University of Evansville

AceNotes Today

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

* A Christmas message from the university chaplain

Several years ago, when we were still dating, Mitch and I attended an Amy Grant Christmas concert in Nashville, Tennessee. We experienced some concertgoers that night who weren’t necessarily prepared for bagpipes, bassoons, and the maestro, but nonetheless, they purchased tickets and found their seats in the row right behind us. This past week, I was reminded of that concert and the strangers who ended up in our section. Purple Santa and I would like to share the story with you.

We knew it was going to be an interesting evening when the conductor walked onstage. Upon the appearance of the maestro, signaling that the program was about to begin, the woman behind us let out a whoop that one more commonly associates with a rodeo. She was, of course, the only person to do so. As the remainder of the audience applauded the conductor’s arrival, we heard the whooper remark to her friend, “Oh, they clap.”

Mitch and I enjoy all kinds of music that’s done well, and that certainly includes country music. What we sensed immediately, however, was that this woman had come to see Vince Gill, not the Nashville Symphony Orchestra with their oboes and violas. Our hunch was confirmed when the woman continued to chatter loudly (even disrespectfully), throughout the orchestra’s opening piece. Finding this to be distracting, Mitch said aloud (in a moment of weakness), “If I wanted to hear constant chatter I would’ve brought my kids!”

The woman mouthed a sarcastic apology and quieted somewhat, but when the male companions of the two women arrived it was clear that their intent from the beginning was to spend the evening talking, with beer. Mitch turned around periodically to fire irritated looks at them, but to no avail. However, when the music of a very fine bluegrass band called Nickel Creek ensued, their continual guffawing halted somewhat. After an intense stare-down from Mitch at intermission, the two guys behind us finally settled down and were quieter during the second half. Sadly, though, they missed out on some magnificent music and prevented several of us from enjoying the show as we might have.

Sadder still is the recognition that the noisy foursome wasn’t all that different from so many of us. We listen only to what we want to hear. And unfortunately, in the hyper-stimulated, digital culture of ours, we only seem to listen to the sounds that scream at us the loudest. We shouldn’t wonder, then, that so much of the heart healing of Advent and Christmas, goes unnoticed.

How silently, how silently, we sing, the wondrous gift is given; so God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven. How much joy do we miss by giving ear only to the things we have been programmed to like? How would the Christmas story read if the magi had chosen to listen only to King Herod? And if we give ear only to life’s crescendos, how shall we notice the whisper of the winter wind in the pines or the delicate, sparkling chatter of icy droplets on the window? These are the softer sounds of Christmas-time through which God often speaks. We would shudder, wouldn’t we, to think God hears only the prayers of those who pray the loudest?

Straining to hear beyond the banter behind us, we heard Amy Grant sing in softened tone, “Breath of heaven, hold me together…“ Sometimes God’s voice is in the thunder. More often, God’s voice is like a gentle breath of air. Maybe that’s how, in a day of war, we will hear the sounds of peace. Sometimes, we have to listen harder, in order to hear beyond the din. Said the Night Wind to the little lamb; do you hear what I hear?

May the nights you spend in silence, be filled with the spirit of peace. 


Upcoming Events

* UE music ensembles to appear on local media

Some of UE’s ensembles will be appearing on local media during the coming holiday weekend.

The department’s Holiday Pops Concert from December 6 will be aired in full on WNIN radio 88.3 FM Evansville this Friday, December 23, from 1:00-2:00 p.m.

UE’s Kantorei will be one of the choral ensembles featured in upcoming holiday broadcasts by local CBS and FOX Channel 44 television stations.

  • Friday, December 23: Sometime between 5:00-7:00 a.m., on both CBS 44 and FOX 44
  • Friday, December 23: Sometime between 7:00-9:00 a.m. on FOX 44
  • Saturday, December 24: Sometime between 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. on CBS 44
  • Sunday, December 25: Sometime between 1:30-3:30 p.m. on FOX 44

Info You Should Know

* Complimentary poinsettias available in Neu Chapel

PoinsettiasComplimentary white and red Christmas poinsettias are available in Neu Chapel. Feel free to take one home with you or share one with a friend. Neu Chapel is open today and tomorrow, first come, first served. (Please note that poinsettias are toxic to cats and dogs and can prove fatal to small animals.)

* December Pcard cycle

The December Pcard cycle which began November 22, ended December 21. December transactions may be reconciled in SDG2 until tomorow - January 4. On January 4, the general ledger Pcard file will be uploaded and cardholders will be locked out of (unable to assign account information or expense descriptions) posted transactions for the December Cycle. However, reports may be scheduled and run on active Pcards for the December cycle as of December 23 and beyond unless the Pcard is cancelled.

* UE Bookstore hours

The UE Bookstore will be open 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., from December 19-22. The bookstore will close on December 23 and not reopen again until January 3. Please plan your purchases accordingly.


Sympathy to...

* Eric Renschler and family

Condolences to Eric Renschler, chair of the Department of Theatre, on the death of his mother, Vera Mae (Grabert) Renschler. Mrs. Renschler died December 20, at her home in Evansville, Indiana. She was 85.

She graduated from Evansville College in 1953 with a BA in Modern Languages. She earned her MA in Business Education from the University of Evansville, and taught for 28 years in the Metropolitan School District of Mt. Vernon where she was the business education department supervisor.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ervin; parents Gottlieb and Alice (Dickhaut) Grabert; and her brother Kenneth Grabert and his wife, Betty.

She is survived by her two sons, Dr. Clifford L. Renschler (Karen), of Tijeras, New Mexico, and Eric L. Renschler (Robin), of Evansville, grandchildren, Clinton and Tyler Renschler of Tijeras; and Alisha and Zoe Renschler of Evansville; nieces, Janelle Vogt and Mary Ruth Butler; nephews, Keith Grabert and David Renschler; and sister-in-law, Nancy Renschler.

The funeral service will be at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 23, at Schneider Funeral Home, 512 Main St. Mt. Vernon, Indiana, with burial to follow in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 22, at the funeral home and from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. service time on Friday.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mt. Vernon Fine Arts Academy or to an organization of choice.


Harlaxton Happenings

* Harlaxton connection in Wall Street Journal article

Look for the spouse of a visiting Harlaxton faculty member, Rob Curran, and the Harlaxton media intern, Zoe Dannenmueller, mentioned in the Wall Street Journal today. The article begins on the front page and is titled “Come to Church! There’s Beer.”

The full article can be viewed online with a subscription.



* Three top five squads highlight 2017 UE Softball schedule

With the core base returning from last year’s 24-win squad, the University of Evansville Softball team has its sights set on 2017 where it will take on the top competition in the country.

Three top five squads from the final 2016 poll highlight the schedule, including defending national champion Oklahoma. The Purple Aces will face the Sooners at least once in a tournament in Norman, Oklahoma. Evansville is slated to face national runner-up last season – Auburn – in the opening weekend of next year. Michigan, who finished fifth in the final rankings, will be one of the opponents in a March tournament in Lexington, Kentucky.

“We felt with nine seniors this was the year to really test ourselves in nonconference. We are excited to be playing the defending National Champions and the runner’s up,” Aces head coach Mat Mundell said. “This schedule is built to help us prepare for the always tough MVC. Being able to share the experience of traveling to some of the top programs in the country I feel will be an amazing experience for our ladies.”

Aside from those top five squads mentioned above, the Aces also take on NCAA Tournament squads Kentucky, Oklahoma State, and Wichita State.

The season officially commences on February 17 at the Plainsman Invitational in Auburn, Alabama, where UE faces Mercer, SIU Edwardsville, Creighton, and Auburn. The second weekend of play will see the Aces make a quick trip to Nashville, Tennessee, for a doubleheader against Belmont before a single game at Tennessee State.

Next up is a western swing that begins at the Courtyard Marriott Tournament in Norman, Oklahoma. Aside from facing the defending national champion Sooners, UE also faces Western Kentucky and Northwestern State March 3-5. Two days after completing the tournament, Evansville will remain in the state of Oklahoma, facing Oklahoma State in a single game in Oklahoma City.

One more challenging tournament is on tap from March 10-12 as the Aces trek to Lexington, Kentucky, where they will play against Kentucky, Michigan, Dayton, Kent State, and Drexel. The Wolverines were a College World Series participant while UK was also in the NCAA Tournament.

After the trip to Kentucky, the Aces are back home for a 10-game home stand that begins on March 14 with a doubleheader against Northern Illinois. Missouri Valley Conference play begins on March 18-19 versus Loyola and continues a week later with a 3-game set against Bradley. A March 29 doubleheader will see Kent State come to Cooper Stadium.

The next three MVC weekends will be on the road with series at UNI (April 1-2), Drake (April 8-9) and Missouri State (April 14-15). UE will host non-conference doubleheaders in between against Austin Peay (April 5) and UT Martin (April 11).

Conference play returns to Evansville on the 19th of April as UE welcomes Southern Illinois for a doubleheader. That weekend will feature a series against Indiana State and will also be Alumni Weekend on April 22.

Following a quick game at SIU on April 25, the Aces return home for the final home series of the season against Illinois State on April 29 and 30. The regular season concludes with a trip to face defending league champion Wichita State on May 6 and 7. Illinois State will host the MVC Championship in Normal, Illinois, from May 11-13.

* UE athletics announces staff promotions

University of Evansville director of athletics Mark Spencer has announced a pair of promotions within the Purple Aces athletics department.

Dustin Hall is now the assistant athletic director for marketing and external operations while Scott Peace is now the assistant athletic director for ticket operations.

“Dustin and Scott have done an excellent job for our department and are very deserving of these promotions,” Spencer said. “Both are integral parts of our administration and I am excited to work with them for the long term.”

Hall came to UE in 2012 as an assistant SID after graduating from Illinois State with his Master’s degree. In September of 2014, he assumed the position of director of marketing and event management and has been in that position since that time. Hall earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana State in 2009.

Peace joined the Aces in July of 2014 as the director of ticketing services and athletic event operations. prior to his arrival in evansville, peace worked as an account Executive with IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions at the University of South Florida. He earned his bachelor’s in sports administration from the University of Louisville in 2013 and is working towards an M.S. in Public Service Administration at UE.


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