New Stadium Set To Impact Campus
Sep10

New Stadium Set To Impact Campus

Since its inception in 1998, Crusader football has never had a place to call its own. However, with the opening of the new Crusader Stadium, the team will finally experience its first true home game when it hosts Wesley College Sept. 21. The stadium will have about 7,800 seats and is expandable to a capacity of 10,000 with standing room areas. Most of the seating on the home side is reserved, with chair back seats and bench seating that will serve as general admission. Grassy berms will be available behind both end zones where students with a valid ID can catch the action for free. The stadium will also feature the largest scoreboard among Division III colleges, which Vice President for Athletics Randy Mann thinks will greatly improve the game day experience for fans. “We have a beautiful electronics video board that is going to be certainly pleasing to the eye, which will create an environment that we’ve never experienced before,” he said. No one should go hungry on game day with four concession stands—three on the home side and one on the visitors’ side. The center stand on the home side will primarily be used to sell merchandise. Each stand will be equipped with monitors so that fans can still watch the game while they wait. Concessions will feature unique items including a specialty hot dog called The Cru Dog and even purple Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. While the primary purpose of the facility is to house football games, Mann believes that the stadium along with the conjoined student union building will play an even greater role for the university. “It’s going to impact the entire school and campus and the entire student life with the stadium plus the new student union building,” Mann said. “I think it creates an excitement that we haven’t experienced since I’ve been around here.” The decision to join the stadium and the student union building was partially to ensure that both were centrally located on campus, but Director of Campus Construction Scott Dodd believes that it also gives an aesthetically pleasing feel to the structure. “Part of that vision was to be able to join this project up and have a prominent backdrop on the visitors’ side because I think at most stadiums, the visiting side just doesn’t get a lot of attention,” Dodd said. “By using the student union as a backdrop … it kind of creates a very prominent feel and a very classy look for our stadium.” The new student union building will be divided into three levels. The first will hold residential dining, which will be moving...

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Students Make A Difference By Volunteering At Local Camp
Sep10

Students Make A Difference By Volunteering At Local Camp

An area of 120 acres of land near Farm to Market Road 2484 in Killeen enchants the lives of special needs youth at the Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children. Executive Director Leslie Gilmore believes that campers have the opportunity to enjoy activities they otherwise would not be able to participate in due to their limitations. These sports include archery, high and low ropes and horseback riding. Even immobilized children can enter the swimming pool with the assistance of camp staff and the wheelchair ramp. Peaceable Kingdom grants children with special needs a safe haven to forget their difference and just be kids. Campers attend diagnosis-specific camps where they are surrounded by other children with whom they can relate. In June, for example, children missing one or two limbs attended “Camp Out on a Limb” where they participated in activities they never dreamed of being able to do, like zip lining. Freshman English major Cici Ramos is a volunteer at the camp, and she finds encouragement because “there is a place like this for kids with disabilities that makes them feel good about themselves”. As part of a Welcome Week event two weeks ago, a group of UMHB students headed out to Peaceable Kingdom for the morning to serve at the retreat. Although camps were over for the season, Crusaders worked on behind-the-scenes projects such as laundry, inventory and cleaning cabins. Sophomore accounting and finance double major Fernando Guiterrez was on the team that cleaned cabins for the next group of campers. He said that UMHB helped him decide to participate. “Attending a small college in such a tight community encourages me to want to give back.” More than 5,000 children from across Central Texas are helped annually by Peaceable Kingdom through the summer, weekend and school programs. Children from Scott & White, Scottish Rite and Dell Children’s hospitals, as well as numerous special needs students from area schools, are brought to the retreat day-trips to participate in the Environmental Education Program. It has specific programming and curriculum, all tailored to special education needs. The organization originated in 1984. Dubbed “Baby Charlie’s First Fishing Camp,” the program was originally named in memory of the founder’s grandson, who died at the age of 1 after being born with a heart ailment. After the name change, the Variety Club of Texas became immensely involved. The Texas children’s charity group spearheaded a fundraising campaign for Peaceable Kingdom as well, which was vital for the retreat’s growth and ability to serve more children. In 2011, Peaceable Kingdom became a  flagship program under the Variety umbrella, Gilmore said. Gilmore acknowledges that she and her staff work diligently...

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Crusaders cross the globe with a mission
Aug27

Crusaders cross the globe with a mission

Senior nursing major Taylor Frank took a month out of her summer to go on a mission trip to Busia, Kenya, where she worked at a school, a clinic and visited foster children at local schools and homes. She became close with the youngsters, the teachers and even the cook. Frank developed a great relationship with nurses while working in a clinic. She learned that not only are the people at the clinic faithful, but they put their faith into their patients as well as treat them. Although meeting 70 children seemed a little intimidating at first, the people who run the foster program and who are Frank’s “Kenyan parents,” helped her and the others build lifelong relationships  with everyone there. After spending a month in Kenya, Frank feels blessed to have experienced what she did and hopes to travel there in the future to visit the people she met. Meanwhile, Jonathan VanBrussen and seven other students from UMHB were a part of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary archaeological excavations at Tel Gezzer, Israel. VanBrussen, a senior getting his bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry, had to follow a schedule throughout the weeks he and his peers were in the country. Weekends were left open to visit other significant places such as The Dead Sea and The Negev Desert. VanBrussen talked about his time with experienced archaeologists and how they helped everyone, but had an interesting bond with a man he worked under, a supervisor who is beginning his Ph.D. in archaeology. VanBrussen also became friends with his tour guide. They shared their testimonies of how each came to know Christ, which was encouraging to VanBrussen. In spite of the fact that the trip was a learning experience, he said the students had fun. One prank involved tying up the girls’ shoes on trees. The overall experience had a positive effect on VanBrussen. He explains how the months before the trip were a struggle for him believing that God was actually involved in his life. However, the trip opened VanBrussen’s eyes to what being a Christian really is. Junior nursing major Katherine Zuraitis explains how it took the entire 2013 spring semester to prepare for her mission trip to England. Talking about the trip and sharing testimonies were a few of the many ways she got to know the other students who attended. This year was the second time that Zuraitis had gone on the trip. She knew what to expect for the most part and knew how the experience would impact the first-timers in a life-changing way. Zuraitis and the other students worked with the Middlesborough Community Church, painting...

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Surviving small-town summer
Aug27

Surviving small-town summer

The convulsion of a jackhammer working on Crusader Stadium beat through the silence of the Quad. Squirrels raced along vacant lawns. And President Randy O’Rear skidded along empty sidewalks in his golf cart, taking left turns with the skill of a veteran Nascar driver. “Campus is a ghost town during summer,” junior nursing major Joseph Salley said. Salley was one of a handful of students who kept UMHB company over the break. He took six hours of courses at the university and another six at Temple College. But even though campus looked bare, Sally said, “There is actually a decent amount of people here during the summer.” Enough people for a volleyball game at least. Junior history major Matt Boden said that he and his friends played “massive amounts of volleyball.” To get a group together required more effort than a regular semester. Junior economics major Ryan Sewell said, “The people that stay in Belton over summer are here for two reasons—to work and take classes. It is hard to hang out with a group of people since we all have different schedules.” Sewell worked at the Weigh Station over the summer, a college hot spot for frozen yogurt during the regular year. He spent the minimester studying abroad in Peru with the College of Business. “I qualified for free summer housing,” he said. “I decided to stay and find a job for the rest of the summer.” The summer incentive program allows residents to live in summer housing rent free if they take and complete a minimum of six course hours. There are three summer sessions: May minimester, Summer I and Summer II. Boden worked as the resident assistant for Independence Village and was one of four RAs. Boden said, “In June, I knocked out my classes.” July and August gave him time to focus on his music. When he started the summer, Boden had four incomplete songs that he was working on. “I ended up finishing a lot and writing two new (songs) while I was here … and I started recording,” he said. Belton is a town that is smaller than the shadow of a large Texas city, yet it has its own rhythm. Salley, a native Houstonian, has begun to appreciate the city in his two years at UMHB. He said, “You really see the spirit of Belton.” Sally spent his free time fishing and enjoying his church community. “You really do find interesting things to do,” he said. He attends Disciple Church, and his life group played a big part in helping him to have what he called a successful summer. “It’s hard spiritually...

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TIPA: Student publications hoist awards, learn career skills
Apr17

TIPA: Student publications hoist awards, learn career skills

By Ashleigh Bugg Members of the newspaper and yearbook staffs returned from the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention in Ft. Worth April 4-6 with more than 50 awards. The Bells won 31 TIPA awards as well as Society of Professional Journalists awards for Region 8, an area that covers non-daily collegiate newspapers for all of Oklahoma and Texas. In the best all-around newspaper category, The Bells took home second place, and junior public relations major Christian Hernandez won first place in sports writing. The Bluebonnet, the university’s yearbook, won 23 awards total at TIPA, including an honorable mention for overall yearbook excellence. Sophomore elementary education major and yearbook editor Kathryn Smith won first place in the academics package category. Junior nursing major Mariana Jauregui placed second for her sports feature photo. The Bells staff members also acquired accolades from the Texas  Intercollegiate Press Association winning 24 print awards and four online honors. Senior mass communication/journalism major and Bells editor-in-chief JC Jones won first place in the in-depth reporting category. “My personal awards were great, but I’m most proud of how the staff did overall. It has been an honor to work with such a talented group of journalists,” she said. The TIPA convention hosted workshops on topics ranging from finding jobs in the journalism field to current social media trends. Students were encouraged by learning tips to find internships and ways to incorporate 3-D photography in newspapers. Participants at TIPA attended the Hall of Fame Induction luncheon Friday, April 5. Renowned reporter Kathleen McElroy was instated and delivered a short speech. Despite her small stature, McElroy commanded the room as she spoke to aspiring journalists about the necessity of thinking critically. “We’ve been programmed to accept certain things…. You must think ‘why are people telling you what they are telling you?’” McElroy urged students to remember that every situation has a backstory, and it’s imperative to use unique quirks and past experiences to their advantage. “When I started I had a superpower…. I was a black woman who knew sports. There needs to be diversity of thought. It’s about getting out of your realm.” Bob Ray Sanders of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram also  had inspirational advice for young media. “We don’t need more pretty people…. We need you to be committed to the truth. We need passion and compassion,” he said. Instead of taking stories at face value, TIPA participants were encouraged to pay attention to details and know their history. Although critics sometimes give journalism a bad rap, mentors like McElroy and Sanders believe young people will usher in a new era. “Journalism has been given a...

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What will you do Before You Turn 20?
Apr17

What will you do Before You Turn 20?

UMHB alumnus, author, and motivational speaker Lamar Collins spoke to students about his book Before You Turn 20 in chapel April 10. Collins has made history by becoming the first black mayoral candidate in Temple, Texas. However, his speech to students focused on five keys to success that he detailed in his book. The five points are as follows: Discover strengths Develop good friendships Maintain a positive attitude Discern God’s plan Discipline yourself “The gist of this book is to talk to, specifically, high school graduates and college graduates about the next phase of success in their life,” Collins said. He wants students to find their own strengths and apply those in their life. “When you feel bad about what you don’t have, you rob the world of the greatness that’s in you,” he said. “When you focus on the things you do well, you open up the doors of possibility to excel at what you do.” To illustrate the importance of good friendships, Collins talked about how captured crabs can never climb out of a bucket because when one gets to the top, another will pull it back down in its own attempt to escape. “Stay away from people who are like crabs in a bucket,” Collins said. “The second reason I tell you that story is to discourage you from being a crab in someone else’s bucket.” He finished his address quickly, going over the three final points from his book, reminding them to stay positive. “Life is a boomerang, and whatever you throw out, it comes back at you,” Collins  said. “That’s why it’s important to be a perpetually optimistic person.” He concluded the chapel service with an exhortation to the university. “So to the students and individuals here at UMHB I want to challenge you to be uncommon,” Collins said. “Here’s why I want you to be uncommon because success is uncommon. … So if you want to be successful, you can’t do what common people do.” In response to Collins’ thoughts, freshman business management major Austin Stecher said, “I liked how he encouraged everyone to find and act on their own strengths.” Sophomore exercise sport science major Daniel Villarreal responded positively to Collins’ encouragement. “Being normal is overrated,” Villarreal said. “The person who gets the job is the one who stands out. You have to go above and...

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