Page 1

Optimist the

a product of the JMC


Pg. 6 & 7 See photos from various Welcome Week events

August 25, 2008 :: Vol. 97, No. 1 :: 1 section, 10 pages ::

Inside This Issue:

Pg 4

Pg 8

ACU named ‘Technology Innovator’ for Mobile Learning Initiative

Pg 12

Ready and Reading: Freshmen eager to read ‘Same Kind of Different As Me’

Former ACU athletes compete in 2008 Beijing Olympics

Dr. Money pledges to remain president

Abilene Mobile University University dishes out more than 950 Apple devices By Daniel Johnson-Kim

By Michael Freeman

Editor in Chief

Managing Editor

Luz Hernandez will miss her red Samsung flip phone, but not that much. After waiting in line Aug. 16 with a multitude of other freshmen and their families, Hernandez, freshman business marketing major from Sulfur Springs, made her way to an open table where an AT&T representative was waiting to hand her an iPhone — one of the most cutting edge mobile devices in the world, compliments of ACU. “This is weird,” Hernandez said, while holding her iPhone in her hands for the first time. “I have a friend that has one of these, and he said that you miss the buttons on a regular phone.” More than 950 freshmen received an iPhone or an iPod touch as part of ACU’s Mobile Learning Initiative, an effort to incorporate the Apple mobile learning devices in the classrooms and hallways of ACU. The distribution of the devices began Aug. 16 and is See

Initiative page 9

Faculty join freshmen, eager to add to initiative

ACU first in Abilene to add AT&T 3G Network

By Michael Freeman

By Laura Acuff

Managing Editor

Freshmen will not be the only people beginning the school year with a free iPhone. About 150 faculty members will be equipped with iPhones or iPod touches to use in their classes this semester. “I’ve found my colleagues very supportive,” said Dr. Kyle Dickson, associate professor of English and co-director of the Mobile Learning Research. “Media is not solely about entertainment, but it’s also a key tool in education.” Many faculty members be-

gan ordering their iPhones shortly after the 3G version went on sale in July. Most have received their iPhones; however, a few are still waiting for their iPhones to arrive at the local AT&T store. Faculty, including adjunct and part-time instructors, who will be teaching freshmanlevel courses had first priority to the iPhones. “We tried to make sure that people who were teaching classes like University 100 had first access to these devices,” said William Rankin, See

ACU Mobile

ACU president Dr. Royce Money assured members of the faculty and staff during his State of the University speech in Cullen Auditorium Wednesday he intends to continue serving as president to see the 21st Century Vision implemented. “In May, the Board [of Trustees] asked me to extend my time as president, which I am very happy to do,” Money said. “I believe so much in this vision; I want to see it successfully launched.” But Money discussed more than his decision to stay with the university. He informally began the event by distributing gift cards and joking about staff members’ birthdays. Then after reviewing the Board of Trustees’ plans for the rest of the week and recognizing certain staff members for their work over the summer, Money spoke about the 21st Century Vision. The 21st Century Vision is a plan for transforming ACU within the next 12 years into the top university for Christian students. For the next five years, the university has four goals: “to produce leaders who think critically, globally and missionally; build distinctive and innovative programs; create a unique Christ-centered experience that calls students into community and to extend ACU’s Christian influence and educational reach nationally and internationally,” according to ACU’s Strategic Plan for 2009-2013. The exceptional plan is not an original endeavor for ACU because school leaders have been aiming high since the university was founded, Money said. “Don’t get the idea that we’re inventing this,” he said. “We’re a link in the chain.” Money wrapped up his State of the University speech with his account of a discussion between two recent ACU Malagasy graduates and an international banking executive when he

Opinion Page Editor

3G has come to ACU with the AT&T installation of four 3G towers around campus, accelerating the initial plan to equip the city of Abilene with 3G capability sometime in 2009. These towers support the recently launched mobile learning initiative because 3G technologies enable operators to offer users a wider range of more advanced mobile phone services including a faster wireless connection. “We’re about a year-anda-half ahead of the rest of

Faculty page 9

Pocket Guide

Abilene,” said Kevin Roberts, Chief Information Officer and director of re-engineering. “So it was kind of just a gesture of goodwill on the part of AT&T to say, ‘Hey, you know what? We appreciate all you’re doing. We will bring these towers up as 3G. We’ll blanket your campus with 3G as well.’” Of the four 3G towers, two are stationed on top of ACU buildings, and two are located off, but near, campus. “We work really hard for those towers not to be obvious,” Roberts said. “Aesthetically, we See

3G page 9

MyACU Mobile

By using the ACU Mobile Web site at students can find out what is happening in Chapel, find maps and directions around campus and Abilene and have several other resources a finger tap away:

Whether students are looking for a good place to eat, or need to find the nearest movie theatre, they can access information about a variety of venues in the Pocket Guide feature of the ACU Mobile Interface:

Just by tapping their My Mobile icon on their iPhone or iPod touch, students can see how many Chapel credits they have, their meal plan balance and their account balance, but that is only the tip of the interface:

n Information about ACU

n Local Sporting Facilities

n Class Schedule

n Weekly Chapel schedules

n Museums

n Meal Plan, UniPrint Balances

n Upcoming Campus Events

n Local Churches

n Chapel Credits

n Maps of Abilene and ACU

n Movie Theatres

n Access to Class Folders

n Campus News

n Restaurants

n Access to Google Calendars

n Directory of Students, ACU Departments and Faculty

n Local Art Galleries

n Access to Class Documents


Money page 9

Welcome Week starts a ‘rLOVEution’ for incoming students By Lydia Melby Arts Editor

Welcome Week 2008, titled “rLOVEution,” followed the traditional format and included the usual favorites like the world’s largest game of Twister, the Candlelight Devotional, the free movie and the Freshman Talent Show, as well as the return of the mentor group Olym-

pics and an open mic night. All of these events made Welcome Week memorable for its participants; however, it’s the changes that were made to Welcome Week and the FirstYear program that will make this year revolutionary. Some of the changes made to the activities were fairly minor, like the addition of a mechanical bull to the pep rally fun or the


removal of the tug-of-war event from the mentor group Olympics. Due to weather issues, the Candlelight Devotional and the Paramount movie events were switched, and although this resulted in the “Cool Runnings” movie premiering in Moody Coliseum instead of the Paramount Theatre, students were still enthusiastic about the film and managed to easily fill the

available seats. Other changes to Welcome Week were more significant and were meant to have lasting effects on the students’ first year at ACU. The FirstYear Program added a session called Campus Conversations, which Eric Gumm, director of Orientation, said were “similar to the Chapel forums from last year [and were] designed

More from the




High: 95 Low: 72

High: 96 Low: 73

High: 97 Low: 72



to introduce new students to the kind of intellectual discussions that they will encounter in Chapel or in class or just around campus with other students and teachers.” Perhaps the most meaningful addition to Welcome Week was the voluntary Freshmen Common Reading program. The freshmen who chose to participate received a free copy

of the book the Same Kind of Different as Me, a biographical account written by Denver Moore and Ron Hall, which tells the story of the friendship between a homeless drifter and an international art dealer. Students could participate in a variety of activities based on the readings, including two See

Welcome page 9

In Other News


Obama chooses Biden

Log on to to see a short newscast from the JMC Network News Cast staff. The JMC Network News Cast staff will post news, sports, arts and features casts weekly on the JMC Network’s YouTube Web site.

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama officially announced his selection of Joe Biden, D-Delaware, as his running mate Saturday. Obama appeared with Biden, 65, in front of the historic building where Abraham Lincoln served as a state legislator and where Obama launched his 2008 presidential campaign.

Source: Associated Press

Department of Journalism and Mass Communication ::

Abilene Christian University


Serving the ACU community since 1912


Campus Day Monday, August 25, 2008

Calendar and Events



First day of classes, electronic checkin begins. 11a.m. Opening Ceremonies commence in Moody Coliseum, with the Parade of Flags. Dr. Jack Scott, California State Senator, will be speaking.





Christian Rock Band A Plea For Purging performs at Rose Park Activity Building, 2633 S. 7th St.

ACU-Cockerell Art Gallery 1133 N. 2nd st. ACU Student Printmaking Show: Collaborative exhibition by Abilene Christian University students. Free Admission through Aug. 31 Contact: 325-674-2085


HHRB Tour Stop Homer Hiccolm & the Rocket Boys playing at the University Baptist Church on the corner of Grape and Ambler. Concert starts at 7 p.m.


See videos of freshmen receiving their new iPhones and iPod touches. Also, view the events of Welcome Week on YouTube.

Log on to to see a short newscast from the JMC Network Newscast Staff.

Page Designer

ACU’s Theatre Department has been entertaining and feeding the public with its Dinner Theatre since 1972, but this year the longstanding tradition is going on hold after the department’s caterer, Briarstone Manor ,closed this summer. The Theatre Department performs two to three dinner shows a year and was planning to make the play Moonlight & Magnolias its first Dinner Theatre of the year until it heard about Briarstone Manor’s closing.

ment regrets not continuing the Dinner Theatre tradition, it’s looking for opportunities to turn this negative situation into a positive one. The dinner space was only able to seat 200 diners, while the theatre holds 325 people. Moonlight & Magnolias, although not a Dinner Theatre play, will begin this week. Tickets for Thursday’s event cost $12, and if students wait until opening day at 7 p.m., they can attend the event for $6 if seating is still available. The play is a comedy and takes a humorous look at the creation of the movie Gone With the Wind. Three men attempt to write the

screenplay for the Academy Award-winning film by locking themselves into a house and secluding themselves from the rest of the world for five days. “Movie people are bigger than life,” said Gary Varner, professor of theatre and director of the play “the play is embellished for comedic reasons, but it’s important because Gone With the Wind is one of the most pivotal movies in movie history.” Anyone wishing to see Moonlight & Magnolias will need to eat a meal before the show. E-mail Anderson at:

To ensure that an item will appear on time, the announcement should be sent at least 10 days before. The Optimist may edit items for space and style. Corrections and clarifications of published news articles will be printed in this space in a timely manner.

Coming Soon: Police Log A log of the ACU Police Department’s daily activities will be printed on this page of the Optimist. The first Police Log will be printed Wednesday.

Moonlight & Magnolias at 7:30 p.m. in the Fulks Theatre. Call 325-674-ARTS (2787) for tickets Directed by Gary Varner August 28-30.

Online video

“We’re exploring our different options; we’re thinking about finding another caterer, or whether or not to cease Dinner Theatre periodically,” said Adam Hester, professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre. Either way, the department will take a year hiatus in order to find the right plan of action; they’ve already informed the season ticket holders about the situation. “To produce Dinner Theatre consistently is amazing; it’s a lot to take in and evaluate one of the traditions that connects the campus with the community,” said Hester. Even though the depart-

The Optimist maintains this calendar for the ACU community to keep track of local social, academic and service opportunities. Groups may send announcements directly to or to the Page 2 Editor at


Show goes on after Briarstone closure By Tanner Anderson

About This Page

ChapelCheckup Credited Chapels to date:


Credited Chapels remaining:


Volunteer Opportunities Interested in Service? Apply for the Service Action Leadership Team. Join other students in service to the community and leadership across campus. S.A.L.T. applications are due Friday and are available in the Volunteer Service-Learning Center, located downstairs next to the Bean Sprout. If you would like to get more involved

with the community, you can also volunteer to be a Big Brother or Sister by dedicating a small portion of your time to the local Big Brother’s Big Sisters program, which provides volunteers to be a friend, role model and influence in a young person’s life. You can apply online at

Announcements If students are interested in pledging a social club, they must be enrolled and have completed two semesters of college, have a GPA of 2.5 or higher as well as be on good standing with the university. The last chance to register is Sept. 3, 2008. If students do not register by Sept. 3, they will not be able to pledge a social club. August

29 is the last day to register for classes and is the last day to withdraw from a class for a 100% refund. Withdrawal forms can be found in the Depot next to the Bean.

Some struggle with travel troubles By Lydia Melby Arts Editor

Campus was flooded Saturday with exuberant new students happy finally to be starting their college career, but few were more relieved to be in Abilene than Sarah McKnight, freshman communication major from Weatherfield, Conn. “My first flight left Hartford on Saturday at 5:30 in the morning, and I was supposed to be here at two in the afternoon, but I ended up getting in at 7:00 p.m. instead,” McKnight said, attributing to various flight complications. Her first plane was late arriving, and her second flight, from Philadelphia to Dallas, was delayed more than two hours because of complications with landing gear, ultimately causing her to also miss her connection from Dallas to Abilene. McKnight arrived five hours later than originally planned, but her admissions counselor was able to pick her up from the airport

and get her to campus without further event. “Yeah, I was definitely happy to finally get here after all that” she said. McKnight opted to fly to school instead of driving for several reasons, including high gas prices. “It would have been hard for my parents to drive me all the way down here because of their schedules,” McKnight said. But her parents may have considered it if gas prices hadn’t been so high, she said. Although the Energy Information Administration reported that, by Aug. 11, gas prices had fallen about 30 cents from the July 14 peak of $4.11 per gallon, the current national average of $3.65 is still 30 percent higher than the average national price was at this same time in 2007, recorded at $2.81 per gallon. This sharp increase in gasoline prices has changed travel plans, whether drastically or slightly, for some students. Numerous students said

they chose to drive, some from as far away as Georgia and Virginia, because they either had too much luggage for an airplane flight or because they wanted to bring their own cars. The added strain of expensive gas might have affected the average student’s packing decisions, as it would be more practical to be able to fit everything they might bring into a car. Thomas Guest, junior transfer student from Dallas, said that the high cost of gasoline meant he had to fit everything into his car, “since my parents weren’t going to help drive me or pay for my gas, and I really didn’t want to have to use a trailer or anything.” Although several students from the Lone Star State felt “gas pains,” McKnight said she was surprised by how much less gasoline cost here in Texas, because the price in her hometown was around $3.95 when she left. E-mail Melby at:

Monday, August 25, 2008


Page 3


Page 4

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mobile learning initiative garners ACU recognition By Laura Acuff Opinion Page Editor

Campus Technology magazine named ACU a 2008 Campus Technology Innovator in the category of Mobile Technology for the university’s mobile learning initiative launching this semester. Giving some ACU students and faculty iPhones and iPod touches to incorporate in the classroom, the initiative joined numerous submis-

sions from other programs, said Dr. Kyle Dickson, associate professor of English and co-director of Mobile Learning Research, who submitted the application. ACU’s mobile learning initiative earned a top spot among 14 other categories in the peerreview-based publication. “I think those of us on the iPhone group were just happy to be in such company,” Dickson said. “It was a really nice surprise that, I guess, vali-

dates the year that we spent preparing for the launch of this programming. I think it was just kind of an encouraging, professional validation that this is an exciting step to be pursing and investigating.” Dr. William Rankin, associate professor of English and co-director of Mobile Learning Research, said the group that headed the mobile learning initiative appreciated the peer accolades. “This is something that

we’re really excited about,” Rankin said. “It’s been gratifying that the hard work of so many ACU faculty has been rewarded like this, and it’s great to have the larger world acknowledging that.” The ACU group beat out 274 competitors also considered for this award, he said. “I think that’s remarkably gratifying,” Rankin said. For Kevin Roberts, Chief Information Officer and director of re-engineering, the award’s

recognition symbolized far more than the praise of a magazine dedicated to higher-level education-oriented technology. It topped off additional worldwide recognition. “We’ve gotten calls literally from around the globe from other schools, companies, newspapers—everything from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times,” Roberts said. The innovative nature of what the group is doing

helps the recognition of the school, and ultimately, helps the value of an ACU degree, Roberts said. “As more people recognize and know about ACU around the world, the more valuable your degree,” he said. “What comes along with that, and really the reason that we do this, is that it helps you, ultimately, whenever you graduate.” E-mail Acuff at:

Project collects food for community By Kelline Linton Chief Copy Editor

Fifty-three groups consisting of freshmen and Welcome Week leaders roamed the neighborhoods of Abilene Thursday for the annual Welcome Week service project. At one time, almost 1,000 students were knocking on doors, praying over houses and handing out fliers as they asked citizens for canned goods, nonperishable foods and monetary donations for the Food Bank of West Central Texas. The Food Bank serves hundreds of hungry children and families in the Big Country. It fights hunger by providing food to non-profit organizations that feed the hungry; such partner agencies include soup kitchens and church pantries. It also uses all cash donations to buy food at a reduced price; for

every $10 donated, the Food Bank provides enough food for 45 meals. In the last year alone, the Food Bank distributed 3 million pounds of emergency food to West Central Texas. Students last participated in a canned goods drive for Welcome Week in 2002. Six years later, the First-Year Program and Volunteer and ServiceLearning Center decided to use the Food Bank service project again for two reasons. Nancy Coburn, the director of the VSLC, said, “We did this project because the economy is so challenging right now that many soup kitchens like the Food Bank are striving to meet a greater demand as more families seek their aid, and because the Freshman Common Reading used a book [Same Kind of Different as Me] that touched on how someone could minister through the

service of soup kitchens.” Student groups deposited the collected food donations at two sites around Abilene— the United Supermarkets on Judge Ely Boulevard and Buffalo Gap Road. A van from the Food Bank was stationed in each parking lot. The vans were packed full with bottled waters, boxes of food and bags of cans. Students stood outside the United Supermarket doors, distributing fliers and explaining the food drive to customers. Several times during the day, customers bought canned goods on the spot or gave the students monetary donations. Derek Chase, freshman missions major from Southlake, canvassed the neighborhood and handed out fliers. “We were taking light to other people,” he said. “It really helped everyone to

Students hike back to safety By Tanner Anderson Page Designer

Two weeks ago, three friends decided to go on a five-day journey to explore and hike trails at Weminuche Public Park in Colorado, but unexpected hiccups and weather complications turned their five-day journey into 10 days of anxious hiking, until they found a group of volunteer searchers two miles away from the park’s exit. The men were hungry, but otherwise healthy and intact. The three seniors, Derrick Bibb, a pre-veterinary major from Abilene; Derek Ware, a management major from Corpus Christi, and Adam Patterson, a finance major from Abilene, planned the hiking trip in an area with which Bibb has been familiar for the past five years. Unexpected weather conditions like snow flurries, lightning storms and heavy rain damaged certain parts of the trail and made other parts inaccessible. After the students did not return home for several days, their families became concerned. Twenty-five

friends from ACU and Sub T-16, the social club of which all three men are members, focused on making arrangements to help their friends in any way they could. “For five days we tried to figure out where the trail had gone,” Bibb said. “The only time I was really concerned is when we got into some hail and a lightning storm.” The three students were at such a high altitude, they were able to see lightning strike below them. Bibb said his parents initially thought the group ran into some weather problems; they were concerned but confident the men knew what they were doing. However, certain facts the newspapers reported about their story never happened. The men were not carried to safety on horseback, and the friends were not able to get out of Weminuche by placing a phone call. The individual who circulated these rumors to the media claimed to be Bibb’s “lifelong friend.” While Bibb did know this person, he said that they were only ac-

quaintances and definitely not “lifelong friends.“ “It took me two hours to remember who the guy was. It’s a little frustrating but more humorous than anything,” Bibb said. In reality, the men found a damaged trail, which they used to retrace their steps to the Continental Divide, a popular hiking trail, and from there they found their way to the trail exit. They ran into some would-be rescuers who walked with them the remaining two miles and gave them a lift to their vehicle, which was 40 miles away. “They really lifted our spirits; it helped to see other people, and they also had food for us,” Ware said. The friends had to ration their food during the hiking trip, so they could sustain themselves for five extra days. “We all learned a lot of lessons; I’ll go back, but it’ll be awhile,” Ware said. “The whole trip has made me enjoy the little things in life a little more.”

E-mail Anderson at:

understand what ACU is all about; it’s not just a school but a community of believers who are going to be active in their faith through service,” Chase said. The record for the most food collected by ACU students at one time was 20,000 pounds; freshmen achieved this record the first year the food drive was implemented as a service project. This year, a total of 12,179 pounds of food was collected; this is equivalent to 9,515 meals. No matter the numbers, the project’s ultimate goal was accomplished, Coburn said. “The point of doing this service project was to introduce our students to this aspect of ACU life,” Coburn said. “Service is an important part of the university, and we hoped to spark a sense of service.” E-mail Linton at:

Pete Koehn :: staff photographer Katie Findley, junior middle school education major from Houston, loads collected food into a van for the Abilene food bank.

Four new summer programs join Study Abroad options By Kimberly Prather Broadcast Assistant

Study Abroad enabled ACU students to trek across the world this summer with the standard programs of Oxford, England, and Montevideo, Uruguay, and others reached beyond, expanding to Honduras, Italy, Germany and China. Eight students from the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences visited Honduras in May, and students from the Department of Art and Design traveled to Oxford in May and Florence, Italy, for Summer I. The Department of Accounting and Finance took 26 students to Oxford at the same time as the Psychology Department took 15 students to Ludwig, Germany. The program Faith and Literature, which is led by one Bible professor and one English professor, traveled to Oxford with 27 students during Summer II, and the Education Department visited China during Summer II with eight students. Brianna Ribble, senior so-

cial studies and education major from Denver, Colo., attended the China study abroad program; she spent a little more than a month teaching English in a Summer Language Program at the International Academy of Beijing. Students had the opportunity to not just mentor but also to see all the preparations for the 2008 Olympic games held in Beijing. They also visited one of the greatest wonders of the world—the Great Wall of China. “It was an amazing opportunity; I got to see a culture completely different than my own,” Ribble said. Lauren Graham, the Study Abroad Coordinator, said students interested in the opportunity should “go for it” and stay persistent with their goals. “Students say it sounds corny, but they come back saying it really was the best semester of their lives. It really validates our promotion of a ‘semester to last a lifetime,’” Graham said. Ribble can vouch for it being ‘a semester to last a lifetime’ twice, for she also participated in the Oxford program in spring 2007. “China and Oxford each had a different focus. The focus on China was on teaching, where as the focus in Oxford was on travel, but both programs showed me a different part

study abroad The Study Abroad program now offers these new locations for summer semesters: n Honduras n Italy n Germany n China

of the world and expanded my global view,” Ribble said. “When you get out of the ACU bubble and enter into a different culture, you learn about how you perceive others, and most importantly, you learn about yourself,” she said. Students have said Study Abroad changed them. Aside from the lectures and course work that go with these summer courses, to actually experience the same events and walk the same steps as someone a world away is a life-changing occurrence all on its own. “Study Abroad is an experience like no other. There are very few people that can say that they have been to the Eiffel tower and the Great Wall of China before they have even graduated college,” Ribble said. As students prepare to leave Aug. 27 for the Oxford and Montevideo programs, they prepare for a time they also can hope to be a “semester to last a lifetime.” E-mail Prather at:

Monday, August 25, 2008


Page 5

August 25, 2008

Page 6

Page 7

Welcome WEEK The most tiring, sleepless week of the semester — before class even starts


Kat Patton :: staff photographer Above: Jaimie Howard, freshman animal sciences major from Dallas, and Paige Loukanis, freshman animal sciences major from Magnolia, compete to win pairs Twister. Twister boards almost completely covered the Moody Coliseum floor. Below: Emily McCallum, freshman marketing major from Rockwall, tags an opposing teammate in intramural football.

Kat Patton :: staff photographer

0 0

Pete Koehn :: staff photographer Above Left: Jordan Johnson, sophomore psychology major from Flower Mound, tumbles off a mechanical bull during Friday Frenzy. Above: Hunter Clinton, freshman business major from Keller, unpacks his bedding on move-in day. Below: Carson Henley, freshman biochemistry major from Colleyville, accepts a can of green beans from Abilene resident Rita Kehl during a service project.


Pete Koehn :: staff photographer

Zak Zeinert :: chief photographer

Pete Koehn :: staff photographer

A relay team groups together after an intense race at the mentor group Olympics. Before the race, each team selected one member of the group to parade their flag in front of all the freshmen gathered in Elmer Gray Stadium.

Zak Zeinert :: chief photographer Early-rising freshmen meet at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast and a lesson from Randy Harris, professor of Bible, at the Sunrise Devotional.

Emily Jorgenson :: staff photographer Conner Halstead, junior youth and family ministry major from Odessa, and Julie Eichelberger, junior piano performance major from Houston, wave signs for their group during the opening ceremonies.

Zak Zeinert :: chief photographer

Freshmen enter the opening ceremonies accompanied by cheering and the Olympic Fanfare and Theme.


Page 8

Monday, August 25, 2008

Freshmen connect through new Common Reading program By Kelline Linton Chief Copy Editor

Fifty freshmen crowded into the Walling Lecture Hall on Thursday with books in hand, ready to converse and interact academically even though classes had not yet started. They were participating in the first session of the Freshman Common Reading, an optional activity that centered on the analysis and discussion of the book Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. The book details real-life events about diverse people who come together through the power of God to dramatically impact each other. Although the Freshman Common Reading is not for class credit, 400 students and 80 faculty members have already requested the book. Some freshman classes, like Bible and University Seminar, also will use the book in their curriculum. The Common Reading program consists of two freshman group sessions during Welcome Week, a faculty discussion in the Adams Center and an ongoing online forum that anyone can

join at The group forum and blog site encourages students “to go beyond the written words of the book, to take its ideas to the next level and to translate these reading experiences into action—in short, to go Beyond the Page into real life.” The program concludes with a visit by the authors Sept. 9. Both Hall and Moore will sign books and answer questions beginning at 2 p.m. in Hart Auditorium. This event is open to only ACU students, faculty and staff; the rest of the Abilene community can meet the authors at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum. Freshman participants can also enter a contest centered on the reading by creating and turning in work inspired by the story, like a poem, essay or short film. All submissions are due by 3 p.m. on Aug. 29, and the winner of the contest will receive a $500 scholarship; second and third places will receive $250 each. Dr. Charles Mattis, dean of the First-Year Program, and Steven Moore, assistant professor of English, led the two Freshman Common Reading sessions on Thursday and Fri-

day. They discussed the main themes of the book, including friendship, race and prejudice, homelessness and prayer. “This book really struck me because it had so many different themes, it relates to really important issues that are current today, it’s relatively easy to read and it’s real and authentic,” Mattis said. Kaytlin Wiseman, freshman communication major from Glen Rose, liked the book because “it was about real people in our area; it’s a true story with real places you can actually visit.” The Common Reading was an academic activity that stimulated conversation and interaction. “We were trying to introduce students to the intellectual life at ACU; you get to know people a whole lot better if you talk about deeper issues. We discussed deep important issues that matter to God and matter to the world,” Mattis said. Amanda Arzigian, freshman physics major from Edgewood, N.M., thought the book went well with ACU’s mission to change the world. “It really got me to think,” she said. “I saw ways I could

live differently and how some things are neither good nor bad but just different.” Fifty freshmen attended the first discussion session, and about 40 students attended the second session. “[The first session] blew me away in terms of the questions, comments and insights. Normally when you do something like this, people are shy, especially on the first day,” Moore said. The First-Year Program paid for the books and the authors’ upcoming visit. Mattis had wanted to start a program like this for some time and thinks eventually the Common Reading may be used in the new cornerstone course. “What a great opportunity to be with 1,000 other people that have similar concerns for the world,” Mattis said. Any freshman or faculty member can still request a free copy of the book, and anyone else who wants to participate in the program can buy the book in The Campus Store. “The whole campus is invited [to participate],” Mattis said. “I just can’t afford to buy books for everyone.” E-mail Linton at:

Photo courtesy of

Authors Ron Hall and Denver Moore will visit ACU Sept. 9 to discuss their book, which freshmen read during Welcome Week.

Fewer graduates than usual walk in August Commencement By Kimberly Prather Broadcast Assistant

Aug. 8 was not just the start of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, it also was August Commencement—the graduation service that awarded 38 undergraduate and 39 graduate students their diplomas from ACU. The ceremony started with a benediction and several designated speakers and concluded

with the ceremonial procedure of degrees. Dr. Charles Mattis, dean of the First-Year Program, gave A Charge to the Class. The College of Arts and Sciences, College of Biblical Studies, College of Business Administration, College of Education and Human Services and Patty Hanks School of Nursing all awarded undergraduate students with degrees, while the College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Theology

and the Patty Hanks School of Nursing distributed diplomas to graduate students. This summer’s August Commencement was smaller than previous August graduations; usually ceremonies average 50 participating undergraduates. “We are not sure as to why this year’s ceremony was smaller; it could be due to several students who graduated who just were not able to participate in commencement because of

work or other commitments,” said Bart Herridge, director of Academic Records. The August graduation list always is smaller than May Commencement numbers, but this leaves room for greater personal connections, said Kathy Redman, Student Services and Information specialist. “The intimacy is what makes the difference. Because it was smaller, it made more of a special, tender moment to see

the students’ smiling faces up close,” Redman said. This summer’s graduation also awarded the first two graduates from the online courses offered at ACU. August graduation represents an opportunity for students to finish their last course hours without having to enroll in another complete semester. “As to why students finish in August, it’s really varied based on the student,” Her-

ridge said. “Many of them simply had a class or two left over that they were unable to fit into earlier semesters, which moved them from May to August Commencement.” August Commencement, however, does function the same as the May and December Commencements—it opens the door for ACU students to change the world. E-mail Prather at:


August 25, 2008

Page 9

Initiative: Mobile devices will cost more than $200K Continued from page 1 still ongoing as freshmen who did not attend Welcome Week make their way to ACU, said Kay Reeves, director of Technology Support and Customer Service. “We don’t know when the end is,” Reeves said. Although the exact number of iPhones and iPod touches distributed among the students of the class of 2012 has not been compiled, the more popular device between the two was the iPhone. Reeves said more than 600 freshmen chose to upgrade their phone plan and receive an iPhone, while almost 350 freshmen chose the iPod touch. Transfer students were not given iPhones or iPod touches.

An iPhone costs around $199 and an iPod touch costs around $299, but students did not have to pay for the devices. Each student signed a Mobile Device Program Student Agreement, which laid out the policies of the program and explained that ACU retained all ownership of the devices; the students were granted a “limited license” to use the device. Students who chose the iPhone are responsible for the monthly phone charges. “The phone is property of ACU, and they can choose to take it back at any point in time,” said George Saltsman, director of the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning. The amount ACU will have to pay for the devices is unknown, but it will be more

3G: Towers boost wireless Internet Continued from page 1 want to make sure they fit in and you don’t even really notice they’re there.” AT&T installed the towers at no cost to ACU, and the university even collects some slight rent by allowing the towers on campus, Roberts said. Previous to 3G networks, 2G, or EDGE, networks covered all of Abilene, and all cellular devices, including iPhones, can still connect to this older network. “You’re going to be fine because basically what they did was add the 3G on top of the existing EDGE networks,” said Arthur Brant, network administrator. “With the new iPhones, you can turn off 3G, and it will run on the standard EDGE network, on the second generation network.” Roberts recommends that students turn off 3G to utilize EDGE. “On campus, the wireless is always going to be a little bit faster,” Roberts said. “One thing, though too, that we’re telling the students as well: 3G, it is really fast, but it also just flat drinks your battery, whether you’re searching the Internet or not.” Brant said the advantages of 3G are an increase in speed for data connections. The 3G towers enable a small radius off campus to maintain 3G capability and give 3G compatible device users greater security in knowing that if the Wi-Fi failed, their devices could default to 3G without losing coverage, Roberts said. Wireless Internet and the cellular network are two separate entities, and the addition of 3G networks may not lend speed to ACU wireless Internet, especially since iPhones are programmed to default to Wi-Fi. The iPod touch uses WiFi exclusively. Even if many iPhone users defaulted to 3G, the difference in speed would be negligible due to ACU’s relatively small pool of participants.

Additionally, the downside to using 3G networks exclusively might outweigh the benefits, Roberts said. “I haven’t experienced [issues with 3G stability], but there’s a lot of [Internet chatter], when you read out on the blogs, of the 3G being not as stable, just dropping calls and things like that,” Roberts said. “Again, we’ve not had complaints about that; we’ve not experienced that here, but you don’t hear those complaints at all about the EDGE network. It’s an older, more stable network.” Because the iPhones and iPod touches would be accessing the Internet, ACU has taken, and continues to take, measures to ensure the Wi-Fi is prepared to handle the extra traffic. “We spent a lot of time this summer revamping all of our wireless,” Roberts said. “We had to rethink and retool our entire wireless network, and part of that was, I guess, heightened because of these devices.” Despite the addition of iPhones, the wireless network was in need of an update. Although wireless was available throughout campus, its capability to support multiple users necessitated a boost, Roberts said. “The reality is, regardless of whether we gave the iPhones out or not, everybody’s bringing laptops now; people have other smart phones,” he said. “It was the need to have deeper wireless access that was really important.” Starting with high traffic areas like the Campus Center and the Brown Library, ACU increased Wi-Fi capabilities this summer. Adding 300 wireless network access points, ACU is doing its best to supply wireless for the 600 iPhones and iPod touches issued this semester and the 98 percent student population that is already arriving at ACU with some type of cellular phone, Brant said. E-mail Acuff at:

than $200,000. Kevin Roberts, Chief Information Officer and director of re-engineering, said it is a small price to pay for the educational benefits of the devices. “Not just us, but literally the world is watching this group of students at ACU and asking, ‘Hey how do you use these things?’” Roberts said. Students can use the devices for everything from answering in-class surveys and quizzes, checking their meal and account balances, receiving homework alerts and even downloading the occasional game. Laura Lybrand, freshman communication major from San Antonio, said it is up to each individual student to make sure they don’t waste the opportunity to use the devices

and up to ACU to enhance the learning environment. “It depends on the person,” Lybrand said, conceding that some students may just “play and mess around with” their new devices. Reeves said the university is going to be active in making sure students know how to use the devices, and a Team 55 representative is will be available to help each student troubleshoot. During Welcome Week and the first few weeks of school, Team 55 representatives will visit the residence halls and station themselves in the lobbies to help with any questions, Reeves said. On ACU cable Channel 55 video tutorials on how to use the devices will play around the clock. Students were trained on

how to use the devices when they were distributed, and Reeves said students can always call or go to the Team 55 desk in the Learning Commons for technical support. Although the university has established some plans for use inside the classroom, Roberts said ACU will constantly check in with the freshmen and the faculty to get new ideas on how to use the devices in an academic setting. “My hope is freshmen will go, ‘Can you please stop asking us about these things,’” Roberts said. Roberts said the university has been fighting the myth that the Mobile Learning Initiative is a gimmick to increase enrollment numbers since the announcement in February,

but ACU has taken steps to plan how to use the devices and make sure they are used for more than the occasional Facebook message. “It’s a tool just like a whiteboard, a overhead projector and a pen and paper,” Roberts said. Hernandez was more than happy to receive her new tool, but the whole experience was a little daunting for Roger Elliot, a family friend who went through the line with Hernandez. “When we went to school, they gave you a book and put you in a dark corner,” Elliot said. “They didn’t give you any of this stuff.”

E-mail Johnson-Kim at:

Faculty: Officials confident in classroom use Continued from page 1 associate professor of English and co-director of the Mobile Learning Research. “We wanted the faculty who are teaching those students to be able to use them in the classroom.” In preparation for this year, ACU developed an iPhone interface specifically tailored to university events and features. Three tabs in the interface include an ACU mobile tab, a personal mobile tab and a pocket guide. For their classes, faculty will work heavily within the personal mobile tab, which contains class information,

Google calendars and the Files folders. Faculty also will have access to their class rosters, e-mail and student attendance via the iPhone. Another application featured in the personal mobile tab is called NANO tools. NANO tools provides faculty with a quick way to poll their students. “With one touch, it provides you with everything you need to connect to your teacher,” Rankin said. “People are very excited about this tool and its use.” Both Rankin and Dickson acknowledged that while many

professors will immediately incorporate the iPhone into their courses, some may not use it as an educational tool at all. “This is an additional tool available for faculty members,” Dickson said. “We’re investigating possible applications for these tools rather than legislating. These tools are not being recommended to every teacher with every kind of teaching style.” Still, Rankin and Dickson said they were optimistic for the future of multimedia tools, such as the iPhone and iPod touch, in the education process.

“Ultimately, what we really want this device and program to do is to help students and teachers both be more engaged in exploring the pleasure of learning,” Rankin said. “If you think about it, we’re inherently inquisitive creatures. We want to know how things work. But in a lot of cases, education destroys that pleasure of discovery, that pleasure of learning, and we’re trying to find ways to bring that pleasure back.”

E-mail Freeman at:

Money: President recalls Malagasy ceremony Continued from page 1 visited Madagascar last June. Money recounted the graduates telling their story to the banking executive on how

Welcome: ACU freshmen have success with service project Continued from page 1 Welcome Week discussion sessions, an online discussion and even a creative writing contest. The authors themselves will be on campus Sept. 9 to give a Chapel forum presentation that wraps up the reading plan. The Welcome Week service project for this year was based on the themes of homelessness and physical need found in the Same Kind of Different as Me and involved students canvassing Abilene neighborhoods to collect non-perishable food items for the Food Bank of West Central Texas. “This kind of project has been quite successful in the past.” Gumm said. “Five years ago students collected roughly 20,000 pounds of food items.” E-mail Melby at:

their lives were transformed during their time at ACU. One graduate said when she was a freshman she only had thoughts of earning a profitable degree, but after gradu-

ating, she now wanted to start a volunteer service center to rehabilitate prostitutes in Madagascar. “The rippling effects of what God can do are just

enormous,” Money said. “This university in this little West Texas town is having a global impact.” E-mail Freeman at:


Page 10

August 25, 2008

Opinion Page provides forum for discussion On any other page of the Optimist readers can find coverage of campus news, the latest updates on ACU’s NCAA Division II sports teams or stories about interesting people, events and shows at ACU and in Abilene. But the Opinion Page is a venue for argument, agreement, discourse and discussion. Each issue of the Optimist Opinion page will carry an editorial that reflects the opinion of the Editorial Board, will feature personal columns by staff members and will display an editorial cartoon. We do this not to slap our opinions on the ACU community or splatter our thoughts on the latest ACU controversy, but to be a public forum of civil discussion for ACU students,

administrators, faculty and staff on global, national, local and campus news. The open and public environment the Optimist Opinion Page provides is invaluable to the ACU community. Although no official Opinion Page existed when the first issue of the Optimist was distributed within the ACU community in 1912, the Optimist was still a public forum for discussion and opinion. The days of stamping and sending a letter to the editor have been upgraded and enhanced by the ability to instantly comment online or e-mail an opinion, but the tradition of the Optimist Opinion Page remains. The 2008-09 Editorial Board members come from various backgrounds and represent different views on

issues that shape and shake our community and nation. Because of this, we are able to ensure diverse voices are heard when the Optimist states its opinion on any given issue. We encourage readers to actively participate in the communal discourse and respond online or send letters to the editor to feed discussion. Together, with the opinions of our readers and our staff, we proudly provide a venue in which all voices have a right to comment.

Michael Freeman

Daniel Johnson-Kim Sr. Print Journalism Liberal

Kelline Linton

2008-09 Editorial Board Lydia Melby Jr. English Moderate

View videos of student responses for the “In Your Words” questions online at a later date at

Will Morgan

Accounting major from Longview.

Editorial and letter policy Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the Optimist and may not necessarily reflect the views of the university or its administration. Signed columns, cartoons and letters are the opinions of their creators and may not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Optimist or the university. The Optimist encourages reader response through letters to the editor but reserves the right to limit frequent contributors or to refuse to print letters containing personal attacks, obscenity, defamation, erroneous

and improved Bean, I talked with several students, and many loved the food as well as the look. Some were concerned whether or not the new Bean was too good to be true and whether the Bean could keep up with the great quality of food. Students shouldn’t worry, since planning began more than two years ago. “The students really drove this,” said Anthony Williams, Chief Auxiliary Service Officer. “The past couple of years, ACU has conducted 4,000 online surveys, focus groups and

“I’m most excited about making lifelong friends while being challenged mentally and spiritually.”

information or invasion of privacy. Please limit letters to 350 words or fewer. A name and phone number must be included for verification purposes. Phone numbers will not be published. Address letters to: ACU Box 27892 Abilene, TX 79699 E-mail letters to:

Laura Acuff

Soph. Print Journalism Conservative

E-mail the Optimist at:

I thought of the Bean as the redhaired stepchild; I knew he was there, but I did my best to avoid him.

What most excites you about coming to ACU this year?

Ryan Self

Soph. Broadcast Journalism Conservative

Our Olympic view ‘made in China’ Long after the fire from the Olympic Cauldron is extinguished, the lingering question will remain—how are we to perceive the Beijing Olympics taking place in one of the most oppressive regimes in the world? With the main theme Self of the OpenExamination ing CeremoBy Ryan Self nies being “peace” and “harmony,” it seems that the Chinese government is naïve enough to believe the world is as uninformed as their citizens. To China, the Olympics became a way for the government to release their propaganda on a worldwide platform. The first people targeted were those who stood in the way of China portraying itself as a pleasant and peaceful society. China promised to give journalists “complete freedom to report.” However, China blocked all blogs, news or Web sites the did not agree with it politically. Just in the past year, China arrested thousands of petitioners and reformists. Any pro-Tibetan protesters, however mild, were detained and jailed. The Chinese Government seemed to believe it could get away with this sort of oppressive behavior. The media and other world leaders have let China know their actions were not to be tolerated—up to a point. That point is where moral obligations end and monetary interests begin. Things get complicated when governments and media find themselves in the awkward position of criticizing a country with so many Western investments. NBC paid nearly $900 million for the rights to broadcast the games. No one with that much invested is going to ruffle feathers. To be fair, NBC did use its morning news show Today to highlight concerns over China’s stained civil rights history. These stories were rare compared to the broadcasts from U.S. soil. President Bush gave criticism in regard to China’s human rights violations, but not in China; it was in Thailand. “America stands in firm op-

New Bean upgrades memories

In Your Words

Colter Hettich

Sr. Print Journalism Moderate

By Alex York

of the Bean could be changed as well. As soon as I walked into the new Bean, the transformation was obvious. Different food stations lined the walls, featuring workers who prepared fresh meals for students; the Bean had several credited chefs on staff from culinary institutes. “There are so many options; the food I’ve had so far is really great. I’m planning on spending many of my meal plans here,” said Shelby Otway, freshman history teaching major from Garland. After patrolling the new

Sr. Broadcast Journalism Moderate

Sr. Print Journalism Libertarian


I was a Bean hater. During meals, my favorite pastime was degrading the very place that gave me nourishment. In the past, I thought of the Bean as the redheaded stepchild; I knew he was there but I did my best to avoid him. The People Say I Bean wasn’t Talk Too Much horrible or By Tanner even bad; I Anderson just made up my mind that after my sophomore year the Bean and I would part ways. This summer, the Bean underwent an extreme makeover, and I had to see whether or not my former memories

Tanner Anderson

Sr. Print Journalism Moderate

formed a committee to prepare for the fall.” The most encouraging thing to hear is ACU Dining Services’ willingness to always listen to the students, and even though the Bean can’t be perfect, the staff will do their best to accommodate students the best they can. “We do have challenges, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” Williams said. “More than 700 students come to the Bean to eat, but we will work to modify the situation and in the end come out with a great product.” If you were once like me, a person filled with resentment for the Bean, you should try the new one and see whether or not you can be persuaded to change your outlook. E-mail Anderson at:

“I’m excited about coming to ACU because I can get a quality education here with a wonderful Christian influence.”

“I’m looking forward to getting to live on my own in the dorm with 300 girls. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Kyle Anderson

Kimmy McNiece

Graphic design major from Abilene.

Psychology major from San Antonio.

Optimist the

Published by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication

Newsroom: (325) 674-2439

Sports desk: (325) 674-2499

position to China’s detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates and religious activists,” President Bush said to a warm crowd in Bangkok. However, this speech was given days before Bush boarded a plane to enjoy the Olympics himself. Kind of like speaking out against your neighbor’s domestic violence issues on their front lawn before going inside to have dinner with them. Sophie Richardson, the director for Human Rights Watch, said, “The leadership in Beijing will almost certainly find his comments irritating or objectionable, but

China has essentially gotten away with brutally oppressing its people.

they will clearly understand that the United States will not impose any real consequences if they do not make progress on human rights.” She’s right. China knows that the ball is in its court. Like NBC, America has plenty of financial interest in China—$504 billion to be exact in treasury securities. That debt at any moment could be thrown out on the open market, leaving the U.S. economy in shambles. That is something no world leader, regardless of moral obligations, will risk. Bush was probably wise to be diplomatic. We are severely dependent on China. It is sad though that our financial troubles trump our ability to truly put pressure on China. China has essentially gotten away with brutally oppressing its people and the people of Tibet. China has strong economic ties with both Sudan and Iran. Some have even suggested that totalitarian China resembles the Germany that hosted the 1936 games. For now it seems that after centuries of practice, when it comes to getting away with oppression and dishonesty, China deserve a gold medal. E-mail Self at:

Editorial and Management Board Cody Veteto

Kenneth Pybus

Laura Acuff

Grant Abston

Editor in Chief

Opinion Page Editor

Sports Editor

Chief Videographer


Michael Freeman

DeLaina Parker

Cade White

Daniel Johnson-Kim

Pete Koehn

Lydia Melby

Managing Editor

Chief Photographer

Arts Editor

Sommerly Simser

Colter Hettich

Mult. Managing Editor

Features Editor

Kelline Linton

Photo department: (325) 674-2499

Advertising office: (325) 674-2463

Chief Copy Editor

Multimedia desk: (325) 674-2463

Broadcast Manager


Molly Byrd

Christi Stark

Page 2 Editor

Subscriptions ($40/academic year): (325) 674-2296.

Advertising Manager



Monday, August 25, 2008

Page 11

Intramurals: New season, new format Olympics: ACU Continued from page 12

“The only place kids played flag football was here at ACU,” said Kittley. “New students didn’t recognize it, and it took them three to four games to understand the rules. Kids know what 7-on-7 is, but they have no idea what flag football is when they get here. They will be able to learn and adapt to this game much easier,” he said. The shorter field allows for four games to be played at once as opposed to two. The ability to play more games simultaneously means the season will be extended by one game without the need for an extra week of scheduling. The

season begins Tuesday, Sept. 16 and includes one free practice game at the beginning of the season that will not count on a team’s record. “The changes will be most noticeable to our upperclassmen,” said Kittley. “Once the upperclassmen play that practice game, they are going to love it.” The intramural office will now offer coed leagues as well in all sports but one, 5-on-5 basketball. Students are allowed to play on both a gender specific team in champ or rec league as well as a co-ed team. Men’s clubs can combine with women’s clubs to form a team in a co-ed league. If a team wins in-

tramural points, both clubs will receive those points. “Clubs are already talking with other clubs about forming teams,” said Kittley. “It will bring the clubs closer together, make for better camaraderie and double the intramural point total at the end of the year.” Basketball will also take on a new format. Champ league 5-on-5 basketball will stay the same, but the rec league will now be a 3-on-3 style of play. “If you want to play 5-on-5 basketball and are serious about it, you play champ league,” said Kittley. “The rec league has had too many forfeits, especially in the girls’ league; sixty-one

percent of rec league girls’ basketball games were forfeited last year. We hope this change really helps that dilemma,” he said. Other sports to be offered this year include team tennis, 4-on-4 soccer, a 3-2 softball tournament, volleyball, an outdoor 7-on-7 soccer tournament, a golf scramble, a relay track meet and the ACU Rodeo.

E-mail Harris at:

Soccer: Wildcats improve depth in offseason Continued from page 12

2008 soCCER SCHEDULE ACU will begin its season Friday when the team travels to Missouri to face Missouri Southern. Their first home game will be Sept. 16 when they play Hardin-Simmons The Wildcats begin LSC play on Sept. 26.



Missouri Southern Drury University Texas-Permian Basin Incarnate Word John Brown Our Lady of the Lake Hardin-Simmons Paul Quinn College McMurry Angelo State* Dallas Baptist Midwestern State* East Central* Northeastern State* Central Oklahoma* SW Oklahoma State* Texas A&M Commerce* Texas Woman’s* West Texas A&M* Eastern New Mexico*

Fri. @ 7 p.m. Sat. @ 7 p.m. Sept. 3 @ 5 p.m. Sept. 5 @ 6 p.m. Sept. 12 @ 1 p.m. Sept. 13 @ 3 p.m. Sept. 16 @ 5 p.m. Sept. 19 @ 5 p.m. Sept. 22 @ 5 p.m. Sept. 26 @ 4 p.m. Oct. 2 @ 6 p.m. Oct. 5 @ 2 p.m. Oct. 10 @ 4 p.m. Oct. 12 @ 2 p.m. Oct. 17 @ 4 p.m. Oct. 19 @ 2 p.m. Oct. 24 @ 3 p.m. Oct. 26 @ 1 p.m. Oct. 31 @ 1 p.m. Nov. 2 @ 1 p.m.

n Home games listed in italics

* Denotes conference games

from Mesa College and junior Veronica Wilhelm from Mt. San Antonio College. “Overall it’s a much stronger group depth wise than last year,” Wilson said. “We’re doing a lot better.” The Wildcats were picked to finish seventh in the LSC preseason poll after being picked to finish last in 2007. However, the Wildcats must finish in the top six to qualify for the postseason tournament. With the added depth and a year of experience, the Wildcats will be looking to make history with their first playoff appearance. “We really just want to make the conference

Zak Zeinert :: chief photographer Players listen to head coach Chris Thomsen during practice. The Wildcats are ranked No. 8 by the American Football Coaches’ Association and will travel to Missouri to take on No. 3 Northwest Missouri State Friday for their first game of the season.

well represented Continued from page 12

and also won the 400 at the 2004 University Games. Essor continues to work out and train with the ACU track team and will be an intern with the team this year. “There is no way to describe what he brings,” Hood said. “He’s so upbeat but focused and knows what he has to do to be successful.” Essor’s Jamaican team finished eighth in the 4x400 relay last Saturday in a race that saw the Americans take gold. The fourth ACU athlete that competed is junior Wanda Hutson. Hutson ran on Trinidad and Tobago’s 4x100 relay team, but the team did not finish its semifinal heat and was left out of the final.

“She is by far the hardest worker here,” Hood said. “She’s our Bernard Scott; no matter how far down we are, she gives us a chance. Having that rock to rely on is a great feeling going into this year,” he said. While the success of ACU’s track program is well known, it helps to have four athletes that once attended ACU compete in the Olympics. Not only does it reflect on the status of the track program, it also will help to attract recruits in the future, Hood said. “It’s a huge recruiting tool now and shows that the potential is here to move on to a higher level,” he said. “People want to go where there is an opportunity for success.” E-mail Abston at:

tournament and win it,” Reese said. “We don’t want to be the team that almost wins.” The Wildcats’ season will begin Aug. 29 when they head to Missouri to take on Missouri Southern. The Wildcats will be tested early with five more road games before their first home game of the season when they face Hardin-Simmons on Sept. 16. The Wildcats first LSC game will be against Angelo State on Sept. 26, and the team will play a total of 10 conference games, concluding against Eastern New Mexico on Nov. 2. Photo courtesy of creative services

E-mail Abston at:

Richard Phillips finished seventh in the 110-meter hurdles in Beijing. Phillips ran for ACU in 2002 and was an outdoor all-America athlete in the 110-meter hurdles before transferring to George Mason.


August 25, 2008

SCOREBOARD Upcoming Friday Women’s Soccer ACU vs. Missouri Southern, 7 p.m.

Volleyball ACU vs. Fort Hays State, 10 a.m. ACU vs. Texas A&M International, 2 p.m.

Saturday Football ACU vs. Northwest Missouri State, 6 p.m.

Women’s Soccer ACU vs. Drury University, 7 p.m.

Page 12

Competition provides Welcome Week fun for freshmen Intramurals

By Chandler Harris Assistant Sports Editor

More than 600 freshmen competed in three intramural sports during Welcome Week: volleyball, basketball and football. Each sport consisted of a men and women’s single elimination tournament. Students played volleyball and basketball Thursday through Saturday in the double gyms of the Gibson Health and P.E. Center and Bennett Gymnasium, respectively. Students played football on the Larry “Satch” Sanders Intramural Fields on Thursday and Friday night. The freshmen signed up for teams during the check-in

process of Welcome Week at no cost, and upperclassmen volunteered as coaches for all of the teams. Drew Corbin, freshman marketing major from Portland, Ore., played for the team The Champs in the men’s volleyball tournament and said, “I signed up for volleyball because it is the best sport ever.” Corbin also enjoyed getting to know fellow students on a more competitive level. “You get to know people on a more competitive level, but in the end, it’s all just for fun,” he said. However, some students Go online to see intramural videos from Welcome Week used Welcome Week intramurals to have fun. Laura Quile, freshman elementary education major from Trophy Club, joined a volleyball team after listening to upperclassmen. “A lot of upperclassmen told me it would be a good idea, and it seemed like a great way to meet some people and have some friendly competition,” said Quile. Clayton Pope, freshman math education major from Abilene, learned from his

brothers who played intramurals and took it as a chance to meet people on his hall. “I had watched my brothers play here at ACU, and they had a whole bunch of fun,” said Pope. “I am really competitive and like sports a lot and I figured it would be fun.” Shelby Stone, freshman elementary education major from Fort Worth, participated in the girl’s basketball tournament. “I signed up because I love basketball and I am making new friends,” said Stone. “It is a great bonding experience.

E-mail Harris at:

Olympic Dreams

Volleyball ACU vs. New Mexico Highlands, 2 p.m. ACU vs. Findlay (Ohio), 4 p.m. :: Home games listed in italics

Pete Koehn :: staff photographer Cassie Carver, freshman criminal justice major from Oklahoma City, throws a pass during the Welcome Week football tournament.

Intramurals receives new facelift

in case you missed it A recap of ACU’s 2008 Spring Sports

By Chandler Harris Assistant Sports Editor

TRACK AND FIELD: The ACU men and women’s track and field teams both claimed the NCAA Division II outdoor national championships. This is the seventh consecutive title for the men and the first outdoor title for the women since 1999. Eight athletes won individual titles, including Billy Walker (110-meter hurdles), Nick Jones (discus), Raymond Radway (400-meters), Daniel Maina (3,000-meter steeplechase), Camille Vandendriessche (decathlon), Winrose Karunde (10,000-meters and 3,000-meter steeplechase), Linda Brivule (javelin) and Keva Wilkins (400-meters). Head coach Don Hood was named the Men’s National Coach of the Year.

BASEBALL: The ACU baseball team won the Lone Star Conference regular season championship and finished runner-up in the post-season tournament. The Wildcats earned a bid to the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament. The Wildcats had two first-team NCAA all-America players in leftfielder Mike Elkerson and pitcher/designated hitter Trey Watten. Watten was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers, while Elkerson signed a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Braves.

TENNIS: The men and women’s tennis teams both qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament by winning their respective regional championships. Irene Squillaci and Aina Rafolomanantsiatosika were named NCAA Division II all-Americans for their performance in doubles. Juan Nunez and Ryan Hudson were named top players for the men’s squad.

GOLF: The ACU golf team

Photo courtesy of creative services

Marvin Essor, a former national champion at ACU, is competing for Jamaica in the 4x400 relay in Beijing. Essor was an indoor and outdoor national champion in the 400 and won the 400 at the University Games in 2004. Essor joins three other current and former ACU track athletes in Beijing.

One current, three former athletes compete in Beijing games By Grant Abston Sports Editor

While the prestige of ACU’s track and field teams is evident, the program has a greater right to boast after winning men and women’s outdoor national championships in 2008. But this year, the program offers something even more impressive—three former and one current athlete representing their countries in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Richard Phillips, Marvin Essor, Delloreen EnnisLondon and Wanda Hutson competed in China as they represented ACU’s storied track program. Former ACU athletes Phillips, Essor and

Ennis-London competed for Jamaica, while current student Hutson represented Trinidad and Tobago. “It’s tremendous to say we have four Olympians,” said Don Hood, 2007 Men’s National Coach of the Year. “Track and field is so unique, and even though we’re Division II, we don’t compete at that level,” he said. Ennis-London, who lived and trained in Abilene until fall 2007, ran track at ACU from 1996-99 and competed in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She is the only hurdler in NCAA Division II history to win all eight hurdles national championship races in her career at ACU;

Tim Bright who competed in the decathlon and pole vault in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Phillips ran for ACU in 2002 and was an outdoor allAmerica athlete in the 110meter hurdles before transferring to George Mason. Phillips finished seventh in the 110-meter hurdle final in 13.60 seconds in Beijing. Phillips also competed in the 2004 Olympics in Athens but did not qualify for the finals. Essor is a former ACU national champion who competed for Jamaica in the 4x400 relay. He was an indoor and outdoor national champion in the 400-meters See

Olympics page 11


Intramurals page 11

Wildcats look to earn first playoff berth in 2008

finished second at both the LSC and NCAA Division II South Central region tournaments. Their second place finish was their best in head coach Mike Campbell’s five years at ACU.

By Grant Abston Sports Editor

SOFTBALL: The softball team finished runner-up in the LSC post-season tournament and earned a spot in regional tournament. Catcher Jessica Shiery became the first ACU softball player to be named first team all-America. Shiery joined centerfielder Leisha Johnson on the first team all-LSC South Division and all-region team.

Intramural Round-up Upcoming Football Starts: Tuesday, Sept. 16 Sign-up Deadline: Thursday, Sept. 11 Cost: $275 per team

she won the 55-meter hurdles indoors and 100-meter hurdles outdoors all four years. Ennis-London also won the 100-meter hurdles at the Penn and Texas relays during her career. In Beijing, Ennis-London finished fifth in the 100-meter hurdles in 12.65 seconds, just .01 off the medal stand. The same race featured LoLo Jones of the US who clipped one of the last hurdles and finished seventh. “We stayed very close to her, and she’s fantastic,” Hood said. “She still has the tools to do good things.” Ennis-London also became the second athlete in school history to qualify for three Olympics, joining

ACU intramural sports received a facelift over the summer after adding rule changes, co-ed leagues and changing the format for football as well as a number of other sports. The sport that will undergo changes first this semester is intramural football. The format resembles the Texas high school 7-on-7 format. The overhaul includes six players on the field per team instead of seven, 12 minutes halves instead of 20 minutes, a 45-yard field instead of an 80-yard field, and touching a player to be down instead of flag pulling. Danny Kittley, director of intramural sports, said this new format will be played at a faster pace than 7-on-7 flag football. “In flag football, a lot of people don’t run; that was my biggest reason for changing it to be honest with you,” said Kittley. “We want them to know that when you play 6-on-6, you are a vital part of that team, even the center. You snap it and you go out for a route; everything is fast paced and on fire, and I love that about the game,” he said. Another reason for discontinuing the flag football format was injury concerns, Kittley said. The flags are problematic and cause injuries to fingers. Six to eight girls broke their thumbs or suffered finger lacerations last season attempting to pull flags. It also eliminates disputes over flag guarding, he said.

Pete Koehn :: staff photographer Sadie Barton, junior midfielder, dribbles past a defender Friday afternoon in a scrimmage against Cisco Junior College. The Wildcats begin their season Aug. 29 when they travel to play Missouri Southern.

In its first season last year, the Wildcat soccer team won eight games and finished tied for eighth in the LSC. However, this season the Wildcats look to earn their first postseason berth after a successful offseason that added 12 new players. The Wildcats finished 8-11-1 last season under head coach Casey Wilson with a 3-6-1 record in conference play. While the Wildcats made a splash in their first season with eight wins, they believe they have a good shot at earning a postseason spot this year. “I think we stacked up well last year, but I think with this group and with a healthy unit there is no doubt we can make a run for it and be in the mix,” Wilson said. One of the major issues that second-year coach Wilson and the Wildcats faced last season was depth; something that comes with any first-year program. But unlike last season, coach Wilson has turned


I think we’re going to be a lot stronger in the backfield... :: Jordan Reese, co-captain

this area into a strength after adding 12 new players—four defenders, four midfielders, two goalkeepers and two forwards—that will allow the Wildcats to stay healthy late into the year. In addition to the new recruits, the Wildcats will return with key position players along with several other players who earned valuable playing time last year, adding to the team depth. Team captains, midfielder/forward Jordan Reese and midfielder/ forward Courtney Wilson, will provide valuable leadership as well as ensuring the Wildcats’ offense stays atop the LSC. “We have so much more

depth, and the starting positions are being fought for, so that’s good to have that competitiveness,” Reese said. The Wildcats’ offense finished third in goals last season in the LSC and could be even more potent this year with the new additions. Reese and Wilson, along with forward Lyndsey Womack, accounted for over half of the Wildcats’ goals and assists last season. Wilson earned second team all-LSC honors, while Reese and Womack earned honorable mention honors. “I think we’re going to be a lot stronger in the backfield, and we have a formation that plays to everyone’s strengths this year,” Reese said. One key newcomer will be senior defender Micah Merrill-Johnson who transferred after three seasons from Montana State-Billings. Merrill-Johnson also was elected team captain and will give the Wildcats strength on defense. Joining Merrill-Johnson on defense will be two other transfers—junior Anastasia Nelson See

Soccer page 11

The Optimist - Aug. 25, 2008  

The student newspaper produced by the JMC Network at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Tex.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you