SBU faculty art show runs Sept. 15-Oct. 10

Southwest Baptist University’s Driskill Art Gallery is hosting a faculty exhibit from Monday, Sept. 15, through Friday, Oct. 10, with a variety of artwork displayed by five faculty members.

The exhibit includes paintings, relief printmaking, photography, graphic arts and drawings by:

  • Tom Douglas, chair of the Department of Art and associate professor of art
  • Deby Gilley, adjunct instructor of art
  • Grant Cochran, instructor of graphic design
  • Dawn Katzer, instructor of art
  • Justin Ballard, adjunct instructor of photography

An artist reception is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, at the gallery, with entertainment by a bluegrass band.

The Driskill Art Gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please contact Dawn Katzer, director of the Driskill Art Gallery, at

Outdoor art exhibit raises awareness of Lakota people group

LaKota1A unique outdoor art exhibit, “A Vision of Hope,” on Southwest Baptist University’s Bolivar campus shares the plight of an often forgotten people group in the United States — the Lakota Sioux Indians of the Cheyenne River and Pine Ridge Reservations in southwestern South Dakota.

Kurt Caddy, director of university ministries, started leading student teams to the South Dakota reservation about four years ago. During a 10-day spring break trip in 2013 to the Cheyenne River reservation, the team focused not just on serving and ministering to the Lakota people, but also working on an advocacy project. The photographs and writings in the display are the result of that trip that was organized through the university’s Center for Global Connections.

“We took students with photography and creative writing skills for an advocacy project,” Caddy said. “As we were doing service projects, we took photographs.”

LaKota3The rustic display consists of pallets arranged as display boards, with the photographs mounted on cardboard and attached to the pallets, left completely unprotected from natural elements. Surrounding the base of a sycamore tree in the lawn behind the Sells Administrative Center, the display is symbolic in many ways.

“The display itself is sort of a metaphor for the way the Lakota people have been treated,” Caddy said. “The display is off the beaten path, so you’re going to have to walk to get to it. The photographs are vulnerable. They are exposed to the elements; the Lakota people live in a constant state of vulnerability and exposure. The pallets are a rugged, rough exterior.”

The cottonwood tree is very symbolic within the Lakota culture, and the display is built around a sycamore tree, a cousin to the cottonwood tree. The four hallways of the display are aligned with the directions north, south, east and west; directions are sacred to the Lakota people. Many of the photographs are of people, showing a little bit of life on the reservation.

“People are the biggest asset they have,” Caddy said.

These statistics, published in “The Arrogance of Ignorance: Hidden Away, Out of Sight and Out of Mind” by Stephanie M. Schwartz in 2006, tell a small part of the Lakota story:

  • 83-85 percent unemployment
  • About 50 percent of all adults older than 40 have diabetes
  • Average life expectancy for men is 48 years and for women 52 years
  • Infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent and about 300 percent higher than the U.S. national average
  • Teenage suicide rate is 150 percent higher than the U.S. national average for this age group
  • School drop-out rate is more than 70 percent
  • An average of 17 people live in each family home
  • Alcoholism affects 8 out of 10 families on the reservation

“It is difficult to know where to start,” Caddy said. “But it’s my passion.”

LaKota2Caddy plans to leave the display up for the entire semester. The photographs and writings in the display will weather as rain falls and the wind blows, which Caddy expects to add to the message being conveyed by the display.

An open house with some of the photographers and writers present is from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, at the display, which is west of the Sells Administrative Center.

For more information about the display or SBU’s trips to the Lakota Indian reservation, contact Caddy at (417) 328-1902.

SBU seeks floats for Homecoming parade

Local businesses and organizations are invited to have a float in the Southwest Baptist University Homecoming parade Saturday, Oct. 4.

“We still have space for floats in the Homecoming parade,” said Nate Penland, director of student activities. “There is no cost, and it is a great way for any business or organization to gain exposure among SBU students and the Bolivar community.”

To register a parade float, go to For more information, call Penland at (417) 328-1828.

Save the date for SBU Homecoming Oct. 3 and 4

Southwest Baptist University alumni and friends will celebrate Homecoming Friday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 4, on the Bolivar campus.

“We are excited to once again host our alumni for a fun weekend of Homecoming activities,” said Holly Stockard, director of alumni engagement. “We also want to invite everyone in Bolivar and Polk County to join us for the parade and football game on Saturday.”

Saturday’s events will include an alumni breakfast at 8:30 a.m., parade at 10 a.m., Bearcat Bash at 11 a.m. and Bearcat football and queen coronation at 2 p.m. The Bearcat Bash, a family friendly event with food and activities, is free for alumni who register by Wednesday, Sept. 17.

While students celebrate Homecoming with Spirit Chapel, bed races and more, alumni will begin the celebration with Honors Chapel at 10 a.m. Friday. Life Service Awards will be given to Betty Clark ’47, Sondra Isenburg Mahoney ’62; Hebert Pedersen ’66 and ’68 and Stephen Whisler ’71. Patricia Betteridge ’51 will receive the Edwin Lightfoot Distinguished Alumni Award.

The 50-Year Club luncheon is at 11:30 a.m., with the classes of ’54 and ’64 meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. The alumni banquet is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. with an alumni dessert reception at 8.

To register for Homecoming, go to For more information, call Stockard at (417) 328-1806.

Community invited to Festival Latino at SBU Sept. 18

The Southwest Baptist University International Club and Iglesia Cristiana, Casa de Oración, in Springfield are hosting the second annual Festival Latino, a celebration in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month on the SBU campus in Bolivar.

Mariachi Band “Herencia Mexicana” from Jalisco, Mexico, will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the SBU Student Union, and the public is invited.

Additionally, there will be presentations of folk dances from Latin America and authentic Latino snacks for a full evening celebrating the Hispanic culture.

For more information, please contact Dr. Perry Tompkins at (417) 328-1488.

Peter Collins to present guest artist piano recital at SBU

The Southwest Baptist University Department of Music is hosting a guest artist piano recital featuring Peter Collins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 in the Meyer Recital Hall on the SBU campus.

Collins is a professor of music and the coordinator of the keyboard area at Missouri State University. He received bachelor of music and master of music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and a doctor of musical arts degree from The University of Michigan. Collins has been a prizewinner in the Washington International Piano Competition, the American Beethoven Foundation, the American Chopin Competition and The University of Maryland International Piano Competition. He has also served on the faculty at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Missouri Fine Arts Academy and the Bösendorfer International Piano Academy in Vienna.

The recital will feature music by Schubert, Brahms and Albéniz. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the Music Office at (417) 328-1644.

John Ashcroft to speak at SBU on Constitution Day

Former U.S. Attorney General, Missouri Gov. and U.S. Sen. John Ashcroft will speak during the 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, chapel service in Pike Auditorium at Southwest Baptist University.

Ashcroft was invited to speak at SBU on Sept. 17 in observance of Constitution Day, which became a national observance in 2004. The U.S. Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787.

“We are excited to have Ashcroft on campus for our Constitution Day celebration,” said Coyle Neal, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science. “We hope that this encourages students, faculty, staff and members of the Bolivar community to be involved in this yearly event.”

Ashcroft is founder and chairman of The Ashcroft Group and The Ashcroft Law Firm. He served as U.S. Attorney General from 2001-05, U.S. Senator from 1995-2001 and Missouri Governor from 1985 to 1993.

For more information about Ashcroft’s visit to SBU, contact Neal at (417) 328-1722.

SBU presents Newcomer of the Year awards to Allison, Conley

Two faculty members and a staff member were recognized with awards during Southwest Baptist University’s formal convocation Wednesday, Aug. 27.

“Convocation is a time to focus on traditions that have become a part of Southwest Baptist University. An important tradition at SBU is our commitment to stay focused on our mission, which has remained consistent down through the years,” said SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D. “All of us – students, faculty, and staff – should be challenged by our mission statement to be Christ-centered and caring. We also should be challenged to do our best academically and to recognize the importance of servant leadership. If each of us will continue the tradition of living out the SBU mission statement in our lives, the 2014-2015 academic year will be a great year.”

Joe Wooderson, right, chair of the department of kinesiology and instructor of physical education, presented the convocation address during the Aug. 27 chapel. SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D., presents Wooderson with a plaque recognizing his selection as the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher. The winner is announced each year at graduation and then is the speaker at the next fall’s convocation.

Joe Wooderson, right, chair of the department of kinesiology and instructor of physical education, presented the convocation address during the Aug. 27 chapel. SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D., presents Wooderson with a plaque recognizing his selection as the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher. The winner is announced each year at graduation and then is the speaker at the next fall’s convocation.

Joe Wooderson, recipient of the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award, delivered the convocation address, as is tradition. The Distinguished Teacher Award is chosen by the current and three previous graduating classes and is presented annually to a faculty member for “outstanding teaching ability and personal guidance.”

Wooderson joined the SBU faculty in 2005 as an assistant professor of kinesiology. He is currently the chair of the department of kinesiology and instructor of physical education.

In his speech, Wooderson addressed some of the most common struggles faced by college freshmen: loneliness, as many of them are spending time away from home for the first time, and the adult responsibilities that come along with being a college student.

“You are forced to take responsibility of your own behavior,” he said. “You are becoming an adult. You must decide what kind of a person you want to become.”

He said that a solid foundation in Christ will help students as they transform into young adults.

“If you intensify your spiritual disciplines, such as daily prayer and frequent Bible study, worship, evangelism, service to others and constantly reminding yourself of the presence of God, you will be able to handle the challenges and the difficulties of being a college student and becoming an adult,” he said. “You will become the young man or young woman that you want to be and that God wants you to be.”

Newcomer of the Year awards

The Newcomer of the Year awards were begun in 1995 to recognize one full-time faculty member and one non-teaching staff member, who, in their first months of employment at Southwest Baptist University, demonstrate exceptional commitment to the University’s mission and make a positive impact as part of the SBU family. Faculty and staff members who have been employed full-time for no more than 18 months prior to the selection process are eligible. The winners are selected by committees of their peers.

SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D., left, presents the Staff Newcomer of the Year Award to Chris Allison, director of the Meyer Wellness and Sports Center.

Staff Newcomer of the Year Chris Allison: Chris Allison, director of the Meyer Wellness Center since July 1, came to SBU in August 2013 as resident director of Landen Hall.

“He possesses the necessary skills to think big and accomplish big things,” said Rob Harris, vice president for student development. “He has a genuine interest in the welfare of others, which is evident as he cultivates relationships, affirms community, inspires hope and pursues Christ.”

He and his wife, Krista, resident director of Plaster Hall, have a daughter, Faith, and attend First Baptist Church of Bolivar.



SBU Provost Bill Brown, D.M., right, presents Meilani Conley, instructor of computer and information sciences, with the Faculty Newcomer of the Year Award.

Faculty Newcomer of the Year Meilani Conley: Conley, a graduate of SBU, is an instructor of computer and information sciences.

“She has poured herself into the lives of her students and shown herself to be an excellent colleague who has great expectations of herself and her students,” wrote Troy Bethards, D.B.A., dean of the College of Business and Computer Science.

During her first year on faculty, she wrote and presented a paper with Baochuan Lu, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science. Conley and Lu also redesigned the Foundations of Computer Science course. She took students to the 2nd biannual Women in Computers Conference, where she served as a panelist. During the spring semester, she became the adviser for Phi Beta Lambda and accompanied students on a trip to the national leadership conference and national competitive events.

She is married to William, and they are members of Southern Hills Baptist Church, where she helps manage the church website.

Mercy/SBU health sciences college breaks record enrollment

Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of Southwest Baptist University hit record enrollment with 746 students on the first day of classes Monday, Aug. 25. The previous record was 695 in 2009.

“We are very excited about the future of our nursing, radiography and health sciences programs,” said Kezia Lilly, D.N.P., who became dean of the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU in April. “We hope to see our enrollment continue to grow as we offer more online classes, particularly in the bachelor of science nursing and health sciences programs, to better serve our students who are working on a degree while also working full time.”

The Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU, at 4431 S. Fremont Ave. in Springfield, offers degree programs in nursing (including graduate), radiography, and health sciences, designed for students to pursue a health care education in a Christ-centered environment.

It is a partnership between Mercy Hospital in Springfield and Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar. For more information, contact Charlie Hungerford, associate director of admissions, at (417) 820-3272.

Faculty and guest artist chamber recital to be held at SBU Sept. 4

The Southwest Baptist University Department of Music will host a chamber recital featuring faculty and guest artists at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Meyer Recital Hall.

The recital will feature Robert Carney, assistant professor of music, on the piano; Aleksis Zarins on the violin; Christopher Kelts on the viola; and Michael Murray on the cello. Musical selections include piano quartets by Mozart andDvořák.

The recital is free and open to the public. If you have any questions, please contact the SBU Music Office at (417) 328-1644.