance, showing students that faith should not be compartmentalized.
God is not caught off guard; He uses everything to His glory and our ultimate good. ANN TURNER DEE VICE PRESIDENT OF ENTERPRISE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY CHICK-FIL-A
The ETBU Theatre Departmentâ€™s performance of the musical Fiddler on the Roof was seen by over 1,700 people from the community of Marshall February 2326. Set in 1905 Russia, the musical featured a story of Tevye, a Jewish milkman struggling with seeing his three oldest daughters getting married and moving further from their traditions and toward an anti-Jewish sentiment. Led by student director, junior Laramie Smith, the Theatre Department also told the story of strangers stranded at a small roadside diner during a winter blizzard with their production of Bus Stop, a play by William Inge. The ensemble performed for four sold-out audiences April 20-23.
ETBU senior University Studies major Erin Miller was announced as the Senior Girl Call Out recipient at the 70th Annual Ceremony in front of Marshall Hall. ETBU students marked the 145th celebration of Arbor Day with the planting of three dogwood trees in the Grove area of ETBU’s campus. The dogwood trees were selected, because of these particular trees’ Christian symbolism that denote the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. On April 1, Taylor Rowlands of Houston, junior Elementary Education major, competed in the 61st Miss ETBU Scholarship Pageant and was crowned as the University’s 2017 Miss ETBU.
2017 Sports Highlights
TIGER ATHLETICS For the first time in East Texas Baptist University Tiger Athletics history, three spring teams played in postseason playoff games. “Overall, we’re really pleased with the progress and strides that we made as a department,” Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erwin said. “Not only on the field and court, but also how our coaches and staff took in the responsibility of academics, in the community, and as a team through Bible studies and discipleship. It was a fruitful year. One that we want to build upon in athletic success, and, most importantly, in the spiritual development of our student athletes.” The 2016-2017 school year saw coaching changes which included Scott Highsmith being named the head football coach and Rusty Rainbolt being named the women’s head basketball coach. “God has called several new coaches and their families to Marshall to serve here through ETBU,” Erwin continued. “Our coaching staff is engaged in the campus community and they are challenging our Tigers to serve the Marshall community and even the global community. ”
ETBU Softball won 38 games and were the NCAA Division III Marshall, Texas Regional Tournament Champions. The Tigers ended their season in the NCAA Division III Super Regional Championship. Jayme Perez and Linzie Lewis were selected to the NFCA All-American first team as Perez became ETBU’s only four-time All-American. She also became a CoSIDA Academic All-American first team member. ETBU started off their season 14-0, which tied a school record for best start to the season, and had wins in the season against then #1 UT-Tyler 3-2, a sweep of NCAA Tournament qualifier DePauw (IN), a split of Birmingham-Southern (AL), and a NCAA Tournament win over #6 UT-Dallas. Career milestones were achieved by Lacey Lindsey hitting her 50th career home run, and Jayme Perez hitting her 40th home run. Lindsey Vasquez broke the single season stolen bases record (50) and career stolen bases record (119), and Katy Hill became the all-time hit by pitch leader (40). Jordan Anderson successfully pitched a perfect game against Concordia-Texas in a run rule win in just five innings. ETBU’s offense was led by Lewis with a .440 batting average, and by Perez with 15 home runs and 62 RBI.
Tiger Athletic Mission Experience
SOFTBALL CULTIVATES COSTA RICA FOR CHRIST ETBU launches the Tiger Athletic Mission Experience (TAME) with a mission trip to San Jose
lthough some had never participated in a mission trip or traveled outside of the United States and many had never flown on an airplane, the members of the East Texas Baptist University Softball Team overcame the fear of the unknown to show Christ’s love in Costa Rica. “You could see something changing in them throughout the week as they learned so much,” ETBU Softball Coach Janae Shirley said. “You could see they were starting to recognize God in everything that they were doing and in the different places they served.” This Costa Rica trip is the first for the newly established ETBU Tiger Athletic Mission Experience program (TAME). The goal of the program is for each ETBU athletic team to take an overseas mission trip once every four years with the purpose of providing student athletes the opportunity to spread the Gospel of Christ through sports evangelism. During the December 10-17 TAME trip, team members distributed Bibles, worked on remodel projects at local schools, served at a school and home for children, and played two exhibition games against the Costa Rican national team. “For my teammates and me, this mission trip was a huge step out of our comfort zone,” senior Kaitlyn Hollingshead said. The Youth with a Mission (YWAM) San Jose location served as the softball team’s base of operations while in Costa Rica. YWAM provided the students support through translators, Bible study, lodging, meals, and worship experiences. “It was a moving worship time full of songs in Spanish and English, but regardless of the language, voices and hands were held high, worshiping the one and only Savior,” junior Katelyn Cooper said. “It was an amazing time getting to talk and pray with the workers on the base from all over the world.” Coach Shirley noted that one YWAM guide explained how sports can open doors to share the gospel that otherwise would be closed in Costa Rica. “My faith was encouraged to hear these young ladies share the message of God’s love through Jesus to Costa Ricans on their doorsteps, on the sidewalks, and in their living rooms,” ETBU President Blair Blackburn said. “Challenged to overcome the language barrier, our students used their Spanish scripts to guide their introduction, discuss the power of God’s Word, deliver the Bible as a gift, and offer to pray for families they met
along the way.” Jayme Perez, who never had been outside the United States, insisted the experience in Costa Rica changed her view of the world. “It made me realize how blessed I am to have grown up in a Christian environment and attend a Christian university like ETBU,” she said, noting she was shocked people didn’t have access to Bibles and were grateful to receive one. “We know that God’s Word is a powerful tool, and we are so excited to have a small part of sharing the Bible with the people in Costa Rica,” ETBU Vice President for Spiritual Development Scott Bryant said. “We prayed over every Bible that was given out, and we know that God’s Word does not return void.” “After playing the Costa Rican national team in softball, helping at an orphanage, and being immersed in a new culture, my Tiger teammates and I left Costa Rica with changed hearts, a deeper passion for the Lord, and stronger relationships as a team,” Hollingshead said. The Costa Rica Trip was just the beginning for TAME. In May, ETBU Men’s Soccer traveled to Nicaragua, see story on page 40. This December, the Tiger Bass Fishing Team will journey to Brazil, ETBU Baseball Team will travel to the Dominican Republic, and Tiger Women’s Volleyball Team will minister in Serbia. If you would like to suppot TAME, please contact Ryan Erwin at 903.923.2226.
BRANDON CURRAN MENâ€™S HEAD BASKETBALL COACH 36
Coach Brandon Curran invests in his team through Christ-centered discipleship ETBU Head Basketball Coach Brandon Curran is developing a program that cultivates lasting relationships, dedicated faith, and disciples of Jesus. His passion to guide the Tiger Basketball Team toward unity contributes to the tradition of ETBU Athletics. Curran desires to see the team improve in technique and grow together as brothers in Christ. “We talk about family,” Coach Curran explained. “In the locker room above our door, it reads ‘FAMILY.’ Every time we leave before a game, we ask the guys to touch that sign as a reminder and a pledge of commitment to each other.” He hopes that the players and coaches will continue to strengthen their relationships by committing to invest in one another during their time at the University and beyond. “The hope would be that we really do become a family,” Curran said. “When a Tiger player graduates from ETBU, they will feel that they were really a part of something special in our basketball program.” Coach Curran has his players participate in an activity called Life Maps, which allows the players to know each other beyond the court. Life Maps is a tool where players share about their heritage, heroes, triumphs, and struggles. This instrument allows them to see the hand of God at work. Although Curran asks his players to be transparent with one another, he leads by example and opens up to both his coaching staff and his players about his own story. He understands that people are afraid to openly share their struggles. Therefore, he completed the first Life Map. “I hope that it gives the guys freedom to be honest and vulnerable,” he shared. In his Life Map, Curran discusses his struggle and search to find what it means to be a Christian coach. He knows the difficulty of primarily valuing the scoreboard and losing focus of leading his team to follow Jesus faithfully. When he initially began coaching, he sincerely wanted to help people and point them toward God; however, Curran’s success became his identity. “When I really looked at my heart, I was more focused on receiving recognition for my program and me personally,” Curran confessed. He realized his call was to coach for the glory of God, rather than his own. Although Coach Curran desires to win twenty or more games and compete for a conference championship each season, his primary focus remains on guiding the hearts of his players to build champions for Christ.
“We want to win as many games as we can and to compete for a national championship,” Curran said. “And while we are doing that, we get the privilege of discipling our players. The Lord called me here for this purpose. We hope that through discipleship, our players are enabled to counsel their friends, families, and communities. That’s the vision, the goal, and the direction we are moving.” At ETBU, student athletes are challenged to be the best in their sport and encouraged to strengthen their faith. Together with their teammates, the ETBU Tigers are using their athletic talents as a platform to share Jesus with others.
Winning the program’s first-ever American Southwest Conference Tournament Championship, the ETBU Tiger Women’s Tennis Team finished with 19 wins and qualified for the NCAA National Tournament. They knocked off #23 Whitman College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to #1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in California. ETBU swept the ASC awards for the East Division taking all of the top honors. Jeff Bramlett was the Coach of the Year, while Kate Bramlett was named the Most Valuable Player and Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. Elisa Kendall took the Freshman of the Year award and Kaleigh Smith was recognized as Newcomer of the Year. Bramlett, Smith, Kendall, Tiffany Stankiewicz, Mullika Seekhieo, and Kellie Cawthon were All-ASC selections. Bramlett, Kendall, Smith, Seekhio, and Cawthon were also East Division first-team members, while Stankiewicz was named to the second team. In the 2017 season, ETBU had a record 13-match winning streak following their opening loss to Hardin-Simmons. In that stretch, they picked up seven shutout wins against Austin College, Schreiner, Concordia, Centenary, Messiah (PA), Mary Hardin-Baylor, and Louisiana College. They also went undefeated in the Spring Tennis Fest in Hilton Head, South Carolina winning 8-1 against Westminster (PA), 9-0 against Messiah, and 5-1 against Connecticut College. ETBU also had six ASC East Division Player of the Week awards: Kendall, Smith, and two each for Bramlett and Stankiewicz. Bramlett ended her career with over 100 combined wins and the program’s first-ever CoSIDA Academic All-American and ITA West Region Most Improved Senior.
Tiger Baseball finished the 2017 season as the American Southwest Conference Tournament runners-up reaching the championship series for the first time in program history. ETBU finished the season winning 20 of their last 26 games and were regionally ranked after the ASC Tournament. Offensively, ETBU was led by Conner Combs, who batted .400 and recorded 70 hits. Zach Gartner, who hit .362, finished with 50 RBI and 10 home runs. Seven players were named All-ASC, and Conner Combs was named the ASC Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Combs’ peers also voted him the ASC Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. Combs and Gartner were named first team while Zach Compton, Casey Combs, and Jaxon Rader were on the second team. Kyle Loson was voted onto the third team, while Logan Sprinkle earned honorable mention. Sprinkle was the top pitcher for ETBU with a 5-1 record, 2.86 ERA, and five saves. Combs, Gartner, and Compton earned ABCA All-Region awards. As the most decorated player in the program’s history, Combs finished his ETBU athletic career being named a D3baseball.com and ABCA All-American for the second year in a row.
TRACK AND FIELD
The ETBU Track and Field Team finished strong at the American Southwest Conference Championship meet with three male individual champions. On the men’s side, Zack Biles won pole vault, while Chase Sojka took the 110 meter hurdles events and Thomas Reynolds won the shot put. In the first meet of the season, Reynolds won the shot put event at the Prairie Dog Classic. For their victories, Reynolds and Sojka were rewarded ASC East Division Athlete of the Week awards. Biles just missed qualifying for the NCAA National Championships and was named to the USATFCC All-Region team. For the Tiger Women, Brooklen Butler won the 300 meter hurdles at the Prairie Dog Classic. Hannah Godwin won the javelin at the Southern Arkansas Classic. Godwin, Kelsey Dagle (high jump), and Butler (400 meter hurdles) all finished second at the ASC Championship meet in their event.
The ETBU Tiger Men’s Basketball Team started the Brandon Curran Coaching era 10-3, which included an overtime win against Rhodes College. This win saw Jordan Quillian score a career-high of 39 points. Dylan Augustine achieved a milestone when he became the 18th player in ETBU program history to score 1,000 points in his career against Rust College. ETBU finished the season 15-11 overall and 6-10 in the American Southwest Conference. The Tigers qualified for the ASC Tournament falling to eventual ASC champion Hardin-Simmons University. Quillian was named to the All-ASC East Division first team, and Augustine was the All-ASC East Division second team. Both players were also named to the ASC All-Defensive team. Landin Brown finished his first Tiger season as a member of the All-ASC East Division freshman team.
Tiger Athletic Mission Experience
Men’s Tiger Soccer ministers through their sport in Nicaragua
lthough the student athletes went on a mission trip expecting to be an influence for the gospel, they found sharing their stories actually changed their own lives. The ETBU Tiger Men’s Soccer Team, consisting of 25 students, coaches, and staff, traveled to Nicaragua this May for the second Tiger Athletic Mission Experience (TAME). “I know that it was not by chance that I was brought on a mission trip to a country where they speak a language in which I am fluent,” senior Jose Vega shared. “God put me in this situation, so I knew that I had to step out of my comfort zone and share my story.” The Tiger student athletes spent most days painting classrooms and hosting soccer clinics at local schools; they often had opportunities to share their faith with children and parents. When they returned to the mission house in the evenings, the team would have a devotional together. “It’s great to see how these guys have soaked up these experiences,” junior Captain Jordan Burke expressed. “We gained a deeper understanding from it all.” As a team, they decided how to lead the school’s chapel service. Three athletes, including Vega, Danilo Martins, and Joey Bruner shared their testimonies. “It was great to see all of the kids together and express to them our reason for being here,” Burner said. “God has used all of us and our passion for soccer to further His Kingdom and make a lasting impact on the kids’ lives.” The team visited Keiser University, the only American University in Central America, to play their soccer team. Afterward, the Tigers traded jerseys with the other team and engaged in conversations about their mission in Nicaragua. “It was a fantastic opportunity to play a team from Nicaragua, and we were very grateful for the experience,” freshman Ivan Adams confessed. “We were rewarded to be able to play the game we all love and spread the Gospel of the Lord to the people of Nicaragua.” Though they had a similar experience when playing the
University of Central America Men’s Soccer Team the next afternoon, they branched out that evening as they played the Nicaragua Men’s National Volleyball Team. “As their coach, I have been so impressed with how our guys came out of their comfort zones to openly share their struggles and testimonies as a team,” Head Soccer Coach Chris Crawford said. One day, the Soccer Team traveled to a local public school, Colegio Publico Santo Domingo, in the city of Managua. A local police officer and the school’s principal provided an overview of the youth community’s condition and spoke of the need for encouragement. The team separated into groups and spent the morning visiting classrooms, telling students the importance of education, encouraging respect for authority and one another, and sharing their faith. The final service opportunity of the trip was Casa Alianza, a center for at-risk teenagers. The focus of the center is to provide adolescents with an education and skill-set to move on from the hardship they have faced. The team spent the afternoon leading games of basketball, volleyball, and soccer. After hearing the hearts of so many of young men, Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach Chad Cox shared, “I can truly go home saying this experience was more than we ever could have imagined.” Through TAME, the team grew closer to one another as they drew closer to the Lord. The experience changed them all for the better and will affect how they live. “This trip may have impacted some of the students during their time in Nicaragua, but it has definitely changed our Tiger Soccer program,” Crawford said. “What an amazing experience to see these guys come together and sacrifice so much to share the love of Jesus Christ. We are called to do this as Christians across the globe and even in our backyards at home in Marshall. I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store next for ETBU Soccer, East Texas Baptist University, and Marshall, Texas.”
SUCCE SIGNIFI • •
HeroSports.com Hero of the Year (2017) Carroll Beringer College Division Player of the Year (2016) D3baseball.com Preseason All-American (2017) Most Valuable Tiger Award (2017) ASC Baseball Player of the Year (2017, 2016) ASC 1st Team All-Conference (2017, 2016) CoSIDA Academic All-District (2017, 2016) D3baseball.com 1st Team All-Region (2017, 2016) ABCA 1st Team All-Region (2017, 2016) D3baseball.com 3rd Team All-American (2017, 2016) ABCA 2nd Team All-American (2017, 2016) CoSIDA 1st Team Academic All-American (2017, 2016) CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year (2017, 2016) ASC All-Academic (2017, 2016, 2015) ASC Player of the Week (Feb. 24, 2016) D3baseball.com Team of the Week/ASC Player of the Week (April 12, 2016) HeroSports.com Hero of the Week (2016) All-ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor (2016) ASC Athlete of the Year (2016) Joe & Marilyn Hogue Presidential Servant Leadership Award (2016) ASC Distinguished Scholar Athlete (2016) NYCBL Player of the Week (July 10, 2015)
NYCBL All-Star MVP (2015)
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Even though Conner Combs won numerous individual awards throughout his baseball and academic career at East Texas Baptist University, he humbly remained focused on the Tiger Baseball Team’s success and his fellow players’ spiritual development. “It’s always nice to be recognized,” Combs said. “However, it doesn’t come without the other guys’ producing in the lineup, giving you opportunities to produce.” Comb’s purpose has consistently been to be an influence on his teammates and his community, much like James Morgan, who wore No. 16 for ETBU and graduated with a degree in Education in 2007. The ETBU Baseball Team voted Combs as a sophomore to wear No. 16 in Morgan’s memory, as he passed away in a plane crash in 2012. “Getting a chance to put on that jersey every week, I was able to look at that and understand that this game is not about me,” Combs expressed. “This game is not about performance or stats. It’s about playing hard and honoring the Lord through the way I play and giving all I have.” Combs views his role in baseball as a privilege, knowing each day is a gift. On or off the field, his leadership and strength of character has affected his classmates, teammates, and even coaches. “I am proud to have coached Conner and see the player and man he has developed into,” ETBU Head Coach Jared Hood shared. “Conner has been our team’s model leader in his faith walk, in the classroom, and on the field.” Conner credits his success and desire for a significant life to the influence of others, “My teammates’ support motivated me, my coaches’ guidance helped me, my family’s love inspired me, and God’s grace sustained me. I am who I am today because of them.” Combs graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in May of 2016 and earned a Master of Business Administration in May of 2017. “Conner Combs has continued to raise the bar as an ETBU Tiger student athlete,” Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erin said. “He continually strives to challenge his teammates in their faith and is a positive example in the locker room, on campus, and in the community. We are grateful for the impact Conner made during his time at ETBU. Tiger Baseball will definitely miss his dedication to honor Christ in everything he put his mind to and his contagious servant leadership attitude.”
TOWARD SS AND
Although Jayme Perez was considering NCAA Division I softball programs when she visited ETBU as an incoming freshman, she now reflects on a storied career as one of the most celebrated athletes in the school’s history. After meeting ETBU Head Softball Coach, Janae Shirley, Perez was drawn to the Tiger Softball program. Five years later, as a graduate student at ETBU, she couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. “I remember being unsure,” Jayme shared. “Then I came on campus and met Coach Shirley. I could tell she cared a lot about the program—the future of it. I’m so glad I came on that visit.” Perez began her collegiate athletic career by hitting a walkoff home run in the 2014 NCAA Super Regional Tournament. Even as a freshman, her influence inspired the Tigers toward success. Her leadership continued as she set the tone for the team. “Jayme was such a great leader for our program. Her whole career, she chose to lead by example,” Head Softball Coach Shirley explained. “She would work hard, compete, and do what was asked of her as a player to help us be successful. She is an incredible athlete and an even better person.” Her focus and work ethic earned her the NCAA Ethnic Minority Graduate Scholarship as a senior, which allowed her to attend the Career in Sports Forum June 1-4 in Indiana. The four-day forum provided student athletes interactive experiences with successful individuals in the sports business industry. “The forum was an amazing opportunity to represent ETBU and the American Southwest Conference,” Jayme said. “We learned about resume building, networking, internships, and career opportunities within sports. I was able to meet hundreds of student athletes from all three NCAA Divisions.” Perez enrolled in dual credit master’s courses, while completing her undergraduate degree at ETBU. She graduated in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and will complete her Master of Business Administration next year. Jayme desires a career opportunity with the NCAA Championship Marketing Department, but has an attitude of openness as she moves forward with her education and career development.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
ASC 1st Team All-Conference (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014) NFCA 1st Team All-Region (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014) NFCA 1st Team All-American (2017) CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American (2017) ETBU President’s Christian Scholar Athlete (2016, 2017) NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team (2017) Most Valuable Tiger Award (2017) NCAA Ethnic Minority Graduate Scholarship Recipient (2017) ASC Hitter of the Week (April, 4, 2017) Women’s D3 Hero of the Year Honorable Mention (2017) ETBU President’s Christian Scholar Athlete (2017, 2016) American Southwest Conference All-Academic Team (2017, 2016, 2015) ASC Hitter of the Week (March 14, 2016) HeroSports.com All-American (2016) NFCA Division III Leadoff Class All-Tournament Team (2016) Joe & Marilyn Hogue Presidential Servant Leadership Award (2016) NFCA 3rd-Team All-American (2016, 2014) NFCA 2nd-Team All-American (2015) NFCA Hitter of the Week (May 7, 2014) ASC All-Conference Tournament Team (2014)
Student Athlete Profile
Zach Ervin (‘17) shares how Tiger Athletics and ETBU academics shaped his faith and transformed him into a leader
Tiger Athlete, Zach Ervin, proclaims what it means to be a Christian leader during his time at ETBU.
TBU academics and Tiger Athletics have shaped Zach Ervin’s life. Zach has benefited from the spiritual encouragement of his coaches and teammates. Likewise, he has contributed to the spiritual growth of the campus community through his call to leadership. When Ervin initially visited the campus, he felt a sense of comfort and was confident in God’s direction. “I think I knew immediately that this is the place the Lord wanted me to carry on my athletic career,” he reflected. Throughout his time at ETBU, Ervin developed a sense of belonging with all the Tiger sports teams, his professors, and the community. Head Baseball Coach Jared Hood, entrusted Ervin, even as a freshman, with a role to guide other students on the team in their faith. “Zach pushes me to be the best follower of Christ that I can be,” senior Jacob Wadle shared. “He keeps me accountable. I’m lucky to have him as my best friend and brother in Christ.” Ervin gladly bears the burdens of his fellow teammates, despite the personal cost. “If they have any questions about what it means to follow Jesus, I’ll immediately stop whatever I’m doing to help them,” Ervin said. He insisted that his main priority at ETBU is to minister to his teammates. Ervin attributes this desire to the Christ-centered atmosphere at East Texas Baptist.
“This school integrates faith in the classroom and on the field. Here at ETBU, there is a constant godly focus,” he shares. Specifically, Ervin accredits much of his growth to the coaching staff and his professors. “I really think that the coaching staff and my professors have pushed me to become a better man,” Ervin confesses. He uses their example to influence those around him, constantly searching for ways to encourage his friends, teammates, and coaches. “You don’t hear him being negative about anything,” Assistant Baseball Coach Kyle Palmer said. “Even when guys are struggling, he is willing to force you to be real with yourself and understand it is going to be okay.” Ervin is a relentless leader on and off the field. His selfless attitude is evident in his service to the team. “Zach is one of my accountability leaders and is overall one of the best people I have been around in my life, regardless of his age,” Coach Hood said. “He is an unbelievable figure to have on the team. He is always giving everything he has in all that he does and that’s something that cannot be taught or coached. It’s something that has to come from within—and Zach’s got that.” Coach Hood explains that even though Ervin does not always receive the glory for it, he is always looking for opportunities to work hard. It is clear that Zach Ervin has obediently followed the Lord’s call—not simply to attend ETBU, but called to lead others to Christ in every area of his life.
If they have any questions about what it means to follow Jesus, I’ll immediately stop whatever I’m doing to help them. ZACH ERVIN, ‘17 ETBU STUDENT ATHLETE 2013-2017 Hilltop
The ETBU Men’s Tennis Team finished the 2017 season with seven wins and qualified for their second straight American Southwest Conference Tournament. The Tigers started the season off slow in their first six matches before gaining their first win and going on a four-match winning streak. ETBU went 2-0-1 in the Spring Tennis Fest at Hilton Head, South Carolina winning 9-0 to Westminster (PA), Messiah College (PA) 7-2, and tying 4-4 to Connecticut College. ETBU picked up their first ASC win of the season against Louisiana College by a score of 9-0. They finished the season at 3-1 in the ASC East and had five players named All-ASC East. Ty Tarver (doubles), Andrew Deutsch (singles), John Herr (singles/ doubles), Joseph Salinas (singles/doubles), and Cody Highsmith (singles) were all named to the ASC first team. Herr was recognized as the Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year by ASC student athletes.
The ETBU Bass Fishing Team finished their first year by ranking #24 in the nation at the 2017 Cabelas Collegiate Bass Championship sponsored by Abu Garcia. The Tigers are ranked in the top 15% of almost 200 colleges competing in the Cabelas college fishing circuit. At their final competition of the 2017 season, the FLW National Championship in Rogersville, Alabama, sophomores Jacob Keith and Brett Clark finished with a 5-fish limit weighing in at 13 pounds, 8 ounces. A three-day total of 38 pounds, 3 ounces earned the Tiger Anglers #5 bass fishing program in the nation.
The ETBU Women’s Basketball Team recently hired new head coach Rusty Rainbolt. Rainbolt, a familiar face in the ASC, coached at McMurry and Concordia-Texas. The Tigers received several awards this season, Hannah Holt was named ASC Freshman of the Year, leading the team with 14.8 points per game. Senior Lauren Lee was voted the Sportsmanship Athlete for the East Division.
After starting the fall season 8-7, the ETBU Hockey Team continued their season on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum, ETBU’s home ice and home of the NAHL Shreveport Mudbugs. Coming back from the winter break, ETBU was dealt two losses to Texas State before rebounding to pick up wins against UT-Arlington and SMU. The Tigers finished their inaugural season on the ice with a winning record of 12-11.
HEAR ME GOETBUTIGERS.COM GoETBUTigers @GoETBUTigers GoETBUTigers etbusports
Sam B. Hall Lecture
receives Civic Service Award in memory of Sam B. Hall Jr. East Texas Baptist University held its 24th Annual Sam B. Hall Jr. Lecture and Dinner on February 28, as a time to celebrate and remember the legacy of Sam B. Hall Jr. The lecture series, presented by McKool Smith, was a tribute to the late United States Representative and Eastern District Court Federal Judge Sam B. Hall Jr. The Sam B. Hall Professorship and Lecture Series were endowed in 1993 by family and friends of Congressman and U.S. District Judge Sam B. Hall Jr., a native of Marshall and alumnus of the College of Marshall and the Baylor University School of Law. Judge Hall served as a member and president of several civic organizations and the Marshall Regional Medical Center before his death in 1994. Hall was a conservative Democrat, a champion of members of the U.S. military and veterans, and an enthusiastic patriot. The program included a speech given by Dean of the School of Humanities and Sam B. Hall Jr. Professor of History Dr. Jerry Summers, a musical celebration of America with selections from Homeland performed by the University Chorus and Symphonic Band, and special recognition of Jean Birmingham, the 2017 Sam B. Hall Civic Service Award honoree. Birmingham served as a business teacher at Marshall ISD for 36 years and was also active in the city of Marshall as an entrepreneur, city commissioner, and community leader. Birmingham was presented the award by former Harrison County Judge Richard Anderson. “We stand on the shoulders of those who go before us,” Anderson said. “She and her husband owned Birmingham’s Barbecue as well as Birmingham’s Department Store. Jean is also president of the Harrison County Historical Museum.” Birmingham is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Marshall’s All America City team. “I taught everything the school had to offer in the Business Department, from bookkeeping, to accounting, general business, business math, typing, to the introduction of computers,” Birmingham has said in the
past. “My love for children and their love for me made me feel I was someone special, and I couldn’t help but extend my whole soul and mind. It gives me real joy when my former students come up to me and share with me what I had done for him or her, some little thing I had done that I had forgotten.” Birmingham shared, “For once, I am speechless, and that is unusual for a school teacher.” Birmingham told the Hall family, who sat in the audience, “Your dad loved Marshall and I do, too.” In honor of the beloved Sam B. Hall Jr., the University partnered with Marshall Education Foundation to award two $5,000 scholarships to Marshall High School seniors Anthony Gonzalez and Kinley Wilkins, who have reflected academic and civic leadership during their MHS years. Both will be attending ETBU in Fall 2017. Dr. Jerry Summers presented his speech titled, With Providence at the Crossroads. “In past times the word providence represented almost everything we can think of as reliable,” Dr. Summers shared. “Providence relates to God’s caring provision, guidance, and foresight for us. Providence includes everything in the great JudeoChristian tradition that has benefited us, including a personal and spiritual source of that tradition—our God who creates and sustains.” Dr. Summers described familiar circumstances where people face choices and encouraged them to seek Christ at each junction. “The life of a family, a church, a community, a university, must rely on the presence and actions of people and families who believe, that do not dwell on the disorder of the world as many see it, but thrive in the proverbs of realities and possibilities, that is our calling to activate into real lives,” Dr. Summers continued. “We play a part in that. The providence that gives and guides is actually the one God, who sees and knows what lies ahead. Let us choose that which providence offers, fearing nothing, because we respond to and trust the only enduring certainty.”
ETBU's Global Study & Serve Program hosted trips to Germany, Israel, Nicaragua, the Philippines, and China in May 2017. These trips involve course credit, cultural immersion, and a ministry component. Professor of Biology Roy Darville taught a Biology course in China. The group spent time ministering to children with medical complications at a local orphanage. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders led a trip to Israel. On the Holy Land journey, ETBU offered two courses from the School of Christian Studies: Old Testament, taught by Assistant Professor of Religion Jeremy Greer, and an upper-level course, Lands and Cities of Israel, taught by Dean of the School of Christian Studies John Harris. Students spent the week prior to their trip in class and were well prepared for the culture, geography, history, politics, and biblical narrative of the region.
REFER A FUTURE TIGER Contact the Admissions Office at 903.923.2000 or 800.804.ETBU or visit www.etbu.edu/refer to refer a future ETBU.
Join the Traveling Tigers as we journey this Fall 2017 to
New York City, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Homestead! Hosted by President J. Blair Blackburn and First Lady Michelle Blackburn
FOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Contact the Office of Advancement email@example.com 903.923.2068
WILLIAMSBURG Balance Due: July 26, 2017 NEW YORK CITY Balance Due: August 16, 2017 Hilltop
-Two hours of singing the great hymns of our faith -Accompanied by organ, piano, and orchestra -Performance by the ETBU University Chorus -Fellowship reception immediately following in the Edwards Conference Center
church groups and choirs welcome!
You Shop. Amazon gives. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, youâ€™ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to East Texas Baptist University.
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com.
On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select East Texas Baptist University as the charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping.
Enjoy shopping, and then AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.
BY HENRIK IBSEN
FREE ADMISSION to all shows with ETBU ID
Directed by Payton Weinzapfel
April 26-28 @ 7:30 pm April 29 @ 2:30 pm Black Box Theatre Jenna Guest Music Building
For more information, visit WWW.ETBU.EDU/THEATRE or call 903.923.2158 Hilltop
ETBU REACHES OUT ETBU partners within the community to create a Public Servant Scholarship and Yellow Jacket University
TBU and Elysian Fields Independent School District announced the formation of Yellow Jacket University at a press conference on April 20. “We hope this program encourages more of our students to earn a college degree,” Principal of Elysian Fields High School Jack Parker shared. “We are proud of this opportunity! Go Jackets and Tigers!” Starting in Fall 2017, ETBU will offer dual credit college courses to Elysian Fields High School students. The courses will be available on the University campus, in Elysian Fields High School classrooms, and online. “Our mission as a Christ-centered university calls us to invest in the lives of those in our community like Elysian Fields ISD,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders said. “This partnership embodies our commitment to Christ and our community.” The program provides a unique opportunity for high school students to earn college credit. The courses will be offered at a discounted tuition rate. Students will be allowed to take up to 27 semester hours before they graduate, about 25 percent of an undergraduate degree. “We want to encourage even more EFISD students to begin and finish their college studies at ETBU,” President J. Blair Blackburn stated. “These courses meet criteria for high school graduation and effectively transfer to the institution of the student’s choice in Texas. We want students to have accessible, affordable education right here within reach in Harrison County.” After the success of Maverick University that began in Fall 2016 with Marshall ISD, ETBU continues to pursue new partnerships with area high schools.
ETBU announced a new scholarship opportunity for Marshall’s first responders in April. The Public Servant Scholarship, a partnership between the University and the city of Marshall, will provide reduced tuition at the University to all full-time Marshall Fire Department and Marshall Police Department employees. “The Public Servant Scholarship will cover half the cost of undergraduate tuition and a third of graduate tuition for full-time staff of the Marshall Police and Fire Departments,” President J. Blair Blackburn said. “This opportunity allows for a quality education to be more financially attainable,” Marshall Fire Chief Reggie Cooper said. “The Marshall Fire Department continuously strives for excellence in service to those called upon during emergencies. With that in mind, this education and training is critical to all of our firefighters and EMS (emergency medical services) personnel.”
CALM IN CHAOS Peter Muriungi (‘98), originally from Nairobi, the capital of and largest city in Kenya, recounts a moment where his graduate school education at ETBU prepared him to face a major crisis in the workplace. “I’m in New York City sitting in a room. It’s 10:00 a.m. and the CFO for the company walks in, and we knew that something was really wrong,” Peter Muriungi explained. “He said, ‘We have a problem, but everything will be fine.’ By 5:00 that evening, we had people calling about $3 billion worth of investments, and they were trying to get their money back. I got on a plane Thursday morning. I returned home Friday, and the company was sold for $2 per share. All my money and all I had ever done was in that company. That’s all I knew, so the crisis was probably the most dramatic change in my life.” Although the chaos was overwhelming, Muriungi found purpose in the experience. “For whatever reason I was so intrigued by trying to figure things out. It was a God thing —the ability to not panic,” Peter said. “I was young. I had no money. I had very little to lose, but at the time it felt like everything was gone, but I didn’t have much to begin with.” His drive to make a difference during the economic downturn led to a deeper understanding of how the system worked. He built strong relationships during that time with very important people in that business. Muriungi found a way to make the most out of a time of loss in his life. In his role, Peter was responsible for terminating positions in the aftermath of this financial crisis. “I realized through that period how much suffering there was,” Muriungi reflected. “The employee settlements actually helped me to see people and to understand what was happening to them. They were losing their jobs and their homes, with no prospect of finding another job. Their whole lives were destroyed. It changed my
perspective and now, with my career, I see the bigger picture.” Today, Peter is the executive leader of the Mortgage Banking Division of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank in Dallas, Texas, where he, his wife, Mercy (‘98), and their two children live. “People who know mortgage servicing and its complexities might find it a bit crazy and challenging,
but I absolutely love it,” Peter exclaimed. “Mostly because I was prepared for it through my professional experiences and my education at ETBU.” Muriungi encourages students to pursue graduate degrees, which he believes will give them a deeper understanding of and enjoyment from what they are learning. He has experienced firsthand how a graduate education teaches students how to apply their learning to their actual work later in life. “I have learned the importance of believing in certain things that are true and don’t change over time,” Muriungi shared. “Institutions like ETBU teach you that. You can learn math at any institution, but the value system is the most important thing.” Peter received a Master of Business Administration from ETBU and left with more than just an education. He gives credit to the University for his preparedness during the crisis. “Every single day I am thankful that I went to graduate school at ETBU,” Muriungi said. “In life, you’re thrown curve balls and complexities. Without proper education, the time, and the preparation to understand them, they would almost be impossible to process.”
Every single day I am thankful that I went to graduate school at ETBU.
Many companies support employee philanthropy by offering matching gift programs. By taking advantage of your corporate matching gift program, you can double your donation. Check with your employer benefits department to see if your company will match gift to ETBU. Hilltop your Summer 2017 57
ETBU hosted the 19th annual Christian Association of Student Leaders Conference (CASL) January 26-28. CASL 2017 fostered leadership with students from across the U.S. Over 250 students from Baptist universities across the South and Southwest, such as Dallas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Howard Payne University, Hardin-Simmons University, Louisiana College, Mississippi College, and University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, were in attendance. The weekend, themed Learn. Serve. Lead., trained and gave students tools to be Christ-like leaders. “The student leaders on each of these campuses represent future Christian leaders,” ETBU Vice President of Student Affairs Heather Hadlock said. “Contributing to the leadership growth and development of these young adults is central to what we do in Christian higher education. CASL allows students the opportunity to share ideas and learn from their peers at Baptist institutions.” Spiritual Renewal Week, February 6-8, featured guest speakers Jared Greer, an ETBU Alumni and former American Ninja Warrior competitor, and Matt Surber, an ETBU Alumni and Pastor of Castle Hills Church in San Antonio. The theme for the week was Overcoming Obstacles and the theme verse was John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In addition to being the speaker for the evening sessions, Greer also brought his own Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course for ETBU students.
STAY CONNECTED WITH US New jobs, weddings, births, accomplishments, updatesâ€” whatever your news, share it with your ETBU Family. Stay up to date by signing up for our monthly Tiger Pride newsletter. Send to: Alumni Relations East Texas Baptist University One Tiger Drive Marshall, TX 75670 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 903.923.2071 Update online: etbu.edu/alumniupdate
Assistant Vice President for Advancement and Director of Alumni Relations
Accent on Alumni UPDATES 1940s Jeanne Beth (Gibbs) Gray (’70) shared that she attended a royal celebration at the Legacy Assisted Retirement Home in Bay City, Texas. Jeanne (Sanders) Powers (attd’ 4546) was selected Queen and Claude Jackson (’49) was selected King. They enjoyed looking at old yearbooks and remembered some of the same people. Mrs. Gray said, “It really doesn’t matter how old you are, life on the Hill seems to always have a place in your heart!”
Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden, Arkansas. In January 2017, she became the Editor of the Ouachita County Historical Society Quarterly.
1950s In honor of his 94th birthday on December 28, 2016, Fannin County Commissioners court issued a proclamation to Bro. Bill Beasley (’50) declaring his birthday, Bill Beasley Day in Fannin County, Texas. Bro. Bill has served as a son, brother, husband, father, soldier, and spiritual advisor, serving as pastor at First Baptist Church in Bonham and chaplain at the Sam Rayburn Memorial Veteran’s Center.
Jana (Norwood) Kelley’s (‘93) newest book, Door to Freedom, was released in February by New Hope Publishers. It is a sequel to her first novel, Side by Side. Jana and her husband, Kris (94’), currently live in Southeast Asia with their three sons. You can learn more about Jana and her writings at www.JanaKelley.com.
1960s Rylee Rousseau, granddaughter of Chuck Kennedy (’68) shows her excitement about receiving her birthday gift from the ETBU Cub Club. Rylee turned seven on April 13, 2017. Dr. Gaynor Yancey (’67) was chosen as one of the 45 Influential Baylor Women You Should Know in the field of education. She is considered a master teacher and currently serves as a professor at Baylor University. 1980s Freddy Mason, Jr. (’80) is celebrating 50 years as Pastor of Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Carthage. Bro. Freddy also recently retired from Panola College as the Dean of Fine Arts. Brenda (Hutcheson) Fickey (’80) received the Concurrent Faculty Excellence Award for 2016 from
1990s Kristan (Pringle) Gross (’91) was named President of the Vision Impact Institute. Kristan has been with Essilor of America since 2007, when she joined the company as a public relations and communications lead. She has served as Global Director of Content and Communications since 2015, and was appointed Vice Chair of Vision2020 USA in 2016. She was also named one of the Most Influential Women in Optical in 2014 by Vision Monday.
Greg Beane (’99) was selected to the 2017 Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars list and elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. As a partner at Verner Brumley Mueller Parker, Greg is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In addition to being active in the family law community, he is on the Board of Directors of the Collin County Young Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the Young Community Partners of Dallas, an organization dedicated to the protection of abused and neglected children in the Dallas area. 2000s Benjamin Stewart (’01) of Dallasbased litigation boutique Bailey Brauer PLLC has been selected to the 2017 Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars list of the top young lawyers in the state. Ben represents clients in complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation
in federal and state courts and assists companies with both internal and governmental investigations. Texas Rising Stars recognizes the state’s top attorneys who are 40 years or younger or who have been in practice for 10 years or less. Asha (Jagnanan) Kenebrew (’01) recently became a Restaurant Marketing Director for Chick-fil-A in Baytown. She is pictured here alongside her fellow RMD, Susan Harper. Asha taught school for 14 years prior to her new career. She is married to Adrien (’00), Assistant Basketball Coach at Crosby Middle School. Asha and Adrien have two children, Ashton, a junior at Crosby High School and Adrianna, an 8th grader, whom Asha homeschools. Michael Shewmaker (’03) published his first book, Penumbra: Poems (Hollis Summers Poetry Prize), in February 2017, which is available on Amazon. The poems are largely set in East Texas. Michael is a Jones Lecturer in poetry at Stanford University. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, his poems appear or are forthcoming in Yale Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry Daily, Parnassus, Oxford American, New Criterion, Narrative, and other literary journals and anthologies. Born in Texarkana, Texas, he earned an MFA from McNeese State University and a Ph.D. in creative writing from Texas Tech University. His wife, Emily (Simpson, ’07), is the Residential Programs Coordinator at Stanford. 2010s Micah (’14) and Tania (Albuja, ’13) Alonzo now live in Houston. Micah recently passed his CPA exam and is an Assurance Associate for BDO, while Tania is currently completing her second year of law school at the University of Houston Law Center. Micah returned to campus in Fall 2016 to talk to ETBU accounting students about his experience taking the CPA exam, and how they should prepare for the exams, as well as possible careers in the accounting field.
1970s Dr. Katherine (Moore) Spears (‘77) married Victor Davis on February 4, 2017. Katherine is the Founder and Executive Director of Moore Life Institute and Victor is an asset to that ministry. The newlyweds live in Bossier City.
1950s Robert (’52) and Merle Jean (Oldham, ’52) Jordan celebrated 66 years of marriage by renewing their wedding vows on February 14, 2017. The couple met at East Texas Baptist College. Merle was escorted down the aisle by their youngest son at Hudson Creek Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Bryan. After the ceremony, the Jordans danced at a reception held for them, shared a romantic kiss, and a long embrace. How’s that for a sweet Valentine’s Day!
2000s Leah Chiles (’05) married Jordan Grant in July 2016. The Grants moved to Shreveport, LA and are both new urologists at Regional Urology.
BIRTHS Jennifer (Battarbee) Gerlich (’08)
and her husband, Ryan, welcomed their first child, Benjamin Anthony in February 2016. Benjamin was 7 pounds, 1 ounce and celebrated his first birthday in February. The Gerlichs are proud parents and live in Bryan. Blake (‘13) and Brooke (Chapman, ‘12) Dover welcomed their first child, daughter Blakelee Jo, on April 12, 2017. Blakelee weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 22 inches long. Congratulations! Dale (’65) and Sandi (Sanders, ’66) Coates welcomed their 18th grandchild, Axton Brock Coates on February 8, 2017. Axton is the son of Craven and Amy Coates, and joins 11 brothers and sisters.
1970s Danny (’73) and Dana (Gardner, ’72) Biddy celebrated their 40th anniversary and retirement at Old River Baptist Church in Dayton. Danny is excited about continuing
as a music librarian and Dan as the Director of Alumni Relations and Director of Admissions. 1950s Dr. Walter Lee Sisk, Jr. (’50) passed away on November 24, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Irene (Brown) Sisk (’48). After graduating from ETBC, he went on to obtain his medical degree and practiced medicine in Bonham, Texas, from 1961 until he retired in 2003. Lonnie Fenton (’51) passed away on March 6, 2017. Carolyn Smoke (attd’ 53) passed away on December 26, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mack (’53). Jean (Lambert) Evans passed away on March 13, 2017. She taught music and art in Kilgore schools for 33 years. James Elliott Day (’55) passed away on October 29, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Margaret. William Albert Ames (’58) passed away on November 29, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Imogene.
to preach and minister as long as God allows. He is available to preach or speak and may be reached at 409.267.1968. 2000s Jared (‘09) and Sally Greer (‘08) celebrated their 10th anniversary March 10, 2017. The couple has two sons, Micah and Bennett, and resides in Grandview, Texas.
DEATHS 1940s Dorothy “Dot” (Wyatt) Dinwiddie, College of Marshall class of 1943, passed away on May 12, 2017. Nelda (Finch) Gardner (attd’ 47-48) passed away on October 21, 2016. She is survived by her husband, Rev. Dan Frank Gardner (’48). The Gardners both worked for ETBC from 1966-1979, with Nelda serving
Martha (Routh) Thomas passed away on November 17, 2016. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Norman (’58). James “Jiggs” Allen (’59) passed away on January 2, 2017. 1960s Margaret Ann (Freeman) Fomby (’60) passed away on December 29, 2016. Kenneth Carl Rice (’60) passed away on December 11, 2016. Paula (Richardson) Lander (’63) passed away on December 11, 2016. She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Tommy. 1970s Linda (Jones) Lumpkin (’71) passed away on April 25, 2017. She was a school teacher and church secretary. Dr. Millard “Gene” Wilson, Jr. (’71) passed away on December 31, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Virginia (Dobbs) Wilson (’71).
Patricia “Pat” (Davis) Chadd (’73) passed away on November 16, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband Boe (’53).
Barbara (Hemmenway,’59) and Bill Huffman were recognized and honored by the Texas A&M Foundation in a special ceremony on April 9, 2017.
Dr. Paul Powell (‘78) passed away on December 28, 2016. Dr. Powell was an ETBC trustee from 1974-1982 and was honored with a Doctor of Divinity from ETBC in 1978. 1980s Nancy (Lawler) Minton (‘88) passed away suddenly on December 15, 2016. She was 52 and was married to her college sweetheart for 33 years. She is survived by her husband, Russell Minton (‘86), her three children and three grandchildren. 1990s Rhonda (Webb) Cole (’94) passed away on February 14, 2017. Tod Bush, son of trustee Susan Bush, passed away on December 22, 2016. Dr. Marvin Harris, beloved English professor at ETBC and ETBU from 1965 until 1998, passed away on May 16, 2017. At one point in his career, he served as Chair of the Department of English at ETBU. He was loved by students, staff, and faculty alike. He is survived by his best friend and wife of 60 years, Sandra.
Bill is a 1953 graduate of Texas A&M University. They, along with Tyson Voelkel, President of the Foundation, were surprised with the presentation of Maroon Coats as part of the 10th year class. Pictured are the Huffmans with their children Gay Huffman of Austin, and William Huffman, Jr. (’12) of Marshall, who surprised their parents at the ceremony. In addition to this honor, Bill was chosen as one of the recipients of Texas A&M’s highest award given to alumni, the Distinguished Alumni Award.
East Texas Baptist University received a special gift this holiday season that reflects its motto, “May the Light on the Hill Never Die.” The funding for this new lighting system that illuminates the four columns of historic Marshall Hall was given by East Texas Baptist College alumna Dr. Rita Storie Turner (‘48) in honor of her friend, Dr. Lucile Estell, who is part of the class of 1951 and a former faculty member. This gift bestowed to ETBU in tribute to a friend is a visible representation and inspiration to another generation of Tigers that call ETBU home.
Kayla (Taylor) Graber(‘15) and her husband,Tyler, were recently featured in the Marshall News Messenger for their unique self-serve drink shop, Chugg’s Tea & Water Co., that opened in Hallsville, Texas January 2017. They sell sweet and unsweet tea, with the flavors already infused into the tea. The couple does not add any syrups to the tea, providing a more natural taste. Also, the Grabers purify their own water on site using the Reverse Osmosis System. Tyler is from Amarillo and serves as a Marshall Fire Department Firefighter, while Kayla works as a nurse at Christus Good Shepherd Health System in Longview. For more information about their business, visit https://www. chuggsteaandwater.com/. Abner “Abe” Simon (’56) received his high school diploma from Orangefield High School, 72 years after being drafted for World War II. He traveled back in his former high school in
September 2016 and asked to see a copy of his grades. When he told them that he never finished because he was drafted, they asked him to come back to the office in one hour. When he returned, he was ushered into the gym where the marching band played Pomp and Circumstance and an orange cap and gown was waiting on him. He returned back to Orangefield High
School in May of 2017 where he and his brother, Stanley, age 96, marched with the class of 2017 in the official graduation ceremony. Abe received his Bachelor of Arts in Religion from ETBC.
i n m Aluand s d n e i r F RALLIES
MAKE RESERVATIONS TO JOIN US FOR A
FREE FAJITA BUFFET DINNER WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE ETBU FAMILY
MONDAY, JULY 10 | DINNER @ 6:00 P.M.
ARLINGTON @ PAPPASITO’S, I-30 & COOPER ST.
TUESDAY, JULY 11 | DINNER @ 6:00 P.M.
DALLAS @ PAPPASITO’S, 10433 LOMBARDY LN.
MONDAY, JULY 17 | DINNER @ 6:00 P.M.
HOUSTON @ PAPPASITO’S, I-45 & AIRTEX DR.
TUESDAY, JULY 18 | DINNER @ 6:00 P.M.
HOUSTON @ PAPPASITO’S, I-610 & KIRBY DR. FOR RESERVATIONS EMAIL MPURDIE@ETBU.EDU OR CALL 903.923.2071
I have found the one whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4
ntering college, it’s common to dream of finding the one of whom we say, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” Many alumni found the one whom their soul loves on campus. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the ETBU Alumni Office held a contest for couples that met on the Hill. Throughout the month of February, couples were invited to share their story. The third runner-up, Jeremy and Katy Roberts, met and married during their time at the University. Katy finished up school, while carrying their daughter, Heidi, “I always say she’s a true Tiger Cub, because she attended ETBU before I even met her,” Katy teased. The second runner-up, Joey and Wendy Sutton, began their story on a golf cart. “Don’t get into cars with strangers, but golf carts might not be such a bad idea,” Wendy warned. The first runner-up, Tim and Jenni Darst, were engaged at the entrance of Tiger Drive, as Tim had arranged the flowers to read: Will you marry me? “Our first moments as an engaged couple were spent on the Hill at a school that holds so many of our memories,” Jenni reflected. The winners of the contest were Charlie and Jennifer Michalik. Charlie called his sister, Roxanne, but her roommate happened to answer the telephone instead. “I guess you might say it was love at first voice,” Jennifer said. Soon after meeting, Charlie was deployed to Vicenza, Italy, with the U.S. Army. Charlie proposed from over 6,000 miles away and sent her engagement ring through the U.S. Mail. “Twenty-seven years later, I can still say that the best phone call I ever received was the one that came to my dorm room in the basement of Merle Bruce Hall,” Jennifer shared.
s t r e b o R
Non-Profit Org US Postage
One Tiger Drive Marshall, TX 75670
Global Mailing Svc
INK JET ADDRESSEE STREET ADDRESS LINE 1 STREET ADDRESS LINE 2 CITY, STATE ZIP
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
Beach Reach in South Padre | Belize | Brazil | China | Costa Rica | Dominican Republic Germany | India | Israel | Louisiana | Nicaragua | Mississippi | Philippines | Serbia | Texas 64