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 ittle Jimmy Dickens was joined by Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White, L The Whites, Opry Announcer Eddie Stubbs and Connie Smith at Belmont’s annual President’s Concert where the Grand Ole Opry was honored with the University’s Applause Award.

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From the President Several months ago Belmont’s Board of Trustees and senior leadership team discussed what we wanted Belmont to look like in five years. As we began crafting a Vision 2015 statement, one element that emerged was our ongoing commitment to Nashville. In fact, we wrote that we intended to provide “engagement with and service to the Nashville community that is unmatched by any other institution of higher education – Belmont is ‘Nashville’s University.’” Little did any of us know then what was about to befall Music City, USA. No one anticipated the damaging storms and torrential floods that would invade this region in early May. One thing we could forecast, however, was how we would respond. The Belmont community including faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents - rushed into service, volunteering time and donating money and supplies to aid those in need. Moreover, despite power outages, issues with water service and hours sacrificed to serve others in the days following the flood, Belmont’s students, faculty and staff rose to the occasion, finishing the academic year strongly in the face of pressure and uncertainty. While I grieve with those who have lost so much from Nashville’s flooding, I can’t help but to also feel a sense of pride in Belmont. It was remarkable to see the immediate and generous response by members of the Belmont community to the crisis in Nashville, but the on-going service to the Nashville community and the world that I see our students performing every day is equally noteworthy. In a recent meeting with Belmont students who were producing this year’s Best of the Best showcase, Vince Gill asked a simple question, “What would the world look like if we all thought of others first and ourselves last?” As I read this edition of Circle, I was struck by the number and variety of activities that Belmont is involved with that embody ways of thinking of others first. I hope as you read you will also get a sense of the atmosphere of service that pervades our university. Though I always have a sense of gratitude for the privilege of serving as Belmont’s president, recent events have only deepened my great love for this place and this community. After celebrating my first decade with Belmont in April, I can honestly say I’m even more excited about what the next 10 years will bring. Thank you for being a part of all the wonderful things that will continue to happen here.

Credits University Administration President Bob Fisher Provost Marcia McDonald Vice President for Presidential Affairs Susan West Vice President of Finance and Operations Steve Lasley Vice President for Administration and University Counsel Jason Rogers Vice President of University Advancement Bethel (Bo) Thomas, Jr. Vice President of Spiritual Development Todd Lake

Magazine Managing Editor April Hefner Designers Glenda Dahlhauser April Maglothin Sara Spencer Josh Wilkerson University Photographer J. Michael Krouskop Contributing Photographers Wes Aldridge Alex Crawford Andrea Hallgren Scott Indermaur Rachael Moore Bonnie Riechert Teresa VanHattan-Granath Contributing Writers Greg Sage Meg Tully Jennifer Wetzel

Dr. Robert C. Fisher, President

Production and Distribution Coordinators April Maglothin Veronica Smith Circle magazine is published biannually for alumni and friends of Belmont University. Editorial content, graphic production, printing and distribution are coordinated by the Office of Communications. Address changes and alumni notes should be directed to the Office of Alumni Relations. Third-class bulk postage is paid at the U.S. Post Office, Nashville, TN. Direct inquiries and comments regarding Circle magazine content to: Belmont University Office of Communications/Circle magazine 1900 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212 (615) 460-6641 or Belmont University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer under all applicable civil rights laws.


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 pring was in full bloom throughout campus this semester thanks S to Belmont’s ever-diligent and creative landscaping crew.

Table of Contents 2 From the President

14 Being Belmont: Greek Games

4 Belmont Responds to Nashville Flood

16 Campus News

6 In the Community

20 Community Involvement

8 Vince Gill Receives Malloy Award

22 Belmont Achievers

10 SIFE Wins National Championship

26 Belmont Athletics

12 A Paradise Lost?

28 Spiritual Development

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nashville 4

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Belmont Responds to Flood 2010

The first weekend of May delivered more than 15 inches of rain to Middle Tennessee, pushing rivers to overflow their banks and sinking entire Nashville neighborhoods beneath raging water. The devastation caused by flooding was more severe than any natural disaster to have befallen the state in the past 100 years. Thankfully, Belmont University escaped the worst of the destruction, though one day of classes was postponed and the campus experienced interruptions in power, water pressure and air conditioning in the days following the storms. Still, students, faculty, staff and university leaders worked together to overcome those inconveniences and to successfully complete the academic year. More importantly, the concepts of community and service— elements ever present in Belmont classrooms—were lived out across campus and throughout Nashville with tremendous compassion and energy. More than 200 students volunteered to aid their neighbors, temporarily forgoing studying for exams in order to gut local houses, deliver bottled water and provide a friendly, caring presence to those in need. Students weren’t alone in their volunteer efforts. University leaders decided to support Nashville’s recovery by providing three paid days of leave for each faculty and staff member to serve the community. 

In addition to unleashing Belmont’s greatest asset— its people—to apply hearts, hands and minds to restoring Nashville, the university also partnered with government officials to aid in the dissemination of important information. Per an agreement established last year, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management established a Joint Information Center (JIC) in the Curb Event Center on Belmont’s campus. The JIC, which opened as floodwaters were still rising, served as the primary location for Metro officials to communicate emergency information. Numerous press conferences and briefings were held to update the Nashville community on the impact and recovery from the flood. Belmont alumni showed extraordinary creativity with their relief efforts as well, as Patten Fuqua (‘03) authored a blog post titled “We Are Nashville” that inspired the city and created a movement. Fellow alumni and founders Sam Davidson and Stephen Moseley (both ’98 graduates) added to the movement with the creation of T-shirts, bumper stickers and recyclable bags to benefit relief efforts. For more information, visit www. For more information on Belmont’s flood response and ways to provide assistance, visit www.belmont. edu/nashvilleflood2010/. n

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in the


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As a Christian community of learning and service, Belmont continuously seeks opportunities to engage students in ways that meet the needs of the community. One such opportunity was a unique partnership with neighboring Rose Park Magnet Middle School. During the spring semester, a Belmont feature writing class worked with 14 hand-selected 7th and 8th grade students to produce a newsletter for the nearby Edgehill community. The Belmont students visited the middle school eight times to assist with their work as reporters, page designers and photographers. Their final class was held on Belmont’s campus where they completed layout and design. The final product, Edgehill’s Best, was distributed to students at nearby schools and throughout the Edgehill community. For the second year in a row, Belmont hosted a Community Day basketball game, a special event for neighbors of the university. Nearly 250 members of the surrounding community attended the complimentary game and a half-time reception in their honor. On Sat., April 10, Belmont University students volunteered in the Edgehill community during Bruin Den Day, a day of community service that focuses on surrounding neighborhoods or Belmont’s “den.” Nearly 70 students participated in this annual event sponsored by the Student Government Association. The students served at the Edgehill Spring Health Fair at I.W.

Gernert Homes, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency’s loft units at 12th Ave. South and Edgehill Ave near the Belmont campus. They assisted with the health fair and conducted activities for youth and seniors including a Wii tournament, Bingo games, a pool tournament, pictures with Bruiser, face painting and inflatables. Also on April 10, students gathered for the 10th Annual Dollar General Family Literacy Day, ‘Read With Me’ at E.S. Rose Park in the Edgehill Community. The event is aimed at children from pre-K through Grade 6 and their families and is designed to celebrate the joys of reading. In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Belmont’s Family Literacy Day, Belmont University and Dollar General sponsored a poetry contest for Metro Nashville Public Schools first through fourth graders. Children were asked to write a 16 to 20 line poem about their favorite story. Of all the poems submitted, the Top 5 were chosen by the Belmont English Club, and the children met with area professional songwriters to set their poems to music. Top winners received monetary gifts for their classroom. With so many service projects happening so close to campus, a new neighbor newsletter, Tower Notes, launched this spring to capture information relevant to the neighbors of Belmont. To subscribe to this electronic publication, e-mail n

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One of the most well-known, influential couples in the music business visited Belmont University this semester to discuss their experiences within the industry as well as their thoughts on life, faith and artistry. Amy Grant and Vince Gill delighted a packed Massey Performing Arts Center with their conversation as part of the Curb College’s “Insider’s View” series, hosted by Harry Chapman. The event was part of the celebration of Gill receiving the 2010 Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence. The award is presented annually at the Curb College’s Best of the Best showcase to an individual who has achieved a level of excellence in the music business and entertainment industries with notable service to Belmont University and the Nashville community. Grant and Gill, who celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary in March, opened their visit by discussing their Belmont connections. Grant’s first music demos, at age 17, were recorded at Belmont by then-student and current famed producer Brown Bannister. Those demos were then played for a Word Records music executive, leading to Grant’s first record contract. Gill’s connections, on the other hand, came through Belmont Athletics and his long-term friendship with men’s basketball coach Rick Byrd. Gill said that at this point he’s not counting on sales or accolades to justify his career, but rather is pushing himself to make the best music he can and enjoy the process, wisdom he encourage students

to adopt. “If you can let go of the results, you’ll find great peace in your music. Whether it sells 10 million copies or 10, none of the notes have changed. I’m willing to let music be in the moment.” The April 24 Best of the Best concert, which was co-hosted by Harry Chapman and Restless Heart front man and Belmont alumnus Larry Stewart, featured a tribute performance by Vince’s friend and fellow star Rodney Crowell along with songs from his wife and his daughter Jenny. As always, the show highlighted some of Belmont’s remarkable student talent with performances from the winners of the CEMB Showcase series—Miss B (Urban/Pop), Joshua Eric Wright (Christian), Cheryl LuQuire (Country) and Delta Saints (Rock)—and from the ASCAP Writers’ Night series winners –Clare Dunn, Hailey Faith, Hailey Steele, Josh Johnson, Greg Bates and Jordan Kyle Reynolds. Over the years, Vince Gill has established three endowed music business scholarships at Belmont University in the names of his loved ones: his father Stan Gill, his brother Bob Coen and his longtime steel guitar player and friend John Hughey. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007, Gill has sold more than 26 million albums and earned 18 CMA Awards. Besides being known for his talent as a performer, musician and songwriter, Gill is regarded as one of Country Music’s best known humanitarians, participating in hundreds of charitable events throughout his career. n Spring spring 2010 9

SIFE Wins National Championship

This victory was the perfect culmination to my college experience at Belmont. SIFE has allowed me to validate my education by giving me the opportunity to take what I’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to real world social problems. - SIFE President, Tim Harms

For the first time ever, the Belmont University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team won the national championship at the SIFE USA National Exposition. The top place finish landed Belmont as the No. 1 team out of nearly 600 teams nationwide. With the tagline “A head for business, a heart for the world,” SIFE is an international non-profit organization that mobilizes students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. After a fifth consecutive year winning as regional champions, the national championship will now allow Belmont’s SIFE team to represent the United States at the SIFE World Cup competition in Los Angeles this October. Finance professor Dr. John Gonas, management instructor Cate Loes and communication studies professor Jason Stahl serve the SIFE team as Sam Walton Fellows. Gonas said, “I am honored and humbled to work with such creative and committed students. They continue to build long-term, sustainable community partnerships that will enable economic opportunity and personal/professional growth for years to come.” Belmont SIFE President Tim Harms, a May 2010 BBA graduate in finance and accounting, added, “This victory was the perfect


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culmination to my college experience at Belmont. SIFE has allowed me to validate my education by giving me the opportunity to take what I’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to real world social problems. SIFE has challenged me to do things I never thought possible.” During the past year, the Belmont University SIFE team organized 11 projects on campus and in the community that addressed a wide range of issues including refugee resettlement, financial literacy, business ethics and environmental sustainability. One example is the Access DVD series, videos produced in seven languages that help acclimate refugees to life in the United States. The first DVD in the series educates viewers on U.S. money and banking. For another project, SIFE tutored a group of 40 African American students through the 100 Kings program in Nashville, training them in ACT test prep and the college application process. To date, 38 of the students have received college acceptance letters. Belmont SIFE students spent more than 1,300 volunteer hours developing and completing their projects. In addition, the 74 SIFE team members are involved in many other organizations and represent a variety of majors across campus. n

refugee resettlement environmental sustainability business ethics financial literacy

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Pa r a d i slost? e Annual academic theme deepens campus discussions of sustainability




exploration of the campus-wide theme “A Paradise Lost?” wrapped up this spring with a variety of events and speakers focused on broadly defined issues of sustainability. In addition to students’ ongoing work with the campus’ organic community garden, another highlight of the 2009-10 academic concentration was a visit from Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, who also co-produced the documentary Food, Inc. Schlosser opened the evening by declaring, “I want you to think of sustainability in terms of practices each of us employs in our daily lives. It doesn’t just apply to the land or our environment but also to ourselves.” He then proceeded to discuss the unhealthy patterns related to food production and consumption, patterns that began in the past few decades with the rise of fast food chains. Illustrating the dangers behind such production entities as factory farms and genetically-modified corn, he noted, “The aim of my work isn’t to tell people what to do, but to make people think about their choices.” Making people think about their choices was also a common theme with Belmont’s celebration of Earth Hour, a global project in which individuals make a


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statement about their concern for climate change by turning off their lights for one hour. The Belmont celebration included acoustic performances by student artists and light only from bonfires. The Earth Hour celebration was a perfect precursor to the Earth Day activities in April, which included Belmont’s participation in the “Hope for Creation” simulcast, a live international broadcast that explored the biblical vision for care of the planet. Belmont student Adam Marks sang an original song, “Tribute to a Tree,” as part of the broadcast. The “Paradise Lost” theme concluded this year with a convocation featuring Grammy Award-winning recording artist Kathy Mattea and her husband songwriter Jon Vezner. Mattea’s latest album Coal is a collection of mining songs inspired by how families today are coping with the effects of mountaintop removal and coal mining. For 2010-11, Belmont University will be delving into another timely topic, addressing issues of “Invention and Creativity.” The series, which will include a visit from noted author Margaret Atwood as part of the fall’s Humanities Symposium, will elaborate both the connections and distinctions between invention, creativity, innovation and discovery. n

“I want you to think of sustainability in terms of practices each of us employs in our daily lives. It doesn’t just apply to the land or our environment but also to ourselves.”

- Eric Schlosser

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 elmont’s Greek organizations raised more than $9,000 for the B Make-a-Wish Foundation during Greek Week. In addition to the annual Greek Olympics, Greek Week raised funds to sponsor a trip to Universal Studios for Hunter Bernhardt, a local child battling Burkitt’s Lymphoma.

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HCA tristar Gift Helps Create Hollis Student of Integrity Award The College of Business Administration (COBA) recently received a $10,000 gift from the Hospital Corporation of America’s TriStar Division in order to create the Harry N. Hollis Student of Integrity Award. TriStar gave the gift in honor of long-time business ethics professor Dr. Harry Hollis, who retired from Belmont this spring. Annual proceeds from the gift will go toward providing a $500 award to a “Student of Integrity” who has demonstrated exemplary integrity and ethical behavior while pursuing his or her business degree at Belmont.


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Dr. Hollis has served as the director of Belmont’s Center for Business Ethics since its creation in 1994. The Center provides a forum in which leaders of organizations can interact with one another to discuss key issues in the area of organizational integrity and also provides resources to facilitate the overall development of ethical standards of conduct within the marketplace. Under Dr. Hollis’ leadership, the Center has achieved national prominence and has helped Belmont achieve a Top 10 national ranking for business ethics programs in BusinessWeek magazine. n


Gray Challenges Audience to Continue Fight for ‘Equal Justice’ Legendary Civil Rights attorney Fred Gray appeared on campus in January, sharing with wisdom and candor stories about his never-ending efforts to “destroy everything segregated I could find.” In a special morning-long forum and lecture, Gray—the former attorney for Rosa Parks, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study victims—spoke to an audience in the Massey Performing Arts Center consisting of Belmont students, faculty and staff along with members of the community and students from Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University and 85 eighth graders from nearby Rose Park Middle School. Throughout the morning Gray shared details of the Montgomery bus boycott and the role he played along with other early Civil Rights pioneers. “There were many unsung heroes who gave the moral courage that made it possible to have a Civil Rights movement and elect the 44th president of the United States,” Gray noted. “I want to challenge you all that the Civil Rights movement is not over. The struggle for equal justice has not been achieved.” n

Brad Paisley Visits Alma Mater Belmont alumnus Brad Paisley visited his alma mater just days after winning the Academy of Country Music’s Male Vocalist of the Year award. Always entertaining with a clever sense of humor, Paisley shared the wisdom he’s learned with more than 1,500 students in a special session of “The Insider’s View.” Hosted by Harry Chapman, “The Insider’s View” is the signature interview series produced by Belmont’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business. The interview series allows Belmont students to gain an “insider’s view” on the inner workings of the music and entertainment industries through the eyes of a business veteran. n

College of Law Admits First Students

Belmont Graduates Largest Class Ever Belmont celebrated the commencement of a total of 744 students this May, marking the largest graduation in the university’s history to date. During the ceremonies, 630 undergraduate, 92 master’s and 22 doctoral degrees were conferred. In addition, winners of annual faculty awards were announced. Dr. Jeff Cornwall, a management professor and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, was named recipient of the Presidential Faculty Achievement Award, which is presented annually to a deserving faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to student life outside the classroom. The Chaney Distinguished Professor Award, which is given to a full-time faculty member who best demonstrates outstanding teaching in the classroom, went to Lucyellen Dahlgren in the School of Nursing. n

On Feb. 15, Belmont University’s new College of Law began accepting applications from individuals interested in joining the Charter Class, which will enroll in August of 2011. To date, the number and quality of applicants have exceeded the expectations of Founding Dean Jeff Kinsler and Assistant Dean for Student Services Andy Matthews. Prospective students are being encouraged to apply early in the admission cycle. Belmont College of Law applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and register with the LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (formerly LSDAS). Furthermore, applicants can choose an Early Decision option or Regular Decision option. “It is an extraordinary opportunity to take Belmont’s mission and construct a program of legal education,” said Matthews. “We are busy constructing a curriculum, drafting academic standards, identifying faculty candidates and recruiting an inaugural class that will make Belmont proud.” The College of Law will be housed on campus in a beautiful new 75,000 square foot building that will include a state-of-the-art law library and underground parking. A groundbreaking for the new building is planned for fall 2010. n

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U.S. Senator John Thune Speaks at Belmont United States Senator John Thune, R-S.D., spoke at Belmont University on April 16 for an event hosted by the Right Aisle Review, a student-run conservative and libertarian quarterly newspaper at Belmont. Thune offered his perspective of Washington politics and discussed a variety of political issues including recent healthcare legislation. Thune has served in a number of public policy positions in his home state of South Dakota. Among other professions, he has worked in the Small Business Administration under President Ronald Reagan, as well as served as South Dakota’s lone member of the United States House of Representatives. Thune limited himself to three terms in the House and pursued a United States Senate seat in the fall of 2002. After a narrow loss, he made a second bid for the Senate in 2004. In one of the most highly publicized campaigns in the country, he made history by defeating incumbent Tom Daschle, the first time in 52 years that a sitting Senate majority leader lost a re-election bid. Today, Thune is the fourth-ranking Senate Republican and serves as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. He recently received the Ducks Unlimited Federal Elected Official Wetlands Conservation Achievement Award for his wildlife habitat preservation efforts. Thune’s daughter Brittany is a 2010 Belmont University business graduate. A member of the women’s cross country team, she is the recipient of the Presidential Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. n


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Curb Event Center Hosts 2010 Gubernatorial Debates Belmont University is partnering with WSMV-TV and affiliates across the state to present two debates preceding the election of Tennessee’s next governor, one debate prior to this summer’s statewide primary and another before the fall general election. The University’s Curb Event Center, location of the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, will again be the site of a significant political event for the state of Tennessee. In fact, Belmont already hosted one gubernatorial forum in January. On Thurs., Jan. 14, Belmont hosted the first major gubernatorial forum of the 2010 election year. Presented along with the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and NewsChannel5, the Gubernatorial Forum on Education represented the first time all the main candidates for governor from both the Democratic and Republican parties were on the same stage, sharing their ideas and plans for education and economic development in Tennessee. n


New Student-Run Candy Business Opens on Campus Belmont’s Center for Entrepreneurship and sweets lovers everywhere celebrated the grand opening of Buzzy’s candy shop, a new student-operated business on Belmont Blvd. Buzzy’s sells gummis, chocolates, old fashioned candy, popular wrapped candies and jelly beans. The students behind the Buzzy’s venture are Areej Rabie, a finance and entrepreneurship major, entrepreneurship major Julia Cecere and marketing major Mandy Strader. “The story of Buzzy’s is a great example of the entrepreneurial spirit of the students coming to Belmont,” said Dr. Jeff Cornwall, Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship. Like so many of our students, they came here not only ready to learn in the classroom, but ready to get their hands dirty and learn through experience.” n

Fortune Magazine Features Belmont Programs Belmont University was recently named one of “five schools for entrepreneurs” by Fortune magazine for its Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship programs. The magazine chose Belmont for standing out among the more than 2,000 schools in the United States who teach entrepreneurship. Fortune said Belmont was a “case study in niche building,” citing the Social Entrepreneurship program as the first of its kind in the country. The Social Entrepreneurship program graduated its first full class of seven students in May, including Sarah Chellappa, who was recently featured on Belmont’s Web site and is planning to attend the Every Nations School in preparation for full-time ministry. n

College of Arts and Sciences Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary Ocean Way Hosts Haiti Benefit Recording Belmont’s Ocean Way Studios hosted Michael W. Smith and a who’s-who list from the music community to record “Come Together Now,” a song written to remind people of the need to help those in Haiti. The song and an accompanying video were premiered a few weeks after the recording at a press conference held in Belmont’s Curb Café. Pat McMakin, Ocean Way’s director of operations, said, “When we were approached to work with Michael W. Smith on this project, I felt it was not only the right thing to do, but consistent with Belmont’s values which include service and collaboration.” McMakin and Ocean Way made headlines again in May when the studio was the featured cover story in Mix magazine, the world’s leading magazine for the professional recording and sound production technology industry. n

As part of the College of Arts and Sciences 10-year anniversary, former deans Dr. Don Ramage, Dr. Richard Fallis, Dr. Larry Hall and Dr. Mike Pinter served on a panel and answered faculty-submitted questions at a convocation during Homecoming Week. Each man shared his greatest accomplishments as dean. Dr. Ramage mentioned fathering the Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium as his greatest accomplishment, adding that one of his proudest moments was when the faculty approved the physical therapy and occupational therapy programs. Dr. Fallis said launching the College of Arts and Sciences was his greatest achievement because “we started from scratch.” Dr. Hall was most proud of the quality of people CAS was able to hire and the nature of the college. Dr. Pinter, who twice served as interim dean of CAS, listed keeping things moving as smoothly as possible and quickly addressing issues as a few of his greatest achievements. The panel concluded as each former dean was presented with an Advocatus Artium Liberalium award for their “exemplary advocacy of the liberal arts and sciences.” n

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Community Involvement

children research dirt at belmont Twenty-five area home schooled children, grade levels 1-6, recently participated in “What’s Alive in a Handful of Dirt” on Belmont’s campus. The session was led by Dr. Steve Murphree, professor of biology. The children each brought a bag of dirt or compost from their homes to examine for soil-inhabiting creatures using stereomicroscopes. In addition to being encouraged to get dirty exploring the natural world, the children learned to identify soil animals and discovered more about their ecological roles. This free event was one of Belmont School of Science’s Home School Science Discoveries (HSSD) laboratories, a program in its second year. Each lab is led by a School of Sciences faculty member, often with help from Belmont science majors. To date, HSSD labs have been offered by faculty from the departments of biology, chemistry and physics and mathematics and computer science. n


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New Century Journalism Co-sponsors Annual Scripps Spelling Bee Spellers from across Middle Tennessee squared off in Massey Performing Arts Center for the annual Scripps Regional Spelling Bee. Forty-one students in fifth through eighth grades competed, with the winner receiving an expensepaid trip to Washington, D.C. for the national bee. The annual event is co-sponsored by the New Century Journalism Program and The Tennessean. The winning word, spelled correctly by Davidson County 8th grade homeschooler Clark Hubbard, was “mugient,” an adverb meaning “lowing, bellowing.” Judges for this year’s event were New Century Journalism faculty members Dr. Sybril Bennett and Dorren Robinson, and English Assistant Professor Sue Trout. n

Community Involvement

School of Music Honors Grand Ole Opry with Applause Award Belmont University’s School of Music honored the Grand Ole Opry with the Applause Award at this year’s President’s Concert. The Applause Award is given annually to a person or organization that has greatly benefited the arts community in Nashville. Dr. Cynthia Curtis, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, said, “There could not be a better choice for Belmont’s 2010 Applause Award than ‘The Grand Ole Opry.’ It’s Nashville’s own music, and besides, the stage of the Opry is filled with Belmont grads!” What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 is today a live-entertainment phenomenon. Dedicated to honoring country music’s rich history and dynamic present, the Grand Ole Opry showcases a mix of country legends and the contemporary chart-toppers who have followed in their footsteps. The Opry, an American icon and Nashville, Tennessee’s number-one attraction, is world-famous for creating one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences for audiences of all ages. Opry members who attended the President’s Concert as Belmont’s special guests included Little Jimmy Dickens, Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White, The Whites, Opry Announcer Eddie Stubbs and Connie Smith. Skaggs, White and Smith also performed with several ensembles during the concert. The President’s Concert features School of Music student ensembles and groups that highlight the musical diversity of the program. All funds raised by the dinner and concert provide scholarships for students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, which includes the School of Music as well as the Department of Art and the Department of Theatre and Dance. n

Diagnosing Our Future Speaker Series Tackles Community Health The Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing hosted “A Dialogue to Build a Healthier Community” with featured speaker Dr. David Williams, Harvard University professor and staff director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America. Williams joined with numerous leaders in the Nashville healthcare community to discuss topics including: How Our Neighborhood Affects Our Health; A Community Perspective on Disparities Research; Partnering Together for a Healthier Community; and Beyond Health Care: Building a Healthier Community. The day-long event was part of the college’s ongoing “Diagnosing Our Future” Speaker Series. Co-sponsoring the Dialogue with the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing was the University’s Center for Community Health & Health Equity. n

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Scholarship, Awards Day Honors Students, Faculty Belmont University recognized students and faculty at the annual end-ofyear Scholarship and Awards Day ceremony in the Massey Performing Arts Center. Students honored in the ceremony included: The Williams-Murray First Year Writing Awards: Caitlin Motes, Kate Tully The Alfred Leland Crabb Awards: Amaryah Armstrong, Carly Escue The Stacy Awalt Writing Awards: Matthew Lefavor, Brian York, Bethany Somma, Ian Chapman The Annette Sisson First Year Writing Award: Jessica Duble The Lumos Travel Award: Abigail Selden The John Williams Heart of Belmont Award: Margaret Shehan The First Year Award, Leadership: JoAnna B. Adkisson The Second Year Award, Leadership: Moniqe Janee Parris The Third Year Award, Leadership: Daniel (D.J.) R. King, Jr. The Fourth Year Award, Leadership: Henry (Hank) L. Carter Retiring faculty member Dr. Harry Hollis, the James M. Medlin Chair of Business Ethics and past Director of Belmont’s Center for Business Ethics, was also recognized for multiple years of service to Belmont. n


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Fisher Named Nashvillian of the Year, Apollo Award Winner Easter Seals Tennessee named Dr. Bob Fisher, Belmont President, the 2010 Nashvillian of the Year. Fisher was honored on April 20 at the 17th annual Nashvillian of the Year Celebration with event proceeds benefitting Easter Seals Tennessee, an organization dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities live with greater independence. Since 1993, the Nashvillian of the Year award has been given to Nashville’s notable leaders who best exemplify the qualities of leadership that ensure that Nashville continues to be a better place to live. Each year past honorees select the recipient of the Nashvillian of the Year award using criteria including individual contributions to the community, philanthropic causes and business leadership. In addition, Nashville’s chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) recently presented Fisher with the Apollo Award for Communications Leadership, which is given annually by the Nashville PRSA Chapter to a senior Middle Tennessee executive who demonstrates and exemplifies the public relations and communications function within his or her organization. n



Belmont Cheerleading Earns Trip to Nationals Belmont Cheerleading earned a coveted berth in the 2010 UCA College Cheerleading & Dance Team Championship, finishing in sixth place. The Bruins, making their first appearance at nationals in program history, represented one of nine universities vying for a title in the ‘Cheer Division I’ category on Jan. 15 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. “The simple fact that Belmont qualified for this prestigious competition and was represented as one of nine Division I finalists is an accomplishment in itself,” Belmont Cheerleading head coach Lindsey Tonkin said. “As cheerleaders, supporting Belmont Athletics is our number one priority. Aside from attending games, public appearances, community service events and fundraisers, we’ve been practicing four-to-six times per week to prepare for Nationals since last August,” Tonkin added. “Many of the components we perform in our competition routine are illegal on a basketball court surface and can’t be performed at games. We look forward to the competition at representing Belmont.” UCA Nationals is universally regarded as the premier event in college cheerleading and dance, with competition televised on ESPN. n

Former Belmont Provost Installed as 25th LaGrange College President Former Belmont Provost Dr. Dan McAlexander was officially installed April 23 as the 25th president at LaGrange College outside of Atlanta. Delegates from colleges and universities around the country, including close friends from Belmont, joined representatives from the United Methodist Church, the city of LaGrange, faculty, staff and students to welcome the new president. McAlexander assumed his new position last July after eight years of service to Belmont University. During his tenure, Belmont experienced an overall enrollment increase of 68 percent. The university has also saw spikes in average ACT scores, from 24 to 26, and in the six-year graduation rate, from 50 percent to 67 percent. n

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Thompson Receives Curtain Call Award Belmont alumnus and adjunct faculty member Chester Thompson was awarded the Curtain Call Award at a School of Music concert in his honor. The award is presented annually to a School of Music alumnus in honor of achievement in the field of commercial and popular music. From jazz to rock or pop to gospel, Chester Thompson has surpassed the boundaries of musical genres. He has performed and recorded with artists as varied as the Weather Report, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Genesis/Phil Collins and Ron Kenoly. Chester has been a member of the Belmont faculty since 1998. Previous Curtain Call Award winners include Josh Turner, Ginny Owens, Jill Phillips Gullahorn, Will Denton, Fleming McWilliams, Melodie Crittenden, Jozef Nuyens, Gordon Mote, Tammy Rogers King, Bernie Herms and Chris Rodriguez. n

Perry Lands in Top 10 in Miss USA Tucker Perry, a junior commercial music major, was crowned Miss Tennessee USA 2010 in October and competed in the Miss USA pageant May 16, landing in the Top 10. The show was broadcast live from Las Vegas on NBC. Perry said, “Belmont has been so dear to my heart since the moment I stepped foot on this campus almost three and a half years ago. I feel so honored to be able to represent not only the state of Tennessee, but also Belmont University, and most importantly, the School of Music.” n

Voight Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Alumnus Bob Schatz Publishes New Book Belmont alumnus Bob Schatz (‘77), a commercial photographer, recently released his fifth book, Nashville by Design: Architectural Treasures. The book is the first released under his new publishing company, and it is already getting rave reviews. Among the interesting architecture that is featured is one of Schatz’s favorite places, the Belmont Mansion. n


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Dr. Mike Voight, professor of physical therapy at Belmont, was recently honored by the American Physical Therapy Association as a recipient of the Turner A. Blackburn Lifetime Achievement Award from its Sports Physical Therapy Section. The award signifies a lifetime of positive contribution to education at both the university and continuing education levels. In addition, Voight was inducted into APTA’s Sports Physical Therapy Hall of Fame, recognizing his positive impact on the profession of physical therapy for over 25 years. Dr. Voight is a full-time tenured professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Belmont. He has spent most of his clinical practice working directly in the field of sports physical therapy, including time with many professional leagues, teams and athletes. n



New Belmont Alumnus Joins ‘World Race’ To say that May 2010 Belmont marketing graduate Joshua Maisner will hit the ground running in his post-college life is a bit of an understatement. In July, Maisner is scheduled to embark on the World Race 2010, a Christian mission trip that travels to 12 countries in 11 months. In partnering with existing missionaries and ministries, World Racers develop relationships with the “least of these” and through acts of service see communities and nations transformed all over the world. Maisner is no stranger to relief work. After starting the United:For Change nonprofit organization on campus last year, he spent the final Spring Break of his Belmont career serving people in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there in January. Maisner is anxious to return to Haiti, which will be one of his first stops on the World Race before travelling to the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Philippines, Mozambique, Malawi, Pioneer Africa, Turkey and Romania. “This trip will provide me a better understanding of the very problems and causes I want to dedicate my life to,” Maisner said. “I’m excited to see the diversity in cultures and the different ways countries and communities overcome problems.” To donate, learn more about his trip or follow his blog, visit n

Speech and Debate Team Wins at National Invitational On March 5, the Belmont University Speech and Debate team was awarded first place at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational. Held at Cedarville University, the tournament included 27 universities from across the country competing in debate and individual events. This is the first time Belmont has won the national title, previously scoring as high as third place. Coach Jason Stahl noted, “In previous years we had talented debaters or individual event competitors. This year we were lucky enough to have hard working and talented students in both.” In the individual event division Belmont received an impressive 39 awards, including five national championships. Assistant Coach Ryan Greenawalt added, “There were other teams that were bigger and competed in more events than us, but the quality of our students’ events led us to success. It was a true Cinderella story for Belmont to come out of nowhere and surprise everyone.” n

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Coach rick byrd, Freshman ian clark Score Significant Honors After losing five seniors to graduation following the 2008-09 season, Belmont men’s basketball anticipated a transitional year to rebuild. Instead, the Bruins landed a share of their third Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Championship in the past five years. Leading the charge was Head Coach Rick Byrd, who was named Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year by In molding a roster comprised of 10 underclassmen, Byrd led the Bruins to winning 14 league games this season, joining 2008 National Champion Kansas in an exclusive fraternity as the only programs in the nation to win 12 or more regular season conference games each of the past eight seasons.


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The Knoxville, Tenn. native ranks 12th among all active NCAA Division I head coaches in career victories with 580. In addition, men's basketball freshman Ian Clark (Memphis, Tenn.) was named A-Sun Freshman of the Year by both the Atlantic Sun conference and Sporting News. The only Bruin to start all 31 games this season, Clark showcased a scoring touch, maturity level and affinity for late-game situations far beyond his years. The Memphis native became the first freshman of the program's NCAA era to lead the Bruins in scoring, averaging 14.9 points per game. n n




Ezell Named Women’s Basketball Head Coach Following the resignation of women’s basketball stalwart Tony Cross, Director of Athletics Mike Strickland announced in April the hiring of Brittney Ezell as the third head women’s basketball coach in program history. Strickland said, “Brittney has distinguished herself both as a coach and a player, and we believe her enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to the studentathlete ideal are perfect fits at Belmont.” Ezell comes to Belmont after spending the previous two seasons as head coach at the University of Montevallo. Ezell’s coaching career began at the University of Alabama, where she spent five years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Ezell was a four-year starting point guard for the Tide, helping lead the team to a 95-34 record and four consecutive NCAA “Sweet Sixteen” appearances. A pillar of consistency in his 26 seasons, Cross directed Belmont to a program-record 544 career victories. “Tony has been a central figure on this campus for four decades, and our vast successes in women’s basketball over the years can be directly attributed to his capable leadership and dedication,” said Strickland. “We appreciate everything he has meant to the Bruin program.” n

Leukemia Didn’t Beat Belmont Senior Women’s basketball senior LaWanna Holiday (Henderson, Tenn.) was the subject of a feature story in the February 11 edition of The Tennessean. Holiday sat down with reporter Mike Organ to detail her ongoing battle with leukemia and return to the basketball court after her diagnosis last summer. “There were some low times. There were times when I would think, ‘I’m really about to pass over,’’’ Holiday told The Tennessean. “But it was weird. I never thought that I wouldn’t be able to play basketball again.” As a senior the Henderson, Tenn. native came off the bench in 14 contests, starting one, and was named Atlantic Sun All-Academic. n

Student-Athletes Recognized Nationally for Academic Achievement Student-Athletes Honored at Year-End Event Serving as culmination of the academic and athletic year, the 2010 All-Sports Banquet honored Presidential Scholar-Athletes of the Year Brittany Thune (women’s cross country/track) and Ben McGlothlin (men’s cross country/track). (Thune also earned three of the Atlantic Sun’s most prestigious honors in a June awards ceremony—Female ScholarAthlete of the Year, the Postgraduate Scholarship and the league’s nod for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.) In addition, Elizabeth Bublis of women’s soccer and Mark Noth of baseball received the Director of Athletics’ Character Award. Other noteworthy honorees included Sari Lin of women’s soccer and Joe Frye of men’s track being named Athletes of the Year, and Laura Harris of women’s soccer and Ian Clark of men’s basketball being named Newcomers of the Year. n

Four Belmont University athletic teams were honored as part of the 2010 NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program (APP). Belmont men’s basketball, men’s soccer, women’s golf and women’s soccer were highlighted on the Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Announcement signifying each program ranking in the top 10 percent within their respective sports nationwide for their academic progress rate as determined by the NCAA. The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic standing each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. For men’s basketball, in particular, this continues its tradition of success on the court and in the classroom. Belmont is one of only 12 institutions in Division-I men’s basketball to make the Public Recognition List every year since its inception in 2006. n

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Seven Last Sayings of a Crucified Christ The “Seven Last Sayings of a Crucified Christ” worship service, held at Belmont Heights Baptist Church during Holy Week, featured sermons on Jesus’ final words. The sermons were offered by local college students, including Terrell Crudup, Aignes Alexander and Andre’ Waller from Belmont. Music was provided by The Music City Chapter of The Gospel Music Workshop of America. According to event organizers, the African American style service was put together in part to explore diverse means of worship. The primary purpose of the “Seven Last Sayings of a Crucified Christ,” though, was to seek to praise God by remembering and celebrating the Crucifixion through song, and most importantly, the preached Word of God. n

Catholic Charities Hosts Poverty Summit in Curb Event Center Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc. hosted a Centennial Summit of Catholic Charities USA event on March 25 in Belmont’s Curb Event Center. The day-long event brought together civic, business, religious, community and nonprofit agency leaders through the Southeast region. Fr. Larry Snyder, president of CCUSA, John Seigenthaler, Sr., Dan Cornfield, and other notable presenters focused on the issue of poverty and its devastating effects on America for the purpose of identifying specific methods and programs that work effectively to help the poorest people move toward economic independence. n


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Belmont Marks Start of Lent with Ash Wednesday Service

George Marsden Headlines 20th Annual Research Symposium

In February, Belmont marked the beginning of the 40-day season of Lent, a time of preparation for Holy Week and Easter, with an Ash Wednesday service in Neely Hall. Officiating the service was the Most Reverend David R. Choby, Bishop of Nashville. Bishop Choby was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the first native Nashvillian to head the diocese. He attended Father Ryan High School and Aquinas College before doing graduate studies at The Catholic University of America and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Belmont’s Vice President for Spiritual Development, Rev. Dr. Todd Lake, co-officiated the service. Several hundred Belmont students participated in the Ash Wednesday service, hearing a message from Bishop Choby followed by the marking of the ashes. n

Dr. George Marsden, acclaimed author and professor, served as the keynote speaker for the 20th Anniversary of the annual Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS). Each year BURS provides undergraduates an opportunity to conduct independent research and present it to a community of peers. More than 100 student presenters from a variety of fields offered glimpses of their research in sessions held across campus. Marsden, a leading scholar in the area of the history of religion in America, spoke on the topic “The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship.” He opened by asking what difference it makes that Belmont is a Christian university. “There are opportunities in a Christian university to find coherence between the spiritual center of your life and the intellectual subjects you are studying. But this doesn’t happen automatically. It’s something you have to look for, something you have to do.” Marsden then analyzed three different approaches to a Christian university with the first two representing the extremes of separatist indoctrination versus an attitude that Christianity and the surrounding culture can comfortably co-exist without interference. However, he argued on behalf of the third type in which faith and learning are integrated. “The most basic question to ask in trying to have a more integrated view is, ‘Is God in the picture when I think about things?’” Marsden not only wrote the widely acclaimed 2003 biography Jonathan Edwards: A Life, he also authored another 15 major books, over 35 book chapters, over 30 scholarly articles and numerous book reviews. He held a visiting professorship at Harvard Divinity School after retiring from Notre Dame and is currently teaching at Calvin College. n

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Circle Magazine Spring 2010