Harding University will hold a virtual dedication ceremony for its new indoor soccer facility during virtual homecoming this year, but the Hatcher Indoor Soccer Center is already open on the south side of campus, university President Dr. Bruce McLarty said, and “soccer teams can now practice in the comfort of indoor air condition year-round.”

Work began on the facility, which is between the softball intramural fields and Stevens Soccer Complex, last fall. “It had been talked about for some time now, and it finally happened when a lead donor and others offered to help build it,” men’s soccer coach Jonathan Ireland told The Bison in late October.

Harding’s virtual homecoming is set for Oct. 29-31. The time of the dedication had not been set yet. The activities for that Saturday also will include a virtual president’s council business meeting, virtual alumni chapel, Belles and Beaux concert, a homecoming parade through campus and performance by the Pied Piper’s children’s theater troupe.

McLarty also gave updates about other facilities during a meeting with the media earlier this month. He said the student center has been updated with a fresh new look that includes murals, seating, counters and additional power outlets.

Cathcart Hall, which was closed down for the second semester last year for a full renovation, is finished and back open. “It’s a women’s freshman dorm completely remodeled, including new plumbing,” McLarty said, “which doesn’t sound real jazzy to college students but for presidents, it warms our heart.

“Laundry is now included with on-campus housing. For those who live in residence halls, laundry is now powered through an app so the old world of quarters has passed away. With your dorm you get 45 loads of wash and dry credits that are loaded at the beginning of the semester and can be used anytime throughout. No reason not to do your laundry.”

On the subject of new academic programs offered this year, McLarty said more than 15 of them had been approved within the college of Allied Health, Arts and Humanities, Business Administration and Sciences along with the Graduate School of Business and the College of Educations Department of Mental Health and Wellness.

Many of the new programs, according to McLarty, are being offered in a “fully online format.”

The new Office of Graduate and Professional Support was established in July, and McLarty said this office is providing “expanded resources for what has become more than 50 graduate and professional programs.”

The university also has seven new faculty members this year, he said.

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