JACKSON, Tenn. – Dec. 19, 2005 – Today’s society needs “a new breed of thinkers and doers” who will stand for moral and ethical integrity, Bob Agee told a group of 250 Union University graduates at their commencement service Dec. 17 at West Jackson Baptist Church.
Agee, president emeritus of Oklahoma Baptist University, former Union University administrator and a 1960 graduate of Union, used Daniel and his three friends in Babylon as an example for graduates to imitate.
“They were willing to become a counter culture, to represent a totally different perspective in the midst of a major cultural and social revolution,” Agee said. “And they made a difference.”
Like the age in which Daniel lived, today’s world is one of major change and transition, Agee said. He told graduates that as they navigate such a world, they should be willing to take risks to hold high standards of morality, pursue their work with excellence and live for divine approval.
“The world is working overtime to convince you that God’s way is irrelevant and out of date,” Agee said. “It takes a tremendous step of faith to commit yourself to the notion that God’s way is better than the world’s way, and work at living that with conviction and consistency.”
Agee also was the recipient of the annual Robert E. Craig Service Award, which Union University President David Dockery presented to him.
The Craig Service Award is named after the university’s 13th president, who led the university for more than two decades and was responsible for reestablishing Union with the churches of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Craig was also responsible for relocating the university campus to north Jackson.
Agee served as vice president for religious affairs, professor of practical studies in the religion department and as special assistant to the president for institutional planning at Union before taking the helm at OBU in 1982. He served as OBU president for 16 years, and in 1998 was selected as the executive director of the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools, a position he continues to hold.
He is also the director for the master in Christian studies degree program at Union.
“He is recognized as a leader among leaders in the field of Christian higher education,” Dockery said. “He is a great friend of Union University and a special friend to this administration, and we thank God for him.”