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Lyon Homecoming: Fighting Scots take the field

Lyon’s mascots made their mark during Homecoming and Family Weekend.

Junior Carson Matthews and sophomore Patrick Mitchell donned their kilts and war paint, and the Fighting Scots returned to the field on Saturday, Sept. 28, helping fans cheer on the Lyon Scots football team at Pioneer Stadium. The Scots won the Homecoming game against the Texas Wesleyan University Rams with a score of 53-45, breaking multiple records.

During halftime, seniors Ayden Henry and Kendra Kelley were crowned Homecoming King and Queen. The Zeta Beta Tau fraternity won the Greek Challenge, and the Kappa Sigma fraternity won the Legacy Cup.

Over 700 students, alumni, families, and friends of Lyon College gathered for Homecoming to share memories, enjoy family fun, tailgate on campus, and cheer on the Scots.

Director of Alumni Engagement Cindy Barber said every alumni event saw increased attendance over last year. About 90 people attended the Alumni Awards Banquet on Friday, and the Club 50 luncheon on Sunday was full, with about 45 attendees. The new Young Alumni Post-Game Party on Saturday drew in about 60 attendees.

“We had over 60 people at the All Alumni Gathering, with the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and the 10s all represented! It was incredible!”

The College got down to business on Friday with the Career Center’s Career EXPLO in Becknell Gymnasium. The all-campus career fair featured 20 businesses and nonprofits, 3 professional schools, and 29 graduate school programs for students to explore. EXPLO is a beneficial avenue for students not only to explore career options and opportunities but also to build their professional network.

"In keeping with the Career Center's mission of preparing students for life after Lyon, this event also aids in the clarification of career goals and helps students be more competitive in their future endeavors," said Assistant Director of Career Services Lara Lauterbach.

"EXPLO 2019 was a great success, and we look forward to hosting it again next year!"

Lyon later honored outstanding alumni and friends of the College on Friday with the Alumni Awards Banquet. 

Lindsay “Charlie” (Hodge) Brink, ’09, and Dr. Chris R. Middaugh, ’09, received the Patterson Decade Award. Brink currently works for an NGO in Northeast Nigeria, conducting design research to inform programming aimed at building household resilience in conflict settings. Middaugh is a research biologist at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in Little Rock.

Jessican (Brents) Dunham, ’09, received the Decade of Service Award. Dunham is currently the director of events at EAST Initiative, an educational nonprofit headquartered in Little Rock.

G. Gene Crawford II, ’85, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Crawford is the president of the Trust Division of The Citizens Bank. 

“I would like to thank the Lyon Alumni Council for this honor,” Crawford said. “Lyon College connected the dots of my life. Lyon is more than an education. It’s an introduction to community service and a challenge to make the world a better place.” 

Admiral Robert Carius received the Honorary Alumnus Award. Carius served in the U.S. Navy for 34 years and was a member of Lyon’s science faculty for 10 years.

Ann Westmoreland Taylor, ’60, received the Lifetime of Service Award. She had a long career at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, first as the coordinator of the Arkansas Single Parent/Displaced Homemaker Program and later as an English instructor. She earned the Teaching Excellence Award in 1996 and was named Professor Emeritus in 1999.

“I feel honored and undeserving to receive this award,” Taylor said. “In Sept. 1956, my mom first brought me to this campus 63 years ago. My heart has been here ever since.”

The weekend closed on Sunday with the traditional Kirkin’ O’ the Tartans worship service and the annual Club 50 luncheon, which honors alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago. Dr. Terrell Tebbetts was named an honorary Club 50 member.

“Homecoming unites the past and the present, celebrates traditions and reminds all of us what a special place Lyon College is,” Barber said. “We hope everyone will make plans to attend next year!”

at Monday, September 30, 2019

Lyon College Hosts Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander

Is there a place for civility and rational debate during the heated political discourse of our times?

Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, believes the answer is a resounding “yes.” He shared his thoughts on the topic and a broad range of other issues in a public forum held at Lyon College on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Clark, a retired four-star U.S. Army general and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, was on campus as part of his “Renew America Together” initiative, focusing on civility and the major concerns Americans face now. 

“We hear that this is the most divided American electorate and the nastiest politics in anybody’s memory, some people say it’s worse than that period before the American Civil War,” Clark said. 

Clark’s thesis, however, is just the opposite. He argues that meeting people from across the country, it appears we “mostly agree on most everything.” 

There may be a difference in priorities or intensity of feeling, he said, but the divisions in the American populace are fewer than one might think. The media and members of both political parties make their existence possible by stirring up differences rather than focusing on common values and interests, according to Clark.

“The question is, what are we really interested in?” Clark asked. “Is it the issues of the moment, gun control, immigration, abortion?” 

“Or is it the longer-term issues like climate change, how to manage the ascent of China, how to get financial security, how to deal with a world that needs U.S. leadership . . . These are the questions we have to resolve.”

Clark foreshadowed that unless American democracy solved these challenges, “they’ll be addressed and solved some other way.”

Beth Anne Rankin, owner and president of Beth Anne Productions Inc. and a former Miss Arkansas, joined Clark in the discussion. 

Rankin, who ran as a Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 and 2012, joked she was grateful neither she nor Clark were making their appearances as candidates for office.

The two found common areas of agreement throughout the course of the discussion. Both agreed, for example, that the viciousness of the 24-hour news cycle, a beast that has to be fed constantly, is such that it contributes to “the perception we are more divided than we really are,” said Rankin.

The two likewise found common ground in their concern about the soaring national debt which, at more than $22 trillion, is at the highest levels ever. Clark said, however, that as crucial as it is to address the national debt, he would not put it above such issues as student access to quality preschools or a college education, or maintaining a source of income for senior citizens.

Both also concurred that the role of money in politics has left a negative impact, especially dark money, with anonymous donors hitting nearly $150 million in the 2018 election cycle alone. Each also found agreement in the need to create a nation of “lifelong learners” who can find retraining at local universities and colleges, so that Americans better adapt to the rapid pace of technological change. 

“I do agree with General Clark, these jobs are changing, and our workers of the future are going to have to be resilient,” Rankin said. “We need to create a mindset of resiliency. Because, otherwise, life is going to be disappointing.”

Aside from the issues, Clark conceded that no contemporary politician has been a better communicator, especially in the age of social media and on Twitter, than Donald Trump.

“Now you may not like what he says, or you may love it, but it’s quick, it’s pertinent, it’s on target,” he said. “He’s got an opinion on everything . . . and it doesn’t waste a lot of time.”

The event concluded with questions and answers from the audience who filled the auditorium for the evening’s discussion. Audience members ranged from veterans of foreign wars to current Lyon students and faculty. 

Clark’s non-profit Renew America Together was created to promote and achieve greater common ground in America by reducing partisan division and gridlock. Its stated mission is “to revitalize public and political discourse by teaching and promoting civics, citizenship and civility.”

The Lyon College Division of Advancement hosted the event, which was moderated by The William Jefferson Clinton Professor of International Politics at Lyon College, Dr. Bradley Gitz.

at Friday, September 27, 2019

Schwanke receives ‘extraordinary senior lecturer’ position

A Lyon professor has been appointed to the post of extraordinary senior lecturer at North-West University in South Africa.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Christopher Schwanke will have access to campus, academic journals, and travel funds through the position, which retroactively began Jan. 1, 2019, and will expire Dec. 31, 2021. The position can be renewed for another three years at that time.

Schwanke was a postdoctoral researcher at North-West University from 2015 to 2018. His wife still lives in South Africa, so he spends his summers there.

“My former supervisor thought it would be a good idea to nominate me for this appointment,” he said.

“It was an honor to have the university’s top-ranked officials give me this recognition. It’s a great opportunity to travel to South Africa to visit my wife and continue my research with my colleagues, who have similar interests.”

He is currently working on two research projects: further developing a theory of complex analysis from an order theoretic perspective and a theory of stochastic processes from an order theoretic perspective.

“In math research, we prove new theorems that could hopefully end up in textbooks one day, like the quadratic formula,” he said. “Someone had to prove that it actually works.”

The position is unpaid, but the South African government will award North-West University about $6,700 (100,000 rands) every time Schwanke gets an article published.

“I publish in both Lyon’s name and North-West’s name, so about 10 percent of that will go back to me for research costs, such as traveling to conferences and inviting colleagues [to North-West University].”

He plans to renew the position indefinitely.

“I plan on going to South Africa every summer right now to see my wife and then to see her family after she moves here,” Schwanke said.

“Most of my collaborators are in South Africa, so it makes sense for me professionally to be there over the summer anyway. Research is a big part of my job, and I’d like to continue this appointment.”

at Friday, September 27, 2019

Women’s bowling comes to Lyon

Batesville, Ark.-- Lyon College is setting up the pins for a women’s bowling team. The College is partnering with Hollywood Bowl to start the team.

Recruitment for players is starting this fall with the chance to compete in fall 2020. For more information, contact Director of Affinity Mentoring Tommy Newton at

at Thursday, September 26, 2019

Speaker to discuss ‘culture and health’ at Lyon College

Dr. William Ventres will discuss “Culture and Health: Growing Awareness in Medical Science” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Nucor Auditorium at Lyon College.

Ventres, the Ben Saltzman Distinguished Chair in Rural Family Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, is a seasoned family physician and medical anthropologist. Clinically, he has more than 30 years of experience as a community-based family doctor working in both ambulatory and hospital settings.

His work has focused on the care of underserved and minority populations in safety-net clinics and corrections health settings, attending principally to economically poor and socially marginalized patients.

Outside of clinical practice, Ventres has been a leader in the international development of family medicine, physician-patient communication, and the use of qualitative methods to explore research questions in generalist practice. He has written extensively on topics related to social determinants of health, ethics in global health practice, and social accountability in medical education.

at Wednesday, September 25, 2019