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B  elmont’s Musical Theater students presented several soldout performances this spring of Hairspray, a popular campus production in which a plump teenager wins a slot on a TV dance program and then launches a campaign to integrate the show.



From the President This summer Belmont University will welcome more than 3,500 accepted students and family members to campus for Foundations, the summer portion of our Towering Traditions Orientation program. When they arrive, I’ll remind them of an idea I heard from Gen. Colin Powell: that our greatest privilege in life is to be smart enough, healthy enough and blessed with enough resources to help someone else. I believe you’ll see that attitude expressed in the pages that follow as our students, faculty and staff show their commitment to using their talents and skills to transform the world. Moreover, you’ll find Belmont’s own commitment to providing an exemplary higher education experience, one that challenges students academically while providing them with a world-class learning environment. I hope you enjoy this latest Circle, and as always, thank you for being part of the Belmont family. Best Regards,

Robert C. Fisher, President



CIRCLE CREDITS University Administration

Table of Contents 2 From the President 4 Wedgewood Academic Center Groundbreaking 6 Simply the Best 8 More Cloar 10 Shall We Dance?

President Bob Fisher

12 Pharmacy Graduates Charter Class

Provost Thomas Burns

14 Being Belmont: Homecoming 2012

Vice President/Chief of Staff Susan West

16 Campus News

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 (´07) Designers Glenda Dahlhauser Natalie Smith (´08) Sara Spencer University Photographer J. Michael Krouskop Contributing Photographers Travis Ball Lougan Bishop Tom Brewer Hope Cooper (‘12) Juanita Cousins GradImages Andrea Hallgren April Hefner Keely Scott (‘04) Contributing Writers Suzanne Clement Hope Cooper Juanita Cousins Greg Sage Tillery Throckmorton Production & Distribution Coordinators Sara Spencer Veronica Smith ON THE COVER Congressman Jim Cooper, Belmont President Bob Fisher and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean took part in a May 4 groundbreaking ceremony for the University’s new building on Wedgewood Avenue (page 4).

Circle magazine is published biannually for alumni and friends of Belmont University. Editorial content, graphic production, printing and distribution are coordinated by the Offices of Communications and University Marketing & Special Initiatives. 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.








WITH SPECIAL GUESTS MAYOR KARL DEAN and Congressman Jim Cooper in attendance, Belmont University broke ground May 4 on the campus’ largest building to date. The 188,000-square-foot building will sit on the corner of Wedgewood and 15th Avenues and will house most departments from the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the School of Religion. Slated to open in fall 2014, the building will also include a five-level underground parking garage. “The building establishes a new cornerstone for Belmont University and provides a true reflection of who we are,” Belmont President Bob Fisher said. “It will sit as a beacon on the northeast edge of campus, offering a perfect view of the Nashville skyline and inviting Nashville and the world to come and see what Belmont is all about: providing an academically challenging liberal arts education in a Christian community of learning and service.”

Mayor Dean noted, “There’s nothing a mayor enjoys more, particularly in the depths of a recession, than going to groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings. Belmont just doesn’t stop—they’ve been Nashville’s own stimulus program.” Since Belmont’s general education/core curriculum requires courses in writing, speech, math and religion, among others, every undergraduate will take classes in the new academic center. In addition, the center will house a 280-seat chapel, a dining venue, 30 classrooms that vary in seating capacity, state-of the-art laboratories and conference room space. Provost Thomas Burns added that the building’s design has been a campus-wide, collaborative effort involving students, faculty and staff. “With their input, we’ve drawn plans for a building that will enable interdisciplinary studies and experiential learning while also representing the latest thinking in classroom space,” he said. n




photo by Donnie Hedden



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EVERY SPRING BELMONT UNIVERSITY HOLDS TWO significant concerts that showcase the best musical talent on an incredibly gifted campus. What’s more, these events also serve as an opportunity to honor individuals who have greatly impacted both Belmont and the arts and entertainment communities. The Best of the Best showcase featured Curb College talent both onstage and backstage, as students worked together to plan, produce and perform the concert which was attended by more than 2,000. During the showcase Curb College benefactor and namesake Mike Curb was honored with the 2012 Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence, recognizing his distinguished career as a songwriter, producer and record company owner. Curb has earned multi-faceted success, covering a wide range of musical styles and receiving countless industry awards.

At the annual President’s Concert, CeCe Winans was presented with the Applause Award due to her numerous contributions benefitting the arts community in Nashville. One of the most recognizable voices in gospel music, CeCe Winans has sold millions of albums and won numerous accolades, including eight Grammy Awards. The President’s Concert features School of Music student ensembles and groups that highlight the musical diversity of the program, drawing effusive praise from Congressman Jim Cooper: “That had to be one of the most beautiful musical occasions anywhere in the world… It’s just astonishing to see the talent that’s on this campus.” n SPRING 2012




MORE CLOAR: Carroll Cloar Art Exhibit Returns to Leu Gallery

FOLLOWING A SUCCESSFUL EXHIBIT IN 2003, THE LEU ART GALLERY once again presented paintings, lithographs and drawings by the late Carroll Cloar this spring on Belmont’s campus. The exhibit, “More Cloar,” offered selections from the David Lusk Gallery in Memphis and several Nashville area collectors. Dr. Judy Bullington, chair of Belmont’s Department of Art, said, “The ‘More Cloar’ exhibition introduced students to the work of a nationally known artist with Southern roots, while also connecting Belmont University to a broader audience interested in the visual arts and collecting. The timing could not have been better. Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth. The exhibition in the Leu Art Gallery is the first of several that will celebrate the life and works of Carroll Cloar.” A nationally recognized American painter, Cloar’s style has been described as simultaneously primitive and progressively modern. Drawing from his childhood memories of the American South, his compositions are grounded in reality but often evoke a dream-like quality making them difficult to categorize, but remarkable to contemplate. In addition to the exhibit being on display for two months on campus, noted art historian and writer Dr. Richard Gruber gave a well-attended lecture for students and community members, offering deeper insight into the themes of Cloar’s works. Gallery director Jessica Owings noted, “The variety of work presented in the ‘More Cloar’ exhibition conveyed the breadth and evolution of Carroll Cloar’s painting practice to Belmont students. Cloar’s work is particularly intriguing because his consistent reference to personal nostalgia and memory manages to transcend history, pulling viewers into his style of painterly storytelling. Current Belmont students are often interested in sharing their personal narratives in their studio work, and having Cloar’s example to share the ways in which art may intertwine the personal with universal appeal was an excellent teaching opportunity.” Belmont University’s Department of Art currently offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree with options in Studio Art, Art Education or Design Communications as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. n Image courtesy David Lusk Gallery The Washerwoman, by Carroll Cloar, 1974



IN ITS FINAL SEASON IN THE ATLANTIC SUN Conference, the Belmont Bruins men’s basketball team went out in style, claiming the league’s regular season and tournament championships. Belmont also joined Kansas and Memphis as the only programs in the nation to earn five automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament in the last seven years. The Bruins defeated Florida Gulf Coast, 83-69, March 3 to claim their fifth Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament championship in seven years. Junior Kerron Johnson was named the A-Sun Tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while junior Ian Clark was named to the All-Tournament Team. Meanwhile, Coach Rick Byrd was named NABC District Coach of the Year and selected to the 2012 class of inductees for the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame. For the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, though, Belmont drew a tough but familiar opponent. At an on campus Selection Sunday party, the Bruins learned they would play the third-seeded Georgetown Hoyas, a repeat of the team’s 2007 match up. Despite a well-fought game, the team dropped a 74-59 decision to Georgetown to conclude the season and its tenure in the A-Sun.

Shall we

With 637 career victories, 57 in the last two seasons alone, Coach Byrd is excited for the new challenges that await his team as Belmont moves to the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). “It is hard to say what the OVC will bring, but we are certainly excited about the close rivalries that will begin next year. I think, and hope, that our attendance will increase with all the schools that our fans are familiar with coming to the Curb Event Center,” he said.


One rivalry that won’t change is the long-running Battle of the Boulevard, as dates for men’s basketball games against nearby Lipscomb University have already been announced for the 2012-13 season. The Bruins will play at Lipscomb Nov. 9, with the Bisons returning to the Curb Event Center Dec. 4. Belmont will also appear on national television with early season games on the CBS Sports Network as part of the 2012 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout tournament, beginning with the Bruins’ first-round game against host University of Alaska Anchorage Nov. 21.The Great Alaska Shootout is the longest-running regular season college basketball tournament in the nation, taking place every November since 1978. n





BELMONT’S COLLEGE OF PHARMACY (BUCOP) celebrated the graduation of its charter class May 5 with 65 members crossing the stage to receive their Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degrees. This initial class has done an outstanding job paving the way for future BUCOP students, setting a high standard for academic excellence and community service. “The University and the Nashville community have enabled us to develop a stellar College of Pharmacy at Belmont,” said BUCOP Dean Dr. Phil Johnston. “I am proud of the commitment of faculty and students to take on leadership roles in this profession to make a difference in thousands of lives.” BUCOP has provided students with the skills to contribute to the growing healthcare needs of Nashville and beyond. Since the college’s first class was admitted in August 2008, students’ academic accomplishments and service have grown exponentially each year. In addition to playing an integral role in the layout of Belmont’s first on campus pharmacy, the class filled more than 7,800 prescriptions, maintained inventory and counseled patients on site. Plus, as of early May, more than 70 percent of the Class of 2012 had already landed full-time positions or residency programs. But achievements didn’t end with classroom contributions. These students have participated in medical missions to Cambodia, Guatemala, Ghana and Oglala Sioux Nation in South Dakota, meeting healthcare needs of underserved residents locally and globally. They’ve helped design the pharmacy for a pediatric surgery center in Guatemala City and organized a neighborhood walking club for adults and kids in nearby Edgehill. Through the Dispensary of Hope, more than two dozen Belmont pharmacy students have distributed hundreds of prescription medications to local low-income residents in the past year alone. All in all, 13 student organizations in the BUCOP have averaged 800 hours of community service a semester through their work with nonprofits and events. n












H  omecoming 2012 was a rousing success with a week-long celebration featuring nC  aption goes here concerts, lectures, a chapel service, a residence hall banner competition, a campuswide pep rally and bonfire, an alumni art exhibit and a basketball doubleheader. Senior Hope Cooper and junior Taylor Dillon were elected Homecoming Queen and King.




campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campu Belmont Remembers MLK Belmont celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth date with a series of commemorative programs including worship services, lectures, concerts and a day of community service, all under the theme of Jazz, Freedom and Democracy: Living Dr. King’s Symphony of Brotherhood.



Talent Show Benefits Special Olympics Belmont student athletes competed off court and away from fields in Battle of the Bruins, the first student-athlete talent show on Feb. 7. The money raised from the event—which included skits, dance routines and musical acts—benefitted Nashville Special Olympics. Young Special Olympics athletes also participated in the evening, displaying their own talents between Belmont performances. n

us news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus ne ‘Edgehill’s Best’ For the third year, Rose Park Magnet Middle School students received instruction from Belmont students and faculty to produce a community newspaper, Edgehill’s Best.

Ash Wednesday The Most Reverend David R. Choby Bishop of Nashville joined Father John Sims Baker and the Office of Spiritual Development on Ash Wednesday to host a service for faculty, staff and students.



SIFE Team Wins National Championship… Again For the second time in three years, Belmont’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team won the national championship at the SIFE USA National Exposition, which was held in May in Kansas City. Belmont will now represent the United States at the international SIFE World Cup which will be hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Belmont President Bob Fisher said, “The work our SIFE team does in the community and around the

world fills me with pride as these students are using their talents and skills to make a positive difference for others.” During 2011-12, Belmont SIFE spent 2,442 volunteer hours focused on 10 projects to benefit the local and global communities. After taking third place in the 2010 SIFE World Cup, all eyes will be on Washington, D.C. as Belmont’s SIFE team competes again Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2012. n

campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campu Spring Back Succeeds Belmont SIFE helped found nonprofit Spring Back Recycling, which employs formerly homeless or incarcerated workers in recycling mattresses. More than 9,600 mattresses have been recycled so far (enough to cover an NFL field six times). Spring Back is also in talks with the U.S. Navy to receive 13,000 mattresses from two aircraft carriers this fall.



us news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus ne Belmont Goes Dark for Earth Hour For the fourth consecutive year, Belmont University turned off lights for an Earth Hour Celebration as part of a global project to raise awareness of climate change and the need for sustainable living.



CEMB Offers Innovative Classes In pursuit of its mission to combine innovative academic experience with real world applications, the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business (CEMB) provided unique experiential opportunities this semester through two classes, the first revolving around a trip to Austin, Texas for SXSW, the world’s leading music industry event. Then this summer, 10 juniors and seniors were offered the chance to join professor and legendary musician Mark Volman, a founding member of The Turtles, on the road for a 17-day run of the “Happy Together Tour.” Students worked in the areas of tour management, stage management, audio engineering, tour accounting and merchandise sales. These latest initiatives join the ongoing annual showcase series that features student production and performances as well as “The Insider’s View,” in which guests from the entertainment industry present topics in a conversational setting. This semester those guests included an interview with alumna and “American Idol” finalist Melinda Doolittle, who shared her thoughts on career, faith and perseverance. n

campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campu Discussions Center on China Former U.S. Sen. and Ambassador to China Jim Sasser and his son Gray, an attorney and Belmont adjunct professor, spoke this spring at the Center for International Business Symposium on U.S.-China relations. Meanwhile, Asian Studies Professor Qingjun Li helped launch Belmont’s new Chinese Language Summer Institute, an intensive program combining two weeks of classes with a month-long study abroad trip.



us news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus ne Campus Life Stirs Enthusiasm Belmont’s vibrant student life embraced numerous events this spring that stirred campus-wide excitement, including an exam relaxation activity sponsored by Bunch Library with “Puppies and Popsicles” and the always popular Greek Week.



Students Serve Nashville Community Belmont continuously seeks opportunities to engage students in ways that meet the needs of the community. Two annual spring events, Family Literacy Day and Bruin Den Day, allow students to partner with the community for a day of service.

Each group picks a different theme and offers a variety of books for all ages. For Bruin Den Day students worked on a community garden, cleaned up a state park, painted inside a church, organized a food bank and worked with the homeless.

Family Literacy Day, aimed at children from pre-K through grade six and their families, is designed to celebrate the joys of reading with a free afternoon of interactive story times, crafts, games and refreshments. The primary focus of the event is Reading Circles, hosted by various campus groups.

This year the events came on the heels of the announcement that Belmont is one of 110 schools to be recognized on the Honor Roll with Distinction from the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education. n

campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campu Belmont Hosts Health Fair Belmont held a free Community Health Fair in January featuring 30 booths offering information, demonstrations and health screenings. The event was an extension of the annual Pink Zone women’s basketball game to promote breast cancer awareness.



us news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus ne Storyline Conference Encourages Meaningful Narrative Best-selling author and filmmaker Donald Miller brought his Storyline Conference to Belmont in May. Attended by more than 500 people, the twoday event walked registrants through the steps of writing a life-plan using the elements of story. Special guests included singer/songwriter Amy Grant and author/attorney Bob Goff.



campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campu Grad Programs Recognized by U.S. News Belmont’s occupational therapy, physical therapy and part-time MBA programs were recognized recently in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 rankings of Best Graduate Schools, a tool to help prospective graduate students identify programs that would be good fits.



Baseball Wins Back-to-Back Championships Following an end-of-season, three-game sweep of crosstown rival Lipscomb, the Belmont baseball team secured the top seed in the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament. The team then defeated third seeded Kennesaw State by a score of 10-4 to win the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship for the second straight season and earn the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Junior Judah Akers was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament after going five-for-five with a double, a triple and four runs batted in the final game of the championship. Though the Bruins were eliminated from the 2012 NCAA Regional Championships in Baton Rouge following losses to Louisiana Monroe and Oregon State, the team finished with a 39-24 record, the most victories in a single season in program history. Belmont baseball will move to the Ohio Valley Conference for the 2013 season after winning its final two Atlantic Sun Conference Championships. n

us news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus ne Colin Powell Visits Belmont Retired four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke on campus May 30 to promote his latest book, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership. Random House Executive Editor Jon Meacham conducted the conversation with Powell before a brief question and answer session and book signing.



Alumnus Brad Paisley Establishes Endowed Scholarship Belmont alumnus and multi Grammy, Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awardwinning artist Brad Paisley recently established an endowed scholarship at his alma mater. The Brad Paisley Endowed Scholarship will provide financial assistance for a deserving student with demonstrated need who is studying in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. Paisley said, “I’ve often said that the best course of education for a young person wanting to pursue country music is to go to college at Belmont. I speak

from experience. I wouldn’t be in any position to offer a scholarship if I had not gone to Belmont – this is the least I can do in appreciation.” In 2003, Paisley received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Belmont. A 1995 graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Paisley majored in music business at what was then the Mike Curb School of Music Business. During his Belmont career, Paisley benefitted from a scholarship supported by Vince Gill and has long been committed to “paying it forward” to another deserving student. n

campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campu Celebrating Academic Achievements The annual Scholarship and Awards Day honored 19 students with University-wide writing, travel and leadership awards. The ceremony also recognized the work of professors Rich Tiner (media studies) and Leslie Folds (nursing) who were presented with the Chaney Distinguished Professor Award and the Presidential Faculty Achievement Award, respectively.



us news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus news ticker campus ne Programs Garner High Praise The 2012 state champion Speech and Debate team earned 13th place in the nation at an American Forensics Association tournament in San Marcos, Texas. Plus, the University’s student news outlet, the Belmont Vision, continued its award-winning ways at the annual Southeast Journalism Conference convention, bringing home eight awards.






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NEW BUILDINGS August will mark the official grand openings of both the Baskin Center, home to the College of Law (shown below), and Dickens Hall, a new residence hall named in honor of Board of Trust Chairman Marty Dickens. The Belmont community can also look forward to a six-part concert series to celebrate the new Concert Hall, as renovations were completed this summer on the Belmont Heights Baptist Church sanctuary to create a large venue suitable for classical and acoustic performances.

summer to build the curriculum for the major, which will begin in fall 2013.


Of course, the construction zone at the corner of Wedgewood and 15th Avenues is also generating a great sense of anticipation; the University broke ground there in May for the campus’ largest building to date.

Following questions of “Wealth and Poverty” in 2011-12, Belmont’s campus-wide educational theme for the upcoming year will be “E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One): Dialogue in the Digital Age,” which will be explored through visiting lecturers, service learning projects and the arts, among others. Plus, all incoming freshmen will be required to read a common book, Stephen Carter’s Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy. A novelist and professor of law at Yale University, Carter will speak on campus in September as part of the Humanities Symposium.



As more students make their way to Belmont, the University is growing its academic offerings as well. Recent additions include the launch of a Doctor of Nursing Practice as well as an MBA for Healthcare Professionals. Undergraduates can look forward to studying Motion Pictures as the chair for the new interdisciplinary program, Will Akers, began work this

Finally, expect to see a lot of new faces when cheering on the Bruins this fall. July 1 marks the official transition from the Atlantic Sun to the Ohio Valley Conference. Belmont’s student-athletes will face competitors that include nearby neighbors Austin Peay, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and the University of Tennessee at Martin. n


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Circle Magazine Spring 2012