- Mike Huckabee, host of the number one rated weekend show Huckabee on the Fox News Channel, spoke at Bethel University Thursday evening. Additionally, the former Arkansas Governor also accepted an invitation to play bass guitar with the Bethel University Stonewall Bluegrass Band that provided entertainment during the event’s meal. “The last time we brought in a big-name guest speaker was in the ‘70s,” Bethel President Walter Butler said in his opening remarks. “It was Bob Hope.” Huckabee was the 44th governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007, becoming one of the longest serving governors in his state’s history. In his campaign for the Republican nomination for President in 2008, Huckabee finished second to John McCain. Governing magazine named him as one of its “Public Officials of the Year” for 2005, and Time Magazine honored him as one of the five best governors in America. Huckabee has been honored by numerous organizations for his commitment to music education. He has served as the Chairman of the prestigious National Governors Association, as well as the Education Commission of the States, the Southern Governors Association, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Commission. Huckabee is heard three times daily across the nation on The Huckabee Report syndicated on almost 600 stations. He is also a New York Times Bestselling author of 11 books, and his 12th is set for release in January of 2015. During his presentation, Huckabee shared about the many directions his life has taken. “Sometimes our detours are our destinations,” he said. “You just don’t realize it at the time.” Prior to dinner, guests had the opportunity to have their picture taken and to speak with Huckabee personally during a reception.
- A first-of-its-kind education initiative specifically targeting improvement of skills of workers in nursing centers all across the country is being launched through a partnership between Life Care Centers of America and Bethel University. The result will be a newly established Bethel satellite campus in Cleveland, Tenn.
- Opening night of Renaissance Theatre's production of “12 Angry Jurors” will take place on September 11 at 7:00 pm at the Bethel Performing Arts Center, located at 647 Stonewall Drive in McKenzie. Thursday through Saturday evening performances will start at 7:00 pm, with a 2:00 pm Sunday matinee on September 14.
- Lindsey Costello, a Childhood Learning and Development major from Millingon, Tenn., was named the Hutchins Scholar at Bethel University during the school's fall 2014 Opening Convocation ceremonies on Aug. 26. The Hutchins Scholar Award is presented each year to the rising, full-time, Bethel senior from the school's College of Arts and Sciences who has achieved the highest academic average. The Hutchins Scholar Award was established by Bethel in 1976 to honor the generosity and Christian ideals of George and Lottie Hutchins. In establishing the endowed trust, Mr. and Mrs. Hutchins said, "Our supreme interest in life has been religious and humanitarian. We have regarded such advantages, opportunities, and possessions as were ours as a trust from God, to be administered in a spirit of responsibility and helpfulness. As this feeling has grown in us, life has taken on a greater meaning with each passing year. It is in the light of this meaning that we created this trust. We wish this instrument to speak for God, for Jesus Christ, and for the cause of Christianity, which we have sought to serve in sincerity and truth. Because He has done so much for us and through us, we wish to live on in His service." Costello is also a member of the Bethel softball team, a STAR leader, a member of Circle K and Gamma Beta Phi and the President of STEA.
- Bethel University held its opening convocation on Tuesday, Aug. 26. Opening convocation is a worship service that officially kicks off the new academic year for traditional students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Serving as speaker at Convocation 2014 was the Rev. Dr. Mitzi Minor, The Mary Magdalene Professor of New Testament at Memphis Theological Seminary (MTS). Minor’s message centered around a poem called “Born Again,” by David Whyte. Minor read passages from the poem that encouraged readers to live and hear from the inside out. She pointed out times in her own life when she didn’t realize she should have lived and heard from the inside out. “Too often,” she said, “I’ve gotten it – something really important – after the fact because I didn’t hear from the inside out.” According to Minor getting to a place where we take every opportunity to listen from the inside out only comes after many life experiences and with time. “So I asked myself,” she said, “is there any way to get you who are here today to appreciate the importance of being aware of the inside out? In other words, after the fact, your being aware of the inside out allowed you to say I’m glad I picked up on this – not, I wish I had picked up on this.” Minor said she doubted there was a way to compel everyone to do this. “If it’s not possible, then what is possible?” she asked. “I might be able to put ponderings in your head that would prompt you to be aware inside out earlier in your life than otherwise.” “Pay attention,” she said, “to the real conversations going on around you. I’m talking about the real conversation when you find yourself catching your breath and thinking WOW – I’ve never thought about that! “Real conversations are revelatory,” Minor said. “You are learning about yourself. You are learning that faith is not as simple as you thought and that life is complex. Life is revealing itself to you through these real conversations.” Minor pointed out that in real conversations both mind and body must be involved. She also pointed out that real conversations cannot happen over social media and that social media conversations are only interactions. “A college campus is a wonderful place to have real conversations,” Minor said. “It might be the only time in your life when you are completely surrounded by others like you who are looking for life’s answers. “Real conversations are sometimes hard,” she said. “It might be the conversation you don’t want to have, but sometimes these are the ones that allow us to move forward.”
- Bethel’s College of Arts and Sciences welcomed several new faculty members for the 2014 academic year. Pictured l to r are: Thomas Crawford, Instructor of Psychology; J. R. Robles, Assistant Professor of English; Dr. Kathleen Baczynski, Assistant Professor of Biology; Dr. Andrew Evans, Instructor of Chemistry; John Buteyn, Instructor of Music; Stephen Haynes, Assistant Professor of Speech/Theatre; Keith Cottrill, Director/Instructor of Music; and Dr. Darryl Tukufu, Assistant Professor of Sociology. Welcoming new faculty was Cindy Mallard (far right), Academic Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. Not pictured are: Dr. Carla Eribal, Assistant Professor of Chemistry; Dr. Michael Poore, Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of Accreditation and Assessment; Dr. William “Bo” Miller, Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of Instructional Leadership Licensing and Transitional Licensure Programs; and Dr. Paul Doyle, Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of Academics.
- After serving as a graduate assistant for one season and an assistant coach for three years Cliff Barna has hung up his football cleats and is beginning a new service with athletics at Bethel. Barna has accepted the position of Chaplain of Athletics at the school serving the various 28 sports programs, coaches, staff, and over 750 student-athletes. Barna is originally from Ocala, Florida and attended Bethel University from 2003-2010. He played football on the Defensive Line from 2003 to 2008 and received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 2008. After graduating he pursued his Master’s in Education at Bethel University and became a Graduate Assistant as the Defensive Line Coach for the football team. After receiving his Master’s in Education in 2010 he became an assistant coach remaining the Defensive Line Coach. Until last season Barna was the All-Time Sack Leader and Tackles for Loss leader at Bethel. Ironically, under Barna’s guidance Joey Dienye broke both career records in 2013. In the summer of 2010 Cliff began his pursuit in his second Master's in Divinity at Memphis Theological Seminary. Coach Barna is married to Kasey Hope Barna. Kasey is from Paris, Tenn. She played softball for Bethel from 2007-2011. Kasey received her Bachelor of Science in Biology in the spring of 2011 and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing May of 2013. She is currently working as a Registered Nurse at Henry County Hospital in Paris. Bethel Associate Director of Athletics Richard Vaughn said, “We are very excited about Cliff's appointment as Chaplain of Athletics. Cliff will be a valuable resource for our student-athletes. Being a former player and coach, Cliff has a background that our athletes will relate well to. Cliff has been, and will continue to be, a valuable asset to our department and University". Chaplain Barna feels very blessed with the opportunity to serve at a place he loves. "Bethel University has been a huge blessing in my life as an undergraduate student, graduate student, and football coach. I am thrilled to fill in the new position as the Chaplain of Athletics and the opportunities I will have to serve the coaches, students, and all of Bethel University. I look forward to witnessing how God moves through these opportunities, all glory be to God!"
- This Sunday, August 24 at 7 a.m. on ESPNU, the Bethel Bass team will be featured on the Bass Master College National Team Championship, then at 8 a.m., Zack Parker and Matt Roberts of Bethel compete for a chance to qualify for the prestigious Bass Master Classic. This will make three weekends in a row Bethel University and its Bass Fishing Team has been featured on ESPN national television. For earlier stories concerning these events visit the Bethel University Athletic website at www.bethelathletics.com.
- The Rev. Dr.
- Bethel's traditional students returned to classes on Monday, Aug. 18 for the fall 2014 semester.