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Chapel is a daily event for students and faculty to gather together to worship God and build community. Senior Mason Clemens said he is thankful for chapel and its influence in his life.

“Whenever someone is on stage and says a prayer or message, even if not all of them connect with me every single day, there are definitely those days where it touches you,” Clemens said. “The message hits you right in the heart, and you are just thankful for that moment when God uses that moment to comfort you and talk to you.”

Clemens said chapel promotes camaraderie while giving time for him to worship with friends and spend time in conversation.

“One of the best parts about chapel is picking a chapel seat next to your best friends,” Clemens said. “I would say hanging with your friends both before and after chapel is one of the best things. It’s definitely part of our central theme, the community of mission, and it embodies that.”

-Savanna Distefano, intern


Savannah Rackley presents her senior speech on Friday, April 15.

Savannah Rackley presents her senior speech on Friday, April 15.

Because graduation is growing steadily nearer, 22 days if you were wondering, we heard senior speeches in chapel all week. I love senior speeches. Each one is different, but they each speak to a shared experience at the University we love.

Mostly the speaker will reminisce, thank various faculty members who acted as mentor or friend, or leave a call to action for underclassmen. These are usually gentle reminders to seize the day. Stay up late talking with suitemates. Get up early on a snow day to enjoy before it melts. Hike Pinnacle or visit the Zonkey. Say yes to opportunities like social clubs or international programs. Say yes to building relationships.

If I were giving a senior speech, I think I would also include a call to action for my fellow graduates. I would encourage them to take a minute in the rush to May 7 and embrace some of the everyday things about Harding that you don’t know you will miss. Have a big group dinner with all your friends. Go to a home devotional. Spend sunny days on the front lawn. Sing in chapel. The last few weeks can be busy and stressful, but take a minute to savor the college days that you won’t have again.

Shelby Dias, director of news services

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Systems Librarian Brenda Breezeel checks oil for a student.

Systems Librarian Brenda Breezeel checks oil for a student.

I usually check chapel announcements on Pipeline daily to know what is happening on campus. There were only four today, but they blessed me because of the messages they conveyed. They follow:

  • Students, take your cars to the GAC parking lot today or tomorrow (weather permitting) between 3 and 6 p.m. where faculty and staff will help you check tires, oil and other basics before you drive home for Thanksgiving break.
  • The Red Cross blood drive will continue through Thursday. The donor coaches will be parked in the Benson parking lot and will be open from 1-7 p.m.
  • Chi Kappa Rho, Phi Kappa Delta and GATA invite all who are interested in Spring Sing to attend an interest meeting today in McInteer 150 from 4-5:30 p.m.
  • The SA invites you to a prayer service, which will focus on those suffering after the Paris attack. Join them at 11 p.m. tonight in the McInteer Rotunda.

It is great to know that faculty and staff at the University where I work care enough about students to help them get their vehicles ready for their trips home for the upcoming holiday. As a Red Cross blood donor as a student, it is good to see this tradition of helping others continues today. Spring Sing plans are beginning where students will give their winnings to help organizations they believe in. And people suffering elsewhere are not forgotten with a prayer service for Paris.

Sometimes with all the bad in this world we read about daily, it’s nice to be reminded, even through chapel announcements, our University is still serving, helping, giving and praying.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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There are three simple words students hear every day (especially the ones without chapel skips), and they have come to be the “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” of the Benson.

“You are dismissed.”

While many students giving personal announcements jump at the opportunity to let their people go, the declaration just feels right when delivered by Dr. Burks himself. In fact, I think next to “camaraderie,” it’s probably his most quoted line.

As I was streaming chapel today and heard him release the masses, it made me wonder how that sentence will sound coming from the mouth of our next University president, whomever that may be.

While there’s no way of knowing just how many times Burks has spoken that statement during his time as president (Will Farrell has the lead on “Live from New York” with 32 times, in case you like random tidbits like that), his legacy is more than just a departure, but a feeling of spiritual reverence along with “high-spirited fellowship” (the ever popular definition of camaraderie) found every day in the Benson.

We still have a little more time to enjoy his daily dismissal before he passes the baton in spring 2013, and, until then, he can set the number of times spoken a little higher for his predecessor to reach.

Jennifer Hannigan, copy editor/writer

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My sister and her friends have taken to shouting “Struggles of the faith!” whenever something mildly inconvenient happens to them.

No more coffee creamer? Struggles of the faith!

IPhone died in the middle of your Words With Friends game? Struggles of the faith!

You’re wearing flip-flops on a rainy day? Struggles of the faith!

Similar to Alanis Morrissette’s song “Ironic,” where she sings about things that are actually not ironic, these problems are miniscule compared to true struggles of the faith.

This week is Struggles of the Faith week in chapel — a nearly 20-year tradition on campus  where various speakers share their true struggles and how they have shaped their walk with God. Monday morning, College Football Hall of Fame Coach Gene Stallings spoke about his son, John Mark, who had Down syndrome.

Stallings admitted that the day his son, whom he affectionately called Johnny, was born was one of the saddest days of his life. He went on to say that raising his son was one of his life’s greatest accomplishments.

“I prayed to God hard that He would change Johnny,” Stallings said. “And you know what He did? He changed me.”

Stallings shared that, through the struggles he and his wife faced while raising John Mark, the joy their son brought them outweighed the difficulties. When John Mark died in 2008, the family had John Mark’s ultimate reward in which to rejoice, comforted in knowing that his love for God and child-like innocence had guaranteed him a place in Heaven.

“If we as parents had one wish for our children, we’d wish that they’d spend eternity in heaven. That’s what parents want for our children. Knowing that we had raised a child who was going to forever be in the presence of God — that was worth all of those struggles.”

You can download audio or video to Stallings’ speech, along with others throughout the week, through Harding’s iTunesU page,

Jennifer Hannigan, copy editor/writer

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Dr. Ganus talking about the campus back in 1939.

I’ve always said, “I have the best job on campus.” I truly believe that I do, and its because I get to do so many different kinds of jobs.

One job you might not expect I would do is create Powerpoints for Chancellor Ganus.

Several years ago he switched to a digital camera for his travels. When he came home he would bring by his camera, and I would download all of the photos and burn him a disk of all the images. After one of his trips to Uganda, he asked me to help him make a presentation to show to a Sunday school class that helped provide basketballs for the Christian school in Uganda. I sat with him for a couple of hours going through his photos and listening to the stories behind the photos. What a privilege to sit with Dr. Ganus and hear of his travels and experiences. I treasure these times with this great man.

Last week I got to do a couple of presentations for him, one on Harding history for chapel last Friday and one for his sermon at College Church this past Sunday. This photo from last Friday was actually the first time I have ever seen him use a Powerpoint I created. He spoke about the different buildings on campus and who they were named for; even cooler was the fact that he knew all those people personally.

As you can see, I really do have the best job on campus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Jeff Montgomery, photographer

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