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MSL selects Vickers as 2011 distinguished alum

l-r: Dallas Critchfield, Bob Vickers, Dean Bob Rogow

EKU's Department of Military Science and Leadership is pleased to announce that Chaplain Dr. Robert Clayton Vickers has been selected as their departmental distinguished alum for 2011.

Dr. Vickers was honored during a presentation on Friday, April 1, 2011, at the annual College of Business and Technology College to Careers senior recognition luncheon.

The honor is reserved for special alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professions through excellence, dedication, and service.

Dr. Vickers earned his Bachelor of Science degree from EKU in Math, Chemistry and Physics with a minor in Military Science in 1965.  His educational credentials are impressive and include a Masters of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, a Doctor of Ministry from Lexington Theological Seminary, and a Masters of Education and Doctor of Education from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.  He is a graduate of Chaplain Officer trainings and the U.S. Army War College.

Dr. Vickers has over forty-three years of providing religious ministry to individuals and congregations in the local church, members of the armed forces, and denominational and administrative support for chaplains and their families.  His additional experience includes five years in program and staff development at the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, and twenty-two years of supervising chaplains, chaplain assistants, and volunteers in chapel programs around the world.  Recent responsibilities include providing leadership to the nation’s largest denominational endorsing agency and managing the endorsement and support of over 2,600 Southern Baptist chaplains serving around the world.

In his former position, he served on the staff of the North American Mission Board as Director of the Chaplaincy Team.  His responsibilities included coordination of all SBC Chaplaincy ministries and leading in the development of strategies, services, training, and materials that facilitate and enhance the work of chaplains serving in military, corporate, institutional, public safety, and health-care settings.  Dr. Vickers has served as the Southern Baptist coordinator for Operation Starting Line, the nation’s largest on-going prison crusade initiative.  He has also provided leadership for and coordination with more than 250 faith group endorsing agencies.  Dr. Vickers has served as a strategic resource to denominational leadership, churches, local associations, Baptist state conventions, businesses and corporations, correctional institutions, hospitals, and the U.S. military in the endorsement of chaplains and the planning and implementation of Chaplaincy services and programs throughout North America and around the world.

In his last position before retirement in January of 2010, Dr. Vickers served as Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church in historic downtown Roswell, Georgia, with primary responsibility for the Adult Education Program and staff coordination and supervision in a growing urban church serving over 2,500 members.  While in Roswell, he spearheaded the organization and support of a Hispanic Mission under the sponsorship of First Baptist, Roswell. 

Most significantly, immediately upon notification of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the New York World Trade Center, he provided Chaplaincy ministry at “Ground Zero,” the temporary morgue, the Family Assistance Center, Fire Stations and Police Precincts, at the numerous make-shift memorials, and other locations throughout the city.  He established a Southern Baptist Chaplaincy presence and called for the mobilization of nearly 100 chaplains to the City from all parts of the country, assigned them to places of service, and coordinated their ministry activities for thirteen days and for several weeks following the tragedy.  Following 9/11, he was instrumental in placing a chaplain the City to provide grief counseling, counseling training, coordination with federal, state, and municipal agencies, and assistance to local church leadership.  New training initiatives resulted in numerous chaplains receiving specialized training for involvement in disaster relief efforts, and programs are now in place for significantly more training opportunities for chaplains in the event of future disasters.  He has personally received training and certification in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and qualification as an American Red Cross Disaster Relief Chaplain.

Dr. Vickers’ military awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Overseas Service Ribbon.  Not surprisingly, he was inducted into the Eastern Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1996.

Congratulations, Dr. Vickers, on being selected as the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus representing the Department of Military Science and Leadership.

The college also honored distinguished seniors for the year as selected by their respective departments within the College of Business and Technology. Cadet Major Dallas Wayne Critchfield, a forensic science/military leadership minor student from Osawatomie, Ks., was selected as the MSL departmental distinguished senior.  In addition, recipients of scholarships and awards for the 2010-11 academic year were recognized. Students were honored for outstanding achievement and more than 40 area employers were on hand to engage in networking activities with college graduating seniors.

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Published on April 01, 2011

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