Mission Baccalaureate Committee announces ceremony date

For nearly 40 years, the Mission Baccalaureate Committee has been dedicated to providing a baccalaureate program for high school graduates in Mission. This special graduation service for Mission high School, Veterans Memorial and Options High School seniors provides a spiritual message and prayerful sendoff for students who are finishing high school and embarking on new careers, studies or family life.

The committee was formed in 1974 by a group of concerned mothers who felt it was important for the high school graduates to hear a motivational and uplifting message as they were met with such a transitional time in their lives.

20150508 DannyMcKnightColor1In 1995 the seniors of Sharyland High School were invited to attend the baccalaureate service. The speaker that year was the famed coach, Tom Landry, whose Mission roots run deep. Sharyland has attended ever since, along with Veterans Memorial High School (2004) in a joint service honoring the three high schools of 1500 plus students.

With the incredible growth over the past 20 years that both Mission and Sharyland School District have experienced, this year will be the first year that Sharyland will host its first independent Baccalaureate service for Sharyland and Pioneer High School Seniors.

Join Mission as this years distinguished guest speaker Retired U.S. Army Colonel Danny McKinight delivers a message about better understanding of the unparalleled commitment and leadership required to be successful in life’s most difficult situations. His military career included combat duty on two occasions, Panama in 1989 and Somalia in 1993. He is well known for his leadership as the Ranger Battalion Commander during the 1993 raid in Mogadishu, Somalia as part of Task Force RANGER. The raid became the subject of a series of newspaper articles written by Mark Bowden, who later wrote a book called Black Hawk Down based on the articles; the book was adapted into a 2002 movie by the same name. 

McKnight was born in Columus, Georgia before moving to Rockledge, FL in 1959. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate from Florida State University in 1973, where he earned s B.S. degree in Management. In 1985, He earned his Master’s Degree in Higher Education at the Univesity of Florida while assigned as an Assistant Professor of Military Science in the Army ROTC Department. He completed Airborne and Ranger Training in 1973-1974 after his commissioning as an officer in the U.S. Army on August 3, 1973.

McKnight’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (two), the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge with Combat Star, and the Pathfinder Badge.

After completing 28 1/2 years of service to our country, Colonel McKnight returned to his hometown in Florida where he and his wife Linda live today. He now focuses all his efforts on being a nationwide Motivational Speaker. McKnight has also become a successful author releasing his book, Streets of Mogadishu, in July 2011. 

The public is both invited and encouraged to attend this special event On Thursday May 14, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Neuhaus Gymnasium at Mission High School. 

Today it is a challenge to raise the funds needed to cover the increased costs of quality speakers, but the organization has been blessed by the past support of community members who recognize the importance of the event. The committee members are asking the community, businesses, parents, churches and any interested individuals, to once again help by making a donation to the Mission Baccalaureate Committee (501 C3). Contributions can be mailed to MBC, 2800 N. Stewart Road, Mission, Texas 78574.

Current committee members are Mary Kay Broughton, Heather Marks, Jeannette Womack, Myra de la Garza, Maritza Esqueda, Christina Reyna and Brandy Vela.

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