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Every once in a while, I will visit my high school during its annual homecoming football game. A flood of memories always surrounds me as I remember classes, teachers and experiences that I had there. Homecoming at Harding for me is a little different because I graduated and couldn’t stay away. I don’t know what it’s like to leave this place and come back to visit. But Homecoming is still my favorite time of the school year because of how this place connects us all together.

In addition to cheering on the Bison football team in their 2 p.m. game against Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Saturday and enjoying a performance of “Shrek The Musical,” visitors on campus and current students can choose from a wide range of activities to relive favorite college memories and create new ones with friends. Student groups like Pied Pipers, Good News Singers and Belles & Beaux will be performing, and there are a number of reunions scheduled for Saturday. For an updated schedule, visit http://www.harding.edu/homecoming/schedule.

We would love to see your homecoming photos and hear about some of your own memories and experiences, so please share them with us throughout the weekend using #HardingHomecoming. It’s a special time for Harding as we are in the midst of our 90th year, and we hope to see you on campus to join in the celebration.

Hannah Owens, director of news services

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Yingling Scholars (front left to right) Hunter Hackworth, Jonathan Godsey, Leret Hamphill, Joshua Wertz, Chris Jackson, and Matt Ryan are pictured with Dr. McLarty and members of the Yingling family.

Yingling Scholars (front left to right) Hunter Hackworth, Jonathan Godsey, Leret Hamphill, Joshua Wertz, Chris Jackson, and Matt Ryan are pictured with Dr. McLarty and members of the Yingling family.

During Dr. Phil Thompson’s closing prayer at today’s Yingling Scholars luncheon, he noted “one person can make a difference.” Since 2006, 52 College of Bible and Ministry students who have received $5,000-10,000 scholarships from Louie Yingling’s estate can testify to that difference. Yingling’s story is intriguing and is told in a piece written by David Crouch in the 2009 publication “Pillars of Purpose.” That story follows below.

“Louie’s Kids” could easily be the title of the latest television sitcom or a Saturday morning cartoon show for toddlers.

In reality, Louie’s kids affectionately refers to a growing group of Harding students benefiting from the foresight and generosity of Pangburn, Ark., farmer Louie Yingling.

Prior to his death in 2006, Yingling created the Louie Yingling Family Endowed Scholarship Fund, providing financial assistance to students preparing for lives of service in ministry. Officially the students are known as Yingling Scholars, but Yingling always considered the future scholarship recipients as his kids.

Yingling was not a typical Harding alumnus, attending only one academic year from 1937-38. He came from a farming heritage and was the third generation of German immigrants that came to White County in the 1840s. He rode the train 18 miles from his home to the Harding campus.

The inability to pay for more than one year of a college education limited his Harding experience. However, that single year had a profound effect on his life. His teachers included J.N. Armstrong (Harding’s first president), as well as Florence Cathcart, M.E. Berryhill, L.E. Pryor, Knox Summitt, and other icons in those early Harding years. He developed a love for the school and a sincere interest in Harding’s mission to train ministers.

Yingling also knew firsthand how financial pressures could cut short a college career. He had to borrow $138 on a note personally signed by then President George S. Benson. It was not much of a student loan by today’s standards, but in 1937 it was a significant investment. Family members attest to Yingling’s dislike for borrowing money, and many believe that his college loan may be the only time he borrowed money.

After leaving Harding, he returned to the farm. He loved agriculture, and cotton farming provided his livelihood for more than seven decades. Louie married the former Eloise Capps in 1939. They lived on the 185-acre Yingling homestead for their entire 66-year marriage. She preceded him in death by six months.

Prior to his death, Yingling decided he wanted “to do something” for two things that were important to him — Harding and preaching the gospel. According to family members, he always had the desire to make a gift to Harding. It wasn’t until late in his life that he decided how to “make a wise investment.” That investment was in the lives of Harding students preparing for ministry. He knew that these students would make a difference in the lives of future generations.

For Yingling, his $2.1 million gift to establish the scholarship fund was the perfect gift. Dewitt Yingling, executor of his cousin’s estate, noted that Yingling downplayed the size and significance of his gift and wanted no recognition during his lifetime. Yingling sacrificed during the final years of his life to preserve his gift and legacy to Harding.

Yingling never had any children, but according to Dewitt, Louie never failed to get a twinkle in his eye when he talked about students who would be beneficiaries of his scholarship fund. To Yingling, these unknown and unnamed students were “his kids.”

During his lifetime Yingling had a favorite saying, “Let’s see how they do!” It appropriately summarizes his expectations for the investment he made in the lives of young people committed to ministry. Yingling knew his kids would make a difference.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer and David Crouch

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New Delta Gamma Rho members line up with potatoes in hand. It’s one of those practices that only makes sense during Club Week.

For many, the arrival of Club Week brings back a flood of memories, from wearing silly outfits to lugging around a meticulously decorated binder, from Silly Olympics to service projects. It’s an exciting, frantic time of getting to know your club brothers and sisters but not getting a lot of sleep. While some leave behind Club Week festivities once they graduate, others choose to relive the experience — this time as sponsors for their former club. For them, seeing the Club Week from another angle gives more meaning to the process.

“As a club sponsor, I am now realizing just how much goes into Club Week,” says Natasha Snider, a sponsor for Delta Gamma Rho women’s social club. “I respect our [club] vice presidents for how much effort and care they put into this week. I also feel like I understand now how the activities for the week truly do bring the club closer.”

Being a sponsor also gives the opportunity to relive their own college days and see their former club grow.

“It is the one time of the year that your whole club gets to spend the entire week together building relationships and getting to know each other better through a variety of avenues,” says Mackenzie Green, also a Delta Gamma Rho sponsor. “I love seeing the new girls coming in and getting a peek into what the future holds. I love seeing them work together and seeing who the leaders are. I also love watching them fully embrace the club colors and learn all the traditions, history, songs and cheers that I know and love!”

While the sponsor side of Club Week probably means a little more sleep and a little less shouting at all-club devo, the bonds built and memories made are just as meaningful the second time around.

“One of my favorite things about this week is knowing how much joining a club means to all of our new girls and how much these girls already are loved and wanted by our club members,” says Snider. “Our girls are showing me what the love of Christ is all about.”

Jennifer Hannigan, copy editor/writer

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This fall marks the beginning of an annual event held in celebration and preparation of each of the University’s two commencement ceremonies. Grad Fest is a one-stop event for all University students who are graduating and participating in commencement ceremonies in December.

As students walked across campus to class this morning, they passed a big, white tent on the front lawn buzzing with activity for December graduates. The event, which is going on today and tomorrow, allows students to take care of their technical requirements for graduation and also celebrate the academic milestone with their friends and fellow graduates.

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Brittani Malec, President Bruce McLarty, Cara Loy and Lindsey Helms pose for a photo outside the Grad Fest tent.

“It was a fun, celebratory time for seniors to interact with their friends while picking up their caps and gowns and taking pictures,” senior Rebecca Neely said. “It was also a good location to take care of everything at once.”

Grad Fest serves as the location for students to pick up their caps and gowns for commencement ceremonies. I remember picking mine up when I graduated in 2011. I visited a table in the student center, received my package, and headed back to my room to open it up and see what everything looked like. Grad Fest provides the perfect opportunity for students to put on their regalia and take photos with friends, Buff the Bison graduate or Dr. McLarty at a photo booth.

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Ahmad Scott takes advantage of the photo booth with Buff the Bison at Grad Fest.

“I think that Grad Fest is a really good idea because it’s a fun and exciting time for graduating students, and it’s just one more way to have camaraderie with other students and departments on campus,” Neely said.

In addition to following up with the registrar’s office and financial aid, graduates have the opportunity to visit a variety of stations to prepare for their last few months as a Harding undergraduate student. Career Services is there to provide resume reviewing and other professional services. Generation HU and Alumni Relations are there to connect with new graduates and begin a relationship between the University and students as new alumni.

“Going to Grad Fest really put into perspective for me that this stage in life is ending, and I’m moving on to something else,” Neely said. “I loved my time at Harding, and Grad Fest gave me a great opportunity to celebrate that.”

Hannah Owens, director of news services

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Midnight Madness last evening was everything it was hyped to be — and more!

Yes, the band was awesome, the cheerleaders had an amazing routine, the games were hilarious, and the women’s and men’s basketball teams put on quite a show after being introduced to a raucous Rowdies crowd at the Rhodes.

Topping it off, however, was junior David Brooker’s half-court shot at the end to win half tuition and a pizza. To say the crowd went wild is putting it mildly.

David Brooker's shot is up ...

David Brooker’s shot is up …

... and in!

… and in!

Basketball player Jacob Gibson’s tweet summed it up: “Thanks to EVERY GOLD-BLOODED BISON that came to Midnight Madness. Y’all are the best in D2. Nov. 14 first game. Let’s get rowdyyy!!!”

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Without fanfare the diesel engines cranked up and earth-moving equipment made their presence known on the East side of campus last week. Thus began Phase III of Legacy Park. Phase III is needed to house the ever-increasing undergraduate enrollment at Harding.

Legacy Phase III

The construction project will add eight buildings to Legacy Park with 36 apartments for student housing. The structures will be similar to buildings constructed in Phase I. There will be six one-bedroom, 27 two-bedroom and three three-bedroom apartments. Phase III will provide housing for a maximum of 132 students.

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The new apartments will be completed by July 2015 at a cost of approximately $6.5 million.

David Crouch, director of public relations

Fall 14 coverThe attention-grabbing shot of Machu Picchu by Ashel Parsons (’13) on the cover is only a taste of what lies within the fall edition of Harding magazine, which will be arriving in mailboxes in the next few days.

The photo is part of our pictorial “Exploring Peru,” a six-page photo feature of Harding University Latin America’s trip to Peru. President Bruce McLarty and his wife, Ann, joined the group, and he shares memories of the trip in his column on the inside front cover. More of Parson’s photos are included in the online edition.

Peru isn’t our only destination as we go with the engineering and physics department to Haiti as they integrate engineering thinking and problem solving by partnering with the people of Peltan. Additional photos are included online.

Also in this issue, tribute is paid to former Dean of Nursing Cathleen Shultz who completed 37 years building Carr College of Nursing while serving as a leader among nurse educators, including serving as president of the National League for Nursing. Tributes from her celebratory dinner are included on the pages as well as online.

Other stories include the 2014 alumni awards, profiles on Lions Club executive administrator Scott Drumheller (’91) and La-Z-Boy designer Sara Guglielmo Sweeney (’09), and how you know you went to Harding in the End Note.

What do you think of the new issue? Email hardingmag@harding.edu and let us know.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

Last night concluded Harding’s 91st annual Lectureship with keynote speaker B. Chris Simpson on the topic “Return to Joy.” As a student, I had the opportunity to hear Simpson speak in chapel, and it was great to hear him speak again, as well as share in the enthusiasm he always brings to the Benson. It was a profound message and challenge to end this year’s theme of “Return.”

Lectureship meant a lot to me as a student, and maybe in part because we were occasionally excused from class to attend, but also because of the opportunity for growth the week always held. I was able to listen to those with more experience and knowledge than me, as well as see some of my fellow classmates and friends discuss their own experiences.

As I’m no longer an undergraduate student, Lectureship no longer means an excuse from class and a break in the routine, but it still means looking forward to a week of spiritual growth and encouragement. After looking through shared content on #HULectureship, it’s great to see that so many others who come to Lectureship feel the same way I do.

Presented through a week of speakers, discussions, concerts and performances, spiritual growth happens at Lectureship.

To sum it up, Lectureship means:

  • A family reunion on a whole new level.
  • Renewing my purpose as a Christian.
  • An encouraging time to worship with others. 
  • Acknowledging that this path won’t always be easy, but that’s OK.

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The first official day of fall has arrived, and the Harding community is getting a peek into the joys that autumn brings: cooler temperatures, knitted scarves and pumpkin-flavored everything. It is four years ago this month that I departed for my semester abroad and spent fall in the rolling hills of Tuscany.

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I always think of that semester in Florence, Italy, when this season of the year begins. The memories of cool evenings around the villa overlooking the city and afternoons spent in the middle of grape and olive harvests are fresh on my mind.

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Traveling abroad was an unforgettable experience, and it is an experience that almost half of Harding’s undergraduate students have in common. The University’s first study abroad program was created in 1980 in Florence under then president Clifton L. Ganus Jr. Since then, Harding has added six additional programs throughout the world, giving students opportunities to experience Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Today is the first day of fall, and today I am grateful for my experiences studying abroad and stretching the scope of my worldview. I’m thankful for my season in Italy, and I’m so excited for the many students who departed throughout September for their own international journeys. This semester, we have students studying in Australasia, England, Italy, Greece and Zambia. They will come back changed, and they will remember this fall forever.

Hannah Beall Owens, director of news services

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This time last year, students, faculty and staff across campus were putting last minute details on an historic event at Harding University. One year ago on Saturday, Harding’s fifth president was officially inaugurated into office.

Both the Benson Auditorium and the cafeteria were transformed into vibrant celebration spots in honor of Dr. Bruce McLarty. Banners were hung, exquisite food was prepared, and people came from all over to participate in this unique piece of Harding’s history. It was a party, and it was so much fun.

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One year later, I am looking back on the photos from that day. A number of guests were on campus to bring greetings and congratulate President McLarty and the University on this new season in its timeline. The University’s choruses combined to performed songs honoring faith, work and family, and country. Dr. McLarty presented his inaugural address and introduced the idea of “A Community of Mission.”

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My favorite part of planning for inauguration was the historical research I was privileged to perform. For various publications and printed projects, I dove into Harding’s past and the events that led us to where we are today. I saw the influence of past presidents and how Harding held firm to the Christian principles and values on which it was first established as the elements of the world surrounded it. I began to feel more pride in the institution I represent, and it made me excited for Harding’s future and this huge transition taking place.

“And while the future is beyond our sight, we can speak with a calm and settled confidence about our identity and our solid commitments as we move forward. So, in this place and on this occasion, we reaffirm Harding University as ‘A Community of Mission.’ This is what we have been, what we are today, and what we resolve to become. May God continue to richly bless Harding University.”
–President McLarty’s inaugural address, Sept. 20, 2013

Hannah Beall Owens, director of news services
Photos by Jeff Montgomery, director of photographic services

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