May 20, 2009

Honoring Servants of God

            Central has just completed the spring semester, culminating in commencement this past weekend.  Faith has become sight, and our graduates are rising into a hopeful future. We honored two distinguished Christian leaders as we conferred upon them Doctor of Divinity honoris causa.  Recently there has been a bit of a flap over whether or not a university should offer an honorary degree to President Obama.  The question was whether he had a sufficient “body of work” to merit the honor.  There was no such debate about Dr. Thawesak Mahachavarojn and Dr. Daniel L. Buttry.

            Dr. Thawesak Mahachavarojn, of Bangkok, Thailand, is a prominent Christian leader in Southeast Asia whose accomplishments are myriad. He is a very successful businessman, yet his first commitment is to the Lord. Beginning in business as a young man selling laundry detergent, he has built up his business to be the largest producer of commercial washing machines and dryers in Southeast Asia.  He has amazing acumen as a leader; because of this he has been chairman of over fifteen significant Christian organizations, including hospitals, Bible colleges, mission agencies, and church districts.  Thawesak displays what the ancient spiritual teachers describe as the “master virtue”—great humility.

            Dr. Daniel L. Buttry, Global Consultant for Peace and Justice with International Ministries of American Baptist Churches, USA, crisscrosses the globe engaging in a broad range of endeavors seeking and pursuing peace.  He trains and mentors national leaders in conflict transformation in areas of roiling political challenges. Among his publications is the two volume work, Interfaith Heroes, which describes persons who reached across religious boundaries to act in the service of others. Dan displays another of the great Christian virtues, gratitude, which surely is an index of spiritual health.

            Central is privileged to recognize these remarkable world Christians. Surely it is fitting to recognize where honor is due.


                        Molly T. Marshall


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