SBU graduates large class May 19
BOLIVAR—The Southwest Baptist University (SBU) spring commencement took place May 19 on the Merrill Burnidge Memorial Forum on the Bolivar campus.
“(It is) perhaps the greatest accomplishment this year,” said SBU President C. Pat Taylor in the midst of his address to university trustees May 8. “Folks, this is what it’s all about.”
More than 350 undergraduate and graduate students received their degrees during the graduation ceremony. The commencement address was given by guest speaker, Gary Black. Black received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwest Baptist University in 1967. Following graduation from SBU, he was employed by Fireman Insurance Company, located in Northern California, for 35 years. Black retired in 2002 as president of claims.
In 2004 Black joined OneBeacon Insurance Company, headquartered in Boston, as managing director. He held this position until his second retirement in December 2006. He has served on numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards and has just completed a ten-year term on the board of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif.
Black and his wife, Jane, also a graduate of SBU, have retired and spend their time at their homes located in Novato, Calif., and Springfield, Mo. They have two sons and four grandchildren.
During the ceremony, retiring staff and faculty were recognized. In addition, the student recipients of the Life Beautiful Award will be named.
Ed Hanna is among the retiring staff members. He has served as coordinator for the graduate studies program in the St. Louis area for the past 13 years. Through the years, Hanna has been instrumental in the development of two new locations in Pacific and in the Lindbergh School District, St. Louis. Through his efforts, the SBU graduate education program has grown in the St. Louis area and enrollment from the three sites accounts for approximately forty percent of the total of all graduate education programs.
Hanna received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southeast Missouri State University. He taught social studies and physical education at East Prairie High School, Ste. Genevieve High School and De Soto Public Schools. He served as head football and track coach at East Prairie and Ste. Genevieve and head baseball coach at De Soto. In addition to other duties, Hanna served as assistant principal at De Soto Junior High School and DeSoto High School from 1976 to 1994.
Hanna and his wife have two daughters, Theresa Jane and Lucinda Lee, who received her master’s degree from SBU in 2005.
Eric Moore was also recognized in retirement. He has been part of the SBU family for more than 40 years. While employed at SBU, Moore served as assistant debate coach, directed the SBU Alumni program, developed the CAMEO mission program, and served as president of faculty senate. He worked to develop and coordinate the first SBU graduate courses taught over a fiber-optic distance education system in northeast Missouri.
Moore earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Baptist College in 1970. He earned a master’s degree from Central Missouri State University in clinical audiology in 1975 and a doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1992.
He began his professional career at Butler High School in Butler teaching for three years. He has served as pastor and interim pastor for several churches in and around the Polk County area. In 1975, he was hired as an instructor of education at SBU. Since 1996, he has served as professor of education. He has received the SBU Faculty Life Beautiful Award, the SBU Pioneer Mission Award, and the SBU Edwin Lightfoot Outstanding Alumni Award.
Moore and his wife, Geri, have been married for 38 years. Their daughters, Erica Noyes and Heather Moore, are SBU graduates as well as their son-in-law, Tim Noyes. Moore and his wife, who recently retired from teaching, have three grandchildren.
A third retiree is Etta Sellars, a professor of education at Southwest Baptist University in Mountain View. She began her association with SBU in 1999 when she became a member of the faculty as an associate professor of education. In 2004, Sellars was promoted to professor of education.
Sellers earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Central Arkansas in 1968. In addition, she earned both a master’s degree and a doctorate from Indiana State University. She began her teaching career at public schools in Marengo, Ind., and Clinton, Ark. For several years, she served as director of student teaching in Oakland City, Ind. From 1994-1999 she was an instructor of education at Henderson State University.
Sellers and her husband, Jimmy, have a daughter, Marla. The Sellars attend First Baptist Church of Mountain View.
Jimmy Sellars is also retiring. He has been a professor of education in the teacher education program at the SBU Mountain View Center since 2002.
Sellars earned a bachelor’s degree at University of Central Arkansas in 1966. He graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in 1981 and a doctorate of divinity degree in 1983. Also, he earned a doctor of education degree from Indiana State University in 1989. He began his professional career in teaching at Oakland City University in 1983, and later taught at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark.
In 1994, Sellars joined the SBU faculty as an associate professor of education. In 1997 he became the coordinator of the SBU teacher education program in Mountain View. In 2002, he was promoted to professor of education.