Harding University Announces August Graduation

The University has set the date for the rescheduled spring 2020 commencement: Saturday, August 15, 2020. We plan to have multiple ceremonies as usual, and more information will be forthcoming on the times and college groupings.

As was previously communicated, students who complete graduation requirements by the end of the spring semester will have their degree conferred on schedule in May. Students who may be delayed in completing their graduation requirements will have their degrees conferred in August or upon completion. Because we were unable to hold Grad Fest, instructions will be sent shortly on how to accomplish the tasks related to graduation, such as securing caps and gowns, etc. Updated information will be posted at harding.edu/graduation.

Harding Suspends On Campus Classes for Spring Semester

Harding University announced that on-campus instruction will not resume this semester. Online course delivery will continue as the sole method of instruction for graduate and undergraduate programs for all Harding University locations. As such, all university-sponsored campus activities will be cancelled through the end of the spring semester. Below are some important instructions and next steps regarding the areas of greatest concern for the next several weeks:

  • Harding will continue the at-a-distance delivery of classes through the end of the semester. We will not resume on-campus instruction until further notice. Please continue to refer to the Pipeline page Student Online Transition – Spring 2020 for ongoing information and updates. More information regarding retrieving belongings is covered in item #5 below.
  • Spring Sing will resume in 2021. “Once Upon a Time” will be the theme. We look forward to resuming this cherished tradition in April of next year. All tickets will be refunded and a separate communication will be sent to those who have purchased tickets.
  • May 2020 commencement will be rescheduled for August 2020. We believe it is vital for our graduating students to be able to walk across the Benson stage, and we will celebrate together in August. While the ceremony will take place in August, students who complete graduation requirements by the end of the spring semester will have their degree conferred on schedule in May. Students who may be delayed in completing their graduation requirements will have their degrees conferred in August or upon completion. If you have questions about graduation, please email graduation@harding.edu.
  • Intersession and summer school will begin as scheduled. Students should continue to register for the classes they need. More information will be forthcoming regarding the specifics of course delivery. If you have questions regarding summer courses or availability, please email summer-school@harding.edu.
  • Retrieving belongings from housing. Students will be notified via email on March 23 with a Google form link detailing the check out process for your specific residence hall. Once you have received that email, please contact studentlife@harding.edu or 501-279-4331 with any questions or concerns. Any students requesting to move out of a Harding rental apartment please contact jford8@harding.edu or 501-279-4339.
  • Library resources. You can find the most up-to-date information regarding the Brackett Library at library.harding.edu
  • Textbooks. Harding Bookstore “buy back” is not available this semester. All rented textbooks for the spring semester must be returned to the Harding Bookstore by May 15. All students who have rented a book will receive an email from the Harding Bookstore with instructions. If you have questions, please email hutextbooks@harding.edu.
  • Refunds/credits. Notifications regarding refunds and credits will be sent at a later date.
  • Campus housing for those who must remain on campus. Residence halls are now restricted to students who have no option other than living on campus through the end of the semester and have made arrangements with student life. This includes those whose homes are outside of the U.S.; those whose internships or practicums require them to remain; those whose home communities are quarantined; those for whom returning home represents a health/safety threat. Food service is available.
  • Daily devotional. During this time of separation, we want to remain connected as a community. Next Monday we will begin posting a chapel-like daily devotional on all social channels at 10 a.m. each weekday and encourage you to join us.

These decisions and measures are so difficult for all of us, but this is a temporary situation. We will resume normal life and will be back together as soon as is feasible. Our prayers are with all of the Harding community and with our entire world as we pray for protection, healing and strength through this difficult time.

Harding Students selected to represent Arkansas at national Space Grant Consortium event in Washington, D.C.

A group of Harding University students has been selected to represent the state of Arkansas in Washington D.C. for the 30th anniversary of the Space Grant Consortium. The students selected, Abby Bankhead from Franklin, Tennessee, Sidney Brandon from Russellville, Arkansas, Hannah Smith from Searcy, Arkansas, Parker Pruitt from Beebe, Arkansas, Elizabeth Reed from Mount Pleasant, Texas, and faculty advisors Dr. Dennis Province and Dr. Cindy White, are part of the Harding University Space Research Team and are one of only 25 groups chosen from across the country to represent the consortium.

While in Washington D.C., the team will present their research results to lawmakers, senators and representatives, including six Arkansas congressmen, on Capitol Hill. The research is supported by a grant funded by NASA through the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium, which includes 17 four-year universities and colleges throughout Arkansas. Two of the HU Space Research Team members, Smith and Brandon, were also chosen to present at a session for selected students who will share their research with scientists at the Space Grant Annual Conference.

The team’s research focuses on enhancing the current system of wastewater treatment in space with a reactive oxygen species generator that will break down complex molecules and kill microbes using a combination of UV light and titanium dioxide. This process, known as photocatalysis, will help to clean and disinfect the air and water aboard the International Space Station so that it can be recycled.

Harding’s involvement with NASA began in the 1960’s with grant-funded research related to astronaut physical fitness of benefit to the first moon launch. The University maintains strong ties to America’s space program today through continued scientific and technology research and its membership in the ASGC.

The primary goal of the ASGC is to educate and familiarize faculty, undergraduate and graduate students with aerospace fundamentals, NASA’s broad research programs, and with other opportunities to enter aerospace and related industries. Following in NASA’s footsteps, they conduct programs to familiarize and motivate students with the STEM-related courses needed to enter aerospace activities at colleges and universities and to prepare them to enter white-collar and blue-collar professions in high-tech industries.

Harding names new director for charitable estate planning

Photograph of Ken Bissell
Ken Bissell

The Harding University Office of Advancement has appointed Ken Bissell as the new director for Charitable Estate Planning effective Feb. 1. In this role, Bissell will direct efforts to market the program and support donors through the planning process.

“Ken has the strengths we need to successfully lead this important aspect of the Advancement Office,” said Bryan Burks, vice president of University Advancement. “His background in marketing and strategic planning combined with his appreciation of our donors will be an excellent fit. Through his many years as a gift officer, he has been involved in numerous estate gifts and various gift instruments offered and supported through this office. Under Ken’s leadership, we will follow best practices by utilizing external attorneys when necessary to support the more complex legal estate plans and instruments to best support our donors.”

Bissell has served as senior advancement officer supporting Harding alumni and friends in Texas and the southeastern United States since 2011. Before coming to Harding he spent 21 years in corporate communications and marketing with Acxiom, Dell Inc. and Lexmark International. Bissell received his Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Harding University.

To learn more about the Office of Advancement or how you can become involved, visit harding.edu/advancement or call 501-279-4312.

Governor proclaims Jan. 27 NASA Day in Arkansas, Harding hosts NASA Chief’s first ever visit to the state

Photo of Dr. Douglas Terrier
Dr. Douglas Terrier, NASA Chief Technologist

The Harding University Department of Engineering and Physics hosted NASA Day at Harding on Jan. 27, featuring NASA Chief Technologist Dr. Douglas Terrier, NASA’s highest ranking technology official and the first NASA chief to visit Arkansas. In recognition of Dr. Terrier’s visit, Governor Asa Hutchinson proclaimed the date NASA Day in Arkansas. You can view the proclamation at governor.arkansas.gov.

During NASA Day at Harding, Dr. Terrier met and made a series of presentations to various groups, including area elementary, middle, junior and high school students, as well as Harding students and faculty. More than 1,000 students from local schools participated on campus. Along with student meetings about NASA programs, jobs and opportunities, Dr. Terrier met with representatives from the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium. The consortium includes 17 four-year universities and colleges throughout Arkansas. The day’s events included the dedication of a plaque recognizing the NASA research conducted at the University from 1967 to present day. A special exhibit titled “Harding and NASA: Through the Years” also displayed grant-funded research beginning with astronaut physical fitness, of benefit to the first moon launch, to Harding’s membership in the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and scientific and technology research that continues today.

The day culminated with a 7 p.m. lecture by Dr. Terrier in Benson Auditorium titled “Forward to the Moon: The NASA Artemis Program” which refers to NASA’s planned return to the moon, including landing the first American woman on the moon by 2024. NASA views the Artemis program as the next step toward the long-term goal of establishing a sustainable presence on the moon, laying the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy and eventually sending Americans to Mars.

As chief technologist, Terrier is the principal advisor and advocate on NASA technology policy and programs, helping plot the strategic direction of NASA’s space technology program.

Terrier earned a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering and a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas. He has completed the Carnegie Mellon Graduate School of Industrial Management Program with the Lockheed Martin Institute for Leadership Excellence, earned the Lockheed Martin “Outstanding Technical Achievement” award on four occasions, several NASA “Superior Technical Accomplishment” awards and the NASA Leadership medal. Terrier also holds patents for his work in aerospace propulsion and has published multiple technical papers.

Harding University’s “Gather to Give” raised nearly $800K

On the internationally recognized “Giving Tuesday,” the Harding community gathered to give, setting the goal of raising $450,000. At the end of the day, $775,864 was raised for projects all over campus.

“We call this day ‘Gather to Give’ as we challenge our community to gather together and give to help Harding and our wonderful students,” Vice President of Advancement Bryan Burks said.

In 2014, the first “Gather to Give” event aimed to raise $24,000 in 24 hours. Every year, the goal has been raised and, in the end, exceeded every year.

This year, in addition to the monetary goal, the entire campus got involved. Colleges and departments set internal initiatives and used their own connections and platforms to encourage people to fund specific projects as a part of “Gather to Give.” Donors could contribute to 20 different college- and department-specific projects all over campus.

“This not only increased giving, but it increased our donors for this event by 50 percent to almost 500 [people],” Burks said. “For example, the College of Bible raised over $18,000 for the Dr. Ken Neller Bible Scholarship. Almost $100,000 was given to these 20 different projects this year.”

This year, at the end of the 24 hours, a total of $775,864 had been raised by 492 different donors, far surpassing the goal of $450,00.

“This event is all about the generosity of our donors who believe in Harding and how this place is preparing our students to make a difference for God in this world,” Burks said. “We are extremely thankful for our donors. Each of these programs as well as our students in general will be blessed because of the generosity of our donors.”

Harding University College of Business Administration appoints new chair and director

The Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration has appointed Dr. Jake Stewart chair of information systems and Dr. Reet Cronk director of information systems graduate studies for the Graduate School of Business effective January 2020.

Dr. Jake Stewart

Dr. Stewart, associate professor of business, has been with the University since 2003. He has more than 15 years of business industry experience, which includes international assignments, and has served as a member of the Project Management Institute since 2000.

Stewart received his Bachelor of Science in computer science from Harding; Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston; project management professional certification and project management office certificate of added qualification from the Project Management Institute.

Stewart fills the role previously held by Dr. Reet Cronk who was named director of information systems graduate studies. Cronk served as chair of information systems from 2000 through 2019.

Dr. Reet Cronk

Cronk has been a committee member for the European conference on information technology evaluation, European conference on knowledge management, European conference on business research methods, international conference on intellectual capital, knowledge management and organizational learning.

Cronk received her Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Canberra; Master of Science from Australian National University; graduate diploma in information technology from the University of Southern Queensland; and Ph.D. from the University of Southern Queensland.

Harding’s College of Business Administration offers programs in accounting, finance, information systems, international business, management and marketing, including dual degree options enabling students to earn a BBA to MBA or MSIS in five years. Its Graduate School of Business offers several online programs including MBA, Master of Science in information systems, as well as certificates in data analytics and information assurance and security. For more information regarding COBA news and programs, visit harding.edu/business, or call 501-279-4240.

Harding’s American Studies Institute hosts Stephen M.R. Covey and Benjamin Watson for Spring lecture series

The American Studies Institute will host bestselling author Stephen M.R. Covey and New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson for the spring presentations of its Distinguished Lecture Series.

Stephen M.R. Covey will present his lecture “The Speed of Trust” Thursday, Feb. 20. A graduate of Harvard’s MBA program, Covey co-founded and currently leads FranklinCovey’s Global Speed of Trust Practice. He serves on numerous boards, including the Government Leadership Advisory Council, and has been recognized with the lifetime achievement award for the “Top Thought Leaders in Trust” from the advocacy group Trust Across America/Trust Around the World.

A New York Times and No.1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Covey has taught trust and leadership in 52 countries to business, government, education, healthcare, military and NGO organizations. Covey is the son of Stephen R. Covey, the author of this year’s Harding Read, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Benjamin Watson will present his lecture “Under Our Skin” Tuesday, April 21. An NFL veteran, Watson has been a key playmaker for the New England Patriots, the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens. He has been recognized as one of CNN’s Extraordinary People, a Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist and has received the Bart Starr Award. In addition to his commitment on the field, Benjamin and his wife Kirsten established “One More,” a nonprofit dedicated to impacting the lives of those in need by providing enrichment opportunities and promoting education through charitable initiatives and partnerships.

These events are free and open to the public. Both presentations will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Benson Auditorium on Harding’s campus. For more information, visit harding.edu/asi or call 501-279-4497. For other Harding events and free and low cost services available to the community, visit harding.edu/community.

Harding honors local veterans at annual breakfast

The American Studies Institute at Harding University hosted its fifth annual Breakfast with a Veteran Monday, Nov. 11, in Cone Chapel in the David B. Burks American Heritage Building on Harding’s campus. Veterans and their guests enjoyed a complimentary breakfast and a program paying tribute to members of the U.S. armed forces and local individuals who serve or have served honorably in uniform. Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin delivered the keynote address.

“It is important for our community of students, faculty and staff to honor our veterans every day,” said Kim Kirkman, executive director of the American Studies Institute. “One of my favorite things about hosting this breakfast is meeting the people across our campus and in our community who have served our country in one of the branches of the U.S. military. I get teary-eyed each year when we play the Armed Forces Medley and the veterans stand when their song is playing. These veterans are proud of their service and it makes me proud to have a chance to honor them on this occasion.”

The campus organization began hosting the annual breakfast event in 2015 as a way to connect students and local veterans. Attendants enjoy an informal atmosphere sharing in food and conversation with students, members of the community and fellow veterans.

For more information about the American Studies Institute, visit harding.edu/asi or call 501-279-4497. For other Harding events and free and low cost services available to the community, visit harding.edu/community.