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SBU celebrates new school year at formal convocation

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.”

Craig EndresConvocation Address

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.

Kevin MarcumFaculty 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. 

Megan HibmaStaff 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.

Organizations welcome at SBU Volunteer Fair

BOLIVAR, Mo. — The social work program at Southwest Baptist University will host a campus-wide Volunteer Fair 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, in the Goodson Student Union on SBU’s Bolivar campus. More than 20 local and regional agencies, nonprofits and other organizations will be in attendance to share information with students about service opportunities in the community.

“The purpose of the fair is to give students the opportunity to meet great local agencies, particularly those that need volunteers,” said Angelia Ham, director of the social work program at SBU. “It’s very special to have so many students and organizations all in the same room, so it’s a great opportunity. I hope this event will be fruitful for all participants.”

Interested organizations may reserve a table at the fair by filling out the registration form at The deadline to register is Monday, Aug. 24. For more information, please contact the SBU social work program at (417) 328-1736.

BKD Foundation donates $25,000 to Taylor Center project

BKD donationThe BKD Foundation, the charitable arm of BKD LLP, a national CPA and advisory firm with offices in Springfield, donated $25,000 toward the renovation and expansion of the Gene Taylor National Free Enterprise Center that houses the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science at Southwest Baptist University. Construction is expected to begin in January 2016 on the $2.7 million project. Pictured are, from left, Ron Maupin, SBU’s vice president of administration and chief financial officer; Kim Hamm, a partner with BKD LLP representing the BKD Foundation; and Tara Parson, controller at SBU.

Public Notification of Opportunity to Comment

Southwest Baptist University is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The University will host a visit November 16-17, 2015, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission. Southwest Baptist University has been accredited by the Commission since 1957. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the college:
Public Comment on Southwest Baptist University

The Higher Learning Commission

230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500

Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments on the Commission’s Web site at
Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing. All comments must be received by October 16, 2015.

From SBU Life magazine: Changing Gears and Finding Purpose

This weekend, we will continue sharing stories of SBU alumni who are living out the university’s mission to be servant leaders in a global society. This story originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of SBU Life magazine. To read recent issues of SBU Life, please visit

Sara (Drake) Salguero ’04

B.S. Elementary Education and currently serving as International Relations Coordinator of Casa Bernabé, Guatemala (Learn more at

By Stephanie Benoit

Although Sara (Drake) Salguero was always passionate about working with children, she acknowledges that when she started at SBU, she did not envision herself living out that passion as a missionary.

“I wanted to be a teacher since I was 5, so when I went to SBU, that was a no-brainer,” Sara said. That fall, however, her focus shifted after hearing a missionary speak at chapel. “I started shaking when I listened to her [because she] was so moving. I went back to my dorm room and asked God, ‘What are you trying to show me?’” Although Sara struggled to let go of becoming an educator, she realized that God’s desire was for her to be a missionary.

Sara (Drake) Salguero and Edgar, her husband of seven years, with their children—Andy, 9; Bella, 5; and Santiago, 2.

Sara (Drake) Salguero and Edgar, her husband of seven years, with their children—Andy, 9; Bella, 5; and Santiago, 2.

That calling eventually led Sara to Casa Bernabé, a Guatemalan orphanage nurturing dozens of abandoned and abused children. Today, she serves as an administrator of the organization and its international relations coordinator, helping direct visiting missionary groups, much like the one through SBU that first brought her to Guatemala in 2002.

“It really wasn’t until I went on that trip that I said, ‘I get it—I see it now,’ because I fell so deeply in love with these kids,” Sara said. “I saw real hurt, real pain, and yet so much joy. I knew I wanted to be a part of this.”

Sara often looks back on the instruction she received in SBU’s education department, such as the educational psychology course taught by Dr. John Wheeler, as instrumental in helping prepare her for a life of ministry and servant leadership.

“That class shaped so much of how I make decisions,” Sara said. “While Dr. Wheeler was teaching, everything went back to real life [and] being a light in darkness. All of that has come in handy, because my life is [about] kids every day.”

Although caring for youth at Casa Bernabé dominates Sara’s time, as well as that of her husband of 7 years, Edgar, much of it is also spent looking after their children—Andy, 9, whom they adopted from the orphanage; Bella, 5; and Santiago, 2.

“If I had ignored God’s calling, life would still be good,” Sara said. “But would it be what it is? I don’t think so. I am experiencing so much more than what I had dreamt for myself. I’d encourage SBU students to say, ‘God, whatever it is that you have for me, I want to be part of it.’”

Want to pitch a story for SBU Life magazine? Please submit ideas to Stephanie Benoit at

Weather-related status for today, March 4, on all SBU campuses

Bolivar campus: Campus is OPEN Wednesday, March 4, and classes ARE in session (see inclement weather policy below)

Springfield campus (Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU): No classes 10 a.m. or later (including evening classes); offices closing at noon

Mountain View campus: Closed all day

Salem campus: Closed all day

Here is a summary of the University’s Inclement Weather Policy:

Because SBU is a residential campus, the University rarely cancels classes on the Bolivar campus due to inclement weather. However, students will be notified by Angel and/or SBU email if a faculty member cancels a class today due to inclement weather.

Students who commute should use good judgment regarding traveling to campus and notify professors if not able to attend classes. Professors will make reasonable accommodations for commuters who are not able to travel safely to campus.

We appreciate all of our employees who are working to clear campus streets, parking lots and sidewalks. Above all, please be careful!

Classes canceled, offices closed on Bolivar campus Feb. 16

Classes are canceled and offices are closed at Southwest Baptist University’s Bolivar campus Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, due to a winter storm that is expected to bring significant snowfall accumulation, causing hazardous roads. Students are encouraged to stay on campus until roads are adequately cleared for safe travel. Employees, please contact your supervisor concerning whether you need to report to work.

We want to extend an extra appreciation to employees who are working today to provide meals for students, to clear snow from campus streets, parking lots and sidewalks, to keep the wellness center open and more.

Even though classes are canceled, we must continue to provide essential services for students. The status of some campus services are listed below.

• Chapel: CANCELED
• Wellness Center: OPEN with special afternoon activities
• Mellers Dining Commons: OPEN 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Kaldi’s and Sports Cafe CLOSED
• Library and Computer Labs: CLOSED

Updates will be posted as more information becomes available.

SBU Computer and Information Sciences chair to be published in prominent journal

Come May, the work of Southwest Baptist University’s Dr. Tim DeClue, professor and chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, will be published in the prestigious Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges (JCSC), a publication of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC).

The work of Dr. Tim DeClue, Department of Computer and Information Sciences chair, will be published this May.

This May, the work of Dr. Tim DeClue, chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, will be published in the Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges.

The work to be published details instruction on Earsketch, a unique Python programming environment combining code writing and music production. “Earsketch is really a ground-breaking tool,” DeClue said. “It can be used to teach the principles of computer science while at the same time creating some incredible music. It is a winning combination.”

In addition to publication in JCSC, DeClue’s tutorial will be presented in April at the Central Plains regional meeting of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC), an endorsed society of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest and oldest association for computing professionals. The tutorial will also be made available in ACM’s searchable Digital Library, the leading online resource of computer science literature, publications and online books, according to the ACM.

SBU’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences has garnered multiple national awards in recent years, and is housed in the nationally ranked SBU College of Business and Computer Science. For more information about the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at SBU, please contact Dr. DeClue at (417) 328-1704 or

Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. At SBU, the faculty and staff create a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. For more information, visit

SBU comes out on top in inaugural CatFight Giving Challenge

BOLIVAR, Mo. —Alumni and supporters of Drury and Southwest Baptist universities raised a total of $21,536 during the inaugural Highway 13 CatFight Giving Challenge. SBU came out on top in the friendly competition, raising $13,161 to Drury’s $8,375.

The fundraising event was a new addition this year to the longstanding on-court rivalry between the Panther and Bearcat basketball teams. The schools sought to raise $13,000 each over the course of six days. The final push for donations took place during tonight’s CatFight double-header at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

“It was refreshing to see students, alumni and friends of Southwest Baptist University get excited about giving generously,” said Megan Hibma, assistant director of annual fund at SBU. “Our Bearcats joined together to give back and collectively make a huge impact in the lives of our students. Together we reached and surpassed our goal of $13,000. On behalf of SBU and our students, we’re thankful that Bearcats Give Back.”

Money raised by Drury will support students through the Drury Fund and the athletics fund. Money raised by SBU will go to the university’s annual scholarship fund.

For more information about SBU’s annual scholarship fund, contact Hibma at (417) 328-1801 or