Campus safety under watchful eyes of Jim Hickerson '78

The safety and well-being of the Hanover College community falls into the veteran hands of Jim Hickerson and the five officers who serve the office of campus safety.

Jim Hickerson

Hickerson, a 1978 Hanover graduate, returned to his alma mater as director of campus safety in 2011 after a 33-year career with the Indiana State Police. During his tenure with the police force, he gained a wealth of experience – and the respect of his peers – after ascending from trooper to squad sergeant, assistant district commander and, ultimately, district commander.

“I have been fortunate to build many relationships throughout my years in the criminal justice system,” said Hickerson. “These relationships have been a great resource for me as campus safety director. Our local law enforcement agencies do a great job supporting Hanover College.”

Hickerson has close-knit relationships with all facets of local and area law enforcement. During his lengthy police career, his connection with generations of officers stemmed through varied experiences beyond the apprehension of criminals, including roles as an instructor at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, squad leader for a tactical intervention platoon, defensive tactics instructor and as a witness for criminal and traffic cases.

In addition, he worked numerous large-scale events, accident, disaster and crime scenes. He was also a crime and accident investigator, assisted the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board with the investigation of aircraft accidents and coordinated Secret Service protection for U.S. presidents visiting the region.

Along with having his eyes on the Hanover campus, he continues to receive contemporary training in an array of areas ranging from the autism spectrum, human trafficking and sexual harassment to weapons of mass-destruction and mass-fatality incidents.

Prior to coming to Hanover, he participated in a high level of industry and community involvement through service to organizations such as the Clark County (Ind.) Youth Coalition, Southern Indiana Triad Advisory Board, Louisville Athletic Club, Ivy Tech Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Henryville Correctional Institute Community Advisory Board and Freeway Incident Management Group.

“I believe that campus safety is a team effort and requires the participation of the entire campus community,” said Hickerson. “Our officers need the cooperation of our staff and students to create a safe and secure campus. The safety, well-being and security of our students and staff are always my top priority.”

Hickerson, a native of Jeffersonville, Ind., studied sociology at Hanover. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and also competed as a four-year member of the College’s football team and track and field squad. He later graduated from the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville.

Questions about Hanover's safety programs or procedures may be directed to the vice president of student life at (812) 866-7075 or the office of campus safety at (812) 866-7175.

Special statement from President Lambert

Hanover College statement regarding campus ban in response to reported threat

Hanover window logo

In late February, threats to the College campus by Professor Jim Stark were reported to the Hanover Town Police by a family member. These threats have been taken seriously by both the police and by the College.

Based on these reported threats, the College’s action has been to suspend Stark from duties until further notice and the College issued Stark a no-trespass order, banning him from campus until further notice.

In their response to the reported threats, the Hanover Police seized firearms and ammunition owned by Stark and, by action of the court March 6, the police will retain these weapons until a hearing on June 4, 2018, determines whether they will be returned.

In addition to concern about how the reported threats impacted the entire campus community, the College also was concerned about how the reported threats by Stark related to specific employees. Based on such concerns, the College filed petitions with the court seeking restraining orders barring Stark from contacting or being in the presence of two employees and their families. Other employees declined to be included in the application for a restraining order. Approved by the court, these restraining orders provide an additional buffer to the entire campus as well as specific protections to these individuals and their families until the hearing on June 4, at which time they may be extended.

In its response, the College has adhered to its policies and will continue to do so. This includes all decisions related to legal and employment action. In adherence to its policies, the College will make no further public comment on Stark’s employment status. Also, the College will implement additional safety and security measures as deemed appropriate.

Finally, the College will remain open and all regularly scheduled activities will continue, including classes, meetings, athletic events and concerts.

Lake Lambert, Ph.D.

SOLD OUT! Matt Bellassai visits Fitzgibbon Recital Hall tonight
Internet comedian Matt Bellassai

People's Choice Award-winner Matt Bellassai will bring his 2018 comedy tour to Hanover College, Friday, March 16.

Bellassai, an internet sensation with millions of followers, will cap the Hanover Enrichment Series’ 2017-18 season with a 7 p.m. performance in Fitzgibbon Recital Hall, Lynn Center for Fine Arts.

Bellassai became a social-media comedy star through his online video series “Whine About It,” which generated more than 3.5 million weekly views. The series’ success ultimately led to him being honored in 2016 with the first People’s Choice Award for favorite social media star.

After more than three years as a comedy writer at Buzzfeed, Bellassai left to launch the web series “To Be Honest,” tour nationally as a stand-up comedian and write a book. His publication, "Everything Is Awful: And Other Observations," features a collection of humorous essays recounting moments from his life.

He currently produces the podcast, “Unhappy Hour with Matt Bellassai.” In each episode, he hilariously “muses on pop culture, the Internet and the struggles of life as a single, gay, would-be adult living in New York City.”

General admission tickets for Bellassai's appearance are now available. Seats cost just $15 each for adults, while tickets for children high-school age and younger (18-) are free.

The Hanover Enrichment Series is presented by Tricia and Will Hagenah, with additional support from the McManaman Trust, German American Bank and the Indiana Arts Commission.

Jeffrey Phillips appointed first director of Hanover’s engineering program

Jeffrey Phillips, Ph.D., a mechanical engineer, power industry expert and former National Science Foundation Fellow, has been named the first director of Hanover College’s engineering program.

Phillips, who will begin his role at Hanover June 1, comes to the College after serving as a senior project manager at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent, nonprofit organization for public interest energy and environmental research.

Jeffrey Phillips

For the past 10 years, Phillips has led EPRI’s Charlotte, N.C.-based research and development programs in advance fossil and renewable power generation. He is a recognized expert in carbon dioxide capture and storage. He also has substantial experience in the electric power, oil and gas, petrochemical and waste-to-energy industries.

“Hanover is very excited to have recruited such an experienced engineering professional to lead our new program,” said Hanover President Lake Lambert. “Dr. Phillips shares our vision for an engineering program with extensive industry partnership locally and regionally.”

Steve Jobe, the College’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, adds that Phillips "stood out in a pool of talented candidates because of his close acquaintance with and strong commitment to the values and the value of a liberal arts education."

Phillips combines his global energy experience with a passion for academia. In addition to his work with EPRI, he has also served as an adjunct instructor of engineering at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and as a guest lecturer in energy-related engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Lehigh University and Georgia Institute of Technology.

He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics at Austin College.

“I am excited by the challenge of starting a brand new engineering program, and the fact that it will entail merging the liberal arts with engineering is even more intriguing to me,” said Phillips. “For me, merging engineering with the liberal arts is not just an intellectual concept, it has been my life. Not only did I start my college career at a small liberal arts college founded by the Presbyterian Church in the 1800s, I was raised by a father who was an American history professor at that college.”

Hanover’s newly launched program is grounded in the ideas, skills and experience of engineering within a liberal arts environment. Critical thinking and creative problem-solving are emphasized, with a challenge to students to collaborate, communicate effectively, complete research projects and receive career training before graduation.

“All engineers are good at math and science,” adds Phillips. “If they were not, they never would have passed their engineering courses and graduated. What will set Hanover engineers apart is their ability to communicate, their ability to collaborate with other engineers and non-engineers, and their understanding of the wider world.”

The College’s engineering department offers two engineering degrees, the bachelor of science degree in engineering and the bachelor of arts degree in engineering science.

Hanover’s bachelor of science degree program offers coursework in mechanical, electrical, electromechanical and computer engineering. The track is designed for students who wish to pursue career paths in engineering or applied science working in industry, research or entrepreneurial endeavors. It prepares students for both advanced studies and professional employment.

The bachelor of arts degree program provides an interdisciplinary education in mathematics, science and engineering. The track encourages students to incorporate diverse cognate areas, such as business, economics or art and design. The curriculum prepares students to effectively pursue careers in engineering management, public service, business or entrepreneurship.

Prior to joining Electric Power Research Institute in 2004, Phillips worked as a vice president at Fern Engineering in Pocasset, Mass., (1998-2004) and as a senior research engineer at Molten Metal Technology in Fall River, Mass. (1996-97).

Phillips previously served as a mechanical engineer for the Shell Chemical Company in Belpre, Ohio (1995-96.), a technologist for Shell International in the Netherlands (1991-95) and as a research engineer for Shell Development Company in Texas (1986-91).

Grammy Award-winning The Fairfield Four to perform March 11
Gospel group The Fairfield Four

Grammy Award-winning gospel quartet The Fairfield Four will perform Sunday, March 11, in Hanover College's Fitzgibbon Recital Hall, Lynn Center for Fine Arts. The concert, which begins at 3 p.m., is part of the local RiverRoots Music Series.

General admission tickets cost $15 in advance and $18 the day of the show.

The Fairfield Four was founded in 1921 in the Fairfield Baptist Church near Nashville, Tenn. The ensemble, which continues to perform traditional, African-American, a cappella gospel, was designated as National Heritage Fellows in 1989 by the National Endowment for the Arts and inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1999. The group has also earned two lifetime achievement awards and won three Grammys.

The Fairfield Four earned its first Grammy Award in 1997, notching the best traditional soul gospel album honor for "I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray." A famed appearance at the end of the hit motion picture “O Brother Where Art Thou?” helped the group earn a Grammy for album of the year in 2001 for its contribution to the film’s soundtrack. In 2015, the quartet captured the award for best gospel roots album for “Still Rockin’ My Soul” and performed “Don’t Let Nobody” during the Grammy telecast.

Through its history, The Fairfield Four has performed with a range of artists, including Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Amy Grant, Elvis Costello and Lyle Lovett.

The group was featured on legendary singer-songwriter John Fogerty’s 1997 album, “Blue Moon Swamp.” The ensemble performed on the single “A Hundred and Ten in the Shade” and opened for Fogerty on a number of his subsequent concert dates. “Blue Moon Swamp” later earned the 1998 Grammy for best rock album.

The RiverRoots Music & Folk Arts Festival will be held June 8-9 at Bicentennial Park in Madison, Ind.

Men's basketball to battle LeTourneau in Atlanta

The Hanover College men's basketball team will begin its NCAA Division III National Tournament in Atlanta, Ga., as Emory (Ga.) will host the Panthers and their opponent, LeTourneau (Texas), along with Berry (Ga.).

NCAA III men's basketball logo

Hanover (22-6) is back in the tournament for the second straight season and will be looking to experience a magical run similar to last year, which saw the team advance to its first NCAA Division III Elite Eight. The Panthers earned the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's automatic bid by winning their second consecutive league tournament title this past weekend at Rose-Hulman.

The opening two rounds of the NCAA tournament will take place Friday and Saturday, March 2-3. Times have not yet been announced, but will be available on the Hanover men's basketball schedule page once they have been confirmed.

LeTourneau is coming off a 108-101 loss to East Texas Baptist in the American Southwest Conference Tournament championship Feb. 23. The Yellow Jackets however, have produced a 23-4 overall record in 2017-18 and, just like Hanover, have had back-to-back 20-win seasons.

The host, Emory, is 21-4 overall and finished University Athletic Association play with a 12-2 mark. Berry, the No. 8 seed in the Southern Athletic Association Tournament, pulled off three upsets en route to a tourney championship last weekend and enters the national tournament with an 11-17 overall record.

More Hanover men's basketball coverage

Interactive Bracket

Panthers earn second straight HCAC title, NCAA berth

Behind a combined 64 points from senior Levi Buck (Pendleton, Ind.), senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) and junior Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio), the Hanover College men's basketball team won its second straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship with an 80-70 win at Rose-Hulman Feb. 24 in Terre Haute, Ind.

Hanover men's basketball team

The Panthers (22-6) have now won five straight HCAC tournament games and receive the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III National Tournament, which begins next weekend. Fails was named the tournament's most valuable player after averaging 25.0 points through the three-game stretch. McKinney added 20.0 points per contest and 17 total rebounds in the tournament to also earn all-tournament accolades.

In the championship game, Fails tallied a team-high 26 points, while McKinney followed closely behind with 21. The duo has now posted 20-plus-point scoring efforts together on four occasions this season. Fails also added a season-high seven assists, three rebounds and two steals, while McKinney pitched in with six rebounds.

Buck tied a season high with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He did most of his damage from behind the arc, making five of his nine three-point attempts. Junior Nick White (New Albany, Ind.) and freshman Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) each added six points to highlight the rest of the Panther scoring. White also led the team with nine rebounds, and fresh off his HCAC tournament record-breaking seven blocks Feb. 23, he added another rejection in the finals.

Hanover never trailed in the championship game as a 7-0 scoring spurt gave them an early double-digit advantage, 15-5, just five minutes into the contest. The Blue and Red proceeded to make eight of their first 11 shots and a 13-2 run pushed the lead to 21-7 with 13:27 left in the opening period.

The Panthers pushed their first-half lead to as many as 17 points, including a 17-point advantage at the break, 46-29. Hanover finished the opening 20 minutes with a .606 shooting clip. The Panthers also forced 11 first half Rose-Hulman turnovers resulting in 13 points.

Buck, just as he did in the first half, opened play in the second stanza with a three-pointer, pushing the Panthers' advantage to 20 points, 49-29, for what would be the team's largest lead of the night. He also scored eight of the first 13 points for Hanover in the opening half.

Rose-Hulman (17-10) would not go away in the second half, cutting the Panthers' lead to 11 points on two occasions. With chances to cut it to single digits, Fails denied the Engineers defensively by taking a charge and recording a key deflection in transition. The junior also made a few timely shots down the stretch to fend off a Rose-Hulman comeback attempt.

The Engineers would cut the deficit to eight points with four minutes remaining but that would be as close as they would get. Hanover outscored the Engineers 8-6 after the final media timeout to secure the championship.

Hanover shot better than 50 percent for the eighth straight game (.561).

The Panthers have won back-to-back HCAC regular-season and tournament championships for the first time since the 2003-04 and 2004-05 campaigns. Hanover's 48 combined wins since the start of the 2016-17 season is now tied for the fourth most in any successive years in program history.

Hanover will now wait to see what the future will hold for next weekend's games. The NCAA Division III Tournament Selection Show will be held at 12:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 26.

Registration for summer online classes starts March 19

Hanover College students who wish to fulfill major or general degree requirements, or who need credits toward graduation, will have online options this summer. The College will offer two five-week terms with select classes taught by current faculty members.

The sessions are also open to Indiana residents who seek special education certification.

Summer online class offerings

The first summer session will be held from Monday, June 4, to Friday, July 6. The second session will run from Wednesday, July 11, to Tuesday, Aug. 14. Students are limited to one course per session.

In addition to the select courses for current Hanover students, the education courses “Special Education Law and Policy (EDU 354)” and “Learning Environments and Transitions (EDU 356)” will be open to Indiana residents interested in receiving additional certification.

Tuition for a summer course costs only $975 per unit. No institutional financial aid is available.

Registration for the summer sessions is available from Monday, March 19, through Friday, March 30. For information, contact Hanover's registrar at or (812) 866-7051.

If you are not a current student, contact the admission office at or phone (800) 213-2178.

SUMMER TERM IJune 4-July 6
COM 212: Introduction to CommunicationInstructor: Valerie Young
EDU 354: Special Education Law & PolicyInstructor: Dustin BaileyOpen to Indiana residents interested in additional certification
SOC 164: Introduction to SociologyInstructor: Jimmie Bany
SUMMER TERM IIJuly 11-Aug. 14
COM 164: War and Upheaval through FilmInstructor: Rachel Davidson
EDU 356: Learning Environments & TransitionsInstructor: Dustin BaileyOpen to Indiana residents interested in additional certification
KIP 360: Medical TerminologyInstructor: Miriam Pittenger


COM 164: War and Upheaval through Film

Analysis of films at the levels of message, audience response, and social impact on issues such as war, race, religion and gender. Partially satisfies the HS CCR. Satisfies the W1 ACE. Partially satisfies the Modern Societies LADR.

COM 212: Introduction to Communication

Examines a broad spectrum of communication concepts and issues in modern society. Directed at students with an interest in the discipline of communication.

EDU 354: Special Education Law & Policy

Basic educational rights of students with disabilities alongside teacher and school legal responsibilities with a focus on the five main principles that form the basics of special education law: Free appropriate public education, least restrictive environment, parent and student participation, Individualized Education Program (IEP), and due process protections. Prerequisite: Edu 231.

EDU 356: Learning Environments and Transitions

Learn how to plan, manage, and modify learning environments and how to assist students in successful life transition, goal setting, and community resources. Prerequisite: Edu 231.

KIP 360: Medical Terminology

A comprehensive review of medical terminology centering on word parts, Greek & Latin roots, word construction, suffixes and prefixes. The course will meet graduate admission requirements for health science based majors. Intended for juniors and seniors. KIP 215 Human Anatomy and/or KIP 230 Physiology highly recommended.

SOC 164: Introduction to Sociology

Examines links between micro and macro (institutional, national and global) levels of social interaction and the impact of macro level social forces on our everyday lives. Topics include group influence on individuals, socialization, culture, deviance, race, class and gender inequalities; institutions and organizations, population trends, and social change. Partially satisfies the HS CCR. Partially satisfies Modern Society LADR.

Common's Jan. 14 appearance CANCELLED

Award-winning, multi-talented performer Common’s Jan. 14 speaking engagement at Hanover College has been cancelled. Full refunds will be automatically provided for tickets purchased in advance.

actor, hip-hop artist Common

The cancellation was forced due to travel arrangements and preparations for Common’s appearance during the Jan. 15 live television presentation of the 49th-annual NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles. He is nominated for outstanding musical duo, group or collaboration for his work with Andra Day on “Stand Up for Something” from the film "Marshall."

The Hanover Enrichment Series will continue with appearances by former "boy soldier" and best-selling author Ishmael Beah (Feb. 9) and internet comedian and author Matt Bellassai (March 16).

Beginning at the age of 12, Beah was forced to fight for the Sierra Leone army against rebels during the nation’s civil war. Held hostage by brain-washing, drug addictions and pressures of the army, he fought for nearly three years before gaining refuge through UNICEF in 1996.

He will discuss his life as a “boy soldier,” Friday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. in Fitzgibbon Recital Hall, Lynn Center for Fine Arts.

Bellassai earned the first People’s Choice Award for favorite social media star in 2016. He created a dedicated following through the success of his online video series “Whine About It,” which received more than 3.5 million weekly views.

Bellassai worked as a writer at Buzzfeed before launching the web series “To Be Honest” and pursuing a stand-up comedy career. His current book, "Everything Is Awful: And Other Observations," features a collection of humorous essays recounting moments from his life.

He will perform Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. in Collier Arena.

General admission tickets for appearances by Beah and Bellassai are now available (Beah tickets / Bellassai tickets). Seats cost just $15 each for adults, while tickets for children high-school age and younger (18-) are free.

The Hanover Enrichment Series is presented by Tricia and Will Hagenah, with additional support from the McManaman Trust, German American Bank and the Indiana Arts Commission.

Ishmael Beah to address life as a "boy soldier" in Sierra Leone
Ishmael Beah, former boy soldier in Sierra Leone

New York Times best-selling author Ishmael Beah will discuss his life as a “boy soldier” in Sierra Leone as part of the Hanover College Enrichment Series.

Beah will speak Friday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. in Fitzgibbon Recital Hall, Lynn Center for Fine Arts.

Beginning at the age of 12, Beah was forced to fight for the Sierra Leone army against rebels during the nation’s civil war. Held hostage by brain-washing, drug addictions and pressures of the army, he fought for nearly three years before gaining refuge through UNICEF in 1996.

That same year, while living with a family member and going to school in Freetown, Beah was invited to speak at the United Nations. Within the following year, however, the city was besieged after the Revolutionary United Front and government army, once adversaries, joined forces.

Through the help of UNICEF, Beah fled to New York City and eventually lived with a foster family. He attended the United Nations International School and later earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Oberlin College.

In 2007, he released "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," which provides a chilling glimpse into war through the eyes of a child and his struggle to regain his humanity and civility. The work, now published in more than 40 languages, was named by Time magazine as one of the year’s top-10 non-fiction books. Beah was also nominated that year for a Quill Award in the best debut author category.

In 2014, Beah pinned his first novel, "Radiance of Tomorrow, A Novel." The book probes post-war life in Sierra Leone, following the plight of two friends who return to their ravaged hometown following the civil war.

The event will also feature a presentation by Hanover sophomore Samuel Pyle, who escaped an orphanage in Sierra Leone and, after a four-year process, was ultimately adopted by a Louisville, Ky., family along with his two siblings.

Since coming to campus, Pyle has been a member of the College’s track and field team and also started Looking Back and Moving Forward, a student organization to aid children in Sierra Leone.

General admission tickets are now available. Seats cost just $15 each for adults, while tickets for children high-school age and younger (18-) are free.

The Hanover Enrichment Series is presented by Tricia and Will Hagenah, with additional support from the McManaman Trust, German American Bank and the Indiana Arts Commission.