Jim Citty Football and Athletic Training Complex

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I’ve grown up watching football all my life. I’ve been to many football games, including high school, Harding, my home state team, and NFL and indoor arena games. I like football, and I like watching football. Watching it from the sideline is a whole different experience, and I know that now after spending last Saturday’s home game on the sideline for a magazine assignment.

You might be thinking, “Duh, it’s different,” but you have to understand that I have been completely oblivious to the magnitude of the exploding excitement that erupts from a hundred helmeted, padded giants when something incredible on the field happens. After Harding scored the first touchdown in the beginning of the second quarter, I quickly began clapping. My clapping was like a soft whisper in the wind compared to the helmet slapping, cleat stomping and bison roaring that took place simultaneously.

I had many notable experiences, which included somehow exiting the field at half time in the midst of the visiting team (which I thought had to be some sort of horrible bad luck charm I had then just put on the team) and constantly finding myself accidentally in the middle of the hiker as he practiced hiking the ball to the kicker/punter. But I think the most incredible experience was getting to hear what players and coaches were saying to each other in between drives.

For my magazine story, one of the athletic trainers I’m featuring told me that the coaches’ theme or moto for the team is “honor God.” What I witnessed was constant positivity and encouragement from players to each other. And I know they weren’t doing it because someone was watching. (I couldn’t be seen. Trust me. I’m almost six feet tall, and these guys towered over me). They were doing it because they strive to honor God and lift each other up. Win or lose, the bison football team is a team I’m proud to call my alma mater’s. But just in case you were wondering, they did win this weekend in an exciting fourth-quarter comeback and beat Northwestern Oklahoma State University 42-30.

Hannah Owens, director of news services

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With the latest edition of Harding magazine at the printer, I had a few moments yesterday to stop and check out some of the improvements to campus that we tell you about in this issue.

One thing that always impresses me when the University renovates or enlarges a facility is how well the old blends with the new. A lot of credit must go to the architects, SCM, as the Mabee Business Building additions put a new look on the front and back that seamlessly merge with the old. The same can be said for the Jim Citty Football and Athletic Training Complex across campus, which is rapidly nearing completion.

I toured Stephens Hall when the open house was held the first week of school. The new glass front is impressive, and the girls who live there are enjoying the improvements.

On my way to the Mabee, I went by the Student Center where shrubbery and rock beds have been added. I constantly marvel at how marvelous the C.L. Kay Plaza is where Center Street once ran during my student days. The landscaping on our campus is phenomenal. The pride these people take in their jobs is amazing, resulting in so much beauty for all to enjoy.

The biggest change occurring now is the site preparation for 64 apartments on the west side of campus to be ready fall 2012 near the current West Apartments. This will expand housing for women and married students.

Yesterday in chapel, President David B. Burks told the students the new facilities would be unlike any of the current apartments on campus. The 15 buildings will be built in the new urban town concept with each building having its own distinctive look and exterior color scheme.

As Harding continues to expand, it continues to get better. Come by and take a look for yourself. I think you’ll like the changes.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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