Mixing the new with the old
By Jennifer Hannigan,
photography by Jeff Montgomery
Homecoming weekend 2008 was a time for remembering past events while looking forward to things to come. Adding to all of the traditional festivities, newness was celebrated with the dedication of the Center for Health Sciences.
The faculty, staff and students from the College of Pharmacy and Physician Assistant Program, along with members of the University and Searcy communities, gathered in front of the new building Oct. 24. Although shadowed by the Center, the pharmacy and physician assistant students' white coats shown as brightly as their excited smiles. For them, the dedication of this building was more than a place for classes but where they would be primed for their chosen careers.
President David B. Burks opened the ceremony noting the importance of the programs housed within the center. "Obviously, it's about more than a building, it's about people," said Burks. "It's about the cooperation and the partnership that exists between the faculty and the students, and it's a marvelous thing to see."
College of Pharmacy Dean Julie Hixson-Wallace and Physician Assistant Program Director Mike Murphy each spoke, along with student representatives from both programs, thanking those involved and looking ahead to what is to come.
A member of the first pharmacy class, Janice McKean, who moved her family to Searcy to enroll, expressed her enthusiasm for being a part of the new college at the University. "I hope that we can help Harding gain a reputation of being a top-notch college of pharmacy," said McKean, "a school that is known for its high academic standards and, more importantly, using our talents to serve God."
Sarah Spear, a first-year P.A. student from Little Rock, Ark., commented on the University's commitment to learning. "This building and the faculty in the P.A. and pharmacy programs are evidence of that dedication," said Spear. "The Center for Health Sciences is not only something that the University can be proud of, but also the town of Searcy and the state of Arkansas."
The dedication helped kick off the weekend's events, which included class, club and department reunions; Bison Stampede 5K run; Black and Gold Banquet; and tailgating before the football game. Friday and Saturday nights alumni and students filled Benson Auditorium to enjoy the Homecoming musical, "Oklahoma!" On Friday night the musical was followed by a reunion of its own, allowing the cast of the 1982 production to meet their 2008 counterparts.
"We dedicate this building to the glory of God," Burks said, closing the ceremony Friday. "And we promise and pledge that we're going to do everything we can to be true to his principles, to teach his word, and to truly make a difference in this world."
|Physician Assistant students Kendyl Washburn, Randall Seeman, David Pritchett and Jason McCandless and Pharmacy student LeAnne Foley witness the Center for Health Sciences dedication.|
|Bob Diles ('61) enjoys holding his grandson Colt while in the COP-PA Kettle Café for refreshments with his daughter-in-law Amanda Wooldridge Diles following the Center for Health Sciences dedication. Amanda was a member of the first Physician Assistant graduating class in 2007.|
|Dr. Mike Murphy ('77), Physician Assistant Program medical director, displays some of the technology available in the patient skills center.|
|Proudly, Mike Canterbury poses with his daughter, Catherine, after her halftime selection as Homecoming Queen. Catherine is a senior from Nashville, Tenn.|
|Thundering Herd freshman Michelle Thomas of Cabot, Ark., performs during halftime of the Homecoming game.|
|"Oklahoma!" features senior Elizabeth Harrell of Brentwood, Tenn., as Laurey and senior David Walton of Nashville, Tenn., as Curly.|
|Intently focused, Dr. Tim ('73) and Barbara Duke ('78) of Searcy attend the Center for Health Sciences dedication. The Beene Student Activity Center in the new building was provided by a gift from the Dukes and their children, Dr. Jacob Duke ('03) of Nashville, Tenn., and Layne Duke ('05) Neese of Little Rock, Ark. The Center is named for Barbara's parents, the late Dr. Horace Beene and his wife, Hazel, of Magnolia, Ark.|
|Connecting at the Homecoming barbecue in Ganus Athletic Center, Bill ('58) and Mozelle Telchik ('59) Morgan visit with Lori Short Frank while Mary Dunn ('58) Short talks with former faculty members Marilee Crowson ('58) and Bobby Coker ('56)|