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Editorial: Practice what they preach

March 5, 2017 at 4 a.m.


Universities can be viewed by many as being seperate from a community, as students often live out their four years, if not wholly, mostly on campus, not venturing out to explore the new city they have moved to. East Texas Baptist University certainly does not fit into this mold as the school has long contributed to a host of community groups and activities and actively encourages its students to get involved as well.

The school further demonstrated its commitment to making an impact on Marshall with two events this week.

Retired Marshall ISD school teacher Jean Birmingham received the Sam B. Hall Civic Service Award from ETBU during the annual Sam B. Hall dinner and lecture series. Birmingham served as a business teacher at Marshall ISD for 36 years, and was also active in the city of Marshall as an entrepreneur and city activist. She is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Marshall's All American City team.

Each year, a member of the community who makes a difference is awarded the Sam B. Hall Civic Service Award. This was the seventh annual Sam B. Hall Dinner and Lecture at the university, an event that honors the memory of former the Marshall attorney, judge, ETBU alum and congressman.

Birmingham told the family of Sam B. Hall who sat in the audience, "your dad loved Marshall and I do too." The honor is certainly well deserved for her many outstanding contributions to the community and a wonderful way for ETBU to honor Marshall residents.

One of the stories we were most excited about this week was ETBU announcing a new scholarship opportunity for Marshall's first responders. The Public Servant Scholarship, a partnership between the university and the city of Marshall, will provide reduced cost tuition at the university to all full time Marshall Fire Department and Marshall Police Department employees. The scholarship could save the student about $5,000 per semester.

In addition to offering the new scholarship program, undergraduate students can further reduce the cost of tuition by taking advantage of the university's Prior Learning Assessment, which allows a student to earn up to 32 college credits from their work experience.

This is a fabulous opportunity and service to local heroes. Many police officers and firefighters have already expressed interest in furthering their education and being able to do so in town for a reduced price is a wonderful service by the school.

ETBU is not only a neat place to learn, it practices what it preaches by reaching out and serving its community.

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