Two faculty members and a staff member were honored at Southwest Baptist University’s annual convocation Wednesday, Aug. 26.
Convocation marks the formal beginning of the academic year and is a time that campus gathers to focus on SBU’s mission and traditions.
“All of us—students, faculty and staff—should be challenged by our mission statement to be Christ-centered and caring,” said SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D. “We also should be challenged to do our best academically and to recognize the importance of servant-leadership. If each of us will continue the tradition of living out the SBU mission statement in our lives, the 2015-2016 academic year—which is our 138th year as an institution—will be a great year.”
The tradition of the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award winner delivering the convocation address continued with Dr. Craig Endres, the 2015 recipient. The Distinguished Teacher Award is chosen by previous graduating classes and is presented annually to a faculty member for “outstanding teaching ability and personal guidance.”
Endres joined the SBU faculty in 1993 and is currently a professor of biology. He has served as chair of the biology department since 2003.
In his address, Endres encouraged students to seek Christ and take advantage of opportunities to grow in their faith while pursing their education at SBU. He also reminded students to be mindful of the purpose to which they are each called.
“No matter who you are—student, faculty or staff—we are all here for one main reason, and I believe it is what Jesus is saying in Mark 12:30, when he said: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ In other words, with your whole being.”
He also reminded students of the importance of humility, thankfulness and putting the Lord first in their lives.
“My challenge for all of us as we embark on a new semester is to deepen our love for God by committing ourselves to follow Jesus, putting God first in our lives, obeying and trusting God, and keeping humble and grateful hearts.”
Newcomer of the Year awards
The Newcomer of the Year awards were begun in 1995 to recognize one full-time faculty member and one non-teaching staff member who, in their first months of employment at Southwest Baptist University, demonstrate exceptional commitment to the University’s mission and make a positive impact as part of the SBU family. Faculty and staff members who have been employed full-time for no more than 18 months prior to the selection process are eligible. Committees of peers select the winners.
Faculty Newcomer of the Year:
Kevin Marcum joined the University in August 2014 as an instructor of University Studies in the University Success Center, an academic program that helps new students transition into college through University Studies courses and academic advising.
“He is an outstanding addition to the Success Center and to SBU,” said Dana Steward, director of the University Success Center. “He consistently demonstrates the SBU mission statement in his interactions with students, faculty and staff, as well as in his personal life. His greatest strength is his ability to build a positive rapport with students. His course and instructor evaluations, which were exceptionally positive, reflect his ability to communicate the course material while engaging and motivating students.”
He and his wife Lesa are both SBU graduates and have four children: Allie, Hannah, Ella and Elias. They are members of Eudora Baptist Church, where he serves as a youth minister.
Staff Newcomer of the Year:
Since August 2014, Megan Hibma has served in the department of university relations as assistant director of the annual fund. In this capacity, she leads annual giving functions, supervises the University Relations call center, and creates and plans all aspects of the direct mail program.
“She has been a great addition to the university relations team,” said Brad Johnson, Ed.D., vice president of university relations. “Hanging in her office is a placard that reads, ‘Today, I choose joy.’ Without a doubt, she brings a positive and joyous outlook to her work and the difference that joy makes is truly remarkable.”
She is married to Levi, a student in SBU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. They are members of Freshwater Church in Bolivar.
Craig Endres — Dr. Craig Endres (left), professor and chair of the biology department, delivered the convocation address during the Aug. 26 chapel. SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D., presents Endres with a plaque recognizing his selection as the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher. The winner is announced each year at graduation and then is the speaker at the next fall’s convocation.
Kevin Marcum — SBU interim provost Dr. Allison Langford, right, presents Kevin Marcum, instructor of university studies, with the Faculty Newcomer of the Year Award.
Megan Hibma — SBU interim provost Dr. Allison Langford, right, presents the Staff Newcomer of the Year Award to Megan Hibma, assistant director of the annual fund.