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 elmont held two Spring 2011 commencement ceremonies B May 14 to accommodate the largest graduating class in the University’s history; 650 undergraduate, 187 master’s and 25 doctoral degrees were conferred for a total of 862 graduates.

Spring 2011



From the President It’s been another wonderful semester at Belmont University highlighted by diverse lectures, including one from the Nashville Symphony’s Giancarlo Guerrero. We’ve also been privileged to enjoy fantastic music, dance and theatre performances from our students as well as significant community partnerships that improved neighborhood homes in “A Brush with Kindness.” You can read more about these events in the pages that follow. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t pause for a moment to reflect on what an incredible semester it’s been for Belmont Athletics. It started with the outstanding play of our men’s basketball team which racked up a 30-5 record, won both the Atlantic Sun regular season and tournament championships and earned a fourth trip to the Big Dance in six years. The level of commitment and unselfish attitudes demonstrated by team members both on the court and off represent the best of what student-athletes can be. A hearty congratulations goes to Bruins Head Coach Rick Byrd, celebrating his 25th season with Belmont. Rick won numerous accolades this spring, including state, conference and national recognition as Coach of the Year. Not to be outdone by their peers, Belmont’s baseball team pulled together their own Cinderella season. The Bruins won their first ever A-Sun Championship, going a perfect 4-0 through the conference tournament to claim the title and earn their first berth into an NCAA Regional contest. The Bruins won two games—Belmont’s first NCAA tournament victories—before being eliminated by the nationally ranked Vanderbilt Commodores. Of course, championship seasons don’t tell the full story. Belmont student-athletes also continue to raise the standard on academic achievement year after year. Over 76 percent of our student athletes earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher this year, and Belmont Athletics won the A-Sun All Academic trophy for the eighth time! Those are stats that make any college president proud. I’m also proud that this semester we began playing games at Nashville’s E.S. Rose Park and Sports Complex. This state-of-the-art venue allows our softball, baseball, soccer and track & field teams to compete within walking distance of campus and provides playing fields for local school and recreational teams. The future for Belmont Athletics looks equally bright as the University recently accepted an invitation to join the Ohio Valley Conference, effective July 1, 2012. While we are grateful for our time in the Atlantic Sun, this move enables our student-athletes to play more games closer to Nashville, saving time and money not to mention allowing more of our fans to see these teams in action. Go Bruins!

Dr. Robert C. Fisher, President

Credits 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 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 April Maglothin (´03) Sara Spencer Josh Wilkerson University Photographer J. Michael Krouskop Contributing Photographers Misty Biggers Lougan Bishop Hope Cooper (´12) Patrick Haltom Glenn Gregory Andrea Hallgren Donnie Hedden (´12) Scott Indermaur Don McPeak Linda Quigley Contributing Writers Suzanne Clement Hope Cooper (´12) Juanita Cousins Donnie Hedden (´12) Bill Nichols Greg Sage Meg Tully (´11) Jennifer Wetzel (´02) Production & 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 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.


Circle Magazine


 routt Theater was bursting at the seams in April with musical T theater’s rendition of The Drowsy Chaperone, the hilarious story of a modern-day musical theater addict who is transported to the Jazz Age while listening to the LP of a 1928 musical comedy.

Table of Contents 2 From the President

16 Campus News

4 Rose Park Grand Opening

20 Community Involvement

8 Payback

22 Achievers

10 A Brush with Kindness

26 Athletics

12 Men’s Basketball: Super Season

28 Spiritual Development

14 Being Belmont

Spring 2011



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Rose Park Belmont University, the Edgehill community and Nashville’s Metro Board of Parks and Recreation joined together May 3 to celebrate the Grand Opening of the newly renovated E.S. Rose Park and Sports Complex. Attendees enjoyed a doubleheader Belmont baseball match up vs. Murray State along with face painting, children’s games, music and a complimentary dinner.

Spring 2011



n innovative, shared facilities concept between Belmont University and Metro Parks, E.S. Rose Park and Sports Complex features several state-ofthe-art athletic venues, which will ultimately include: a 750-seat synthetic turf baseball field; a 250-seat natural grass softball field; a new 300-seat track; soccer facilities with synthetic turf for safety and speed; a walking track; relocated basketball courts; and a single-story 5,150-square-foot center providing team locker space and concession stand.

Participating in the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the park, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said, “This is a great example of a public private partnership that benefits everyone involved. Through this partnership we were able to do more with this park than we would have been able to do alone, and Belmont gets a facility close to the school to play their games.�

Also on hand were family members of the Rev. E.S. Rose, the Nashville community activist for whom the park is named, as well as school and church officials and local children who will play school and community league games in the park. Dr. Fisher noted, “Today represents a significant moment in the history of Belmont University and our ongoing relationships with both the city of Nashville and our campus 6

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neighbors. All of our students, faculty and staff recognize the incredible opportunities that come with the long-awaited grand opening of E.S. Rose Park.� The facility provides Belmont student-athletes and fans a new home field, while also offering immense potential for Belmont University to partner on a deeper level with the nearby community, local schools and neighborhood children. Belmont University invested more than $9 million in park renovations and will make annual lease payments to provide support to the surrounding schools as well as youth and senior programming. Moreover, Belmont also committed to the creation and funding of the E.S. Rose Park Scholarship program, which annually sends two deserving residents from the Edgehill community to Belmont. Since 2007, Belmont has welcomed five Rose Park Scholars to campus, providing educations worth more than $141,000 to date. This fall, Belmont will welcome 2011 Rose Park Scholars LaShawn Morrow of Big Picture High School and Michael Coffee of Hillsboro High School to join its incoming freshman class. Both recipients received their awards in May, Morrow at her senior breakfast and Coffee in a private ceremony at Hillsboro’s library. In addition to their scholarships, Belmont’s Greek communities participated in a weeklong fundraising event this semester, raising money to award both recipients Macbook laptops upon their arrival at Belmont. The recipients were notified of their computers when they received their scholarships. n

Spring 2011


Alumni repay the Center for Entrepreneurship as their business takes off.

Just three years after receiving funds for their film production company, Belmont alumni Kurt Nelson and Tyler Seymour recently repaid an entrepreneurship loan from the University in its entirety. In 2008, the then-audio and video production students seeking minors in entrepreneurship received a $25,000 Runway Loan. “It is a really neat launch program for entrepreneurship students at Belmont because it came at a time when we were doing our pilot program and allowed us to purchase equipment,� Seymour said.

Kurt Nelson


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The Center for Entrepreneurship’s Runway Loan Program, funded by a gift from Preston and Beth Ingram, provides seed financing for Belmont students and alumni to grow new ventures. Once entrepreneurs have paid back the interest-free loans, they agree to give one percent of their companies’ annual net revenues to mature the program for future entrepreneurs. “The whole lesson that Belmont offers is a bootstrap concept. Dr. (Jeff ) Cornwall in the Center for Entrepreneurship walked us through every step of the process, and if we had a question, he was there to help us out,” Seymour said. The duo’s company, Just Kidding, specializes in film production and has produced high-end music videos, commercials and concert tour graphics for country music artists and music festivals. The company created the technology components through synced iPods to display video graphics on stage during a 2008 Gretchen Wilson tour, where they met Middle Tennessee State University alumnus Drew Burchfield. As Just Kidding Productions saw the budgets for its film projects dwindle from $230,000 to $25,000, Nelson and Seymour weathered the economy’s downtown by teaming with Burchfield to launch Aloompa, a company that designs smart phone applications. “The transformation is taking a giant real-life object, throwing it through the air and bringing it back into your hands. That is really what we were envisioning with what we were doing,”

Nelson said. “(Smart phone applications) are the closest experience a fan could have with a celebrity.” A Kenny Chesney app Aloompa designed has 24-hour radio streaming of what is on the country music singer’s iPod, an interactive store, concert photos, tour dates and links to purchase tickets. Other Aloompa apps provide festival goers with information on schedules and bands, like the official Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival app, or help bring a popular board game to life on a phone (TableTopics). Despite the pace demanded by their business success, Nelson and Seymour remain involved on Belmont’s campus, just two blocks from their 1,200-square-foot Edgehill Village office, speaking to numerous classes and encouraging future young entrepreneurs. n

Drew Burchfield

Tyler Seymour Spring 2011


It’s amazing how much can be accomplished in two weekends… and with a lot of elbow grease. In April, Belmont University joined with the Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity, eight area churches, Fifth Third Bank and the Metropolitan Housing and Development Agency for “A Brush with Kindness,” Habitat’s beautification and revitalization program for low-income and elderly homeowners. Dozens of Belmont students, faculty and staff volunteered their labor in repairing and restoring four Edgehill neighborhood properties, working on exterior maintenance and revitalization. Belmont’s Director of Community Relations Joyce Searcy said, “This pilot project was an opportunity for Belmont University to work alongside our neighbors as we transform our neighborhood. Not only did we renovate homes, we built relationships. It was so exciting to watch as Belmont students, staff and faculty interacted and learned from the homeowners, community church members and each other. A Brush With Kindness is only the beginning. Belmont University will be collaborating with the Christian community in our neighborhood to meet needs and improve the quality of life in our area.” Patterned after a Habitat for Humanity International program of the same name, A Brush with Kindness offers painting, landscaping, weather stripping and minor repair services for 10

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homes in need. The program serves homeowners who struggle with maintenance and helps them reclaim their homes with pride and dignity. In addition to Belmont, MDHA and Fifth Third Bank, area churches who helped sponsor the effort included Belmont Church, Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church, Greater Christ Temple Church, Southside Community Church, Kayne Avenue Baptist Church, Tabernacle of Glory Church, Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church and John Wesley United Methodist Church. Each participating community organization contributed funds and volunteers to this $50,000 project. Improvements were made at no cost to the homeowners, who were selected based on income, need and willingness to partner. A dedication and block party were held April 10 to celebrate the completion of the homes. n

Spring 2011



Season 12

// Atlantic Sun Conference regular season and tournament champions // First NCAA program to reach 30-win plateau // NCAA-leading 18 ro

home in the Curb Event Center // 25 wins this season by double figures // No. 1 in the nation in scoring margin // Most productive bench in NC

Press and/or ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ national poll votes eight consecutive weeks // One of only 11 programs in the nation with NCAA Acad

since its inception // Rick Byrd received multiple Coach of the Year honors // Mick Hedgepeth named NACDA Scholar-Athlete of the Year // Ia

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March Madness Men’s basketball celebrates its finest season in history. In front of an enthusiastic, standing room only crowd in the Beaman Student Life Center March 13, Belmont men’s basketball learned it would face Wisconsin in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The Bruins earned a 13 seed and tickets to the Big Dance for all of their efforts in what can only be described as a magical and historic 2010-11 season. Men’s basketball Head Coach Rick Byrd said, “The season is hard to describe. Thirty wins was not something I imagined I would ever see at Belmont University in the Division I era. Leading the country in scoring margin was just as unlikely… This group of players embraced an unusual approach to sharing playing time, and these accomplishments would not have been possible without their unselfishness.” Though the game vs. Wisconsin would end in a 72-58 loss, the Bruins showed all season long the true champions they are on and off the court. Belmont finished its finest NCAA era season with a 30-5 record and a distinctive hunger for another shot in the coming year. Coach Byrd noted, “The best way to avoid a letdown is to understand that nothing that happened this past year is worth a point on the scoreboard next year. The best way to handle higher expectations is to approach each practice and game with our best effort and let our effort and attitude determine our results.” n

oad/neutral court victories // Undefeated 12-0 record at

CAA Division-I men’s basketball // Received Associated

demic Progress Rate (APR) Honor Distinction every year

an Clark named A-Sun Most Valuable Player of the Year

Spring 2011





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Caption goes here


 routt Theater enjoyed a terrific show in April with Mixed Bill VII, T the annual recital for dance minors.

Spring 2011



photo by Donnie Hedden

Belmont Students Compose, Record Film Scores On April 17, Belmont’s Ocean Way Studios opened its doors to a variety of musicians, engineers, composers and film directors, all with the task of recording the scores of four independent short films. From a pool of 29 applicants, Belmont students Melanie Parobek and Christopher Gentle were selected as two of the four amateur composers invited to score the short films. Organizer Scott Hallgren then assembled a predominantly Belmont student orchestra to play the scores. Not only did the event encourage students’ interest in film scoring, it also fit perfectly with Belmont’s blossoming film minor. Officials at Belmont and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film signed an agreement this spring that allows Belmont students to pursue a minor in film at Watkins. Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns noted, “With this partnership we not only create unique opportunities for students at both of our institutions, but we also hope to foster novel academic, cultural and creative collaborations through our shared commitment to students and to Nashville.” n

Boardroom Dedicated in Honor of Jack Bovender

photo by Donnie Hedden


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Noted community and healthcare leader Jack O. Bovender Jr. was honored April 6 in a ceremony at Belmont University for his impact on the school’s health sciences facilities and programs. The Jack O. Bovender Jr. Boardroom is located on the fourth floor of Belmont’s Gordon E. Inman Center. A founding member of the Nashville Healthcare Council, Bovender served as chairman and CEO of HCA until his retirement in 2009. He helped champion the dream of a premier Health Sciences program at Belmont and helped secure the first major gift for the facilities that now support the program. n



Dr. Bo Thomas presents award to IEBA representatives

CEMB Honors ‘Hap’ Peebles at Best of the Best Continuing a tradition of recognizing music industry greats who are also dedicated to the educational process, Belmont’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business named the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) and founder Harry “Hap” Peebles the 2011 recipient of the Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence. IEBA has established four endowed scholarships in honor of two of IEBA’s founders and legendary talent buyers. Collectively, these endowments represent a $300,000 investment in Belmont University. The award was presented at the annual Best of the Best Showcase March 26. Each year Best of the Best Showcase highlights Belmont’s remarkable student talent with performances from the winners of the Curb College Showcase series—Chase Foster (Urban/Pop), Colorfire (Christian), Jordan Kyle Reynolds (Country) and Evan P. Donohue (Rock)—and from the ASCAP Writers’ Night series winners – Brinley Addington, Jilian Linklater, Hailey Whitters and Jason Green. n

Local Universities Partner for MLK Day of Service Nearly 200 students from Belmont, Tennessee State and Vanderbilt universities gathered at Second Harvest Food Bank on Jan. 18 to celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a day of community service. The MLK Day of Service is a nationally recognized event intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community. The Day of Service was part of Belmont’s 15th annual series of Commemorative Programs to honor MLK. n

photo by Donnie Hedden

New Building to Add 298 Beds, 562 Parking Spaces to Campus Belmont University broke ground in June on a new 298-bed residence hall and 562-car underground parking garage that’s being constructed within the Bruin Hills Apartment area. The facilities represent a continuing effort to provide an on campus living experience for more Belmont students and to address the demand for on campus parking. The suite-style structure, which will house upperclassmen, is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy by Fall 2012. The as-yet-unnamed residence hall is being built on a former Bruins Hills apartment site; a 54-bed complex was demolished to make way for a building plan that will ultimately house nine times that many students. n

CEMB Launches Entertainment Industry Solutions Think Tank, ‘Pipeline’ The Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business (CEMB) recently announced the launch of Pipeline, an entertainment industry solutions think tank that identifies Belmont’s best and brightest students and charges them with developing cutting edge concepts and solutions. Nine students will receive summer stipends and funds for research supplies and/or other project expenses. Pipeline students will present their work and findings at informative meetings with industry partners and at Belmont faculty meetings. CEMB Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives Sarah Cates said, “We believe that Belmont students can be at the heart of creative solutions for the entertainment industry, and we are excited to encourage the next generation of innovators.” n

Spring 2011



Maya Angelou to Speak at September Humanities Symposium For the 10th annual Humanities Symposium this fall, Belmont University is honored to host a keynote lecture from celebrated poet/author/filmmaker/ educator/activist Dr. Maya Angelou. Centered on the theme “Liberating Voices,” the 2011 Humanities Symposium will run from Sept. 14-21 and feature approximately 30 speakers offering thoughts on liberating individuals’ voices and identities. Presidential Medal of Arts recipient and author of more than 30 bestselling titles, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Dr. Angelou will speak Monday evening Sept. 19 in the Curb Event Center. In anticipation of a large crowd for this free event, tickets will be required for attendance. Details on how to reserve a spot will be announced in late August. n

Belmont Launches New Website, Mobile Site Belmont launched a new look this semester for its digital home, Designed in house by Creative Services and implemented by ITS and University Marketing, the website offers significant improvements in appearance and functionality. Complete with a new look, streamlined navigation and easy-to-find university highlights, Belmont’s updated site features video highlights, rotating informational boxes, a comprehensive search option and direct links to Belmont’s social media presence. In addition, prospective Belmont students are able to find out about the University via a more convenient device: their smart phones. The Belmont mobile site automatically loads when individuals enter – or the mobile address, – on an internet-capable phone. Users will be able to view brief information on each academic program, important contact numbers and an interactive campus map. n

Belmont Helps Develop Content for New Medical Simulation Platform Faculty members in Belmont’s Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing are playing a vital role in the development of content that will be made available for use in an innovative new platform to deliver healthcare education through medical simulation, SimCenter™. Belmont educators have been part of the initial content development team creating scenarios for use within SimCenter. “This is a groundbreaking solution that will revolutionize the way simulation is performed in healthcare training,” said Dr. Beth Hallmark, director of simulation at Belmont University. n


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Giancarlo Guerrero Shares Music Passion with Belmont Students Debate ’12: Belmont Submits Application for Presidential Debate Following Belmont’s successful hosting of the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, the University has submitted an application to the Commission on Presidential Debates to hold one of the series of scheduled 2012 debates. Belmont is among 12 possible locations nationwide for the 2012 Presidential Debates. As in 2008, the multi-faceted Curb Event Center is the proposed venue, with supporting roles played by other campus facilities.

Giancarlo Guerrero, acclaimed music director for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, spoke in the Massey Performing Arts Center this spring sharing his thoughts on “A Life Shaped by Music.” Now in his second season with the Nashville Symphony, Guerrero continues to flourish as the orchestra’s music director. In June 2004, Guerrero was awarded the Helen M. Thompson Award by the American Symphony Orchestra League, which recognizes outstanding achievement among young conductors nationwide. n

Belmont President Robert Fisher led the charge to attract the Presidential Debates to Nashville and Belmont. “2008 brought Belmont University and the Nashville community together in a powerful way around one of the most historic elections in our nation’s history,” Fisher said. “I am confident that the capability, dedication and spirit of the Belmont community and our Middle Tennessee partners will enable us to achieve an even better event in 2012 if selected.” n

Freshman Wins Semester’s Tuition with Half-Court Shot

Collaborative Effort Brings Additions to Bunch Library

Freshman Grayson Akerly (Coppell, Texas) sunk the AT&T Yellow Pages “Long Distance Shot” during the Belmont Bruins home basketball game on Feb. 19, winning a semester’s worth of tuition for his half-court basket.

Construction is underway to bring a new dining option to the Lila D. Bunch Library, along with other improvements. The building of the as-yet-unnamed café and expanded hours were made possible due to collaboration between the Student Government Association, Senior Leadership, the Bunch Library and Student Services.

“At first I sent my parents a text saying that I had won, and when I called them they said they wouldn’t have believed me if I didn’t include a picture of me and Dr. Fisher holding the giant check,” said the Audio Engineering Technology major. “It’s honestly a real blessing because it’s released a huge part of the financial burden that comes with paying for college.” n

Dr. Ernest Heard, director of library services, said, “The entire library faculty and staff are absolutely thrilled to be able to provide a café, a 24-hour study area and eating places in the library. All of these endeavors are part of a larger plan to transform Bunch Library into a learning commons – all in an effort to enhance the college experience of Belmont’s fantastic students.” n

Spring 2011


Community Involvement

Student-Athletes Conduct ‘Camp Bruin’ at Local Elementary School In celebration of NCAA National Student-Athlete Day, the Belmont StudentAthlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) organized Camp Bruin at nearby CarterLawrence Elementary School. During the session, student-athletes worked with second, third and fourth graders from Carter Lawrence by directing games and activities. Assistant Athletic Director Betty Wiseman has overseen the decade-long tradition of turning National Student-Athlete Day into a Belmont community service outreach project. “The SAAC did a wonderful job coordinating the event,” Wiseman said. “Obviously the Carter Lawrence students had a great time, and it was a real joy to see our student-athletes connect with them.” n

Belmont Honored Nationally for Community Service Belmont University was named a member of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, an honor higher than the one received last year. The Honor Roll recognizes universities that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Of the 614 schools admitted, 114 received awards with distinction, and Belmont was one of only three from the state of Tennessee to achieve that standing. Belmont’s Director of Service Learning Tim Stewart said, “Together, students contributed more than 26,600 hours of service to the community, and 312 students participated in 20 or more hours of service. I’m always amazed, but never really surprised, when an appeal goes out to the Belmont community to help, and folks respond so enthusiastically.” n


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Community Involvement

College, Middle School Students Team Together for Edgehill’s Best Once again this spring, Belmont journalism faculty and students worked with hand-selected seventh and eighth grade students from Rose Park Magnet Middle School to produce a newsletter, Edgehill’s Best, for the nearby Edgehill community. Belmont media studies faculty member Linda Quigley and her students partnered for the third year with Rose Park teachers Nicola Vincent and Alison Forte to assist middle school students in developing ideas, writing stories and designing a final printed product to share with the community. The group’s final class was held on campus May 4 when the middle school students completed layout and design of the piece in the University’s journalism lab. n

Biology Faculty, Students Take Part in BioBlitz Community Day Welcomes Record Crowd Belmont University hosted the annual Community Day basketball game on Fri., Feb. 4. Nearly 300 neighbors and community members attended the complimentary game and halftime reception. Included were large groups from numerous neighborhood churches and community centers. This is the third year Belmont has hosted this free evening of Bruins basketball in an effort to welcome community members to campus and create new Bruins fans. Community attendance at this game has doubled each year. n

On April 2, Belmont biology professors John Niedzwiecki and Steve Murphree hosted a BioBlitz at The Beaman Park Nature Center. Beaman Park is one of Metro Nashville’s newest and most natural parks. Bioblitzs are a chance for the public to go off-trail, turn over rocks and logs and identify the organisms living in the park and also look for new species to the park, especially salamanders and frogs. The staff at The Beaman Park Nature Center benefit by getting an inventory of the natural diversity within the park. Belmont students and others from the Nashville community participated. The activity was coordinated by Linnann Welch (’93), director of both The Beaman Park and Bell’s Bend Nature Centers. n

Spring 2011




Belmont Honors Students, Faculty at Annual Scholarship and Awards Day 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: Jacqueline Rachel Wilson, Amanda Knox and Eric Glenn The Alfred Leland Crabb Awards: Jesse Johnson and Dylan March The Stacy Awalt Writing Awards: Matthew Lefavor, Brian York, Bethany Somma and Nathan Stabenfeldt The Annette Sisson First Year Writing Award: Emily Hastings The Lumos Travel Award: Felicia Black The John Williams Heart of Belmont Award: Hannah DeLap The First Year Award, Leadership: Sarah McClellan Currey The Second Year Award, Leadership: Susan Caroline Bay The Third Year Award, Leadership: Hope Allison Cooper The Fourth Year Award, Leadership: Amy Kathleen Dunning In addition to student award winners, Dr. Jennifer Thomas, associate professor of biology, was named the 2011 Chaney Distinguished Professor. “There is nothing better than having the people you care about, work with and work for affirm and rejoice in what you have chosen to do with your life. I am grateful, humbled and downright giddy.” Dr. Vaughn May, chair of the political science department, was awarded the 2011 Presidential Faculty Achievement Award. “I am extraordinarily flattered that my students nominated me for this honor. I am blessed to work at a remarkable university, and I hope that I can continue to contribute in positive ways to the lives of my students.” n


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Tim Lauer Receives Curtain Call Award School of Music alumnus Tim Lauer received the Curtain Call Award at a 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. Lauer used his Belmont education and connections to secure jobs playing piano and percussion, songwriting, arranging and producing. He was a band leader for Trisha Yearwood, has toured with Kathy Mattea and Wynonna Judd and has played on more than 200 records with a variety of artists. n



Music Students Represent U.S. in Global Drumming Competition Rising Belmont seniors Andrew Bellisle and Vinay Shroff represented the United States at the Red Bull Tum Tum Pa World Finals in Rio de Janeiro June 11 after winning the regional competition. Following a local contest at Nashville’s Café Coco, the duo received the most online votes in the Southeastern Conference. Going by team name “Coffee and Cream,” they were then selected by a panel of judges to be one of five national finalists to compete against an elite squad of drummers from 32 countries at the global competition in Brazil. This unique Red Bull Tum Tum Pa competition, where students use everyday classroom materials to create organic rhythmic sounds, is the first of its kind. Over 386 teams competed on college campuses around the U.S. in March and April. n

Belmont Ranked Top Undergraduate Business School in Tennessee by BusinessWeek For the third year, Belmont University’s undergraduate School of Business achieved a Top 100 national ranking in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s annual report on “The Best Undergrad B-Schools” in the U.S. Ranked at No. 99, Belmont is now the highest ranked business school in the state of Tennessee. College of Business Administration Dean Pat Raines said, “We are proud of the academic quality of our faculty and the innovative programs that we offer.” n

Students, Faculty Win Major Awards at SEJC Belmont journalism students won several major awards at the Southeast Journalism Conference’s Best of the South competition Feb. 17-19. The SEJC named the best website, and Connect, a magazine produced by Belmont students to distribute to incoming freshmen and transfer students, was named the top college magazine. Journalism students Erin Carson and Dustin Stout placed in onsite competitions, in which students competed on deadlines in individual and group categories. Linda Quigley, instructor in journalism and faculty adviser for The Vision, was named Journalism Educator of the Year. n

Spring 2011




Vince Gill Receives Honorary Doctorate from Belmont Belmont University recognized recording artist and longtime Bruins supporter Vince Gill with an honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree during the spring commencement celebration at the Curb Event Center. “Vince Gill has mastered his craft and yet he keeps pushing himself to greater excellence. Moreover, as a citizen and humanitarian, he dedicates himself to service and providing opportunities for others to succeed,” said Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher. “His professional experiences and personal contributions make him an ideal candidate for this doctorate degree and a perfect model for Belmont students to emulate.” In an acceptance speech marked with both humor and emotion, Gill reflected on his own education while also encouraging his fellow graduates to focus on friendships. “I was hoping that this [doctorate] would be in friendship,” he said. “That’s the single reason I stand before you today—and that’s because of your head basketball coach, Rick Byrd. I have never been more honored to receive anything in my life because it came strictly from a friendship.” n

Speech and Debate Team Wins National Christian College Forensics Invitational For the second year in a row, the Belmont University Speech and Debate team won first place at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational. Belmont also was named the second place school in individual events. Assistant Coach Ryan Greenawalt said, “All the trophies that the students won are great, but their hard work goes much further. The skills these students are learning doing speech and debate not only make them critical thinkers while at Belmont but also will help them in their future careers and will make them more socially conscientious citizens.” n


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SIFE Team Places in National Top 8 Following a sixth consecutive year as regional champions, the Belmont University Students in Free Enterprise team competed this spring at the SIFE USA National Exposition in Minneapolis, finishing in the top eight, following last year’s national championship victory. In one of the largest collegiate competitions in the country, SIFE teams from more than 400 campuses presented their service projects to panels of corporate judges to determine which teams have had the most impact improving people’s lives. During the past year, Belmont SIFE worked on 14 projects on campus and in the community addressing a wide range of issues. The 42 members spent more than 2,600 volunteer hours developing and completing their projects. “Belmont SIFE continues to produce servant leaders that are focused on blessing the non-profit community with business models that lead to sustainable social change,” said Associate Professor of Finance Dr. John Gonas. n

Alumni Siblings Take Global ‘Journey of Action’ Belmont alumni Ryan (’03) and Kassidy (’07) Brown, who both studied broadcast journalism and Spanish, are taking a “Journey of Action,” a tour which is dedicated to highlighting the culture of social activism in the millennial generation. As part of the tour, Ryan and Kassidy are traveling from Alaska to Argentina, highlighting young social activists and aiming to inspire their generation by proving that significant change is possible. Ryan said, “We’re trying to show that there are people out there who are literally solving problems that everyone said had no solutions. If they’re highlighted, they’ll inspire people to take action, too.” Follow the duo at n

Students Awarded Fulbrights for Overseas Teaching, Research Belmont University graduates Lindsey Thompson and Gregory Maczko were recently awarded Fulbright Program grants for overseas teaching and research. The Fulbright Program provides funding for students, scholars, teachers and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Thompson, a music cognition major from Little Rock, Ark., has received the prestigious Fulbright Award to study at Goldsmiths, University of London where she’ll be pursuing a Master of Science in Music, Mind and Brain. Gregory Maczko, a Presidential Scholar and German major from Franklin, Tenn., received an English Teaching Assistantship and will split his time between two schools teaching students ages 14-18. n

Jeff Jenkins Receives Rave Reviews on ‘The Voice’ Belmont student Jeff Jenkins advanced from the blind auditions on NBC’s new highly rated reality competition, “The Voice.” Jenkins, a communication studies major and music business minor, currently is enrolled as a senior at Belmont, and was the first contestant to be selected by all four judges. His audition song, “Bless the Broken Road” (Rascal Flatts, Selah), broke into the Top 200 singles on iTunes. At press time, Jenkins had advanced in the competition through the “Battle Rounds” to the live, audience voted portion of the contest. n

Spring 2011




Rick Byrd Named 2011 Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year In one of the greatest honors of a distinguished career, men’s basketball head coach Rick Byrd was named the 2011 Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year. Byrd, who directed the Bruins to a 30-5 record and the program’s fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last six years, was named Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year by the league office and as well as Men’s College Basketball Coach of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association. He was also a finalist for three other national coach of the year titles.


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Byrd ranks 10th among active NCAA Division I head coaches in career victories with 610. This year Byrd also joined Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Jim Calhoun (Connecticut) and Dave Bike (Sacred Heart) as one of only five head coaches in all of college basketball with 500 or more victories at their current school. The 2010-11 Belmont Bruins led the A-Sun in 13 statistical categories, led the nation in scoring margin and tied for the national lead with 13 road victories. The Bruins also finished the season ranked No. 6 in the Mid Major Top 25 Poll. n



Baseball Wins A-Sun Championship, Two NCAA Tournament Games

Throwing Hammers, Breaking Records: Meet Joe Frye

The Belmont baseball team finished its 2011 campaign with a 6-1 defeat against the nationally ranked Vanderbilt in an NCAA Regional Championship game June 5. The Bruins won two NCAA Tournament games, defeating Troy and Oklahoma State earlier in the day, but ended their historic run with the loss to the Commodores. The Bruins finished the season with a program best 38 victories to go along with its first ever Atlantic Sun Championship, first trip to the NCAA Tournament and a number of statistical records in 2011. n

A May 2010 music business graduate and current sports administration grad student, Joe Frye narrowly missed advancing to the NCAA Outdoor National Championships in the hammer throw this spring, placing 14th (the top 12 advanced). But his athletic career overall has certainly exceeded all expectations. The two-time A-Sun Outdoor Outstanding Male Field Performer became the first Belmont male field athlete to ever qualify for the regional NCAA competition with his toss in April of 61.45m (just over 200 feet). The Roscommon, Mich., native is the current Belmont record holder in all outdoor events (shot put, hammer throw and discus) as well as in two indoor events (weight throw and shot put). He was also recently named a National Strength and Conditioning Association Athlete of the Year. As he told Nashville NBC affiliate WSMV-TV, “I did what I could with what I was given. It’s worked out pretty well so far.” n

Belmont to Join Ohio Valley Conference in 2012 Belmont University has accepted an invitation to join the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), effective July 1, 2012. Belmont will begin competition in the OVC in the 2012-13 academic year. “The Ohio Valley Conference is one of the most tradition-rich and respected athletic conferences in NCAA Division I,” said Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher. “We were honored by the invitation to join such a great family of fine universities and look forward to establishing new traditions and new friendships.” Starting next year, Belmont’s new conference rivals in the OVC include Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Murray State, Southeast Missouri State, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and the University of Tennessee at Martin. “Given Belmont University’s commitment to excellence, both in the classroom and on the playing fields, they are a wonderful fit for the Ohio Valley Conference,” said Beth DeBauche, OVC Commissioner. “I am delighted to welcome them to the Conference.” n

Student-Athletes Earn Eighth A-Sun All-Academic Trophy For the eighth time in its 10-year conference history, Belmont University has claimed the Atlantic Sun All-Academic Trophy. All told, 174 out of 228 in-season Belmont student-athletes earned academic honors, giving the university the greatest percentage of All-Academic honorees at 76.3 percent. That figure represents a new single-year program standard for Belmont University Athletics. In addition, 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. n

Spring 2011




Students, Faculty, Staff participate in Spring Break Mission Trips More than 65 Belmont students, faculty and staff participated in alternative Spring Break trips to locations across the country and around the globe. As part of Immersion 2011, University Ministries’ Spring Break mission trip program, groups traveled to Cumberland Island (Ga.), New York City, Appalachia, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. University Ministries’ Director of Outreach Micah Weedman said, “It’s our hope that by immersing themselves in service in these various locations, our students will have the opportunity to see what God is up to in the world and reflect on how God might be calling them.” Also, Residence Life led a small group of students to Cleveland, Tenn. to work with Habitat for Humanity, and for the fifth consecutive year, the College of Health Sciences & Nursing sent a team of health professionals and students to Guatemala for a Christian service project. The 13 faculty, students and clinicians provided supplies, directed patient care and trained staff at the Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation and Infectious Diseases in Guatemala City and at the Shalom Foundation’s newly opened Moore Pediatric Surgery Center. n


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Lawyer Advocates for Students to Engage in ‘Strategic Whimsy’ Lawyer Bob Goff, the founder and CEO of Restore International who also teaches a law class at Pepperdine University, spoke this semester at an event co-sponsored by the Office of Spiritual Development and the College of Law. The nonprofit Restore International exists to address atrocities and injustices committed against children. n



Authors Address ‘Sex & the Soul’ Andrew Marin, president and founder of The Marin Foundation, spoke on Belmont’s campus in January as part of the university’s annual “Sex & the Soul” week. Marin is the author of the award-winning book, Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community. Through his foundation, he works to build bridges between the religious and GLBT communities through scientific research and Biblical and social education. Belmont University’s “Sex & the Soul Week” began in 2009 when Donna Freitas, author of the book Sex & the Soul, spoke at Belmont and inspired an annual event of the same name. Other speakers for the week were professors and authors David McCarthy (who spoke on the topic “Sex and Love in the Home”) and Dr. Christine Colon (who addressed “Sexual Freedom: A Christian Feminist Perspective”). n

Fall 2011 Spiritual Development Speakers Wealth & Poverty campus theme

Christian Faith Advisory Board Holds Inaugural Meeting Earlier this year Belmont University created a Christian Faith Development Advisory Board to help expand the ways Belmont connects with the ongoing work of denominations and their churches locally and around the world. In addition, the Board will allow those churches and denominations to help the University fulfill its “Vision 2015” commitments to give “increasing evidence of the Christian character of the university” and to increase “collaboration between Belmont and outside Christian organizations.” The charter members of the Board represent the major denominations that comprise Belmont’s current student body. Belmont’s Vice President for Spiritual Development Dr. Todd Lake said, “The Belmont Christian Faith Development Board is comprised of decisionmakers who can help us move definitively toward being an even more robustly Christian university. This will be a unique opportunity that we hope will be mutually beneficial in serving the cause of Christ.” n

August 31: David Beckmann, World Food Prize laureate, president of Bread for the World

October 12: Shawn Lantz, For three generations her family has served the people of Congo

September 7: Jimmy Dorrell, Author of Plunge to Poverty and founding director of Mission Waco

October 28: AFRIZO Choir, Kenyan Choir from Daystar University, one of the largest Christian universities in the developing world

September 16: Faith-Informed Nursing School of Nursing leaders on showing Christ’s love by providing high quality healthcare to those in need September 28: Ana Aspras Steele, Executive Director of Dalit Freedom Network, which works with India’s 250 million “outcasts”

November 2: Efrem Smith, Founder of the Sanctuary Community Development Corporation and author of The Hip-Hop Church November 16: Shane Claiborne, Leader in the new monasticism movement and bestselling author Schedule subject to change.

October 10: Chris Heuertz, Author of Simple Spirituality and International Director of Word Made Flesh

Visit for more information.

Spring 2011


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Circle Spring 2011  

Belmont University Circle Magazine Spring 2011

Circle Spring 2011  

Belmont University Circle Magazine Spring 2011