SBU trustees honor Rep. Blunt at meeting
By Tamera Heitz-Peek
SBU Public Relations
February 22, 2005
BOLIVAR — During their winter meeting Feb. 8, Southwest Baptist University’s (SBU) board of trustees approved the motion to name the grand entrance to the Jane and Ken Meyer Wellness and Sports Center the Roy Blunt Hall of Distinction.
“This is an excellent way for SBU to honor former SBU president Roy Blunt, who continues to bring honor to the university as he distinguishes himself as a congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives,” said SBU President C. Pat Taylor. “He has brought recognition and honor to the state of Missouri and to SBU through his service as a congressman.”
Blunt is a 1970 graduate of SBU and served as a member of the board of trustees in the 1980s. In 1992 he was named the 23rd president of SBU, a post he held until 1996, the year he was first elected to Congress representing the 7th District of Missouri. He currently serves as the majority whip, the third highest ranking position in Congress. He is also the father of Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, as well as a member of First Baptist Church, Branson.
The board of trustees also approved the motion to award honorary doctorates to Ellen Bell and Rev. Kenneth Roller. The two candidates will be awarded honorary doctorates during Founders Day chapel on March 16.
Bell joined the staff of SBU in 1950 and held several positions on campus during her 50-year tenure at SBU. She attended Central Business College in Sedalia and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She also earned hours from Central Seminary in Kansas City and from SBU. Bell has received many SBU honors and awards, including having the 1959 Mozarkian dedicated to her, being honored by “Ding Dong Day” in 1970, and receiving the Trustees Medallion in 1995. In 1987, the SBU trustees honored Bell with a special “trustees recognition dinner.” After retiring a few years ago, Bell has continued to support SBU, attending athletic events and each year’s formal convocation. According to Taylor, she has displayed tremendous and unparalleled loyalty, service, dedication, enthusiasm, and support for the University throughout the past 55 years. She resides in Bolivar.
Roller recently retired as pastor of First Baptist Church of Dadeville. Throughout his career he has served in the education field, worked in radio and business, and served as a church youth pastor and music leader in Shawnee, Okla., before becoming a full-time pastor. Before coming to First Baptist Church Dadeville, Roller pastored Emmanuel Baptist Church in Decorah, Iowa, as well as several Missouri churches — Lockwood Baptist Church, Green Ridge Baptist Church, Hurricane Baptist Church and Dean Lake Baptist Church. Roller graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1966 after studying at the University of Tulsa, Kansas State Teachers College, and the University of Minnesota. He has served in the U.S. Army Reserve, from which he received an honorable discharge with the rank of sergeant. Roller has served on the board of curators of The Redford College of Theology and Church Vocations since 1999. He has been a longtime supporter of SBU, and several of his children have attended SBU.
In addition to the honorary doctorates, the trustees approved tenure and promotion recommendations effective fall 2005. Tenure was granted to the following faculty: Cathy Beck, associate professor of physical therapy; Stephen Bowling, assistant professor of mathematics; Barry Ellis, associate professor of finance; Gregory Fiebig, associate professor of theatre; Kelly Martin, associate professor of criminal justice; and Etta Sellars, professor of education. Troy Bethards was promoted from instructor to assistant professor of business administration, and Stephen Bowling was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of mathematics. Tom Hollis, associate professor of education; Janet Juhlin, associate professor of education; and Kevin Schriver, associate professor of psychology all received promotions to professor.
Trustees approved the motion to increase the private room charge to 50 percent of the regular charge for a double occupancy room. Trustees also approved a resolution related to the endowment fund investments. The annual endowment spending budget of five percent will be calculated based on a 12-quarter simple average value of the total endowment, which currently is $14.7 million.
The next trustee meeting is scheduled for May 9-10.