April 27, 2022
East Texas Baptist University hosted its annual tribute to the Honorable Sam B. Hall, Jr. with the Sam B. Hall Patriotic Concert on Friday, April 22. The concert featured patriotic live music performed by the University Symphonic Band, Combined Choirs, and Hilltop Singers, as well as a celebratory salute to those who serve or have served in the U.S. military. In addition to members of the East Texas community, several members of Sam B. Hall’s family were in attendance to honor his life and legacy.
“It is great to see so many members of the community here,” grandson of Sam B. Hall Chase Palmer said. “My grandad would really like this. He really appreciated the United States, but what he really enjoyed was being with and among people. What is unique about the United States of America is that anybody can be anything at any time, and my granddad believed that. I believe that, and I hope that students today believe that because the leaders of tomorrow are sitting right here. And they learn how to accomplish that at places like ETBU. That’s where my grandad learned to do it, in Marshall, Texas, a place that he really loved. We are so grateful for the opportunity to honor his memory and his legacy. If there is anything you can take away from his legacy, I want to encourage you to think about something that you can do to make Marshall, your neighborhood, a little bit better for those that come after us.”
Born in Marshall, Texas, Sam B. Hall, Jr. served as U. S. Representative for the Texas 1st Congressional District from 1976 to 1985, and as Texas Eastern District federal judge from 1985 to 1994.
“As I’ve studied his life, I’ve seen the fruits of Mr. Hall’s legacy, and I can certainly say that he is coveted with a good name,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “I believe that we should all seek to follow in his footsteps. Mr. Hall was a public servant of the highest order. He conducted his professional and personal life with integrity, honor, and character as a leader of our nation and as a leader in this community. We should strive to follow in the steps of this great American patriot who led with wisdom, who followed his heart for integrity, who reflected his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Sam B. Hall was a World War II army veteran and was proudly stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base, a historic army airfield, in Wichita Falls. A lawyer, civic servant, member and deacon of a Church of Christ congregation, a graduate of the College of Marshall (now ETBU), and Baylor University Law School, Hall was a conservative Democrat, a champion of members of the U. S. military and veterans, and a respected statesman.
“This is really one of the most special nights of the year as we remember one of the esteemed graduates of this institution,” Vice President of Advancement Scott Bryant said. “Here at East Texas Baptist University, we strive to follow the example of Christ, who put the needs of others before His own. We are certainly thankful for alumni such as Judge Sam B. Hall, as well as many others, who have demonstrated that exact mission by living out a life of service. It is a privilege to remember his life and legacy and to express thankfulness for and celebrate the country in which we live.”