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T h i s ISSUE 2 8 24 28 32 35 40 42 48 52 54 56 58 60 62 65 66 80

Horizons The Education of a Medical Missionary 2014 Outlive Your Live Profile: B. David Vanderpool, M.D. Vision in Action Update Lamesa Legends: Patty and Tippy Browning ACU Dallas: Big News in Big D Homecoming Planner #lifeonthehill: Students Share ACU Life in Their Own Words Highly Prized: Isenhower, Hailey Win Prestigious Awards Q&A With the U.S. State Department’s Dr. Shaun Casey The Bookcase Hilltop View Academic News Campus News Wildcat Sports Your Gifts at Work EXperiences Second Glance

OUR PROMISE

No detail is too small to appreciate at the Taj Mahal, including these intricate carvings in white marble on the exterior walls of the mausoleum. Students from ACU’s Justice and Urban Studies Team toured the landmark while accompanying three fifth-graders and a teacher from Dallas to an international Be the Change Conference in October in Ahmedabad, India. See story on page 59. (Photo by Dr. Michael Harbour)

ACU is a vibrant, innovative, Christ-centered community that engages students in authentic spiritual and intellectual growth, equipping them to make a real difference in the world


ACU Today is published twice a year by the Office of University Marketing at Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas. S ta ff Editor and Graphic Designer: Ron Hadfield (’79) Assistant Editor: Robin (Ward ’82) Saylor Associate Editor: Katie (Noah ’06) Gibson Sports Editor: Lance Fleming (’92) Contributing Writers This Issue: Paul A. Anthony (’04), Isabel Brindle, Judy Chambers, Katie (Noah ’06) Gibson, Wendy (Waller ’01) Kilmer, Andrea Lucado (’08), Chris Macaluso, Tamara (Kull ’77) Thompson Contributing Photographers This Issue: Shawn Best, Steve Butman, Joni Byker, Samuel Corum, Lindsey (Hoskins ’03) Cotton, Erica Dilcer, Jeremy Enlow, Gerald Ewing, Dr. Michael Harbour (D.Min. ’06), Chris Holo, Lisa Helfert, Sara Krauss, Tammy (Gililland ’14) Marcelain, Jeff Montgomery, David Morrison, Clark Potts (’53), Gary Rhodes (’07), Chip Somodevilla, David Uttley, Paul White (’68), Tim Yates Contributing Graphic Designers / Illustrators This Issue: Ron Finger, Greg Golden (’87), Holly Harrell, Todd Mullins, Amy Willis Proofreaders: Vicki Britten, Amber (Gilbert ’99) Bunton, Rendi (Young ’83) Hahn, Scott Kilmer (’01), Bettye (McKinzie ’48) Shipp

ADVI SORY COM MIT T E E Administration: Suzanne Allmon (’79), Dr. Allison Garrett, Dr. Gary D. McCaleb (’64), Dr. Robert Rhodes Advancement: Jim Orr, J.D. (’86); Billie Currey, J.D. (’70); Paul A. Anthony (’04) Alumni Relations: Craig Fisher (’92), Jama (Fry ’97) Cadle, Samantha (Bickett ’01) Adkins Marketing: Jason Groves (’00) Student Life: Chris Riley, J.D. (’00) Ex-officio: Dr. Phil Schubert (’91)

corres p on denc e

ACU Today : hadfieldr@acu.edu ACU Alumni Association: alumni@acu.edu Record Changes: ACU Box 29132, Abilene, Texas 79699-9132, 325-674-2620

ON THE W EB Abilene Christian University: acu.edu ACU Today Blog: acu.edu/acutoday Address changes: acu.edu /alumni /whatsnew/update.html ACU Advancement Office (Exceptional Fund, Gift Records): acu.edu/give ACU Alumni Website: acu.edu /alumni Find Us on Facebook: facebook.com/abilenechristian facebook.com/acusports Follow Us on Twitter: twitter.com /acuedu twitter.com /acusports Follow Us on Instagram: instagram.com/acuedu

ON THE COVER The face and experiences of Samaritan’s Purse medical missionary Kent Brantly, M.D. (’03), have become known around the world. (Illustration by Ron Finger, based on a photograph by Joni Byker).

F r o m th e Pre s i d e n t

W

e spend a lot of time talking about outcomes in higher education: the personal successes of our graduates and what they accomplish

in their chosen professions. In Christian higher education, we have the added responsibility to produce alumni with a strong sense of God’s purpose for their lives. Thanks to the testimony and example of alumni such as Kent (’03) and Amber (Carroll ’06) Brantly, ACU’s profile around the world right now couldn’t be higher. We couldn’t be more proud of the Brantlys and the way they have humbly used their voices in unprecedented places – from the pages of Time magazine, to the White House and testimony before Congress, to interviews on network TV, and in speaking engagements far and wide. As you’ll read in our cover story for this issue, our professors frequently serve as mentors to their students and have keen insights about their gifts. Dr. Perry Reeves (’65) was professor of chemistry and biochemistry and pre-med advisor in 2004 when he wrote on behalf of Kent – who earned a bachelor’s degree in biblical text at ACU – as he was applying for enrollment to medical schools: “It is unusual that someone with a theology background applies to medical school. You might even ask ‘Why medicine? Why not ministry?’ It’s not as big a stretch as one might imagine. Kent genuinely cares about people. Even though he holds his religious beliefs deeply, he is not dogmatic in behavior or speech. He will not use his position as a physician to compel people to accept his beliefs; instead, he will be a person who is compassionate and deeply committed to helping people. Kent is a person of high moral and ethical standards who will be a credit to the profession. He merits the highest recommendation we can give.” No more prophetic words could have been used to describe Kent. In February we celebrated the Brantlys as our 2014 Young Alumni of the Year, and they will be back on campus in August when Kent will be our Opening Assembly speaker and receive an honorary doctorate from the university. We hope you can join us. For generations, ACU has been known as a place where future health professionals receive the educational foundation they need for career success. Our graduates who apply to medical, dental and veterinary schools are in high demand for their academic preparation, servant hearts and leadership potential. Each day in nearly every health profession field, you can find Abilene Christian graduates making exciting scientific discoveries through research, using their God-given talents to minister to patients and traveling across town or to a faraway medical missions endeavor – and often leading our students or other alumni along the way. It’s but one of the many distinctive hallmarks of an ACU education, this preparation of young people to be the hands and feet of Jesus, the Great Physician. And it’s another reason why we are constructing three new state-of-the-art facilities through the Vision in Action initiative: to help prepare the next generation of talented science students with hearts for sharing their faith with others. Thank you for helping educate and empower our graduates to make a real difference wherever God calls and their careers take them. On a personal note, many of you in recent months have encouraged, prayed over and given Jamie and me the gift of your friendship. Today, we share a renewed sense of hope and optimism about our future, having worked hard over the past year to honor God, each other and our relationship. Our family has reunited, and we look forward to continuing to build on His amazing blessings. 

DR. PHIL SCHUBERT (’91), President The mission of ACU is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.

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H O R I Z O N S The famous WSM radio microphone takes center stage on the historic Ryman Auditorium circle, where Grand Ole Opry performers stand while singing. The well-worn wooden circle was moved to the current Opryhouse from the Ryman, a few miles away in Nashville. The Ryman has an historic connection to Churches of Christ: pioneer reacher N.B. Hardeman’s series of 22 “Tabernacle Sermons” received national attention there in 1922. Hardeman later served as president of Freed-Hardeman University for more than two decades. The Ryman is called the “Mother Church of Country Music.”

CHRIS HOLO / HOLO PHOTOGRAPHICS INC.

CHRIS HOLO / HOLO PHOTOGRAPHICS INC.

Aaron Watson

Zane Williams

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ZANE CHRIS WILLIAMS HOLO / HOLO PHOTOGRAPHICS INC.

For years, Aaron Watson (’00) and Zane Williams (’99) imagined themselves playing the Grand Ole Opry and this spring, each of the emerging stars crossed that line off his personal bucket list. Watson’s gig came March 31 on the heels of having Billboard’s top-selling country music album in the world. Williams, who is featured on the “Troubador, TX” TV series, made his Opry debut April 24. See the back cover and page 67 for more information.

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H O RI Z O N S Noted Maestro

One of ACU’s most accomplished graduates is Dr. Robert Page (’48), now music director emeritus of the world-famous Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Penn. Page taught at Eastern New Mexico University (1954-59), Temple University (1956-75) and retired in 2013 after 37 years at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was chair of the School of Music, Paul Mellon Professor of Music and director of choral studies. He won two Grammys and was nominated for nine others during a careerthat saw him conduct with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and others around the world, including the Royal Philharmonic Opera Orchestra. He has received honorary degrees from five colleges and universities, including a doctorate from ACU (1990) and a Distinguished Alumni Citation (1982). American Record Review has called him “a national treasure.”

In 1954, Page co-wrote and co-produced “A City Set on a Hill,” ACU’s 50th anniversary pageant. In 1980, he collaborated with Dr. Lewis Fulks (’48) and June Bearden (’42) on “Like Stars Shining Brightly,” the Homecoming musical for his alma mater’s 75th anniversary.

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See Bonus Coverage at acu.edu/acutoday

And the Crowd Went Wild The first-ever nationally televised basketball game from Moody Coliseum brought out the best in ACU students, who assembled in Section F and elsewhere to cheer the Wildcats in a men’s game against Stephen F. Austin State University on Jan 17, 2014. CBS Sports Network captured the energy as the Wildcats took a halftime lead, only to fall 82-64 to the eventual Southland Conference champion Lumberjacks, who advanced to the NCAA Division I men’s national tournament.

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MICHAEL WADE

A CU TODAY B O N U S C O V E R AG E

Sophomore Parker McKenzie (14) had his own personal cheering section at the Georgia Dome in the season opener Aug. 27 when the Atlanta native made his first collegiate start as the Wildcats’ quarterback. He completed 30 of 40 passes for 403 yards and four touchdowns, nearly leading ACU to an upset win over Georgia State University. The Panthers kicked a field goal with four seconds left to win 38-37 in a game broadcast nationally by ESPNU. McKenzie went on to throw for 3,084 yards and 22 TDs during the 2014 season.

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Standout defensive end Nick Richardson (5) blocks a 49-yard field goal attempt by Raymon Cato (49) during ACU’s 21-0 win over Incarnate Word on Sept. 20, 2014. A senior, Richardson received all-Southland Conference first team honors and recorded the second most sacks (32.5) in ACU history during his career. He earned a rookie free agent tryout with the NFL’s Detroit Lions following the season.

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Freshman De’Andre Brown (22) ran for 962 yards in 2014, the second most among running backs at Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) universities.

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Incarnate Word back Joseph Sadler ran into a wall of Wildcats in ACU’s 21-0 win.

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Senior defensive lineman Damon Williams (96) holds up Troy University’s Brandon Burks (32) long enough for teammates to come to his aid and bring down the Trojan ball carrier.

Head coach Ken Collums embraces redshirt freshman offensive lineman Chance Rieken (75) following ACU’s 38-35 upset win over Troy University on Sept. 13, the Wildcats’ first against an FBS-level opponent in 55 years. ACU twice rallied from 14-point deficits in Troy, Ala., to defeat a team that had made five bowl appearances in the last decade.

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Nik Grau (43) kicked a 27-yard field goal to give ACU a fourth-quarter lead over Troy University.

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ACU defensive lineman LaMarcus Allen (90) faces off with University of Central Arkansas offensive lineman D.J. Appe prior to a play in the Wildcats’ upset 52-35 win on Nov. 1. The neutral-site Southland Conference game with UCA was played in Plano and broadcast on Fox College Sports. FACING PAGE: ACU defensive back Jonathan Epps (4) returns an interception 68 yards for a key TD late in the game to seal the win over the Bears. Wildcat head coach Ken Collums enjoyed his team's upset win over Central Arkansas. Collums led UCA to an NAIA national championship as a student-athlete in 1991 and coached for the Bears before returning to ACU in 2005 as the offensive coordinator. JEREMY ENLOW

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ACU sophomore DIana Garcia Munoz led her team in the University of Arkansas’ Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival on Oct. 10 and later was named the Southland Conference’s Student-Athlete of the Year. She finished fifth in the league’s championship meet.

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Senior Daniel Block (10) ran his fastest 8K of the season at the Southland Conference championships.

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ACU women’s soccer players gather before a match Sept. 7 against TCU in Fort Worth.

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Lindsey Jones (9), a junior forward/midfielder, was ACU’s second leading scorer.

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Freshman forward/midfielder Baylee Mitchell (27) was ACU’s leading scorer in 2014 and tallied four game-winning goals.

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Three-year senior captain Neely Borger (3), a senior middle blocker, was named first team All-Academic Southland Conference and CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District.

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Junior outside hitter Jennifer Loerch was honorable mention All-Southland Conference.

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Sophomore defensive specialist Brooke Ray celebrates winning a point during a Sept. 6, 2014, match against the University of North Texas in Denton.

Junior setter Sarah Siemens

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Sophomore middle blocker Lexi Mercier (4) and junior setter Sarah Siemens (2) block a shot by Baylor University during a Aug. 29, 2014, season-opening match in Waco.

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Junior guard Parker Wentz (left) and junior forward Austin Cooke reach for a rebound during ACU’s game in Chicago against Loyola University on Dec. 17, 2014.

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LaDerrian WIlliams drives to the basket in Moody Colisuem in a 72-61 win over Sacramento State University on Dec. 4, 2014.

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University of Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson (right) looks on as ACU’s Parker Wentz and Cougar guard Ronnie Johnson scramble for a loose ball during a Dec. 6, 2014, game between the two in Hofheinz Pavilion. ACU outrebounded the much taller Houston team and trailed by just two points with 5:15 to play before the Cougars went on a 12-2 run to win, 71-59. The game was broadcast nationally on ESPN3.

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ACU junior forward Austin Cooke is defended by Houston’s Devonta Pollard (24) and Eric Weary Jr. (23).

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Senior guard LaDarrien Williams

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Senior guard Harrison Hawkins (11) drives upcourt during ACU’s 65-59 win over South Carolina State University in the Continental Las Vegas Classic in Nevada. The Wildcats (facing page) won the tourney, played Dec. 22-23, 2014.

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Defending twin sophomore forwards Lizzy (32) and Suzy (23) Dimba usually means double trouble for opponents of the ACU women’s basketball team. The pair helped lead the Wildcats to a 17-12 overall record during the 2014-15 season (9-9 in the Southland Conference).

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Lizzy Dimba (32) averaged 10.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Wildcats in 2014-15.

Junior guard Whitney West (12) averaged 10.4 points per game in 2014-15.

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Suzy Dimba (23) was named third team all-conference and to the Southland’s All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive season. She averaged 11.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game in 2014-15. She led ACU in steals, assists, blocked shots and minutes played.

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ACU’s Julie Goodenough has directed her team to consecutive winning seasons – records of 21-7, 18-12 and 17-12 – since becoming the ACU head women’s basketball coach three years ago.

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Freshman guard Alyssa Echols

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Sydney Shelstead led her team in scoring (12.7 points per game), field goal percentage (.510) and rebounding (8.7) on her way to being named third team all-conference. She had an 18-point, 18-rebound double-double performance in a 79-72 win over Eastern Washington University on Nov. 24, 2014.

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Senior Corbin Renner was named second team All-Southland Conference in 2015. He had a team-best 72.04 scoring average.

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Dillon Vaughn, a junior, was ACU’s second-highest finisher at the Southland Conference championship tournament, helping the Wildcats to fifth place. Vaughn was named a Cleland Golf / Srixon all-America scholar for NCAA Division I. and the Wildcats were one of 90 Division I teams to be named All-Academic by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Eight golfers on the Wildcat team earned GPAs of 3.20 or better in 2015.

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ACU’s biggest home baseball game in history was played April 6, 2015, when the Wildcats hosted TCU, the nation’s No. 2-ranked team, at Crutcher Scott Field. Abilene Christian led 3-2 until the seventh inning, when the Horned Frogs rallied for a 4-3 win. TCU lost to eventual national champion Vanderbilt University in the College World Series. ACU and TCU played twice in 2015. In one 10-day stretch of the season, ACU played No. 2 TCU, No. 19 Texas Tech and No. 1 Texas A&M, dropping one-run decisions to each. The Wildcats closed the season with wins over 2012 College World Series champ University of Arizona and University of Hawaii.

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Sophomore infielder Russell Crippen

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Head baseball coach Britt Bonneau won his 700th career game on May 1 in his 19th season at ACU.

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Senior pitcher Thomas Altimont anchored the Wildcat staff in 2015.

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Freshman shortstop Peyton Hedrick slides successfully into second base during a home game with the University of Southeastern Louisiana. Hedrick batted .432 for the season and finished in the Southland Conference Top 10 in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs, hits, RBI, doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases. She was a top 25 finalist for National Fastpitch Coaches Association Freshman of the Year, was named second team all-region, first team all-conference and received ACU’s Paul Goad Award as ACU’s female student-athlete of the year.

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Junior outfielder Taylor Brown batted .367 for the season, the second-best average on her team.

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Senior firstbaseman Demi McNulty sported a .971 fielding average and fashionable eye-black for the Wildcats in 2015.

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Sophomore Erin Walker earned second team all-conference honors with freshman doubles partner Whitney Williams.

Kaysie Hermsdorf, a junior, earned All-Southland Conference first-team honors in doubles with partner Brittney Reed.

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New Elmer Gray Stadium is situated along Campus Court and north of Edwards Hall and Cullen Auditorium. It features a distinctive purple performance surface built by Beynon, a Maryland-based company that installed identical tracks at Big Ten Conference universities Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa; and Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest and North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference, among others.Gray Stadium was dedicated April 10 and hosted its first meet the next day, the second annual Wes Kittley Invitational featuring teams from ACU, Texas Tech and TCU.

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Junior sprinter/jumper Johnathan Farquaharson (center) of Freeport, Bahamas, won the Southland Conference outdoor 200-meter dash, finished second in the 100 and helped his 4x100 relay team to a second-place finish as well. He represented his country in the Pan-Am Games in Toronto, Canada, this summer.

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Luke Woods was the 2015 Southland Conference outdoor runner-up in the decathlon with ,851 points, and placed fifth in the league's indoor heptathlon with 4,879 points. The junior also was one of 10 Wildcats named to the conference's AllAcademic track and field team.

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Gabryelle Thompson (left), Diana García-Munoz (center) and Alexandria Hackett huddle after an event at the TCU Invitational on March 20 in Fort Worth. A sophomore, Hackett won the Southland Conference championship in the 5000-meter run in 17:21.71 and was third in the 1500m with a mark of 4:31.50. Hackett placed third or better in her last seven races of the season with victories coming at the Wes Kittley Invitational, Texas Tech Open, Oklahoma University’s John Jacobs Invitational and the Southland Conference Championships.

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Petrene Plummer won the 800-meter race April 10 at the second annual Wes Kittley Invitational in 2:15.75. The junior finished fifth in this event at the Southland Conference Outdoor Championships in Hammond, La., and won three bronze medals at the league's indoor championships (800m, distance medley relay and 4x400-meter relay).

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BY RON HADFIELD

t was Homecoming at his alma mater in Abilene, and Kent Brantly, M.D., never felt more at home in his life. Given his headline-making circumstances, the 33-year-old family physician appeared remarkably well that mid-October day for someone who had recently stared down one of the most sure death sentences known to humanity, and survived. The relief on his face was as easy to catch as the 24/7 news coverage of the young doctor who in recent weeks had become one of the planet’s most recognizable people, thanks to the Ebola virus disease he contracted while serving

a Samaritan’s Purse assignment in West Africa. “It’s the bogeyman virus,” to echo the words Dallas emergency room nurse Richard Townsend chose to describe Ebola in a CBS News interview in late October. The hemorrhagic disease causes patients to lose copious amounts of body fluids, which become hazardous waste; makes temperatures soar and organs fail, and, if left untreated, generally results in a gruesome death within 10 days. There is no cure, but at least two experimental drugs are gaining ground as potential tools to help immune systems fight the fast-moving virus. It was never Brantly’s intention to become Abilene Christian University’s most high-profile graduate. But here he was, a certifiable Miracle Man, the unfortunate face of a disease threatening to change the course of humanity in an African nation or two or three. He also was the fortunate recipient of a providential, groundbreaking and extraordinarily expensive rescue, treatment and recovery that took him from a makeshift clinic in a developing country to the White House in a matter of weeks. Brantly is tall and lean but looked especially CONTINUED ON PAGE 13

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ACU TODAY

JONI BYKER

HOW ACU PREPARED KENT AND AMBER BRANTLY FOR A LIFE OFF SERVICE TO T OTHERS O


TAMMY MARCELAIN

BY R O B I N S AY L O R

Kent and Amber Brantly and their children, Ruby and Stephen

hursday. Just another day of the week for most of us. Not so for Amber (Carroll ’06) Brantly, wife of medical missionary and Ebola survivor Kent Brantly, M.D. (’03). Thursdays came to symbolize the course of her husband’s battle with the deadly virus and her family’s journey of faith throughout the ordeal. “On Thursday, July 24, Kent called to tell me he was home sick with a fever,” Amber recalled. “On Thursday, July 31, he very nearly died in our bed in Liberia. And on Thursday morning, Aug. 7, his eyes cleared, and I knew he would make it.” It also was a Thursday – Aug. 21 – when Kent was discharged from Emory University Hospital, declared free from the highly contagious and often fatal disease. In between those pivotal time markers were hours of waiting and praying and caring for their two young children, Stephen, 3, and Ruby, 5 – and mentally bracing herself for the first phone call of each day, the one that would let her know whether her husband was still alive. Liberia in October 2013 as part The Brantlys had moved to Li Post-Residency Program, an arm of the World Medical Mission Pos aims to match a newly graduated of Samaritan’s Purse, which aim missionary physician in the field doctor with a seasoned m mentoring. for two years of ment They moved into i a small house in the Monrovia, a coastal city with nearly a capital, Monrov They soon settled into a million residents. reside routine. pleasant ro Later, Amber would reflect on her Later trepidation about moving her family trepidat developing country. “I had to a de some bad dreams when we were preparing to move to Africa,” prep she said. But Ebola wasn’t on her radar. “My biggest fear was shark attacks because we were moving atta to tthe beach. I was so afraid that my kids would get hurt in the ocean. I asked Kent one morning, ocea our kids were attacked by a ‘If ou shark, would you be able to do the shark amputation on our kids?’ ” amputa She now jokes about those fears irrational. “So sure, there were being irra faced, but we never knew Ebola fears we fac something to fear. And so I didn’t. was somethin I guess being na naïve is a good thing.” Ebola outbreak, “life in Liberia Prior to the Ebo Amber said. Though she had a was really great,” Ambe CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 ACU TODAY



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RON FINGER / PAUL WHITE

Amber Brantly graduated from ACU with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, studying at the intercollegiate Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing in Abilene.

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degree in nursing from ACU, her role in Liberia was being a wife and mother. “We had a blast. My kids were preschoolers. I never got to do nursing while I was in Liberia other than putting Band-Aids on knees,” she said. “Typically, Kent would leave in the early dawn hours for work, and the kids and I would wake up after he had gone. We would spend our mornings either running errands in Monrovia, or, more frequently, at home playing with our neighbors. We enjoyed walks on the beach, play dates with the other missionary kids, and song and dance parties. There was a lot of coffee drinking involved, too, with the other moms. We would break for lunch and have quiet time at home. Then I’d start in on cooking dinner.” The Brantlys became close friends with fellow aid worker Nancy Writebol, who soon took on the role of another grandmother to the Brantly children. Kent’s work consisted of complicated, often critical cases. “He faced death on a daily basis – all this with the burden of knowing if he only had the resources and equipment he knew was available in the States, he could do so much more to help his patients,” Amber said. Kent was only a few months into serving his two-year fellowship when Ebola broke out in West Africa. He and Amber decided their family would remain, despite the danger, so he could attend to the Ebola patients who began flooding the ELWA Hospital Hospita where he worked.

“I tried to include my children in the work to fight Ebola, but I tried to keep them home as much as possible. I would leave them with my neighbor while I took food or picked up laundry from the unit. The whole campus became busy in the fight against Ebola; we stay-at-home-moms took on more tasks as we were able. We met to pray together regularly as well.” The danger posed by living in the midst of a deadly virus was not lost on Kent or Amber. “There was one day early in the outbreak when Kent spent over an hour deliberating whether it was safe for him to come home to us or not,” she said. “He had seen a patient in the hospital with pretty typical symptoms: fever, headache, runny stomach. He sent him to the lab for a malaria test. But later in the day, he had a terrible sinking feeling. ‘What if this guy has Ebola, and I’ve missed it?’ he wondered. “He spent some time trying to find the man’s lab results, but the gentleman had not gone to the lab after all. He tried calling the phone number listed on the chart, but the line was dead. He just couldn’t shake the feeling and the doubt he felt. After a long walk home and talking with his colleagues, he decided he could come home to us because even if he were exposed to the Ebola virus that day, he would not yet be contagious,” she said. “The man came back the next day for his lab work, and he did not have Ebola; he had malaria. But I knew how much Kent carried the burden and the stress of his work home,” Amber said. In July, Amber and the children traveled back to

Writebol had been infected with the virus and was critically ill, too. Somehow, Amber made it through the next few days, “undoubtedly empowered by the Holy Spirit,” she said. “The kids reminded us that they needed to eat. My heart was too sick to eat anything. I barely slept. We were surrounded by friends who brought us meals and drinks and provided a quiet home for the kids and me to stay in,” she said. Amber remembers how long those minutes and hours seemed to stretch. “I was on pins and needles waiting for his calls, or a call from anybody in Liberia who could update me on his condition,” she said. “The first call of the day was the most anticipated; I needed to know he survived the night.” One of the things that kept her going, Amber said, was receiving emails and messages from friends who did not ask for a reply. “They just wrote to encourage me and included snippets of scriptures and hymns,” she recalled. “I could barely come up with a prayer on my own, so to have Psalms sent to me that friends were praying for me was a big encouragement.” She also found great comfort in her children. “The Lord gave me a very sweet gift while Kent was sick: The kids knew we were sad, but they weren’t,” she said. “They weren’t completely oblivious, but they were so happy and obedient. They entertained each other, and people came and took care of them and they were fine. They transitioned well and they were

i want people to know we are just regularr folks seekingthelord’swillforourlives.weonlly did what we felt he asked us to do, and becausee we haad already died to ourselves in order to follow w him, we didn’t think much of it when he called us to affricca. ” – Amber Brantly

DAVID MORRISON

“We didn’t really think about it,” Amber said. “A disaster, a crisis had come to our home home, and the only thing we could do was respond. The Lord called us to Liberia clearly for ‘such a time as this,’ and to abandon those we had come to serve during their time of need wasn’t an option.” However, their daily lives changed dramatically. “Kent’s long, hard, hot hours at work became longer, harder and hotter,” Amber said. “The stress was sometimes unbearable. We could feel a tension in the air and in the environment at the hospital. Looking at it from here, I believe it was a spiritual battle. It still is a spiritual battle.” Amber and others in the missionary community began to work to support the medical workers. “Fueled by prayer and coffee, I cooked a lot. I – along with my helpers – fed the team of volunteers who had come through Samaritan’s Purse to help in our isolation unit. I also helped with the laundering of their scrubs,” she said.

Abilene so they could visit with family before attending her brother’s Aug. 2 wedding. Kent stayed behind, planning to join them a short time later. A few days into her visit, she received the dreaded phone call. “Kent told me he was sick with a fever,” Amber said. “He had to remain isolated in our home until he had an Ebola test after 72 hours. On Saturday morning they drew his blood and carried it to the national laboratory an hour down the road. I knew it would take several hours to run the test, so I tried to stay calm and carry out my regular activities. “I waited for Kent’s phone call, and in the afternoon it came. He had tested positive for Ebola,” she said. “I wept. I think all I could say to him was, ‘I am so sorry. I am so, so sorry.’ I cried for a while alone in my room, then I texted my dad, who was in another part of the house. ‘Daddy’ is all I said. He and mom came and held me like a baby. I have never seen my dad cry like that.” She also learned that her dear friend Nancy

flexible, which, for my daughter especially, is pretty bizarre. It can only be explained by the grace of God. It was such a sweet gift to our whole family that He protected them that way while Kent was sick.” Eventually, Amber got word that Kent would be transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the first Ebola patient to be brought into the United States for treatment. Writebol soon would follow. Amber flew to meet Kent and got her first glimpse through the glass window in his isolation room at the hospital. “To anybody else, he looked terrible,” she said. “His eyes were bloodshot, he was swollen, he was completely covered in a bright red rash, and he was lying in a hospital bed hooked up to monitors and IVs. But to me he looked so good. The doctors kept reminding me, ‘He’s not out of the woods yet,’ ” and they were right; he was still really sick. But I was so relieved to be near him that I had so much hope.” That hope was borne out three weeks later when Kent tested free of the virus and was

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released back into the arms of his family. One memory in particular sticks out in Amber’s mind. “After Kent came out of the hospital, and we were back together, we had a family meeting,” Amber recalled. “My kids are preschoolers, so we tried to talk to them appropriately. We told them, ‘Do you remember? Did you know that Daddy was sick?’ And they said, ‘Yeah, we remember that.’ My daughter said, ‘It was some kind of virus?’ And Kent said, ‘Yeah, do you remember in Liberia all the people that were getting sick with the Ebola virus?’ And she said, ‘Oh, Daddy. I’m so sorry. You had the Ebola virus?’ And she got down out of her chair and went to hug him – it was so tender and sweet. I don’t know if it had not registered until then or she was just putting it together or if she finally felt safe enough to admit it.”

BEFORE THE LIMELIGHT

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Doctors and medical staff in Monrovia, Liberia, pray outside Kent’s room near the Ebola clinic where he worked.

DAVID MORRISON

Though the Brantlys are now best-known for their battle with Ebola, their story began long before the day Amber received news her husband might be infected. It started with two young people whose paths had not yet crossed but who felt a strong sense that God was calling each of them to a life of mission work. Amber recalled being drawn to missions even as a child. “My family took regular trips to the border of Mexico to encourage a missionary family and friend our church supported there,” she said. “My missions experience was pretty limited, however, and during my first year at ACU, I discovered there was more to missionaries than building church buildings and digging outhouses. “I had felt the Lord calling me to become a missionary, but I also wanted to be a nurse. When I learned that there were people out there who were using their nursing as missions, my mind was blown. I was so excited that somebody had already done this and started figuring it out,” she said. She went on her first medical mission trip to Honduras the summer after her freshman year at ACU, where she interned with Jarrod (’00) and Allison Brown in Choluteca, Honduras, at what would later become known as Mission Lazarus. “I watched my nursing instructors talk to patients in clinics and saw how tooth extractions could immediately alleviate pain,” she recalled. “At the same time, it felt like we were not doing as much as we should. It felt like putting a Band-Aid on an eviscerated gut. People needed and deserved more.” It was on that trip that Amber met Kent, who had just graduated from ACU and was part of a short-term missions team sent to Honduras by his church. “We met that summer but nothing came of it except friendship,” Amber said. “But I admired him right away for his leadership and compassion.” She returned to ACU that fall where she continued to work on her bachelor’s degree in nursing and her preparation for life as a missionary. “Once I knew I was going to be a missionary, I kept feeding that by taking short-term missions trips and studying Spanish in Costa Rica,” she said. “In nursing school I was able to go on several trips a semester, mostly on weekends, and medical missions trips to Mexico. I did that to fuel my fire because, you know, once you catch the missions bug, you can’t really get rid of it.” At ACU, she found herself surrounded by faculty and fellow students who challenged her spiritually and exposed her to different cultures. “I believe ACU helped to broaden my worldview and help me see beyond my small-town Texas upbringing,” she said.

But throughout her studies she never forgot about Kent. “I just pined away for him for years,” she said, laughing. “He didn’t know that, which is fine. He figured it out eventually and then he asked me [to marry him], and so of course I said yes. I love Kent Brantly. He’s genuine, he’s humble, he’s compassionate, he’s a leader, he’s a servant, and I couldn’t be more proud.” After they married in May 2008, Kent completed medical school in Indiana, finished a four-year residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth and was accepted for the post-residency program in Liberia. The Brantlys also had two children, a girl and then a boy. Everything was falling into place for the quiet missionary life the couple envisioned. After Kent’s close call with Ebola, all that changed. The couple have found themselves back in the United States for an extended time, thrust into the public limelight almost overnight with little time for the cross-cultural re-entry preparation most missionaries need to successfully adjust to life back home – physically, spiritually, emotionally and otherwise. After his release from Emory hospital, the Brantlys spent weeks in seclusion while Kent began recovering from death’s door, both of them preparing with the help of others for experiences unlike anything they ever imagined. A public relations agency has helped manage speaking requests and the demands of the media upon their time, but the Brantlys’ quiet uiet life in Liberia has been turned upside down. They have ve twice been guests of President Obama at the Whitee House, and Kent has testified before Congress and been pictured on the covers of newspapers and magazines. gazines. Their faces are known around the world, which makes it a challenge to preserve the privacy ivacy they value highly. Despite their newfound and nd frequently uncomfortable celebrity, ebrity, the Brantlys have preserved their strong sense of humility and willingness to take their experience in whatever direction on God leads them. “We have been labeled ass narcissistic idiots and we’ve been labeled as heroes,” Kent said during a visit to the ACU campus in October. “And we, hopefully, don’t feel like either.r. We’re just two ACU alumni who ho were seeking to be faithful to God’s call in our lives.” Amber echoed those sentiments: timents: “I want people to know we aree just regular folks seeking the Lord’s ’s will for our lives. We only did what wee felt He asked us to do, and because we had already died to ourselves in order to follow Him, m, we didn’t think much of it when He called us to Africa.” They continue to glorify God throughout their journey and are using their visibility sibility to draw attention to the plight of those affected by Ebola. What the future holds, they do not know. “We still plan on doing full-time career mission work, but we don’t know where the Lord is calling us next,” she said. What they do know is they have a message to share. “The message we want to send out is of the Lord’s great faithfulness,” she said. “He was faithful to us during residency training, and He didn’t give up on us when we came to Africa, and He didn’t give up on us when Kent became sick, and even if Kent had not survived, He wasn’t giving up.” 


DAVID MORRISON

gaunt, with red splotches on his neck and arms. He admitted to being a bit embarrassed that his close-cropped brown hair had fallen out in places during his late summer ordeal in steamy Liberia and later, an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Ga. He was wearing new clothes, his old wardrobe burned to avoid further contamination. He was not a picture of health. But he was alive, and for a Friday afternoon in West Texas, that was enough. The 2003 ACU graduate and his wife, Amber (Carroll ’06), had just driven with their two children halfway across the country from a respite hideaway in the northern Midwest, and he was understandably tired. It was a whirlwind trip symbolic of the Brantlys’ new normal: two public speaking appearances and two panel discussions with students and faculty on Friday, quality time with Amber’s large extended family in Abilene, breakfast early Saturday morning with his Pi Kappa buddies, a slow spin with Amber and the kids in a convertible as grand marshals of the Homecoming parade, a quick trip to North Carolina that evening to speak at a banquet, then back to Abilene on Sunday. Kent’s return trip – unknown to most people other than Amber, a few physicians and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – included a stop in Dallas to donate plasma to help save the life of a young nurse unfortunate as he to come down with Ebola. On his long initial drive to Abilene, Kent also stopped in Kansas City, Mo., to donate plasma to NBC freelance photojournalist Ashoka Mukpo and the Brantlys’ dear friend, Rick Sacra, M.D., two other Ebola-sticken Americans. “So how are you feeling?” someone inquired, not sure what else to ask an otherwise intensely private person whose bodily fluids had become a perceived national security risk and dinner-table talk from Sweetwater to Shanghai. He stopped to reflect, then spoke deliberately with a smile: “I’m doing OK for someone who didn’t sign up for Ebola.” Kent and Amber Brantly did sign up to be medical missionaries, a career calling with as many soaring personal victories as occupational hazards. The career choice required turning their lives over to God and their futures to a journey unlike any they ever imagined. It was – and still is – consuming considerable amounts of personal faith, a spiritual commodity the Brantlys seem to have far beyond most.

PRAY, DON’T PANIC Kent celebrated his release from Emory University Hospital on Aug. 21, 2014, what he called “a miraculous day,” in comments during a news conference broadcast live around the world.

“We are thrilled to be here,” a deeply moved Kent said that Friday morning, Oct. 10, in Chapel. “I am particularly thrilled to be alive, to return to Abilene, to my ACU community, to my family.” He rubbed his clasped hands together, smiled and spoke with measured words of the joy he felt for having been spared for a higher purpose he had yet to fully understand. For someone not used to the public spotlight, he did not shrink from the glare. Some 4,000 CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 ACU TODAY



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Lesca Hadley, M.D. (’92), is on staff at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where Kent Brantly, M.D., served his residency in family medicine. Hadley has accompanied ACU graduates at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Branch in Dallas on international medical mission trips.

JEREMY ENLOW

hether you are serving as a medical missionary or know someone who is, we’d love to see your photos. Like the Brantlys – who were working quietly in Liberia when they were unexpectedly thrust into the limelight – many other students and graduates of Abilene Christian University are serving behind the scenes on every continent. Some of you do this full time; others devote your vacation days to volunteer. Some of you serve abroad, some in the United States. All of you are Wildcats following your hearts while finding ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus. On these pages are just a few of the individuals and families who commit time, energy and other resources to bring healing and the Gospel to others in need. We know there are countless more. We want to share some of the special photographs of our alumni and students on the missions field. Email your favorite photo to Robin Saylor at robin.saylor@acu.edu. Or choose your favorite and post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ACUmissions so we can find it. Include a sentence or two telling us about the photo and why it is meaningful to you. We will share the best images with our readers on the magazine’s blog, in the next printed issue and via our social media channels 

JEREMY ENLOW

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DEBBIE RIGGS

1) Lesca Hadley, M.D. (’92), is a family physician and director of geriatrics at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Her first experience with medical missions took place in Guatemala the summer after her graduation from ACU. She has since served in El Salvador, Zambia, Thailand and Mexico. 2) Randy (’94) and Anda (Adams ’94) Brown are vocational missionaries making a difference in the Como neighborhood near Fort Worth. Randy has a family medicine practice nearby, and the family chooses to live among many of its low-income patients. The late Stanley Shipp (see page 80) was a major influence on the Browns. 3) Taylor Tidmore, M.D. (’99), is an Abilene ear, nose and throat specialist who has done medical mission work at LiveBeyond in Haiti and City of Hope in Accra, Ghana. He is married to Heather (Watts ’99). 4) Orthopedic surgeon Kyle Stephens, D.O. (’05 M.Div.), earned degrees in biology and biblical studies from Lipscomb University and a M.Div. from ACU before entering medical school in 2009. He begins work in a bone and joint clinic this fall in Paris, Tenn. His medical missions experience has taken him to Honduras, Romania, Brazil, Mexico, Kenya and Peru. He is married to Jennifer (Bartholomee ’05). 5) Ray (’80) and Star (Light ’82) Ferguson of Abilene are longtime leaders in the Zambia Medical Mission to Namwianga. Ray is co-director and Star coordinates of pharmaceuticals for the outreach that brings more than 100 people overseas to treat and minister to several thousand Zambians each July. 6) David M. Vanderpool, M.D. (’82), and his wife, Laurie (Stallings ’81), lead the work of LiveBeyond in Haiti, which began in response to its horrific earthquake in 2010. The Vanderpools sold their belongings in Tennessee to establish a permanent ministry in Thomazeau featuring “medical and maternal health care, clean water, education, orphan care, community development and the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Students and faculty from the ACU School of Nursing travel to Haiti to assist them. 7) David Jr. (’10) and Devin (Anderson ’11) Vanderpool assist David’s parents at LiveBeyond in Haiti, where he is agricultural development project manager and she is education director and ESL teacher. 8) A native of Zambia, Shepherd Mbumwae (’95) is married to Ruhtt Jaime (’96) and has impressed government officials with his work as chief administrator of Namwianga Zonal Health Centre in Zambia. NZHC was established after Zambian Medical Mission determined needs for a permanent health care presence. 9) As executive director for Global Samaritan Resources, Danny Sims (’85) oversees work to provide surplus goods to those in need around the world, including medical outreach ministries and disaster relief. His wife is Suzanne (Michna ’89). SARA KAUSS

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students, faculty, staff and visitors in the audience hung on every word in this, his first truly public speaking appearance since returning to the States for treatment, meeting President Barack Obama and testifying before members of Congress. His and Amber’s personal story had come to life in “Saving Dr. Brantly: The Inside Story of a Medical Miracle,” an hour-long “NBC News Primetime Special” interview with news anchor Matt Lauer televised Sept. 5, just 15 days after Kent’s release from the hospital. The largest gathering of national media in ACU’s history was present in Moody Coliseum for Chapel. His message was broadcast live on MSNBC and TV stations in Abilene and Dallas, and tweeted in real time to millions of people eopl eo opl plee th tthrough hro roug ro ugh ug network and cable-news o outlets. Later utle ut lets le tss. La Late ter te er that afternoon, another 3,500 ,50 500 0 ca ccame me to Moody to hear Kent and Amber nd Am Ambe berr be interviewed by Randy Harris, member rri riss, s, a m embe em berr of be o ACU’s theology faculty.

We could all get it and die.” Another man called the university and asked why ACU had brought Brantly to Abilene, suggesting without guile that the physician would be better off dead rather than risk starting a pandemic. In Dallas, some parents were withholding their children from school in neighborhoods known to be frequented by Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, adding to unfounded fears expressed by an uninformed public troubled by having an Ebola patient on U.S. soil. Brantly, the first of six such people being treated in the U.S. at the time, reassured the audience. “I want to be very clear that for someone who is not in contact with a person who is sick sick c with wit ith h Ebola, Ebol Eb ola, a, there the here re is is no risk,” risk, issk, k,”” Brantly B an Br antl tlyy

Amber and Kent met with ACU students udents andd faculty on Homecoming Friday to o answerr questions and offer advice. “If If you’re e interested in medical missions, don’tt forgett to not only prepare yourself medically, dically, y, but prepare yourself missionally,”” Kentt said. “Take seriously that the calling ng onn your life is from God. … There are a lott of people who get interested in medicine icinee and they want to do medical missions sionss and by the time they get down thatt 10- or 12-year road of medical school chooll and residential internship and residency, ency, they have neglected their spiritual ual life to the point that they’re not sure e whatt that call is any more. So I would strongly encourage you to nurture the medical edical as well as the spiritual aspects of your life.” PAUL WHITE

The biblical lessons Kent ent sshared hare ha red d about loving one’s neighbor rang or ra ang lloud oud d and clear, and resonated w with ith it h th thee Abilene audience. “Our neighbors are not simply ott si simp mply ly the people that live next to us, orr ou our ou s, o ur roommate, or the person down the hall, or the person in our class. Our neighbors are the people in West Africa who are suffering far beyond what we can understand or fathom,” Kent said in his Chapel message. “You’ve seen the news reports, and I assure you the reality on the ground in West Africa is worse than the worst report you’ve seen. This is not about me. This is about our great, compassionate, merciful God, and our neighbors who need our help.” There was more than a little anxiety around town, across Texas and around the nation. Earlier that week, a Hendrick Medical Center nurse said at least one of her patients wondered aloud, “Why are they letting that doctor with Ebola into our city? 16

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(Eternal Love Winning Africa) Hospital who had become a patient like Kent. Rather than obsessing about Ebola patients being treated in the U.S., Brantly said the world should pray and focus its attention on stopping the disease in its tracks in West Africa. That morning, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 8,914 Ebola cases and nearly 4,500 deaths across three countries. The numbers eventually grew to 26,757 total cases and 11,079 deaths before the WHO declared Liberia free of Ebola on May 9. Cases continue to be reported weekly in Guinea, where the outbreak is believed to have originated, and Sierra Leone. Up to 400 new cases were reported each weekk la last st fall when Ebola was ravaging nations, overwhelming nearly the threee na ati t all efforts to o ccombat it and engaging world leaders the American military in leader rs an and d th strategy strate egyy tto o fi figgght an epidemic threatening become pandemic. to ob ecom ec om me a p “More “Mo More r tthan h 180 health care workers in Liberia Lib iberria contracted Ebola between June June and and n September, with 89 dying. The fear fea is real and palpable – many have to colleagues’ funerals,” ha been b Sacra wrote in a guest editorial in the th Boston Globe after recovering from the disease. reco “When “Wh I contracted Ebola, I could see a complex look co on the t faces of my co-workers – a mixture of prayerful hope that m I would recover, concern about wo maintaining proper precautions, main but also al the thought, ‘If our doctor got this thi thing … what about me?’ ” In January, Sacra returned to his Ja work as a SIM physician in Liberia, his blood fortifi ed by antibodies from fo Brantly’s plasma. plas

FROM PHYSIC PHYSICIAN TO PATIENT TO LAB RAT said said d while whi hile l clarifying clarifyyin ingg what what it meant to be “in contact” with an infected person. “For those people who are contacts of someone who is known to have Ebola, this is a very serious issue. We all need to be supporting those people, and those individuals need to be monitoring themselves and cooperating with the authorities and the CDC.” He expressed heartfelt grief for the family of Duncan, a native of Liberia who had died from Ebola just days before in Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson treated him and contracted Ebola as a result. Kent’s blood was not a match for the 45-year-old Duncan, so a blood transfusion would not have helped save him. He was a match, however, for Pham, Vinson, Mukpo and Sacra, a veteran Serving in Mission (SIM) physician on staff at its ELWA

ACU TODAY

Ebola had been discovered in Although E 1976, Kent was wa unaware of what was being done by labs to combat it. d b pharmaceutical h “I figured it was a forgotten disease that drug companies weren’t interested in working on,” Kent told Bob Simon of CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” in an interview for the last story the award-winning reporter filed before he was killed in a Manhattan automobile accident in February. Brantly was near death when he received a blood transfusion from a young recovered patient and the experimental drug ZMapp, which is derived, in part, from tobacco plants grown in the Western Kentucky town of Owensboro. Within two hours, he was on his feet, albeit only to visit the restroom on his own. A few monkeys had been successfully treated with ZMapp, but Brantly, knowing he could soon die otherwise, CONTINUED ON PAGE 20


as the ebola virus continued to consume my patients, i witnesssed the horror thhat thiis disease visitts uponitsvictims–theiinteensepain and humiliation humiliationofthosewhosuffer of those who suffer with it, the irrational fear and supersstitioon that pervades communitties, and theviolencee and unrestthaat nowthreaatensentiree nations.. ” – Kent Brantly, M.D.

CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES

Kent testified Sept. 16, 2014, before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in a session titled “Ebola in West Africa: A Global Challenge and Public Health Threat.” He implored the United States to “take the lead instead of relying on other agencies” in efforts to stop the spread of Ebola before it could kill more in West Africa and spread to other nations.

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BY PAU L A . A NTH O N Y Kent and Amber were interviewed by longtime friend Randy Harris (center) of ACU’s theology faculty in a 4 p.m. session in Moody Coliseum the Friday of Homecoming.

hen Dr. Paul Morris’ father died in 2001, the longtime ACU physics professor was teaching in Oxford, England, living in a house with 26 students. While the university scrambled to arrange his flight back to the United States, one of the students, a sophomore named Kent Brantly, also scrambled – helping organize a brief prayer service for Morris (’60) before he left the country. “We knew Dr. Morris was upset,” said Dr. Chris Dowdy (’03), who helped Brantly arrange the impromptu service. “It was an obvious thing that Kent would be one of the people who would be leading it. It was not a real structured thing – a few minutes of prayer with Dr. Morris Morris. I remember laying hands

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on him, kneeling on the ground with him, and Kent being right there.” Structured or not, the service made a deep impact. “I can’t put into words what that meant,” Morris recalled. “That group in Oxford was exceptional, I thought, but Kent was a leader among that group.” The praise is reciprocal. Returning to campus for Homecoming last October, having survived Ebola and become an international celebrity in the process, Brantly recalled both Morris and that Spring 2001 trip to Oxford as important pieces of the ACU experience that shaped him into the person he is. “That semester of Study Abroad my sophomore year in Oxford really was influential in my life,” Kent told a group of current students. “Something about that experience made me realize that … I had an incredible opportunity during my time at ACU, during my four years, to sit at the feet of great biblical scholars, teachers and theologians.”

ACU TODAY

As it is for many ACU alumni, the story of how Kent and Amber Brantly, college students, became Kent and Amber Brantly, world-renowned couple willing to sacrifice everything in the face of terrifying illness, centers on the relationships they formed with professors who inspired and mentored them. Morris, who teaches philosophy along with physics, “had a profound impact on my life,” Kent said. The two bonded over the semester in Oxford and Brantly’s subsequent time at ACU, and they stayed in touch after he graduated in 2003. They would hash out such philosophical quandaries as the problem of evil and have lunch periodically when the Brantlys would return to visit Amber’s family in Abilene. Among the classes Morris taught was General Physics, a required class for pre-health professionals. Brantly at the time was catching up so he could attend medical school after having earned a bachelor’s degree in biblical text. “You get a lot of students who want to do medical missions – or say they want to do it” in a class like that, Morris said. “He was one I never doubted would do work in medical missions.” When news broke that Brantly had contracted Ebola, “I was devastated,” Morris said. “I didn’t know much about Ebola, but what I knew was that it was generally fatal. Especially to be someone who dedicated their life to helping people, to have that happen to them, it’s a multiple effect: not just hurting him, but the people he helps. I tend to be a crier – and I cried.”


He asked Brantly what he should say when he took the podium in a few minutes. Brantly relayed the Old Testament story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in which they tell Nebuchadnezzar that their God is able to protect them, but even if God didn’t, they still would not worship the king’s idol. “His faith commitments,” Harris said, “were not cheap.” For Brantly, the phone call was a part of the healing process, too. “I’ve told Randy it was the act of that phone call that ministered to me,” he said. “It was the fact that he cared enough to be broken-hearted for me and to call and to sit with me from a thousand miles away.”

‘AN AMAZING PASTOR’

PAUL WHITE

Randy Harris, ACU instructor of Bible, missions and ministry, and spiritual director of the Graduate School of Theology, had a different reaction when he received the news – he was stunned into a numb silence. Harris taught Kent throughout the latter’s four years as a major in Harris’ department. Brantly has since called Harris “a good friend” and mentor. “Randy Harris has consistently reached out to me, supported me, encouraged my family as we continued on our path of training and preparation for our work as missionaries,” Brantly said. For his part, Harris said Brantly has changed little from when he was a student – “articulate, a good thinker, very interested in what it meant to be a follower of Jesus, very much trying to work it out, very concerned about other people.” Last summer, Harris was in the middle of a three-week guest-preaching stint at the Brantlys’ home congregation, Southside Church of Christ in Fort Worth, when he received a phone call in his hotel room from Kent’s brother one Saturday night. “ ‘Kent’s been diagnosed with Ebola,’ ” Harris remembered the voice mail saying. “ ‘He’s probably not long for this world’ – or some sort of phrase for that. ‘Would you call him?’ ” “I was just unable to make that call,” Harris said. “I was just so struck speechless that I couldn’t do it.” He called the next morning, just before he was to speak to the Brantlys’ own congregation – just before he was to continue a series on how God answers prayer. “It was surreal,” Harris said.

As a student at the off-campus intercollegiate Shelton School of Nursing, Amber Brantly did not have the typical student experience. But, as Mark Lewis (’95 M.M.F.T.) remembers, she wasn’t the typical student anyway. yp “You always knew when Amber was in the room because she lit the place up,” said Lewis, who was ACU’s director of spiritual life at the time and now is dean of students. “Warm, outgoing, compassionate, embracing. You knew when she was there.” Lewis In 2003-04, Brantly served as a spiritual a pastoral counterpart to the i i l life lif adviser, d i more traditional resident assistants. SLAs were there to help students in residence halls adjust spiritually to being away from home, just as RAs help them navigate other aspects of their lives. Brantly excelled at the job, Lewis said. “Amber was an amazing pastor to the residents on her hall,” he said. “She knew them well. She invested in them. She counseled, took her role very seriously as a spiritual leader in that capacity. I was very blessed to have her as a leader in that ministry effort.” Lewis said he still has in his closet a bright red T-shirt Brantly made for him. Lewis and his SLA team felt compelled to minister to sophomores who were rejected by social clubs they had bid, and they did so while wearing shirts that read: “Pledge Jesus. He Bids All to Come.” “During pledge season, we would hang around up there and hug people who looked sad and remind them that they were God’s children and they were going to be OK,” he said. “She made my shirt.” Brantly described her job as “basically a live-in friend” for the women in her residence hall. The SLAs met weekly in Lewis’ home, she said. “Mark and this wonderful team of students taught me so much about theology, spiritual warfare, spiritual disciplines and personal discipleship,” she said. “Mark was always an encouragement to me.” Dr. Susan Kehl (’00 M.S.N.), now dean of nursing at Harding University, taught at Abilene’s intercollegiate Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing for 10 years. Amber was one of her students in an elective class called Health Care Missions, which culminated in a medical missions trip to Latin America. “Only small numbers of students chose that elective,” Kehl said. “My focus in Christian nursing education is to challenge the students to commit to excellence, and to love and care for others Kehl

from a deep love for the Lord. Amber was a student focused on those values. She was a joy to teach and lead.” Of course, nursing professors have more basic duties, as well. Brantly said she remembers Kehl teaching her how to give injections and measure blood pressure, along with leading trips to Mexico and Honduras. “She is an incredible lady,” she said. “I learned much from watching her. I am thankful she was patient with me when I was so young and incompetent. She saw hope and promise for this freshman student.”

WALKING WITH STUDENTS Having finished four years of college, Kent Brantly turned around and added a fifth in 2003-04, taking leveling courses in the sciences so he could enter medical school. As a result, Dr. Perry Reeves (’65), at the time professor of chemistry and the pre-med advisor, became a final source of advice and encouragement. “Dr. Reeves puts his students first in his professional life,” Brantly said. “He has helped many, many students, including myself, navigate the very difficult process of applying to and being accepted into medical school, and even after I was accepted into medical school and moved on from ACU, Dr. Reeves continued to periodically reach out to me, send me an email, and just check on how I’m doing and where I am in life, and that’s not a typical chemistry professor.” Nor was Brantly a typical chemistry student, Reeves said. “He was in my Organic Chemistry class, a sophomore-level class,” he recalled. “He sat in the front row, pretty much in front of where I’m standing. He was at the top of the class in everything.” The two talked for many hours about not just the process of applying to medical school and how to answer the questions of interviewers skeptical of why someone with a biblical text degree wanted to attend medical school, but also about how to integrate medicine and ministry, y Reeves said. When Brantly contracted Ebola, Reeves said the two emailed back and forth, but he refrained from picking up the phone so as to give him space. “We were all traumatized,” Reeves said. “I was prepared for him to die. I knew the statistics.” Now professor emeritus of Reeves chemistry and biochemistry, Reeves said Brantly is just one example of why he left Southern Methodist University in 1980 to teach at ACU. “I wanted to have a relationship with my students outside the classroom,” Reeves said. “There’s more to life than how much organic chemistry you know.” That opportunity to build lifelong relationships with students continues to set ACU apart, Morris agreed. “That’s the great thing about being a college professor here: the relationships I’ve developed with students,” he said. “There have been a lot. It’s really special to see.” Lewis said the reward of working with students is both immediate and delayed – and each is rewarding. “At ACU, we’re about educating our students. All of the stuff we say, we take that stuff seriously, and we do it,” he said. “There is so much joy in the day-by-day experience of walking with students. What takes my breath away is seeing them five, 10, 15 years down the road. That validates who we are and what we do.” 

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Kent and other physicians on the front lines of serving Ebola patients were saluted by President Barack Obama in the East Room of The White House on Oct. 29, 2014. Obama called the health care professionals “American heroes” and said “America is not defined by fear. America is defined by passion, hope, sacrifice when others cannot or will not help.” SAMUEL CORUM / ANADOLU AGENCY / GETTY IMAGES

became the first human to receive it. The three-stage dose – one of just a few in the world at the time – had been brought to West Africa by Gary Kobinger, M.D., a Canadian virologist for Mapp Biopharmaceutical, the California company that manufactures it. Kobinger wanted to see how the drug fared when subjected to overseas travel and a tropical environment where the disease was known to thrive. The dose was at the bedside of Sheik Umar Khan, M.D., a virologist in Sierra Leone also stricken with Ebola, but his physicians debated its risks and decided not to give him the experimental drug. He died a few days later. The dose was sent on to Liberia, frozen on dry ice and transported in a Styrofoam cooler to the river border, riding by canoe to Guinea, then flown to Monrovia for Kent and his good friend Nancy Writebol, a SIM missionary volunteering in the Ebola response and working with Kent in the isolation unit. “I have gone from being physician to patient to lab rat,” Kent later told Bob Simon, an irony more humorous today than it was when his and Writebol’s survival 20

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depended on it. Against the manufacturer’s advice, Kent’s supervisor, Lance Plyler, M.D., and physician John Fankhauser, M.D., decided the ZMapp dose would be divided between the two – one to Brantly and two to Writebol – when it was feared Kent would not be well enough otherwise for an 14-hour flight in a mobile isolation unit plane to Atlanta. Their desperate decision helped save their lives, and Writebol – whose condition was more complicated because she was older and also had malaria – later joined Brantly at Emory.

FORGING A UNIQUE ACADEMIC PATH While there is no specific academic major for medical missions at ACU, the subject has been studied at Abilene Christian since the 1920s and is an integral part of the education of those preparing for a career in the health professions. Today’s students are strongly encouraged to be part of ACU’s Body & Soul program, which features unique mentoring and shadowing experiences, medical mission opportunities, and allows membership in

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the international Christian Medicall & Dental Association, which emphasizes zes global health relief and outreach. For years, ACU faculty from nursing, chemistry and biochemistry, ry, and biology programs have accompanied their students on short-term surgical and mobile medical/ dical/ dental clinic trips to places such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Zambia and d Haiti, sometimes while working through rough relief organizations like Health Talents ents International and LiveBeyond. The Halbert Institute for Missions in ACU’s College of Biblical Studies coordinates ates summer-long nursing internships for or students in places like Peru and China. ina. Medical missions is as much a lifestyle as a career for those who become passionate about healing physical as well as spiritual ills (see profiles on pages 14-15). “To be a medical missionary, students need to have not only a high sense of compassion but also a singular focus and cross-cultural skills,” said Dr. Gary Green, ACU’s Latin America and South Pacific missions coordinator, and director of the WorldWide Witness program.


STEVE BUTMAN

Kyle Carter (’03) and Kent Brantly posed for a photograph in a Study Abroad advertising campaign while undergraduates at ACU. The two were members of Pi Kappa who lived in Oxford, England, as sophomores, and as seniors were housemates. “Kent is one of the kindest, most genuine persons I have ever met. He truly cares about each person he meets,” said Carter, who is now an attorney for the Air Force in Tampa, Fla. “We are dear friends but total opposites of each other. He was relatively soft spoken as an ACU student, but God and everybody knew who Kent Brantly was.” Their older brothers, Chad Carter (’02) and Chad Brantly (’01), joined Pi Kappa after becoming friends in Mabee Hall their freshman year.

“The rigors of medical school and the siren’s song of American status tend to derail the missionary dreams of most medical students,” Green said. “Only those who hold a deep spiritual conviction that medical missions is their calling are able to make it through the long training experience.” Green believes strongly in students gaining superior cross-cultural skills. “This is where short-term experiences like our WorldWide Witness or Body & Soul play a role. Cross-cultural success in short-term missions tends to be a good predictor for success in long-term missions,” he said. A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Kent enrolled in ACU in Fall 1999, not knowing what he wanted to do with his life but having carefully watched several family members forge careers in health care. His father was an emergency room doctor, an uncle was a physician in Tanzania, his brother was a dentist, and his sister-in-law a physician. But Kent had interests his ACU many inte professors prof pr ofes of esso s r were ready help him refine to h elp el p hi h pages (seee p ages ag es 18-19). thought for a ““II th ho while that whil wh ilee th ha I might be math a high gh sschool ch teacher and lead kids on teache er an summer mission trips,” he told a gathering of students and faculty studen Homecoming Friday afternoon. on Ho He ssaid he became enamored with opportunity to study with ACU the o theology scholars, and not wanting theo to be b a youth minister or preacher, settled sett on being a biblical text major with a minor in philosophy. Former missions faculty member F Dr. Gailyn Van Rheenen invited Kent G to be part of a mentoring group and left a lasting impression. “The one lesson l I learned learne that I’ve carried with me since that there are some places in the then is th where not everyone is able or willing world wh Kent said. “In your Christian life, to go,” Ke disciple of Jesus, if you are willing to as a discip minister in one of those places live and m other people aren’t willing to where oth should.” go, you sh was part of the initial group of Kent w students in ACU’s WorldWide Witness program, a practical missions experience directed by the Halbert Institute for Missions that gives students of any academic background a summer-long or year-long internship or apprenticeship to develop their ministry skills. He served on a team that visited several others in East Africa. “I realized in that experience that God

could call me to a place I didn’t want to go, but if I was faithful to Him, if I continued to daily give my life to Him, then I would go where He led me,” Kent said. “And that was a little terrifying. But the flip side of that message was if you’re a slave to Christ, you will go where He leads you, and He will give you what you need to be faithful to Him.” After graduating with a B.A. degree in biblical text in May 2003, Kent stayed an extra year to take the biology, chemistry and physics courses he needed to prepare for the MCAT exam and apply for entrance to medical school. Amber earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing in May 2006, taking as many medical mission trips during the summers and on Spring Break as she could juggle with the intense academic expectations of her major. Kent and Amber, who met on a student medical mission trip to Honduras in 2003, also attended several Global Missions Health Conference events in Louisville, Ky., befriending staff from North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse and eventually Sacra, who was a longtime medical missionary in Liberia. Sacra said he shared with Kent and Amber his vision for training African doctors at the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia. The Brantlys are prime examples of the kind of students who serve WorldWide Witness internships, said Dr. Chris Flanders (’87), assistant professor of missions and Halbert Institute director. “In them we see the convergence of what we aspire to in our 21st-Century Vision and what we want to develop in talented ACU students: the ability to think critically, globally and missionally,” Flanders said. Kent enrolled at the Indiana University School of Medicine and began classes in 2005. Afterward, he served a family medicine residency and a fellowship in maternal child health with advanced training in obstetrics at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. In 2014, the Brantlys were just a few months into a two-year assignment in Liberia with Samaritan’s Purse when Ebola patients began to arrive. Kent was named medical director of a 20-bed isolation unit built to treat the swelling numbers of patients. While the disease outbreak skyrocketed all around him, Kent believes he contracted the virus while working in the emergency room of nearby ELWA Hospital, where it was difficult to

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The Rev. Franklin Graham prays over the Brantlys during a meeting of Samaritan’s Purse employees at the organization’s headquarters in Boone, N.C., last fall. Graham is president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and was instrumental in helping bring Kent to the U.S. for treatment at Emory University Hospital following his Ebola diagnosis.

the most import thing we do is enter into the sufffering of others. ” – Kent Brantly, M.D.

DAVID UTTLEY

identify Ebola patients because their early symptoms mirror other illnesses common in the region.

HARD AND EXPENSIVE LESSONS While the outbreak appears to have abated in Liberia for now, West Africa is tempering great relief with lingering anxiety, as about 20 cases linger between Guinea and Sierra Leone. The world’s battle against infectious diseases is a marathon, not a sprint, and only a few days away from another calamity – whether caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, or by cultural traditions, negligence or the poor sanitation common in developing countries. At one point last year, health officials blamed up to half of Ebola cases on unsafe burial practices in which family and friends come in close contact with a deceased – and often diseased – person. So toxic was the situation that simple handshakes became forbidden, and churches abandoned laying hands on people during prayer. 22

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The international community has relearned some hard and expensive lessons about preparation for epidemics and pandemics, the shortcomings of its own new research and meager stockpiles of vaccines. Kent’s first shaky steps back on U.S. soil, wearing astronaut-like protective gear, were broadcast live by CNN and others to the world. Writebol was too weak to walk and was wheeled in by gurney to an isolation room next to his. It made for remarkable TV drama late last summer but also sent a clear message to government leaders and public health professionals that their best efforts to understand and treat infectious diseases on the planet were falling dangerously short of practicality. “Ebola caught us all off guard. We way underestimated this disease,” said Plyler, who is medical director of disaster response for Samaritan’s Purse. “Universally, we need to be a lot more prepared for an epidemic like this. It requires a tremendous amount of collaborative efforts between governments and puts a lot of pressure on NGOs

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[non-governmental organizations] like ke Samaritan’s Purse and others.” Plyler, who recently returned from m coordinating his employer’s initial disaster response efforts in earthquake-ravaged Nepal, said Samaritan’s Purse often goes where and when others are not willing to go. o. “Doctors Without Borders had been making appeal after appeal for assistance with Ebola in West Africa but no one had stepped up to the plate,” Plyler said. “Samaritan’s Purse had been in Liberia for more than 10 years with lots of medical infrastructure already in place. After much prayer and contemplation, we decided to help. We were blessed with the expertise of SIM and a lot of great physicians like Dr. Sacra and others.” “I think the Ebola crisis offers the opportunity to highlight to the American public and to policymakers both in Congress and the White House that we can do better on this,” said Dr. Robert Kadlec, former senior director of biodefense policy for the U.S. Homeland Security Council, in Bob Simon’s story for CBS. “We must


do better on this. And if there’s any other requirement for a reminder, Ebola has served that purpose.” Sacra also believes all of the assumptions about West Africa were wrong because of geographic, societal, cultural and economic factors in the region. “I think everyone expected this Ebola outbreak to be like all the others – that it would remain limited in scope, that basic barrier precautions would protect health care workers, and that strategies for identifying cases that worked in previous outbreaks would work again,” Sacra said. “The number one lesson is, don’t make too many assumptions, and be ready to remain nimble and flexible at all times. My biggest lesson learned is that God remains faithful, disasters even in the midst of d isaste is ters rs llike ik ke th thee Ebola epidemic.”

TIM YATES

The admirable work of Samaritan’s Purse also P l soldiers ldi on. The nonprofi fit organization has had medical teams in place in Liberia since the end of the nation’s second civil war in 2003, more than a decade before this past year’s Ebola outbreak. Samaritan’s Purse coordinates its work with Doctors Without Borders and other NGOs anywhere in the world its expertise and resources are needed: earthquake recovery in Nepal and Haiti, water woes in Iraq, tornadoes in Texas, or cyclones in the South Pacific. Basically, Samaritan’s Purse assists anywhere its small army of health care professionals – 900 physicians in Africa alone – can be the hands and feet of Jesus, helping suffering people with “care, compassion and the hope of Christ,” according to its website. “We all have a tendency to have

compassion for the people that we know and the people we love,” Kent told NPR reporter Melissa Block in a mid-December interview. “When we can get to a point where we feel that same sense of empathy and compassion for people who are suffering, even though we don’t know them, I think that’s what Jesus is talking about when he says, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

ANSWERING THE CALL, TOGETHER Good Samaritans know no geographical nor ethnic boundaries. In days of trouble around the world, some of the best Samaritans often are Wildcats who wear scrubs and stethoscopes while praying for and with their patients, as Brantly did diid while whille watching 19 of his first 20 wh Ebola die not long before and Ebol Eb olaa patients p t pa joining jo oinin ingg in their misery. Kent Ke nt aand Amber know their lives have been been turned turn upside down, but they see their as unchanged. thei th eirr mission miss mi ““Deep Deep De ep in my heart, I still feel like our calling c ll ca llin i g iss to be medical missionaries, not to ssit it iin n America and be a talking head,” Kent Kent told to o ACU faculty and staff last October. Octo Oc tob to b “Deep in my heart, I’m still convinced that is what God has called conv co n nv us to, to but I know that right now, at this th h time, I need to be a father to my m children, who spent more than an a month away from their dad wondering if he was going to die or won live. We’re going to do everything we can here h and now to help the people that we w went to serve a year ago. We’ll see in the months to come how God leads us and where we end up.” The day d before Thanksgiving last fall, Kent and other Ebola survivors met Matt Lauer on the set of NBC’s “Today” to share their stories. “He’s a selfless man. … He’s stor like our angel and gave us a second chance a of life,” Pham said of Brantly, who Ph deflected the praise. “I think thin God saved my life, and I have a responsibility to use my life in a way that respons is glorifying to Him and in a way that is helpful to other people,” Kent responded. “It was an honor and a privilege, but also just kind of a natural thing to do to help others with what I’ve been given myself.” Rick Sacra said Kent is one of the most thoughtful people he knows, a person whose character truly represents being a disciple of Jesus. “He considers things carefully. He really cares. He deeply thinks about how his actions will affect others, how his medical

care will be received by his patients, how his colleagues are thinking and feeling. He prayerfully turns things over in his mind until he’s satisfied that he is thinking about things the right way, and seeing it from the Lord’s perspective,” Sacra said. “He follows Jesus, he wants to mirror the attitudes and the love of Christ in each daily interaction. And he allows himself to really feel the hurts and strains that his patients are going through. That is a heavy burden to carry, but it means his compassion is real and deep.” “Kent has handled it in such a selfless manner as an exemplary Christian who promotes Christ and better preparation for infectious diseases,” Lance Plyler said. “And without God’s intervention, he would have died.” While Kent may not agree with the eff usive praise he receives from admirers, he knows God’s calling when he hears it. “I’m not going to give a diatribe on how God works in the world – whether He orchestrates things or uses things – but we have this platform, and I think the right thing to do is to use it for the glory of God,” Kent told ACU students and faculty. “I think He’ll bless that, so we’re going to keep seeking to be faithful in that, and when that door closes, we’ll move on.” While delivering a commencement address recently at his former medical school, the new medical missions advisor for Samaritan’s Purse said what he learned in Liberia is that there is far more to being a physician than curing illness. “That’s not the most important thing we do,” Kent told the soon-to-be young doctors. “The most important thing we do is enter into the suffering of others.” Today, few health care professionals know that better or have the credibility to say as much. Thanks to a frightening encounter with a deadly disease in a faraway place, the Brantlys have an amazing stage on which to speak while sharing their deep faith. They humbly do both with skill and success. Doubt miracles if you wish, but in the eyes of two selfless medical missionaries with Abilene Christian roots, each day and opportunity invites further divine involvement in the new world they now know. 

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Bob Simon interview quotes courtesy of CBS News/60 Minutes. The Brantlys’ story will be told in a new book from WaterBrook Press scheduled for release in July 2015. Their co-author, David Thomas, is a best-selling writer who has partnered on autobiographies of college football coach Gene Chizik, New York Yankee great Bobby Richardson and Christian musician Jeremy Camp.



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Outlive Your Life Award 201 4

By

Ta m a ra

T ho mp s o n

E

ver since he was in medical school, B. David Vanderpool, M.D. (’52), has wanted to make a real difference in the lives of other people, not just relieve their symptoms. “I realized when I was on medicine rotations that we were not curing people. We were mainly

just treating problems, and problems would come back,” said ACU’s 2014 Dale and Rita Brown Outlive Your Life Award recipient. “When I got on surgery [rotation], I realized that when people came in with a problem, we treated them and they went home well and were not going to have that problem again,” Vanderpool said. “That appealed to me – the ability to really make a long-term impact on people’s lives.” Throughout his life Vanderpool has done just that, not only as a pioneer in surgery for more than 50 years, but also as a provider for the medical, physical and spiritual needs of the poor in several countries, most notably Ukraine. After graduating from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1956 and serving in the Air Force for six years, Vanderpool and his wife, Margie,

Dale and Rita Brown Outlive Your Life Award First announced in May 2011, the Dale and Rita Brown Outlive Your Life Award recognizes individuals who have created a lasting effect on the lives of others. The award takes its name from Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference, a 2010 book by minister Max Lucado, a 1977 ACU graduate and best-selling Christian author. In its pages, Lucado challenges readers from all walks of life to take what God has given them and help others. This award is designed to recognize all types of servant leadership, including civic and community contributions, meeting spiritual or physical needs, producing changes with generational impact, helping redirect the course of people’s lives, and inspiring others to make an eternal difference. Recipients may be alumni or friends of the university. 24

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AC U TO D AY


JEREMY ENLOW

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PAUL WHITE

CLARK POTTS

(LEFT) ACU president Dr. Phil Schubert reads the award’s wording while Margie follows along at 2014 May Commencement. (RIGHT) Vanderpool speaks at the Alumni Day luncheon in 1988 where he was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.

settled in their hometown of Dallas, where he opened a medical practice. As an attending surgeon at Baylor University Medical Center, he cultivated a prestigious career, serving as president of the Dallas County Medical Society, the Texas Surgical Society, the Texas Medical Association and the American Society of General Surgeons. Vanderpool’s practice focused on gastrointestinal issues, endocrine problems and breast surgery. In the 1980s the surgeon traveled to Europe to learn lithotripsy, a new technique at the time using shock waves to break up gallstones. In 1988 he performed the first gallstone lithotripsy in the United States under approved protocol by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration. He also was a pioneer in laparoscopic surgery and is still considered the world’s expert on the laparoscopic Heller myotomy, a surgical procedure that corrects a serious condition of the esophagus called achalasia. Armed with new techniques in surgery, Vanderpool discovered how he could become involved in a unique kind of medical missions effort. His work as a surgeon in a leading medical center gave him insight to a potentially world-changing opportunity to share technology resources with colleagues in other countries. “I began to realize that while this equipment is very high tech – and it was evolving rapidly, especially in the early years – after about three years, the equipment would be obsolete, as far as we were concerned. It was still just as good as the day Baylor purchased it, but the hospital would 26

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upgrade, and the equipment, even though you could still use it, had no further value to us,” Vanderpool said. Having seen conditions overseas, Vanderpool decided to collect medical technology tools and ship them to places that did not have the financial resources to buy them otherwise. Initially he provided equipment and training for physicians in Romania, with help from a missionary supported by Skillman Avenue Church of Christ in Dallas, where Vanderpool served as an elder for 27 years. Working with Mike Armour, former minister of Skillman and then-CEO of Eastern European Mission, the doctor attempted to send equipment to a hospital in Russia. After weeks of customs’ refusal to admit it, he and Armour found an open door in Ukraine, on Russia’s western border. Armour and the Vanderpools traveled to the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk to oversee setup of the equipment, including a laparoscopic surgical tower, and to train physicians. “When we walked into the surgical suite, David’s mouth sort of dropped,” Armour recalled. “He said, ‘My goodness! This anesthesia equipment is technology we were obsoleting at the hospital where I did my residency in the 1950s!’ He couldn’t believe it. “We had taken that tower to Ukraine because there was a new church planted there that was doing a lot of humanitarian outreach to the community,” Armour said. “They became aware of this need, and we were doing this not only to respond

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to the need, but to help the church build credibility for what it was doing in the community. That was where we were focused.” While Vanderpool worked with the hospital, his wife toured the Korlavka Rehabilitation Center for Children in Donetsk. “It was really a terrible place,” Vanderpool said. “The beds were all out of shape … The foundation had shifted and the windows didn’t fit, allowing air to enter from outside. Children did not have enough to eat. There wasn’t enough money to buy coal to keep the place warm in the winter.” When Vanderpool returned to Dallas, he met with John Sims, founder of Program for Humanitarian Aid (PHA), which had been assisting orphanages and hospitals in Ukraine since 2000. Sims invited Vanderpool to join PHA to oversee the medical section. Today, Vanderpool is chair of the PHA Board of Directors. “He’s a godsend,” Sims said, praising Vanderpool for his ability to garner expensive medical equipment. “My chance of getting any of that stuff is zero. When Doc came aboard, we were shipping medical stuff like there was no tomorrow. He revolutionized the medical end of our work.” Meanwhile, Margie Vanderpool raised funds to upgrade the Korlavka orphanage. “We put in new windows and new beds, and bought more food for them. The children were undernourished. We purchased more food and helped pay for more coal to heat the orphanage in the


Outlive Your Life Award 2014 have been wounded, and more than 600,000 have fled to neighboring countries. Donetsk is near the epicenter of the fighting, which encompasses some of the country’s largest oblasts, such as Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Dnipropetrovsk. “The human rights situation in Ukraine remains grave,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, recently said. “Should this trend continue, this would represent a new and very deadly chapter in this conflict, expanding the areas where the rule of law and the protection of

earthquake in Port-au-Prince by opening and staffing temporary medical clinics. Just two days after the tragedy, which killed more than 200,000 and crippled the nation’s infrastructure, the Vanderpools were on the scene. The younger Vanderpool said witnessing his father’s care for others had an effect on him. “He would take me on overseas trips to South America, the Middle East and other exotic locales, not for sightseeing but to serve the missionaries who worked in those

Vanderpool has been ACU’s most accomplished graduate with a career in medicine, serving as president of the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Surgical Society, the American Society of General Surgeons and the Dallas County Medical Society. He has returned to campus numerous times to speak about medical missions to students pursuing careers in the health professions.

GERALD EWING

wintertime,” David said. PHA teams planted an orchard and a garden, and dug a well. The Vanderpools visited Donetsk, Ukraine annually from 2006-13. “Margie would work in the orphanages and I would work in the hospitals,” he said. “I came to realize that what she was doing was more important than what I was doing. So we both kind of focused on the orphanages,” he said. Orphans in Ukraine are the poorest of the poor and many consider them hopeless causes. “The orphanages are so horribly overcrowded,” Armour said. When a student turns 16, they are given their belongings in a suitcase and shown the door. “So as you can imagine, disaster lies ahead. About 20 percent of them commit suicide by the time they are 18 years old. Most of the girls end up in prostitution. Most of the boys end up in crime. In fact, the majority of the boys are going to die in prison of tuberculosis.” Troubled by these dire prospects, “we began to work on something for the orphans to do after they left the orphanage, that is, going to school to learn a trade so they could get a job,” Vanderpool said. But in 2014 Russian-backed sparatists rebelled against the central government in eastern Ukraine and occupied Donetsk, crippling PHA’s efforts there. PHA had to move its operation to Zaporizhia, west of Donetsk, where it is developing a comprehensive program for aged-out orphans. The program includes a day center and transitional housing. In addition, PHA is providing a haven for another group known as social orphans: children who have been separated from parents with alcoholism, drug addiction or incarceration. Because the government doesn’t provide enough money for them to stay in the orphanage full time, they spend weekends on the street without food or shelter. In one orphanage, 168 of the 180 children are forced to live this way. “We want to have a place that it is safe for them to go to, where they can get something to eat, be warm, in a Christian environment,” Vanderpool said. The facility opened in December. Because of the unrest in Ukraine, David and Margie could not to travel there in 2014. Instead, they shipped boxes to a church contact there to distribute to refugees on the move because of fierce fighting around them. In early March, the United Nations claimed that nearly 1 million Ukrainians had been displaced from their homes and hundreds of thousands of people in eastern regions of the country were trapped by conflict between armed groups. Nearly 6,000 have been killed, more than 10,000

human rights are effectively absent.” Deeply disappointed by this volatile situation, David and Margie have not given up helping others. Retired from surgery, he now sees patients two days a week in Dallas at the Comprehensive Wound Center at Baylor University Medical Center. He’s still collecting medical equipment, but they plan to send it to a place closer to Texas – and possibly to their hearts. “My son is building a hospital in Haiti,” Margie said. “We have a garage full of medical equipment to send them.” Their son, David M. Vanderpool, M.D. (’81), also is a surgeon. He sold his successful medical practice in Nashville in 2013 and moved with his wife, Laurie (Stallings ’81), and their family to Haiti to continue serving the people there through LiveBeyond, a mobile medical disaster relief organization they founded that first responded to a 2010

places,” David recalled. “Since they were often far from good medical care, they suffered from diseases that he could treat ‘in country’ and allow them to continue their important work.”  “My dad has always served others,” said his son. “From his decision to enter the practice of medicine to his intentionality of serving the people of Ukraine, he has always lived his life in a way that projects far beyond his own community.” The elder Vanderpool said he and Margie did not consciously teach compassion for the poor. “We’re very biblically based in our lives. The Bible over and over again tells us to reach out to the poor, … It’s just a very strong biblical truth and teaching, and that’s what God wants us to do,” he said. “So we’ve tried to do it.”

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Delivering a unique Christ-centered experience that draws students into community

Building the Groundbreakings and dedications are celebrated as four Vision in Action projects begin to transform the campus BY PAUL A. ANTHONY

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n a cool and cloudy morning in early March, Liz (Thompson ’79) Sinclair came to pay her respects – and bring home a souvenir brick for her daughter. She was one of a handful of people, most of them faculty and staff on the Monday of Spring Break, to witness the first blows

STEVE BUTMAN

of an excavator as it began to tear apart historic Chambers Hall, one of the first structures on ACU’s hilltop campus in 1929. “It’s amazing,” Sinclair said as she watched the first moments of a demolition process that took less than 72 hours, “and kind of sad.” The bite-by-bite destruction of Chambers was the most dramatic in a series of steps that has taken the Vision in Action initiative ever closer to fruition

ACU provost Dr. Robert Rhodes, Students’ Association president Beau Carter (’16), David D. Halbert (’78), Kathy (Gay ’78) Halbert, ACU board chair Dr. Barry Packer (’78) and president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91) participate in groundbreaking March 31 for the Halbert-Walling Research Center.

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JEREMY ENLOW

STEVE BUTMAN

Men’s and women’s teams from ACU, TCU and Texas Tech met April 10 in Gray Stadium’s inaugural track and field meet, the second annual Wes Kittley Invitational. JEREMY ENLOW

(ABOVE) Bennett Gym’s transformation included a new entryway and portico on its south side. (AT RIGHT) Heavy equipment was used this spring in the demolition of 85-year-old Chambers Hall to make way for the Halbert-Walling Research Center and its three-story atrium surrounding classrooms and laboratories. Adjacent to the new structure will be the Onstead Science Center, which will include a lobby and elevated walkway joining the east and west wings of the largest of ACU’s three new science facilities.

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JEREMY ENLOW

Inside Bennett Gymnasium, the transformation of an historic campus landmark is striking: classrooms, labratories and two stories of open space for aspiring engineers and physicists to experiment and test their ideas.

in the 16 months since its announcement in February 2014. Since ACU president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91) wowed a Chapel crowd in February 2014 with news of three cornerstone gifts totaling $55 million for three new science buildings and two athletics stadiums, three facilities have come down, two have opened and two more have begun to take shape.

Grand Openings

JEREMY ENLOW

Following months of construction delays and a steel shortage, Bennett Gymnasium completed its transformation from basketball court to engineering lab shortly after Spring Break. The Engineering and Physics Laboratories at Bennett Gymnasium have breathed new life into the 85-year-old facility, which had hosted countless basketball games, pep rallies, Lectureship lunches and intramural contests but had fallen into disrepair with the opening of newer facilities across campus. Featuring a large bay area for bigger projects and space for electrical engineering laboratories, shop classes and much more, the renovated facility arrives just in time for the first round of upperclassmen in ACU’s engineering program to begin senior projects. A grand opening is scheduled for Aug. 22. Across campus, the new Elmer Gray Stadium for ACU’s soccer and track and field programs officially opened April 10, with a ceremonial 100-yard dash culminating in Olympic gold medalist Earl Young (’60) breaking the tape at the finish line. The commemoration kicked off a weekend of festivities, including the second annual Wes Kittley Invitational,

As part of a campus-wide reallocation of space related to Vision in Action projects, ACU’s Student Life staff gained a new home in the lower level of McGlothlin Campus Center, with ample room for offices and collaboration. Renovation of the Campus Center included the addition of a public elevator.

one of the most noteworthy track and field meets in campus history. The stadium retains the name initially given to one of the campus’ most storied facilities, which itself was demolished later in April. The old Elmer Gray Stadium hosted competition for Olympians and world-record holders, but it will be the site of football’s new Wildcat Stadium upon completion of fundraising.

Demolition and Construction

Along with Elmer Gray and Chambers, Walling Lecture Hall also fell to the bite of the excavator this spring. Built in 1968 as part of an expansion of Foster Science Building, the lecture hall had been home to astronomy classes, chemistry circuses and social club gatherings for more than 45 years. In its place, crews will re-landscape the south-side campus quad, providing a picturesque entrance to the Robert R.

and Kay Onstead Science Center, the transformation of Foster that officially got underway with Walling’s demolition. A groundbreaking ceremony for Onstead Science Center and post-event luncheon honoring Kay Onstead for her $10 million gift to the project took place in the fall. Likewise, groundbreaking on Halbert-Walling Research Center formally kicked off with a ceremony and luncheon in April, honoring Kathy (Gay ’78) and David Halbert (’78) for their $15 million gift through the Caris Foundation. Halbert-Walling also bears the name of David Halbert’s grandfather, Dean Walling (’30), one of the most influential benefactors in ACU history. Halbert during the groundbreaking ceremony called him “a man of integrity, a man of vision and courage.” “The courage my grandfather had inspired me to do what I have done,” he said, “trying to live up to his legacy.” Construction on Halbert-Walling is scheduled to pick up over the summer, with an eye toward opening for the 2016-17 school year. After its conclusion, crews will return to Onstead to finish the interior of that facility over the subsequent year. On the campus’ north side, the demolition of Elmer Gray clears space for Wildcat Stadium; construction on that project is awaiting the finish of fundraising, which is about two-thirds complete. A series of smaller projects begun last summer to clear room for the science departments displaced by the construction also wrapped up over the course of the school year: Renovations to McGlothlin Campus Center (including a new elevator), Hardin Administration Building and Zellner Hall, as well as the Vanderpool Building, Witt House and Nichols House. 

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Lamesa

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Legends STORY BY SCOTT KIRK PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEREMY ENLOW

The Browning sisters’ success spanned 47 years and 937 victories in a community that thinks they hung the moon

H

e didn’t like to think about it at the time, but Gregg Moreland always knew it might fall upon him to replace the girls’ volleyball coaches at Lamesa (Texas) High School, where the twin Browning sisters had held forth since 1968. That day has finally arrived. You might remember 1968. It was the year before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Lyndon Baines Johnson decided he wouldn’t run for re-election as U.S. president, and Patty (’67) and Phyllis “Tippy” (’67) Browning Lamesa girls’ volleyball teams coached by Tippy (left) and Patty Browning advanced to the Texas state playoffs 24 of the last 29 years. In 2015, they will be inducted into the Texas Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

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became co-coaches of the Golden Tornadoes volleyball team. You may be less familiar with Lamesa, a city in Dawson County smaller than five square miles, where fewer than 10,000 people live, nearly halfway between Lubbock and Midland. It holds an annual Chicken-Fried Steak Festival and Balloon Rally, watches its water conservation carefully, has unobstructed views of glorious sunsets, is the hometown of a governor (Preston Smith), and was the site of one of J.R. Ewing’s most productive oil wells on the hit TV show, Dallas. But the prospect of having to one day hire a successor to the Browning sisters – who won 937 matches in a storied and shared 47-year career – left Moreland, the athletics director at the West Texas high school, in a hurry to change the subject. “I hoped to not be the person to find their replacement,” said Moreland, who also doubles as the boys varsity basketball coach. “They are absolutely awesome. They’re icons, literal icons here. It might take six people to replace them.” The objects of Moreland’s praise are two unassuming women with short-cropped hair who look like mirror images of everyone’s favorite aunt and who didn’t start their careers wanting to be volleyball coaches. In fact, there wasn’t a volleyball program in Vega High School where the two were students in the early 1960s, and when the sisters were hired in Lamesa, there wasn’t even a girls’ basketball program.

“Volleyball was just the job that was open,” said Tippy. “We wanted to start a basketball program here, but to me, coaching is coaching. We fell in love with volleyball.” The two had wanted to coach basketball since they were teenagers. While they enrolled at ACU as physical education majors with a shared desire to pursue coaching careers afterward, Tippy said being a coach was modeled for them by people like Dr. Joyce Curtis, Dee (’50) and Lila (Miller ’50) Nutt, and Ben Zickefoose (’55). “They were so professional,” said Tippy. “I think the passion was there. They showed us how to be coaches.” After graduation in 1967, Patty accompanied a group from ACU to plant a church in Delaware, where she had a teaching job. But after just one year, she was ready to come home. “Delaware was nice,” she said, though lamenting a lack of discipline in the school where she worked. “Coming from Texas, I wasn’t used to that.” Meanwhile, Tippy coached and taught for a year in the Ingleside

Independent School District near Corpus Christi in South Texas, and broached the idea with Patty of coaching together. Except for that one year, the sisters had been inseparable, including being roommates in college. Even now, they share the same house. Lamesa also was willing to give their head coach job to co-coaches, a proposition that hasn’t worked out as well in other places where it’s been tried. Ron Holmes, the former head basketball coach and athletics director at McMurry University, was a young coach at Lamesa in the mid 1970s and figured the pair’s dynamics were successful because of familial reasons. “They’d just about have to be twins for a multitude of reasons, wouldn’t they?” asked Holmes. “And [managing their] egos would be at the top of the food chain.” However, Holmes said the Brownings had the ultimate seal of approval in Lamesa from legendary boys’ basketball coach O.W. Follis, who led his teams to 20 district and three state titles, never had a losing season in 36 years, and won 857 career games, one of the top marks in the nation. “He loved Patty and Tippy,” said

The Brownings’ teams averaged nearly 20 wins a year over their 47-year career coaching together.

The Brownings greet Starmie Bennett (14) during player introductions of the Golden Tornadoes before a home match against Lubbock Estacado High School.

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The Golden Tornadoes play in O.W. and Wildred Follis Gymnasium in Lamesa.

Holmes. “Coach Follis told me that whatever I did, get in good with the Browning sisters. They had his ringing endorsement, and that was good enough for me.” Patty said volleyball was already big in the Texas Panhandle when they arrived in Lamesa. However, the game, which was then played in the spring instead of the fall, was a decidedly different sport when the Brownings started coaching it. “Did you know there was a clock when we started coaching?” asked Tippy. “Each set was won by the first team to 15 points or whoever was ahead after eight minutes. Talk about changing the strategy! You didn’t automatically try to win a point on a spike if you had the lead. You might try to keep the ball in play a little longer.” Like a lot of other sports, said Patty, the change in rules has favored scoring. “It’s like there’s no defense,” she said. “It used to be that the official’s whistle decided every match. Now, they [the players] can do almost anything to direct the ball, except for the poor girl who is the setter.” The loss of the clock in volleyball

happened so long ago the Brownings can’t remember when it occurred. A more recent development over the past decade has been rally scoring in which the defensive team can earn a point when it stops the team with the serve. In the old days, only the team serving could win a point. “The changes have been both good and bad,” said Tippy. “We used to have some great comebacks in volleyball.” When the Brownings started coaching, volleyball was about the only high school sport offered to girls and Patty said their current players have no concept of what the days were like before Title IX opened more doors for female student-athletes. “Those on our team today have no idea what it was like,” she said. “They think this is the way it’s always been. But the girls on our rosters years ago wanted to play because there was nothing else for them to do.” Susan Roberts was one of those who had only volleyball as a high school sport available to them. Now a middle-school teacher in Lamesa, Roberts remembered how zealously members of the volleyball team

guarded their spots on the roster. “They were really tough on us,” said Roberts, who retired from teaching at Christmas (“I’m retiring before the Brownings are,” she said, almost as if she couldn’t believe it herself.). “All we had back then was volleyball.” Roberts, it should be noted, not only played for the Brownings but so did her daughter, at one point. “We have a lot of respect for them, just a ton of respect,” she said. “It bothers us a lot if people don’t show them respect.” That seems almost inconceivable in Lamesa, where the Brownings began winning almost immediately, making the playoffs nearly 30 times, a noteworthy accomplishment when you consider that for a big part of their career, only the district champion moved on to regional competition, not the four that advance now. “I think it’s watered down now,” said Patty. “But two teams going into the playoffs [from one district] is good because it gives the players something to work for if they drop a match to another team.” In 1986, Lamesa became the first district runner-up to win a state title after losing two matches to Pecos High School during the district season. They came back to knock off Pecos in the regional finals and then beat New Braunfels for the state championship. Lamesa doesn’t contend for state titles any more as the emphasis in volleyball has shifted toward exclusive club teams that

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allow student-athletes to play year round. The high schools that win state titles are those with athletes who play for clubs, said Tippy. “Our kids can’t afford that,” she said. “And, there aren’t any around here.” It isn’t just the game that has changed, either. “You can’t coach kids the way we used to,” said Patty. “They’re different. Their parents are different.” The sisters have had opportunities to coach elsewhere, said Moreland. “They could have gone many places,” he said. “But they chose to stay here and become part of the community.” Patty said she and her sister never had a desire to find another job. “I think it was the people here,” she said. “They were so supportive, and we had great kids. Lamesa’s been awfully good for us. Why would we leave?” The support came in the form of the administration telling parents there would be no discussion about their child’s playing time, that playing time was a decision made by the coach. “That’s been the policy regardless of the administration since we’ve been here,” said Tippy. “We thought every place was like that, and then we found out that very few places were.” In many ways it is difficult to separate Lamesa from the Brownings. “Lamesa was an incredible place to grow up,” said Nancy Renner, who graduated from Lamesa High in 1976 and played for the Brownings. “I remember talking to someone who said there seemed to be something special about people from Lamesa and they said, ‘It must be the water.’ Well, I think the Brownings are part of the water.” The Brownings’ career was characterized by some big numbers, and

Patty (left) and Tippy’s 1986 team finished runner-up in its district but won the Texas 4A state championship.

they’re impressive by almost anybody’s standards. Their record is 937-506 and they’ve driven more than 176,000 miles to and from matches in places like Kermit, Shallowater, Snyder and Big Spring, most of it in un-air-conditioned school buses. But the numbers don’t tell the story, according to Renner. “How can you say, ‘Thank you,’ to them?” asked Renner, who now lives in Austin. Renner decided to be a walk-on at the University of Hawaii, which at that time had perhaps the premier collegiate volleyball program in the nation. “When I told Patty I wanted to play for Hawaii, she didn’t say, ‘You know, there are other places you might want to play,’ ” said Renner, who transferred to The University of Texas at Austin to play volleyball after two years of competing for the Rainbow Wahine. “Patty single-handedly put together a highlight film for me. To have someone support me was so important,” Renner said. “It has formed me for the rest of my life. If there is something I want to try, my attitude is, ‘Let’s go for it.’ ”

The sisters are beloved by the community and by their players like Savanna Rodriquez.

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While Lamesa is no longer the power it once was, and the school has dropped from 4A to 2A in classification, the Golden Tornadoes remained competitive. The hallmark of a Browning-coached team has been its scrappiness. “We’ve always been smaller than anyone else,” said Tippy. “But we’ve always fought hard. Other coaches tell us that and it made us feel good.” For observers of the program, it isn’t hard to pinpoint the source of that competitive spirit. “I got a kick out of watching them coach,” said Moreland. “You didn’t have to watch very long to tell that they’re passionate. There was always a fire in the belly. It’s been exciting to watch.” Tippy believes that quality – which is more of an attitude about life in general – was instilled in them by their parents, Harold and Naveta Browning, who were farmers in the Panhandle. “That was our upbringing, I think,” she said. “We were told to put everything we have into what we did.” Patty thinks that same expectation should be made of every coach. “It’s what you do for a living, so you need to be passionate about it,” she said. “But your kids aren’t going to feel the same way about it that you do. I think that’s what a lot of young coaches don’t realize. They’re expecting their kids to be as committed to it as they are.” When the end finally came to their impressive career together, Patty was getting around with the help of a cane and Tippy admitted she didn’t bounce back as quickly from a night game on the road. But they were tired from coaching, not tired of it. On a November afternoon, Tippy made it clear they wouldn’t retire because coaching had become a chore. “When we quit, it’s going to be because we can’t do it any more,” said Tippy. “It won’t be because we’ve lost our passion. If we waited until we lost our passion, they’d have to carry us out.” 


University launches ACU Dallas campus

Big News in Big BY W E N DY SA N DE R S

W

ith online graduate education booming across the nation and opportunity knocking ever loudly on its door, Abilene Christian University has answered with a bold but calculated decision to expand its presence in the metropolitan market closest to its longtime home base. The university recently announced plans for ACU Dallas, a campus that will serve as a central site and headquarters for its online graduate programs, including the much sought-after Master of Business Administration degree and ACU’s second doctorate, an Ed.D. in organizational leadership.

Fast-growing DFW region is a perfect fit ACU’s strategic 21st-Century Vision calls for it to expand its Christian influence and educational reach around the world. The new campus has great potential to do that by extending its online graduate offerings to a broader demographic, starting with the DFW Metroplex, the fourth most populated urban area in the nation – behind only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – and a region where tens of thousands of its alumni already live and work. Dr. Stephen Johnson (’90), vice president of academic affairs at ACU Dallas, has considerable experience leading the university into the Metroplex for academic ventures. He championed the effort in 2012 to bring ACU and CitySquare together in downtown Dallas and believes the success of that partnership will benefit the online graduate degree programs offered through a new campus a few miles away. Johnson believes ACU Dallas will be a natural extension of what the university already does well in Abilene. It’s not a move of the campus nearly 200 miles to the east but a way to further expand and realize its mission so professionals seeking highdemand graduate degrees can keep their current jobs without uprooting their families for a temporary move to West Texas. “We want to provide an excellent education for people with an exceptional experience around the advanced preparation they

want to acquire for their career,” Johnson said. “But we also are committed to creating experiences and communities online that are deeply formational. It’s important for people to understand themselves in relationship to the God who created and called them to a specific vocation. We think that’s one of the things that makes ACU distinctive.” ACU Dallas will allow the university to serve a broader group of adult, non-traditional students who are seeking graduate degrees in their chosen career field of expertise but with a Christian perspective. Often called “adult learners,” non-traditional students are described as those who return to pursue further education later in life. They often begin work, start families, and seek to continue and complete their education or extend it with a graduate degree or certificate at some point. Studies show this typically happens after age 25. To expand the university’s online graduate programs, ACU Dallas needs additional space to handle a growing workforce of student support staff, faculty and administrative leadership expected to number close to 70 by the end of 2016. “Based on our growth projections, we will exceed our current temporary office space at CitySquare within the next few months,” said Jay Goin (’91), executive vice president for ACU Dallas. “That would force us to cannibalize instructional space, and we do not want to compromise the integrity and purpose of the ACU at CitySquare site, which serves a unique academic and social mission.” The new north Dallas location will be able to accommodate evening, weekend and short courses taught on site. While the majority of the programs being offered are online or in a hybrid (online with residency) format, ACU Dallas anticipates some need for classroom space for onsite programs. “We want our new site to be highly visible and accessible to the broadest possible audience of DFW residents, and that goal is better met somewhere other than the downtown core,” Goin said. “Additionally, research has shown students attending evening and weekend classes generally prefer to attend closer to home rather than closer to work.” While 35 percent of the higher education market is composed of non-traditional learners, many of ACU’s previous graduate ACU TODAY



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programs were built for the traditional residential student and serve less than 1 percent of the adult learner market. ACU Dallas will increase the university’s reach and influence by serving a much larger number of students through its increased presence in the region. DFW – where 6.6 million people live – already is home to nearly 40 colleges and universities but is increasingly attractive to others like Liberty University, which announced plans this spring to open satellite campuses in Dallas and in Arizona to better serve its more than 95,000 online students. The Christian university has another 13,500 residential students who attend classes on its main campus in Lynchburg, Va. “It’s increasingly the case that people have moved to other places, started careers and families, are embedded in faith communities, in neighborhoods and cities, and want to advance their careers,” Johnson said. “Adult learners just aren’t going to pull up everything and move to Abilene to have that experience for a year or two.” ACU is not a newcomer to DFW. The university has previously conducted graduate courses in the Dallas area, but not to the extent a new campus will provide. The College of Biblical

It’s important for people to understand “themselves in relationship to the God who

created and called them to a specific vocation. We think that’s one of the things that makes ACU distinctive.

”– DR. STEPHEN JOHNSON

Studies and Graduate School of Theology (GST) have offered short courses in Dallas for many years, and from 1971-81, ACC-Dallas was focused on adult continuing education before it became Amber University and today, Amberton University. After 1981, the GST continued offering courses at various Metroplex cities until the closing of ACU’s Irving campus in 2012. The university already operates ACU at CitySquare on North Akard Street not far from the trendy Deep Ellum neighborhood, allowing undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to apply their learning in real-life situations. ACU students living and learning in Dallas have received recognition, including a global Design for Change award, and been praised by community leaders for their efforts to solve problems associated with poverty in urban settings while working alongside staff for the nonprofit CitySquare organization. “People in the Metroplex love Abilene Christian,” Johnson said. “Being physically present in Dallas through CitySquare has placed us in the path of not only established friends of the university but new ones as well. As they come to know more about the things we authentically care about, they see something special in that. We are enjoying renewal of those connections and relationships with people who are ACU graduates, and invite them to be a part of ACU again.”

Staffing, in-demand programs among keys ACU Dallas will offer graduate degrees designed specifically for the top three professions showing a significant demand for these programs in the marketplace – business, education and health care. “One of the ways we can serve more students is by offering the most high-demand programs, so we have relocated them here and made them available online,” Johnson said. “We have offered 38

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online programs before and will continue to offer those, but we are committed to building new ones and extending our capacity to serve even more students this way.” Johnson believes a holistic product will be necessary for ACU Dallas to be successful: a team of people who can successfully assist students with online programs, highly desired degrees that fit the market and the university well, and an outstanding student experience. “Some of it is about getting strategically aligned with our mission, but mostly it’s about choosing the right programs and putting the right team together to operationalize the strategy,” Johnson said. “We have been fortunate to build a team of highenergy professionals who have extensive experience working with adult learners, and they have already begun to show great results.” Johnson said one of the key members of the ACU Dallas team is Goin, who served in executive roles at University of Phoenix for 20 years, including leading the growth and development of early online programs in the 1990s. His experience building the organization and infrastructure to support the effort is critical to success. Goin has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from ACU, an MBA, and also serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees for Fort Worth Christian School. “Jay is an ACU alum and one of a handful of people with the highest level of expertise in how to successfully serve adult professional students online,” Johnson said. “He’s acknowledged by many other institutions for his unique skill set and expertise. He loves his alma mater and wants to see it be successful in online and graduate education.” The MBA is a graduate degree in high demand among business professionals across the nation. ACU’s online program will combine small class sizes with opportunities within classes to discuss ways each student can demonstrate how they will apply their faith in their work. What makes ACU’s online MBA unique is the authentic way it engages students in deep reflection and practice of Christian vocation. “A lot of universities can talk about a faith-based MBA but ACU wants to demonstrate to students exactly what we mean by that in terms of how we live and work,” Johnson said. “Rather than talking hypothetically about what it means to be a business leader of Christian influence, we will connect to and draw upon alumni and other professionals who demonstrate it every day, and draw expertise from the broader Christian community that cares deeply about the integration of faith in the marketplace.” Johnson said the online portion of an MBA student’s education can reflect that focus, but as the program grows, ACU also will offer elective face-to-face residencies for students to network in unique ways with leading executives who are Christians. Offered in partnership with ACU’s College of Business Administration, the 36-credit MBA will take 24 months to complete and could include concentration areas of analytics, healthcare management, nonprofit management and corporate communications. Abilene Christian has awarded Doctor of Ministry degrees since 1990. Through ACU Dallas, the university has begun offering its second doctoral program, a 54- to 57-credit Ed.D. in organizational leadership. The degree is fully online, takes 36 months to complete, and includes concentration areas in conflict resolution, higher education, principalship, and superintendent leadership. Ed.D. graduates will be equipped as leaders who make a real difference in their workplaces, schools and communities. The program is organized around five core competencies: personal development, resource development, collaboration and communication, organizational assessment, and organizational culture. The university also is offering a 60-credit online Master of Marriage and Family Therapy and a 15-credit graduate certificate


in medical family therapy. The M.M.F.T. and certificate are broadly classified as health care programs because graduates deliver clinical services, often connected to health care organizations. ACU’s online marriage and family therapy programs prepare students to serve in a variety of therapeutic settings in which they help clients manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders as well as problems with their family and relationships. Research and planning are underway for a proposed third doctorate for ACU, the online Doctor of Nursing Practice, and a Dallas cohort of the current Master of Communication Sciences and Disorders program. Projections are that all three could begin in Fall 2016, pending approval by accrediting agencies.

can concentrate more on the content and their students. “While that interaction is more structured and intentional, it doesn’t make it any less meaningful,” Johnson said. “In fact, it’s deeply meaningful because it represents more thoughtful participation and purpose.” Goff and Johnson believe ACU Dallas will allow the university to better fulfill its mission and become what its 21st-Century Vision calls “the premier university for the education of Christ-centered, global leaders.” “My hope is that by offering more high-quality online graduate degree programs ACU will be able to reach additional students who have a heart for Christian service and leadership, and involve them in their own continued higher education in a deeper and more thoughtful way,” Goff said. 

An emphasis on understanding Christian vocation Graduate degrees offered through ACU Dallas are distinctive and offer features unavailable anywhere else. Whether in business, education or health services, every program has designed outcomes addressing Christian vocation. “By Christian vocation we want each student to ask, ‘How is my life and my work a response to God’s call and His desire for the world? How through my work and my career do I participate in something bigger than myself?’ ” Johnson said. “We’ve created online resources for students and faculty allowing for that level of continuity across programs for their particular career path and academic discipline,” Johnson said. One example of the unique opportunities for students is a one-week online seminar on Christian vocation titled “The Journey’s the Thing.” Based on the writings of Dr. Darryl Tippens, former Pepperdine University provost who is ACU’s first University Distinguished Scholar of Faith, Learning and Literature, the seminar will introduce students to each other and cause them to begin thinking deeply about their work and career. “Many people are confused because vocation-as-divine-call easily morphs into vocation-as-occupation. Although one might fulfill one’s vocation within and through a particular occupation, vocation and occupation are not the same,” Tippens writes. “We must firmly resist using worldly measuring sticks (typical of occupation) to determine the ‘success’ of vocation.” Dr. Jaime Goff (’01 M.M.F.T.), dean of graduate programs for ACU Dallas, believes the quality of ACU Dallas online programs is enhanced because of the intentional integration of faith and learning in the Christian vocation discussions in each of the courses. Goff has spent extensive time working with faculty, subject matter experts and instructional designers to prepare courses for faculty and accreditation agency approval before going live. ACU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and partners with the organization and other program-specific agencies to gain approval to offer new degrees. “It’s been a lot of work, but also very rewarding to work with dedicated faculty and instructional designers and to see these courses coming to life to impact the lives of students,” Goff said. “I love the process of bringing new ideas from inception to practice.” To transfer the ACU academic experience found on its home campus in Abilene, Johnson notes that online classes will be kept small – a maximum of 20 students each – and require each student to contribute thoughts and ideas to enrich discussion. Because students cannot “hide” in an online class and have the opportunity to thoughtfully participate with each other, faculty can better focus on engaging them in the content they are passionate about. And because each online course is designed and completed before any student logs in, Goff said faculty

Building distinctive and innovative programs

Key programs ip to launch in partnership with ACU Dallas NEW PROGRAMS • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership – Online (Summer 2015) • Master of Business Administration – Online (Fall 2015), pending SACSCOC approval • Master of Marriage and Family Therapy – Online (Summer 2015) • Certificate in Medical Family Therapy – Online (Summer 2015)

CURRENT PROGRAMS • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry – Online with residencies • Master of Arts in Global Service – Online with residencies • Master of Divinity – Online with residencies (Fall 2015) • Master of Science in Organizational Development – Online • Master of Education in Higher Education – Online with residency • Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation – Online with residency • Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution – Online with residency • Dietetic Internship Program/Certificate – Dallas

FUTURE PROGRAMS • Doctor of Nursing Practice – Online (research and proposal phase with projected Fall 2016 launch) • Master of Communication Sciences and Disorders – Dallas (projected Fall 2016 launch in Dallas of an existing program, pending American Speech-Language-Hearing Association approval)

To learn more about ACU’s graduate programs:

acu.edu/grad ACU TODAY



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Reunion Years: 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 acu.edu/homecoming

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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Thursday, October 15 Gutenberg Celebration

Hunter Welcome Center, 6:30 p.m. Honoring distinguished career achievement in alumni from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication

Saturday, October 17 Social Club Breakfasts Various locations, 6 a.m.

Parade

Beginning on East North 16th St., 9:30 a.m.

Homecoming Chapel

Friday, October 16 Vince Jarrett Homecoming Classic Location TBA, 8:30 a.m. Benefiting the Vince Jarrett Endowed Golf Scholarship

Chapel

Moody Coliseum, 11 a.m.

Carnival

South lawn of Moody Coliseum, 5 p.m.

Jam Fest

East lawn of Hunter Welcome Center, 6:30 p.m.

ACU Sports Hall of Fame Celebration and Lettermen’s Reunion

Dinner and Induction: Hunter Welcome Center, 6:30 p.m. Lettermen’s Reunion: Hunter Welcome Center, Atrium, 8 p.m.

Musical: Mary Poppins

Moody Coliseum, 11 a.m.

Football Game

(ACU vs. Sam Houston State University) Shotwell Stadium, 2 p.m.

Reunion Class Celebrations Various locations, 6 p.m.

Musical: Mary Poppins

Abilene Civic Center, 1100 N. 6th St., 8 p.m.

Post-Reunion Concert and Dessert Reception

Hunter Welcome Center, 8-10:30 p.m.

Fireworks Show

East lawn of Hunter Welcome Center, 8:45 p.m.

Sunday, October 18 Musical: Mary Poppins

Abilene Civic Center, 1100 N. 6th St., 2 p.m.

Abilene Civic Center, 1100 N. 6th St., 8 p.m.

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#lifeonth 42

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Eight engaging ACU students share their college life, told their way, via social media STORY BY ROBIN SAY LOR • PHOTOGR A PH Y BY JER EM Y EN LOW

S

elfie. Bestie. Eavestweeting. Vaguebooking. If you don’t know the meaning of these words,

chances are you’re not a member of the Millennial Generation. But today’s high school students are. So when Abilene Christian University’s enrollment marketers began looking at ways to connect with the most technologically savvy generation ever, they decided to meet them where they spend much of their time – on social media. The result has been an innovative experiment called #lifeonthehill, which offers future Wildcats an inside view of college life as seen through the eyes of eight current students. Since August 2014, the students – known as the Life on the Hill cast – have shared their ACU experience through more than 10,000 posts on Twitter and Instagram, and more than 50 YouTube videos that have been viewed more than 25,000 times. In these few short months, they have introduced their personal experience of campus life to an audience of nearly 50,000. They’ve created short videos on a variety of subjects ranging from “Favorite Places” to “ACU Pickup Lines.” They’ve tweeted about Homecoming and studying for exams, and posted photos of band practices and rainy days. They’ve chronicled Study Abroad trips to Europe, Sing Song competitions, grad school aspirations and everything pop culture. They are called “cast members” in

hehill

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Linsey Thut Convergence journalism major from Keller, Texas Involvement at ACU: Features editor for The Optimist, Alpha Kai Omega, Sing Song, Alpha Chi national honor society, Kappa Tau Alpha, Hillcrest college ministry, Society of Professional Journalists (president) When she’s not in class or working: Playing the guitar, singing, hanging with friends, baking, photography, blogging “I want prospective students to know there are all kinds of people at ACU – even awkward girly-girls who love superheroes and random ’80s movie nights like myself. Also, it’s important for me to show the types of friendships made here at ACU. I have experienced so much love from friends and professors during my time here.”

Brantly Houston Advertising and public relations major from Abilene, Texas Involvement at ACU: Trojans, Seekers of the Word drama ministry, Sing Song and Sing Song production staff, intramural waterball, ACU Theatre, Alumni Relations Office (student employee), Study Abroad, Morris & Mitchell When he’s not in class or working: coffee, singing, swimming, volunteering with Hillcrest youth group, coffee (again), pursuing interests surrounding his minors in theatre and English, Disney, eating burritos at Sharky’s, late-night runs to Taco Bell “Because I’m a public relations major, I’m checking my phone and updating my social profiles constantly. My friends have always joked with me that I’m a ‘poster boy for ACU’ because I’m so involved on campus, so sharing that online just comes naturally. I want to work on social media professionally, so it was fun to critically think about what voice I portray and what stories I tell on my personal profiles.”

Cortni Williams Psychology major from The Woodlands, Texas Involvement at ACU: Various service projects, ACU Calling Center (student employee, Sing Song, pledging When she’s not in class or working: Tailgating at all ACU football games with friends, singing, hanging out with friends, Bible study at church, babysitting “I want to show what it’s really like on campus and to be real with the students who follow me on social media. I want them to know they can confide in me, whether it’s about school, clubs, fitting in, exploring Abilene or life on campus. It’s almost like being a big sister – something I wish I had my freshman year.”

Will McInerney Musical theatre major from Fairview, Texas Involvement at ACU: Multiple theatre productions (lead in 2013 Homecoming Musical Les Miserables, and role in 2014’s Big Fish), Gamma Sigma Phi, Sing Song When he’s not in class or working: Hunting, guitar, pumping some iron, performing (as Clyde in Bonnie & Clyde) for a theatre in downtown Abilene “It’s been interesting to say the least. A lot of the popular questions we get are: ‘Why did you choose ACU?’ ‘What is dorm life like at ACU?’ ‘Does ACU have Greek life?’ But then we get some funny ones, too. I think my favorite was, ‘What’s your spirit animal?’ I try to share my honest opinions and give insight that I would have been interested in back when I was in their shoes. If you think about it, figuring out a plan after high school is a difficult and almost taboo kind of experience.”


acknowledgement of their roles as paid interns for the university. Prospective students have been encouraged to follow their posts and engage with them online, asking about any aspect of their college experience that interests them. In addition to their online presence, cast members have interacted face to face with hundreds of admitted students and Presidential Scholars during special visit days on campus. All of their communications – online and in person – give high school students an opportunity to see what it’s like to be a college student in Abilene, Texas. In fact, #lifeonthehill was created in response to the question: What is it really like to be a student at ACU? “This is one of the most asked questions by our prospective students,” said Kris Evans, director of enrollment marketing, who created the Life on The Hill concept. “And there are many ways to answer it. Prospective students have different academic interests, college goals and family upbringings, so what seems like a relatively standard question can be difficult to answer. Our goal was not only to simplify our response, but also to let the experts – our current students – do the talking.” Kevin Campbell (’00), ACU’s chief enrollment officer, said answering that question has been a recurring challenge for the university. “Each year, we ask our admitted students what we could have done better in our recruitment activities,” he said. “And the past several years, the most common response was related to enabling them to have a better understanding of what students do when they are not in class.” Technology has been the catalyst for a significant shift in the way teens connect with each other and their world. The Millennial Generation, often called digital natives and for good reason, have grown up immersed in technology. They can’t envision a world without the Internet, laptops, mobile devices and text messaging. They speak the language of Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat. They take “selfies” and post videos and tweet their random thoughts. They also evaluate decisions – including which college to attend – through online resources. Research shows that 13- to 18-year-olds receive more than 70 percent of their daily information through social media channels, said Evans. So connecting with prospective students on their turf seemed a good approach. “It’s difficult to disseminate our current students’ voices and show ACU’s highly relational community through traditional marketing,” Evans added. “Campus visits show only a small slice of campus life, not what happens on a day-to-day basis.”

Social media has provided a natural way to convey a broader, more authentic view of the college experience. “Our hope is if students get to know eight people through social media over four months, then they feel like they know ACU a little bit better,” Evans said. In launching #lifeonthehill, enrollment marketing staff had four goals in mind: • Show the authentic, everyday life of a college student at ACU through that student’s lens. • Provide a venue for prospective students to interact with current students. • Engage a larger population of prospective students who are not being reached by traditional means. • Increase ACU’s social media visibility with prospective students. “We felt like this project would not only offer an authentic and diverse view into the daily life of an ACU student, but it also would allow prospective students to interact with current students without having to be on campus,” said Evans. “Using social media channels allowed us to meet prospective students in a shared, comfortable space, and it expanded our reach to students who don’t always have the ability to visit campus.” The cast members represent the rich diversity of personalities, interests and backgrounds that define the Abilene Christian student body. “One of the students wants to be an actor. Another wants to be in converged media, and will be working in this type of environment when she graduates,” Evans said. “One wants to become a professional counselor, another a teacher. One is a student-athlete and another plays in the Big Purple Band.” They all have one thing in common, though. They have found at ACU a place where they can grow academically and spiritually while discovering their calling. Although the cast members were carefully selected through an extensive application and audition process, “we were not going to filter or manipulate what they were sharing about their experience here,” said Amanda (Peeples ’00) Pittman of University Marketing, who has worked closely on the project, from hiring the students to mentoring them to coordinating their video productions. “One word we kept seeing in researching this generation of prospective students was ‘authentic,’” she said. “They don’t want to see enhanced images of campus. They don’t want to look at stock photography of a diverse group of ‘students’ throwing their heads back laughing and looking too happy. They want authenticity: What’s good about ACU? What’s hard about ACU? What is there to do on campus? In Abilene?”

Throughout the semester, prospective students have had the opportunity “to see real pictures of ACU and Abilene through the eyes of our cast members and read real words, thoughts and experiences straight from their voice,” Pittman said. Cast members believe authenticity has been key to connecting with their audience. “We’re allowed to make it real,” said Brantly Houston, senior advertising and public relations major from Abilene. “We’ve been given license to talk about the hard stuff, too. Sometimes you’ll take an insanely hard class or get really frustrated by one of our extracurriculars. We didn’t have to cut that stuff out.” In selecting the students to represent ACU, Pittman said, “We looked for students who were already active on social media. We knew it wouldn’t be as much of a stretch for them to share their daily experiences, activities and pictures in a timely manner. Then, we looked at what they were involved in at ACU and what they could ‘speak to’ to prospective students.” The ultimate goal was “to find a handful of students who were involved in activities across campus, socially and academically, and could represent diversity: diversity in their backgrounds, their majors, their passions, their involvement, their families’ economic background, and even in what they hope to do after they leave ACU,” Pittman said. “Most importantly, we wanted to showcase current students who love ACU and are loving their experience here and want to tell prospective students about it.” The result, according to cast members, has been an opportunity to demonstrate just how broad is the spectrum of students who find a place to thrive at ACU. “All of us are in different social clubs, we’re all different majors, we’re all into different things,” said Desiree Feria, senior family studies major from San Antonio, who also works as a campus tour guide. “Some of us are sporty and play intramurals, and some of us don’t even go watch the games – don’t tell anyone, but that’s me,” she added with a laugh. “I think it’s cool, being the first university to do this as a full-blown marketing campaign by actual students instead of people with a bachelor’s degree in marketing who are out of school,” Feria said. Linsey Thut, senior convergence journalism major from Keller, has especially enjoyed conveying this message to high schoolers. “ACU has been such a big part in helping me become who I am today,” she said. “I only had a few close friends in high school but once I got to college, I was really able to blossom and meet so many more people. And I know that’s because

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Alikay Wood English major from Sacramento, Calif. Involvement at ACU: Honors College, Sigma Theta Chi, Sing Song, Study Abroad, Sigma Tau Delta, Alpha Chi Omega, minors in business and advertising / public relations When she’s not in class or working: Reading, writing, singing, eating with friends “I try to give a humorous look at what college is really like. I try to show that college is awesome, but that it’s also a lot of work. I want high school students to get a feeling of how the college schedule differs from a high school schedule and also demonstrate the special relationships that are formed at ACU.”

Marc Gutierrez Music education major from Cedar Park, Texas Involvement at ACU: McNair Scholars, Pi Kappa, ACU Opera, ACU Big Purple Band and Concert Band, Honors College, WorldWide Witness intern, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Study Abroad When he’s not in class or working: Running, playing soccer and riding his scooter, anything that has to do with singing or music, traveling “It would have been nice to have something like #lifeonthehill when I was coming in as a freshman. I’ve talked to high school students about being a musician, scholarship money for music, what it’s like to be in the music department here. I’m not one to throw my whole life out there on social media, but I do like posting things that I think people would find entertaining or helpful.”

ACU really encourages students to connect and inspire one another.” She loves to share the experiences that have made her time at ACU special. “I think of all the fun memories I have with friends here like dressing up as hipsters and going to Monks [a local coffee shop] or wearing crazy outfits during pledging. I think those memories and those friendships are important for prospective students to see,” Thut said. “I want prospective students to know there are all kinds of people at ACU – even awkward girly-girls who love superheroes and random ’80s movie nights like myself. There really is something at ACU for everyone, from drama to sports to radio or newspaper opportunities.” Through online and on-campus interactions, the cast members have fielded a variety of questions from their followers. “They ask really good, practical questions,” said Alikay Wood, senior English major from Sacramento, Calif. “They want to know about ACU-specific things like curfew, visitation and traditions. One of my favorite questions is when a student asks what my least favorite part of ACU is, because I think it’s important to recognize that no institution is perfect. It’s a good opportunity for me to be honest about something I’m not a fan of at ACU 46

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while reinforcing that I still love this school.” Neely Borger, senior marketing major from Amarillo, is a member of the women’s volleyball team, so many of her questions deal with athletics at ACU, such as “Has it been hard being involved in other things while being a student-athlete?” and “How did you pick your major?” “Last summer, I went on a missions trip to South Africa, and we had to write a life mission plan. One of my goals in the plan was to use #lifeonthehilll as a ministry,” Borger said. “So through my social media and connecting with students, I just want to be inviting and be that person they feel like they’re comfortable talking to if they have any questions.” Marc Gutierrez, senior music education major from Cedar Park, is often asked about performance opportunities at ACU and about his scholarships. Without those scholarships, he would not have been able to attend college, he said. “Most of their questions are, ‘How do I get there at a feasible price?’ ” Gutierrez said. “I try to tell them to always be looking for opportunities, whether that’s a job you need to work or if it’s another scholarship you need to apply for.” It’s the kind of insider information #lifeonthehill cast members wish they had

ACU TODAY

been privy to as high school students. “There is so much competition and confusion out there when you’re trying to decide a college,” Thut noted. “But being able to have Christ-centered friendships that will last you forever – and knowing that people have your back – is something that was really close to my heart as I chose ACU. And I think that is something hard to portray in a pamphlet about the school, but so much easier to see through an actual student’s social media. “I just like that we’re all able to be so different in the cast and represent all kinds of people at ACU,” Thut added. “The students who follow us can see that ACU isn’t just one ‘type’ of student, but that we all have different things we are passionate about.” From the recruiting staff perspective, Pittman said, “I’ve been told it’s a relief of sorts – and so convenient – for our counselors to be able to point a prospective student to the website or the YouTube videos and say, ‘See what it’s like to be a student here. Watch or read about this person’s experience here. He’s into theatre like you. Or, she’s wanting to go into ministry like you.’ ” The social media experiment demonstrates the creativity required to connect with high school students in an


increasingly digital world. It wasn’t the first and won’t be the last experiment as the university seeks new ways to attract the next class of freshmen. The landscape of student recruiting changes each year, and universities must be nimble in their efforts to keep up, Campbell said. “We have to continuously test new methods to see which are the most effective at this particular point in time.” In fact, over the past three years, university marketers have eliminated the glossy printed “viewbook” traditionally sent to prospective students and used those funds to support nonprofit organizations started by ACU alumni. This year, when prospective students applied to the university, they were encouraged to choose which of the following projects they wanted ACU to support on their behalf: • Send medical supplies to LiveBeyond – founded by David (’82) and Laurie (Stallings ’81) Vanderpool) – for use in disaster relief and medical clinics in the U.S., Haiti, Africa and other countries around the world. livebeyond.org • Provide tents and sleeping bags to Dry Bones – co-founded by Matt (’00) and Nikki (’98 Scheikhard) Wallace and Jeff (’94) and Kama (Birdwell ’94) Medders –

to protect homeless youth and adults in the Denver area. drybonesdenver.org • Partner with Eternal Threads – founded by Linda Egle (’73) – to send an Afghan child to school for a year, including tuition, transportation, uniforms, supplies and books. eternalthreads.org ACU donated $10,000 on behalf of the Class of 2019, and in February, all three organizations were presented their checks at the Presidential Scholars’ luncheon. “We may be an early adopter, but we believe printed viewbooks will be a thing of the past,” said Evans. “With rising costs in printing and postage, the accessibility of the Web and the way younger generations are choosing to consume information, our industry will move to this format sooner rather than later. “We look at our annual budget as an investment in sharing the ACU story with students who may decide they want to become part of the story,” Evans added. “We weren’t solely looking for a cost-cutting measure. We were looking for a way to be more intentional with our investment. We believe by allowing students to learn about ACU through mediums in which they are most comfortable, and then being an active participant in supporting our alumni

who have given their lives to serve others, students gain a greater understanding of the university’s mission to make a real difference in the world.” Projects such as #lifeonthehill represent another step toward recruiting efforts that connect with Millennials. These latest projects do not replace ACU’s traditional recruiting methods and already-effective enrollment campaigns. Instead, they provide other avenues for high school students to find out what they need to know to choose a university that best fits them. “Higher education is a $1.3 trillion industry,” Evans said. “Competition for students, the call for affordable education and the demand being placed on universities to ensure career placement and success are at their highestAnd I believe ACU is positioned to prepare students for success in a rapidly changing world. Not just career success, but success in building a life of meaning and purpose. Our job is to continue to find new ways to identify students who will thrive at ACU and effectively communicate our story in a way that invites them to write the next chapter.” For more: acu.edu/lifeonthehill and youtube.com/acu.

Neely Borger Marketing major from Amarillo, Texas Involvement at ACU: ACU women’s volleyball team, Ko Jo Kai, American Marketing Association, College of Business Administration (marketing student employee), Big Brothers Big Sisters, WorldWide Witness intern, Study Abroad, Women in Business, ACU Admissions Office, Alpha Chi national honor society, Sing Song When she’s not in class or working: Playing volleyball, working out, reading, traveling, drinking coffee “One of my goals was to use #lifeonthehill as a ministry. So through my social media and connecting with students, I want to be inviting and to be that person they feel like they’re comfortable talking to if they have any questions. I love ACU and what it stands for, and so I love using every avenue I’m involved in to promote ACU to other students.”

Desiree Feria Family studies major from San Antonio, Texas Involvement at ACU: Treadaway Kids, Lynay, PULSE (mentor leader), intramurals (team mom), Sing Song, tour guide for campus visits When she’s not in class or working: Restoring classic / muscle cars with her dad, strength training, any service opportunity she can find “When students visit campus for a tour, they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh; I know you. I follow you on Instagram and Twitter.’ I’ve taken selfies with some of them and given them a shout out. And on the ACU Facebook page, I’ve been able to connect with them and answer questions. They ask about dorm life and social clubs and, ‘How’s the food?’”


Highly Prized Isenhower and Hailey win major national awards for teaching, research and relationship-building

BY RON HADFIELD

O

ne of the best measures of the worth of a college degree is not found in brick and mortar, on spreadsheets or in data driven by polls and surveys

from the latest iPhone app. It’s truly an intangible: elusive, life-changing, even sacred. In short, the relationship formed between a professor and his or her undergraduate student is paramount to each learner’s performance and satisfaction, now and years down the road. The 2014 Gallup-Purdue study, a landmark joint project between Lumina Foundation and Purdue University, found “if graduates recalled having a professor who cared about them as a person, made them excited about learning and encouraged them to pursue their dreams, their odds of being engaged at work more than doubled, as did their odds of thriving in all aspects of their well-being.” The study also showed internships, involvement in extracurricular organizations and activities, and semesterlong projects as keys to student satisfaction. This past year, one need not have looked far for evidence that the relationship-building business of higher education – something at which Abilene Christian excels – is thriving, especially in two ACU academic programs of strength and in a pair of professors who received 48

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national acclaim for their roles in preparing students for success. Both are ACU graduates – Dr. Donald Isenhower (’81) in the Department of Engineering and Physics and Dr. Mel Hailey (’70) in the Department of Political Science – who know well the difference a mentoring professor can make in a student’s life.

World leaders in undergraduate physics research Behind the security gates at nuclear and high-energy physics labs run by the U.S. Department of Energy is a tight fraternity of scientists entrusted with exploring and harnessing the sub-atomic power of protons. Their experiments can take years to plan, cost tens of millions of dollars – or more – and involve a small army of experts from around the world. Their findings are published in leading academic journals, make headlines in National Geographic, win Nobel Prizes, and expand the knowledge of mankind in significant ways. Academic pedigrees run deep at labs such as Brookhaven, Fermilab, CERN and Los Alamos, where nametags of scientists identify names of universities with extensive roots in physics: Stony Book, Harvard, MIT, Cal-Berkeley, Michigan, Yale, Illinois, Columbia, Princeton – and to no one’s surprise in that respected crowd – ACU. “Abilene Christian really is the world leader in involving undergraduates in physics research,” said Dr. Rusty Towell (’90), professor of engineering and physics who leads a team to New York each summer. “We don’t just have classes and labs here; we take students with us.” So high is the reputation ACU has for

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educating the best undergraduate physics students that they are often the only prePh.D. personnel invited to work alongside longtime physicists on experiments at major national labs. ACU undergrads, for instance, have built many large detector components used on PHENIX experiments on the RHIC (Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider Project) at Brookhaven in Upton, N.Y. Isenhower, who is again overseeing ACU students working at Fermilab this summer, was recognized by his peers earlier this spring with the 2015 Prize to a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution, selected from among thousands connected with more than 750 physics programs around the nation. It came with a $10,000 award and the respect of a galaxy of colleagues. “This is a great honor for Donald, our department and ACU,” Towell said. “Our university is now part of a very small and elite group that have been awarded this honor more than once.” The prize is from the American Physical Society and made possible by a grant from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Dr. Michael Sadler, professor of engineering and physics who has been Isenhower’s mentor for nearly 30 years, was the first from ACU to receive the award in 1995. “I have witnessed the remarkable enthusiasm and effectiveness in Donald’s mentoring style,” said Dr. Jen-Chieh Peng, professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and cospokesperson of Fermilab’s E789 experiment. “Donald cares deeply about all his students and he spends long hours supervising and working with them,”


Dr. Donald Isenhower began teaching at ACU in 1986 after working as a graduate student on the world’s first collider at CERN in Switzerland. Dr. Mel Hailey (right) joined ACU’s faculty in 1979. JEREMY ENLOW

Peng said. “The ACU group has earned the well-deserved reputation as a highly motivated, capable and responsible team.” Peng said Isenhower has helped write more than 230 publications about research at Fermilab and Brookhaven, with 80 percent of them including ACU undergrads as co-authors. “In my experience, the ACU professors with their undergrad students are unmatched in their serious research work at national labs and other facilities, said Dr. Michael Leitch, retired Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, a veteran of the PHENIX experiment at Brookhaven, and a former member of ACU’s Visiting Committee in physics. “ACU undergrads are often more studiously involved than many of the graduate students from other institutions,” Leitch said. “I believe they set an example, to students from other institutions and at higher levels, with these attitudes and attention to their work.” Leitch believes this rich hands-on experience is invaluable in putting theory to practice while showing undergrads how rewarding – and fun – research can be.

“It shows them how complicated mathematics are really useful for learning about the smallest building blocks of matter; and also how complex large problems or questions can be addressed by a large team working together,” Leitch said. Teamwork is something ACU’s physics faculty understand well. Half of the department’s faculty – four generations worth – have undergraduate physics degrees from Abilene Christian to complement curriculum vitas showing internships, fellowships and significant research experience at the world’s top labs with physicists from around the globe. Isenhower got a taste of that teamwork during his doctoral studies at Iowa State University when he worked at CERN – the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland, birthplace of the World Wide Web where 10,000 scientists from more than 100 nations collaborate on groundbreaking research on the best and biggest particle accelerators. He also earned a reputation as a detail-oriented, go-to physicist with trusted problem-solving skills. His son, Dr. Larry Isenhower (’05) – who helped his father with research

while still in high school, later worked on experiments for Fermilab and Brookhaven, and earned a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin – is following in his shoes as a new ACU physics instructor. “While scientists who do not know ACU may be skeptical, those of us who have seen Don and his students in action go out of their way to try to involve them in our experiments,” said Dr. Donald Geesaman, a Distinguished Argonne Fellow and former director of the Physics Division at Argonne National Laboratory. Geesaman said the primary reason few undergraduates participate in experiments at national labs is that faculty rarely are willing to devote the extra time and energy to prepare and supervise them. “This is where Don excels,” Geesaman said. Dr. Patrick McGaughey, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, said Isenhower is a noted scientist who has contributed to some of the most important discoveries in his field, and the best science educator he has ever seen. “I believe Donald’s most important impact on the field has been through the huge number of students he has educated

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and placed into graduate school. He instills a love of science and a level of motivation in his students that perhaps no other undergraduate school achieves,” McGaughey said.

The law according to Dr. Hailey Higher education’s top pre-law advisor in the U.S. for 2015 may not be an attorney but he knows a great prospect for the legal profession when he sees one: an ACU student with keen analytical and critical thinking skills, and excellent writing ability. Dr. Mel Hailey is a law school dean’s best talent scout, and they trust him to send additional quality young men or women from Abilene Christian to prepare for the legal profession. ACU students are admitted every year to law school at a rate north of 90 percent, led by the 99 percent of political science majors from Hailey’s department who apply and gain admission. Success breeds success, Hailey believes. So when one of his students makes a great impression on a law school dean or professor, it makes it easier for the next ACU applicant. “I love getting a phone call or an email from a student that begins, ‘Dr. Hailey, I just got accepted to …’ ” he said. Hailey receives that good news often enough that his peers are honoring him this fall with recognition named for his profession’s most admired leader. Hailey will receive the 2015 Dean Gerald Wilson Award for Excellence in Pre-law Advising from the Pre-Law Advisor’s National Council (PLANC). Wilson is founding chair of PLANC and has been the highly respected pre-law advisor at Duke University for four decades. As ACU’s pre-law advisor, Hailey is a matchmaker of sorts for students and law schools – “However, I never make the decision for a student as to which one to attend,” he said – but he also embraces the role of pushing soon-to-be ACU grads to their greatest potential, then helping guide their decision-making process. 50

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“If the person has always wanted to attend a particular school, my responsibility is to give the student advice about options,” Hailey said. “For example, suppose a student says she really wants to go law school ‘A’ because it is in her hometown. It is a good one and there is no doubt she will be admitted with a nice financial package. However, when I review her record at ACU, she has a summa cum laude GPA and she scored in the 95th percentile on the LSAT. She is a campus leader with a very fine record of community service. She will be the first member of her family to go to law school and she doesn’t recognize all her opportunities,” he said. “I think it is my job to encourage her to apply to some schools she may have felt were beyond her reach. When she is accepted to several different schools, the conversation about ‘right fit’ begins.” Lori (Halstead ’01) Windham, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., is a Hailey protege who helped make national headlines last June when her firm won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell. Windham credits Hailey for

ACU president Dr. William J. Teague (’52) presented Hailey with an award at May Commencement in 1991 as the university’s Teacher of the Year.

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encouraging her to aim high, and her impressive ACU undergraduate credentials landed her in Harvard Law School. “I dreamed about going someplace like Harvard, but wasn’t certain I would be able. Dr. Hailey encouraged me to apply there, as well as several other great schools, and helped me to understand what I needed to do to strengthen my applications,” Windham said. “He also encouraged me to take an internship in Washington and helped me to find a great program. That experience changed my ideas about what I wanted to do after graduation. I’ve lived and worked in Washington for 10 years now, and it started with a moment in class where he encouraged us to take advantage of summer opportunities.” Years after sitting in his classes, Hailey’s former students laud him for teaching them to respect the U.S. Constitution and civil rights, view the practice of law as a noble calling, master the Socratic method of inquiry and discussion, and think deeply about integrating the study of faith in their career choice. And more than a few graduates with the words “Jack Pope Fellow” on their resume merit immediate attention and respect for their association with Jack Pope (’34), former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court and namesake of a program at his alma mater designed to inspire students while teaching the finer points of public service. Ever the mentor, Hailey asks students to promise him if they get discouraged and depressed a few months into their demanding law school studies and want to drop out, to stay resolved to finish that crucial first year. “Once the first year is complete, they know they can do it,” he said. “Often I tell them they have earned their place in a particular law class but their position was made possible because of the legacy of other ACU students who ‘paved the way’ for them. I ask them to do the same for others.”


Recent Books by ACU Press The Early Church and Today, Volume 2

Christian Life, Scripture, and Restoration Everett Ferguson ISBN 978-0-89112-584-6 | 348 pages | $25.99

The Early Church and Today is a collection of scholarly articles by an acclaimed specialist in early Christianity written for a broad audience.

Enter the Water, Come to the Table

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper in Scripture’s Story of New Creation John Mark Hicks ISBN 978-0-89112-483-2 | 176 pages | $14.99

The Early Church and Today, Volume 1 Ministry, Initiation, and Worship

Everett Ferguson

ISBN 978-0-89112-586-0 | 336 pages | $25.99

The Story of Churches of Christ DVD

Centered in God

Douglas A. Foster

The Trinity and Christian Spirituality Mark Powell

ISBN 978-0-89112-360-6 | 6 Sessions | $29.99

This DVD and companion booklet will lead you through the beginnings of Churches of Christ in America and their commitment to visible unity of all Christians and faithfulness to Scripture.

ISBN 978-0-89112-600-3 | 234 pages | $14.99

The Story of Churches of Christ

Abilene History in Plain Sight

Douglas A. Foster ISBN 978-0-89112-463-4 | 40 pages | $5.99

Jay Moore

ISBN 978-0-89112-589-1 | 304 pages | $29.99

1-877-816-4455 toll free

www.acupressbooks.com | www.leafwoodpublishers.com AC U TO D AY



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Q&A U.S. State Department’s Dr. Shaun Casey Dr. Shaun Casey (’79) may be the first Abilene Christian University graduate to report directly to a U.S. secretary of state. He is special representative for religion and global affairs after serving on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign as senior advisor for religious affairs and evangelical coordinator. Casey is on a leave of absence as professor of Christian ethics and director of the National Capital Semester for Seminarians at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He earned a Master of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Theology degree in religion and society from Harvard Divinity School, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2009 he authored The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960.

When I am not on the road, I spend a lot of time building out our staff, working with offices and bureaus within the State Department to help them be successful in understanding how religion has an impact on their policy issues. As an office in Secretary Kerry’s bureau, we are successful only to the extent we partner with other bureaus in the State Department.

In a recent interview at Emory University, you described your role in the State Department as being “sort of a missionary inside the building.” How do you bring the expertise of an academic ethicist and Christian theologian to crisis-driven discussions about domestic and foreign policy? I have a friend who has been a career foreign service officer for more than 20 years who told me there was a time when the It’s a long way from growing up in Paducah, Ky., to working in State Department was a pretty secular place and that admitting Washington, D.C., and appearing on C-SPAN. What does that say a professional interest in religion did not enhance one’s career about your upbringing and formal education? prospects. Now, in the wake of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, I was blessed to grow up in a large family that put a huge that has changed dramatically. I have encountered a widespread premium on education. Both of my parents and all four of my interest by my colleagues to gain a more siblings have worked in public education. The sophisticated understanding of religion, Broadway Church of Christ in Paducah where I “… I need to be willing which makes my training as a religion grew up was filled with public school teachers, scholar a real advantage. I am able to draw to engage as wide a range local school board members, and some other on my circle of friends in the academic very thoughtful people. Several of my peers there of faith groups all across world to help me in this part of my mission. did graduate work in a number of fields, which is testimony to the environment that shaped us. Two of them, Dr. Greg Powell (’80) and Dr. Bruce Hopkins (’82), both teach in ACU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. At ACU I had so many great professors who modeled the idea of faith seeking understanding like Dr. Ina (Lynch ’63) Green, Dr. Bill Walton (’63), Dr. Charlie Marler (’55), Dr. LeMoine Lewis (’36) and Dr. Tom Olbricht. I will always be thankful to ACU for preparing me for my graduate work at Harvard.

the globe as we seek to build peace. It is hard to make peace at the personal or the global level if you aren’t willing to reach out to all parties in a conflict.”

What are some lessons learned from your experiences as an advisor on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign? First of all, people of faith love to talk about the public implications of the practice of their faith. In the 2008 campaign I was humbled to be able to talk to thousands of American citizens about the connection between faith – DR. SHAUN CASEY (’79) and citizenship. Now to be sure, there is a dazzling array of arguments about What led the president and secretary of state what that connection should look like! to see the need for an Office of Religion and Global Affairs? Ironically, as our public discourse has coarsened dramatically Both President Obama and Secretary Kerry are men of in the last two decades, Americans seem to crave real civil discourse deep Christian faith, so they naturally understand that religion is a all the more deeply. Public officials need to work harder at creating powerful force in our world. I think they both believed that in recent civil dialogue, and they need to be better at speaking to wider years we have not always taken full account of the power of religion, audiences. I also believe that faith communities at times have for good and for ill, in our foreign policy. So it made sense to not helped as much as they could. establish an office in the State Department where we can advise The foreign policy lesson is that I need to be willing to Secretary Kerry on religion as it cuts across his portfolio, expand the engage as wide a range of faith groups as we can, across the globe, capacity of the State Department to understand religion in a more as we seek to build peace. It is hard to make peace at the personal sophisticated way, and to build partnerships with religious actors or the global level if you aren’t willing to reach out to all parties in advancing our foreign policy goals. in a conflict. What is a typical workweek like for you, if there is such a thing? What is an example of a community in which you have seen your I tend to have two different types of workweeks: the ones expertise benefit policy or practice of the U.S. government? when I travel and those when I don’t. We have spent a lot of time meeting with faith groups When I am on the road, I try to pack as many meetings as interested in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. We have met possible into the time I have. In my first year and a half, I have with a pretty wide range of religious voices in the region and here traveled to more than a dozen countries and met with hundreds in the U.S., and each of them has strong opinions on how to of religious leaders and government officials. Most of these proceed. Whatever the future holds for actual negotiations, meetings are directly related to advancing specific foreign I believe the U.S. government will have a deeper understanding policy objectives. Our office has been involved in supporting of the religious dimensions of that complex space because we have the Middle East peace process, combating global climate change, invested time in building relationships across the very complicated supporting our anti-ISIL campaign, speaking to domestic groups religious landscape there. about our foreign policy and other priorities for Secretary Kerry. 52

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LISA HELFERT

What are some of the faith-based challenges the U.S. faces in dealing with a group like ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant)? I see three challenges related to ISIL. First, for Iraq to be successful in repelling ISIL, it is going to have to make significant progress in addressing the sectarian divide within Muslim communities there and find a way to recover an earlier era when religious minorities such as Christians and Yezidis were not under tremendous pressure. Second, the U.S. government is providing hundreds of millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to displaced Christians, Yezidis and others in a very difficult environment. Third, in the long run, the new Iraqi Cabinet has to work very hard at promoting religious toleration and pluralism. There is ample room for religious engagement in Iraq. What does a government risk when it engages in 21st-century international relations without consideration of both religion and politics? For a government to fully understand what is going on in another country or region it needs to have as complete a picture as possible of the forces that motivate people there. With a majority of the planet’s seven billion people motivated to some extent by religion, it makes sense to want to understand how religion motivates and influences people in politics and in civil society. Without such knowledge we run the risk of making a range of mistakes from small to catastrophic in our diplomacy. We don’t have to go back very far in our history to see painful examples of this. What did you learn as an undergraduate at ACU that helps you each day in this role? I learned the power of the written word, as well as how to craft a sentence or two, in Dr. Marler’s journalism classes.

The ability to communicate in writing will serve you well regardless of your career path. I also learned that treating people well in the workplace is crucial. I have met more than a few Christians who never seem to learn this lesson. But I saw a lot of good models, particularly in the ACU faculty, who truly loved their students and were always willing to go the extra mile with anyone they met. I strive to do that even if I haven’t quite mastered that art. I’ve also learned that gratitude is at the heart of the Christian faith. I have been blessed in extraordinary ways. ACU prepared me to succeed academically with one of the world’s best theological faculties. I have been given the opportunity to build a new office in the State Department that draws on skills and knowledge I have accumulated since my childhood. How can I not be grateful to God for what I have been given? Which relationships formed at ACU have a continuing effect on you, 35 years after graduation, and why? I could name many, but I’ll focus on my ministerial and professorial relationships. This past summer I had the privilege of co-officiating a wedding in Maine with Dr. Olbricht, my former professor, and Dr. Robert Randolph (’62), with whom I co-ministered for years at the Brookline Church of Christ. I have known both of them for more than three decades. Last fall I met in Jerusalem with Drs. Mark (’89 M.A.) and Samjung Kang-Hamilton (’88 M.R.E.), with whom I also ministered at Brookline. As a religion scholar, I see dozens of Abilene Christian graduates every year at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion. At a personal and professional level, I am reminded on a regular basis of the deep value ACU has contributed to my life. 

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The BOOKCASE Jeter Unfiltered

Before Amen

By Derek Jeter Photography by Christopher Anderson (’92) ISBN 978-1476783666 • 256 pages jeterpublishing.com

THE POWER OF A SIMPLE PRAYER

Behind-the-scenes images from award-winning photojournalist Anderson anchor this best-selling book’s view of 2014, the 20th and final season played by the longtime captain of the New York Yankees.

Lucado’s latest is “written for everyone who wants to pray more, better and stronger, with more fire, faith and fervency. He admits to his own failures in this area, calling himself a ‘recovering prayer wimp’ and offering specific ways people can experience a heart connection with God through prayer.”

By Max Lucado (’77) ISBN 978-0849948480 • 192 pages thomasnelson.com

Beating Goliath

21 Strategies for Starting College Strong

MY STORY OF FOOTBALL AND FAITH

By Art Briles (’84 M.Ed.) with Don Yaeger ISBN 978-1250057778 • 272 pages us.macmillan.com/smp Briles’ autobiography, co-authored with a best-selling former associate editor of Sports Illustrated, looks at the coach’s life, starting as a boy in Rule, Texas. A devout Christian, Briles built his coaching resume in high schools like Sweetwater, Hamlin and Stephenville, and has taken the Baylor University football program to new heights in recent years. He earned a Master of Education degree from ACU.

®

Three ACU faculty members collaborated on this book to advise students on how to manage their time at college by sharing the best strategies for achieving academic success, and navigating technology and online learning. Dr. Jason Morris is dean of the ACU Honors College; Heflin is assistant professor of Bible, missions and ministry; and Dr. Heidi Morris is adjunct faculty of child and family services.

Between the Testaments

Christmas at Historic Houses

By Dr. Jack P. Lewis (’40) 978-0-89098-694-3 • 136 pages 21stcc.com

REVISED SECOND EDITION

Historical and apocryphal writings are sometimes our only to understand the 400 years of “scriptural silence” between Old Testament and New Testament history. Lewis, a leading biblical scholar and professor emeritus at Harding Graduate School of Religion, explores and explains what valuable research tells us about the first-century church.

Authenticity THE HEAD, HEART AND SOUL OF SELLING

By Ron Willingham (’54) ISBN 978-0735205345 • 336 pages prenticehall.com Willingham dedicates this book to his late ACU business professor, Dr. A. Overton Faubus, while sharing new discoveries about the deeper causes of sales success or failure. He explains how to develop developing stronger client relationships through enhanced social skills, increase value for customers, and boost sales by learning and applying the fundamentals of client-focused selling.

The Hobbit Party By Jay Richards and Jonathan Witt (’89) ISBN 978-1-62032-777-7 • 146 pages wipfandstock.com The religious significance of J.R.R. Tolkien’s words have been widely explored. Witt and Richards take a close look at the political lessons to be gleaned from Middle-earth, using their expertise in theology, economics, literary studies, political theory and philosophy to propose thought-provoking new insights.

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By Dr. Jason Morris (’96 M.S.), Dr. Houston Heflin (’95) and Dr. Heidi (White ’98) Morris ASIN B00LFWHRM • 227 pages learningexpress.com

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By Patricia (Hart ’56) McMillan ISBN 978-0764346903 • 224 pages schifferbooks.com A completely reworked second edition with more than 420 photographs looks at 30 specially decorated houses across the U.S. Learn about the history and customs behind Christmas as celebrated at houses of all sizes and styles.

Arda Inhabited ENVIRONMENTAL RELATIONSHIPS TO THE LORD OF THE RINGS

By Susan Jeffers (’83 M.A.) ISBN 978-1606352014 • 128 pages kentstateuniversitypress.com Jeffers, who taught composition and early American literature at ACU, looks at the way different groups and individuals in The Lord of the Rings interact with their environments. The book responds to environmental critics such as Neil Evernden and Christopher Manes, as well as to other touchstones of postmodern thought.

The Early Church at Work and Worship By Dr. Everett Ferguson (’53) Volume 1 ISBN 978-1608993079 • 354 pages Volume 2 ISBN 978-1608993659 • 364 pages wipfandstock.com Volume 1 (Ministry, Ordination, Covenant and Canon) and Volume 2 (Catechesis, Baptism, Eschatology and Martyrdom) are collected essays on early Christianity by one of the leading scholars of the Restoration Movement. Ferguson is professor emeritus of church history at ACU.


Selections of books about Abilene Christian University or those written, edited, compiled or contributed to by ACU alumni, faculty, staff and students

The Group Theatre

I Promise It’s True

PASSION, POLITICS AND PERFORMANCE IN THE DEPRESSION ERA

By Dr. Houston (’95) and Karen (Cherry ’98) Heflin Illustrated by Heather (Heflin ’94) Hodges ISBN 978-0692251911 • 36 pages amazon.com

By Helen Krich Chinoy, Dr. Don B. Wilmeth (’61) and Milly S. Barranger ISBN 978-1137294593 • 304 pages us.macmillan.com Wilmeth is Asa Messer Distinguished Professor Emeritus and emeritus professor of theatre and English at Brown University, and author-editor of more than 60 books, including the award-winning Cambridge History of American Theatre.

Sexualized Media Messages and Our Children TEACHING KIDS TO BE SMART CRITICS AND CONSUMERS

By Dr. Jennifer (Wade ’92) Shewmaker ISBN 978-1440833335 • 192 pages abc-clio.com/praeger A reflection of her considerable research on the subject, this book looks at how entertainment and advertising affect a child’s view of the world and themselves. Shewmaker, professor of psychology at ACU, offers solutions to best prepare children for these messages.

Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life By Dr. John Baldwin (’84), Robin R. Means Coleman, Alberto Gonzalez and Suchitra Shenboy-Packer ISBN 978-1444332360 • 370 pages wiley.com Baldwin, professor of communication at Illinois State University, co-authored this textbook for those studying intercultural communication for the first time.

Historical Dictionary of Romanticism in Literature By Dr. Paul Varner ISBN 978-0810878853 • 548 pages rowman.com Varner, scholar-in-residence in ACU’s Department of Language and Literature, has published three other volumes in this historical dictionary series for Rowman & Littlefield: Westerns in Cinema, Westerns in Literature and the Beat Movement.

Full Steam Ahead By Karen (Gaskin ’93) Witemeyer ISBN 978-0764209673 • 352 pages bethanyhouse.com The latest book from best-selling Christian romance novelist Witemeyer explores the relationship between a reclusive scientist and the wealthy debutante daughter of a shipping company who is forced to choose between love and her family’s legacy.

The book illustrates the unconditional love parents have for their children, written in a rhythmic structure that kids will want to hear and explore again and again. At ACU, Houston is assistant professor of Bible, missions and ministry, and Karen is Springboard program coordinator.

The Church According to Paul REDISCOVERING THE COMMUNITY CONFORMED TO CHRIST

By Dr. James W. Thompson (’64) ISBN 978-1441219657 • 304 pages bakerpublishinggroup.com The lessons Paul learned centuries ago from planting and nurturing churches offer interesting guidance to those committed to doing the same today. Thompson is a longtime professor of New Testament in ACU’s Graduate School of Theology and editor of Restoration Quarterly.

How to Start a Riot SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL JESUS REVOLUTION

By Jonathan Storment (’12 M.A.) ISBN 978-0-89112-604-1 • 192 pages leafwoodpublishers.com The preaching minister for Abilene’s Highland Church of Christ looks at the Book of Acts and the story of a resurrected Savior. “I wrote this book because there is something breathtaking about the first Jesus followers. They are risky and gentle, kind and convicted, imprisoned and compassionate, dying and yet fully alive. … I have always wanted to get in on that,” he said.

Life Work CONFESSIONS OF AN EVERYDAY DISCIPLE

By Randy Harris ISBN 978-0891124597 • 160 pages leafwoodpublishers.com In a world gone crazy, what would basic human decency look like? Are there principles that all humans could follow to make their neighborhoods, countries and world more just and peaceful? Harris, from his long experience as a teacher of philosophy and ethics in ACU’s College of Biblical Studies, calls us to those principles of fair play, justice and peace.

The Miracle of the Kurds THE REMARKABLE STORY OF HOPE REBORN IN NORTHERN IRAQ

By Stephen Mansfield (’88 M.L.A.) ISBN 978-1617950797 • 272 pages worthypublishing.com Best-selling author Mansfield explores the amazing resiliency of the Kurds, tens of thousands of whom were murdered by Saddam Hussein. Their homeland, however, reflects a resourceful and innovative people who have built Kurdistan into one of the most prosperous places on the planet.

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Hilltop VIEW Murray, Williams, Richardson star in pageants

winning, I truly learned that pageantry is much more than a crown and sash,” Williams said in a farewell speech as her reign came to an end in December. A chance meeting while grocery “I learned pageantry is about giving back shopping led Desarae Murray (’13) to to others, being a positive role model to enter the Miss Southlake 2015 all girls, striving to make a difference, competition, which allowed her to making new friends all over the U.S. compete for Miss Texas earlier this month. and putting a smile on many faces.” Murray, and two ACU freshmen, all Williams traveled nearly captured crowns 4,000 miles to attend ACU after winning Williams Richardson on a tennis scholarship. In scholarship her first year as a Wildcat, pageants in their she and her doubles partner, home states. Erin Walker, were named Murray, an RN All-Southland Conference. who works as For Richardson, the Miss clinical nursing Frontier Texas pageant supervisor for Epic offered her a chance to Health Services, interact with other oversees a staff of contestants in a fun-filled 60-plus pediatric atmosphere. "It's been such home health a blessing to meet all the nurses and 30 girls and make all these Murray family cases. close relationships," she said. “I knew very ACU’s student-run ad agency, Morris Frontier Texas title in a contest that had a little about the Miss America Organization & Mitchell, created the competition to distinctively frontier flair. until I met Miss Texas 2013, Ivana Hall, help promote Abilene's Frontier Texas Though the competitions were quite at Costco while grocery shopping, and she museum. Entrants were required to rope different, all three wear their titles proudly told me more about the organization and a calf, hit a target with a .50-caliber rifle, and appreciate the lessons they learned how I could use the scholarship winnings chop wood and cook a meal on an open along the way. towards my school loans,” Murray said. fire, among other challenges. “Not being familiar with pageants until She won the Miss Southlake title with a Murray said she has learned a lot about herself by competing. “Prior to competing The first time Robin Ricker (’14) walked across a Commencement I probably would not have stage in Moody Coliseum with her mother, she was yet to be born. asked myself what my In 1991, Abilene police officer Mike Ricker cheered as his wife, biggest fear is or how I Phyllis (Griffin ’91) – a clearly expectant mother – was presented could change things going her degree in elementary education from Abilene Christian University. Less than a week later, Robin, was born. on in the world,” she said. Twenty-three years later, Mike watched his wife and “Now that I have to answers daughter walk across the stage together once again at December these types of questions Commencement. This time it was Robin who was receiving the degree in interviews I have had to in elementary education, while her mother served as her escort. dig deeper within myself Both mother and daughter are now educators in Texas to find the answers.” public schools. Phyllis teaches second graders in Abilene’s Wylie 

platform of “Love Being Healthy: Prevention of Childhood Obesity.” Whitney Williams, a Wildcat tennis player from Anchorage, won the title of Miss Alaska Teen USA and represented her home state in the 2014 Miss Teen USA pageant last July in the Bahamas. Savannah Richardson, a nursing major from Graham, Texas, won the 2015 Miss

MORRIS & MITCHELL

MISS USA JUNIOR MISS

BLUDOOR STUDIOS

PAUL WHITE

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Graduation brings Wildcat legacy full circle

Elementary School District, and Robin teaches kindergarten at T.G. McCord Elementary School in Vernon, Texas. The Rickers share a family legacy that takes the phrase “born to be a Wildcat” to a whole new level.

Robin and Phyllis Ricker

Q UOTABLE 56

“Welcome to ACU. Where even our bathroom graffiti references C.S. Lewis. #acudifference” – A TWEET FROM AN ACU STUDENT Featured among others in “hashtag ACU” in the Nov. 10, 2014, issue of The Optimist student newspaper.

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Learn how ACU students helped create Miss Frontier Texas: acu.edu/acutoday/missfrontier

“There’s no difference between color of skin, level of education, economic status, whether your eyes are blue or brown or black, whether your hair is red or green or purple. You have the image of God within you. And God’s value and God’s image sustains the value of every human being.” – W. MARK LANIER, J.D. Acclaimed Houston trial lawyer and founder of the Christian Trial Lawyers Association, speaking Oct. 27, 2014, during a luncheon sponsored by ACU’s Center for Building Community.


One of the most beloved Disney characters of all time will take the stage Oct. 16-18 when ACU Theatre presents its 2015 Homecoming Musical, Mary Poppins. Make plans to join everyone’s favorite practically perfect nanny in the Broadway musical version of this tale, based on the books by P.L.Travers and the classic Walt Disney film. Tickets go on sale Aug. 3.



Texas Supreme Court justice and retired Walmart CEO among campus guests

PAUL WHITE

• Texarkana attorney and former ACU trustee Jennifer (Haltom ’86) Doan was the featured speaker at Opening Assembly on Aug. 25, 2014. • Dr. Jack Scott (’54), scholar-in-residence at Claremont Graduate University, spoke Sept. 22, 2014, to the Jack Pope Fellows. Duke Jeremy Haile (’97), federal advocacy counsel for The Sentencing Project in Washington D.C., spoke to Pope Fellows on Sept. 23. • Legendary evangelist and broadcaster Juan Antonio Monroy was honored Sept. 23, 2014, during Summit by ACU’s Halbert Institute for Missions. Monroy, of Madrid, Spain, is in his 50th year of preaching for the Herald of Truth ministry. • Dr. Don Finto (’50), former senior pastor of the Belmont Church in Nashville, Tenn., and founder and director emeritus of Caleb Company, presented in Chapel on Oct. 13, 2014. • Dr. Sharon Watkins, general minister and president of the Christian Church in the U.S. and Canada, spoke Oct. 29, 2014, in a presentation sponsored by ACU’s Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality. • Other fall semester Chapel speakers included David McQueen (’88), lead pastor of Beltway Park Church, Abilene; Jonathan Storment (’12 M.A.), preaching minister of Highland Church of Christ, Abilene; Chris Seidman (’92), senior minister of The Branch church,

ACU BY THE NUMBERS

10,283 Number of 35mm slides

in Dr. Everett Ferguson’s photo collection – representing a lifetime of travel and research of Holy Land sites and exhibits – donated by him to the Milliken Special Collections of Brown Library. Ferguson (’53) is professor emeritus of church history.

PAUL WHITE

Dallas; Mitch Wilburn (’90), preaching minister of Park Plaza Church of Christ, Tulsa, Okla.; Abby (Pope ’89) Pimentel, blogger-painter, Abilene; and Rhesa (Finley ’99) Higgins, founding director, Eleven:28 ministry, Highland Oaks Church of Christ, Dallas. • Texas Supreme Court Doan justice Jeffrey S. Boyd, J.D. (’83) was the guest speaker Nov. 4, 2014, when 115 ACU students were inducted into the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. • The College of Business Administration’s Distinguished Speaker Series luncheon on Oct. 14, 2014, featured Mike Duke, retired president and CEO of Walmart. Others meeting with COBA students and faculty last fall included Jay Sudderth, Demika Redic and Stephen Clayton from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Brad Beakley (’89), senior vice president of commercial operations for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group; Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Bi-Lo/Winn Dixie; and Chris Roy, vice president of government and university relations for AT&T. • More than 100 local social work professionals, students and social service agency leaders participated in the School of Social Work’s 2014 Fall Convocation, featuring West Chester University of Pennsylvania professor emerita Mildred “Mit” Joyner. She delivered the first Bill Culp Endowed Lecture, titled “The Lifespan of Social Work’s Human Growth and Development.” The lecture series is named in honor of ACU professor emeritus William “Bill” Culp.

“Abilene Christian, Duke and Paul Quinn are to be commended for launching students on the path of servant leadership that MLK [Martin Luther King Jr.] preached. In a world with so much work still to be done, it’s a blessing to see young people stepping up.” – THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS From a Jan. 19, 2015, editorial commending ACU, Duke University and Paul Quinn College for developing programs to help residents of South Dallas. Abilene Christian’s Justice and Urban Studies Team, based at ACU at CitySquare, is focused on fighting poverty. (See story on page 61.)

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potential bone marrow donors were added to the international registry on campus in April in response to the efforts of Dr. Everett Ferguson on the former Olympic gold Via Sacra at the medalist Earl Young Forum in Rome, (’62), who led circa 1960. a Delete Blood Cancer drive among students, faculty and staff. Young has overcome leukemia in recent years, thanks in part to a 2012 bone marrow transplant from a woman who lives in Germany. He met her for the first time May 13 in an awards ceremony at the Dallas Museum of Art. deletebloodcancer.org

89.5 The new FM frequency of

KACU-FM, which had been 89.7 since its founding in 1981as a National Public Radio affiliate. Sharing a tower transmitter with KGNZ-AM, its reach has nearly doubled. kacu.org

6 Number of women’s social clubs

now that Tri Kappa Gamma has been re-chartered again. TKG started on campus in March 1986 and was first re-chartered in 2005.

2 Number of ACU speech and debate

two-person parliamentary teams ranked in the top 50 nationally in 2014-15. Joyce Schuster, a senior, and sophomore Caleb Orr were ranked fourth among 700 teams in the U.S. Si Alford, a sophomore, and freshman Rachael Shudde were 44th.

“Like bluebonnets in the spring we’re only here for a little while. It's beautiful and bittersweet so make the most of every mile.” – AARON WATSON (’00) A lyric from “Bluebonnets,” a song on “The Underdog,” the newest – and the world’s best-selling – album by the country recording artist who was profiled in the Dec. 1, 2014, issue of Rolling Stone magazine as “one of Texas’ best-kept secrets.” The song was written in memory of his late daughter, Julia Grace, who died shortly after birth of Trisomy 18. Watson is married to Kim (Calkins ’01) Watson. AC U TO D AY



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A cad em i c NEWS

For the latest, visit acu.edu/news facebook.com/abilenechristian twitter.com/acuedu instagram.com/acuedu

named in honor of Olbricht, distinguished professor emeritus of religion at Pepperdine University who served ACU in several roles from 1970-85, including dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, chair of graduate Bible, professor of Bible, and founding director of the ACU Press. He also was editor of Restoration Quarterly. With Olbricht as director, ACU hosted the Christian Scholars’ Conference during its early years but now it rotates from one Christian university campus to another each June. 

Tavis Smiley

PAUL WHITE

See videos of presentations: youtube.com/acu

Smiley among presenters at Christian Scholars Conference

PAUL WHITE

Best-selling author and PBS late-night talk show host Tavis Smiley talked about the problem of poverty in his keynote address at the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars Conference, held June 3-5 on the ACU campus. The 35th annual conference attracted 400 faculty, staff, administrators and students from nearly 90 institutions of higher learning, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke, Baylor, Rice and Vanderbilt, as well as Abilene’s three church-related institutions. Other featured speakers included Dr. Randall Balmer of Dartmouth College, Dr. Robert Lewis Dr. Randall Wilken of St. Paul Center Balmer of Biblical Theology and the University of Virginia, Dr. Choon-Leong Seow of Princeton Seminary, Dr. Philip Jenkins of Baylor University and Dr. Christian Wiman of Yale Divinity School. The conference is

Nursing school receives accreditation, graduates first class of B.S.N. students ACU’s School of Nursing has gained national accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Launched in 2013, the school graduated its first class of 48 Bachelor of Science in Nursing students in May. Those students are now eligible to take the national licensing exam to become Registered Nurses. “The accrediting process included scrutiny to assure the program meets national standards and teaches the essential competencies determined for baccalaureate nurses,” said nursing school dean Dr. Becky Hammack of the important milestone. “It also provides students with enhanced opportunities to apply for graduate school and internships.” The CCNE is a national accrediting agency officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to ensure the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing. 

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Dr. Jason Morris (’96) has been named dean of the Honors College, replacing Dr. Stephen Johnson (’90), who now serves as vice president of academic affairs for ACU Dallas (see pages 37-39 for related story). Morris holds an M.A. degree from Abilene Christian, as well as a B.A. from Pepperdine University and an Ed.D. from Texas Tech University. He has served ACU in various roles, including interim dean of the Honors College, and director of the McNair Scholars Program and the Office of Major Scholarships, and has lectured and conducted research in Hungary as a two-time Fulbright grantee. Morris also has coauthored The Best Scholarships for the Best Students, a book designed to assist students in locating and applying for prestigious opportunities. “Dr. Morris is appreciated for his collegiality and professionalism and his ability to work with groups across campus,” Morris provost Dr. Robert Rhodes said in making the announcement. A new offering from the Honors College this summer was a weeklong residential camp for high-achieving high school students called the ACU Honors Academy. Thirty-one students worked in small groups with Honors faculty to explore their creativity in such areas as writing, filmmaking and engineering. They also examined common themes found in historical and contemporary literature, film, media and philosophical thought, looking at the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan and others.  For more: acu.edu/honors

For more: acu.edu/nursing

Student news Political science major Savannah Hostetter (’18) interned last summer at the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway and was named outstanding student by The Fund for American Studies’ Engalitcheff Institute. Hostetter was executive administrator for the ACU Students’ Association for 2014-15. With an essay titled “Ethics: A Challenge, A Necessity,” Kelsey Roberts (’14), a graduate student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, won the 2014 Student Ethics Essay Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Graduate School of Theology students Sarah Dannemiller (’16) and Laura Estes (’20) won first-place awards for papers they presented

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at the annual Stone-Campbell Journal Conference in April in Indianapolis, Ind. The ACU chapter of Society of Physics Students was granted a Future Faces of Physics Award to help fund a hands-on STEM camp for middle school female students. Project leader Megan Cromis (’17), an engineering major, also is the first ACU student to win a scholarship from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Programs. “Di- and Tetraosmium Carbonyl Complexes With Dicarboxylato Ligands Serving as Intramolecular Rings and Intermolecular Bridges,” a research paper by Nigel Gwini (’14), Audrey Fikes (’13), Soo Hun Yoon (’17) and mentor Dr. Greg Powell (’80), was published in the Journal of Organometallic Chemistry. “Covalently Bound Organomodified Clay Photoinitiators,” a research paper by Barret Davidson (’17), Sam Gee (’15), Grayson Hurst (’15), Joshua Rucker


UNDERGRADUATERESEARCH

Award takes CitySquare students on adventure to India Startup Week spotlights successful business leaders

For more: acu.edu/griggscenter

(’12), Jonathan Shouse (’14), Joshua Smith (’15) and mentor Dr. Brian Cavitt (’98), was accepted for publication in Journal of Applied Polymer Science. Faculty news Graduate School of Theology professor Dr. Mark Hamilton (’89 M.A.) taught a workshop “God is King: The Early History of One of the World’s Biggest Ideas” in Jerusalem. He spent Fall 2014 in Israel as the Seymour Gitin Distinguished Professor at the W.F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research. Geoff Broderick (’82), associate professor of art and design, was among 15 American artists invited to participate in a cross-cultural exhibit in March at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. “I Skim and Find the Answers,”an article by Dr. Andrew Huddleston (’00), assistant professor of teacher education, and his research assistant,

countries,” said Dr. Michael Harbour, director of operations and finance at ACU at CitySquare, who also made the trip. “None of the other projects were so bold: daring to address real drug dealers in their neighborhoods. People from around the world were eager to

DR. MICHAEL HARBOUR

ACU’s second annual Startup Week, sponsored by the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy, drew participants to Nov. 18-19, 2014, events such as an entrepreneur networking dinner and breakfast, Crowdfunding Workshop, CEO Chapel, and the annual Springboard Elevator Pitch final. Special guests included Darbie Angell (’03), CEO and designer, Cru Dinnerware, Georgetown; April (Bullock ’89) Anthony, CEO of Encompass Home Health and Homecare Homebase, Dallas; Jerry Browder, founder and president of Signet Health Corporation in Denton; Jarrod Brown (’00), co-founder of Mission Lazarus, Choluteca, Honduras; Mike Calvert (’67), owner of Mike Calvert Toyota, Houston; Scott Click (’86), Tomlinson’s Pets, Austin; Chris Coggin (’07), vice president of Thelese Management, Austin; J. Mark Duncum (’83), president and owner of Double Creek Capital Ltd., Decatur; Kelly Foster, founder and CEO of EST Group LLC, Arlington; Dr. Charles Ivey (’65), president, West Texas Science Center; Larry James, CEO of CitySquare, Dallas; and Elise (Smith ’83) Mitchell, founder and CEO of Mitchell Communications Group and CEO of Dentsu Public Relations Network. The Griggs Center in ACU’s College of Business Administration is named for former COBA dean Dr. Jack Griggs (’64). It equips students to imagine and launch new ventures through classroom instruction, mentoring opportunities and hands-on experience. 

It’s a long way from Dallas to India by any measure: mileage, culture, language, cuisine. But last fall, a group of ACU students and three fifth-grade students from Charles Rice Learning Center in Dallas bridged that gap when they traveled to Ahmedabad, India, for the 2014 international Design For Change celebration. Students in ACU’s Justice and Urban Studies (JUST) program devote their sophomore year to living and studying at CitySquare, a nonprofit organization that aims to fight the causes of poverty in Dallas by offering food, medicine, housing and counseling to those in need. During the 2013-14 school year, they worked with more than 200 students from four elementary schools in south Dallas to develop Design for Change (DFC) projects. Thirteen groups of students submitted their ideas to the DFC USA competition, which inspires young people to come up with innovative solutions to problems in their communities. A 26-student team from Charles Rice won the contest with their project on “trap houses” – places in their neighborhoods where drug-dealing transactions occur. The students worked with local law enforcement officers and city officials to find ways to shut down the trap houses. ACU students Bethany Richardson, Molly Clemans, Alan Songer and Nicole Ramos traveled to India with three students from the winning Charles Rice team. There, the fifthgraders gave a presentation explaining their idea and received their award. “Our Dallas students were held in awe by the students from other

Songer, Ramos, Clemans and Richardson

meet these courageous elementary school students.” After returning to Texas, the ACU students who worked on the DFC projects gave presentations at ACU Summit. They also presented their research at the university’s annual Undergraduate Research Festival. Courtney Tee, the lead student researcher, has worked with Harbour and Dr. Jon Camp, associate professor of communication, to report on the project’s effectiveness in south Dallas. “This was a powerful experience,” Harbour says of the DFC trip and projects. “Our ACU students who are leading Design for Change are seen as a ticket to opportunity.” Through working with the ACU students, Harbour says, the students from Charles Rice have seen “an opportunity to change their neighborhood, and an opportunity to be the change” where they live.  For more: acu.edu/citysquare

Tara Lowe (’14), has been published in peer-reviewed journal The Reading Teacher. “Implementing a Search for Aligned-Spin Neutron Star-Black Hole Systems with Advanced Ground-Based Gravitational Wave Detectors,” a research paper by Andrew Miller (’14) and mentor Dr. Josh Willis (’97), was accepted for publication by Physical Review. Willis is associate professor of engineering and physics, and Miller is now a graduate student at Michigan State University. Trevor Thompson, instructor of New Testament, co-authored with Dr. Clare K. Rothschild Galen’s De Indolentia: Essays on a Newly Discovered Letter, an updated translation of correspondence from Galen, a Greek physician and ancient writer. Their work, first published in 2009, received acclaim from scholars around the world. Rothschild is associate professor of theology at Lewis University. De Indolentia is translated On the Avoidance of Distress. AC U TO D AY



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C a m p u s NEWS

For the latest, visit acu.edu/news facebook.com/abilenechristian twitter.com/acuedu instagram.com/acuedu

#ACUdifference From some of ACU’s f riends on social media

Suzanne Balfour Gwin • May 1 College T-shirt day for seniors at Nashville’s Lipscomb Academy. ACU gains another Gwin. 4-for- 4 with one more to go. PAUL WHITE

Jordan n Frank • Jan. 26

Honorary doctorates awarded to philanthropy-minded Harbers; Brantly to receive another

Our art teacher just cooked an amazing meal for those not able to go home # ACUdifference

Hannah Hecker Jan. 16 How many hammocks can you fit on 3 trees? # ACUdifference

Melinda Haws O’Quinn • June 7 Can’t wait for my first granddaughter to attend ACU in 2018. Her great-grandfather was ACU president James F. Cox. Her maternal great-great-grandfather was M.M. Haws who ser ved on the board for many years. Both parents graduated from ACU. We have a long histor y!

ACU Volleyball • Oct. 3 Devo on the river today in beautiful Louisiana! So thankful to bond with each other through Him. # acudifference

Lacy and Dorothy Harber

Lacy (’61) and Dorothy Harber of Denison, Texas, received Doctor of Humane Letters degrees on May 26, in recognition of the leadership they have demonstrated through lives of selfless service to others. “Lacy and Dorothy Harber exemplify and embody the qualities of individuals worthy of our university’s highest distinction,” said ACU president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91), who along with provost Dr. Robert Rhodes presented the Harbers with one of the university’s highest accolades. Recipients of the Harbers’ generosity have included Texoma Medical Center, Wilson N. Jones Medical Center, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, and ACU, where an estate gift from the couple will benefit the College of Biblical Studies. The couple received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2014, joining six

Hanner, Mitchell and Owen added to Board of Trustees Three new trustees have been added to the ACU governing board: Jana (Gilpatrick ’81) Hanner of Baird; Elise (Smith ’83) Mitchell of Nashville, Tenn.; and Randy Owen (’81) of Castle Rock, Colo. Hanner is comptroller at Hanner Chevrolet GMC Inc. in Baird, about 20 miles east of Abilene. She has served on the University Council, President’s Venture Council, Lettermen’s Club and as president of the ACU Parents Association. She also has served on a number of community boards, including Abilene Christian Schools, American Heart Association, and Christian Homes and Family Services, including a term as chair. Mitchell is founder and CEO of Mitchell Communications Group and CEO of the international Dentsu Inc. public relations network. She was named the 2013

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former U.S. presidents and Nobel Prize laureates among previous winners. Kent Brantly, M.D. (’03), director of medical missions for Samaritan’s Purse and one of the Ebola fighters recently named Time magazine Person of the Year, will receive an honorary doctorate on Aug. 24 when he also is the featured speaker at Opening Assembly on the first day of the 2015-16 school year. Brantly, who contracted Ebola last summer while working as a medical missionary in Liberia, has become a spokesperson for the global fight against the deadly disease. He and his wife, Amber (Carroll ’06), reside in Fort Worth. More than 80 leaders in business, education, science, ministry and public service have been presented honorary doctorates from ACU since 1938. 

Scholarship campaign grows ACU’s Partnering in the Journey campaign continues marching toward its goal of $50 million in gifts toward endowed student scholarships. As of May 8, donors to the effort had contributed nearly $29 million, and begun 93 new endowments and added to 63 existing ones. For a list of the most recently created endowments, see page 65. To give to the campaign, visit acu.edu/giveonline or email jim.orr@acu.edu for more information. 

Agency PR Professional of the Year by PR Week. Her Mitchell Communications Group has won numerous awards including 2011 PR Week Small Agency of the Year and 2012 Holmes Report Small Agency of the Year. Mitchell received a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from ACU and a master’s degree in public relations from the University of Memphis. She was honored as ACU’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for 2015. Owen is COO/CFO of Envision Healthcare, a publicly traded national healthcare company based in the Denver, Colo., area. Envision owns the largest national ambulance service, American Medical Response, and one of the nation’s largest physician staffing businesses, EmCare. Owen grew up in Abilene and graduated from ACU with a B.B.A. in accounting. He has worked in the healthcare industry with a number of companies since the mid-1980s.


INNOVATIVEACU Adams, a TV analyst in Austin for ESPN and The Longhorn Network, spoke at TEDxACU about “The Real Importance of Sports.”

Theme speakers announced for 110th annual Summit

First-ever TEDxACU brings speakers from across nation GARY RHODES

For more and to register: acu.edu/summit

Rogers played the drums while narrating a multimedia show. GARY RHODES

Seven theme speakers have been selected for ACU’s 2015 Summit, which will take place Sept. 20-23. This year’s theme, “Same Mind: United in Imitating Jesus,” focuses on the book of Philippians, written by the apostle Paul from a Roman prison to a small church also confronted with the power of Rome. Speakers will include two faces familiar on the ACU campus, Dr. Brady Bryce (’95), director of contextual education in the College of Biblical Studies and former Summit director, with the topic “Love Overflowing with Knowledge”; and Dr. Richard Beck (’90), chair of the Department of Psychology, speaking on “Imprisoned for Christ.” Other speakers will be Chris Smith (’08 D.Min.), preaching minister, Harpeth Hills Church of Christ, Brentwood, Tenn., “Practicing the Mind of Christ”; Amy Bost Henegar, family life and spiritual formation minister, Manhattan Church of Christ, New York City, “Living Worthy of the Gospel”; Dr. Raymond Carr, professor of religion, Pepperdine University, “Lost in Knowledge of Christ”; Phil Brookman, pulpit minister, Memorial Road Church of Christ, Edmond, Okla., “Same Mind, Same God”; and Mike Cope, senior minister, Golf Course Road Church of Christ, Midland, Texas, “In Everything Pray.” More than 130 class sessions will address topics and issues related to culture, ministry, missions, worship, spiritual formation and congregational leadership. A variety of exhibits and entertainment options will also be offered throughout the four-day event. 

Abilene Christian University hosted its first-ever TEDxACU conference on April 17 in Cullen Auditorium, building on the “ideas worth spreading” concept that has made TED events wildly popular around the world since 1984. More recently, TED Talks on video have reached millions of viewers online, and TEDx events have combined the basic format of TED conferences with local organizations and speakers on nearly every continent. “I’ve been exploring TED Talks with my students for years,” said Dr. Lauren

(Smith ’05) Lemley, assistant professor of communication and director of TEDxACU. It made sense to Lemley to explore discussions about an event to call Abilene its home. Last year, Lemley broached the idea with Dr. Gregory Straughn (’94), dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. With support from Straughn and other colleagues, Lemley traveled to a TED conference in Canada to network with other event organizers and learn about the organization’s brand. Planned around a theme of “(re)think,” ACU’s event invited attendees to imagine familiar topics in new ways. Speakers addressed such subjects as a life-altering stroke; the benefits of an interdisciplinary career; the wealth to be found in poor communities; and the

University Marketing wins seven regional CASE awards ACU’s Office of University Marketing won seven regional awards, including three first place honors in April from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Three awards were related to ACU Today magazine, including two for page design of “For the Least of These,” a feature story in our Spring-Summer 2014 issue about alumni caring for orphans around the world. For the first time in its history, ACU Today was a finalist in the category for full-color special and general-interest magazines in recognition by CASE for writing and design of a year’s worth of issues. CASE represents higher-ed professionals in fundraising, alumni relations, marketing and communication. District IV includes universities in Texas, Oklahoma,

potential of energy made from soil. Among the presenters was Jeff Rogers (’02), an award-winning New York City graphic designer and illustrator whose credits include a time-lapse TV commercial for fast food giant McDonald’s. For TEDxACU, he showcased hand-lettering artistry with his flair for percussion as he shared a favorite piece of advice. “It was so great to be back,” he said afterward. “Of course, I played many concerts on that very stage with the Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and my own band when I was a student. I never thought I’d be back up there, playing drums of all things.” The speaker lineup included several familiar faces from around campus: professor of physics Dr. Rusty Towell (’90), assistant professor of social work Dr. Stephen Baldridge, ACU senior Victoria Sun (’15), and local artists Jack (’78) and Jill (Thompson ’78) Maxwell. Jack is professor of art and design at ACU. Other alumni presenters were Dr. John Siburt (’96), president and CEO of CitySquare in Dallas; Sean Adams (’93), Austin sportscaster; Nika Maples (’96), an author from Fort Worth; and Jeff Christian (’94), a Houston minister. “Our goal was to find speakers with a variety of experiences who represented as many different disciplines and occupations as possible,” Lemley said. The day included Q&A sessions, as well as student performances and networking opportunities. TEDxACU was open to the public, with reduced registration fees for ACU students, faculty, staff and alumni.  Watch all the TEDxACU videos: acu.edu/tedxacu

Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico. ACU has won 133 regional and five international CASE awards since 1983. ElderLink events set for churches in Texas, Virginia Several ElderLink conferences for church leaders have been scheduled this fall with the theme “Revitalizing Churches: Seeking God’s Preferred Future in a Troubled World”: Oct. 9-10 (Fairfax Church of Christ, Fairfax, Va.), Nov. 13-14 (Highland Oaks Church of Christ, Dallas), Jan. 23, 2016 (West Houston Church of Christ, Houston) and Feb. 27, 2016 (South Plains Church of Christ, Lubbock). ElderLink conferences are offered by the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry to provide elders, ministers, spouses and other ministry leaders an opportunity to improve their leadership skills while experiencing spiritual refreshment. For information or to register, visit acu.edu/elderlink. AC U TO D AY



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Wi l d c at SPORTS When Lee De Leon set out to become a collegiate director of athletics during his days as an undergrad at the University of Notre Dame, he probably never imagined that road would lead him to Abilene Christian University. Ten years later, with a successful track record as a high-energy administrator and a personal mission statement of making an impact for Jesus Christ through college athletics, he and ACU became a perfect fit. By the time the Houston native was introduced at a Nov. 13, 2014, press conference as the university’s eighth director of athletics, he already felt at home. “I had never been to Abilene until my interview,” he said. “But I strongly feel God led me to ACU, and for the first time in my life, I believe I’m doing exactly what He created me to do.” De Leon brings experience earned during a decade of collegiate athletics

instagram.com/acuedu

fundraising and marketing at four major Division I universities. He officially began work at ACU in early December, but even in the weeks between the announcement of his hiring and actual start date, he began plans for reshaping Wildcat athletics on its journey toward full D-I status in 2017. He hit the ground running, hiring four administrative staff members and – with the assistance of his staff and coaches – introducing a bold new mission and vision for the athletics program centering on the theme of Excellence for Christ. He tackled finishing plans to open new Elmer Gray Stadium for the track and field and soccer programs while continuing to raise funds for a new on-campus football stadium. He revamped fundraising efforts and created a new emphasis on sports marketing, developed a new strategic plan, and finalized a vital reclassification document for the NCAA. He traveled around the nation meeting current and future donors, yet made time to meet one-on-one with all 85 members of his staff – from administrators to head coaches to interns – shaking enough

PAUL WHITE

De Leon warmed up for a ceremonial first pitch at Globe Life Ballpark in Arlington with his oldest son, Landon.

JEREMY ENLOW

De Leon brings passion to his whirlwind first year on the job

For the latest, visit acusports.com facebook.com/acusports twitter.com/acusports

Five added to special track and field class of ACU Sports Hall of Fame On April 9, the eve of the official opening of the new Elmer Gray Stadium, the ACU Sports Hall of Fame inducted a special class of former track and field standouts: Waymond Griggs (’58), Dennis Richardson (’63), Ann (Foster ’87) Faulknor, Ian Morris (’91) and Brian Amos (’94). Griggs was a member of Wildcat relay teams that set three world records and won 16 titles at the Texas, Drake, Penn, West Coast, Coliseum and California relays from 1955-58. He was frequently the opening runner on 440-yard and 880-yard relay teams that posted a 36-4 record during his four years of competition for ACU. Richardson shares the ACU record (9.3 seconds) for the 100-yard dash with Bobby Morrow (’58) and Bill Woodhouse (’59). He ran on one of the Wildcats’ world-record-setting 880-yard relay teams in 1961 and upset world-record-holder

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hands to make the casual observer think he was running for public office. He’s only the second Wildcat director of athletics since 1969 who did not attend Abilene Christian, so he’s focused on meeting and greeting people of influence in the alumni and local community while introducing himself and his family – his wife, Lacey, and sons, Landon and Luke – and quickly fitting into the fabric of ACU. “As soon as I set foot on campus, I knew this was a special place,” De Leon said. “As a Christian university in my home state that recently joined the NCAA Division I ranks, it’s the perfect fit – spiritually, academically and athletically – for my family and me.” De Leon brings great enthusiasm to introducing new traditions and re-energizing others. “Go Wildcats!” is fast becoming a common greeting across campus and many people wear Wildcat lapel pins each day. And Purple Fridays – when students, faculty and staff dress in ACU colors – are enjoying a new-found, year-round resurgence. In February, he began sending a monthly email newsletter (the “De Leon Point”) to subscribers with updates on news from inside ACU athletics, and on June 4, he threw the ceremonial first pitch at Globe Life Ballpark in Arlington during the university’s annual ACU at the Ballpark Night festivities. “It’s been an honor to meet our alumni, lettermen, donors and fans,” De Leon said. “I’ve been so impressed by their commitment to ACU, as well as their passion for Wildcat athletics.” Meeting with each member of his staff also made a distinct impression on him. “Every discussion was insightful and often inspirational,” he said. “We have a tremendous team of people who love Jesus, care about ACU and are committed to serving the 330 student-athletes on our 16 Wildcat teams.”

Aldolph Plummer and teammate Earl Young (’62) in the 200-yard dash at a meet in Albuquerque, N.M., in 1962. Faulknor won the women’s triple jump in 1984, the first time it was contested at the NCAA Division II outdoor national championships, and then each of the next three years. She finished in the Top 10 three times at the Division I nationals. Morris, a quartermiler from Trinidad and Tobago, won six Division II national titles and was an Olympic finalist in 1988 and 1992. In Barcelona in 1992, he missed winning a bronze medal in the 400 meters by 1/100th of a second. Amos twice qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials, was a three-time NCAA Division II national champion in the 110-meter high hurdles, and male Athlete of the Year in Division II track and field in 1994, the same year he was the top-ranked collegiate hurdler in the U.S.


Maria Gomez

Gomez’ experience includes Colombian national team tryout

MICHAEL WADE

18 of 19 matches with two starts, and in what only could be described as a stroke of luck, scored the first goal of her collegiate career with her parents in the crowd at Shotwell Stadium. The Wildcats won the match 3-0 over Nicholls State University, with Gomez' strike serving as the final goal in the 82nd minute. Her parents’ visit from Naples, Fla., was a surprise, much like the phone call she received in March inviting her to train with 24 other players over three weeks in the Colombian capital of Bogota. “My decision had to be quick,” said Gomez. “They first post the list on a website and then you’ll either get a call or an email. I kept thinking about my classes because the camp schedule always was changing, so I’m thankful Spring Break fell in the middle of the three weeks. When I talked to my professors [about going] they all were very encouraging and asked what they could do to help.” Despite an occasional struggle with Bogata’s altitude – 8,660 feet above sea level – Gomez and the other major pool candidates for the World Cup team were required to practice twice a day, six days a week for two-and-a-half hours at a time. They also played exhibitions with the Venezuelan national team and weekly matches against local clubs. A few days after returning to Abilene, Gomez was feeling proud for having the opportunity but knew she was competing against five other far more experienced players. She had few clues as to whether she’d be invited back and learned March 31 that she didn’t make the cut. “Midfielder is one of the hardest positions to play on the team,” said Gomez, who spends most of her time as a Wildcat as the holding midfielder but was assigned a defensive midfielder position in Bogata.

Gabriel headlines former Wildcats in NFL, CFL Speedy undrafted wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (’14) proved a valuable addition to the NFL’s Cleveland Browns during his rookie season in 2014, playing in all 16 games, catching 36 passes for 621 yards and one touchdown, and averaging 17.3 yards per catch. He and running backs Charcandrick West (’14) of the Kansas City Chiefs and Daryl Richardson (’14) of the New York Jets, and wide receiver Clyde Gates (’10) of the Tennessee Titans, are preparing for their teams’ upcoming seasons, while Danieal Manning (’07) and Bernard Scott (’08) have announced their retirement from the NFL. ACU career sack leader and

JEREMY ENLOW

Even as one of the most accomplished squads in South America, the Colombia women’s national soccer team and its second-year head coach Felipe Taborda are always looking for additional help. And one of the players he summoned to Bogota for a tryout camp just before Abilene Christian University students left for Spring Break was sophomore midfielder Maria Gomez. Born in Cali, Colombia, Gomez grew up around soccer as her father, Julio, and uncle, Diego, were both professional goalkeepers for several professional Colombian teams. Her immediate family – which includes dad, mom (Luz) and brother (Julio) – left Colombia when Gomez was 4 years old, but her extended family remained. Thanks to the connections her father maintained with the Colombian Football Federation, Gomez started receiving tryout invitations in her homeland as recently as 2013. Gomez’ first camp experience with Colombia took place in the winter (its summer) of 2013-14, not long after she enrolled at ACU, for a spot on the nation’s U-20 team preparing for the El Campeonato Sudamericano in Uruguay. She again went back during the summer of 2014 to train with Taborda’s club team as it prepared for a continent-wide tournament. Taborda would eventually be handed the senior national team job later that summer and by year’s end had Las Cafeteras – “The Coffee Growers” as Colombia’s squad is affectionately known – back in the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. Meanwhile, as summer rolled into autumn here in the states, Gomez was helping the Wildcats record their second consecutive winning season in the Southland Conference. Gomez played in

However, she felt comfortable distributing the ball to teammates, making tackles and winning one-on-one situations in the new role. She was disappointed but knows there will be plenty more occasions for the 20-year-old to earn a spot on one of her homeland’s rosters in the near future. “It just means I won’t be going to the World Cup but I have very high hopes for the 2019 one in France and the 2016 Summer Olympics,” said Gomez. “There always will be opportunities for me to continue training with Colombia for this year and hopefully many years to come. I have faith I will make it. I’m young and believe every future opportunity brings another chance, and time to get better and gain the necessary experience.”

– CHRIS MACALUSO

defensive end Nick Richardson (’14) has been working out this summer as a free agent with the Detroit Lions. Two former Wildcats are playing for the same Canadian Football League team in 2015: quarterback Mitchell Gale (’12) and defensive lineman Aston Whiteside (’12) are returning members of the Toronto Argonauts. Hedrick and Eager win Paul Goad awards for 2014-15 Senior first baseman Tyler Eager and freshman shortstop Peyton Hedrick won the Paul Goad Award as ACU’s top student-athletes for 2014-15. Goad (’56) was a three-sport star for the Wildcats in the mid-1950s and the honor bearing his name has been awarded since his death in November 1978. Eager was one of the top defensive players in Southland Conference baseball and started in 166 straight games in his career. Hedrick led her ACU softball team in most offensive and defensive stats and was named first team all-conference as a shortstop. AC U TO D AY



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Spor t s ROUNDUP For the latest, visit acusports.com

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Fo ot ball • ACU finished 6-6 overall and 4-4 in the Southland Conference in its first season back in the league since 1972. • Two seniors were named first team all-conference: defensive end Nick Richardson and tight end Noah Cheshier. Richardson finished his career with 32.5 sacks, second on ACU’s all-time list behind Reuben Mason (‘80). • The Wildcats earned their first win over an NCAA Division I FBS program since 1959 on Sept. 13 with a 38-35 road win at Troy (Ala.) University that was televised on ESPN3. Half of ACU’s games were broadcast regionally or nationally on ESPN or Fox sports channels.

JEREMY ENLOW

Vo lleyball • Junior outside hitter Jennifer Loerch was selected honorable mention all-Southland Conference. She led the Wildcats’ offense throughout 2014 and finished the year ranked fifth in the Southland with a career-season best 3.71 kills per match. • Senior Neely Borger became the first ACU volleyball player to be named CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District since the university transitioned to Division I. She also was voted to the conference’s All-Academic first team.

Diana Garcia Munoz

Tyler Eager

C ross Cou nt r y • Sophomore Diana Garcia-Munoz placed fifth at the Southland Conference championships with a time of 20:59.2 to earn all-conference honors. She also was selected by the conference as its Student-Athlete of the Year and was twice named Runner of the Week after winning the West Texas Open and Incarnate Word Invitational. • Senior Daniel Block paced the men’s team and was named CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District first team. • The ACU women placed fifth in the Southland – a two-spot improvement over last year – while the men finished ninth.

Peyton Hedrick

JEREMY ENLOW

Men ’s Basket ball • The Wildcats (10-21 overall) played another challenging schedule. While they won one less game than the previous year, their overall season was actually a better one. In 2013-14, the Wildcats won just two games against NCAA Division I opponents (both in Southland Conference play) but in 2014-15, the Wildcats won seven games against NCAA Division I foes and four conference games. • ACU knocked off Big West regular season champion Sacramento State University at home and went on the road to beat Northwestern State University. The Wildcats also won the Las Vegas Continental Tire Classic with victories over South Carolina State University and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

JEREMY ENLOW

Soccer • The Wildcats recorded their second-consecutive winning season in the Southland Conference, finishing fifth among 12 teams at 5-4-2. • Southland honorable mention citations went to sophomore Alyssa Gerner, freshman Baylee Mitchell, sophomore Leslie Snider and senior Tiffany Ysassi. Mitchell tied for seventh in the conference with seven goals and tied for second with four game-winning goals. • Sophomore defender Kelsie Roberts was voted first team All-Academic by the Southland and second team All-District by Capital One/CoSIDA.

Women’s Basket b a l l • Head coach Julie Goodenough’s team won at least 17 games for the third straight season, finishing 17-12 overall and 9-9 in the Southland Conference. • The Wildcats won both games of the Plaza Lights Classic in Kansas City at Thanksgiving, knocking off George Mason University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. • ACU rallied from a 1-5 start in conference play to win eight of its last 12 games and reach the .500 mark in conference. Sophomores Suzzy Dimba and Sydney Shelstead were each voted third team all-conference, while Dimba made the league’s all-defensive team for the second straight season.

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S o f tb a l l • Freshman shortstop Peyton Hedrick produced one of the best all-around rookie seasons in Wildcat softball history, culminating in being named first team all-conference and second team All-National Fastpitch Coaches Association South Region. She also was a top-25 finalist for NFCA Freshman of the Year. • Southland head coaches recognized sophomore Taylor Brown and freshmen Alyson Bishoff and Holly Neese as all-conference. Brown and Bishoff were named to the second team while Neese received honorable mention. Baseball • The Wildcats capped their 2015 season with a pair of impressive victories: a 2-1 win over the University of Arizona and a 7-4 win over the University of Hawaii, both in Tucson, Ariz. The Wildcats took on some of the best teams in college baseball and played them well. ACU lost two one-run games to nationally ranked Texas Tech University (6-5 in 16 innings and 7-6 in Abilene on April 14), and also lost one-run games to then-No. 3 TCU (4-3 in front of a large crowd in Abilene on April 6) and then-No. 1 Texas A&M University (3-2 in College Station on April 15). ACU also played well in a 4-1 loss at then-No. 12 Arizona State University. • The Wildcats finished 13-17 in Southland play, more than doubling their win total from 2014 when they won just six league games. Senior first baseman Tyler Eager led the team all season, finishing with a .304 batting average to go along with 36 RBI and a solid glove in the field. Golf • The Wildcats were fifth at the Southland Conference championship meet under first-year head coach Tom Shaw with freshman Clarke Hudgins finishing 11th in the individual medalist race. Senior Corbin Renner paced the team all season, winning one tournament and earning second team all-conference honors. • The biggest headline of the season was an announcement that the Byron Nelson Foundation had made a $300,000 gift to Wildcat golf, a gift to be spread over the next five years that will help put the ACU program’s operating budget at the top of the Southland. Te n n i s • The Wildcats placed five individuals on all-Southland Conference teams: sophomore Nico Agritelley, junior Kaysie Hermsdorf, senior Brittney Reed, sophomore Erin Walker and freshman Whitney Williams. • Agritelley was named first team all-conference in singles for winning a team-high 22 matches, five of which were against league opponents. Hermsdorf and Reed were named first team all-conference in doubles with a 20-3 overall record. Walker and Williams were voted to the doubles second team. • Walker won the Ojai Valley Tournament singles and doubles championships. She defeated Reed in the singles championship, and teamed with freshman Lucile Pothier to beat Reed and Hermsdorf for the doubles crown. Tra ck a n d F i e l d • Ten Wildcats earned all-Southland Conference honors for the outdoor track and field season, led by junior Johnathan Farquharson and sophomore Alexandria Hackett. Farquharson won the league’s 200-meter dash title and Hackett took first in the 5,000-meter run at the championship meet at Southeastern Louisiana University. • In February’s indoor championships, senior Daniel Block (800 meters) and junior Rosen Daniel (200 meters) won the first individual Southland titles for ACU men’s track and field since 1971. • Freshman Kimone Green scored 28 points through four events (200 meters, 400 meters, 60-meter hurdles, 4x400-meter relay) at the Southland’s indoor championships. 


YOUR GIFTS AT WORK Gifts of real estate energized ACU’s growth In many ways, Abilene Christian University is built on the land of others. Although big checks often dominate the headlines, gifts of land for 108 years have enabled ACU first to survive, then to thrive. None better illustrates that than L.P. and Ruth Bennett’s 1929 gift. As Abilene Christian College prepared to move to its new campus northeast of town in 1929, the gathering Depression left it short of funds, and work halted on the new gymnasium. The Bennetts offered a trade to fund completion of the facility: 1,600 acres of their Yoakum County ranch more than 200 miles away in exchange for free tuition for their children and grandchildren. The land was valued at Bennett Gymnasium is named for $15,000 – worth about $200,000 L.P. and Ruth Bennett and their family. in today’s money. But in 1935, wildcatters struck oil, and by 1949 ACC’s portion of the property was valued at $100,000. It also provided more than $8,000 in oil revenue that year. Less than 10 years later, the land’s value had been set above $1 million, and it was earning more than $100,000 annually ($8.7 million and $800,000, respectively, in today’s money). From 1949-67, the Bennett land pumped more than $1 million into the college’s endowment – adjusted for inflation, the total comes to more than $9 million. It has continued providing revenue in the 50 years since, including $1.4 million since 2001 (specific records on the Yoakum County property do not appear to exist from 1968-2000). The Bennetts’ $15,000 in land has easily provided at least $20 million in the 86 years since. Other gifts of land have proven just as significant – such as those made by William Edwards (1955), the Gardner family (1960) and F.O. Masten (1980). But it was the Depression-era gift by the Bennetts 86 years ago that set the precedent. Their $15,000 donation doubtless will continue to make an impact on the lives of ACU students 86 years from now – and for generations beyond that.

LA ND BY TH E N UMBERS

Significant gifts of real estate through ACU’s first 50 years, their value at the time of the gift and their inflation-adjusted value:

1928 1929 1948 1952 1954 1955 1956 1956 1956

J.N. and Zona Luce (640 acres) $25,600 ($350,000)

L.P. and Ruth Bennett (1,600 acres) $15,000 ($200,000)

Mary A. Callaway (783 acres) $77,000 ($747,000)

G.W. and Ona Mae Williams (389 acres) $193,500 ($1.7 MILLION)

Sam Hardwick estate (640 acres) $125,000 ($1.1 MILLION)

William Edwards estate (41,839 acres) $1.1 MILLION ($9.6 MILLION)

John W. Catchings (3,040 acres) $121,600 ($1.04 MILLION)

Kenneth Bozeman (27 acres) $80,000 ($690,000)

S.J. Bozeman (252 acres) $96,000 ($825,000)

Source: “History and Analysis of Donations to Abilene Christian College: October 1948 Through May 1960,” M.S. thesis by Viola Mae Robbins, 1960.

Recent scholarship endowments created • Robert Dale and Bonnie Nell Bradshaw Endowed Scholarship • Jack and Glenda Fry Scholarship Endowment • J.D. Givens Scholarship Endowment • John and Elizabeth Green Endowed Scholarship • Larry and Barbara Harding Endowed Scholarship • Hollis Family Endowed Scholarship • Bill McMinn Partnering in the Journey Endowed Scholarship • Glenn and Marlene Owen Endowed Scholarship ACU board chair B Sherrod (left) and president Dr. Don H. Morris (’24) visit rancher William Edwards (center) at his 12-room rock ranch house about 50 miles southeast of Fort Stockton. “I gave the land to ACC because it looks to me as if they have a program which will produce good citizens,” Edwards said.

To create your own endowed scholarship or contribute to an existing one, see acu.edu/giveonline or call 800-588-1514. ACU TODAY



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EX PERIENCES

Submit your news online at blogs.acu.edu/acutoday/experiences or use the EXperiences card in each issue of the magazine.

Deadlines: ACU Today is published two times a year. Because of printing deadlines, your news could be delayed by one issue. Births and adoptions: Please indicate whether the addition to your family is a boy or girl. Marriages: Remember to indicate the date and place of your marriage. In Memoriam: A member of the deceased’s immediate family should submit this notification. Please include class year for all former ACU students in the family.

1953

Joe and Sally (Pannill ’54) Curby celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary Oct. 6, 2014. They have a new address. Sedona Place Senior Living, 6101 Old Denton Road, #111, Fort Worth, TX 76131. joe.jo1024@yahoo.com

1960

Dan Smith has lived in Nevada for 36 years. 1533 Gault Way, Sparks, NV 89431. dufrdan@gmail.com

1963

Russ Vail is a member of the Pegasus race walking athletics club, which has won 12 national Grand Prix championships. Russ has won a dozen individual state championships in his age group. He also has been published in Dust Bowl Days and Two Holers, collections of writing about life in Kansas in the 1930s to 1950s. 6100 Rosewood Parkway, White Lake, MI 48383. rov.vail@gmail.com

The Class of 1965 celebrated its Golden Anniversary Reunion on campus April 22-24, 2015.

1965

The Texas City ISD recently named its new education center at Blocker Middle School in honor of Richard Carter, who served the district for 44 years. 3407 Kingston Drive, Friendswood, TX 77546. carterdick@comcast.net

1966

Jean (Gardner) Broadfoot has retired from teaching special education. She has a new address. 700 W. Meade Blvd., #65, Franklin, TN 37064.

1972

Ralph Seegren has a new address. 7732 East 30th St., Tulsa, OK 74129. rseegren@yahoo.com

1975

Bill and Kathryn (Thompson) Flesher have moved back to Oklahoma after many years in Kentucky. Kathryn teaches high school special education students and Bill has retired from sports marketing and business consulting. They have two grown sons. 6213 E. 78th Place, Tulsa, OK 74136. flesherkathryn@gmail.com KRISTEN BARLOWE

Randy Brewer (’01), whose Revolution Pictures creative production studio in Nashville has generated some of the most popular music videos of the last 17 years, was one of three alumni to receive 2014 Gutenberg awards at Homecoming from ACU’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. Others were Steve Cantrell (‘81), director of client services and media specialist for the Balcom Agency in Fort Worth; and Cindy (Leeper ’89) Shields, director of human resources for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. in Nashville. Brewer’s work has won CMT and MTV music video awards and helped launch the careers of stars such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, and he is a frequent judge at ACU’s FilmFest. Gutenbergs recognize distinguished career achievement by JMC graduates. FROM LEFT: Cantrell, Shields, JMC professor and chair Dr. Cheryl M. Bacon (’76) and Brewer.

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Capt. Darrell J. Wesley (’88) has been named supervisory chaplain for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in Miramar, Calif. He oversees 34 Navy chaplains and chaplain assistants, and religious education and pastoral programs for more than 20,000 Marines and Navy personnel on air bases in California, Arizona and Nevada. He previously was senior chaplain for the USS Ronald Reagan in San Diego, Calif. Wesley has master’s degrees from ACU, the University of Tennessee, Yale University and the U.S. Naval War College, and doctorates from United Theological Seminary and Claremont Graduate University. He is an adjunct professor who teaches religion, philosophy, humanities and military studies at Vincennes University. Lydia Couch (’88) has been named national tax executive director in Ernst & Young’s national tax practice, with a focus on global compliance and reporting/global services. She first joined the company in 1998. Robert Pitman, J.D. (’85) was nominated by President Barack Obama and approved by the Senate to serve as U.S. District Judge of the Western Texas District. Pitman has been a U.S. Attorney and replaces W. Royal Ferguson Jr., who has retired. Alan See (’81), chief marketing officer for DocuStar, was No. 6 on Forbes’ 2014 list of the 50 Influential CMOs on Social Pitman Media. He also is listed as the most influential CMO on Twitter by Social Media Marketing Magazine and CEOWorld Magazine. Essie (Charles ’75) Childers, humanities professor at Blinn College, has been honored with the College Reading and Learning Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award for lifelong commitment to education. She was recently named 2014-15 president-elect of the Texas Community College Teachers Association, the largest organization of postsecondary educators in the state.

Dr. Marcus Nelson (’94) has been named Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards. The Laredo ISD chief executive was ACU’s 2009 recipient of the Grover C. Morlan Medal for outstanding teaching and leadership in education, and was the university’s Young Alumnus of the Year for 2013. Country music recording artist Aaron Watson (’00) and his new album, “The Underdog,” were featured in the Dec. 1, 2014, issue of

Rolling Stone magazine as “one of Texas’ best-kept secrets” and in Texas Monthly magazine as one of the “Texas Albums to Look Forward to in 2015.” Music fans agreed, making the album No. 1 in saleson the Billboard magazine country charts for the week of March 7. Watson was featured in a gospel concert in Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in February and made his career debut at the Grand Ole Opry on March 31. Less than four weeks later, Zane Williams (’99) also performed for the first time at the Opry. (See pages 2-3 and back cover). Mark K. Rich (’05) received the Maximo Mukelabai Award from the American Institute of CPAs, an honor given to a young CPA who has demonstrated successful practices, involvement and contributions for the interest of the accounting profession. He also was named one of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants’ 2014 Rising Stars, a program to recognize CPA members 40 years old and younger who have demonstrated innovative leadership qualities, and active involvement in TSCPA, the accounting profession and/or their communities. He is director of investments for the Kimbell Art Foundation in Fort Worth. ACU Sports Hall of Fame member and 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Earl Young (’62) was one of six inducted in January into the Texas Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame. Scott H. Jones (’87), executive producer of Extra, won a 2014 Daytime Emmy for the first-ever Outstanding Entertainment News Program. Extra tied for the top honor with Entertainment Tonight. The latest movie for Hollywood film designer Nelson Coates (’84) is Hot Pursuit, starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. His next assignment is The Secret in Their Eyes, a remake of a 2009 Academy Award-winning foreign language film that will star Julia Roberts, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Gwynneth Paltrow. Former ACU baseball letterman Joel Wells, M.D. (’06), was elected chief orthopedic surgery resident at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. After graduation he will serve a fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., in hip preservation and adult reconstruction. Donald Zink (’73) was named president of the International Association for Food Protection at the IAFP’s annual meeting in Indianapolis, Ind. Zink is senior science advisor for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Md. ACU trustee J. Mark Duncum (’83) was named 2014 Citizen of the Year by the Decatur (Texas) Chamber of Commerce. Duncum is owner and president of Double Creek Capital Ltd., and serves on the board of the Wise Regional Health System, Wise Area Relief Mission and Wise County Christian Counseling. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group appointed Brad Beakley (’89) senior vice president of commercial operations. The Carlson Rezidor portfolio includes more

than 1,350 hotels in 105 countries and territories. Encompass Home Health and Hospice, the company whose founding CEO is former ACU trustee April (Bullock ’89) Anthony, was named the No. 1 large company in the Dallas Business Journal’s 2014 “Best Places to Work” rankings. The 12th annual rankings highlight companies placing an emphasis on those that establish competitive employee compensation plans, embrace tolerance and flexibility, and support innovation and ideas. Evelyn (O’Neal ’00) Brush was named 2014 Writer’s Choice for Best Actress in the Best of Nashville special edition of Nashville Scene. Her latest role has been Annelle in Studio Tenn Theatre Company’s production of Steel Magnolias. Joining her on the cast was veteran Nashville actress Nan (Arnold ’75) Gurley as Ouiser. Jason Kennedy (’07) performed in 110 in the Shade at the Actors Co-op in Los Angeles, Calif. The show won Best Musical at the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards.

Brush

Longtime family law attorney Paul Rotenberry (’84) was elected judge of the 326th District Court in Abilene, replacing Aleta Hacker, who has retired. Randy Truxal (’81) was named executive vice president of the Grayson College Foundation. He previously was vice president and wealth strategist at Landmark Bank in Sherman and an associate administrator at Texoma Medical Center. Grayson is located in Denison, Texas. ACU graduate and Cuban-American artist Rolando Diaz (’79) unveiled his biggest canvas ever on a historic building along South First Street in Abilene. “I See the Ocean” is nearly 145 feet long and

STEVE BUTMAN

Dr. David Ramsey (’69) was named 2014 Reviewer of the Year by the International Journal of Management and Commerce. Ramsey has been book review editor of the publication for 24 years. He retired in 2011 after 30 years of teaching and research in the MBA program at Southeastern Louisiana State University.

LINDSEY COTTON

ACU NEWSMAKERS

Watson’s latest album, “The Underdog,” is the 12th of his country music career.

was inspired by Diaz’ childhood memories growing up in Miami, Fla., after immigrating from Cuba. The mural was dedicated May 26 and included a reception at the nearby Grace Museum. Dr. Jim McReynolds (’65) was appointed to the Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Board of Directors. Texas CASA provides training, technical assistance and funding to more than 7,600 professionally trained volunteers serving nearly 23,600 abused and neglected children. He owns Chapparel Energy Inc. and is program chair for the Burke Center, a healthcare facility in East Texas. He served in the Texas House of Representatives for 14 years. Dr. Brent Wallace (’03 M.A.) was named president of North Central Texas College. He had been NCTC’s vice president of instruction and chief academic officer.

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Brooks Christopher Lee, son of Christopher (’06) and Amanda Marie (Seffins ’07) Lee of San Antonio, Texas.

Hunter James Cadle (left) and his cousin, Carson Lee Cadle, were born three weeks apart. Hunter’s parents are Michael (’05) and Jama (Fry ’97) Cadle of Abilene, Texas. Carson’s are Jonathan (’03) and Amanda Cadle of Abilene, Texas.

Nora Kinsey Booker, daughter of Brandon (’04) and Amy (Verett ’04) Booker of Fort Worth, Texas.

Ruby Jean Mandel, daughter of Lane and Katie (Eichelberger ’08) Mandel of Carrollton, Texas.

Blake Kenneth Farr, son of Chris (’07) and Katie (DeAtley ’07) Farr of Frisco, Texas.

Myles Taylor, son of Matt and Kristy (Anderson ’06) Taylor of Abilene, Texas.

Jonas David Hewitt, son of Darby (’08) and Kayla (Anderson ’06) Hewitt of Abilene, Texas.

Bowen Thomas Sickles, son of Bryan (’05) and Julie (Swart ’08) Sickles of Amarillo, Texas.

Sydney Kay Miles, daughter of Casey (’03) and Tenille (McDonald ’03) Miles of Fort Worth, Texas.

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Stetson Grey Ussery, son of Joshua and Sarah Margaret (Gressett ’03) Ussery of Midlothian, Texas.

Blythe and Blaire Goodger, twin daughters of Bryan and Celena (Corbell ’05) Goodger of Edmond, Okla.

Swazey Grace Boone, daughter of Casey and Lyndi (Stuart ’08) Boone of Merkel, Texas.

Luke Adams, son of Drew and Ashlea (Allred ’08) Adams of Hurst, Texas.

Gideon Malachi Prysock, son of David (’06) and Stephanie (York ’06) Prysock of Fort Worth, Texas.

Grace Elizabeth Atwood, daughter of Taylor and Courtney (North ’06) Atwood of Bedford, Texas.

(FROM LEFT) Lucy Gerard, daughter of Kellen and Nicole (Calvert '07) Gerard of Manor, Texas; Jase Moorman, son of Matt and Shanda (Roland ’07) Moorman of Garland, Texas; Roslyn Crowell, daughter of Travis ('07) and Hilary (Vick ’07) Crowell of North Richland Hills, Texas; Logan Thompson, son of Joe and Miranda (Griffith ’07) Thompson of Forney, Texas; and Case Visalli, son of Sam and Courtney (Hobson ’06) Visalli of Allen, Texas.

AC U TO D AY


BORN TO BE A WILDCAT

ALUMNI CONNECTIONS

The Alumni Association will send a FREE Wildcat BabyWear T-shirt to the alumni parents of each newborn or adopted infant in your family!

LINDSEY COTTON

Complete the EXperiences news card and mail it to us, or complete the info online at blogs.acu.edu/acutoday/experiences. In-focus, high-resolution digital images (minimum file size of 500kb; use your camera’s highest quality setting) of alumni children wearing their Wildcat BabyWear should be emailed to babywear@acu.edu. Call 800-373-4220 for more information.

Lyle James Dalzell, son of Jonathan (’99) and Melissa (Fry ’01) Dalzell of Houston, Texas.

Zander Diuguid Luongo, son of Josh (’09) and Amber (Wiard ’06) Luongo of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Knox Erwin Shaw, son Levi Schofield, son of Justin of Andrew and Melody (’09) and Jana (Pittenger ’09) (Willingham ’05) Shaw Schofield of Dallas, Texas. of Cleburne, Texas.

Kai Henry Thompson, son of Chris (’05) and Jenny (Fullerton ’05) of San Antonio, Texas.

Garrett Levi Witte, son of Cameron (’04) and Heidi (Kopf ’07) Witte of Ogden, Kan.

David Akers, son of Kent Ella Fall, daughter of Chris (’09) and Heather (O’Brien (’05) and Danielle (Chase ’07) ’07) Akers of Abilene, Texas. Fall of San Antonio, Texas.

Jack Wilson Blessing, son of Cliff (’03) and Allison (Sevier ’05) Blessing of Dallas, Texas.

Caylee and Arya Gunter, twin daughters of Caleb (’08) and Ashley (Downhour ’06) Gunter of Tomball, Texas.

Everett Jack Walker, son of Jody (’09) and Kristee (Davidson ’09) Walker of Fort Worth, Texas.

Our stories shape us. They give us the opportunity to celebrate the past, learn from it and create a brighter future. One blessing about working with Abilene Christian University alumni is to hear what people have experienced here. When our alumni share their ACU stories, they do so with passion and emotion. They speak of relationships begun at ACU, of faculty mentors, of those who helped build their faith, discover a hidden talent or develop a career-changing skill. They enjoy recalling silly moments with friends, often sharing their photos and thoughts via Facebook and Instagram in ways that engage others and brighten everyone’s day. Whether told by a group of brand new graduates or by Golden Anniversary celebrants, when ACU alumni come together as a group in person or through social media, the stories begin to flow! At Homecoming, at networking events, at ACU Moms gatherings and during Sing Song weekend, reliving the past is an important piece of our shared experience. And it’s during these times we are reminded of the importance ACU has played in our lives. The relationships that were formed here and continue today give us yet another opportunity to be thankful. We encourage you to “Celebrate Your Story” with us. That’s our theme and focus as we prepare for Homecoming 2015 (Oct. 15-18), and we invite our alumni to reflect on and share those experiences. We want to know about the people and moments that changed your life. We want to know what blessed you and what we can learn from you to bless others as they begin their journey on the Hill. Honoring, remembering and celebrating our past is important to us at ACU. The stories you tell are a powerful part of our history, and they are vital to the future. I hope you will join us by visiting acu.edu/homecoming and sharing the ACU stories that shaped you. We all have them; let’s keep them alive. We look forward to continuing to Celebrate Your Story!  – CRAIG FISHER (’92)

AC U TO D AY

Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Projects Director of University Relations



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SERVING YOU ADVANCING ACU

RACHAEL HUBBARD

Do you want to recommend a future student, volunteer, host an event or just learn more about how you can be involved with ACU where you live? To help foster relationships with alumni and future students, ACU has assigned personnel from its Advancement and Admissions offices to major markets in Texas. A university relations manager (URM) focuses on establishing relationships with churches, schools, alumni and other friends; an admissions counselor (AC) reaches out to future students and their parents; and an advancement officer (AO) assists prospective donors seeking an opportunity to contribute funds to ACU. Through this territory team approach, these dedicated professionals can provide exceptional service to those who contribute so graciously to ACU’s mission and 21st-Century Vision.

WEST TEXAS AREA

Greg Oglesby • AC 325-674-2899, greg.oglesby@acu.edu Don Garrett • AO 325-674-2213, don.garrett@acu.edu Mark Rogers • AO 325-674-2669, mark.rogers@acu.edu

AUSTIN AREA

Tunisia Singleton • URM – Austin / Central Texas 512-450-4329 • tunisia.singleton@acu.edu David Pittman • AC – Austin / Central Texas 325-674-2650 / 800-460-6228 david.pittman@acu.edu

FORT WORTH AREA

Brent Barrow • URM 817-946-5917, brent.barrow@acu.edu Will Beasley • AC – Erath, Hood, Johnson, Somervell, Tarrant 325-674-2650 / 800-460-6228 will.beasley@acu.edu Meredith Morgan • AC – Collin, Denton, Palo Pinto, Parker, Wise 325-674-2650 / 800-460-6228 meredith.morgan@acu.edu Lance Rieder • AO 325-674-6080, lance.rieder@acu.edu

DALLAS AREA

Toni Young • URM 214-402-5183, toni.young@acu.edu Savannah Smith • AC – Dallas, Rockwall, Ellis, Kaufman 325-674-2650 / 800-460-6228 savannah.smith@acu.edu Meredith Morgan • AC – Collin 325-674-2650 / 800-460-6228 meredith.morgan@acu.edu Jacob Martin • AO 325-674-2064, jacob.martin@acu.edu

HOUSTON AREA

Carri Hill • URM 713-582-2123, carri.hill@acu.edu John Martin • AC 325-674-2650 / 800-460-6228 john.martin@acu.edu Eric Fridge • AO 713-483-4004, eric.fridge@acu.edu

SAN ANTONIO AREA

Kerry Stemen • URM 830-388-0615, kerry.stemen@acu.edu John Mark Moudy • AC – San Antonio, South Texas 325-674-2650 / 800-460-6228 johnmark.moudy@acu.edu Don Garrett • AO 325-674-2213, don.garrett@acu.edu

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Joel Swedlund (’93), executive director of the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center at ACU, was joined by his wife, Ruth (Travis ’93), at the Senior Sendoff candlelight devo in Beauchamp Amphitheatre on April 28. A new tradition begun in 2014 invites faculty, staff and local alumni to participate each spring in an event honoring graduating seniors. Ruth, a former ACU residence hall director, is now a certified personal trainer at the Money Center.

AUSTIN AREA

facebook.com/acuaustin • acu.edu/austin

Lynne Siroin, Sarah Spillman, Beth Womble, Lori (Miller ’87) Thompson and Jean Wilson. Moms assembled more than 50 care packages to help students survive finals and packages were delivered to campus by Carmen Plunk. • An Alumni and Friends lunch gathering in Austin on Oct. 2 featured hearing from Jim Orr (’86), ACU’s vice president for advancement. In attendance were Bob Bailey (’52), Reid Griffith (’12), Holly (Hill ’86) Fullerton, Lacy Dyke (’06), Terra (Hardin ’82) Brimberry, Matthew Colvard (’12), Albert (’71) and Vicki (Rushing ’74) Dennington, Jay Fleming (’97), Josh Hood (’99), Jeff Johnson (’86), Dr. Eddie (’73) and Annette (Pruiett ’73) Sharp, and Gary Skidmore (’76). • On Oct. 7, 2014, ACU hosted more than 50 prospective students along with their families for a Purple and White Party at Hill Country Bible Church. Aaron Bynum (’14) shared with the group about his ACU experience.

• ACU’s Wildcat Caravan visited Austin on July 14, 2014. Those joining the fun were Sean (’94), Alexis and Damon Adams; Kevin and Melanie Boates; Demetrius Collins (’04); Albert (’71) and Vicki (Rushing ’74) Dennington; Bryan, Julie (’87) and Naomi Graham; Coleen and Jillian Hefner; Keith, Jamie and Jacob Lawlis; Bill McClellan (’81); Dosh Simms (’12); Joshua and Roy Thompson; and Kevin and Emily Womble. • A Send-Off Party for new ACU freshmen and their families was hosted by ACU Moms in Austin on Aug. 4 at Westover DALLAS AREA Hills Church of Christ. Some facebook.com/acudallas • of the hosts included Terra acu.edu/dallas Brimberry (’82), Gwen Baird, Nancy Dowdle and • ACU’s Wildcat Caravan kicked daughter Emilie (’17), off the DFW events at Toyota Whitley Lindholm (’14), Stadium in Frisco on July 13, Teresa Turner and son 2014, when about 50 alumni and Dustin (’16), and friends joined us for dinner. Those Carmen Plunk (’85). in attendance were: Brent (’86) • Waco ACU Moms Kay and Starlyn (Thomas ’86) (Coffee ’81) Williams, Barrow, Ed Bonneau, Skyler Becky (Bourland ’84) Bonneau, Steven Boots, Ryan Sorrells and Stefani Bradley (’01), Corey Cheek (Pearson ’87) Dillon helped (’92), Kyle Conway (’91), host a Send-Off Party for new Will Cox, Jeff Cozort (’93), freshmen from Central Texas. Noah Cozort, Aaron Others helping host were Cummings, Jay Cummings, Carmen Plunk (’85) helped deliver Finals Week Steve Dillon (’84), Steve Jessica (Sneed ’08) and Zack care packages to students like junior Williams, Grant Williams (’08) Cunningham, Jordan kinesiology major Sierra Reed. (’13) and Haley Jones (’15). Diamond, Jason Hooper (’02), • Austin ACU Moms enjoyed a Trey Jackson, Erica Lambert, time of prayer and fellowship in the home of Terra Jacob Martin (’03), Jim (’86) and Elaine (Rainwater (Hardin ’82) Brimberry on Sept. 30 and on Dec. 1, ’87) Orr, Rob Orr (’52), Joel Quile (’04), Cathy moms met at the home of Tanya Kirby to pack finals Scaggs (’90), Luke Scaggs, John (’63) and Jan (’65) care packages for students. Moms enjoying fellowship Shewmaker, Bill Summers, Cameron Watten (’11) were Gwyn Baird, Debra Hauser, Deana Reed, Holly and Earl Young (’62). (Bell ’86) Grandcolas, Martha Kertz, Aimee LeBlanc, • On July 29, a combination Send-Off Party (for incoming Ruth Mora, Sharon (Sechrest ’94) Sibert, Alga freshmen) and Purple and White Party (for prospective Solomon, Jan Swinney, Stacey Bricka, Melissa students) was hosted by several alumni at Greenville Carter, Camille Dahl, Brenda Fry, Lisa (Scott ’86) Oaks Church of Christ in Allen. There were more than Johnson, Carmen (Andrews ’85) Plunk, Yvette 100 students in attendance as well as 200 family Kittrell, Karen (Randolph ’85) Nix, Tammy members. The evening concluded with former ACU Knezevich, Margie Thurman, Elizabeth Simmonds, trustee April (Bullock ’89) Anthony and Alumni Advisory Board member Greg Pirtle (’98) blessing the incoming freshmen with scripture and prayer. The other alumni, friends and current students who volunteered at the event included Mark Anthony (’86), Brent Barrow (’86), Angela Coleman, Demonica Coleman (’17), Cameron Craig (’16), Jessica (Sneed ’08) Cunningham, Jacob Martin (’03), Basil (’85) and Rachel (Rainwater ’84) McClure, Josh McClure (’18), Matt McClure (’18), Elaine (Rainwater ’87) Orr, Alison (Whelan ’99) Pirtle, April Young (’16), and Todd Young.

AC U TO D AY

Waco Moms gather each month to pray for their students and enjoy fellowship with each other.


• A Purple and White Party was hosted by Prestoncrest Church of Christ on Oct. 6. Approximately 30 prospective students and their families attended the event to learn more about ACU. Volunteers included Bryan Borden (’99), John (’85) and Annette (Schaffner ’84) Cawyer, Jessica (Sneed ’08) Cunningham, Michael Donnell (’12 M.S.), Jeff Duncum (’86), John (’83) and Karen (DeArmond ’84) Fuller, Jacob Martin (’03), ACU trustee Bill Minick (’82), and Chris Shim (’10). • An Alumni and Friends gathering Oct. 22 at Texas Land and Cattle in Richardson featured a campus update from Jim Orr (’86), vice president for advancement. Those attending were Joe Bellow (’14), Bryan Brokaw (’05), James Cobb (’54), Cliff Crockett (’89), Kril Cunningham (’00), Michael Donnell (’12 M.S.), Carroll Dyer (’76), Doug Hall (’90), Bob Jeanis (’54), Roy Johnson (’56), Johnathan King (’10), Wendy Lambert (’86), Jacob Martin (’03), Joe Don Martin (’72), Alan McAulay (’86), Elaine (Rainwater ’87) Orr, ACU board chair Dr. Barry Packer (’78), BJ (’73) and Alice (White ’71) Pierce, Greg (’98) and Alison (Whelan ’99) Pirtle, Jason Schumacher (’00), Shep Strong (’04), Scott and Cathy Sweet, Tiffany Touchstone (’97), and James (’68) and Johnetta Voss. • James (’68) and Johnetta Voss, and Todd and Toni (Hale ’84) Young hosted an Abilene Christian trunk at the annual Trunk or Treat at Greenville Oaks Church of Christ on Oct. 26. ACU was well represented with the trunk decorated in Purple and White. Many families enjoyed the golf game and took pictures by the ACU sign. • More than 400 alumni, parents and students gathered for a tailgate party before the ACU vs. Central Arkansas football game in Plano on Nov. 1. It was a great day with great food and lots of fellowship, topped off by a Wildcat win!

FORT WORTH AREA

facebook.com/acuftworth • acu.edu/fort-worth

• ACU’s Wildcat Caravan rolled into Fort Worth on July 14, 2014, with 78 people attending the event at Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. Those present included Jody Adams (’02), Shay Aldriedge (’10), Danny Allison, Brent Barrow (’86), Starlyn (Thomas ’86) Barrow, David Bloxom (’72), Steven Boots (’17), Jody Clayton (’00), Dusty Drury (’72), Abby (Willbanks ’08) Dunagan and future Wildcat Campbell Cate Dunagan, Mark Duncum (’83), Roy Fitts (’73), Kirk (’84) and Jenny (Jenkins (’87) Freytag, Phillip Garcia (’98), Tara (Willbanks ’01) Goodwin, Kason Hart (’10), David (’71) and Barbara (Tubbs ’71) Hejl, Heath (’89) and Mary (Banks ’89) Jackson, Trey Jackson (’18), Craig (’98) and Carrie (McLeod ’96) King, Todd Knight (’86), Ian Lawson (’03) Dale McKinnon (’95), Randy McNulty, Mark (’81) and Lee (Knight ’81) North, Sydney (North ’09) Ward, Bryce Orr (’12), Doug Orr (’83), Mason Orr (’08), Charles (’66) and Karen (Young ’70) Reynolds, Urban (’77) and Melissa (Hunter ’76) Rogers, Debbie (Beebe ’83) Souder, Roy and Linda (Zimmerman ’70) Steel, Stan (’89) and Sherri (Steel ’89) Stephens, Jerry Stephens, Dub Stocker (’74) Craig Stone (’85), Wade Strzinek (98), Jeff Thigpen (’06), Trey Thompson (’97) and Rick Wessel (’81). • On July 28, a combination Send-Off Party (for incoming freshmen) and Purple and White Party (for prospective students) was hosted by Alumni Advisory Board member Tara (Willbanks ’01) Goodwin at The Hills Church of Christ. There were 132 students present, as well as more than 300 family members. Other hosts included Dwight Goodwin (’92), Starlyn (Thomas ’86) Barrow, Kyle and Tammie (Minton ’83) Cotton, Nathalie (Osborne ’95) Hembree, and Bill Southern (’67). • On Aug. 27, more than 30 young alumni gathered at The Pour House in Fort Worth to watch and cheer on the Wildcat football team play its nationally televised game vs. Georgia State. The event was hosted by Taylor Sturgis (’09).

• An ACU Moms Night of Prayer was hosted in Southlake at the home of Cheryl (Howard ’90) Goins on Sept. 18, attended by Elaine (Minor ’85) Allison, Kari Bankes, Starlyn (Thomas ’86) Barrow, Tammie (Minton ’83) Cotton, Cari Dennis, Cheryl (Howard ’90) Goin, Jan Hegi, Melissa (Barton ’86) Mahaffey, and Deborah Martinez. • A Purple and White Party was hosted Oct. 5 by Scott (’83) and Debbie (Beebe ’83) Souder in Arlington. Alumni from North Davis Church of Christ who helped host included Norm and Diane (Eubanks ’71) Bradley, Jeff (’82) and Cindy (Fenner ’82) Craig, Leslie Fry (’87), Beverly (Adams ’82) Garner, Lori Hanson, Tempe (Jackson ’63) Hatter, Jean (Anderson ’67) Kevil, Melanie (Truitt ’90) McFarlin, Martha (Weddle ’70) Whelan, and Libby Wren.

HOUSTON AREA

facebook.com/acuhouston • acu.edu/houston

• The Wildcat Caravan in Houston featured dinner on July 15, 2014, at the Guadalajara Hacienda. Those present included Dr. Todd ('52) and Shirley ('53) Barfield, Adam Carpenter ('13), Dr. Frank and Sara (Offutt ’65) Eggleston, Drs. Dave (’98) and Amy (Berry '95) Fuller, Hunter Haley ('14), Bekki Kearns ('95), Art and Angie Marquez, Brad McCoy ('83), Joshua (’04) and Courtney (McInnis ’04) Parrott, Warner Phelps ('01), Matt Sanderson (’13), Jack Sands ('73), Sherri Scott (’96), Judge Steve Smith (’74), Wes and Pam (Kennedy ’78) Speights, Mark Sprague (’10), Greg ('75) and Peggy (Fleming '75) Stirman, Travis Walding ('09), and Joel Weckerly ('04). • The annual Freshman Send-Off Party was attended by about 120 Houston-area incoming students and their families on Aug. 3, at the Memorial Church of Christ. Co-hosts and volunteers included Mike (’99) and Melissa (Hall ’01) Avery, Bryce (’87) and Jennifer (Burton ’86) Baxter, Steven Booker (’11), Dan and Daphne Ciufo, Anna Ciufo (’15), Leah Ciufo (’18), Austin Cunningham (’03), PJ Herb (’12), Chris Hill, Morgan Hill (’18), Amber Maple, Kelsey Maple (’18), Whitney McGaha (’11), Alumni Advisory Board president David (’95) and Jennifer (Prill ’96) Meredith, Dr. Roxane Richter, Steve Sandifer (’70), and Chris (’94) and Jacinda (Jackson ’95) Shanks. • More than 300 ACU alumni and friends gathered Sept. 27, for a pregame tailgate party and to cheer the Wildcat football team to a 59-14 win over Houston Baptist University. Ron (’80) and Lee (Ligon ’80) Booker supplied barbecue sandwiches and the trimmings for the tailgate attendees. A host of volunteers also helped at the tailgate, some of whom included Steven Booker (’11), Craig Booker, Mark (’90) and Paige (Henson ’91) Cawyer (and children Bryce and Camille), Jenny (Richards ’92) Fridge (and children Ben and Maddie), Kyle (’03) and Melanie (Booker ’06) Fry, Matt Sanderson (’13), and Sherri Scott (’96). • ACU alumni hosted two student recruiting Purple and White Parties (PAW) around Houston in the fall. On the south side of town, Tim (’89) and Kym Polvado hosted a PAW in Sugar Land, where more than 90 students and their family members attended. In The Woodlands, Byron (’88) and Leslie (Stockdale ’88) Ellis hosted another PAW with more than 75 in attendance. Additional alumni volunteers at these events included Kelsey Chrane (’12), Carson (’12) and Sara (Shoultz ’12) Henley, Dr. Dave Fuller (’98), Meg Harley (’12), PJ Herb (’12), Matt Sanderson (’13), and Sherri Scott (’96). • Throughout October and November, local alumni helped represent ACU at 30 college fairs in and around the greater Houston area, Bryan/College Station and Lake Jackson. These volunteers included Steven Booker (’11), Leah Bouteller (’12), Christen Cawley (’14), Kelsey Chrane (’12), Austin Cunningham (’03), Shonni Farley (’14), Lowell Good (’88), Katie Hahn (’10), PJ Herb (’12), David Meredith (’95), Randi Morte (’12), Matt Sanderson (’13), Judge Steve Smith (’74), Erika Tanaka (’14), Lauren (Handley ’08) Wiehe,

Dallas URM Toni Young attended a Trunk or Treat at Greenville Oaks Church of Christ in Allen, Texas, on Oct. 26, 2014. Pictured at the ACU-theme tailgate with her are Morgan and Madeline Pirtle, daughters of Greg’98) and Alison (Whelan ’99) Pirtle. and Dr. Jim Womack (’64). • About 30 ACU alumni, parents, family members, future students and friends gathered for a Wildcats Serving Houston event Nov. 8 at the Houston Food Bank. Together with the other food bank volunteers, ACU in Houston volunteers helped prepare food for distribution to more than 11,000 people. • ACU Moms in Houston met Nov. 18 (north) and 20 (south) for fellowship, prayer and packing finals care packages. Thanks to Stephanie Freeze in Tomball and LuAnn (Madonna ’91) Park in Sugar Land for hosting. • The A Cappella Chorus spring tour was in Houston for performances Feb. 22, 2015, (Southeast Church of Christ in Friendswood for a worship service, a concert at St. Paul’s Methodist Church with the congregation’s Choral Scholars, and the Houston ISD’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Choir), Feb. 23 (Pearland High School in Pearland and Clear Creek High School in League City), Feb. 24 (Magnolia High School, Montgomery High School and Klein High School, the latter with the Klein, Klein Collins and Westfield high school choirs) and Feb. 25 (Northland Christian School). Jeff Goolsby is ACU’s conductor and director of choral activities and choral music education.

SAN ANTONIO AREA

facebook.com/acusanantonio • acu.edu/san-antonio

• ACU’s Wildcat Caravan stopped in San Antonio on July 15, 2014, at Rudy’s Bar-B-Q. • Alan (’86) and Janice (Harris ’88) Rich hosted a Freshman Send-Off fajita dinner at their home on July 26, 2014. Co-hosts included Steve (’82) and LaDonna Mack, Jeff and Joy Stewart, and Bob and Kerry (Smith ’89) Stemen. • A Wildcat Wednesday Alumni and Friends networking luncheon on Oct. 1 featured a presentation from Jim Orr (’86), ACU’s vice president for advancement. In attendance were Mark Abshier (’83), Tom Brite (’80), Kathy Budde, Jimmy Fagala (’82), Russell (’86) and Gina (Gomez ’85) Harrison, Larry Hobbs (’69), Jim Jennings (’70), Steve Mack (’82), Nicolas Martinez (’08), VJ McElroy (’12), Jim McKissick (’83), Jeff Nelson (’79), Alan Rich (’86), Richard Smith, Bob Stemen, and Kathleen Thompson. • San Antonio ACU Moms gathered Oct. 6 in the home of Kerry (Smith ’89) Stemen for fellowship, prayer and to prepare care packages to help their students with midterms. Moms enjoying this time together were Carla Berryman, Sherri Cheney, Elizabeth Ford, Ann Gonsalves, Tina King, LaDonna Mack, Suzanne McGregor, Teri McKenzie, Kathleen Thompson, Theresa Valdez-Perez and Kelly Weg.

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• On Oct. 9, ACU hosted prospective students and their families for a Purple and White Party at Oak Hills Church (Crownridge). Valinda (McAlister ’81) and Debbie (Dorsey ’83) McKissick co-hosted the event. • The Alumni and Friends Wildcat Wednesday luncheon was held Nov. 5 at The County Line to hear Kara Wilson (’06) speak about Project RED. Those attending were Tom Brite (’80), Rob (’92) and Traci (O’Quinn ’93) Brown, Adrian Dawson (’00), Mia Duke, Cindy Friemel, Cheryl (George ’77) Green, Claire Green (’09), Ana Guajardo, Erika Guajardo, Larry Hobbs (’69), Jim Jennings (’70), Tiffany Jennings, Steve Mack (’82), Gregory Martin (’09), Doug and Teri McKenzie, David Morris (’01), Eddie Read, Alan Rich (’86), Greg (’74) and Karen (Young ’74) Sheppard, Richard and Carolyn Smith, Bob Stemen, Darrell Stewart (’83), Mark and Kathleen Thompson, David Treat (’60), and Sharon Wilson (’74). • San Antonio ACU Moms met Nov. 9 for a fun gettogether at the home of Ann Gonsalves to make purple and white wreaths to show their Wildcat spirit. Those joining in this craft day were Jennifer Benac, Sherri Cheney, Penny DiRago, Julie Ebarb, Anna Goligowski, Tiffany Jennings, Tina King, Juanita Krueger, Teri McKenzie, Joy Stewart and Kathleen Thompson. • San Antonio ACU Moms met again on Dec. 2 to pray over their students and to pack finals care packages. Those attending were Anna Goligowski, Ann Gonsalves, Tina King, Suzanne (Soudbash ’90) Richter, Cynthia (Heuss ’83) Schwenker, Joy Stewart and Kathleen Thompson. • The December Wildcat Wednesday networking

1976

Sharon (Porter) Phillips is director of the comedy tour Misguided Tours. 1014 S. Washington St., Bloomington, IN 47401. bigread@aol.com Deborah (Veazey) Harbin retired from CypressFairbanks ISD after 36 years as a teacher and principal. She is now the administrative assistant to the lead pastor at Current, a Christian church in Katy. 1411 S. Maple Drive, Katy, TX 77493. debharb@gmail.com

1979

David Campbell is senior counsel for Underwood Perkins, P.C., and an adjunct professor at Amberton University. His wife, Sandra (Stanley), teaches at Agnew Middle School in Mesquite. 218 Harris Drive, Sunnyvale, TX 75182. campbell0032@sbcglobal.net

Teri McKenzie, Lauren (Mesaros ’13) Quigley, luncheon took place Dec. 3 at Two Step Restaurant Greg (’74) and Karen (Young ’74) Sheppard, Bob and Cantina, where Geoffrey Richter (’90) spoke Stemen, Darrell Stewart (’83), Mark and Kathleen about his life as a missionary in Burkina Faso. Those Thompson, and David (’60) and Judy Treat.  attending were Dylan Benac (’14), Tom Brite (’80), Jimmy Fagala (’82), Bob Grigg (’70), Larry Hobbs (’69), Jim Jennings (’70), San Antonio volunteers who gathered March 28 at Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries for a Wildcats Serving event included:

LEFT: Tony Sanders – husband of Meagan (Morrow ’11) Sanders – and their daughter, Kyrie BELOW: Dr. Greg (’74) and Karen (’74) Sheppard, along with (from left) Maddy Crosby, Sydney Moreland, Blake Moreland, Max Moreland and Brady Moreland. Sydney, Blake, Max and Brady are the Sheppards’ grandchildren).

1987

MARRIED

Mark Woodruff and Kristen Bryant, June 14, 2014. 548 Green Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. kristen_nance@sbcglobal.net

1991

ADOPTED

By Shanon and Angela (Johnson ’87) Seals, a girl, Kalyssta (Angela’s niece). The family has a new address. 3601 Sunset Ridge, Powder Springs, GA 30127. babyseals@att.net By Eric and Toni (Hinderer ’00) Moden, a boy, George “Benjamin,” July 23, 2014. 930 Highgate Drive, Lewisville, TX 75067.

1980

1992

To Tim and Amanda Hansen, a boy, “Maxx” Charles, Dec. 16, 2014. 11 White Magnolia Circle, Austin, TX 78734.

Corey Cheek and Janie Bednorz, Aug. 7, 2014. 6264 Sudbury Drive, Dallas, TX 75214. coreycheek@me.com

BORN

MARRIED

1984

1994

Doug and Laurie (Goldman) Brown celebrated their 30th anniversary Dec. 22, 2014. Doug is the adult discipleship minister at MacArthur Park Church of Christ, and Laurie is a physical therapist in the Northeast ISD. 4711 Rock Nettle, San Antonio, TX 78247.

1985

Amy Anderson earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in May 2013. She is an associate professor of nursing in the online graduate studies program at Indiana Wesleyan University. 6307 76th Street, Lubbock, TX 79424. amyanderson26@icloud.com

BORN

Alisha (Goldman) Ilufi is an ESL specialist with Southwest Preparatory Charter School District. 3807 Pipers Field, San Antonio, TX 78251. amilufi@gmail.com

To Michael and Lindsey Smith, a girl, Lucy Loftin, March 6, 2014. 2001 Vincent St., Brownwood, TX 76801. michael.lynn.smith@gmail.com

1986

1995

Mike Pipkin, a partner with Sedgwick LLP, has been named chair of the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section’s Fidelity and Surety Law Committee for 2014-15. He also was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is married to Lisa (Blanks), children’s ministry coordinator at Prestoncrest Church of Christ, and the couple has two children. 4309 Bryn Mawr Drive, Dallas, TX 75225. mike.pipkin@sedgwicklaw.com

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Dr. Amy (O’Quinn) Mullins is the medical director of quality improvement for the American Academy of Family Physicians. 13802 Aberdeen St., Leawood, KS 66224. amullins@aafp.org

1996

MARRIED

Donald Latner and Rene Owens, July 19, 2014, in Abilene. 282 Wilderness Camp Road S.E., White, GA 30184. renelatner@comcast.net

AC U TO D AY

BORN

To Drs. Jason and Heidi (White) Morris, a boy, Jacob, July 15, 2013. 1501 Newcastle Drive, Abilene, TX 79601. morrisj@acu.edu

1997 BORN

To Steve (’86) and Jayme (Jeal) Covington, a boy, Stephen Covington III, April 2, 2014. 341 Posey Place, New Braunfels, TX 78132. jayme1975@att.net To Donnie (M.A. ’02) and April (Ewing) McBride, a boy, John-David Jeremiah, Feb. 12, 2014. 213 Mountain Oaks Drive, Norman, OK 73071. aremcbride@yahoo.com

1998

MARRIED

Scott Pendleton and Alycia Brown, July 26, 2014. 10410 High Hollows Drive, Apt. 229, Dallas, TX 75230. BORN To Wade and Mollie (Mark) Spaulding, a girl, Lena Stokes, Dec. 29, 2014. The couple has another daughter as well. mollierms@gmail.com.

1999 BORN

To Michael and Emily (Campbell) Robinson, a boy, Micah Jase, July 25, 2013. The family has a new address. 1500 Sussex Drive, Plano, TX 75075. emilyc139@gmail.com To Joey and Leslye (Starnes) Roberts, a girl, Kaylye Rae, Oct. 13, 2014. 2309 Homestead Place, Abilene, TX 79601. joey@uccabilene.org To Casey and Marcy (Jackson) Coulson, a girl, Kennedy Ann, July 25, 2014. The couple has three other children. 7808 Raton Ridge Lane, Arlington, TX 76002 marcycoulson@yahoo.com

ADOPTED

By Taylor and Heather (Watts) Tidmore, a girl, Sara Morgan, from Ethiopia, Nov. 1, 2013. 657 Cynthia Court, Abilene, TX 79602. tidmores@gmail.com

2000 BORN

To Marcus (’01) and Andi (Usrey) Quesenberry, a boy, Cole Stanton, Oct. 3, 2013. 400 Devonshire


Drive, Prosper, TX 75078. To Steven and Danette (Salcedo) Borchers, a boy, Sean Daniel, Nov. 23, 2013. The couple were married in 2012. They also have an adopted daughter, Elisa (5). 26081 Iris Avenue, Unit C, Moreno Valley, CA 92555. d.borchers@hotmail.com To Gary (’01) and Kimberly (Mahaffey) Bones, a girl, Julianna Cassidy, Nov. 6, 2013. 3006 Maple Lane, Melissa, TX 75454. kimberlyannbones@gmail.com To Jacob and Melissa (Sheldon) Ristau, a boy, Elliott Fox Robin, Aug. 14, 2014. Jacob is an assistant professor in visual communication design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Melissa is a freelance public relations consultant. They have a new address. 344 Tamarack Ave., Naperville, IL 60540. jacobandmelissa@mac.com

To Josh and Jenny (Dalton) Stites, a boy, Jack Dalton, April 28, 2014. 1920 Deep Woods Trail, Nashville, TN 37214. joshstites@gmail.com To Paul and Melinda (Latham) McGuire, a girl, Piper Jayne, April 14, 2014. 111 Devin Drive, Clyde, TX 79510. melindalatham26@hotmail.com To Joshua and Sara Margaret (Gresset) Ussery, a boy, Stetson Grey, April 18, 2014, the couple’s second son. 5060 Lindy Court, Midlothian, TX 76065 sarahm.ussery@gmail.com

2001

BORN

Daniel Bircher is the director of vocal studies at Blinn College. 1508 Sandra Drive, Brenham, TX 77833. Kevin Broome is the director of bands at Midland Christian School. 1003 Ward St., Midland, TX 79701. bulldogbroome@gmail.com

BORN

To Andrew and Melinda (Cecil) Mendenhall, a boy, Colt Maverick, July 3, 2012. 1939 W. 17th Ave., Unit B, Eugene, OR 97402. To Garcia and Natasha (Bering) Vazquez, a girl, Hadassah Beverly, Aug. 13, 2013. 33 McDermott St., Freehold, NJ 07728. love4g719@gmail.com To Adam and Kari (Bibb) Meyer, a boy, Samuel James, Nov. 11, 2013. 920 North James Ave., Tea, SD 57064. karimeyer@ymail.com To Christopher (’00) and Heidi (Toole) Chappotin, a girl, Ava Grace, Jan. 30, 2012. The family has a new address. 312 S.W. Harris St., Burleson, TX 76028. chappyhc@sbcglobal.net To Jonathan and Melissa (Fry) Dalzell, a boy, Lyle James, Dec. 1, 2013. madalzell@gmail.com To Kenneth and Jennifer Walker, a boy, Braylen Joe, July 18, 2013. 148 Wandering Drive, Forney, TX 75126. joenorthtexas@gmail.com To Daniel (’98) and Melissa (Visel) Goodner, a boy, Ryan Joseph, Feb. 23, 2011. 6024 Deck House Road, Fort Worth, TX 76179. melissavisel@yahoo.com

2002

Dr. Sarah McMahan, assistant professor of teaching education at Texas Woman’s University, received the Distinction in Teaching Award from TWU for the 2013-14 school year. 10658 Shire View, Frisco, TX 75034. drskmcm@gmail.com

BORN

To William and Stephanie (Richter) Mack, a girl, Emily Brooke, Feb. 16, 2014. 943 Aaron Drive, Burleson, TX 76028. billyandstephanie@gmail.com To Daniel and Rebekah (Smith) Martin, a girl, Abigail Allyson, Aug. 27, 2014. 4802 S. 6th St., Abilene, TX 79605. rebekah@deborahscollection.com To Jeffrey and Alexis Jones, a boy, Beckham Dendy, June 21, 2014. 505 Anice Lane, Euless, TX 76039. jeffreytjones@ymail.com To Brantley (’01) and Jana (Fulenwider) Starr, two boys: Shiloh, Aug. 10, 2012, and Shepherd, June 10, 2014. 3907 Dry Creek Drive, Austin, TX 78731. To Josh (’03) and Lauren (Layfield) Becera, a girl, Elle Joslyn, Aug. 31, 2014. 409 Durrand Oak Drive, Keller, TX 76248. lauren.becera@thehills.org To Jeremy (’00) and Stephenie (Randall) Brewer, a girl, Lorelai Lee, Dec. 21, 2012. 2936 Longmeade Drive, Farmers Branch, TX 75234. To Jonathan (’95) and Amber (Richter) Weed, a girl, Anna Beth, Nov. 13, 2013. 1209 Doonesbury Drive, Austin, TX 78758. theweeds@austin.rr.com

2003 BORN

To Antonio (’01) and Anita (Gonzales) Marquez, a girl, Victoria, Jan. 14, 2013. P.O. Box 128, Stamford, TX 79553. atgmarquez@gmail.com To Greg and Jen (Mason) Jones, a boy, Austin Charles, July 10, 2014. 3578 Cherry Lane, Medford, OR 97504. jen.mason.jones@gmail.com

ADOPTED

By Jeff and Nikki (Brenner) Hunt, a boy, Brenner Xavier, Feb. 2014. 2524 Rusty Spur, Leander, TX 78641. n.brenner.hunt@gmail.com

2004 To Kristian and Victoria (Buell) Hernandez, a girl, Jazmin, July 29, 2010. 8208 California St., Buena Park, CA 90621. buel6l@yahoo.com To Chris and Lara (Lakey) Carey, a boy, Peyton, Jan. 1, 2014. 153 Silkstone St., Hutto, TX 78634.

2005

MARRIED

Shane Tidwell and Jill Cline, Sept. 21, 2014. Jill became the general manager for Envoy Air at Abilene Regional Airport in January 2014. 3817 Trinity Lane, Abilene, TX 79602. wildkatybp@aol.com

BORN

To D.J. and Allison (Barnett) Hammond, a boy, Noah Andrew, March 25, 2014. 215 Westminster Drive, Forney, TX 75126. To Chris and Stephanie (Dickson ’06) Dowell, a girl, Presley Lynn, Aug. 14, 2014. 14707 Silver Sands St., Houston, TX 77095. christbearer2111@gmail.com To Jackson and Suzanne (Hutcherson) Myers, a boy, Caden Luke, Sept. 3, 2014. 321 Village Trail, Trophy Club, TX 76262. To Chris and Meagan Cummings, a girl, Sutton Leighton, Sept. 27, 2014. 1048 CR 306D, Henderson, TX 75654. clcummings@gmail.com To Mike and Jenny (Jett) Kern, a boy, Luke Asher, Aug. 28, 2014. 16035 Longvista Drive, Dallas, TX 75248. jennyekern@hotmail.com To Derrick (’02) and Robin (Waller) Doyle, a girl, Chloe Elizabeth, March 21, 2014. 5944 Chisholm Trail, Haltom City, TX 76148. robinannephotography@yahoo.com To Mark and Chanan (Adkins) Townson, a girl, Annalee Beth, April 5, 2014. 231 Chimney Rock Drive, Waxahachie, TX 75167. chanan.adkins@gmail.com To Jonathan (’06) and Erin (Richmond) Lassen, twin boys, Luke and Nathan, Jan. 4, 2014. 2211 Aspen St., Richardson, TX 75082. To Kyle and Catherine (Petersen) Hildmann, a boy, Elliott Wayne, March 26, 2014. 3800 Maple Ave., Odessa, TX 79762. To Cade (’02) and Jamie (Mauldin) Thompson, a girl, London Elise, June 4, 2014. 6505 Sapphire Drive, McKinney, TX 75070. jamers16@yahoo.com To Lantz and Jessica (Turner) Howard, a girl, Preslee Ray, April 23, 2014. 209 Randy Lee Lane, McKinney, TX 75071. jessicadhoward@gmail.com To Brandon and Brittnie (Wright) Blackburn, a girl, Camille Elaine, Jan. 14, 2014. 2002 Courtshire Lane, Sugar Land, TX 77478. bmb00d@gmail.com To Robert and Anna (Smith) Collins, a boy, Killian Joesph Xavier, Oct. 16, 2014, the couple’s second son. In December 2014, Robert graduated from the Abilene Police Academy. 1114 Musken Road, Abilene, TX 79601 dreamingforjesus@yahoo.com

ADOPTED

By Joe and Mona (Duke) Lara, a girl, Jazmine Elena, Jan. 6, 2014. 5417 Willow View Road, Abilene, TX 79606. pastormona@gmail.com

2006 BORN

To William and Kelsie (Dunn ’09) Morris, a girl, Tinsley Virginia, May 19, 2014. 327 Baldwin St., Grand Prairie, TX 75052.

To Chris and Kaci (Mahler) Moore, a girl, Ellen Blake, Dec. 31, 2013. 11411 Catalonia Drive, Austin, TX 78759. kaci.mahler@gmail.com To Jeremy and Bonnie (McKenzie) Robillard, a boy, Jacob David, Jan. 11, 2014. 2722 Sun Mountain Drive, Leander, TX 78641. bonniemcknz@yahoo.com To Scott and Kimberly (Davis) Mackenzie, a boy, John William, April 24, 2014. 3351 Edgewater Drive, Little Elm, TX 75068. kvd02a@gmail.com To John and Ruth (Ashley) Montgomery, a girl, Madeleine Joyce, May 23, 2014. 419 Thoreau Road, Branford, CT 06405. rutherin@gmail.com To Jeff and Melissa (Koenig ’10) Thigpen, a girl, Kolbie Hope, April 24, 2014. 4780 Grapevine Terrace, Fort Worth, TX 76123. To Patrick and Lauren (Gragert) Carnathan, a girl, Clara Christine, Dec. 8, 2013. 6516 Winifred Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76133. laurencarnathan@gmail.com To Joshua (’09) and Amber (Wiard) Luongo, a boy, Zander Diuguid, March 14, 2014. 3811 Topsail Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80918. To Andrew and Nique (Allen) Mayo, a girl, Annabelle Janette, Aug. 11, 2014. 18007 Kinhill Drive, Dripping Springs, TX 78620. niquemayo@gmail.com To Andy and Morgan (Robinson) Midkiff, a girl, Clara Jo, Nov. 7, 2014. 26338 Longview Creek Drive, Katy, TX 77494. To Brandon and Allison (Stoll ’05) Clark, a girl, Hannah Elizabeth, Sept. 12, 2014. 1621 N. Luther, Mesa, AZ 85207. To Caleb (’09) and Ashley (Downhour) Gunter, twin girls, Caylee and Arya, May 31, 2014. 18118 Rustic Springs Drive, Tomball, TX 77375-8770. adownhour@yahoo.com

2007 BORN

To Matt and Katie (Riggs ’10) Maxwell, a boy, Henry Jack, Jan. 15, 2014. 2104 Culver Drive, Midland, TX 79705. mattamaxwell@gmail.com To Cameron (’05) and Heidi (Kopf) Witte, a boy, Garrett Levi, Feb. 26, 2014. To Johura and Camille (Painter ’08) Turner, a girl, Javelin Eve, June 17, 2014. 4039 Ridge Top Drive, Heartland, TX 75126. To Paul and Jordan (Isom) La Raia, a girl, Lydia Janean, April 5, 2014. 6214 Grovewood Lane, Houston, TX 77008. To Jennifer Luna, a girl, Elizabeth Marie Paredes, Aug. 30, 2014. 4383 Olde Forge Road, Dallas, TX 75211. jennifer.luna@intermedix.com

2008 BORN

To Grady and Rachel (Davis) Swearingen, a girl, Dianna Grace, May 31, 2014. 2242 Village Court, Brandon, FL 33511. To Bryan (’05) and Julie (Swart) Sickles, a boy, Bowen Thomas, Feb. 23, 2014. 4920 Goodnight Trail, Amarillo, TX 79109. To Jason (’07) and Katie (Roseberry) Pittenger, a boy, Cade, Oct. 18, 2013. 6816 North Park Drive, North Richland Hills, TX 76182. To Cody and Emily (Pierce) Stutts, a boy, Preston Riley, Jan. 31, 2014. 906 Rockton Drive, Wylie, TX 75098. codystutts@gmail.com To Lane and Katie (Eichelberger) Mandel, a girl, Ruby Jean, Feb. 25, 2014. 1214 Stillwater Trail, Carrollton, TX 75007. marykmandel@gmail.com

2009 BORN

To Martin and Meredith (Johnson) Pittman, a boy, Luke Malcolm, Feb. 12, 2014. 8033 Thompson Parkway, Abilene, TX 79606. maj04d@acu.edu To Justin and Kimberly (Tucker) Marr, a girl, Kinsley Kate, Sept. 4, 2014. 701 Tabard Trail, Abilene, TX 79602. To Matthew and Amy (Woodard) Gibbs, a boy, Cason, Aug. 21, 2014. 2110 State Highway 36, Abilene, TX 79602.

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To Trenton and Kylie (Jennings) Pope, a boy, Harrison James, May 27, 2014. 7131 Dover Lane, Richland Hills, TX 76118. pope.kylie@gmail.com To Mike and Blythe (Peden ’10) Miles, a boy, John Allen, July 8, 2014. 1112 Top O Hollow Road, Ames, IA 50010. milesinchrist@gmail.com To Kent and Heather (O’Brien ’08) Akers, a boy, Archer, Sept. 14, 2014. 1602 S. 16th St., Abilene, TX 79602. ska04a@acu.edu

2010

2011

BORN

MARRIED

2013

Cyril Bouniol and Sharlotte Potter, Sept. 27, 2014, in Abilene. 101 N. Roaring Springs Road, Westworth Village, TX 76114.

BORN

BORN

To David and Kelly (Sisson ’07) Thompson, a boy, David Steele, Oct. 21, 2013. 326 Alexandra Drive, Tuscola, TX 79562. david.thompson@abilenetx.com To Lance and Lauren (Briscoe) Claborn, a boy, Graham Kelly, July 20, 2014. 603 Stoneybrook Drive, Wylie, TX 75098. To Adrian and Melani (Pruitt) Dennington, a boy, Noah, July 1, 2014. 5610 86th St., Lubbock, TX 79424.

2012

Sam Hurley earned his M.S. degree in structural engineering from Texas A&M University. He is now an engineer at Hunt & Joiner Inc. in Dallas. 3150 Pin Oak Court, Farmers Branch, TX 75234.

To Matt (’09) and Emily (Saller) Adams, a girl, Madelynn Jo, Aug. 28, 2014. 8209 Clear Bay, McKinney, TX 75070. adams.emilykay@gmail.com To Jordan (’09) and Sara (Beckett) Bunch, a girl, Annabelle Rose, July 15, 2014. The family has a new address. 3201 Esperanza Crossing, #214, Austin, TX 78758. sarabunch11@gmail.com To Benjamin and Haley (Weldon) Rude, a girl, Charlotte, Nov. 4, 2014. 2410 Campus Court, Abilene, TX 79601. brj07b@acu.edu

To Landen and Melanie (Catteau) Hinrichsen, a boy, Jace, Sept. 1, 2014. 4635 Innsbruck Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46835. mrc08a@acu.edu

BORN

To Shawn and Mariah (Schultz) Bailey, a girl, McKinley Lynn, Oct. 6, 2014. 2934 Meadow Park Drive, Garland, TX 75040. mls09a@acu.edu

2014 BORN

To Matthew and Kendyl (Cooper) Antwine, a boy, Hudson Cooper, July 29, 2014. 1115 Musken Road, #103, Abilene, TX 79601. mna10a@acu.edu

IN MEMORIAM 1943

Elizabeth (Stratton) Thompson, 94, died Nov. 28, 2014, in Lake Jackson, Texas. She was born Nov. 4, 1920, in Denison and graduated from Denison High School in 1938. As an ACU student from 1939-41, she was active in the Melpomenean Players and GATA women’s social club. After college, she was a children’s Bible class teacher and an elder’s wife for many years and enjoyed traveling, cooking, entertaining and serving others. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of nearly 70 years, Sanford Rodgers Thompson Sr. (’41), and a sister, Imogene Stratton Dipprey. The Thompsons

were longtime supporters of the university and members of the President’s Circle. Elizabeth is survived by a brother, George McMillan Jr., two daughters, Sandra (Thompson) Pybus and Donna (Thompson ’73) Willbanks; a son, Sanford Rodgers Thompson Jr. (’67); 10 grandchildren, all of whom attended ACU; and 28 great-grandchildren.

up in Winnfield, La., and Nashville, Tenn. She married Donald E. Cranfill (’47) in 1946. Following his death in 1996, Crickett married Eldred Echols (’42). He preceded her in death, as did a daughter, Donna (Cranfill ’68) Hughes. Crickett is survived by two daughters, Glenna (Cranfill ’69) Hawkins and Carla (Cranfill ’75) Fisher; seven grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

1948

1950

Edna Lorraine “Crickett” (Zenor) Cranfill Echols, 89, died June 14, 2014, in Richardson, Texas. She was born April 23, 1925, in Shreveport, La., and grew

James “Dee” Wilson, 88, died June 23, 2014, in Early, Texas. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before attending ACU. He married Margaret Landreth

ACU Remembers: Taylor, Jividen, Beauchamp, Guy, Jackson Linda “Gayle” (Gladden) Taylor, 68, died Oct. 12, 2014, in Abilene. She was born Sept. 22, 1946, in Abilene and graduated from Merkel High School. She worked full time at ACU from 1984-99 and then part time until 2004 in various roles in Campus Life, Student Life, Health Services, Student Productions and the Department of Theatre. Gayle is survived by her husband, Spencer; a son, Shae Taylor (’94); a daughter, Teena Taylor (’89); her mother; a brother, Doug Gladden (’67); a sister; and two grandchildren. Delta “Jimmy” Jividen (’58) died Oct. 2, 2014, in Abilene at age 84. He was born Nov. 26, 1929, in Woodward County, Okla. He married Shirley Jones (’54) on June 30, 1951. Jividen earned a M.A. degree in New Testament from ACU, worked on a doctorate in religion at the University of Southern California from 1960-64, and taught Bible and Greek at York (Neb.) College, where he chaired the Bible department and served on the Advisory Board. He was president of the ACU Alumni Association from 1975-76. Jividen planted and/or preached in congregations in five states and was minister to three in Abilene. He authored 10 books and numerous journal articles, spoke at many Christian university lectureships and gospel meetings, and served on the board of Restoration Quarterly. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Ruby Jividen, and brothers Hubert Jividen, Gary Jividen and Marlin Jividen. Among survivors are Shirley, his wife of 63 years; a son, Steve Jividen (’74); two daughters, Diane (Jividen ’75) Huff and Debbie (Jividen ’80) McCoy; nine grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren. Ermon Pearl “Judy” (Jones ’41) Beauchamp, one of the namesakes of a landmark amphitheatre at ACU,

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died Jan. 9, 2015, in Abilene, at age 96. She was born April 6, 1918, in Wilson, Okla., and enrolled in Abilene Christian with her twin brother, Thurmon “Tugboat” Jones (’41) in 1937, the same year she met Garvin V. Beauchamp (’41). Judy was a member of Ko Jo Kai social club at ACU. The couple married May 28, 1941, and lived in Abilene; Redding, Calif.; and Midland, Texas, before returning to ACU in 1950. Judy was active in her home congregation for 75 years, was a founding member of Women for Abilene Christian University, and was known for a 25-year sales career at Bowie’s Jewelry Store. Garvin died Dec. 2, 2002, after a career on the Hill as assistant and head football coach, athletics director, dean of students, vice president of student services, and vice president of special services. ACU’s Tower of Light, Chapel on the Hill, and Garvin and Judy Beauchamp Amphitheatre were dedicated Aug. 28, 1989, a day before the opening of the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building. Judy was preceded in death by Garvin, her husband of 61 years; her parents, Elvie and Priscilla Jones; and four siblings, Ballard, Stanley, Thurmon and Jeraldine. Among survivors are a son, Gary Beauchamp (’64); a daughter Priscilla “Prissy” (Beauchamp ’65) Jones; five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Ruby Dell (Bonham) Guy, 87, died Jan. 25, 2015, in North Richland Hills. She was born Oct. 24, 1927, in rural Arkansas, but grew up in Delhi, Okla, where she graduated from high school and worked on the family farm. On Dec. 14, 1946, in Erick, Okla., she married Leroy Guy, a disabled World War II veteran who later was hospitalized for many of the 50 years they were married. Ruby worked at ACU for 37 years in the business and registrar offices, and in the technical services area of Brown Library. She retired in May 1993 but continued to serve part time in the library. The Unsung Hero Award for professional staff was established

AC U TO D AY

at ACU in 1995 to honor Guy and her close friend, Sammye Lale, who were known for their spirit of helping and encouraging others, especially students. She was voted by students to be grand marshal of the 1994 Homecoming Parade. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leroy; her parents, Albert and Avil Bonham; and a brother, Lee Bonham. Among survivors are two daughters, Barbara Moore and Donna (Guy ’72) Campbell; two sons, Eddie Guy (’79) and John Guy (’82); six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; three brothers; and one sister. Bridget “Biddie” Marie (Rowland) Jackson, 93, died Feb. 21, 2015, in Abilene. She was born Dec. 14, 1921, in Denison, Texas. She married Oliver Jackson (’42) on her 23rd birthday – Dec. 14, 1944 – while he was on leave during World War II. They were married 63 years prior to his passing in 2007, and the couple traveled extensively while Oliver was head coach of the world record-setting ACU track and field team from 1948-63. She was known for her cooking and hospitality, and love for playing bridge. She ran an import stopwatch business out of their home for more than 20 years. She was a member of the Abilene Sewing Club, Austin Woman’s Club and Women for ACU. She and Oliver were members of the Cisco Kids, a group that grew to more than 40 families who gathered every summer beginning in 1947. She was a member of Highland Church of Christ. Jackson was preceded in death by her husband; her parents, Arthur and Stella Rowland; and a sister, Amy Bryan. Among survivors are her daughters Sara (Jackson ’71) Brumit, Rolanda (Jackson ’74) Fulham and Lola (Jackson ’77) Barnes; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.


The Teagues were friends of the late Charlton Heston and his wife, Lydia Clarke Heston.

Peggy Teague (left) and Ruth (Rambo ’46) Stevens were two of ACU’s first ladies.

Former first lady Peggy Teague modeled high expectations, graciousness, tenacious spirit Woe unto anyone within earshot of Peggy Teague who didn’t equate Abilene Christian University with excellence. Margaret Louise (Newlen ’56) Teague was ACU’s first lady for a decade, known as much for her spunky, competitive spirit as being an unfailingly polite, upbeat and always gracious ambassador of the university she loved. The wife of chancellor emeritus Dr. William J. Teague (’52), she died Feb. 3, 2015, at age 85 in Abilene. Peggy was born Dec. 1, 1929, in Nashville, Tenn., graduating from San Diego High School in 1946. She began studies at San Diego State University, earning a B.A. degree in secondary education from ACU in 1956 and a M.A. degree in education from Pepperdine University in 1963. On June 4, 1948, she married Bill Teague, who would later become ACU’s ninth president. Peggy taught business classes at Hardin-Simmons University (1956-57) and Harding University (1957-59), and she and Bill made study trips to 46 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, South America and the Pacific Basin. She was active in university and community organizations, including service as president of the national board of Women for Abilene Christian University and ACU Faculty Wives, and as an advisory board member for Friends of the Abilene Public Library. She was president and emeritus member of the historic Abilene Woman’s Club, a Bible school teacher, and active in public speaking on behalf of projects relating to education, religion and politics. In California, she held various district and state offices in the Associated Women for Pepperdine University, was a member of the Delphian Society, and president of the PTA at Morningside High School in Inglewood, Calif. The Margaret L. Teague Spirit Award was created at ACU in 1988 for students who demonstrate an energetic commitment to Abilene Christian values, including “caring, serving and excelling, and loyalty to the purposes of the university.” ACU’s Hope for the Future Appreciation Dinner in August 1991 honored the Teagues. At that event, Bill said he and Peggy shared a dream “to educate so as to empower the spirit of each student. To inspire in each of them the desire to make moral choices. To continue the fight against mediocrity, to conquer ignorance and supply purpose. To help

love abound, and to exalt God as the source and sustainer of all life.” One of the award recipients was Kristin (Behrends ’92) Ward, a music education major from Springtown who now teaches in the ACU music department where her husband, Dr. Steven Ward (’92), is director of bands and orchestra. “I was completely honored then, and am completely honored now to have been a recipient of the Margaret Teague Spirit Award,” Kristin said. “I returned to ACU to try to give students the kind of foundation for life that was given to me. The people here, people like Peggy Teague, helped me find my purpose, or really, God’s purpose for my life.” The William J. and Margaret L. Teague Excellence Award, an endowed scholarship program for students at ACU, began in 1989. In 1991, the Teagues also were named Christian Educators of the Year by 20th Century Christian magazine for careers of service to three Church of Christ-affiliated universities while Bill was an administrator at Harding (1957-59), Pepperdine (1959-70) and ACU (1952-57, 1981-91 as president, 1991-2007 as chancellor and 2007-present as chancellor emeritus). “Peggy and Bill Teague’s marriage was a love story – for better, for worse; in sickness and in health,” said chancellor Dr. Royce Money (’64). “They are an inspiration to many of us. Peggy worked tirelessly for Abilene Christian for many years.” ACU’s Teague Boulevard opened in May 1992 and was dedicated in August of that year, serving as a new front entrance to the university. The 43,500-square foot Margaret L. and William J. Teague Special Events Center was dedicated in her and Bill’s honor in February 1999. “The Teague family name will always be an important part of ACU history,” said president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91). “Peggy and Bill have been prominent ambassadors of the university. She shared Bill’s commitment to excellence and helped us raise many standards that continue to shape who we are today.” She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank Newlen and Amelia Bell Reinke Newlen; and a sister, Florence Parsley. Survivors include William, her husband of 66 years; a son, Tom Teague (’71); two daughters, Susan Reid (’74) and Helen Teague (’83); and two grandchildren.  – RON HADFIELD AC U TO D AY



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(’49) in 1948. Dee was a coach and later farmed and ranched in Van Horn for 23 years. He later worked as a Farm Bureau insurance agent and owned and operated a Montgomery Ward catalog store in Eastland. Dee was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, L.G. Wilson (’50); and a sister, Ladell Green. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; two sons, Jim Wilson (’72) and Kerry Wilson (’82); a daughter, Jane (Wilson ’75) Penny; a brother, Delbert Wilson (’63); six grandchildren; and eight greatgrandchildren. Dr. Betty Irene Buford, 86, died Sept. 17, 2014. After graduating from ACU, she earned a master’s degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1956. She began her career as an English teacher in Electra and Plainview, and also worked as a guidance counselor. She was a leader in the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, serving as a trustee, state chair, vice president and president of the organization. She taught for three years in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University while working on her doctorate in educational psychology. She received the Grover C. Morlan Medal award from ACU’s Department of Teacher Education in 1974. Later, she was a professor and director of psychology at Temple Junior College, from 1974 until her retirement in 1987. Betty was preceded in death by her parents, a brother and a niece. She is survived by two nieces, a nephew and other relatives.

1953

Shirley Dean (Belcher) Howeth, 82, died Dec. 5, 2014, in Glen Rose, Texas. She was born Aug. 17, 1932, in Lewisville. She married Clinton Everett Howeth (’52) on June 13, 1952, the same year he graduated from ACU. Shirley taught in Texas public schools and supervised student teachers at Abilene Christian for 38 years. She was preceded in death by her parents, Gilmer and Mary Loise Belcher; and a sister, Mary Lee Umhoeffer. Among survivors were Clint, her husband of 63 years who died 12 days later (see page 78); her daughters, Debbie (Howeth ’75) Lambert, Denise (Howeth ’77) York and Diane (Howeth ’83) Hulburt; six grandchildren; and six great grandchildren. Dale V. Hunt, 82, died Jan. 24, 2015. He was born Aug. 26, 1932, in Knippa, married Shirley Cowden (’55) in July 1953, and served two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He served as an elder of El Campo Church of Christ for 32 years. He was an agricultural businessman involved in farming and ranching. He was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Agricultural Development, National Commission on Agriculture Trade and Export Policy, and the Texas Rice Task Force. He actively participated in local, state, and national arenas of the rice industry, including service as chair of the Five States Rice Producers Legislative Group and president of the Texas Rice Research Foundation. He was a trustee of American

Rice Inc. from 1968-95, and president of the company from 1980-84. He also was a member of the Garwood and Rice ISD school boards for 10 years, and served on the boards of Garwood Irrigation, El Seven Ranch, and Garwood Implement and Supply. He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Mollie Hunt; and a sister, Shirley Smith. Among survivors are Shirley, his wife of 61 years; a son, Daryl Hunt (’79); two daughters, Renee (Hunt ’86) Faas and Rachelle (Hunt ’89) Cook; two sisters, Glenna (Hunt ’52) Langford and Janet (Hunt ’57) Wesson; a brother, Robert Hunt (’61); and eight grandchildren.

1955

Albert “Glenn” Wamble, 84, died Sept. 19, 2014. He was born in Dallas on Feb. 13, 1930, to Albert and Lautrell Wamble. He served in the Merchant Marines, the U.S. Air Force and the Naval Reserve, while also working for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company for 37 years. He married Agnes Remelle Tapp in 1954. She survives him, as do two sons, Paul Wamble (’79) and Mark (’82) Wamble; a daughter, Lisa (Wamble ’86) Hite; a sister, Carolyn (Wamble ’56) Southward; and six grandchildren. Edith Frances (Morton) Watson, 80, died April 10, 2014. She was born Dec. 26, 1933, in Lubbock and grew up in Levelland. She married Gerald Watson and

Waugh’s hallmark creativity and eye for detail fueled his business success William R. Waugh (’59) may not have been a household name, but there was no mistaking the influence he had on the aesthetics of ACU’s campus and the crowd-pleasing restaurants he created throughout the Southwest for more than three decades. A talented and innovative businessman, Waugh died Jan. 20, 2015, in Dallas at age 79. He created Taco Bueno – opening the first Tex-Mex fast-food restaurant on South First Street in 1967 and growing it to 176 restaurants in seven states – Crystal’s Pizza and Spaghetti, Casa Bonita, and Burger Street, combining his own creative flair with a relentless dedication to excellence, customer service and great food. The Casa Bonita near Denver, Colo., was the largest Mexican food restaurant in the world, seating 1,100 and serving more than 1 million customers a year while entertaining them with cliff divers and water falls, mariachi bands and costumed characters. His first venture was in the dry cleaning and laundry business, purchasing a One-Hour Martinizing franchise in 1959 and expanding it to a small chain in Texas and Oklahoma over the next eight years. In Abilene he developed Tony’s Pizza Cave in 1972 into Crystal’s, one of a chain of popular family focused restaurants in Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma for 35 years. He began Casa Bonita in Oklahoma City in 1968 and expanded to locations in Texas, Colorado and Arkansas. Waugh sold Taco Bueno and Casa Bonita to the British food company Unigate in 1981. He founded Burger Street in 1985 in Lewisville, Texas, growing the all-drive-through concept store to 14 locations in the DFW Metroplex and four in Tulsa. The company is poised to expand over the next year in a new phase of growth. He was board chair of Waugh Enterprises Inc., senior board chair and founder of Plaza National Bank, president and CEO of Rembrandt Antiek Gallerie, and board chair of Christian Services of the Southwest. Waugh also served as a trustee or regent of ACU, Pepperdine University, Dallas Christian School, the Hockaday School, the Dallas Salvation Army, Dallas Christian Leadership, and Heartbeat Ministries. He was a visiting lecturer for the business schools at Abilene Christian, Southern Methodist and Baylor universities. “Bill had unique and remarkable gifts as an entrepreneur, artist and man of faith,” said former ACU trustee J. McDonald Williams (’63), retired chair and CEO of Trammell Crow Company. “He built nationally renowned business enterprises. He approached all of life 76

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as an artist, with an acute attention to detail, whether a new restaurant or a new business school building at ACU as chair of its campaign.” Waugh had a special relationship with his alma mater. Besides serving as an ACU trustee (1982-98) and member of the Senior Board (1998-2007), he received the university’s Distinguished Alumni Citation in 1982, was named the College of Business Administration’s 1983 Entrepreneur of the Year, served on the COBA Dean’s Advisory Council, and was the college’s first adjunct professor of business. He also was an influential leader on planning committees for the Mabee Business Building and Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building. “Bill’s leadership in design of those two facilities resulted in new structures at Abilene Christian, and years later, influenced the aesthetics of the Hunter Welcome Center and the Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center,” said Dr. Jack Griggs (’64), Overton Faubus Professor Emeritus of Business and former COBA dean. “He marked the campus through his capacity for thinking big and his attention to detail.” When the Crystal’s in Irving closed in 2013, a blogger for the Dallas Observer lamented the loss of an iconic eatery popular among families – especially kids – for years. “I choose to believe that Crystal’s is closing because they’re tired of being so awesome all the time,” wrote Alice Laussade. “It has finally worn them out.” Waugh was born Aug. 2, 1935, in Norman, Okla., and graduated from Colorado Springs (Colo.) High School in 1953. He married Francis Vickrey (’65) in 1964. He earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Abilene Christian in 1959. While at ACU he was president of the Art Club, president of Kappa Pi, vice president of Phi Delta Psi, and a member of Blue Key. In 1965 he attended the Frank J. Reilly School of Art in New York City. He was preceded in death by his parents, W. Ray and Ruby Waugh. Among survivors are Liwei, his wife of 11 years; two daughters, Lisa Nicole (Waugh ’95) Miethe and Anna Christina (Waugh ’97) Richards; a son, Nicholas David Waugh (’97); a stepdaughter, Ya Zhou; 14 grandchildren; and a brother, Thomas Lee Waugh (’62). 

– RON HADFIELD


raised seven children with him. Edith later established a private kindergarten in her home, founded a Christian Montessori school and worked in the public school system. She is survived by a sister, Betty (Morton ’59) Basye; three daughters, Suzanne Dennis, Debra (Watson ’79) Hicks and Patricia Robinson; four sons, Larry Watson, Timothy Watson (’80), Jerry Watson and John Watson (’86); 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. F. Lee Goodman Jr., 83, died Dec. 18, 2014. He was born June 22, 1931, in Stratford, and married Carolyn Colville. After earning a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry, he served nearly four years in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He was the manager of the Chamber of Commerce in Taylor and McAllen; executive director of H.L. Hunt’s Life Line Foundation in Washington, D.C.; and later became the executive director of the Downtown Fort Worth Association and Fort Worth Foundation. He was chosen Outstanding Man of Fort Worth and one of the Five Outstanding Young Texans by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce. He then established Overcash Goodman Enterprises, which involved numerous health care, retail and construction ventures, and was owner of Lee Goodman Investments. He was an elder at Meadowbrook Church of Christ for 25 years and an active member of The Hills Church of Christ for 35 years. He served on the board of Fort Worth Christian School. Goodman served on ACU’s National Development Council, was named 1967 Aggie of the Year by the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and received one of the university’s Distinguished Alumni Citations in 1978. Goodman was preceded in death by a sister, Nezabeth (Goodman ’49) Barnett; and a brother, Jackie Goodman. Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Carolyn; sons Gary Goodman and Greg Goodman (’84); a daughter, Gay (Goodman ’89) Walters; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

1957

Gerald C. Cleveland, 78, died Nov. 20, 2013, in Bridgeport, Texas. He was born March 13, 1935, in Cottondale and married Carolyn Holloway (’59) on March 29, 1957. He worked as a school principal in Santa Fe, Texas, and ministered to churches in several Texas cities. Gerald is survived by his wife, Carolyn; two daughters, Patti (Cleveland ’84) Tax and Lori (Cleveland ’90) Rhodes; a son, Jerry Cleveland (’88); a sister; and eight grandchildren.

1960

Carl Don Humphreys, 77, died Aug. 2, 2014. He was born July 21, 1937, in Littlefield, Texas. He married Anna Wilson on May 27, 1961. Carl earned an M.B.A. from Texas Tech University and taught school in San Antonio, Ralls and Lubbock. He is survived by his wife, Anna; a son; a sister; a brother; a grandson; and other relatives.

1964

Denny “Bud” Edward White, 73, died Sept. 16, 2014. He was born Oct. 6, 1940, in Borger, Texas, and was a standout athlete at Dumas High School. He was a track and field letterman at ACU, where he earned an education degree. He married Jan Walker in 1976. She survives him, as do four daughters, Ashlee Nichols, Brooke (White ’11) Fulham, Amy Blish and Jana White; a son, Ethan White; two sisters, Sue (White ’62) Patterson and Nancy (White ’67) Vick; and 12 grandchildren. Jimmy Dean Parsons, 74, died Dec. 9, 2014, in Baytown, Texas. He was born Oct. 30, 1940, in Abilene, graduated from Abilene High School in 1959, and married Ann Parrish (’62). He was an award-winning photographer for the Abilene Reporter-News who served six years in the U.S. Air Force (reaching the rank of captain) before beginning a 30-year career in public and external relations, and government affairs for Houston Lighting & Power. Parsons was past president of the CNP Retired Employees Club and was active in the AHS Class of 1959 alumni club. He also volunteered at the Houston Public Library’s Metropolitan Research Center. Parsons served as a teacher, deacon and elder, and was most recently a member of Eastside Church of Christ. In 1983 he was honored as the ACU Department of Journalism and Mass Communication’s outstanding graduate, a recognition that subsequently became the Gutenberg Award. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Earline

Parsons; and a grandchild, Sydney Leigh Parsons. Among survivors are his wife, Ann; sons Anthony Parsons and Jim Parsons; two grandchildren; and a brother, Percy Parsons.

1965

Jack Brigman, 70, died Nov. 23, 2013, in Abilene. He was born Nov. 28, 1942, in Deming, N.M. He met his wife, Marsha Miller (’67), while a student at ACU. They were married in 1965. Jack worked as a CPA for oil and gas companies and later with Davis Kinard and Company. Among survivors are his wife, Marsha; a daughter, Kelli (Brigman ’89) Walker; a son, Jaxon Brigman; a brother, Henry Brigman (’59); four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

1970

Mary Gladys (Minzenmayer) Nicolds died Sept. 15, 2014. She was born Aug. 18, 1948, near Hutto, Texas. She is survived by her husband, Horace Nicolds (’70); two sons; a daughter; a sister; and four grandchildren. Pamela Vandelia (Estes) Padget, 66, died June 27, 2014, in Granbury, Texas. She was born Nov. 20, 1947, and grew up in Pecos and Abilene. She worked as a real estate broker and later earned an M.M.F.T. degree from ACU, which enabled her to work as a family therapist. Pam was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Padget Sr., and her parents, Billy Sol and Patsy Estes. She is survived by four daughters; a son; three sisters, Jan Harman, Dawn (Estes ’74) Stevens, Joy (Estes ’79) Lovell; a brother, Bill Estes Jr. (’75); and nine grandchildren. Sharon (Geibel) Banister, 70, died Oct. 19, 2014. She retired from the U.S. Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel and also worked as a freelance journalist. She was a member of the Big Purple Band at ACU and later played bassoon in the Fannin County Community Band and the Paris (Texas) Municipal Band. Sharon is survived by her husband, John Banister Jr. (’70); two daughters, Bethany Rainsberg and Hannah Banister; and two grandchildren.

1977

Brent Russell Stutzman, 59, died July 18, 2014. He was born April 26, 1955, and grew up in Pennsylvania. At ACU he was editor of The Optimist in 1977-78 and winner of the 1977 Wendell Bedichek award as the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication’s outstanding staff member, and played tuba in the Big Purple Band. He later earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. He married Anne Reidelberger May 19, 1985. Brent served the last 17 years as the human resources director at New Horizons, a nonprofit serving adults with developmental disabilities in the Los Angeles area. He also was an avid marathon runner. Among survivors are his wife, Anne Stutzman; and a son, Samuel.

1980

Robert Harvey “Bob” Kuzma, 76, died June 30, 2014. He was born June 14, 1938, in Chicago and grew up in Ohio. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1958 and worked for 20 years as a radar navigator, serving on several tours of duty in Vietnam. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from McMurry University, a master’s degree in finance from Hardin-Simmons University, and a master’s degree in accounting from ACU. He worked as a CPA and served 28 years on the faculty at McMurry University. He married Vicki Garrett on Feb. 2, 1963. She survives him, as do a son; a daughter; two brothers; two sisters; and two granddaughters.

1982

Kelly Dean “Kel” Hamby Jr., 54, died June 13, 2014, in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was born March 3, 1960 and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from ACU. He worked for Boston Public Schools from 1985-2003, then worked at several schools in the Colorado Springs area. Kel spent 17 years as the logistics coordinator for the Zambia Medical Mission. He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Kelly Hamby. Among survivors are his mother, Eleanor “Ellie” Hamby; a sister, Sheryl Hamby-Ramsey (’83); and a brother, Clenis “Moon” Blanton (’95).

1983

Dillard Eugene “Gene” Brewer, 87, died July 13, 2014, in Manchester, Conn. He was born March 24, 1927, in Chandler, Okla., and earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Oklahoma. He earned a master’s degree in biblical studies from ACU and later served as the minister of Manchester Church of Christ from its founding in 1961 until his retirement in 2004. Gene married Barbara Anthony on June 25, 1948. She preceded him in death, as did a daughter, Rebecca Brewer. Gene is survived by four daughters, Ann Brumley, Janet (Brewer ’77) Stice, Susan (Brewer ’79 M.A.) Yeats and Jennifer Blake; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

1984

Robert Lee “Trey” McFarlin III, 52, died Aug. 28, 2014, in Colorado Springs, Texas. He was born in Abilene and grew up in Arlington before attending ACU, where he met his wife, Julie (Fowler ’86) McFarlin. They were married in 1984. She survives him, as do a daughter, Brittany (McFarlin ’11) Elrod; a son, Andrew McFarlin (’13); his father, Robert McFarlin Jr. (’62); and other relatives.

1986

Philip Lane Langford, 62, a resident of Utopia, Texas, died Dec. 5, 2014, in San Antonio. He was born June 30, 1952, in Plainview, where he graduated from high school in 1980. Having earned a B.A. in missions from ACU, Philip traveled the world as a missionary, educator and caregiver. He worked alongside physicians in Africa with Nigerian Christian Hospital and taught school in Japan before beginning work with inner-city fifth graders through Houston Outdoor Education Center. Among survivors are his parents, Delbert (’54) and Beverly Marie (Woodward ’57) Langford; and three sisters, Lauri (Langford ’81) Horton, Lisa Loney and Jennifer (Langford ’93) Massey.

1992

Carol Rebecca “Becky” Harris, 70, died May 13, 2014. She was born Nov. 10, 1943, in Stuttgart, Ark., and attended Hendrix College, Memphis State University and ACU, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism. Becky was married three times: to Ervin Rhodes, Richard Pflugfelder and Glenn Dromgoole. She served many years in the newspaper industry, including at the Abilene Reporter-News, and also worked in public relations and marketing for many nonprofits. Among survivors are two sisters; a brother; two sons; and four grandchildren.

2018

ACU freshman Colby Elizabeth McDaniel, 19, died Dec. 21, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. She was born Oct. 12, 1995, and graduated in 2014 from Southwest Christian School, where she was a talented actor and vocalist in the music and theatre departments. At ACU she majored in psychology and was active in the University Chorale. Among survivors are her parents, Alan and Alice (Jones ’79) McDaniel; a sister, Taylor McDaniel (’15); and a grandmother, Shirley McDaniel.

OTHER FRIENDS

ACU benefactor William Edward “Hump” Franklin died Dec. 13, 2014. He was born Feb. 15, 1941, in Sulphur Bluff, Texas, grew up in Wadsworth and graduated from Bay City High School. He married Irene Hock in 1968 and graduated in 1969 from Texas A&M-Kingsville University with a degree in business administration. In 1974 he and Irene started Franklin Welding Services, Inc., which would become a success for the next 40 years. They established the John Franklin Youth Association in memory of his late son, John (’91), with proceeds benefitting an endowment for the ACU golf program. He was preceded in death by his parents, Herbert “Big John” and Lillian Monroe Franklin; a son, John; and his mother, Gertrude Hock. Among survivors are his wife, Irene; sons William Franklin and David Franklin; a brother, Glen Franklin; and several grandchildren.

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No degree plan was too tedious for record-holding registrar Rasco The thumbprint of Kenneth Hugh Rasco (’48) was on the transcript and Commencement credentials of tens of thousands of students who attended ACU during the record 35 years (1950-85) he served as registrar. Rasco – whose kindness, humility, grace, patience and eye for detail were legendary among those who knew him – died Sept. 18, 2014, in Abilene at age 93. Rasco was born Jan. 23, 1921, in Tyler, Texas. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, earning four Air Medals with four oak leaf clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism during his 35 missions over Germany and France. He married Marianna Yarbrough (’53) on Jan. 1, 1954, in Fort Worth. Rasco earned an associate degree from Tyler Junior College in 1941 before earning his B.A. from ACU. He later earned an M.A. from Northwestern University. Rasco joined the ACU faculty in 1949 as an instructor of English, retiring in 1986 as assistant professor emeritus of English

and registrar. He was active in the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. He served as a deacon at Abilene’s University Church of Christ. He was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Berta Lou McGlathery Rasco; brothers Edwin Rasco and Alvin Mack McCary; and a sister, Ethlene Buffington. Among survivors are Dr. Marianna Rasco, his wife of 60 years; a daughter, Dr. Amy Coffey (’79); a son, Kern Rasco (’80); five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a sister, Merle (Rasco ’54) Holmes. 

Starnes’ organization, creativity helped ensure ACU events were special

STEVE BUTMAN

Dr. Ted Duncan Starnes (’55), whose creativity helped make theatre productions shine and who helped redefine the face of special events at his alma mater, died Dec. 7, 2014, in Abilene at age 81. His 38-year career in higher education spanned notable roles at ACU and Pepperdine University. Starnes was born July 5, 1933, in Houston and graduated from Abilene High School in 1951. After earning a B.A. in speech/drama from ACU in 1955, he served in the U.S. Army from 1955-57, earned a Master of Arts degree in speech/drama from Pepperdine in 1961 and a doctorate in drama education from the University of North Texas in 1983. He also studied at the University of Southern California. He met Beverley Camp (’57) during his senior and her freshman year at Abilene Christian, and they married July 5, 1957. Starnes twice served as director of theatre at Pepperdine (1961-70 and 1976-79) but invested the majority of his career at ACU, where he joined the faculty as assistant professor of communication in 1970 and became associate professor in 1979. He was named director of university events in 1979, director of volunteer development and ACU events in 1989, and he retired in 1999.

His organizational skills and his years of expertise in theatre, lighting and staging – he was largely technical director of numerous dinner theatre shows and Homecoming musicals at ACU but also directed dinner theatre productions such as The Rainmaker in 1982 – served him well after he left the classroom. Starnes’ later work encompassed directing Sing Song and Freshman Follies, and overseeing design and production of major ACU events such as Opening Assembly, Commencement, the President’s Circle Dinner, fundraising events, and concerts at venues from Moody Coliseum to the Paramount Theatre in Abilene to the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. In his spare time, Starnes volunteered his time as a design, production and technical consultant for the West Texas Rehabilitation Center telethons and fundraising dinners, the Abilene Opera Association and the Abilene Preservation League, and as a visiting director for the Abilene Community Theatre. After retirement, he worked part time at The Hamil Family Funeral Home. In 2005-06 he was a member of ACU’s Centennial Photography Archivists Team. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rufus and Willow Drue (Garner) Starnes; a brother, Rufus G. Starnes Jr. (’41); and two sisters, Elaine (Starnes ’48) Bryant and Yvonne (Starnes ’48) Smith. Among survivors are Beverley, his wife of 57 years; two sons, Robert Mac Starnes (’88) and Thomas Duncan Starnes; a brother, Mac D. Starnes (’58); and three grandchildren. 

Howeth admitted, recruited students to ACU for more than a quarter century Clinton Everett Howeth (’52), former longtime ACU director of admissions and placement, died Dec. 17, 2014, in Glen Rose, Texas, at age 84. He was born Sept. 12, 1930, in Glen Rose, where he also graduated from high school in 1948. Howeth earned a degree in agriculture from ACU the same year – 1952 – as he married Shirley Belcher (’53). He earned another bachelor’s degree (in business) from ACU in 1974 and a master’s degree in management and human relations in 1975. After serving from 1953-55 in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he worked as assistant personnel officer for the USDA Soil Conservation service in Temple. He joined the ACU staff in 1966 and served 26 years, most of them as director of admissions and placement. He also was an international admissions counselor, traveling throughout the Far East to recruit students. 78

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Howeth was president of the Texas Association for School, College and University Staffing, and a member of the Southwest Placement Association and of the National Association of Foreign Student Admissions. He was recognized The Howeths as ACU Professional Staff Member of the Year in 1980, served as chair of the ACU Credit Union board and retired in 1992. Howeth was preceded in death by Shirley, his wife of 63 years who passed away 12 days earlier (see page 76); and his parents, Floyd and Ethel (Eddy) Howeth. Among survivors are his daughters, Debbie (Howeth ’75) Lambert, Denise (Howeth ’77) York and Diane (Howeth ’83) Hulburt; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.


ACU Remembers: Bradford, Knight, Roggendorff, Hooten, Hoover, Shultz, Hutchinson, Holt, Pfeifer Professor emeritus of mathematics Dr. James Clyde Bradford, 83, of Abilene, died June 28, 2014, in Abilene. He was born Aug. 28, 1930, in Wichita Falls, Texas, and graduated from Iowa Park High School. He married Elizabeth Echols (’51) on May 31, 1951, after he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of North Texas. He went on to earn a Ph.D. degree in mathematics from the University of Oklahoma in 1957. He taught mathematics at ACU for 37 years, including 13 years as department chair, and retired in 1996. He was president of the Big Country Council of Teachers of Mathematics, a member of a mathematics delegation to China, and received a Meritorious Service Award from the Mathematical Association of America. He was an elder for University Church of Christ for more than 30 years. Elizabeth passed away Jan. 19, 2014. He was preceded in death by his parents, B.L. (’28) and Erlene Overbey Bradford; Elizabeth, his wife of 62 years; and a brother, John Bradford (’50). Among survivors are a daughter; Susan (Bradford ’75) Vaughan; two sons, Chuck Bradford (’77) and Richard Bradford (’84); and eight grandchildren. Lewis Thompson Knight (’49) died Aug. 17, 2014, in Houston at age 91. He was born May 17, 1923, in Princeton, Ark., and graduated from Little Rock (Ark.) Central High School in 1941. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943-46, earned an associate’s degree from Little Rock Junior College in 1948 and married Clara Beth Billingsley (’50) on May 31, 1949. Knight forged a career in the insurance industry while living in Oregon, Arkansas and Texas, and was a member of the Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters. He and his wife helped establish a congregation in Coquille, Ore., and later he served as an elder for Garland Road Church of Christ (later named Highland Oaks) in Dallas. He also helped found the Christian Care Center in Mesquite. Knight was president of the ACU Alumni Assocation in 1988-92. He was preceded in death by his parents, Felix Knight Sr. and Nora (Thompson) Knight; a son, Gregg Billingsley; and brothers Felix Knight Jr., William D. Knight, Dr. Roger L. Knight (’52) and J. Ronald Knight (’52). Among survivors are Clara Beth, his wife of 65 years; a daughter, Nancy (Knight ’72) Calvert; a son, Jeff Knight (’77); and six grandchildren. George Arthur Roggendorff, 80, died Sept. 9, 2014. He was born Dec. 20, 1933, in Dickinson County, Kan. He earned a B.S. degree in biology and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1958. He moved to Abilene in 1960, where he studied missions at ACU and met his future wife, Bertha Alicia Soto. They were married in 1964. George taught biology at ACU from 1964-70, while also working as a veterinarian. He and Bertha served as missionaries in Argentina, from 1973-83. They later moved to the Austin area and George worked with many local congregations there. In 1993, he returned to veterinary work in Georgetown. George is survived by his wife, Bertha; a son, Dr. Paul Roggendorff; a daughter, Leahanna Moore; a sister, Phyllis (Roggendorff ’55) Smith; a brother, David Roggendorff (’59); and three grandchildren. Former longtime ACU trustee William F. “Bill” Hooten, 88, died Oct. 2, 2014, in Johns Creek, Ga. He was born Aug. 13, 1926, in St. Louis, Mo., married Joanne “Jan” Jeans on Aug. 1, 1949, and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1950. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and in the Army as a lieutenant during the Korean War. Hooten’s career in the hardware-automotive retail and wholesale industry spanned 40 years, including vice president and director of

Western Auto Supply Co. Later, he was president of Liberty Distributors in Chicago before facilitating the merger of Liberty and Sentry Hardware Corporation into Distribution America, an organization of 4,500 hardware, lumber and building materials stores of which he served as president. In 1991 he received the Leukens Leadership Award, the highest recognition of a distributor or manufacturer in the hardware industry. After retirement from Distribution America in 1992, he and Jan traveled on several overseas advising assignments for International Executive Service Corps. Hooten served as an elder in four congregations, including North Atlanta Church of Christ. He was an ACU trustee for 29 years. Among survivors are Jan, his wife of 65 years; a son, Bill Hooten III; daughters Marcy (Hooten ’76) Godfrey and Suzy (Hooten ’78) Brownlee; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Professor emeritus of history Dr. Arlie J. Hoover died Dec. 11, 2014, in Pasadena, Texas, at age 78. Hoover was born March 14, 1936, in Slaton, Texas, and graduated from Slaton High School in 1954. He met Gloria Kay Garrison while the two were attending Florida Christian College and they married June 7, 1959. He earned an A.A. degree in Bible from FCC in 1960, a B.A. in history from the University of Tampa (1960), an M.A. (1962) and Ph.D. (1965) in history and philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin, and received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Emmanuel College in Oxford, England (1992). Hoover was professor of history at Pepperdine University (1964-77) and dean of Columbia Christian College (1977-80) before joining ACU’s faculty in 1980. He retired in 2010. A recipient of numerous academic awards, grants and fellowships – including a Fulbright Fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities – he traveled extensively to research and lecture across the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. He was a respected scholar on the Holocaust; German philosopher, poet and composer Friedrich Nietzsche; and world, American and religious history. A prolific writer, Hoover authored 12 books and numerous articles for publications. He served as a minister for congregations in Florida, Texas, California and Oregon, and as a deacon at Hillcrest Church of Christ in Abilene. He was preceded in death by his parents, A.J. and Ruth Elizabeth (Clem) Hoover, a brother, Bobby Hoover; and a sister, Myrna Brown. Survivors include Gloria, his wife of 55 years; two daughters, Arletta (Hoover ’92) Beard and Cathey Hoover (’97); four grandchildren; and brothers Tim Hoover and Nathaniel Hoover. Donald M. Shultz (’52) died Dec. 6, 2014, at age 85 in Atlanta, Ga. Born Nov. 1, 1929, in Topeka, Kan., Shultz earned a B.S. degree in business administration from ACU in 1952 and a certification in ministerial counseling in 1990. He was a football letterman and member of the A Club while a student at Abilene Christian. He married Susie Ogletree on Nov. 14, 1953, and served nine years in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Shultz was an executive with Ford Motor Company for 32 years. He retired at age 57 to work full time in ministry at North Atlanta Church of Christ, where he served as an elder. Previously, he was an elder at Campbell (Calif.) Church of Christ. In 1981, ACU awarded Shultz its Distinguished Alumni Citation. He was a member of the ACU Board of Trustees from 1986-2005 and also served as chair of Greater Atlanta Christian School. Shultz was preceded in death by his parents, Dewey and Mildred Shultz, and a brother, Dale Shultz (’51). Survivors include Susie, his wife of 61 years; a daughter, Camie (Shultz ’80) Fetz; sons Brad Shultz (’82) and Todd Shultz (’87); brothers Larry Shultz (’57) and Ron Shultz (’66); five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Former ACU professor of chemistry Dr. Bennett Hutchinson (’63) died Dec. 30, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn., at age 72. Hutchinson was born Aug. 7, 1942, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and graduated from Littlefield (Texas) High School in 1959. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from ACU, an M.S. in inorganic chemistry from The University of Texas of Austin in 1965, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1970. He married Nancy A. Richardson (’75 M.A.) on June 27, 1970. At the time of his passing, he was professor of chemistry and former dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences at Lipscomb University. Hutchinson was professor of chemistry at ACU from 1969-90, chair of the natural science division at Pepperdine University from 1992-98 and dean of Oklahoma Christian University’s College of Science and Engineering from 1998-2003. Among survivors are Nancy, his wife of 44 years; a daughter, Amy (Hutchinson ’93) McBride; and three grandchildren. Former longtime Abilene Christian University trustee Wayne Holt (’56) died Jan. 2, 2015, at age 81. He was born May 6, 1933, in Olney, Texas, and graduated from Olney High School in 1951. He attended Paris (Texas) Junior College and ACU, where he met Patsy Hufstedler (’57) on a blind date and married her Oct. 8, 1955. He played football at Abilene Christian and also was a boxer. Holt owned and operated J.D. Hufstedler Truck Co. in Lubbock. He moved to Austin in 1996 to work with his son, Mark Holt, at Stuart Customs until retiring in 2008 and returning to Lubbock in 2013. He was vice chair of the ACU Advisory Board before serving on ACU’s Board of Trustees from 1972-96. Holt also was a trustee of The Children’s Home of Lubbock, coached Little League baseball, and was a Bible school teacher and elder at Broadway Church of Christ. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur Judson Holt and Flora Irene Holt. Among survivors are Patsy, his wife of 59 years; four sons, Richard Holt (’78), Mark Holt (’80), Mike Holt (’83) and Ragan Holt (’87); 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a brother, Carl Holt. Dr. Jerilyn (Kyker) Pfeifer, 66, died Feb. 22, 2015, in Abilene. Born Sept. 15, 1948, in Abilene, she graduated from Abilene High School in 1966 and married Walt Pfeifer (’70) on June 6, 1969. She earned a M.Ed. in secondary education from ACU in 1973 and an Ed.D. degree from Texas Tech University in 1981. Her long career in education included roles as secondary teacher and principal, director of career and technology, education director of K-12 language arts at the district level and superintendent of three school districts (Albany, Venus and Everman). In 1991 she became the first woman to be named principal of an Abilene high school (Cooper). She was superintendent of the Everman ISD in 2013 when she received the Morlan Medal from ACU’s Department of Teacher Education. She was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Board of Regents for the Texas State Technical College System and served on the boards of Faith Works, Eternal Threads and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Abilene, and was a member of the United Way of Abilene’s 1992 Campaign Cabinet. Pfeifer also served at ACU from 1981-91 as associate professor of teacher education, director of academic services, assistant to the provost, and assistant vice president for enrollment management. She was named 1986 Outstanding Teacher of the Year in ACU’s College of Professional Studies. She was predeceased by her father, Dr. Rex D. Kyker (’43). Among survivors are Walt, her husband of 45 years; two sons, Dylan Pfeifer (’99) and Daren Pfeifer; a grandson; her mother, Jewel “Chris” (White ’46) Kyker; brothers Rob Kyker (’72) and Ricky Kyker (’81); and sisters Lindy (Kyker ’74) Fullerton and Jan (Kyker ’75) Bryan.

AC U TO D AY



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79


Second GLANCE

By Andrea Lucado

Love God, love people: The legacy of Stanley Shipp Stanley Shipp earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from ACU in 1946. He spent the rest of his life as a missionary with his wife, Marie (Milstead ’48), in places like France, Switzerland, Wyoming and Missouri until he passed away in 2002. I am one of many who is grateful Stanley did not use that chemistry degree and lock himself up in a lab somewhere. He belonged among God’s people, loving them as only he could. I got to know the man I like to call my adopted grandfather because he mentored my dad, Max Lucado (’77), during a year he spent as an intern with Stanley in St. Louis from 1978-79. That year solidified a lifelong friendship between my dad and Stanley. He and Marie often visited us in San Antonio and eventually moved there from St. Louis in 1997. I was thrilled my adopted grandparents had finally moved just down the street from us. I remember eating Swiss meals at their house prepared by Marie while Stanley told crazy stories about meeting Mother Teresa, a crash-landing in a hot air balloon, paragliding in the Alps. I was, and am, in awe of him. Perhaps what Stanley did even better than tell stories was disciple people. Most of that occurred at the St. Louis Spiritual Internship he and Marie started at McKnight Road Church of Christ in 1975. For 25 years, numerous ACU alumni, including my dad, participated in the program and most likely all of them would agree that the internship, and Stanley, changed them. “Stanley taught me so much about compassion,” my dad said. “He was as quick as anyone I have ever known to give people the benefit of the doubt. I can remember a time when a story of a drifter stirred cynicism in me and tears in him.” Stanley’s life mantra was simple and he said it again and again: “Love God. Love people.” Brent Pennington (’93), who was an intern in 1991, recalls witnessing Stanley’s love for people while visiting the house of a man who had AIDS. After hearing the man’s story, Stanley asked how they could help him. The man said he needed a pack of cigarettes. “Stanley looked at me with tears and a cracked voice,” said Brent. “He said, ‘I don’t like it that this guy smokes, but I want to love him. I think loving him today looks like buying him a pack of cigarettes.’” Stanley loved the types of people most of us easily overlook. I remember many instances of this during an overseas trip my family took with Stanley and Marie when I was 12 years old. As a self-conscious pre-teen, I would get embarrassed when Stanley talked to a homeless man on the street or befriended our waiter at dinner. At that age, I didn’t realize what I was witnessing: the gospel in action. The gospel in action was exactly what the Spiritual Internship in St. Louis was all about. Until 1999, it ran year-, summer- and weeklong programs. Its mission was to reach people with the gospel by training and sending out men and women. Graduates of the program have planted churches all over the world, but Stanley wanted to produce more than just missionaries and church planters. Dale Robinson (’79) co-led the internship program with Stanley from 1985-91. “The internship began because Stanley believed that ‘regular’ people (vocational Christians as opposed to full-time ministers) wanted and would benefit from hands-on ministry training,” Robinson said. “Ministers most often had 80

Spring-Summer 2015



ACU TODAY

opportunities for training, but the folks in the pew didn’t.” More than anything, Stanley wanted people to do what they were called to do, whether that meant remaining on the pew or standing in the pulpit. While many past interns are in ministry today, or are missionaries, many of them are also doctors, writers, artists, stay-at-home moms and teachers. They are people like Brent and his wife, Julie (Griggs ’94), who now run Chiang Rai International School in Thailand, where they have opportunities to share the gospel while they educate. “People who Jesus loved through Stanley go love other people,” Brent said. “When I teach my students in English classes, Jesus consistently helps me see them and love them. This mark of Stanley from Jesus stays on me.” Not all who met Stanley felt the call to go overseas. Don W. Crisp (’64) has worked in finance and real estate in the Dallas area for 40 years and was chair of ACU’s Board of Trustees from 1992-2007. He and his wife, Carol (Croson ’64), knew Stanley through retreats he led at their church, and through their son, Dr. Brad Crisp (’93), associate professor and director of ACU’s School of Information Technology, who did the summer internship. “Stanley took every opportunity to reach Shipp (right) was out to whomever happened to be around,” Don quick to spot said. “That’s inspiring to me, but not something and talk to I thought I could do.” Don is a self-professed strangers introvert while Stanley was the epitome of an about their extrovert. Still, Don and Carol were inspired faith. by Stanley to start a Bible study in their home. The study has been meeting on Monday nights for the last 30 years. “We’ve invited people to come, but it wasn’t like I was approaching them on the street or doing the sorts of things that Stanley might have done,” Don said. “I think his influence on me was to think in terms of how you could relate to people.” Russ (’89) and Tracy (Brasher ’88) Pennington, who served the internship in 1990, did take the missionary route. After an around-the-world mission trip with Stanley and Marie, the couple moved to Thailand, where they were missionaries for 17 years. “Our ministry was not marked by huge numbers of people coming to Christ, or hundreds of churches planted, but by individuals like Sombat, who we met when he was picking through the trash, and Samaan, who had contracted AIDS,” Russ said. “We loved him through his dying days when he had a dream of Jesus coming for him in the clouds.” Sounds like the type of people Stanley would have befriended. My dad has felt Stanley’s influence throughout his career as a missionary, a minister and also as a writer. “He modeled the power of Bible study,” my dad said. “It wasn’t enough for him to read a scripture; he wanted to help people put it to use.” I think this passion for the Word comes through each page of each book my dad has written over the last 27 years. ACU graduates discipled or influenced by Stanley are now scattered around the world in various jobs and career paths, from missions and medical missions to marketing to business to health professions, even English majors. One right now is sitting at her desk in Nashville, Tenn., typing up a story. When I think about Stanley, I feel grateful to have known him, to have listened to his stories, to have traveled with him. His memory reminds me to simply love God and love people. 


Philanthropy LIKE LOVE, LIVES ON

r. Vic (’58) and Estellene (’59) Allen of Garland, Texas, embody the concept of an Abilene Christian University legacy family. Their family tree shows more than 30 relatives who graduated from ACU between 1926 and 2010. Their grandson, Chad Karels (’15), a senior, is the 13th Wildcat in four generations descending from Vic’s parents, Victor (’33) and Eloise (Powell ’36) Allen.

Vic, Estellene and their three daughters decided to continue their legacy of benefitting ACU students with a recent gift of their vacation home. The sale of this beautiful house will provide funds for two science endowments, ACU’s new science facilities, a basketball scholarship and the new Wildcat Stadium. Contact The ACU Foundation for help finding ways you can use your non-cash assets to leave a personal legacy, investing in the lives of current and future ACU students.

Hunter Welcome Center ACU Box 29200 Abilene, Texas 79699-9200

800-979-1906 • 325-674-2508 • theacufoundation.org • garrettd@acu.edu


Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University ACU Box 29132 Abilene, Texas 79699-9132 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

C O M I N G U P Movies on the Hill: The Lego Movie ...................................................... August 6 Wildcat Week (previously Welcome Week) ..................................... August 18-22 Opening Assembly .............................................................................. August 24 Season-opening Football: ACU vs. Fresno State in Fresno, Calif. ...... September 5 National ACT Test Dates ...................... September 12, October 24, December 12 Family Weekend ....................................................................... September 18-20 Preview Weekend for Future Students ........................................... September 19 Football Pregame Party: ACU vs. Houston Baptist in Abilene ......... September 19 109th Annual Summit .............................................................. September 20-23 facebook.com/abilenechristian facebook.com/acusports

Homecoming ................................................................................ October 15-18 National SAT Test Dates ........................... October 10, November 7, December 5 Wildcat Preview Days for Future Students .................. October 12, November 14 Admitted Student Visit Day ................................................................ October 19 Football Pregame Party: ACU vs. Incarnate Word in San Antonio ...... October 24 Admitted Student Receptions .................................... November 23, December 4 Annual President’s Circle Dinner ............................................. February 14, 2016 60th Annual Sing Song ................................................................. February 19-20 Maker Fest .............................................................................. March 31 - April 1

twitter.com/acuedu twitter.com/acusports

instagram.com/acuedu ZANE WILLIAMS

Now that’s a selfie

Recording artist Zane Williams (’99) shared this view of his newly shined boots on the famous stage of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. He was one of two young ACU graduates to debut at the legendary country music venue this spring. See more coverage on pages 2-3 and 67.

Profile for Abilene Christian University

ACU Today Spring-Summer 2015  

Alumni magazine for Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas

ACU Today Spring-Summer 2015  

Alumni magazine for Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas