Spring Commencement was held on May 2 in Baker Auditorium of the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center. Family, friends, alumni, current students and well-wishers came to see the 126 East Texas Baptist University students walk across the stage to receive their degrees.
ETBU President-Elect Dr. J. Blair Blackburn addressed the graduates. He encouraged them by saying, “Students, soon to be graduates of East Texas Baptist University, congratulations to you on the completion of your educational journey. The earning of your degree is a remarkable achievement but the journey of lifelong learning and discovery does not end with the awarding of your earned degrees. Today, you will commence from here to passionately pursue the vocational calling, God has on the rest of your life.”
Not only did the graduates receive the recognition they earned the ceremonies also had a time for special presentations. Three professors received Professor with Distinction honors and one student received the Presidential Award.
Summa Cum Laude graduate Brittney Garner received the Presidential Award from Interim President Dr. Lawrence Ressler. The Lumberton native graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with honors and Mathematics. Her Honors Project was titled “Community Plant Analysis: 10-Years of Succession.” 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.
Three faculty members were presented Professor with Distinction honors for the 2014-2015 academic year. The three honored were Dr. Stan Coppinger, professor of English; Dr. Bill Mills, professor of Computer Science; and Dr. Donna Dooley, professor of Teacher Education and Dean of the School of Education. Dr. Dooley is retiring after serving 17 years at ETBU.
Two sessions were held with the morning ceremony including graduates of the Fred M. Hale School of Business, School of Christian Studies, School of Humanities, and the Frank S. Groner Endowed Memorial School of Professional Studies (Nursing). The afternoon ceremony had graduates of the School of Education, School of Fine Arts, and School of Natural and Social Sciences.
Congratulations to the Spring graduates of ETBU and those who received special honors.