Six Southwest Baptist University alumni will be recognized for living lives of service at Honors Chapel at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 25, on campus in in Pike Auditorium. The service also marks the beginning of SBU Homecoming festivities.
Alumni Life Service Awards
Inspired by the Life Beautiful Award presented each year to one male and one female graduate, President John Dowdy suggested to the Southwest Baptist College Board of Trustees in 1955 that the Life Service Award be given annually to graduates whose lives have exemplified the principles which are upheld at Southwest. The award is the highest recognition that the University can bestow upon an alumnus or alumna. This year’s four recipients are:
Ronda Credille ’80
Ronda Credille ’80: Credille has served as professor and chair of the department of business administration at Southwest Baptist University.
She and her husband are members of First Baptist Church in Bolivar. She has participated on mission trips to New Zealand and Russia. Additionally, she is in PEO International, a philanthropic organization encouraging women to achieve their highest aspirations and advancement. In 2014, SBU awarded her the Faculty Life Beautiful award.
“I was astonished and humbled when I was notified of my selection,” she wrote upon being notified of receiving the award. “Southwest Baptist provided me with both the spiritual and educational foundation needed to serve God in the business world and in the classroom.”
She and her husband, John Credille ’76, ’92, SBU registrar, have two daughters, Jennifer Credille Kaylor ’04 and Pamela Credille ’07 and ’13. They have one grandson, Kagan.
Beth Baker Grabowski ’83, ’04
Beth Baker Grabowski ’83, ’04: Grabowski has served in public education for 20 years and is currently a gifted education teacher in the Bolivar R-1 School District. She is an active member of First Baptist Church in Bolivar. In March 2015, she co-led a team of SBU students on a mission trip to El Salvador in partnership with Living Water International.
“This honor is a good gift, and I know it is coming from my Heavenly Father,” she wrote. “I thank Him for this good gift. I joyfully acknowledge the support of my parents, Don and Pat Baker, during my years as an undergrad at SBU. I gratefully acknowledge the encouragement of my husband, Mark, and our children, Jim and Amy, while I worked on my master’s degree here. I readily acknowledge the investment that professors like Dr. Twila Smith and the late Dr. Don Allen made in my life, influencing me at a very deep level.”
She and her husband, Mark Grabowski, SBU director of safety and security, have two children: Jim Grabowski ’08, SBU development officer, and and Amy Grabowski Varner ’11. They recently welcomed their first granddaughter, Sarah.
Her father, Dr. Don Baker ’51, is a retired Redford College professor, former director of public relations at SBU and received the Life Beautiful Award as a student at SWBC. Her mother, Dr. Pat Baker ’51, is the recipient of an SBU honorary doctorate, Edwin Lightfoot Distinguished Alumni recipient, and the Life Beautiful Award recipient as a student at SWBC.
Veda Williams Locke ’50, ’76
Veda Williams Locke ’50, ’76: Veda and her late husband, Russell, served as missionaries in Nigeria from 1955-1991 through the Foreign Mission Board (now known as the International Mission Board). Russell received the Life Service Award in 1962.Veda was awarded the Missouri Women’s Missionary Union Emeritus Missionary of the Year in 2014. She is a member of First Baptist Church of Springfield, Mo., where she has serves as WMU Prayer Group Leader, WMU Director and a Sunday school teacher.
“Southwest Baptist College had a significant impact on my life,” she wrote. “The Christian values and educational opportunities here helped provide a foundation for the mission work God called me to do in Nigeria. I am both humbled and honored to receive this award from my alma mater.”
Veda and her husband were blessed with five children: Judith Locke Miller, Martin Locke, Stephen Locke, Charles Locke, and Alan Locke ’86, who received the Life Beautiful Award as a student in 1986. Veda’s brother, Wendell Williams, received the Life Service Award in 2013. She has 13 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
Patricia Nobles ’76
Patricia Nobles ’76: Since graduating from SWBC and University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, Patricia Nobles served as an attorney. She co-authored an article published in Federal Communications Law and is recognized by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review. She retired from her position as a corporate secretary of CHRISTUS Health in May of 2015. In 2005, she received the Edwin Lightfoot Distinguished Alumni Award.
She is a member of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, where she is actively involved as an elder, usher, the director of the Faith Bible Discovery adult education class, and a lay liturgist.
“Being considered for this award would not have been possible but for the many people who have helped and influenced me as I traversed through life,” she wrote. “Many of those people who have positively impacted my life have been associated with SBU. For all of those who have cared about me and wanted what was best for me in life, I give thanks to God.”
She and her husband, James Thomas, have one daughter, Jordan.
Edwin Lightfoot Distinguished Alumni Award
The National Alumni Association Board presents the Edwin Lightfoot Distinguished Alumni Award annually to an alumnus or alumna who demonstrates the ideals personified by the late Edwin Lightfoot ’40. The award criteria include alumni leadership in the University, dedication to the education and welfare of youth, and demonstrated support for SBU.
Abel Dale ’58 and Margie ’58 Lacquement
Abel Dale ’58 and Margie ’58 Lacquement: For more than 30 years, Abel Dale Lacquement has pastored Faith Southern Baptist Church in Moreno Valley, California. He is also the founding pastor of Moreno Valley Church. He has planted Chinese, Spanish, Filipino, and three English speaking churches.
“My desire is to express gratitude to an excellent school, faculty, staff and student body for the honor you have given my wife and me,” he wrote. “This is the school where wonderful experiences in education began for us.”
Margie recently retired as a teacher. She has been an educator for 23 years, including 15 years in the San Bernardino Unified School District.
“For a rural, small-town girl, Southwest Baptist College was a great start in higher education,” she wrote. “Receiving a liberal arts education here prepared me very well for the studies in elementary education at a senior college. Southwest was a great blessing in my life. I shall always be grateful to Southwest Baptist College.”
The Lacquements have four children–Christina, Ruth, and the late Beth and Jonathan–and seven grandchildren: Toby, Emily, Lydia, Jonathan, Noah, Faith and Nathan.
For more information about SBU Homecoming, please contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at (417) 328-1806.