Campus president takes on flag football
Sep28

Campus president takes on flag football

Uniformed in their “Check out my O’Rear” T-shirts, they put flag belts around their waists, tie their shoes, do some stretches and say a little prayer before heading onto the intramural field. The duo’s fellow teammates are already there, throwing the football around and going over plays. Bottom line, the rumors are true. Presidents and their wives really do play flag football. University President Randy O’Rear and first lady Julie O’Rear carry the namesake of an intramural flag football team. The team name, The O’Rears, was decided on by a group of sophomores. Evan Mullins, co-captain and sophomore math education major anticipated asking O’Rear to be a part of the team, but one day finally got the courage to ask. “We were in Hardy during the first week of school, and as I went to leave, he came up behind me,” Mullins said. “So I asked him if he’d like to be on our team.” After discussing the matter, O’Rear said yes, but only if he could be the quarterback. “It wasn’t a hard fight to get him there,” Mullins said. “I said, ‘deal’.” Last year, the freshman class came up with the idea to support Haiti relief. Mullins was a brain in the making and selling T-shirts. This was the start of a special bond. “They were the freshman class when we became the president and first lady,” O’Rear said. “Their team name is the O’Rears so I thought, ‘we’ll play,’ and if we’re free to play, then we’re going to go.” He is honored the students feel comfortable enough to interact and joke around with him and his wife. “Those relationships are why Julie and I have dedicated our lives, so to speak, to this calling, and this work is to try and make an impact on our students’ lives,” O’Rear said. “It’s hard to do that if you never associate with them or engage in activities with them.” Sophomore social work major Cameron Prenger is one of the few females on the team. “It all started with the idea to just have Dr. O’Rear on your roster for fun .… So the next thing you know we were having practices with him and his wife,” Prenger said. “Both have proven their amazing skills.” Prenger knows her teammates from being in previous campus activities together such as Stunt Night and playing on a softball intramurals team. This year, the group wanted to create a team filled with friends. “Our games are a blast,” Prenger said. “We have so much fun during half time just goofing off, but the best part is being able to tell people that...

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Student body president pushes peers to reach out, think of others

By Tommy Wilson Student Body President Welcome back to another exciting year at UMHB. For all the new freshmen and transfer students we are glad to have you with us this year. Many of you have had great summer experiences, and have seen and done some amazing things. Yet there is nothing like the feeling of coming home. I hope that the more time you spend here, the more it begins to feel like a place where you belong. I pray the relationships you build will last far beyond the four, five or seven years you spend here. This place is not just another chapter in your life, but one that will set the tone for chapters that will come after it. This is my second year to serve as the student body president, and I consider it my highest honor that you would trust me with this opportunity to serve you and our campus in this way. Last year we saw some truly amazing things happen on our campus and around our world through the influence God allowed us to have. Our student athletes were a bright light among the teams in our Division 3 conference; winning and achieving great victories around our nation. Student led events like Stunt Night, Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor and Homecoming, to name a few, brought our campus together to celebrate the exciting heritage and honorable traditions we had for many years. There was a great call that our students heard from around the community and world to go and serve. Many went on different mission trips, served in local food pantries, and the campus as a whole responded to the needs of Haiti after the earthquake. What a truly exciting and challenging year it was. Now we are at the place where we have a chance to start anew. Last year I challenged myself and you to live a life that is community focused. This year I am asking you the same thing, but to take it a step further. I ask you to live with not just a community focus but a relational focus. Ask yourselves, “What can I do to help my fellow students?” “How can I get to know my roommate/classmate/professor more?” “How can I make myself more available and approachable so that people can get to know who I am?” This does not happen overnight but over time. My goal as your president is not just to affect our different events and practices on campus, but to affect our culture. I want to help guide us toward using our abilities and education to reach out and positively affect the...

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Keeping campus classy
Aug24

Keeping campus classy

Expect the scent of freshly cut grass to fill the air every Wednesday. The maintenance staff provides UMHB grounds with proper grooming and landscaping to make a walk to class enjoyable. Senior interdisciplinary studies major Travis Bice is a student worker for facility services. He took the position that entails landscaping because it “just fit my style.” Bice grew up working outdoors and enjoys being part of changing the look of campus. “The coolest project I got to participate in was converting Dr. Bawcom’s presidential house into what is now the alumni museum,” he said. “The outside landscape took a complete turnaround.” Working with about 10 other men, Bice says there is something new to learn every day. “The guys in charge are awesome to work with,” he said. “They are patient and fun to be around… They help pass time while picking weeds in 105-degree weather.” The work of the maintenance staff does not go unrecognized. “One of the reasons I love UMHB so much is the fact that it is such a beautiful campus,” senior Christian ministry major Brianna Edwards said. “I love being outdoors, so getting to go outside and sit under a tree to read is great.” Edwards is aware of all the work that goes in to keeping campus classy. “I don’t know if everybody knows this, but maintenance replaces the flower beds about once a month so our campus can look pristine,” she said, “We see the fruits of their labor.” She believes because of the maintenance staff, UMHB is “the most beautiful campus ever.” Edwards is head resident assistant for Independence Village and participated with other RAs in writing thank you letters to the maintenance staff this past week. “The maintenance guys actually sent out an e-mail saying ‘thanks’ back,” she said. Vice President of Student Life Dr. Byron Weathersbee highly recommends that students say a ‘thank you’ to UMHB staff. “The reason we have such incredibly beautiful grounds is because of the many, many behind -the-scenes hours that go on,” he said. The university hosted a youth camp this summer, and the maintenance people’s hard work was not taken for granted. “Our staff did such a great job in the dining hall that the camp brought them out, gave them a standing ovation and I got to watch our staff literally have tears in their eyes because they were so appreciated,” Weathersbee said. When going off campus, it is evident small details, in something as simple as grass, make a big difference in the overall make up of the grounds. “You see parts, and it’s hot… yet here, it’s an oasis....

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NCAA honors all season

The athletic department is known for achieving greatness, and that was  accomplished last year when the university had four sports teams reach NCAA play. The football team, men’s soccer, men’s basketball and women’s number one pair in doubles tennis all went to compete nationally for the Cru. Last year many firsts happened within the athletic program. Not only did the Cru send 10 teams to the ASC tournament, but UMHB was honored to host the first round of the NCAA for two different sports, men’s soccer and men’s basketball. This was the first time in Crusader history for either team to host. The university sports information director, Jon Wallin, has seen the athletic department win many.  The key to the program’s success is the coach and player commitment. “I have seen so much growth in our athletic programs in my time here,”Wallin said. “We were just making the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division III at that time, so I kind of feel like I was in on the ground floor. We have accomplished so many ‘firsts’ since then.” For the first time in the program history, the men’s soccer team won the ASC tournament. Following this first, UMHB was selected to host the first round of the NCAA men’s soccer tournament. “I think the university does a tremendous job of supporting our athletic department.  We have great leadership with vision and expectations,” head men’s soccer coach Brad Bankhead said. Bankhead believes that winning the ASC and hosting a round of the NCAA was a great building block for the team and that the new season has to improve from that. Ultimately, he wants to get the team back to the NCAA. “I am hoping the guys I bring in will work together, become a team, and overcome.  If these things all happen, then we will be playing in the NCAA Tournament,” Bankhead said. One of the sports programs that’s familiar with success is the football team. Picked to win its fifth straight ASC championship title, the Crusader football team is still trying to claim that goal of going to Salem, Va. to win the Stagg Bowl, the championship game for the D3 football program. Defensive Back, Cody Harvey, has played for the football team for two seasons and is happy to be a part of a sports program that does so much. “We are hoping for a big season and our goals are high. Our goal is to be in Salem in December, and we won’t settle for anything less,” Harvey said. Wallin thinks that the foundation of the athletic department’s continual success is not only the experience...

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Gaffney duo designs custom shirts
Apr13

Gaffney duo designs custom shirts

By Anna Jauregui Two brothers tired of the same recycled designs that can be seen all over campus decided to create a clothing line that they could call their own. Their work has paid off as they are now negotiating a show with a major department store. Junior visual communication major, Casey Gaffney, and alum Justin Gaffney are co-founders of GunSmoke. It is a clothing line that can only be described as one of a kind because of both the designers and how the line came about. “My brother and I want to start a cigar lounge and gun range but we needed money to fund everything,” Casey said. “We both like graphic tees, and I being an art major led to the idea of creating our own line of shirts and hats.” The brothers recently met with Nordstrom. A trunk show and live demonstration at their store in North East or Stonbriar Mall in Dallas is in the works. The combination of both of their business ideas led to the birth of the brand. GunSmoke started in 2007 with only two designs and no Web site. Now, the line has about 30 designs and a brand new site. Visitors can purchase the different graphic T-shirts, look over information about how GunSmoke came to be and listen to music while they browse the site. Former UMHB student Taylor Gaffney helps her brothers market the line on their Web site, and both brothers work on producing and designing the merchandise. “GunSmoke clothing is done from an artist’s eyes , meaning (Casey) is not afraid to make a statement or try something new,” she said Art professor John Hancock has been influential in the broad view that Gaffney expresses through his design. Hancock describes Casey’s work as creative, hard working, thoughtful and determined. “Casey is a fast learner. (He) isn’t afraid of making a mistake and learns from them. He’s willing to roll up his sleeves and get dirty and try things,” Hancock said. Gaffney characterizes GunSmoke in one word — unique. “You have the option to buy a custom shirt. Since the dye is made and put on by hand and the design is printed manually, this allows the shirts to come out a little different each time,” he said. Casey and his brother are always looking for ways to get GunSmoke out to the public. Their clothing was published in a California based magazine, University Link Magazine, in the fashion section. They also attended a clothing trade show called M.A.G.I.C in Las Vegas where they met many people and buyers for their clothing. The two brothers are looking at...

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Survivor champions right to life
Nov24

Survivor champions right to life

On the night of Aug. 29, 1977, Melissa Ohden’s mother was having an abortion at St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. Over one billion babies have been aborted since the 1970s, but Ohden is one of eight known babies to survive the experience. Her biological mother had a saline infusion abortion. This procedure was common in the ’70s, but is no longer performed. “The doctor takes out amniotic fluid from the womb and inserts a salt solution to burn the unborn baby from the outside to the inside,” Ohden said. “My mother was then induced to have labor, and I was delivered.” When Ohden was born, her two-pound body was supposed to be dead. After a few seconds, she began to make small, grunting sounds and demonstrated noticeable movement. Even though the medical staff was not required to care for the barely alive baby, the staff transferred her to another hospital and checked her into neonatal care. Carefully observed by nurses, the baby girl continued to grow stronger. On Oct. 17, 1977, Ohden was adopted. Doctors warned her new parents that she could have mental and physical disabilities from the attempted abortion. The family welcomed her with open arms, and when she was 5 years old doctors assured the family that she was going to be healthy. “I grew up in a loving home , ” Ohden said. “My parents did not tell me I had been adopted until I was 14 years old. My older sister had become pregnant , and my parents told her about my abortion survival. That was the way the Lord intended me to find out.” Ohden had support from her family but said she felt angry, confused, sad and scared after discovering her true past. “I began to feel guilty for those emotions because it was a miracle that I was even alive,” she said. University chaplain Dr. George Loutherback heard about Ohden’s amazing story and invited her to speak on campus. On Nov. 11 she shared her testimony with students during chapel. Sophomore nursing major Ashley Filippuzzi is vice president of Cru 4 Life, a UMHB group dedicated to the pro-life movement. “I am greatly appreciative of Melissa coming to speak with us,” she said. “I hope students are more aware now on the issue of abortion.” Sophomore elementary education major Amanda Willey is also an advocate for pro-life. “I hope that people heard her story and see how abortion affects so many lives, not just the woman having the abortion,” she said. “We have a responsibility to speak out about the abortion.” Ohden said she has lived an “amazingly wonderful...

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