[May 19, 2014]LINCOLN - At Lincoln Christian
University's 69th annual commencement ceremonies, tribute was paid
to two special individuals who have given of the heart and soul to
the betterment of the university. Lynn Laughlin was awarded with an
Honorary Doctorate Degree and President Keith Ray received the
Distinguished Service Award. Below is a biography of each man and an
explanation of what he has done for the university.
Lynn Laughlin has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the
mission of LCU for nearly 50 years. That commitment has been
evidenced through numerous leadership roles at Lincoln Christian
including professor, coach, Vice President of Alumni Services,
Special Assistant to the President and others. Most recently, he
completed his duties as "acting president" while President Ray was
A Man of God: Lynn has lived a life of extraordinary commitment to
Jesus Christ. His integrity and character have never been found
wanting. A man of humility, grace, peace-making, and faithfulness to
the Word of God are all hallmarks of his heart for God. His devotion
to the Lord has spilled over into the lives of thousands.
A Friend to the Students: Even though Lynn is officially responsible
for alumni services, he is frequently seen among the current student
body. Always present at sporting events, enjoying coffee in the
Warehouse student center, traveling with students for mission and
ministry events, or just checking up on a student while traversing
sidewalks of the LCU campus - this is what Lynn Laughlin is all
about. He loves LCU's students, and they love him.
A Partner to the LCU Family: Lynn is everywhere. He spends much of
his time encouraging, praying for, and helping LCU employees fulfill
their mission. "Volunteer" is too weak a word to describe his
availability for the mission of LCU. He always finds ways to share
in the countless roles our mission calls for. Not only is he there
for us, he is there for so many others. His phone is forever ringing
or being held next to his ear in conversation with friends and
alumni of LCU all around the country and the globe.
An Ambassador to the World of our Alumni: His photographic memory
can recall the minutest details regarding our alumni. His
data-base-like mind is a remarkable gift from God. He keeps a
remarkable pace with travel that is equally matched by his campus
engagements. More than that, his heart follows the ministries of our
alumni all around the world with prayerful support and those amazing
handwritten notes that convey he always has time for God's people.
It is with deep gratitude and great joy that the Board of Trustees,
faculty, and staff commend this honorary degree "Doctor of Divinity"
to Lynn Ryburn Laughlin.
Lincoln Christian University awards honorary doctoral degrees to
outstanding men and women who, in support of LCU's mission, are
distinguished for “serving and leading in the church and the world."
LCU recognizes such individuals for their extraordinary
accomplishments characteristics that they have typically
demonstrated not just for a season but for a lifetime. In awarding
an honorary doctorate, the University seeks not only to honor the
recipient but also to present to constituents-students, staff,
faculty, trustees, alumni, churches, and friends-a lifelong example
of Christ-like servant leadership.
Congratulations Lynn Laughlin; and may God grant you many more years
of outstanding service on behalf of Lincoln Christian University.
The Board of Trustees, administration, faculty,
staff, and students wish to express their deep gratitude to their
president, Dr. Keith H. Ray. He is completing 16 years as president
of Lincoln Christian University and is retiring from Christian
higher education May 31, 2014. Prior to his assuming Lincoln
Christian's presidency in 1998, he served as Dean of Students at
Dallas Christian College and later served as Dallas Christian's
president for four years.
Dr. Ray is not
only a president, but also a pastor, theologian, and a preacher.
He is at heart a preacher/theologian who loves to dig deeply
into God’s Word and share what he has learned through the
ministry of preaching and teaching. Additionally, he is a pastor
who loves the church and desires to serve God's people through
the ministry of mentoring. He is a president whose leadership
God has blessed because he seeks first to honor God.
During Dr. Ray's presidency, he has faithfully honored God in
his efforts and consistently worked to advance the Kingdom in
his relentless pursuit of excellence. Under his guidance, LCU
operational debt by more than 50%, increased gift income by 85%,
and almost tripled the LCU endowment.
He led the
largest campus renovation and expansion in our history, adding a
new maintenance facility, athletic center, and women's residence
name was changed to Lincoln Christian University (2009).
School of Adult & Graduate Studies was launched (2009).
He led a
broad-based branding effort (2009).
He added numerous
academic programs, including:
specialization in Worship Studies (2003).
offered in Las Vegas, NV (2006).
Seminary MRE and
DMin degrees (2007).
degrees in Organizational Leadership, TESOL, Bible/Theology, and
MA degree in
Spiritual Formation in Normal, IL (2009).
MA in Ministry
degree offered in Indianapolis, IN (2013).
Institute in partnership with the American Chinese Civic
As a direct result
of President Ray's leadership, LCU is on mission-a vibrant community
wholeheartedly nurturing and equipping Christians to serve and lead.
It has been a calling to which he has given his very best. His love
for Christ's mission, the role of education, and the potential of
students has fueled his ministry for nearly 25 years.
President Ray has been God's leader for a very special time in our
history. He has led well and is leaving well. Our schools are
positioned for a bright future. He has invested wholeheartedly in
support of our mission. His impact is aptly described in Philemon 7,
"For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother,
because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”
With deep appreciation, the 2014 Distinguished Service award is
presented to Dr. Keith H. Ray for his outstanding presidential
leadership from 1998-2014.