UMHB BSM and Burt Hall celebrate 100 anniversaries

Former BSM director Tom Hearon receives a gift from the BSM with his wife Bonnie Hearon. Another former BSM director, Shawn Shannon, stands in the background with a gift. Photo by Adrian Matthews.

By Cole Garner

Both Burt Hall and the Baptist Student Ministry celebrated their 100th year in mid-October 2020.

A sign and balloons help celebrate Burt Hall’s 100 years. Over 20,000 young women have lived in Burt Hall over the last 100 years. Photo courtesy of Burt Hall.

For the BSM, music played as students gathered to play games like cornhole, spike ball, and football on the Quad.  The socially-distanced party on Tuesday, Sept.13 exercised safety precautions needed during this pandemic as students enjoyed pre-packaged food and drinks (to make sure they were not touched by anyone other than the person who planned to eat or drink the food).

One hundred years ago, the UMHB Baptist Student Ministry first gathered together as the Baptist Student Union, before its name was changed, along with its mission to be more ministry based.

Burt Hall.

The party had a special guest, Shawn Shannon, the previous UMHB BSM director. She worked for the BSM for 15 years, so she is considered to be an important figure in BSM’s 100-year history on campus.  Shannon dedicated her speech to the things that last and interacted with the audience by giving them the chance to answer: What four things last in life? Together, everyone came up with the answer that she was looking for, which up being “God, the souls of people, the will of God and the Word of God.”

Gettys Hall Resident Director Eric Moore looks into the case in Burt Hall that commemorates the halls’ 100th anniversary. Photo courtesy of Burt Hall.

After Shannon’s speech, the BSM lead team’s member Daniel Richardson handed a gift to present BSM director Daniel McAfee. The gift featured a thank you card from the lead team, which included seniors Adrian Matthews, Bethany Vassar, Katya Jimenez, junior Jared Poe, and sophomores Audrey Moseley, Daniel Richardson and Cole Garner. The gift basket also included gummy bears and beef jerky.

At Burt Hall on Thursday, Oct. 15, students gathered for the unveiling of a showcase in the lobby of Burt Hall by President Randy O’Rear and his wife Julie.  The party moved onto the Quad for activities that included music, games and refreshments.

Shawn Shannon speaks at the 100th anniversary of the BSM.

Some interesting artifacts in the case from the last 100 years at Burt Hall included some old photographs of young women on the phone, sitting in the lobby in long dresses, and lined up in front of the dorm for a group photo.

Information next to the photo of R.E. Burt shows that he was the mayor of Dallas. He and his wife “Mamie” were involved in missions and contributed well to their community’s organizations, and gave nearly $125,000 for the dormitory in 1920.

Two roommates sit outside Burt Hall in 1940.
Students wrote reasons why they love the BSM on a chalkboard on the Quad.

The showcase also includes some rules for the residents in 1920 when the dorm was built. Some of these rules and regulations were that residents woke up every morning at 6:30 a.m. when a bell rang for breakfast in the dining room. Ragtime music was only allowed on Saturday nights, and only one trip to town per week was allowed, as long as it was chaperoned. Curfew was at 9:30 p.m.

Morgan Ross (right)and Malia Moore (center) write on the BSM’s “100 reasons why we love the BSM” board at the BSM party as Alyssa Mendoza waits (left).
Lauren Chessir, center foreground, and  Angela Bowers, at center background, check out t-shirts offered at the BSM’s 100th celebration. Jalila Foster, second from right, and Roise Spangler, at right, offer the shirts.
UMHB President Dr. Randy O’Rear and his wife Julie O’Rear conducted a surprise unveiling of a display case given by the Alumni Office that displays mementos of Burt Hall over the past 100 years. The case includes receipt books and letters written by parents to the resident directors in the earlier 1900s, and several photos of important figures involved with Burt Hall. Photo courtesy of Burt Hall

Author: Cole Garner

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