Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SBU to Honor Outstanding Alumni at Homecoming

Southwest Baptist University News Release
Contact: Sharina Smith, Office of Marketing & Communications
417-328-1803 /

BOLIVAR, Mo.Southwest Baptist University will honor five alumni during the Homecoming Honors Chapel at 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 22, in Pike Auditorium. Recipients of the 2010 Life Service Awards are Charles M. Reno, Bill E. Fisher, Ruth Pittenger Glaze and David Adams. Gratia Sammons will receive the 2010 Edwin Lightfoot Distinguished Alumni Award. 

Charles M. Reno received his A.A. from Southwest Baptist College in 1954. He then received his A.B. from William Jewell College in 1956, his M.A.T. (English) from University of Redlands in 1968, and his Ph.D. in religious education administration from International Seminary in 1991. He is married to Adelina Rangel Reno. Both his mother and his father were SWBC students. Reno has pastored and been on staff at numerous churches, including Spanish language congregations. Reno is also a retired school administrator and superintendent. Reno is the author of Pot of Gold, a collection of poems published in 1997.

Bill E. Fisher received his A.A. from SWBC in 1943, his B.S. in education, math & physics from University of Oklahoma in 1949, his Ed.M. in secondary school administration from University of Oklahomain 1951; and his Ed.D. in educational evaluation from University of Oklahoma in 1961. He is married to Mary Alice Kennedy Fisher. He was employed at University of Central Oklahoma for more than 35 years. He is a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Ruth Pittenger Glaze received her B.Ed. in art education from SBU in 1978, her M.Ed. in art education from Mississippi College in 1981 and her Ph.D. in art education from Florida State University in 1989. She is married to Dr. Steve Glaze and they have three children, Michelle, Kristin, and Jason. Glaze was a professor at Mississippi College from 1991 to 2010.  She began teaching at Liberty University this semester. She received the 2008 Distinguished Arts & Sciences Lecturer from the College of Arts & Sciences at Mississippi College.

David Adams received his B.A. in music education from SBU in 1975, his M.Mus. from University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1985, his M.Div. from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1985 and his Goethe Zertifikat C2 from Goethe Institute in Bonn, Germany in 1992. Adams is also a recipient of the Life Beautiful Award from SBU. He is married to Suzanne and they have two daughters, Julie Adams Tufts ’07 and Emily Adams. He has served for more than 20 years with the International Mission Board.

Gratia Sammons is the recipient of this year’s Edwin Lightfoot Distinguished Alumni Award. Sammons received her A.A. from SWBC in 1953; B.S. in business (minor in home economics) from SMSU in 1955. She is married to Jim Sammons, a retired dentist. She is the president of SBU’s 50-Year Club. Sammons also serves as secretary-treasurer of the Gideon Auxiliary, Springfield South Camp. Sammons is a member of Second Baptist Church in Springfield.

Inspired by the Life Beautiful Award given each year for students, President John Dowdy suggested to the Southwest Baptist College board of trustees in 1955 that the Life Service Award be given annually to graduates who have exemplified in their lives the principles which are upheld at Southwest. The SBU National Alumni Association Executive Committee nominates a maximum of six names of prospective recipients from business, missions, church-related vocations, education and other fields of service that are ratified at the May meeting of the Alumni Board. The award, presented each year during Homecoming by the president of the University, is the highest recognition that the University can bestow upon a graduate.

The Edwin Lightfoot Distinguished Alumni Award is given to those who exemplify the ideals of Edwin Lightfoot which include leadership in SBU a commitment to the education of the students.


Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. Since 1878, the faculty and staff have created a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. The University has been named one of America’s Best Christian Colleges® for 14 consecutive years, one of America’s 100 Best College Buys® for 15 consecutive years, and it has been named among institutions with America’s Best College Scholarships® for the past four years by Institutional Research and Evaluation, Inc. For more information, visit

SBU’s Office of Marketing & Communications is available to news media 24/7 at 417-399-7918.