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Convocation begins new academic year by honoring student volunteers

Convocation begins new academic year by honoring student volunteers

Fall Convocation marked the beginning of university’s 165th academic year Friday, August 27. Featured speaker Dr. Donald E. Wesson encouraged the students and faculty gathered in Mayborn Campus Center to live out the principles of the university’s mission statement: leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment.

Wesson, the Chief Academic Officer at Scott & White Hospital in Temple and Professor of Medicine and Vice Dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine Temple Campus, is an internationally recognized researcher in renal acidifying mechanisms and a member of the UMHB Board of Trustees.

During the event, the Gary and Diane Heavin Servant Leadership Award was presented to three students in recognition of their service in non-profit organizations in the community.

Miles O’Neill, a senior psychology major from Lufkin, Texas, was recognized for his volunteer work with Hope for the Hungry and a local nursing home. He has also served as an intern with Vista Community Church in Belton.

Sarah Herriott, a senior nursing major from Dakar, Senegal, was recognized for her work with Baptist Student Ministries. She is also very active in her church, helping organize a women’s retreat last spring, and traveling to Honduras to do missions work.

Bethany Franz is a junior social work major from Huntsville, Texas, who has worked with economically disadvantaged children through the local interdenominational group, Hope for the Hungry. She has also traveled to Haiti to offer aid to those who lost their homes in the devastating earthquake last spring.
Each of the three students donated a portion of their award to a charity of their choice. The awards are funded by a permanent endowment established by Gary and Diane Heavin of Waco.