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Jewell to celebrate commencement May 3
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
March 27, 2008

William Jewell College will observe baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 3, on the college campus in Liberty, Mo.

The college’s baccalaureate service will be held at 9 a.m in John Gano Memorial Chapel. A reception for seniors and family members follows immediately in the President’s Home. Speaking at the baccalaureate service is Rev. Dr. Vernon P. Howard, Jr., associate pastor, St. James United Methodist Church, Kansas City, Mo. Bill Snyder, a member of the William Jewell College class of 1963 and retired head football coach at Kansas State University, will offer the commencement address at 2 p.m. in the Mabee Center for Physical Education.

The graduating class will observe the campus tradition of the last walk around the quad at approximately 1:45 p.m.

Baccalaureate speaker Rev. Howard returned to Kansas City from Tucson, Ariz., where he had been a Senior Pastor since 1994. Prior to his relocation from the Kansas City area, he was an Assistant Pastor at St. Stephen Baptist Church from 1992 to 1994. After earning his B.A. degree at William Jewell College in 1986, he received a Master of Divinity from Central Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate degree in 2000 at Virginia Union University Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology in Richmond, Va. His 2004 published book, The Way of an Eagle: Charting Your Path to High Places in Christ, targets the individual Christian with an emphasis on spiritual formation and discipleship. Since 1997, Howard has made a number of scholarly presentations and has taught courses at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College. He has also completed another manuscript, For Those Who Love to Preach: Exploration, Exposure, Ecstasy and Embodiment in the Preaching Moment, written to be a multi-faceted resource for ministers of the Gospel.
Commencement speaker Bill Snyder is the former head football coach at Kansas State University, holding that position from 1989 to 2005. Snyder had his first collegiate coaching experience in 1966, serving as a graduate assistant coach for the USC Trojans. He next worked as a head coach for several years in the California high school ranks. From 1976 to 1978, Snyder worked as an assistant coach at North Texas State, under Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry. Snyder and Fry moved together to the University of Iowa in 1979, with Snyder serving as Fry’s offensive coordinator for the next ten years. Snyder was hired as the 30th head coach of the Kansas State University Wildcats following the 1988 season.
When Snyder arrived at K-State, he took over a program that had lost 510 games and won only 299 games in 93 years of play. The program had been to only one bowl game, won only one conference title (in 1934) and had enjoyed only two winning seasons in the prior 34 years. Snyder first made a splash in 1991, when the Wildcats finished 7-4 and narrowly missed a bowl bid. The team posted its second winning season since 1970, and also finished with its third winning conference record since 1934. Two years later, Snyder led the Wildcats to their second bowl game ever – the 1993 Copper Bowl – and their first bowl win. It was the first of 11 consecutive bowl games during Snyder’s 17 seasons at Kansas State, including six wins.
Snyder’s legacy at K-State includes winning the Big 12 championship in 2003 – the school’s second conference title ever. He also won or shared four Big 12 North titles. During the 1998 season, Kansas State posted an undefeated 11-0 regular season and earned its first ever number 1 ranking in the national polls. Snyder retired from Kansas State on November 15, 2005, with an overall record of 136-68-1. Snyder held the head coaching position at Kansas State longer than any other coach, and his 136 wins are as many as his 11 predecessors won from 1935 to 1988 combined. His record ranks him first at Kansas State in terms of total wins and fifth at Kansas State in terms of winning percentage.
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