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INSIDE: 125th Anniversary Preview SPRING 2015 1



As part of a “Vital Worship� grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (funding provided by the Lilly Endowment), Art Professor David Ribar was commissioned to create 14 large format paintings corresponding to the Stations of the Cross that were displayed in the Chapel prior to Easter. SPRING 2015 1

FROM THE PRESIDENT Quasquicentennial. No, that’s not the Scrabble word of the day, but it is a term to define our next year as it signifies a 125th anniversary. During academic year 2015 –16, Belmont will be celebrating its 1890 founding and the astounding 125 years we’ve had since. You can read more about those plans on page 8, where you’ll also discover that our theme for this season is “Belief in Something Greater.” It’s a phrase that not only aptly reflects our past but also represents our present and future as well. In this issue alone, you’ll see how Belmont examines important subjects like conservation, civic responsibility, service, culture and arts in a manner that extends beyond the topic alone. Rather, Belmont focuses on how these topics can be a lens to magnify the shaping of the individual, the community and the world. Most importantly, we believe that God has—and is—blessing Belmont in a most extraordinary fashion. That “Belief in Something Greater” drives our desire to provide a transformative education for the next generation of leaders. I hope it’s a theme that will encourage you as we partner together to make Belmont one of America’s great universities for the next 125 years. Best Regards,

Robert C. Fisher, president

A highlight of each spring for Dr. Fisher and the entire campus is the baccalaureate service held the afternoon before commencement in which four graduating seniors share how God is calling them to use what they have learned at Belmont to serve others. A




From the President


50 Hours of Madness


Resilient Roots, Faithful Future


Millennials Write for Millennials


Applause for the Arts


Being Belmont: Puppies and Popsicles


A Sustainable Commitment


Campus News



UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION President Bob Fisher Provost Thomas Burns Vice President/Chief of Staff Susan West Vice President of Finance and Operations Steve Lasley Vice President of Administration and University Counsel Jason Rogers Vice President of Development and External Relations Perry Moulds Vice President of Spiritual Development Todd Lake

ON THE COVER: With the help of Tennessee Sports Writers Association Men’s Basketball Player of the Year Craig Bradshaw, Belmont secured a spot in its seventh NCAA tournament of the past decade.

Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness Paula Gill

MAGAZINE Managing Editor April Hefner (M.A. ’07) Designers Nicole Childress, Glenda Dahlhauser, Natalie Smith (B.F.A ’08) University Photographer Andrea Hallgren Contributing Photographers Hope Buckner (B.S. ’12), Wes Hight, Amy Hobbs, Sam Polonsky Contributing Writers Hope Buckner, Haley Hicks (B.A. ’16), Greg Sage 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 & Public Relations. 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 a Christian community. The university faculty, administration and staff uphold Jesus as the Christ and as the measure for all things. As a community seeking to uphold Christian standards of morality, ethics and conduct, Belmont University holds high expectations of each person who chooses to join the community. Belmont University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service or sexual orientation. Inquiries or complaints concerning the application of these policies to students should be directed to the Dean of Students, Beaman Student Life Center Suite 200, 1900 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212, or 615.460.6407.

/belmontuniversity /belmontuniv /belmontu /belmontu




Ever wondered what it’s like to take a trip to the Big Dance? To score a card for March Madness? With the Belmont Bruins men’s basketball team taking a seventh trip in 10 years to the NCAA Tournament, we decided to tag along to Charlotte for a glimpse behind-the-scenes.


3 P.M. CENTRAL The team arrives at the airport following last minute campus practice and interviews, and a woman with a shock of short white hair jumps off the bus to check in for the flight. Debbie Chenoweth, or “Miss Debbie” as everyone calls her, handles all of the logistics for team travel as well as stats during the game. Plus, she serves as chief problem solver and team encourager. Whether a player has lost his ID or just needs a bubblegum pick-me-up before the game, Miss Debbie has the answer. In fact, she carries with her at all times a bag of candy that includes all of the favorite sugar-infused snacks for each team member and coach. As we await the chartered flight’s departure, we catch up with red shirt sophomore Taylor Barnette. He’s responsible for “The Shot,” the fall-away three-pointer that helped the Bruins beat Murray State for the OVC Championship. What many may not know is that he’s also working on an academic triple play: Taylor is majoring in communications with a double minor in entrepreneurship and Christian leadership. Ironically, Barnette is a transfer from No. 2 seed Virginia, the very team Belmont will be taking on. “Those guys [on the team] were some of my best friends when I was there… It’s still sinking in that we’re playing them.”

6:55 P.M. EASTERN Arriving in Charlotte, the bus drives past the tournament site, Time Warner Cable Arena, a large venue with tons of signage announcing the NCAA Second and Third Rounds. THURSDAY, MARCH 19

8:30 A.M. The Belmont contingent slowly emerges one-by-one in the 10th floor lobby for a buffet breakfast. Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator Lauren Eads talks about her work—responsibilities include marketing and sponsorships while also helping to manage the administrative side of things for all of the teams and coaches. But her favorite part of her job? “I love working with our student-athletes.”



9:30 A.M. The team is departing for an off-site closed practice so we follow Assistant Athletic Director for Broadcast and Media Relations Greg Sage for the quick, two-block walk over to the arena. Now in his 10th year, Greg oversees publicity for all of Belmont’s 17 NCAA Division I athletic teams and manages the Bruin Sports Network, website, sport publications and all aspects of media relations and sports information for the Bruin program. This morning we accompany him to his 10 a.m. Sports Information Directors (SID) meeting with representatives from all the teams playing in Charlotte as well as staff from the NCAA, CBS and Westwood One Radio. Multiple details are discussed, and the group is led on a quick tour of the arena, which seats 20,000 and features the largest scoreboard in any indoor entertainment venue in the country (38-feet-high by 36-feet-wide and weighing 80,000 pounds).

11:30 A.M.

question about his “master plan” for the basketball program, Coach Byrd says, “I’ve tried to recruit guys with high character who were unselfish and who would be good teammates and would represent Belmont in a good way and were still good basketball players. I think it’s really part of a big reason why we have been successful. We’ve had so many good kids that like each other, that play hard, that love to play basketball, that are not trouble anywhere else off the court. I’m really, really fortunate to get to coach the kind of kids I get to coach.” In the locker room, senior Spencer Turner, a finance and accounting double major who recently accepted a post-graduation position with Merrill Lynch, said, “It hasn’t really sunk in yet that this could be my last game. I hope I can stay involved with Belmont basketball in some way. We’re really close as a team.”

12:45 P.M.

We enjoy lunch with Belmont Vision editor Courtney Martinez, a senior mass communications major with a sports and media minor. Applying for postgraduate fellowships with the NCAA and Pac-12 conference, Courtney is soaking up all she can from her first trip to the tournament in hopes it can give her an extra edge in her interviews after graduation.

With interviews over, the team takes to the arena floor for an open shoot around, practicing the basics in front of a small crowd of onlookers, including CBS announcers Bill Raftery, Jim Nantz and retired NBA player Grant Hill. In a sideline interview, junior Craig Bradshaw says, “Just being here is incredible. This arena is amazing. Seeing Grant [Hill] over there, that’s pretty sick. I’ve never gotten a chance to see him in person. That’s a pretty awesome experience.”

11:55 A.M.

6:20 P.M.

The Bruins arrive at the arena and adjourn to their locker room, while a few players and Coach Rick Byrd attend formal press conferences with TV and radio outlets covering the tournament. In response to a

A few people, including Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher and his wife Judy, have gathered in the lobby to await the arrival of three busloads of Bruins’ fans along with the cheerleaders and pep band.

“I’ve tried to recruit guys with high character who were unselfish and who would be good teammates and would represent Belmont in a good way and were still good basketball players. I think it’s really part of a big reason why we have been successful.” COACH RICK BYRD

After being stuck for a bit in Charlotte traffic, the groups arrive to warm welcomes and high fives. Nearly every individual is sporting Belmont gear.

8:50 A.M. GAME DAY FRIDAY, MARCH 20 The Hyatt Place lobby has been overtaken by Belmont… students, fans, alumni, coaches, players and parents wander by, intent on grabbing a quick breakfast. Everyone, even hotel staff, is wearing Belmont shirts. Enthusiasm is high. Sitting quietly by a window that looks out at the arena are Jack and Noroma Benz, longtime Belmont University supporters and Bruin basketball fans. In fact, Jack is from the first Belmont College graduating class (1951) and played basketball for two years. “This team is just so much fun to watch on the court,” he says. “They play my kind of basketball, and they are tremendous kids off the court too.”

outcomes in NCAA Tournament history, taking No. 2 seed Virginia to the limit over the course of a two-hour contest. The Bruins got off to a fast start and grew their lead to six points just six minutes into the game. The boisterous, and largely Belmont partisan, crowd loved every minute of it. By halftime, though, the Cavaliers had tightened their defensive grip, and the teams went to the locker room with Virginia up by eight. A Belmont run late in the second half, capped by Craig Bradshaw’s fifth three-pointer of the contest, got Belmont within 62-60 with 4:37 left. The Bruins were standing toe-to-toe with a national power and were on the verge of breaking down the door. But alas, it was not to be. While the Bruins played with heart and courage right to the very end, Virginia closed the game on a 17-7 run to win a final decision 79-67.

12:50 P.M.

5:20 P.M.

On the ground floor, the cheerleaders and pep band kick off the pregame rally. Bruiser has his dancin’ shoes on!

In the post-game press conference Coach Byrd notes, “I’m certainly proud of our team’s performance, I’m proud of their fight and grit and determination and the plays that they made.”

1:20 P.M. The bus backs up near the entry, and the team walks through the crowd for a rowdy and encouraging send off to the game.

3:10 P.M. TIP TIME Yes! It’s finally game time… Once again taking its seat at the March Madness table, the No. 15 seeded Belmont team nearly orchestrates one of the most memorable

By 6 p.m. students are boarding buses for the long, late-night ride back to Nashville, while team members meet up with family and friends who attended the game. Due to NCAA regulations, the Bruins will spend another night in Charlotte before boarding the charter flight early Saturday morning for the ride back to Nashville… counting the minutes until the next season can start. ●



RESILIENT ROOTS, FAITHFUL FUTURE Belmont begins 125th Anniversary commemoration this fall WITH A FOCUS ON THE CENTRAL THEME “BELIEF IN SOMETHING GREATER,” Belmont University will celebrate its 125th Anniversary during the next academic year. Founded in 1890 by Ida Hood and Susan Heron, two bold and unconventional school teachers, the all-female Belmont College has transitioned and grown through the years into a co-ed, Division I, nationally acclaimed institution boasting more than 7,200 students. The anniversary affords Belmont the opportunity to commemorate its distinctive and dramatic history through a variety of special events, speakers and weeks designed to focus on particular elements of the Belmont legacy. In an email to campus to announce the upcoming quasquicentennial celebration, Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher wrote, “When I came to this University in 2000, I instinctively knew there was something special about this place, and over the past 15 years I’ve discovered more and more about Belmont’s unique and exceptional culture. I’ve been inspired by the people of Belmont—both past and present—and their steady belief in the promise tomorrow holds, belief in the transformative power of education, belief in a God who gives our lives hope and purpose… Quite simply, the Belmont culture reflects a ‘Belief in Something Greater.’” The year-long celebration kicks off in August with the release of From Here to Anywhere: Belmont University 1890–2015 by author Joy Jordan Lake, followed by the grand opening of Belmont’s new Dining and Academic Complex on 15th Avenue. The ribbon cutting for that new facility is expected to include visits from local dignitaries, the debut of a Belmont history video and the burying of a time capsule. The commemorative activities continue with a week devoted to “Stories of Belief—Stories of Belmont” in which lectures and special events will center on the anniversary theme. A free festival is planned for Sept. 26 featuring alumni bands on the campus lawn, and October promises Belmont’s contribution of a unique service event dedicated to our city as part of the institution’s efforts to give back to its hometown. Major annual events—including “Christmas at Belmont,” Homecoming and the President’s Concert—will also feature a special emphasis on the 125th Anniversary theme with additional details to be announced in the coming months. A website,, has been launched to keep the community informed of all anniversary events and news while also providing a portal for students, alumni and friends to share their own stories of Belmont. Further developments and updates on the site will occur this summer. 



The story of how Nissan has transformed Tennessee’s economy is told in cars and trucks and dollars and cents. LAURA HOLLINGSWORTH, Publisher ThosePresident thingsand are important — nearly OUR PURPOSE STEFANIE MURRAY, one-third Vice President Executive Editor ofand Tennessee’s manufacturing To actively influence and MARIA DE VARENNE, News Director jobs are auto related — but we have to reimpact a better quality DAVID PLAZAS, Opinion Engagement Editor faces that help tell member the human FRANK DANIELS III, Community Conversations Editor of life in Middle Tennessee the story of Nissan’s success. For me, the most memorable face is that of Randy Knight’s mother. During my walk across EDITORIAL NASHFORWARD the state in 1978 to become governor of Tennessee, I spent one night at the home of Billy and LilAlexander lian Knight in Rutherford County. Mrs. Knight told me that her biggest fear was that her three sons would never be able to find jobs nearby and that she would never be TENNESSEAN ILLUSTRATION / THINKSTOCK IMAGES able to see her grandchildren. The next year, as governor, I traveled Through a partnership with The Tennessean and local NBC affiliate WSMV, toBelmont two Japan with ahosted satellite photograph of the United States at night and showed it mayoral debates this summer with Belmont students leading the efforts to officially introduce their to Mr. Kawamata, chairman of Nissan. He asked where exactly Tennessee was, fellow millennials to the candidates. Seven students were selected and assigned a “Right candidate to of the kirk and I said, in the bado middle For the Tennessean lights — which is where you want to be if 5 research via reviewing recent interviews. The students then wrote summaryyouprofiles focused on lots of want to have a plant with heavy things to ship around the country.” issues they and their peers found the most relevant, including affordable housing andI skipped Editor’s note: Belmont UniLAURA HOLLINGSWORTH, President education, and Publisher During the summer of 1980, OUR PURPOSE STEFANIE MURRAY, Vice President and Executive Editor versity students have collaboa meeting in Detroit with Ronald Reagan To actively influence and MARIA DE VARENNE, NewsTennessean Director transportation. The students’ articles were published in the prior totothe May 21 The debate. rated with Tennessean to meet in Nashville with Takashi Ishihimpact a better quality DAVID PLAZAS, Opinion Engagement Editor the 2015 Nashville mayara, CEOcover of Nissan, where he told me he FRANK DANIELS III, Community Conversations Editor of life in Middle Tennessee oralacres race. in Seven students prowanted 800 Rutherford County filed the seven major candifor his manufacturing plant. Sophomore political science major McLean Pillon said he was excited about theThat opportunity toowned get dates with awas focus on engaging 800 acres by the voters and Cantrell, The Supreme Court will hear arguMcClaryyounger family and Mayme Virginia Supreme Court ruling in 1967. with this all project and inhave in his field. As a student, learning inagreed thetoasking questions pertaining them ments involved Tuesday about whether enshrined the concrete state’s ownexperience both of whom eventually to sell The procreation defense is discrimNASHFORWARD and their peers. This coverage states must allow gay and lesbian cou- Constitution. land to Nissan because it was so iminatory not just against gays and lesbiimportant, but it’s the hands-on experiences that material totheir life. “Employers are leads up toofthe deples to classroom get married andishonor sameConsider these sections: portant to the future ourmayoral state. On Oct. ans — some who havebring conceived chilsex marriages performed in other inPresident May and Marvin June sponArticle I, Section 1: 30, 1980,bates Nissan Rundren naturally — but also against peoThey to are seeinfertile applicants ready states. not just looking for classroom “That allexperience. power is inherent in thewish yon called at 11:30 a.m. Tennessean and said, “Lamar, ple who and older who people are battle-tested sored by and The and This is the part of the Defense of people, and all free governments are who might wish to get married. we’re coming to Tennessee.” Belmont with broadcast partforActthe said.and “Belmont hasTennessee greatly leaders aided might my professional development Marriage that professional the court did not world,” founded onPillon their authority, instiThe human faces of Nissan include While ner WSMV-TV. rule on in 2013, when justices decided tuted for their peace, safety, and happi- want to stand apart from other states, the 300 Middle had Who: Tennesseans, A Nashvillewho native opportunities suchforasthethese.” that thethrough 17-year-old federal ban on such ness; advancement of those why would they do so on a question of never once car, and who went andbuilt localabusinesswoman. Sheto unions was unconstitutional. ends they have at all times, an unalien- liberty and discrimination? Japan to spend several weeks has learning workedto What remained in place was Section able and indefeasible right to alter, rebuild cars the Nissan way. There’s also an economic argument. with IBM, Dell 2 of DOMA, granting states the right form, or abolish the government in It includes governors of both political The center of job growth in Tennesand other comOpinion Editor (and forthethe students’ David said not to Tennessean recognize same-sex couples’ Engagement such manner as they may think prop- leader parties, local Plazas officialsputer and legislators see has been Nashville metropoli-project) compamarriages from other states that per- er.” who for 35 years have supported an envitan area, with Davidson County acnies and got her the news outlet was thrilled have on board, as of efforts and with mitted them. Article I,to Section 3: the students ronment thatengage permitsstart the workers of counting for 50 percent new jobsto in connect selling Since that time, district and appeals “That all men have a natural and in- the state. Nissan to produce quality products. computers kirk bado millennials, duringright voting season, continue to this increase. “Millennials’Itdemographic courts have ruled in favor especially of the right defeasible to worship Almighty includes the facesdoor-to-door ofsize, employeesin at The people region has attracted For the Tennessean of gay and lesbian couples in most God according to the dictates of their include those in the creative class places like Calsonic, which the She first and the was 1980s. embrace digital tools cultural cannot be overlooked. anRebrovick opportunity to states, and now 37 of 50of states allow the own and conscience; that nosignificance man can of of a tier-one supplier, and those of all the men younger generation — 72 percentThis was then worked practice. right be compelled to attend, erect, or of newcomers are under 40 — who and women of over the years who gen-Belmont TENNESSEE UniLAURA HOLLINGSWORTH, President and Publisher heris way up to executive posiEditor’sGANNETT note: build and civic by working with millennials’ This aNissan group that The has Supreme Court not to encourage support any place of behavior worship, or to have helped create the most efficient auwith same-sex peers. OURawareness PURPOSE STEFANIE MURRAY, Vice President and Executiveerally Editor see no problem Urban sprawl increased traffic chose on the interstate highways around Nashville. versity students have collabo- tions with Dell and several othconsider these rulings until a threemaintain any minister against his conto plant anywhere in North America. couples getting married. To actively influence and MARIA DE VARENNE, News Director er private corporations. She is rated withhistoric The Tennessean tospace. wants live in the citysent; core, that wants to ride transit and that values greenThirty Millennials judge panel fromto the U.S. quality Sixth Circuit thatPLAZAS, no human authority can, inpublic five years ago, Tennessee had A 2014 Gallup poll showed impact a better DAVID Opinion Engagement Editor the CEO of Consensus Point, a the 2015 Nashville mayCourt of Appeals became only one any case DANIELS whatever, or Conversations interfere Editor almost no auto jobs. Today, one-third of support for same-sexcover marriage among FRANK III, control Community of life in Middle the Tennessee consumer market research oral race. Seven students prohave a stake initsthis for oftheir ownand economic futures,” Plazas said. to reject same-sex unions in juris- election with the rights conscience; that Americans, its manufacturing jobs are auto-related at 55 percent. firm.Tennessee Rebrovickwas is the mother filed the seven diction, which includes Tennessee, no preference shall ever be given, by jobs. Then, the thirdA Washington Post-ABC News pollmajor candiof twins, one boy and onefamily girl. dates with a focus on engaging Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan. law, to any religious establishment or this past week showed that support poorest state. Today, Tennessee’s has a heavy business backThe Volunteer State’s attorney gen- mode of worship.” incomesShe have gone up rapidly. was at 61 percent. younger voters and asking ground and wants to bring that questions pertaining to them Bado,brief a asking sophomore major and project head, he conis gratefulThen, to Nissan the made newspaper NASHFORWARD eral hasKirk filed a 49-page the In journalism the vein of respecting a longno cars and trucks While this is not asaid popularity attitude to the mayor’s office. and their peers. high court to rule in favor of the state’s standing tradition of civil liberties, re- test, Tennessee has an in the United States. Today, 85 percent of interest in see-This coverage If elected, she would be theit up to the mayoralwhat de- Nissan sells in the this asindependence studentsfrom arerelialways lookingeconomic forleads more and opportunities toUnited gainStates, ban on for sameinviting sex-marriage for involvement these spect for but ing continued growth, and more first serve Last as Nashbatesworkers in May the and June sponreasons: gion, and freedom inherent in this those educated, creative makes in thewoman Unitedto States. year, ville’sbillions mayor. ofin skills. “We are a bunch ofthe19to of20-year-old students, we are going toNissan be published thein addisored by live The in Tennessean and » to new honor the traditional definition state, it is in interest our state to state spent dollars wants do notand desire to a Platform inmuch oneof that line:in Belmont withgay broadcast partof marriage as that between a man and allow our gay and lesbian citizens to state that discriminates tion to the wages it paid, against Tennessean. How goodgetdoes that look? And it’s so because David keeps Tennessee. thanking usNashville.” for whatRebrov“Smarter ner WSMV-TV. a woman, married. and funny lesbian couples. ickno wants to usher a smarter Who: A Nashville native » because same-sex couples’ inabilThe attorney general’s argument There’s better way toinunderstand By late June the Supreme Court’s we are doing, but stareally, could not thank him ruling enough,” ● Nashville by in local businesswoman. Shetransformation ity to procreate would harm family has we several fundamental problems. the than bringing to remember will comeBado out.and said. making worked bility, While marriage between a man and a the facesmarter of Lillianbusinesses, Knight, sitting there May it come out on the right sidehas of making with IBM, late Delloneroads » and to allow the state to respect its woman has been cited as traditional, history. eveningsmarter in Miltonand 37 years ago smarter to public policy and stand apart from oth- history shows us that marriage began and other comworrying about students. whether She her wants talented use ever the city’s more er states. as an economic arrangement. Through Opinion Engagement Editor David Plazas puter compasons would find aresources job. Think how The problem with Tennessee’s argu- most of the history of the United wrote this editorial on behalf of The Tennessewould be and today. efficiently effectively by nies and gotproud her she ment is that it is antithetical to its long States, marriage between people of an Editorial Board. Call him at 615-259-8063,start selling creating a public and private is the senior U.S. local senator busiof emailbado him or tweet tradition of different races was banned in severalkirk Momentum is respecting building forpersonal a betterlibertransit and partnership with computers Lamar Alexander Tennessee and served as state governor from to him at @davidplazas. ties and separation churchTennessee. and state parts of this nation until the Loving v.For the transportation system inofMiddle and private programs. door-to-door in nesses Tennessean 1979 to 1987. Regional political and private sector leaders, Rebrovick Rebrovick wants to bring the the 1980s. She grassroots organizations and average citizens are then worked same smart solutions she LAURA HOLLINGSWORTH, President and Publisher sending messages that a bold vision must be deTENNESSEE UniEditor’sGANNETT note: Belmont her way up to executive posi- helped to develop at ConsenOSE STEFANIE MURRAY, President and Executive Editor veloped andhighways acted upon soonNashville. inVice order to allow our c on the interstate around versity students have collabo- tions with Dell and several oth- sus Point to the mayor’s office. uencefast-growing, and MARIA DE VARENNE, Newscommunities Director increasingly popular rated with The Tennessean to er private corporations. She is In terms of education, she er quality PLAZAS, to prosper nowDAVID and into the Opinion future.Engagement Editor cover the 2015 Nashville may- the CEO of Consensus Point, a wants to bring entrepreneurs FRANK DANIELS III, Community Conversations Editor le Tennessee There are 1million people projected to move to oral race. Seven students pro- consumer market research into the classroom and create our region by 2040 and they are coming to an exfiled the seven major candi- firm. Rebrovick is the mother programs for Metro Nashville enthusiasm, hard work and dedication. A citing, dynamicdavid place … without the roads, infradates with a focus on engaging of twins, one boy and one girl. Public Schools outside of special thanks to their professors structure or transit system to sustain them. younger Thom voters and asking She has a heavy business back- school hours. Her plan is to plazas Storey, Nathan Griffith and Dorren RobThis region, which is producing theNASHFORWARD majority questions pertaining to them ground and wants to bring that mandate universal pre-K and Opinion Editor inson, as well as communications speof the job growth in Tennessee, is at a point where and their peers. This coverage attitude to the mayor’s office. other after-school programs Hope Buckner, who has docuit could jeopardize its economic progress if cialist it leads up to the mayoral de- If elected, she would be the for Metro students. Rebrovmented their progress. doesn’t act soon. ick, a product of Hillwood in in May Our Nashville mayoral debate partYou’ll find the students’bates bylines the and June spon- first woman to serve as NashAnd the nation has taken notice. At the March High School, sees the imporsored by TheofTennessean and ville’s mayor. nership with Belmont University has coming week and their assessments LARRY MCCORMACK / THE TENNESSEAN 21 TedX Nashville, for example, NASA Space Belmont with broadcast partPlatform in one line: tance of preparing students given us the opportunity to work with the candidates. Here’s who they are: Michael Modesto, right,ner putsWSMV-TV. a bike from Cumberland Transit into the Lotus bike rack atRebrov- for careers in Nashville’s Launch System manager Chris Crumbly told the “Smarter Nashville.” students on covering the race. » Kirk Bado Mae Dees Park. Many consider bicycles as a way to ease traffic congestion audience, “If listened we can build a rocket to Mars, Who: A Nashville native ick wants to usher in a smarter booming technology market. They to podcasts of The Ten- we » Fannie Morgan Bolen can expand mass transit in Nashville.” nessean Editorial Board’s meetings with » throughout Sarah EllisMusic City. and local businesswoman. She Nashville by bringing in Ultimately, she says, “Smarter Ten days later at the Williamson Regional has worked smarter businesses, making students equal smarter emthe seven major mayoral candidates andOut- » Jonathan Joyce look, panelist Janet Miller said: “We don't need with IBM, Dell roads smarter and making ployees, which equal smarter conducted independent research, and I an » McLean Pillon TO GET She wants to growth for our city.” incremental solution. a big, bold vision.” » Hayden “It would be fair to say that the development of WAYS and other comsmarter students. tasked them withWe theneed following: Rutledge That Create vision aisshort-form not just about building or enmultimodal regional transportation is one of top INVOLVED Great, but what else? puter compause the city’s resources more report to explain » Mara White hancing rail lines buses, that isare, impor- Regardless needs in the growing Middle and got her 2015 efficiently and to your peersand who thesethough candidates of rapidly what generation you niesTennessee POWER OF TENeffectively by While her emphasis is on a tant; what it’s also about creating communities conregion,” said Bridget Jones, executive director of smarter Nashville, we need a start selling creating a public and private they stand for and what lingering belong to, it’s important to understand Regional Summit Agenda nected withand sidewalks, bike paths and alternaCumberland Tomorrow. r a better transit partnership with local busi- concrete plan on what that questions you have about their positions. the issues in theRegion community, be they computers kirk bado » Who: Cumberland Region tives to having to drive one’s own car. “Growth requires infrastructure and inframeans besides buzz words. ddle Tennessee. door-to-door in nesses and private programs. The purpose is two-fold: Give these transportation, For the Tennessean affordable housing, eduTomorrow. Consider the heavy activity of late involving Rebrovick structure is expensive so we must be vate sector leaders, thestrategic 1980s. in She Rebrovick wants to bring the While she did address growing journalism and political science stu- cation or development. or call transit and the transportation: identifying our needs and making strategic infrasmarter, more technologyaverage citizens areopportunity to get their work then worked same smart solutions she dents Get involved and vote. 615-986-2698. and Publisher »must This past week 120encourage leaders, organized by theGANNETT TENNESSEE structure investments support progress,” Editor’s note: Belmont Uni- hertoway dWORTH, visionPresident be deup toour executive posi- nMotion helpedStrategic to develop at Consen- based businesses in Nashville, published and also young peoPlanning Y, Vice President and Executive Editor Nashville Area of Commerce, visited ashville. students have collaboDavidJones Plazas isadded. The Tennessean’stions opinion engageespecially Millennials, to learnversity about in order tople, allow our Chamber with Dell and several oth- Process sus Point to the mayor’s office. how can we balance that with NE, News Director BUCKNER / FOR THE TENNESSEAN Salt Lake City to study to that region’s impressive ment editor. Callmuch him at and 615-259-0863, email the issues, register vote and cast a bal- with How soon wehim TennesseansShe are is » Who: Music City roots? With rated The Tennessean to how opular communities er private corporations. In terms ofMetropolitan education, she our HOPE Nashville pinionmass Seven Belmont students areentrepreneurs reporting on the Nashville mayor’s race with The torn tweet to him lot in Editor theand August city elections. transit transportation system. willing to spend critical. more of Music Row being cover theat2015 Nashville may-isor uture.Engagement the CEO ofatConsensus Point, aUniversity wants to bring Transit Authority and Middle II, Community Conversations Editor Tennessean opinion engagement editor David Plazas. @davidplazas. The Belmont students showed great » The NashvilleNext community process and and citizens shouldmarket get Tennessean. involved inAt center, down for condos and offices, oral race. SevenTaxpayers students proprojected to move to consumer research into the classroom and create Tennessee Regional Transreport,towhich compoefforts underway understand regional filed the seven major candi- to are coming an ex-has a hefty public transit firm. Rebrovickthe is the mother portation programs for Metro Nashville how does she plan to keep Authority. nent, ended its public comment period on April needs,onparticipate local planning efforts dates with a focus engaging in of hout the roads, infratwins, one boy and and one be girl. Public Schools outside of Nashville’s unique character 30. The report, which is set to be the road map forvoters willing to invest takes to meet the needs younger and askingin what o sustain them. Sheithas a heavy business back- You school hours. Her can submit ideas, get plan is to alive? Rebrovick has helped growth in Nashville over the next 25 years, will be pertaining of this and questions tofuture them generations. ducing the majority ground and wants to bring that updates mandate universaldesign pre-K and manage campaigns and been NASHFORWARD and eventually going to where the Metro Planning Commission for apeers. They should urge their legislators, mayors, and their This coverage e, is at a point attitude to the mayor’s office. a transit othersystem. after-school programs involved in the political sphere in June. county or councilors leads up to city the and mayoral de-commissioners omicvote progress if it If elected, she would be to the NashvilleNext for Metro process students. Rebrov- before, but can she work » Last wasMAGAZINE the kickoff of nMotion appropriate financing solutions. bates2015, in Maydevelop and June spon- first woman to serve as Nash- » Who: ick, Metro a product of Hillwood through the government red Nashville. 10 month CIRCLE the planning process of the sored Nashville So far there been little progress on the by The Tennessean andhas ville’s notice. Atstrategic the March mayor. High School, sees the impor- tape to accomplish her goals in Transit Authority and Middle Ten-withfunding aspect. Belmont broadcast part- LARRY MCCORMACK mple,Metropolitan NASA Space Platform/ THE inTENNESSEAN one line: While tance of preparing the public comment students an efficient, effective and Michael Modesto, right,ner putsWSMV-TV. a bike from Cumberland into the Lotus bike rack atRebrov- period nessee Regional Authority, which While the Transit NashvilleNext process identified ris Crumbly told the Transportation “Smarter Nashville.” for iscareers in report Nashville’s smarter manner than Mayor over, read the Fannie Mae Deesin Park. Many consider bicycles a way to ease traffic congestion seeks to involve community designing theA Nashville the costasof an optimal regional system at and Who: native rocket to Mars, we the ick wants totransit usher in a smarter booming technology find key dates for en- market. Karl Dean?


S U N D AY , M AY 3 , 2 015



Millennial Belmont students introduce Nashville to mayoral candidates.


voter profile: Linda Eskind Rebrovick

Volunteer State values the expansion of freedom. So should Supreme Court.

Millennial voter profile: Linda Eskind Rebrovick

MOVE FORWARD Millennial ON TRANSITvoter DEBATE profile: Linda Eskind If transportation woes aren’t resolved, Middle Tennessee’s economic growth is in peril



Belmont students report on Nashville mayoral race

VE FORWARD Millennial TRANSITvoter DEBATE profile: Linda Eskind

woes aren’t Tennessee’s is in peril


RWARD Millennial ITvoter DEBATE profile:





APPLAUSE for the Arts


honored at the

PRESIDENT’S DINNER & CONCERT SURROUNDED AND SUPPORTED by School of Music student ensembles, Belmont trustee and acclaimed singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith brought down the house at the 26th Annual President’s Concert April 18 with a stirring finale, “The River Is Rising.” Smith was on hand to accept the School of Music’s Applause Award, the most distinguished award presented by Belmont’s College of Visual & Performing Arts, which is given annually to honor those who have made significant contributions to the arts. College of Visual & Performing Arts Dean Dr. Cynthia Curtis said, “Belmont’s School of Music was delighted to present the 2015 Applause Award to Michael W. Smith, who is both an icon of contemporary Christian music and a caring and generous humanitarian. Michael was a perfect choice for this award because he brings a long list of impressive musical achievements, highly admirable examples of community service and, as a trustee of the University, is a supporter of Belmont! To top all this… his performance for the concert finale was energetic, joyful and simply fun for the entire audience.” Smith noted, “What an amazing event. I was absolutely blown away at the talent of the kids there at Belmont. It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to see literally hundreds of kids—all with amazing talent—put on a show like that. And to hear them perform my music—I have to admit to shedding a tear or two. It was a very emotional experience for me. I am so proud of Belmont University. I’m proud to be a trustee, and I’m proud to recommend Belmont to so many kids that are looking for a great education.” Smith has sold more than 15 million albums, achieved 28 No. 1 songs, earned three GRAMMY® Awards, an American Music Award and more than 40 Dove Awards. In 2014 he, along with Amy Grant, was honored as “a cornerstone of Christian music,” for his groundbreaking career and significant influence on the genre. Smith was also named Nashville’s Philanthropist of the Year in 2014 and has been actively involved in volunteer service including through his extensive work with Rocketown, a Christian-based relational outreach program. 







Students enjoyed the annual “Puppies and Popsicles� event sponsored by the Library April 29, providing a few hours of canine- and sugar-induced stress relief before final exams began.

University recognizes past and future commitments to conservation IN HONOR OF EARTH WEEK, BELMONT UNIVERSITY celebrated in April with an extensive campaign dedicated to sharing the University’s own steps toward conservation in hopes to inspire others to follow suit. The celebration began with a special convocation event that featured Blessed Earth, a nonprofit that seeks to inspire and equip individuals to understand their role in preserving the planet for future generations. Throughout the week, Belmont shared videos, social media posts and emails with community members to inform the campus and community of the University’s sustainability and stewardship work. Long dedicated to “green” efforts throughout



campus, Belmont has recently transitioned to an all encompassing sustainability initiative, known as The Conservation Covenant, to emphasize and focus plans for future progress in these areas. University President Dr. Bob Fisher believes strongly in the importance of individual and corporate commitment to sustainability, a passion that was born during his own undergraduate career. “As a college senior, I was part of the very first Earth Day celebration. That participation triggered a lifelong passion of caring for God’s amazing creation, and it’s an honor to lead an organization that puts such a strong emphasis on sustainability.”

With initiatives led by students, faculty, staff and administration, Belmont’s Conservation Covenant has included the removal of plastic water bottles from campus, the installation of BLINK charging stations in parking garages, five educational and sustainable green roofs, campus’s recent designation as a Nashville Tree Foundation Arboretum and USA Tree Campus, light harvesting technology in the newest academic building, Gold LEED certification for the Baskin Center and Platinum LEED certification for the Wedgewood Academic Center, and an innovative, interactive irrigation system that collects run-off rainwater in

underground tanks and utilizes current weather data to dictate the need for water, among other strategies for conservation. Belmont University also hosted nonprofit Turning Green’s nationwide “Conscious College Road Tour” in March to inform, inspire and mobilize college students around conscious living and sustainable practices. Belmont attendees toured booths sponsored by Turning Green as well as Belmont’s ECO Club, Slow Food and the Environmental Science Program to learn more about converting their lifestyles from conventional to conscious. 









ALUMNUS, NASHVILLE POLICE CHIEF HONORED WITH DOCTORATE Belmont recognized Nashville Chief of Police and alumnus Steve Anderson during this year’s spring commencement ceremony with an honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree. Chief Anderson graduated from Belmont in 1979 with a degree in criminal justice before obtaining a law degree and serving in the Air Force. A 40-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, Anderson was appointed Chief in 2010. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “The strong relationships Chief Anderson has built with neighborhood and communities, his commitment to protecting those who are threatened by domestic violence and his voice of reconciliation to people who feel disenfranchised are clear demonstrations of his remarkable concern for others. The high standard of professional excellence and emphasis on education in the Metro Police culture, along with the dramatic reduction of crime in Nashville, speak to the strong leadership Chief Anderson has provided within the department and the Nashville community.” “I am sincerely humbled that the great school I attended as Belmont College in the 1970s, and from where I graduated 36 years ago while a police officer, has chosen to honor me,” Chief Anderson said. “The education I received here helped prepare me for the constant challenges of a law enforcement career. I am proud to be a Belmont graduate, and I am proud of what this university means to Nashville.”

More than 200 university students carried on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in January at the fifth annual MLK Day of Service.

SCIENCE OF TREES Belmont students collected leaf samples from more than 40 trees at the historic Sam Davis Home in Smyrna to assist with the property’s arboretum certification.

WELCOME DEAN HOWARD Long-time music industry executive Doug Howard was named dean this semester of the Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business.

BU GOES MOBILE Belmont released its first official mobile app this spring—available for free in the iTunes and Google Play stores.

CAMPUS NEWS HEALTH CARE HALL OF FAME The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame, co-founded by Belmont, announced the eight inaugural inductees, including Clayton McWhorter.

REDEFINING ‘FEMINIST’ A panel of seven Belmont students offered unique and profound interpretations on “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like,” during the University’s celebration of Women’s History Month.

TAKING FLIGHT Mixed Bill XI, the annual production from Belmont’s Dance Company, centered on the theme “Flight Plans” this spring.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS The third annual Entrepreneurship Village showcased 29 businesses owned by students and alumni representing all stages of business development.

COLLEGE OF LAW CHARTER CLASS ACHIEVES STRONG EMPLOYMENT RATE The College of Law charter class continues to blaze an impressive trail for the program, with an overall employment rate of 85.7 percent posted nine months after graduating in May 2014. This rate bests the most recent national average, as compiled by the National Association of Legal Professionals, which shows an overall employment of 84.5 percent for the most recently available national rate. College of Law Dean Judge Alberto Gonzales said, “When Belmont announced it was starting a law school, we made it clear that we believe a vital element of the Belmont Law education involved preparing our students for roles as community leaders and change agents. Seeing such impressive employment numbers, particularly from the College’s charter graduating class, bodes well that our mission is being accomplished.” Jaz Boon, a member of the charter class who is currently working as a judicial law clerk for the Tennessee Court of Appeals, noted the program offered numerous experiences that paved the way for his position now and future career. “Professor [Ian] Bourgoine’s Legal Writing course prepared me for my clerkship by helping me understand how the pieces of a legal argument fit together. Further, my experience writing briefs and arguing on Moot Court gave me some insight into what is important to an appellate judge. Those two experiences, along with Belmont Law’s externship program where I gained valuable hands-on experience with the Court of Appeals, were tremendous tools to prepare me for my clerkship.”







THIRD ANNUAL WORLD CULTURE FEST REFLECTS DIVERSE HERITAGES On Feb. 27, Belmont students held the third annual World Culture Fest in the Beaman Student Life Center to celebrate diversity on campus through dance, music, fashion and more. Booths representing different world cultures allowed students to sample food, learn interesting facts, ask questions and participate in cultural activities such as henna tattoo art and calligraphy. The Rumi Club, Chinese Cultural Club and Black Student Association co-sponsored the festival in partnership with the Student Government Association.

Hundreds of students came to the Caf April 29 for Pancake Night, an annual “study aid” prior to the start of exams.


GIVING BACK Bruins4Bruins, Belmont’s first philanthropic social media campaign, raised more than $75,000 for the University’s Annual Fund in one week in March.

Among the performances were Bollywood, Haitian and K-pop dance performances as well as musical performances of Scottish fiddling, hip hop and karaoke in nine languages. The booths represented cultures from South Korea, Laos, Egypt, India, Japan, Africa, China and Haiti. Faculty sponsor for the event, Assistant Professor of Management Dr. Amy Crook, said, “The support that students show to each other at the event during performances and at the booths is really amazing. People are asking for the recipes for exotic foods they’re having for the first time, falling in love with new musical genres and sharing experiences from their study abroad trips. It’s so encouraging to see the students put on such a quality event that really brings the community together.”

BRAINIACS The Biology and Psychological Science Departments observed Brain Awareness Week in March with a focus on concussion and brain injuries.

DEBATE16? The University confirmed this semester that it would apply to host a 2016 presidential debate—the Commission on Presidential Debates will announce site selections in the fall.

CAMPUS NEWS RECOGNIZED ‘TREE CAMPUS’ Belmont was recently honored as a 2014 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

MUSIC, MYSTERY AND FAITH Alumni musicians and writers Ginny Owens and Andrew Greer led chapel in March, soon after the release of their book, Transcending Mysteries: Who is God and What Does He Want from Us?

BELMONT UNIVERSITY– WILLIAMSON COUNTY Belmont opened a new professional education and corporate meeting facility in the heart of the Cool Springs business community this semester.

SECOND ANNUAL EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEER DAY HARVESTS CAMARADERIE Proving that many hands do indeed make light—and fun–work, more than 150 Belmont faculty and staff teamed together in April to volunteer at local nonprofit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Last year alone, Second Harvest’s fleet of 19 trucks covered 533,374 miles rescuing and delivering food to a network of more than 450 partner agencies and directly to hungry children, families and seniors throughout a 46-county service area. Belmont’s annual faculty/staff service project, which the University dubbed “It’s Bruin Time in the Community,” began last year with employees spending a morning painting a local high school. This year Belmont employees were tasked with sorting cartons of sweet potatoes, frozen meats and other products to prepare them for packing and shipping to food pantries and churches. Between the morning and afternoon shifts, Belmont employees sorted more than 15,000 lbs. of frozen foods and 30,000 lbs. of sweet potatoes for packing and delivery. Social Work Department Secretary Patsy Peach said, “I love to volunteer. It’s my nature, and it’s fun to do with a group. It’s awesome that Belmont emphasizes giving back to the community and that faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in that as well as our students.” The annual event is organized by the University Staff Affairs Council.

UP ALL NIGHT More than 110 Belmont students stayed ‘Up ‘Til Dawn’ in February, raising more than $47,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.






BIOLOGY STUDENTS STUDY ANIMAL BEHAVIOR WITH NASHVILLE ZOO For the students in Biology Professor Dr. John Niedzwiecki’s Animal Behavior course, spending hours each week at the Nashville Zoo was not a way to avoid studying, but a large part of their coursework. As a semester-long lab project designed to give students the opportunity to observe and research animal behavior in a hands-on way, students were paired in groups, assigned an animal and asked to come up with a testable hypothesis to study. The teams worked with a variety of animals including kangaroos, elephants, red pandas, bongo bongos and night active amphibians, among others. Once students received their assignments, they met with the animal’s keepers to begin the scientific process. Topics of study were varied and included social groupings, dominance, alertness and environmental effects on animal behavior. Senior biology major Lindsay Millward, who worked with kangaroos, said, “The project fit seamlessly with our in-class topics and further developed my understanding of animal behavior. I also strengthened my skills in the research process and scientific method.” Director of Veterinary Medicine at the Nashville Zoo Dr. Heather Robertson said the chance to have the students work with zoo staff was a mutually beneficial experience. “Our relationship with the students at Belmont University not only helped them apply the skills they have learned in the classroom, but also provided the Zoo with valuable research that can be used to improve the quality of care for our animal collection.”

FOURTH IN THE NATION Competing against teams from across the country, Belmont’s Enactus team came in fourth at a national competition this spring.

BUILDING BRIDGES The Bridges to Belmont full scholarship program will expand from 30 to 34 students for fall 2015 with scholarship recipients hailing from four Metro Nashville high schools.

DON’T SHAKE THIS OFF Belmont students Louisa Wendorff and Devin Dawson achieved overnight fame when their Taylor Swift mash-up was promoted by the country music star herself, resulting in more than 23 million YouTube views.

UPSET ALERT TIMES TWO Belmont Baseball knocked off defending College World Series champs Vanderbilt twice this season, marking a major first in the 47-year history of the crosstown series.

CAMPUS NEWS OUR ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ School of Music alumnus Rayvon Owen wowed judges and fans this season on “American Idol,” finishing in the Top 4.

POLAR BEAR 5K HELPS KICK OFF HOMECOMING 2015 It may have been chilly outside, but no one seemed to mind as dozens of students, faculty and staff rose early Feb. 27 for the annual Polar Bear 5K run. The 6 a.m. winter trek around campus was part of Belmont’s Homecoming 2015 celebration.

OMICRON DELTA KAPPA The charter circle of 55 students were inducted into Belmont’s new honor society, Omicron Delta Kappa, in April.

With a focus on “coming home,” the week’s festivities also included a homecoming concert featuring prominent Belmont alumni and friends, a pep rally and bonfire, numerous reunions, a spirit walk and tower tailgate, an alumni social with special guest and author William Paul Young, double header basketball, and a canned food drive that far surpassed its original 1,000 can goal with more than 2,400 cans donated. Associate Director of Alumni Relations Julie Thomas said, “At Belmont, we are committed to serving the community around us and incorporating that service into everything that we do, including Homecoming.”

HAVING A ‘NASHVANTAGE’ Belmont’s Public Relations Student Society of America hosted a regional conference, “NASHvantage: Entertainment PR Beyond the Music Industry,” in March on campus.

READ WITH ME The 15th Annual Family Literacy Day brought droves of young children and their families to Rose Park to enjoy reading, games and activities with Belmont volunteers.

Jonny Woo and Sarah Ellis were named the Homecoming King and Queen, and, immediately following the basketball games, more than 150 people attended the annual Young Alumni Social. Director of Young Alumni Programming Adam York noted, “From Young Alumni Council members hosting alumni guests at our new Back to the Boulevard event at neighboring restaurants to the packed out Young Alumni Social after the men’s basketball game, it was exciting to see so many of our young alumni back on campus to celebrate their alma mater.”









The 2015 –16 academic year marks Belmont University’s 125th Anniversary, and you’re invited to join the celebration! Save the Date for all of the premier events listed below, and visit throughout the year to learn about all of the scheduled activities and to share your Belmont memories.


AUGUST: Release of From Here to Anywhere: Belmont University 1890 –2015 by author Joy Jordan Lake AUGUST 22: Grand opening of new Dining and Academic Center and 125 Celebration Kick Off SEPTEMBER 26: Live on the Lawn music festival commemorating 125th anniversary DECEMBER: PBS airing of a new “Christmas at Belmont” production FEBRUARY 18 –20: Special 125th Anniversary Homecoming

Belmont University Circle Magazine for Spring 2015  
Belmont University Circle Magazine for Spring 2015