EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.

Today's BP Ledger contains items from:

World News Service

Campbell University

Baptist College of Florida

Hardin-Simmons University

Texas A&M students want opt-out of funding gay student center

By Whitney Williams

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (WNS) -- Students at Texas A&M University could soon opt out of paying student fees that support groups contrary to their religious beliefs, a local news station reported.

In a packed meeting April 3, the Student Senate voted 35-28 to recommend the policy to the administration. Before the vote, senators, renamed and broadened the original proposal, at first called "The GLBT Funding Opt-Out Bill."

The measure was designed to give students the ability to opt out of helping to pay for a resource center for gay students, which collects about $100,000 per year in student fee funding. The money averages out to about $2 per student, according to a university spokesman.

Supporters of the renamed "Religious Funding Exemption Bill" told the news station the measure was rebranded April 2 and all mentions of the GLBT Resource Center were removed in an effort to protect the religious rights of students without singling out the homosexual community.

"I don't see why we should be forced to pay for something that we wouldn't take part in other wise," Prima Starr, a student at Texas A&M, told the news station. "I am morally opposed. I'm not saying you can't do what you want to do. But it my eyes, it's what I feel is wrong."

Despite earning Student Senate approval, the opt-out allowance remains controversial.Opponents claim the rebranding was simply for show, and that the measure is still "anti-gay."

TAMU's student body president, John Claybrook, will get the measure next. If he approves it, the bill will go to school administrators for final approval.

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BCF Represented at SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo

GRACEVILLE, Fla. (Baptist College of Florida) -- The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) was represented at one of the top air shows in the world, SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo, which was held in Lakeland, Fla., April 9-14. BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen and several trustees manned an exhibit booth answering questions and promoting the new aviation program at the college. In addition to speaking with prospective students who visited the booth, representatives from BCF were able to work with other mission's aviation agencies including the International Association of Missionary Aviation (IAMA), New Tribes Mission, JAARS, Inc., Mission Aviation Fellowship, United Indian Missions, and several others.

"For many years it has been our dream to provide every type of training possible to carry the Gospel to all areas of the earth. This program will provide the finest in theological preparation along with state of the art pilot training. We are not trying to prepare aviators who may or may not be missionaries; we are trying to prepare missionaries who will be able to use aviation as a tool for spreading the Gospel," stated Dr. Kinchen regarding the program.

The goal of SUN 'n FUN, a non-profit corporation, is to "Build a Brighter Future through Aviation." Every year, sponsors, exhibitors, advertisers, volunteers, airshow performers, and guests join together to celebrate aviation. Since BCF is one of the only Christian colleges to offer an aviation program, this event provided greater visibility as to what God is doing at BCF in mission's aviation.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Missions with a Concentration in Aviation is designed to integrate practical missions education with certified flight training in order to equip vocational missionaries, pastors, and other church leaders to be effective in their ministries and independent in their travel. The BA contains 122 semester hours which includes the general education foundation, Biblical/theological foundation, missions major core, and aviation concentration.

For more information on the BA in Missions with a Concentration in Aviation, call 1-800-328-2660 ext. 460 or access the program listings located on the website at baptistcollege.edu.

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Bankruptcy judge named dean of Campbell law school

BUIES CREEK, N.C. (Campbell University) -- J. Rich Leonard, United States Bankruptcy Court Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, has been appointed as the next dean of Campbell University's Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. Leonard's appointment, effective July 15, 2013, fills the position currently held by Interim Dean Keith Faulkner.

"Judge Leonard's wealth of experience in judicial leadership will prove tremendously beneficial to our students and faculty," said Campbell President Jerry Wallace. "His commitment to academic excellence and the highest standards of legal education will help shape the future of Campbell Law School for years to come and we are excited to welcome him to this new role."

A native of Davidson County, Leonard is a 1971 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He earned a master's degree in education from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1973, and then earned a law degree from Yale Law School in 1976.

He has served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina since 1992 and as Chief Judge from 1999 through 2006. Prior to that time, he was a United States Magistrate Judge (1981-1992) and Clerk of Court of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (1979-1992). For more than a decade, Leonard also acted as a consultant to the U.S. Department of State to work with judiciaries in many developing countries.

Leonard's professional associations include appointments to the Board of Governors for the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (2008-2011); Fellow at the American College of Bankruptcy (2005-present); and leadership roles with the Wake County Bar Association and North Carolina Bar Association, among other legal organizations.

His judicial work and expertise have earned him both state and national recognition. In 2011, the American Bar Association awarded Leonard with the Robert B. Yegge Award for Outstanding Contribution to Judicial Administration. He is the 1992 recipient of the Director's Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Federal Judiciary. In 2011, he was selected as the Editor in Chief of the American Bankruptcy Law Journal.

Leonard has also been active in the classroom. He has worked as an adjunct professor for North Carolina Central University School of Law (1985-1986; 1995-1998); UNC School of Law (1994-1995); and, most recently, Campbell's law school (2009-present). In 2012, Campbell Law's Delta Theta Phi fraternity presented Leonard with the Judge Robinson Everett Award for Legal Excellence.

"Although I take enormous pride in my tenure with the federal courts, I am both humbled and elated to be offered this unique opportunity," said Leonard of the appointment. "I believe in this law school. I appreciate the focus on rigor and discipline, and the emphasis on the practical aspects of law practice."

"We could not be more pleased to welcome Judge Rich Leonard as the next dean of Campbell Law School," said Benjamin N. Thompson, chair of the Campbell University Board of Trustees. "He brings a wealth of administrative experience, scholarly work and broad respect from his years of service on the federal bench. He will help take our program to the next level regionally and nationally."

Founded in 1976 in Buies Creek, the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law relocated to downtown Raleigh in 2009. Campbell Law outscored all other law schools in the state on the North Carolina Bar Exam in July 2012.

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Student says scholarship not only changed her life, but saved her life

ABILENE, Texas (Hardin-Simmons University) -- "I am vividly reminded by the sacrifice of one of our students from the 1940s, Private James L. Bartlett, killed in the Pacific during World War II," says Mike Hammack, HSU vice president for institutional advancement, as he begins to address a room filled with current students and scholarship donors.

Hammack helps to oversee an endowment of over $130 million at Hardin-Simmons University and knows of both sacrifice and the contributions made by countless HSU former students and graduates. Hammack reminds those gathered for the annual Donor-Recipient Scholarship Luncheon that what James L. Bartlett did for our nation is one of the many contributions made by those who have walked the grounds of HSU over 12 decades.

Hardin-Simmons University gives qualifying students close to $12,000,000 in scholarships each year. About $2,000,000 of that is in endowed scholarships.

Students receiving the monetary gifts toward their education had the opportunity to dine with the person responsible for their scholarship at the event pairing about 100 students with their donors.

Speaker Dr. George Newman came to HSU as a professor in 1967, just a year before the completion of the new science building. He jokes, "Many of you don't think it's new, but it beats the old one." Newman says when he came to HSU, he knew nothing of his family's rich heritage at the university. "That legacy of the Cowdens and the Evans is why our hearts remain at HSU," says Newman, referring to the many contributions of his family over the decades.

Newman tells the story of a Romanian family he met in 2009 when he was Taylor County judge. "When I found out they were headed to San Angelo to take their daughter to visit ASU, I asked if they had considered HSU. They did not believe they could afford it. I called my former student, now dean of the Holland School of Science and Mathematics, Dr. Chris McNair, to advise them. Turns out they could afford HSU, that's because of donors like you."

Newman continued his good news story saying, Nicole Gatea, from Ocna Mures, Romania, now a junior biology major and pre-med student at HSU, will be taking the Medical College Admission Test soon.

Julee Gunn, an education major and scholarship recipient, told students and donors that her scholarship literally saved her life. Gunn says she was walking in the shadow of despair, feeling that her life was meaningless and worthless. "When I came here to college, I was far away from home where no one knew what had happened to me as a child. I was walking with a shadow, thinking it would never leave me. I developed an eating disorder that almost took my life.

"It wasn't until I got the email from HSU telling me that I had received a scholarship that I realized I was worth something. As a future teacher, I want to convey to the children I come in contact with that they are worth something. Any child walking in that shadow, I want them to know that I understand what they are going through," said Julee. "You are not just my life changer, you are my life saver."

Each year the Donor-Recipient Scholarship Luncheon continues to be an event donors and students look forward to with great anticipation. Hammack says one day many of the students receiving the funds will be the donors. "As joyous as you may feel about the money you have received, a day will come when you will have the opportunity to pave the path for the next generation. The real joy will come then, when you take the seat of the person next to you," says Hammack.

In addition to the endowed scholarships, qualifying Hardin-Simmons students who are new or returning and pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, receive an additional $10,000,000 in institutional academic scholarships for their education at HSU.

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