Heartbreaker ends Cru’s season
Mar04

Heartbreaker ends Cru’s season

Led by senior Jerard Graham, the UMHB men’s basketball team made a late-season push to lock up the No. 5 seed in the American Southwest Conference tournament. The Cru’s run came to an end, however, as the team suffered a 72-64 defeat at the hands of Howard Payne University in Thursday’s first-round matchup.   The Cru gained control early and built a 10-point lead early in the second half, but an 11-0 run by the Yellow Jackets put HPU up 44-43 five minutes into the second half.   The Yellow Jackets would build a 54-47 lead, but the Cru fought back to tie the game at 59.   With 4:23 left in the contest, sophomore guard Avery Polchinski drained a bucket that gave UMHB a 63-62 advantage.   It would be the final field goal the Cru would make on the evening as HPU was able to ice the game from the free throw line.   Sophomore Daniel Mills led the Cru with 24 points on the game. The Belton High product averaged 18.8 points over the Cru’s final five games. Mills said his success down the stretch can be accredited to the bonds he built with his teammates throughout the season.   “I think I just got used to having new teammates and my confidence went up a lot,” he said. “I think it has to do with my teammates and coach having trust in me and I’ve just been more consistent with my effort and it has helped me.”   Graham was the team’s leading scorer on the season, averaging 18.9 points per game as he started every game for the Cru. The senior not only led his team in scoring, but became a more vocal leader as well.   “I have felt myself get more vocal in practice and in games. At the beginning of the season I was a tad quiet but now I’m constantly communicating with my teammates,” Graham said.   The team loses Graham and fellow senior Kevin Waller, but will bring back a core next season that includes Mills and point guard Layton Zinsmeister among others.   Zinsmeister said the players became more comfortable with each other as the season wore on, which they hopefully will be able to carry into next season.   “Throughout the season I have noticed our team improving in almost every way. We are starting to make the big shots and play together better,” he said. “We had a few new guys this year and it took some time to get the chemistry going but as of late we really have been playing well together.”   The...

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Students, faculty react to former president’s visit
Feb18

Students, faculty react to former president’s visit

Last week, former President George W. Bush spoke to a packed Mayborn Campus Center bursting with more than 2,800 students, faculty and staff members, UMHB donors and close friends of the university leadership.   Following his acceptance of an honorary doctorate of humanities to match the ones his parents, former President George H.W. and first lady Barbara Bush also received from the university, he was greeted by a long, thunderous standing ovation.   “I am so honored to receive an honorary degree. I noticed it is not a doctorate in the English language,” Bush joked. “When I was president, sometimes I could have put things a little more artfully. They asked me at the Pentagon after the 9/11 attacks about Osama bin Laden, and I said, ‘we gonna get him dead or alive.’ Laura, when I got back to the residence, said, ‘You could have been a little more diplomatic.’ And I said, ‘At least they heard me in Texas.’”   Dr. Stephen Crawford who is a professor of music and the conductor of the percussion ensemble was among the faculty members in attendance at the Feb. 11 event. He was thankful he was able to listen to Bush on the campus he serves.   “I felt that it was such a privilege to hear from a former president. His words were uplifting as he shared his ideas on service and how important his faith is in setting his views,” he said. “We so enjoyed his humor and how he related to our university and community.”   Junior business major Jessica Pitcaithly echoed Crawford’s sentiments.   “I thought having George W. Bush speak at our school showed me how proud I am of our school and our country. To be able to come together and be excited about hearing one of our past presidents gave me a lot of school pride and patriotic pride too,” she said.   She was struck by his down-to-earth demeanor and agreed with the conservative and spiritual viewpoint most Americans associate with Bush.   “He was funny, genuine and was a great example of what a Christian leader looks like and I think we need more of that,” Pitcaithly said.   Savannah Davis, a junior education major was impressed with the humility she believes Bush displayed. She was also impressed that an important world leader would have a sense of humor.   She said, “I thought it was a great experience getting to see George W. Bush and hear him speak. For being the former leader of the free world, he was very humble and surprisingly funny.”   Davis said the part of Bush’s...

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Bush: Speech inspires students
Feb18

Bush: Speech inspires students

By Wesley Ashton   “Having President Bush speak at UMHB is a big deal,” senior sports management major Chris Brown said. “The atmosphere was loud when he got up on stage to speak. They clapped for several minutes before he even began to speak.”   A boisterous standing ovation greeted the 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush as he walked onstage at UMHB’s McLane Lecture last Wednesday.   “I had seen him speak on television but getting to see him live was an entirely different experience,” Brown added.   During his address on campus, the former president spoke not only about his time in office, but also about life lessons learned while traveling abroad. While in power, many dignitaries and foreign leaders visited him, giving him an abundance of stories to share.   “I learned while in the presidency that it is a huge honor to serve others,” Bush said. “It’s no sacrifice to serve something you love, and I love the United States of America, its people and what we stand for.”   Bush went on to describe how he dealt with foreign policy as well as the value of getting to know other leaders before he made decisions. UMHB students seemed to receive Bush’s message warmly.   “I learned from the president’s speech that it’s better to listen to a person than it would be to argue with them even if you don’t agree with them,” junior cell biology major Esther Spanial said.   “He started talking about how Putin visited him in Crawford and how he wasn’t impressed by his dog. This hurt the President but he didn’t let that stop him from listening to what he had to say. Later Putin showed him his dog saying it was stronger and faster, revealing to the president his true character,” Spanial said.   Several students had the opportunity to ask Bush about his time in office and how he felt about current events. Questions students asked varied from foreign and domestic policy to regrets he may have had during the course of his two-term presidency.   “It was a great privilege to be able to ask Bush about his opinion on the terrorist attacks in France,” senior sports management major Deshon Kinsey said. “The way he talked about the terrorist attacks in France reminds us that terrorism is still here. Even if it’s far away they can still hit at home. We have to be ready.”   Bush faced many difficult decisions. He told the audience that sometimes the decision was clear to take action on the behalf of those less fortunate.   Among...

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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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