Convocation Kicks Off Acdemic Year

Convocation was far from typical this year. Those who attended were honored with the presence of UMHB’s oldest living graduate as well as the  former owner of the Houston Astros and university donor Drayton McLane Jr., who was the keynote speaker.

After a performance by One Voice at the Aug. 28 event, university President, Dr. Randy O’Rear, took the podium to announce the naming of the business school to the McLane College of Business. He recognized McLane and his family for their contributions to the university, and the new football stadium.

Professors in their regalia stand in place during Convocation. The opening ceremonies for the academic year took place Aug. 28 in Mayborn Campus Center. Katelyn Holm/The Bells

Professors in their regalia stand in place during Convocation. The opening ceremonies for the academic year took place Aug. 28 in Mayborn Campus Center. Katelyn Holm/The Bells

“This is a great day to be a part of Mary Hardin-Baylor,” O’Rear said. “Most of you are probably aware that this magnificent facility next door wouldn’t have been possible. It wouldn’t be there today, without the very generous investment that Elizabeth and Drayton McLane and their family made for Crusader Stadium and the new student union building.”

O’Rear also spoke briefly about the life of McLane and how he has influenced the community in so many ways.

“Most of us are well aware of the great success that he and his family have enjoyed in life and in business,” he said. “We are aware of their great philanthropy, for the investments they’ve made in our community and others.”

After O’Rear announced the renaming of the College of Business, McLane took the podium and addressed the audience.

“We’re here today because of what others have done for us in the past and how they’ve influenced us and made us into who we are today,” he said. “I congratulate you students that are freshmen or sophomores or wherever you are in your career, that you have selected this (university). This is going to make a wonderful impact on your life forever.”

He has been a strong advocate of higher Christian education for years, being heavily involved with the university and Baylor University as well as others.

“Mary Hardin-Baylor, for 168 years, has been dedicated to teaching young people and preparing them for their future, not just in their profession but as Christian human beings and how they can influence the world. So I congratulate you for doing this,” McLane said.

He closed his speech by sharing with the audience four thoughts that the dean of his graduate school had told him before he graduated.

McLane related the four points he had been told years ago and urged students to dare to dream, to operate out of their imagination not their memory, to seek adversity and to walk with elephants.

He encouraged students to be big people who shake things up.

Another distinguished guest at Convocation was the oldest living UMHB graduate, Mary Alice Marshall, 104. She graduated with the class of 1929 and was recognized by both O’Rear and McLane

Author: Seth Stephens

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