Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fall semester wrap-up

The fall semester has ended, and I'm wrapping things up and preparing for the spring. I wanted to briefly reflect on the semester as it was quite an eventful one.

The semester started with the grand opening of Phase I of Legacy Park, one of the largest construction projects at Harding in quite some time. The "park" is a combination of uniquely designed apartment buildings. You can see some photos of it here. One of the buildings hosts Searcy's first Starbucks.

Probably the biggest event of the semester was the naming of Harding's next president, Dr. Bruce McLarty, in November. The announcement came with some controversy which I addressed on this blog. Dr. Burks still has another semester presiding over Harding as the official transition day is set for September 20, 2013.

Harding hosted some notable speakers this semester including Karl Rove and Harding alumni Willie and Korie Robertson from the TV show Duck Dynasty. Guess which one completely packed the Benson Auditorium approximately an hour before the talk even began? My wife and I were fortunate to get to eat dinner with the Robertsons and about 200 others before the talk. I went to Harding with Willie and Korie, and I remember Willie as the guy who worked in the bowling alley. I posted their yearbook photos on Facebook, and the pic was featured at the end of a KATV news segment. Yes, I can now say my work has been featured on television. wink

Harding had an amazing year in terms of sports. In August, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom became the first Harding alumnus to compete in the Olympics. She ran the 10,000 meters in the the 2012 Summer Olympics and placed 12th. The Harding football team had an incredible season, finishing 9-1 and playing in their first NCAA playoff game. The Lady Bison volleyball team finished the season undefeated in their conference, and they won the 2012 Great American Conference Tournament.

On a personal note, I had the typical busy semester, but it went well. My oldest son started kindergarten, and that was quite a transition for my wife and I. I can only imagine what it will be like when he leaves for college! I'm thankful to God for his strength in getting us through the ups and downs this year, and I'm excited to see what the new year will bring.