Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Life Well-Lived (so far) be continued...

On October 18 and 19, my husband and I celebrated a memorable Life Event, as our alma mater, Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO, honored Russell with their highest award given to an alumni: The Life Service Award.

These pictures immediately below were posted on the SBU Facebook Page:

Russell with the SBU President, Dr. Eric Turner

Our family members who were there with us: David (Russell’s brother), Janene (David’s wife and my sister), Keith (my brother, who has always been like a brother to Russell), our daughter Sharida, her husband Greg Green, our grandson Dawson. (Our son Mark had total hip replacement surgery on October 15, requiring he and Kristy to cancel their flight tickets and miss the event.)

From the Honors Chapel Program: “The Life Service Award is given annually to graduates whose lives have exemplified the principles which are upheld at Southwest. Currently, the SBU National Alumni Association Board nominates a maximum of six names of prospective recipients from business, missions, church-related vocations, education, and other fields of service. The award, presented during Honors Chapel at Homecoming by the president of the University, is the highest recognition that the University can bestow upon an alumnus or alumna.”

In our hotel room ready for the day

The above was on the screens in the chapel. There were four Life Service Award recipients: L to R,  Dr Glenn Miller, Dr David Hilderbrand, Dr Russell Ford, Dr Gary Longenecker. Elizabeth Mitchell Pace was the recipient of the Edwin Lightfoot Distinguished Alumni Award.

Russell gave a 2-minute acceptance speech (excellent)

The above was on the screens in the chapel while he was speaking—there are two years listed as his graduation years, because he received his Associate of Arts Degree while the college was still a 2-year institution (1965). Then in 1967 he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the now-4-year institution.

That afternoon, family visiting at the hotel

In the program for Honors Chapel

After the Alumni Banquet that evening

Next morning, headed out for the parade (Russell rode in a convertible)

This event was special for so many reasons, the obvious one being that the university where Russell went as a 17-year old and graduated in the first four-year class in its history (1967), has affirmed and honored his lifetime of dedication and service to the very essence of the mission of this Christian institution. 

But there was something more nebulous that we “took away” from the weekend, where several of the homecoming events included recognition (repeatedly) of the four LSA recipients. In fact, it is so nebulous that it is nearly impossible to put into words.

To put it succinctly, it was a reminder to us that my husband’s dedication to following Christ throughout his years is indeed worthy of recognition. It’s a part of “finishing well,” although he’s not finished yet! He’s still on that journey, and he continues to make a difference in the lives of everyone he knows. 

God has blessed us immeasurably and way beyond what we deserve. That’s grace. God’s grace. We are thankful.


CONGRATULATIONS to my very special husband, Russell Ford, on receiving this truly deserved honor.

#SpecialLifeEvent #SBULifeServiceAward #SouthwestBaptistUniversity

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