Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

2014 Sam B. Hall Jr. Lecture Series Banquet

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Left to right: Becky Palmer, Sam Moseley, Kay Moseley, Amanda Wynn, Dr. Dub Oliver, and Sandra Bodenhamer. Photo by Mike Midkiff

Left to right: Becky Palmer, Sam Moseley, Kay Moseley, Amanda Wynn, Dr. Dub Oliver, and Sandra Bodenhamer. Photo by Mike Midkiff

When plans were being made for this year’s Sam B. Hall Jr. Lecture Series Banquet a large crowd was expected to attend.  The evening lived up to its expectation and more as both the Woods and Cornish Great Rooms inside the Ornelas Student Center were at capacity level.

The annual event commemorates the late U.S. Representative and federal judge Sam B. Hall, Jr., who was a Marshall native and an alumnus of the College of Marshall, which is now ETBU.

Attendees enjoyed a great meal and heard multiple Hall of Fame Coach, National Champion head coach of the 1992 University of Alabama football team, and a renowned motivational speaker Gene Stallings. The retired coach lives in Paris, Texas and is a longtime friend of the Hall family.

To read the Marshall News Messenger report on the evening, click here.

Marshall Attorney and former ETBU Board of Trustee Chair Sam R. Moseley received the 2014 Sam B. Hall Jr. Civic Service Award presented to him by Judge Hall’s daughters, Amanda Wynn, Becky Palmer, and Sandra Bodenhamer.

Moseley, after receiving the award, shared stories about, Judge Sam B. Hall. “Through the years, we became really good friends,” remarked Moseley, who as a junior high student first became acquainted with Hall as he watched the young lawyer represent clients during trials in the historic Harrison County Courthouse.

“I am little hesitant to say he was one of my closest friends because I have never met anybody that knew Sam Hall and they didn’t say he was one my closest friends,” said Moseley. “He made you feel that way, even if he did not know you very well.”

“To have my name associated with Sam Hall’s name, that is a good thing. I am very thankful,” Moseley concluded.

For more on the Sam B. Hall Lecture series click here.

Surratt Named Texas High School Football Class 3A Co-Coach of the Year

Friday, February 14th, 2014
The caption from the 1989 ETBU Martian: "Thinking about it- Scott Surratt takes practice seriously."  Photo by Sara Kneipp

The caption from the 1989 ETBU Martian: “Thinking about it- Scott Surratt takes practice seriously.” Photo by Sara Kneipp

With the Carthage High School Bulldogs winning their 4th state championship in six years, Carthage Head Coach Scott Surratt has picked up another state honor. The 63rd annual Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association Class 3A All-State Football team has been released.

ETBU alum Surratt shared Coach of the Year Honors in Class 3A with Argyle’s Todd Rogers. The former  Tiger baseball player was a four-year letterman on the Hill. In 2004, Surratt was inducted into the ETBU Athletics Hall of Fame and the plaque to commemorate the honor is located in the Tiger Room at Ornelas Gymnasium with all the other members’ plaques.

One of Surratt’s players also picked up a superlative, senior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz  shared Offensive Player of the Year and was named  as first team Class 3A all-state player.   Other Carthage players coached by  Surratt  that made first team all-state were Griffin Bankhead (guard),  Tee Goree (receiver), and Mario McCain (defensive lineman).

A Fond Farewell, Thank You Gaye Christy

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

 

ETBU President Dub Oliver tweeted after the Trustee Dinner, "Blessed to honor Gaye Christy for her amazing service to #ETBU! #ShesTheBest #Grateful .

ETBU President Dub Oliver tweeted after the Trustee Dinner, “Blessed to honor Gaye Christy for her amazing service to #ETBU! #ShesTheBest #Grateful .”

If you have ever called the East Texas Baptist University President’s Office over the past 10 years, more than likely Gaye Christy answered the phone.  With her enthusiastic voice, you could hear how blessed and proud she was serving at the University she graduated.

The Board of Trustees honored Gaye during the Trustee dinner, Jan. 16 at The Marshall Grand prior to the Friday trustee meeting.  The Trustees and President Dub Oliver presented her as a show of thankfulness an engraved crystal bowl.  The faculty and staff of ETBU honored her during a reception before the Christmas Holiday break.

If you know Gaye personally, you know she has a servant’s heart like Christ and wants everything carried out for God’s purpose and glory.  She leaves ETBU to continue the call on her life to serve others by becoming the administrative assistant to Dr. Glynn Stone, pastor of Mobberly Baptist Church of Longview.  Mobberly is the home church for Gaye and her husband, Gary.

When everyone was mingling and visiting, after the trustee dinner, Gaye was overheard saying to Becky Scott, the new administrative assistant to Dr. Oliver, “Call me anytime day or night if you have any questions,” another testimony to her servant’s heart.

Four State Championships

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
The big screen at AT & T Stadium shows Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones presenting the Texas High School Class 3A Div. I State Football Championship trophy to the Carthage High Bulldogs. Photo: Mike Midkiff

The big screen at AT & T Stadium shows Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones presenting the Texas High School Class 3A Div. I State Football Championship trophy to the Carthage High Bulldogs. Photo: Mike Midkiff

East Texas Baptist University Tiger Athletics Hall of Fame member Scott Surratt can put another state championship football trophy into the case at Carthage High School.  The Carthage Bulldogs defeated the Kilgore High School Bulldogs back on Dec. 20 at AT&T Stadium, 34-23, to win the Class 3A, DI state championship.  It is the fourth time in six years, that the former Tiger baseball player has coached his football team to a state championship title.

Surratt graduated from ETBU in 1990. While at ETBU, he was a four-year letterman with the baseball team. Surratt’s name is found in the Tiger baseball record book ranking in the top 10 in hits, doubles and rbi’s. In 2004, he was inducted into the ETBU Athletics Hall of Fame.

Read the game story from the Longview News-Journal by clicking here.

Surratt is also the Athletic Director for CISD serving alongside Superintendent Dr. Glenn Hambrick, a 1978 graduate of East Texas Baptist College.

Congratulations to the Newest Alumni

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
ETBU President Dub Oliver shares with the Fall Commencement audience the accomplishments of graduate Brent Hetherington.  The Gladewater native received the President’s Award which is given to a graduating senior judged by the faculty to be the best all-around student enrolled in the University.  Photo: Ryan Perry.

ETBU President Dub Oliver shares with the Fall Commencement audience the accomplishments of graduate Brent Hetherington. The Gladewater native received the President’s Award which is given to a graduating senior judged by the faculty to be the best all-around student enrolled in the University. Photo: Ryan Perry.

Fall Commencement was held on Saturday, Dec. 14, in Baker Auditorium as 53 Tigers accomplished a great goal in their lives, graduating from ETBU.  

 The President’s Award was presented to Brent Hetherington during Fall Commencement held on December 14, 2013. The President’s Award is given to a graduating senior judged by the faculty to be the best all-around student enrolled in the University. The award includes scholastic ability and development, the degree of involvement in activities which reflect the ideals of the institution, character, integrity, and general attitude. 

A crystal memento was presented to a surprised Hetherington by ETBU President Dr. Dub Oliver. The Gladewater native graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance along with 52 others. 

“Brent Hetherington is an outstanding student. He involves himself in activities far beyond that which is required and works with exceptionally high standards. Even though he has extensive and diverse talents, he has maintained a gentle and humble spirit,” shared Dr. Oliver to the Commencement audience.        

            While at ETBU, Hetherington has been on the Dean’s List or Dean’s List with Honors every semester. He has been intensively involved in Choral Actives including the Chapel Choir, Concert Choir, Men’s Choir and University Singers. In 2012, he was one of only 18 students selected in the state to be a Texas Choral Directors Association student conductor.  Hetherington also served as an intern for the Texas Shakespeare Festival and spent a summer studying in Austria. He was in 12 different theatre, musical theatre and opera activities at ETBU.

Blue Springs Community Mourns The Loss of Alum Joey Butler

Thursday, November 21st, 2013
From The Martian (1988): The Compass Staff.  Pictured back: Kenny Cargill Smith, Will Nichols, Joey Butler, Keelyn Waycaster, Robbin Perry, Jerry Watson, Sara Kneipp. Front: Natalie New, Kelli Guess, Neil McClendon.  Butler served as editor of the ETBU student newspaper.

From The Martian (1988): The Compass Staff. Pictured back: Kenny Cargill-Smith, Will Nichols, Joey Butler, Keelyn Waycaster, Robbin Perry, Jerry Watson, Sara Kneipp. Front: Natalie New, Kelli Guess, Neil McClendon. Butler served as editor of the ETBU student newspaper.

Pastor Joey Butler made a difference in the Blue Springs, Mo. Community where God called him to serve. Butler, a 1988 grad of ETBU, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 17, after a lengthy fight with cancer. His impact as a minister of the Gospel was evident by the standing- room- only attendance as well as from the ones who shared about him on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at his Celebration of Life service.

Butler, was the co-founder of Gatehouse Church in Blue Springs, along with Scott Sterling. As the cancer was zapping his strength, he resigned in March because he humbly felt that he could no longer serve Gatehouse with the passion and energy that the members deserved. The Kansas City Star was present that day and published a video on their website. You can view the video by clicking here. Read the story written by Kansas City Star reporter Lee Hill Kavanaugh by clicking here.

The Tiger Pride team reached out to Bill Althaus, a sportswriter for The Examiner, and he shared, “I don’t know an individual who was more loved and honored than Joey Butler. The impact he made on the lives of people in and around Blue Springs, Mo., will last a lifetime, as those he touched will touch others. At his celebration of life, more than 1,200 people flooded the Performing Arts Center at Blue Springs High School. They filled the aisles, the lobby and every seat. And I am sure that most of the people in their heard this from Joey: ‘What can I do for you today, and what have you done for God?’ He will be missed, but he will never be forgotten.”

One of the ongoing ministries Butler had was serving as the chaplain of the local high school football team.  FOX 4 TV in Kansas City featured Butler in a sportscast recently, to view the report, click here.

Althaus reported in the Examiner on Wednesday after attending the Celebration of Life service  the night before that there was laughter, tears, laughter and more laughter as Butler’s friends, family members and his former college roommate-turned-pastor Neil McClendon celebrated the life of a man who impacted the lives of far too many to imagine.

“Joey wasn’t a thoroughbred; he was a plow horse,” said the fiery McClendon, who regaled the audience with tales of young Joey Butler and the way he developed his love of Christ and helping those in need.

McClendon talked about how Butler would keep plowing, so he could meet and help as many people as possible.

The standing-room-only crowd, which included the Blue Springs High School football team and coaching staff, was a living, breathing testimony to Butler’s devotion.

To read the full report by Althaus, click here.

Our prayers and sympathy to his wife, Dawn Boseman Butler, an ETBU alum as well, his sons, Joey Tyler “Ty” Butler, Zacchaeus Jon “Zac” Butler,  and daughter Josy Dawn Butler.

The impact that this servant leader had for his community is immeasurable but has been revealed to Him in heaven.

Raimer Appointed By Gov. Perry

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Dr. Ben Raimer delivered the keynote address last May at Spring Commencment. Photo: Ryan C. Perry.

Dr. Ben Raimer delivered the keynote address last May at Spring Commencment. Photo: Ryan C. Perry.

Texas Governor Rick Perry has appointed East Texas Baptist University alumnus and member of the Board of Trustees Dr. Ben Raimer of Galveston as chair of the Health and Human Services Council for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2015. The council helps develop policies and rules for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and makes recommendations regarding the management and operation of the commission.

Dr. Raimer is a board certified pediatrician, and senior vice president and professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB). He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Texas and American Medical associations, Texas Pediatric Society, and Texas Public Health Association. He is also a member and past president of the Galveston County Medical Society, a public representative for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Task Force on Local Health Care Initiatives, an executive committee member of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and is past chairman of the Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency Board of Directors, Texas Statewide Health Coordinating Council, and Health Disparities Task Force. He will serve as chair of the council for a term to expire at the pleasure of the governor.

Dr. Raimer holds an undergraduate degree in biology from ETBU, a master’s degree in human genetics from the UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and a doctorate from the UTMB School of Medicine. Much of his practice has been devoted to the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with behavioral disorders and learning disabilities. A nationally recognized expert on prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect, he has been honored by several state and national children’s advocacy organizations for his contributions.

Four Authors, Four New Books

Monday, October 28th, 2013
Don Piper, author of "90 Minutes in Heaven" with ETBU grad and author Brian Brown at the East Texas Christian Writers Conference. Photo: courtesy of Brain Brown.

Don Piper, author of “90 Minutes in Heaven” with ETBU grad and author Brian Brown at the East Texas Christian Writers Conference. Photo: courtesy of Brian Brown.

Four authors with ETBU connections have recently published books. 

Rev. James Webb, pastor of Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church of Marshall, has written a devotional book titled, “Power Walk through the Holy Spirit.”  Rev. Webb is a graduate of ETBU’s Certificate in Ministry program as well as board of trustee member. He is rotating off the Board in December after serving nine years as a trustee.

Webb told Marshall News Messenger reporter Cait Shields that he wrote the book to be “user friendly.”  Webb said to her in an interview, “The way it is written, you can open the book at any spot and still understand it. So if you have a problem with worship, you can just go to that chapter. “

To read the complete article in the Marshall News Messenger, click here.

Brian Brown, a 2008 ETBU graduate from Hallsville, has cerebral palsy. During the East Texas Christian Writers Conference held at ETBU October 25-26, Brown displayed his first book titled, “A Legacy of Faith: A Story of Perseverance through a Foundation of Faith.”

Brown, who has a speaking ministry called Open Arms, posted on his Facebook  page, “OMG, I was at a Christian writers conference at ETBU today selling my book and best-selling author Don Piper (author of the book 90 Minutes in Heaven)  actually bought my book!”

To find out more, click here to go to Brown’s website.

The 3rd author, Nathan Lorick, is an ETBU grad currently serving as the Director of Evangelism for the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention.   The title of his book is “Dying to Grow: Reclaiming the Heart for Evangelism in the Church. “ 

In the book, Lorick brings out the importance of gospel-based evangelism for the local church.  He states, “Hell will tremble when churches once again make evangelism the central theme of their strategy.”

To learn more about the book published by Life Sentence Publishing, click here.

ETBU Professor of History Dr. Jerry Hopkins most recent book is titled “A Growing Adventure” is a history of Clever Creek Baptist Church located in rural Shelby County, Texas.  Dr. Hopkins has been the bi-vocational pastor of Clever Creek Baptist Church since 1993. To learn more about the book, email Dr. Hopkins at jhopkins@etbu.edu.  Dr. Hopkins has served as a professor of history at ETBU since 2001.

A Tiger Pride high five to the four authors.

Alumni Awards

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
Ned Calvert,  Tim Cline, Major General (Ret.) Vernon B. Lewis and Dr. Katherine Spears take the oath of a Golden Blazer after being presented their jackets. Photo: Ryan Perry.

Ned Calvert, Tim Cline, Major General (Ret.) Vernon B. Lewis and Dr. Katherine Spears take the oath of a Golden Blazer after being presented their jackets. Photo: Ryan Perry.

The Office of Alumni Relations presented Alumni Awards at this year’s Homecoming Chapel held on October 18th in Baker Auditorium of the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center.  

Dr. Gaynor Yancey, a 1967 graduate of then East Texas Baptist College, received the J. Wesley Smith Achievement Award.  She served has a home missionary with the North American Mission Board from 1972 to 1993.  Since her retirement from the NAMB she has continued to serve as professor, assistant professor and Associate Dean for Baccalaureate Studies at Baylor University and teaches courses in urban missions and social issues at Truett Seminary.  She was nominated for Outstanding Professor in the Graduate School in 2003 and named Outstanding Teacher in 2006. Yancey earned her Doctor of Social Work in Social Welfare Policy in 1998 and an Advanced Certificate in Social Welfare Policy in 1993, from the University of Pennsylvania.

The J. Wesley Smith Achievement Award is given to an alumnus who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in his/her profession, business vocation, or life of service, and who has shown continued interest in ETBU.

The W.T. Tardy Service Award was presented to Oakland Heights Baptist Church of Longview, Texas. Since 1988, Oakland Heights has contributed over $156,000 to ETBU.  ETBU Director of Alumni Relations Allison Peteet shared at the Alumni Awards Chapel, “For their generosity, for their vision for the Kingdom, for their confidence in ETBU and the God we mutually serve the Alumni Association is happy to present this award to Oakland Heights.” Dr. Butch Tanner, pastor of Oakland Heights accepted the award on the congregation’s behalf.

The W.T. Tardy Service Award, is given to individuals or groups who have rendered significant service to ETBU.

Dr. Glenn Hambrick, a 1978 graduate of ETBC, received the Alumni Achievement Award.  The award is presented to alumni who have made a significant contribution to society through his or her profession, vocation, or life service. Dr. Hambrick is the superintendent of the Carthage Independent School District.

In his education career, Hambrick has served as a teacher, assistant coach, head coach and athletic director in several East Texas high schools. He also served as a principal in both Garrison and Crockett High Schools. 

Before coming to Carthage as superintendent, he served in the same role at both Rosebud-Lott ISD and Elkhart ISD. He came to Carthage in 2008 and under his leadership has led the school district in three major bond programs totaling $50.5 million; the district has become a Recognized School District in the state of Texas with a Superior Financial Rating. Students have been awarded numerous championships in academics, athletics, agriculture, technology and band at the regional, state and national levels. For his outstanding leadership, Region 7 recognized him as Superintendent of the Year in 2012.  He is a member, deacon, and Sunday School teacher at Central Baptist Church of Carthage.

Susan Williams, a 2002 Cum Laude graduate of ETBU, is the recipient of the Young Alumnus Award.  After graduating with her Bachelor of Business Administration degree she went to work as Merchant Services Representative for Texas Bank and Trust of Longview.  In February of 2006, she made a career change that would not only affect her life, but the lives of countless others. Moving to the Dallas area, she became the Director of Missions for Buckner International, an international Christian organization that is a global ministry to vulnerable and orphan children through foster care and adoption, family and empowerment programs. As Director of the program she provides leadership and management of travel planning and volunteer project coordination services to nearly 3000 mission trip volunteers annually.

The Young Alumnus Award is given to one who has graduated from ETBU within the last 10 years and shown outstanding achievement in his or her field of service.

The Unsung Hero Award was given to 1965 graduate Dale Coates. The Unsung Hero Award goes to former students who have served faithfully yet inconspicuously in their family, church, community, or field of service and whose selfless contribution  in their sphere of influence has yet to be recognized.

While a student at ETBC, Coates served as Minister of Music at Second Baptist Church, was president of his senior class, vice-president of his junior class, student conductor of the pep band and member of Acapella Choir, Alpha Psi Omega and the Marshall Symphony.

Completing his master’s degree at North Texas State in 1971, he began his teaching career at John Adams Jr. High in Grand Prairie followed by appointments at Ennis High School, Wills Point High, West Mesquite High, First Baptist Academy – Dallas, Scurry-Rosser High and Robertson Middle School in Lancaster.

Coates is a member of the Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association and a Life member of both the TSTA and the ETBU Alumni Association. For the past 18 years, Dale has been the Conductor and Musical Director of the Mesquite Symphonic Band, which has presented over 175 concerts for the citizens of Mesquite.

Before the Alumni Awards ceremony, Golden Blazers were presented to Ned Calvert (’95), Tim Cline (’90), Major General (Ret.) Vernon B. Lewis (attended 1949-52), and Dr. Katherine Spears (’77).

The Golden Lightkeeper Awards, given to distinguished alumni of 50 years or more, were given at a reunion lunch held during Homecoming activities. Golden Lightkeeper Awards went to Rena Key Pricer (’55), Amon Baker (’51), and Joynelle Gammon Baker (’53).

Pricer taught kindergarten for 32 years, 7 years at First Baptist Church of Greenwood and 25 years in the Caddo Public School System of Louisiana.  She received numerous awards and plaques during her career and was nominated for Louisiana Teacher of the Year in 1996. After retiring in 1998 and after 27 years of being single, she married an old ETBU classmate, John Pricer, in 2007.

From 1962 to 1979 she was involved with “Builders for Christ”, now known as Volunteer Christian Builders, in building church buildings and conducting Vacation Bible Schools across the United States from the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest, particularly in what were called “pioneer mission” areas.

Amon and Joynelle were married in June of 1950 and have shared a career in church music leadership for over 53 years. Amon served as music minister of Immanuel Baptist Church of Little Rock from 1958 to 1966 and again from 1973 to 1986. Before returning to Immanuel, he served as minister of music at First Baptist Church of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  Amon and Joynelle have conducted Bold Mission Thrust concert tours throughout Europe and have conducted youth choir tours in 36 states of the USA.

 Amon and Joynelle both are professional voice teachers and have served as workshop leaders at Glorieta, Ridgecrest and music camps at Ouachita Baptist University. Joynelle has faithfully served alongside her husband. They are currently in the process of funding the Amon and Joynelle Baker Endowed Scholarship for Music.

Also during the Golden Lightkeepers luncheon, Golden Lightkeepers medallions were presented to those in the Class of 1963 and earlier.

View photos from Alumni Awards by clicking here.

Revisit Homecoming 2013 by clicking here.  Homecoming Parade float winners were:  tied for first place, Baptist Student Ministry and Ornelas Hall. Third place, Mabee Hall.

A Life Saved By ETBU Alum

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
Eight year-old Sean Suppan of Pennsylvania was saved by the bone marrow donated to him by ETBU alum Stephen McCormick of Sugarland, Texas.  The two met for the first time recently in Longview, Texas at a banquet sponsored by Because I Care, a recruitment group in support of Be The Match marrow donor registry. PHOTO: Courtesy of Chas Shira

Eight year-old Sean Suppan of Pennsylvania was saved by the bone marrow donated to him by ETBU alum Stephen McCormick of Sugarland, Texas. The two met for the first time recently in Longview, Texas at a banquet sponsored by Because I Care, a recruitment group in support of Be The Match marrow donor registry. PHOTO: Courtesy of Chas Shira

There is an old saying that “The first impression is the last impression.” When Stephen McCormick met eight year-old Sean Suppan for the first time he said, “Sean was stronger than I had imagined.”  The meeting might not have even occurred if it were not for the bone marrow that McCormick donated to Suppan. 

            The first meeting of the two occurred during the annual Bryan Quinn-Al Edwards Awards Banquet sponsored by Because I Care, a recruitment group in support of Be The Match marrow donor registry. The banquet held on October 11 in Longview, Texas brings together its donors and volunteers in an emotion-charged evening.  Sean, accompanied by his parents Ellen and David, traveled from their home in Pennsylvania.

            In November 2008, McCormick, while a student at East Texas Baptist University registered with Be The Match during a donor recruitment drive held by Because I Care. According to Anita Quinn, a coordinator for Because I Care, “About four months later, McCormick received a phone call that he might possibly match a four year-old boy who had adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD).  This was the second child in the Suppan family to be diagnosed with ALD. Their son, David, suffered with the same illness and passed away at age 10.”

            “When I was contacted, I was shocked that I was even a possible match,” said McCormick, who was still a student at ETBU at the time. “To be the ‘one’ is a special thing. I thought ‘What a great opportunity to help someone.’  I considered it a blessing to be able to be used by God to help save someone’s life.”

            The transplant occurred in April 2009. McCormick’s marrow was collected at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. The life-giving marrow was then flown to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Suppan’s transplant was facilitated.  At the time of the transplant, the donor and recipient are anonymous to one another.  After a year’s time the two are given the opportunity to sign release forms and contact one another if they wish.

            McCormick, and his wife Brittany (Milum), an ETBU grad as well, are expecting their first child. He teaches high school social studies and coaches football, basketball, and track at Dulles High School. Some may call the Sugarland, Texas native a hero for what he did. The former ETBU football player and 2011 graduate does not see it that way.

“I never looked at it as being a hero or saving someone’s life. I looked at it as an opportunity to help someone to have another season in his life.  Even if it was unsuccessful, I would have the same outlook. It was a blessing to help a stranger,” said McCormick.

             Suppan’ s mom told a reporter from the Longview News-Journal that McCormick’s donation allowed them to do for Sean what they couldn’t do for their older son- save his life.

            “Meeting Sean and his family for the first time was amazing,” shared McCormick. “I was overwhelmed with emotion; to see a strong family like the Suppans.”

            This is not the first time an ETBU student has been involved with Because I Care. In 2011, then ETBU football player James Fugate served as a bone marrow donor to an anonymous individual in the eastern U.S.  On October 30-31, Because I Care will be back on the ETBU campus recruiting volunteer donors in the Ornelas Student Center from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. each day. 

            McCormick has this to say to someone pondering about registering with Be The Match. “Think about it, and pray about it. Sometimes there is only one possible match, and that could be you. It is a great opportunity to help someone by giving of yourself just like Jesus did on the cross. “

            He also stressed, “If the thought of pain is keeping you from doing it; then think about what the pain the recipient is going through. It is not nearly as painful as the imagination allows you to believe.  Donating does not hinder or weaken you. The marrow replenishes itself.”

            The lasting impression that Suppan  left on McCormick, “He looked sharp. Coincidently, we wore similar outfits to the banquet. So I guess he got my sense of fashion along with the DNA. He was funny, affectionate, and appeared to be like any normal eight year-old boy.”

            Since 1990, Because I Care has added more than 20,000 potential donors to the Be The Match registry. Dozens of those recruits have become donors, offering the “Gift of Life” to patients in need of life saving transplants.  For more information, visit the website www.BICTEXAS.org.