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Lyon alum commemorates birthday with 80-mile bike ride

Not everyone celebrates turning 80 with an 80-mile bike ride, but for Lyon alumnus Larry Bentley, birthday bike rides have become a tradition.

While Bentley has always liked to stay active, he didn’t develop his passion for biking until 1985, when he broke his knee in a motorcycle accident.

“I used to run marathons. I ran about 12 to 14 marathons in my life, including the Boston Marathon twice,” Bentley said.

He enjoyed training every day in preparation for his next race but had to stop after his knee injury.

“The doctor said they had to piece my knee back together,” he added. “He told me it would be fine for running across the parking lot but I would never run another marathon.”

The doctor said biking, however, would be good for his knee.

“So I hobbled into a bike shop on the way home and bought a bicycle!”

Bentley has been riding bikes ever since. He said he isn’t sure where he gets his passion for staying active.

He said, laughing, “after breaking my knee, my first thought was ‘I can’t just sit around.’”

He now rides with a group of friends every Monday and Wednesday.

“We meet at 4:30 p.m. and do it all winter and summer. We’ve developed a camaraderie along with it. That’s the glue that holds the biking group together,” he said. “When you get texts that one or two guys are committed, the others think ‘Wow, they’re going to ride in this weather. Hell, I guess I will, too.’”

Bentley began a tradition of commemorating his birthdays with rides, but wasn’t sure if he would be able to this year after having open-heart surgery last November.

“I had to wait a couple of weeks to let everything heal,” he said. “Usually, I ride anywhere from 40 to 60 miles a week, but it took me a while to get back into the routine. I’m still improving and gaining progress.”

He and a friend departed from Marshall’s Dry Goods on Oct. 13 and rode to Tuckerman and back, a total of 80 miles.

After the ride was over, he showered and took his wife out to eat.

“I was dog-tired but not hurting anywhere. That’s the beauty of pacing yourself.”

Bentley continued, “Some days, the last thing you want to do is get on a bicycle. But after doing 20 miles, you feel better than you felt all day long. The lift it gives you is worth the pain.”

Bentley’s athleticism is what brought him to Batesville in the first place. He was recruited from Missouri to play basketball at Lyon College, then Arkansas College, in 1958.

“I played for a little over a year,” he said. “I was wanting to get a coveted degree in physical education. [Lyon] didn’t offer it at the time, so, after two years, I transferred.”

Although Bentley didn’t graduate from Lyon, the College had a huge impact on his life. It was where he met his wife, Martha Bentley.

“We had a dance in the Scot Shop,” he said, laughing. “We even had a band. The girls asked guys to this dance. Martha went with an old friend, and I went with a girl who invited me.”

“My date didn’t dance, and neither did Martha’s. She came over and asked me to dance, and we’ve basically been dancing ever since!”

Bentley graduated from college in 1962 and taught for seven years before getting out of education. He and his son bought Marshall’s Dry Goods in Batesville in 1984 and currently have 28 employees.

“I love Batesville. I don’t have any designs to live anywhere else.”

at Friday, November 8, 2019

Alpha Chi welcomes 13 new members

Lyon College’s chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society welcomed 13 new members in an induction ceremony held Oct. 24.

Alpha Chi is a national college scholarship honor society with over 300 chapters and over 30,000 members in 45 states and Puerto Rico. The society admits juniors and seniors of outstanding character who are in the top 10 percent of their class.

The following Lyon students joined Alpha Chi:

  • Michael Humphrey of Cave City

  • Kendra Kelley of Batesville

  • Jordan Webb of Melbourne

  • Lauryn Bocox of Texarkana

  • Sabrina Denmon of Mena

  • Leah Hanson of Little Rock

  • Zach Poe of Lake City 

  • Kyle Rose of Mountain Home

  • Madison VanGinhoven of Mammoth Spring

  • Zachary Hodge of Olive Branch, Miss.

  • Adrienne Moran of Pittsburgh, Penn.

  • Hannah Zang of McKinney, Texas

  • Brandon Giribaldie of Hengelo, Netherlands 

The induction ceremony was followed by a banquet in the Maxfield Room of Edwards Commons. Associate Professor of Art Dustyn Bork, who was named Lyon College Professor of the Year, spoke about his recent experience as an artist-in-residence at the Mark Rothko Art Center in Latvia. Bork was one of 10 artists across the globe to be selected for the Center’s 15th Painting Symposium and Residency.  

Alpha Chi meets every Monday for programs led by both students and faculty. Members also travel to an annual convention to present research and creative work and to compete for scholarships and fellowships. Lyon’s award-winning chapter and its members consistently receive honors such as Star Chapter, along with individual undergraduate and graduate fellowship awards. 

Haley Reed of Batesville will serve as the chapter president for the 2019-20 school year. Ayden Henry of Jonesboro will serve as secretary, and the newly inducted Hannah Zang of McKinney, Texas, will serve as vice president.

at Thursday, November 7, 2019

Colloquium focuses on Shakespeare’s Christian humanism

Readers of the classic work, The Odyssey, know that the Greek hero Odysseus relies on divine intervention to surmount several challenges.

But within the text of The Tempest one finds Prospero, a Christian humanist hero, who relies on the divine nature within himself to conquer his world, according to Dr. Terrell Tebbetts.

Tebbetts, the Martha Heasley Cox Chair in American Literature, argued this point during the third lecture of the 2019 Faculty Colloquium series on Nov. 1 at Lyon College.

Tebbetts’ lecture, “Homer Redux: Shakespeare's Christian Humanist Response to the Odyssey," referenced the interest in Greek and Latin classics influencing Renaissance thought during Shakespeare’s writing career. 

During the Renaissance, Shakespeare’s version of Christian humanism portrayed mankind as made in God’s image and thus equipped with the same powers as God, albeit to a lesser degree. In The Tempest, for example, Shakespeare’s hero deftly tackles the forces of nature with no reliance on Greek gods the way Odysseus does in The Odyssey.

“That form of humanism becomes apparent in this and other differences between The Odyssey and The Tempest,” said Tebbetts. 

Shakespeare’s heroic approach can instead be likened to that of Erasmus, the famed Christian humanist philosopher of the Renaissance, who refers to Christ as “the most merciful savior,” one whose example should be followed by Christian rulers.

Tebbetts described Prospero’s capacity for merciful forgiveness of his betraying and even fratricidal brother as he prepares to return to his dukedom at the end of The Tempest. 

He noted other works in which Shakespeare compared mercy to a gentle rain that “droppeth from heaven.” Tebbetts described Odysseus, by contrast, as the merciless killer of some 150 suitors and attendants when he returned to his kingdom.

Tebbetts’ lecture was followed by a reception in the Lyon building. The series provides professors the opportunity to present their ongoing research, regardless of what phase it is in, giving the campus community insight into the research process.

The final lecture will be delivered by Assistant Professor of Art Ian Campbell on Friday, Nov. 22.  

at Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Root Cafe owners to speak at Nov. 5 convocation

Jack Sundell and Corri Bristow-Sundell, owners of The Root Cafe in Little Rock, will speak at Lyon College on Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the Bevens Music Room of the Brown Fine Arts Building.

A buffet will be held at 6 p.m., and the lecture will begin at 7 p.m. The convocation is open to all.

According to, the cafe’s mission is to “build community through local food” and foster connections among individuals, families, organizations, and businesses of central Arkansas by offering a focal point for sustainable activities in the area. The cafe hosts a range of workshops, classes, contests, and other activities.

at Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Kresge Gallery will exhibit ‘Lie, Cheat, Steal: Ethics and Contemporary Art’

The Kresge Gallery at Lyon College will exhibit “Lie, Cheat, Steal: Ethics and Contemporary Art” from Tuesday, Nov. 5, through Friday, Dec. 6.

In contemporary art, appropriation has become a common practice. Assistant Professor of Art Ian Campbell said many artists weave falsehoods and half-truths into their work, and some walk a fine line between collaboration and exploitation. “Lie, Cheat, Steal” seeks to frame issues of honesty and integrity in ways that may be serious, humorous, or even provocative.

Daily life in general can be filled with moral dilemmas and ethical gray areas, and this exhibition welcomes entries from artists in any media whose work addresses, explores, critiques, or even employs some form of lying, cheating, or stealing.

A reception and curator’s talk with Campbell will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8 in the gallery.

For more information, contact Visiting Professor of Art James Berry at

at Tuesday, November 5, 2019