The Blog @
Southern Virginia University
  1. Pumpkin Carving at the Institute

    October 31, 2014

    On Friday Oct. 17, the Institute of Religion hosted a messy and exciting event: Pumpkin carving! Between eating some delicious cookies and watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” a number of students managed to complete ornate carvings. The designs ranged from ordinary jack-o’-lanterns and ghosts to a Final Fantasy black mage, Darth Vader and what looked like a pair of missionaries.

  2. Homecoming Quiz Bowl & Celebration

    October 30, 2014

    On Saturday, Oct. 11, I had the opportunity to participate in the Homecoming Quiz Bowl and the Pre-Game Celebration. The Quiz Bowl was my one of my favorite Homecoming activities this year — right up there on my list with the beautiful, inspiring Homecoming Concert. I mean, what’s more fun than testing your knowledge among fellow Southern Virginia alumni and students, and learning about the things you don’t know?

    For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Quiz Bowl, it’s basically Jeopardy except with Dr. MacDonnell instead of Alex Trebek; in other words, far superior. There are a few other differences, like playing on teams instead of as individual competitors, but it’s essentially a competition with the goal being to correctly answer as many questions on a variety of topics including history, literature and science. Though both teams made a noble effort to answer the difficult questions, the alumni team beat the students by a wide margin. This was in large part due to the vast knowledge and skill of the several alumni who were veteran members of the Quiz Bowl Team during their time at Southern Virginia.

    Following the Quiz Bowl, I headed over to the Stoddard Activities Center to have a little fun at the Pre-Game Celebration, where there was a mechanical bull to ride, a bouncy house for kids, a pie-eating competition, face painting, refreshments, and of course, the chance to throw pie at your beloved Southern Virginia professors. You know, because some alumni write thank you letters to their professors and some pay to throw pie at them. Only to support their alma mater, of course.

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Photos by Bronwyn Himes ’17 and Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  3. Fall Colors Photo Contest 2014

    October 27, 2014

    fall-photo-fBefore you go looking for garlands and wreaths (though I bet you could find them at Lowe’s already), take a look outside. That is what I’m talking about. The world is on fire! It’s bursting with myriad hues of warm colors that make me feel like I can smell clove and cinnamon everywhere I go. Gourds and hay bales have infiltrated campus, hiding in plain sight.

    If simply running through leaves before class and ogling the tree outside Chandler isn’t your cup of tea, as it is mine (which isn’t the case, I’m sure), and you’re  not getting a kick out of the overcast skies (the colors pop against the grey! Really, they do!), perhaps we can spice things up for you a bit.

    We’re hosting yet another Fall Colors Photo Contest. Immortalize that gorgeous tree, that misty fall morning, or that rolling hill. It’s your duty as an appreciator of this world, earthling, so head out with your phone or Nikon or disposable Kodak and bring us some autumnal beauty.

    We’re in Virginia. It’s fall. ‘Tis the season.

    How to Enter:

    All students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the Buena Vista community, are encouraged to enter. Submit up to three photos between today and Nov. 15 in one of the following ways:

    Prizes:

    A panel of university employees will select the top photos. The winners will receive the following prizes:

    • The first-place winner’s photo will be featured on Southern Virginia’s Facebook profile and the Scoop. The winner will receive a $25 gift card to The Amish Cupboard in Buena Vista.
    • Second-place will receive a $25 gift card to The Amish Cupboard in Buena Vista.
    • All who place in the top five will receive a small prize.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ‘16. Photo by Victoria Johnson ’13.)

  4. A Nashville Tribute to My Happiness

    October 27, 2014

    From the “small” town of Nashville, Tenn., came a group that caused me to squeal with such delight that my mod mates thought I was insane (well, more insane). After receiving the email announcing that The Nashville Tribute Band was coming to Southern Virginia, I ran around my mod in pure delight, then called my family and squealed to them. The Nashville Tribute Band, for y’all that didn’t go, is a group of Latter-day Saint singers and songwriters who produced “Joseph,” “Trek,” “Work,” “My Call to Serve 2014,” and “Redeemer.” Nashville Tribute’s performance on our campus featured their main songwriter and one of the singers, Jason Deere; member of Diamond Rio and amazing piano player, Dan Truman; and singer and guitar player, Ben Truman.

    Sunday night, Oct. 12, The Tribute Band put on a fireside. It was amazing! It became crazy at some points but was still very spiritual. The band sang songs from all five of their albums. The next day, they performed again — and this time it was a concert, so it was definitely crazy. They sang songs from groups that they had written for previously and more from their tribute CDs.  Both nights, when singing songs from their missionary CDs, they called up the returned missionaries to sing with them onstage.

    After the concert, they sold CDs and mingled with those who stayed. Many a student came up and told the band members that their music had helped them on their mission or helped them decide to go on a mission. It was chaos as both teachers and students lined up for pictures and more. My friends and I were among them. We were some of the last to meet them and got not only pictures, but autographs as well. I was able to tell them that I have listened to their music since I was 11 years old (I’m almost 20 — you do the math).

    The fireside and concert was a great end to homecoming weekend and gave it a spiritual but fun conclusion. I know I enjoyed every moment of it. Did you?

    (Post by Jordan Bolinger ’16. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  5. Professor Publishes Second Book on Gospel Topics

    October 27, 2014

    Gardner_book_2Dr. Richard D. Gardner has recently published his new book, “God’s Organizing Power: Explorations into the Power and Blessings of the Priesthood.” This sequel to his first book on gospel topics, “Heart of the Gospel: Explorations into the Workings of the Atonement,” continues the quest of its predecessor, considering gospel topics through Dr. Gardner’s many years of study.

    According to the book’s official description, “Brother Gardner continues the discussion of priesthood symbols, ordinances and covenants … and how they help us join God’s eternal family.”

    The cover of the book is a photo taken by Gardner himself of a piece of stained glass in Main Hall, focused on the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    “Temple themes pervade most of the book,” he said. “Because the temple is a House of Priesthood, a microcosm of the Kingdom of God, which is organized on priesthood principles.”

    The book can be purchased on Amazon. There are also a number of copies available for purchase at the campus bookstore.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16.)