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Everybody has a story

A new Facebook page, Humans of IWU, features pictures of people around the Indiana Wesleyan University campus with quotes to go along with them. Created Sept. 23, the page already has more than 650 likes and has featured 18 people.

Inspired by the Humans of New York facebook page, Humans of IWU is run by two sophomore girls who have requested their names aren’t published in The Sojourn.

Ryan Scull (so) sits down for an interview with one of the Humans of IWU administrators. // Courtesy Photo

Ryan Scull (so) sits down for an interview with one of the Humans of IWU administrators. // Courtesy Photo

“We’re not in this to bring attention to ourselves,” one of the administrators said. “We’re not super secretive about who we are, because people are going to find out, … but we’re not here to broadcast that. … We want the page to be authentic, to be about the humans of IWU.”

The page started up when one of the administrators ran into who she calls “ironic headband man,” also known as Michael Herrick (fr), at McConn.

“I immediately was like, ‘This is the beginning,’” the administrator said.

She had been thinking about starting up the page for a while before this, drawing ideas from HONY and similar pages on other college campuses.

This first picture featured Herrick wearing a headband with the word “gangster” knitted into it, accompanied by the quote, “I knit ironic headbands.”

“Most people are really willing to talk to you. We tend to have this fear of rejection, and nobody’s said ‘no’ yet. They really open up to us,” the administrator said. “It reminds me that we’re all humans, and we all have that common ground.”

Though the page has many similarities to HONY, the administrators said they didn’t want Humans of IWU to be exactly the same. For example, the administrators do not intend to use the  typical HONY slogan “Today in Microfashion,” which features little children in cute outfits.

Humans of IWU is about focusing on things that bring together the campus community, according to the administrators. For this reason, they have decided to avoid topics that will cause disunity. The administrators have already come across a situation where they had to focus on a different part of a human’s story to avoid starting controversy.

The administrators said so far they have received very positive feedback from fellow students.

“We are reaching an audience that hasn’t been reached with any of the other [IWU] pages,” they said. “The people who maybe don’t get noticed as much, the ones that don’t get written about in [IWU] Secret Admirers or aren’t going to say the witty things that go up on Overheard [at IWU], the quiet kids in the back of the class.”

Ultimately for the administrators, Humans of IWU is about helping people get to know each other’s stories.

“The whole idea behind the page is that everyone has a story, and you can’t just label them by one thing,” said the administrator.

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Michael W. Smith Homecoming Concert Photos

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Audiences blend at Homecoming concerts

Contemporary Christian artists Michael W. Smith and Shawn McDonald are making their way to Indiana Wesleyan University Homecoming weekend, and their audiences are overlapping in ways they haven’t before.

“We try to select our artists based on age demographics,” Lance Percy, associate vice president for Advancement and Alumni Relations, said.

Smith’s concert is geared toward the middle-aged and older alumni, he said, but this year, more younger people are interested in attending.

“Michael is unique in that way. He kind of crosses over a lot,” Percy said. “A lot of freshmen parents were planning to come back and go with their student. We don’t always have the benefit of selecting an artist with that broad of an appeal.”

The Student/Young Alumni Concert, on the other hand, is created to appeal more to the students and younger generation of alumni — hence, the performance of Shawn McDonald, who began his career in 2004.

The Shawn McDonald Concert, featuring Jordan Brown and Josh Lavender (alumni ‘12), will occur at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, in the Phillippe Performing Arts Center Auditorium.

The concert order will be Brown, Lavender, then McDonald. Brown said she plans on performing a couple of covers of secular pop songs and then three of her originals, including her single “Grace Unexpected,” then probably end on a worship song.

Having talked to Lavender and hearing that he’d be doing a four-piece band style, and knowing McDonald’s recent music as being more pop-sounding, Brown decided to try and balance out the musical stylings. Though her band is typically more electric drums driven, she opted for more of an acoustic feel.

“Imagine Mumford and Sons meets Adele meets Katy Perry — [that’s] the sound we’re going for,” Brown said.

Her band consists of herself on acoustic guitar, Daniel Rife (alumnus ‘11) on accordion, Anthony Francis (alumnus ’10) on banjo, Alex Krupp (alumnus ’13) on cajon, Adam Butler (sr) on percussion, Chelsea Jensen (sr) on glockenspiel, Stacey Fisher (sr) on piano/keys, and Dan Strope (jr) on bass.

“It’s always an honor to play anything at Indiana Wesleyan,” Brown said.

And with Lavender’s May 2013 EP “The One My Soul Loves” and upcoming EP “Hope in Jesus,” Brown says she is excited to reconnect with him as well.

The Homecoming Concert with Michael W. Smith, who came to Marion once before in 1987, featuring IWU Chorale, will occur the following day at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, in the Chapel Auditorium.

The Chorale, made up of 100 student members and 80 alumni members, will be singing as backups for four songs with Smith, according to Percy.

Percy said IWU might get the chance to hear Smith perform some of his more recently recorded music, such as songs from his worship album, “Sovereign,” released this past May, and his first-ever album of traditional hymns, “Hymns,” released in March.

With Smith attracting various age demographics, students and alumni have a better chance to connect this year.

“Indiana Wesleyan is a fantastic university, but the people are what make it the greatest,” Brown said. “Just seeing the people, seeing old friends, reconnecting that way is probably what I’m looking forward to most.”

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Jazzing it up: Abbey Coffee Co. features IWU musicians

By Mallory Tucker

Coffee and jazz are meant to go together, and Indiana Wesleyan University jazz musicians are making that happen.

Tuesday, Sept. 16, students got their first opportunity to play live music at The Abbey Coffee Co. in Marion, Ind. Over the summer, Dr. Marc Wooldridge, professor of music, and Todd Williams, assistant professor of music education, worked together to create opportunities for students to get more experience.

All that jazz - Abbey Coffee Company features their first IWU jazz ensemble, whose members include Kai Roberts (sr) and Dr. Marc Wooldridge. Photo by Becka Roth

All that jazz – Abbey Coffee Company features their first IWU jazz ensemble, whose members include Kai Roberts (sr) and Dr. Marc Wooldridge. Photo by Becka Roth

Wooldridge then reached out to The Abbey, seeking arrangements for IWU music students to perform live jazz music for its customers. Now, IWU musicians perform Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.

“We’re hoping the students will be able to feel comfortable using things they learned in class as tools—tools that they could use indefinitely for their careers,” Williams said.

According to Williams, the musicians are performing on a volunteer basis and cover a wide range of skill levels.

“I think part of the beauty of it is that those who are advanced learn right alongside of those who are beginners,” Williams said.

The performances won’t always be a full jazz combo. As the students begin to collaborate, it could just be a duo or someone singing in an open microphone.

Kai Roberts (sr) was one of the first IWU students to play music at The Abbey performing flute for the evening.

“The coffee shop atmosphere gives the audience a lot of freedom,” Roberts said. “[Customers] don’t have to listen to the live music, but most choose to relax at a table or couch near it and use it as a comforting background while they study, socialize or simply drink coffee.”Roberts also believes it will be a great opportunity for those who want to get involved with jazz since the performances still give authentic, real-life experience in jazz groups.

Abbey Coffee Co. Marketing Assistant Garrett Langebartels (alumnus ‘14) believes the first performance was a success.

The performance brought in some business and exposure we might not have had otherwise,” Langebartels said in an email interview.

Abbey Coffee Co. believes if they are supporting the arts in the community then they are accomplishing one of their goals as part of the Marion and Grant County communities.

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