The Brand (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 97, No. 11, Ed. 1 Tuesday, March 17, 2009 Page: 2 of 8
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op / ed editor
Sing Rou Lee
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By Kylie Chye
HSU Ring Rally to be held in March
University’s Official Ring
debuted in the spring of
2004. Since fall 2007, HSU
has given an Official Ring to
every new graduate.
Thanks to the proac-
tive work of former presi-
dent Craig Turner, HSU has
implemented a program in
which every graduating stu-
dent may receive an Official
Ring during the semester
immediately prior to one’s
scheduled graduation. This
ring is a visible reminder
of the life-long friendships
wrought on our campus.
At HSU, receiving
one’s Official Ring isn’t left
to happenstance. During a
brief and memorable cer-
emony, the names of each
recipient are called and they
are personally, individually
presented with their ring.
The Ring Rally, as
this event is called, is both
a ceremony and a celebra-
tion honoring graduates.
Families and classmates
are in attendance, the pro-
gram is presented by mem-
bers of the HSU Alumni
Association, and the school’s
Provost, Dr. Bill Ellis, con-
gratulates each student as
they walk across the stage to
receive their ring from him.
The spring 2009 Ring
Rally is slated for March
26 and 27, Thursday and
Friday respectively, in the
Logsdon Chapel beginning
at 6.00 p.m. sharp. This
event will be about 40 min-
utes in length and is steeped
in tradition. A reception fol-
lows, as well as photograph
opportunities with Dr. Ellis.
This spring, as many
as 175 rings will be pre-
sented to undergraduate
and graduate level students
Katie Lindeman Photo by: Kylie Chye
ring they receive is
a sign of loyalty and
school pride, a sym-
bol of dedication,
Prior to gradu-
ation, students wear
their ring with the
HSU seal facing
them. Upon receiv-
ing their degrees,
graduates turn the
rings outward, signi-
fying their readiness
to face the opportu-
Britt Jones, Francisco Gloria signing the ring book
Director of Alumni Photo by:Kylie Chye
Relations and 1984 HSU
“HSU’s Official Ring and
our Ring Rally epitomize
all that makes Hardin-
Simmons unique and spe-
cial. It’s not really about a
ring...it’s about relation-
ships and experiences. It’s
about the experiences we’ve
had while attending HSU.
It’s about the relationships
we’ve built with professors,
coaches, classmates, and
Only the worthy may
wear HSU’s Official Ring.
Through hard work, dedica-
tion, and scholastic accom-
plishment, a student is
entitled to receive the HSU
For more information,
please contact the Office of
Alumni Relations, located
in Compere Hall (corner
of Hickory and Ambler) at
325-670-1317 or alumni@
HSU welcomes the Marijohn Wilkin Collection
By Adriel Wong
The Marijohn Wilkin Collection was
welcomed to the Smith Music Library
on March 5, 2009. In celebration of this
significant event, hosts of people were
welcomed to celebrate the donation of
this fine collection of albums and vari-
ous memorabilia, including a display of
an evening gown worn by the famous
Marijohn Wilkin herself.
Wilkin was a renowned country
singer and writer whom Hardin-Simmons
University graduated 1941. Her accom-
plishments throughout her illustrious
careers had earned her the reputation as
one of the finest country singers and com-
posers. Joe Specht, the donor of the col-
lection, was the speaker for the evening.
Specht is a noted music historian and
is the collections manager of the Grady
McWhiney Research Foundation. He was
formerly the director of the Jay-Rollins
Library at McMurry University.
Before handing the session over
to Specht, Alice W. Specht, the Dean of
University Libraries at HSU, extended
the university’s welcome and thanks to
him for his most generous donation.
“We appreciate Joe for his dona-
tion and are pleased that others may now
appreciate her (Wilkin) work,” she said.
After the introduction, Specht was
given the platform. He began by giving
a background insight into the person
Wilkin was. He highlighted particularly of
how even as a young girl, Wilkin already
had the talent for music. She had played
the piano when she was five-years old and
had even sung with her father in church.
Upon his deathbed, Wilkins’s father told
her to do two things after he was gone;
and that was to look after her mother and
to enroll in college to study music. In the
fall of 1938, Wilkin enrolled into HSU
and was soon the accordion player for the
Cowgirl band. The fall of 1939 saw her
achieve a landmark in HSU history as the
first ever female member of the Cowboy
Specht also spoke of Wilkin’s mar-
riage to college sweetheart, Bedford
Russell, who was a football star at HSU.
Russell was an army lieutenant and was
killed in 1942 as a prisoner of war in North
Africa. This tragedy however, did not stop
her from re-marrying and concentrating
on her music career. In 1958, she signed
with the Cedarwood Publishing Company
and was one of the first female singers
and writers in Nashville. In 1962, Wilkin
returned to Abilene and sang in HSU’s
Wilkin was also given an honorary
doctorate from HSU for her achievement
in the field of music, and in 2004, she was
inducted into the HSU Hall of Leaders.
She passed away on October 28, 2006
due to heart disease. She was reported to
have been unafraid of death and was pre-
pared to go home and be with the Lord.
Throughout the gathering, Specht
also played excerpts of some of Wilkins’s
songs to allow readers to hear the type of
voice she had and the songs she had writ-
ten. Some of the songs played were, ‘Way
Faring Blues,’ ‘O Freedom,’ and ‘Wait In
The Water.’ Specht added that Wilkin had
possessed a unique voice, one described
as “...lonesome ... not like anybody else.”
Specht often spoke of his admira-
tion for Wilkin and her amazing career as
a country singer. He emphasized specifi-
cally on her resilience and ability to rise
above hardships and obstacles in her fife.
“We have to remember that she was
a female singer who was making her way
in a male-dominated field . . . She was a
person had a lot of soul,” he said.
With that, the gathering was dis-
missed and the time was handed over to
the NEW SONG praise and worship band
that began to sing ‘One Day At A Time,’
one of Wilkin’s gospel songs.
Grad Finale Preview
By Oluwabimpe Ajamajebi
Art Gallery Senior
Exhibit opens after
As its name may already hint, Grad Finale is a clearance process
that amalgamates all the different and numerous processes required
before graduation. Different trips to the business office, financial aid
office, registrar’s office, and many others that require an errand or
two from graduating students can be cut short to a onetime event.
This provides an easier and fdster errand process for the graduating
This event shall take place in the Johnson Building Multipurpose
Room on two separate days and at two different times so as to accom-
modate various schedules.
The first day will be on Tuesday, March 31 from 3:30 pm to 6:30
pm. The second day would be April 1, from 11:30 to 1:30 pm.
In addition to the departments already mentioned, important
departments that support the transitioning graduates will be in
occasion too. Office of Career Sendees, Graduate School, Logsdon
Seminary, and the Office of Alumni Relations will be there to help fill
out missing requirements.
At Hardin-Simmons University, the idea of having a onetime
clearance process for graduating students was brought up five years
ago. The event used to be coordinated by the Alumni services but for
the first time this year, it will be conducted by the Registrar’s office.
Paula Fine, Transcript Coordinator and Records Assistant for the
Registrar’s office, will serve as coordinator of the event.
In addition to the academic and financial clearances that the event
targets for the graduating class, there are other accessory benefits the
event offers. Materials such as graduating regalia, class rings and
graduation announcements will be at their best prices. It also makes it
more exciting when “emotional matters” of commencement are taken
care in bulk in the company of prizes and free food.
Seniors participating in the December graduation should not
worry as Grad Finale takes place twice per school calendar year.
For the December class, Grad Finale will be held in October before
By Kylie Chye
An Art Gallery Senior Exhibit called the
“High Attendance Sunday” will be presented in
the Ira M. Taylor Memorial Gallery from March
16 to April 3, 2009. A reception will also be held
on Friday, March 20 from 6.00 until 7.30pm.
Steve Neves, the gallery director, is in charge
of organizing the students in this show. The pur-
pose of the event is to provide the seniors partici-
pating with the experience of installing their work
in a show and allowing the community an oppor-
tunity to glimpse into the world of art by letting
their eyes see what these talented young men and
women have accomplished during their tenure
here at Hardin-Simmons University.
This is a golden opportunity for HSU stu-
dents, faculty and the community at large to come
by and view creative, diverse, and interesting
works of art from these talented seniors.
During this exhibit, the Texas Association of
Schools of Art will also be present on campus. The
students to be showcased, shouldering the expec-
tations of their professors, realize the immensity
of the opportunity presented them as they will
be representing the art program to art professors
from around the state of Texas.
These select few seniors are Zach Allen, Lori
Hail, Ryan Jones, and Shawna Tomes. These
students are the cream of the crop in the art
For more information regarding this exhibit,
please contact Mr. Steve Neves at sneves@hsutx.
edu or call (325) 670-1513.
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Koe, Crystal. The Brand (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 97, No. 11, Ed. 1 Tuesday, March 17, 2009, newspaper, March 17, 2009; Abilene, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth896620/m1/2/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hardin-Simmons University Library.