BELMONT UNIVERSITY | CIRCLE MAGAZINE FALL 2015
Generations celebrate landmark anniversary.
Tamara Taj George John McCall Betty Poston Hannah Paramore Mike Smalling
Sarah Ellis Steven Martin
Jonny Woo Bernard Childress Betty Hamilton Philpot
Betty Hall Shepherd Lamar Kay Farris McCall
Cameron Powell James Poston
A Cover Like No Other To celebrate Belmont’s 125th anniversary, we gathered 16 alumni (14 models as well as our photographer and stylist) representing every decade since the 1940s for a unique photo opportunity. Conversation and laughter were abundant as these alums and current students shared stories of their campus experiences through the generations, finding numerous connections despite the difference in years. The cover photo was shot by Cameron Powell (’07) on Wed., Dec. 2 in the Belmont Mansion with fellow alum Brenna Mader (’09) serving as stylist and image consultant. Photography assistants were Jon Morgan and Joel Micah Dennis. Pictured are (l-r):
FLETCHER FOSTER Attended: 1983-85 Studied: Music and music business Memories: His favorite professor was Bob Malloy. “He was beyond a teacher; he was a friend and parent to so many of us.” Currently: President/CEO of Iconic Entertainment Group
BETTY HALL SHEPHERD LAMAR Attended: 1946-48 Studied: English literature, speech and dramatics Memories: The vice president of her senior
class and active in Speech Club, Phi Theta Kappa and Hood and Gown, Betty fondly recalls her theatre work and May Day celebrations. Currently: A retired teacher and active volunteer.
TAMARA TAJ GEORGE Attended: 2002-04 Studied: Marketing Memories: Though juggling a full-time class
schedule, part-time job, music tours and wedding planning, Taj remembers that she never skipped a marketing class. “John Gonas was my favorite professor and was super helpful with statistics.” Currently: A member of R&B trio SWV, Taj and her bandmates will release their seventh album in February.
SARAH ELLIS Attended: 2012-16 Studied: Political science Memories: An Honors student who’s active
in Greek Life, Sarah was chosen as the 2015 Homecoming Queen and mentions her love for Homecoming Week in particular. “I love meeting Belmont grads from all generations and being part of our school’s rich history.” Currently: Scheduled to graduate in May, Sarah is looking into international service programs and travel opportunities. She eventually hopes to pursue a career in higher education.
HANNAH PARAMORE Attended: 1978-81 Studied: Classical piano Memories: Hannah enjoyed being a member
of Chorale, the only Belmont choir at the time, and she recalls loving the performances of different music majors. “They were all so inspiring… our Chorale tour through the South my freshman year was a highlight.” Currently: President/CEO of Paramore, the digital agency
STEVEN MARTIN Attended: 2007-12 Studied: Accounting (Undergrad & Master’s) Memories: An RA who also held offices with
BETTY HAMILTON PHILPOT Attended: 1948-50 Studied: Biology and chemistry Memories: Involved at Ward-Belmont in Agora
BERNARD CHILDRESS Attended: 1974-78 Studied: Health and physical education as
MIKE SMALLING Attended: 1986-90 Studied: Business and finance Memories: Mike played basketball and was
Black Student Association and SGA, Steven won the 2010 Bruin Award. One of his favorite memories, though, came with winning the opportunity to record a three-song EP at Ocean Way studio during his senior year. Currently: Belmont Admissions Counselor
an undergrad and also received a master’s of education in administration and supervision Memories: As a basketball player all four years, Bernard counts Betty Wiseman as his favorite professor and mentor: “She was always willing to give me advice. She is truly a woman of God and outstanding role model.” Currently: Executive Director of Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association
JOHN MCCALL Attended: 1963-65 Studied: Business Memories: John was involved with Phi Nu
Sigma and Student Government, but his favorite memory came during a summer school chemistry class in 1964 where he met the woman who would become his wife. Currently: Co-owner of D.T. McCall & Sons furniture store chain
KAY FARRIS MCCALL Attended: 1961-65 Studied: English and French Memories: Kay expressed her love for Dr. Virginia Chaney (“a great English teacher”) and the oratorio choir, but her favorite memory was hanging the greens at Christmas with her future husband. Currently: Retired English/French teacher
JAMES POSTON Attended: 1951-55 Studied: English and drama Memories: Active in BSU and the Studio
Players drama group, James fondly recalls meeting his wife Betty on campus and the family-feel of Belmont. Currently: Retired Montgomery Bell Academy teacher, counselor and administrator
BETTY POSTON Attended: 1952-56 Studied: Elementary education Memories: Involved with Kappa Delta Sigma, Tower and SGA, Betty’s favorite memory was dating James, whom she’s now been married to for 58 years. Currently: Retired teacher
club and synchronized swimming, Betty’s favorite memories include the friendships she built and May Day celebrations. Currently: Active volunteer with church and other organizations
involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, noting that Bill Camp and Mike Awalt were his favorite professors. “They made the classroom creative and challenging, and they were big basketball supporters.” Currently: Mortgage lender for 25+ years
JONNY WOO Attended: 2012-16 Studied: Management and marketing Memories: Named the 2015 Homecoming King, Jonny’s involved with Belmont Ambassadors, Greek Life and the Massey College of Business Student Advisory Board. “Dr. Amy Crook and Dr. Robert Lambert have both gone above and beyond to teach me all I need to know to be successful in the business world.” Currently: Graduating in May, Jonny’s already secured a position at Change Health Care in Nashville.
BRENNA MADER Attended: 2007-09 Studied: Journalism and media studies Memories: A former Miss Tennessee, Brenna
says her favorite professors were Thom Storey and Sybril Brown. “Both professors struck a great balance between being forward thinking, caring and using outside connections to help me in my career.” Currently: Serving as a freelance stylist and image consultant for this shoot, Brenna also does freelance work in broadcast and print journalism.
CAMERON POWELL Attended: 2002-07 Studied: Entrepreneurship and music business Memories: Cameron’s favorite Belmont memories include his time in Pembroke and Curb College showcases. Currently: Photographer and video director (CameronPowellStudio.com)
CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
FROM THE PRESIDENT When it came time to plan this issue of Circle magazine, our staff really wanted to do something special to honor Belmont’s 125th anniversary. The Bell Tower is an ideal symbol, reflecting this campus’ history from the very beginning, but we wanted something unique to reflect this significant milestone. We also poured through hundreds of photos from this year’s celebration to date as well as a wealth of historical images in search of one picture that might somehow capture what it means to be Belmont. As discussions continued, it became clear. What’s made Belmont special since 1890 are its people, the students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and supporters who have given this University life and purpose. What better way to commemorate a landmark birthday than to invite alumni from numerous decades back home for a one-of-a-kind photo shoot in the Belmont Mansion, where this institution first got its start? Throughout the morning of the shoot each alum shared stories of their individual campus experiences, but despite the differing eras, they also found extensive common ground as members of the Belmont family, laughing and conversing like old friends. As you’ll see in the pages to come, those points of connection continue today, and with the support of people like you, will grow even deeper during the next 125 years. Best Regards,
Robert C. Fisher, president
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher joined students at Nashville’s Room in the Inn to kick off a special, 125 consecutive hours of service project in honor of the University’s anniversary. 2 CIRCLE A CIRCLE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE • FALL 2015 SPRING 2015
From the President
They Say It’s Your Birthday
Paying it Forward
48 Hours of ‘Christmas at Belmont’
Home Sweet Home
Being Belmont: Studying in Seville
Hall of Famers
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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: In celebration of Belmont’s 125th anniversary, this special fold-out cover represents Belmont’s history through the years via our exceptional alumni.
Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness Paula Gill
MAGAZINE Managing Editor April Hefner (M.A. ’07) Designers Nicole Childress, Glenda Dahlhauser, Hilary Griffith, Natalie Smith (B.F.A ’08) University Photographer Andrea Hallgren Contributing Photographers Evan Davies (B.B.A. ’16), Sally Holt, Cameron Powell (B.B.A. ’07) Contributing Writers Hope Buckner (B.S. ’12), Haley Hicks (B.S. ’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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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, email@example.com or 615.460.6407.
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CIRCLE MAGAZINE • FALL 2015
Belmont isn’t known for doing anything halfway, so it’s no surprise that the celebration this fall to mark the University’s 125th anniversary is exceeding all expectations, attracting record turnout for special events while reflecting significant elements of Belmont’s mission. The birthday party kicked off with an on campus concert Aug. 29 attracting more than 3,000 campus and community members over the course of the day. The family-friendly festival featured student and alumni talent starting in the early afternoon with the annual “Battle of the Belmont Bands” contest between six selected student bands–Better Eyes, Brave Town, Constellations, Emma Place, Mocha and Nodaway. Throughout the day, students and families were able to enjoy great music along with food trucks, inflatables, face painting, balloon animals, a photo booth and more. As the sun went down and the stage lit up, the evening concluded with performances from three critically and commercially acclaimed Belmont alumni bands: Steve Moakler, COIN and Kopecky.
CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
Author Jo y Jordan -Lake
signs his tory boo k
Participants for first two StoryCorps stories
orm ord perf poken w Week s y it rs e Div nie Dr. Fan
Students collect boxes for Operation Christmas Child
A month later saw the release of the newly commissioned book, From Here to Anywhere: A History of Belmont University 1890–2015, written by acclaimed author and Belmont adjunct instructor Joy Jordan-Lake. “Like so many American institutions of higher learning,” said JordanLake, “Belmont’s story has been a patchwork-quilt heritage of ideas and philosophies. Consistently, though, Belmont has retained the best of each era and forged its own way, regardless of what others insisted could not be done... It is a story worth hearing.” It truly is a story worth hearing, so in addition to the book release, Belmont also partnered with oral history nonprofit StoryCorps to record 17 stories with 34 members of the Belmont community past and present. Sitting in groups of two, members of the Belmont family told their stories detailing the rich history of an institution that endured critical challenges to become the University known today. Those audio segments are being gradually made available throughout the quasquicentennial year with the first stories—from Ward Belmont alumnae Mary Niederhauser and Laddie Neil and current students Mikaela Clark and Zach Middleton—releasing in October.
CIRCLE MAGAZINE • WINTER FALL 2015 2015
At the end of October Belmont offered another first, this time hosting the initial campus-wide week focused on diversity. An initiative of the Welcome Home team, which works to create and sustain a culture of racial and ethnic diversity, Diversity Week included a student-led spoken word event, a film showing, an interactive art project and group discussions.
Freshman Kevin McClain serves at Thrift Smart
A highlight of both the week and the semester, though, came with the special appearance of Dr. Fannie Hewlett, Belmont’s first AfricanAmerican graduate, who came home to Belmont to share her story and the power of “belief in something greater.” A now retired University president, Hewlett grew up in rural Alabama and attended a segregated high school followed by two years at a junior college in her hometown. When it came to deciding her next step, her prayers were answered when a Belmont College brochure unexpectedly showed up in her mailbox. It became clear “This is where I was supposed to be at that time… I just had to figure out where Nashville was.” After arriving on campus, Hewlett said there were two things that immediately stuck out—beautiful gazebos and a welcoming spirit. After graduating from Belmont College in 1970, Hewlett went on to obtain her master’s and doctorate before pursuing a career in higher education that ultimately led to her most recent position as interim president at Chattanooga State Community College. “Being [at Belmont] has been one of the heights of my experiences. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be,” Hewlett said.
education is the commitment to serve, students, faculty and staff joined together in an epic undertaking in November to serve the University’s hometown of Nashville for 125 consecutive hours. The #Serve125 event, which ran around-the-clock for over five days, saw more than 600 individuals volunteering for 744 slots at 26 different local nonprofits as well as other charitable efforts. Together Bruins contributed more than 1,706 volunteer hours to the community between early Sunday morning and noon on Friday. Ali Humbrecht, a freshman and native of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, participated in four projects working with the Nashville Rescue Mission, SGA’s Christmas card project, the Edgehill Community Garden and Operation Christmas Child. “While throwing a party would have been fun, it would not have shown the community what Belmont is really about – empowering men and women to engage and transform the world with intelligence, compassion, courage and faith.” To learn more about the year-long 125th anniversary celebration and read details of spring semester events, visit Belmont125.com. ●
Celebrating with music and family, celebrating great stories, celebrating diversity and inspiration… while those events alone would have made for an ideal commemoration this fall of 125 years, Belmont wasn’t done yet. Since a hallmark of a Belmont CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
IT FORWARD Alumnus Milton Johnson and wife Denice give Bridges to Belmont scholars 10 million reasons to celebrate.
“AS A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, I FACED SIMILAR CHALLENGES AS MANY OF OUR BRIDGES TO BELMONT SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS. I WAS BLESSED TO HAVE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE, LIKE MY MOTHER, WHO BELIEVED IN NOT ONLY THE VALUE OF EDUCATION BUT ALSO IN MY POTENTIAL.” A scholarship recipient giving back to his alma maters… A long-time teacher offering a gift to support deserving students… a couple who passionately believe in—and have personally experienced—the power education can have to dramatically change lives for the better. Meet HCA Chairman and CEO Milton Johnson and his wife Denice, who announced in July they were donating $10 million to Belmont University to create the “R. Milton and Denice Johnson Bridges to Belmont Endowed Scholarship Fund.” Launched in 2013, Bridges to Belmont was designed to enroll qualified, high potential students from Metro Nashville Public Schools who may not have previously been able to consider Belmont as an option. The 80 current Bridges Scholars were selected from four Metro Nashville Public Schools—Stratford, Maplewood, Whites Creek and Pearl Cohn—and most of the scholars are first-generation college students. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Milton and Denice showed their generous spirit from a young age, becoming supporters of Belmont right out of college... What makes this gift even more special is knowing the Johnsons’ story, knowing that Milton himself—a worldwide leader in healthcare and a pillar of Nashville—was once offered a similar opportunity through a Belmont College scholarship.”
Milton Johnson attended Nashville’s Stratford High School, working multiple jobs to help his single mom support their family and forgoing many of the typical extracurricular activities most teenagers enjoy. It was a habit he continued during his tenure at Nashville State, believing education could someday catapult him into a different situation. He also began dating Denice at that time, who was studying to be a teacher and who shared Milton’s passion for the power of education. Milton’s hard work paid off when he was offered an academic scholarship to what was then Belmont College, paving the way to an accounting degree and rapid career advancement in Nashville’s healthcare industry. “As a high school student, I faced similar challenges as many of our Bridges to Belmont scholarship recipients,” said Milton Johnson. “I was blessed to have people in my life, like my mother, who believed in not only the value of education but also in my potential. I could achieve greater success than I ever thought was possible. That’s why Denice and I are pleased to provide this gift to the Bridges to Belmont program. My Belmont scholarship was a life-changing experience for me, and we want other Nashville public high school graduates to have the same opportunities at Belmont. We want these students to know that Belmont believes in them—we believe in them—and there are no limits to what they can achieve in life.” ● CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
4 8 HO U RS
4 8 HO URS
Christmas at Belmont
A glimpse behind the curtains of a nationally broadcast concert. What does it take to pull off a nationally televised Christmas concert featuring more than 700 performers? Belmont’s acclaimed School of Music can tell you as they’ve been doing it for more than a decade. Tune in as we go behind-the-scenes at the recent “Christmas at Belmont” taping, broadcast on PBS in late December:
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23: SHOW DAY! 6:30 a.m. Despite limited sleep, School of Music crew members arrive on campus to carpool to the Schermerhorn. 10 a.m. Six buses of students and staff depart campus so that several ensembles can pre-tape their performances. Another six will follow at 1 p.m. 2:58 p.m. The cast is called to top of show places for the opening number, “Carol of the Bells.” 3:28 p.m. Mattea and accompanist Bill Cooley return to the stage to perform “Mary Did You Know” with the Belmont Orchestra, an experience she calls “one of the thrills of her life.” 4:30 p.m. Following a brief intermission, the Jazz Band welcomes the audience back with a rousing rendition of “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” 5:21 p.m. Beautiful vocal tones overtake the hall as the mass choirs join Mattea and the orchestra for the stirring and powerful finale, “Celtic Joy.” 5:25 p.m. It’s a wrap!… But only on the dress rehearsal. There’s still the main show yet to go. School of Music staff meets to dissect the show and make any needed last-minute adjustments. 7:20 p.m. Backstage between performances, members of music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia serenade Mattea in gratitude for all of her contributions. 7:25 p.m. Stand-by to begin—From the TV truck, NPT cues the stage manager to send out the concert master to tune the orchestra for the start of the show, and the show begins a few moments later, with another excellent performance from all involved. 10 p.m. After two lengthy days, the load-out of Belmont equipment and decorations begin as students and faculty gather their belongings to board buses back to campus. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22: 10:45 a.m. Buses begin arriving on campus, and nearly 200 students load up for the 10-minute drive to Nashville’s stunning, 1,844-seat Schermerhorn Symphony Center, prepped for a long, long day of rehearsals… and waiting for rehearsals.
9 a.m. Key personnel from School of Music and consultants from across campus gather with NPT representatives to review a raw DVD of last night’s performance. This committee faces a full day trying to choose the best combination of songs from another spectacular “Christmas at Belmont” concert. ●
College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Dr. Cynthia Curtis notes that the taped performance is the culmination of more than a year of planning and practice. Still, she finds much to love with the process. “This is such a huge bonding experience for our School of Music students. Plus, ‘Christmas at Belmont’ has become a symbol, an emblem, for Belmont University, and we love playing that role. It’s an honor for us.” 12:45 p.m. More than 420 students join their peers at the Schermerhorn, arriving in comfy clothes and carrying an array of activities—from homework to Playstations—to occupy their free time between practice sessions. 3:20 p.m. Kathy Mattea, country music artist and this year’s “Christmas at Belmont” host, rehearses “Mary Did You Know” with the orchestra. Meanwhile, other students settle into their assigned rooms and nearby hallways to study, socialize and catch a welldeserved nap! Rehearsals continue throughout the evening. 11:55 p.m. After a long day, cast and crew head back to campus. CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
CIRCLE MAGAZINE • WINTER FALL 2015 2015
The Curb College, media studies department and the cafeteria are settling in to the newly opened, state-of-the-art Johnson Center. What a way to start a semester! Whether blown away by a one-of-a-kind theater sound system, entranced by state-of-the-art production spaces or ravenous for the mouth-watering offerings of a gorgeous new cafeteria, new freshmen and returning students were delighted to welcome the opening of the Johnson Center in August. Named in honor of longtime trustee and Bridges to Belmont Endowed Scholarship creators, the R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center provides a stunning new home for the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, media studies and a vibrant 950-seat cafeteria. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “From top to bottom, this building reflects innovation, excellence and a strong commitment to setting our students up for success. Our Curb College and media studies majors will be privileged to work with equipment and in settings that meet or exceed industry standards, preparing them to not simply achieve their career goals but to lead their respective industries.” The 134,000 square foot Johnson Center boasts $3.6 million in technology resources and specialized equipment to serve students majoring in entertainment industry studies, music business, audio engineering technology, songwriting, motion pictures and media studies. With multi-functional spaces offering classroom, lab, performance, production and research options, the new building is designed for interdisciplinary collaborations among the programs. Moreover, the second floor of the Johnson Center is devoted to a cafeteria to serve the entire campus, a facility that nearly triples the seating capacity of the former dining hall. Belmont’s motion pictures majors can particularly benefit from the technology in the Johnson Center. Students are able to learn and render their projects for Digital Cinema Package (DCP) compatible large-format screens. In addition, Dolby Corp. was so impressed by the educational potential of the Johnson Center that the company has provided a Dolby Atmos Rendering Unit that will allow faculty to teach the process of creating and compiling movies in full Dolby Digital, 7.1 and the Atmos DCP formats. This makes Belmont Motion Pictures the first and only university-based film program capable of not only showing commercial films, but teaching the process of developing and producing theaterready films in the Atmos format. ● CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
CIRCLE MAGAZINE • FALL 2015
More than 500 Belmont students opted to study abroad last summer, many of them choosing to travel during the Universityâ€™s Maymester session, including this group quite literally jumping for joy in Seville, Spain. Belmont recently ranked in the Top 20 of schools with students studying abroad.
CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
Belmont honors healthcare legends with inaugural Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
CIRCLE MAGAZINE • FALL 2015
Hall of FAMERS
More than a year in the making, the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame inducted its eight-member charter class on Oct. 12 in a ceremony held in the packed Curb Event Center arena. Hosted by Senior Policy Adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Susan Dentzer, the Hall of Fame seeks to recognize and honor the pioneers and current leaders who have formed Tennessee’s health and health care community and encourage future generations of health care professionals. The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame was created by Belmont University and Belmont’s McWhorter Society with the support of founding partner Nashville Health Care Council. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “As an educational institution with ever-growing programs in the health care sector, we are exceedingly grateful for the work done by the inaugural inductees. As we commemorate the University’s 125th year, it is only fitting that we look back on those who have paved the way by establishing innovations in health care across our city and state. We are honored to join in acknowledging the practitioners, researchers, educators, innovators and pioneers who have contributed to Tennessee’s status as our nation’s health care capital.” ●
THE HALL OF FAME INAUGURAL INDUCTEES •D r. Thomas F. Frist, Jr., who served as a physician and flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force and was co-founder of Hospital Corporation of America • Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., a cardiologist and internist who founded Park View Hospital and co-founded Hospital Corporation of America • Dr. Ernest William Goodpasture, a pathologist and physician who served as dean of Vanderbilt School of Medicine • Jack C. Massey, co-founder of Hospital Corporation of America and founder and past board member of Baptist Hospital • Clayton McWhorter, pharmacist and co-founder of HealthTrust and Clayton Associates as well as past president and CEO of Hospital Corporation of America • Dr. David Satcher, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General, past director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and past president of Meharry Medical College and Morehouse School of Medicine • Dr. Mildred T. Stahlman, pediatrician and pathologist who founded the country’s first modern neonatology intensive care unit and past president of the American Pediatric Society • Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and ALSAC CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
CIRCLE MAGAZINE • FALL 2015
ENROLLMENT TOPS 7,400
KARL DEAN AND JESSE REGISTER JOIN BELMONT FACULTY Belmont’s faculty grew by two of Nashville’s most well-known civil servants in fall 2015 with the addition of former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and former Superintendent of Metro Public Schools Dr. Jesse Register. Dean is serving as Distinguished Visiting Professor of History and Politics while Register serves as Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership, responsible for spearheading the development of Belmont’s new Center for Improvement of Educational Systems.
Joining fellow public servants Alberto Gonzales and Torry Johnson at Belmont, Dean and Register bring perspective, passion and invaluable expertise to the classroom. Dr. Fisher said, “For 125 years, this campus has been dedicated to education as a source of transformation for individuals and communities. We aspire for greatness, not only in our programs here at Belmont, but also to see excellence fostered in our local community and beyond. Adding this caliber of leadership to our faculty to teach and impact our students will prove to be an incredible investment in the leaders of tomorrow.”
Belmont welcomed a record-breaking 7,425 students this semester, a number that’s more than doubled since 2000, making 2015 the 15th consecutive year that enrollment broke the previous year’s record.
AMY GRANT LETS GO Standing on stage with a guitar, singer/ songwriter Amy Grant focused on finding ways to cut through life’s chatter saying, “who we are is loved, we are loved loved loved.”
SOCKTOBER AT BELMONT Belmont’s Alumni Association participated in Kid President’s Socktober initiative and collected 780 pairs of socks for Nashville’s homeless community.
BELMONT TOPS AT 5…AGAIN! For the second year, Belmont held strong at No. 5 on America’s Best Colleges in the South list by U.S. News and World Report, marking the University’s seventh consecutive year as a Top 10 institution.
CAMPUS NEWS JOURNALISM EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR Dr. Sybril Brown was named as the National Association of Black Journalists’ Journalism Educator of the Year.
BELMONT MEETS THE STONES The Belmont Chorale performed “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” on stage with the Rolling Stones during the band’s summer tour at Nissan Stadium.
LAW BOASTS HIGHEST PASSAGE RATES Belmont’s College of Law Class of 2015 students achieved a 94 percent first-time pass rate for the July 2015 exam date, the highest in the state of Tennessee.
DEAD MAN WALKING Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, visited campus to speak to students, faculty and staff about her book and work with the death penalty in the U.S.
WEDGEWOOD ACADEMIC CENTER GRANTED PLATINUM LEED CERTIFICATION Ten months after its opening, Belmont’s Wedgewood Academic Center was awarded LEED Platinum® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, making Belmont the first University in Tennessee and the first LEED for New Construction project in Nashville to achieve the highest in the LEED ratings system. The 186,000 square foot building sits above a parking garage and is Belmont’s largest building to date. The facility houses more than 50 undergraduate programs from three different colleges as well as 20 state-of-theart science labs, numerous classrooms and offices, two food service venues, multiple green roofs and a chapel. David Minnigan, a principal with architectural firm Earl Swensson Associates (ESa), noted that the platinum certification is even more significant considering the challenges such a building presents in terms of its large size, style (traditional versus modern) and contents. “With such classical architecture, it is not always appropriate to use contemporary techniques—like some types of green screens or sun shades—that are commonly utilized on many LEEDcertified new construction projects. Plus, a facility that’s in use by college students 18 hours a day and incorporates science laboratory facilities can make energy efficiency difficult. But Belmont is committed to quality construction, and Bob and Judy Fisher are champions of sustainable design.”
CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
CIRCLE MAGAZINE • FALL 2015
When music business alumna Leslie Mosier graduated from Belmont in May 2014, she accepted her dream job at a local record label and artist management company. Happily employed, she began noticing how her personal Instagram garnered major attention when she posted pictures and videos of her dog, Doug. Suddenly, a side project was born, and in the past year, Doug the Pug’s social media accounts have gone viral, inspiring Mosier to leaver her once dream job to pursue a new one: Doug’s fulltime “momager.” Mosier and Doug have made numerous appearances on late night TV shows, at concerts and on “Good Morning America.” In fact, for many Doug the Pug has become a household name, with more than 3 million likes on Facebook and an online store of officially branded products. “When I began Doug the Pug’s social media accounts, I was consistently testing the waters and figuring out what exactly it was that set Doug apart from the thousands of other Instagram dogs. I tried collaborating, experimenting with different photo and caption techniques and partnering with dogrelated brands. Once his following started growing and I began introducing funny videos to his account, one of them went viral with more than 30 million views. Millions of people were now looking at Doug the Pug for the first time,” said Mosier.
ALUMNA BUILDS WORLDWIDE BRAND WITH ‘DOUG THE PUG’
SUPPORTING VETERANS Belmont was awarded a $95,000 grant from the state of Tennessee to support student veteran success and create conditions to recruit new student veterans.
IF THE SHOE FITS School of Music’s Opera Theatre staged a stunning production in November of magical fairy tale Cinderella.
COVER GUYS The Curb College and state-of-the-art new spaces in the Johnson Center were featured as the cover story of MIX Magazine’s November issue.
“Since I had already been so consistent and placed such a high standard on the content I put out, many of those viewers became intrigued enough to ‘follow’ him, and they are now dedicated, product-buying fans. Consistency and staying true to his ‘voice’ is the most important part… people feel like they know him.”
OUR FAVORTIE WARRIOR Alumnus Ian Clark joined the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors roster this season.
CAMPUS NEWS PROF PROPS Professor of Philosophy and Director of Asian Studies Dr. Ronnie Littlejohn was named the 2015 Tennessee Professor of the Year.
PUMPKIN PALOOZA The Student Activities Programming Board held its annual Pumpkin Palooza in October, giving students a chance to carve pumpkins, enjoy treats and celebrate fall’s arrival.
REIGNING SUPREME Belmont student-athletes scored their conference’s all academic award for the 12th time in 14 years, marking their third straight OVC crown.
HOLLYWOOD COMPOSER Jonathan Wolf, better known as the “Seinfeld Music Guy,” came to campus on Nov. 2 to share his talents and story with students, faculty and staff.
ABC’S ‘NASHVILLE’ HOLDS PREMIERE PARTY, STUDENT Q&A AT BELMONT The new, large theater in the Johnson Center played host to its first TV premiere as cast and crew members from ABC’s “Nashville” came to campus Sept. 24 to conduct a Q&A session with Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business students before enjoying the show’s Season Four premiere. Hanna Seymour, coordinator of student enrichment for the Curb College, said, “Once the ABC team saw our new 250-seat theater and learned more about our motion pictures program, they were excited to host a viewing party that included our students and faculty. ABC Nashville’s Bridgett McGuire suggested we host a panel prior to the showing as the cast and crew were eager to get face time with, and hear from, our students. The event was a great night for the Curb College, bringing industry professionals into our new space, intermingling with our students, and hopefully making the beginning of many more collaborations with ABC Nashville and our local TV/film community.” Prior to the 9 p.m. season premiere viewing party, Belmont students participated in a Q&A session with the show’s creator/director/ writer Callie Khouri, music supervisor Frankie Pine, actor and Belmont parent Charles Esten (“Deacon”), screenwriter Taylor Hamra and music producer Buddy Miller.
CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
CIRCLE MAGAZINE • FALL 2015
Keeping in line with the University’s mission to ‘engage and transform the World,’ Belmont’s Women’s Basketball team traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August, focusing their travel on mission work and service rather than hoops and sightseeing. Head Coach Cameron Newbauer was eager for his team to learn more about themselves as they ministered to the people of Rio. “As a coach, it is important to show athletes that the value they possess as a human being is far greater and more powerful than any sport they play. Acts of service, such as on our Rio trip, help them see the impact they can have on others. We had a number of individuals that challenged themselves with getting outside of their comfort zone and publicly sharing their faith.” But the team couldn’t leave the South American country without also hitting the court. After finishing their service work, they competed against three Brazilian teams. The team’s final game, against All Basket, brought the trip’s largest crowd with more than 150 children from a local church in attendance. They cheered, did the wave and pumped up the team during timeouts and halftime leading to a final Belmont victory of 65-25. Newbauer said, “We had a very emotional day and to look up and see all these children who came to support us and were so excited to share the game with us was indescribable.” Throughout the trip, the team kept loved ones at home updated via the Bruins on Mission blog. One of their final posts noted, “Our team will never look at a basketball the same… for all of us, a basketball is now the bridge that can cross any language barrier and break down walls. A basketball now means hope and love from our team.”
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STARTS YEAR WITH MISSION TRIP TO RIO DE JANEIRO
BUSINESS IS BOOMING Both the Massey College of Business entrepreneurship (#16) and part-time MBA (#28) programs received high rankings this semester from Princeton Review and Bloomberg, respectively.
WARD-BELMONT REUNION The annual Ward Belmont College Alumnae Reunion was held in the Belmont Mansion Oct. 17 as dozens of graduates gathered to celebrate their memories.
TEETER ‘TAU’-TER FOR BLOOD:WATER Alpha Tau Omega and Alpha Sigma Tau teamed up this fall to Teeter TAU-ter all day (and night) to raise awareness and money for Blood:Water Mission.
AWESOME SCIENCE Students conducted science experiments and discussed reactions as part of National Chemistry Week in October.
CAMPUS NEWS NASHVILLE’S NEXT ENTREPRENEURS Seniors Channing Moreland and Makenzie Stokel were named as Nashville’s Young Entrepreneurs of the Year during the Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneur Center’s NEXT Awards.
NATIONAL GPA CHAMPS The women’s soccer program posted the highest team grade point average (GPA) among all NCAA Divisions for the 2014-15 academic year.
BUSINESS STREAMS Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph appeared on campus to discuss the power of the entrepreneurial spirit and kick off November as Entrepreneurship Month.
BELMONT BEAUTY BestChoiceSchools.com recently recognized Belmont as No. 10 on its ranking of the “50 Most Beautiful Urban College Campuses” in the country.
SCHOOL OF PHYSICAL THERAPY CELEBRATES 15 YEARS OF ‘FAMILY’ The School of Physical Therapy recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary of DPT graduates with a first-ever reunion for the three-year doctoral program. In addition to networking with one another and PT faculty and staff, the event allowed alumni to earn Continuing Education course credit and provide support for a few special members. Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Dr. Christi Williams is a 2005 alum of the program and co-chaired organizing the reunion with fellow 2005 alumna Dr. Kristi Roland. “The Belmont PT program is special,” Williams said. “No one who goes through it feels like they have to do it on their own. There’s very much a family feel among the students and faculty.” That sentiment was driven home with Saturday morning’s event, a one-mile walk held in honor of Garrett Sapp, son of 2005 PT graduate Amber Sapp. Garrett was diagnosed five years ago with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and fatal neuromuscular disorder. Amber said, “These are the people who went through the fire with you and held your hand the whole way. These are the people I still want by my side.” Another highlight of the reunion came from a talk given by Jody Pigg, father of 2003 alumna Sara Walker, who died in 2012 from colon cancer. After sharing a bit of Sara’s story, Pigg and the rest of Sara’s family, including her sister Dinah Hall who is a 2006 Belmont PT alum, were presented with the establishment of a new scholarship named in honor of the Sara Walker Foundation. Throughout the weekend, alumni enjoyed tours of McWhorter Hall, a charity fair and networking groups, including a time to discuss the advanced certifications individuals had received after graduating from Belmont. Alumni came from all over the U.S., representing practices from Florida to Alaska, with Belmont-educated physical therapists working in a variety of settings from hospitals, home health organizations and rehabilitation.
CELEBRATING 125 YEARS
Celebrate Belmont’s Quasquicentennial at HOMECOMING 2016!
Make plans now to Come Home to Belmont where you can reunite with classmates, visit favorite professors and see the newest changes to campus. A full slate of activities, including reunions, concerts and men’s and women’s basketball make it fun for the whole family. See the full schedule at ALUMNI.BELMONT.EDU. Hope to see you then!