Campus briefs


Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 2:43 a.m.

Wrestler takes 'no excuses'

Despite a congenital defect that robbed him of arms from below the elbows and his legs from below the knees, Kyle Maynard became a winning high school wrestler, weightlifter and successful student.

And he's at the University of Florida tonight to present "Success Without Excuses!"

Maynard's speech explains how his "no excuses" philosophy helps him meet the numerous challenges that confront him daily.

Maynard hopes to show the audience how they, too, can overcome the great challenges in their own lives.

Doors open at the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom at 7 p.m. and the presentation is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

The program, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by UF's Accent Speaker's Bureau.

- Janine Young Sikes

Wall honors slain student

The red-jacketed figure of Paul Bunyan stands amid a freshly painted sea of deep blue along SW 34th Street.

The mythic figure, emblazoned beneath the name "Tom Brown," stands in tribute to the University of Florida senior killed in Jacksonville Saturday. Friends said Paul Bunyan was a common nickname for Brown, who they said carried his fraternity house on his shoulders.

"He was a big, big guy," said Thomas Kastanek, a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. "Not in the sense of his size, but in his personality and the way he carried himself."

Kastanek was one of more than a dozen of Brown's fraternity brothers and friends who honored him in a uniquely Gainesville fashion Monday. With intricate care, the students spent the afternoon painting a section of the SW 34th Street retaining wall that serves as a canvas for celebrations, announcements and memorials, most notably to the students slain by Danny Rolling in 1990.

"It's a small little thing we can do," said James White, a UF senior majoring in history and a Beta Theta Pi brother.

Understanding the ephemeral nature of the memorial, Chris Hart, a recent alumnus of UF and the fraternity, said Brown's friends and parents were working on a permanent tribute. As one part of this effort, the fraternity plans to place a dedication in Brown's former room, Hart said.

Brown, who helped revitalize and inspire his fraternity following its reorganization several years ago, would have wanted his brothers to continue working toward the betterment of the organization, Hart said.

"This is obviously a tragedy," Hart said. "But even without him we can still rally around his inspiration and keep going in the direction he wanted us to go in."

Jeff Adelson can be reached at 352-374-5095 or adelsoj@gvillesun.com

UF students earn notable award

Thirteen University of Florida students earned an award over the weekend that fewer than one-half of a percent of members in their organization ever receive.

At a Saturday ceremony in Louisville, Ky., they were honored with the American FFA Degree, the highest degree of membership in the national organization, founded in 1928 as the Future Farmers of America. The National FFA Organization encompasses more than 300 careers, including such things as agricultural science, biotechnology and turf grass management.

The 2005 UF recipients were Jason Beutke, Melissa Brown, Brittany Clenney, Richard Davis, Erica Der, Tavis Douglass, LeAnne Harrison, Randall Johnson, Brittney Parrish, Jacob Raburn, Ilana Stover, Dan Walden Jr. and Thomas Warnock III.

The American FFA Degree recognizes leadership and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production and processing or service programs.

To be eligible, members must have earned and productively invested $7,500 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own, or hold a professional position in an existing agricultural enterprise. Recipients must demonstrate leadership and community involvement.

For Beutke, it's an honor he shares with his father, Amos Beutke, who also received the award 45 years ago.

Amos Beutke, received the award on Oct. 12, 1960. Coincidentally, his son was born on the same date 25 years later.

The younger Beutke, 20, who's majoring in food and resource economics, began his agricultural training on the family farm in Alachua.

"In ninth grade I started my own registered Angus herd, and I now have a partnership with my dad," Beutke said. "My SAE (supervised agricultural experience) was mainly beef production, but I also had wildlife management and timber projects."

The extensive application process for the award takes about one year.

Beutke and other recipients were chosen based primarily on leadership and activities with FFA, career development events, and supervised agricultural experiences.

Beutke is an active member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and his church.

He enjoys hunting and fishing on his free time.

After graduation, Beutke plans to begin work on his master's degree in either food and resource economics or agricultural business and then work in the agriculture industry.

By LAUREN DELUCIA

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