Longview, Texas (LETU) — LeTourneau University’s fall commencement ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, December 14, at the S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center at the Longview campus, 2100 S. Mobberly Ave. About 200 undergraduate and graduate students are expected to participate.
The commencement speaker for the winter commencement ceremony will be Dr. Jerry E. White, international president and board chairman emeritus of the Navigators, a worldwide para-church organization that trains Christians to share their faith with others.
The Navigators ministers in over 100 countries with a staff of over 4,000 who work with college students, military personnel, churches and business professionals to help spread the gospel message by providing Bible study resources, Scripture memory aids and books through the organization’s NavPress publishing group, which also offers The Message Bible paraphrase.
White is a retired major general from the United States Air Force. Born in Iowa and raised in Spokane, Wash., he attended the University of Washington and received a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1959. In 1964, he received a master’s degree in Astronautics from The Air Force Institute of Technology before earning his Ph.D. in Astronautics from Purdue University in 1970. He is a registered professional engineer.
He served over 13 years in active duty, including as a mission controller at Cape Kennedy during the space program’s heyday. He also taught as an associate professor of astronautics at the Air Force Academy in Colorado for six years and has coauthored a nationally recognized textbook on astrodynamics.
Following his resignation from active military service in 1973, he served 24 years in the Air Force Reserves, retiring July 1, 1997 as a major general. He has served on several boards and executive committees, including assignments with what is now the National Security Agency. He has won numerous honors including the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedom Foundation. He is on the board and executive committee of the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization and the board of Greater Europe Mission. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of the Air Force Association.
White learned of The Navigators as an undergraduate student and later initiated the organization’s ministries at the Air Force Academy and at Purdue University. He began serving as executive director in June 1983 and became international president in 1986, stepping out of office in 2005.
He and his wife, Mary, together have written 13 books on work, ethics and parenting. His latest book is titled Unfinished (2013), and he has a book titled To Be a Friend, that is soon to be released. They have four grown children and 11 grandchildren.