Friday, December 17, 2010

SBU Winter Commencement Tonight

SBU Winter Commencement Tonight

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

BOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University’s winter commencement is scheduled for tonight (Dec. 17) at 7 p.m., in the Jane and Ken Meyer Wellness and Sports Center on the Bolivar campus.

The invocation will be led by Brett Rains, a 2001 SBU graduate and current youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Lebanon, Missouri.  The commencement address will be given by Dr. Harold Finch, a retired scientist, engineer, and businessman.

Dr. Harold Finch has had a long and distinguished professional career not only in the secular area but more importantly, as he states, “in the greatest business in the world: God’s business.” His current full-time work is in an evangelical ministry, Reaching People of Influence. He travels around the world spreading the Gospel and conducting evangelical “eternal success conferences” in places such as the University of Albania; the Federal Congress of Ecuador; a Socialist high school in Borisov, Belarus; Volkswagen’s western headquarters; and in many other venues. In the United States and abroad 55,000 have prayed with him to receive Christ.

Dr. Finch earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering at the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in engineering thermodynamics from Ohio State University and a doctorate in education administration at the University of Kansas. His professional career began as a project director in thermal control for NASA’s Apollo Spacecraft to the moon. He also was employed as a principal scientist at Midwest Research Institute, a research engineer at Shell Oil Company and the U. S. Air Force Advanced Systems Division. In addition, he is the founder and owner of Padgett-Thompson, the largest business training company in America, and CottageCare, which was one of 200 recipients of the United States Chamber of Commerce “Blue Chip” Award.

Dr. Finch has been a friend of Southwest Baptist University since the 1980s. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1986-1996, and in 1985 he was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from SBU. Other Baptist denominational activities in which he has been involved include serving on the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, as president of the Kansas-Nebraska Baptist Convention, and as the founder of Wellspring Foundation, which sponsored and coordinated 1,200 mission volunteers on more than 80 mission trips to over 30 countries.

Dr. Finch, and his wife, Peggy, have been married for 55 years. They have been blessed with three godly children, their spouses and six grandchildren. Their daughter, Susan Finch Ruiz, attended SBU, and their granddaughter, Bethany, will graduate tonight with a degree in education and will marry SBU student Christopher Lee next month. Harold and Peggy actively serve Abundant Life Baptist Church in Lee’s Summit.


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.