Lyon students teach French, broaden horizons for middle schoolers

Lyon College French Club members started a French enrichment class at Southside Middle School during the 2020 spring semester. Katie Cruse, John Pruden, and Wilson Borkowski presented nine weekly lessons to a group of 20 students.

“The purpose of the class is not only to teach about French,” Cruse said, “but also to open the students’ minds to diverse opportunities.”  

“I hope the class will help them see further than Arkansas,” said Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Maryline Jones.

Many of the Southside students were unaware that international experiences are accessible to kids in rural Arkansas. In response, the French Club members held a panel discussion to share the opportunities they have received as a result of studying French.

Cruse mentioned essay competitions and study abroad scholarships, Borkowski described visiting Paris during a Nichols Trip, and Pruden highlighted study abroad experiences and college scholarships.

In addition, Jones, a native of France, visited the class to discuss some unique cultural aspects of her home country.

“They seemed eager to know more about life in France,” she said. “I hope this class helps them be open-minded about other cultures.”

Cruse agreed, adding that “learning to respect cultural differences could help the students form positive relationships with their classmates, teachers, coaches, and future coworkers.”

To further encourage students to seek out opportunities, the volunteer teachers also discussed college life.

“I was surprised to find that most of the students felt like they couldn’t afford a college education,” said Pruden. “That drove home how lucky I am to have the scholarship that I do.”

He advised the students to keep working hard on their education so they can receive student support at Lyon or another university.

Jones encouraged the students to pursue a college education, highlighting the unique advantages of Lyon’s liberal arts environment. 

“We showed these young students that professors in college are accessible, that we care about our students, and that all we want is to give them the tools to reach any goal they have.”

The experience was beneficial to the Lyon students leading the course, as well. 

“This is a fantastic learning experience for Lyon students,” said Jones. “They are fully in charge of developing and teaching the class and must be responsible, organized, and reliable.”

The Lyon students also enjoyed giving back to their college and community.

“Starting this class was my way to say ‘thank you’ to Lyon College,” Cruse said. “For three years, Lyon allowed me to take dual enrollment courses and participate in various campus activities. They helped open my eyes to opportunities, so I am glad to do that for others.”

Cruse hopes other Lyon students will offer new enrichment courses at Southside Middle School. 

Pruden concluded, “I am 100% going to do this again next year.”

Hendrix College Student from Conway Competes in ‘Jeopardy!’ College Championship Thursday, April 9

Joe Coker, a junior at Hendrix College from Conway, Ark., will make his first appearance in the JEOPARDY! College Championship presented by LendingTree® on Thursday, April 9 (check local listings for show times and stations). Coker will face off against Beni Keown, a freshman at Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) from Evanston, Ill., and Xiaoke Ying, a sophomore at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.) from Arcadia, Calif., for a shot at the semifinals.

The complete schedule of week one match-ups is as follows. 

Monday, April 6

Marshall Comeaux, a sophomore at the University of Texas (Austin, Texas) from Dallas, Texas.
Emma Farrell, a senior at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pa.) from Telford, Pa.
Sirad Hassan, a senior at Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.) from Frederick, Md.

Tuesday, April 7

Sophie Casarico, a junior at Florida State University (Tallahassee, Fla.) from St. Augustine, Fla.
Kayla Kalhor, a sophomore at the University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.) from Longwood, Fla.
Nathaniel Miller, a sophomore at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) from Miami, Fla.

Wednesday, April 8

Alistair Gray, a sophomore at the University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, Calif.) from Sunnyvale, Calif.
Londyn Lorenz, a sophomore at the University of Mississippi (Oxford, Miss.) from Perryville, Mo.
Kylie Weaver, a senior at Penn State (State College, Pa.) from McLean, Va.

Thursday, April 9

Joe Coker, a junior at Hendrix College (Conway, Ark.) from Conway, Ark.
Beni Keown, a freshman at Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) from Evanston, Ill.
Xiaoke Ying, a sophomore at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.) from Arcadia, Calif.

Friday, April 10

Tyler Combs, a senior at Indiana University (Bloomington, Ind.) from Greenfield, Ind.
Natalie Hathcote, a junior at Liberty University (Lynchburg, Va.) from Parker, Colo.
Nibir Sarma, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.) from Eden Prairie, Minn.

The JEOPARDY! College Championship presented by LendingTree® is 10-day special event featuring 15 of America’s sharpest students. The winner claims the $100,000 grand prize and a berth in the next Tournament of Champions. To learn more about the tournament, please visit the College Championship mini-site on Jeopardy.com

Williams Baptist Launches Prayer Society

Williams Baptist University is mounting a renewed focus on prayer, and it is calling on its supporters to join the effort.  WBU has announced the formation of a new group, the Eagles Wings Society, whose sole purpose is praying for the university and its people.

WBU President Dr. Stan Norman led in the formation of the Eagles Wings Society, and the group has been formally approved by the university’s Board of Trustees.  The president said the group has been in development for several weeks, but that the COVID-19 outbreak provides an ideal time to launch a prayer initiative.

Norman said he became convinced of the need for such an organization following several years of his own reading, preaching and commitment on prayer.

“In the course of my studies, teaching, and praying, I came to an obvious but somewhat startling realization – if prayer is so important, so absolutely crucial to the faith and service of God’s people, why have we not organized and mobilized the employees, students and friends of WBU to pray for the university and its mission?” Norman said.

“If Jesus prayed about His mission, why are we not praying more diligently and strategically for the mission of WBU?  This realization brought a conviction that led me to develop a plan, and to have our Board of Trustees approve the plan, to have a university-sponsored group whose sole purpose is to pray for the mission of Williams Baptist University.”

The Eagles Wings Society will be co-chaired by Dr. Johnny Hutchison and Dr. Bob Magee.  Hutchison is pastor of Highland Drive Baptist Church in Jonesboro and a member of the WBU Board of Trustees, while Magee is chair of the WBU Department of Fine Arts and director of the Williams Singers.

Norman said the society will be composed of people who commit to pray for Williams on an ongoing and strategic basis.  Some will be employees of the university, and others will simply be friends of WBU, both far and near, who are willing to engage in focused prayer for the institution.

“This group will be charged to engage in the ministry of prayer in all its biblical expressions (intercession, supplication, confession, thanksgiving, etc.).  Members must be people who will commit to a ministry of prayer that is consistent, diligent and strategic in expression and practice, praying faithfully to our God on behalf of the people and mission of WBU,” Norman commented.

“Guiding values for membership in the Eagles Wings Society will be: (1) a sincere commitment to pray for WBU; (2) a matured consistency in the spiritual discipline of prayer; (3) a sustained intensity in the expression of prayer; and (4) a willingness to pray in individual and corporate contexts.”

The president noted that universities form many types of boards with the intention of raising support from other people, in one form or another.  This group, however, is designed to seek support from God.

“It is common for universities to have various types of advisory board (fundraising, advisory, athletic, etc.) – these types of groups are extremely helpful to schools.  In fact, we have some of these types of groups at WBU.  The Eagles Wings Society is a different type of organization.  Membership in the EWS is not an honorific appointment, an award conferred or recognition given for some type of achievement.  This is a board of ‘working hard in prayer,’ and the members of EWS must be committed to this crucial work,” he noted.

Above all, Norman said, the intensified focus on prayer is intended to fortify WBU and its mission in today’s culture.

“The effectiveness of our mission is connected to our praying.  To be candid, we will not as Christians in today’s world faithfully and effectively serve the Lord if we do not study His word and pray.  And as this matter relates to WBU – Williams Baptist University will only faithfully fulfill the mission that God has entrusted to us through prayer,” the president said.

“The devoted servants of God who worked and served here in the past were a people of faithful praying, and this university known as a ‘Child of Providence’ will only move forward in the future that God has for us through prayer.  Our ability to continue to be a campus of Christian purpose is directly tied to our faithfulness to pray.”

Those who have prayer requests can email them to ews@williamsbu.edu.

For more information on the Eagles Wings Society, follow this link.

Williams is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge, Ark.

Ouachita students earn nine finalist honors in state NATS competition

Seven Ouachita Baptist University music students earned nine finalist honors at the 2020 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition. Over 170 students from colleges throughout Arkansas competed for a place in the final round of auditions, which were held at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., earlier this semester. Of those competing, 25 Ouachita students earned finalist or semifinalist honors.

The competition is judged by member teachers of the Arkansas Chapter of NATS. They evaluate the technical proficiency, interpretive skill and overall artistry of each singer and provide written critiques and feedback. Following the preliminary round, students advance through a semi-final round and then, depending on their scores, a final round. Finalists are awarded first through fifth place or receive an honorable mention.

“Our students who participate in state and regional NATS conferences most always achieve a higher level of singing than their counterparts,” said Dr. Jon Secrest, Addie Mae Maddox Professor of Music and coordinator of Ouachita’s vocal studies program. “They are exposed to many different singers during this event by attending recitals, master classes and observation of the final round of competition. These elements of the experience teach them so much about what to do, and what not to do, in their own performances.

“Ouachita continues to enjoy a strong representation of singers in the finals each year and affirms the work ethic of our students, as well as the investment of time and talent put forth by our faculty,” Secrest added.

NATS auditions provide students with an opportunity to receive professional critiques, audition experience and cash awards.

“The judges and other students have taught me a lot about the art of singing and performing, and it’s inspired me to see how hard students work for what they love,” said Chaney Campbell, a freshman musical theatre major from Rogers, Ark. Campbell was named a finalist and earned second place in the lower college music theatre women division.

“This competition is an opportunity to perform and share what I love to do with others,” said Kinsey Potts, a sophomore musical theatre from Wylie, Texas. Potts was named a finalist and earned third place in the lower college music theatre women division. “I was very proud of myself for it being my first time to make all the way to finals.”

The following are finalists from Ouachita, listed in order of hometown:

Allen, Texas – Logan Dooley, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, earned third place in the junior men division and fourth place in the upper college music theatre men division.

Arlington, Texas – Bonnie Gentry, a senior musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, earned third place in the upper college music theatre women division.

Rogers, Ark. – Chaney Campbell, a freshman musical theatre student of Dr. Glenda Secrest, earned second place in the lower college music theatre women division.

Siloam Springs, Ark. – Payton Hickman, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, earned second place in the sophomore men division and was a semifinalist in the lower college music theatre men division.

Waxahachie, Texas – Sammy Campione, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, earned second place in the lower college music theatre men division.

Wylie, Texas – Clay Mobley, a senior music industry student of Dr. Jon Secrest, earned first place in the senior men division and second place in the upper college music theatre men division. Kinsey Potts, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, earned third place in the lower college music theatre women division.

Other Ouachita students named semifinalists, in order of hometown, include:

Alexander, Ark. – Hannah Adair, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Margaret Garrett, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre women division.

Benton, Ark. – Briana Penn, a junior music and choral education student of Dr. Margaret Garrett, was a semifinalist in the junior women division.

Cabot, Ark. – Elizabeth Ring, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Margaret Garrett, was a semifinalist in the junior women division.

Caraway, Ark. – Karlee Sanders, a sophomore choral music education student of John Alec Briggs, was a semifinalist in the sophomore women division.

Cleveland, Texas – Hannah Gothard, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the sophomore women and lower college music theatre women divisions.

Conway, Ark. – Abby Shourd, a junior choral music education student of Dr. Margaret Garrett, was a semifinalist in the junior women division and upper college music theatre women divisions.

Fort Smith, Ark. – Eryn Riley, a freshman choral music education student of Dr. Natilan Crutcher, was a semifinalist in the freshman women division.

Greenwood, Ark. – Alex Marrin, a senior musical theatre student of Dr. Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre men division.

Little Rock, Ark. – Mallory Cain, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Margaret Garrett, was a semifinalist in the lower college music theatre women division.

Plano, Texas – Paige Price, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre women division.

Prattsville, Ark. – Anna Holiman, a freshman music and choral education student of Dr. Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the freshman women division.

Rose Hill, Kan. – Carlin Campbell, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Margaret Garrett, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre men division.

San Pedro Sula, Honduras – Keren Fernandez, a sophomore music student of Dr. Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the sophomore women division.

Sheridan, Ark. – Madeline Martin, a junior musical theatre and communications & media/multimedia journalism student of Dr. Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre women division.

Texarkana, Ark. – Makenna Schaeffer, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Margaret Garret, was a semifinalist in the lower college music theatre women division.

White Hall, Ark. – Clara Taylor, a sophomore choral music education student of Dr. Margaret Garrett, was a semifinalist in the sophomore women division.

Wichita, Kan. – Hailey Smith, a junior musical theatre student of John Alec Briggs, was a semifinalist in the lower college music theatre women division.

Ouachita’s collaborative pianists for the competition included Kristen La Madrid, Susan Monroe and Phyllis Walker.

For more information, contact Dr. Jon Secrest at secrestj@obu.edu or (870) 245-5134.

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.

Lyon College launches student emergency fund

Lyon College is launching the Student Emergency Fund to support students with financial needs during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lyon took the unprecedented step March 16 of dismissing students from campus and preparing to convert the remainder of the spring semester to remote instruction. Vice President for Advancement Dr. David Hutchison said the coronavirus outbreak and its consequences will lead to unexpected challenges for many students. 

“Within hours of President Joey King’s announcement on Monday, we heard from many alumni and friends who just wanted to say ‘let me know what I can do.’”

In that spirit, the Student Emergency Fund was established to help the most vulnerable students in their time of need. Hutchison said 100 percent of every dollar given to the emergency fund will be used to aid individual students’ needs. Lyon is establishing an online form for students to request aid. 

A committee, led by Vice President for Student Life Dr. Patrick Mulick, will review each case submitted and determine the level of funding on a case by case basis. Payments will be made directly to the student’s account.

“We are navigating uncharted waters,” Hutchison said, “yet I am confident that when we come together as one Scots community, we will persevere.”

To give a gift to the Emergency Student Fund, visit www.lyon.edu/student-fund.

Lyon College postpones Arkansas Scottish Festival

Lyon College is postponing the 41st Annual Arkansas Scottish Festival until later in 2020.

Due to the continuing spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the College is exercising caution for the safety and health of the entire community. The Scottish Festival was originally scheduled for April 3-5. Patrons are encouraged to continue to watch the Lyon College and Arkansas Scottish Festival pages for updates on when the festival will be rescheduled.

Contact events@lyon.edu with any questions. 

In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Lyon College has formed a response team to determine the best course of action to ensure the health and safety of the college community. The College is sharing all updates on https://www.lyon.edu/coronavirus.

Hendrix College to Celebrate Commencement May 16

Hendrix College will posthumously award the honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to Jack Singleton ’63 at the 136th Hendrix College Commencement, which will take place Saturday, May 16, at 9 a.m. in the Wellness and Athletics Center Event Gym. 

Dr. Jay Barth ’87, professor emeritus of politics, will deliver the Commencement Address.

Overflow seating will be available in the Recreation Gym, where the ceremony will be telecast. The Class of 2020 will also process and recess through the Recreation Gym.

Immediately following commencement, there will be a faculty reception for graduates in the Young-Wise Memorial Stadium Plaza (or in the Recreation Gym in the event of rain).

For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu/commencement