Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SBU Announces Life Beautiful Award Winners for 2011

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

BOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University’s Life Beautiful Awards for 2011 graduates were announced at Spring Commencement on May 21, 2011. Guest speaker was Dr. Michael Arrington, Executive Director of the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities.

The Life Beautiful Presentations were made by President Pat Taylor and Provost Bill Brown. The female recipient of the Life Beautiful Award for 2011 was Holly Stubbs, and the male recipient was Brandon Griffin.  Their biographies follow below.

Holly Stubbs  
Holly Stubbs is from Urbana, Illinois, and graduated summa cum laude receiving a Bachelor of Arts in theatre and English. She was recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.  She is a member of Chi Sigma Theta, Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Chi. Stubbs also was a Gordon and Judy Dutile Honors Student.  For her Honors Capstone Project, Stubbs compiled and translated a Russian-language theater script, originally performed at the St. Petersburg Art Academy, where she studied for a semester.

Stubbs has been on several SBU mission trips, including China and South Asia.  She grew up in Kazakhstan, where her parents were teachers and missionaries.  She has been accepted to teach in China through the English Language Institute in China. She attends a home church in Bolivar.

In addition, Stubbs was an Irene Ryan semi-finalist through the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for her SBU performance in DOUBT.

Dr Taylor said, “Holly is a Christian who is committed to missions, both at home and abroad.  One faculty member described her as exuding grace, kindness and humility no matter what the circumstance.”

Stubb’s parents are both SBU graduates, Gale and Alisa Stubbs.

Brandon Griffin  
Brandon Griffin is from Mountain Home, Arkansas, and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.  He was recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, is a member of Alpha Chi, Theta Alpha Kappa, and vice president of Psi Chi.

He is a student member of the Midwest Sociological Society, and presented papers at the Midwest Psychology Symposium in 2009 and 2010.  Griffin attended the Missouri Governor’s Student Leadership Forum in 2010. Griffin won the Outstanding Theology Department Scholar Award, and has served as an SBU Ambassador since 2009. 

Griffin participated in the SBU mission trip to Baja in 2009 and a medical mission trip to Brazil with a group of doctors from his hometown.  He is a member of First Baptist Church of Mountain Home and was a key volunteer in founding the Journey Church in Bolivar.

Griffin is captain of the SBU men’s soccer club team, and he is coach of a girls’ soccer team in Springfield.  He served as the Polk County Drug Court Intern and Research Assistant. 

Dr Taylor said, “Brandon is known by the faculty as someone who is humble and intent on self-improvement. He consistently pursues academic excellence and knowledge.  He has been described as conscientious, kind, and as a person who consistently thinks of the concerns and needs of others.  He has been recognized by faculty as a servant leader.”

Brandon’s parents are Eddie and Becki Griffin.

The Life Beautiful Award
The Life Beautiful Award was established in 1937 by Rosalee Mills Appleby, a career missionary to Brazil. This award is given annually to an outstanding man and woman in the Southwest Baptist University spring graduating class. These individuals have demonstrated by their scholarship and character that they are living a “life beautiful.” The faculty selects the recipients, whose identities remain confidential until commencement.


Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. At SBU, the faculty and staff create a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. For more information, visit www.SBUniv.edu.

SBU’s Office of Marketing and Communications is available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 399-7918.