“I Love It When A Plan Comes Together!”

Posted by Tiger Pride in Student Life

symphony tiger pride

Do you remember the television series The A-Team?  The show was an action-adventure series starring George Peppard as John “Hannibal” Smith. This is the show that also boosted the fame of “Mr T” during the 1980’s.

There was a line that Hannibal used often in the series, do you remember it? “I love it when a plan comes together.”  That line is so appropriate for what I experienced this past Saturday night at the S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center at LeTourneau University in Longview.

The event was the Longview Symphony Orchestra Concert Series presenting “Freedom Rings A Celebration of America.”  The concert also featured the choirs of East Texas Baptist University and Wiley College.

The guest conductor was ETBU’s Dean of the School of Fine Arts Dr. Thomas R. Webster with special guests Dr. Justin Hodges, ETBU Director of Choral Activities and Wiley College Choir Director Professor Stephen L. Hayes.

The first part of the program featured the symphony as they played American Salute, Hymn to the Fallen, Fanfare for the Common Man, Variations on America and Stars and Stripes Forever. Following an intermission, the choirs joined the performance. The second half of the program included Overture to Candide, Dry Your Tears, A`frika, Shout for Joy and America the Beautiful.

The ETBU choir program invited all alumni to sing in the performance as well as they held a reunion event before the performance. I saw and said hello to former Miss ETBU Kelly Mills (2007), Rachel “Farley” Massey, Amanda “Bean” Thompson and Ashley “Bean” Sterrett, all past members of the ETBU Choir.


The evening of music and song was wonderful. I personally enjoyed before the concert the acappella performances of both choirs in the foyer of The Belcher Center. The choirs were up on the walkways of the second and third floors singing to those below in the foyer.  The voices were sweetness to the ears below.

After the performance I was on stage and witnessed Dr. Webster, Dr. Hodges and Professor Hayes celebrate together. Dr. Webster told his two colleagues, “Thank you for your hard work, I could not have done this without you.”

What a great showing of team work between the Longview Symphony League and Orchestra, East Texas Baptist University, Wiley College and the staff of The Belcher Center to provide the East Texas community with an event that was encouraging and inspiring.

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

(The column was published in the Marshall News Messenger. Mike Midkiff is the Director of Public Relations at ETBU)


4th Consectutive Year: President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Role

Posted by Tiger Pride in Honors, Spiritual Life, Student Life

president's HE service logo

For the fourth consecutive year, East Texas Baptist University has been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve. ETBU was recognized in the General Community Service category which recognizes institutions that have made a commitment to improving the quality of life of off-campus community residents.  

The ETBU Great Commission Center, led by Dr. Lisa Seeley, encourages students to be involved in community service projects. ETBU was named to the 2014 Honor Roll for its community and service work accomplished during the 2012-2013 academic year.

To read more about this honor, click here.


A New Semester & Congratulations to the Graduates

Posted by Tiger Pride in Academics, Alumni, Honors, Memories on the Hill, Student Life

Interim President Dr. Lawrence Ressler presents Payton Beggs with the President's Award during fall commencement. Photo by Mike Midkiff.

Interim President Dr. Lawrence Ressler presents Payton Beggs with the President’s Award during fall commencement. Photo by Mike Midkiff.

The Spring Semester at East Texas Baptist University begins tomorrow (Jan.7). Yesterday students started to move back into the residential halls. The number of students returning yesterday was light but today it will be in full force.  Classes resume bright and early tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.

Congratulations to the 72 students who were awarded degrees on Saturday, December 20, during Fall Commencement. Of those, 59 received baccalaureate degrees and 13 received master’s degrees. The Fred Hale School of Business had its first every graduates of the Master of Business in Entrepreneurial Leadership program with six. The new program began during the fall 2013 semester. The Schools of Christian Studies, Education and Natural and Social Sciences also awarded master degrees during commencement.

During fall commencement, Payton Beggs was presented the President’s Award by ETBU Interim President Dr. Lawrence Ressler.   

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.

When Dr. Ressler called her named I was watching her as she sat among her fellow graduates.  She was stunned. It appeared to me she said to herself, “Did he just call my name. Let me wait and make sure it was my named he called before I stand up.”

Payton is a young lady who was very involved during her time at ETBU. She told me she is going to miss the Hilltop very much.

East Texas Baptist University Dean of the Fred Hale School of Business Dr. Scott Ray calls the name of graduate Haley Marie Hilton of  North Richland Hills. Behind Hilton, awaiting their names to be called are sisters Kaitlyn and Karson Kent of Mount Pleasant.

East Texas Baptist University Dean of the Fred Hale School of Business Dr. Scott Ray calls the name of graduate Haley Marie Hilton of North Richland Hills. Behind Hilton, awaiting their names to be called are sisters Kaitlyn and Karson Kent of Mount Pleasant.

The Wichita Falls native graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication. Earlier in the fall semester, she received the Bob and Gayle Riley Servant Leadership Award.  During her time on the Hilltop, Payton was a member of the very successful ETBU Debate team as well as being involved in the ministries of the Baptist Student Ministry. She also led the worship service many times for Refuge that is held on Tuesday evenings. She attended Crossroads Baptist Church while a student at ETBU.

One of the joys of serving at ETBU is watching students achieve their educational goals by receiving their degrees from ETBU.  As the spring semester begins, I am looking forward to commencement on May 2nd to witness again those who graduate from the Hilltop.  

To see the Fall graduate list, click here.


The Martian of ETBU

Posted by Tiger Pride in Memories on the Hill, Student Life

The 2013-2014 is available for viewing online.

The 2013-2014 Martian yearbook is available for viewing online.

East Texas Baptist University began as the College of Marshall. In 1912, the State of Texas issued the charter to start a two-year college on Van Zandt Hill. First classes did not begin until September 18, 1917.

The first annual or yearbook for the College of Marshall was called The Martian. Even today, ETBU students publish The Martian.  I have had many people ask me, how did the name of The Martian come about?

As I browsed through the 1918 Martian , here is what I discovered.

The graduation class of 1919 elected to issue an annual for the college.

The forward states, “Thru a committee of the Faculty the annual was named THE MARTIAN. The annual was proposed to be in keeping with our present war, refraining from the use of many artistic ‘touches’ so much needed.  As a staff it has been our purpose to please merely, not to turn out a “treatise on literature,” but to present something that will in after years recall to alumnus the scenes of the college life, and renew the year of  ‘17-18. The MARTIAN is yours.

Pax vobiscum!”

With the World War I on their minds the faculty named the college yearbook after Mars, the Roman God of War.

If you would like to view the 1918 Martian you can do so through the online archives of the ETBU Mamye Jarrett Library.  (Click here)  

There are many interesting photos and copy to read about life on the Hilltop back then.  One area in the Martain that I found interesting are the advertisements in the back of the annual.

Here is the copy from one that caught my attention.

Mallard Drug Company

Ginocchio Building

Complete line of anything found in a first class drug store.

Closest drug store to the College of Marshall.

Quick Delivery.

Phone : 85

We appreciate your trade.

 Did you catch the phone number? Today, we have to dial ten numbers to place a call.  That’s progress, right?

The digital version 2013-2014 Martian is available for viewing. Just click here.

The Martian is totally student-produced with assistance from Ryan Perry (ETBU’s graphic designer and photographer) and Dr. Dennis Robertson, yearbook advisor.

Almost all the photos and text were produced by students. This year’s Martian staff consisted of Roe Burns, Payton Beggs, Shelby Peeples, Macy Yglesias, Ashley Ramos, and Alex Ramos.


Facilities To Be Proud Of

Posted by Tiger Pride in Memories on the Hill, Student Life

The south entrance of the new Centennial Hall living and learning center at East Texas Baptist University. The 362-bed, 123,500 square foot, four-story facility will be the home of ETBU students for the first time this fall semester, which begins on Monday, August 25. Photo by Mike Midkiff

The south entrance of the new Centennial Hall living and learning center at East Texas Baptist University. The 362-bed, 123,500 square foot, four-story facility will be the home of ETBU students for the first time this fall semester, which begins on Monday, August 25. Photo by Mike Midkiff

Normally, a posting to Tiger Pride is about something good that has happened to either a current student or an alumnus of East Texas Baptist University.   This posting is not about a person but about the various buildings that make up the physical foot print of the university. The entire campus has been used for the good of the kingdom of God over the past two months.

While students have been away for the summer, residential halls, athletic fields, and buildings, like the Ornelas Student Center, Dean Healthplex, and Bennett Student Commons,   have seen many walk through their doors or stepped on the grass by outside groups. These outside groups needed a place to hold their camps. The beautiful ETBU campus was a perfect place to accommodate their needs. 

Did you know that nearly 2,000 campers stayed on campus during the months of June and July during week long camps? The campers came from all over the region.  Some of the camps were week-long youth camps designed to challenge and encourage teenagers to be bold in their witness for Christ. Other camps like Debate and Cheer camps helped students to improve their skills of debating or cheering.

The ETREYS (East Texas Rural Electric Youth Seminar) camp organized by the nine East Texas Electric Cooperatives brought high school sophomores and juniors on campus to foster positive ideas among the attendees and to enhance skills in leadership, problem-solving and interpersonal relationships.

The Central Texas area U.M. ARMY, United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission By Youth was in town for a week of roofing, painting and providing the labor for other types of repairs for various homes as a ministry. First Methodist in downtown Marshall provided space for the youth to rest each night but shower facilities needed to be increased to handle the large group.  ETBU let the water flow as it opened shower facilities in the Dean Healthplex for use.  

A Tiger Pride high five to the facilities as well as the ETBU support staff that helped each group this summer have a great experience during their time at One Tiger Drive.  

God has provided a place on Van Zandt Hill, which is the highest elevation in Harrison County, for ETBU to be a light to the world.


McClain Nominated for Allstate Good Works Team

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors, Student Life

jake mcclain

The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) has released the list of candidates for the Allstate Good Works team and East Texas Baptist University’s Jake McClain is on the list.  Over 182 nominees from across the country are on the list from NCAA Division I to NAIA and McClain is the only nominee from the American Southwest Conference.

 “Jake is well deserving of this nomination as he gives a lot back to this community, ETBU, and his churches he is a part of,” says head coach Joshua Eargle.  “He is a hard worker and is what ETBU football is all about.”

 McClain will be a junior at ETBU and played in three games last year as the quarterback.  The Teague, Texas, native has volunteered at numerous church events and been a leader in small groups.  At ETBU he is a Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle leader, a Journey parent for Baptist Student Ministry, and helps with the Tupas Discipleship program.  He has taken two mission trips in the last year to Honduras and Mexico and been a camp counselor at “Nextreme.”  He volunteers at Mission Marshall and the ETBU Sports Camps last spring along with leading a weekly Bible study.  He has also preached at First Baptist Church in Redwater. 

To read the complete release from ETBU Sports Information click here.

The Marshall News Messenger also reported on McClain’s nomination, read the story by clicking here.


Zach’s Story

Posted by Tiger Pride in Academics, Spiritual Life, Student Life

zach whitlow graphic tiger

The Dean’s List with Honors and Dean’s List for the Spring Semester recognized 366 students for their academic achievement in the classroom. Everyone on the list has a story.

One particular student on the Dean’s List with Honors , sophomore Zach Whitlow of McKinney, had the opportunity to tell his story of faith in the Spring 2014 Texas Baptist Magazine published  by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Whitlow has answered God’s call to serve as a minister of the Gospel and is seeking his education in the School of Christian Studies to prepare himself for service in God’s Kingdom. For the past year, he has been serving as a youth intern at Central Baptist Church of Marshall.

A quote by Whitlow in the article states, “When you are called into the ministry, it means you need to start serving today. You do not need to wait around until you are prepared, because God is constantly preparing you for how He wants to use you. “

To read his story in the Texas Baptist Magazine, click here.

To see who else is in on the ETBU Spring Dean’s List with Honors and Dean’s List, click here.


Shear Love

Posted by Tiger Pride in Spiritual Life, Student Life

East Texas Baptist University junior Payton Beggs, before Shear Love and afte Shear Love.  Photo by Layne Bruno.

East Texas Baptist University junior Payton Beggs, before Shear Love and after Shear Love. Photo by Layne Bruno.

East Texas Baptist University students, faculty and staff rallied together and initially raised $5,500 during a fundraiser called Shear Love.  The Shear Love effort raised funds to help two people battling with cancer.  A total of 21 people put their hair on the line as donors were asked to stuff jars with cash with a photo of each of the volunteers pasted on it. The money raised by each person determined the type of hair cut they would receive. The hair cutting for Shear Love occurred Monday, April 21 in the Ornelas Student Center and an additional $500 came in after the event.

Tiger Pride interviewed junior Payton Beggs of Wichita Falls, she was one of the student organizers for the event, after she got her hair cut for the cause.

TIGER PRIDE: Why did you get involved?

BEGGS: A group of us wanted to organize a fundraiser to help fellow student Nathan Mathias and Jessica Bendo, sister of student Gabrielle Garcia. Some kind of hair sacrifice thing was our big fundraiser idea. After discussing details and nailing down some ideas, we decided to call the fundraiser “Shear Love.” Because I was a part of the planning, it made sense to put my hair on the line. I figured it was the least I could do for Nathan (one of the most selfless people I know) and for Gabrielle (who has been such an encouragement to me since I’ve known her). Both are incredible ministry partners and my dear friends. For all that they have done for me, organizing this fundraiser and sacrificing my hair was the least I could do.

TIGER PRIDE: What can you say about the support from the students?

BEGGS:  I was completely blown away by the support from the students. Students were dropping big bucks into the mason jars, and there were students emptying out their coin purses every day to save their friends from losing their hair.

Sacrifice is tough, and I think students saw the sacrifice from the beginning and were encouraged and challenged by those who were willing to sacrifice their hair. I was even blown away by those who put their hair on the line. They fundraised at their home churches, from the Marshall community, and solicited donations from professors who have been incredibly supportive. It was a unique fundraiser, which helped us get support from students. It was also a chance to be a part of something greater than ourselves. There was a need in our ETBU community, and students came together and did what we could the meet that need- even if they don’t know Nathan or  Jessica.

TIGER PRIDE: Do you know how many who had jars to donate in?

BEGGS: I’m not sure about exact numbers, but I think there were 8 girls and 9 guys with jars. There was also Buck Buchanan,  our beloved maintenance man, who would have given up his beard if $500 were put in his jar. The deciding factor for the girls’ cuts was their place in fundraising. The less you rose in comparison with the other girls, the shorter your hair was. The deciding factor for the guys was similar to an auction. The highest bidder for one guy’s head got to cut that guy’s hair, or at least decide what they wanted it to look like.

TIGER PRIDE: Was it just students or did ETBU staff and faculty get involved?

BEGGS: Baptist Student Ministry Director Mark Yates was our biggest organizer and advocate for the fundraiser, and he also put his hair and facial hair on the line. ETBU staff and faculty have donated money and given so much encouragement to their students. I emailed almost every professor or faculty member that I had ever come in contact with, asking for donations. They were more than willing to give and were also lifting up Nathan and the family of Gabrielle in prayer.

To read the Longview News-Journal story about  Shear Love, click here.


Karson Kent Honored as Senior Girl Call-Out

Posted by Tiger Pride in Honors, Student Life

Karson Kent (left) stands next to her "little sister" Morgan Walters after being named Senior Girl Call-Out. Photo by Ryan Perry.

Karson Kent (left) stands next to her “little sister” Morgan Walters after being named Senior Girl Call-Out. Photo by Ryan Perry.

East Texas Baptist University’s oldest, most honored tradition returned for its 67th year on Friday, April 11, 2014, naming the 2013-2014 Senior Girl Call-Out. The ceremony was held on a gorgeous East Texas afternoon on the front lawn of Marshall Hall.

This year’s Senior Girl Call-Out is Karson Kent of Mount Pleasant. Last year, Karson’s older sister, Kallie Kent Philips was named the Senior Girl Call-Out. Miss Kent is a Business Management major. Her parents are Kevin and Jill Kent. Karson, has three sisters, Kaitlyn, Kinsey, and Klaire, they are quadruplets and students at ETBU.

While at ETBU,  Miss Kent played tennis her freshman and sophomore years and was chosen Academic All Conference in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.  She was inducted into Alpha Chi and Sigma Beta Delta, chosen Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, and has been on the Dean’s List with Honors every semester.  Karson enjoys playing tennis, traveling, watching movies, and drinking coffee with friends.  After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in the business field. She is a member of First Baptist Church of Mount Pleasant. On Wednesday nights, she volunteers in the three and four year old class at Friendship Baptist Church of Marshall.

To read more about this year’s ceremony click here.

To see the video of the announcement  click here.


The New Miss ETBU

Posted by Tiger Pride in Just for Fun, Student Life

Miss Sarah Alvis of Fort Worth was crowned Miss ETBU 2014 at the 58th Miss ETBU Pageant held Saturday night in Baker Auditorium of the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center.   Miss Alvis, a sophomore nursing major,  represented University Apartments and is the daughter of John and Cherie Alvis. Photo by Talton Cooper.

Miss Sarah Alvis of Fort Worth was crowned Miss ETBU 2014 at the 58th Miss ETBU Pageant held Saturday night in Baker Auditorium of the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center. Miss Alvis, a sophomore nursing major, represented University Apartments and is the daughter of John and Cherie Alvis. Photo by Talton Cooper.

What a great evening to see the talent and poise of 10 young ladies who competed in the 58th Miss ETBU Pageant held Saturday evening April 5th, in Baker Auditorium at East Texas Baptist University.   The Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening was Dr. Emily Prevost, E TBU Director of Leadership.

When Dr. Prevost announced Contestant #3 Sarah Alvis as the new Miss ETBU it took a few seconds for her to react as she was totally caught off guard.  The sophomore nursing major from Fort Worth said afterwards, “It was the last thing I would have ever thought. When I even entered this pageant, I did not ever expect to win. I expected to have a great time with the girls. Winning was the last thing on my radar.”

Last  year’s Miss ETBU, Macy Freeman, along with ETBU President Dr. Dub Olver and Student Government President Kinsey  Kent crowned Miss Alvis before a large enthusiastic crowd.

Miss Alvis, representing University Apartments, is the daughter of John and Cherie Alvis. While attending ETBU, Sarah has been involved in the University Scholars Program, and served as a Resident Assistant for University Apartments. She has made the Dean’s List with Honors for three semesters while at ETBU. She says her ministry is serving her residents in her position as Resident Assistant. She attends Crossroads Community Church in Longview. After graduation Sarah plans to work as a nurse, obtain her Doctorate of Nursing Practice, and serve wherever the Lord leads her. Sarah enjoys reading, baking, dancing, traveling, nursing, hiking, and learning about other cultures.

Jermaca Brown, a junior kinesiology major from Fairfield, was selected first runner up. Miss Brown, representing Baptist Student Ministry, is the daughter of Greg and Sonya Gibson.

Selected second runner up was sophomore business major Paige Redmon of Bonham. Miss Redmon representing the ETBU Spirit Program is the daughter of Gary and Kelli Redmon. Miss Redmon also received the Best Talent Award.

The Miss Congeniality Award went to junior nursing major Natalie Pippin of Marshall. Miss Pippin, representing Texas Nursing Student’s Association, is the daughter of Randy and Sally Pippin.

The remaining Miss ETBU contestants and the campus organizations they represented included: sophomore Hannah Parks of Burleson, representing Student Foundation; sophomore Natalie Davis of Houston, representing Linebery Hall; junior Audrey Winders of Kingwood, representing the American Marketing Association; sophomore Sally Perkins of League City, representing Alpha Psi Omega; junior Jenny Utterback of Rowlett, representing the Athletic Training Education Program; and junior Lynlea Hansen of Houston, representing Ornelas Hall.

To view a video of the announcement click here.

To read the bios of each contestant printed in the Marshall News Messenger, click here.