The East Texas Baptist University Family welcomed Dr. Louise Ornelas to campus with a Louise Ornleas Appreciation Day on Tuesday, October 17. The event was held in honor of her significant contributions and service to the University throughout her lifetime.
“God has provided Ms. Lou with the opportunity to use her heart, care, compassion, and generosity to help thousands upon thousands,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn shared. “Untold numbers of people have been positively impacted by Ms. Lou’s spirit of giving. God has worked through her commitment to Him and through service to others to bless generations of people. Dr. Ornelas has been the model of blessing, an extension of God’s grace, which overflows from her into the lives of others.”
Dedicated to God’s work within Christian higher education, Dr. Ornelas has unwaveringly supported ETBU through her faithful giving and devoted service as both former Board of Trustees member and current Trustee Emeritus. From corner to corner of the University campus, Dr. Ornelas has helped to advance the development of East Texas Baptist as a scholarly Christ-centered community for students’ intellectual and spiritual growth.
“To be able to make a connection with the name that I’ve seen for the last three years on the majority of the buildings on campus is an honor,” ETBU President of Student Foundation Austin Damron said. “When I was deciding where I wanted to go to school, I found something here that I had not found at any other school. The people cared about me and they wanted to know who I was. With buildings such as the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center and the Ornelas Student Center, we have the opportunity to experience community as we worship and study together. Dr. Ornelas’ generosity has made ETBU what it is today.”
Louise Ornelas Appreciation Day consisted of a celebration march led by Tiger Cheer, Tiger Pom, and the ETBU Band, a luncheon program, and the dedication and tour of Louise Ornelas University Park. Ms. Ornelas has generously provided funding for various facilities on campus, including the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center, Ornelas Student Center, Ornelas Gymnasium, Ornelas Stadium, and Ornelas Residence Hall.
“I am privileged to share what God has been doing on our campus and in our personal lives,” Miss ETBU and Tiger Cheer Captain Taylor Rowlands expressed. “Ms. Lou has impacted my life in profound ways. My life has not been the same since the moment I stepped foot on campus. ETBU has guided me to love Jesus more than I ever thought possible. He has opened my eyes to His unfailing grace. I’m also learning how to put Christ in my career. I’m learning not only how to be a teacher, but how to be a godly teacher. Just like Austin and I, there are scores of students who have been changed because of Dr. Ornelas’ support.”