Dr. Gary Cook Honored by Oak Cliff Lions Club

Dr. Gary Cook
Dr. Cook photo from DBU

Dr. Gary Cook, Chancellor of Dallas Baptist University (DBU), will receive the Bill Melton Humanitarian Award from Oak Cliff Lions Club. The award will be presented at the noon luncheon meeting on Nov. 9 in Weiss Auditorium at Methodist Dallas Central.

Dr. Cook will be the 44th recipient of the prestigious annual award, which recognizes and honors a person (or persons) whose activities, contributions and service to the community best symbolize the ideals of Lionism. The award is usually given to non-Lions who have demonstrated dedication to community, profession, God and mankind that exemplifies the motto of Lions Clubs International, “We Serve.”

Dr. Gary Cook with DBU graduates
Photo courtesy DBU

After serving 28 years as President of DBU, Dr. Cook was appointed Chancellor of Dallas Baptist University in 2016. He previously served ten years in administration at Baylor University in Waco. Prior to that, he served as Pastor of First Baptist Church of McGregor, Texas.

Dr. Gary Cook Bio

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University, a Master of Arts in Aging Studies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Cook serves as Permanent Class President for the Class of 1972 at Baylor University. He also served as Graduating Class President for the Class of 1975 at Southern Seminary.

Dr. Cook and his wife, Sheila, are active members of Park Cities Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon. Sheila served as a teacher in the public school system for eighteen years. They have two sons, David and Mark. Dr. Cook has served on the board of directors of the Dallas YMCA, as a member of the board of trustees and executive committee of Baylor College of Dentistry, as a member of the Baylor Oral Health Foundation, and as chairman of the Education Division of the Dallas United Way Campaign. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Baylor University Medical Center, having served earlier as Chair of the Board for three years.

He has served as a member of the International Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity. He was appointed by George Gallup to serve as a Fellow of the Gallup International Institute. He just completed two years as chair of the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities Board of Directors.

Dr. Gary Cook with family
Dr. Cook family photo courtesy DBU

Dr. Cook has also served as a member of the Waco City Council and Mayor Pro Tem of Waco. He received the Waco Humanitarian Award presented by the Waco Conference of Christians and Jews. Dr. Cook was appointed by Governor William Clements to serve a four-year term on the nine member Texas Board on Aging. He was appointed by Governor George Bush to serve as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging in 1995. In 2004, Dr. Cook was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to serve as a founding member of the OneStar Foundation. He received the Hispanic Education Impact Award by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

DBU-Oak Cliff Partnership Dinner

In his first year as President of Dallas Baptist University, Dr. Cook established the DBU-Oak Cliff Partnership Dinner. Since 1989, this dinner has presented the Oak Cliff Good Samaritan Award each year to two outstanding members of the Oak Cliff community. These community leaders have been individuals of the highest character and integrity who have dedicated themselves to serving their fellow man. This dinner has been held each year on the DBU campus and has raised over $375,000 for scholarships for young people from Oak Cliff.

For over 93 years, Oak Cliff Lions have supported a variety of local, state, national and international charities involving youth, vision, and other worthy causes and charities. It is estimated that the club has contributed over $1.5 million to charitable causes through the dedicated efforts of club members.

Bill Melton Humanitarian Award

In 2010, the annual humanitarian award was renamed to honor its Founding President, Past District Governor and former Dallas County Treasurer Bill Melton. The Dallas Oak Cliff Lions Club was organized and chartered in April 1929. The civic organization meets at noon every Wednesday in Weiss Auditorium at Dallas Methodist Central Hospital, off Beckley and Colorado in North Oak Cliff.

The awards program will start promptly at 12 noon Wed., Nov. 9. The event is free for members of Oak Cliff Lions Clubs, and guests will be charged $12.50 for their lunch. Blake Lindsay is President of the Oak Cliff Lions Club, and Past President Dennis Jeter is Chairman of the Oak Cliff Lions Club’s Bill Melton Humanitarian Award Committee. For more information about the organization or to make reservations for the awards program, please visit oakclifflions.org.

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Jo Ann Holt
Jo Ann Holt is an award-winning journalist with 40+ years of experience as a writer and editor. She loves live performances, from country music concerts to Broadway musicals to community theatre productions. Holt also enjoys art and cultural festivals, and good food and wine. She’s toured Amsterdam, London, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and various cities in Mexico but looks forward to visiting even more countries. She has traveled by boat, plane, and train, but especially likes taking long road trips across the U.S. with her husband, retired history professor Durhl Caussey. They enjoy meeting friendly people, learning about different cultures, and visiting historic sites wherever they go.