Bush’s appearance a historic event
Feb18

Bush’s appearance a historic event

By Rachel Berman   America’s 43rd president, George W. Bush, visited the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as part of the McLane Lecture on Feb. 11. The ticketed event was primarily for the students, faculty, and staff of UMHB, although many benefactors received VIP seating for the lecture.   “I was excited to go to George Bush’s lecture and it turned out even better than I expected,” senior Seth Strickland said. “He is a man of value and integrity and he is just a down-to-earth person.”   The event began with Bush receiving an honorary doctor ate of humanities degree from the president of UMHB, Randy O’Rear. Then the former president began his lecture, in which he talked about leadership, his presidency, and then engaged the crowd in a Question and Answer session.   Senior Erin Buerschinger enjoyed the part of Bush talk about his successes and failures, when he told the audience that being a good leader means one should “share credit and take blame.”   Buerschinger said, “I felt like that comment showed true character and a definite polarization between Bush and our current administration.”   “I think the lecture was a great perspective on his leadership style and decision making process,” said sophomore Ishmael Pulczinski. “I think the lecture reinforced my belief that George W. Bush is a man who made decisions based on the right thing to do, not for crowd approval, and is a leader who is humble in his successes and failures.”   Reporters from news stations such as KWTX-TV, the local CBS affiliate in Waco and KCEN-TV, the area’s NBC affiliate, reported on the lecture.   After the talk was over, the more than 2,800 people in attendance filed out. Some were stopped by reporters and appeared during prime time on TV commenting on their experience.   Bush’s visit to campus left students and staff inspired and feeling as though they had witnessed a part of history.   “The chance to see former President George W. Bush speak was such a wonderful opportunity and certainly a historic event for the UMHB community,” alumna Katherine Booth said. “His lecture was relevant, inspirational and humorous. I really enjoyed everything he had to...

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Hunger gets canned by Helping Hands
Feb18

Hunger gets canned by Helping Hands

Helping Hands’ Warehouse added 40,000 pounds of food to its shelves after Canstruction 2015.   “The previous highs were during last year’s Canstruction event: 35,000 pounds of food and 1,400 guests,” Executive Director Rucker Preston said.   They served 4,000 guests this year.   Canstruction is a worldwide charity event crafted from good hearts, cans and art.   As canstruction.org states, the event “showcases colossal structures made entirely out of full cans of food.”   After structures reach completion, they are organized for the public as a giant art exhibition. All the food is donated to local hunger relief organizations.   The charity has raised more than 25 million pounds of food since its founding in 1992. Canstruction events are held annually in more than 150 cities around the world on five continents.   Helping Hands brought the charity to Central Texas five years ago. This year, the art displays were as masterful as ever.   “Who isn’t impressed by carousel horses with beef jerky manes? Or a ship sailing on a river of tuna? Or Mr. T on a Wheaties box?” BSM director Shawn Shannon asked rhetorically.   She’s gathered students each year to help with the de-canstruction process.   Shannon has witnessed Canstruction become an established community experience.   “The structures themselves are always amazing, and the items for the silent auction will surely bless those who purchase them to bless others,” Shannon said. “Yet, I really like how well Helping Hands tells the story of needs seen and met through the mediums of pictures, pamphlets, video and testimonies. It is an amazing on-going story of goodness in action,” she said.   And what might Jesus canstruct if He participated?   “Whatever he would make, it would be good, true and lovely,” Shannon said. “Whose to say he wasn’t there?” She added.   “For an event like this to go as well as it did, I believe that God’s hand was at work well before and all during the event,” he said.   Central Texas houses many underprivileged families and individuals with great needs. Often, the need can seem too much to meet.   “Part of what I love about the work of Helping Hands is that they approach situations that most of us find overwhelming and move with Christ into these hard, otherwise impossible places for the good of people and the glory of God,” Shannon said.   She has seen how the Canstruction event brings the community closer: “There is something crucial about gathering together around the purpose of caring for those in need. Here we learn together about needs and opportunities,” she said.  ...

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Crusader love story celebrated at Valentine’s
Feb04

Crusader love story celebrated at Valentine’s

At some point in everyone’s life, people develop crushes. Many times, that’s the state in which the relationship remains because the person who is being crushed on is either oblivious or famous.   Assistant Director of Campus Activities Jeff Sutton was determined not to lose his crush that easily.   Jeff and his now wife Jen Sutton met at UMHB on their first day of Welcome Week in 2003 during a meal in Hardy Hall.   “I was really impressed with Jeff. I was drawn to his “life of the party” personality because he was the exact opposite of me. I never thought of him as marriage material, but knew he’d be an awesome friend,” Jen said. “It wasn’t until the next year that I really began to find out who he was. We served together in Hope’s Local Outreach program and I was able to experience his heart for missions and witness his love of people. It was during this time that I saw something different in him and could see our future together.”   Jeff, being like many college guys, was never aware of how Jen felt about him.   “Boys are dumb,” he said. “I was really slow to catch onto how amazing she was and what I was missing.”   While Jen was crushing on him, Jeff simply thought they were friends. Little did he know, she had different plans for them.   “We don’t have a “love at first sight” story. I had to chase him for years. I didn’t give up because I knew he was the one. I don’t know anyone else who has that story,” Jen said.   The two graduated from UMHB, but it wasn’t until the September after commencement that Jeff realized what he was overlooking.   “It seemed as though everyone knew we would eventually be married, but I was slow to catch on. I cherished our friendship and didn’t want to mess that up by trying to pursue a relationship,” Jeff said.   He finally came to his senses, and he and Jen began dating. In 2009, the couple got married, and then Mayor Jim Covington of Belton and good friend of the Suttons officially proclaimed July 11 as “Jeff and Jen Sutton Day.”   “I was so happy for them of course. But, I wasn’t surprised at all. When they started dating, I knew they would get married,” long-time friend and Jen’s former roommate Stephanie Covington said.   Local magazine Tex Appeal was recently in search of couples with unique stories to highlight for their Valentine’s Day issue. A friend mentioned the Suttons to the editor...

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Professor turns class into campus film fest
Feb04

Professor turns class into campus film fest

The theater lights dim and Charlie Chaplin’s iconic character appears on the screen, complete with his cane, bowler hat and unmistakable moustache. His slapstick antics have the audience’s attention as they watch to see how he’s going to get out of a sticky situation. No, this isn’t a flashback to a 1920s movie theater, but rather a scene from Brindley Auditorium as part of a semester-long film series put on by the communication and media studies department.   The series was born from a class, Film History and Criticism, in which students view and discuss iconic films. The professor who teaches the course, Dr. Joseph Tabarlet, has opened his class to the public so that others can view the historic films that are seldom shown in theater-like settings.   Tabarlet belonged to the Central Texas Film Society, which hosted a similar series.   “We did that for a little over two years at the CAC in Temple. It was a lot of fun. I got to see films that I had never seen before and I was able to introduce people to films that I loved that they had never seen before,” he said.   He wanted to bring something similar to UMHB and saw that his Film History and Criticism class would be the perfect opportunity to do so. Films are shown every Monday at 2 p.m. in York 102. Each film in the series either has an important historical significance or has had a lasting impact on the film industry itself.   The first few weeks focus on the early stages of the motion picture industry.   “In this series, we’re seeing a lot of silent films, and the reason for that is that’s such an important part of film history,” Tabarlet said. “You can’t understand how the film industry developed unless you see those films made before 1930 that in many cases are ignored.”   Modern moviegoers may not think silent era films are appealing, but senior general studies major Robert Edwards said they’re more entertaining than one might think.   “I don’t think I ever watched too many silent films, but now that I have, me and my wife watch them together for entertainment,” Edwards said.   Tabarlet said those who avoid silent films are avoiding a major part of cinematic history.   “If they don’t see the silent films because they’re silent, then they’re missing out on a lot. Silent film is an art form ….,” he said.   Even though most people think comedy when thinking of silent films, Tabarlet said they can have a powerful impact as well.   “I remember the...

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Student leaders look ahead,  seek guidance for future
Feb04

Student leaders look ahead, seek guidance for future

The weekend before last, students packed luggage into a trailer and filled several university vans and embarked on a three-and-a-half-hour journey to Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. Hardin-Simmons was this year’s host school for the annual Christian Association of Student Leaders conference. UMHB attendees represented almost every organization on campus including the likes of Student Government Association, Baptist Student Ministries, Campus Activities Board Welcome Week Steering Committee and Residence Life Association.   Junior psychology major Ross Jones went to the convention with members of First Year Council, also known as FYC. This was his third time to participate.   “My favorite part of CASL is getting to connect with students from other universities and sharing ideas. This year in particular really helped me step into the shoes of a first-year student and take into mind the stress level that they are experiencing and how to work with that not to overwhelm them more,” he said.   Not only did he meet and learn from students at other universities, but the experience made him grateful and gave him a new respect for his own school.   Overall, something I always end up taking away from CASL is perspective and the realization that we are truly blessed here at UMHB in a variety of ways and a lot of the time we tend to take it for granted.   Senior international business major and Student Body President Jonathan Kendall was among the representatives from SGA.   One lesson he took away from the event was how “to better prepare senators for SGA and to communicate the work that is happening within SGA.”   Maegan Loya, a senior education major and executive member of Campus Activities Board, enjoyed herself, but was sad this would be her last year to attend. What made this year special for her was being asked to make a presentation to all of the universities’ Campus Activities Boards about events she and her team have helped plan and execute at UMHB.   “It was great because it’s something I know, love and could talk about with ease. After submitting my presentation among every other school, I was honored to be one of two selected to present at CASL for Student Activities,” she said.   Another highlight of the event for Loya was the second night, which featured a concert by Christian songwriter and recording artist Jimmy Needham.   She said, “I absolutely loved it! I had never seen him live … which made me even more excited to see...

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Offering hope through textiles
Feb04

Offering hope through textiles

Over 3,000 miles away, hundreds of women and their families’ lives are being transformed through the operations of tiny warehouse number seven located in the UMHB Williams Service Center.   The works of Threads of Hope, a nonprofit organization that aids artisans in Peru by purchasing textiles and shipping them to churches and organizations around the country for them to sell.   “The university invited us with the belief that it would be beneficial for students by providing them with academic as well as service opportunities,” Jennifer Kellner, Threads of Hope center manager, said.   Since the foundation of Threads of Hope in 1999, the organization has strived to meet the needs of these family breadwinners by, “empowering impoverished women, [and] transforming lives.”   Originally based out of Plano, under the leadership of Cinde Rawn, Threads of Hope director, the small operation moved its warehouse to the campus just last February as part of a rare partnership that provides opportunity to its students, as well as assistance a people group in need.   “The organization’s collaboration with UMHB is unique,” Dr. Christie Bledsoe, chair of the Threads of Hope advisory board, said. “We are providing a space for the business operations.”   This “incubator idea” as one might call it, includes taking in an organization and giving it the room it needs to grow.   During the first year in action, the advisory council pushed to establish a functioning operational system, the “focus for 2015 will be marketing and publicizing the Threads of Hope partnership with UMHB on campus, in the community and among other universities,” Kellner said.   The partnership came about when a few members of the Threads of Hope board came to speak during the campus’ annual Missions Emphasis Week, just a few years prior.   “They were warmly received and their message resonated with the students,” Dr. David Bonner, advisory council member, said. “This led to student internships and projects, as well as two international studies trip,” which included both an MBA and undergraduate class.   As the relationship between the university and Threads of Hope continued to grow, the organization addressed Dr. Bonner with its needs, one of which included a place where passionate, servant minded students could help improve the operations of the nonprofit for further growth.   “(With) creativity on both of their parts, it culminated with Threads of Hope coming on campus to occupy space in the Williams Service Center,” Dr. Bonner said.   Since the warehouse has moved to the university campus, the organization has seen exceptional growth, as textile sales rocket to 44 percent.   With established contacts in...

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