Category Archives: News Releases

SBU student receives national AICPA award

Jenna Durnell, junior at SBU, is one of just 10 students nationwide to receive a prestigious award from AICPA.

Jenna Durnell, junior at SBU, is one of just 10 students nationwide to receive a prestigious award from AICPA.

Jenna Durnell, a junior accounting major at Southwest Baptist University from El Dorado Springs, Mo., has been selected as one of just 10 recipients of the national AICPA/Accountemps Student Scholarship awarded by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). This $2,500 award is given annually to students pursuing their CPA license who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership.

“On behalf of the AICPA, I applaud this year’s recipients of the AICPA/Accountemps Student Scholarship for their commitment to academic achievement,” stated Joanne Fiore, AICPA vice president of professional media, pathways and inclusion. “These exceptional students are a testament to the strength of the pipeline of talent coming into the accounting profession.

Durnell and the nine other recipients were chosen from a pool of more than 1,190 applicants based on their academic achievements, demonstrated leadership and overall commitment to the CPA profession.

“This is a great honor for Jenna and our SBU accounting program,” said Wayne Clark, CPA, chair of the department of accounting. “The AICPA is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, and for Jenna to be recognized as a Legacy Scholar speaks highly of her commitment to the accounting profession and the opportunities it presents to provide essential financial services to individuals and organizations throughout the world.”

In addition to the award, Durnell also will now be part of the AICPA Legacy Scholars program, which was established in 2011 and helps students develop the soft skills needed to maintain a successful career. Scholarship recipients will plan and execute community service projects related to accounting that will serve their communities and be meaningful to the students.

“The AICPA’s recognition of Jenna Durnell communicates the quality person she is and validates that her pursuit of excellence is what makes her deserving of such an award,” said Dr. Troy Bethards, dean of the College of Business and Computer Science. “Durnell typifies the type of students we have in SBU’s Accounting program.”

For more information about SBU’s accounting program, please contact Clark at (417) 328-1951 or

Al Lackey of Kids Alive International at SBU Sept. 22

Al Lackey, president of Kids Alive International

Al Lackey, president of Kids Alive International

Al Lackey, president of Kids Alive International, will speak at the 10 a.m. chapel service on Monday, Sept. 22 in SBU’s Mabee Chapel. Lackey has served as president of the international ministry since October 1996.

Kids Alive International has been focused on rescuing and serving orphaned, abandoned and at-risk children since 1916 and operates children’s homes, care centers, schools and community outreach programs in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and the Pacific Rim.

Lackey also will share with Dr. Christine Saladino’s class, “Integrating Faith and Social Work,” and will visit with students interested in learning more about the ministry, internship opportunities, child sponsorship, and other ways to get involved.

For more information about Lackey’s visit to SBU, please contact Kurt Caddy, director of university ministries, at (417) 328-1902 or

Poet Tania Runyan at SBU Sept. 25

The Barnett-Padgett Literary Artist series will feature poet Tania Runyan in a reading of her works at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in Meyer Recital Hall of the Casebolt Music Center.

Runyan is the author of the poetry collections “Second Sky,” “A Thousand Vessels,” “Simple Weight” and “Delicious Air,” which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. Her book “How to Read a Poem,” an instructional guide based on Billy Collins’s “Introduction to Poetry,” will be released in 2014.

Her poems have appeared in many publications, including “Poetry,” “Image,” “Harvard Divinity Bulletin,” “The Christian Century,” “Atlanta Review,” “Indiana Review,” “Willow Springs,” “Nimrod” and the anthology “In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare.”

Tania was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2011. When not writing, Tania edits for Every Day Poems and Relief, tutors high school students, plays fiddle and mandolin, and gets lost in her Midwestern garden.

Runyan will sign books after the reading. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Holly Hill-Stanford, Ph.D., professor of English and director of the Barnett-Padgett Literary Artist Series, at (417) 328-1682 or

SBU faculty art show runs Sept. 15-Oct. 10

Southwest Baptist University’s Driskill Art Gallery is hosting a faculty exhibit from Monday, Sept. 15, through Friday, Oct. 10, with a variety of artwork displayed by five faculty members.

The exhibit includes paintings, relief printmaking, photography, graphic arts and drawings by:

  • Tom Douglas, chair of the Department of Art and associate professor of art
  • Deby Gilley, adjunct instructor of art
  • Grant Cochran, instructor of graphic design
  • Dawn Katzer, instructor of art
  • Justin Ballard, adjunct instructor of photography

An artist reception is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, at the gallery, with entertainment by a bluegrass band.

The Driskill Art Gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please contact Dawn Katzer, director of the Driskill Art Gallery, at

Outdoor art exhibit raises awareness of Lakota people group

LaKota1A unique outdoor art exhibit, “A Vision of Hope,” on Southwest Baptist University’s Bolivar campus shares the plight of an often forgotten people group in the United States — the Lakota Sioux Indians of the Cheyenne River and Pine Ridge Reservations in southwestern South Dakota.

Kurt Caddy, director of university ministries, started leading student teams to the South Dakota reservation about four years ago. During a 10-day spring break trip in 2013 to the Cheyenne River reservation, the team focused not just on serving and ministering to the Lakota people, but also working on an advocacy project. The photographs and writings in the display are the result of that trip that was organized through the university’s Center for Global Connections.

“We took students with photography and creative writing skills for an advocacy project,” Caddy said. “As we were doing service projects, we took photographs.”

LaKota3The rustic display consists of pallets arranged as display boards, with the photographs mounted on cardboard and attached to the pallets, left completely unprotected from natural elements. Surrounding the base of a sycamore tree in the lawn behind the Sells Administrative Center, the display is symbolic in many ways.

“The display itself is sort of a metaphor for the way the Lakota people have been treated,” Caddy said. “The display is off the beaten path, so you’re going to have to walk to get to it. The photographs are vulnerable. They are exposed to the elements; the Lakota people live in a constant state of vulnerability and exposure. The pallets are a rugged, rough exterior.”

The cottonwood tree is very symbolic within the Lakota culture, and the display is built around a sycamore tree, a cousin to the cottonwood tree. The four hallways of the display are aligned with the directions north, south, east and west; directions are sacred to the Lakota people. Many of the photographs are of people, showing a little bit of life on the reservation.

“People are the biggest asset they have,” Caddy said.

These statistics, published in “The Arrogance of Ignorance: Hidden Away, Out of Sight and Out of Mind” by Stephanie M. Schwartz in 2006, tell a small part of the Lakota story:

  • 83-85 percent unemployment
  • About 50 percent of all adults older than 40 have diabetes
  • Average life expectancy for men is 48 years and for women 52 years
  • Infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent and about 300 percent higher than the U.S. national average
  • Teenage suicide rate is 150 percent higher than the U.S. national average for this age group
  • School drop-out rate is more than 70 percent
  • An average of 17 people live in each family home
  • Alcoholism affects 8 out of 10 families on the reservation

“It is difficult to know where to start,” Caddy said. “But it’s my passion.”

LaKota2Caddy plans to leave the display up for the entire semester. The photographs and writings in the display will weather as rain falls and the wind blows, which Caddy expects to add to the message being conveyed by the display.

An open house with some of the photographers and writers present is from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, at the display, which is west of the Sells Administrative Center.

For more information about the display or SBU’s trips to the Lakota Indian reservation, contact Caddy at (417) 328-1902.

SBU seeks floats for Homecoming parade

Local businesses and organizations are invited to have a float in the Southwest Baptist University Homecoming parade Saturday, Oct. 4.

“We still have space for floats in the Homecoming parade,” said Nate Penland, director of student activities. “There is no cost, and it is a great way for any business or organization to gain exposure among SBU students and the Bolivar community.”

To register a parade float, go to For more information, call Penland at (417) 328-1828.

Save the date for SBU Homecoming Oct. 3 and 4

Southwest Baptist University alumni and friends will celebrate Homecoming Friday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 4, on the Bolivar campus.

“We are excited to once again host our alumni for a fun weekend of Homecoming activities,” said Holly Stockard, director of alumni engagement. “We also want to invite everyone in Bolivar and Polk County to join us for the parade and football game on Saturday.”

Saturday’s events will include an alumni breakfast at 8:30 a.m., parade at 10 a.m., Bearcat Bash at 11 a.m. and Bearcat football and queen coronation at 2 p.m. The Bearcat Bash, a family friendly event with food and activities, is free for alumni who register by Wednesday, Sept. 17.

While students celebrate Homecoming with Spirit Chapel, bed races and more, alumni will begin the celebration with Honors Chapel at 10 a.m. Friday. Life Service Awards will be given to Betty Clark ’47, Sondra Isenburg Mahoney ’62; Hebert Pedersen ’66 and ’68 and Stephen Whisler ’71. Patricia Betteridge ’51 will receive the Edwin Lightfoot Distinguished Alumni Award.

The 50-Year Club luncheon is at 11:30 a.m., with the classes of ’54 and ’64 meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. The alumni banquet is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. with an alumni dessert reception at 8.

To register for Homecoming, go to For more information, call Stockard at (417) 328-1806.

Community invited to Festival Latino at SBU Sept. 18

The Southwest Baptist University International Club and Iglesia Cristiana, Casa de Oración, in Springfield are hosting the second annual Festival Latino, a celebration in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month on the SBU campus in Bolivar.

Mariachi Band “Herencia Mexicana” from Jalisco, Mexico, will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the SBU Student Union, and the public is invited.

Additionally, there will be presentations of folk dances from Latin America and authentic Latino snacks for a full evening celebrating the Hispanic culture.

For more information, please contact Dr. Perry Tompkins at (417) 328-1488.

Peter Collins to present guest artist piano recital at SBU

The Southwest Baptist University Department of Music is hosting a guest artist piano recital featuring Peter Collins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 in the Meyer Recital Hall on the SBU campus.

Collins is a professor of music and the coordinator of the keyboard area at Missouri State University. He received bachelor of music and master of music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and a doctor of musical arts degree from The University of Michigan. Collins has been a prizewinner in the Washington International Piano Competition, the American Beethoven Foundation, the American Chopin Competition and The University of Maryland International Piano Competition. He has also served on the faculty at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Missouri Fine Arts Academy and the Bösendorfer International Piano Academy in Vienna.

The recital will feature music by Schubert, Brahms and Albéniz. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the Music Office at (417) 328-1644.

John Ashcroft to speak at SBU on Constitution Day

Former U.S. Attorney General, Missouri Gov. and U.S. Sen. John Ashcroft will speak during the 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, chapel service in Pike Auditorium at Southwest Baptist University.

Ashcroft was invited to speak at SBU on Sept. 17 in observance of Constitution Day, which became a national observance in 2004. The U.S. Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787.

“We are excited to have Ashcroft on campus for our Constitution Day celebration,” said Coyle Neal, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science. “We hope that this encourages students, faculty, staff and members of the Bolivar community to be involved in this yearly event.”

Ashcroft is founder and chairman of The Ashcroft Group and The Ashcroft Law Firm. He served as U.S. Attorney General from 2001-05, U.S. Senator from 1995-2001 and Missouri Governor from 1985 to 1993.

For more information about Ashcroft’s visit to SBU, contact Neal at (417) 328-1722.