Famed architect to build new stadium
Apr12

Famed architect to build new stadium

If all goes as planned, come fall 2013, the Cru football team will play in its own stadium, their first game actually played on campus after 15 years of having the program. The university announced March 27 that the premier firm in sports architecture, Populous, has been hired to design a football stadium for the campus. The architectural firm is well known in the sports world, having designed Yankee Stadium, Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, Reliant Stadium and the new Dynamo Stadium. The firm has had its share in the collegiate world too, working with more than 120 colleges and across the country. President Randy O’Rear thinks the timing is good. “It’s time to play football in our own stadium on our own campus,” he said. Head Coach Pete Fredenberg is excited about the plans, which the program has wanted for years. “We’ve always kind of thought the stadium would be cool in this area, but when you put the stadium with the student union building and see that venue,  you just realize that is really a special idea and special concept,” he said. O’Rear said the university informally considered other firms but decided to use Populous at the recommendation of friend of the university and owner of the Houston Astros Drayton McLane, Jr. The lead architect for the project will be Earl Santee. He has a 26-year career with the firm and is recognized as one of the most experienced sports designers in the world. Fredenberg had the opportunity to meet with Santee and was impressed. “You immediately realize he is very astute and has great experience in dealing with all the different nuances of putting together a stadium,” he said. In a statement released by the university, Santee said, “This distinctive project will merge student life and sports into an authentic experience in the heart of the campus. It’s more than just a football stadium – it’s redefining an entire campus community.” Fredenberg believes Santee brings life to the plans. “He actually almost makes it come alive. He wants his buildings to make a statement, to leave every person that has been to the stadium with an impression. That is what separates him from just building a stadium,” he said. The venue will be built in conjunction with a new student union building near the center of campus on University Drive. O’Rear said the university is moving forward with several projects simultaneously because of the design of the new master plan. “We view the football stadium and the new student union building more like they are one facility/building instead of two …. We are moving forward with...

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Men’s basketball makes history
Mar29

Men’s basketball makes history

The men’s basketball team has advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championships four times in the last five seasons, but this season they set a new record making it to the Sweet 16 for the first time. The team finished 20th in the country in the D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll  with a 23-8 season falling to Augustana  College 70-57. Senior management major and guard Dean Pele had higher expectations for the season but thinks just making it to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history was impressive. “It was a really good season overall. Definitely not the record we had hoped for to start but the end result was just as good,” he said. After the team’s trip to Abilene where they went 0-2, Pele said he thought there was not much hope left. “To really come together and run off the wins we did not only to get into the tourney, but to advance a few games was really special and will not be forgotten,” he said. Head Coach for the Cru, Ken DeWeese considers the season successful despite its ups and downs. “I respect each team member greatly, as men and as student-athletes for facing adversity and experiencing triumph,” he said. The team was able to meet his expectations. “We lost in the conference (ASC) tournament finals. That was disappointing, but for the guys to put things back together for the NCAA tournament and get to the third round was extremely gratifying,” he said. DeWeese said shooting was an upset for the team and is something to be worked on for the 2010-11 season. “We had games that we did not shoot the ball well in, as evidenced by the Sweet 16 loss to Augustana. We need to shoot the ball better as a team, and I am rarely satisfied with our team defense,” he said. DeWeese believes the players picked up a lot, but will have to work hard again next year. He said, “We must guard against the feeling of entitlement next year.  This past year’s success was hard fought. Next year the fight starts all over again, regardless of what we did.” Junior business major and  guard Sterling Phillips thinks the team could have won it all but is still happy. “The season was a successful one …. We played hard together, and the results show,” he said. The team will lose only two seniors, and Phillips is positive about the future. He said, “Next season—I’ll just say it.—I expect to win a national...

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Vinyl records making a musical comeback
Mar29

Vinyl records making a musical comeback

Nielsen SoundScan revealed that album sales dropped 12.8 percent last year in the U.S. To make matters worse, sales of individual digital tracks increased by 1 percent. It’s no wonder industry    executives are starting to  worry. Their saving grace may just be as simple as going back in time—to vinyl records, that is. According to Rolling Stone magazine vinyl record sales increased 14 percent last year over the previous year. Keep in mind these sales are only a small part of overall music sales, but the truth is, vinyl is coming back. Amazon has been quick to catch on, now boasting 250,000 LPs. Some wonder how this trend will catch on again, especially with the younger generation. Its popularity and marketing will stem from the real and authentic feel it brings music fans—like movie lovers going to the theater. Senior nursing major Ellen O’Meara enjoys listening to vinyl despite not having her own gramophone. “I do not have my own record player. I have been saving up to purchase a vintage player of my own and hopefully will sometime in the near future,” she said. O’Meara likes to add to her collection. “Every time I am in an antique or thrift store, I snag a  record to add to my collection,” she said. O’Meara believes vinyl is coming back and for good reasons. “I think people are realizing that technology has taken a bit of the fun out of listening to music. There is an art to be preserved with vinyl records …. It’s not as easy or quick … but it forces you to slow down and enjoy the experience of music,” she said. Not only is it the look and size that attracts the younger generation to vinyl records, but also the sound quality. “Many people these days are also beginning to appreciate how vinyl sounds different than what we are used  to hearing,” she said. “I think a scratchy old vinyl with a little distortion adds character to the music it plays.” Many students on campus are jumping on the record band wagon. Junior Business major Kendall Doles also believes vinyl has a future. “I think it is something that could definitely catch on again, especially since they usually give you the album you buy digitally along with your vinyl,” he said. He bought his first vinyl after getting a record player and now has about 20 records. “I really like the crackling in between songs,” he said. “I’ve always thought records were cool, I mean DJs use them. How can they not be?” O’Meara is unsure how vinyl will affect the music business. She said, “I don’t...

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Missionaries reflect on revolutions
Mar08

Missionaries reflect on revolutions

What started as anti-government movements in Tunisia in December has now spread to Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt and Sudan. Through protests and Facebook campaigns, citizens have stood against their governments recently in Iraq, Bahrain, Iran and Libya. Shockingly these democratic revolutions have nothing to do with the U.S. military. Missionary Shawn Billings* has worked with people from Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt as a church planter. Like most, he is unsure of the future. “Honestly, no one knows what all results this will bring.  Those who put their trust in democracy will be sorely disappointed though.  If democracy is a rule by the people, and the people support putting Sharia, or Islamic law, as their government, then at best one will have free elections that could only vote (for) radical Muslims,” Billings said. He thinks there is still a chance for change. “The only hope for the people in the region is for God to intervene and bring revival to His church.  The church must wake up and cry out to God for change of hearts, both for Muslims and the Christians themselves in the region.  Only God can install the good leaders that these countries need because only God can perform miracles,” he said. One missionary in the Middle East, who asked to remain anonymous, recognized the influence of Christians as a catalyst in Egypt. “One of the things that has been kind of lost in all of the revolutions is the fact that in Egypt it all started with Coptic Christians, who stood up to the police,” he said. “After they stood up to them they were joined by their Muslim neighbors. I know that they wanted Democratic freedoms but it started with an injustice against the minority religious group. … I don’t think that the region is as divided as the media portrays it.” Kent Parks, head of Mission to Unreached Peoples, is currently traveling in southeast Asia leading meetings and a Church Planting Movement training. He said the contact they have with workers from various regions means they need to be prepared as people move to Christ. “Many of us around the world have begun to be impressed by the Lord that when Jesus teaches in Matthew 24 about the growing crescendo of crises and tragedies (earthquakes, wars, etc.), he concludes that section by saying in verse 14 ‘and this good news of the Kingdom will be proclaimed.’ He does not say ‘but’ or ‘in spite of.’  He says ‘and’,” Parks said. The tragedies, driven by evil, bring good. “God will bring good out of evil by opening these places to the Gospel in ways that have...

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Argus-Eyed Zarf: ’60s coffee house
Mar08

Argus-Eyed Zarf: ’60s coffee house

The walls in Burt basement have a lot to say. Down from her home in Anchorage, Alaska, alumna Wendy Withrow recently visited the old hangout and coffee house she started in the late 1960s. UMHB Museum Curator Betty Sue Beebe enjoyed meeting Withrow. “Her energy and spirit of adventure are contagious.  It is easy to see how she would have initiated such a thing as the coffee house in her student days,” Beebe said. As a sophomore, Withrow met some locals who played guitar. She and her new friends were unhappy they didn’t have a place to play folk music. “There was nothing to do on campus. There was no student center. If you didn’t have a date, there was no place to go unless you wanted to go to the gym,” she said. Withrow took the issue up with the president at the time — Leonard L. Holloway. She told him that students needed something to do, and she wanted to open a coffee house. Holloway said he would think about it, and Withrow took it as a no. A couple of weeks later, he told her to look at a room in the basement of Burt with an outside entrance by the trash chute. Despite the cluttered interior and dirt floor, Withrow thought it was great. Her sister Madeline Hoherd, who attended Baylor at the time, came down one weekend, and the two cleaned out the room. Hoherd said the idea from her sister did not surprise her. “Wendy and I had grown up on the west coast (mostly in the San Francisco Bay area and Seattle), and we missed its folk music and coffee house culture …. It seemed natural for her to want a venue where she and other folk musicians could gather,” she said. After Christmas break, Withrow returned to a new room. “They (maintenance) had spray painted the whole room white. It was kind of nice because it played down all the duct work in the ceiling, but it also made it look like a hospital, which was not exactly the ambience I wanted for a coffee shop,” she said. To spice up the walls and provide character Withrow got creative. “I bought poster paint and paintbrushes so people could paint on the walls so it wouldn’t be so white and pristine,” she said. Hoherd painted sayings on the walls along with her signature blue flowers. In one spot it says, “Can you find all 13?” The comments and drawings remain even today. The name for the hangout took involved research. “I decided I had to give the coffee house a really cool...

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