Southwestern Seminary recognizes faithful donors with Carroll, Scarborough awards


Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary recognized and honored two long-time ministry partners for their generosity and support during the annual Founder’s Day Awards Luncheon, March 9. Louie and Meifeng Lu received the B.H. Carroll Award, and David and Marcia McQuitty received the L.R. Scarborough Award.

Following a Founder’s Day chapel address brought by Malcolm Yarnell, research professor of theology, the awards luncheon included attendees from Southwestern faculty and staff, trustees, past recipients and other seminary donors, and family and friends of the award recipients.

The luncheon opened with remarks by Jack D. Terry Jr., interim vice president for institutional advancement and former dean of the Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries, which was named in his honor in 2009.

“Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has been giving wonderful theological education for 115 years,” said Terry. “Today, we come to honor our first two presidents” and to honor some of our “dear friends” with the awards.

“Founder’s Day is a meaningful and defining time for our campus,” said Interim President David S. Dockery. “On Founder’s Day, we stop and give thanks for those who have gone before us” because of the seminary’s heritage, adding gratitude is expressed not only for the institution’s founding presidents but for “all who have made an impact” on the life of the students and faculty at Southwestern Seminary.

The awards are named in honor of the seminary’s founder and first president, Carroll, and the second president, Scarborough, for whom the school’s evangelism academic “Chair of Fire,” the first academic chair in evangelism in the history of theological education, is named after as well.

Dockery introduced the recipients of the B.H. Carroll Award, Louie and Meifeng Lu. The Lus have made “the difference in making this program work,” said Dockery in reference to the seminary’s Mandarin Language Program, which enables Mandarin language students to earn a Master of Theological Studies degree in their own language. “For 20 years, they have had their life invested in Southwestern and their fingerprints are left on this place.”

The Lus have been gracious supporters of Southwestern since 2002 where they have actively given to academic scholarships, building campaigns, Women’s Auxiliary’s Dressed for Service program, and the Mandarin Language program. Louie serves as a trustee on the institution’s board of trustees.

Originally from Wuhan, China, Louie moved to the United States in 1985. He founded the Yangtze International, Inc., an export and import company of specialty products from China, in 1992. Today he serves as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. He met his wife, Meifeng, soon thereafter and they married in 1997. They are the parents of two daughters and reside in the North Texas area.

“I have to pinch myself to believe that I am standing in front of you to receive these distinctions from this world-class seminary,” said Louie when addressing the audience of the awards luncheon. “It is a tremendous honor” to be receiving an award for financial generosity after “coming to America with $40 in my pocket and my Ph.D.: ‘poor, hungry, and driven.’” He said that “going from having $40 to being able to give generously is a tremendous privilege to be a part of this wonderful school.”

“I think this is the best theological school in the world,” said Louie. He said he believes that the “Lord is the main reason” he could even be honored at Southwestern and because of the “godly people” God has put in his life. He concluded his remarks by posing the question, “How am I supposed to serve my generation until the Lord calls me home?”

“If you’ve been around Southwestern at all, you know David and Marcia McQuitty,” said Dockery when introducing the L.R. Scarborough Award recipients. The couple’s commitment to the seminary is “ongoing” and has been “a part of this place for 50 years” and have deeply influenced the institution, Dockery added.

The McQuittys have been affiliated with Southwestern Seminary since the 1960s when they began as students. A native of Oklahoma, David earned a Master of Divinity in 1969, a Master of Arts in Religious Education in 1972, and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1982. Marcia, a Virginia native, holds the distinction of being the first female Master of Divinity graduate (1969) of Southwestern Seminary. She also holds a Master of Arts in Religious Education (1979) and a Doctor of Philosophy (1992).

They are the only couple in the seminary’s history to earn degrees in the School of Theology and the Terry School who also returned to teach on the seminary faculty, where they served until they retired in 2012. The McQuittys have given to student scholarships, but have done so without their names associated with the funding.

Marcia addressed the audience providing thanks for the recognition of this award. “To God be the glory, great things He has done,” said Marcia, adding that she is “grateful for the opportunity to have attended Southwestern Seminary” and to have been able to “serve on faculty” as well. Marcia ended by saying, “May God be glorified through our seminary today, next week, and forever.”

David then followed his wife in acknowledging the award they have received. “I can only tell you this, the story of Southwestern is really the story of Jesus who can come,” said David, who also served the seminary for almost two decades in the area of student financial aid. “If you can have one word from me, it would be students, students, students.” David concluded by indicating that he believes that Southwestern is “in good hands.”

The couple established The Layden and Granger Award in Childhood Education, named in honor of their mothers Lillian McQuitty Layden and Juanita Granger, which is given annually to the student with the highest academic record in childhood education.

Since 1982, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has recognized those who have made significant contributions to the seminary through these awards. They are the highest awards given at Southwestern Seminary.