Childers given honorary doctorate


Terry L. Childers (’74) on Friday received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for distinction in public and governmental service, and contributions to the university and society.

Childers was awarded the degree, one of ACU’s highest honors, at December Commencement in Moody Coliseum. At a celebratory dinner beforehand, president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91) extolled Childers’ leadership.

“Terry is a true trailblazer,” Schubert said. “He has broken barriers during his life’s work in Texas and Oklahoma, making a real difference in the lives of people and the communities in which they live. ACU is known around the world for the notable public service careers of many of its graduates. Terry is one such respected servant-leader.”

His career has largely been focused in city management; at the age of 34 in Oklahoma City, Okla., he became one of the nation’s youngest city managers for a major city. He currently is assistant agency director for the Texas A&M Transportation Institute as well as interim city manager for Amarillo.

Childers served on ACU’s Board of Trustees from 1988-2008, and with his wife, Essie (Charles ’75) Childers, established the Watson and Ruby Childers Endowed Scholarship for Abilene Christian students in honor of his parents. They have three children: Shalawn (Childers ’96) Harris, Jonathan Childers (’02) and Adam Childers (’07).

“He has always been an ambassador for his alma mater, building relationships and mentoring young leaders,” Schubert said. “We are so proud Terry, Essie and the entire family are part of the ACU family.”