Miss Search CRU wins Miss MHB 2020
Nov09

Miss Search CRU wins Miss MHB 2020

  17 stunning young women made their way into Walton Chapel Saturday, Nov. 9 to throw their hat into the ring for the opportunity to be crowned Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor for 2020. The show began and contestants introduced themselves, stated their hometown and said something witty regarding where they were from. The talent portion of the pageant featured the contestants’ musical stylings and speeches, with one contestant even shooting arrows to show off her archery marksmanship. There was never a dull moment during the night as contestants sought to show UMHB what they were capable of. They were judged on confidence, creativity, preparation, originality and their overall presentation. “What I liked about the talent portion was all the different things and how all the girls weren’t afraid to express themselves or to step outside the box,” said Hailey Baez, freshman psychology major. “Not only does it show that no one on campus is afraid to be themselves, but also they know everyone wants to see who they truly are. It inspires and encourages people to go out and do what they feel they are good at and have fun doing,” Baez said. Following the talent portion of the pageant, the 17 contestants joined one another on stage to perform a group dance number set to the popular show tune “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” The contestants skillfully and gracefully danced on stage twirling umbrellas. At one point they bounded into the audience, to envelop the crowd in song and dance. The evening gown portion of the show featured the contestants walking with grace and poise to show off their silken and jeweled gowns. During this time, the audience would learn a little bit more about each contestant as they strode elegantly across stage. These contestants were graded on gracefulness, ease of movement in their gowns, color and dress appropriateness and overall impression. From here the top five finalists were narrowed down and thus began their interview from 2019’s Mr. Crusader Knight, Richard Rogers. The answers presented would determine who was to be crowned Miss MHB, and the runner-ups for the position. They were judged on confidence, diction, personality and sincerity of response. This was followed by one last evening gown stroll and heartfelt goodbye with Miss MHB 2019, Briana Fredrickson, as she prepared to hand the crown off to Mary Hardin’s next Pageant Queen. In her farewell address she stated: “To have held the crown as Miss MHB has truly been one of my most treasured experiences and I cannot thank you enough,” Fredrickson said. Overall, the pageant was a stark representation of the heart and passion many of...

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Phi Alpha shines light on domestic violence through coffee house event
Oct25

Phi Alpha shines light on domestic violence through coffee house event

Coffee, good music and laughs were in abundance as people gathered in McLane Great Hall to support those who have been affected by domestic violence Tuesday, Oct. 14. October is national domestic violence awareness month so Delta Epsilon Phi Alpha (Phi Alpha) teamed up with Teach Them to Love (T3L) in Killeen to spread awareness. Phi Alpha President Taylor Ballou gave a speech explaining Phi Alpha and what the honors society was all about. Senior Officer Maya Wiemokly explained what exactly T3L was as an organization and the kind of work they were doing for those in need. Briana Frederickson, Miss MHB 2017/18 and recent graduate gave a short yet powerful speech about domestic violence and was keen to share her story. “My sophomore year I was in a relationship that turned abusive,” Frederickson said. She was “…assaulted by someone I did not know, and after that had happened I tried to commit suicide, and all of this happened within a span of five months. So, I had hit rock bottom, pretty much,” she said. “Had” was the keyword, as she realized over the course of her time at UMHB what her purpose was, when she was suggested for the Miss MHB pageant by one of her professors during her senior year. “Miss MHB is supposed to be this picture of grace, virtue,” Frederickson said. “And I thought there is no way I can do that.” As a guest singer for the event, Frederickson was obviously talented in singing. She used it as her special talent in the pageant. “I knew I wanted to sing, but I didn’t know what I wanted to sing. So I asked [the judges] if they could listen to my song I wrote and see if it was an option. When I played it they said, ‘you have to play it!’” The song in question has no title. In fact, the title is whatever each person thinks it is. But, personally, an appropriate title could have been ‘Uphill Battle.’ “Everybody has a story and some people might hear my story [specifically] and think that my story isn’t filled with as much heartache, or even more heartache,” Frederickson said. “Wherever people are, they can find something to relate to in the song and get the message that it might be hard to keep going… whether they gave up, or kept going, I wanted this song to be for them.” After a fantastic, tear-inducing performance by Frederickson, everyone broke off into smaller groups and chatted the night away. As the coffee ran out and the music stopped, people started to head home. After hearing the sobering,...

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Touchdowns celebrates Belton’s Down’s syndrome community

UMHB welcomed Cru fans with Down’s syndrome to attend the East Texas Baptist University vs. UMHB football game. The event was held to show the Crusader support for people who have Down’s syndrome. This was the third year that the event has been put on by UMHB. Before the game began there was a tailgate for the fans to attend. This was a place for them to hang out and build up their spirit for the game. Before the game, Hannah Clark, a member of the Bell County 18+ program, sang the national anthem. Everyone in the crowd was in awe and amazement at her beautiful voice. After she finished, the crowd roared with applause. Not only were the participants in TOUCHDOWNS watching the game, they were also cheering them on. The participants did cheers and chants with the cheerleaders. They then went on to dance with the Sader Belles in the third quarter.  The participants were seen having fun with smiles on their faces as they cheered on the Crusaders to their victory over East Texas Baptist University. The biggest part of TOUCHDOWNS was when all the participants came onto the football field during half time. You could feel the excitement in the air as they all lined up on different yard lines and got ready to make the touchdown. As soon as they made it to the end zone for their touchdown, the crowd stood up and cheered for the participants as they jumped and celebrated their...

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Local artists Illuminated
Sep27

Local artists Illuminated

Illuminate held its second event here on campus, Friday, Sept. 27. Illuminate is labeled as a “positive vibes only” event that highlights the talents of various students and Belton locals with performances in Christian rap, singing, dancing and poetry. The event was founded by UMHB Alums Michael Carpenter and Alish Burden, along with sophomore Jan Carlo Rodriguez. It took only 3 months for the determined students to get their idea off the ground, which created major buzz within the UMHB and Belton community. “We feel like there is a gap in cultural events on campus,” Carpenter said. “There is a group of students whom we call ‘cultural minorities.’ They aren’t a specific race, gender or ethnicity, but they are cultured in a way that’s different than the majority of UMHB students, so a lot of times they fall through the cracks…we want to help fill that gap.” “These students appreciate a wide variety of music, fashion, humor, etc. than is normally promoted on campus,” Carpenter added. Illuminate was held at the Parker Academic Center in partnership with the CRU Bridge student organization. The scene for the event was decked out with lights, cameras and eager students ready to support their fellow classmates throughout the night. “I find it important for it to be hosted near or on campus, because there is a lot of talent in our backyard. A lot of dope artists and creators, but they have no platform for their voice,” junior marketing major Kalen Chatman, a previous Illuminate performer, said. “Illuminate allows UMHB to empower those artists and give them a platform,” Chatman said. Each performer had a lengthy amount of time to express themselves and show off their talents. The audience was filled with laughter and dance moves.  The room was packed with so much diversity. To learn more about Illuminate and their upcoming events follow their Instagram handle...

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Sylvia White, lifelong learner, receives doctorate in 2019
Sep20

Sylvia White, lifelong learner, receives doctorate in 2019

Dr. Sylvia White is no ordinary UMHB graduate. At 76 years old, she is the oldest member of the Spring 2019 graduating class. On May 11, White, who teaches Exploring the Fine Arts class at UMHB, earned her Ed.D. in Educational Administration. She was one of 17 students who received a doctoral degree in the ceremony, which drew the largest audience for any commencement in the school’s history. White is no stranger to the world of education. In 1967, she earned a master’s degree from Baylor University. She worked as an elementary music teacher in her hometown of League City for 24 years. In 2009, she moved to Belton in order to be closer to her children. She began teaching piano lessons at the UMHB Conservatory, and soon afterward started teaching the Exploring the Fine Arts class. White describes herself as “a lifelong learner” which made the decision to go back to school a natural one. “I’ve always loved learning new things,” she said. One of her favorite parts of earning her doctorate was completing her dissertation. At UMHB, doctoral students complete an imbedded dissertation, meaning that they work on it during the entirety of their studies instead of just completing it in their final year. “All the classes in the Ed.D. program are geared to writing a piece of the dissertation in each class,” she said. “By the end of the three years, I had it completed.” When she chose a topic for her dissertation, White knew that she wanted to focus on veterans, who she says have a special place in her heart. “In teaching Exploring the Fine Arts, I had several student veterans, and they just touched my heart,” she said. “My first veteran asked if he could sit at the back of the room and keep the windows open. I thought, ‘there must be a way to help student veterans.’” Her desire to help these students was a major motivation for her to earn her doctoral degree. She knew that by having an Ed.D. in education, she would be better equipped to help these students in the future. Dr. Randy Hendricks, who is the director of UMHB’s Doctor of Education Program, is proud of White’s accomplishments. “Dr. White was an exceptional student in the UMHB doctoral program and provides an inspiring example of what a Christian educator should be,” Hendricks said. Senior social work major Nathan Gammage, who is White’s grandson, is incredibly proud of her accomplishments. “She works so hard and does a lot to give back to the community,” he said. “I am so proud of her.” White is not sure what God...

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Welcome Week: Students celebrate return to school after summer ends

The entering Class of 2023 showed its joyous character right away as the freshmen brought an energy and excitement rivaling a major sporting event to this year’s Welcome Week at UMHB. During the initial move-in on Aug. 21, King Street was filled with smiles, cheering, shouting and extra energy. The first sight that freshmen were treated to was that of the Color Leaders, who would lead all of the competitive Color Clash events between campus dorms. They helped greet and move the freshmen into their dorms. Carloads of people were greeted with signs that said “Welcome Home,” while throngs of professors and student leaders, and even University President Randy O’Rear rushed to the cars to help incoming students and their parents. They first greeted students and parents, and then helped to unload their vehicles and haul students’ belongings up to their new rooms, where many would meet their roommates for the first time. Though their roommates came from far and wide, various events that the freshmen attended throughout the week seemed to instill a sense of camaraderie. This year, students and faculty joined the university this year from as far away as California to the island nation of Sri Lanka. Dr. Sriyan Wickramasuriya, the latest addition to the Math Department from Sri Lanka, was one of the people who made this Welcome Week extra special by joining in with other faculty and staff to help move students onto campus with his contagious energy. “I heard at the orientation that people volunteer for it, so I was very excited to help,” Wickramasuriya said. Making an outstanding influence on the next generation of UMHB students was an evident goal, and an unspoken theme of each interaction throughout the week as CRU Leaders, Color Leaders and event organizers shared many life-changing moments with the freshmen. Moving from California to attend UMHB, freshman Christian ministry major Daniel Richardson said that his most memorable moment of Welcome Week was when he visited his CRU Leader’s home. “Our CRU Group Leader had us all over to her house and she made spaghetti, and we just talked and played games,” Richardson said. Organizers feel that times like these, while simple, are unique to this specific Welcome Week group, and can have a transformative effect. Senior Lauren Murray, who was a co-director of this year’s Welcome Week, credited her desire to become involved with the event to her previous mentors from her own Welcome Week as an incoming freshman. “I wanted to be co-director for Welcome Week because of the example that [has] been set before me by upperclassman,” Murray said. “I think that UMHB does a really...

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