Student amputee shares personal struggles and accomplishments
Apr11

Student amputee shares personal struggles and accomplishments

Emily Parker describes her life beginning after her surgery to remove her leg. She described her childhood as always being in pain, never being able to keep up with her classmates, and constantly dealing with the term “disabled.” Parker was born with a genetic disease, neurofibromatosis, which caused her tibia to break when she was nine months old. Parker and her family tried to fight the disease for 10 years while enduring 14 surgeries in the process. Multiple techniques were used to heal her leg, like casts, braces, bone rods and halo devices. After the second halo device was placed, her leg did actually heal for about a year. It wasn’t until a roller skating accident that it broke again because the bone itself was so brittle and fragile. Emily said she didn’t even realize the bone had broken again because the pain was not excruciating. Emily and her mother both went to the hospital soon after where they were given two options: a third halo device implant or amputation. Emily said she remembers thinking the halo device might have worked but amputation was a definite answer to life without suffering. She knew she would have a life outside her disability. After the surgery, Parker had to learn how to walk again, as if learning how to walk for the first time in her life. As she began this new experience, reality set in. “It was like –‘Wow. This is my life now. And this is how it is going to be forever.’ ” Parker currently serves in an amputee mentorship program. She says serving new amputees is one of her biggest passions in life. When giving them advice, she points out the realization that each amputee’s life is not over, it is a new beginning. She mentioned the hardest part is coping with the fact that a physical limb is now gone from the person’s body. Amputees can look at it as cutting away the wrong that is harming their body. Another piece of advice would be to find a physical activity that the amputee is passionate about. For Parker, that was snow skiing. Snow skiing was the first physical activity she was able to try and overcome. If being an amputee has taught Parker anything, it is that she can do anything she sets her mind to. She will have to make some adjustments in certain activities, but other than minor issues, the sky is the limit. Parker definitely credits amputation as her new form of confidence. “Being an amputee has really given me a true sense of purpose and life to where I am able to...

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Easter Pageant showcases the Gospel to community and globe
Apr11

Easter Pageant showcases the Gospel to community and globe

It came close, but the annual UMHB Easter Pageant has never been stopped by bad weather in all of its 79 year history. This year was no exception after all the rain in the morning and the night before. Though rain storms delayed the first showing by forty-five minutes, prayers were answered as the three performances of the play about Jesus’ life were performed that afternoon under clearing skies, just like the first performance in 1940. Although the noon showing was delayed 45 minutes due to rain storms, there were still three performances that went as planned on the afternoon of March 28, just as it has since 1940. That year, Easter Pageant began providing the surrounding community of UMHB with the extraordinary opportunity to witness the retelling of Jesus’ life. Every year people come together from near and far to acknowledge and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as students at the university perform the story based on the ultimate sacrifice. This was the second year that live-streaming of the play was seen by people across the world. Last year’s performance generated around 31,503 viewers, who came from 22 states and six countries, including Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Ghana, Nigeria and Germany. According to the university’s website, 1,000 streamers watched an entire performance online this year. In addition, 5,000 people attended Easter Pageant on campus. One attendee, Lois Williams of Belton, has lived in the area for eight years. “I think I’ve only missed one year since we’ve moved here,” Williams said. “I just love the story and the commitment of all the students who put it on, and I have three little grandsons who live here who come with us with our kids. I look forward to their response to the Easter story.” Another audience member, Cynthia Tryon, is the advisor for the Association of Black Students on campus and has been coming to Easter Pageant for eleven years. “I look forward to the scene where the tomb is rolled away, and Jesus comes out,” Tryon said. “I love the part where they always invite everyone to come to Jesus, to invite Him to their hearts.” The performances that were livestreamed are up on the website and are still available to be viewed. Alyssa Silva, who works for the media services at the university, helped film Easter Pageant, and said that she learned a lot from the process. “Last year, I was a part of the special make-up team and I was up close and personal with Jesus,” Silva said. “I saw firsthand what was happening behind the scenes and the emotional draining Jesus went through....

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Cru Love: 1987 waterballoon prank turns life-long romance
Jan24

Cru Love: 1987 waterballoon prank turns life-long romance

“May it be noted: in this exact spot where I am standing, my parents saw each other for the very first time. #MyUMHB” That is what incoming fall 2018 freshman, Payton Mayes, tweeted during Preview Weekend in November of 2017. Standing outside of Getty’s Hall, Payton reminisced on the very place where her parents first saw each other. Michael and Holly Mayes’ story is as unique as their love: playful, filled with joy, and intertwined with the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. While playing basketball and pursuing a degree, Michael Mayes never thought he’d meet someone that would one day be his wife and future mother of his children at UMHB. Sitting in front of Getty’s during the spring semester of 1987 with a friend, he noticed two girls approaching. He didn’t think much of the pair, until suddenly they were drenched by a bucket of water, thrown from the balcony. “All of a sudden this huge amount of water comes pouring off the balcony and totally drenches these two girls. I looked up and there are these two clowns up there laughing, and I just thought it was about the funniest thing I’d ever seen.” Looking back, he remembered the event with a laugh. “I guess she heard me laugh, and boy she turned and looked at me, and I thought ‘Oh that girl’s pretty, and pretty mad too.’” At the time, local Belton High Schooler, Holly, had gone with her friend, Grace, to visit Grace’s boyfriend, now Dr. Steve Theodore, Vice President of the university. As they approached his dorm building, they had been chatting and didn’t notice Steve at the balcony, awaiting the right moment to dunk water on them. Years later, her friend Grace would marry that same boy who dunked water on her, and Holly would marry the boy who laughed at them. In the summer of 1990, the couple finally formally met when they both worked for Summer Fun in Belton. That summer, as Michael attended summer classes and Holly enjoyed being home for the warm months from Baylor University, the pair began dating and unknowingly began their future. Now with their youngest daughter excitedly anticipating her freshman year come fall, the couple looked back fondly at how the university was intertwined with their lives. “We were the third house on 10th, just across the street from the university,” Michael said. “I used to bring Payton and her sister over here all the time and they would skate around the quad. She’s been coming over here for as long as she can remember. It’s always been here, it’s always been what we’ve been about.”...

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UNDER THE RADAR: The best groups of UMHB you may not be watching

Published in the September 28, 2016 issue of The Bells JV FOOTBAL Fans scream, the smell of popcorn floats through the air, and sweat rolls down the players’ faces. One thing’s on their mind: getting the ball to the end zone. The Cru junior varsity football has gotten off to a great start to the season as they are currently 3-0. Next Monday, the Cru will take on Wayland Baptist University in Clyde, Texas. The JV football team consists of approximately 70 players, most of them being freshmen with several sophomores. “Our young guys do a great job coming out here and going through the same practice as the varsity guys do…But then they have their chance to shine and do their thing on Monday nights,” JV head football coach Keith Mullins said. Head Coach Mullins believes that being on the junior varsity prepares younger players for the intensity of varsity ball. “The JV team prepares a player for varsity by giving him playing experience in a game type setting,” Mullins said. JV football player sophomore Exercise Science major and mathematics minor Derek Sides’ love for the game motivates him to be a better player on and off the field. “I chose to play for the Cru for the love of the game,” Sides said.  “I have a passion for sports, mainly football. Football helps me grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.” Sides believes the team has great potential for the remainder of the season. “We have so much talent and teamwork. It is more of a family rather than a team. We have the potential to do something great.”   BLACK SHIRT CRU University staff knew the Crusader Marching Band needed a change when the 28-ensemble band remained stagnant for several years due to lack of interest and time, so six years ago the Blackshirt Cru Spirit Band was born. “Our primary purpose is to support our athletic teams on the field and the basketball area,” Blackshirt Cru Spirit Band Director Nils Landsberg said. “But our main purpose during the game is to basically be the soundtrack to what’s happening on the field.” Since its switch from marching band to spirit band, the band boasts 79 members of various majors and backgrounds. “One thing that is unique about the spirit band is that we’re the largest spirit student organization on campus. And there aren’t just music majors in there,” Landsberg said. “Having the opportunity to be in front of an ensemble that is made of some many walks of life and for some many different reasons but we all have the same of making music together is just awesome.”...

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Your voice counts: Why everyone should vote
Aug24

Your voice counts: Why everyone should vote

Published in the Aug. 24, 2016 of The Bells Two candidates have officially been chosen to run for the office of the presidency-Republican nominee billionaire Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Senator Hillary Clinton. But despite having devout followers, these candidates might not see very many people come to the voting booths this November. Due to Hillary’s email scandal and Trump’s notorious outspoken attitude, it seems like many Americans are contemplating whether or not they should vote at all. According to www.americancla.org, 40 to 50 percent of Americans are projected to skip the voting booths in November. Many of these apathetic voters are millennials But despite the statistics, it is important to vote, whether you’re a Hillary or Trump supporter. For this election you are not only electing the next president, you’re also deciding the fate of the Supreme Court. Half of the Supreme Court officials are expected to retire in the next four years. Currently, there is an even number of conservatives and liberals. But this could change once the new president chooses the new judges. And once the judges have been chosen they are in office for life. You may think your vote doesn’t count, but it does. It’s anybody’s race. According to the New York Times, as of this printing, Hillary leads Trump 43 percent to 38 percent. Those who don’t vote will determine the outcome of the election more than those who do vote. And if you are thinking of foregoing your right to vote, think about the generations before us who didn’t even have the chance to cast their ballot. Before 1920, more than half the population of America couldn’t vote simply because they were women. This means that the great or great-great grandmothers of today’s millennials (the same millennials who aren’t voting) weren’t allowed to vote for part of their lifetime. Today anyone can vote no matter their race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. But even though we all have the opportunity to vote doesn’t mean we should do so blindly. It’s equally important to do your research and find out where each candidate stands. Don’t just vote the same way as your parents or friends. because it’s not their vote, it’s yours Even if you’re not too crazy for either candidate, one of them is going to be elected to be the next President of the United States for the next four years, so make your vote count. Whether it’s Trump, Hillary, or another candidate, it’s up to the American people to make the...

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Revival unites students
Apr20

Revival unites students

The very essence of UMHB’s Spring Revival is praise and worship of God. Each year, hundreds of students gather in the quad for three days to fellowship and worship together. This year, the band Digital Age was back for their third time, and Dr. Kneeland Brown was there cracking jokes and ministering to all who came to participate in the annual event. The event is student led, and draws in not only those seeking out the event, but also people walking by. Spring revival comes just days after the university’s Easter Pageant and helps students reflect on what Jesus did for us. It’s a time to praise and worship, and come together as one body of Christ. The Digital Age was happy to be a part of Revival, and helped to set the tone for the entire event. “We don’t typically do things more than a year or two, and they asked us again, and we were like ‘Of course we’re going to do it, cause we love you guys. We really do,’” said Mike Dodson, the group’s piano player. Guitarist Mark Waldrop (Shark) also had positive things to say about the event. “Everyone we’ve met here has been awesome, we have a lot of friends from Baylor who are here now, and it’s just awesome to sleep in our own beds and come down here,” he said. The band hails from Waco, where they first formed. But it wasn’t just the band who enjoyed the event that took place under a tent. Those who helped plan Revival were also moved by its worship-centered vibes. “One of my favorite aspects of the event was just getting to work with the committee.” aid Kelsey Riegel, junior history major. “Every single one of them had different stories, but they were all so on fire for the Lord and that was so evident through the whole Revival process. Getting to hear how they were telling their family and friends about the event, and getting to share the gospel with them was just incredibly uplifting,” Riegel said for her, the best part was that most of them were freshman and had never even been to UMHB’S Revival. “They didn’t know what it was going to look like when it all came together, so seeing them so excited and passionate for an event they’d never been to was so amazing and humbling,” she...

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