Play Day 2018
Apr25

Play Day 2018

Photos by Madeline Oden and Sarah Ifft The Stribling Hall mattress racing team rushes to the next check point during Play Day festivities on April 19. Far left back to right are: Katie Wilganowski, Valarie Krauser, Kendall Miller, Chloe Poe (on mattress), Brooke Martinka, Mikayla Presley, and Meghan...

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79th Easter Pageant
Apr11

79th Easter Pageant

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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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Accounting students volunteer to help locals with their taxes
Mar07

Accounting students volunteer to help locals with their taxes

Accounting students of the McLane College of Business are helping Central Texas citizens by working with United Way of Central Texas through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). The students are gaining experience and helping people get their tax forms in to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to receive their tax return refunds or pay what they owe before Tuesday, April 17 (Tax Day). With VITA, Central Texas residents come to various locations in Temple, Belton, Killeen and Harker Heights to have their taxes prepared and e-filed for free. VITA is set up to help clients with an income of $50,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and taxpayers with limited English. Last year, VITA filed 844 returns in 2017, but according to United Way Director of Public Relations Veshell Greene, they would like to file 1,000 returns this year. “VITA is hope,” Greene said. “The fact that these people can come get their taxes done at no charge… that’s more money they can spend in their home and on their kids. Greene stressed that VITA is a reputable program, and that volunteers must go through training with the IRS before filling out returns. The sites also have reviewers with advanced certification to validate every return before filing. “All the volunteers have to be certified by the IRS. It’s not just someone doing the returns in a garage,” Greene said. The tax filing process takes about an hour. Clients are required to fill out an intake form with questions about their financial background for 2017. They must bring their social security card or an equivalent and a picture ID. After filling out an intake form, the client will meet with a volunteer to go over the form and answer any clarifications the client might have. The volunteer will input the client’s financial information from their W-2 and any other forms the client brings in. The clients can see how much they will be getting back as soon as their information is plugged into the site. Then, the client will sit with a reviewer to go back through the return. Volunteers in the program include not only UMHB students, but also Temple High School students, community members, and United Way staff. Associate Dean Dr. Kirk Fischer teaches Federal Income Tax students, and he has encouraged them to volunteer with the program. Dr. Fischer also serves as a site coordinator in Belton for VITA. “This year we have over 45 volunteers with the VITA program because we have branched out with the pilot program at Temple High School,” Greene said. Senior accounting and management major Noe Diaz started volunteering...

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Dance Marathon raises money for McLane Children’s Hospital
Mar07

Dance Marathon raises money for McLane Children’s Hospital

On Friday, March 2, UMHB’s Heart of Gold hosted a dance marathon for students to donate money, win prizes, and dance in support of McLane Children’s Hospital. During March, the Dance Marathon takes place on college campuses across the nation on the first weekend of the month. This is UMHB’s 3rd Annual marathon. Karon Chapa, a senior pre-occupational therapy major, was this year’s host. Chapa’s best friend, Taylor, was diagnosed with a rare cancer and fought it for six years. When Chapa became a sophomore at UMHB she reached out to Taylor to see what she could do to help. “We contacted her and said, ‘Hey how can we do this? We want to make a difference for our community. How can we get involved in this?’” Taylor was able to help them jump start the first marathon while doing her own marathon and going through chemotherapy. Then Taylor planned to attend their first marathon, but passed away a month beforehand. “This whole event is in the honor of her and the honor of the kids at McLane’s,” Chapa said. “The slogan for the night is ‘Dancing for those who can’t’”. The money is going to help get 150 new beds at McLane Children’s Hospital. “We have so many kids from this area that are needing the hospital.” Chapa said. “We were walking blindly the whole year… and this event is totally God-sent. We couldn’t have done any of this without Him.” Students who attended had positive remarks about the event. “The kids that came were a lot of fun to have,” Skaiye Finney, a sophomore nursing major, said. She also said she came to help build a good support system among students and children at McLane Children’s Hospital. Alexander Williams, a senior clinical psychology major, attended because he always wanted to work with kids and he finds it to be a very rewarding experience. “It’s the best way I could’ve spent my Friday night!,” Williams said, as he was working at the marathon. “We started meeting in September… trying to get venues and stores to donate stuff… and last night we blew up about 200 balloons for this event. It’s a lot of work but it’s rewarding.” Every hour the group learned more of the morale dance (they learned a new segment of a choreography), listened to a highlight story, which featured a student, child, or faculty member who had been touched with a lethal disease, and had raffle prizes. Madison Merryman, who dressed up as Disney Princess Belle, exclaimed that she was ready for the event. “I was really excited.. I absolutely love this! I was actually...

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Caleb Fitzwater dubbed Mr. Crusader Knight
Mar07

Caleb Fitzwater dubbed Mr. Crusader Knight

Junior Caleb Fitzwater, representing McLane Hall, won the title of Mr. Crusader Knights on Saturday, Feb. 25. “It was definitely shocking,” Fitzwater said of his win. “I’ve never been given so many hugs in one night, which is kind of cool.” The show featured many funny moments, along with several surprises, including a green screen that the contestants used during a group dance. Junior Isaac Felan directed Crusader Knights along with assistant directors junior Daniel Martinez, senior Tori Bradbery and senior Ben Roark. “I worked with contestants, I worked with ticket sales and ushers, and I did anything I was asked to do,” Martinez said. “My role was to help the guys feel comfortable with the show, while offering input on the production.” Martinez said that he was proud of all the hard work that the men have put in since they began practicing and it showed on the night of the competition. “The show was amazing, and the guys brought it,” he said. “The introductions, the spotlights, the videos, the top six answers… all of it was amazing and hilarious. I am proud of these men for rising up and owning the stage.” This year, as part of the theme, it was announced that NBC liked Crusader Knights 2017 so much that they decided to film the 2018 Crusader Knights competition before a live studio audience. Ellie Ball hosted the competition, while Aria Flores, Anthony Tharp, Jenna Forester, and Chris Box emceed. The night began with the contestant videos. Each contestant prepared a one-minute video before the competition to be projected on the screens. The contestants picked TV shows to base their videos off of. Some featured TV shows included The Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy, Happy Days, The Office, Even Stevens, and more. Following each video, the contestants were given pre-determined questions, which they had to act out. The competition also included several group dances. The top six finalists for Cru Knights included Mr. Phi Mu Alpha James Jones, Mr. Farris Hall Jacob Hindman, Mr. McLane Hall Caleb Fitzwater, Mr. Junior Class Chase Mariott, Mr. Sophomore Class Patrick McElyea , and Mr. Burt Hall Peter Zuniga. The six finalists were required to answer two finalists’ questions read by 2018 Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Tori Pharris before the judges made their final decision. The competition also included several individual awards. Senior marketing major Vincent Sigler, representing University Ambassadors, won Best Spotlight. Best Video went to Freshman biology major Steve Villalobos, who represented First Year Council. Sophomore marketing major Christian McConnell, representing Independence Village, took home Best Interview, and Freshman mathematics major Andrew Berg won the Timothy Award, which...

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