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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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A Cup of Christmas TeaWhen I saw on Instagram last night that President McLarty was reading A Cup of Christmas Tea in chapel today, I immediately became excited.

I remember the first time I heard him read the book in 2004. I had never heard the story before, and it touched my heart.

A few years before, I had started a Christmas tradition with our family by reading a Christmas book before we open our presents from each other on Christmas Eve. As soon as I heard him read the book that evening, I knew it was the one I would share with my family.

You see, finding the right book had been a little more difficult that year. My mother had died in July, and it was our first Pennsylvania Christmas without her. When my dad asked for a copy of the book after I read it that evening, I knew my choice was right. I quickly gave him mine.

Today students in chapel heard that same touching story, a reminder of what truly giving of yourself at Christmas is all about.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Systems Librarian Brenda Breezeel checks oil for a student.

Systems Librarian Brenda Breezeel checks oil for a student.

I usually check chapel announcements on Pipeline daily to know what is happening on campus. There were only four today, but they blessed me because of the messages they conveyed. They follow:

  • Students, take your cars to the GAC parking lot today or tomorrow (weather permitting) between 3 and 6 p.m. where faculty and staff will help you check tires, oil and other basics before you drive home for Thanksgiving break.
  • The Red Cross blood drive will continue through Thursday. The donor coaches will be parked in the Benson parking lot and will be open from 1-7 p.m.
  • Chi Kappa Rho, Phi Kappa Delta and GATA invite all who are interested in Spring Sing to attend an interest meeting today in McInteer 150 from 4-5:30 p.m.
  • The SA invites you to a prayer service, which will focus on those suffering after the Paris attack. Join them at 11 p.m. tonight in the McInteer Rotunda.

It is great to know that faculty and staff at the University where I work care enough about students to help them get their vehicles ready for their trips home for the upcoming holiday. As a Red Cross blood donor as a student, it is good to see this tradition of helping others continues today. Spring Sing plans are beginning where students will give their winnings to help organizations they believe in. And people suffering elsewhere are not forgotten with a prayer service for Paris.

Sometimes with all the bad in this world we read about daily, it’s nice to be reminded, even through chapel announcements, our University is still serving, helping, giving and praying.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Granberg self portrait

Granberg self portrait

While on a quick stroll to take a proof across campus this glorious fall day, I decided to stop at the Stevens Art and Design Center and view the two shows currently on display in the galleries.

I was so glad I did.

I first stepped in to Joshua Granberg’s (’08) “Artful Journey” exhibit and was blown away by the impressive collection, which includes portraits and still lifes. I knew his parents, Stan (’78) and Gena Catterton (’79) Granberg, during my college days. Joshua earned both his B.A. and B.F.A. in painting from Harding before studying at the Florence Academy of Art. He says his work is a glimpse into his spirit and into the spirit of the One who made us, and I have to concur.

Next I moved into the gallery next door for the memorial show of Dena Leasure Groover, a 1975 graduate who died last year. Consisting mainly of watercolors, perhaps the most unique thing about the show is that the guest book is the same one used in 1975 for her senior show. Seeing familiar names written there and finding my own signature from my freshman year brought back memories from the old gallery in the former Benson home.

The shows will be up until Nov. 6, so if you are in the area, plan a visit to see them. You can also view Joshua’s work at

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

Homecoming schedule cover 15It looks like the musical “Singin’ in the Rain” may set the tone for Homecoming’s weather this weekend.

After an abnormally dry September and October in Searcy, it looks like rain will come the one weekend at Harding we would prefer it not. The rain and even thunderstorms forecast Friday through Sunday are keeping Vice President for Alumni and Parent Relations Liz Howell busy getting as many events as possible moved indoors.

The show will go on with the main event today the Heritage Circle Banquet honoring the classes of ’65, ’60, ’55, ’50, ’45 and 40. It’s a joy to watch these older alumni return and recapture the memories from 50 or more years ago.

Friday’s schedule is filled with events including a come-and-go reception honoring Treva Pryor from 1-3 p.m. at the History House, featuring its exhibit remembering Dr. Neale Pryor. The evening includes the annual Black & Gold Banquet honoring Harding’s outstanding and distinguished alumni followed by the musical.

Saturday will be filled with reunions of all sorts. Tailgating will move indoors to the Ganus Athletic Center and the football game will go on at First Security Stadium. More reunions and the musical will conclude the weekend’s events.

The great thing about Homecoming is that rain can’t stop the best part of the weekend — reuniting with friends from the past.

We hope to see you here.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Ad_fall_2013-139-6118Cooler and crisper — that’s the way it felt this morning as I ran an errand across the quadrangle. It must be a telltale sign that fall officially begins tomorrow.

While I don’t like the shorter days accompanying fall’s arrival, I do like how it makes our campus even more beautiful as God displays his colorful handiwork.

I also like that it brings two of the biggest events on campus this semester.

Family Weekend is this Friday and Saturday. From comedian John Felts to Lady Bison and Bison soccer games to tailgating and the football game with University of Arkansas at Monticello, there will be lots of activities in which to participate. In case you haven’t heard, the 3-0 Bison football team moved up in the rankings to No. 12 in the American Football Coaches NCAA Division II poll on Monday.

The 2015 Lectureship begins Sunday evening and runs through Wednesday. With the theme “Secrets of the Kingdom: Unlocking the Treasures of the Parables,” the Lectureship under Dr. Dan Williams’ direction promises days of spiritual refreshment.

Take advantage of these activities if you can. We would enjoy having you on campus anytime this fall.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Welcome to Harding sign.04-25-13-1008696Even though it is extremely hot right now in Searcy, summer is about to be over.

How do I know? Student teachers are back as they begin in-service today in many districts.

Football managers also are back, and athletic trainers begin tomorrow preparing for the fall seasons.

The football team reports Friday and holds their first practice Saturday. Volleyball, soccer and cheerleaders move in this weekend as do resident assistants and the band.

The third session of Stampede is Wednesday, the 19th, and dorms officially open the following day for Student Impact.

Harding is about to get crazy busy welcoming freshmen and returning students to campus. It is always a fun and exciting time as anticipation becomes reality for freshmen, and returning students enthusiastically arrive back. A relatively quiet campus over the summer becomes a beehive of activity and back to the way it should be.

Even though I will miss the dog days of summer, welcome fall semester. Especially welcome to 1,250 freshmen and transfers, the newest members of the Harding family. We are so glad you are here.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

HUB blog 8.1.15I don’t consider myself an expert at much, but if there is one thing I like to do and am fairly good at, it is finding a good deal. I like it best when it is for items I or my family must have.

So it makes me glad to let you know you can save the 9.5 percent tax on textbooks, Harding apparel and school supplies at Harding University Bookstore tomorrow.

You see, Aug. 1 is a tax-free holiday for the state of Arkansas, and the bookstore will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Come by and take advantage of tax-free prices on items you or your student will need to purchase in just a few weeks.

Do you live too far away or can’t come by to shop? Place your order online today or tomorrow, and the bookstore will give you the tax-free rate and hold your books and apparel until you return.

It’s always good to save but even better when it reduces your school bill for the fall.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Dad_WWII_06-19-2015-4377When I looked out my bedroom window this morning, I saw my father.

Not literally, of course. Dad went to be with the Lord Jan. 19, 2012.

But outside my window are two large Rose of Sharon bushes I transplanted from small starts he gave me one summer when I was home visiting him in Indiana, Pennsylvania. The pink one has started to bloom ahead of the white one, and each year when it does, it reminds me of the man who taught me to love and cherish God’s creation.

The bushes are located in a bed of pachysandra ground cover, also supplied from starts from my dad’s beds. In fact, I can’t imagine my yard without the flowers and shrubs he gave me through the years. I even display his Chipmunk Crossing sign that was next to our driveway all my growing up years.

A love of nature is not the only thing my dad taught me. By his very example, I learned that a man of integrity is always a man of his word.

His example also taught me other life lessons including how to love and respect your wife, how to honor God, and, as a proud World War II veteran, how to love your country.

This Father’s Day, if your dad is alive, give him the biggest hug you can. All too soon you may be wishing you could just one more time.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer


Some of the original nameplate designs are shown before we dropped magazine off the title.

Some of the original nameplate designs are shown before we dropped magazine off the title.

I still have the agenda for Sept. 16, 1992 — the meeting to plan the first issue(s) of Harding.

The agenda contained such topics as what to call it, how to produce it, what should go in it, and how we wanted it to look.

We were replacing the Harding Bulletin, the newspaper that preceded the magazine. While much had been done to improve the Bulletin, including the use of some color and better paper, it was time for an upgrade to a magazine.

The Bulletin was done in the typesetting, paste-up method, and the first magazine was produced in the Mac program of choice at the time, Pagemaker. Times were changing, but this was still before digital photos entered the picture a few years later. Film was still being developed in the dark room next to my office, and in the early days of digital, we wondered if the quality would ever be as good as film. Laughable today, isn’t it?

We struggled at first with what to call it and finally decided one word says it all: Harding. That’s not to say we didn’t hear it called the Bulletin for many years. Old habits are hard to break.

We got down to business pretty quickly because we were able to proudly hold that first issue in our hands right before Christmas. The feedback I most remember came from Shirley Birdsall Alexander (’54) whose reaction when it came in the mail was to send me a note saying, “Is that ‘my Harding?’ and yes, it really was. Congratulations on a truly beautiful new magazine! I’ll be one of your most eager readers from now on.”

We’ve gone from Pagemaker to Quark to InDesign and from black and white with a color cover to a totally four-color publication. Technology makes so many things possible today that still were being developed when we produced that first issue. But the main goal remains to share the Harding story with our readers.

As President McLarty said in his most recent column in our redesigned spring issue, “This magazine will continue to tell the Harding story — stories of our amazing and talented students, alumni, faculty and staff who are part of the wonderful Community of Mission. May the stories in this publication continue to connect you with that mission.”

We hope every issue will tell the Harding story better than the last.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer


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