Archive for the ‘Memories on the Hill’ Category

Former Trustee Named Citizen of the Year

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Glen Bickerdike receives a gift of appreciation from ETBU President Dub Oliver at the Board of Trustee Dinner held Sept. 5, 2013, for nine years of service as a trustee.  Bickerdike was named the 2013 Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Greater Marshall Champber of Commerce. Photo by Mike Midkiff.

Glenn Bickerdike receives a gift of appreciation from ETBU President Dub Oliver at the Board of Trustee Dinner held Sept. 5, 2013, for nine years of service as a Trustee. Bickerdike was named the 2013 Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Greater Marshall Champber of Commerce at the chambers annual membership banquet. Photo by Mike Midkiff.

A Tiger Pride “High Five” to former East Texas Baptist University Board of Trustee member Glenn Bickerdike for being named Outstanding Citizen for 2013 by the Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce.  Bickerdike was surprised by the announcement as he and his family attended the chamber’s annual membership banquet held March 3 at the Marshall Convention Center.

Bickerdike, who rotated off the ETBU Board of Trustees after nine years of service in 2013, is the president of Bancorp South of Marshall, and his wife, Karen, is employed by ETBU serving in the Office of Student Success.  They have three children, Chase, Cade and Kendal and are members of Immanuel Baptist Church of Marshall.

To read more about the evening at the annual chamber membership banquet and Bickerdike’s comments to the audience, click here for the story by the Marshall News Messenger.

ETBU alum John Mark Francis was up for the Mover and Shaker Award, but it went to Trudy Harris.  ETBU President Dr. Dub Oliver voiced the benediction to conclude the evening.

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.

One of the Best In the NCAA

Monday, September 16th, 2013

swaner top nine

What an experience for the ETBU family back in 2010 when the Lady Tigers won the NCAA Division III National Softball Championship in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. One of the players on the national championship team was freshman catcher Lya Swaner from Wylie, Texas. Lya was behind the plate every game for the Tigers that year. In her four years of  playing softball at ETBU, it was hard not to find a game that she was not behind the plate.

 Fast forward to May 2013, Spring Commencement in Baker Auditorium of the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center, Lya walks across the stage to graduate with honors with a double major in Biology and Chemistry. She is not only an All-American National Champion softball player, but a very bright, smart young lady.

 If you recall back on August 21, Tiger Pride reported that Lya had been named as one of the Top 30 Women in the NCAA.  The NCAA has announced the Top Nine Finalist for the Woman of the Year Award and Lya is one of the top nine. The nine finalists were selected in recognition of their accomplishments in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. 

 Here is the release from the NCAA about one of the best student/athletes to ever walk the ETBU campus:

 Lya was a campus leader at East Texas Baptist University, where she was a three-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and president in her senior year. She also held a work-study job on campus while volunteering for the Dallas Fire Department, Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics.

 Double-majoring in biology and chemistry and graduating with honors, Lya earned multiple academic scholarships, was inducted into the National Honor Society and made the Dean’s List each semester on campus, and was voted a Capital One Academic All-American. She was also recognized with the American Southwest Conference Scholar-Medal of Honor, which is awarded to one graduating male and female student-athlete at each member university for most outstanding academic, athletic and leadership records and awarded the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete award given to one American Southwest Conference softball player.

 The two-year team captain and four-year starter led the East Texas Baptist University softball team to three NCAA tournament appearances in four years, including winning the NCAA National Championship in 2010. She also won two American Southwest Conference Tournament championships and was named the tournament MVP in 2013. She was given the Top Tiger Award, which recognizes the top overall female athlete at East Texas Baptist.

 The NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced on October 20th during a ceremony in Indianapolis.  The nine finalists were selected from more than 450 nominees.

 Congratulations Lya!  Your ETBU family is cheering for you to be named the NCAA Top Woman of the Year.

2013 Senior Class Gift

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Class of 2013 graduate Brad Mashburn stands with President Dub Oliver under the new archway marking the entrance to the University.  Photo: Ryan Perry

Class of 2013 graduate Brad Mashburn stands with President Dub Oliver under the new archway marking the entrance to the University. Photo: Ryan Perry

The ETBU graduating class of 2013 has given back to its alma mater a gift that will be seen by many in the years to come. The gift is an archway located at the main entrance to the campus. The archway spells out East Texas Baptist University in Tiger gold and is trimmed in navy blue with the seals of the University displayed.

            “I wanted my class to give something back because I wanted us to have pride in our alma mater when we come back to visit,” said Brad Mashburn, who served as Student Government Association president for the 2012-2013 academic year and graduated this past May.

Read the full story by clicking here.

Tigers Move-In Tradition Continues

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
ETBU President Dr. Dub Oliver and others help a new student to move-in.

ETBU President Dr. Dub Oliver and others help a new student to move-in.

Move-in Day for first time freshmen and transfer students is an event on the ETBU campus that is looked forward to each year.  Staff, faculty and student leaders serve together to help the new Tigers move belongings from the vehicle to the dorm room. Also helping welcome the new Tigers to the Hill are members from local churches. Local churches set up booths on the Quad handing out corn dogs, bar-b-q sandwiches, cookies, ice cream, water, and other items.

Jimmy Isaacs, a reporter from CBS19-TV, did a story on the new Tigers moving in. Click here to watch the story that aired on the Tyler TV station.

ETBU Professor of Computer Science Bill Mills said, “I think move-in day is a wonderful expression of gratitude from ETBU to the students.  It is a tangible way for us to let them know that we are glad they chose our university and that we will go out of our way to make sure that they get a quality education.”

Fall classes began August 19.

Alumnus Pastors Church Recognized for Creativity in Missions

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

baptist mission graphic

The Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) honored First Baptist Church of Universal City (FBCUC) with Innovator Award for Creativity in Missions. The pastor of FBCUC is East Texas Baptist University alumnus David Lindow.  The award was given to FBCUC during the TBMF Missions Awards Luncheon held during the recent Texas Baptist Family Gathering held in San Antonio.

            “To be quite honest, we were shocked. We are not trying to be innovated but obedient to the call,” Lindow said. “As our people develop passions concerning different missions we empower them to do them.  Currently, we have 26 missions ministries occurring with members championing the causes.  Most of the vibrant mission ministries were the brain child of the membership, not the staff.  That’s humbling but exciting.”        The Innovator Award honors an individual or organization that has provided a model for ministry that others can adopt. The program for the award luncheon described FBCUC this way, “The church not only provides a blueprint for building missions, but infuses the ‘actual construction’ with the personality and the intent of Christ. This church is committed to ‘Loving up, Loving in, and Loving out’- encouraging all members to express God’s love in their community, state, nation and world.”     

Lindow is not the only ETBU graduate on the ministerial staff of FBCUC.  He serves with fellow Tigers Bryan Cash and Charles Fannin. “Serving with two other ETBU graduates has been a great joy.  Being able to reflect back on former professors and classmates has been a joy,” reflected Lindow.

“One of those ETBU graduates happens to be my father-in-law (Charles Fannin), who now serves as our Senior Adult minister.  What a joy to have a godly father-in-law who is also a partner in ministry.  The other is our executive pastor.  I couldn’t lead this congregation without the expertise of Bryan Cash.  His attention to detail and impeccable people skills complement my gifts perfectly.” 

Lindow graduated from ETBU in 1984, Cash in 1985 and Fannin in 1959.

            FBCUC ministers to the community through their Needs and Seeds Ministry (household donations for the needy), New Found Freedom Ministry (outreach to the incarcerated at Giddings State School), Palisades Park Fellowship (multi-housing complex weekly worship), Women’s Shelter Bible Study, English as a Second Language classes, Spanish Ministry Sunday School class, medical and dental mission trips to the border, Disaster Relief Team, and other mission opportunities.

            Lindow has fond memories of his time at ETBU.  “The fondest memory I have is meeting my beautiful wife Lisa.  God connected me to my life and ministry partner while at ETBU.”

“Second to that would be the impact of my religion professors Dr. Don Potts and Dr. Franklin Atkinson. These two men had a profound impact upon my ministry development.  I learned more about pastoral care under Dr. Potts than I did at seminary. Dr. Atkinson taught me the incredible importance of attitude in ministry by his perpetual upbeat spirit. I’ll never forget the day that Dr. Atkinson sent someone to get me out of bed to attend Greek class because he thought I was over in my absentees. He was determined not to let me flunk. What a professor,” shared Lindow. 

The Texas Baptist Family Gathering was a meeting like never before as the African American Fellowship of Texas, Texas Fellowship of Cowboy Churches, Vietnamese Baptist Fellowship of Texas, Lao Baptist Fellowship, Chinese Baptist Fellowship and Hispanic Baptist Convention held their respective annual meetings in conjunction with the Baptist General Convention of Texas Annual Meeting.

2012-13 Martian Yearbook available

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

The 2012-13 ETBU  yearbook, The Martian, now is available.

See the e-edition, here.

Tree dedication

Friday, January 25th, 2013
Students, faculty and staff stand between the Senior (left) and Junior class trees Tuesday during the dedication ceremony.Ryan C. Perry/ETBU Photo

Students, faculty and staff stand between the Senior (left) and Junior class trees Tuesday during the dedication ceremony.
Ryan C. Perry/ETBU Photo

The Student Government Association on Tuesday dedicated the four newly planted trees in front of Marshall Hall. The four young oaks replaced the large oaks that were removed in November because of disease.

“Over 75 years ago, four trees were planted on this front lawn,” said Brad Mashburn, SGA President and senior from Mesquite. “ETBU has had 100 years of growth. As the school grew so did the trees, making them a representation of how far this University has grown. Four new trees have been planted. What does it mean? We look forward to what this next century is going to bring to us. As the four trees that were removed represented the last 100 years, these four new oaks represent the next 100 years.”

The tree planted closest to Scarborough Hall represents the freshman class. The placement represents where students begin by attending classes. The senior class tree is the one planted nearest to the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center were commencement is held representing graduation.

Read story, here.

100 Years

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

100 years ago today, something was launched that has changed my life, and countless others as well.

We learned here. Some have worked here. We all grew here. Quite a few have met theirs spouses here (Ring by Spring never fails!). And we all love here.

That here is Van Zandt Hill. Nestled beneath powerful oaks and towering pines, it is on this Hill a dream became an idea, an idea became a plan, and a plan became a reality.

And the reality is that this place is more than a school. It is more than a great place to get an education. It is home. It is a familiar place. It is a place where memories live and remembrances always have a place.

You can leave for 40 years and come back to find that though the buildings have changed, there is something that never does. Maybe a feeling, and ideal.

I think it is because we are all a family. I know when I go home, the smells and warmth and feeling is something I can always expect, I count on it.

It’s the same here too. We are a Family. It unites us. It allows us to cross boundaries of age or personal history. A current sophomore and a 1952 graduate talk about ETBC back in the day. A cheerleader from years past finds herself on the field at the homecoming game teaching a cheer from her time to the current squad. Things that may not be so readily seen elsewhere are common on the Hill. And that is a part of what makes this place special. You’re never just a student.  You’re family.

It is amazing to think about the humble beginnings of this school – that the founders simply wanted a place where men and women of integrity and initiative could get a quality Christian education. But my how we have gotten so much more! Isn’t it wonderful to be a part of the legacy of ETBU? To call yourself a Tiger? I say YES!

So today we celebrate a dream that became a reality. The College of Marshall that became East Texas Baptist College that became East Texas Baptist University. They’ve always been dedicated to high-quality Christian education. But also to family.  We are Tigers. And no matter where we are or how far away we get from Van Zandt Hill, that will never change.

We are forever Tigers. And for this University, its history, its legacy, its impact, especially on this day, we are forever grateful.

Happy Birthday East Texas Baptist University. May your next 100 be greater than your first. And may the Light on the Hill never die.


Local Media Celebrates ETBU’s Community Impact

Friday, October 19th, 2012

It is reasonable to think we are excited about ETBU, about homecoming, about our Centennial Celebration this weekend.

Excited…more like REALLY EXCITED!!!!! And one of those things we are excited about is the impact that we as a University, and member of the Marshall community, and greater East Texas community, make upon this area – even the world.

That’s why when we read that the Marshall News-Messenger says things like, “Had we a bit more talent, perhaps we could adequately express in words the meaning of East Texas Baptist University to Harrison County and the city of Marshall,” we feel honored.

Or when we hear things like this from, “Even today, with students from the world over, ETBU is at heart an East Texas institution,” we feel grateful.

When it comes to accolades like these, we are quick to keep our perspective.  We have had great success as a University, through good times and bad, but we strive always to keep our focus on making an impact in the lives of our students, faculty, staff, and family, being a positive influence on the surrounding community, being a beacon of quality education, and being a light for Jesus Christ in this world, remembering that our boast is in the Lord Jesus. (Ps 34:2)

We are a Tiger Family so proud of what the Lord has done on the Hill, and we are so very thankful for the kind words from these two sources, and for so many who have voiced kind words of congratulation to us! GO BLUE!

You can get the full story from the Marshall News-Messenger here and from here.