July 1 may be just another day on the 2013 calendar, but at Abilene Christian University it’s a landmark moment when the Wildcats again become members of the Southland Conference and officially begin life in NCAA Division I.
That move takes place with a new athletics logo on uniforms and other apparel, so we’re helping celebrate with the debut of the football team’s new helmet design on the cover of ACU Today’s Spring-Summer 2013 issue.
The cover story of our 80-pager (with another 32 pages of online-only Bonus Coverage) takes a look at the development of “The New Cat in Town,” and provides the inside scoop on a new athletics era in “Hello Division I,” including exciting news of some of the big-name competitors appearing on Wildcat schedules beginning this fall. Texas Tech in Moody Coliseum for women’s volleyball? Check. Men’s basketball games with teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Atlantic 10 Conference? Yep. Baseball games against teams from the Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC? Sure.
We also provide a Southland Conference primer for fans, introducing them to the 13 other universities in the conference, and for extra measure, a sneak peak at the football team’s new Adidas uniforms and a look back at some Wildcat student-athletes whose names and numbers are still prominent in Southland record books. (ACU was a founding member of the conference in 1963.)
Other stories you won’t want to miss:
- Profiles of the latest winners of major alumni awards: Cmdr. David Bynum (’84), Dr. Marcus Nelson (’94), Shannon (McKnight ’92) Wilburn, Rob Thomas (’96), Chad Baker (’99), Hal Runkel (’00 M.M.F.T.), Curt Cloninger (’76) and Leon McNeil (’93);
- “Down to the River to Pray,” featuring historical items from two fascinating collections of church baptistry murals in the Brown Library;
- A Q&A with Dr. Robert Randolph (’66), who coordinates the work of chaplains at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers created tragedy for a member of MIT’s police force;
- “Hearing the Call,” a look by Paul A. Anthony (’04) at the WorldWide Witness program that introduces students of all majors to short-term missions;
- “Just Their Type,” profiles by Katie (Noah ’06) Gibson and Robin (Ward ’82) Saylor of talented young designers from ACU’s Department of Art and Design who are making headlines in their profession. One of them, Jeff Rogers (’02), provided the illustrations for our story. Others profiled are Ryan Feerer (’05), Rolando Gutierrez Alcantra (’08) and Brent Couchman (’05), and in our online-only Bonus Coverage, Darbie Angell (’03), Alyssa Reeves (’97) and Garett (’09) and Jessica Mayfield (’10);
- An early look at Homecoming – featuring Les Misérables as the musical – this October;
- “The New Monk Warriors,” a Second Glance essay by Greg Taylor (minister of the Garnett Road Church of Christ in Tulsa, Okla.) that first appeared in Christianity Today. It documents the inspiring work done by theology faculty member Randy Harris and a group of ACU students committed to service and each other; and
- Other ACU news, including the latest from your classmates in EXperiences. One sidebar there by Dr. Cheryl Mann Bacon (’76) looks at the way our campus community responded to Rex Fleming, a local 10-year-old boy who captured the hearts of Wildcat athletics teams and fans during his valiant stuggle with brain cancer. Rex, who died in late November, is the son of Lance (’92) and Jill Fleming.
Watch this blog in the next couple weeks for backstories of some of these major articles in the new issue.