April 17, 2020
Emily Hicks of Marshall was recognized on Friday, April 17 during East Texas Baptist University’s 73rd annual Senior Girl Call-Out, ETBU’s longest standing tradition. Selected by a faculty and staff vote, the individual “called out” each year is distinguished for her exemplary Christian character, social consciousness, personal poise, academic achievement, and spiritual vision.
Hicks, a senior Child Development major, exemplifies what it means to be fully immersed in student life at East Texas Baptist University. During her time on campus, she has served as a Resident Assistant, a BSM Ignite Worship Leader, she is a member of Lampsato, Concert Choir, was previously a Chapel Team Member, and was an ETBU Rec Team member for two summers. Her dedication to excellence can be seen inside the classroom as well, as she has been named on the President’s List every semester throughout her time at ETBU.
“ETBU has played such a huge role in my life,” Hicks said. “Many of my family members have attended this amazing university, and it has been a dream of mine to continue that family legacy. As soon as I started my journey as a college student, I could not believe the many opportunities being offered to me to serve Christ, my church, and my community. These opportunities have helped me become who I am today, strengthened my relationship with the Lord, allowed me to serve others, and to give back to the amazing community that I love.”
Hicks is also actively involved at Immanuel Baptist Church in Marshall where she is a member of the youth worship team, serves as an Office Assistant, and has previously led a Small Group for 6th grade girls.
“Servant leadership is something that I think is essential to make the most of your time here on this earth. I want to set an example for the future generations of what servant leadership should look like. Especially during this time of social distancing, I don't want to take for granted the times given to me to share the Gospel, serve others, and be an example to others,” Hicks added. “I am so grateful to God, my encouraging and loving family, Dr. Blackburn, East Texas Baptist University, faculty and staff, my friends and classmates, my home church of Immanuel Baptist Church, and the rest of the Tiger community for motivating me, challenging me, and supporting me in such a way to help me become the light that God has called me to be.”
While the ceremony looked a bit different this year, 21 young women chose to participate in the time-honored event. Traditionally during the ceremony, each senior girl chooses a “little sister”, and passes onto her the symbols of the ideals and traditions of the University – the grace of the myrtle, the strength of the oak, and the ever verdant life of the pine. Initiated in 1947 by ETBC Dean of Women Sallie Duncan, the ceremony honors all participating seniors for their achievements at ETBU.
“Senior Girl Call-Out is one of my favorite events at ETBU, and it is a privilege to honor these young ladies,” Vice President for Student Life Heather Hadlock commented. “Despite the changes this semester brought, the University was compelled to continue providing opportunities for the ETBU Family to stay connected, and we knew we needed to honor the legacy of Senior Girl Call-Out by finding a way to host the ceremony.”
Although the ceremony itself may have been presented differently this year, the sentiment remains the same as the University community honors the long-standing tradition of recognizing senior girls for their Christian character and academic achievements.
“While I wish we could have come together on our campus for the traditional ceremony, I am grateful for the technology that allowed us to honor these senior girls in a virtual format,” Dr. Hadlock added. “Senior Girl Call-Out is an opportunity to honor the legacy of generations of women, who have gone beyond ETBU to serve in God’s Kingdom. We want to extend a special congratulations to our 2020 recipient, Emily Hicks, for serving as such a wonderful example of Christian character.”