Globetrotters still deliver, after all these years

Meadowlark Lemon played in a 1989 game in Moody Coliseum for the Harlem All Stars.

Meadowlark Lemon played in a 1989 game in Moody Coliseum for his Harlem All Stars.

Last night, the Harlem Globetrotters made their 33rd appearance in Abilene since 1952 including their 10th in ACU’s Moody Coliseum, where their basketball schtick showed new inspiration but seemingly never grows old with fans of all ages.

Their New Rules Tour gives fans an opportunity to vote online for variations on the game, including Make or Miss (adding players to each team on the floor for every basket made, subtracting them for each missed shot), Hot Hand Jersey (player wearing it is credited with double points for each basket), Trick Shot Challenge, Six-on-Five (five Globetrotters play a six-man team) and Two-Ball Basketball (two basketballs in play at once).

Nicknames are still prevalent on the team, from 5-foot-2 “Too Tall” Hall (the shortest Globetrotter ever) to 7-foot-4 “Stretch” Middleton (the third tallest Globetrotter in history). In 2014, three of the team’s players are women.

Former Wildcat James Joseph was a Globetrotter in 1990-91.

Former Wildcat James Joseph was a Globetrotter in 1990-91.

Some of the characters who made the Globetrotters known around the world since 1929 include: Meadowlark Lemon, Fred “Curley” Neal, Hubert “Geese” Ausbie, Reece “Goose” Tatum, Marcus Haynes and Lynette Woodard (the first woman named to the team), among others. Some may recall that eventual Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain, the only NBA player to score 100 points in a single game, began his professional career as a Globetrotter in 1958; his No. 13 jersey was retired by the team in 2000.

But Lemon, also known as the “Clown Prince of Basketball,” was the face of the Globetrotters for 24 years and 16,000 games (including more than 7,500 in a row). He was last on campus in 1989, when his Harlem All Stars played in Moody Coliseum. In 2003, Lemon was inducted into basketball’s Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. Today, he is an 81-year-old motivational speaker, author and ordained minister who preaches the gospel with a mission of “changing lives, to change the world.”

You may not know that a former Wildcat center – one of the captains of the 1986-87 ACU men’s basketball team – played in 1990-91 with the Globetrotters. James “Jumping J” Joseph (’88) also played with a professional club team in Australia in 1995.

Thanks to photographer Jeremy Enlow for a look at the fun the Globetrotters brought to a large crowd in Moody last night:

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Globetrotter guard Fatima “TNT” Maddox makes friends with youngsters at courtside in Moody Coliseum last night.

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Globetrotter guard Corey “Thunder” Law runs the team’s famous weave play with a teammate in last night’s game in Moody.

A large crowd last night watched the Globetrotters' 10th appearance – and 33rd in Abilene – since 1952.

A large crowd last night watched the Globetrotters’ 10th appearance at ACU – and 33rd in Abilene – since 1952.

 


Atchley, Browns honored for selfless service

Rick Atchley (’78) was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.

Rick Atchley (’78) was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.

Laughter and tears were shared Sunday afternoon when Abilene Christian University honored its most recent major alumni award winners in an Alumni Day Luncheon in the Teague Special Events Center.

Rick Atchley (’78), minister of the Word at The Hills Church of Christ in the Fort Worth area, was honored as the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, while the Young Alumnus of the Year award went for the first time to a couple, Randy Brown, M.D. (’94) and his wife, Anda (Adams ’95).

Anda and Randy Brown, M.D., were named Young Alumni of the Year.

Anda (Adams ’95) and Randy Brown, M.D. (’94), were named Young Alumni of the Year.

“You guys make us sound really good,” Randy Brown told a crowd of more than 400 people in the McCaleb Conference Center of ACU’s Teague Special Events Center. “I want to meet us, actually.”

The Browns minister in the low-income Como neighborhood of Fort Worth – mentoring, tutoring and loving children and teens in an environment beset by gangs and drugs. Read more about their story.

Among the speakers paying tribute to the Browns’ service was Corey Boone, a high school senior whom Randy Brown had mentored – and who will enter ACU as a freshman in Fall 2014. Boone stood on stage, flanked by two others of what are known as “Dr. Brown’s Mighty Men.”

“He [Randy] saw something in me and the rest of my brothers that we didn’t see in ourselves at the time,” Boone said, stopping to collect himself before addressing the Browns directly. “I am one of many people y’all have touched. Thank you for the opportunity you have given me to be a mighty man of God.”

Randy Brown returned the favor, telling Boone from the stage, “We do lots of ministry, but you guys aren’t ministry. You guys are family.”

The Browns grew up together in Midland and became a couple while they were students at ACU, he studying to go into medical school and she majoring in English education. In 2006, after earning a medical degree and opening a family medicine practice, they moved to Como, trading in a life focused on the American dream for one focused on following Jesus’ call to serve the needy.

“Anything good that comes out of our lives is all Jesus,” Anda Brown said. “We’re thankful to ACU because this is a place where we learned to passionately follow Jesus.”

Likewise, Atchley – who preached for Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene for 11 years upon graduating from ACU, then moved to Richland Hills Church of Christ 25 years ago – was praised for his devotion both to his congregants and his God. Read more about his story.

“He is privately what he asks all of us to be from the pulpit,” said Chris Hatchett (’88), minister of the The Hills’ Southlake campus.

Rick Atchley 2Atchley deflected the praise, pointing out that hundreds, if not thousands, of ministers have graduated from ACU.

“Many of them do it every bit as faithfully and steadfastly as I do,” he said. “In many ways, I stand here for them.”

The biggest laugh of the afternoon came courtesy of a pre-recorded message from Atchley’s ACU roommate, Max Lucado (’78), the best-selling author and San Antonio minister who was himself Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 2004. Lucado congratulated Atchley for his success in the field of anesthesiology, before correcting himself. “Anesthesiology, theology,” he quipped. “They both put people to sleep!”

“Seriously, Rick,” he continued. “You’ve been a great friend. You’ve done so much for so many, inspired millions of us with your example, with your written word and with your spoken word.”

Atchley grew up in racially divided 1970s-era Dallas, and the experience molded his mission in the subsequent decades. He has spent decades seeking reconciliation – among races, faith traditions and congregations – and preaching the unifying grace of Christ.

“One of Rick’s greatest gifts [is] helping to focus people’s eyes on Jesus,” said Chris Seidman (’92), senior minister at The Branch in Dallas. “Rick’s focus on Jesus is tied to this university’s influence on him.”


Angel in the Outfield as baseball season begins

Al Scott Outfield Fence SignYou can tell it’s spring again – or at least it’s not far away – by the sound of baseball at Crutcher Scott Field at Abilene Christian University. ACU wraps up its season-opening series with Arlington Baptist College this afternoon with a game at 1 p.m.

A familiar voice is missing, however, but not reminders of one of the Wildcats’ most loyal benefactors.

Altus “Al” Victor Scott (’61) died Oct. 6, 2013, at age 75 after years of supporting the ACU baseball program. Scott Field bears the name of his late father, Crutcher (’24), a former ACU trustee. Fans who visit the Wildcat ball yard this spring will now have a reminder of Al’s influence, as well. New graphics on the fence in left-center field bear the Scott name and the number 91 – not Al’s uniform number but the year (1991) that intercollegiate baseball returned to campus after an absence of more than a decade.

ACU has yet to retire a uniform number in its baseball program, but 91 is one they will never issue to a student-athlete. In a few weeks, graphics also will be added to the fence to thank former Texas Rangers’ icon Nolan Ryan for his role in making Scott Field a reality.

But in the meantime, Al’s role in the resurgence of Wildcat baseball can be seen on the fence and on the back of the team’s batting practice jerseys, which feature the same number as a reminder of an enduring legacy on the Hill.

Al is steadied by Mike Morgan (’94), Bill Gilbreth (’70) and ACU head coach Britt Bonneau while throwing his last pitch at Scott Field on Sept. 2, just a few weeks before his passing. He was accompanied by the ACU baseball team.

 

 


Landmark gifts shaped by roots, relationships

It’s Valentine’s Day 2014 on the Hill, where some selfless people are putting their money where their hearts are.

In all the excitement of today’s announcement of the largest single gift ($30 million) and largest collection of gifts ($55 million) ever made at one time in Abilene Christian University’s history, we should not lose sight of the people and relationships behind this remarkable news. Their roots run several generations deep at ACU, and in the case of the Anthony and Onstead families, with each other.

Kathy and David Halbert

Kathy and David Halbert

Kathy (Gay ’78) and David D. Halbert (’78) of Colleyville, Texas, are clear about the inspiration for their $15 million commitment to build the Halbert-Walling Research Center: the late Dean Walling and his wife, Thelma.

David’s grandfather was known as “Mr. Integrity,” a giant among those who led ACU’s sprawling Design for Development fundraising campaign more than 50 years ago. Dean Walling was the founding chair of the National Development Council and a trustee from 1976-83. He used his considerable influence to secure major gifts from donors who made it possible for iconic buildings such as Moody Coliseum, Brown Library, McGlothlin Campus Center, Walling Lecture Hall and the Don H. Morris Center rise from the red West Texas soil, helping turn a college into a university. David’s mother was the late Jo Ann (Walling ’54) Halbert, namesake of ACU’s Halbert Institute for Missions, and his father, David Halbert, M.D. (’54), is an Abilene physician. Kathy and David met while taking classes in the College of Business Administration.

Walling led one of the world’s largest geophysical exploration companies and considered himself a scientist. He mentored young David, whose successful career has largely been in the health care field. David’s company, Caris Life Sciences, and his and Kathy’s Caris Foundation, work together to bring health and hope to people around the world. The couple sees potential synergy between their aspirations and the work their alma mater does to prepare students for graduate school and careers in science and health professions.

April and Mark Anthony

April and Mark Anthony

April (Bullock ’89) Anthony remembers sneaking with friends into the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building being constructed on campus while she was a senior, never imagining her success in business would allow her 25 years later to enable other major facilities to transform the campus she loves. She met former Wildcat golfer Mark Anthony (’86) on a blind date negotiated by her late father, Joe Bullock. The couple married in 1991, and today, their $30 million commitment allows ACU to plan for significant science and athletics facilities, and benefit the College of Business Administration (COBA) where they, like the Halberts, both once studied.

An ACU trustee, April is CEO of Encompass Home Health and Homecare Homebase, both of which she founded. Mark Anthony is senior vice president for sales and marketing of Homecare Homebase, and is a founding board member of the Encompass Cares Foundation, which supports worldwide medical mission efforts.

Kay Onstead

Kay Onstead

Kay Onstead saw April the day she was born, having been present in the hospital waiting room when Joe and Jo Lynn Bullock’s daughter arrived in 1967. When April and Mark marrried, they entered a circle of friends that included Mark’s parents, Jim and Jane Anthony, and the Onsteads. Kay’s late husband, Robert, was a legendary Houston and Dallas businessman, respected community leader, church elder and devoted father. His and Kay’s leadership – and leadership gifts – have helped build Teague Special Events Center, Hunter Welcome Center Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center, and scholarship and faculty endowments in the College of Biblical Studies and the College of Business Administration.

Five million dollars of Mark and April’s $30 million gift benefits the Robert R. Onstead Center for Science and Humanities, to which Kay is contributing an additional $10 million. The Anthonys’ generosity also includes $15 million for Wildcat Stadium, ACU’s first on-campus football game venue since A.B. Morris Stadium in the 1950s. Mark and April are providing another $7 million for COBA and $3 million in undesignated funds.

The numbers are remarkable and unprecedented in their scope. The construction projects will build three science facilities and two on-campus stadiums while changing the north and south ends of campus in ways that will energize students, faculty, staff and alumni; attract new students and other visitors; build community; and hopefully, inspire others to similar philanthropy. It’s the start of a new day at ACU, with cheers raining down in Moody Coliseum this morning at the news.

“From my perspective, it started with one man, Dean Walling. And that one man passed it on to his daughter, who passed it on to my family, and I think that defines ACU,” said David Halbert. “That’s why you have so many families who have had three, four, five generations that have attended the university with the hope and belief they could support one another, lift up one another, so they can pass it on to the next generation. That’s what I’m hoping to be a part of.”

“We got to the place where we are today as a university because of generation after generation who supported the consistent mission of ACU,” said April Anthony. “We’re excited to be part of that next generation of giving back to an ACU, to a university that gave so much to us.”

Twenty million dollars remains to be raised on the $75 million “Vision in Action” initiative but three families have stepped forward in a big way. That’s how colleges become universities, and for generations, how this one A.B. Barret founded in 1906 has grown in size, reputation and influence.

Learn more about “Vision in Action” projects, including two new on-campus stadiums


Section F brings fan energy back to basketball

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Section F fans pretend to read The Optimist during player introductions for Sam Houston State on Jan. 25.

Perhaps it was the presence of an ESPN crew, broadcasting games from Moody Coliseum to a nationwide audience Jan. 25 for the first time ever. Maybe it was the Chapel credit for attending. It could just be a new-found, long-overdue interest once more in basketball.

Whether one or all three, the re-emergence of students sitting (or standing, actually) in Section F at men’s and women’s basketball games at ACU is a welcome sight for coaches and players, and a pain in the neck for opponents.

ACU roundball is making a resurgence on the Hill, and that has a lot to do with it. Women’s head coach Julie Goodenough and men’s head coach Joe Golding (’99) have teams that are competitive every game. Their teams have turned in upsets (women’s basketball vs. Texas Tech) or near-upsets (men’s basketball vs. TCU) and the talent on the floor each game has made watching games fun again for Wildcat fans. Goodenough and Golding have coaching experience for other NCAA Division I programs and know well the effect a Game Day crowd, led by an enthusiastic student section, can have on opponents, and sometimes, the outcome of a game.

“The energy students bring to the game is contagious,” Golding said. “It makes our players realize they are playing for more than just themselves, they are playing for their university and the student body. It changes everything inside Moody Coliseum and makes it difficult for our opponent.”

Most universities have sections of inspired students who act out (or up, at times). Golding and his team team saw that earlier this season with the Wolf Pack at St. Bonaventure University in New York, in particular.

Duke University is the acknowledged originator of such behavior. Cameron Indoor Stadium is the home of the Cameron Crazies, who camp outside for days to acquire a ticket to the 1,200-seat section near the court where they cheer with abandon their beloved Blue Devils. Crazies invented the derisive cheer of “Air Ball, Air Ball” in 1975 to serenade an opponent whose shot attempt hits neither backboard, rim nor net. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has to remind his faithful to “Stay Classy” each year, as he deplores profanity, but the clever students find ways to circumvent some strict guidelines laid down by the university and still get their humor – and point – across.

From GoDuke.com:

Along with inventing the “Air Ball” chant, there have been countless memorable moments from the Crazies. UNC guard Jeff Hale, who had suffered from a collapsed lung, heard “In-Hale, Ex-Hale” all game and when Roy Williams made his debut as UNC’s coach at Cameron in 2004, many students dressed as characters from The Wizard of Oz and set up a makeshift yellow brick road outside the opponent locker room to let Williams know he wasn’t in Kansas anymore. ESPN.com’s Page 2 staff compiled a top 10 list of Crazies’ exploits in 2002 that include the Hale chants among others including yelling “Urkel, Urkel,” as a skinny Lehigh player with knee-high socks and goggles went to the free throw line. Shaquille O’Neal was a target of several chants on his visit to Cameron [Alternating “Shaq can’t dunk” and “Boomshaqalackalacka”] and even Grant Hill’s parents weren’t above the cheers when the Crazies begged them to have “One more kid.”  Other than those in trouble with the law, another favorite target of the Crazies are the shorter players on other teams.  The “Webster” chants have been yelled at several players and likely started with 5-3 Muggsy Bouges from Wake Forest.  A 5-7 player from the Australian National Team during an exhibition contest heard “Shrimp on the Barbee” chants. 

“Duke’s crowd may or may not be the best student section,” writes Blue Devils’ sportwriter Al Featherston, “but it is the standard by which all others are measured.”

ACUBaskW_SHSU_Jan13_30698Section F thrived during the era of Wildcat men’s basketball when Mike Martin was head coach. From 1984-85 to 1987-88, the Wildcats averaged nearly 19 wins a season, won three Lone Star Conference titles, made two NCAA regional tournament appearances, and won 44 consecutive home games. Section F expanded to Sections E and G as well, as students made life miserable for opponents, and they always seemed to save their best for longtime nemesis West Texas A&M.

A capacity crowd of 4,300 watched ACU beat the Buffs on Feb. 28, 1987, for their third straight LSC championship, and even ACU president Dr. William J. Teague (’52) got in the act, leading Section F cheers at halftime. The fans chanted “Taco Bell, Taco Bell,” to taunt the maroon-and-yellow-clad Buffs whose warmup suits and uniforms were reminiscent of the Mexican food eatery’s wait-staff. WTA&M head coaches Gary Moss and Mark Adams were targets of Section F’s heckling, as were their players.

The antics were all in fun, and sometimes they strayed a bit too far for the dean of students’ comfort or general civility, but Section F’s brand of unique enthusiasm was contagious.

Sophomore Bryan Maier, a mathematics-teaching major from St. Louis, Mo., brings a lot of hard work and energy to organizing the cheering section. Student volunteers set an Optimist on the back of each chair back for use during the introduction of the opponent’s starting lineup (“Who’s he?” they scream in unison between pretending to read the student newspaper); distribute posters, pompoms and T-shirts; organize cheers; and clean up afterward. Maier said the posters alone can take up to three hours to prepare before each home game, which they promote through social media and word of mouth.

“We want Moody to be the hardest place for opposing teams to win in the Southland Conference,” said Maier. Section F organizers do not tolerate profanity or sexist or racist comments, but Maier said one of their goals is to have fun and still get under the skin of opposing teams. “We get lots of compliments from our men’s and women’s teams – players and coaches – and everybody has been appreciative of the support we’re trying to provide.”

“Seeing the revival of Section F and the increase in student interest at basketball games is a great boost to our programs and the atmosphere we want for Game Day,” said ACU athletics director Jared Mosley (’00). “I’m grateful to the student leadership and to the Students’ Association and Rodney Johnson (junior finance major from Odessa, Texas, and SA executive vice president) for their support of and hard work to help engage our student body. There are so many organizations on campus and partnerships with other departments throughout the year that have made this a true team effort. Having a home-court advantage through excited fans is a huge encouragement to the young men and women representing ACU.”

Section F is not yet ready to be mistaken for Duke’s legendary student section, but their energy is a welcome sight and sound in Moody once again.


ACU Remembers: Dr. Roger Gee

Roger Gee 2x3Dr. Roger D. Gee (’53), who had two distinguished careers in education – in public schools and at Abilene Christian University – died Jan. 26, 2014, in Abilene at age 81.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. today in Abilene at Hillcrest Church of Christ, with a private burial afterward at Texas State Veterans Cemetery.

Born March 16, 1932, in Cromwell, Okla., he worked in the oilfield to finance his college education. He graduated from ACU with a bachelor’s degree in music education, having served in the student senate and as president of the A Cappella Chorus. Gee earned two graduate degrees in educational administration (a master’s in 1957 and an Ed.D. in 1964) from George Peabody College for Teachers, now part of Vanderbilt University. He served in the Army from 1954-56 and married Donna Huffman (’54) in Odessa, Texas, on Sept. 5, 1962.

Gee retired after 30 years of public school teaching and administration in the Sinton ISD (1953-54), Snyder ISD (1957-63), Wharton ISD (1964-66) and Victoria ISD (1966-85). He was a deputy superintendent in Wharton and a superintendent in Victoria, and served in several leadership roles in the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Education Agency. In 1978, Gee was presented with ACU’s Grover C. Morlan Medal for outstanding teaching and leadership in education.

He returned to ACU in 1985 as associate professor of teacher education, serving on the Graduate Council, chairing the Core Curriculum Committee and coordinating the Education Visiting Committee. Before retiring from Abilene Christian, he was interim chair of the Department of Teacher Education, interim dean of the Graduate School, and graduate advisor for education.

Gee served as an elder for three congregations: Downtown Church of Christ and Central Church of Christ in Victoria, and Abilene’s Hillcrest Church of Christ.

Among survivors are his wife, Donna; two sons, Greg Gee (’90) and Paul Gee (’82); a daughter, Donna Beth (Gee ’85) Petri; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a brother, Frank Gee.


A conversation with Rebecca Balcarcel

Poet Rebecca Balcarcel will visit Abilene Christian University on April 3 to help celebrate National Poetry Month with a free, open reading at 7:30 p.m. in the Core Classroom adjacent to the Brown Library.

Listen as she talks about her writing technique, her early influences and her favorite poem. She also shares one of her own pieces, “Ferry Crossing.” Balcarcel teaches creative writing at Tarrant County College where she serves as associate professor of English. Her work has appeared in more than 40 journals, including North American ReviewConcho River ReviewOklahoma ReviewSegue, and South Dakota Review. She is creative nonfiction editor for Amarillo Bay, an online literary magazine featuring modern literature.


ACU Today looks at Division I sports action

Freshman defender Alyssa Gerner battles Meghan Cordero from the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

ACU freshman defender Alyssa Gerner (24) battles Meghan Cordero (9) from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders are one of the Wildcats’ new rivals in the Southland Conference.

Bonus Coverage of the Fall-Winter 2013 issue of ACU Today magazine takes an inside look at the sports action from last semester, the Wildcats’ first as a member of NCAA Division I and the Southland Conference. The online-only version includes 28 extra pages of great photography from football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country and baseball action.

There were overmatches, to be sure. The men’s basketball team led the University of Maryland in the second half before the Terrapins rolled to a win on their home court. Road games with Big East Conference power Xavier and Iowa of the Big Ten Conference were not close. But there were some dramatic moments, including an upset win over Texas Tech University in Moody Coliseum by the women’s volleyball team, a near-upset of TCU in men’s basketball, and the women’s basketball team’s upset of Texas Tech on the Red Raiders’ home court in Lubbock.

This semester is off to a great start as well. The men’s basketball team earned its first home win over a Division I opponent in 30 years last Saturday in Moody when senior guard Parker Wentz’ driving layup in overtime resulted in a goaltending call that defeated the University of Central Arkansas, 73-72. The women’s team is 11-7 overall and currently in third place in the Southland.

The men’s and women’s tennis teams enjoyed big wins this past weekend in single and doubles matches over Harvard, Marquette, Indiana and Oregon in the Indiana University Winter Invitational in Bloomington, Ind. Members of the men’s and women’s track and field teams turned in a number of career bests in the Texas A&M Invitational in College Station last weekend with teams such as Baylor, Texas-Arlington and TCU.

This Saturday’s doubleheader in Moody Coliseum with Sam Houston State University will be broadcast by ESPN3.com. The women’s game begins at 1 p.m. CST with the men’s game to follow at 3 p.m.


Fullerton’s exploits live on, four decades later

Fullerton explains to friends his plan to jump the GATA Fountain with a bicycle.

Raymon Fullerton (on bike) explains to friends his plan to jump the GATA Fountain in 1972.

Every student has a story. Raymon Fullerton (’73) has more than most.

The Second Glance essay in the Fall-Winter 2013 issue of ACU Today magazine provides the campus legend an opportunity to explain himself and several of the memorable stunts he and a band of merry-makers pulled as students at Abilene Christian University more than 40 years ago.

He began what he calls the “Fullerton Plan” in Fall 1962, taking leave of school to join the U.S. Coast Guard in Spring 1964, then rebooting his college career as a 25-year-old in Fall 1969 and even becoming editor of The Optimist newspaper for the 1970-71 school year.

One example of Fullerton’s eagerness to embrace new ideas – in addition to what he writes about in ACU Today – took place in Fall 1972, when he attempted a bicycle jump of the GATA Fountain in the campus mall. That was not today’s GATA Fountain, which features recirculating water jets to spray water in the air, then quickly drain it away, giving little opportunity for some of the pranks GATA Fountain v1 provided.

Today's GATA Fountain is not conducive to some of the same pranks as earlier days, but still attracts members of its social club namesake at Homecoming and other special days.

Today’s GATA Fountain is not conducive to some of the same pranks as earlier days, but still attracts members of its social club namesake at Homecoming and on other designated days.

Prior to its reconstruction, the fountain was surrounded by a low, round concrete wall that held about 18 inches of water when full. That’s not a lot of liquid, but it was enough for students to toss each other in on birthdays, to sustain large catfish transplanted from area lakes, or to host a very short lap on skates when frozen. University administrators tired of paying for the fountain to be cleaned every time some freshman thought they’d be the first to pour in a box of laundry detergent. The fountain was just too easy a target for pranksters and too expensive to maintain every time a not-so-new bright idea was born.

We are aware of only one student to attempt to jump the fountain on a bike, a la Evel Knievel, the famous motorcycle daredevil who made a reputation for cheating death in much-publicized events during the 1960s and 1970s. The GATA landmark was not exactly the Snake River Canyon, but even Knievel might have given an ACU jump a second thought if limited to a motorless bike and makeshift wooden ramp.

You get two guesses as to who tried to fly across GATA, and the first doesn’t count.

Fullerton explained that an Optimist photographer had acquired a new motor drive for his camera and wanted to test its ability to record up to 10 frames a second, slowing the capture on 35mm film of an otherwise fast-developing scene. “We bumped into one another after supper in the Bean and he asked me to ‘help’ him test it,” Fullerton said. “The result(s) are timeless. I was a 28-year old senior, still searching for the meaning of life.”

He also was soon searching for dry clothes, his bike clearing only the entrance ramp before dumping Raymon in the drink.

Enjoy “Making Amends,” his essay about life as a ground-breaking prankster who appreciates his life-changing ACU learning experience more every day. Fullerton lives in New York City with his wife, Lindy (Kyker ’74).


‘Freedom Road’ looked at civil rights history

Today is a good day to look again at “Freedom Road,” a feature story in the Summer 2011 issue of Abilene Christian University’s ACU Today magazine.  “Freedom Road” details the experiences of an ACU group that rode by bus to tour important civil rights sites in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Along the way, they met and listened to former Freedom Riders James Zwerg and Dr. Bernard Lafayette.

Bonus Coverage adds another six pages to our layout, which also features a stunning photograph by award-winning Houston photographer Sandy Adams of the pulpit of Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn. ACU students and faculty on the Civil Rights Tour in May 2011 were allowed to stand in the pulpit and behind the microphone used by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to give his “Mountaintop” speech, April 3, 1968, before being assassinated the next day on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel.

Thanks to the generosity of the estate of James Karales, and his widow, Monica, we were honored to include in this story two of James’ famous photographs from award-winning Look magazine: “Selma-to-Montgomery March for Voting Rights in 1965”and “Boy With Flag, March from Selma to Montgomery.”

The two images first appeared in bi-weekly Look, which was printed from 1937-71 as a competitor to Life magazine during what many consider to be magazine publishing’s golden age. Look’s content was largely photographic in nature, and featured the work of prominent artists. Stanley Kubrick was a staff photographer on the magazine before launching a successful film-making career, and Norman Rockwell regularly created illustrations for Look after leaving the Saturday Evening Post.

A Greek-American, James Karales learned advanced shooting and darkroom skills as an assistant to legendary Life photojournalist W. Eugene Smith from 1957-58 before beginning an 11-year career with Look. His assignments took him to London, Prague, Germany, and three times to Southeast Asia to cover the Vietnam War. When Look closed, he became a freelancer photographer and moved to Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.

He died of cancer in 2002 at age 71.

In 2008, the National Endowment for the Humanities chose Karales’ dramatic photograph of people marching from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., as one of 40 images in its Picturing America program illustrating American history through its art. The photograph first drew worldwide attention in the 1987 television documentary, “Eyes on the Prize,” a history of the movement and in an exhibit in Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York.

It was shot for an assignment, “The Turning Point of the Church,” a May 18, 1965, story about the involvement of clergy in the civil rights movement. Images from that article – including the two appearing in ACU Today – won first place in Magazine News Photography in the 23rd annual Pictures of the Year competition sponsored by the national Press Photographers Association, the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the World Book Encyclopedia Science Service Inc.