Name: Molly White
Classification: Sophomore
Major: Management
Hometown: Franklin, Tennessee
Studying at: HUF

HU: What is your current location?
MW: Florence, Italy

HU: What has been the most interesting thing that has happened on your journey so far?
MW: The most interesting thing to happen on my trip so far was the tour of the museum of the works of the Duomo, the Baptistery and the Duomo. We learned a lot of history about the buildings, and I am now more interested about the architecture of the Duomo than I’ve ever been about any other building.

HU: How many pictures do you think you’ve taken as of now?
MW: As of now, I think I have taken around 300 pictures, and I’ve only been here around two weeks!

HU: What is your favorite photo you’ve taken so far?


MW: My favorite picture I’ve taken so far is the sun setting in Florence! After walking around Florence one night, I was about to walk over a bridge and just had to stop and stare at the beautiful sunset ahead of me. I didn’t care that I had to get back quickly to the villa for dinner — I was too caught up soaking in the sunset.

HU: What is the most delicious thing you’ve eaten so far?
MW: The most delicious thing I’ve eaten is either dark chocolate gelato or olive oil. I put olive oil on everything over here because it’s so delicious. Had mashed potatoes one night… Put olive oil on them.

HU: What are you most looking forward to during the semester?
MW: I am most looking forward to going into Florence and exploring as much as I can. I’ve felt so much independence here, and I’m looking forward to knowing my way around the city and having “favorite gelato places” or “favorite sandwich places.”



My favorite photo this week came this morning on the way to chapel.

Jeff Montgomery/photographer

Photo by Abby Tran

Photo by Abby Tran

When you’re a child, your heroes are bright, flashy and strong. They wear the coolest outfits, have the most awesome powers and save the world one problem at a time. My 3-year-old son, Preston, is obsessed with superheroes, so it was only fitting that we went to the Women for Harding’s Princess and Superhero Party this past Saturday.

Dressed as Buzz Lightyear, Preston got to meet all of his favorite superheroes — Captain America, Spiderman, Batman, Superman and Mr. Incredible.

There were crafts, games and snacks. Preston made his own Captain America shield, lifted weights with Mr. Incredible, and honed his spidey senses with Spiderman. He was thrilled to get to be on campus because Harding is the epitome of cool in his eyes.

I found myself focused on a different set of heroes, though. First, there were the Women for Harding who had prepped and planned the entire event. There were goodie bags to be filled, crafts to be cut, games to be organized, decorations to be hung and food to be made — not to mention cleaning it all up afterward. Looking at all the hard work that went into the day, I felt like it would be easier to leap a tall building or run faster than a speeding bullet. But these women did it all without any super powers.

Secondly, there were the princesses and superheroes themselves, whose alter egos are Women for Harding scholarship recipients. They spent their Saturday signing autograph books, posing for pictures, and making each child feel like royalty. All of the proceeds from the event went to fund more scholarships so incredible students like these can pursue a Christian education.

Judging by how readily Preston took a nap when we got home and how many times he asked if we were going to see Captain America at Harding again, I’d say the day was a success to him. And seeing the smiles on everyone else’s faces, I think that was true for the event as a whole.

Jennifer Hannigan, copy editor/writer


The Harding community is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of student Blake Hunter today.

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Friends and family of Blake went to social media to share photos and memories of his impact on their lives. Here are some of their thoughts. Please join us in praying for Blake’s friends and family.

"Blake Hunter was always the life of the party at Harding and overflowed daily with entertainment, joy, humor, and kindness. His presence was felt on this campus in so many areas, and he leaves behind a legacy he can be very proud of.  Blake, your Harding family looks forward to being reunited with you again one day. Thanks for letting us be a part of your story." -SA

“Blake Hunter was always the life of the party at Harding and overflowed daily with entertainment, joy, humor, and kindness. His presence was felt on this campus in so many areas, and he leaves behind a legacy he can be very proud of.
Blake, your Harding family looks forward to being reunited with you again one day. Thanks for letting us be a part of your story.” -SA



“You, my friend, will be dearly missed. Dance and sing with Jesus and I’ll see you again!”   -Rebecca Abbud



“I took this picture 4 1/2 years ago when Blake and I were counselors at Tahkodah. I distinctly remember taking it because it fully embodied who he was. He had a heart of gold that adored and loved the sweet hearts of children. Heaven gained a beautiful soul that we will forever miss. Love you, friend!” -Erin Gurcheik Clark



“Tell friends you love them however you can. Show them or hug them or hold out your hand or sing out their names as you walk through the night. Tell them you love them with all of your might. You are dearly loved and missed Blake.” -Jesse Hixson



“Heaven gained another Angel today. Blake Hunter you were always smiling, nice, and cared for people. That stood out to me since my freshman year. Stay smiling, stay dancing in Heaven bud, I hope to see you soon.” -Xavier Miller



“I turned on Pandora to listen to some worship music on this sad, sad day, and I know it wasn’t a coincidence that I heard this song by Gungor: ‘This is not the end This is not the end of this We will open our eyes wide, wider’ Thank you, Lord, for giving us Blake Hunter for a short time. He taught us so much about fun, laughter, and joy. We will miss him so much, but we know this is not the end.” -Layne McLain



“My favorite picture with one of my favorite guys — I will cherish this memory and so many others that I got to share with this dear and precious friend. My heart aches at the news of his passing, but it also rejoices knowing that he is in heaven enjoying eternity with Christ. I am thankful for the life that he lived and that I got to be a part of it. Our friendship will always hold a special place that is very near and dear to my heart. I love you Blake Hunter; enjoy your castle in the sky!”               -Scotti Beth Lawson



There is no denying that you were one of the greatest friends anyone could be privileged enough to have. You were a light. You brought so much joy to my life, Blake. I miss your laugh, I miss your jokes, and I miss your encouragement. Seth and I are heartbroken – we loved you so very much. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.” -Mary McBride Bowden


My favorite part of Christmastime is being with family. My memories of Christmas growing up always involve being at the homes of my grandparents surrounded by my parents and siblings, Granny and Pa, Mammaw and Pappaw, aunts and uncles and lots of cousins. In college, Christmas meant getting to go home, and home became a dearer and dearer place in my soul. Now, the generation of my grandparents and most of my aunts and uncles are gone, but the memories of the happy chaos of Christmastime past mingle with the happy sounds of Christmastime present.

This year, Ann and I got to give our grandchildren a puppy (with their parents permission!), so the sounds of their joy this morning will become part of my happy memories of Christmas. That’s why being with family continues to be my favorite part of Christmastime.

Bruce McLarty, president

Christmas lights.2014-1889-9489The fall semester has swiftly drawn to a close, and our beautifully lit and decorated campus is now quiet. University offices will be closed from the 24th through the first of January.

The closing words of the familiar carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” based on the 1863 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, offer hope and comfort in a country torn by civil war, much the same as they still do in this often crazy world we live in today.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

God is not dead, nor doth he sleep:

The wrong shall fail,

The right prevail,

With peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

These beautiful words offer a reminder of who is in charge and what is truly important — not just at this special season but throughout the year.

The staff of Harding magazine sends you its wishes for a very Merry Christmas. May we all be promoters of peace and goodwill in the coming year.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Once Thanksgiving is over, the season of pumpkin-flavored everything gives way to Christmas peppermint. For your Christmas parties or family get-togethers, this peppermint bark is a great (and easy) way to get a taste of the holiday.


  • 1 brick white chocolate almond bark
  • 1 bag dark chocolate chips
  • 1 bag round peppermint candies, unwrapped


  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave and melt white chocolate almond bark, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, microwave and melt the dark chocolate chips, stirring occasionally.
  3. Place the peppermint candies in a zip-close bag and beat until broken into small pieces. Add the peppermint to melted white chocolate almond bark and stir to combine.
  4. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and spread melted dark chocolate evenly on top. Then add the white chocolate/peppermint mixture over the dark chocolate, spreading evenly. Freeze until firm. Break into chunks to serve.

Jennifer Hannigan, copy editor/writer


This Christmas, one thing I’ve been trying to model for my children, especially my 3-year-old son, is a spirit of giving and thankfulness rather than a focus on the stuff. One way I am doing that is by including him in doing things for others. This candy recipe is easy enough for children of any age to help out with and makes perfect gifts for anyone who makes your day a little brighter.


  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 pounds powered sugar
  • 1 brick chocolate almond bark


  1. Add butter, sweetened condensed milk, coconut and pecans in a bowl and combine using a mixer. Then gradually mix in the powered sugar.
  2. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls, and place on the sheet. Once you have used all of the mixture, chill the balls until firm.
  3. Place one brick of chocolate almond bark in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every so often.
  4. Using a fork, dip each ball in the melted chocolate, coating it. Then place back on the baking sheet and chill once again until firm.

Jennifer Hannigan, copy editor/writer



“Wouldn’t it be neat if Harding had a Monopoly-styled game like the many already out there?”

That is the question that propelled Mark Pruitt, associate director of admissions, to pursue the creation of Hardingopoly, a Monopoly-like game with a Harding twist.

“I remember being extremely excited about the possibility of pursuing it but kept the idea to myself for probably over a year because of other projects I was working on,” Pruitt said. “Once the time came, I got out our classic Monopoly game and got to work.”

To keep from infringing on the rights of Hasbro, the Monopoly game creator, and to have the creative flexibility he desired, Pruitt formed his own game company called College Games LLC and designed the game himself.

“The whole concept came together on a trip to Kansas in November 2010. It was amazing!” Pruitt said. “The ideas just kept coming, and within about eight hours, I had the entire board made out with 20 pages of notes on my computer regarding the tokens, Bison cards, money and rules. Although it took about eight hours to conceive, it took three years to become a finished product.”

In December 2013, 3,000 Hardingopoly games arrived on campus. In the game, each player starts out with $1,924, a nod to the year Harding College began, and the game includes a game board, five tokens, two dice, play money, 32 parking spaces, 12 reserved parking spaces, 30 Bison cards and property deed cards. Instead of free parking, you get to enjoy a trip to Heber, and players try to acquire as much Harding property as they can. But you’ll want to avoid getting parking tickets and landing on the “Go to Dean’s Office” space.


Pruitt wanted people at Harding to help create the University culture in the game. Enrique Colon (’04) designed the game box, game board, Bison cards, rules, cards, and money in his spare time. Laura Fitch (’13) and Ben Arthur (’14), who were graphic design students at the time, designed the tokens, parking space signs and reserved parking space signs. And Jeff Montgomery (’91), director of photographic services, took all the photos that are used on the property deed cards.

“They did a masterful job, and I was very excited to see the result of all their efforts,” Pruitt said. “It is truly a game that will bring back the Harding experience every time you play.”

For more information or to purchase the game online, visit

Hannah Owens, director of news services


Many families have those Christmas traditions that have always been there each holiday season. For the Parrett family, it was Aunt Bessie’s pumpkin bread. We have tried (and failed) to start many different holiday traditions, but this is the one that has stuck for so long; I do not even remember starting it.

I knew Christmas was around the corner when the warm, spicy smell would waft from the oven. Countless elementary school teachers have received a loaf of this bread wrapped in cellophane and red ribbon before we bounded off for Christmas break. We didn’t leave cookies for Santa. Santa liked pumpkin bread, of course! Many times I have baked it in my apartment on campus and had a twinge of homesickness when the aroma finally filled the little kitchen. This recipe has been like hot chocolate and new pajamas on Christmas Eve: it just feels right.

I never met Aunt Bessie, but when I get to heaven, I plan to thank her twice for this recipe and all of the memories it brought with it. I hope it brings a few to your home this Christmas.

Bessie’s Pumpkin Bread

Yields 18 muffins and 1 large loaf


  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (1 can)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans (optional)
  • ½ cup walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients (besides nuts) in a large bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients to the bowl. Stir until combined.
  4. Fold in nuts, if desired.
  5. If making muffins, bake 20-25 minutes, or until brown on top. If making a loaf, bake 45 minutes-1 hour.

-Toria Parrett, Public Relations Intern


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