Category Archives: Campus

Women’s Volleyball Team Stung by Rival in First Round

Abbi Leeper jumping to hit a volleyball
Abbi Leeper spiking a ball. Image from

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

     The University of Lynchburg Women’s Volleyball Team enjoyed a successful season, finishing third in a competitive conference, but the team lost to archrival Randolph-Macon in the ODAC quarterfinals.

     Interim Head Coach Hannah Givens said “Being able to host the first round of the ODAC tournament was such a reward,” she began. “We worked hard this season and being able to host a conference tournament game proved it. This is the first time we hosted an ODAC first round match since 2016, so we are really proud of this accomplishment.” 

     Alexis Horner, a freshman middle blocker, said, “The loss to Randolph Macon does sting. However, I see every game as an opportunity to learn and implement what we practice every week. The losses are opportunities for the players on the team to figure out what they need to improve on. After the loss to Randolph-Macon, I feel more motivated than ever to work hard over summer break, so I can be ready to compete in the fall.”

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Wellness Day Hike

Gannon Vitelli ~ Breaking News Editor 

     One of the activities held for the final wellness day at the University of Lynchburg was a nature walk at the Claytor Nature Center. 

     Students and faculty participated in a hike on April 30 at the Claytor Nature Center which consisted of moving up the Narrows trail up the Cloverlea Farmhouse and gardens, and by the Big Otter River.

     Along with the hike was a one-hour beginner’s yoga session held by Christine Euhus, the University of Lynchburg yoga instructor. 

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The Sandusky Dig

Evy Brunelle ~ News Editor

     As the last few weeks of the spring semester wrap up, the Historic Sandusky House has been welcoming students and excavating artifacts. 

     Ashani Parker, a senior, said, “At Sandusky, I am a lab technician, meaning I access and catalogue artifacts that come in from the field sites. On campus, I am president of the Archaeology Society and a member of the Archaeology Advisory Board. I help make the archaeology major more accessible and profitable for students.” 

     Parker explained what has been happening at the Historic Sandusky House. “We have had a fair amount of students sign up and continue to participate,” she said. “These students have learned a lot in a short time. Furthermore, they are enjoying the process of excavating. Currently, they have been finding a lot of ceramics and a few old coins that have been particularly helpful in dating the site.” 

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Hiking Trails at the Claytor Nature Center

Trees, flowers, and sun. Graphic by Cassandra Matthews

Cassandra Matthews ~ Assistant Editor

     Hiking is just one of the many recreational opportunities that can be explored at the Claytor Nature Center.

     The trails reach a total of just under eight miles, and are home to a number of flora and fauna. 

     Dan Miles is the facilities manager, and he has been in charge of creating and maintaining the trails. “I have enjoyed this opportunity at the Claytor Center enormously. To me, it is an art form. I got my training with the local Appalachian Trail club and during my 17 years as a wilderness ranger and trail crew chief in the National Forests of Washington state.”

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New Lynchburg Merch

TJ Harvey ~ Guest Writer

     In the past few weeks, there has been a small buzz going around campus about the new University of Lynchburg merch. The question is: where did it all come from?

     Christopher Sumo, a sophomore, who is interested in fashion and design partnered with the campus store at the University. 

     “I want to work with them because one, I am a student. The truth is I am interested in fashion and design and working with the school store will help me practice that… Working with them will give me the opportunity to be exposed so people can see my work and see what I am capable of,” says Sumo. 

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Staying on Track

Track & field raises both ODAC championship trophies!
The women’s track and field team celebrating a win. Image from

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

     On May 2, 2021, the University of Lynchburg Women’s Track and Field Team won the ODAC championship. 

     Director of Cross-Country Track and Field Jim Sprecher highlighted the importance of the contributions that two seniors in particular made, stating, “Both Stephanie Burnett and Jackie Wilson made big contributions to our ODAC title, as both won two titles each. More importantly, both were involved in the most exciting victories of the championship. Burnett won the 10,000 meter and 5,000 meter runs in heroic fashion. Wilson anchored the 4×400-meter relay with a come from behind victory in the last event of the meet.” 

     Wilson stated, “Seeing the team storm the track to celebrate my accomplishment and the team’s accomplishment is a memory that I will never forget.” 

     Burnett said, “This is truly an exciting feeling. The most exciting part is winning as a team. Also, I am ecstatic that the men and women both won the ODAC. It is always an amazing feeling to win at home in front of your parents and fans. The atmosphere was electric, and I thought that having the championship at Lynchburg made winning the championship ten times more exciting.” 

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Men’s Tennis Team Left It on the Court in ODAC Quarterfinal

Daniel Christian follows through on a tennis shot
Daniel Christian playing tennis. Image from

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

     On May 2, 2021, the University of Lynchburg Men’s Tennis Team was defeated by the Roanoke Maroons in the ODAC quarterfinal. 

     Despite the loss in the quarterfinal, the University of Lynchburg Men’s Tennis Team enjoyed a successful season. Colton Mullins, a captain, talked about the highlights of this season, stating, “Our best win was against Hampden Sydney because this is a rivalry that we have not won in many years.” 

     Daniel Christian, a senior and captain, wanted to give credit to his coaches and teammates for the successful season. He said, “All credit goes to my teammates, Coach Johnson, and Coach Randall. Our coaches practice with us and get us to where we need to be. Also, my teammates have all done their part to ensure we not only made the first round of the ODAC tournament, but also were able to host it.” 

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Who is Your President-Elect?

Matthew Gillett’s campaign photo. Sent by Matthew Gillett.

TJ Harvey ~ Guest Writer

     Matthew Gillett, current Vice External Affairs,  will serve as the Student Government Association president for the 2021-2022 school year at the University of Lynchburg.

     Gillett was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Okla. Being born in OKC gave him his love of sports, especially the NBA team Oklahoma City Thunder. 

     Although it has been a strange year, due to COVID-19, it has not stopped Gillett from doing the things he loves. “I love to hang out with my friends. It has been weird this year due to COVID, but I love going to sporting events and being outside, which is one of the reasons I chose the University of Lynchburg, and I fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains,” said Gillett. 

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Lynchburg Vaccinates!

Your Vaccination | CDC
Cartoon COVID vaccine. Image from

Jared Hargis ~ Guest Writer

     COVID-19 continues to impact the world and that includes the University of Lynchburg. In the effort of keeping the virus at bay on campus, the University has partnered with the Virginia Department of Health to give the students the opportunity to be vaccinated. 

     The University of Lynchburg has made the vaccine available to all students, faculty, and staff at the Health Center and at the regional vaccination center located in Candlers Station Shopping Center at 3700 Candlers Mountain Road. The University announced to the student body through email that they “have received a supply of vaccines from the health department and are making the vaccine available to students who qualify.” 

    The University is working towards giving students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to have access to the vaccine because they want everyone who wants to be able to get vaccinated to be able to do so. 

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Gillett Prevails!

Evy Brunelle ~ News Editor

    Matthew Gillett, a junior, was elected President  of the Student Government Association for the 2021-2022 school year at the University of Lynchburg on April 16.

    Gillett said, “The SGA election process was a whirlwind! Campaigning began April 1 and continued through election day, which was April 15. My campaign focused on reaching out to Hornets and meeting them where they are. I talked with students in the Burton Dining Hall, on the Dell, and in their residence halls, so that I might understand what they wanted for Lynchburg, and so they might understand the goals of my Presidency.”

     Gillett reiterated, “Just as I stated so many times throughout the campaign, my goal as SGA President will be a simple one: make everyone proud to be a Hornet.” 

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The Smith Resignation

Dr. Aaron Smith

Gannon Vitelli ~ Breaking News Editor

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Editor-in-Chief 

The sudden resignation of Dr. Aaron Smith, the vice president and dean of students at the University of Lynchburg has shaken the campus community.

Constituents across the university were alerted of Smith’s resignation through an email from Lynchburg President, Dr. Alison Morrison-Sheltar on April 9.  In the email she also named Associate Dean of Campus Life, Kristen Cooper as the Interim Dean of Students. 

“Although his departure may be considered a great loss to our community, his work ethic and mentality resides within all of us that he mentored, including our new Interim Dean of Students, Kristen Cooper,” said Davion Washington, student government president at Lynchburg. “I would urge the campus community to shy away from rumors and falsehoods, as Dr. Smith deserves his privacy and respect.”

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Lynchburg’s Contested 2021 SGA Elections

Headshot photos of both presidential candidates, Alejandra Bonilla (left) and Matthew Gillett (right). Photos Courtesy of SGA.

Zachary Bennett ~ Guest Writer

      Campaign season is in full effect at the University of Lynchburg as students gear up for elections for the new Student Government Association president. Elections are set to take place on Thursday, April 15.

      This year’s presidential candidates include current class of 2022 members Alejandra Bonilla and Matthew Gillett.

      According to an email sent to current students, both candidates are  current cabinet members of SGA and actively  involved around campus.

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Environmental Science Projects Presented On Red Letter Day

Graphic retrieved from

Evy Brunelle ~ Copy Editor

    The  University of Lynchburg celebrated student scholarship with  Red Letter Day 2021 on April 7.

    On Red Letter Day students present their research accomplishments to the entire university.      Benjamin Heskett, a senior, did his project on groundwater monitoring in urban wetlands. He chose this project when he learned that the city of Lynchburg was planning to remove College Lake Dam. 

     “I began reading literature concerning dam removals and their hydrological and geomorphological effects on fluvial systems,” he said. “When I felt I had enough evidence to propose a research project, I contacted Dr. Laura Henry-Stone to see if there were any opportunities for students to study Blackwater Creek. She invited me to a meeting with Dr. Rob Atkinson from Christopher Newport University, a professor of ecohydrology, where we discussed the need for monitoring the depth to the saturation zone (water table) to support AECOM’s restoration design and to form a baseline sampling system for future ecological research.” 

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