FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary held a ribbon cutting in honor of Robert Mathis, professor of administration in the School of Church and Family Ministries, marking the newest wheelchair accessibility ramp to Price Hall, Nov. 6. Although the building was already wheelchair accessible, the new ramp, located on the West side of Price Hall, is at the closest entrance from the parking lot.
Mathis has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which requires him to use a wheelchair for his primary mobility. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS affects nearly 30,000 Americans, and approximately 5,600 people are diagnosed with it every year.
Seminary faculty, students and staff attended the brief ceremony, and Mathis became the first person to ride up and down the ramp. He jokingly asked for it to be named the “Mathis Tollway” with all the proceeds going toward his retirement fund.
In recent years, faculty and staff have participated in ALS walks in honor of Dr. Mathis, and in 2009, an ALS walk in his honor was added to the seminary’s annual Seminary Stride 5K run. Next spring, during the 2010 Seminary Stride and ALS Walk, money raised during the event will be used toward further improvements around campus for individuals with disabilities.