This fall is a significant one in the history of Abilene Christian University. It marks 50 years since Dr. Billy Curl (’64) and Larry Bonner (’64), two transfer students from Southwestern Christian College in 1962, became the first full-time undergraduate African-American students to enroll at ACU.
The new 80-page issue of ACU Today magazine, which mailed Dec. 13, presents this poignant cover story and other sidebars about integration by Paul Anthony (’04) and Dr. Charlie Marler (’55). A profile of Curl and Bonner by Anthony is moving and refreshing in chronicling the two men’s experiences as students, and a memorable weekend of reconciliation in August of this year when the two were saluted on campus for their accomplishments. Anthony is ACU’s advancement communication coordinator and Marler is professor emeritus of journalism and mass communication. One of Anthony’s sidebars explains how the Optimist student newspaper at ACU advanced discussion about integration years before it finally took place.
Other stories you won’t want to miss:
- Profiles of the latest winners of major alumni awards: Mike Calvert (’67), Aaron Watson (’00), Sean Adams (’93), Mike Willoughby (’86), Stephen Mansfield (’88), Russ Pennington (’89), Elise (Smith ’83) Mitchell, and Kathy Pulley (M.A. ’80).
- “A Whole New Ball Game,” a story by Lance Fleming (’92) of ACU’s decision this fall to re-join the Southland Conference in 2013-14 – a league it helped found nearly 50 years ago – and move its entire athletics program for the first time to NCAA Division I;
- A Q&A with Honors College dean Dr. Stephen Johnson (’90) about ACU at CitySquare, an exciting new venture with a respected non-profit organization focused on ending poverty among low-income individuals, families and the homeless in Dallas;
- “Threads of Hope,” a look by Robin (Ward ’82) Saylor at the students and alumna behind the successful Red Thread Movement that helps Nepalese women gain freedom from those who would enslave them;
- “Willing and Abel,” a profile of energetic trustee Abel Alvarez (’82), minister of the Harvey Drive Church of Christ in McAllen, Texas, and a mobile-learning champion in his hometown school district who has influenced many Hispanic students to attend ACU;
- “Three for the Ages,” a Second Glance essay by Dr. Cheryl Mann Bacon (’76), recounts the recent passing and undying influence of three giants among us: Drs. Colleen (Stockburger ’77 M.Ed.) Durrington, Dwain Hart and Charles Siburt (’68); and
- Other ACU news, including the latest from your classmates in EXperiences. One sidebar there by Tamara (Kull ’77) Thompson looks at Hell and Mr. Fudge, a new film documentary about theologian-author Edward Fudge (’67) and his journey through a controversial topic that has defined his life of biblical research.
Bonus Coverage adds another 42 pages in our online edition, largely the photography of Jeremy Enlow in expanded looks at ACU people enjoying themselves at the alumni event at a Texas Rangers’ game in July – when president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91) tossed the ceremonial first pitch and country crooner Aaron Watson sang the national anthem – and the Lone Star Football Festival in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, where a large crowd cheered ACU to a win over Tarleton State University. Also included is a behind-the-scenes look at ACU’s popular summer camps program. We are grateful to David Leeson (’78) and Kim Ritzenthaler for adding to photographic coverage of the Lone Star Football Festival again this year.
Watch this blog in the next couple weeks for backstories of some of these major articles in the new issue.
Enjoy the online version here: