Faculty spotlight: Brandon Skaggs
Mar20

Faculty spotlight: Brandon Skaggs

Dr. Brandon Skaggs strongly advocates getting involved in campus activities. This comes from someone who was very involved in his own student career. When he attended UMHB as an undergraduate, he was Student Body President in 2003 while being involved in multiple organizations. “Every student should be involved in some sort of co-curricular experience, because it just helps them develop as a person,” Skaggs said. Some of the other activities and organizations Skaggs was involved with while at UMHB included Welcome Week, Student Government Association and Campus Activities Board, as well as Stunt Night and Crusader Knights. Now Vice President of Student Life at the University of Mary Hardin- Baylor, he works hard to help students get involved on campus. “We want to provide students with an experience outside of the classroom that can help you grow as a leader, a businessman or woman, a teacher or a civic leader in whatever community God calls you to,” he said. Dr. Skaggs stays very involved himself, opening his home to students and hosting dinner parties for student organizations such as the Association of Black Students, among others. He attends and plans numerous student led events to ensure that everyone has a safe and good time. He has a lot of support behind him in this effort. “I have a wonderful family that is very supportive, my wife loves the ministry we were called to which is the Mary Hardin-Baylor students, and my kids love being up here as well. You cannot do this job without any of them; they are my biggest supporters,” Skaggs said. Graduating with a double major in Business Management and Computer Information Systems in 2003, Skaggs then went on to earn an MBA in Finance and Management from Tarleton State University and a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Dallas Baptist University. He began his career as Director of Admissions Recruitment at DBU, which led him to work as the Associate Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students at Oklahoma Baptist University before coming home to UMHB. It seems that he brought back to UMHB that involvement and inspiration he had as a leading undergraduate. “Working alongside Dr. Brandon Skaggs has been a delight. I see his desire to “work at all things as if working for the Lord,” Yvette Shackelford, Administrative Assistant to Dr. Skaggs, said. “He has an ability to bring out the best in everyone that works alongside him. It has been a complete joy and blessing to work alongside...

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Sarah Fox elected student body president
Mar20

Sarah Fox elected student body president

After a long campaign for the prestigious title of Student Body President, UMHB’s Student Government Association announced on Feb. 28 that junior public relations major Sarah Fox will be the 2019-2020 Student Body President. Fox is excited and grateful for the opportunity to serve the university as Student Body President. “I am so grateful and blessed to become the next Student Body President,” Fox said. “I am overwhelmed with emotions being chosen by the student body to represent them for the 2019-2020 school year.” With her new title, Fox plans to address many issues and important topics on campus including focusing on helping student entrepreneurs find success during their time at UMHB. “I want to work towards making sure every voice on this campus is being heard and represented,” Fox said. “I want to look into a space on campus for student entrepreneurs to grow their business and become a cool hangout on campus. I also want to promote diversity and educate people on the amazing people and cultures here at UMHB!” Fox looks forward to that work and is grateful to the people who supported her during her campaign. “I want to say thank you so much for your support, for your belief in me and for believing in the future of UMHB,” Fox said. “We are going to accomplish incredible things together!” Senior political science pre-law and speech communication double major and retiring Student Body President Tyler Baker is excited to welcome Fox as the new Student Body President. “I have known Sarah for three years now,” Baker said. “And I can say with confidence that she will be a great Student Body President. She has always been extremely enthusiastic about SGA and loves the organization. I look forward to seeing how her vision comes to life over the next year.” If you have any questions about how to get involved in SGA, visit their website at go.umhb.edu/ students/student-government/home#1845. If you have a question or concern you would like the organization to address, contact them via the “Contact Us” link on their...

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Lord Hall officially dedicated in ribbon cutting ceremony
Mar20

Lord Hall officially dedicated in ribbon cutting ceremony

This year, several freshman students have enjoyed living in Lord Hall, UMHB’s newest residence hall. On Friday, March 1, the school held a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the new building, which opened in August of 2018. Attendees gathered in front of the building to hear from various speakers and celebrate the official opening of the dorm. After the ceremony, they had the opportunity to tour the building and explore eight student rooms. Lord Hall is named after Griff and Kathy Lord, Michael and Sharon Lord Daggett, and their family members. The Lord family has contributed to several other campus buildings and facilities, including Parker Academic Center, the Paul and Jane Meyer Christian Studies Center, and the Sue and Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center. In addition, Sharon Lord Daggett established the Ida Myrtle Roberts Manning Endowed Scholarship in honor of her grandmother, who attended the school in 1905. Since the scholar- ship’s establishment in 1996, it has helped over 326 students with their finances. Sophomore special education major Katelyn Blackhurst is a recipient of the scholarship. At the ceremony, she expressed her gratitude for the impact it has had on her life. “I’m beyond thankful for the Lords and this scholarship, and the fact that this incredible building is named in their honor just makes sense,” she said. “Now, whenever I pass by, I’ll remember the blessings I’ve received thanks to them.” UMHB President Randy O’Rear personally thanked the Lord family for their generous contributions to the university. “We could not be more proud to have your name on this wonderful building,” he stated to the family members. “We love you. Our university will never be the same, thanks to your generosity, and we certainly wouldn’t be the university we are today without you.” Lord Hall is not only the newest residence hall on campus, but also the largest. The 49,614 square foot building has room for 214 students. Previously, the largest freshman dorm was McLane Hall, which holds 190 students. Lord Hall is a unique residence hall due to the fact that it houses both male and female students. The two wings are separated, but share a central lobby. The building features study rooms, computer stations and two laundry rooms on each floor. A feature unique to Lord Hall is the common room on the third floor, which is equipped with a kitchen for students to...

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UMHB’s first Psalm 139 event empowers women through Christ
Feb27

UMHB’s first Psalm 139 event empowers women through Christ

Over 150 women gathered for UMHB’s first Psalm 139 event on Saturday, Jan. 19 in Bawcom Student Union. They enjoyed fellowship and worship together at the conference, which was founded and organized by senior public relations major Sydney Stolz. “The Lord planted this seed in my heart for women’s ministry years ago, but I never would have dreamed it would grow into the Psalm 139 event,” Stolz said. The conference highlighted the message of the psalm, which reads: 13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV) Marissa Halvorsen, a sophomore psychology major who attended the event, said that “as women, we think we have to fit the mold of doing everything for everyone and pleasing everybody.” However, Halvorsen said that women already have their identity. “We have to make sure our identity is not found in our peers, parents, significant others, school work, etc.,” she said. “Our identity is in the Lord—He takes the pressure off of needing to please others, we only need to work to please Him.” According to sophomore business major and Psalm 139 committee member Eunice Michaelson, keynote speaker Merritt Johnston’s presentation emphasized the importance of coming to that realization. “She made us laugh, cry, and most importantly realize the truth about our identity in Christ,” Michaelson said. “Merritt Johnston is truly an incredible woman of God.” Johnston is a UMHB graduate who founded SAGE Ministries for girls while she was in college. Now president of the endeavor, she leads a team of volunteer chaplains at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Brenham. As she addressed students at the conference, Johnston encouraged them to find their “3:15” moment of realizing freedom, a reference to her time spent on the mission field in Germany where she visited Buchenwald, a former Nazi concentration camp. While there, Johnston was able to see what it was like to be a prisoner inside the walls of the camp and to be able to see the city around the camp – and freedom – right on the other side. She said that when prisoners were declared to be free at 3:15 p.m. on April 11, 1945, the clock stopped permanently, forever a reminder of freedom at that moment. Johnston related the story to everyone’s own personal prisons. “What is your 3:15 moment?” she asked. “What walls are separating you from your total freedom in Christ? When will you declare your freedom?” Sophomore nursing student and member of the Psalm 139 steering committee Amy Luong was deeply encouraged by Johnston’s words of encouragement. “For me, I’ve always been so focused on the future that I don’t realize that once I have Jesus Christ, my life is on track,” Luong...

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UMHB’s 10-year Transformation
Jan30

UMHB’s 10-year Transformation

If you have been on the internet or social media recently, then you have probably noticed the new trend called the “10-Year Challenge.” People are posting a photo of themselves from ten years ago next to a current photo to show how their look and personal style have evolved over time. Just like the individuals in these personal comparative photos, the UMHB campus has also seen many changes in the last 10 years. Since 2009, several new buildings have been added to campus to accommodate academics, athletics, visual and performing arts and residence life. There is also a new parking lot. The Baugh Center for the Visual Arts, named after Eula Mae and John Baugh, opened in the fall of 2012. The art department had outgrown its home in the basement of Presser Hall, creating a need for a new building solely for the visual arts. Located across the street from the Mabee Student Success Center, the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts has accommodations for all types of art, including studios for painting, drawing and ceramics, as well as computer design labs and an art gallery. The Scott and White College of Nursing at UMHB has grown substantially in the last 10 years, presenting the need for a building for all things medical.   Dedicated in 2013, the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center brought a new look to campus. Thanks to generous donations, including a leading contribution from the Paul and Jane Meyer Family Foundation, the three-story building was designed to include classrooms, offices and a simulation hospital equipped with state-of-the-art technology. One of the greatest and most recognizable additions to UMHB is Bawcom Student Union and Crusader Stadium. This two-year construction project resulted in a new main hub for student activity on campus. In Bawcom, you can find students enjoying a meal in the dining hall, studying with friends, buying supplies at the bookstore or practicing their instruments in Farris Band Hall. In addition to several offices and conference rooms, each floor has a panoramic view of Crusader Stadium. This 8,000-seat stadium was the first football field on campus, providing a permanent home field for the Cru. In 2017, a dream was turned into a reality when the first performing arts center at UMHB was opened. The Sue and Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center is outfitted with rooms used to host theater productions, ensemble performances, dance recitals and other performing arts events. The Baugh Performance Hall occupies the main portion of the building. It seats 524 audience members in front of a multipurpose performance stage equipped with an orchestra pit and accommodations for theater productions. Each year,...

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Summer break brings changes to campus

Over the summer, UMHB made some notable changes to different areas of campus, the most recognizable being the renovation of the Living Flame and the gas lines that power it. When the flame was renovated, the campus decided to relocate three plaques surrounding the flame to different areas of the school. Junior Christian studies major Ashley Boutte said that she noticed the renovations to the flame when she returned to campus. “As a junior, I had the honor of being a part of the first class to go to the newly renovated flame during welcome week. I think it looks more professional this way.” Other changes that occurred over the summer include moving the senior bell from the quad to the Musick Alumni Center and Museum, as well as the renovation of Presser Hall’s first and second floors. Tyler Baker, a senior political science and speech communication double major and UMHB Student Body President, said he was pleased with the changes. “I think it was a good idea. I was pleased that it is now all concrete around the flame and I think it represents UMHB well,” Baker said. “Moving the senior bell to the alumni museum makes more sense because that is where we will all end up. It is a way to connect seniors with the alumni community.” Dr. Steve Theodore is the Senior Vice President for Administration and Chief Operating Officer of UMHB, and he oversaw all of these projects. “We did everything with the students’ interests in mind,” he said. Dr. Theodore says that there are a few more projects in the works. One that is already in action is the expansion and rebuilding of the parking lot in front of Davidson Hall. The new parking lot should be finished by mid-September. The school also plans to complete an addition to Hardy Hall by next fall. Then, the Mabee Market on the first floor of the Mabee Student Success Center will be moved into Hardy Hall along with a new Moe’s Grill. The previous location of the Mabee Market will then be converted into an Einstein Bros. bagels, providing another dining...

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