Cunningham To Receive Truett Distinguished Church Service Award

May 15, 2002

by Lori Scott Fogleman

The Baylor Alumni Association will present the George W. Truett Distinguished Church Service Award to Milton C. Cunningham, an alumnus, pastor, missionary and longtime friend of Baylor University, during the 9:30 a.m. commencement ceremony Saturday, May 18, in the Ferrell Center.

The award is presented annually to a Baylor alumnus, faculty or staff member, or friend whose life reflects the true meaning of the university's motto "Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana" (For Church, For Texas) and who best exemplifies the life and career of the late George W. Truett.

Cunningham graduated from Baylor in 1950 and received his master's degree in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He pastored churches in California and Texas and served as director of the Baptist Student Union, dean of students and assistant to the president at Del Mar College.

Cunningham and his wife, Barbara, a 1954 Baylor graduate, served as missionaries to Rhodesia and Zambia from 1957 to 1967, followed by five years as a mass media consultant for the Foreign Mission Board in Africa. He was organizer and chairman of the board of trustees of Lusaka International School in Zambia.

For 12 years, Cunningham served on Baylor's board of trustees and was chairman of the board for two years. He also served as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

In the mid-1990s, Cunningham joined Baylor as director of denominational ministries and served as university chaplain from 1996 until his "retirement" in 1999. Since then he has worked with Baylor on Mission, a program designed to send students on overseas mission projects. He continues as chaplain to Baylor's athletic teams and as special assistant to the dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary. He also works on the summer pastors conference he began 11 years ago.

Cunningham holds honorary degrees from the University of Corpus Christi and Baylor. He is a recipient of Baylor's James Huckins Award for meritorious service to the university and in 1989 was named a Distinguished Alumnus.

The Cunninghams have two sons, Miller, a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University; and Milton III, a Baylor graduate.

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