Chapel speaker shares inspiring story of past struggles
Nov20

Chapel speaker shares inspiring story of past struggles

Sarah Thebarge has a unique story. The soft-spoken cancer survivor, Yale graduate and author made her first trip to Texas from Portland, Ore.,  Nov. 6 to share it with students during chapel. She said, “I missed the day God gave out voices in Heaven.” The distinguishable characteristic had the audience members sitting at the edge of their seats, hanging onto every word that came from the petite woman’s mouth. Thebarge grew up in an Amish community in Pennsylvania where she constantly struggled to overcome social  expectations that limited her as a woman. She attended Yale University and graduated with a master’s degree in medicine. Her next stop was Columbia University to pursue a master’s degree in journalism. While in New York, Thebarge was diagnosed with breast cancer and became very ill. Her lifelong dream of traveling to Africa crumbled apart just as her life seemed to be doing. In the parking lot of Starbucks, her boyfriend of three years broke up with her. Thebarge said, “I wish I could’ve driven cancer to Starbucks and told it ‘we’ve had a good run, but this isn’t working out for me anymore.’” With a broken soul and empty heart, Thebarge thought she was worthless. She bought a one way ticket to Portland, Ore., and landed there with just a suitcase of clothes. On a train, a Somali girl curled up in Thebarge’s lap. She made eye contact with the mother of five girls who turned out to be refugees. Thebarge got their address and visited a few days later. She found the family enduring horrible living conditions. The mother dumpster-dived for food. Many meals consisted of moldy bread and ketchup. They had one blanket to share and inadequate clothing for the winter. Thebarge created a relationship with the Somali family. With the help of her church, she gave them food, clothes and heat. She showed the girls Disney movies. What Thebarge really wanted to give the girls was an opportunity to go to college. Unable to write a check that large, she began turning the blog she had been keeping about the family’s story into a book called Invisible Children. The proceeds would benefit the girls’ college funds. Junior marketing major Joy Watson attended chapel and the question-and-answer session with Thebarge. Watson was most inspired to hear “how Sarah learned to use her past to inspire people.” She said, “It’s a reminder to not let the past get in the way of the future. God uses the broken.” Thebarge is passionate about emphasizing the importance of inner beauty in women. She said, “In fairy tales, women are always waiting to be saved....

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National Night Out makes students think about safety
Oct09

National Night Out makes students think about safety

In 2012, the campus had 42 cases of theft on record. Many students assume they, along with their belongings, are safe,   but they could be wrong. Campus police deputy John Ellison is the current crime and prevention officer. He attended National Night Out Oct. 1 to help broadcast this important event. “Crime prevention is a huge deal, especially here at UMHB. The better we do with crime prevention, the less we have to deal with burglaries,” he said. The occasion gave all campus police officers a reason to help students become aware of their surroundings. “We try to take opportunities like this to get the word out about crime prevention,” Ellison said. One of the goals of the event is for residents to have the opportunity to get outside of the dorms and meet people other than their direct neighbors and also those who serve for their protection. “We are out here and approachable so the students can get to know their officers in a laid-back environment. We don’t want just a business relationship, especially here with our students. We want them out talking to us all the time,” Ellison said. In addition to campus authorities, Belton officials were also at the event making their rounds while going to other block parties happening all over town. It might not be possible to get every resident on campus to attend an event like this, so Ellison hopes to at least get more involved and aware. “We would love for the students to swing by, get some free food and then go back to their dorm. We don’t expect them to stay the whole time, as long as they come,” he said. The event hosted attractions such as texting and driving, goggles that gave undergrads a chance to see what being under the influence is like and firefighter gear to try on. Senior business administration major Joanna Leath attended and participated in the activities. “Students who come can learn about several different parts like don’t text and drive and the seat belt simulator. They can also get their bike registered while fellowshipping with other students,” she said. Sophomore nursing major Jacob Barnes is a Belton firefighter and came to show his support with other volunteers. “It’s always good to know who’s watching your back and protecting you. It’s not just the firemen that were there. It was security, police officers, and medics, all of which help in the community. National Night Out is all about knowing who serves you,” he said. Barnes assisted attendees who wanted to try on the firefighter paraphernalia. “Honestly, it’s just cool to try on the gear...

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Bringing home royal baby
Aug27

Bringing home royal baby

Once upon a time—July 22 to be exact—people around the globe rejoiced at the birth of a prince. England gained a new heir, and the world fell in love with a tiny baby. His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge is just over one month old, but the infant has already changed history. The baby’s arrival meant that, for the first time since 1894, three generations of direct heirs to the throne are alive at one time. Thanks to the increase of social media, His Royal Highness had the most anticipated birth in recent history. How many people get their own Wikipedia page before their first birthday? It all started when the fairy tale romance of Prince William and girl-next-door Kate Middleton swept fans off their feet. By the royal wedding in 2011, a generation was captivated as history was written before their eyes. UMHB junior English major Sarah Tipton spent seven weeks in England this summer. She recalls witnessing the nuptials on television. “I remember getting up at four or five in the morning with my mom and sister to watch the royal wedding,” she said. “I watched the entire ceremony with so much anticipation.” The moment William and Catherine tied the knot, excitement for the birth of an heir commenced. When the news broke on Dec. 3, fans of the couple rejoiced. Estimates for the due date, name and sex of the child were speculative. People began placing wagers on everything from the birth date to the baby’s future career. British bookies brought in well over $1 million. The traditional royal birth announcement was displayed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace, but the baby’s arrival was officially declared first in a palace press release á la 21st-century. Gun salutes and the ringing of bells filled the country. Iconic landmarks lit up blue to signify the birth of a boy. Photographers staked out St. Mary’s Hospital waiting for the picture-perfect moment. While she appreciated the excitement surrounding the prince’s arrival, Tipton found the media obsession a bit extreme. “Every news station wanted to be the first to catch a glimpse of HRH and it became a bit of a circus,” she said. “But I did enjoy how people celebrated the royal baby.” Two days after the birth, William and Kate selected their son’s name. While designating a princely name seemed notable, it is the smaller decisions William and Kate make that will likely infl uence others. The royals will certainly be scrutinized as they raise their son. “I think Will and Kate’s parenting choices are already having an impact … Doubtlessly many mothers will take into...

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River improvements, movie theater in the works for city of Belton
Sep13

River improvements, movie theater in the works for city of Belton

The rumors are true.  A $4.5 million six-screen movie theater will be opening in the spring in Belton, and Nolan Creek is undergoing a $1.5 million recreational improvement project. Both of these additions will benefit UMHB as well as students by providing more local entertainment options. The proposed Nolan Creek plan will allow for the creation of a whitewater park that will be used for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding and tubing. Mark Arrazola, programs director at The Belton Area Chamber of Commerce and UMHB class of ’05, believes that both additions will help keep money local. “With the addition of new businesses and attractions to Belton, students are getting a lesson on shopping local. Why drive far and spend money on gas when you can do the same thing here and save money, travel time and support the community?” he said. Grand Avenue Theaters will be located on Oakmark Drive behind the Walgreens and Jack-in-the-Box in Belton.  It will premier first-run movies in auditoriums ranging from around 75 seats to 300. The three larger screens will have 3-D options as well as reserved seating. Unlike the other theaters in Temple or Harker Heights, Grand Avenue Theaters will offer a movie and grill format.  There will be a full cafe when patrons walk through the door with menu items such as burgers and pizza and an old fashioned soda fountain. David K. Leigh, president of Grand Avenue Theaters, has several big ideas for the independent theater. “We want to use kiosks for customers to order tickets as well as food,” he said.  “After you place your order, you take the buzzer and go find a seat. When the buzzer goes off, you go pick up your tray and enjoy.” Also, don’t be surprised if Grand Avenue Theaters creates an app that enables the purchase of tickets and food. “We are trying to appeal to both the younger and older generations. The younger moviegoers want to do everything online and before they step foot in the theater,” he said. “However, the older crowd likes the box office feel of waiting in line and getting their big bag of popcorn and carrying it into the theater.” Although the theater will be all digital and social media savvy, Leigh hopes to create a retro vibe with the art deco decor in the cafe as well as the neon sign above the entrance. Ticket prices will be competitive with the surrounding theaters, and Leigh is hoping to be able to offer discount ticket prices on certain nights designated for students. As if a new theater is not enough excitement for a...

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Crusaders race for cure
Apr12

Crusaders race for cure

April is Cancer Awareness Month, and for UMHB that means to give back and show that the university cares about finding a cure for cancer. This past Saturday, students and staff of UMHB organized a 5K run called Cru For a Cause in honor of the month and to support those who have been affected by this disease. Sophomore nursing major Mandi Watts was one who participated in the event and said she accomplished something for people with cancer or who have had it. “It was a great feeling knowing that I was, even in a small way, helping someone who has cancer in their life,” she said. “At first I was nervous about running it because a 5K seems so far, but I ran a little, walked a little and so on with my friend.” The race started in front of the Mayborn Campus Center and was open for anyone who wanted to run. Some ran the race for other reasons than just to honor someone affected by cancer. Junior accounting major Bob Beckworth ran the race to support study of the disease. “I ran more for support of cancer research,” he said. “This is a great way for UMHB to reach beyond just the community but into the research that will affect all of those who have been afflicted by cancer.” The event was sponsored by the university’s housing staff. “We want to honor people who have battled cancer or are currently battling cancer,” said  organizer and resident director Christan Hammonds. This wasn’t just an event for students or adults. There was a Kid K for children right after the 5K. Some other things planned for little kids were face painting booths, a bouncy house and a special art project station. Watts was impressed with the turnout. “There were a lot more people than I thought,” she said. “That’s just proof to me that nearly everyone has been affected by cancer in some way and in return that everyone wants to put an end to all forms of the disease. I am so proud to go to a school that would want to help put an end to cancer and honor those who have it or have had it.” For Hammonds, the race was about all who have been afflicted by cancer. “We have had people within our own UMHB family who have fought cancer, both faculty and students, so this is important to us. This disease impacts everyone,” she said. Racers could   name someone they wanted to honor. With the shirts they were given, they could write the name of a loved one and race for...

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Pageant portrays Christ’s story
Apr12

Pageant portrays Christ’s story

One of the most important stories of all time is the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. It’s emotionally hard to imagine it happening and to see it in person would be heartbreaking. Students and others have the opportunity to see a portrayal of the Easter story that is both realistic and compelling to watch, thanks to UMHB. Taking place in the Luther Memorial, this year’s Easter Pageant features senior Christian studies major Mark Miller as Jesus, senior elementary education major Allison Hankins as Mary the mother of Jesus and many others as crowd members, priests or disciples. They are all directed by junior social work major Tracie Byrd and junior Christian studies major Colton White. Byrd said she became assistant director because Easter Pageant is one of her favorite traditions at the university. “It builds community, it’s fun, and it’s all about portraying the life of Christ and sharing the gospel,” she said. Senior elementary education major Rebecca Widmer, who plays a crowd leader, says the leadership is phenomenal this year. “Colton and Tracie have been a tremendous blessing to us all and are always there to answer questions when we have them,” she said. “I can tell just by looking at the way that they live their lives each and every day that they love the Lord and strive to be more like him.” One of the hardest roles to portray in history is Jesus Christ, and this year the directors and administration  choose  Miller. “The role of Jesus is not something that I went looking for,” Miller said. “But it is an honor to have the opportunity to portray Christ for a year.” Sophomore Christian missions major Ryan Murphy, who plays the high priest Caiphias this year, said there is a great resemblance between Miller and Jesus. “It’s crazy, but when I or anyone else pictures what Jesus looks like, he looks like Mark Miller,” Murphy said. By representing these historical figures, most of the actors gain a different perspective of the Easter story. “I feel like being part of this story really makes me feel like a lot of Jews did back then. When we practice the “yelling” scenes while Jesus is being crucified/arrested, we give it our all, but I have found in years past that doing those scenes is so hard,” Widmer said. By acting out the Easter story, students as well as the audience connect with the message. “I have come to the realization that it really was me yelling those things at him,” Widmer said. “On pageant day, it is so hard to yell because tears are streaming down my face...

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