McMurry University Percussion Ensemble and Steelband Concert

McMurry University Percussion Ensemble and Steelband is presenting a concert and will be joined by members of the Abilene High School and Abilene Christian University steelbands in Radford Auditorium on Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.

It will be an exciting concert featuring a wide variety of instruments, styles, textures, and guests. The concert will close with a massive steelband by combining the ensembles from McMurry, ACU, and AHS. It’s a concert that you don’t want to miss. The concert will be about an hour long and it’s free for everyone.

For more information, please contact Keith Lloyd, Instructor of Music at (325) 793-3836 or email>

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McMurry University School of Education Announces Student Teachers of the Year

The McMurry University School of Education is proud to announce the Student Teachers of the Year for 2013-2014. The Outstanding Elementary Student Teacher of the Year is Erika Larson and the Secondary Student Teacher of the Year is Jaclyn Burch.


Erika Larson and Jaclyn Burch

Erika Larson has been actively engaged in volunteering in the community and at St. John’s Episcopal School. She has done reading diagnostic benchmark testing and has been asked to speak to students at Cisco and on the McMurry campus. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, and Alpha Chi honor societies. She recently represented the School of Education at the Women’s Leadership Conference held on the McMurry campus.

She has been named to the Dean’s Honor Roll and the Dean’s List each semester during the time she has been at McMurry University. Erika has a passion for teaching and has excelled in her classes at McMurry University. She has demonstrated her talents through her teaching and is highly effective in the classroom. Erika resides in Abilene with her family. She will receive her Bachelor of Science degree in May.

Jaclyn Burch is a 2011 graduate from California State University of Northridge and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education. Jaclyn has been engaged in hosting art lessons and workshops for children and seniors. She is also an accomplished singer and performer and was an American Idol contestant in the Los Angeles area in 2006. She was a lead vocalist at her home church in California and has performed regularly in her community.

Jaclyn is enrolled in the FasTrack program at McMurry University and is currently student teaching and completing Texas certification. Jaclyn shares her talents and gifts with her students and hopes that her students will discover their own gifts and grow through creative expression. She resides in Abilene and is a member of Abilene’s community choir, the Celebration Singers and Grace Fellowship of Highland Church of Christ. She will be certified to teach EC-12 Art and will complete her certification requirements in May.

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McMurry University to celebrate Holy Week with World Village

ABILENE, Texas – McMurry University will celebrate the Easter season with a number of special events and activities through World Village and Holy Week from April 13-16. McMurry students and others will be camping out each night in the World Village at Wah Wahtaysee Park to raise funds for summer mission trips.

World Village began in 2011 when a student, Lindsey Lowry, decided to invite her friends to spend one week living in tents on Wah Wahtaysee. Called Cite’ Lespwa, which means City of Hope in Haitian Creole, the intent was to raise awareness of the plight of over 800,000 Haitians who called a simple tent home nearly one year after a devastating earthquake struck the small island nation.
Four years later, over 100 students have camped out in solidarity with the poorest of the poor across the globe, studying by flashlight, limiting how much water and food they consume, and raising nearly $10,000 to support students who travel and serve around the world each summer. This summer, students will be serving in Zimbabwe, Haiti, and India.

In the past, the Abilene community has contributed change while students panhandle on the side of the road. However, due to a new city ordinance, the only way to donate this year is online by visiting We are inviting members of the Abilene community to contribute to World Village online, or by bringing donations by Wah Wahtaysee.

This year, World Village will begin with the Third Annual Singer/Songwriter Competition from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday at Wah Wahtaysee Park. Students will participate in a 30-hour famine beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Monday. Holy Week Chapel services are at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, followed by an Easter Egg Hunt for the neighborhood and McMurry families at 5:45 p.m. World Village will conclude with Color Fest, a celebration of the vibrancy of life and human connectedness. Color Fest is based on the Indian traditional holiday called Holi. Celebrated each spring, participants celebrate new life, love, and peace by throwing colorful powder at each other.

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McMurry Wind Ensemble Concert

The McMurry Wind Ensemble, conducted by David Robinson, will present its second annual Children’s Concert, “For the Kid in All of Us” on Sunday, April 27, at 3:00 pm in McMurry’s Radford Auditorium.

Our featured guest will be McMurry faculty member Keith Lloyd, who will be performing the final movement of the Concerto for Marimba by Emmanuel Sejourne. Other selections will include Machu Picchu – City in the Sky, a tone poem by Satoshi Yagisawa, and The Shadow Lengthens by Abilene composer Bernie Scherr. We will end our concert with the playing of Stars and Stripes Forever, our traditional ending piece to close the year’s last concert.

Admission to this concert is free. For more information, contact David Robinson at 325.793.4867.

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McMurry University to Offer Summer Arts Intensives Camps

ABILENE, Texas – McMurry University’s Art Department will offer Summer Art Intensives for all ages beginning in June. Registration and more information on any of the classes may be obtained by calling Melanie Long at 325.793.4888 or you can sign up at

Studio Art Camps – June 16-20, 2014

Elementary Studio Art Camp completed Grades K – 5, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture and computer art. $150/week includes $25 for materials. Taught by McMurry Art Faculty and Professional Artists, and aided by McMurry Students.

Art Exhibit on Friday, June 20 from 6-7 p.m.

Middle School and High School Studio Art Camp completed Grades 6-12, choose areas of focus – ceramics, photography, computer graphics, drawing and/or painting. $150/week includes $25 for materials. Taught by McMurry Art Faculty and Professional Artists, and aided by McMurry students.

Art Exhibit on Friday, June 20 from 6-7 p.m.

Combat Theatre Camps – June 16-20, 2014

Middle School and High School Theatre Campers 9:30 a.m -12:30.p.m. completed Grades 6-12th – learn stage combat, stage make-up, improvisational acting and stage design. $135/week includes $10 for materials. Taught by McMurry Theatre Faculty, Theatre Professionals, and aided by McMurry Students.

Showcase on Friday June 20 from 6-7 p.m.

Elementary Theatre Camper 1-4 p.m. completed Grades K-5, stage combat, stage make-up, acting and stage design. $135/week includes $10 for materials. Taught by McMurry Theatre Faculty and Theatre Professionals, and aided by McMurry Students.

Showcase on Friday June 20, 6-7 p.m.

Adult Ceramics Camp – July 7 – August 7, 2014

Adult Ceramics Camp for ages 16 – adult, will meet 5:30- 9:15 pm on Monday through Thursday, from July 7, 2014 – August 7, 2014. Campers will be learning the skills of wheel throwing, centering, and more. The class will be taught by Z Miles Mayfield, a McMurry alumni and MFA in Ceramics. Cost is $390 which includes $90 for materials.

Adult Photo Camp July 7 – August 7, 2014

Adult Photo Camp will meet from 1 to 4:45 pm, Monday through Thursday July 7 – August 7, 2014. Will be exploring digital photography and printing; students must have a digital camera. The instructor is Jennifer Nichols, photographer and McMurry Gallery Director. Tuition is $390 which includes $90 for materials for printing.

Adult Jewelry Design Camps: June 9-13 and July 7-11, 2014

Wire Wrapping Jewelry meets June 9-13, 2014 from 10 a.m. to noon. Tuition is $135 which includes $50 for materials.

Resin Casting Jewelry meets July 7-11, 2014 from 1 to 4:45 p.m. Tuition is $135 which includes $50 for materials.



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McMurry Student Wins at National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs

ImageJustin Powers, McMurry junior art major from Abilene, Texas, competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastic Clubs last week in Chattanooga, TN on April 2 -5 , 2014. Justin won first in the floor exercise with a 14.9. There were 75 colleges competing and 232 competitors. Powers coaches gymnastics at Gymnastic Sport Center in Abilene.

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History Professor Dr. Stephen Hardin Receives Award

Dr. Stephen L. Hardin, professor of history at McMurry University in Abilene and author of the Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution,was named winner of an essay contest exploring the topic of Texas exceptionalism. The Texas Historical Foundation, a preservation organization that is celebrating its 60-year-old anniversary this year, sponsored the competition.

The purpose of the essay contest was to celebrate the state’s unique spirit, culture, history, and traditions.Writers were asked to explore the reasons for the pride, love, loyalty, and spirit that Texans have long had for the Republic and State.

According to THF President David Martinez, of Corsicana, “Dr. Hardin’s winning essay skillfully, and with a great sense of humor, argues that the concept of Texas ‘exceptionalism’ is a distinctive identity shaped by Lone Star history and a mindset embraced by each generation of Texans.

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McMurry History Majors Excel at Honors Conference



McMurry History majors took top honors at the Northeast Texas Regional Phi Alpha Theta History Conference hosted by Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas on April 5. Phi Alpha Theta is the national history honor society.

Ashley Mayer, McMurry’s Sigma Beta chapter president, not only led her members to the symposium but presented an admirable paper herself. History majors Ashley Dandridge, Katie Hinton, Cameron Shields, and Brandi Smith represented the chapter and university. Stephen L. Hardin, professor of history and chapter advisor, also attended the conference.

Katie Hinton brought home first-place honors in the undergraduate category for her paper, “Time in Stitches: Quilting in Northwestern Texas.” In March, the Texas State Historical Association awarded Miss Hinton its prestigious C. M. Caldwell Memorial Award for Excellence in History for the same paper. Cameron Shields secured a second-place award in the same division for his evocative presentation, “Deep Ellum: Deep Texas Blues,” which examined the roots of Texas blues. Session chairman, Dr. Everett Kindig of Midwestern State University, applauded Mr. Shields for his lusty rendition of the paper’s musical passages. Students produced these papers as part of the McMurry History Department’s award-winning research and writing program taught by Hardin and Dr. Robert Maberry.

The organizers of this year’s symposium specifically requested that members of McMurry’s Sigma Beta Chapter host the 2015 Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference—a request they eagerly accepted. McMurry History majors have already begun the year-long preparations for what they pledge will be a landmark event on their campus.

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McMurry, ACU to Present Trumpet Choir Concert

McMurry and Abilene Christian Universities will present a free Trumpet Choir Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

The concert will feature an original composition by Hardin-Simmons University’s Bernard Scherr and arrangements by McMurry trumpeter Mark Wilcox and ACU trumpeter Andrew Penney. Other pieces will feature styles from Bach to jazz.

For more information, please contact Dr. Mark Wilcox at 325-793-3833.

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McMurry University Student News

Image• McMurry University Model UN delegates, representing Timor-Leste at the 2014 National Model UN conference in New York City, won Honorable Mention. This award is extremely prestigious, as 196 delegations (every country and three Non-Governmental Organizations) participated. McMurry student winner are from left to right, (seated) Douglas Alldredge, Salome Block, Evelyn Gonzalez, Laetitia Doria, Ashleigh Hoover, (standing) Matthew Brown, Joshua Brooks (Head Delegate), Megan Rausch, Kirk Hodel, and Keith Wagner.

• Honors student Candace Boehm presented “An Exegetical Overview of Anorexia Nervosa” at the annual meeting of the Great Plains Regional Honors Council at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith on March 29.

• Senior Religion major Amanda “Maggie” Duke participated in the Texas Regional Festival of Young Preachers held at ACU on March 28-29.

• McMurry senior Joey Gonzales participated in the inaugural Intercollegiate Band for the Southwest Division of the College Band Directors National Association. The selected group of students met during the biennial conference at the University of Arkansas from March 20-22, and presented the final concert of the convention on Saturday, March 22. Members were selected from undergraduate and graduate music students from Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Joey was the only student selected from any school in west Texas.

• As part of their Positive Psychology course, 24 McMurry University students engaged in a service-learning project with the intellectually disabled clients of Disability Resources, Inc. (DRI) of Abilene. The students planned and led activities for the DRI “Folks” on two mornings last week, including t-shirt tie-dyeing, sports, games, Mary Kay makeovers, music, bubble blowing, and making necklaces and bracelets. These students were great ambassadors, showing the caring spirit of McMurry University in the community: Amber Allen, Annabelle Argueta, Logan Burkham, Gabby Camacho, Bridget Camarillo, Lewis Copeland, Kayla Cox, Joel DePorte, Ashley Hesseltine, Kayla Hines, Donald Matthews, Jessica McGuire, Morgan Murry, James Ness, Matthew Newby, Spenser Patterson, Greg Pinckney, Everton Pinnock, Marcus Romero, Megan Rowland, Mitchell Russell, Rachel Schalk, Thalia Silva, Lane, Watson, and Michael Wegener.

• McMurry University history majors achieved top honors at the annual meeting of the Texas State Historical Association in San Antonio. Besting their peers from universities and colleges from across the state, Katie Hinton and Ashley Dandridge brought home first- and second-place awards in the upper division of the TSHA’s C. M. Caldwell Memorial Awards for Excellence in History.

Hinton earned a first-place certificate and a $400 award for her paper entitled, “Time in Stitches: Quilting in Floyd County.” Dandridge secured the second-place award and a $300 award for her paper, “Black Education in Hamlin, Texas: Early Years to Integration.” Both women are also inductees of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. Ashley Mayer, the president of the McMurry chapter, attended the annual conference of Texas historians and was present as her classmates accepted their prizes. Stephen L. Hardin, McMurry history professor and Phi Alpha Theta sponsor, also attended the award ceremony.

Hinton and Dandridge wrote their award-winning monographs as part of the History Department’s Historical Methods and Senior Seminar courses, co-taught by professors Stephen L. Hardin and Robert T. Maberry. These awards are a testament to the efficacy of the department’s celebrated writing program, which devotes an entire semester to teaching the techniques of historical research and another to scholarly writing.

The achievements of these young women are all the more impressive when one considers that the TSHA meeting was the first scholarly conference they had ever attended.

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