- Cadence Whaley debuted as the first ever featured twirler for the Bethel University Band during halftime of the first home game of the season. She twirled three batons at once and twirled fire (shown above).
- McKenzie, Tenn. -In only the second overtime game in Wildcat Stadium history the Bethel Wildcats lost a heartbreaker to Virginia-Wise 24-21. Wise placekicker Paul Melshen connected on a 41-yard field goal to hand the Cavaliers one of the biggest wins in the school's history. The No. 11 Wildcats entered the game riding a seven game home winning streak and appeared to take early command of the contest as they jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two field goals by sophomore Robby Phillips. Philips hit a 35-yard attempt with just over ten minutes left in the first quarter and then connected on another attempt from 23 yards out early in the second stanza. The Cat defense had held the Wise offense at bay until quarterback Tye Marshall hit receiver Ryan Bouldin on a 57-yard pass play which put Wise deep into Wildcat territory. A few plays later Marcus Jones would scoot in from 1-yard out and after the point after by Melshen, Wise would lead for the first time at 7-6. Bethel responded with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Wil Masoud to Justin Brandy and led 13-7 after the PAT by Phillips. The score would come at the 2:10 mark of the period and that is how the first half ended. After a scoreless third quarter with Bethel missing on a couple of scoring chances, Wise would retake the lead early in the fourth quarter on a 12 play 90-yard drive with Marshall scoring on a 1-yard dive into the north end zone. Melshen's PAT made it 14-13 Wise. Bethel's Phillips missed a 41-yard field goal attempt and Wise took advantage with a Zach Cochran 5-yard touchdown scamper capping off an impressive 76-yard drive. Wise converted on four third down opportunities in the drive. The Melshen point after gave Wise a 21-13 lead. With three and half minutes left Bethel's Masoud would answer the challenge taking the ball at the Cat 25-yard line and marching his team down field and scoring from 15 yards out to pull his team within two. All-American Cordarious Mann tied the game on a two point conversion run. With just over 40 seconds left in regulation Wise elected to run the clock out and the teams went to overtime tied at 21. UVA-Wise won the overtime coin toss and elected to put Bethel on offense first. Mann appeared to have a first down when Wise defender Nehemiah Jones stripped him of the ball and put Wise on offense. That set up the Melshen game winner from 41-yards out spoiling the debut of Bethel Coach Chris Elliott. Freshman running back Connery Swift led Wise with 146 rushing yards. Bouldin had three catches for 61 yards. Redshirt Freshman Raquis Hale led Bethel with 109 yards rushing. Mann had 82 yards on the ground. Bethel outgained Wise 389 yards to 319 on the night but it was not to be with Bethel falling to 0-1 while Wise returned home at 1-0. Bethel is 0-2 in overtime affairs at Wildcat Stadium falling to Lambuth in a 2008 heartbreaker. Coach Elliott commented on the contest." We simply did not play well but give Wise credit as they made some big plays which really hurt us. We were inconsistent on both sides of the ball at times and I thought that cost us in the long run. We had some missed opportunities and that hurt us." He added, "I told the guys one game does not make a season. There were a lot of positives tonight and we will look at the film and work hard to get ready for No. 3 Marian." Bethel will face Marian in the Big River Bowl in Dyersburg, Tennessee Saturday at 5 p.m.
- Bethel University traditional students began the fall 2012 school year with a weekend of events leading up to the beginning of classes on Monday, Aug. 20. On Saturday, Aug. 18, a freshman carnival included games and community vendors. Students had the opportunity to interact with each other before classes began and to get acquainted with community businesses, churches and other organizations. On Saturday evening, a concert with Renaissance, the Bethel University Performing Arts Experience, and a fireworks show celebrated the school’s 170th anniversary. Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream was also on hand for the concert. A foam party was the last event held for Bethel students before classes began. Held in the parking lot of the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment on Sunday evening, it gave students one last study-free night. Bethel’s College of Liberal Arts offers the traditional classroom and campus experience. Registration for fall 2012 traditional classes continues through Friday, Aug. 24. For more information about enrolling in traditional classes for Fall 2012, contact the Bethel University Office of Enrollment Services at 731-352-4030. For more photos from the weekend's events, go to the Bethel Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/bethelu
- Bethel University’s College of Liberal Arts welcomed new faculty members to campus last week. From l to r are: Dr. Edward Mathieu, Assistant Professor of History; Dr. Jeremy Ricketts, Assistant Professor of English; Poppy Scarbrough, Assistant Professor of Art; Dr. Brian E. Paulis, Assistant Professor of Music; Sara McIntosh, Instructor of English; Dr. Sara Rognstad, Associate Professor of Math; Steve Isbell, Instructor of CIS & Business; Dr. Lewis Kanyiba, Assistant Professor of Physical Education; Dr. Dan Cantey, Assistant Professor of Religion; Dr. Jeffery Wilcox, Assistant Professor of Religion; Dr. Jennifer Crawford, Assistant Professor of Chemistry; and Dr. Hector Tato from the College of Criminal Justice.
- Two Time Tony Award Winning Best Actress and Emmy Award Winning Best Supporting Actress Cherry Jones visited the Renaissance Theatre Program on Wednesday August 15th. Jones is best known for her award winning performances in the Broadway play Doubt and the hit TV series 24. She is also known for her roles in Signs, The Village, Oceans Twelve, The Perfect Storm, New Years Eve, and more recently AWAKE. “Spending time with these kids was a pleasure,” Jones commented. “When I hear that the theatre is dying, I look to these kids to keep it alive. The opportunities they are receiving with the Renaissance Program are remarkable, and I applaud the directors and the school for their leadership.” The students asked questions about her favorite role, favorite person to work with and even her favorite food. Encouraging the students to never give up and to try for anything, Jones told stories about many of her colleagues in the industry that have overcome outstanding obstacles. “It is not everyday that you get an actress like Cherry Jones to speak to your students and motivate them to go after their dreams,” added Brian Hill, Director of Renaissance Theatre. Jones is a native of Paris, TN and is home for two weeks visiting. She is a 1978 Graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.
- Members of Bethel University’s Office of Residence Life have been preparing for the new school year with residence halls opening for traditional undergraduate students this Sunday, Aug. 19. Those who work within the Office of Residence Life include front row l to r: Autumn Starks of Dyersburg; Sam Pyron of Brownsville; Logan Pyron of Brownsville; Zachary Sanders of Murfreesboro; Rachael Perrault of Clarksville; Danyell Spry of Buchanan; Kayla Hall of Granite City, Ill.; Christopher Cain of Vinemont, Ala.; Daniel Potter of Brighton; Sarriah Johnson of Milan; Kennon Holder of Huntingdon; Alyssa Hassell of Paris; Nathaniel Funk of Millport, Ala.; Kelly Dupree of Silver Springs, Fla.; Courtney Frazier of Munford; Curtis Hardy of McKenzie; Bryan Dickens of Charlotte; Triosha Webster of Nashville; Andrew Deason of Vanleer; Zach O’Kelley of Florence, Ala.; Artomie Dixon of McKenzie; Tim White; Christy Hampton of McKenzie, Shaniece Bond of Jackson; Savannah Cooper of Paris; and Peggy Carter of Huntingdon. Back row l to r includes: Samsideen Singhateh of Gambia; LaShara Mickens of Memphis; Mishel Castro of Jackson; Jasmine Porter of Paris; Devin Bargatze of Murfreesboro; Jose Paniagua of Pahokee, Fla.; Kerrick Owens of Memphis; Melissia Madden of Jamaica; Billy Sampson of Palatka, Fla.; Alex Emelyanov of Russia; Kristian Takac of Serbia; Lia Agee of Kenton; Krysani Hogg-Boyd of Memphis; Renee Story of McKenzie; Taylor Lawley of McKenzie; Bo Morrison, Richard Gilliam of Memphis; Vinicius Kerchner of Brazil; Joe Dickinson of Dyer; and Michael McNeely of Memphis.
- Bethel University will celebrate its 170th birthday this Saturday, Aug. 18, with a concert featuring Renaissance, the Bethel Performing Arts Experience, and fireworks by High Tech Special Effects. The event is being called “How Sweet It Is to Celebrate 170 Years.” The concert will begin at 7 p.m. on Bethel’s McKenzie campus adjacent to Baker Fieldhouse. Sweet treats will also be a part of the evening. The concert is free and open to the public. Guests should bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating. The concert also kicks off the school year for traditional undergraduate students who will begin fall classes on Monday, Aug. 20. Out of more than 40 schools in the state of Tennessee (both public and private) only five institutions are older than Bethel. Bethel University has been around longer than some of Tennessee’s most prestigious institutions including Vanderbilt and Sewanee: The University of the South. Compared to some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the U.S., Bethel University has been in existence longer than the Ivy League Cornell University and Duke University and it is celebrating its 170th birthday with the University of Notre Dame. In its 170 years it has grown from a college to a university with distinct colleges that serve students in very specific ways. It operates from its main campus in McKenzie and has satellite campuses in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Clarksville and Jackson, and it offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees through a number of learning platforms. For more information about this event, contact Myra Carlock at 731-352-4090 or at email@example.com.
- The new Vera Low Fitness Center is now OPEN!!! Stop by and see the new facility that is aimed at helping each and everyone be the healthiest they can be. With convenient 24 hour access for full-time faculty and full-time staff, now is the time to get FIT. Students can visit the center between 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. With approximately 5,500 sq. feet of state of the art equipment including; treadmills, suspension trainers, recumbent bikes, strength machines of all types and free weight sections, you will be wowed by this new facility. All of this is conveniently located on the Bethel Campus not to mention it is free for Bethel full-time Faculty, full-time Staff and Bethel students. All other community members can still enjoy the Wildcat Fitness Center located next to Fred's Dollar Store in McKenzie
- The dedication of Bethel University’s Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena was held on Saturday, Aug. 4 prior to the school’s summer 2012 Commencement. On hand for the event was Harry L. Crisp II and family. The building was named for Crisp and for his late wife, Rosemary, who have had a longstanding commitment to education and who have contributed to Bethel’s Crisp Arena project. Crisp is the CEO of Pepsi MidAmerica, the largest individually owned Pepsi Bottler in the United States. Speaking at the dedication luncheon was Senator Roy Herron, who has known and worked with Crisp for many years. Herron pointed out that Pepsi MidAmerica was turning 76 years old this year. “During that 76 years, the company has never laid off a single employee,” he said. Herron went on to tell of other stories where Pepsi MidAmerica worked to do the right thing for its employees. Herron also talked about the sobering statistics of regional employment and of higher education. Speaking to Crisp, Herron said, “Your generosity enables Bethel University to continue in new ways. I am sobered by the present, but hopeful because of people like you who continue to give to the educational process.” During Crisp’s remarks, he agreed with Herron that the world is in challenging times. “But I’m optimistic about what’s going to happen long term,” Crisp said. “We all have to pull together. We can’t encourage our jealousies. The solution is for all of us to live the correct life. One way to do that is by supporting education. It’s so rewarding to see students have opportunity in their lives. Partnering with Bethel– it was the right thing to do. We agree with what you are accomplishing here at Bethel.” During Commencement later that day, Crisp was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Bethel President Robert Prosser. “Because of your lifetime achievements in the business world and your expertise at organizational management at the highest level of industry and because of your devotion and commitment to higher education, I confer on you this honorary degree,” Prosser said. The Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena is the new home to Bethel University Wildcats Basketball.
- Bethel University held its Summer 2012 Commencement on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena at the school’s McKenzie campus. Two hundred seventy-two students graduated. Additionally, Harry L. Crisp II, CEO of Pepsi MidAmerica, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Bethel President Robert Prosser. “As the CEO of Pepsi MidAmerica, Mr. Crisp is one of the most influential leaders in the soft drink industry today,” Prosser said. “Under his leadership, Pepsi MidAmerica has grown into the largest individually owned Pepsi Bottler in the United States. Because of your lifetime achievements in the business world and your expertise at organizational management at the highest level of industry and because of your devotion and commitment to higher education, I confer on you this honorary degree.” A dedication for the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena was held earlier in the day. Crisp Arena is the new home to Bethel University Wildcats Basketball, a facility that was made possible by significant contributions from Crisp. Another special degree was presented during the ceremony as well, to the wife of Bethel student Justin Maples, who was killed this past May while serving as a police officer for the Cleveland, Tenn., Police Department. Mrs. Danielle Maples accepted an Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice on her husband’s behalf. Tre Hargett, Secretary of State for the State of Tennessee, delivered Bethel’s Commencement address. Secretary Hargett reminded graduates to look forward to the future. “Don’t look back on what you would have done differently,” Hargett said. “If you stare back too long, the path can paralyze you.” Instead, Hargett told them to step to the line to start the next race. Hargett also encouraged graduates to use the piece of parchment they received to change their lives and to change the lives of the people around them. “I encourage you to make others around you better,” he said. “I implore you to be prepared for the moments God has built you for.” Headquartered in McKenzie, Bethel University is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees through both face-to-face and online learning platforms. In addition to McKenzie, Bethel has satellite campuses in Jackson, Memphis, Nashville, Clarksville and Chattanooga. For information about Bethel University, go to www.bethelu.edu.