Spring Commencement saw 149 become graduates of East Texas Baptist University, 132 bachelor’s degrees and 17 master’s degrees. ETBU honored two with honorary doctorates. One to E. Leon Carter, a partner in the Dallas law firm of Carter Scholer Arnett Hamada and Mockler, PLLC. The other one to D.M Edwards of Tyler who is the founding CEO and chairman of Edwards Investments.
Carter played basketball for ETBU from 1977 to 1980 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Pre-law degree. He received his law degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University and was admitted to the Bar in 1986. Among his achievements, Carter is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, the Litigation Counsel of America, and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was recently listed in The Best Lawyers in America in six areas: Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Labor and Employment Litigation, First Amendment Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Patent Litigation. ETBU awarded Carter as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2010.
Edwards has been a long faithful supporter of education in East Texas. He has served on the Board of Trustees at ETBU for 20 years, including his role as chairperson. Edwards attended Tyler public schools and was a Cum Laude graduate of Tyler Junior College. He is also a graduate of the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with double majors in Marketing and Management and a minor in Finance. Edwards’ father, the late Dr. Welby C. Edwards, was also an ETBU trustee. Edwards, along with his parents, helped established the School of Nursing in 1989 at the University. Edwards has a heart for Baptist work throughout Texas. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Timberline Baptist Encampment and Conference Center in Lindale and several Baptist General Convention of Texas committees.