KAYLA DRAKE | Editor-in-Chief
While you were spending your summer out of the country, grinding at an internship or working a local job, a lot happened on campus. Here’s what you need to know.
Instead, all undergraduate programs will be consolidated to the St. Charles campus after spring 2020. Belleville undergraduate programs are being shut down due to the campus' budget deficit of $2.5 million dollars. On top of that, over $25 million was needed to update the campus facilities. After Fall 2020, only graduate programs will continue on the Belleville campus.
“It’s just not fiscally possible or responsible to continue operating the undergraduate program at Lindenwood-Belleville,” former Interim President Art Johnson said.
Vice President of Enrollment Management Terry Whittum said "every single dollar" of scholarship money and housing would be guaranteed to Belleville students who transferred to the St. Charles campus.
As of fall 2018, 1,254 undergraduate students were enrolled at Belleville and 255 of them opted to transfer to St. Charles this semester, according to Kara Schilli, assistant vice president of university admissions. So far, 15 additional students have reached out to admissions to possibly transfer in the spring semester.
Belleville transfers were given the option to participate in the New Student Orientation, an event largely held for freshmen. Also a “Lynx to Lions Welcome” event was held in the LARC, where President Porter and Whittum spoke.
Photo by Kayla Drake.
After President Michael Shonrock of St. Charles and President Brett Barger of Belleville were let go less than three weeks apart from each other last semester, the national search for a new president began. Reasons are still unclear as to why Shonrock and Barger were let go. However,after Shonrock filed a petition to attend a board meeting which would determine his employment, the university’s lawyers responded.
“(Lindenwood may terminate a contract for) any activities which are illegal or immoral, or involve continuing acts or a course of action intentionally performed to bring embarrassment or scorn to the University.”
On Jan. 23 the Board of Trustees Executive Committee voted unanimously to fire Shonrock. Then, the vice president of the board of trustees, Art Johnson, became interim president. Controversy soon arose over Johnson’s position because he does not hold a college degree. But Johnson said he was not a permanent replacement.
By May, the search for a new president was narrowed to three candidates with the possibility of the first minority president Lindenwood has had in its 190-year existence.
On July 1st, John R. Porter, a former IBM executive, took office. He is a Caucasian man who is currently earning his doctorate in education from Johns Hopkins University. Porter was hired for his leadership track record and has made an effort to be present at the New Student Orientation events this past week. Art Johnson has resumed his position as vice president of the board of trustees.
Photo from Lindenwood press release.
Michael Johnson, a gay, African-American wrestler from Lindenwood convicted of lying to sexual partners about his H.I.V. status, was released 25 years early. In July, Johnson walked out of the Boonville Correctional Center in Missouri after an appeals court determined his 2015 trial was “fundamentally unfair.”
In 2015, Johnson was sentenced to 30 years in prison for transmitting H.I.V. to one man and exposing it to four other men.
In September 2017, Johnson took a plea with the St. Charles county court reducing his sentence to 10 years.
Johnson’s arrest ignited a national conversation about H.I.V. criminalization because of strict laws in Missouri enacted in the 1988 AIDS epidemic. Some have called the laws outdated and harsh.
Throughout the trial, Johnson repeatedly said all of his sexual partners that testified knew he was H.I.V. positive.
Photo from the Missouri Department of Corrections.
- Women’s ice hockey. Shelley Looney is replacing former coach Scott Spencer, who led the team for five years, but was “relieved of head coaching duties” last semester. If you Google Looney, you can find a picture of her double fist-bumping the air after she scored the game-winning goal for the USA in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. 1998 was the first year women’s ice hockey competed in the worldwide championship. In 2019 and 2017 Looney coached the World University Women’s National Team.
- Women’s wrestling. Mike Mena attended the University of Iowa and trained under the wrestling coach legend Dan Gable, who led Iowa to 15 NCAA championships. Mena was apart of the national team in 1995, 1996, and 1997. He has been coaching for 18 years at Indiana University and California Baptist University. The previous head coach, Andrey Rodriguez, relocated out of state, according to Brad Wachler, vice president of intercollegiate athletics.
- Tennis. Cole Stevenson spent six years coaching the teams at Missouri Baptist University. Last semester, Lindenwood let go the previous head coach, Nicolai Nonnenbroich.
- Men’s basketball. Kyle Gerdeman became the new head coach after previous head coach Lance Randall resigned over the summer and went back to coach at his previous school, Saint Leo University. Gerdeman previously was the coach at Central Michigan University, and for the last five years, his team never had a losing record.
- Also, Mike Elam, previously the Director of Student Life Sports, became the shotgun sports head coach again. The last time he was head of the shotgun program was from 2008-2010, when the team won two ACUI Collegiate Clay Target National Championships back to back. The previous shotgun head coach, Shawn Dulohery, took another job.
“I believe that our women’s ice hockey program can be a lot farther than they have been,” he said. “Winning or losing in the athletic world is always a component of that.”
Photo from USA Hockey and Lindenwood Athletics.
The ice hockey programs upgraded to the Maryland Heights Community Center Arena, where the St. Louis Blues will also be practicing.
Compared to the Wentzville arena, which takes 30-35 minutes to drive to, the Maryland Heights arena is 10-15 minutes away. Also the Maryland Heights arena will feature a jumbo screen, locker rooms for Lindenwood programs (with lounges included) and over 1,500 more seats for fans.
“Talk about an improvement to the student athlete experience,” said Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Brad Wachler.
The Lions are tentatively expected to move in on Sept. 9 and a grand opening for the community is on Sept. 7.
Wachler said this move will be a great recruiting tool.
“There’s not a lot of other programs out there throughout the country that get to share with an NHL team, specifically one that just won the Stanley Cup,” he said.
Photo from Generator Studio.
On July 1st, the Lions completed the year-long process of transitioning out of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association to the GLVC.
“Once we hit July 1st, it was a really seamless transition. And partly because the GLVC has done a really good job of including us in some of the conference meetings,” Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Brad Wachler said.
The MIAA was a strong football conference, and GLVC is known as a strong basketball and soccer conference. Currently Lindenwood football is picked to finish 2nd, behind University of Indianapolis in the championship this year.
“Ultimately the goal is to make an NCAA tournament at the end of the year,” Wachler said, referring to football and other sports, but mostly for football.
Photo taken from the GLVC website.
An old oak tree fell on Warner Hall in early August. The tree went through the roof, attic and even had limbs that pierced holes through the second floor ceiling. The tree was found at 5:30 a.m. and no one was in the building when it fell. According to Vice President of Operations Diane Moore, all University Relations staff were moved out of the building into the basement of Roemer Hall.
The university has submitted an insurance claim and is still totaling damages. Repairs will take 4-6 weeks depending on weather.
Photo used with permission from Diane Moore.
The most popular 24/7 diner, which could also earn a title for the biggest menu or biggest American flag or smokiest diner in town, is moving into the old location of Tilted Kilt (1566 Country Club Plaza Dr, St Charles, MO 63303). The move will take place in the beginning of October.
According to a manager, the diner is moving because of the lack of parking and space at the current location. The new location will provide more seating and a banquet room.
Photo taken from the Gingham's website.
The original route of Lewis and Clark, the famous explorers of the Louisiana Purchase, went through St. Charles. In honor of the city’s 250th anniversary, the explorer’s famous Newfoundland “Seaman” was placed in 25 different locations.
One is right behind the old entrance gate of Lindenwood. Painted like a lion, the dog is moved over the summer from the Makerspace for more visibility.
Photo taken from the City of St. Charles website.