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Simpson picture

The 59th annual National Leadership Forum on campus began Sunday, June 7. This program, open to high school students in grades 9-12, provides students with opportunities to develop leadership skills, examine foreign policy, study social issues, and learn about the traditions and ideals upon which this country was established.

Yesterday, B. Chris Simpson, a University alumnus, spoke about proper communication as leaders. He is a young adult minister at the Holmes Road Church of Christ in Whitehaven, Tennessee, and this year marks the fourth time he has spoken at this event.

“My favorite part about this event is meeting the people that come up to me and say I have made a difference in their lives,” Simpson said. “When I meet them I know God hasn’t left us without representation.”

In a morning session on June 9, Simpson taught his key concepts through real life examples that were easily relatable for the young adult crowd present. He told students that there is more to people than what we immediately see, misunderstanding that idea fosters inaccurate stereotypes, and true leaders communicate and interact with the seen and unseen.

“Words are transmitted as powerful ropes to connect us throughout the ages,” Simpson said. “They are magnets diffusing energy that links strangers one to another. They are posts anchoring one human’s experience to the experience of humanity.”

Simpson pointed out leaders need to speak less and listen more, remember that people are different, and have compassion. He quoted Sharon Johnson, a life enrichment professional, saying, “Communication without compassion is brutality.”

Simpson has a gift for making teens think about oppressive stereotypes while being involved in his discussions. His questions and silly impressions kept the atmosphere light enough for them to feel comfortable answering and had them giggling throughout most of the lecture. Many came up to him afterwards to shake his hand, take a picture with him, or comment on how the topics made them think differently about themselves.

Erin Hanson, public relations intern

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Photo by Ashel Parsons.

Photo by Ashel Parsons.

Summer Stampede, an event that Harding University organizes for incoming freshmen, will be held on June 11-12 and July 9-10. At this event students can meet professors, attend orientation sessions, learn about international programs, create a class schedule for the fall, update housing information, preview campus life, and meet new friends.

Ashel Parsons, international programs administrator, said she believes that Summer Stampede is an important time for incoming students to learn in-depth knowledge of the offered study abroad programs.

“We ask students and faculty who have attended our programs in the past to come talk with incoming students during our Thursday night breakout session,” Parsons said. “We set up program stations in the library so that students and parents can go around to all of our programs and talk with people that have been through the experience of studying abroad.”

At the event, Parsons will be speaking about her time abroad, taking pictures for social media, and making sure everything runs smoothly.

“HUG was one of the best decisions of my college career,” Parsons said. “I really enjoy seeing students come in that have no knowledge of our programs and leave with a huge smile on their face because they found a program that will be just right for them.”

I remember Summer Stampede my freshman year as a whirlwind of nervousness, excitement and adventure. I drove an hour from my hometown of Little Rock to Harding’s campus in June 2013 with the windows rolled down to compensate for the lack of air conditioning.

When I arrived, I was directed to take my Harding ID photo where I was captured with hair in every direction and a face as red as a tomato.

Nothing could bring my excitement down, though, because I was ready to make lifelong friends and begin my college career.

Adventure struck when I noticed a section devoted to international programs. One booth in particular sparked my interest. Harding University in Australasia (HUA) had an outgoing, friendly girl ready to talk about her experiences with her semester abroad.

She put everything in real terms for me and shared how it changed her life. After having my own overseas adventure Fall 2014, I cannot wait to do the same at the international programs’ Summer Stampede sessions, which will be held on June 11 and July 9 from 6:45-9 p.m. in the Brackett Library. I am excited to spread the interest to incoming freshmen looking for thrilling new ways to travel and earn college credit at the same time.

Erin Hanson, public relations intern


Junior infielder/pitcher Hunter Payne pitches in a game against OBU March 31.

Junior infielder/pitcher Hunter Payne pitches in a game against OBU March 31.

He stepped up to home plate to bat. He set his feet and concentrated. Completely focused on the ball, he took hard swing, and the ball went flying into left field. A small smile appeared on 5-year-old James Hoover Brogdon’s face as he dropped the bat and raced to first base. Safe.

This week, the baseball and softball teams held their annual summer fundamentals camps for kids like Hoover in grades K-6 for baseball and K-7 for softball. Participants worked with the HU coaching staff and players from the Bison baseball and Lady Bison softball teams.

“He has really loved it and had a great time,” said 2003 alumna Erin Brogdon, Hoover’s mom. “He’s really liked talking to the players. Yesterday, he was telling me stories that they’ve told him.”

During his game, Hoover took a step off first base to prepare to run. He watched the next batter with eager eyes and hands on his knees. At home plate, a Harding baseball player gave the batter some encouragement. After a hit to center field, Hoover took off from first and sprinted to second, and, after another hit, to third. With the bases loaded, the next batter hit the ball into right field, and Hoover excitedly ran safely to home.

“I’ve learned so many life lessons in sports,” Erin said. “It’s fun to see Hoover find things that he likes to do. We get to see his personality develop, watch him grow in his interests, and develop passions. He loves baseball.” When asked what his favorite part of the week was, Hoover simply responded with, “Batting.”

Throughout the week, campers learned fundamental skills from baseball players and made relationships with them and with other campers their age. They had opportunities to practice pitching, catching, and field work with grounders and pop-ups.

“It encourages me to see them play,” said Josh Spears, a senior relief pitcher for the Bison baseball team. “It’s a lot of fun for me to play with the younger kids and see how much they enjoy playing the game.” As everyone was leaving the field, a camper came up to Josh and asked if he would sign a baseball for him. When Josh handed the ball back, he said, “You did good today. I’m proud of you.” The camper walked away grinning from ear to ear.

The day ended with an awards ceremony where a few of the campers received medals for their performance throughout the week. Head baseball coach Patrick McGaha expressed thanks to the parents for choosing the HU baseball camp and gave some encouragement to the campers. “If you decide you want to do something, try your hardest and have a good attitude about it,” he said.

Once the ceremony concluded, Hoover’s younger brother asked his mom, “Did Hoover get a medal?” Erin responded with, “No, but he tried his best, and that’s all that matters.”

-Hannah Owens, director of news services

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I think it’s safe to say that most students have a Harding experience that includes spending spring afternoons on the front lawn, building relationships with new friends at the start of a school year, and cheering on the Bisons at various athletics events. And many students experience Harding for a semester in another country.

This summer, we’ll be sharing Q&A-style profiles on a few students as they experience the opportunity Harding provides in unique cultures and extraordinary sites at the University’s international programs in Florence, Italy, and Athens, Greece.

Name: Janzen Teague
Classification: Junior
Hometown: North Little Rock, Arkansas
Studying at: HUF

HU: What is your current location?
JT: Scandicci. We’re 30-45 minutes from Florence staying in a beautiful villa in the Italian countryside.

HU: What has been the most interesting thing that has happened on your journey so far?
JT: We haven’t been here long, so I’m sure there are many interesting things to come, but some of us almost got cut off by some train doors in the Atlanta airport to start the trip off with some excitement!

HU: How many pictures do you think you’ve taken as of now?
JT: Close to 100

HU: Do you have a favorite?
JT: My favorite is the first picture I took from the terrace of the villa right after we got here on Thursday night.


HU: What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten?
JT: The Italian diet is pretty straightforward; lots of pasta, a meat dish, vegetables, fruits, and bread — and coffee with every meal.

HU: What are you most looking forward to during the semester?
JT: If I’m being honest, I’m most looking forward to a nice Southern Italian beach! In a couple of weeks, we get to go stay in a castle, and I am pretty ecstatic for that as well!

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Harding University arch

Summer has officially arrived and with it, an emptier campus, at least for the moment. School may be out for most, but campus doesn’t completely shut down in the summertime.

Intersession classes started May 11 and go until May 22. From the list of 58 classes being offered, 606 students are spending the next two weeks learning as much as they can in a variety of subjects from meteorology to medieval art. Class offerings are available to students in psychology, science, math, history, English, sociology, art and communication. Summer classes also start May 11 and go until July 31, and many students are choosing to stay and study in Searcy for the summer.

Harding also hosts a number of programs on campus throughout the summer, including Arkansas Special Olympics summer games May 21-23, and the 72nd session of Arkansas Girl’s State, a program created by the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Arkansas to allow high school juniors to participate in hands-on citizenship training, which begins May 31. This year marks the 22nd consecutive year Special Olympics has been held on the University campus. It’s an event to which the whole community looks forward.

Also on the calendar is three sessions of Uplift, four sessions of Honors Symposium and one of Honors Media and Culture, two Summer Stampede programs, three shows in the department of theatre’s Searcy Summer Dinner Theatre, and the 59th annual National Leadership Forum. For details, visit Stay tuned for our favorite stories and photos covering all the excitement in store at Harding this summer.

Hannah Beall Owens, director of news services

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To many, Harding University is a place to call home, or the home in between you might say. Harding is a place where students build new lives in their college chapter and are daily challenged with new things. In 1984 Uplift camp was born and has been a time for kids from 7th to 12th grade to come to Harding for a week to experience this “summer camp on a college campus.” Training for counselors kicked off on Thursday for Uplift. Being a counselor for the first time, it’s going to be a new and exciting experience for me and for everyone. Uplift has many new changes this year, and I am exhilarated to join the team.

Friends have been telling me about Uplift since I first came to Harding as a freshman. Many of them grew up coming to Uplift and marked it as one of the main reasons they chose to come to Harding. Its impact has been heard all the way to the ears of someone who didn’t even know what Uplift was until a few years ago. Yet, I am here.

The theme this year is, “You Are Here.” In our first night of training, the counselors split into groups and walked all around campus to the buildings and areas where activities would be happening throughout the next three weeks. We walked to each building and prayed that these places will be present with God’s spirit and that Satan will be far from it, for Uplift is a harness for big things to happen — spiritually big things. We walked around campus praying in the student center for conversations and connections. We prayed in the Administration Auditorium that our worship would be pure and on fire, and through this moment of prayer, I began to see that my school emanates such a different light — a new light.

There’s no better theme for Uplift than one centered on being you and recognizing that God meets you where you are. Through the many different stages of our faith, God is ready and able to hold you in his hand, and that is why I am here.

Taylor Gleaves, public relations intern


President Bruce McLarty meets a first year student and his family after a session during Summer Stampede 2013.

President Bruce McLarty meets a first year student and his family after a session during Summer Stampede 2013.

Campus is about to be full of first year students as the first session of Summer Stampede kicks of Thursday. We are preparing for approximately 500 students and their parents as they visit campus for the two-day informational orientation.

My Summer Stampede experience was an unforgettable one. Though I had visited Harding many times before, this event made things more real than anything else. I was officially a Harding University student, and leaving home to live in this new place was finally drawing closer.

I stayed in the dorm with my roommate, whom I had met the day we arrived, and I made vital connections with other students who became my classmates and friends. Remembering back on my own experience, I’m so excited for these new students and the Harding memories they will begin to make this week.

Students will explore academic paths through advisor breakout sessions and learn how to ease into college life socially, financially and academically. Parents get to be formally introduced to campus, some for the first time, and learn about University resources and how to transition with their new college student. Summer Stampede is an exciting prologue of hundreds of new Harding stories, and it only gets better from here.

Hannah Owens, news director


Studying essentials

Studying essentials

On May 10, I walked across the Benson stage, smiled proudly and grabbed an important black folder from Dr. Bruce McLarty while telling myself, “Don’t trip. Don’t trip. Don’t trip.” In other words, I graduated. And while I took pictures with friends and family outside after the ceremony, that euphoric feeling of being completely done with college was overshadowed by the realization that I would be back in the classroom the following Monday morning. I had signed up for an Intersession earth science course. Each time I told someone that was my plan, I got the same response: disappointment and confusion. So I started to join the doubters in their game. I heard horror stories about the intensity and workload that Intersession exudes. I saw faces visibly droop at the sound of the word science, as if to say, “Well, good luck with that.” I regularly fielded questions about how is it possible to take another class after having graduated.

So I walked into the science building May 12 with a little less confidence in my steps, hearing the repeated whispered warnings of my predecessors in my head. I mentally prepared for the next two weeks — 40 hours spent in a classroom and countless hours spent studying. But after I timidly sat in my seat that first day, I looked up and was overcome with joy. I saw several familiar faces and realized that six of my close friends were in the same predicament I was. We were “all in this together,” if you will. (“High School Musical,” anyone?)

The next pleasant surprise was how much I was interested in the material and genuinely enjoyed learning about weather, geology, astronomy, rivers, topographic maps, plate tectonics (which sounds like some sort of kitchen-themed techno music), and the Earth in general. I found myself tuned in to the class lecture and discussion, which is something I did not expect to experience in a gen ed class.

That fact carries a lot of weight coming from me. Here’s a brief synopsis of my scientific history. I avoided any sort of science in high school like it was the plague. At Harding, I took an honors course that covered a biology credit, and then, of course, I put off my physical science credit until the afterthought that is Intersession.

So my interest in material involving science was as surprising to me as anyone else. And that, coupled with the design of Intersession, was a euphoric combination (maybe that’s overstating the experience). But I loved the structure and quick pace; the material was always fresh on our minds because we would be tested the following day after learning it. And that’s no exaggeration. During the first week, our first test was Wednesday, our second test was Thursday, and our third test was Friday. But that instant relaying of information process proved to be effective.

I walked out of the last day of earth science today with a long-anticipated feeling of “done-ness.” I have officially earned my public relations degree (through learning about the structure and function of a river?). And I can now add “Pro-Intersession” to my political views section on Facebook. In fact, I wish the whole college experience was outlined in the Intersession format or something close to it. It is much easier to take in one subject at a time so you can focus solely on the material at hand and keep track of just one teaching style.

So now I can confidently tell you why the sky is blue, and some sunsets are red orange. I can read a weather map and predict storms. And I will never look at a river the same. But I will also sleep well tonight knowing that I will never have to fill in a Scantron again or set an alarm for 6 a.m. in order to cram for a test.

Holly Bohnett (’14)

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Summer school might not sound like the most thrilling way to spend the months of May through August, but those who do opt to stay in Searcy and take a couple of classes will notice some interesting offerings you might not see in the fall and spring course catalogs.

One such class is COMM 369, “The Beatles: Media and Culture.” Held during Intersession, this course packs in the history and impact of The Beatles.

“We trace the history of popular music in America and its influence internationally,” said Dr. Dutch Hoggatt, professor of communication. “We also examine the impact of World War II on British society and culture. The Beatles provided the ‘musical soundtrack’ to the tumultuous 1960s America. We examine the historical and social context of the 1960s. We try to allow students to experience The Beatles in much the same way the audiences of the 1960s experienced The Beatles — through music, films, television and print.”

The class meets for more than four hours every day for two weeks. That structure allows students to fully immerse themselves in the culture of The Beatles without much interruption.

For many students, the allure of the class comes from gaining a deeper understanding of a band that has been renowned for decades.

“For as long as I can remember, I have heard of The Beatles and their music,” senior Tin Nguyen said. “I was born more than 20 years after The Beatles officially disbanded in 1970, but I was still aware of The Beatles and their music at an early age. I think that says a lot about the kind of dent they made in history and our culture. I enrolled in this class because I wanted to learn how a group of nobody teenagers from a rough and poor city in the U.K. turned the world upside down. The Beatles didn’t just sing and make music; they brought about change in the world.”

In addition to viewing the five feature films starring The Beatles — “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help!,” “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Yellow Submarine,” and “Let It Be” — the class is also visited by guest speakers who share deeper insight on The Beatles and the time period. An elder at College Church of Christ, Dan Newsom speaks on The Beatles’ first appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964, on his own interviews with George Harrison’s sister Louise, and on the musical instruments the band used. Harding Associate Professor of History Julie Harris explores the British recording and broadcast industry during the time after World War II, and Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Jim Nesbit examines the history of psychedelic music.

By exploring the Fab Four and the history surrounding them, students are able to see their impact musically and culturally.

“In my mind, The Beatles are a microcosm of the 60s and 70s,” Nguyen said. “The Beatles represented that period’s values and beliefs, and I think learning about The Beatles will give me insight into the mindset of that generation.”

Jennifer Hannigan, publications writer

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