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East Texas Baptist University Honors T. Whitfield Davidson Foundation at Good Samaritan Award & ETBU Scholarship Banquet

February 27, 2024

East Texas Baptist University recognized the Thomas Whitfield Davidson Foundation as the 2024 ETBU Good Samaritan Award recipient on Tuesday, February 27, at the Great Commission Center on ETBU's campus. Inspired by the parable in Luke 10:25-37, the Good Samaritan Award & ETBU Scholarship Banquet celebrates individuals and organizations who exemplify the spirit of "loving your neighbor as yourself."

“With the missional focus of developing Christian servant leaders among the graduates of ETBU, tonight’s dinner emphasizes recognizing humble servanthood in our community with the Good Samaritan Award to the Trustees of the T. Whitfield Davidson Foundation,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “The Davidson Foundation has constantly and generously upheld the high calling of Jesus Christ to love others in your neighborhoods and community.  As the Good Samaritan stepped out of his established path to assist the one in need, so has the T. Whitfield Davidson Foundation made it their mission to assist others by advancing the heart of Judge Davidson and extending his legacy of servant leadership.”

The T. Whitfield Davidson Foundation was established through the legacy of former Chief Judge of the Northern District of Texas, Judge Thomas Whitfield Davidson. Hailing from Marshall, Texas, Judge Davidson's foundation consistently demonstrated remarkable generosity, providing vital support to non-profit organizations in Marshall and Harrison County. East Texas Baptist University recognized the T. Whitfield Davidson Foundation for their steadfast partnership in advancing the institution's mission of providing Christ-centered education.

For years, the T. Whitfield Davidson Foundation has been instrumental in supporting countless ETBU students through scholarships, ensuring access to transformative educational opportunities. McKool Smith and Gillam & Smith served as presenting sponsors for the event. McKool Smith Principal Lawyer Jennifer Truelove emphasized the impact the event has on the community, "We are grateful for this opportunity to support East Texas Baptist University as we unite in advancing Christian higher education and to celebrate one of East Texas region's leading community organizations in the T. Whitfield Davidson Foundation. Thank you all for partnering with McKool Smith, Gillam & Smith, and ETBU to recognize the generous philanthropic work of the Davidson Foundation. We congratulate the Board of Directors."

The banquet served as a tribute to the visionary leadership of the Davidson Foundation's Trustees under the chairmanship of the Honorable Chief Judge Rodney Gilstrap. The foundation's dedication to serving the community and empowering future generations aligns with ETBU's ethos of compassion and service.

Carter Arnett Bennett & Perez served as the evening's award sponsor, and ETBU alumnus Leon Carter ('80) delivered compelling words for all attendees. "The thing that Judge Davidson did as he lived his life, he understood the principle that life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived going forward. That's what Judge Davidson did. He was a forward thinker. He knew the rule of law had to apply to everyone to be the rule of law. To be just, he knew he had to be a forward thinker; he couldn't live in the past." 

The Good Samaritan Award & ETBU Scholarship Banquet was an evening of celebration, reflection, and commitment to the values of service and generosity. ETBU expressed gratitude to all attendees as they honored the legacy of Judge Thomas Whitfield Davidson and the enduring impact of the T. Whitfield Davidson Foundation upon East Texas communities and organizations.