DALLAS (BP)–Dallas Baptist University is initiating a “Patriot Veteran’s Opportunity Program” in conjunction with the new Post-9/11 GI Bill that goes into effect Aug. 1.
The DBU initiative includes a Patriot Veteran’s Opportunity Scholarship and assignment of university personnel to assist veterans in academic planning, G.I. benefits and financial aid.
If a veteran has served at least 36 months of active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, the new GI Bill will provide up to 100 percent of the cost of tuition and fees at the most expensive public university in a veteran’s state, along with possible assistance for housing and books. For veterans wishing to attend a private institution such as DBU, the Veterans Administration also offers a “Yellow Ribbon” program to bridge tuition differences between a public and private education. DBU has pledged to cover any additional amount needed for a full scholarship for veterans receiving full benefits through the new GI Bill. A range of assistance also is available if a veteran’s service is less than 36 months.
Donovan Fredricksen, dean of DBU’s college of adult education, noted that many veterans never access the GI Bill benefits, inadvertently allowing the benefits to expire.
“Our experiential learning credits and flexible schedules are designed for working adults; veterans especially find this crucially important. We do not want to see anyone postpone their education because they think they cannot balance family, career and school,” Fredricksen said. “All students in our college of adult education face these same constraints. So DBU works with our students to help them earn their degrees while balancing their home life and work responsibilities. We want veterans to know that college is an option for them, and that DBU can help them earn the degree they need to succeed while providing for their families.”
DBU’s mascot, incidentally is the Patriot.
“Veterans can expect a Patriot’s welcome at DBU,” said J. Blair Blackburn, DBU executive vice president. “DBU selected the Patriot as our mascot because it represents faithfulness, justice and a selfless, courageous commitment to one’s fundamental beliefs of freedom-for-all. These qualities blend seamlessly with the DBU mission to produce servant leaders who integrate faith into their spheres of activity. We salute these veterans as America’s Patriots, our heroes of freedom, liberty and democracy. DBU welcomes our veterans to become DBU Patriots through the opportunities of the new GI Bill.”
For more information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, go to www.gibill.va.gov. For more information on Dallas Baptist University’s Patriot Veteran’s Opportunity Program, phone 214-333-5337. The university website is www.dbu.edu.
$8 MILLION GIFT RECEIVED FOR MINISTRY GRAD STUDIES — Anderson University has received an $8 million gift to support graduate study for ministers, resulting in the naming of its new graduate school the David T. Clamp Graduate School of Christian Ministry.
The graduate school, established in 2008 with Michael Duduit as its dean, will begin offering a master of ministry degree in August. Anderson University is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Duduit has taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Union University and is the founding editor of Preaching magazine, a role he will continue in addition to his academic post.
The $8 million estate gift, the largest in Anderson University’s 98-year history, was announced during the May 2 commencement by the school’s president, Evans Whitaker. The gift represents the estate of the late David T. Clamp, originally of Honea Path, S.C. In recent years he and his wife Jane resided in Waynesboro, Va., where they were members of First Baptist Church.
“David Clamp was one of the finest men I have ever known,” Whitaker said. “He had a lifelong passion for Christian higher education and Anderson University in particular. His interest led him to commit to help Anderson successfully launch its graduate programs. He was particularly interested in providing avenues of study that prepare men and women for the ministry.”
AU’s vice president for advancement, Dean Woods, described Clamp as “a very humble and unassuming man who dedicated the better part of his life to saving and investing as a matter of stewardship. In recent years, he was especially proud of the way Anderson University had advanced and risen in the national rankings. He saw his gift as an investment that would pay dividends far beyond his lifetime.”
During the May 2 commencement, Whitaker posthumously awarded Clamp an honorary doctor of humanities degree for his life of service, stewardship and support of Christian higher education. His wife also was awarded an honorary doctor of humanities degree.
The graduate school’s 42-hour master of ministry program will be offered both on campus and online, focusing on the core competencies of pastoral ministry and leadership. More information on the program is located at www.auministry.com.
OBU’S MISSIONS HERITAGE LAUDED — “[A] person or institution without a sense of history soon loses the way through a wilderness of change,” Oklahoma Baptist University alum Don Kammerdiener said in delivering the annual J.M. Gaskin Lectures in Baptist History and Heritage.
OBU, the retired missions exec said, has not lost its heritage.
Kammerdiener cited an International Mission Board report that the Shawnee, Okla., campus has more alumni serving as IMB missionaries than any other college. In all, more than 800 alumni have been appointed by the board for international service.
“OBU is a small school in a low-population state, landlocked and far removed from many of the currents of international events,” Kammerdiener said, attributing the university’s missions heritage to its founding purpose, as stated in its charter documents, to carry out the Great Commission and its dedication to developing students’ spiritual lives in an range of academic disciplines, from business and history to music and foreign languages.
“The missionary spirit on campus has been enriched by the presence of international students in the student body,” Kammerdiener added in his two lectures March 23. “The presence of international students serves as a window to the world and to a more realistic understanding of the challenges of missionary service.”
Kammerdiener noted OBU’s population of missionary kids (MKs), who bring their world experience and understanding to Bison Hill, and missionaries-in-residence who share their experience through teaching and counseling. Other positive factors, he said, include numerous OBU mission trips, the adoption of a people group in southern Asia and the creation of OBU’s International Graduate School.
“The missions environment at OBU took another significant step forward with the establishment of the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach,” Kammerdiener said. “[T]he attention given to any emphasis can ebb and flow according to current fads and the particular interests of administrators. The Global Outreach Center is a means of locking the fact that OBU believes in and participates in the carrying out of the Great Commission.”
Kammerdiener and his wife Meredith graduated from OBU in 1958 and, after his graduation from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, they were appointed as Southern Baptist missionaries in 1962, subsequently serving in Costa Rica, Columbia and Argentina. For two decades, he was part of the leadership team of the International Mission Board, before moving into the executive vice president role for 11 years until his retirement in 2001.
Kammerdiener received the OBU Alumni Association’s top honor, the Alumni Achievement Award, in 1987. He received an honorary doctorate from OBU in 1994. In 2005, OBU honored Kammerdiener with the opening of The Don R. Kammerdiener Center for Missiological Research, an online database with information about countries, people groups, religions, languages, bibliographies and practical knowledge related to missions.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.