GEORGETOWN, KY – The first two graduates of Georgetown College’s Bishop Scholars Program, established in 2005 through a partnership with alumni of the former historically black Bishop College in Texas, were given special recognition this week during a March 31 ceremony on Georgetown’s campus.
Ralpheal West, Houston, TX, and David Boyle, Jr., Memphis, TN, both graduated in 2011. The names of these inaugural Bishop Scholars are now permanently engraved and displayed on a pillar in front of Georgetown’s library building known as the Anna Ashcraft Ensor Learning Resource Center.
“This is a special day for our two honorees who will be remembered in the history of this institution as two young men who forged a path for others to follow,” said Dwaine Greene, Georgetown’s president, in remarks preceding the unveiling of the engraving. “As the first two Bishop Scholars to attend and graduate from Georgetown, they created a new reality for future generations of Bishop Scholars.”
Currently there are six Bishop College Scholars on Georgetown’s campus enrolled in the Program. Since the program’s inception, there have been 25 Bishop Scholars.
Dr. Greene said Bishop Scholars come here knowing that it is possible to get an excellent education at Georgetown College, and that the education they receive changes lives. He added that the first Bishop Scholars helped create a much richer environment and community for Georgetown College.
“Their achievement has a larger purpose than what it does for each of them individually,” Dr. Greene told current Bishop Scholars and Bishop College alumni who were assembled for the unveiling. “First, they created a new legacy for Bishop College. The mission of Bishop College continues to be fulfilled through every Bishop Scholar who comes to Georgetown College. Second, Bishop College alumni have an institution with which to unite. And through their (Ralpheal and David) example, Bishop College alumni can be confident that Bishop Scholars will receive an exceptional educational experience in a vibrant Christian community.”
Ralpheal is now enrolled at Baylor University in Waco, Tx., where he is completing his second year at Truett Theological Seminary, working toward a Master’s in Theological Studies, according to Robbi Barber, associate director of Georgetown’s Office of Diversity. David resides in his hometown of Memphis and is currently employed with Federal Express, she said, adding that she is “quite impressed with their accomplishments” since departing Georgetown College.
In her remarks, Mrs. Barber described Ralpheal and David as having experienced a bit of “culture shock” when they first arrived in 2007 on the small Georgetown campus. That sentiment was echoed by Ralpheal’s mother, Mrs. Sheretta West, who represented her son at the unveiling and who praised the Bishop Scholars Program for the educational opportunity it represents.
The ceremony preceded the opening of the 4th annual Bishop College Revival being held March 31-April 3 at nearby Georgetown Baptist Church and featuring pastors from four leading African American Churches. They are Rev. Dr. W.T. Glynn, Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Ft. Worth, TX; Rev. Dr. Samuel Gilbert, Sr., Pastor Emeritus of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Houston, TX; Rev. Dr. Freddy J. Clark, Shalom Church (City of Peace), St. Louis, MO; and Bishop Kenneth Spears, First Saint John Cathedral, Ft. Worth, TX.