School of Social Work to Hold Convocation Sept. 8

Sept. 6, 2005

Baylor University̢۪s School of Social Work will hold a convocation celebrating its new independent status as an academic school at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, in the Paul Powell Chapel at George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

The service will be led by the Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, and Dr. Randall Bradley, professor of church music in Baylor̢۪s School of Music. Additionally, Dr. David Sherwood, professor of social work, will read a litany he composed from the Book of Isaiah, and Dr. Diana Garland, dean of the School of Social Work, will receive the charge of leadership.

“It’s a recognition that will benefit students, faculty and the university in numerous ways,” Garland said. “Virtually all of the tier-one universities with social work programs have freestanding schools of social work; therefore, for us to be tier one, I made the argument that we needed to have an independent school, to have the visibility and autonomy to show to foundations. It’s the ability to raise scholarship funds for our students. This is a vote of confidence from the university.”

A reception in the Piper Great Hall will immediately follow the service.

Begun in 1969 and headed for 30 years by Preston Dyer, professor of social work and sociology, Baylor̢۪s social work program was separated from the sociology, anthropology and gerontology department in 1999, becoming its own department within the College of Arts and Sciences. A graduate MSW program was begun in 1999 and social work was designated a school although it was still under the umbrella of the College of Arts and Sciences. The Baylor Board of Regents granted the school independent status in November 2004.

For more information, call 710-6400.

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