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First In Their Class

The Bradley Institute

This Miss Is A Hit

Inaugural Honors Institute Class Arrives, Impresses

Where Ideas Still Have Consequences

Head Men’s Basketball Coach Stephen Miss Named Coach Of The Year

cRossRoAds tHe magaZine oF beLmont abbey coLLege

The Blessings of Being

Benedictine

Spring 2008


From the Editor

A NEW SPRINGTIME OF HOPE, COMMITMENT AT THE ABBEY It seems appropriate that our latest issue of Crossroads would come out at the height of spring. There is a palpable sense of a new springtime of hope, promise and commitment here at Belmont Abbey College as the school year draws to a close. For example, in the heart of the Abbey, the monastery, two more monks, Brother Anthony Swofford and Brother Edward Mancuso, have taken their solemn vows to lay down their lives for their confreres and the entire Abbey community (please see our story on pp. 28-29). And Abbot Placid Solari is taking to the radio airwaves to bring life lessons from the Rule of St. Benedict to a world sorely in need of them (please see page 38). At the College, all sorts of exciting news abounds. For instance, the Wall Street Journal found some of the things the College is doing so intriguing,

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they wrote a front-page feature on us (see page 44). The Abbey has also earned top grades in a prestigious national survey of student engagement (see page 45) and continues to climb in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Four Abbey scholars have published significant new books (pp. 40-41), and the inaugural Honors Institute class has arrived to further bolster the Abbey’s academic excellence (pp. 20-22). In Abbey Athletics, new Athletic Director Richard Dull has quietly made his presence felt with three outstanding coaching hires, including Stephen Miss, who was named Conference Carolinas’ men’s basketball Coach of the Year (see “This Miss is a Hit,”pp.51-53, as well as our interview with Dick Dull, pp. 54-55, plus stories on women’s basketball coach Susan Yow and men’s lacrosse coach Jim Dietsch on pp. 56-57 and 58-59, respectively). So, you might wonder, what is the cause of this “new springtime” at the Abbey? We’d like to suggest that one source could be the College’s very conscious effort to return to, and more fully incarnate, the hallmarks of its Benedictine heritage. Hence the terrific columns you’ll find on the “Benedictine Hallmarks” in the opening section of the magazine (pp. 5-8), as well as our interview with one of the Abbey’s leading lights, Father John Oetgen (don’t miss “The Glories of a Benedictine

The Magazine of Belmont Abbey College

“We hope you’ll consider this issue of

Crossroads to be a kind of invitation to enter more deeply into the life of this very special community.” Education,” beginning on page 10). Whether you’re a loyal alumnus, a longtime friend or someone new to the Abbey, we hope you’ll consider this issue of Crossroads to be a kind of invitation: to enter more deeply into the life of this very special community; to find a cause here you can believe in and passionately support with your time and treasure, or at the very least, your prayers. So come join in the conversation. Become a part of the age-old rhythm of ora et labora, prayer and work. And savor along with us the many blessings of being Benedictine.

Ed Jones

Spring 2008


FEAtuREs

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SPRING 2008

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THE BENEDICTINE HALLMARKS AND THE BLESSINGS THEY BRING

Dr. Thierfelder, Abbot Placid Solari, Dr. David Williams and sophomore Mariana Smith explore this rich subject.

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“GOT MONKS?” CAMPAIGN ACCELERATES ON THE RACETRACK AND ON TV

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WHERE IDEAS GO TO FLOURISH

With his visionary leadership of the Bradley Institute at Belmont Abbey College, Dr. Robert Preston (’53) proves that ideas still have consequences.

PEARLS OF BENEDICTINE WISDOM FROM FATHER JOHN

Father John Oetgen (’45), O.S.B., discusses the challenges of leading a Catholic college in the Carolinas in the 1960s, being America’s first Catholic college to invite Billy Graham to speak, the ten hallmarks of a Benedictine education and more.

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HE ONCE WAS LOST, BUT NOW IS FOUND

In his old life, alcohol and drugs ruled; now Brother Anthony Swofford has found freedom as a monk.

FIRST IN THEIR CLASS The inaugural Honors Institute class arrives, bolsters academic excellence at the Abbey.

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DEPARTMENTS

President’s column . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 In the Abbot’s words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Monastic News Two Abbey Monks Take Solemn Vows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28-29 Brother Richard Sutter (’91) Brings The Good News Home From Rome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32-36 Two Poems by Sister Jane Russell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Abbot Placid Hits the Airwaves with life Lessons From St. Benedict’s Rule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Father Paschal Baumstein, In Memorium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Faculty & Staff News Four Abbey Scholars Publish New Books . . . . . . . . . . 40-41 “Charity”: A Poem By Gireesh Gupta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Awards/Distinctions, Arrivals, etc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42-43

Campus News Abbey Makes Front Page Wall Street Journal News . . . . 44 Abbey Earns Top Grades In Student Engagement Survey. . 45 New Homecoming Venue A Big Splash . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46-47 Alumni House Opened, Blessed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 New Adoration Chapel Nears Completion . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Sports News

crossroads Crossroads is the official publication of Belmont Abbey College.

Vice President of College Relations Ken Davison Editor Ed Jones Contributors Dr. Carol Brooks Ken Davison Joe DePriest Gayle Dobbs Gireesh Gupta Renae Heustess Father Michael Kavanaugh (’80) Jillian Maisano Roderick O’Donoghue (’46) Chris Poore Leigh Pressley Sister Jane Russell Mariana Smith (’10) Frank Solari (’44) Abbot Placid Solari Dr. Bill Thierfelder Dr. David Williams Photography Patrick Schneider Photography Cover Photo Illustration Cisco Adler

Men’s Hoops Coach Stephen Miss Named Coach Of The Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51-53

Design and Production: SPARK Publications www.SPARKpublications.com

New AD Richard Dull Leads Resurgence In Abbey Athletics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54-55

Printing: Publishers Press 1.800.627.5801

Susan Yow “Coaches ‘Em Up” In Women’s Basketball . . 56-57 New Coach Jim Dietsch Defends College Men’s Lacrosse’s Honor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58-59 Al Maguire’s Abbey Recruits Now Hall-Of-Famers . . . . . . 60 Men’s Hoops Hits The Big Time At Bobcats Arena . . . . . . . 61

Alumni News Abbey Alums Establish New Scholarships . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 An Abbey Memory From Frank Solari (’44) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 An Abbey Memory from Roderick O’Donoghue (’46) . . . . . . 66 Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65-74

Abbey Mailbag To submit comments about Crossroads, email crossroads@bac.edu or send letters to “Crossroads” Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, NC 28012 Class Notes and Change of Address info should be sent to alumnioff@bac.edu or Office of Alumni and Parent Relations Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, NC 28012 All photos submitted must be high resolution at 300 dpi or higher to be used in Crossroads. Copyright © 2008 Belmont Abbey College

Mission Statement of Belmont Abbey College: Our mission is to educate students in the liberal arts and sciences so that in all things God may be glorified. In this endeavor, we are guided by the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Benedictine spirit of prayer and learning. Exemplifying Benedictine hospitality, we welcome a diverse body of students and provide them with an education that will enable them to lead lives of integrity, to succeed professionally, to become responsible citizens, and to be a blessing to themselves and to others.

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On The First Benedictine Hallmark: Love of Christ and Neighbor By Dr. Bill Thierfelder

“This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.”

My Captain!”, written by Walt Whitman in 1865, expresses the love and gratitude that I feel

But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills; For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths— for you the shores a-crowding; For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head; It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead.

(John 15:12)

“Benedictine life, like that of all Christians, is first and foremost a response to God’s astonishing love for humankind, a love expressed in the free gift of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Love, the motive for monastic life and its goal, tops St. Benedict’s list of tools for good works...” (ABCU

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;

“Benedictine colleges seek, above all, to be grounded in love and to be animated by it.” Statement - Education within the Benedictine Wisdom Tradition) Benedictine colleges seek, above all, to be grounded in love and to be animated by it. The love of learning and desire for God so celebrated as part of Benedictine culture are hallmarks of these colleges and of Belmont Abbey College in a special way. More than 125 of our monks have laid down their lives for those who have lived, worked, studied, and prayed here. They have welcomed us into their home and taught us, by their example, how to love one another. One of my favorite poems, “O Captain!

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for all the monks of Belmont Abbey who have given their lives to preserve this College and monastery. I think that many of those who have benefited from knowing our monks feel the same kind of devotion toward them that Whitman expresses in his memorable tribute to the fallen Abraham Lincoln. O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! But I, with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.

We owe the monks of Belmont Abbey a great debt, and I pray that by loving one another we can repay their kindness and be worthy of their sacrifice. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend.” (John 15:13)

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How the ten Benedictine hallmarks make the Abbey special By Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B. Often students, alumni or visitors will say, “There’s something special about this place.” What is that special something? In many ways, Belmont Abbey College is similar to hundreds of other colleges and universities. There are students and professors, classrooms and labs, athletic facilities, etc. One thing, however, that Belmont Abbey shares with only twelve other colleges is that it has a Benedictine monastery in the center of the campus. There are twelve colleges or universities in the United States, and one in Canada, which are sponsored by Benedictine monastic communities. The life of these schools and monasteries has always been closely intertwined. For years,

Benedictine colleges and universities, at the instigation of Belmont Abbey College’s Presidentemeritus Robert Preston, then Provost at Illinois Benedictine College, formed the Association

The Hallmarks are: 1) Love of Christ and neighbor; 2) Prayer: a life marked by liturgy, lectio and mindfulness; 3) Stability: commitment to the daily life of this place, its heritage and tradition; 4) Conversatio: the way of formation and transformation; 5) Obedience: a commitment to listening and consequent action; 6) Discipline: a way toward learning and freedom; 7) Humility: knowledge of self in relation to God, others and creation; 8) Stewardship: responsible use of creation, culture and the arts; 9) Hospitality: openness to the other;

“I think the values captured by these Hallmarks are the secret to that ‘something special’ you find at Belmont Abbey College.” the Benedictines and the students lived and worked in close contact, and the life of the school in many ways mirrored the monastery’s life. In this context, the values of Benedictine life were transmitted naturally to the students through their close relations to their monastic teachers and mentors. As higher education has become more complex and the number of Benedictines has declined in the sponsoring monasteries, the transmission of these values, characteristic of Benedictine life, has necessarily become more intentional. In the early1990s, the

of Benedictine Colleges and Universities (ABCU). In recent years, this Association has taken up in earnest the question of the unique identity imparted to these schools by their Benedictine heritage. In a cooperative venture among all the schools, the ABCU has developed a set of values which are considered the Ten Hallmarks of Benedictine Education. While none of these hallmarks is unique to Benedictine tradition, taken together, they ought to provide the context in which education is imparted in a school sponsored by a Benedictine monastic community.

10) Community: call to serve the common good. Each school can use these hallmarks in the way it judges best for its own community. The goal is to have these values permeate the college community so that they become embedded in the very life of the institution. The technical part of education, the learning of facts and methodology, can be done anywhere. Benedictine colleges need to connect these facts and methods with a larger context; namely, that of meaning and purpose. As a part of the larger Catholic continued on page 18

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On the third Benedictine hallmark: stability By Mariana Smith With their full-length black robes and permanent monastic commitments, the monks of Belmont Abbey often seem to be a sign of contradiction in a world of constant motion and transition. To the students of Belmont Abbey College, these men are the embodiment of the Benedictine way of life that continues to shape/form our academic careers, our mental attitudes, and our moral compasses. Chapter Sixty-One of the Rule of Saint Benedict speaks of stability in the monastic life as a significant commitment to both a place and a purpose, and this stability continues to serve as the foundation for the monastery, the College, and every

as opposites. Rather, stability makes authentic change possible, so that even in the midst of this change we are able to focus on our lasting commitment to pursuing excellence

preserve our commitment to move toward the persons God has created us to be. For a college community that continues to be defined by the hallmarks of the monastic life, stability requires us to live and work in “Benedictine time,” to be patient with change and growth and especially with each other. Perhaps even more important than the challenges of stability, however, are its blessings. We are privileged to share in the life of a monastic community whose vows serve as a constant sign of contradiction and whose presence inspires our intellects and our imaginations, daring us to live our own lives so “that in all things God may be glorified.” For the students of

“stability requires us to live and work in ‘Benedictine time,’ to be patient with change and growth and especially with each other.” project we undertake together. In a time of profound transitions for Belmont Abbey itself, it seems increasingly relevant to suggest the existence of a connection between change and stability. The monastic tradition speaks compellingly about stability as a reference point for both the community and the individual, so that one of its primary functions is to remind us of both who we are and who we are called to be, in relation to God and others. Because of this, stability and change cannot be seen

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and virtue in every area of college life. Stability continues to provide us with a steadfast guide, directing our actions and choices in harmony with the Benedictine traditions that have defined life here at the Abbey for more than a hundred and thirty years. Paradoxically, stability in the Benedictine understanding is dynamic rather than static, and thus it presents each of us with a unique challenge. On a personal level, it requires each of us to constantly

Belmont Abbey, the vow of stability lived by the monks especially reminds us that there are larger concerns than cafeteria food, maintenance requests, and Biology tests. Amid the fast pace of an ever-changing world, the stability found in the Benedictine way of life is a reminder of our own call to move beyond the problems and affairs of day-to-day living, to hold fast to the things of a world still far beyond our sight. Mariana Smith is a sophomore at Belmont Abbey College.

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On the fifth Benedictine hallmark: obedience By Dr. David Williams As my students already know, I’m given to drawing examples from movies, the Internet, and pop culture. The episode that comes to mind, as we consider the Benedictine hallmark of obedience, is from The Princess Bride (1987). There Iñigo Montoya, the vengeance-seeking swordsman played by Mandy Patinkin, says to someone, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” A great many of the difficulties that people often encounter in theology come from Iñigo Montoya-problems, and so it is with obedience: our initial impressions of the word have little to do with what St. Benedict means by it.

the inferior obeys. What mutuality is there in that? The way out of puzzlement begins to appear when we consider that for Benedict, writing in Latin,

full range of truths entry into our hearts, confident that every truth is in some way a reflection of the One who said, “I am the Truth.” One way of seeing this worked out in practice is to consider Benedict’s advice to monastics assigned burdensome or impossible tasks (RB 68). In a dead-stick model of obedience, whether the task is impossible or not is irrelevant; one simply obeys. But Benedict outlines a procedure that depends on mutual listening: the monk is to explain gently and patiently to the superior all the reasons that the task cannot be performed, just as the superior (who has also read RB 68) must listen in the same spirit. We may presume

“Obedience here is a form of listening; listening to the truth of things, the truth of persons…” Our preconception of obedience tends to come from distorted impressions of military life, from movies that depict heroic individuals contending against masses of obedient drones (Star Wars), or from isolated religious texts that say obedience “should make you like a dead piece of wood that someone can use as a walking stick.” If that is our idea, we will be surprised to learn that the Rule has two chapters on obedience (RB 5 “Obedience,” RB 71 “Mutual Obedience”). The second may be especially puzzling, since we often think of obedience as a one-way street: the superior gives the order, 8 Crossroads

the word “obedience” (oboedientia) is linked to the word for “hearing” (ob-audire, ‘give ear’). Obedience here is a form of listening; listening to the truth of things, the truth of persons, the truth of our individual situations in the world. Without this careful listening, without opening “the ear of the heart,” (RB prol.), we run the risk of isolating ourselves. Benedict can identify obedience as “a blessing to be shown by all” because all of us are apt to stop up our ears in the face of truths that require something of us, that do something more than merely confirm our presuppositions. Obedience is a way of allowing the

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that sometimes an explanation would be accepted, and other times not. If it is not, then the task must be done. But where we might speak of necessity or authority, consider the words Benedict uses, saying that the monk “must recognize that this is best for him. Trusting in God’s help, he must in love obey.” Obedience in the Benedictine sense works to create a space where the truth of things can be recognized and obeyed, by everyone, in whatever ways each one’s calling and place in life may require. Dr. David Williams is chair of Belmont Abbey College’s theology department. Spring 2008


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Father John Oetgen (’45) on

The Glories of a Benedictine Education father john oetgen (’45), o.s.b., discusses the challenges of leading a catholic college in the carolinas in the 1960s, being america’s first catholic college to invite billy graham to speak, the ten hallmarks of a benedictine education and more.

Photography by Patrick Schneider Spring 2008

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Love. Prayer. Stability. Conversatio. Obedience. Discipline. Humility. Stewardship. Hospitality. Community.

T

hese have come to be known as the ten hallmarks of a Benedictine education. So in what ways has Belmont Abbey College uniquely incarnated these hallmarks through the years? How do we stay true to them as we continue to grow? We couldn’t think of a better authority to consult on these matters and more than Father John Oetgen, O.S.B. To begin with, Father John has been a Benedictine monk at Belmont Abbey for more than sixty years now. Down through the decades, he has also played many key roles in both the College and the monastic community: distinguished English professor, President of the College (1960-64), Director of the Abbey Players, accomplished actor and poet, beloved priest, confessor and mentor to countless Abbey alums, as well as to the younger monks. And today, at 84 years young, he is still one of the College’s most sought-after English and speech tutors. Recently, Crossroads had the privilege of sitting at the foot of this gentle giant and learning more about the blessings of being Benedictine.

Crossroads: When did you first know

you were going to be a monk?

(dramatic pause; said with comic mock sanctimony): Right out of my mother’s womb. (Laughter.) You know I can’t put my finger on that. While I was at school at Benedictine [Military School] in Savannah, I had great admiration for the priests…and perhaps that led me on…I don’t know. I’d also had relatives who had attended Belmont Abbey - the prep school - in the ’20s and ’30s. And so I knew of the place, and I think I sort of just drifted into it. There was never a struggle of “should I or should I not.”

Crossroads: What was it about the “Benedictine way” that uniquely called to you – versus, say, the Jesuit way or the Franciscan way? Well, I knew nothing about the Jesuits, really, at that time. I was going to school, of course, and what I liked about the Benedictines in Savannah was they had a very congenial group. They seemed to get along together very well, and there was a sort of happy atmosphere both in the priory and in the school. So it was an atmosphere that I greatly admired.

Crossroads: Let’s fast forward to the

of Belmont Abbey College. What were some of the challenges of being a Catholic college in the Carolinas at that time? Well, by that time, I think the biggest challenge that had confronted the College was sort of over. Because in earlier days, there was great hostility. In fact, when I was a student here, if we walked along the avenue, people would drive by in their cars and shout obscenities, or throw rocks or whatever. Before the Second World War, the Abbey had been looked upon by local people, I think, as sort of an elitist institution. It was a prep school and junior college for “northern students” who came down here and didn’t know much about the South. And I don’t think the institution made much of an effort to bridge the campus with the town. So I think we were largely responsible… But I think after the Second World War, with the G.I. Bill of Rights, many

local people started coming to college here. That broke down, I think, a lot of misconceptions and whatever hostility might have been there. They found out we really didn’t grow horns and, you know, eat babies! So when I became president, there was no longer that sort of challenge.

Crossroads: In 1961, Belmont Abbey College became the first Roman Catholic college in America to invite Billy Graham to speak on campus, which, of course made a few waves at the time. Was that your idea? Oh, I think it was sort of a group decision that we should do it – although I think Father Cuthbert Allen helped spearhead it.

Crossroads: Did you take any heat for issuing that invitation? We had criticism from one particular Baptist organization, but it was more directed at Billy Graham than at us, blaming him for coming to a Catholic college to speak. But no, we were praised by others. Most people thought we had done a wonderful thing. It was, of course, rather early in the “ecumenical movement.”

Crossroads: And did more ecumenical efforts flow from this event? I don’t know if it was directly connected to that, but the ecumenical spirit did continue.

Crossroads: Let’s move now to

exploring the glories of a Benedictine education. What has having had a

“Saint Benedict was a very broad-minded person. And I think that those who follow the Rule [of St. Benedict] inherit some of that spirit.”

year 1960, when you became president

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Benedictine education meant to you in your own life? I think that it’s given me an appreciation for and a broad interpretation of, you could almost say, all of creation. Saint Benedict was a very broad-minded person. And I think that those who follow the Rule [of St. Benedict] inherit some of that spirit. I think that as a result of being at the Abbey as I knew it as a student, and the monastery as a monk, that there is a real sense of …family is the word you’d use. Camaraderie. A brotherly association that permeates one’s being, I think. It affects not only the groups you live with, but carries over to persons outside. Saint Benedict says that guests should be received as Christ. And you know the saying of Christ’s that what you do to the least of my brethren you do to me. I think that’s at the background of the Benedictine mentality. That you deal with people and recognize that a dignity and a respect is due them. And you try at your best to deal with them on that level.

Crossroads: Yes, one reads in commentaries that the Rule helps us meet people where they are, including in their weaknesses; and it doesn’t expect people to do anything superhuman or heroic. Indeed, in a way, the Rule finds ways to make people stronger through their weaknesses. Can the same be said about a Benedictine education in general and specifically the type of education offered here? Well, I think the term that’s frequently associated with Benedictinism and the Rule especially is moderation. And you know, that goes back to Aristotelian thought. Avoid extremes of any type. And you’re right: St. Benedict does encourage all levels of accomplishment. He says that an abbot should attempt to rule his monastery in such a way that the strong will still have something to strive after and the weak will not be driven away by what’s expected of them. So the Rule of St. Benedict places a tremendous responsibility upon the abbot of dealing with each individual according to his Spring 2008

needs. He’s to adapt himself to a variety of temperaments. An older translation used to say that he has to adapt himself to a variety of “characters” (said with obvious relish and a smile).

maybe, but with the care that they have gotten, they have prospered. So that’s an instance of dealing with individuals according to their needs, and accepting them as they are.

Crossroads: So that approach to dealing with people of all kinds radiates out from the monastery to the College community – to professors, staff, and so on?

Crossroads: That does seem to be one of the great beauties of this place. It welcomes people of all types where they are and then gently helps them to get where they need to go.

Yes, I think this is true here in particular and at Benedictine schools in general. I don’t think that we would say that enrollment at Belmont Abbey is directed only towards the brightest students available. We accept the brightest students available, of course, and they profit from what they get here. But we also have traditionally taken students who are just questionable

Yes. Speaking of the scholastic acceptance of the bright and the not so bright… I think that in the community in which a Belmont Abbey student lives there are not only the bright and the not so bright, but we also have students who come here from millionaire families and we have students here on total subsidy. So on our campus, students meet with, deal with and

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become acquainted with a wide variety of “characters” that they’ll live with in the world. So that’s another big advantage that the Benedictine education provides … that it is not so exclusive that only the greatest minds are accepted, nor does it attempt to deal with only the lower level of academic students. It’s across the board and I think they all profit from it.

Crossroads: Another good way to explore the glories of a Benedictine education might be to explore what have come to be known as the “hallmarks.” A document called “Education within the Benedictine Wisdom Tradition” written by the Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities says the following about the hallmarks: “Each Benedictine college expresses the hallmarks and plays variations on the theme of the Catholic intellectual tradition in its own way.” So it might be useful to tease out from you how you think Belmont Abbey College may express or incarnate these hallmarks in unique ways. As you know, the hallmarks include: love, prayer, stability, conversatio, obedience, discipline, humility, stewardship, hospitality and community. It’s interesting that the list begins with love. Is that the cardinal hallmark that should be at the heart of a Benedictine education?

Well, that should be the cardinal hallmark of any Christian community, don’t you agree? Again, the Rule speaks of welcoming visitors and strangers as Christ present in them. And if there’s going to be that sort of attitude, which I do think is present here constantly – if not always overtly – that has to be founded on love. The essence of it is concern for others and their welfare…and I think that’s very prominent on campus here with the faculty and the students – and with the monastery. That concern is an expression of love whether you ever say “I love you” or not.

Crossroads: And that kind of concern could sometimes encompass tough love? Oh, it has to, yes. The abbot sometimes has to mete that out to a monk. And students, too, at times feel that sort of love and profit from it.

Crossroads: The next hallmark on the list is prayer, which is described by one writer as “a life marked by liturgy, lectio and mindfulness.” Is there a way that this hallmark is embodied at the Abbey differently than at some other colleges? An important distinction from most other Catholic colleges is that here on campus, there’s

a monastic schedule that provides throughout the day certain hours in which the monks offer public prayer and worship. And faculty and students are invited, and to an amazing degree, they attend. So the opportunity for prayer is there, and it certainly characterizes the whole life of the monastery. And I think that emanates to and throughout the campus. Benedictines are very much rooted in the liturgy. Popular sentimental devotions, while good in themselves and very useful to many people, are just not part of Benedictine theology or spirituality. It’s the liturgy, which is the following of the life of Christ throughout the year as reflected in the scriptures and in the liturgical seasons.

Crossroads: The third hallmark is stability: commitment to the daily life of this place, its heritage, tradition. “Benedictine educational institutions put great energy into cultivating lasting relationships between faculty, students and staff,” the same writer says. Stability of course means that a monk belongs to this community. Unlike other religious orders, he’s not under a superior who can transfer him anyplace in the country. He is stable. And his loyalty and devotion are centered in this community. And I think that’s what contributes to the longevity of the relationships between

“The Rule speaks of welcoming visitors and strangers as Christ present in them. And if there’s going to be that sort of attitude, which I do think is present here constantly – if not always overtly – that has to be founded on love.” 14 Crossroads 14

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our faculty and our alumni; an alumnus will come back 10, 15, 20 years after graduating and ask for a particular teacher, and he or she is still here! And this stimulates all sorts of reminiscences. That is certainly an offshoot of stability. Now for the monks themselves, the vow of stability simply means we’re in this family, we belong here, and this is our home for life.

Crossroads: One commentary says that only through stability, that is, staying in one place, is one really able to change. That if you’re constantly moving around from place to place, you can be in a sense running from yourself, and you won’t have the stillness in your life that you need to change. Is there something in that which students and others can learn from? I think by being stable, by remaining [in one place], you have many, many helps. St. Benedict speaks of the help of many brethren. You step out of line and in a very fraternally charitable way, someone can call you back quickly. That too is an advantage of stability, I think: that people get to know you, and you get to know them, and you live in a – hopefully – harmonious atmosphere.

Crossroads: What exactly does the hallmark known as conversatio mean? There’s a long history of conversatio morum and what it signified in Saint Benedict’s day. I think in presentday Benedictine thought, it is a vow to live a monastic life. To accept and adapt to monastic life as lived in your particular community. There may be a variety of observances, even among Benedictines from house to house, but conversatio morum means that you adapt your manner of life to what is expected of a monk. Now, if we say that conversatio means adapting to a monastic way of living, that means you’re going to have to move away from the comfortable little niches you tend to put yourself in, and I think that transfers over to the students. There’s a certain discipline that is expected of students which they must follow if they are going to be successful. In earlier years, when we were a prep school and a junior college, the horarium Spring 2008

“In the spiritual life I think that it’s very important for humility to recognize that we are the children of God. That gives us a dignity. It not only gives US a dignity, but a dignity that is conferred on others. And therefore, you’re willing to serve others: ‘What you do to the least of these you do to me.’” was much more rigidly designed. You arose at a certain time, you had prayers in the morning, you had breakfast, you had study period, and classes, you had activities on the field in the afternoon. You had dinner in the evening and you had study hall. Everybody was doing the same thing at a designated time [in a rhythmic way]. And that was part of the notion of conversation morum; that is, adapting to what is expected of you as a member of this community, whether it’s monastic or collegiate. Now, the College perhaps no longer has that same sort of rigidity. But generally, it’s present. We have hours for class; hours for recreation; hours for prayer [if you’d like to avail yourself of them.] We no longer tell students when to go to bed at night, though!

Crossroads: Although some parents probably wouldn’t mind bringing that back! Right.

Crossroads: The fifth hallmark is obedience: “a commitment to listening and consequent action…Teaching and learning are impossible without obedience, without listening to others with the awareness that no one possesses all truth,” the same writer we’ve been citing says. Yes, the Rule, as I’m sure you’re aware, begins with the word ausculta. Listen. And the Rule emphasizes that it’s the role of the subject, if you want, to listen to the master. To be taught, you come to be directed. And that direction is of no use unless you follow it. And you’re following it by obedience. St. Benedict sort of sanctifies that – Crossroads

because that’s not an easy thing to adapt to; I guess it’s sort of against all human impulses – you know, “no one’s going to tell me what to do,” that sort of thing – but St. Benedict says that reverence is given to the abbot because we believe, we have the faith, that he holds the place of Christ in the community. And if one can adopt that attitude, then obedience becomes easier because what is done in obedience to a superior is perfect for the individual in the sight of God. One can never do wrong when a legitimate command is given by a superior and one follows it. And St. Benedict makes arrangements even for… he says when an impossible command is given to you, speak to your superior and say, “I can’t do this. It’s beyond my capacity.” And if the superior says, “Well try it, stay with it,” the subject should stay with it and St. Benedict says he’ll get God’s blessing – I suppose even if he fails. But that’s part of obedience. And I think that unless it is animated by that attitude, that the superior holds the place of Christ, obedience would be senseless. St. Benedict also says that the monks should be obedient one to another. That’s rooted in his attitude that one should do what is of benefit to another rather than to yourself. And I think that can show itself in small ways – in a tv room, for instance, when you want to see one program and someone else wants to see another, you go along with them, you accommodate to the needs and the demands and the wishes of others.

Crossroads: Yes, and there’s this interesting notion fostered by St. Benedict that the community needs to listen especially to the young – to pay special attention to the thoughts of the young. The Magazine of Belmont Abbey College

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Many of the decisions of the community are made in a chapter meeting, that is, when all of the members of the community gather. And this is what St. Benedict has in mind when a question is proposed to the community about what we should do. The abbot and the community should listen to experienced people, but also to the very young, because he says sometimes they have better ideas. And of course they know they have better ideas. (Laughs.)

Absolutely. You know, a teacher will say that you’ve got to do this term paper by Friday; you’d better get on it [and that’s good for a student]. And in a family, parents can say this is good for you and you do it. And you do it because I say so! (Laughs.) But you’re now freed, because you know what is being asked is the right thing to do.

Crossroads: The next hallmark

“You know, from a certain point of view, to subject oneself in obedience to a superior sounds like you’re sort of shackling your personality. But in a more fundamental sense, you’re freeing yourself.”

Crossroads: We’ve touched a little on this already, but the next hallmark is discipline: “a way toward learning and freedom.”

Discipline really ties up with obedience. You know, from a certain point of view, to subject oneself in obedience to a superior sounds like you’re sort of shackling your personality. But in a more fundamental sense, you’re freeing yourself. Because if in faith you believe that the abbot holds the place of Christ in the community, what he asks of you in obedience - you can’t do anything more perfect. You can do it with an assurance that this is right. So that frees me from the worry of, “should I do this, or should I do that?” All of this depends a great deal on the prudence of the abbot, which I think is supplied by the grace of office. But the obedience of the monk to the commands of the abbot gives him a freedom of action that without that direction he would not have.

Crossroads: And within the college that could apply to a student and what his or her teacher is trying to do for him or her? 16 Crossroads

is humility, perhaps one of the most misunderstood in our culture. That’s because I think that popularly, humility is looked upon as degrading oneself: “Oh, I’m no good. I’m a worm and no man.” With Benedict, and I think in solid theology, humility is simply the virtue of recognizing in truth who you are. And it would be a violation of humility for the president of a country to say, “Oh, I’m nothing.” Or: “I’m just a little old citizen.” He has a certain dignity that he has to live up to. And he has to recognize that is his responsibility, and he is being humble in accepting that. In the spiritual life I think that it’s very important for humility to recognize that we are the children of God. That gives us a dignity. It not only gives us a dignity, but a dignity that is conferred on others. And therefore, you’re willing to serve others: “What you do to the least of these you do to me.” Humility is an ennobling virtue, it seems to me. It’s not degrading at all. It’s truth: who you are and what you are.

Crossroads: And it’s okay to recognize

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your gifts, as long as you recognize where those gifts come from? Yes, if you don’t recognize them, you’re not being humble. You’re being proud: “I didn’t receive this as gift. It’s me. It’s mine.” But humility recognizes that all is gift, and expresses gratitude and thanksgiving for that, recognizing that I have received it. Take Lucianno Pavoratti [the great opera tenor], who died not long ago. He would have been a fool and certainly a less than humble person if he had said, “Oh, I don’t have much of a voice.” But instead he said, “I have a great voice that was given to me by God.” That’s a humble attitude on his part.

Crossroads: That’s beautiful. Now onto the hallmark of stewardship, “the responsible use of creation, culture and the arts.” Well, I think again that ties up with the gifts that are given. To be a legitimately acting steward of your gifts, you use them to the best of your ability. And in more material ways, the community, for example, has the responsibility of stewardship towards what we have inherited from those who have gone before us: those who have given us the property, those who have built up the buildings and established the school. We have the responsibility of carrying all of these things on to the best of our ability so that succeeding generations will profit from our care and our stewardship.

Crossroads: Hospitality, or “openness to the other” is the next-to-last hallmark. They all intersect in some way, don’t they? Yes, they do. Well, I think generally, many people almost identify Benedictinism with hospitality. St. Benedict says, speaking of guests – he’s making special arrangements for guests, and he says a monastery is never without them. (Knowing chuckle.) So from the very beginning hospitality was part of monastic living. And again, it’s rooted in that notion that guests should be received as Christ. And if that attitude is there, there is a warmth, an affection, a concern. Spring 2008


For many people, this is something new. They’ve never felt this before.

Crossroads: And in the context of education, doesn’t this mean that there’s an especial openness to the other, a welcoming of other points of view? Yes, I think so. Hospitality demands that you accept the individual as the individual. And that’s true for students. In any academic community various attitudes and opinions have to be expressed and respected and reasoned about until we can, if possible, arrive at the truth of a situation. And the truth should either accommodate both opinions, or do away with one and reveal what is actually the fact. But that openness, yes, that has to be there.

Crossroads: So here at the Abbey many are working hard to strengthen the Catholic identity of the College. But how do we celebrate our Catholic identity without somehow making people from other faith traditions feel like “the other”? Well, I think it is the responsibility on the part of a Catholic institution to recognize, identify and to accept its Catholicity. But Catholicity itself means to embrace all. You know, it’s not an exclusive thing in that you put others aside. The term itself means wholeness and universality. And I think that a Catholic college manifests its Catholicity by simply tying it up with hospitality, if you will. By accepting all views without in any way making those who hold different opinions feel that they are wrong, or that they are somehow hostile to us, or anything of that sort. It has to be a welcoming attitude and a respect for the conscience and convictions of others. And traditionally, I think that has been part of the history of the Abbey. Now, it may well be that there is presently a larger number of nonCatholics in the student body – and in the faculty, even. And they themselves may feel apart or like “the other,” but I don’t think that the College or the institution intentionally makes them feel that they are apart. They may feel that way because they’re thinking, “I don’t know what Spring 2008

“I think it is the responsibility on the part of a Catholic institution to recognize, identify and to accept its Catholicity. But Catholicity itself means to embrace ALL... The term itself means wholeness and universality. And I think that a Catholic college manifests its Catholicity by simply tying it up with hospitality, if you will.” Mass is. I don’t know what they’re doing over there.” But you see, they’re putting themselves apart [if they think that way]. If there’s any feeling of alienation or estrangement, I’m afraid it’s in the minds of those who think this way. And I don’t believe the College or the monastery thinks that way at all.

Crossroads: The final hallmark is, appropriately enough, community: “the call to serve the common good.” There seem to be so many non-communities now, that one would think that it would be a special blessing for some students who come from these suburban enclaves where everyone is “cocooning” or cutting themselves off from others with their computers and iPods, to experience what real community is like. Again, I think all of this goes back to the spirit of the Rule. I think it has always been the tradition here at the Abbey that we are one community. I think in recent years, something has been spoken of that I believe has been very helpful to emphasize – it may have begun with Abbot Placid, I’m not sure – but the students are encouraged to realize that they’re welcomed into the monastery’s home; that they’ve come into a community that’s already established, and they’re now a part of it. And they are welcomed into a…family. And you sometimes hear them say, “We thank the monks for the sense of community.” When the students realize that they are part of a larger community – larger than simply the student body – they get a wonderful sense of being part of a community that is helpful not just now, but for the rest of their lives. Crossroads

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Crossroads: This College is in many

ways a treasure that has been passed on to us, isn’t it? So how do we best protect it, and how do we make it flourish? Here again, the idea of stewardship is important. We have, in the monastery, inherited property that was purchased or given years ago and it’s our responsibility to manage that to the best of our ability. And so, it is a policy that we will sell none of the property that we have inherited. And if it is to be developed, it’s developed with the understanding that the property remains in the possession of the Abbey. It’s not sold. And that has prevented some development, because some companies don’t want that sort of arrangement. So proper stewardship will contribute to what you ask.

Crossroads: We’ve been having this conversation under the auspices of a magazine called Crossroads. Is there a way in which a Benedictine college like ours acts as a kind of crossroads? Well, I think both in the College and in the monastery, that’s recognized. For example, in the acceptance of students, as we spoke of earlier, who are very bright and students who are less bright. I think

18 Crossroads

they form a sort of crossroads in classwork, and in dormitories on campus. And I think the same thing is true in the monastery. There are some members of the community who are very talented – multi-talented – and there are some who are less talented. And they’re accepted equally. And I think that forms a sort of crossroads, as well.

Crossroads: So what do you think we find again and again at such a crossroads? I think what we find again and again is variety. And to recognize the existence of variety helps us to recognize reality more. Instead of imposing our ideas about what things should be, we discover what things are, and arrive more surely, I think, at the essence of truth. So the crossroads both in student life and in the monastic life, helps us to see variety, differences: one’s going one way, and one’s going the other, but they do cross. They meet somehow.

Crossroads: Last question: do you have a persistent prayer or set of prayers that you pray for the College? Well, I don’t know if I should reveal this, but I have a special

The Magazine of Belmont Abbey College

prayer for the abbot and for the president: that God will give them wisdom, prudence and courage. Wisdom to know visions, ideas; courage to put them into effect; and prudence to do it in a manner that is going to lead them toward their goals in the best possible way. In a general way, we pray for everyone in the community at the monastery. But for me, those two are especially objects of my prayer.

Abbot Placid’s Column continued From page 6

educational tradition, Benedictine colleges see education as a search for the truth through the integration of knowledge gained in all areas of study. The truth perceived in this manner ought to direct our wills to recognize and choose the true good. The ability freely to choose the good is freedom. At the center of the education offered at a Benedictine college stands the human person, created in the image and likeness of God and endowed with an end which extends beyond the confines of this material world. The education is for a good human life, which includes, but is not limited to, the training of one’s talents for a successful and fulfilling career. The Hallmarks are intended to provide this larger context and to help stretch the education offered in our Benedictine schools beyond mere professional training to training for a happy, meaningful and productive life in this world, and in the world which is to come. I think the values captured by these Hallmarks are the secret to that “something special” you find at Belmont Abbey College. These values have always provided the implicit context of life at the Abbey. It is important today that we make them explicit. As you look through the Hallmarks listed on page 6, I hope you will recognize ways in which these values have shaped your Abbey education. The challenge for us is to seek constantly to make these values part of our life every day. To do so will be to live Belmont Abbey College’s motto “That in all things God may be glorified.” Spring 2008


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Spring 2008

Carol Brooks, Ph.D. Director of Stewardship & Strategic Development 704-461-6661 CarolBrooks@bac.edu

Gayle W. Dobbs

Associate Director of Stewardship 704-461-6889 GayleDobbs@bac.edu

Crossroads

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FIRST IN THEIR CLASS. Inaugural Honors Institute Class Bolsters Academic Excellence At The Abbey. By Leigh Pressley 20 Crossroads

The Magazine of Belmont Abbey College

Spring 2008


“Faith and Reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” — John Paul II

Belmont Abbey College has challenged its best and brightest students with a rigorous and thoughtprovoking Honors Program since 1983. And by all accounts, it has been very beneficial. Then director Dr. Eugene Thuot started thinking “What if ?” What if the program broadened its Great Books scope with an in-depth examination of history’s most well regarded thinkers? What if the number of required Honors credits nearly doubled? What if professors and scholars from other colleges and universities were invited to share their knowledge? If participants spent a month studying abroad in culturally rich cities such as Rome, Paris or Oxford? If Honors students dined with faculty and spent downtime together outside of class? “It seemed what was beneficial about the Honors Program – the content of the courses and the extracurricular cultural activities – could be even more beneficial if it were more extensive,” explains Thuot, chair of the social science division and a member of the political science department. “I thought it might be time for an expansion.” After proposing the changes to College President Dr. Bill Thierfelder and gathering input from the Abbey faculty, Thuot led an overhaul of what is now Spring 2008

called the Honors Institute. The new Institute began this fall with an inaugural class of 14 freshmen. “This is a group of wonderful young men and women, and all are persons of outstanding character,” Thuot says of the inaugural Honors Institute students. “They are very conscientious; they write quite well; they’re inquisitive and they’re moving towards vocalizing their opinions. They are very impressive.” Hailing from around the country, the initial group of Honors Institute students also represents varied extracurricular interests. Included are a NASCAR Late Model series driver, athletes who compete on the Abbey’s volleyball and soccer teams, members of the Abbey Players theater troupe, budding journalists and several recipients of the prestigious Felix Hintemeyer Scholarship. The four-year Honors Institute features an indepth study of great texts and is based on the idea that friendly dialogue and reasoned discussion lead to heightened intellectual development. Clarity of expression and depth of thought are encouraged, as students consider the work and opinions of history’s great artists, scientists, poets, philosophers, theologians and spiritual writers. Concepts to explore include faith and reason, the meaning of human life, the importance of art Crossroads

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and beauty, religion and politics, the nature of virtue and the essential teachings of Christianity, among others. Each semester, participants take two to three Honors courses as a group, focusing on topics such as the History of Ideas; Plato’s Republic & Aristotle’s Politics; The Constitution and Tocqueville’s Democracy in America; and Textual Analysis of Plato, Pascal or Nietzsche. Other classes focus on a small select group of American authors such as Twain, Melville, Emerson, Faulkner or Eliot. As juniors, Honors Institute students focus on the writings of a select master such as Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, Joyce or Dostoyevsky. In the final year, the Honors Institute Seminar deals with contemporary questions or focus on either non-Western or Latin American authors. “It was a community effort and a significant collaboration to put together the Honors Institute curriculum,” Thuot says. “Not all the great authors can be studied in the course of a college experience. But anybody who is educated would want to have at some point read works by Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Locke, Marx, Nietzsche, Tocqueville, Dostoyevsky, Dante, Homer, Emerson, Melville, Twain, Joyce and Shakespeare. There are terrific authors being left out, but that’s a list many people would agree with.” As students focus on classic and modern works of the great thinkers, they explore controversial issues, ideas and questions, often from opposite ends of the spectrum. In turn, they’re led to think about differing views and how those opinions shape their own thoughts and understandings. “Sometimes these ideas clash and that clash can stimulate thought and inform their own reflections,” says Thuot. “They have to think through their own answers.” Although many colleges promote great texts as a way to explore the history and importance of ideas, most do it as an overview. In a few cases, the entire curriculum focuses on great thinkers. But Belmont Abbey differs in a significant way. Honors Institute students enjoy exposure to great texts, but they also have majors. This year’s class plans to study in English, international business, theology, motor sports management and a combination of philosophy and business. In addition to coursework, Honors Institute students participate in a cultural enrichment program. Opera, dance, orchestra and theater events in Charlotte are available free or at a greatly reduced cost. Lectures and a beach or mountain retreat also are planned. Rising seniors can enjoy a month-long study abroad program with a $3,500 stipend or a five-night visit to Washington, D.C. organized by the Belmont Abbey College faculty.

Honors Institute Inaugural Class:  hristine Basil, Maryland, History C Karen Boehmer, Illinois, Undecided Catherine Brandolini, New York, English Jordan Brown, Ohio, English Betina Bilodeau, Maine, Theology Leanne Cassandra, South Carolina, Sports Management Patrick Jacobeen, Virginia, Theology Louis Liberatore, North Carolina, Theology Jace Meier, Nevada, Motor Sports Management Rosa Munoz, Georgia, Psychology Thomas Varacalli, New York, History Esther Vish, North Carolina, English Rose Wagner, Connecticut, Theology Mary Wood, South Carolina, International Business

“Many times students who might not have seen modern dance, been to the opera or had the opportunity to experience theater find that they really like it,” says Thuot. “In the case of travel, there’s a broadening effect, an intellectual dimension from being exposed to different ways, different people, different cultures.” The Honors Institute drew 33 applicants for its initial class. High grade-point averages, impressive SAT scores and excellent character are a given for acceptance, but Thuot also looks for a quality among students that can’t be taught. “We look for the kind of student who desires to learn and who is open to learning in a way that does not preclude but goes beyond a specialization,” he says. “There is an openness and a desire to become more knowledgeable in regards to the really important issues and questions of human life. The intellectual qualifications are crucial, but there must also be a desire to learn in a deeper and broader way.”

“This is a group of wonderful young men and women, and all are persons of outstanding character. They are very conscientious; they write quite well; they’re inquisitive and they’re moving towards vocalizing their opinions. They are very impressive.” —Dr. Eugene Thuot, Director of the Honors Institute 22 Crossroads

The Magazine of Belmont Abbey College

Spring 2008


“Got monks?” campaign accelerates

I

on the racetrack and on tv.

t began modestly, even a bit slowly: on tee shirts, baseball caps, coffee mugs and bumper stickers. Now, Belmont Abbey College’s “got monks?” campaign is putting the pedal to the metal, and in some unexpected places: on the racetrack and on TV stations from Charlotte to Las Vegas. The “got monks?” racecar made its debut on November 10th in the Fall Classic at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A Las Vegas TV station found the story of the car and the ad campaign so intriguing they did a three-minute segment about it on their morning show. (At the end of the segment, they featured a “got monks?” coffee cup and put in a free plug for Holy Grounds, the College’s coffee shop.) Meanwhile, closer to home, two different Charlotte TV stations produced very different stories of their own. WBTV reporter Kristen Miranda had seen the Las Vegas TV station’s feature on the “gotmonksmobile” on the College’s website, so on February 27th she and her crew came to the campus and did a segment on how there’s more to the campaign than just the racecar. Miranda interviewed Abbey students as well as the campaign’s creator, Ken Davison, V.P. of College Relations. Then, on March 10th, WCCB’s “Cruising the Carolinas” show broadcast live from Holy Grounds, interviewing students in their “got monks” gear during live breaks and also talking with men’s lacrosse coach Jim Dietsch and his team about the mentoring program they’ve started for underprivileged middle school students. So what’s next for the campaign? The “got monks” blimp? “Got monks” skywriting? Not likely. But one thing’s for sure: as long as it keeps gaining recognition for the College, the Abbey plans to keep its foot on the gas and ride it for all it’s worth. Spring 2008

Charlotte TV station WCCB features “got monks?” campaign live from Holy Grounds.

Crossroads

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With his visionary leadership of the Bradley Institute, Dr. Robert Preston proves that

IDEAS STILL HAVE CONSEQUENCES.

24 Crossroads

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Spring 2008


Dr. Robert Preston (’53) can recount his exchange with the Philip Morris executives now with his customary wry humor. At the time, however, it was no laughing matter. A $40,000 grant from the tobacco giant to the Gaston County Literacy Council was hanging in the balance. It was the kind of money that could do wonders in the local community, helping to pay for much-needed books, tutors and more. But for Preston, this was a matter of principle. By happenstance, he had run across an advertisement for one of Philip Morris’s leading brands, Virginia Slims cigarettes. (See inset photo.) And it wasn’t so much the product that he found offensive (he believes in the free market); it was the immoral lifestyle he thought the ad was promoting. So like the former philosophy professor and college president he is, he did what he believed was the principled thing to do. He penned a letter that politely told Philip Morris why he couldn’t accept their $40,000 grant. A few days after he mailed the letter, he was working in his office when his secretary buzzed him. “Dr. Preston,” she said. “I believe you’re going to want to take this call.” “So I dutifully picked up the phone,” Preston says with his courtly Virginia accent. “And on the other end of the line was a Mr. Parish, who turned out to be the chief counsel for Philip Morris. “’Dr. Preston,’ he said. ‘Our CEO, Mr. Bible, has read your letter. And he said to tell you you’re right and we’re wrong. And he has ordered the campaign about which you have complained pulled. He further ordered a total review of our advertising policies. And finally he asked if you would take the grant back.’ “‘I’m going to be in New York on Monday,’ I told Parish. ‘Can we meet

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“belmont abbey college is a catholic college and teaches and supports the moral principles of the catholic church…therefore, because the parent corporation of the virginia slims division is engaged in a moral vieW at odds With the parent church of this college, i cannot in good conscience accept funds from the philip morris corporation.” Excerpt from Dr. Robert Preston’s letter to Philip Morris executives. Philip Morris pulled the ad campaign soon thereafter.

then to talk about this matter?’ “ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘come to our offices at one o’clock and we’ll discuss this further.’ “So at one o’clock I was sitting in Philip Morris’s headquarters in Manhattan talking with Mr. Parish and in walks Mr. Bible. So Bible introduces himself and says, ‘I’m really embarrassed over this. I’m a practicing Catholic and I’m afraid I haven’t been

Crossroads

reading this material. I guess I should be keeping up with it better. When you called the campaign to my attention and I called to see the magazine and the ads, I didn’t like what I saw either.’ And he ended the conversation by thanking us for what we had done. “So after that, we agreed to take the money back.” That high-stakes exchange with the Philip Morris executives occurred while Preston was president of Belmont Abbey College, prior to his retiring from that position and then taking the helm of the Bradley Institute. But the story is worth retelling because it is emblematic of the kind of leadership Preston has brought to the Institute as Executive Director. It is also illustrative of what the Bradley Institute is at its very core: an advocate of classic Christian ideals that can make a real difference in the wider culture. Today, thanks to Preston’s tireless efforts, word about the Institute has spread, not just among academic and business leaders in the Carolinas, but to some of the world’s most influential thinkers. Names like Britain’s Paul Johnson and Roger Scruton, and America’s Wilfred McClay and Robert P. George. Perhaps this explains why Preston, who will soon be retiring as Executive Director, is so intent on helping Belmont Abbey College find a worthy successor. He knows what a jewel this is in the College’s intellectual crown. And how much unrealized potential it still has to make a difference in the world of ideas.

Beginnings

The Bradley Institute in essence began as a tribute to Dr. Preston’s beloved teacher and friend, Father John P. Bradley, who passed away in 2003. Bradley, who held the world’s most coveted classical degree, Literae Humaniores from Oxford University, among several others, arrived at the Abbey when Preston was an undergraduate here and taught him

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Latin and philosophy. “I studied under him in 1952 and ’53. I graduated in ’53 and he and I stayed friends over the years. [Bradley was president of the College from 1970 to 1978.] “When I became president of the College in 1995, I wanted to do something for him. So he and I came up with this idea of the Bradley Institute for the Study of Christian Culture, and we started it in 1996. Laughton Blandford, an alumnus, was our first Executive Director until I appointed him Director of Admissions in 2000. In 2001, after I retired as president, I became the Institute’s second Executive Director.” From the beginning, the Institute was ecumenical in nature and open to a wide array of topics. “Father Bradley and I wanted to bring in speakers who would address all sorts of issues from a Christian perspective. The subject matter could be business ethics. It could be theology. It could be most anything.” Differing points of view were very much welcomed. “Father Bradley would say, ‘We’ve got to have a discussion here, and bring in people who disagree with us! We want people to come who have something thought-provoking to say,’” Preston recounts. “One prospective speaker I approached told me, ‘I’m rather liberal, you know,’ Preston continues. “And I said, ‘Good!’ “She said, ‘But I notice most of your speakers are conservative.’ “To which I replied, ‘That’s why we need you.’” The prospective speaker was swayed to come.

The Weaver Prize comes to the abbey

The fledgling Institute got an injection of prestige in 1999 when the sponsors of the Weaver/Ingersoll Symposium decided to make the Abbey the Symposium’s annual home. Named in honor of Richard Weaver, author of the seminal book Ideas Have Consequences, the Symposium was a gathering of luminaries from the 26 Crossroads

“this is an absolutely unique intellectual space that bob [preston] and the abbey have created here, a space that combines a searching intellectual profundity With genial conviviality in a Way one rarely encounters anyplace else. indeed, here at the abbey, the tWo seem to belong together. such a space is not only pleasing in its oWn right, but it opens for us the possibility of draWing apart for a time, of shutting out the noise of contemporaneity… and paying heed to the faint and distant music of our civilization’s deep but often abused past.” Wilfred McClay, renowned author and past winner of the Weaver Prize

The Magazine of Belmont Abbey College

realms of political philosophy and literature, the climax of which was the awarding of the Weaver and T.S. Eliot prizes, each worth $15,000 to the recipient. The prizes, awarded in alternate years, were underwritten by the Ingersoll Foundation. “It so happens that Dr. John Howard, Ingersoll’s Executive Director, and a Richard Weaver fan, had come to the Abbey in 1998 for a different Symposium we held commemorating the 50th anniversary of the publication of Ideas Have Consequences, and something about the way we did things must have made an impression,” Preston says. “A couple of months later, I received a call from Howard, and he said, ‘Would you please come to Rockford, Illinois and meet with myself and Edson Gaylord?’ Gaylord was CEO of the Ingersoll Milling Machine Company at the time. “So I flew up to Illinois and met with the two of them and they asked if I and the Bradley Institute would take over the awarding of the Weaver Prize, as well as the T.S. Eliot Prize. “I knew both of them were Princeton graduates, so I said, ‘Why don’t you get Princeton to do this?’ “And they said, ‘We want Princeton to have absolutely nothing to do with it.’ They were angry with Princeton, you see, because of a professor there by the name of Peter Singer. Dr. Singer is an ethicist who believes that given the choice between saving a sick child and a healthy animal, you should save the healthy animal. “Then I said, ‘Well, how about Davidson, a fine Presbyterian school nearby… “And they said, ‘Look we want you to do it.’ “So I had to relent and accept the honor.” Soon thereafter, Preston and the Ingersoll executives decided to consolidate the two prizes into one, the $25,000 Weaver Prize, awarded annually at the Weaver Symposium at its now permanent home, Belmont Abbey College. And Spring 2008


the prize has since been awarded to a veritable “Who’s Who” of consequential intellectuals, including Robert Conquest (1999), the aforementioned Robert P. George (2002), Paul Johnson (2003), Roger Scruton (2004), Wilfred McClay (2006) and more. (The most recent Weaver Prize was awarded to Dr. Peter Lawler, a member of the President’s Council of Bioethics.)

Dreams for the future

Preston is clearly proud of what the Bradley Institute has accomplished in such a short period of time. But it’s also clear he thinks it has just begun to realize its potential. “If we can just get someone younger in here to market the Institute properly, all sorts of things could be done under the Bradley umbrella. You could go out to, say, the Acme Auto Dealership and get them to fund an Acme lecture series on business ethics.

“We could also involve our outstanding faculty members more by offering, say, six lectures in six weeks on contemporary literature, or on Shakespeare, scripture, politics…

whatever people are interested in. You could get a marvelous online bookclub going, perhaps. “You’re really only limited by your own ideas.”

MORE ABOUT THE BRADLEY INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF CHRISTIAN CULTURE Paul Cardinal Poupard, Director of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council on Culture, informed Dr. Robert Preston on December 4, 2006 that The Bradley Institute for the Study of Christian Culture had been recognized by the Vatican as a Seat of Catholic Culture in the United States.

Previous winners of the Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters include: James Burnham(1983) Russell Kirk (1984) Robert Nisbet (1985) Andrew Lytle (1986) Josef Pieper(1987) Edward Shils (1988) Edward O. Wilson (1989) Forrest McDonald (1990) John Lukacs (1991) Walter Burkert (1992) Eugene Genovese (1993) Murray Rothbard (1994) Spring 2008

Francois Furet (1995) David Hackett Fischer (1996) Shelby Foote (1997) Anthony Flew (1998) Robert Conquest (1999) Diana Schaub (2001) Robert P. George (2002) Paul Johnson (2003) Roger Scruton (2004) James Davison Hunter (2005) Wilfred McClay (2006) Peter Lawler (2007) Crossroads

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Monastic News

Stability, obedience and commitment

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Two Belmont Abbey monks take solemn vows.

n a ceremony with roots dating back some 1500 years, Brother Anthony Swofford and Brother Edward Mancuso professed their solemn vows as Benedictine monks of Belmont Abbey during the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2 at the Abbey basilica. Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., received their promises in the name of the monastic community of Belmont Abbey and was the celebrant and homilist of the Mass before a standing room only congregation which included fellow monks, Bishop Emeritus William Curlin, several priests 28 Crossroads

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from across the Charlotte diocese, students and faculty of Belmont Abbey College, family and friends. Upon Abbot Placid’s acceptance of the two Brothers, the congregation signified its love and support with a rousing standing ovation. Later in the ceremony, as the two men lay prostrate, the congregation summoned the entire Church to the aid of the two men to be professed by singing the Litany of the Saints.  Each Brother subsequently read to the abbot his own handwritten formula of profession, during which time Brother Edward was overcome with tears of joy. They then each Spring 2008


Monastic News

signed their profession on the altar, witnessed by their spiritual directors, Father Arthur Pendleton, O.S.B, and Father Agostino Fernandez, O.S.B. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the new monks each received a black choir robe called a cuculla, which is a sign of solemn profession, and in which each man will be dressed at the time of his burial. The profession of solemn vows is the final step in a typically four-to-five-year formation period. After entering the monastery as postulants, the men spent a year as novitiates,

Brother Anthony entered Belmont Abbey as a postulant in 2004, and took his first vows in 2005.  During his three years in simple vows, he served as an assistant in the monastery’s business office, doing most of the shopping for the monastery, and supervised the monastery kitchen. He is pursuing his B.A. in business management at Belmont Abbey College and is scheduled to graduate this May. As a senior monk, he will become the monastery’s Procurator.  Brother Edward Mancuso was born in 1966 in Manhattan, but grew up in Morristown, New Jersey. He graduated from

“Belmont Abbey is a place of profound beauty and peace. Praying and working as a monk here has given me the most peace I’ve ever had.” –Brother Edward Mancuso

studying monastic practices, Church teaching and Scripture, the Rule of St. Benedict and Benedictine history. They then took simple vows and spent the following three years moving more fully into the life and work of the monastic community. “During that period, we are trying to discern if the monastic life is really for us,” said Brother Edward. “And, of course, the monastic community is trying to decide if we’re for them. “We are also asking ourselves, ‘Do we want to spend the rest of our lives in this community?’” he said. “For Brother Anthony and I, the answer is a resounding ‘yes.’” The two men traveled different paths to living and serving at Belmont Abbey. Brother Anthony Swofford was born in 1964 in Meridian, Mississippi and grew up in Chesnee, South Carolina, where his was the only Catholic family in town. After graduating from Chesnee High School, he went to work for a grocery chain, rising to become an assistant manager. Just prior to being called to the monastic life, he was a buyer for a leading gourmet foods company. Spring 2008

St. Bonaventure University with a B.A. degree in sociology. Before being called to the monastic life, he was a graphic designer with an advertising agency that specialized in promotions for pharmaceutical companies. He entered Belmont Abbey as a postulant in 2004 and made his first profession in 2005. He has put his computer skills to work for Belmont Abbey College’s marketing department and has worked in the College’s book store, The Catholic Shoppe.  He is the Guestmaster for the monastery, and extends the famous Benedictine hallmark of hospitality to all guests, leading tours of the monastery and College grounds and more. He will continue to serve in The Catholic Shoppe, as well, where he is a favorite among students and visitors to the College.   “Belmont Abbey is a place of profound beauty and peace. Praying and working as a monk here has given me the most peace I’ve ever had,” Brother Edward said in informal remarks after the ceremony. “The monks of Belmont Abbey are blessed to have these men become a permanent part of our community,” said Abbot Placid. Crossroads

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He once was lost, but now is found In his old life, alcohol and drugs ruled; now Brother Anthony Swofford has found freedom as a monk

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By Joe DePriest, Staff Writer for the Charlotte Observer

found shelter from the rain one morning on the monastery’s front porch. Two rings of the bell and the door opened. There stood black-robed Brother Anthony – just the person I was looking for at Belmont Abbey. When we sat down I asked: “Are you nervous?” A little, he said. But this situation was different from the past. During four years at the monastery with the goal of becoming a Benedictine monk, he’d had doubts. Nearby Interstate 85 had looked pretty inviting at times. He could always give up this idea and head home to South Carolina. But the doubts faded. The old life was over. He welcomed the new. I met Mark Anthony Swofford – Brother Anthony – the day before he and Brother Edward Mancuso recently took the “solemn vows” as new monks of Belmont Abbey. At 43, 30 Crossroads

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Swofford is one of the youngest of the Abbey’s monks. In the old life, he’d managed a grocery store and sold products for a gourmet food company. He’d also been deep into alcohol, marijuana, crack cocaine and methamphetamine. For years, he’d tried to kick the addictions. Every time he broke loose, the drugs dragged him back. But he didn’t give up. Freedom finally came. And here he sat, wearing a black robe, just 24 hours away from taking the vows of stability, commitment to a monastic way of life, and obedience. The Abbey is to be his home for the rest of his life.

Spiritual journey

The Benedictine monks came to Gaston County in 1876. At one time, there were more than 60 monks in the Belmont Spring 2008


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Abbey monastery. Today, there are 18. Becoming a monk is a gradual process. It takes about four or five years. This gives a person time to think: Is this something I really want to do? The first stage is called the postulancy. That means you’re a guest in the monastery for a few months, getting the feel of things. If you feel like hanging in, you move on to the novice stage. For a year, you take classes on such subjects as monastic practices, church teachings, the Rule of St. Benedict, which has guided the Order for 1,500 years, Benedictine history, Scripture and more. The novice monk works closely with a mentor and then takes “simple” or temporary vows. For the next three years, the novice lives and works in the monastic community. There’s still time to consider whether it’s the right decision. If the answer is yes, the final step is taking the solemn vows. Swofford told me about his spiritual journey. His father, William, was career Navy; his mother, Antoinette, is a U.S. citizen born in the Azores islands. She was Catholic and her husband converted to Catholicism before they were married. The family lived all over the U.S., and settled in William Swofford’s hometown of Chesnee, S.C., in 1970. They were the only Catholics in town and every Sunday drove to church in Spartanburg. Church was important to Mark Swofford. But not enough to keep him from experimenting with alcohol and drugs in high school. Starting as a bag boy at a local grocery, Swofford worked his way up to assistant manager with the chain. He enrolled at Spartanburg Tech, but it took him four years to earn a two-year degree because he worked full time at the grocery store. Swofford loved his job. He showed up on time and worked hard. But drugs were his recreation. Crack was the worst, he said. He lost one job, got another, and lost it after a random drug test. Pangs of conscience hit from time to time. He’d say, “This has got to stop.” And he would stop taking drugs. He’d check into rehab. But he always had a relapse. A year after his father’s death in Spring 2008

November 1993, Swofford started praying again. Even so, he still couldn’t quit the drugs. Swofford has written an autobiographical account of those times and shared some of it with students at Belmont Abbey College. A key date is June 23, 2001, his father’s birthday. Swofford told me it felt like his chest was on fire -- that someone was reaching inside and grabbing him. He said God spoke to him. This was the message: Sell everything, give the money to the poor, and follow me. Swofford promised he would. And more: He would also give up alcohol and drugs. It’s a promise he’s kept, Swofford said.

A witness

The morning of my Abbey visit, I also met Swofford’s 74-year-old mother. She’d supported his decision to become a monk and was in town for the upcoming ceremony. “I’m very proud of him,” Antoinette Swofford said. “I’ve been in real bad health the past few years and I’ve been praying that God would help me to make it to this day to see my son take his vows.” Maybe he was a little nervous, Mark Swofford told me. But his strongest feelings that day were joy, peace and complete happiness. At the Abbey, he’s kitchen supervisor and an assistant in the office of the Procurator, the person who does most of the monastery’s shopping. In May, he’ll graduate from Belmont Abbey College with a B.A. in business management. Another of Swofford’s jobs is answering the monastery’s front door when homeless people and others in need ring the bell. As I walked through the lobby I saw one of them – a woman in tattered clothes sipping coffee. She had, for a moment, found shelter. The woman reminded me of an opportunity Swofford has in his new role: being a witness to folks like this. Maybe he can be the spark that cuts through layers of despair, showing them it’s possible to turn their lives around. Reprinted with permission from the author. Crossroads

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From to

Rome Home

Brother Richard Sutter (’91) went from being a soldier in the U.S. Army to a soldier for Christ, studying for the priesthood in Rome. Recently, he returned home to the Abbey to share the joy he’s found in his vocation. 32 Crossroads

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I

f you ever need your spiritual battery recharged, just spend some time with Brother Richard Sutter, LC. He is, quite simply, a fountain of contagious joy. After graduating from the Abbey (where he was student body president and captain of the cross country team) in 1990, Sutter served his country for six years as a U.S. Army infantry officer and ranger. Two years after his honorable discharge as a Captain, and while working as a corporate information technology project manager, he discerned a calling to the priesthood, the seeds of which were nourished while he was a student here at the College. Crossroads caught up with Sutter while he was back at the Abbey for a whirlwind visit, sharing the profound happiness he’s found training for the priesthood with the Legionaries of Christ in Rome.

Crossroads: When Crossroads last talked with you, you were in Rome taking exams ­­­— in Italian, no less. How did they go?

Brother Richard: Thanks be to God, it all went well! Crossroads: Did your Abbey education serve as good preparation for such demanding circumstances? Brother Richard: Very much so. An Abbey education prepared me well on two fronts. The classes are intellectually challenging, but at the same time, they’re small enough that if things start to get too challenging, your professor is there to help you, as Brother Paul Shanley was for me in English my freshman year. But what the Abbey gave me went beyond studies. Because college isn’t just about studies. For me, what was even more

important was being able to witness the beautiful testimony of Abbot Placid Solari and the many other monks of their love of Christ, not with their words necessarily, but with their lives. That’s what spurred me on in my own vocation.

Crossroads: So what did you do after you finished

up exams?

Brother Richard: Well, there are about 460 men studying with me in the Legionaries of Christ in Rome and about 300 of us divided up and took community vacations in groups – which was nice. Then I spent the summer at one of our schools in San Jose, California – sleeping there at night and visiting underprivileged individuals and families by day – doing my best to bring Christ into their lives. Crossroads: So how does it feel to be back at the Abbey? Brother Richard: It’s like coming home. Abbot Placid

picked me up at the airport and as we got closer to the Abbey, he said, “We’re almost home…oh, sorry, I mean we’re getting closer to the Abbey.” And I said, “Abbot Placid, it’s okay to call it home, because that’s what the Abbey feels like to me. It’s had such a major impact on my life in so many ways.” So there is a sense of coming home. I mean to be able to get up this morning and pray the morning prayers with the monks, then do my own private prayers, then to pray the rosary as I walked around the grounds and visited the Grotto of Our Lady and to speak with the students and the staff – all of it is such a joy!

Crossroads: Have you gotten any words of wisdom from the abbot or the other monks about how to handle the next stage of your journey? Brother Richard: The best word of wisdom I got from the abbot and others was simple yet profound: pray. Abbot Placid has always been a close friend and a great example for me spiritually. He always says to me when I’m experiencing difficulty, “Let’s pray and put it in God’s hands.” That’s the best advice you can give any person, whatever their vocation, who’s trying to follow Christ – and above all, someone who’s preparing for the priesthood. What the world needs to see more than anything else is men and women of prayer – not men and women who are always on their knees, or who are always walking around with a prayer book in hand or a Bible, which is important testimony, don’t get me wrong, but people who live prayer. Paragraph 2725 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says something beautiful about this: “We live as we pray, because we pray as we live.” So the best advice I’ve gotten here at the Abbey reconfirms that foundational point: Pray. Crossroads: We hear you’re helping lead the Vocations

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Monastic News

Discernment Group alongside Abbot Placid while you’re here.

Brother Richard: Yes, Abbot Placid did me the honor

of inviting me to speak, so I’m going to talk first about my experiences here at the Abbey. And I happen to have here some of the points I plan to share with the group. Would you like to hear them?

Crossroads: By all means. Brother Richard: Basically, I’m going to share three key points. The first point I call “the forgotten talent.” The second point is “know how, when, and for how long to unplug.” And the third point I like to call “S cubed,” a way to discover, follow and persevere in your vocation. To give you a brief explanation of each of these: In the famous parable of the talents, our Lord obviously uses the word talents, and we think of the skills we have or have acquired. But the one talent that’s too often forgotten is the one we can never get back once it’s used. You can invest several thousand dollars, lose it, but then find a way to recoup what you’ve lost. But the time that the good Lord gives us on this earth is also a kind of talent which can’t be recouped. So to use the precious amount of time we have on this earth for the greater glory of God is something I want to talk with the students about. Little things like: having a schedule for your day; examining how you live your day. Studying is very important, but it’s not everything. Even more important is being Christ to others. The talent of time has been fully entrusted to you by God as college students, now that you’re out from under the wings of mom and dad. So now it’s up to you to offer some return on the investment God has made in you with charity and joy. The second point is about unplugging. By this I don’t mean escapism. It’s unplugging at appropriate times from college life and plugging into a more intimate life and friendship with Christ. He’s always with us. But to carve out that time with Him, to make the time to be with Christ – this is what is so key. There’s a beautiful new Adoration Chapel going up here on campus and we all need to pray there. Because whenever Christ is at the center of any work, it’s bound to succeed – in ways we cannot imagine. And when it’s at the center of a student’s life, it’s bound to make college so much better. So I want them to plug into prayer. And what is prayer? Forgive me, because I’m a former military person, but prayer is a battle. Paragraphs 2725 through 2745 in the Catechism tell us that. When am I really loving God? When I’m really loving God and praying well is when it’s hard. My final point is called “S cubed” – ways to help you discover, follow and persevere in your vocation. And the three S’s are these: First, silence. Not silence for silence’s sake, but to listen to God. God’s given us two ears and one mouth for a reason: so that we should listen two times and then speak. So we should spend time in silence in the presence of our Lord, Spring 2008

whether it’s in the Adoration Chapel or walking around the beautiful grounds we have here at the Abbey. The second “S” is partaking of the sacraments; to really grow in your sacramental life while you’re here in college. It should no longer be something your mom and dad tell you to do; it’s time to make it all your own. It’s time to discover the richness and the beauty of the Catholic faith in the sacraments that Christ Himself gave to us. Take advantage of it! Receive His most precious body and blood. Take the time after Mass to dialogue with Him; to have a heart to heart conversation with Him in the Eucharist. And take advantage of perhaps the most under-utilized sacrament: the sacrament of Reconciliation. Some feel like they have to wait until there’s a big sin or something. No! It’s another channel of God’s grace to enter into our lives. The third “S” is sacred scripture. I like to call this using your cell phone or email connection to God: meditate on the scriptures to open up to what God has to say to you. We’re always quick to check our emails or cell phones to see who’s trying to get a message to us, but what might be better is to Crossroads

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go kneel before Him for five minutes a day in the Adoration Chapel, open up sacred scripture, read several verses and see what He has to say to you. There’s also a fourth “S,” one I like to call spiritual direction or spiritual coaching – call it what you will. All of the great saints of the Church, all of the holy men and women – I think immediately of Mother Teresa of Calcutta – they all sought out spiritual guides, people who can see the part of us that we can’t see, and who can help us along our path in our friendship with Christ. And it’s important to realize that three beings are involved in this process or journey: the person, the spiritual guide and the Holy Spirit. And an important part of the spiritual guidance or coaching should be an active discernment of God’s call in your life. If you feel that God is calling you to the religious life or priesthood while you’re in college, well, sacrifice a Holy Week and go live in religious community and see how they live. If God is calling you to the beautiful vocation of marriage, pray for your future spouse in the context of Adoration. Pray that you’ll build a friendship with your spouse that is centered on the good of the other — a friendship that is first found with Christ and then shared with each other. The last point I hope to mention to the students is to always remember that Christ says, “Take up your cross and follow me.” So if you have a cross – and everyone does, even during their college days – the key is to embrace your cross, and to know that through the cross you will reach resurrection. So when you’re there at the cross, remember you’re at the place and the moment when you can be a true follower of Christ. Whatever vocation you choose, there’s no escaping the cross. As a Legionary of Christ, the one thing I have as a professed religious that’s really my own is the crucifix I receive at the time of my profession. The reason our founder chose to give us that and enabled us to claim it as our own – he said that when life gets tough, whether you’re on a college campus, or you’re a professed religious, and you don’t think you can hack it, put the crucifix down, kneel before Our Lord and ask the following question: “Is what Christ is asking me to do right now more difficult than what He did for me on the Cross?” If the answer is yes, you don’t have to do it. If the answer is no, pick up your cross and follow Him.

Crossroads: Beautiful advice. So where do you go from here?

Brother Richard: First I’m going up to Connecticut, where the Legionaries have a novitiate. Then I fly back to Rome. I extend an invitation to any Abbey alums or friends of the Abbey who are going over to Rome in the next couple of years and would like a good tour of the Vatican to look me up. I’m one train stop from the Vatican off of Via Aurelia.

Connective Tissue If reality is relationship— as scientists tell us these days, on scales from micro to grand— then tending to human connections weaves the world. Every walk we take through the neighborhood, every open “Hi!” to eyes otherwise averted, each word of praise for the flowers, new porch, graffiti effaced— each encounter spins a strand into void, to strengthen the web of the world.

Ice Floe Only Southern trust in gentle winters lets a fountain run all year. Even when sub-freezing temperatures build three-tiered sculptures, water trickles free. Sure enough, sweet sun returns next day and beams till graceful arcs of crystal melt away. by Sister Jane Russell, Associate Professor of Theology

Ciao!

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ABBOT PLACId HITS THE AIRWAvES WITH LIFE LESSONS FROM ST. BENEdICT’S RuLE

bbey grads who tune into certain Catholic and Christian radio stations will soon be hearing a familiar voice: Abbey Chancellor Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B. The Abbot is the author and “voiceover talent” for eleven 60-second radio segments that you may soon hear broadcast on Ave Maria satellite radio, EWTN, Relevant Radio and other popular Catholic stations, plus any number of Christian stations across the nation. And no, he isn’t trying to “sell” anything, but rather to give something priceless away: helpful life lessons he draws from The Rule of St. Benedict and a free copy of the Rule itself. (This version of the Rule features Belmont Abbey College’s own new modernized translation, complete with an introduction by Abbot Placid.) As you can see on the cover of the CD pictured at the top of this page, the subject matter of the One Minute Monk segments includes lessons on “Patience,” “A Purposeful Life,” “Daily Balance,” “Prayer” and more.

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So be sure to listen out for “The One-Minute Monk” and visit www.oneminutemonk.com to order your own free copy of “our” Rule of St. Benedict. Who knows. Perhaps these simple lessons will help bring some much-needed peace, love and hope to our fractious world.

“the abbot is the author and ‘voiceover talent’ for eleven 60-second radio segments that you may soon hear broadcast on various religious stations.”

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MONASTIC NEWS

Father Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B.: 1950-2007 Requiescat In Pace

“Paschal provided a means for us of the Abbey to understand our own history and surroundings, and to use that understanding to draw lessons for the present and the future.” –Simon Donoghue, friend

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ather Paschal Baumstein, 57, died peacefully on October 4, 2007 at Belmont Abbey monastery. On April 20, 2007, Father Paschal was the recipient of the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Belmont Abbey College in recognition of his scholarship and service to the Abbey. He was the first Benedictine monk to be admitted to the Academy of Certified Archivists and was the Archivist of Belmont Abbey and Belmont Abbey College. He loved the theater and was an avid supporter of the Abbey Players. Father Paschal was a talented musician and is recognized as an authority on the life and works of Saint Anselm. He was also the author of My Lord of Belmont, a biography of Belmont Abbey’s first abbot, and co-authored Blessing the Years to Come, a pictorial history of Belmont Abbey. His closest friend, Simon Donoghue, Director of the Abbey Players and Associate Professor of English at the College, captured the essence of Father Paschal beautifully in his funeral eulogy. Here is an excerpt: “I used to take him to lunch when he was still able to get out and about. It was really just an excuse for us to get together and talk, but we did have places we enjoyed, and during the 1980s we were particularly fond of the chef ’s salad at the Copal Grill. A couple of times a week we would speed off in the early afternoon. Almost inevitably we would be accosted by a homeless person in the parking lot of the restaurant. Paschal always carried two dollars with him, which he would give to the man, and then he would usually stand there for some time talking to him while I waited impatiently at the door to the restaurant. I mean, this happened all of the time, and not just at the Copal. It was a hazard of being anywhere with him, or so I foolishly Spring 2008

thought. Finally one day I said, ‘Paschal, can’t you just give him the money? That’s what he wants, and we can get on with lunch.’ He looked at me with surprise and said, ‘Oh no. It isn’t. It isn’t at all. He wants to talk to someone, and the great blessing of being dressed as a priest is that he feels free to talk to me. And it is my privilege to listen and offer him the love of Christ. That’s much more important than the money. Really, Simon. You know that.’ “Ten years ago Paschal gave me an account of his journey to complete submission to God’s will. It closes with this passage: “‘The path was unremarkable, more an unfolding of due order than a dramatic or revelatory awakening. It possessed an untempered simplicity, indulging no confusion. I did not choose under the sway of passion, but because it was right, aligned with God. “‘Truth was the lure. Its presence in Christ’s Church demanded a response. By its nature, Truth would not be satisfied by some merely emotive confirmation. It set its own standard. Only one response was acceptable: Baptism. “‘God placed me in His first covenant. There He educated me to look for Him, provoked me to long for Him. Finally, He exposed Himself. For the new covenant, He awaited the movement of my will, the embrace of my will, my being. “‘By His grace I chose Him. We loved. We love.’ “It must be our comfort that we were all of us — family, Belmont Abbey, you, his confreres and we his friends — among the instruments of love that Paschal used to draw himself closer to that Love Who never fails, and in whose presence he now rests.” Crossroads

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Faculty & Staff

Four Abbey Scholars Publish New Books Donald Beagle

Donald Beagle’s new book Poet of the Lost Cause: A Life of Father Ryan (co-written with Dr. Bryan Giemza) has been published by the University of Tennessee Press. The book is based in part on the Father Ryan Archive here at Belmont Abbey College. From the publisher: “Father Abram J. Ryan (1838-1886) held dual roles in the post-Civil War era: he was at once an architect of ascendant Lost Cause ideology and one of its leading icons. Among Southern sympathizers after the war, his celebrity placed him in a pantheon of Confederate figures that included Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox catapulted the then twenty-seven-year-old Catholic chaplain to regional and finally national fame. His verses, which investigated faith and propagated a romanticized view of the Southern cause, went through forty-seven editions by the 1930s, and Ryan himself became a near-mythical figure: the celebrated ‘Poet-Priest of the South.’ In his eulogy for Father Ryan, Hannis Taylor declared, ‘The lost cause became incarnate in the heart of Father Ryan, who cherished it as his forefathers had cherished the cause of Ireland.’ “…[Ryan’s] posthumous influence extended to such writers as William Faulkner, Margaret Mitchell, O. Henry, and Flannery O’Connor. Praised by President William McKinley…Ryan was well-loved by those who commemorated a nearly imagined antebellum South-so much so that the myth of Ryan sometimes rivaled the myth of the Old South. A lack of verifiable information about Father Ryan’s life aided this mythologizing process. Biographical material lies scattered in archives around the nation and the

Dr. Sara Davis Powell

An Introduction to Education: Choosing your Teaching Path by Sara Davis Powell, Ph.D. has been published by Merrill Prentice Hall/Pearson and is receiving outstanding reviews. The book will be used as an introduction to education courses for students preparing to teach kindergarten through high school. It is designed to help pre-service teachers find their teaching identity, as well as help them understand the learning process across the K-12 environment. The compelling stories of 10 focus teachers and 12 focus students from schools in California, Utah, Ohio and South Carolina are interwoven throughout the text and in the accompanying videos. From the publisher: “This fresh, new text presents a comprehensive introduction to the children, the choices, and the challenges of teaching middle school… [The book] offers a comprehensive body of knowledge that emphasizes academic rigor while speaking to pre-service teachers in a voice that invites new teachers into the field.” An interactive walk-through of the book and the accompanying videos can be enjoyed at this link: http://www.prenhall.com/ walkthroughs/powell_0131192523/.

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world, and much is spurious or hagiographical, particularly concerning the nature of Ryan’s military service, which has remained (until now) a mystery. The result of meticulous scholarship and decades of careful collecting to create a body of reliable information, this definitive, full-length biography of the enigmatic Confederate poet presents a close examination of the man behind the myth and separates Lost Cause legend from fact. “Scholars and students of the Civil War, of the Irish in America, and of American religious history will find this a fascinating examination of a controversial figure.” Another of Beagle’s books, The Information Commons Handbook (published two years ago), continues to receive a five-star rating from Amazon.com – an unusual achievement, especially for a work of non-fiction. Donald R. Beagle is a director of library services at Belmont Abbey College and curator of the Father Ryan Archive. His many articles have appeared in journals such as Catholic Library World, Journal of Academic Librarianship, and Libri: International Library Review. He received his B.A. in English Literature and Linguistics from Oakland University, a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Michigan, and a Graduate Certification in Public Administration from the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Government.

Dr. Powell’s textbook, Introduction to Middle School (2005, Merrill Prentice Hall) continues to be among the top three texts used in middle-level teacher preparation programs in the United States. Dr. Powell is Chair of the Abbey’s Department of Education and has been at the Abbey for two years. She is a member of the Academic Affairs committee, the QEP committee and the SACS Compliance committee. She earned a B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Secondary Education at Southern Nazarene University, an M.A. in Mathematics Education at the University of Colorado - Denver, and a Ph.D. in Administration, Supervision and Curriculum Development at the University of Colorado – Denver. Spring 2008


Faculty & Staff

Dr. Judith McDonald

Dr. Judith McDonald is a consulting author for three new recently-published Teacher Handbooks: on Physical Science, Earth Science, and Life Science (SRA Informational Texts). These books will be used on the national level for middle school classrooms. They will assist middle school reading teachers with expository and informational text and will challenge students to think beyond the playground. McDonald, an Assistant Professor in the Abbey’s Department of Education, is in her first year at Belmont Abbey College, after teaching at Winston-Salem State University. She received her B.S. from West Virginia University, her M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. William Van Lear

Dr. William Van Lear’s new book The Next American Century was published in early 2008 by University Press of America, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. In it, Van Lear identifies and describes three modern waves of world economic integration and extensively demonstrates America’s important role in driving the current era of globalization. He also addresses important issues such as the evolution of policy and institutions, the dynamics of economics and finance, and the discontents of contemporary globalization. Employing a diversity of scholarship and a critical yet fair examination of current economic evolution, the book is a thorough explanation for the causes and consequences of globalization. Van Lear, a tenured professor of Economics at Belmont Abbey College, earned his B.A. from Gettysburg College in 1980 and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1986. His teaching specializations include macro-financial economics, political economy, economic history and international economics. He has won three teaching awards and his first book, A Populist Challenge to Corporate Capitalism, was published by World Scientific Publishing Company in 2002.

Charity Charity is love of God of mankind compassion for the sick for the animals submission of desires of ego good-will toward our foes thanksgiving

Spring 2008

to our loving Creator to our caretakers hope to those in despair. A young boy outside his home breathing fresh mountain air smiled his mother found a kidney donor father told him tears filled his wide eyes hope glowed his child face with joy.

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My heart is empty I feel darkness I seek light O King of kings I plead for mercy fill my heart with charity.

By Gireesh Gupta, Associate Professor of Computer Information Studies

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Faculty & Staff

Awards/Distinctions By Jillian Maisano

On the Move:

David Neipert, Associate Professor of International Business, spent two weeks in Taiwan during March. Neipert presented a two-weekend lecture series in a prestigious executive MBA program at National Taiwan University to 50 top Taiwanese grad students. 

Dr. Neipert surrounded by adoring lecture attendees.

Tracy Rishel, along with three Belmont Abbey College students, participated in the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Orlando, FL, this past December. The PRI trade show is the largest in the U.S. Betty Baker, Sheila Reilly and Mike McLeod of the Biology department, attended the Annual Perspectives In Biology Symposium at Wake Forest University in November.  andra Nicks and Karen Price from the Office of S Institutional Research attended the Charlotte Area Educational Consortium fall workshop in October at York Technical College. Bill Myers, Computer Information Studies professor, along with three BAC students, attended the October meeting of the Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, and toured the nuclear plant. Myers also attended the 21st Annual CCSC: Southeastern Conference held in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in November. A major emphasis of the conference was proven techniques to attract and retain computer majors.

Presentations:

Carson Daly, VP of Academic Affairs, spoke to the Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group on October 1, 2007, at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte. The title of the talk was Our Lady of Silence: Silent No More. Ralph Frasca presented his paper “The Religious Foundations of Media Ethics and Practice: A Historical Presentation” at the AEJMC, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, in Washington in 2007. Dr. Lucas Lamadrid, VP of Enrollment and Student Affairs, served as one of four faculty presenters and consultants for a conference entitled “Building a Collaborative

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Effort Across Student and Academic Affairs to Increase Student Learning” this past January 2008. The national conference, funded by Academic Impressions, attracted educators from both academic and student affairs. Dr. Lamadrid has published on this subject and was contacted by Academic Impressions after the conference organizer had read his articles on the issue. I n November, Nathalie Cote, Associate Professor of Psychology, presented a talk on the role of department chairs in hiring, integrating and evaluating adjunct instructors at the annual meeting of the Association for Heads of Departments of Psychology in Atlanta.  ara Davis Powell, Chair of the Education Department, S attended the 34th Annual National Middle School Association conference in Houston in November. She delivered two presentations: “7 Habits of Highly Effective Middle School Teachers” and “A Daily Dose of Data for the Middle Grades Classroom.” The conference hosted over 9,000 middle level educators. J udith McDonald, Assistant Professor of Education and science educator in the Department of Education, presented at the NC Science Teachers Association annual conference in Greensboro. Five BAC students attended with Ms. McDonald and attended the session focusing on the use of the schoolyard to teach science concepts.

Papers Galore:

 ajive Tiwari, Chair of Mathematics Department wrote a R paper titled “Western Science in Late 19th-Early 20th Century Hindi-Language Print Media” which has been selected to be read at a History of Science conference at Oxford University in July.  eighton Stamps, Professor of Psychology, wrote a paper L titled “Judges Consideration of Parental Career Issues in Child Custody Decisions,” which was presented at the meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association in Charlotte (early 2008).  r. Gireesh Gupta served as guest journalist for the Gaston M Gazette with articles entitled “What is the most sacred symbol in the Hindu religion?” “Hinduism is one of the oldest religions of the world,” and “Taking steps toward global peace” which appeared in January through March 2008 issues, respectively.

International Business Professor Jim Giermanski wrote an article titled “Bodies of Evidence” which appeared in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of Commerce.  alph Frasca, Mass Communication professor, wrote an R article titled “Legacy of Ignorance: Abortion and Journalism in the Early Republic,” which appeared in the December 2007 issue of Life and Learning, an academic journal that publishes pro-life scholarship. Spring 2008


Karen Hite Jacob, Abbey organist and lecturer in music, currently has 26 entries in the reference publication The Harpsichord and Clavichord, an Encyclopedia, published by Routledge.

Publications:

Leighton Stamps co-authored a published book, titled The STP guide to graduate student training in the teaching of Psychology. The book was published in 2007. Don Beagle’s first book titled The Information Commons Handbook received two favorable reviews in the Johns Hopkins University Press journal, Portal, and in the Canadian education journal, Partnership.

Elections:

Ralph Frasca, Associate Professor of Mass Communications, was elected Head of the Religion and Media division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in August of 2007 at the national convention in Washington.  r. Mary Ellen Weir, English Department, was elected D Chair of the Faculty Assembly.

Doing Good Deeds:

Coach Lettie Wilkes, the volleyball coach who is over the Student Advisory Committee, collected money at each home event for the “Make A Wish Foundation.” She started late this past season, but still collected over $2,000.00. All schools in our conference collect for the foundation and this past season we collected the most! Go Crusaders! I n October 2007, Dr. Robert Preston received a $10,000 grant from the Earhardt Foundation toward support for the Ingersoll Symposium. The International Club collected 232 boxes for Operation Christmas Child; breaking last year’s record of 208. Special thanks to: Ana Litchfield, Sandra Nicks, Roger Jones, Sharon Johns, Jon Blackwell, Jenny Ryan and all of the students for the donations and their help with this project.

Special Thanks:

 hanks go out to the volunteers and organizers of Love T the Abbey Day 2007 whose accomplishments in September touched the Abbey Community. A sea of green T-shirted Belmont Abbey College freshmen cleaned, painted, planted and spruced up the campus. Freshmen students and their advisors met for an 8:00 a.m. breakfast and collected their assignments. According to Fr. Christopher Kirchgessner, O.S.B., who has directed this initiative for the past four years, students benefit in a variety of ways from structured and meaningful service-learning projects. Love the Abbey Day promotes the College’s commitment to active learning and civic engagement. Although this is a one-time annual effort, students begin to make life-long connections between classroom learning and the needs and opportunities for service in our communities.

Spring 2008

Good News:

 he Office of Institutional Research is excited to T announce that Belmont Abbey College’s students scored impressively on the 2007 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The NSSE provides information to students and parents in the college search process and gives campuses insight into effective teaching and student learning on our campus. [USA Today published an online article about the NSSE. You can view the article on their website].  en Davison, VP of College Relations, announced on K November 16, 2007 we hit our “one-million dollar day” in donations for the first fiscal year. Last year, we did not reach this point until February, and for this year, the target date was December. The planned targets are to exceed two-million dollars by mid-April (total donations).

Arrivals:

J illian Dunn Maisano was hired in February as the Assistant Director of Marketing. Jillian graduated with her B.A. in English and Communications from Roanoke College in 2004 and with her M.A. in Public and Corporate Communications from Seton Hall University in 2006. At Roanoke, she was the assistant graphic designer for the Public Relations Department, the junior and senior editor for the school’s literary magazine and during graduate school, she worked for a local P.R. agency. Jillian previously worked at Belmont Abbey College as the Assistant Director of Admissions. She comes to us with 7 years of marketing/design experience and 3 years of Admissions experience.

 enae Heustess joined the Abbey in February as Marketing R Project Manager/Designer. She worked previously at Imagemark, a local printing company, where she was a Customer Service Representative in charge of project management for multiple clients, including Belmont Abbey College. Prior to joining Imagemark, Heustess served as the chief graphic designer for Gaston County Schools, where she designed virtually all of the various logos, brochures, letterheads, posters and more for the school system.  hile pursuing a graduate degree at UNC W Charlotte, Heather Griffin volunteered as an intern in the Counseling Center at Belmont Abbey College, working with students who were struggling with various issues. After graduating from UNCC in December of 2007, she accepted the offer of a new position here at the Abbey in the Office of Academic Assistance. Now, as Coordinator of Student Success, Heather is experiencing the perfect marriage of her two loves: her love of academics and her love of counseling students. Crossroads

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CAMPUS NEWS

BELMONT ABBEY COLLEGE MAkES FRONT PAGE WALL STREET JOuRNAL NEWS

Order your free copies of the article by e-mailing us at: BACCollegeRelations@bac.edu 44 Crossroads

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CAmPus News

National Survey Of Student Engagement Gives Belmont Abbey College Top Grades.

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he National survey of student engagement (Nsse), the survey where students have a chance to grade their own schools, has given Belmont Abbey College some outstanding ratings. (The Nsse is the most comprehensive assessment of effective practices in higher education, which includes data from 313,000 students at 610 four-year colleges and universities.) For example, in the category of “Overall satisfaction,” 93% of Belmont Abbey College seniors rated their college experience as excellent or good, compared with a national average of 85%, and 89% at other Catholic colleges and universities. 90% of BAC seniors would also attend the same institution again versus 82% of all seniors at other Nsse schools, and 80% at other Catholic colleges and universities.

among freshmen:

85% felt their experiences at college contributed to the development of writing skills versus 71% at all Nsse schools and 78% at other Catholic colleges and universities. 78% thought their experiences at college contributed to the development of speaking skills versus 61% at all other Nsse schools and 70% at other Catholic colleges and universities. 69% developed a deepened sense of spirituality versus 33% at all other Nsse schools and 53% at other Catholic colleges and universities. According to the same survey, the College earned high grades from both seniors and freshmen in other key measurements of excellence as well: –Student/faculty interaction –Level of academic challenge –Supportive campus environment –Development of moral and spiritual character –Experiences with diversity

Among the key findings in those categories for seniors:

78% rated the faculty as “available, helpful and sympathetic” versus 67% at all Nsse schools. 78% rated advising as excellent or good versus 67% at all Nsse schools. 96% felt they acquired a broad general education versus 83% at all Nsse schools, and 86% at other Catholic colleges and universities. 74% developed a personal code of ethics versus 56% at all Nsse schools, and 68% at other Catholic colleges and universities. 56% developed a deepened sense of spirituality versus 27% at all Nsse schools and 48% at other Catholic colleges and universities.

Belmont Abbey College also moved up five slots in the U.S. News and World Report rankings for baccalaureate colleges over the previous year. Plus we earned a Best in the Southeast designation from The Princeton review. Finally, here’s what The Princeton review discovered Belmont Abbey students have to say about their own student body: “‘everyone is friendly and easygoing’ at the Abbey; ‘It’s easy to find a close-knit group of friends.’ Obviously, many students are Catholic. However, a substantial proportion of students aren’t Catholic, and BAC’s ethnic diversity is noteworthy. Overall, ‘students are generally happy about being here and very welcoming to all. The ones that are really active in the school’s politics and [extracurricular] groups are really interested in creating an environment where students can grow into healthy, proactive, successful adults—spiritually, mentally, and physically.’”

abbeY highlY reCoMMended in CatholiC College guide. Belmont Abbey College has been named one of 21 recommended Catholic colleges and universities in a guide published by the Cardinal Newman society. “The Newman Guide To Choosing A Catholic College: what To Look For And where To Find It” is the name of the book, and it became available nationwide on November 1. The society’s writers carefully, even painstakingly, searched the country for colleges that “faithfully live their Catholic identity” and provide a quality undergraduate education. And here’s just an excerpt of what the Guide’s editor, Joseph esposito, said about us: “students at the Abbey are able to get the best of Benedictine education, combining spiritual formation with a solid liberal arts curriculum. we are delighted to recommend the college to parents, students and guidance counselors.” If you know a parent, a student or a guidance counselor, please pass this news along. Spring 2008

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CAmPus News

This year’s Homecoming at the Abbey featured an exciting new venue for the annual Awards dinner and other fun activities: the U.S. Whitewater Center, just 10-15 minutes from campus. And alumni, faculty, staff, students and several monks all joined in the fun. At the event, the Abbey community discovered that we now have an island we can call our own. (See above.) The island was dedicated by Abbot Placid and President Bill Thierfelder during the weekend, and as you can see in the photo, lots of students showed up to take part in the festivities.

So if you’re ever in the Abbey neighborhood, be sure to come check out your new playing ground. And never fear. You won’t have to take a torturous route a la “Survivor” to reach our island. With permission, you can easily cross our special bridge on foot, thank you very much.

oooooooh! New Homecoming Venue A Big Splash This Year.

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Campus News

This is

OUR House New Alumni House officially opened, blessed.

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bbey alums and friends now officially have a House they can call home: the Lowry Alumni House, named for Johnnie Lowry (’81), an alumna and longtime generous benefactor of the College. The house was blessed by Abbot Placid during Homecoming weekend (October 5-7) and everyone who came to the Grand Opening Party was delighted by the design and

the elegant furnishings. Attendees also enjoyed the new patio area, lit by tiki torches, and learned that before long, they’ll be seeing bricks in the patio with their names on them – if they simply make a modest donation. Those proceeds will go toward the Abbey Family Fund and help us fund scholarships for the outstanding students we’re attracting – and erect more new beautiful buildings in the years to come.

To learn more about the College’s Buy-A-Brick Campaign, go to: www.belmontabbeycollege.edu then at top of page click on ALUMNI then at left go to: Support the Abbey/Give online “Buy A Brick campaign” Or to donate directly to the Abbey Family Fund, click on “The Abbey Family Fund” 48 Crossroads

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Spring 2008


CAmPus News

The House That Prayer Built A new powerhouse of prayer – the St. Joseph Adoration Chapel – takes shape on campus. (Scheduled completion of construction: May, 2008.)

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he hopes and prayers of a lot of people will soon be coming to fruition, thanks to a remarkable outpouring of generosity from our alumni and other faithful friends from around the world. Construction of the st. Joseph Adoration Chapel on the grounds of Belmont Abbey College is scheduled to be completed hopefully by mid-may, 2008. Here are just a few reasons why it will be a place of surpassing beauty: “The timber frame-and-window design of the chapel will create a harmonious reflection of the natural surroundings: the chapel is nestled beside the dormitories amongst the trees, with the timbers of the chapel reaching Spring 2008

upward with the trees to heaven, as our prayers will, too, from within the chapel. “we received gifts from across the united states and Canada, and even worldwide, with donations from singapore, Australia, and even sri Lanka…everyone who supported the building of the st. Joseph Adoration Chapel with prayers or financial support will be permanently remembered in the chapel. we will be printing a book to be placed in the entrance to the chapel so that all who come here can remember you and your intentions in their own prayers, as long as the chapel stands.” From a letter to supporters written by Ken Davison, V.P. of College Relations Crossroads

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This miss is a

Hit

In his first season ever as a head basketball coach, Stephen Miss earned Coach of the Year honors from his peers. And here’s the best part. He did it with intelligence, humility and class. by Ed Jones photography by Patrick Schneider

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Sports News

Stephen Miss knows drama. He’s got a Master’s degree in Irish drama from Trinity College in Dublin and has studied poetry at Oxford. Stephen Miss knows basketball. He grew up in one of America’s most basketball-crazed towns, Chapel Hill, played and coached the game on the collegiate level while studying in Ireland, was an assistant coach at the University of Georgia under Jim Harrick and knows John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success perhaps even better than he knows his Beckett or Synge. (Wooden used his pyramid to win 10 NCAA Division I basketball championships.) So could this rare combination of qualities in part explain how he was able to engineer such a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the Abbey’s men’s basketball team in his first season as head coach – from 8-20 last year to 16-12 in 2007-2008?

Miss chuckles at first at the question, but then seems to think it may have some merit. “Successful coaches are not only smart about how to coach the game as far as fundamentals and Xs and Os, they’re also master motivators. And some of that has to do with being histrionic or dramatic, or finding different ways to push different people’s buttons,” he says, warming to the metaphor. “You may not be completely in earnest…you may actually be on stage to achieve your desired effect. So maybe there is some correlation there. “We did go from 8 wins last year to 16 this season, doubling our win total. We also went from 6-14 in the league last year to 14-6 this year. So if you want to talk about drama, I suppose that is a pretty dramatic turnaround.” Casting the boyish-looking Miss in the key role of head men’s basketball coach may seem like a stroke of genius now. But initially, his act wasn’t greeted by warm applause in every quarter. “Oh brilliant, a man named Dull has named a wet-behind52 Crossroads

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the-ears guy named Miss our head basketball coach,” one campus cynic was overheard to say. “Why couldn’t we do better than that?” When the Crusaders got off to a 1-4 start, the critics thought their skepticism was justified. Meanwhile, Miss’s faith in his team and what he and his staff were attempting to accomplish remained unshakeable. “We talked to our team early in the year, and our biggest goal was just to get better every day,” he says. “Don’t worry about results and don’t let that get in the way of trying to be successful, we kept telling them. If we concentrate on getting a little bit better today, then a little bit better tomorrow, then a little bit better the next day and the next, before we know it we’ll be significantly better. And that’s when you can take some people by surprise – maybe even yourself.” To further pump up his troops, Miss decided to play the role of psychologist. “The expectations obviously aren’t very high when you get picked 11th among 11 teams in your league,” he says. “When those rankings came out, we discussed the rankings craziness in college football this year. We showed the players those pre-season football polls. And we said, ‘Then what happened? Think about Appalachian State versus Michigan…. “So I said, first of all these rankings are meaningless. Then I said, on the other hand this does indicate that whoever did this poll has no respect for you as players, no respect for our recruiting class and no respect for me as your head coach. To get picked at 11th, people have to think you’re bad in all three of those spots. So I think they then had that as a bit of a chip on their shoulder, and had it as a rallying cry.” Using those kinds of things to motivate them, Miss’s Crusaders began to turn things around, and soon, even the most cynical skeptics began to take notice. Turning Point Then came what Miss believes may have been a pivotal moment not just for this year’s team but for the entire men’s basketball program: an electrifying win over defending Division II national champions Barton at home. “I do think defeating Barton at home was a major moment for this program,” Miss says. “Not only the fact that we beat them, but the WAY that we beat them. We had them down and out and then we let them back in the game and it went into overtime. I don’t know how many people were aware of this, but Barton was 9-0 in overtime last year. A lot of teams would have folded their tents at this point, but our team instead quickly regrouped, learned from our mistakes on the fly and finished off a very good Barton team to win in overtime. “For me, that showed a great deal of character and a great deal of progress. Our youth and inexperience at winning had hurt us up until that point. But when you learn how to finish and win a game like that, winning begins to breed winning – just as success breeds success.” By the end of the season, the team’s success was apparent: at 16-12, it was the Crusaders’ first winning season in four years. And for his remarkable coaching performance, Stephen Spring 2008


Sports News

Miss was voted the Conference Carolinas men’s basketball Coach of the Year. So doesn’t that achievement call for at least a little chestthumping or confronting the critics with at least a few “I told you so’s”? Miss will have none of it. He prefers to react in a different way: with humility and gratitude. “I feel very fortunate that Abbot Placid and the monastery and Dr. Thierfelder and the administrative staff have bestowed me with this opportunity. It showed a great deal of confidence in someone who had no head coaching experience. I feel a debt of gratitude as well to Richard Dull who has a lifetime of experience and who I’m sure could have dipped into other pools and brought in a tremendous head coach as he did with his other hires. [Susan Yow and Jim Dietsch.] I’ll be forever in his debt.” Dull deflects the credit back to Miss. “He looks so young, but when you look closely at his resume, he’s got a deceptive amount of experience at some great programs and learning from some excellent coaches. “Anyone with eyes to see could tell he was a classic diamond in the rough. All he needed was a chance to shine. His success this year doesn’t surprise me at all,” Dull says with a sparkle in his eyes. “Who knows what he’ll be able to do once he can really get out there and recruit.” When asked about his recruiting approach going forward, Miss has his sales pitch at the ready. “The strongest selling point we have is Belmont Abbey College. To me, the campus is a kind of postage stamp. I’m very fortunate, because I’ve been on some beautiful campuses. When I was growing up in Chapel Hill, UNC’s campus was my playground; I’ve studied at Trinity College in Dublin and at Oxford, and these are all beautiful campuses. This is the only campus I’ve ever been on where I feel like there’s almost Spring 2008

too much green space. It’s so beautiful and quaint that I think once you can get someone on campus, they’ll have one of those ‘I immediately fell in love with it’ experiences. “Then there’s what the College is all about: the balanced approach to the education of the whole person: mind, body and spirit. I feel very strongly that a liberal arts education is the way to go… “Division II athletics may be where it’s really at now. I’ve experienced Division I myself, and Division II may have the perfect balance between academics and athletics. And finally, there’s the spiritual aspect of the campus. It’s LIVED. It doesn’t have to be in your face and spoken about all of the time. Yes, it’s great that everybody takes a theology class and a philosophy class, something they may not take at other institutions, but you have the monks walking around campus, and you have the unique opportunity to interact with them and be exposed to someone who’s living something day in and day out rather than merely speaking about it.” As the interview begins to come to a close, Miss decides to play one last role: philosopher. “One of the quotes we use all of the time around here is Coach Wooden’s definition of success: it is peace of mind which is the direct result of self satisfaction, knowing that you’ve given your best to becoming the best that you’re capable of becoming. “The notion of becoming is something you’ll find in existential thought and elsewhere. Now that idea might not translate to a 17-yearold’s mind in those terms, but a 17-year-old CAN digest and embrace the notion of trying to get better all of the time. “You see, what this is all about is trying to build a program. We tell the guys all of the time that it is not about one particular team – and I’ve apologized to our seniors for that. I’ve said I know for you guys, it’s just about this year, but for the rest of us – myself and my staff especially – it’s about building long-term success. Again, if all of us just keep concentrating on getting a little bit better every day, in time we’ll succeed - perhaps even beyond everyone’s greatest expectations.” With a philosophy like that, this Miss promises to be a hit for many years to come. Team Miss: Wife Angela is an Abbey English professor.

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Sports News

Never a Dull Moment With his outstanding coaching hires and quiet, dignified manner, new Athletic Director Richard Dull is creating an inspiring new sense of momentum in Abbey Athletics. Abbey Sports Information Director Chris Poore sat down with Dull for a wide-ranging interview to discuss Dull’s philosophy, his top goals for Abbey Athletics and perhaps the greatest comeback in college football history.

Q: At age 62 and semi-retired, why did you make the decision to come back to the crazy world of college athletics? A: I have always loved this business, and have always enjoyed being at the Division II level. I thought I was ready to retire, but in the end, I was not. Being an athletic director is a great way to make a contribution to young men and women who love sports, and I am very happy to be here.

Q: W  hat did you know about Belmont Abbey before you took the job?

A: I knew it was a school with a great athletic tradition,

especially in basketball, dating back to the Al McGuire tenure. I was impressed with the great staff of coaches and athletic personnel as well as the student-athletes. Everyone has treated me extremely well and I have been well received by everyone in the Belmont Abbey community.

Q: A  re you the type of person who observes how things are done, or do you believe it is more important to come in and make changes right away? A: I think, for anything to work well for a person coming into a new situation, you have to observe how things have been done, gradually come to conclusions, and try to make things better. I believe it is counterproductive to reinvent the wheel immediately. We have great strengths here, and we must preserve these, but at the same time experiment with new 54 Crossroads

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initiatives that improve the existence of student-athletes on this campus.

Q: What is your basic philosophy for leading a successful athletic department? A: I am somewhat reserved, and I believe that when you inherit employees, you allow them to do the jobs for which they were hired. After awhile, if I see something that I think should be corrected, I will meet with that coach in private and express my personal and professional thoughts. In my view, the most efficient way to do things is to allow the coaches to make the decisions that they think are in the best interests of their programs. But I always will reserve the right to correct them and engage them to take their program in another direction.

Q: W  hat has impressed you the most in your short tenure here?

A: The dedication of the staff and coaches. These people do

not have the largest budgets in the world, but they have been successful. The people here care about the student-athletes as people, not just as players on their teams. And the entire staff is committed to Dr. Thierfelder’s initiative, Reclaim the Game-Sport is Virtue.

Q: Y  ou have worked at every level of NCAA division institutions, but you stated at your introductory press conference that you enjoyed the Division II level most. Why? Spring 2008


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A: Division II has the perfect balance of athletic competition and academic achievement. We have all heard the horror stories of Division I athletics, some of which I have lived. Division II has the perfect blend of competing and excelling at a high level on the field and in the classroom.

was the correct decision, given the fact that Tom Kropp since then has amassed a 215-60 record, and took UNK to the Elite Eight several years ago.

Q: R  ight after your arrival, you had to hire

A: The self-satisfaction when things go well. It is enjoyable

three new coaches. What was that experience like? A: When I was at Maryland, I had to hire a football coach four months into the job, but to hire three immediately was overwhelming. The good thing about being a private institution is that we don’t have to worry about a requirement to post job openings or going through the state process. We have greater flexibility to make hiring decisions. We were given the ability to make those decisions and we are very pleased, especially since they all occurred in a three-and-a-half week span. Time was of the essence.

Q: What are your plans for Belmont Abbey Athletics?

A: Number one, for any athletic department to be successful it

has to have a strong financial foundation. In the short term, we need to expand our financial base, and improve the appearance of our facilities, which will help us in the area of recruiting and attracting quality student-athletes. The big challenge, in the long term, is the total and comprehensive improvement of our athletic facilities. We do not have enough space for the sports that we have now. We train and compete are on top of each other and we need to have dedicated areas for each sport.

Q: W  hat do you enjoy most about your job?

watching the student-athletes represent your school. It is also very rewarding giving coaches, staff and student-athletes the opportunity to succeed.

Q: You have worked with some famous coaches in your career, and many people don’t know that you hired Bobby Ross at Maryland. Talk about those coaches. A: Lefty Driesell was running a very successful program well before I arrived there. Even when I was an assistant athletic director at Maryland, I always said to Lefty ‘yes sir, no sir.’ When the roles were reversed and I became the athletic director, to his credit, he never, ever was insubordinate. He accepted me as the Director, and we enjoyed a marvelous relationship. Bobby Ross was one of the greatest coaches and men I have ever been around. I was in my fourth month as an athletic director, and when Jerry Claiborne made the decision to take the Kentucky job, the president said to me ‘there will be no search committee, you are the search committee, and you pick the next coach yourself.’ I took a former player from the 1950s, Jack Scarbath who played for John Tatum, to help me make the decision. I have been around enough people to figure out what

“The people here care about the student-athletes as people, not just as players on their teams. And the entire staff is committed to Dr. Thierfelder’s initiative, Reclaim the Game-Sport is Virtue.”

Q: Are there any plans to add more sports? A: We haven’t come to any conclusions as to what sports, if any, are going to be added. But with my track and field interest as well as Dr. Theirfelder’s track and field background, that might be a logical choice. To do that we have to raise several million dollars for a track and field facility. However, we have to find ways to raise money for the sports we currently have before we add more programs.

Q: What has been the most challenging thing you have faced as an athletic director?

A: When I was the athletic director at Nebraska-Kearney, we

had co-head coaches in the men’s basketball program, and I found that scenario unworkable. Both coaches were fine and decent men, and one played for the other. I made the decision to keep one on the court and move the other into an office environment, which was a very tough decision to make. But it Spring 2008

kind of man I wanted, but I needed a ‘football guy’ to help me assess football knowledge. When it was all said and done, we found Bobby, who was an assistant coach for the Kansas City Chiefs under Marv Levy. The rest at Maryland was history.

Q: Your tenure at Maryland included one of the greatest, if not the greatest, comebacks in the history of college football, the 42-40 win over Miami in 1984. What do you remember from that game? A: At halftime we were down 31-0, and I was ready to jump out of the press box (laughs). But in the second half, Frank Reich engineered one of the greatest comebacks ever, as we won 42-40. What people don’t remember from that game is that we had the ball at the end of the game deep in Miami territory, and we could have scored if we wanted to. Bobby, being the great man and sportsman that he is, had Frank take a knee to run out the clock instead. Crossroads

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Sports News

YOW, What a Coach

Susan Yow has been a two-time All-American basketball player. She’s had 22 years of NCAA Division I head coaching experience and five years of WNBA coaching experience. She’s experienced the thrill of serving as an assistant coach of the Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. women’s basketball team in Seoul. But she’s never experienced anything quite like her first year as head women’s basketball coach at the Abbey. “It’s been a special season, no doubt about it. One of my favorite seasons ever as a coach,” Yow says. What perhaps made the season extra-special for Yow is that she couldn’t see it coming. The Lady Crusaders team she inherited was picked to finish seventh in their conference (Conference Carolinas) in a pre-season poll after coming off a 13-15 season. A couple of weeks into the job, Yow also had a slight case of cold feet, worrying if her decision to coach on the Division II level might have been a mistake. “Everywhere else I’ve been, I’ve had a larger staff around me to help me do things,” she explains. “And I wasn’t sure if I could do this. To be honest, I was scared!” she says with a selfdeprecating grin. In spite of those fears, Yow gamely soldiered on. Then after a few practices, she saw something in her new team she believed she could build on. “I called them together and told them, ‘I see some intangibles in you that could potentially make you a special group – the kinds of things that could surprise everyone, maybe even yourselves.’” 56 Crossroads

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What kind of intangibles? “The way they accepted a challenge was one big indicator,” she says. “Then there was the way they trusted us. I’m sure they had their doubts early on, but they kept trusting us. And you know it’s hard to win trust. And that trust was mutual. We were trusting them and challenging them, and they bought into it.” The self-effacing Yow also credits her two older sisters – Kay, revered coach of N.C. State’s lady Wolfpack team and a Naismith Hall of Famer, and Debbie, Director of Athletics at the University of Maryland – with helping her get over her early off-the-court jitters. “If I needed some advice from an administrative perspective, I was able to talk with Debbie about it,” she says. “And from a coaching perspective, who could I talk to better than Kay? They kept telling me to just trust that this is where you need to be and take it one day at a time.” Yow soon settled into the job and her inescapable magic as a coach became immediately apparent as the Lady Crusaders roared off to an 8-1 start. After battling through a three-game losing streak late in the season, the team finished a remarkable 19-10, making it to the semi-finals in the Conference Carolinas tournament before bowing out to the first-seeded 27-2 Anderson team. Spring 2008


Sports News

What made Yow’s season extra special goes beyond the winloss total, however. Along the way, she found she has a surrogate family here at the Abbey. “From the beginning, I knew that I could trust Dick Dull (AD) and that he would be there to help me. And then, not to get too sanctimonious because I don’t like that kind of thing, I started to feel that maybe I was put here in this place by divine providence. I was being asked to take a step of faith,” she says. “I also simply could not have hand-picked a better assistant coach than Sarah Jansen, who just happened to already be here when I arrived. I’m old enough to be her mother, but she and

from a coach to get better. And like her two sisters, she’s smart, rock-solid in the fundamentals and very, very methodical. So, surprised? No. Happy for her, yes. And just wait until she has a chance to do some real recruiting.” When she talks with a good prospective player, Yow has some pretty persuasive arguments at her disposal. First of all, student-athletes coming to play for Yow can expect to learn the game the way she and her sisters (the Yow school of basketball, if you will) have taught it for years. “The game is the game – whether it’s on the WNBA level or the Division I level or this level,” she says. “I haven’t really changed

“Prospects can sense that something good is going on here at Belmont Abbey that will allow us to advance and I invite them to join in the positive momentum.”

I are from the same school of thought and she’s going to be a GREAT head coach someday. And Coach Miss and I speak often and encourage each other through the up-and-down times. We talk Xs and Os, but we also talk a lot about questions like how do you motivate a team. I admire a great deal about him. He has tremendous people skills and he really knows the game.” Stephen Miss is only too happy to return the compliment: “As a fellow coach, I appreciate her demeanor more than anything else. She exudes confidence on the sideline. I’ve never once seen her out of control or upset. That’s something I really admire and aspire to as well. Young coaches tend to overreact, and a word I use constantly with my players is poise. We find that we have to work on it constantly. But Susan seems to come by it so naturally. Maybe that’s because of her years of experience, or the success she’s had… I can’t put my finger on exactly why. All I know is that she exudes poise and confidence in a way her players feed on.” Yow’s remarkable success in her first season at the Abbey doesn’t come as much of a surprise to the man who hired her, AD Richard Dull. “She knows what it’s like to walk into a program she doesn’t know much about and to find a way to win. She was a great player herself, so she has instant credibility with a team and she knows from experience what a player needs

Spring 2008

a drill or modified much of anything here that I’ve used on those other levels. You’ve still got to teach the fundamentals and use the same drills to get the fundamentals across.” Now that this season is on the books, she also has something else compelling to say. “Well, it helps to say that we’ve won. I’m sorry that’s so important to most people – sometimes you hate that – but that’s the way human nature is,” she says almost apologetically. “Belmont Abbey is also known for strong academics, and that helps, particularly with females – and it’s very significant with the parents,” she continues. “I also promote the vision and leadership of Dick Dull and Dr. Thierfelder. “Prospects can sense that something good is going on here at Belmont Abbey that will allow us to advance and I invite them to join in the positive momentum.” Asked what her three wishes are for next season, Yow doesn’t hesitate. “First, I hope this year’s recruiting class will be as strong as last year’s. My second wish is that everyone returning and the players we’re bringing in will have minimal injuries – if any at all! And finally, I hope we can make another great run at the conference championship. Let’s keep this exciting momentum going.” Yow, what a fabulous coach. More important, what a beautiful human being. Crossroads

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sPOrTs News

Dietsch to the Defense College lacrosse’s image isn’t exactly an angelic one these days. If anyone can bring discipline and dignity back to the game, former All-American player and proven winner Jim Dietsch can. Jim Dietsch played on the university of maryland’s NCAA Division I national championship team in 1967, his sophomore year in college, and was named an All-American. As an assistant coach for maryland for 11 years, he helped the team to five appearances at the National Championship Finals and two national titles in 1973 and 1975. The Terrapins also advanced to the National Tournament on five other occasions, including several years during Dick Dull’s tenure as Terrapins Athletic Director. In short, he’s won everywhere he’s gone, including at Limestone last year where he took his team to the NCAA Division II Final Four. with all of that success, you’d think he would have mellowed just a bit. But it’s clear that he’s as fired up for his first lacrosse season at the Abbey as he has been in years. “It’s in my blood, I guess,” he says. “I’m in my 35th year of coaching and it feels like my first year. It’s very exciting.” what’s got him so charged up about coaching at the Abbey? “I love interacting with the kids we have here,” he says. “I’m 58 Crossroads

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a teacher. I taught middle school and was a school principal and believe that many of the principles you use in a classroom should be brought to the athletic field. I think of the lacrosse field as a classroom. And I think of athletics at a college as an extension of a college education. It should teach lifelong skills, and things like being part of a team and responsibility and how what each person does affects the whole corporation.” But what about college lacrosse’s current bad-boy image? Is that something he feels he should try to correct – at least in his own corner of the world? “Yes, in a way,” he says. “But I’ve never been one of those win at any cost type of coaches. even back in the ‘70s when things were a little crazy, I’d throw kids off the team for not acting properly – no matter how good they were. I remember during one of our championship years at maryland, one of our players, an All-American, just wouldn’t buy into our rules and regulations, and I made sure he was gone. But that’s not new. It’s something I’ve been doing for 35 years.” so, with his stellar resume, Dietsch could have gone just about anywhere. what was the particular allure of coming to the Abbey, where the lacrosse program is so young? “my relationship with Dick Dull was a big factor, and it didn’t hurt to see that the president of the College is a maryland alumnus,” Dietsch says. “They both know from experience the value a good lacrosse program can bring to a school. I also liked what I read online of what Dr. Thierfelder had to say about how he views the role of sports, and once I Spring 2008


Sports News

walked onto the campus and got to meet with the Abbot and Dr. Thierfelder, it was a no-brainer. “I knew then that Belmont Abbey isn’t the kind of school that if you don’t win right away, you’re gone; that the emphasis is on building a total program using the kind of philosophy I’ve been using for 35 years – the student-athlete concept, the character-building concept. My job is to see that my players graduate, that they have a positive learning experience and hopefully win enough lacrosse games to be part of a respected program. That’s the goal.” To help educate his players in matters that go beyond the athletic field or classroom, Dietsch has also added a dimension to the Abbey’s lacrosse program that other colleges simply don’t offer: a mentoring program for at-risk middle schoolers. Dietsch won’t take credit for the idea. “It’s something Dick Dull and I started at Maryland back in the ’70s,” he says. “In fact one of the best student-athletes in our program back then was Boomer Esiason [famed Pro Bowl NFL quarterback and now a CBS Sports commentator]. He was a mentor for a middle school kid. [Dallas Cowboy Hall of Famer] Randy White was also in the program. We had 30-40 people involved from a whole bunch of different teams. So I told Dick I’d like to try it here. I found out what the College is trying to do, and it seemed like a natural fit, so I went to Belmont Middle School and connected with the principal there and she thought it was a good idea. We’ve got 11 middle schoolers in the program and we’re going to try to make what we’re doing this year the model for the future. Then once we’ve got this program running smoothly, we hope to expand the idea to other teams within the College community and then maybe someday to other schools. “It’s not really about lacrosse,” Dietsch continues. “It’s more like a big brother/little brother kind of thing. Our player will spend a couple hours a week with the middle school kid – doing things like helping him with his homework or playing a game, just trying to be a positive role model. Then we hope to bring the kids over to the campus on Saturday afternoon and let them

Spring 2008

see what college life is like – eat in the dining hall, see what a dorm is like, maybe attend a practice or a game. Eventually, they may learn about lacrosse, but the key is just trying to establish a relationship. A lot of these kids are from broken homes with no real male role model. So those are the kinds of kids we’re hoping to place our players with.” So how does Dietsch plan to sell future prospects on Abbey men’s lacrosse? “My pitch to a prospect right now is come here and play right away!” he says with a wide grin. “This year we have the smallest roster in the country. We have 21 players dressed right now, and to put that into perspective, I went up to Limestone to scout and they had 55 players on the sidelines. “We don’t necessarily want or need a roster that big, but my pitch is to come be a start of something new. Be a part of my first recruiting class and after 4 years, you’ll be amazed what we’ve done together. “That’s already working, by the way. I brought 6-7 kids in here in January and I’ve got 10 signed already for next year. “I go to where the good kids are. We’ve got two kids from Texas coming next year. I’ve got a kid from California on the team right now, and one from Pittsburgh – the program’s growing from all over. You just do your homework and establish good relationships with coaches – again something I’ve been doing for 35 years – and you go to camps and make contacts. And if I can get kids on this campus and let them see this place and they’re solid academically, I really believe we can sell them on this place. It’s an easy sell.” “It’s in my blood, I guess,” Dietsch says. “I’m in my 35th year of coaching and it feels like my first year. It’s very exciting.”

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Al maguire’s early Abbey recruits now Hall-of-Famers wherever legendary college basketball coach Al maguire is right now, he has to be smiling. (He passed away in 2001.) That’s because on October 9, thirteen of Maguire’s first players on his Belmont Abbey teams finally got their due: they were inducted into the Belmont sports Hall of Fame. And on the night of the induction ceremony, they regaled the crowd with tales of the man who got his first head coaching job at Belmont Abbey and went on to lead marquette to the NCAA men’s championship in 1977. sportswriter richard walker of the Gaston Gazette captured their stories this way: “He sort of recruited me from a [restaurant],” said Jim sparrow, a guard in Maguire’s first recruiting class. “He says, ‘We’re going to Belmont Abbey’ and he whips out this picture of this beautiful campus with trees and big buildings. “well, when I get to the Belmont Abbey campus [in 1957], there’s four buildings. I’m like, ‘Al, where’s that campus you showed me!?’ “well, what he showed me was Duke university!” [Obviously, Sparrow stayed and flourished at the Abbey.] some of the best stories were told by Danny Doyle, a slender 6-foot-8 player who once wowed 60 Crossroads

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Abbey fans with tomahawk dunks and dazzling passing skills, and went on to be the Abbey’s first NBA player. But as the evening was winding down, Doyle turned serious: “I just loved everything about the school,” said Doyle, who played summer league games against eventual ACC standouts Larry Brown (North Carolina) and Art Heyman (Duke). “I had a great coach and great teammates and we all just got along so well. People offered me scholarships at other places and bigger schools. But I was happy where I was.” The players also gave testimonials of their love and devotion to the town of Belmont. Jimmy Lytle, in maguire’s second recruiting class, summed up the feelings of many of the players. “we were a bunch of loud, brash Yankees,” Lytle said. “But the community embraced us. One of the people in Belmont told me, ‘You’re Damn Yankees but you’re our Yankees.’ That’s why this is our hometown in the south.” (Permission to reprint portions of his article was granted by Richard Walker, sportswriter for the Gaston Gazette) Spring 2008


men’s Hoops Team Hits The Big Time At Bobcats Arena On January 23rd, the Belmont Abbey men’s basketball team was invited to play at Charlotte Bobcats Arena prior to the Charlotte Bobcats versus the Dallas Mavericks game. The Crusaders didn’t disappoint, defeating North Greenville 65-56, and were invited to watch the NBA game afterwards.

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Alumni news

ABBEY ALUMS ESTABLISH NEW SCHOLARSHIPS Abbey Grad Chuck Collins (’69) Establishes Military Scholarship

Clarence (Chuck) M. Collins III , a retired United States Marine who served as a Naval Aviator for 24 years and a 1969 Belmont Abbey College graduate, has created a scholarship “to give back a little to the institution that gave me so much.” It’s called the Lt. Col. Clarence (Chuck) M. Collins III, USMC Retired, BAC ’69 Military Scholarship, and it will enable qualified and deserving students to pursue studies at Belmont Abbey College. “After being turned down by one of my state’s universities, I was accepted by Belmont Abbey College, when others shunned me. The Benedictine monks believed in me, encouraged me, and motivated me,” Collins says. “They were cheering me on during the good times and ready to help during the rough ones. Further, they were not about to let me get down on myself.” Collins credits the education he received at the Abbey for preparing him for a rewarding military career, followed by a successful and meaningful business career. He says it was the “individual attention, small class sizes, and the positive influences of the Abbey” that made him the man he is today. Collins also calls the years he spent in the armed forces a defining period in his life. “I can think of no greater calling for a young individual than to serve his country, learn valuable leadership skills, and broaden his horizons through the U.S. military.” In the agreement to formalize the scholarship, Collins writes, “I will therefore earmark my scholarship for those going into (preferably) the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course (PLC), and (secondarily) those going into the ROTC programs of the other services, followed (thirdly) by military dependents of active duty service members. Finally, this scholarship will not be restricted to ‘needs based only’ students, but open to everyone meeting the above criteria.” The one thing Collins wants students to take from his scholarship is this: “Prince or pauper, rich man or poor man, this is my way of saying thanks for your service to this great country of ours. Now, make the best of your Abbey education!” (To learn how you can set up a scholarship, go to www. belmontabbeycollege.edu, and click on the “Donations” tab or button at the top of the home page.) 62 Crossroads

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Kenneth (’75) and Michael (’78) Heretick establish a scholarship in their late brother’s honor.

Douglas, Kenneth and Michael Heretick all graduated from Belmont Abbey College in the 1970s; Douglas in ’74, Kenneth in ’75, and Michael in ’78. To honor their beloved brother Douglas, who passed away, Kenneth and Michael have established The Douglas A. Heretick ’74 Scholarship in his memory. The scholarship will be awarded to qualified and deserving students who meet the following criteria: A) juniors or seniors majoring in Political Science, or B) those students majoring in Business, if no students majoring in Political Science are eligible. Douglas Heretick graduated from the Abbey with a Bachelor of Arts degree and went on to receive his Master’s degree in Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1978. He was an Assistant City Manager for the city of Hopewell, Virginia for nine years, and was credited with implementing several new programs that were cost-effective and improved employee relations. In 1979, Douglas joined the Hopewell Jaycees where he was also chosen as Hopewell’s Outstanding Young Man and recognized as one [of the ten] Outstanding Young Virginians by the Virginian Jaycees. Heretick received many coveted awards for his leadership and his active involvement in several civic groups. He was a member of the International City Managers Association, Virginia Local Cross, St. James Catholic Church, Job Corp Volunteer, and the Historical Hopewell Foundation. Kenneth and Michael Heretick hope that the scholarship they’ve established will serve as a fitting and loving memory of Douglas Heretick’s beautiful life of service.

From Left to Right: Doug ’74 and Mike ’78 Heretick, Charles Haid ’86 (descendant of Abbot Leo Haid), Paul ’81 and Ken ’75 Heretick, Corey Carver ’84, Front Center: Cheryl Heretick Carver ’86. Spring 2008


Alumni news

Abbey Endowed Fund Established To Honor Sacred Heart Graduate Julia Dickson Stowe

The Julia Dickson Stowe Classical Music Arts at the Abbey Endowed Fund has been established to ensure the perpetuation of classical music concerts on the Belmont Abbey College campus. Since 1992, the Associated Foundation, a small family foundation managed by Samuel P. Stowe III, has supported a program of classical music concerts at Belmont Abbey College. The Arts at the Abbey Endowed Fund is named for Julia Dickson Stowe in recognition of her support of her three sons, Samuel P. Stowe III, Herman D. Stowe, and John C. Stowe, in their various musical studies as well as her support of classical music in Belmont and surrounding communities. She was a graduate of Sacred Heart College and an accomplished cellist and keyboard player. If you are interested in contributing to this fund, please contact Carol Brooks, Director of Stewardship and Strategic Development at Belmont Abbey College, at 704. 461. 6661.

Father Michael J. Kavanaugh (’80) Gives Victims Comfort, Hope In Aftermath Of Sugar Mill Explosion.

Here is an account of the events, written by Father Kavanaugh for Southern Cross, Savannah’s diocesan newspaper Most of us have seen on television images of family groups huddled together in a large room, anxiously awaiting word about their relatives and friends who have been involved in some catastrophic accident such as a ship lost in a storm or a mine cave-in. That scene was repeated in the parish hall at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Port Wentworth, Georgia following the devastating explosion and fire that nearly demolished the Dixie Crystals Sugar Refinery, located just across the street from the Church, shortly before 7:00 p.m. on February 7th. I had been sitting at my kitchen table writing a few notes when the explosion happened. So loud was the “boom” that I ended up on the floor, either from fright or from some reflexive attempt to protect myself. After a second or two I ran out the back door of the rectory, expecting to see either the church or the parish hall in ruins from a gas explosion. Since we are just 3 miles from the Savannah airport, the possibility of a plane crash also flashed through my mind. Finding the parish buildings intact, I looked across the highway toward the sugar refinery and saw a huge cloud of smoke rising rapidly with burning debris sailing through the air, resembling fireworks. Almost immediately my neighbors and I heard sirens, so we went to the front of the church to see four or five police cars turning from the highway down toward the mill. A few Spring 2008

moments later the Port Wentworth fire department trucks came screaming to the rescue, and within a few minutes police and fire equipment from every municipality in the region were arriving. Realizing that this was going to be an enormous effort involving many people, I opened the church and turned on the lights, then went to do the same in the parish hall. As police cruiser after police cruiser arrived, some began turning into our parking lot. One of the first officers actually asked politely if they could use the church grounds for a staging area. We told them we would help in any way we could. The police mobile command center arrived and parked in front of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, next to the highway, and facing the sugar mill. As emergency response personnel began to fill the front yard of the church, we began bringing chairs out onto the lawn for the wounded to use. The medical teams used the yard as their triage location, giving initial exams to the injured, many of them badly burned, and determining how they would be transported to the hospitals. About 30 minutes into the response the first evacuation helicopters began to land on the ball fields of Port Wentworth Elementary School, located next door to the church. Within an hour a police officer asked if we had a place where family members of those who had been working in the mill could gather. Again, we were glad to be of service. In groups they began to arrive, virtually everyone involved in an agitated cell phone conversation. Neighbors came asking how they could help, so we began making coffee and offering whatever food we could find to those arriving. The Salvation Army canteen truck arrived on the scene to provide food and drink to the police officers and fire fighters, and Red Cross personnel came in with bottled water and food for the families. By 10:00 p.m. the rush of activity was over and a long, long night of waiting had begun. The police did everything they could to keep the family members informed, providing all the information they had about individual mill employees, saying which hospital they had been taken to or, in many cases, if the employee was uninjured. The briefings took place about every 45 minutes with new information being added. After several hours, however, those whose names had not been added to the list were being referred to as “those not accounted for.” By sunrise on Friday, most of the families had gone to Savannah area hospitals to be with those injured who were being cared for locally. Many began the trip to the Joseph Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta where the badly burned had been taken. At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Michael Berkow informed the families that the operation was changing modes from a “rescue” to a “recovery” operation. This announcement unleashed a flood of emotion as people realized that those who had been among the “not accounted for” were now presumed dead. Police chaplains and Red Cross disaster relief team members did what they could to comfort those who now knew their father or mother, brother or sister, husband or wife, had perished in the explosion and fire. Crossroads

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Alumni news

A candlelight memorial service was held on Saturday, February 9th, at 6:00 p.m. on the front lawn of our parish church, the same location that had been used to treat the injured just 36 hours earlier. Mayor Glenn Jones, several local ministers, and I led the service, praying for those who had died, for those who had been injured, for their families, and offering

thanks to the dozens of police officers, fire fighters, and medical professionals who worked so bravely to rescue and care for the injured. Currently, there have been five confirmed deaths at the sugar mill and three individuals are still “unaccounted for.” We keep their families in our prayers, along with those who are still hospitalized in Savannah and in Augusta.

New motorsports scholarship adds VROOM for rising juniors, seniors.

Scholarship money available to students in the Abbey’s Motorsports Management program just went from zero to $75,000 in a hurry, thanks to the generosity of the Hornets Nest Region (HNR) car club. The $75,000 scholarship, the first of its kind ever established for the Motorsports program, will be divided up over the next five years, enabling three rising juniors or seniors per year to receive a $5,000 scholarship to assist with their education. (The three recipients this year are Jessica Inman, Erin Haberneck, and Shelly Haas.) The HNR club named the scholarship the “Hornets Nest Region, AACA Annual Scholarship in Honor of H.A. ‘Humpy’ Wheeler, Jr.” to honor Abbey Prep Alumnus and Trustee Humpy Wheeler, President of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Wheeler has been a strong supporter of the Hornets Nest Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America since 1977. The major focus of the HNR club is their production of the Charlotte AutoFair Spring Meet and Fall Meet collector vehicle events held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Region Executive Director Mel Carson (pictured here with President Bill Thierfelder) says the two events bring more than 250,000 collector vehicle enthusiasts into the Charlotte area each year, helping to pump more than $250 million into the local economy.

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The Magazine of Belmont Abbey College

Spring 2008


Class Notes By Gayle Dobbs These notes are based on information gathered from June 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007. They reflect information from alums and friends of Belmont Abbey.

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Sebastian J. Orsini ’36 and his wife Emma renewed their marriage vows on their 70th wedding anniversary; Father Patrick O’Brien officiated the ceremony. This delightful couple lives in Savannah, GA and they have five children, 13 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Mr. Orsini recalls meeting Abbot Walter Coggin, one week prior to his attending the Abbey, while on a train to visit his brother in Richmond. They sat across the aisle from each other and struck up a friendly conversation. They both graduated from Benedictine High School, he in Savannah and Coggin in Richmond and later became roommates at Belmont Abbey. He says, “There’s nothing like the Abbey…I loved every minute of it!”  He sends his best to the “Savannah boys” Abbot Oscar Burnett and Fr. John Oetgen O.S.B ’45.

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Louise Bowen Barkley, Sacred Heart Class of ’41 writes: “Keep in touch” … words heard often as students graduate and go their separate ways. The Sacred Heart Class of 1941, shepherded by classmate Willie Harrelson SHA ’41 has kept in touch for more than 65 years. With approximately 26 members, ten still live within 50 miles of Belmont, others at far flung spots in the continental U.S. One member from Boca Raton, FL has returned to the hallowed halls every two years since 1941. Throughout the years the group has attended reunion activities at the Abbey, luncheons at the Sacred Heart convent, meals at local restaurants, and picnics in homes of classmates. Willie has been the guiding force; by letters, phone calls, cajoling, and good natured nagging, she has kept the girls in touch. In 2006 she was recognized and given an award by her classmates for her continued successful efforts to NEVER LOSE TOUCH!  Spring 2008

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R. Bruce Van Wagner ’42, Okatie, SC thoroughly enjoyed being back on campus – it had been a very long time ago since he walked the campus grounds! He and his wife Laura stopped in for a visit on their way through town and shared some old photos from his scrapbook. There were photos of his basketball and football teams; the Rambler’s club council; and the most memorable speech he made on graduation day….to the Valedictorian Class of 1942 FROM the Valedictorian (Bruce)!

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Edith Fenlon ’43 celebrated her 90th birthday on April 23, 2007. Her daughter sent out 90 cards to people who knew her and suggested they send a birthday card; she ended up receiving 137 warm birthday wishes. Edith has 5 children (2 sons and 3 daughters), 10 grandchildren and 2 greatgrandchildren. Edith’s years at Sacred Heart were some of the best and happiest years of her lifetime.  

An Abbey Memory From:

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Frank A. Solari, Jr. ’44 Let me overwhelm you with a few of my memories. I was one of the lucky few who were able to take advantage of the Abbey’s special program making it possible to complete the AA curriculum requirements in three semesters. I began the summer semester in June, 1943 and was awarded the AA degree in June, 1944. Since I had started elementary school a little early and the eighth grade had been dropped at my middle school, I graduated from high school too young for the WWII draft. Happily, Benedictine High School in Richmond, VA put me in touch with Belmont Abbey’s three- semester program, which kept me busy until I was able to enlist in the Marine Corps. In those days, upper classmen resided on the second floor of St. Leo’s Hall. The first room on the left as you came up the stairs belonged to Fr. Gregory Eichenlaub. He had initiated a JROTC program at the Abbey and was very “gung ho” about the corps. Fr. Bede was principal of the school. Father Henry Bolling taught us Biology and Fr. Joe Tobin did his best to teach me Chemistry. Mr. Neal made us memorize Shakespeare and Fr. Pat did the “Sprechen Sie Deutsch” thing. Fr. Anselm managed the Tuck Shoppe located in the building behind the monastery. Fr. Walter Coggin was the College’s math instructor and also coached the football team. All of these instructors were excellent teachers, people you would always remember and hold in high regard all your life. The football program wasn’t high tech. Since gasoline was hard to come by, we played mostly local high school teams. (All of the 19-year-olds in local colleges were in the service). Some of the guys playing for Crossroads

The Magazine of Belmont Abbey College

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Class Notes By Gayle Dobbs

those teams were probably employees of the local mill. The hint of cotton enmeshed in their facial hair sort of gave them away. Game officials tried their best to see that the locals won. The routine after a game was always the same: keep your helmets on even in the team bus and don’t face the windows. (Our exits were stoned as a matter of custom.) Fr. Walter was a wonderful coach to play for.  He was a father figure and all the guys loved him.  Fr. Gregory had the cadet corps moving along with impeccable precision – with the exception of one unfortunate winter morning when the “reveille” Officer of the Day slept in. Fr. Gregory returned from Matins and found the whole college asleep. Thanks to that sleeping OD, we’d missed all of the morning calls: reveille, calisthenics, breakfast – the whole shebang. Fr. Gregory dragged the poor guy out of the sack and dared him to fall down the stairs as he went over to the Ad building to finally sound reveille. The poor OD had started out the captain of “A” company that day; he ended the day as a private in the last squad of the first Platoon of “A” company. That OD was ME!  I have so many beautiful memories from my short term at the Abbey.  Our rapport with the priests who taught us was one of admiration and affection. My spiritual life was strengthened not only by attending Mass in the Cathedral, but by the example set by the monks who taught us. The academic foundation given me at the Abbey was such that I returned to senior college in 1948 on academic par with my peers. I was awarded the BA from Benedictine College in 1950 and the MA from Catholic University in 1953. I will be forever grateful to Belmont Abbey for all the college did for me.   John Yacobi ’51 of Greenville, SC says he enjoys being around his seven “grands” and that it is the only thing good about getting old.  

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An Abbey Memory From: 46 Roderick O’Donoghue ’46 I pray every day

for the success and well being of the community and the Abbey. The fondest memories of my earlier years revolve around those years spent at the Abbey. My introduction to the Abbey goes back to the early to mid-thirties. My widowed mother was asked by Fr. Cuthbert Allen to be a chaperone for some big dance. She held an important position in the Catholic Daughters in North Carolina and was President of the Business and Professional Women’s Club of North Carolina. I accompanied her so she wouldn’t have to make the trip by herself at night. I entered the Abbey the first year of WWII (1941) and lived in St. Leo’s. Half-way through my second year at the Abbey I went with a group of guys to Charlotte to sign up and left before finishing my second year. I can 66 Crossroads

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Dr. Stephen J. ’55 and Ann (Evers SH ’54) Naso celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 3, 2007. Their children, Stephen Naso III ’80, Julie Rea, and William Naso, hosted a weekend in Charleston, SC, highlighted by an anniversary dinner at the High Cotton Restaurant for family and close friends. The Naso’s married in 1957 at Belmont Abbey. Dr. Naso was an army surgeon in Vietnam, practiced medicine in Charlotte for 35+ years and founded the Carolina Hand Center. Ann attended Sacred Heart College, reared their three children, and worked as a medical office manager. They are residents of Charlotte and attend St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church.   Sam Hagley ’57 is retired and has recently moved to Palmyra, VA to be closer to his 3 year old granddaughter, Amelia Elaine. Sam also enjoys singing with the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Chorale.

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In the Company of Rivers: An Angler’s Stories & Recollections. This is a great read for a winter’s night, or on vacation, and a great way to learn why fishing isn’t called catching. Ed Quigley ’57 is a freelance writer whose ad credits include American Express and BMG Music. He was a Caples Award Finalist for work on Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary. His stories have appeared in the Yale Angler’s Journal, The Art of Angling Journal and Fly Fisherman magazine; his writing has appeared on the Op-Ed pages of the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer. He resides in Lansdale, Pa. The link below will provide readers with more information, including reviews...http://www. amazon.com/Company-Rivers-Anglers-Stories-Recollections/ dp/0595446825/   still remember the smell of St. Leo’s Hall and the sound of coming and going to classes; the huge wooden altar and the choir pews up there against the walls with the monks chanting; and it would be hard to forget Fr. Joe’s physics class with its open windows with all of those pear trees in bloom while the bees droned away and Fr. Joe droned away with some of us trying hard to stay awake. Those of us who hopped tables in the student cafeteria would go over to the brick oven where the old German brother made the most delicious breads and pies. The most memorable moment was when we would form up and go over to the Grotto, in the evening during May. There was just something special about that. Thank God for memories. Abbot, let me wish that today’s students will in years to come be able to remember their years at the Abbey as fondly as I. Roderick O’Donoghue graduated with an Associate Degree in 1947. He was President of the Veteran’s Club 1946-1947. He was greatly influenced by Fr. Cuthbert and Fr. Ogden. Abbot Walter married Roderick and his wife, Ann. Spring 2008


Class Notes By ByGayle GayleDobbs Dobbs

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Adam William Walker, the first grandchild of William C. Walker ’61, was born on April 26, 2007. Congratulations to you on your “first” grand!   Joe Babbo ’63 and his wife Mary reside in Chicago, IL and have six children who are enjoying successful careers. Angelo Joseph Babbo is a Family Physician; Mary Immaculata Babbo-Brown is an Attorney; Martin Francis Babbo is a Banker; Thomas John Babbo is an Attorney; Annamaria Babbo-Cheriaw is a Nurse; Giovanna Carmela has a BA from Loyola.   Brendan A. (Mac) McLoughlin ’63 writes, “That while I’d love to visit the Abbey more frequently, the fact that my wife and I live in Northern California makes it a little more difficult. Not only that, but we have a daughter in Massachusetts who just had her second child, a baby boy, and we have two sons who live in Southern California. One of my sons is married, and also has two children, so my wife and I spend a lot of time traveling, just to spend some time with our grandchildren. Fortunately, I retired after 30+ years in the high tech business, so I do have the time to travel.  Whenever I get my copy of ‘The Crossroads’, it always brings back the great memories of my days there at the Abbey, as well as giving me some insight into some of the more recent changes. A few years ago, when Fr. John Oetgen, O.S.B., ’45 came out to California to celebrate my daughter’s wedding Mass, he also brought us up to date on many of the wonderful things that are happening at the Abbey. So, hopefully, one of these days, the opportunity will arise for me to get back to the Abbey and experience all of the very positive changes for myself. In the meantime, keep up the good work with ‘The Crossroads.’”

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The opening and blessing of a new office building is a cause for celebration. On July 18, 2007, Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., was invited by alumni Gene Miller ’65 and partners Cindy Sherrill ’81 and Dana Harrison ’95 to bless their new office in Charlotte, NC. The firm, Miller Sherrill Blake Eagle CPA PA, has four branches and is the fourth largest local firm in the region. Another alumnus, James Plecnik ’06 is also employed there. Attending the celebration were Professors Angela Blackwood and Lynne Shoaf of BAC’s Accounting Department. A number of Abbey administrators were also on hand to offer congratulations. Miller is a Trustee of the college and helped found the J.P. Smith Scholarship for students majoring in accounting.  

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Richard Zittel ’66 works part-time as a Retirement Planning Consultant. Richard and Kathleen have two children, Brian (31) and Kathryn (27) and continues to enjoy retirement in Naples, FL.   George Affuso ’67 has retired after 40 years of teaching “at risk” students in an Alternative Program at Memorial High School in West New York, NJ. His wife Patricia taught 39 years and is also retired from the teaching profession. The Affuso’s have a son, Michael, who was married in October and is an attorney for the United States Congressman Albio Sires.

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Pictured from the top of Pikes Peak in May of last year, the five “youngsters” are (left to right) Will Dealy ’67, Jim Cornelius ’67, John Bailey ’70, Dan Harrington ’70, and Tom Brennan ’67. They were on a 5-day mini-vacation at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Co. Cornelius, Brennan, and Harrington are retired; Dealy is soon to retire and Bailey is still working hard. Their trip back on campus for Homecoming brought back a large class reunion and many great memories.  

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F. Kevin ’68 (PKT) and his wife Adrienne (Paolillo SHC ’71) Murphy spent two weeks in the People’s Republic of China as guests of close friends in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps. The Murphy’s visited Beijing, Xian, Macao and Hong Kong. Kevin is the Assistant Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Professional Development Center in Frederick, Maryland, and also Director of Recruitment and Outreach. He is also a member of the Belmont Abbey Alumni Board. Adrienne is an educator with the Frederick County Public Schools and was an adjunct professor of Psychology and Early Childhood Development with a Frederick area college. They live in Frederick County Maryland and have three grown children.

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The Magazine of Belmont Abbey College

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Class Notes By Gayle Dobbs

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Captain Ed Antosek, MC, USN, ’68, retired from the US Navy on October 27, 2006, culminating 30 years of Naval Service as a Medical Corps Officer. On that day he also turned over command of the Naval Medical Research Center which he directed for two years. Abbot Placid, OSB provided the invocation for the ceremonies and Rick Salem, ’69 was the guest speaker.  Ed is currently a member of the Joint Task Force National Capitol Region Medical team. This task force was established to integrate Army, Navy and Air Force medical research and to develop public/private partnerships. This group seeks to enhance medical response capabilities in the event of natural or manmade disasters particularly in the National Capitol Region. Ed has been appointed as chief team leader of the National Medical Research Rapid Response Center.   Felipe M. Villalon ’68 was inducted into the 2007 Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame on October 26, 2007. Felipe graduated from the high school in 1964 which is located in Kernersville, NC. He is currently a Senior Vice President and General Operations Manager for the International Services Division at BB&T bank in Greensboro, NC. Last September Felipe was appointed by the Bishop of Charlotte to the Diocesan Board of Education. In the past, Felipe has served as a member of the Bishop McGuinness Board of Education and as chairman of the Alumni Relations Committee. He has served as mentor to numerous Bishop McGuinness students, offering them work as summer interns while they’ve attended college. He has participated in Bishop’s Winterim program and Career Day for numerous years. Felipe and his wife Mayra reside in WinstonSalem and have two children.

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Jerry Russell ’69 writes: “To all: my good friend Pete Quigney ’69 (pictured standing) from Plano, Texas flew up for our annual ‘Road Trip’ in the Prowler, destination our Alma Mater,  Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, NC. We put 1,300 miles on the car in just 2 1/2 days. Weather was great all the way down and back, not one rain drop. We also met my roommate from college, Tim Brearey ’69, of Smithfield, NC for dinner. We have already picked our trip for Sept. 2008 for Canton & Cleveland, Ohio. We will visit the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Hope everyone is doing well. Regards, Jerry.”  

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On July 22 (pictured L-R), Jay Condon ’69, Aaron Condon ’99, Ed Antosek ’68 and Darrel Dore ’69 gathered for an informal get together for dinner in Pawley’s Island, SC.

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Charlie Martin, ’70, received the Br. Gregory T. Corcoran, OSB Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award during Homecoming this year. This award, conferred annually, is given to a member of the Alumni Association who exemplifies the ideals of Belmont Abbey College, communicates the vision and the mission of the institution to the greater college community and assists with reunions, alumni events, fund-raising, admissions or other areas where the college needs a volunteer. Martin, a native of New York, served in the US Navy from 1961-1964 before moving to Belmont in the late sixties. After graduation, he began an extensive career in insurance. Through the years, Martin has generously served the Belmont community in many capacities, most recently as Mayor Pro-Tem. He has served the Abbey community even more generously, including on the Wall of Fame Committee, the Alumni Board and in many other ways. In 2006, he organized the Belmont Abbey College 130th Anniversary Parade on Homecoming Weekend. Charlie and Dot have five grown children and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

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Chester T. Zukowski ’70 and wife Barbara stopped by the campus on their way through town and were our first official visitors in the newly constructed alumni house. Chester said it was another pleasant memory for him to be on the Abbey campus which looks almost as it did when he left it in 1970. He really appreciates how the buildings kept their integrity but modernized inside; especially in the case of the Haid given new life as a theater. It looks like the old TKE house itself has a new life as well. Spring 2008


Class Notes By Gayle Dobbs

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Pictured below from left to right, are Monte Monteleone ’71, Scott Whitehead ’71, Trish Dittmeier ’72, and Tony Dittmeier ’71 at their annual “Dead on the Beach” reunion at Scott’s home in VA. Monte, Scott and Tony went into the Marines together after graduating from the Abbey. Tony and Monte got out in ’74 and Scott stayed in the reserves and later retired with 30 years of service. Monte and Sarah live in Dallas, NC; Scott and Kathy live in Williamsburg, VA; and Tony and Trish in Cumming, GA. Good news…..Tony and Trish’s daughter, Colleen, has been accepted at the Abbey. She will begin in the fall of 2009 after a year of missionary work.

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Leon M. O’Leary ’71, Amelia, VA retired 9 years ago from Philip Morris, USA.

John Peck ’72 has been a practicing attorney in eastern North Carolina for over twenty five years and now practices exclusively in Estate Planning and Elder Law. He is a charter member of the Advanced Planning Legal Network and a founding member of Wealth Counsel’s Advisor’s Forum. John is an active member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Elder Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, and the Midsouth Forum of Estate Planning Attorneys. John and his wife Rita reside in Wilmington, NC. Jacksonville, FL native Pete Helow ’73 has found contentment in a number of different careers, from accounting to advertising. But it took a soul-searching trip to Lebanon, where he had gone to rediscover his family roots, for Pete to find his true calling: professional photographer. He has since opened a photography studio located above the Ossi, Butler, Najem & Rosario law offices on the Southbank of Jacksonville, and focuses on high-end portraits, photography of theatrical performances and modeling parties. Pete feels that his new vocation was a natural progression from his careers in printing and advertising.  In June, Helow celebrated his one-year anniversary in his new studio, and he expects some significant growth as he attracts more referrals and establishes himself as a premier studio photographer. Helow said his dream is to own his own building with a studio upstairs and an art gallery and party space downstairs … something unique in Jacksonville.

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Kathy (Haverty ’75) Drumm, Executive Vice President of Central Piedmont Community College, understands what leadership is all about. Since 1994, Dr. Drumm has been an innovative leader and strategic thinker for CPCC, overseeing the College’s financial system, information technologies, and facilities management. Dr. Drumm exemplifies the ethical and professional standards of business executives, traits that have earned her the respect of financial administrators and business leaders on a local, state, and national level.  Until recently her low profile was spotlighted by raising $27 million for their capital campaign – $12 million over goal!  This is the largest capital campaign ever by a North Carolina community college. Drumm says “We work hard to keep our credibility with the community and county commissioners and show them how we have used the money.”  She was also instrumental in bringing 3,000 visitors to Charlotte for a national community college conference. Kathy earned a bachelor’s in accounting from Belmont Abbey, an MBA from UNC Charlotte and a Ph.D. in business administration and accounting from Nova Southeastern University. She is a native and lifelong resident of Mt. Holly, NC is married to Jimmy, has one son, Chris and is sister to Dr. Angela Blackwood, Chairperson of the Accounting Department of Belmont Abbey College.

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Thomas S. Gillespie ’76 of Lowell, NC says that his experiences at the Abbey were some of the most formative years of his life. In 2006, Gillespie released a book titled Messiah’s Witness. He reports that the book is doing very well in local stores and invites all alumni to purchase a copy. High Tide Harry’s Seafood Restaurant is a casual seafood restaurant and saloon and going into its 13th year of business.  The restaurant is owned and operated by Mike Heretick ’78 with partners Ken Heretick ’75 and Paul Heretick ’81. They are located at 925 N. Semoran Blvd. Orlando, Florida and their goal is to satisfy your hunger and thirst with a variety of great foods and beverages served in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. “Reel seafood, none of that imitation stuff sold here!”   Michael J. O’Neill ’78 of Millersville, MD was appointed senior vice president and general counsel with Lenovo, a worldwide leader in the PC market that develops, manufactures and markets high-quality PC products and services. He is responsible for the company’s legal, corporate governance, security and government relations globally. O’Neill was most recently a partner in the law firm Howrey LLP, where

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Class Notes By Gayle Dobbs

he was general counsel for the firm’s international practices. O’Neill helped establish the firm’s Brussels office in 2001 and has been advising international clients in such areas as global mergers and acquisitions, and corporate practices. O’Neill also served in a business capacity on several boards, most recently for TRW International. Dr. James M. Andriole ’80, a Tallahassee, FL physician, was elected to serve a three-year term on the board of Directors of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). The FSMB is a national not-for-profit organization representing the 70 state medical boards of the United States and its territories. As a member of the board of directors, he will help provide strategic leadership to the organization. Dr. Andriole, who sustained a traumatic spinal cord injury which resulted in paraplegia, is president and CEO of Disability Consultants U.S.A., a medical consulting and chart review practice. He works as a volunteer physician to serve those in need at county health departments and migrant farm workers children’s clinics. He also volunteers with the National Sports Center for the Disabled, teaching disabled individuals to snow ski and scuba dive.

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Matthews, NC Mayor Lee Myers presented Geralynn Trellue ’81 with a proclamation thanking her for her hard work and declaring Sept. 5 as her special day. Trellue, the director of Matthews Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department, has moved to Greenville, S.C., where she will be a group sales manager for the Peace Center performing arts center. She will finally live in the same town as her fiancé, Don Wygand, who she met while attending the Abbey. Joanna Marie Zieglar, daughter of Josie Carter-Zieglar ’81, made her 1st Holy Communion on May 20, 2007 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greensboro, NC.   Terry Haas ’84 Mooresville, NC is Executive Director of Business Services for Mooresville Grade School District. This will be a new and exciting career change.

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Dave Fuller ’85 continues to play for the Pittsburgh Masters “Over 40’s” soccer league. Dave enjoyed playing soccer while attending the Abbey and has been playing since. In the photo Dave (on the right) is seen accepting the 2007 Champion’s trophy for the Pittsburgh Masters Soccer League. 70 Crossroads

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Domenic Campanile ’85 and wife Rhonda live in Charlotte and have one son who is 15 years old. Domenic is president and owner of Belltower Construction Company and is active in the Gaston and Mecklenburg communities. Currently, he serves on the Montcross Area Chamber (formerly the Belmont Chamber of Commerce) and is president of BNI Network Connectors. BNI is a large networking organization and offers its members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts and most importantly, referrals. Weekly meetings are held on Thursdays at 7:30 am in The Alumni House on The Belmont Abbey College Campus. If you live in the area and would like to know more about BNI, give Campanile a call at 704-507-9289.

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On September 7, 2004, Sandy Gardner ’85 and Mike Ambrose welcomed the birth of their son, Michael Alexander Ambrose. Aunt Cathy (O’Brien ’86) Knudsen has been on hand with several visits after his birth to help out. They have also enjoyed visits from Mary Pat (Giannecchini ’85) Molitor and her brother Rich Giannecchini ’85. Sandy is Godmother and John “Killer” O’Brien ’86 is Godfather to Cathy’s daughter. Cathy’s children, 8-year-old triplets Thomas, Christine and Matthew are looking forward to meeting Michael in the near future. Sandy enjoys her job as a Facility Manager for a Government contractor in Arlington, Virginia. The GardnerAmbrose family resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

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John and Madeline Mullis, surrounded by their children and grandchildren, celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary at Belmont Abbey with Mass and a reception on Labor Day, Sept 3, 2007. Belmont Abbey College alums:  John T. Mullis (70), Addy Jean (Morales SHC ’80) Mullis, Tricia (Mullis SHC ’87) O’Neill and Brian O’Neill (’89).

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Class Notes By Gayle Dobbs

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Dip Metress ’88 has earned career victory #200. The reigning Peachbelt Conference Player of the Year scored 16 points in 28 minutes to lead the ASU Jaguars past UNC Pembroke 72-49 and helped coach Dip Metress earn his 200th career victory. Metress started his coaching career at Belmont Abbey, improved his career record to 200-127. “I have just been lucky to coach some great players and win games at two great schools,” Metress said, “It ain’t always about the X’s and O’s but it is about the Johnnies and the Joes.”   Sandra (Gumerman ’89) Lovetere of Venice, FL, enjoys living near the beaches and volunteers at her daughter’s school.   Rosalee Noles ’91 was named 2007 Teacher of the Year at Page Elementary School in Gaston county. “Teaching is an honorable profession that has futuristic effects. Results may be immediate or much later on.”  A graduate of Sacred Heart College and Belmont Abbey, she is beginning her 27th year in education. She and her husband Steve have two grown sons (one of which is a teacher) and reside in Mt. Holly, NC.     Former Belmont Abbey alumni director, Reena (Khubchandani ’93) Mehwani, was back on campus for a visit last summer. She and her two children, Annika and Om traveled from Hong Kong to visit family and friends in the area. 

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Ronald F. Sweet ’92, and wife Ann welcomed their 6th child, Ava Sweet. She joins big brothers and sisters Ryan (15), Lilly (8), Teresa (4), Liam (2) and Lucy (1).   Tom J. Murphy ’93 was married in the spring of 2007 to Margaret Delacruz in Arlington, VA. Not long after the wedding they attended the Sig Ep reunion on the Abbey campus and had a great time connecting with old friends. Tom and his wife reside in Mahwah, NJ where he is on the Fire Department and absolutely loves serving.  One of his most memorable assists was rescuing 19 people from homes and cars during sudden flooding in April last year. He would love to hear from his old friends by email: ruggermurph@aol.com

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Jonathan Axtell ’93 is an investment manager for the Vanguard Group in the Asset Management Services department. He and Laura live in Gastonia, NC and have two daughters, Sarah Catherine (3) and Emily Grace (6).

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Sheila (Roy ’95) Muha enjoys her role as homemaker and caring for their one year old son Darby Wynne. Sheila and her husband John live in Columbia, SC.

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Maria (Piasecki ’95) Thomas and Tim were married in May 2005 and reside in Boynton Beach, FL with their beautiful 6 month old son, Nicholas. Maria enjoys being a mom for now, watching her son grow and learning new things daily. She misses her friends from the Abbey and would love to hear from them mariap73@yahoo.com.   

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Kate Bentley ’97 is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Dept. of State. She has been assigned (Sept. 2007 to Sept. 2010) to the U.S. Consulate in Recife, Brazil where she will be the Deputy Principal Officer and the Public Affairs Officer. Along with being the spokesperson for the media, she will also be in charge of the Fulbright and Humphrey Fellows exchanges and all other cultural exchanges. Her outreach endeavor is to explain U.S. Foreign Policy. During the past year, Kate was promoted to the Military equivalent of Lt. Colonel. Her accomplishments include four Superior Honor Awards and one Meritorious Award since entering the Service in 1998.

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Tara (Perrotta ’97) and Scott Goodfellow ’99 of Matthews, NC announce the birth of their second child, Audrey Anne Goodfellow. Their second daughter was born at 7:43am on Friday, June 29 weighing in at 9 pounds, 14 ounces. She is reported to be a good baby and Natalie is a wonderful big sister.

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Jonathan ’97 and Erin (Szejner ’97) Brown welcomed the arrival of their first child, Emma McQuade Brown born on February 23, 2007. She was born 7 lbs 13.5 ounces, 20.5 inches long. Erin’s cousin, Christopher Chesner ’97 is Emma’s Godfather.

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First Charter Bank has announced the appointment of John Natale ’97 to the position of Vice President, Commercial Relationship Officer with First Charter’s Strategic Partners Group. His responsibilities include, originating commercial loans and facilitating the purchase and sale of loan participations with other financial institutions. Natale earned a B.S. in accounting from Belmont Abbey College. He currently lives in Mount Holly with his wife and sons.

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Fran (Kirk ’99) Piñeros has decided to move on to the next stage in her career, seeking new challenges and opportunities beyond the Abbey. Her success and experience here should serve as a solid foundation for her future career development. Fran has been at the Abbey for over a decade. She came to the Abbey as a freshman in 1995. Following graduation in May 1999, Fran began working in the Admissions Office as a Counselor. She traveled and recruited students exclusively from the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.   In August 2002 Fran was hired as Director of Alumni and Parent Relations. During her tenure she contributed to the growth and development of many Abbey programs, not only in the administration, but also in student life. She served as moderator for the Senior Class Council and contributed to the success of the annual Abbey Day activities. Fran was also instrumental in the establishment and implementation of the Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame; the completion of the Lowry Alumni House; the launch of a new Alumni website last April which is the platform for our BACroads monthly e-newsletter and online fundraising, including the recent ‘Buy-a-Brick’ for the alumni patio promotion; the revitalization of Alumni gatherings around the country which have been a key component in improving communications with not just alumni, but also friends and prospective students and their parents. The Abbey will miss her energy and wish Fran much success and happiness!  We look forward to seeing her back on campus and at future Homecoming events…as our guest, of course!  72 Crossroads

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Rev. Fr. John M. Pagel ’98, pastor of St. Joan of Arc, recently completed building their new church in Candler, NC; the old church was formerly located in West Asheville, NC. This is his second parish church with his first one in St. Bernadette in Linville, NC.  

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Matthew Arnold ’00 and Brad Smith have opened their new law firm, Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, NC. They focus exclusively on litigation matters - Brad in criminal court and Matt in civil court. Brad will be handling traffic, DWI/DUI and criminal defense matters. Matt will focus on family law, personal injury/workers’ compensation and business litigation. You can find them at Arnold & Smith, PLLC www.arnoldsmithlaw.com.   Eric Bates ’00 was married to Le Gia Dao in Savannah, GA on November 3 in a ceremony that took pace at the home of the bride’s parents and at Blessed Sacrament Church. Alum, Tony Citro ’99, was their best man. Eric and Le make their home in Chamblee, GA.   Melissa (Dillard ’00) Pendley lives in Jacksonville, FL with husband Tim and their three year old daughter Grace. In December 2007, she completed her MBA through the online program with St. Leo University – graduation is slated for May 2008. Her husband Tim is currently in Kabul, Afghanistan and will be there until September 2008. His group is working with the Afghan Air Corp to teach their soldiers more about aircraft and the maintenance they require. She enjoys visiting the campus when she’s in town spending time with her parents in Charlotte.

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Nicholas Ferris ’02 and Angelia Carrier were married at Belmont Abbey Basilica on June 9, 2007. Nick and Angie reside in Savannah, GA.  Nick’s parents, Edward ’73 and Annamarie (Caracappa SHC ’68) Ferris were also married at Belmont Abbey on April 22, 1972. Eddie and Annamarie recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary and reside in Pawleys Island, SC.

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Kate and Stephen Winters ’02 announce a new addition to their family! Caroline Rose Winters was born at 3:22am on Tuesday, September 18, weighing in at 6 pounds and 13 oz. “She is just perfect and we are just so happy.” 

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Class Notes By Gayle Dobbs

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Catherine (Rumore ’02) Hahn and her husband Jeff are happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Ann Marie, born on Aug 24, 2007. She joins her older brothers John Paul and Joseph.  

industrial infrastructure and process, environmental and nuclear management, facilities, water/wastewater, mining, and defense and security programs. Jeffrey’s primary focus for the DOD is on hazardous waste and solid waste, as well as air emission and EPA regulations.  

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April (Sigmon ’02) and James P. Harte ’01 were married October 13, 2007 in the Belmont Abbey Basilica.

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Matthew ’03 and Jessica (George ’04) Ferrante and daughter Isabella recently moved back to Charlotte from Maryland!  They are glad to be back in the area.   After 8 years at Gaston Country Club in Gastonia, NC, Courtney Gebben ’03 has moved to the other side of the river. She is currently the Events Coordinator at TPC Piper Glen in Charlotte, NC. She welcomes Abbey Alumni to contact her for accommodations from business meetings to weddings! She looks forward to catching up with everyone!  704-846-1212.   Joe ’03 and Colleen Klinker announce the birth of their first child, Grace Rose, born on May 26, 2007.   Ralph Aucoin ’04 graduated from Loyola of New Orleans Law School and has been admitted into the Louisiana Bar. He also married Amanda Huling on November 3, 2007 at the Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans. The reception was held at the Lowe’s hotel in New Orleans.   After leaving the Abbey in 2003, Ryan Ludick went back to school in Florida and graduated with a PO Science degree from the University of Central Florida. After college, he and his one-year-old St. Bernard (210+ lbs) moved to Allentown, PA to take a new position. Ryan is currently the assistant men’s rowing coach for Lehigh College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.    Jeffrey P Strebler ’04 lives in Raleigh, NC and works as an environmental scientist for URS Corp. The URS Corp. is one of the largest, global, fully integrated engineering, construction and technical services firms in the world. They provide services for transportation, power,

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Spring 2008

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Laura Priesing ’05 - Christmas time with her co-workers at Expeditors International in Charlotte, NC. (Back row L-R) Ryan Lovelace ’06, Ron Richard ’04, Kim Gahn ’04, Tony Cameron ’04; (2nd row L-R) Stephanie Moser (date of Shane Wood ’05), Laura Priesing ’05, Lori Woody (wife of Matt Tortorich ’04); (Front row L-R) Shane Wood ’05, Matt Tortorich ’04 Tony Decaro ’06.

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Dennis Hendricks ’05 writes: “I have been in Quito, Ecuador studying Spanish. The school I went to was affiliated with the program that Dr. Jones uses for the study abroad program. The school had a great program and I really enjoyed my time in Quito (my Spanish is a LOT better). “Last night I took a bus out to the coast where I will be working on an organic farm. A coworker of mine recommended a farming program here named Rio Muchacho Finica Oraganica (River Muchacacho Organic Farm). It is an amazing chance to live out here on the coast and learn about sustainable farming methods. I am in Bahia de Carraquez (a beautiful town on the beach) for a day or two until I go out to the farm which is a few miles away. The farm doesn’t have electricity and uses solar panels to power the two way radio in the office. For one month, I will not have any electricity. However, the farm has a ton of exotic animals and great waterfalls and I will be horse back riding like a fiend. They have a pet sloth named Alf – we are going to be best friends – I can already tell. I will let everyone know how things go when I return to the US. I am here until August when I return to USF. Enjoy your summer.” Clare Lassiter ’05 is a social worker in Saint Louis, MO, as a continuation of her service with the

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Class Notes By Gayle Dobbs

Gateway Vincentian Volunteers. The mission of the Gateway Vincentian Volunteers program is to provide young adults with an experience of living in community and working with the poor in the spirit of St. Vincent DePaul, whose life’s work was dedicated to serving the poor and needy.

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Amy Shash ’05 is enrolled in grad school in Naperville, IL and about half way through with her studies in Business leadership and finance. She has been with the Kellogg’s company, snack division, for about a year and works in their finance department.    Stephanie Garcia ’06 was back on campus for a visit to catch up with her friends. She is happy to inform us that she has completed her Masters of Liberal Arts from Alvernia College in PA where she is now a full time admissions counselor.   After working in the plant for 20 years, Yolanda Lineberger ’06 of Gastonia, NC has been promoted to Personnel Technician in the Human Resource Department at Freightliner in Mount Holly, NC.

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Marcus McKinney ’06 of Gastonia, NC has accepted a new position/promotion with Freightliner in Mount Holly, NC. Marcus has 14 years of service with the company. He is also the proud father of a new daughter, Lauren Faith McKinney, born November 10, 2006. Congratulations!   Christine (Bendza ’06) Sulentic and Brad have moved to on-post housing in Savannah, GA. She says the move was only four miles down the road, but

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Annual Ring Ceremony

The Belmont Abbey College Ring and annual Ring Ceremony are an important part of Belmont Abbey tradition. Students must complete at least 60 semester hours to be eligible to order their ring, which is blessed by Abbot Placid and presented by President Thierfelder, during a program ceremony held in the Basilica. The Official ring symbolizes the uniqueness of Belmont Abbey College and designates the wearer as a loyal member of the Abbey family. At the core of the Abbey’s values lies an intangible link between past, present and future. Those qualified to wear the ring reflect the traditional and lasting values of excellence and virtue that are Belmont Abbey College. The 2008 ring recipients, accompanied by their families and friends, attended a beautiful ceremony in the Abbey Basilica on Saturday, February 16. Gayle Butterfield ’02, member of the National Alumni Association, was on hand to emcee this special event. Dr. Thierfelder offered welcoming remarks to our 74 Crossroads

The Magazine of Belmont Abbey College

now they have a “fishable” lake, a playground, tons of kids for Anthony to play with, and the most secured housing in the country.

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Stephen Williams ’06 and Lindsay Megill ’06 exchanged their wedding vows on September 1, 2007. Congratulations!

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Michelle Pazzula ’07 spent 9 days at St. Anne’s Bay, Jamaica, West Indies with the Catholic Heartwork Camps. This rewarding mission brought adults and youth groups together from Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Michigan and Minnesota. While working alongside the many volunteers, Michelle ran into the attending physician, Brian McCormick of Yorktown, VA a 1985 graduate from the Abbey. Each day was used to repair and paint the primary school in the mountain region; many did yard work and painting to the Catholic church in St. Anne’s; individuals spent time visiting the infirmary which is a shelter for the elderly, mentally, and physically challenged; they read with local children at the community center (the center was founded by an American woman, who as young adult learned of her Jamaican heritage and move to St. Anne’s to help the people there). guests and talked about the significance and symbolism of the rings. Fr. Agostino Fernandez, O.S.B., expressed gratitude to the soon-to-be graduates for their commitment to this difficult task of completing a college education. Fr. Agostino blessed the rings and each recipient was called forward by Mike Keever ’03, president of the alumni association, to receive his or her ring.    A reception followed the ceremony on this spring-like day in Holy Grounds where students and their loved ones met to celebrate and talk about graduation. It was a beautiful day in every way.

Spring 2008


In Loving Memory 1936 – George Bruch, Pinehurst, NC – may 18, 2007 1938 – James Finn, Wakefield, RI – August 20, 2007 1941 – Henry Aloysius Kelly, Charlotte, NC – June 3, 2007 1941 – Charles Steward McLean, rock Hill, sC – January 11, 2008 1944 – Robert Braun, Portland, Or – July 14, 2007 1947 – Marshall W. Tatum, North Charleston, sC – December 8, 2007 1951 – Henry Kmiec, Brick, NJ – January 1, 2007 1952 – Eva Georgio sHA – buried November 2, 2007 1957 – Thomas R. Lloyd, matthews, NC – July 20, 2007 1958 – James Gladden, Gastonia, NC – september 11, 2007 1961 – William J. Jenkins, Columbia, mD – December 10, 2007 1963 – Genevieve Johnson, Gastonia, NC – August 14, 2007 1964 – Randy “The Rocket” Williams, Archer, FL – August 19, 2007 1964 – J. Gerard Zoby, Virginia Beach, VA – October 5, 2007 1965 – Frank Gill, Jupiter, FL – April 21, 2007 1965 – Kevin Kenney, Fort Lauderdale, FL – July 29, 2007 1967 – Chris Graves, rosewell, GA – April 14, 2007 1967 – Lawrence John Natale, Kings mountain, NC – December 27, 2007 1972 – Robert Stimpson, Indianapolis, IN – July 27, 2007 1973 – Thomas ‘Mac’ McCarthy, – Lake wylie, sC – August 23, 2007 1973 – Charles H. Moore, Baltimore, mD – August 25, 2007 1975 – Paul Storek, rahway, NJ – August 30, 2007 1976 – Bernie Donner, richmond, VA – August 28, 2007 1982 – Donald L. Bush, rock Hill, sC – November 3, 2007 1984 – Martha Putman, Cramerton, NC – september 6, 2006 1996 – Linda K. DeZurik Erickson, Oak Island, sC – June 15, 2007

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