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SBU honors Bolton, McCarley with Life Beautiful Awards; celebrates employees for years of service

BOLIVAR, Mo. — David Bolton, chief technology officer of Information and Technology Services, and Dr. Renay McCarley, division head of Associate Level Nursing and Health Sciences, received the Staff and Faculty Life Beautiful Awards on Friday, Dec. 11 at Southwest Baptist University.

“The designation ‘life beautiful’ is the highest honor a person can receive at Southwest Baptist University,” said Dr. Brad Johnson, SBU’s acting president. “Each year during the Bolivar spring commencement, we honor two graduating seniors who are chosen by the faculty, who exemplify a ‘life beautiful.’ 

“The year 2020 has brought a myriad of changes, including SBU’s first-ever drive-through Christmas Celebration. As a result, we honor these individuals, who exemplify a ‘life beautiful,’ at our employee forum.”

The Faculty Life Beautiful Award was established in 1987, and the Staff Life Beautiful Award was established in 1992.

David Bolton holds his Life Beautiful AwardStaff Life Beautiful

David Bolton ’79 began working at SBU in 1980 as assistant controller before becoming the director of accounting services and administrative computing. While in that position, he was the lead on implementing the administrative information system that SBU still uses today, eventually moving to the information technology services department around 2003. Bolton became chief technology officer in 2015. 

Bolton, who also was the Staff Life Beautiful recipient in 1995, has served in a variety of ways at First Baptist Church of Bolivar, most currently as a deacon, as well as on church mission trips and as a volunteer with the youth group and church daycare.

“He works countless hours to provide quality work for SBU,” one of his co-workers said. “He goes above and beyond to ensure our technology is working at the capacity it needs to be. In his 40-plus years at SBU, he has built our IT services. He has created models for systems that rival the products SBU could not afford. He has gone above and beyond and continued to keep our IT services competitive in an ever-changing field.”

Bolton is known for his high level of professionalism and humility in all that he does.

“He is always willing and able to assist and is true servant leader at SBU,” his supervisor said. “There is not an area of SBU that has not been impacted by him. I am personally very thankful for the privilege of working with him.”   

Faculty Life Beautiful

Dr. Renay McCarley has been a member of the SBU faculty since 2017 and currently is the division head of Associate Level Nursing and Health Sciences and assistant professor of nursing.

Dr. Renay McCarley holds her Life Beautiful AwardShe completed her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Harding University in 1995, a master of science in nursing from the University of Central Missouri in 2011, and her DNP from Case Western Reserve University in 2017.  

“She is passionate about education and nursing,” a colleague wrote. “She has been a nurse for over 20 years. She has worked in surgical departments, ICU, and most recently, in the NICU. She often spoke of the hardships placed on these neonates and how much she just loved holding them and saying a prayer.

“The students love her. She takes time to spend with them one on one and supports them out of the classroom as well. More than once, the word ‘angel’ has been used by students in their evaluations of her.

“As a boss, she is always volunteering to help us. She is the first one here and the last one to leave. She cares about her faculty, encourages us, and leads by example. Honestly, I can’t think of a more deserving person – truly, she is living a beautiful life.”

Dr. McCarley attends Northside Christian Church in Springfield. She and her husband, Brian, have taught Sunday school classes and volunteer through a variety of platforms. The McCarleys have two daughters, Bethany and Hannah, and one son, Conner.


Employee milestones and retirees

SBU honored employees with employment anniversary milestones, beginning with five years, and retirees with a virtual celebration earlier in the week. The employees recognized have given a total of 865 years of service to SBU.

5 years – Terri Rogers, Rebecca Harrill, Colleen Shuler, Prosperly Lyngdoh, John Zietlow, Bill DuVall, Sarah Jones, Phil Rohrer, Chris Welch, Alyssa Glasgow, Amber Martino, Kevin Jones, Debbie Walker, Dwayne Walker, Marshall O’Brien, Brittney Dukes and Brittney Hendrickson

10 years – David Bailey, Dwain Conley, Angie Carr, Courtney Toler, Josh Layman, Craig Masters, Dennis Siegfried, Robert Carney, Terry Cox, Stacy Soden, Byron Stevens, Rebekah Wright and Brian Netherton 

15 years – Greg Stewart, Kelly Rehm, Joe Wooderson, Jeff Kimball, Zach Manis, Dana Steward

20 years – Troy Bethards, Sarah Russback, Deanna Robertson

30 years – Linda Maberry

35 years – Tim DeClue

40 years – Stella Cunningham, David Bolton, Coleen Rose

Retirees – Linda Maberry (30 years), Suzanne Powers (11 years), Maggie Kluthe (16 years), Brenda McGill (23 years), Carrie Turpin (37 years), Pam Ferguson (16 years), Donna Helton (17 years), Scott McNeal (25 years), Greg Stewart (15 years), Revecca Greer (15 years), Donna Depeé (13 years), Joe Wooderson (15 years), Sharla Bailey (26 years), Elaine Glor (21  years), Brad Gamble (37 years), Debbie Gamble (28 years), Brian Hopwood (14 years), Ken Spurgeon (11 years) and Tim DeClue (35 years).

*Published: 12-11-2020