SBU student presents research at regional conference

SBU student Spencer Smith

SBU student Spencer Smith

Southwest Baptist University student Spencer Smith, a senior mathematics and computer science double major from Springfield, Mo., presented a talk at the Eleventh MAKO Undergraduate Math Research Conference held Saturday, Nov. 14, at Missouri State University.

The conference featured presentations by undergraduate students from Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma about mathematics research they had accomplished. The conference was co-hosted by area institutions including Missouri State University, Southwest Baptist University, College of the Ozarks, Drury University and Evangel University.

Smith’s talk, “Average Intensity of the Distribution of Complex Zeros of a Class of Random Polynomials,” featured results from his Research Experience for Undergraduates in mathematics (REU) in summer 2015, during which he spent eight weeks working with Dr. Andrew Ledoan, an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The REU was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Other SBU students also attended the conference, including Julie Bowman, Miranda Carlin and Joseph Reyes, as well as Dr. Stephen Bowling, professor of mathematics, and Dr. Kevin Hopkins, professor and chair of the mathematics department. Hopkins presented a talk entitled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” which included insights he discovered when helping finalize Smith’s presentation.

More details on the conference and abstracts of all speakers are available at More details about Smith’s REU is available at

For more information about the department of mathematics, contact Hopkins at (417) 328-1675 or

SBU, Bolivar Area Ministerial Alliance to present annual Festival of Christmas

Festival of ChristmasStudents, staff and the community are invited to observe the Christmas season at the 35th-annual Festival of Christmas at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, in Mabee Chapel on the Southwest Baptist University campus in Bolivar.

The Festival of Christmas, sponsored by SBU and the Bolivar Ministerial Alliance, brings together the churches of Bolivar and surrounding communities for a spectacular Christmas celebration each year.

As part of the festival tradition, the Ministerial Alliance will collect a special offering to be used for purchasing food for Christmas baskets and to help those in need throughout the year. Local ministries include emergency relief, utility, food, fuel, prescription assistance and transient aid.

Christmas music will be provided by the Festival Choir, SBU Wind Symphony and Chamber Orchestra. The Bolivar High School Concert Choir, directed by Morgan DeClue, and The Bolivar Intermediate School Choir, directed by Kris McClard, will also perform.

For more information about the Festival of Christmas, call (417) 328-1630.


SBU Concert Choir, Bolivar Community Chorus in concert Dec. 1

The Southwest Baptist University Concert Choir and Bolivar Community Chorus present George Frederic Handel’s “Messiah” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec.1 in Pike Auditorium on the SBU campus.

“Messiah” was composed in 1741 and was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742. While the work did not receive immediate accolades, it has since become one of the most commonly performed oratorios in Western music.

The text Handel used for this masterpiece is entirely compiled of scripture and the musical demands include a full orchestra, soloists and chorus. Student soloists will be featured in addition to a full orchestra and choir, in keeping with the composer’s original intention.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the SBU Music Office at (417) 328-1644.

SBU wins second-annual CatFight Giving Challenge

SBU students (left to right) Brooke Bramwell, Sylvia Ofori-Yeboah and Claire Van Doren present the CatFight champion banner.

SBU students (left to right) Brooke Bramwell, Sylvia Ofori-Yeboah and Claire Van Doren present the CatFight Giving Challenge champion banner. 

Alumni and supporters of Drury and Southwest Baptist universities raised a combined $32,542.50 during the second-annual Highway 13 CatFight Giving Challenge. SBU came out on top in the friendly competition, raising $18,955 to Drury’s $13,587.50.

Starting Nov. 12, the schools competed to see which could raise the most support for their annual funds. The final push for donations took place during the Bank of Bolivar CatFight on Highway 13 basketball double-header held Tuesday, Nov. 17, at SBU’s Meyer Wellness and Sport Center. On the court, the Drury women’s and men’s teams prevailed. The winner of the fundraising challenge was announced at the end of the men’s basketball game.

“This competition is another facet of a great friendly rivalry between SBU and Drury, and we are pleased that this year’s competition garnered such tremendous support for student scholarships,” said Megan Hibma, assistant director of annual fund at SBU. “Thank you to the alumni and friends of SBU, whose generosity will make a significant difference in helping students pursue a high-quality, Christ-centered education.”

Money raised by SBU will go to the university’s annual scholarship fund. More than 98 percent of SBU students receive some form of financial assistance.

For more information about SBU’s annual scholarship fund, contact Hibma at (417) 328-1801 or

Brooke Koester of Bonne Terre receives SBU Library award

Southwest Baptist University student Brooke Koester of Bonne Terre, Mo., was honored by the SBU University Libraries as the Outstanding Student Assistant of the Month for October 2015.

University Libraries’ faculty and staff established the monthly award to recognize outstanding employment characteristics—such as dependability, quality of work, motivation, attitude and cooperation—demonstrated by the student assistants employed there.

Koester, an elementary education major, received an award letter from Dr. Edward W. Walton, dean of University Libraries, a certificate of recognition and a gift. Koester is a student assistant in circulation and is one of the 30 part-time student assistants working at the library as a part of SBU’s work-study program.

SBU debuts exhibition featuring graduating art majors

Photograph by graduating senior Alyssa Glasgow

Photograph by graduating senior Alyssa Glasgow

Southwest Baptist University’s fourth exhibition of the 2015-2016 academic year features artwork by senior SBU art department majors graduating this December. The show debuts Monday, Nov. 16, and runs through Friday, Dec. 18.

The show will feature a compilation of pieces produced by the students throughout their time in the art department. The featured students include:

  • Cody Campbell, a commercial art major with a concentration in graphic design from Hartsburg, Mo.;
  • Alyssa Glasgow, a commercial art major with a concentration in graphic design and digital imaging from Bolivar, Mo.; and
  • Isaac Reindel, a commercial art major with a concentration in graphic design from Littleton, Colo.

The artists will be in attendance at a reception from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18.

The Driskill Art Gallery, situated on the SBU campus in the Jester Learning and Performance Center, is free of admission and open to the public on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information about the exhibition or the Driskill Art Gallery, please contact Dawn Katzer at (417) 328-1651 and

SBU Wind Symphony and University Band in concert Nov. 19

The Southwest Baptist University Department of Music presents the Wind Symphony and University Band in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, in Pike Auditorium on the SBU campus. Dr. Brian Hopwood, SBU professor of music and director of instrumental studies, conducts both ensembles.

The program also includes a special performance by the SBU Percussion Ensemble under the direction of faculty associate Marc Baker. The University Band will perform works by American composers John Wasson, Frank Ticheli and John Philip Sousa, along with European band works by Jacob de Haan and Rolf Rudin. The Wind Symphony’s performance features Alfred Reed’s wind band masterpiece “Russian Christmas Music,” a musical impression of Old Russia well before World War II during the Christmas season. The program also includes works by Morton Gould, Morten Lauridsen and Howard Hanson.

Featured soloists include Ashley Fox, a senior music education major, on French horn and Kathryn Jespersen, a junior exercise science major, on English horn. Piano majors Meghan Picking and Kaitlin Manary will join the ensemble in a performance of the contemporary “Morning Alleluias for the Winter Solstice,” a minimalist work by Ron Nelson blending elements of old and new compositional techniques.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Hopwood at (417) 328-1647 or

Drury, SBU face off once more in CatFight Giving Challenge

CatFightGraphicDrury University in Springfield and Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar will compete once again in the second-annual CatFight Giving Challenge, through which the universities hope to raise money for their annual funds. Last year, SBU bested Drury in the friendly contest by raising $13,161 to Drury’s $8,375.

The fundraising contest coincides with the universities’ on-court rivalry in the Bank of Bolivar CatFight on Highway 13 basketball double-header Tuesday, Nov. 17, with the SBU women taking the court against Drury at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 7:30 p.m. Both games will be in SBU’s Meyer Wellness and Sport Center.

The giving challenge begins Thursday, Nov. 12, and concludes Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the end of halftime of the Drury vs. SBU men’s basketball game. The winner of the challenge will be announced at the end of the men’s game.

Money raised by SBU will go to the university’s annual scholarship fund.

“With ninety-eight percent of our students receiving some sort of scholarship or financial assistance, the generous contributions of SBU alumni and friends make a significant impact in the lives of our students as they pursue an education in a Christ-centered, caring academic community,” said Dr. C. Pat Taylor, SBU president. “We are so grateful to the Bearcats who enthusiastically gave back in last year’s giving challenge and hope that this year yields even more support for our students through scholarships.”

Online donations may be made at Cash or check donations may be mailed to the SBU Office of Alumni Relations at 1600 University Ave., Bolivar, Mo., 65613. Alumni and friends of the university are encouraged to make a donation, participate in the excitement via social media and challenge other alumni and friends to donate.

All donations must be received by the universities before halftime of the men’s basketball game Nov. 17 in order to be counted for the competition.

For more information, contact Megan Hibma, assistant director of annual fund at SBU, at (417) 328-1801 or Single tickets to basketball games may be purchased in the Meyer Wellness Center ticket office an hour and a half prior to tipoff.

SBU Theatre presents “Annie Get Your Gun”

Annie2_8.5x11The Southwest Baptist University Theatre program continues its 2015-2016 season with “Annie Get Your Gun,” with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and book by Dorothy Fields and Herbert Fields. The show will be presented at 7 p.m. Nov. 12-14 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, in Pike Auditorium on the SBU campus.

Directed by theatre instructor Jonathan Wehmeyer with musical direction by assistant professor of music Jane Munson-Berg, “Annie Get Your Gun” is a lively musical about Annie Oakley, the famed exhibition sharpshooter, and her quest for fame and love.

“It is a wonderful love story about an American folk hero that we can all relate to—Annie is brash, bold and completely lovely,” Wehmeyer said. “At every turn, the audience is reminded of how fun the theatre is and how profound a love story can be.”

Featuring iconic tunes such as “Anything You Can Do,” “No Business Like Show Business” and “I’ve Got the Sun in the Morning,” the production incorporates different elements harkening back to past eras of theatre.

“From periaktoi—the ancient Greek scenic element featuring large triangular columns with a different scene painted on each side—to encores in the music, every part of this musical is honoring a bygone time of the theatre,” Wehmeyer said. “We are fully embracing the theatrical.”

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for SBU alumni, senior citizens, and other students, and $4 for SBU students. Tickets may be purchased at the Box Office in Pike Auditorium, over the phone at (417) 328-1691, or online at

For more information about the production and SBU Theatre, contact Wehmeyer at (417) 328-1954 or


SBU Chorale presents fall concert Nov. 17

The Chorale of Southwest Baptist University presents its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, in Pike Auditorium on the SBU campus.

Under the direction of Dr. James R. Tarrant, director of choral studies and professor of music, the selectively auditioned choir will present a program of choral music spanning more than four centuries, including pieces by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Anton Bruckner,Giovanni Gabrielli, Morten Lauridsen and Ola Gjeilo. There will also be selections by non-Western-European composers.

“The concert repertoire highlights the versatility of this particularly strong choral ensemble,” Tarrant said.

In the past decade, the Chorale has performed at the Missouri Music Educators Association state convention, Missouri Baptist Convention, and numerous churches and high schools across the state. Since 2005, the Chorale has performed in cathedrals and other historic venues in Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany, including a rare performance in the “Singers Room” in the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. The Chorale recently completed a three-day, seven-concert tour of southeastern Missouri and will return to Europe in May 2016 with performances in Ulm, Augsburg and Munich.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the SBU Music Office at (417) 328-1644.