Black History Month-themed writing contest first for UMHB
Jan25

Black History Month-themed writing contest first for UMHB

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Oprah Winfrey, Langston Hughes, Barack Obama, and many others. Every individual has a unique story that is woven into the dynamic history of hardships and triumphs of the black community. Each year, the United States honors the black community and their achievements during the month of February. According to history.com, every U.S. president has set aside February as Black History Month since President Ford in 1976. This year, Humanities professors Dr. Janene Lewis and Dr. Nathaniel Hansen hosted the First Annual Black History Month Writing Contest for UMHB students. Because this was the first year, the only requirements for the contest were that the entries had to be unpublished and able to be read aloud in under 15 minutes. Students could turn in entries to Dr. Hansen until Tues. Jan. 17. The winners of this contest will have the opportunity to present their work at the Windhover Writer’s Festival on Feb. 15-17. “One of the cool things about this contest is that the top three or four entries will have a spot on a panel at the Windhover Writer’s Festival,” Lewis said. “We have people come from across the country to the writer’s festival, so it’s a good time for student writers to get their voice out there.” Although there was not a specific writing topic for the contest, Dr. Lewis suggested that entrants write about faith and its role in African-American culture since this is a predominate theme at the festival. Lewis and Dr. Hansen created this contest to spark conversations about a month that can sometimes be overlooked. “We don’t do much with Black History month,” Lewis said. “This is a small way to start that conversation.”. Junior english major Guillermo Lopez chose to submit two pieces of poetry to express his views on racial equality not only for African-Americans but all races. “I entered this contest because I wanted to express my understanding of what I believe Black History Month signifies: equality despite racial status.” Lewis believes that honoring Black History Month is important because it is important to not let a topic such as race divide a country. “Black History Month commemorates numerous leaders who clarified the position African-American citizens had in the States. These leaders stood and fought for beliefs that gave African-American citizens a chance to be equal through all aspects of life,” he said. “Though the focus was on the integration of African-Americans, other minorities could also learn from this. I think the importance in writing about Black History Month focuses on reminding...

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‘Fred’ named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year
Jan25

‘Fred’ named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells The 2016 season was an amazing year for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team by all accounts. The team achieved a 15-0 record, won its seventh consecutive American Southwest Conference (ASC) title and its first ever NCAA national championship. The team also boasted three American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-Americans and 17 on ASC All-Academic teams. The man behind this success is head coach Pete Fredenburg. As the program reached new heights this season, so too did Fredenburg as he was named the 2016 AFCA National Coach of the Year for NCAA Division III. This is the first time for him to receive this honor in his 19 years as the only coach in the history of the UMHB football program. Though, looking at his track record over that illustrious career, you would never guess that this was his first coach of the year award. During his time coaching for the Cru, the program has had an astounding 196-38 record. The program has also manufactured 14 ASC Championships, 16 AFCA All-Americans and 15 ASC Player of the Year awards, including 2016 Offensive Player of the Year Blake Jackson and Defensive Player of the Year Teidrick Smith. “It is an incredible honor,” Fredenburg said, “And the special thing about it is all of the people that it encompasses.” Although Fredenburg has all of the numbers normally associated with a great coach, it is the relationship with his players that is the true measure of the coach. His players reflect a uniform sense of family and respect, both toward each other and toward him as a coach and an overall leader—a leader known affectionately as “Fred” by his players. And they have nothing but nice things to say about him. “I think it’s been a long time coming for him,” sophomore receiver T.J. Josey said about Fredenburg. “The way he is able to mold young guys into men during the time we are playing for him is impeccable. He is a great coach on the field as we all know, but the relationship he builds with his players off the field is what really makes him the best coach I have ever had. I would just like to say congrats to him and hopefully this is the first of many.” Senior receiver Wykeyhe Walker said is very happy for his beloved coach. Walker spoke about how the closeness of the team was the reason for the ability to finally clear the hurdle of winning a national championship. “There have been better teams, but there has not been a closer team...

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CAE’s finals frenzy prepares students for difficult finals

Published in the December 7, 2016 issue of The Bells Finals Frenzy, an event hosted by the Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) and the Writing Center on the second floor of the Mabee Student Success Center. Finals Frenzy happened Thursday, Dec. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. Throughout the night the CAE and the Writing Center offered students various resources for free. Some of the resources they offered included free tutoring for basic subjects like anatomy and physiology and writing. This was a resource that was heavily used by students. Especially at this point in the semester, when it is crunch time. The CAE’s mission is to assist students in pursuing academic excellence in a Christ-centered learning community while valuing them as individuals, and this event falls in line with this focus. Finals Frenzy is co-hosted with the Writing Center. The center offers help with basic writing skills and assistance in writing term papers. “Finals Frenzy is a way to prepare students for what they might see on their finals, and to get them in the mentality of working hard,” sophomore English and history double major and writing tutor said. Cade organized the writing center’s portion of the event by creating the various stations that students participated in during the event. Along with time spent with tutors and in learning stations, the event also included the gift basket giveaway. The basket included scantrons, pencils, Nutri-grain bars, pretzels, chocolate—and of course, coffee. They also offered free scantrons, blue books, pencils, food and giveaways all throughout the night. Cade said the Finals Frenzy isn’t just helpful academically but also financially. Between the late nights studying and the late night meals that accompany it, being able to save a few dollars on testing supplies goes a long way. Like most huge study events, it would not be complete without food. So throughout the night as students study, students also stuffed their mouths. Students entered to be a part of Finals Frenzy by swiping in. When students attended the event and swipeed in, they were entered into a drawing. The prizes for the drawing will be given away all thoughout finals week. These are just a few things that the CAE and the Writing Center have to offer. Find out how else the center can help your academic achievement, visit...

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Weathersbee departs from UMHB: Director of Student Life makes difference during time at university

Published in the December 7, 2016 issue of The Bells Earlier this fall, Dr. Byron Weathersbee, Vice President of Student Life, announced his departure from the university following the end of the semester. Weathersbee and his wife, Carla, have accepted positions at Summer’s Mill Retreat Conference Center in Belton. “This place has been incredible,” Weathersbee said. “We have mixed emotions. We’re excited about what we’re going to do, but yet…we will greatly miss the students and the student interaction; no question.” Weathersbee, affectionally referred to as Dr. B, has served at the university since the fall of 2009. During his tenure at the university, he has seen and helped implement many changes on campus. “It’s been a phenomenal time to be a part of UMHB’s history,” he said. “When we came here in 2009, it was before we built these $100 million worth of facilities, so we’ve gotten to see those facilities being built. I’ve really been riding on the coattails on some phenomenal leaders.” Weathersbee spends his time working with the deans and directors of campus recreation, spiritual life, student organizations, campus activities, intramurals, career services, the health center, and judicial affairs to make sure that students are receiving everything they need during their college experience. “One of the things that UMHB does so well, and what drew me to this place, is that we’re very student friendly,” he said. “Students are the very centerpiece of what we do… I hope that we’ve been able to have an impact on seeing that happen.” The Student Life division has had several notable accomplishments under the leadership of Weathersbee. In the past 7 plus years, Student Life has established new Game Day traditions/events such as the CRUise, the Cru Spirit Dance, Welcome Weeks’s Spirit and Traditions rally. They also created a Network of Christian Minsters, which evolved into “ONE.” The divison also helped usher in Sodexo’s transition to Bawcom Student Union, as well as, helped oversee changes in various programs such as Stunt Night, Family Weekend, Miss MHB Pageant, and others. Junior history major Danny Kown works closely with Dr. Weathersbee due to his involvement with Student Government Association. Weathersbee works diligently with the SGA to decide on important issues that will affect the student body. “Dr. B has really helped me grow as a leader,” Kown said. “Being in Student Government for the past two years and really getting to help serve alongside Dr. B has been nothing short of a blessing. I hope that wherever he goes in life it will serve him well.” Kown fondly remembers the time Dr. Weathersbee helped him film a parody video of...

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Campus crowns Miss MHB 2017

Published in the November 16, 2016 issue of The Bells A crowd of parents and students sat anxiously Saturday evening in Walton Chapel, waiting to see who would become Miss MHB 2017. As a hush fell over the spectators, Miss United Way, Bridgit Sillman, was announced as the competition’s winner. After the announcement, the junior education major’s fellow contestants ran to hug the newly-crowned pageant queen and celebrate her victory. “It still doesn’t quite feel real,” Sillman said. “My com group leader texted me that night and asked how do you feel, and my response was exhausted but also wide awake, overwhelmed but also really calm, still pretty sure it’s all a dream. That’s kind of still how I’m feeling, it doesn’t feel real.” Despite her dream-like state, the new Miss MHB wowed the audience and the judges with her emotional performance of “Fight Song,” in American Sign Language. Sillman has always had a passion for the language and children with special needs, especially those who suffer from emotional disorders like her brother. “I see my platform as more community-based versus campus-based because it affects more people in the community then it does on campus,” she said. “I am a firm believer in early intervention, for all special education. The sooner you’re able to implement behavioral modification, the better.” Sillman also believes helping children and other community members who suffer from such disorders will not only help these people, but it will also help to erase the stigma associated with emotional issues. While the education major is eager to start work on her platform, she is still reveling in the experience that was pageant and the friendships she made along the way. “It was really hard because those friendships didn’t come until the end for me, but throughout the last few weeks we were able to open up and be transparent about how this all was affecting us,” she said. “We all sacrificed so much to do this, it wasn’t just a piece of cake. Being transparent was really something that I learned throughout this entire experience.” Sophomore journalism major, Felicia Suominen, who represented Gettys Hall, echoed Sillman’s feelings about the sisterhood that arose from the shared pageant experience, and said she also learned a lot about herself. The Miss MHB Pageant has become a highly-anticipated event each year not only because it is entertaining, but because it portrays the women of the university in a positive light. The contestants are not only celebrated for their outer beauty, but for their inner beauty as well. Hundreds turned out for the last night of competition to see the crowning and...

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Famous football alum comes home for honor
Oct26

Famous football alum comes home for honor

Published in the Oct. 26, 2016 issue Six years after the birth of the Crusader football team, a special player joined the team in 2004. His name — Jerrell Freeman. Freeman now plays for the Chicago Bears and has years of success following his time at UMHB. Because of his success, the university retired Freeman’s jersey and number during the homecoming showdown against Hardin Simmons Saturday. Head Football Coach Pete Fredenburg presented Freeman with a framed replica of his jersey midfield during halftime. Joining Coach Fredenburg and Freeman were President Randy O’Rear, his wife Julie, Freeman’s mother and father, and Cru Vice President of Athletics Randy Mann. Freeman’s nieces and brother unveiled a marker located in the south end zone bearing a number 8, a few of his athletic accomplishments, and his last name. This permanent marker will remain in Crusader Stadium as a reminder for past players and as a motivator for future players. To celebrate the retiring of the jersey, the first 3,000 people who walked through the gates Saturday received a commemorative T-shirt with Freeman’s name and number. Freeman played varsity ball for the Cru for four years, and he helped lead the Cru to their first post-season win in 2004. He also became the first American Southwest Conference player to be named a National Player of the Year when d3football.com voted him National Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. The American Southwest Conference named him Male Athlete of the Year in 2007-08. He also became the university’s leader in tackles. Following his Cru football career, Freeman signed with the Tennessee Titans. He went on to play for the Canadian Football League team, the Saskatatchewan Roughriders, where he was named an All-Star. Three years later he would sign with the Indianapolis Colts, where he led the team in tackles for two seasons. Currently, Freeman plays for the Chicago Bears where he leads in tackles in his league. When Freeman came to UMHB to play ball, he never would have imagined how far he would come. “I just came here [UMHB] because I love the game,” Freeman said. “I just wanted to be the best player that I could be, and it has allowed me to be who I am today.” Freeman officially became a UMHB grad in 2003 when inbetween a football season he finished his degree in criminal justice. No other football player has ever been honored in such a way, and according to Vice President for Communications and Special Projects Dr. Paula Tanner, the decision to honor him this way was made by the coaching staff and members of the upper level administration....

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