Florio Scholar presents seven times in one semester

mccraw with poster

By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director

Luke McCraw, the winner of the 2023 Dr. Charles Florio Award for leadership, recently completed his fifth public presentation on his film research this semester, in Naples. He is booked for two more presentations.

NTCC’s Presidential Scholar from Mount Vernon was the lead researcher behind the recent Caldwell-Award-winning film on the traveling preachers of early Texas. According to Honors Director, Dr. Andrew P. Yox, “McCraw’s versatility as a local presenter is enhanced by his remarkable knowledge of theology and Scripture. He has adapted his presentation to fit two prayer breakfasts, one in Mount Pleasant through the sponsorship of Tennison Methodist Church, and one through the sponsorship of First Methodist in Naples.” McCraw has also presented his original story at the Mount Pleasant Library, in College Station at the meeting of the Texas State Historical Association, and in Stillwater, at the meeting of the Great Plains Honors Council.  He has both utilized PowerPoint presentations, and a poster he constructed on his research, in which he was assisted by Honors Student Council President, Michelle Calderon.

According to Yox who has been present at all of McCraw’s talks thus far, “McCraw’s presentations are remarkably fluent and detailed.  He characterizes all of the story’s main actors, impersonates some of their discourses, and presents a dramatized narrative which ends with the dissolution of Stephen F. Austin’s dream of a secular Texas, and the breaking of his ‘bamboo curtain.’ Typically, he concludes with the film trailer.”

 “Though I tried to lean on Luke and encourage him to develop a thesis that stressed how the early Texas preachers were imitators of exemplary Christians before them,” notes Yox, “McCraw has stressed how the altruistic service of the preachers contrasted with the heavy-handed gestures of the Mexican government in Texas before 1836.” In either case, McCraw’s story accounts for how a place almost devoid of organized religion, became a haven for organized institutions of worship, now numbering over 30,000 in the state.

Anyone interested in booking an NTCC scholar for a presentation relative to their recent film or to another topic in which an NTCC student-scholar has a particular expertise is welcome to contact Dr. Yox at 903-434-8229 or ayox@ntcc.edu.