Dallas Jenkins to keynote HCU 2023 Spirit of Excellence Gala

All proceeds from the Spirit of Excellence Gala benefit student scholarships

Houston, Texas, August 3, 2023 – Houston Christian University (HCU) will host the 2023 Spirit of Excellence Gala featuring Dallas Jenkins, creator of “The Chosen” series, as keynote speaker. The event, benefiting student scholarships, will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, on the HCU campus, located at 7502 Fondren, Houston, Texas 77074.

The tented dinner and awards gala, hosted by gala chairs and HCU alumni, Jess Rogers Dunham and Cary Dunham, will be emceed by Channel 11’s Great Day Houston host, Deborah Duncan.

Dallas Jenkins, son of “Left Behind” author, Jerry Jenkins, has received wide acclaim for the creation of his seven-season episodic television series, hailed as the largest crowd-funded media project of all time, depicting the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. “The Chosen” has garnered praise from critics and fans alike, for creating an authentic and intimate picture of Jesus’ life and ministry seen through the eyes of the people who knew him.

The highlight of the gala will be the presentation of the University’s highest awards – the Spirit of Excellence Award and President’s Award. Since 1991, HCU has given its Spirit of Excellence Award to individuals whose vision, dedication, and leadership have been instrumental to the University’s academic and spiritual strength. The prestigious President’s Award is presented to longtime friends of HCU for their unwavering support through their time and talents.

“We are excited to welcome Dallas Jenkins as the keynote speaker for this year’s Spirit of Excellence Gala as we honor individuals who have committed their time, talent, and treasure to the University and, in so doing, helped fulfill its mission of instilling in students a passion for academic, spiritual, and professional excellence as a result of our central confession, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” said Dr. Sloan.

HCU President Robert Sloan will present this year’s Spirit of Excellence Award to three couples, Cindy and Dr. Dan Wilford, Nichole and Benny Agosto and Alex and Randall O. Sorrels, each long-time supporters of the University.

Dr. Dan Wilford, former president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, serves as a trustee for Houston Christian University. Not only has Wilford contributed his leadership and guidance to the University, he and his wife have been committed supporters of HCU through the years. Benny Agosto and Randall Sorrels, dedicated alumnus of HCU, have made an impact in their respective law careers and been tireless supporters, along with their spouses, of HCU’s vision and growth as a faith-based educational institution.

The night will also feature the posthumous presentation of the prestigious President’s Award in honor of Drs. Gloria and Wiley Biles. Dr. Gloria Biles taught in the School of Humanities at HCU for 16 years. The Biles were friends and steadfast supporters of the University through the years.

Individual tickets are $500. Table sponsorships are available from $5,000 to $100,000.

All proceeds from the gala benefit student scholarships. Past gala keynote speakers have included Tim Tebow, Chip Gaines and Peggy Noonan.

To purchase tickets or sponsor a table, contact Candace Adams-Desrosiers at spiritofexcellence@HBU.edu or at 281-649-3049. For more information, visit the University & Events website and click 2023 Spirit of Excellence Gala.

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About Dallas Jenkins  

At the age of 25, Dallas Jenkins produced the independent feature Hometown Legend, which was distributed by Warner Brothers. In the 20 years since, he has directed and produced over a dozen feature and short films for Universal, Lionsgate, Pureflix, Hallmark Channel, and Amazon. His most recent film, “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” was released in theaters in 2017. He is now writing, directing, and producing the largest crowd-funded media project of all time, a multi-season series entitled, “The Chosen,” a groundbreaking historical drama based on the life of Jesus, seen through the eyes of those who knew him.

About Houston Christian University

For more than 60 years, Houston Christian University has equipped students to lead, collaborate, and embody a deep sense of spiritual purpose resulting from our central confession, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” The University offers a wide range of majors, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs, as well as NCAA Division I athletics in the Southland Conference. Located in the heart of one of the nation’s largest metropolitan centers, HCU’s culture of excellence molds the next generation of educated disciples to be pillars in their communities, preparing them to think critically and biblically as they impact the world.