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ETBU shows CARE for Craig Hall to honor the legacy of Dr. Robert E. “Jack” Craig

February 6, 2019

East Texas Baptist University intends to renovate Craig Hall for use by ETBU’s largest academic school, the Frank S. Groner School of Professional Studies, through the CARE (Commitment to Academic Resources for Excellence) for Craig Hall campaign. The facility is named in honor of Dr. Robert E. “Jack” Craig (’50), who led ETBU from 1986-1992 as the University’s tenth President. His commitment to providing students and faculty with quality academic facilities and the resources necessary to serve Christ with excellence was evident in his leadership as President.

“ETBU invites alumni and friends of the University to join us as we extend Dr. Craig’s legacy by showing CARE for Craig Hall,” ETBU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders said. “Your support will provide our current and future students with the modern educational space needed to develop skills for their callings. Fundraising for this contemporary learning environment recently surpassed $100,000 towards a campaign goal of $500,000. I invite you to partner with us to pay tribute to Dr. Craig’s presidential leadership and provide our students with 21st century educational space.”

Dr. Craig holds the honor of being the first and only ETBU graduate to serve the institution as President. After his death in 1992, the Sanderson Hall of Science was renamed “Craig Hall” in honor of the esteemed president and First Lady Mary Jean Light Craig, who also graduated from East Texas Baptist in 1948. Originally built in 1953, the University now has the opportunity to restore the historic building as the ETBU School of Nursing transitions to the newly refurbished Marshall Grand in downtown Marshall in Spring 2019. The project will ensure that Craig Hall continues to provide quality, Christ-centered educational training to both students and faculty.

“The renovation of Craig Hall will allow all of the academic departments of the School of Professional Studies to collaborate and teach under one roof,” Dean of the Frank S. Groner School of Professional Studies Joseph D. Brown commented. “State-of-the-art labs and modern classrooms will allow students to receive the hands-on learning required in Athletic Training and Kinesiology. These much-needed modernized facilities will enhance our already successful and popular programs.”

This facility will house all undergraduate and graduate programs in kinesiology, clinical lab science, rehabilitative science, and adult studies. Graduate assistants who provide coaching, leadership, and discipleship to students will receive their training from the Christian faculty, who work and teach in Craig Hall. Enhancements to this time-honored facility will include new labs and instructional space to provide for theoretical instruction, practical training experiences, and research into the science and application of kinesiology.

“When I first started college and thought about majoring in rehabilitative science, I was really intimidated,” ETBU senior Megan Friend shared. “The faculty encouraged and empowered me to learn and grow into my vocational calling. The professors at ETBU have prepared me for the next level of physical therapy school. As the School of Professional Studies moves to Craig Hall, I know that students will be even more prepared for their careers, and they will have a space of their own to call home.”

During his tenure, Dr. Craig led fundraising efforts for the construction of the Fred Hale School of Business, Jenna Guest Music Building, Mabee Performance Hall, Murphy Science Building, and the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center. Dr. Craig also initiated two programs through which students could personally meet with him for counsel and guidance. Dr. Craig was a beloved member of the ETBU community, and his legacy continues to influence generations of ETBU students, faculty, and staff for the glory of God.

“Our campus is a very fine Christian institution, with a friendly, outstanding faculty and student body,”
Dr. Craig said during his presidency at ETBU. “It is the kind of institution our world needs if we are going to make a difference.”

A contribution of any size will help provide current and future ETBU students with the modern educational and professional training space needed to develop skills for their calling. To learn more about this project and contribute to the CARE for Craig Hall, visit