Embracing the collision
Aug27

Embracing the collision

With candles lit and the bell ringing, the university welcomed the biggest class in the school’s history. Upper classmen helped the new students move into their homes away from home while moms and dads said their tearful goodbyes. But that is when the fun of Welcome Week 2009 began. “Overall, the amount of students was a great increase and change,” said David Keil, Welcome Week co-director and senior marketing major. The steering committee worked hard to reach its main goal—to make the freshmen’s and transfers’ first week an experience they wouldn’t forget. “We wanted to initiate new students by making them feel comfortable with our university as well as provide them with knowledge of their surroundings—the school spirit and traditions— so that by their first day of class they felt like part of the UMHB family,” Keil said. Senior art major, Lauren Allen, was the promotions leader on the Welcome Week steering committee. “I made the logos, T-shirts, books, nametags and postcards that went out to all the students,” she said. Allen has been involved with Welcome Week for four years. “I was an incoming freshman, the next year an aunt and have been on the (steering) committee the past two years,” she said. Carlton Lemley, senior business management major, has been part of the tradition for five years. “A lot of what happened this week was changes we had made last year, only perfected,” Lemley said. “I think the highlights started with Cru Com Kick- Off,” he said. “We (the steering committee) put in over 150 hours of work toward that specific night for one reason: to keep people coming back.” Along with a new take on Cru Com Kick-Off, also known as Wednesday Night Live, new events were added to the itinerary. “The drive-in movie, the amount of free time given, the scavenger hunt, midnight worship—including the variety of seminars they had— and, oh yeah, Phil Wickham. (It) was all new,” Keil said. The leadership teams believe the Welcome Week activities gave incoming students a glimpse of the university’s objective of building community among students from all walks of life. “Campus events are what make people excited to attend and be here,” Lemley said. “It’s important for us to send the message that our university is willing to do the extra work… to make the students’ experience something that is truly memorable. Bringing in Phil Wickham to end the week did exactly that,” he said. Keil believes this year’s program set a high standard for the Welcome Week tradition in the future. “I would like to say this was the best Welcome Week yet, but I’m kind...

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Football hopes best for the season

Purple and gold painted faces, bats banging on old rusty cans, train horns being blown at each touchdown—the time for all of these traditions has finally come back. The Crusader football team is returning for its tenth time and longing to top the phenomenal season it played last year. The Cru went 12-2 overall in the 2008 season, also claiming their fourth straight American Southwest Conference Championship title. UMHB advanced to the NCAA Division III National Semifinals for the second season in a row. The team will also have 46 returning letterman from last year’s team. Among those is senior running back, Quincy Daniels. Daniels only played the first game last season due to an injury he recieved in the second game. However, he is returning this season and is more eager then ever to take UMHB to top. Daniels, along with the rest of the team, is hoping for the best possible season. “My goal is to do the best I can to help the team win a national championship,” he said. “Personally, I just want to have fun and stay healthy.” For Daniels, the key to a successful year is unity. “I hope we are able to come together as a team and have an unforgettable season.” Crusader football is a huge piece of what UMHB is as a school. Many go to every home game, and there are the extremely dedicated who hit the road for the away games as well. The Couch Cru are strong advocates for all Crusader sports, especially football. They are the ones who want the incoming freshmen to feel comfortable going to Tiger Field at Belton High School and shouting at the top of their lungs for their team. Along with the Couch Cru, head coach for all 10 years, Pete Fredenburg, would like the freshmen to get plugged in to rooting for the Crusaders. “We hope the freshmen quickly get involved as part of the team to learn about being a Crusader,” he said. One of the Cru quarterbacks who graduated last year has returned to UMHB and is lending a helping hand to the football team in a different way than playing. Alum Josh Saenz played for the Cru all four years of his college career, but is now helping as an assistant coach. “My goal for the team is to win the national championship. That is the goal every year, and the Cru will work harder and harder till we get it,” he said. Like Fredenburg, Saenz hopes the incoming class will become involved and love the football program as much as the rest of the school. “The...

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Little sisters join Crusader family
Aug27

Little sisters join Crusader family

The change from living at home to a college campus can be frightening for freshmen. Being expected to function in the midst of class schedules and financial responsibilities can worry a new college student into hives and tummy tumbles. However, some find a little piece of home on campus: having a sibling as an upperclassman. Freshman Anna Payne knew the university was a good fit after visiting several times to see her brother Geoff and attend campus events such as Crusader Knights. “So I’ve kind of got familiar with the campus and the different traditions,” she said. Senior Christian studies major Geoff Payne said he wanted Anna to go wherever she                                         desired. “She picked UMHB, and I was excited about that.” After visiting several universities across Texas, Anna made a decision. “Honestly, I looked at other schools,” she said. “But this is the only one I applied to.” Geoff gave his younger sister a book for her high school graduation called, “121 Things Anna Should Know Before UMHB,” a list of advice from friends and fellow Crusaders. Some of the guidance was “Find a great church and stick with it,” and to “never turn down free food.” Anna said, “(I am) definitely not as homesick because I have a part of home here.” She knows the transition to university life will be difficult, but the change will bring growth. “It’s good for me to be independent and not be at home,” Anna said. “But it also has that familiarity, too.” When freshman Rebekah Maclin moved into Burt Hall, she knew she’d eventually adjust to being away from home. It would just take time. She has wanted to attend the university since high school. Her older sister, already a Crusader, would be there, too. “I applied here when I was a junior, and I got accepted.” Rebecca said. “It was like the only place I wanted to go, so I didn’t apply anywhere else.”Having her sister, junior nursing major Mary Maclin,nearby has helped ease her freshman jitters. “I think it will be a lot easier because she’s like a piece of home,” Rebekah said. The sisters are glad to be living near each other again Mary said, “I kind of knew it was going to happen all along. Now that she’s here, it’s more exciting.” Rebekah is majoring in education in the hopes of becoming an English teacher in Hungary, where she has been on three mission trips. She is also looking forward to getting on the sand to play intramural volleyball. Rebekah said, “I was really nervous about leaving (home). But she was just really encouraging to me....

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Seniors continue yearly traditions as spring graduation approaches
Apr21

Seniors continue yearly traditions as spring graduation approaches

As seniors prepare to enter a struggling economy, worries of buying a house, attending grad school and paying  off their  student loans are temporarily suppressed by traditions like the senior etiquette dinner, Robing Ceremony and Midnight March. These events give seniors a chance to reflect on their years at the university and symbolically pass on their student leadership to the juniors. Seniors start the festivities off with the etiquette dinner. The meal is intended to prepare graduating students for the business world and refresh manners that are sometimes forgotten in the years spent as a college student. Director of UMHB Career Services, Don Owens, takes an active part in planning the affair. “The purpose of the president’s senior etiquette dinner program is a fun evening for graduating seniors to have exposure and refresh basic dinner etiquette skills with traditional business manners,” he said. In a competitive job market, such skills could make a difference in a potential employer’s first impression. “We only get one opportunity to make a good first impression, or so called grand introduction, and serious candidates must stand out as the best talent for the position from all standpoints,” Owens said. The dinner is free to students  because of sponsorship by Dr. & Mrs. Jerry Bawcom, the Students Affairs Di-vision, Career Services and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The event has been held 10 times since 2001, with only one fall semester occurrence last Oct. This year a record 110 seniors attended the dinner. Days afterward, graduating students participate in the Robing Ceremony and Midnight March, long-held traditions at UMHB. The Robing Ceremony is a symbolic departure of seniors from the campus and the passing on of leadership to the junior class. The graduating class passes regalia to the soon-to-be seniors. After the ceremony, seniors march around the senior plaza with lit candles, singing the senior/alumni song, “Up with the Purple.” Those close to the graduating students also stand in the quad with unlit candles, waiting for seniors to pass the flame to them. Director of Alumni Relations, Rebecca O’Banion, noted the significance of these traditions to everyone on campus. “The Robing Ceremony, which began in as early as 1902, is held each spring,” she said, “During the service, seniors place their academic regalia on juniors, symbolizing the passing of student leadership. After a junior has been robed, they are officially allowed for the first time to sing the alumni/senior song, ‘Up with the Purple.’ Initially, this event was held as a part of graduation weekend.” Midnight March is important to the loved ones of graduating seniors. “Seniors give candles to special friends throughout the week and invite them...

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Theater production ends musical year
Apr21

Theater production ends musical year

By Evangeline Ciupek Senior David Koontz has played the villain five times in theater productions on campus. However, he performed an original piece for the night of monologues, It Happens Every Spring: Scenes and Monologues about Baseball, Love & Birds Who Sing, Hey Ding A Ding Ding. “It’s a cancer on today’s society,” Koontz said from the stage. He spoke with intensity and severity about a pervasive force without naming it during the April 3 and 4 performances. Then he let the hammer fall. “Baseball has ruined my life.” His character both loves and hates the sport. His only other passion is a girl who had never come to his games. When she finally shows up, he hits a home run, and the ball hit her head. The monologue is based on a true story from Koontz’s days playing on a pee-wee baseball team. “I’ve always been a writer …. Last year I wrote two of my monologues, and everybody thought they were real good,” he said. Koontz wanted to “keep up the trend” of playing a villain, and did so with a monologue inspired by the Cuban-American musician, Voltaire. “It’s called ‘When you’re Evil,’ and it’s actually a song …. So I modified it slightly to be kind of more of a spoken rhyme, and gave it a little jazz and tap motion. And I called it ‘The Villain’s Diatribe,’” Koontz said. The audience laughed throughout his performance. While Koontz would like to be the good guy sometime, he said making people laugh is more enjoyable. “I love being the comic relief, too, because if you’re not going to be a villain, the next best lines to get are those of the comic relief, because you might like the hero, but you always remember the funny guy next to him.” Elementary education major, Kathryn Groseclose, performed three monologues that night. On stage, she mused about the downward spiral society has taken since people have stopped wearing gloves, for the monologue “White Gloves” by Donna Daley and Julie Halston. “You put on white gloves, and you become a better person,” she said. Performance studies major and theater minor, Megan Moore, played a teenage girl who believes that prom night will be her only shot at dancing with a boy in “Promedy,” by Wade Bradford. Moore is new to acting. “It was a good experience. I’ve only been on stage twice …. I’d picked my minor before I even started acting on stage. I just thought it would be fun,” Moore said. Communication major and film minor, Ashley Ramirez, performed a duet acting scene with Koontz from Neil Simon’s Rumors....

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Alumna plans to minister, inspire

Jena Coulson bubbles over with excitement when she says she wants to teach people everything she knows about Jesus. The senior mass communication/journalism major will have plenty of opportunity to do so when she assumes her new post as the university’s campus missionary for the 2009-2010 school year. A campus missionary in Texas serves on staff with his or her school’s Baptist Student Ministry, doing everything from building relationships with students and leading mission trips to filling out paperwork and writing reports. The goal is to bring ministry out of BSM buildings and into the midst of students on campus. “It is one of the most humbling experiences ever,” Coulson said. She first became aware of the position of campus missionary when a friend expressed interest in applying. “I looked into it just to understand where she was coming from; because I had no desire to do that,” Coulson said. “I wanted to make money.” That changed as she became increasingly involved with the BSM and went on a two-week mission trip to New York City during her junior year’s Christmas vacation. “I learned a lot, and it grew me,” she said. After co-directing the 2008 Missions Emphasis Week, Coulson felt drawn toward missions and decided to apply to be a campus missionary in Texas. “I really thought, ‘OK, God, I’m going to do this for you,’” she said. Coulson underwent an extensive application process that included interviews with local and state missions personnel before being selected as a Texas campus missionary. She and other accepted applicants were then assigned to schools based on recommendations by the state office of Go Now Missions and the Center for Collegiate Ministry. Director of Baptist Student Ministries, Shawn Shannon, believes Coulson will be an effective campus missionary and appreciates her dedication and positive attitude. “I admire how she fulfills her responsibilities and accepts necessary inconveniences,” Shannon said. “She embraces her opportunities and brings to them positiveness, which is very refreshing.” Shannon believes campus missionaries must be proficient at dividing their time between building relationships with people and accomplishing tasks, a quality she sees in Coulson. “When I have described being able to balance relationships and being on mission, she does so well at that,” Shannon said. “She can get things done and bring people along while she does it.” Senior education major Amanda Jane Foss has been friends with Coulson since their freshman year and believes Coulson has found the right place to serve. “I think she is very qualified and well placed,” Foss said. “She definitely has a heart for people and missions.” Foss echoes Shannon in praising Coulson’s commitment. “She...

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