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Christmas lights.2014-1889-9489The fall semester has swiftly drawn to a close, and our beautifully lit and decorated campus is now quiet. University offices will be closed from the 24th through the first of January.

The closing words of the familiar carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” based on the 1863 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, offer hope and comfort in a country torn by civil war, much the same as they still do in this often crazy world we live in today.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

God is not dead, nor doth he sleep:

The wrong shall fail,

The right prevail,

With peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

These beautiful words offer a reminder of who is in charge and what is truly important — not just at this special season but throughout the year.

The staff of Harding magazine sends you its wishes for a very Merry Christmas. May we all be promoters of peace and goodwill in the coming year.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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A Cup of Christmas TeaWhen I saw on Instagram last night that President McLarty was reading A Cup of Christmas Tea in chapel today, I immediately became excited.

I remember the first time I heard him read the book in 2004. I had never heard the story before, and it touched my heart.

A few years before, I had started a Christmas tradition with our family by reading a Christmas book before we open our presents from each other on Christmas Eve. As soon as I heard him read the book that evening, I knew it was the one I would share with my family.

You see, finding the right book had been a little more difficult that year. My mother had died in July, and it was our first Pennsylvania Christmas without her. When my dad asked for a copy of the book after I read it that evening, I knew my choice was right. I quickly gave him mine.

Today students in chapel heard that same touching story, a reminder of what truly giving of yourself at Christmas is all about.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Christmas lightsPerhaps you saw Sports Information’s post that Lady Bison basketball is in a tie with Indiana-Pennsylvania, for 25th place in the USA Today Sports Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

You might have thought because Indiana and Pennsylvania are both states that Sports Information was confused. Actually, no, Indiana University of Pennsylvania is located in the town of Indiana in Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

It is my hometown, but its even greater claims to fame lie in two Christmas-related items. The “Christmas Tree Capital of the World” has 17 Christmas tree farms and also is the boyhood home of Jimmy Stewart, star of the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Christmas has a magical feel on the streets of that small western Pennsylvania town. It is something I miss but am so thankful for the beautifully lighted and decorated campus we have right here at Harding, which will put anyone in the Christmas spirit.

If you live nearby, come enjoy a walk on the quadrangle. Wherever you may be, have a blessed and wonderful Christmas season.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer


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Crafts Fair.2014-172-0883

There was frost on the ground this morning, but that is not what has me thinking that Christmas must be just around the corner.

The first sign this week that Christmas is coming soon to Harding is that physical resources has begun hanging the lights on the quadrangle. Look for them to be turned on Dec. 1 with a lighting ceremony at 6 p.m.

The second sign is the Holiday Craft Fair going on in the Student Center from 10-5 today and tomorrow. Debbie Howard has brought in more than 25 vendors for this event, which benefits scholarships at the University. There are some truly beautiful and unique items for sale so, if you are in the area, stop by, start your shopping and benefit a great cause.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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I love the Carpenters. They were the first album I ever purchased. Seeing them in concert in the Ganus Athletic Center as a student was a thrill for me.

At the Christmas season, I particularly love their music. One of my favorites that doesn’t get much play is “He Came Here for Me.”

Born in a stable He came here for me
Born of a virgin He came here for me
God’s only son come to set the world free,
Born of God’s love and He came here for me.
Savior, of the world I praise thee
Jesus, Lamb of God, I pray to thee hear me
As I praise thy birth bend down thy ear and hear my prayer
Over a stable a star shone so bright,
Guiding three wise men who rode through the night
He was called baby Jesus, He came here for me,
Born to this world, then He died here for me.

The last line pretty well tells the story, a story of a God who loves us so much he sent his son to die for us. What amazing love!

May the love of God, family and friends fill your hearts this holiday season. Merry Christmas from the staff of Harding magazine.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Photo by Holly Bohnett, public relations student intern

If there is any campus in Arkansas that can provide beautiful scenes of the changing season, faithful faculty and students, and an environment that is ever-growing and changing, it’s Harding University. This fall, whether approaching from Race Avenue or Beebe Capps Expressway, the University’s campus welcomed all who entered with all the accents of autumn. While walking across the front lawn, leaves of every shade, type and size dangled from the tallest of trees to the smallest of shrubs.

Photo by Hannah Robison, public relations student intern

Campus is changing not only through the seasonal transition but also in the landscape of the University and its buildings. New additions are popping up from Legacy Park to construction of the latest addition to the science building. A new clock tower rises above the apartments of Legacy Park, and the structure stands taller than the rest to greet residents and visitors to the new living space for female and married students. At night, the tower can be seen from miles away with its glowing light shining behind the University seal.

Photo by Holly Bohnett, public relations student intern

Construction on the latest expansion of the Pryor-England Science Center began in October in order to accommodate the increase in the number of students who are enrolled in the physical therapy, pharmacy and physician assistants graduate programs. Completion of this project is scheduled for fall 2014 and will house a new organic chemistry lab, biochemistry lab, genetic and advanced genetics lab, botany lab, two new classrooms, and a computer lab.

Photo by Hannah Robison, public relations student intern

Though the seasonal transition took longer than usual to bring fantastic fall colors and crisp air, it was well worth the wait. The deep blue skies, sweeping clouds and falling leaves brought a cheerful call to community. Cold evenings beckon students and locals to Midnight Oil or Starbucks, exams and projects demand library time and group work, and overall the season brings hope for upcoming holidays and breaks for rest.

Photo by Holly Bohnett, public relations student intern

As you look across campus, you’ll see limbs hanging bare, brown leaves covering the ground, and more evidence of another changing season. Tonight, those bare limbs will be brought to life with thousands of twinkling lights in the University’s annual lighting ceremony on the front lawn.

All change at Harding is a breathtaking adventure spiritually and academically and an opportunity to remember that, “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Hannah Robison, student writer

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Tomorrow will be the last day the University will be open this year as the staff receives a holiday break from then until Jan. 2, 2013.

While there have been too many happenings lately that remind us evil is very much alive in this world, this season brings the reminder of hope that Jesus brought into the world.

Thus at this time of the year, it seems fitting to share with you the words to “My Grown-up Christmas List” as our Christmas wish to you.

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

May you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer


Graduation was Saturday, the campus has cleared out, and today is the last day for staff members at the University to work this year, thanks to our very generous holiday schedule.

I’m very glad many in the world stop at this time of year to remember a baby born in a stable, our Savior, Christ the Lord. He is our hope, our salvation.

I’m also glad that at this time of year people tend to be more generous, helping those in need. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive.

So at this wonderful time of year, we hope those of you who love Harding and follow us on this blog know how much we appreciate you. Our entire staff wishes you the best of Christmases and a blessed new year.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer


The song goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Last night on campus certainly showed the truth of that line with friends and fellowship in abundance.

There was a “party for hosting” as the Christmas Open House, with live music and so much food to taste supper could be forgotten, has become an anticipated annual tradition. Carriage rides around the quadrangle amid the beautiful lights and decorations were a hit with many.

After the merriment, it was time for another tradition — winning the men’s basketball home opener. The Bisons handily beat Champion Baptist College 92-60, keeping the streak alive for the 36th year.

Another part of the game will be included in author Stan Beck’s upcoming book on college traditions. Beck was on hand last evening to witness the University’s a cappella rendition of the national anthem. In an interview with the Daily Citizen, Beck said, “Harding’s a cappella national anthem is one of my favorite traditions so far. The patriotism affects me, and the thing about Harding’s a cappella anthem is that it comes from the heart.”

As the song continues, “hearts will be glowing.” They were last evening.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Today is the final day of classes before Thanksgiving, and students will be heading out in droves.

When classes resume Nov. 28, the University will officially begin the holiday season at 6 p.m. with the annual lighting ceremony on the front lawn.

President Burks will lead the crowd in a countdown at the end of which more than 100,000 LED lights will illuminate the campus.

I love Christmas on campus. The students do, too. The physical resources department has been hanging the lights since October, and the campus also is adorned with wreaths, garlands and bows. It’s an elegant display that is guaranteed to get you in the holiday mood.

Another festive Harding tradition is the 29th annual Tour of Homes sponsored by Associated Women for Harding Dec. 4. For only $20, you can get decorating ideas from six beautiful homes in Searcy.

The lights stay on until the new year. For other holiday events on campus, visit Come enjoy the holidays at Harding.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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