Junior Sarah Harris, Spring Sing student assistant director, works on creating the cue book for the production.

Junior Sarah Harris, Spring Sing student assistant director, works on creating the cue book for the production.

It’s here! It’s finally here, and I’m so excited. No, I’m not talking about Spring Sing. I’m talking about the time where we’re putting the finishing touches on our spring edition of Harding magazine. But since you brought it up …

Campus is buzzing with exciting activity right now as Spring Sing weekend is in full throttle. With a few rehearsals and one performance in the bag, there are still three performances left, including the big finale announcing the winner Saturday night.

Spring Sing is an event so many people look forward to. Sitting in the audience, you see bright lights and shiny costumes, and you hear familiar songs with not-so-familiar lyrics. But there are things you don’t see, and the May Harding magazine features an up close view you won’t want to miss.

In preparation of our coverage, I took a trip across campus to Benson Auditorium with University photographer Jeff Montgomery to shoot photos for the feature. As I stepped on the stage, I imagined what it might feel like to be in the middle of all the Spring Sing energy. I felt heat on my face from all the lights pointed at the stage. I stepped up onto the curved platforms that had been built, and I wondered how people are able to move around at an angle like this.

When we arrived at the Benson, I met junior Sarah Harris, student assistant director for Spring Sing. She was working on the cue book, a detailed, step-by-step, instructional manual that lists every single technical action that needs to happen at just the right time during this three-hour production. Starting with nothing, there’s so much that goes into creating a show with lights, music, costumes, choreography, a hundred fellow classmates, and all the typical Spring Sing elements.

You can find our feature on “Spring Sing Up Close” in the May Harding magazine. There’s so much more to it than the incredible productions we see on stage.

Hannah Beall Owens, news director

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Spring Sing hostess Lindsey Sloan (far left) smiles for a selfie with her fellow hosts and hostesses during Spring Sing 2013.

Spring Sing hostess Lindsey Sloan (far left) smiles for a selfie with her fellow hosts and hostesses during Spring Sing 2013.

Upon graduating high school, you are constantly being convinced your college years are some of the best years of your life. When reflecting on the past four years of my life, I can honestly say that truer words have never been spoken. On Aug. 19, 2010, I left everything that I had ever known in small town Willard, Mo., to embark on what has been one of the single greatest blessings I have ever received; I began my time at Harding University.

After pledging Zeta Rho during the fall semester of my freshman year, I chose to participate in Spring Sing with TNT, Zeta Rho and friends. This was such a great avenue for forming new and lasting friendships, and, little did I know, would also hold such a huge place in the make up of my Harding experience. I was elected to direct my club’s Spring Sing show my sophomore year and was selected as a hostess for Spring Sing both my junior and senior year.

The lessons, friendships, growth, love and memories that have come as a result of this annual event are immeasurable and even more irreplaceable. To have the opportunity to participate in an event that is so much bigger than all of us is more than I could have ever asked for but is something that I am forever grateful to have received.

— Lindsey Sloan, senior communication sciences and disorders major

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Photo by Jeff Montgomery

Photo by Jeff Montgomery

The Great American Conference Tournament championships started this week. The men’s and women’s golf teams will play in the golf championship April 13-15 and the men’s and women’s tennis teams will play their tournament April 18-20.

The women’s tennis team won the Great American Conference regular season championship Saturday with a 6-3 victory against East Central Oklahoma. The Lady Bisons improved to 15-5 overall and finished the regular season 6-0 in GAC action with their 10th-straight victory. Harding won two of three very tightly contested doubles matches. Ali Rowden and Katie Huff won at No. 2 in a tiebreaker, 7-3, and Lauren Doversola and Arielle Butler won 9-7 at No. 3. Piper Huey gave Harding a 3-1 lead with a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 2 singles, her ninth-straight singles victory. East Central closed the match to 3-2 with a victory at No. 3, but Harding pulled back to a two-point lead with Rowden’s three-set victory at No. 1. The Lady Bisons clinched the match-winning point when East Central’s Augustina Moren had to retire from her match with Butler at No. 5 with a shoulder injury. Harding added a sixth point with Kaleigh Wagner’s 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 6. Earlier in the week, the Lady Bisons shut out Ouachita Baptist 9-0 on Tuesday and then defeated No. 50 Arkansas-Fort Smith in non-conference action 6-3. Women’s tennis was also ranked No. 4 in the first NCAA II Central Region Rankings, released Wednesday on NCAA.com. The top seven teams in the 31-team NCAA II Central Region advance to the NCAA II Tournament that starts May 3. The two teams that reach the finals of the Central Region advance to play May 13-16 at the championship rounds in Surprise, Ariz.

Elsewhere …

Baseball: Harding dropped the first two games of the series with Henderson State 4-3 and 8-3 but bounced back to win the final game of the series 7-0. Matt Calhoun led the Bisons at the plate hitting .462 in 13 at bats. He had six hits, including two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Collin Campbell led the Bisons on the mound in the third game to get the win. Campbell got his second shutout of the season. He gave up five hits and struck out three. Campbell is the only Harding pitcher to record a shutout.

Softball: Harding played six GAC games this week as they finished the Arkansas Tech series on Tuesday with a split and then took one of a four game series at Henderson State this past weekend. Amanda Berdon led Harding, batting .471 on the week. She had eight hits, four home runs, six RBI and five runs scored. Courtney Derrick hit .391 on the week, including a grand slam in the 9-5 win at Henderson State. Amber Rollins had a team-high 3.65 ERA on the week. In 15 1/3rd innings pitched, she had 11 strikeouts.

Men’s tennis: Harding went 2-1 for the week. The Bisons fell at Ouachita Baptist 5-4, then beat Arkansas-Fort Smith 8-1 and East Central Oklahoma 6-3. Harding will be the third seed in the GAC Tournament. Jon Mark Rowden and Brandon Hogland won all three of their singles matches.

Men’s track and field: Men’s track and field team won seven events and posted three NCAA provisional results Saturday at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Open. Sophomore Corey Bassett won the 100 meters in 10.55 seconds, an NCAA provisional time that ranks second among Lone Star Conference runners and tied for 14th in NCAA Division II. Junior Donatella Luckett placed second in 10.60, also a provisional time and the third-best among LSC runners. Senior Landon Belcher won the 400 meters in 48.63. It was his second-straight event victory in the 400 meters and the fifth of his career. Freshman Luke Goodspeed won the 1,500 meters in his collegiate debut in the event with a time of 4:09.81.

Women’s track and field: Harding junior Ewa Zaborowska ran the sixth-fastest 1,500-meter time this season in NCAA Division II, and the Lady Bisons collected four event titles Saturday at the UALR Open. Zaborowska, who earned All-America honors last season with a fifth-place finish in the 1,500 meters at NCAA II Nationals, won the event in an NCAA provisional time of 4 minutes, 30.96 seconds. She holds the school record in the 1,500 meters at 4:26.24. Zaborowska has won six times in nine 1,500-meter races in her career. Freshman Amber Webb won the 5,000 meters in 18:14.50, her first career event victory. Sophomore Kelsey Taylor won the steeplechase in 12:12.37. Harding had the top three finishers in the steeplechase with Amber Priest second and Sarah Shepherd third. The Lady Bisons had one event victory and four second-place finishes in the field events. Senior Kristen Celsor won the high jump for the second time this season and ninth time of her career. She cleared 5 feet, 4.25 inches.

This week’s schedule: (Home games in bold)
Monday, April 14

  • Men’s and women’s golf at GAC Tournament, TBA

Tuesday, April 15

  • Men’s and women’s golf at GAC Tournament, TBA

Wednesday, April 16

  • Men’s and women’s tennis at University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 11 a.m.
  • Baseball vs. University of Arkansas-Monticello, 3 p.m.

Thursday, April 17

  • Men’s and women’s track and field at Mt. SAC Relays, TBA

Friday, April 18

  • Softball doubleheader vs. Ouachita Baptist University, 2 p.m.
  • Baseball at Ouachita Baptist University, 3 p.m.
  • Men’s tennis vs. East Central Oklahoma University at GAC Tournament, 1 p.m.
  • Women’s tennis vs. TBA at GAC Tournament, 4 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at University of Central Arkansas Open, TBA

Saturday, April 19

  • Softball doubleheader vs. Ouachita Baptist University, 12 p.m.
  • Baseball doubleheader at Ouachita Baptist University, 12 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at University of Central Arkansas Open, TBA
  • Men’s and women’s tennis at GAC Tournament, TBA

Sunday, April 20

  • Men’s and women’s tennis at GAC Tournament, TBA

Remember to check HardingSports.com for all the latest information on your Bisons and Lady Bisons.

Nathan Looney, assistant sports information director

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Less than a week away from the men’s and women’s Great American Conference golf tournament championship, all the spring sports are down the home stretch for seeding in the GAC Tournament.

The Natural State Golf Classic is supposed to be a 36-hole event. But when Harding and No. 47 Southeastern Oklahoma State University both had two-round scores of 583, it became a 37-hole event that the Bisons won in a playoff. Southeastern led Harding by nine strokes with only four holes to play, but a couple of bad holes for the Savage Storm and two key birdie putts for Harding — one by Lucas Collins on the 16th hole and a 20-foot putt by Brad Lamb on 18 — knotted the score. To break the tie, the two teams went back to the par-5, 545-yard first hole. Each member of the two teams played the hole, and the best four scores for each team made up the team score. Harding had all five of its members available to play, but Southeastern had only four after team member Coleman Caldwell had withdrawn from the tournament on the eighth hole after suffering an injury. With nerves apparent, only one player birdied the hole, Southeastern’s Jeff Hunter, who was the tournament’s individual medalist. But after eight of the nine players finished the hole, Southeastern had a team score of 22, and Harding had a score of 20 with Nathan Kannenberg staring down a two-foot putt to win it. He made it, and Harding had its second tournament title of the 2013-14 season in the 11-team event.

“It was the most exciting golf I’ve been a part of,” head coach Dustin Howell said. It was the eighth time Harding had hosted the Natural State Golf Classic at the Red Apple Inn and Country Club and its first victory. Harding had four players finish in the top 10. Collins, Kannenberg and Alex Williamson all shot 4-over 146 to tie for fourth. Jordan Perry tied for eighth at 5-over 147, and Lamb tied for 29th at 13-over 155. However, Lamb shot 2-over 73, tied for Harding’s second-best score in the second round. Brittany Marquez led the Lady Bisons in the tournament, finishing tied for 18th as the team finished 10th.

Elsewhere …

Baseball: Harding fell in the series opener at Southwestern Oklahoma on Friday 8-2 but bounced back to win the series Saturday with a sweep as the Bisons won 9-2 and 10-7. In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Erin McCarver and Noah Chandler both had four-hit games. McCarver was 4-for-6 with two runs and an RBI, his second four-hit game of the season. Chandler was 4-for-5 with a run and two RBI. It was Chandler’s first four-hit game as a Bison. Each of the first six hitters in Harding’s lineup had two hits or more. The hits kept coming in game two as five Harding players had multi-hit games, including Matt Calhoun, who was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and his 10th double of the season. A two-run double by Chandler in the first gave Harding a 2-0 lead. Southwestern answered with a run in the first and another to tie the game in the third. But the Bisons took the lead for good with a run on Davis Richardson’s RBI single in the fourth and a six-run fifth inning that included an RBI double from Guerra and a run-scoring single from Richardson. Logan Holthaus got the win in game one, and Collin Campbell got the win in game two.

Softball: Harding picked up its first series sweep this past weekend. The Lady Bisons won 3-0 and 7-3 on Friday against Southwestern Oklahoma and then won 4-1 and 10-2 on Saturday. The Lady Bisons had seven hits in game one, led by Courtney Derrick who had three. Starter Amber Rollins went the distance to get her first shutout of the season and the Lady Bisons second shutout this season. In game two, Harding scored six runs on six hits in the sixth inning. Marley Edwards knocked in Kimmy Hendricks for the first run. Then Amanda Berdon hit a two-run homerun to give the Lady Bisons the lead. Brooklynn Moon and Carolyn Clayton knocked in the other two Harding runs. In the third game, Clayton got things going for Lady Bisons in the first with two RBI. The Lady Bisons scored again in the fourth inning, and Edwards knocked in Harding’s fourth run in the fifth after Hendricks tripled to right center field. In the final game of the series, Harding had a season-high five doubles and had 15 hits. It was the third time this season Harding has had 15 or more hits in a game. Six different Harding players had multiple hits. Courtney Chambers led the Lady Bisons going 3-for-3.

Men’s tennis: Harding went 1-2 on the week. The Bisons defeated LeMoyne-Owen College 9-0 but fell to Southeastern Oklahoma 6-3. Mathaus Spiering and Jon Mark Rowden won both singles matches this past week. Spiering defeated Southeastern Oklahoma’s Alberto Blesa, who was ranked No. 13, 7-6, 3-6 and 11-9. It was Spiering’s fifth-straight singles victory. He improved to 15-2 overall, 10-1 in dual matches, and 6-1 against regionally ranked opponents.

Women’s tennis: Harding won both of its GAC matches this week. The Lady Bisons upset No. 29 Arkansas Tech University on Friday 6-3 and then defeated Southeastern Oklahoma on Saturday 8-1. In its match against Arkansas Tech, Harding trailed 2-1 after doubles but got five singles wins for the team victory, snapping a four-match Arkansas Tech winning streak. It was the third victory against a nationally ranked team in program history and the highest-ranked team Harding has defeated. In the match against Southeastern Oklahoma, Harding won all three doubles matches for the eighth time this season.

This week’s schedule: (Home games in bold)
Tues., April 8
Men’s and women’s golf at Henderson State Invitational, 8 a.m.
Men’s and women’s tennis at Ouachita Baptist University, 2 p.m.
Softball doubleheader at Arkansas Tech University, 4 p.m.

Thurs., April 10
Men’s and women’s tennis vs. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 1:30 p.m.

Fri., April 11
Baseball vs. Henderson State University, 3 p.m.

Sat., April 12
Baseball doubleheader vs. Henderson State University, noon
Softball doubleheader at Henderson State University, 1 p.m.
Men’s and women’s tennis at East Central University, 9 a.m.
Men’s and women’s track at University of Arkansas at Little Rock Open, TBA

Sun., April 13
Softball doubleheader at Henderson State University, 1 p.m.
Men’s and women’s golf at GAC Tournament, TBA

Remember to check HardingSports.com for all the latest information on your Bisons and Lady Bisons.

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Photo by Jeff Montgomery

Photo by Jeff Montgomery

After a rainy Friday, the rest of the weekend was sunny and in the 60s, which set up for great weather to watch Harding sporting events.

The Harding men’s and women’s track teams hosted the annual Bison Invitational on Saturday. Ewa Zaborowska, Kristen Celsor and Rachael Domeyer each reached NCAA provisional marks on the women’s side, and on the men’s side Jacob McDonald set a new school record in the hammer throw, and Josh Syrotchen recorded an NCAA provisional mark in the discus. Zaborowska won the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 12.25 seconds, the fourth-fastest time in the event this season in NCAA II. Celsor cleared 5 feet, 6 inches, to tie the seventh-best height in NCAA II, and Domeyer won the javelin with a school-record throw of 132 feet, 4 inches, which ranks 15th in NCAA II this season. Harding’s women had several other event victories Saturday. In the sprints, Shana Holmes won the 200 meters in 25.91. Both distance events went to the Lady Bisons. Dallis Bailey won the 1,500 meters in 4:55.95, and Kelsey Taylor won the 5,000 meters in 18:45.46. The Lady Bisons won both relays. Holmes, Sarah Coleman, Rachael Price and Celsor combined to win the 4×100 meters in 49.53. Tammy Kim, Holmes, Zaborowska, and Celsor won the 4×400 in 3:58.63.

On the men’s side Jacob McDonald won the hammer with a throw of 156 feet, 10 inches, breaking his own record of 147 feet, 2 inches. Josh Syrotchen, won the discus with a throw of 164 feet, the fifth-best discus throw in NCAA II this season, and only four inches short of Harding’s record of 164-04 set by Bryan Rampey in 1997. Harding also won four other field events. Trey Adkison won the pole vault (13-11.75), Andrew Dather won the long jump (19-05.50), Ryan Cagle won the shot put (48-10), and Max McBride won the javelin (178-08). The Bisons also had an outstanding meet in the running events. Donatella Luckett won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He ran 11.04 in the 100 meters, and 23.04 in the 200 meters. Landon Belcher won the 400 meters in 49.45. In the distance events, Lucas Goodspeed won the 800 meters in 1:57.24, Taylor Lively won the 1,500 meters in 4:02.70, and Andrew Evans won the 5,000 meters in 15:17.65. Stephen Hedlund won the 400-meter hurdles in 55.70. Harding’s teams won both relays. The team of Corey Bassett, Kevin Naceanceno, Dillon Bagwell and Luckett won the 4×100 meters in 43.00. Naceanceno, Trevor Holloway, Bagwell and Belcher won the 4×400 relay in 3:20.52.

Elsewhere …

Baseball: Harding bounced back after a losing skid to sweep Northwestern Oklahoma in Great American Conference action on Saturday and Sunday. The Bisons won the first game on Saturday 11-4 and then won both games on Sunday 10-5 and 4-2. On Saturday, Trent Wooldridge, Erin McCarver and James Anderson had three hits each, and the Bisons scored in five straight innings to get the win. On Sunday, Noah Chandler went 5-for-6 with two doubles and three runs scored to lead the Bisons in the doubleheader. Cameron Walker got the win in game one, Hunter Payne got the win in game two, and Collin Campbell got the win in game three. Andrew Fiddler and Bronson Smith both recorded a save in the series.

Softball: The Lady Bisons struggled with the wind in Oklahoma this weekend. Harding dropped the first two games of the series on Friday and then split the doubleheader on Saturday. In the Lady Bisons’ 13-9 win on Saturday, Courtney Derrick, the first batter of the game, hit a homerun to right field to give Harding the lead. The Lady Bisons led the rest of the way as they scored in every inning and hit a season-high seven homeruns with Amanda Berdon hitting two. It was her first career multi-homer game and pushed her season total to five. Kinsey Beck (2), Carolyn Clayton (3), Kimmy Hendricks (4) and Courtney Chambers all had homeruns. It was Chambers’ first collegiate homerun. Harding also picked up two GAC wins against Arkansas Tech on Tuesday.

Men’s tennis: Harding went 0-2 on the week. The Bisons fell to Nebraska-Kearney and No. 16 Northwest Missouri by a 4-5 score. Mathaus Spiering won at the No. 1 singles for Harding in both matches.

Women’s tennis: Harding went 3-0 this week. The Lady Bisons defeated Nebraska-Kearney 6-3, Northwest Missouri 5-1 and Southern Nazarene 7-2. Harding led 4-3 over Nebraska-Kearney as the final two singles matches moved to the third set. The Lady Bisons needed only one win from either Piper Huey at No. 2 singles or Lauren Doversola at No. 4 singles, but both won. Against Northwest Missouri, Harding’s No. 1 doubles team of Benyapa Phumtip and Huey upset Lorena Jarolim and Alexis Bartek, ranked No. 5 in the Central Region, 8-5 to give the Lady Bisons a 1-0 lead. With a 2-1 lead, Harding quickly won two singles matches at No. 4 and No. 6. Kaleigh Wagner won 6-0, 6-0 and Doversola won her fourth-straight singles match. The Lady Bisons stayed undefeated in GAC action this season in their win over Southern Nazarene. Harding won 2-of-3 doubles and then won 5-of-6 singles matches.

Men’s golf: Harding saved its best for last Tuesday in the final round of the Jim Bishop Toyota Classic in Alabama, a 54-hole tournament played over two days on the Robert Trent Jones Fighting Joe Course. The Bisons entered the third and final round in 13th place but tied for the second-best round of the day and jumped to 10th of 14 teams with a 306. Harding finished at 938 after shooting 311 and 321 in Monday’s first two rounds. Harding’s best individual score of the third round was a 2-over 74 from Jordan Perry.

This week’s schedule (home games in bold):

Tuesday, April 1

  • Men’s and women’s golf host Natural State Classic, 8 a.m.
  • Baseball vs. Union University, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, April 2

  • Men’s tennis vs. Ouachita Baptist University, 1 p.m.

Thursday, April 3

  • Men’s tennis at LeMoyne-Owen College, 3 p.m.

Friday, April 4

  • Softball doubleheader vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 2 p.m.
  • Baseball at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 2 p.m.
  • Women’s tennis at Arkansas Tech University, 2 p.m.

Saturday, April 5

  • Softball doubleheader vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State University, noon
  • Baseball doubleheader at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, noon
  • Men’s and women’s tennis vs. Southeastern Oklahoma, 1 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at Ole Miss Invitational, TBA

Remember to check HardingSports.com for all the latest information on your Bisons and Lady Bisons.

Nathan Looney, assistant sports information director

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It all started with an old, brown, wooden chair. In the fall of my sophomore year at Harding, I sat in this seat and listened as I learned the details and duties of my first job as a student writer in the Office of Public Relations.

As a rookie in the communications department, I was overjoyed and overwhelmed as I was offered and accepted a position to write, work and learn of the professional PR world. I had no previous experience with writing press releases, attending media events or crafting creative feature articles.

I will always remember my first task of sending hometown news releases on each student participating in the 2011 Homecoming musical, “Annie.” Our procedure was to find each student’s name, classification, hometown newspaper and theatre role through the University’s database, Banner. Today we use a much more convenient and timely website that distributes releases and information quickly and efficiently. I laugh at the thought now of the countless hours I spent searching for information, and now I can retrieve and send it in a matter of minutes.

I am in my last semester of my undergraduate career, meaning I am also in my last few weeks of working in this office that has become my home. The way that time has passed and the advancements that our office has made never cease to amaze me. I began in September 2011 and have grown to appreciate, admire and love the work that I have been able to produce in this office and the people surrounding me who have taught and encouraged me every wrong comma and capitalization at a time.

A few days ago I came into the office to find my legendary chair had been replaced with a spinning, rolling, black desk chair. As a creature of habit and sentimentality, I searched the room for my brown, wooden comfort zone. I even joked earlier in the year that I would take the chair wherever I went after graduation. Sure enough, my trusty old friend was still sitting behind me letting the replacement take his spot.

Though it is an inanimate object, this chair has provided a place for me to ponder the world, write thousands of words, learn innumerable lessons, and celebrate small and large successes. To think of a new student entering into the office and taking my place is bittersweet and yet necessary.

It has been an absolute honor, privilege and adventure working in this office and experiencing life from this chair where I sit. I look at the computer monitor in front of me, the bulletin board that holds deadlines and dates, a pencil and pen holder with a random selection of writing utensils, an old touch-tone phone, and a keyboard that constantly bears the brunt of my typing fingers.

These materials all hold a special memory and a sweet time that I will cherish throughout the rest of my life and professional career. In the words of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” it was here in this office on the second floor of the Heritage that “… in my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be.” So, thank you, my little chair, for providing me with a place for my body to sit and my creative mind to flourish.

Hannah K. Robison, public relations intern


Photo by Jeff Montgomery

Photo by Jeff Montgomery

When is the last time you went on a tour of the Harding campus? Maybe it was this morning as you walked, ran or long boarded to class. Maybe it was in the fall when you came to see your kids during Homecoming. Or maybe it was years ago when you visited campus for the first time and had someone show you around.

The last time I had a true campus tour was when I was 16-years-old and visiting Harding for the first time with my dad. I was the first in my family to attend Harding and had never seen campus — much less been to Arkansas. I was hesitant about the visit mainly because I was flying for the first time but also because this was a place more than 11 hours from my home in Ohio and I was determining whether I could make it my new home. I was undecided about Harding until my admissions counselor encouraged me to just visit Searcy. He said, “Don’t make a decision until you see and experience the campus for yourself.” That was great advice.

That visit sealed the deal for me. I walked on campus and had a great experience. I roomed with students who ended up being friends and classmates. I met teachers who have now turned into colleagues. I felt the spirit moving on campus and knew that I could grow at Harding.

My husband, Nate, and I both work at Harding now. He works as a recruiter in the Admissions Office, and I work as an instructor in the communications department and as the faculty adviser for student publications. I never thought that our jobs would be to help carry on the Harding legacy, but that thought crept into my mind the other night as I sat at a reception for prospective students and their parents. As I listened to Nate talk to high school students about why he chose to attend Harding for college, I thought about the reasons why I chose Harding again … as my place of employment.

This week happens to be most high school students’ spring break, so campus has been busy with prospective students looking for their academic home. Yesterday, I decided to tag along with Nate on one of his campus tours to get a fresh perspective of Harding through the eyes of a first time visitor. I met with a family for lunch in the caf and listened as a high school student from Little Rock talked about her experience on campus. She had never been to campus before, and it only took her a day to realize that Harding was the place for her. I asked her what it was that made her decision, and she replied, “All I had to do was visit.” Harding is a beautiful place, especially around Spring Sing time, but it’s more than that; Harding is a beautiful place to be because of the people who make it a community.

You might think that, as a university instructor, I chose this job because of its ranking on the Forbes’ Least Stressful Jobs of 2014 list (it’s number 4). Believe me when I say that that is not the reason. (Does sarcasm stretch across the Internet?)

The reason I chose Harding again is the same reason I chose it 11 years ago. It’s because of the people. I am glad to see that, although new buildings appear and old ones disappear around campus, the people have remained the same.

— Katie Ramirez, director of student publications and instructor of communication

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Photo by Jeff Montgomery

Photo by Jeff Montgomery

After basketball season, the Harding sports information department takes a deep breath and focuses on the eight remaining spring sports at Harding — baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s golf, track and tennis.

The softball team won the series against Arkansas-Monticello 3-1 this past weekend. The Lady Bisons won both games on Friday, 4-1 and 3-2 but split the doubleheader on Saturday. Harding won the first game 4-3 before falling 7-1 in the second. In Friday’s game, Lady Bison junior pitcher Amber Rollins broke the Great American Conference strikeout record with 14. Arkansas-Monticello had a 2-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth inning in game two, when Brookelynn Moon hit a home run to left center field for Harding. The Lady Bisons took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Moon and Kimmy Hendricks hit back-to-back home runs to left field. It was Moon’s first multi-homer game. She leads the team with five. It was Hendricks third home run of the season. Rollins came in during the top of the seventh and struck out three batters to pick up her first save of the season. On Saturday, Rollins struck out nine batters in the first game and picked up her 10th win of the season. Hendricks, Marley Edwards and Jessica Greene all had two hits, and the Lady Bisons had 12 in the game. In the final game of the series, the Lady Bisons gave up a grand slam in the fifth inning that propelled Arkansas-Monticello. Courtney Derrick went 3-for-3 for Harding.

Elsewhere …

  • Baseball: Harding had troubles on the diamond this weekend as they were swept by Arkansas-Monticello. The Boll Weevils won 13-3, 4-0 and 6-4. Erin McCarver had two hits and two RBIs in the first game, and Trent Wooldridge had a hit, RBI and a run in the third game for Harding.
  • Women’s outdoor track: Two school records fell, and women’s track and field posted two event victories as the Lady Bisons competed Saturday at the UCA Relay and Multi at Bill Stephens Track at University of Central Arkansas. Harding broke a relay record in the 4×1600 relay. Rachel Roberts, Kelsey Taylor, Kaitlyn Leonard and Amber Webb placed second in the event in a school record time of 21 minutes, 31.34 seconds. The second record fell in the javelin where junior Rachael Domeyer heaved the spear 120 feet, 2 inches, breaking the record of 116-0 by Katelyn Kirby that had stood since 2006. Harding’s victories came in the 4×800 relay and the distance medley relay. In the 4×800, the team of Dallis Bailey, Tammy Kim, Caroline Embry and Ewa Zaborowska won in 9:38.36. Zaborowska, Kim, Bailey and Taylor won the distance medley in 12:12.62.
  • Men’s outdoor track: Men’s track and field ran one NCAA provisional time and posted two event victories at the UCA Relay and Multi. The 4×400-meter relay team of Landon Belcher, Trevor Holloway, Dillon Bagwell and Kevin Naceanceno placed second of 10 teams and their time of 3 minutes, 12.36 seconds, was an NCAA provisional time and the second-fastest recorded early in the NCAA II outdoor season. The Bisons’ top team placed in the top two in five of the six relay races contested. Harding’s team of Naceanceno, Corey Bassett, Bagwell, and Belcher won the 4×200 relay in 1:27.67.
  • Women’s tennis: Harding went 2-0 this week as they swept Henderson State 9-0 in GAC action and Lane College 9-0. Against Henderson State, Harding won all three doubles matches for the sixth time this season. Piper Huey and Benyapa Phumtip improved to 5-3 as a duo with an 8-3 victory against Sara Griffin and Hannah Watson at No. 1 doubles. Leading 3-0 after doubles, Harding won five of the six singles matches in straight sets. Arielle Butler was the first to finish with her second career 6-0, 6-0 victory and moved to 7-6 in singles this season. Huey made quick work of Watson at No. 2 singles, winning 6-0, 6-1. It was the 10th singles victory of the season for Huey and gave her seven wins in her eight matches when playing No. 2 singles. Lane had only four available players, defaulting at No. 5 and No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. With a 3-0 lead, Harding won both doubles matches 8-0 to clinch the team victory. Huey and Katie Huff teamed for the first time this season to defeat Ciera White and Jasmine Green at No. 1 doubles. Autrey Bradley and Kaylie Brown also played together for the first time and defeated Audemesia Maze and SeQoya Cox at No. 2.

This week’s schedule: (Home games bold)

Monday, March 24

  • Men’s golf at Jim Bishop Toyota Classic hosted by North Alabama in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
  • Men’s and women’s tennis vs. Nebraska-Kearney, 10 a.m.

Tuesday, March 24

  • Men’s golf at Jim Bishop Toyota Classic hosted by North Alabama in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
  • Softball doubleheader vs. Arkansas Tech, 2 p.m.
  • Baseball at Arkansas Tech, 6 p.m.

Friday, March 28

  • Men’s and women’s tennis at Northwest Missouri State, 1 p.m.
  • Softball doubleheader at Northwestern Oklahoma, 2 p.m.
  • Baseball vs. Northwestern Oklahoma, 3 p.m.

Saturday, March 22

  • Women’s tennis vs. Southern Nazarene, 10 a.m.
  • Softball doubleheader at Northwestern Oklahoma, 12 p.m.
  • Baseball doubleheader vs. Northwestern Oklahoma, 12 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at Harding Invitational, TBA

Remember to check HardingSports.com for all the latest information on your Bisons and Lady Bisons.

Nathan Looney, assistant sports information director

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Say Thanks Day T-shirt artwork

Say Thanks Day is all about appreciation. The Harding experience is something to be so thankful for, and the fact that the cost is lowered because of gifts from the Harding family make this day so necessary in my mind. I love this day because not only do I get to see so many students take time to say thank you, but I also get to see and hear feedback from alumni who receive these notes.

There is a large amount of work put in by many to make today successful, but the result of today, the appreciation shown and the gratitude to be had, makes today one of those days I am incredibly thankful to be a part of.

Today, I want to encourage everyone to participate in all of the activities happening on campus. Write a few notes, wear an “I Said Thanks” sticker, buy a shirt if you would like, go to the Liberty Room and make a couple of calls to donors, and please come to the devotional and a movie in honor of this day and help us thank the donors who we have invited.

Why should you participate? Because everyone is affected by gifts. It may be a sports facility, a scholarship, a building that you have class in, or maybe even a friend who couldn’t be here without the help of a donor. We are touched by their generosity in too many ways to count. Reasons like this are why I want to encourage you to do at least one thing today: say thank you.


Jordan Roddenberry
Young Alumni Associate
Say Thanks Day coordinator

No. 8 seed Harding mades its fifth appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament after winning the Great American Conference Tournament in Bartlesville, Okla., defeating No. 4 seed East Central (77-65), No. 1 seed Arkansas Tech (83-64), and No. 6 Henderson State (93-86, 2ot) to win its first GAC Tournament title and earning the conference's first automatic berth

No. 8 seed Harding made its fifth appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament after winning the Great American Conference Tournament in Bartlesville, Okla., defeating No. 4 seed East Central, No. 1 seed Arkansas Tech (pictured), and No. 6 Henderson State to win its first GAC Tournament title and earn the conference’s first automatic berth.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams both advanced to the NCAA postseason tournament last week. It was the first time both teams made the tournament in the same year. It was also the first time the Lady Bisons have ever played in the tournament. On Friday, the women’s team fell to Concordia-St. Paul 68-57 in Searcy. Arielle Saunders led the Lady Bisons with 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. She also had three blocks. The Lady Bisons finished their record-breaking season with a 29-3 record. The men’s team fell to No. 1 seed Minnesota State-Mankato 97-56 on Saturday. The Bisons were led by Hayden Johnson who had 19 points. The men’s team received the Great American Conference’s first automatic bid after beating Henderson State 93-86 in the finals of the conference tournament. The men finished their season with a 15-15 record.

Elsewhere …

  • For men’s baseball, Chris Hardey lined a bases-loaded single up the middle to score Victor Guerra with the winning run in the Bisons’ 5-4 11-inning victory over No. 3 Southern Arkansas Saturday at Jerry Moore Field. With the victory, Harding (16-8, 8-4 GAC) won the series over Southern Arkansas (21-6, 10-5) two games to one. It was the first time since 2004 that the Bisons have won two games in a season over a team ranked in the top five nationally. The Bisons also defeated Central Baptist Tuesday, March 11, 7-6.
  • The Harding men’s golf team posted its third-best score of the season, and they finished fourth of 17 teams at the Dave Falconer Memorial Invitational, played Monday and Tuesday at Chamberlyne Country Club in Danville, Ark. Harding shot 299 in the first round and improved to 293 in the final round to finish at 16-over 592.
  • In women’s golf, junior Brittany Marquez put together her second solid round and placed fourth of 36 golfers at the Southwest Minnesota State Spring Invitational played Thursday and Friday at the LPGA International Hills Legends Course. Marquez has finished in the top five in three of the five events she has played in her junior season.
  • Southern Arkansas won all four games against the Lady Bisons softball team this past weekend. Carolyn Clayton led Harding on the weekend, hitting .400 with four hits, including a homerun. The Lady Bisons also split with Delta State last Tuesday in a non-conference doubleheader at the Harding Softball Field.
  • In women’s indoor track, Harding junior Ewa Zaborowska earned All-America honors for the second-straight season by finishing eighth in the mile at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday. Zaborowska, who qualified ninth, moved up one spot in the final with a time of 4 minutes, 57.83 seconds. She became only the fifth Lady Bison to earn multiple All-America honors indoors.
  • A quartet of Harding athletes on the men’s outdoor track team opened the 2014 outdoor track and field season Saturday at the Rhodes Open in Memphis, Tenn. Senior Andrew Evans defeated six other competitors to win the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9 minutes, 33.47 seconds. It was Evans’ fourth career event victory in the steeplechase and his second in four career races at Rhodes.

This week’s schedule: (Home games in bold)

Tuesday, March 18

  • Baseball vs. Delta State, 2 p.m.
  • Women’s tennis vs. Henderson State, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, March 19

  • Men’s and women’s tennis at Lane College, 2 p.m.

Friday, March 21

  • Softball doubleheader vs. University of Arkansas-Monticello, 2 p.m.
  • Baseball at Arkansas-Monticello, 2 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at UCA Relays

Satuday, March 22

  • Softball doubleheader vs. University of Arkansas-Monticello, 12 p.m.
  • Baseball doubleheader at University of Arkansas-Monticello, 12 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at UCA Relays

Remember to check HardingSports.com for all the latest information on your Bisons and Lady Bisons.

Nathan Looney, assistant sports information director

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