Baylor to Confer Degrees on Summer Graduates

Aug. 2, 2006

by Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, (254) 710-6275

Baylor University will confer degrees on more than 500 graduates during summer commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, in the Ferrell Center on the Baylor campus.

Baylor President John M. Lilley will preside over the ceremony and give the traditional message to the graduates. Jim L. Turner, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, will bring greetings, while Dr. Harry Elzinga, professor emeritus of musicology, will act as bearer of the mace.

The ceremony also will include the presentation of two special awards by the Baylor Alumni Association - the Abner V. McCall Humanitarian Award to Charles E. Kemp Jr., senior lecturer at Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing and clinical director of Agape Clinic in Dallas, and the George W. Truett Distinguished Church Service Award to Dr. Charles Wade, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

The Abner V. McCall Humanitarian Award is presented annually to Baylor alumni who have exhibited a Christian response to those situations and persons around them in ways exemplified by the late Baylor President Abner V. McCall.

Before graduating magna cum laude from Baylor in 1975, Kemp served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam, receiving the Purple Heart. He was the founding program director of the first hospice in Texas before joining the faculty of Texas Women's University, where he taught community health for seven years. During that time, he also co-founded the East Dallas Health Coalition, a community-oriented primary care facility, and started the TWU Refugee Health Project, an early model for service-learning.

In 1989, Kemp joined the faculty of Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing, where he also has planned and developed the Baylor Community Care Program, a district health service-learning project and primary care clinic that uses volunteers and nursing students. Community Care and its partner, Agape Clinic, provide primary care or home care services to more than 6,000 patients and families each year.

The George W. Truett Distinguished Church Service Award is presented annually to individuals who exemplify the life and career of the late George W. Truett and reflect the meaning of Baylor's motto, "Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana."

Wade has served as the executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas for the past six years. During his tenure with the BGCT, he has led the convention in facilitating more than 800 new churches and into membership in the Baptist World Alliance.

A graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, he earned his master of divinity degree and doctorate in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and served as pastor of churches in Enid, Okla., and Italy, Texas. As pastor of First Baptist Church of Arlington from 1976-2005, Wade helped establish Mission Arlington, a pioneering community outreach ministry, in 1986, and helped start Arlington's first women's shelter in 1981. The church has had an International Friends Ministry for more than 30 years and has sponsored Hispanic, Chinese, Korean and Thai missions.

Wade was president of the BGCT from 1995-97 and is a former trustee of the Hispanic Baptist Theological Seminary and Dallas Baptist University, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1996.

Following the commencement ceremony, the Baylor Alumni Association will hold its traditional graduation celebration under the tent outside the Ferrell Center. Graduates can visit with professors and join the Alumni Association at a special rate.

On Friday, Aug. 11, the Graduate School will host a dinner for doctoral students, their spouses, department chairs and mentors at 7 p.m. in Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Reservations can be made by calling the Graduate School at (254) 710-3588.

Baylor's winter commencement exercises will be held in December. George W. Truett Theological Seminary will confer degrees on Friday, Dec. 15, while graduates from Arts and Sciences and related graduate programs, Business, Engineering and Computer Science, Education, Music, Nursing, Social Work and related graduate programs will receive their Baylor degrees on Saturday, Dec. 16.

Spring 2007 commencement ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 11, 2007, for Truett Seminary, and on Saturday, May 12, 2007, for graduates from all other colleges and schools at Baylor.

For more information, go to Baylor's commencement website at

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