It was a year of promise and success. It was a year of loss and disappointment.
For some, 2010 marked the end with graduation standing as a sign of accomplishment. For others it was just the beginning as the largest freshman class on record attended its first classes in August.
Altogether, 2010 was another year full of memories for the university.
U.S. News and World Report named the university number 30 on its list of best regional universities in the western United States, but this high ranking wasn’t the only new thing about the school in 2010.
Both the softball and baseball programs were assigned fresh coaches and the teams adjusted to the change well, with winning seasons.
The Cru soccer team finished a historical year as it was ranked number 7 on a national poll but quickly dropped lower a short couple of days later.
The doctoral program presented its first students for graduation in May, and Garner Hall opened its doors for residency in August. In October university President Randy O’Rear and his family opened the doors to their just-built house and invited students in for a peek at the latest building addition on campus.
A new engineering program began in 2010. It allows students to take the majority of their classes at UMHB and transfer to Baylor University for their remaining classes — making Belton a viable destination for students seeking a career in engineering.
Downtown Belton made renovations at almost as fast a pace as the university, opening The Gin area and encouraging businesses such as Bodega Bean to settle in the historical buildings surrounding the courthouse.
Not everything about the year was new and hopeful, though. January left its unforgettable mark on the hearts of some students that call First Baptist Church Temple home. Still unknown arsonists set the sanctuary ablaze and successfully rendered many of the other buildings useless.
In September flood waters rose and drowned out all other priorities of those in the community whose homes and businesses were affected.
UMHB traveled in 2010. The feet of members of the campus journeyed in countries as far as Spain, Haiti, the Philippines, China, India, Costa Rica, England, Malaysia, Germany and Kuwait. They brought the light of Christ to the darkest places; they studied in historical and beautiful cities; they reconnected with the roots that shaped them and their families.
Various clubs and organizations on campus sponsored, built, painted and delivered playhouses to children in military families, strengthening the already close bond between the school and Fort Hood.
The administration unveiled a campus master plan with proposals for a football stadium, a new nursing building and a new student union building but with no foreseeable plans for some other older buildings.
The art department was granted permission from the state of Texas as well as the city of Belton to turn the Loop 121 overpass near campus into a masterpiece. The concrete wall, which is prone to vandalism, is their new blank canvas.
Other memorable happenings from 2010 could be expected — football advanced to playoffs in their fall season; FakeUMHB continued to entertain students by tweeting parodies of well known events and sayings on campus; missionaries entered classrooms and shared what their lives are like; and a new Cru Knight and Miss MHB were crowned.
With several highs and a few lows, the university took advantage of the year 2010 and set itself up for a strong start this new year.