Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SBU Awarding Two Honorary Doctorates on Founders’ Day

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

BOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University will celebrate Founders’ Day with a formal chapel program on Monday, March 26, 2012, in Pike Auditorium on the Bolivar campus. Dr. C. Pat Taylor, SBU president, will deliver the address. All current and retired faculty and staff are welcome to attend the chapel service.

During the program, SBU will present Donald Babb, CEO of Citizen Memorial Hospital, an honorary Doctor of Business, and John Marshall, Lead Pastor of Second Baptist Church in Springfield, Mo., an honorary Doctor of Theology.

Biographies of Honorary Doctorate Recipients

Donald J. Babb

Donald J. Babb was born on October 19, 1940, in Piedmont, Missouri. His family moved to the small town of Silva and eventually West Plains, where he was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents.

With a natural affinity for healthcare combined with education and duties while in the Air Force, Mr. Babb focused his energy in the healthcare field. He returned to school at Mineral Area College where he completed a business degree, and later continued his education earning a master’s degree in healthcare management and finance at Ohio State University.

Mr. Babb was working for Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1981 when he was called to help construct and develop a new hospital in Bolivar. What started out as a short-term project quickly developed into a life-long goal of creating a rural healthcare system that set the standard for care throughout the nation.

Mr. Babb has provided visionary leadership for Citizens Memorial Healthcare (CMH) for more than 29 years. Since 1981, Mr. Babb has led Citizens Memorial Hospital as its one and only chief executive officer. He also serves as the executive director of the Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation and Riverside Management and Rehabilitation, LLC. Under his leadership, CMH has transformed from a small, acute care hospital into a fully-integrated health care delivery system. CMH has grown at a rate seldom seen in rural areas and now provides a broad array of healthcare services to 100,000 residents of an eight-county area in southwest Missouri. CMH is Bolivar’s largest employer.

In recognition of his leadership and service, Mr. Babb has been presented with six major awards. In 1993, he received the Missouri State Association of Health Occupations Educators Distinguished Service Award for Community Involvement. He was honored with the Missouri Hospital Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1994. In 1997, Mr. Babb was presented the prestigious Shirley Ann Munroe Leadership Development Award by the American Hospital Association’s Section for Small and Rural Hospitals and the Hospital Research and Educational Trust. He received the Visionary Leadership Award in 1999 from the Missouri Hospital Association. Honored for his outstanding contribution to healthcare in the state, Mr. Babb was presented the Missourian Award in September 2008.

Mr. Babb is a previous chairman for the Missouri Hospital Association and served on the board of directors for the Missouri Health Care Association. Mr. Babb is the current chairman for the Hospital Services Group, a company established to provide malpractice coverage for health care facilities and physicians. He also is a member of the board of directors for Southern Missouri Bank in Marshfield and Bank of Bolivar, and Silo Ridge Country Club in Bolivar. Recognizing that “good health” is a lifestyle, Mr. Babb has worked extensively toward the development of a wellness and fitness facility for the Bolivar community. He served as a member of a community steering committee for the development of a YMCA for Bolivar. He currently serves on the board of the Roy Blunt YMCA, which was constructed and opened in 2007.

 A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Mr. Babb and his wife, Carrie, have lived in Bolivar, Missouri, for 30 years and have two children and four grandchildren
John E. Marshall

John E. Marshall was born on December 22, 1951, in Sikeston, Missouri.  He is a sixth generation preacher who was called to the ministry at age 15. 

The Marshalls came to Second Baptist Church, Springfield, Missouri, in November 1995. The church is annually one of Missouri’s leading churches in baptisms and is the state’s largest contributor to the Cooperative Program. Second averages 1700 in its three Sunday schools, and 2200 in its six worship services: two blended, two contemporary, one Burmese, and one Chinese. Second sends out hundreds of people each year on mission trips and has planted seven new churches in the past four years.

Dr. Marshall earned a degree in mathematics from Southeast Missouri State University in 1972. In 1975, he graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, becoming the youngest man ever to earn a Doctor of Ministry from a Southern Baptist seminary at the age of 23.

In 2004, Dr. Marshall won the New Orleans Seminary “Distinguished Alumnus Award.” He preached the 2009 Annual Sermon for the Southern Baptist Convention. Midwestern Seminary named him its 2011 “Honorary Alumnus of the Year.” He has served as second vice president, first vice president, and president of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

Dr. Marshall married Ruth Huey on March 20, 1971. They have two children and five grandchildren.


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

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