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May 3, 2019

Asbury University’s School of Education hosted its annual Teacher Educators Leading and Learning (TELL) Banquet Wednesday night to honor the hard work of its students for the 2018-2019 academic year. During the banquet, Dr. Bonnie Banker, who will retire this summer, was also commended for her nearly 50 years of service at Asbury. View a photo gallery below! 

During the banquet, two scholarships were awarded to students — including the new Bonnie Banker Endowed Scholarship, which was awarded to Kamry Wells ‘20.

Rebecca Wood ‘72, a former adjunct professor at Asbury and friend of Rita Pritchett ‘69, awarded the Rita Pritchett Memorial Endowed Scholarship to Fionn McCartan ’21.

School of Education Outstanding Seniors who were honored at Asbury’s Honors Convocation Chapel earlier this week were present as well. They include:

  • Elementary Education: Noel Endicott ’19
  • Secondary Education: Drew Cooney ’19
  • P-12 Education: Tinson Lam ’19
  • APS Elementary Education: Tracey Gossage ’19

Asbury President Sandra C. Gray opened the banquet with a word of prayer. Dr. Timothy Wooster, University provost, gave the keynote address, speaking about the benefits of enacting empathy in the educational environment and how Asbury graduates can use their knowledge and skills to be a demonstration of Christ in the classroom.

“As Christians called into teaching, you need to lean into your calling with confidence, knowing that the Holy Spirit will fill you with the ability to clearly instruct, impart knowledge and come alongside your students,” Wooster said. “The Holy Spirit will empower you to fulfill your call.”

Wooster encouraged students to draw upon their faith in Christ, who is the direct source of all empathy.

“As Christian educators, we know the source of our empathy,” Wooster said. “Once again, society is coming back around to firm the established Biblical principles of love, compassion and treating others as you want to be treated.”

During the banquet, Dr. Bonnie Banker was celebrated for her nearly 50 years of service to the University. Banker first came to Asbury as a professor and has also served as interim provost and academic dean. Among many other accomplishments, she was instrumental in establishing Asbury’s graduate program.  

“Everything that we’re about in education is in that wonderful lady right over there,” Dr. Tim Crook ’75 said.

School of Education faculty honored Banker through prose in a funny and touching group poetry reading.

“You are the gardener who cultivated this tiny seed to succeed where rocks and roots were ever present but never got me down,” Dr. Allie Rhodes said during the reading in Banker’s honor. “Much of who I am, I credit to you.”

“You’re an inspiration to us all, an example to follow and a servant leader,” Professor Barbara Hamilton said. “Dr. Banker, we just want to say thank you.”

The evening concluded in recognizing the 2018-2019 TELL officers and introducing the 2019-2020 officers. Graduating seniors were also celebrated during the banquet.

Learn more about the School of Education at Asbury University.