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Ad_fall_2013-139-6118Cooler and crisper — that’s the way it felt this morning as I ran an errand across the quadrangle. It must be a telltale sign that fall officially begins tomorrow.

While I don’t like the shorter days accompanying fall’s arrival, I do like how it makes our campus even more beautiful as God displays his colorful handiwork.

I also like that it brings two of the biggest events on campus this semester.

Family Weekend is this Friday and Saturday. From comedian John Felts to Lady Bison and Bison soccer games to tailgating and the football game with University of Arkansas at Monticello, there will be lots of activities in which to participate. In case you haven’t heard, the 3-0 Bison football team moved up in the rankings to No. 12 in the American Football Coaches NCAA Division II poll on Monday.

The 2015 Lectureship begins Sunday evening and runs through Wednesday. With the theme “Secrets of the Kingdom: Unlocking the Treasures of the Parables,” the Lectureship under Dr. Dan Williams’ direction promises days of spiritual refreshment.

Take advantage of these activities if you can. We would enjoy having you on campus anytime this fall.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Last night concluded Harding’s 91st annual Lectureship with keynote speaker B. Chris Simpson on the topic “Return to Joy.” As a student, I had the opportunity to hear Simpson speak in chapel, and it was great to hear him speak again, as well as share in the enthusiasm he always brings to the Benson. It was a profound message and challenge to end this year’s theme of “Return.”

Lectureship meant a lot to me as a student, and maybe in part because we were occasionally excused from class to attend, but also because of the opportunity for growth the week always held. I was able to listen to those with more experience and knowledge than me, as well as see some of my fellow classmates and friends discuss their own experiences.

As I’m no longer an undergraduate student, Lectureship no longer means an excuse from class and a break in the routine, but it still means looking forward to a week of spiritual growth and encouragement. After looking through shared content on #HULectureship, it’s great to see that so many others who come to Lectureship feel the same way I do.

Presented through a week of speakers, discussions, concerts and performances, spiritual growth happens at Lectureship.

To sum it up, Lectureship means:

  • A family reunion on a whole new level.
  • Renewing my purpose as a Christian.
  • An encouraging time to worship with others. 
  • Acknowledging that this path won’t always be easy, but that’s OK.


It is Lectureship week on campus. I love this week because you get to see so many visitors, hear great messages from God’s word, and you hear all of the different Harding choruses — all in four days.

The highlight for me so far this week was the Fireside Chat on Sunday night. Dr. McLarty interviewed Dr. Ganus and Dr. Burks about their memories of Lectureship.

Dr. Ganus’ first memory of Lectureship was as a freshman on Thanksgiving Day in 1939. That was the day the mortgage was burned. Harding owed around $75,000 when Dr. Benson became president in 1936 so paying off that debt in three years was a big deal.

Lectureship was always on Thanksgiving week because that was the only day the school was closed. It was a big day, and both Dr. Ganus and Dr. Burks talked about the wonderful Thanksgiving meal and how Dr. Benson would have barbecue pits dug over where the football field now sits. They would cook hundreds of pounds of beef and pork to feed everyone.

Basketball was also a big part of of Lectureship weekend. Dr. Ganus told about the game on Nov. 24, 1966, when Harding was played Oral Roberts University in the Rhodes Field House. One of the Harding players received a pretty serious ankle injury during the game. As he was being attended to on the court, Oral Roberts himself came down out of the stands and offered to heal the player. According to Dr. Ganus, the player assured Mr. Roberts that he would be OK without a healing. According to the Sports Information Office, the player was likely Ron Goss as he only played in the first quarter of the game. The Bisons lost the game 80-75, and it was the only time we have ever played the Golden Eagles. (Thanks to Scott Goode for the game details.)

Dr. Burks also remembered a basketball injury that he photographed as a Petit Jean photographer. He recounted that two players collided under the goal, and the Harding player went down with a huge gash on his forehead. Dr. Burks said blood was everywhere, and he knew he was in trouble. He walked around behind the half wall that separated the lobby and the court and passed out. An ambulance came and took the player to the hospital, the floor was cleaned and the rest of the game was played — he missed it all.

One of the funny moments of the chat came when Dr. McLarty asked how Lectureship was separated from Thanksgiving week. Dr. Ganus quickly spoke up and said “it changed during your presidency” while pointing to Dr. Burks. Dr. Burks explained that the students forced the date change. School was closed on Thanksgiving Day and on Friday and as Harding students do they started leaving on Wednesday to go home and there was simply no one here. Several different models were tried before the late September date was chosen.

Dr. Ganus mentioned that he always enjoyed hearing Batsell Baxter and G.C. Brewer speak while Dr. Burks said he especially liked to hear Ira North, and he always loved his signature gold sports coat.

We have the video online here if you want to watch the Fireside Chat.

I love hearing the history of Harding from these men.

Jeff Montgomery/photographer



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There certainly is not time for boredom in Searcy this weekend.

Global Missions Experience, a hands-on experience for young people interested in world missions, begins this evening at Harding University Tahkodah in nearby Floral. More than 800 people have registered for the event coming from at least 12 universities.

Family Weekend starts tomorrow and promises many activities, including magician Joshua Lozoff. It concludes Saturday evening with the 3-0 Bisons taking on East Central University in the first home game of the season.

Sunday marks the beginning of the 89th annual Bible Lectureship, which continues through Wednesday. The theme is “Faith for a New Place and Time: Studies in Joshua” and offers opportunities for spiritual growth, renewal and fellowship.

If that’s not enough, Main Street Searcy is hosting its annual Get Down Downtown festival Friday evening and Saturday with music, vendors and family-friendly fun. The College of Pharmacy will have a booth offering free health screenings. Assistant professor Jeanie Smith has received a $5,000 grant from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation as part of the Million Hearts Initiative to expand their health screenings and education services, and festival participants can reap the benefit.

Come, enjoy, grow and leave refreshed.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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In the publications arena, one has to be constantly working ahead. Thus, even though the mercury has been around 100 for weeks, our office is busily producing the Lectureship program. While we are creating it in the cool of an air-conditioned office, Lectureship brings to mind the early fall when the campus is still green and temperatures are many degrees lower than they are right now. In fact, one might say they are just about perfect during that time of year.

With the theme “Children of God: Studies in I John,” the 88th Annual Bible Lectureship Sept. 24-28 has an even bigger lineup of speakers and topics than ever. I know this is so because I have cropped and placed each speaker’s picture and read each topic.

Lectureship brings together Christians from around the world for four days of spiritual encouragement. Mark your calendar today. The cooler days of September will be here soon. We’ll have the program ready!

Tom Buterbaugh, editor