DBU Celebrates Spring Commencements and Awards Two Honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degrees

May Commencement

On Thursday, May 12, and Friday, May 13, Dallas Baptist University celebrated Spring Commencement with four ceremonies honoring this year's 508 graduates: 317 undergraduate, 174 master's, and 17 doctoral students.

During the Thursday morning and afternoon Commencements, the Honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree was awarded to two recipients and long-time friends of DBU, Rev. Chris Simmons and Rev. John Durham, followed by their sharing of inspiring remarks for the graduates.

Rev. Chris Simmons, May 12, 10:00 a.m.

Rev. Chris Simmons has served as pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in the inner-city community of South Dallas/Fair Park since 1989. Nicknamed a "war zone" because of gang violence and other social problems, Rev. Simmons established the Cornerstone Community Development Corp., Inc., to focus on community development and revitalization of this region in partnership with the City of Dallas. Rev. Simmons has received numerous accolades for his commitment to community building, including nomination for the 2009 Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year, recognition as a Community Hero by KRLD 1080 AM, and as an innovator in mission by the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation.

Rev. John Durham, May 12, 3:00 p.m.

Rev. John Durham has served as Lead Pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, since 2013. The church partners with local ministries and after-school programs to serve the local community. included serving as Lead Pastor of First Baptist Irving and as a youth minister at First Baptist Church of Houston. Durham has been a regular speaker at DBU Chapel and serves on the DBU Board of Trustees. He has recommended and encouraged dozens of DBU students over the years, serving as a mentor to several DBU graduates who have gone on to lead their own churches and ministries.

At Friday morning's 10:00 a.m. Commencement service, Dr. Sharon Lee delivered the address. Dr. Lee serves as the Director of K-12 Educational Research for the Ed.D. K-12 program in DBU's College of Education. She works with all education doctoral students to assist them and guide them through completion of their dissertations. To this date, 187 students have received their doctorates in education at DBU under her leadership. Her husband, Dr. Curtis Lee, is also a full-time faculty member and serves as Professor of Biology at DBU.

Bob Beaudine, President and CEO of Eastman & Beaudine, gave the Friday afternoon address to graduates at the 3:00 p.m. Commencement service. Bob is one of the nation's most respected search executives for Fortune 500 companies, entertainment entities, professional sports organizations, non-profits, Olympic bodies, and universities. The Wall Street Journal dubbed Eastman & Beaudine the "top recruiting firm in college sports." Bob has appeared as a guest on The Today Show, Fox Business Network, CNBC, and many other media outlets as an expert on intercollegiate athletics.

Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is the Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.

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