President Lowry issues apology for ‘offensive’ decorations at dinner for African-American students

President Lowry issues apology for ‘offensive’ decorations at dinner for African-American students

President Randy Lowry issued a campus-wide apology for featuring cotton stalk centerpieces at a dinner for African-American students. The dinner was hosted at his home on Thursday evening. One student attendee posted an Instagram photo of the centerpieces and a video of another student asking the university president why the tables were decorated with cotton. “I have no idea,” Lowry said offscreen. The dinner was intended to give African-American students at the university an opportunity to discuss their unique experiences on campus. Lipscomb’s campus is 77% white, according to the Office of Intercultural Development. Assistant Dean and Director of Intercultural Development Lisa Steele said that the dinner was Lowry’s idea and that it has been in the works since Quest Week. Steele was not immediately available for further comment. Some students took issue with the menu, saying the buffet of barbecued chicken, collard greens and cornbread further played into African-American stereotypes. Hispanic students were served fajitas at a similar event on Wednesday evening. “They were trying to make us comfortable, but it blew up in their face,” said LeBron Hill, a Lumination News reporter who attended the dinner. Hill said he didn’t believe Lowry was racist, but that the situation was “insensitive.” “I thought it was ignorant,” Hill said. The university does not currently have a Coordinator of African-American Student Services. In his apology, emailed Friday, Lowry acknowledged that the centerpieces were “offensive” and that he “could have handled the situation with more sensitivity.” “I sincerely apologize for the discomfort, anger or disappointment we caused and solicit your forgiveness,” Lowry said. “I welcome the opportunity to continue this conversation,” the...
$15 million donation to Lipscomb from former NBA owner announced at ‘Imagine’ event

$15 million donation to Lipscomb from former NBA owner announced at ‘Imagine’ event

Former owner of the New Orleans Hornets George Shinn donated $15 million to Lipscomb, university president Randy Lowry announced at the  2017 Imagine event Monday night. The donation is the largest gift in school history and is earmarked as an investment in the College of Entertainment and the Arts, a new events center and other projects. In a prepared statement, Lowry said the gift marked a significant moment in Lipscomb University history. “We are grateful to George Shinn and his commitment to this institution,” Lowry said. The college will be renamed the Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts in appreciation for Shinn’s gift. Lipscomb has previously hosted the George Shinn Foundation “Nashville Senior Christmas ShinnDig,” a holiday musical program for Middle Tennessee seniors. Shinn thanked donors for their support of Lipscomb and asked them to continue to give to the university. “When I talk to young people, I like to encourage them that they can do anything with their lives that they want to, just like I’ve been blessed to do with my life,” Shinn said. “If you apply those same principles in reaching out to these young people, in all the things we can do through song and music right here in Music City, then these people can sing out stories of faith — changing people’s lives — and can do that right here from this wonderful university.” A native of Kannapolis, North Carolina, Shinn made his fortune from for-profit trade schools, owning and managing 35 schools after once working as a janitor at Evans Business College. Shinn owned the Hornets NBA team from its creation in...
‘Imagine’ student event features Magic and Cookie Johnson

‘Imagine’ student event features Magic and Cookie Johnson

Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson and his wife Cookie were the featured speakers at the second annual Imagine 2017 student question-and-answer session on Monday night in the Student Activity Center at Lipscomb University. The Johnsons fielded questions from university student government president Jackson Smith and junior senator and Spiritual Life Committee chair Gabby Cannone about their marriage, Magic’s HIV diagnosis in 1991 and the upcoming NCAA basketball championship game on Monday night. Magic especially emphasized the virtues of education to the crowd of students from Lipscomb University, Lipscomb Academy and various Nashville high schools. “You gotta go to college,” Johnson said. “Education is gonna be the key for everybody’s life in here.” After about ten minutes of questions, Johnson stepped off of the stage and addressed the audience from the floor with a passionate story from his childhood. In eighth grade, before earning the nickname “Magic,” Johnson could only read at a sixth-grade level. “I had a reading problem,” Johnson said. “My teacher and counselor actually saved my life.” This counselor pushed Johnson to summer school for reading classes, even though he was a promising basketball prospect coming into his freshman year of high school. “I was devastated, but I wanted to improve my reading because I knew it was going to be a key for me to be able to go to college.” After intensive tutoring from the teachers who believed in him, Johnson was able to bring his reading level up to his current grade level, enabling him to eventually attend Michigan State University, where he “never missed a class” and won a national championship...
Steady outing from Thomas, usual big bats lead to routine win for Bison softball

Steady outing from Thomas, usual big bats lead to routine win for Bison softball

McCarley Thomas mowed down Golden Eagle batters from the pitching circle all afternoon as Lipscomb softball (26-9) defeated Tennessee Tech 7-2 in a non-conference matchup at Draper Diamond on Wednesday. Thomas gave up three hits in seven innings to the boom-or-bust Golden Eagles hitters. Tennessee Tech (9-20) is batting just .218 as a team this season, but 41% of the Golden Eagles’ hits go for extra bases, including 34 home runs. “You certainly don’t want to stay on one plane and just go in-and-out to a team like that or they’re just going to tee off,” coach Kristin Ryman said. “She was a good matchup for them, being able to mix planes and speeds.” Golden Eagle leadoff batter Aalia Bivens led the game with a no-hop double to the wall in dead center and scored on a squeeze bunt later in the inning. Then Thomas faced 15 batters without giving up a hit until Bivens homered in the sixth. An infield single in the seventh and a pair of walks were the only other blemishes on Thomas’s eighth win of the season. Down 1-0 in the bottom of the first, the Bisons pushed across an unearned run on Caitlin Plocheck’s single to tie the game, then took over the lead in the second. Shortstop Peyton Ward singled, stole second, then scored on Abby Fenichel’s single. Then Lipscomb broke the game open—and chased Golden Eagles starter Kayla Hughes, who earned the loss—in the bottom of the fourth, a three-run inning capped by Plocheck’s two-run double, her second run-scoring hit of the day. The junior batted in three runs to bring...
Lipscomb sweeps Illinois State

Lipscomb sweeps Illinois State

Lipscomb baseball’s bats started to come out of winter hibernation as the Bisons swept the Illinois State Redbirds at Dugan Field in a weekend series marked by great weather. Lipscomb batted .326 in the series. The Bisons are currently batting .236 as a team, next-to-last in the ASUN. The heart of the order fueled the Bisons’ 10-8 win in the back-and-forth first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Fifth, sixth and seventh hitters Jake Perry, Blake Thomas and Von Watson drove in nine runs on six hits, including home runs from Perry and Watson. Starting pitcher Brady Puckett was ambushed for three runs in the top of the first inning by the Redbirds, but the Bisons took the lead in the bottom half of the opening frame thanks to a two-out rally punctuated by Perry’s three-run bomb and an RBI single from Watson. Watson added a three-run shot of his own in the bottom of the seventh to tie his career-high of four runs batted in. It was Watson’s first homer of the season. “It was so good to see him come out and swing the bat well,” coach Jeff Forehand said on Saturday. “We really need him to use this game to get going at the plate. He plays a big part in what we are trying to do.” Puckett gave up two more runs in the sixth and was replaced to start the seventh inning by lefty John Pryor, who earned the win after the Bisons executed another two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh. Illinois State loaded the bases and scored a run in the ninth against...