Oldest Living Crusader Leaves Lasting Impression
Sep24

Oldest Living Crusader Leaves Lasting Impression

Students know the university’s motto: Education for life, experience of a lifetime. But 1929 graduate Mary Alice Marshall was determined to let her lessons run further into a lifetime than most. The memories of her college days might seemingly remain a blur at the age of 104, making her the oldest living Crusader. Still, the Temple resident remembers her time at Baylor Female College as if it were yesterday. “I had some very happy years there.” Marshall said as she thought back to her most interesting stories. “I was president of the student body my senior year,” she said. Upon her election as class president, she and the former student body president attended a national conference for leadership where she spent her evenings talking up Baylor College, persuading a mass crowd to visit the campus after permission from then president Dr. J.C. Hardy. “That was the year Luther Hall burned down,” she said. “So we didn’t get to entertain (our guests).” Although her days on campus included one of the campus’ most devastating events, she enjoyed them. “Martha, my roommate, and I would go (to Luther) an hour before dinner, and I would play the piano, and she would sing,” Marshall said. “We did that a lot of evenings.” Born and raised in New Boston, Texas, Marshall began her studies at Baylor Female College in 1925 where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in music education. Following graduation, she readily received a top position in Kingsville’s public schools. “I was the music supervisor,” she said. “I would go to the elementary school in the morning and the high school in the afternoon.” She married the district’s superintendent, Robert Marshall, and had two children. Together they moved around Texas until settling in Temple in 1944. Marshal went on to earn her master’s at Baylor University. “I’m indebted to the old Methodists, but it’s interesting that I’ve gone to two Baptist schools,” Marshall said. “Everyone on campus knew I was Methodist.” Even President Hardy referred to her as “the little Methodist girl.” Although her religious beliefs differed from most students on campus, she does not regret her decision to attend. “I really believe that my leadership that I have was developed at Baylor Female College,” Marshall said. Her presidency offered many leadership advantages After a decade in Temple, she earned a top position as the head of the music department at Temple College where she worked for 18 years. After nearly eight decades of post-graduation living, it’s more than just school spirit that keeps Marshall venturing. “I’ve kept an interest in things,” she said. In addition to being an active member...

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Roommates: Through Thick and Thin
Sep24

Roommates: Through Thick and Thin

One of the most terrifying parts of first arriving at college is meeting your first roommate. You have probably never met before and yet  have been paired to live together for at least a semester. Images from the horror movie, The Roommate, surely creep into the minds of students as they drive to Belton for move-in day. While their own first roommate stories don’t unfold as violently, some can be horrific in their own way. However, on rare occasions, roommates hit it off, and they become best friends. Senior education major Chad Manns wasn’t sure what to think about his roommate, senior mathematics major Ryan Frusha, when they first moved into McLane Hall their freshman year. “For the first two or three weeks, it was pretty awkward. We talked about school, and that was it,” Manns said. “I think the thing that brought us together was our music. I was listening to Usher, and he was like ‘you like this music?’” Once they discovered their similar taste in tunes, the duo decided to make some music videos.    Frusha said that was when he started to get to know his roommate better. “The first time we met, he was real quiet, and I was more upbeat. And then he came out of his shell a little bit when we did those videos,” he said. Whether or not they would be roommates past their freshman year was never mentioned between Frusha and Manns. It was an unnecessary conversation. “If anything, it was when the housing process came, we expected to stay roommates. The conversation was more of who’s going to be our third roommate,” Frusha said. Usually differences and disagreements are reasons why freshman roommates don’t stay together. Frusha and Manns are exceptions to the rules. “We’ve only had probably two arguments. But they’ve all been about sports,” Manns said, laughing. They both enjoy playing and watching basketball. However, Manns is an avid Dallas Mavericks fan while Frusha chooses to root for the Miami Heat. For many this could be an obstacle to friendship given the hot rivalry that has developed between the two teams over the past several years. “We weren’t at each other’s throats about it,” Frusha said. “When the Mavs won, he was pretty cool about it. Whenever they were beating the Heat, he wouldn’t bring it up. Then the next year when the Heat crushed them, I never said anything about it.” Their friendship doesn’t end once they leave Belton. This past summer, Frusha and Manns went to Hawaii to do mission work. They said the experience helped them grow closer spiritually. Another duo that has withstood...

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Crusader Puppeteer Finds Direction in Performing

Though she seems shy in front of people, sophomore education major Alana Filban comes alive in the spotlight. Well, her hands do, as they move effortlessly inside the cloth and stitching of homemade puppets. Filban attended a church in her hometown of Magnolia, Texas. There, she discovered her knack for unconventional storytelling. She said, “I had a children’s pastor that became a father figure to me, and I really looked up to him. There was a nationwide group he was involved in that used puppets to tell stories. He got me involved, and we traveled with other Assemblies of God churches.” The team competed all over the country, narrating their own plotlines and individual characters. “We got to go to Orlando when we made it through district. That was so much fun,” she said. “I know puppets sound silly, but it really connected to children.” Not only did the unique activity provide friendships and memories, but Filban discovered her love for kids during her time with the dramatic troupe. She came to the university unsure of her major. When all of her friends started declaring their paths of study, she remained undecided. Because she babysits during the week, both during the school year and over the summer, she realized the time she continues to spend caring for children should be integrated into her future job. Looking back, Filban realizes that her former experience as a puppeteer influenced her decision to pursue an education major, though she didn’t know it at the time. “It kind of led me to wanting to do children’s ministry. That’s why I want to teach now,” she said. When Filban’s church team improved, they progressed to telling stories through song. “There was one called ‘Lazarus Come Forth’ that I loved,” she said. “I got the main part. We had 16 little puppets that were adorable, and we would also have props.” One of Filban’s favorite memories is of one of the group’s mistakes. The actors intended to spell “Jesus for the crowd, but the first person forgot the “J,” which confused the children. “Esus is a huge joke in our youth group. We went to nationals with Esus,” she said, laughing. Filban met sophomore education major Savannah Davis on her first day at UMHB. Davis discovered her friend’s hidden talent last semester. She said, “When I first found out, I was really shocked because I didn’t think anyone actually did that in real life. Now, it’s pretty cool.” Sophomore marketing major Jessica Pitcaithly lives with Filban. She didn’t discover Filban’s secret talent until far later in their relationship. Pitcaithly said, “I feel like I’m living...

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Birds of a Feather Live Together

A shrill car alarm pierces the ears of two clueless adventurers as they wander down to the creek behind the Conference Center. Unknown to the two lovebirds, the men of “Peacock Ranch” share high-fives and a few laughs from the balcony of their campus house. Pranks like these happen often with this group of guys. Last semester, vice president of student life Dr. Byron Weathersbee selected four outstanding students: Karl Baker, Dawson Harmon, Nathan Gillmore and Tommy Pierce. Then, those four were allowed to choose four additional men to join them in the Conference Center for the 2013-2014 school year. Collin Davies, Jack O’Briant, Collin Cavendish and Zach Zernial now share the space, where there is never a dull moment. “Before we applied for housing, we heard about this (house) from a friend, and then we went to Dr. B. to see if we could get it,” Harmon said. “He put our names on the list and eventually gave it to us. Then we had to pick four other guys based on some qualifications.” Why “Peacock Ranch”? The Conference Center is not only home to eight guys, but also to two peacocks, Neil and Kevin. “We try to get them inside with Cheetos and bread,” Baker said. “They are family. As soon as we get them inside, we will have a big family reunion,” Gillmore added. “That’s the ultimate goal. That’s when the house will be complete.” Because the peacocks have made such an impact on the Conference Center, the guys try to incorporate them in different ways. “We’ve found a couple feathers, and now they decorate the table,” Harmon said. Baker will play Jesus in Easter Pageant. He jokes that the place is home to him and his disciples, who gather frequently in the “upper room” for Bible study. The disciples aren’t the only people visiting, though. The first few weeks of residence, the roommates found daily surprises in their kitchen. “Just so everyone knows, baked goods are welcomed at all times. Don’t even knock, just set them on the counter,” Gillmore said. The guys joke about their neighbors and hope for potential get-togethers with the president and his family. “We hope he (Dr. O’Rear) will come to dinner soon. You know, make us dinner and hang out with us — neighbor things,” Gillmore said. Though the semester has just begun, the group has already made memories in their home away from home. One specific incident involved their leaky roof, and each of the men has a different version of how it happened. “We woke up the next morning, and water took over the whole place,” Baker said....

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Twitter Trending in Campus Classrooms

The move to an education driven by new technology has taken its next step. A number of students were surprised to see Twitter mentioned in their syllabi. The whole campus hasn’t taken on this approach yet, but many professors are giving it a try this semester, and so far it seems to be trending. It may be hard to see how Twitter is relevant in the classroom. But with so many employers and businesses using Twitter in the work place, it is giving the students a chance to see how social media can be beneficial instead of just a place to vent their problems. One professor who has incorporated Twitter in her curriculum is communication assistant professor Avery Reese. She has already seen some positives come out of this decision. “So far it’s proved to be very useful in creating dialogue and continuing dialogue with students even after class has ended. Social media is an additional mode of communication that students are already using for their personal life … so I figured why not add an academic element to the mix.” As one might believe, this was well received by the students who are allowed to use Twitter for class purposes. “I was kind of surprised to hear we were using Twitter in class,” junior public relations major Andi Hale said. “I thought it was a really cool way to incorporate something that we enjoy with our class content.” It’s understandable that not every class on campus will be able to make Twitter a tool that corresponds with the course material. In the Intro to Business class, taught by BCIS Associate Professor Effel Harper  students learn practical applications for social media. “Businesses use social media, so its actually an important thing for the business world,” junior psychology major Donavan Catron said. The millennial generation is one that many have found to be highly dependent on social media outlets. For example, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the majority of the student body gets its news from Twitter or some other social media entity. “Considering that I don’t really have all that much time to watch the news, I resort to finding out what is going on in the world off of my Twitter account. So I can see how professors could use this as an educational tool,” junior physical therapy major Jeremy Corbin said. Twitter and other social media aren’t necessarily the key focus of any class, but they are used as a complement to the  class topics and  lectures. Reese believes that Twitter is something that could be relevant in the business world for a while....

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Fort Hood: Home to Hasan Verdict
Sep10

Fort Hood: Home to Hasan Verdict

Bullets permeated the atmosphere of the Soldier Readiness Center on the grounds of Fort Hood, Texas, the nation’s largest Army base a short distance from UMHB. Inside, a gun-wielding man opened fire on unsuspecting soldiers while screaming in Arabic “Alahu Akbar,” translated, “God is Great.” The 2009 event that garnered years of international media coverage became the deadliest mass shooting on a military base in U.S. history, killing 13 adults including a pregnant mother. The baby did not survive. A jury convicted the perpetrator, Nidal Hasan, and sentenced him to death Aug. 28. Next door to the shooting that day in 2009, then military police investigator Chris Collins, a former UMHB student, was participating in a graduation ceremony with his wife and children in the  audience. When they heard the chaos, they initially thought it was a drill of some kind. But when the gun fire continued, they knew they were wrong. “It wasn’t until several more shots were fired before everyone made their way in the building,” Collins said. “I was looking for my family when a soldier stumbled in explaining someone was dressed in a military uniform and shooting soldiers.” He and his wife rushed into harm’s way along with others to aid the wounded. Though Collins has since moved to California, he has followed the Hasan prosecution process. He’s glad for the outcome, but not thrilled with the wait. “I was happy justice was finally given. I don’t think I can say I’m happy about the time it took for it to happen,” he said. Like Collins, lawyer Steve Walden, who has experience with military cases and practices at the Carlson Law Firm in Killeen, paid close attention to the trial proceedings. He was not impressed with the defense. Hasan represented himself and basically only spoke during his opening argument. Walden expressed frustration with the federal government’s decision to call the incident workplace violence and not domestic terrorism. The game of semantics has the families of the victims as well as countless Texans outraged. They, like Walden, argue that Hasan was on an ideological mission because of what he shouted in Arabic during the brutal attack. “I think it’s pretty clear that was an act of terrorism,” Walden said. “Based on a lot of his writings that were released during the course of the trial, the fact he claims himself to be a modern day jihadist. It was for terrorism … to send a religious political message.” Collins is still frustrated by the controversial move of the federal government. He also acknowledges that better treatment for victims and their families hangs in the balance. “I think...

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