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Waxahachie, TX

September 18, 2019 | Tony Garza


Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) has announced the 2019 alumni award honorees to be recognized during Homecoming. 

The Association recognizes individuals each year for outstanding service and support of the university, as well as for their contributions and noteworthy success within their respective industry, vocation, or service. The Association currently confers up to six awards. The highest award granted by the Alumni Association is named in honor of founding President, Dr. P.C. Nelson. This award is reserved for alumni who have achieved prominence in a particular field of service and demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service to SAGU.

P.C. Nelson Distinguished Alumnus Award
Brig. Gen. (Ret) Michael Miller

Award to be presented during Celebration Banquet on Friday, Oct. 11

General Miller originally came to SAGU to play basketball. He completed his associates at SAGU and notes the strong relationships and many memories that he made at the university. General Miller also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, University of New Orleans, Master of Business Administration degree from the University of North Dakota, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Management from Walden University.

General Miller served as Assistant Surgeon General, Strategic Medical Plans, Programs and Budget, and Chief of the Medical Service Corps, Office of the Surgeon General, Arlington, Virginia. As the Air Force Medical Service senior programmer, General Miller’s key responsibilities were integrating, analyzing and defending the Defense Health Program and medical elements of Air Force funding for the Future Years Defense Program. He has received numerous major awards and decorations including Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal with bronze star.

General Miller also serves as a member of the SAGU Board of Regents. 

For his faithful service, the Alumni Association is pleased to present General Miller the 2019 PC Nelson Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Honorary Alumnus Award
Kenneth Starnes

Award to be presented during Celebration Banquet on Friday, Oct. 11

The Honorary Alumnus Award is given to celebrate the generous service and contributions of those individuals who, while not alumni of SAGU in the traditional sense, have taken on the University’s cause to heart as if it were their own.

Kenneth Starnes grew up in Livingston, Texas, where his parents pastored for 23 years. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Kenneth held various positions with DuPont in operations, finance, and business, including operations leader for global business with operations in Puerto Rico, UK, China, and Taiwan.

Following retirement, he has spent the last 7 years consulting back to DuPont with the Mergers and Acquisition group.

One of Kenneth’s earliest (and most memorable) memories of SAGU was when he spent one night in Davis Hall when his younger brother was a student.

Kenneth and his wife, Liz, view SAGU as a worthy investment as it trains the next generation for God’s eternal purposes.

Distinguished Faculty Award
Dr. John Savell

Award to be presented during Chapel on Friday, Oct. 11

The Distinguished Faculty Award is bestowed upon a faculty member in recognition of notable service in his/her academic field, community, state, nation or unusual performance in the classroom.

Dr. John Savell has served SAGU with distinction. He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in working with Children and Families. With over 40 years of experience in the mental health field, he has worked in psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, prison settings, neuropsychological rehabilitation centers, private practice, and several colleges and universities throughout Texas. He currently serves full-time as an Associate Professor of Psychology at SAGU and is the Program Coordinator of the Human Services Program and Addictions Counseling Program. An ordained minister through Foundation Ministries, he serves on the Board of Directors for Chi Alpha Ministries at TCU in Fort Worth and the Board of Directors for Bethesda School of Ministry. He is also an accomplished author and is in the process of completing a book titled, "Matters of the Heart, How Wounds become Sin". 

Distinguished Alumnus Service Award
Beverly Robinson

Award to be presented during Chapel on Friday, Oct. 11

The Distinguished Alumnus Service Award aims to highlight individuals from among the SAGU Alumni family who has shown great care for their Alma Mater, and has demonstrated what it means to be a “Lion for Life.”

SAGU alumna Beverly Robinson has actively given of herself for the betterment of SAGU, and the community in which she lives and serves.

Beverly is the Director of Career Development. She joined the department in 1998 and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling/Psychology. She is an Assemblies of God ordained minister, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), a certified Etiquette Instructor, a member of Metroplex Area Consortium of Career Centers, a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a member of National Career Development Association, a member of Psi Chi, and also an adjunct Psychology Instructor.

Beverly is a member of Southwestern Women’s Auxiliary and currently serves as Vice-President of fundraising. She also served as SAGU’s Cheer Coach/Advisor for 15 years. Beverly is also on the board for Lakeview Camp Vision and Design Board.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award for Vocational Ministry
Eric & Brooke Bates

Award to be presented during Chapel on Friday, Oct. 11

Eric & Brooke are an outstanding example of the spirit, philosophy, and vision of SAGU. Eric has been in vocational ministry since 2010 and is the lead pastor of Evangel in Gainesville, GA. Prior to Evangel, he and his wife, Brooke, served as part of the campus pastor team at SAGU and in local church ministry at Regeneration Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas. 

They are passionate about training and discipling leaders as well as strengthening the local church through messages of hope and the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit. Eric holds a degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Arkansas and a Masters in Bible and Theology from SAGU (2017). Eric and Brooke have been married since 2010 and reside in Gainesville, Georgia, with their son, Jared.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award for Marketplace Ministry
Charity Murdoch

Award to be presented during Celebration Banquet on Friday, Oct. 11

Each year, the Alumni Association honors young alumni who stand out among their peers, and in their vocation, as examples of the spirit and vision of SAGU.

Charity Murdoch graduated from SAGU in 2007 with her Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. She recently received Southwest Airlines' President's Award, the airline's most prestigious award. Nominated by peers and selected by Southwest’s top leadership, the award is a recognition of employees who consistently display the best qualities of the company and contribute to its success. Over the past 9 years, Murdoch has served in a variety of different roles before she received the position of Executive Assistant for one of the company’s vice presidents in 2015. She has continued to serve in this role for over three years managing and coordinating various projects and events.

Before arriving at Southwest, Murdoch worked as an administrative coordinator in the Distance Education office at SAGU. She believes that her time at SAGU has had a significant impact on her career and in her personal life.


As a leading Christian university, SAGU educates and prepares individuals who want to serve Christ and others. SAGU helps students discover and develop their God-given callings in a Spirit-empowered, learning community.

We believe in affordable tuition, made possible in part through the financial support of donors who embrace the mission of SAGU and the importance of affordable, accredited programs to train Christians for leadership in ministry, business, education, and service.

Most majors are available in-person in Waxahachie, TX, and online through a wide range of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

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