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BELMONT UNIVERSITY | CIRCLE MAGAZINE SPRING 2016

BELMONT LAUNCHES LARGEST GIVING CAMPAIGN IN UNIVERSITY HISTORY. SPRING 2015

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FIRST

LOOK


Who could be stressed with this guy on the scene? Bunch Library’s annual Puppies and Popsicles event was once again a huge hit with students preparing for final exams this spring. SPRING 2015

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FROM THE PRESIDENT There are few events on this campus that bring me more joy than celebrating commencement, and this May was no exception. I was privileged to present degrees to nearly 1,200 graduates on that Saturday, marking the single largest one-day boost ever to our alumni roster. But the pride and happiness I feel doesn’t come from the sheer numbers, though I’m pleased by our strong enrollment, retention and graduation rates. Rather, it comes from knowing that so many individuals have fully embraced Belmont’s mission and are now entering the workforce prepared to use their talents and skills to engage and transform the world. Seeing those faces as they cross the stage and knowing many of their stories, my belief in the work being done at Belmont is ignited anew. This University, the educational opportunities it offers and the people who dedicate so much time to its mission all make Belmont an incredible place, one that I believe is well worth the investment of our time and resources. As we kick off our largest fundraising campaign to date, I hope that’s a belief you will share, and that you too can find joy in furthering the Belmont mission and providing the means for more students to call Belmont home. Best Regards,

Robert C. Fisher, president

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher offers congratulations to Class of 2016 graduate Haley Hicks. A

CIRCLE MAGAZINE

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From the President

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We Believe

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Bruin Something Special

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Twice as Nice

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Fixer Upper

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Being Belmont: Stand for Freedom

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Passing the Torch

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Campus News

CIRCLE MAGAZINE

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: Belmont recently launched its largest fundraising campaign to date under the theme “We Believe.”

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) 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 circlemag@belmont.edu 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, deanofstudents@belmont.edu or 615.460.6407.

/belmontuniversity /belmontuniv /belmontu /belmontu


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WE BELIEVE BELMONT LAUNCHES LARGEST GIVING CAMPAIGN IN UNIVERSITY HISTORY. Building on the momentum garnered through its recent year-long quasquicentennial anniversary celebration, in April Belmont University launched its largest, most extensive fundraising campaign in the institution’s 125-year history. Centered on the theme “We Believe” and intended to raise $300 million, the campaign focuses attention on five key areas, including scholarships, faculty support and missions.

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Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “In recent years Belmont University surprised many locally and nationally with its phenomenal growth and astounding success. Landing in the Top 5 Universities in the South in U.S. News, adding more than $500 million in new or upgraded facilities and hosting Tennessee’s first presidential debate are just a few of the unprecedented accomplishments that come to mind. We have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams. But we believe this is only the beginning. This comprehensive campaign will lift the University to even greater levels of acclaim, strengthening our ability to offer a world-class education by attracting top faculty, enhancing student experiences, creating mission opportunities, supporting athletics and expanding student research. Most importantly, this campaign will better position us to aid qualified students in achieving a Belmont education, regardless of their financial circumstances.” HCA Chairman and CEO and Belmont alumnus Milton Johnson, who will chair the campaign in its inaugural year, added, “I give to Belmont because I can personally attest to the transformative power of a Belmont education. My Belmont scholarship was a life-changing opportunity for me, one that I never would have imagined as a Stratford High School student. I am honored to stand with this University in its campaign because I believe Belmont provides a world-class education to help individuals reach their greatest potential. I want to be part of making that happen for generations of students to come.” The $300 million campaign will include total money raised through Dec. 31, 2020, with more than $71 million already given toward the goal. In addition, thanks to a long history of strong financial management and diligent cost control, Belmont is now able to partner with its supporters to leverage their investments in the institution’s future. The University will match endowment contributions to priority areas between $25,000 and $1.5 million ‘dollar for dollar,’ doubling the impact of each donor’s commitment. Belmont’s Vice President for Development and External Relations Dr. Perry Moulds said, “Belmont University cannot achieve what we need to for our students, our community and our world without our partners—the alumni, parents, friends and corporate supporters of our mission. I believe this campaign will take an already successful institution to the next level, catapulting us even further onto the national stage and empowering what I imagine to be an extraordinary future for this campus.” For more information on the campaign, giving priorities and ways to give, visit Belmont’s newly launched “We Believe” website at webelieve.belmont.edu. •

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GIVING PRIORITIES The “We Believe” campaign will focus on five key areas that are critical to enriching and preserving what Belmont can offer its students for the next 125 years. ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIPS There is no greater fundraising priority for Belmont University than scholarships for deserving students. Privately-supported scholarships provide much needed assistance to students with financial need and often mean the difference between choosing to attend Belmont and forgoing the opportunity.

FACULTY SUPPORT A world-class faculty is imperative to the success of any university, and Belmont faculty are constantly striving to improve the experiences of Belmont students in the classroom and beyond. Gifts in the form of endowed chairs and professorships allow Belmont to recruit excellent new faculty, provide opportunities for professional development and enhance resources available to direct toward student learning.

MISSIONS Belmont University’s status as a Christian university creates a unique opportunity in higher education to offer life-changing missions as part of the student experience. Increased private support for missions will ensure that Belmont continues to meet the demand created by an increasing student body as well as enhance its current offerings.

ATHLETICS Belmont’s 17 Division I athletic teams represent the University’s commitment to excellence both on and off the playing field in tremendous fashion. Endowed athletic scholarships increase Belmont’s ability to recruit high-caliber student athletes who embody its values and represent the University around the world.

ANNUAL GIVING Donors who choose to designate their gifts to the University’s Annual Fund are choosing to support the student experience in the most direct way possible. The Annual Fund serves as a mechanism to fund activities such as student conferences, mission trips, special speakers and performances, student competitions and research, and much more.

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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COMES OF AGE IN 2O15—16 SEASON. Resolve. Resilience. Character. Faith. Family. When Belmont Women’s Basketball Head Coach Cameron Newbauer uses those words to describe his young team, he’s not glibly repeating some common sports clichés. Rather, he speaks with an emotion-tinged voice, one edged with pride in the student-athletes, trainers, grad assistants and coaches he’s worked and traveled with over the past year. It’s been quite a ride. Though Newbauer’s first two seasons led to back-to-back appearances in the OVC tournament, women’s basketball was starting this season minus seven seniors who graduated. Many assumed this would be a year to rebuild, a year with modest expectations. Newbauer had higher hopes, in part because of the tight-knit community and familial belief in one another the team was building. It was a mentality that the team lived and breathed all season, from their August mission trip to Rio de Janeiro to fall practices to the start of a season that saw them begin non-conference play with a surprising 8-1 record. But then came the test. A six-game road stretch brought six straight losses. Could this team persevere over such a difficult run? The women not only bounced back, they soared, winning 13 of their last 14

games of the season. The momentum swept the Bruins into the second seed in the OVC Tournament, and the team dominated in three consecutive games, winning by 8, 24 and 32 points, respectively. For the first time since 2007, Belmont women’s basketball was going to the Big Dance! Freshman guard Darby Maggard said, “It’s been so much fun to be with this team and to be with these girls. To get to be here in the NCAA Tournament with my best friends is a dream come true.” Like the season itself, the first-round game exceeded expectations and gave the nationally ranked Michigan State Spartans a scare as the underdog Bruins proved they belonged among the country’s top teams, keeping the score close for three quarters. Though a quick burst of points to start the fourth quarter ultimately became more than Belmont could overcome, it was clear to all that this was a statement game, and a statement season, for the Bruins. A new era was beginning. Newbauer concluded, “For schools like us, you reach this point and realize you’ve made a step in your program, but you want more. Our kids want more. We have a lot of people coming back that are going to have that burn and desire to get better, like they have shown all year.” • SPRING 2016

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TWICE A $15 million gift sets single donation record for Belmont while philanthropist Janet Ayers receives the surprise of a lifetime. On a recent beautiful May morning, Belmont held a surprise event that surprised both the campus community and one overwhelmed special guest, Ayers Foundation President Janet Ayers, who discovered that her husband had just authorized the largest single donation in Belmont’s 125year history and secured the naming of the University’s largest building in her honor. The $15 million endowed scholarship gift stems from Janet’s passion for education and the desire of her husband Jim Ayers, founder of both the Ayers Foundation and Tennessee’s FirstBank, to honor her in a unique way. Scholarships from the Ayers endowed fund will be awarded to qualified Belmont students based on financial need. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “There are no better friends to education in Tennessee than Janet and Jim Ayers and the Ayers Foundation. They have worked tirelessly to help numerous causes, particularly to improve the lives of young people in Tennessee by giving them access to life-changing learning opportunities. Marshalling their resources in this fashion will create an endowment in perpetuity that can provide a transformative Belmont education to individuals who otherwise may not have the financial means to attend this University.”

In gratitude for the gift and in consultation with Jim Ayers, Belmont named its largest campus building in honor of Janet. The newly named Janet Ayers Academic Center stands as a beacon for the Belmont campus in its highly visible site at the corner of Wedgewood and 15th Avenues. Janet Ayers said, “I had no idea my husband was going to do this. We had said all along how much we believe in Belmont and what they do… The thing that excites me the most is that I hope for generations to come that every student who comes through here—wherever they come from, from whatever background—that they will leave here a changed person, empowered to know that one person at a time, one community at a time is really how you start to change the lives of others.” Jim Ayers added, “I’ve admired what Belmont has done. There are a lot of great schools in this city and in this state, but Belmont is right at the top… We need to do things to enable people who aren’t as financially fortunate as we are to get a great education.” •


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NEWLY RENOVATED MASSEY BUSINESS CENTER PUTS STUDENTS’ EDUCATION AT THE FOREFRONT IN TECHNOLOGY-LADEN REMODEL.

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ollowing an eight-month renovation, the Massey Business Center reopened for the Spring 2016 semester, offering significant advances in technology resources and space optimization to provide an exceptional and collaborative education space for business students and community leaders.

The makeover provided a major facelift to the 25-year-old building, making it barely recognizable as compared to its previous incarnation. The renovation included major upgrades and modernization of classroom, meeting and office space throughout the building. In addition to expanding the lobby and adding a central staircase, the second-floor atrium is now dominated by a glass-enclosed, state-of-the-art financial trading center with a full data wall and 36 high-end FlipIT computer desks.

The Jack C. Massey College of Business Dean Dr. Pat Raines said, “This complete modernization of the Massey College of Business was designed to give our students and faculty the ultimate environment in which to collaborate and to innovate. The new surroundings are state-of-the-art, professional and beautiful, and our students will be using the technology they need to succeed in the future.”

Another exciting addition can be found in the second floor Accelerator space for entrepreneurs. With entrepreneurship leading the way as the Massey College of Business’s fastest growing major, the Accelerator space is designed to help take new businesses to the next level. Student entrepreneurs must apply to take part after successfully launching a business. Once accepted, the Accelerator space provides a comfortable and creative setting and personalized mentorship, along with a super smart Eno Board that seamlessly functions as an interactive white board computer screen for analog or digital content. The Jack C. Massey Foundation, which honors the legacy of one of the country’s greatest entrepreneurs and businessmen, provided the lead gift for the renovation in 2014. Barbara Massey Rogers, daughter of Jack C. Massey and a long-time supporter of Belmont, noted, “I am confident the new facilities will help further propel the Massey College of Business as a top-ranked business school emphasizing ethics and entrepreneurship as my dad, Jack C. Massey, envisioned. His legacy will be everlasting.” •

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BEING

BELMONT

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The Belmont student chapter of International Justice Mission stood against human trafficking with a 24-hour awareness event near the fountain where they hosted a petition and provided materials to educate their peers on the issue.

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Scott Corley, new director of athletics

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Pass ng

The Torch

Retiring Athletic Director Mike Strickland leaves behind a legacy of both phenomenal success and commitment to core values.

Mike Strickland, the only athletic director of Belmont University’s NCAA Division I era and the longest-tenured AD in the Ohio Valley Conference, recently announced his retirement, effective June 30.

posted 35 consecutive semesters of a departmental grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher and seen all 17 programs honored nationally for academic achievement.

Strickland said, “Serving as athletic director at Belmont University has been a true honor and privilege. Beyond the on-field triumphs and graduation days, the warmth of the Belmont community and the spirit of our remarkable student-athletes—past and present— will always stay with me. Many of my fondest memories and most treasured relationships have been forged on this campus, and I look forward to enriching those for years to come.”

But perhaps of greatest pride to Strickland, the Bruin program has become synonymous with good sportsmanship and respect for the game. In fact, since 2012, 10 Bruin programs have earned the annual Team Sportsmanship Award, and the university has received each of the last three conference Institutional Sportsmanship Awards.

From his arrival in 1996, Strickland laid the groundwork for an athletic program rooted in selflessness, integrity and family, emerging two decades later as the gold standard for intercollegiate athletic ideals. “I don’t know of any athletic director who has done what Mike’s done,” said Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher. “He took a NAIA program directly to NCAA Division I and built a program that is nationally recognized for its integrity, academic excellence and competitiveness. I’m as proud of our athletic program as I am of anything that we do at Belmont.” The ascension of Belmont Athletics is nothing short of extraordinary. Under Strickland’s tenure the Bruin program completed transformational facility enhancement projects in the Curb Event Center and E.S. Rose Park, added six sports and claimed 45 conference championships. Academically, Belmont Athletics stands among the nation’s premier programs. Under Strickland’s watch, Belmont has earned an academic conference championship 12 of the last 14 years,

“Mike has enjoyed the success of our athletic teams without ever seeking credit and often deflecting that credit to others,” said Belmont University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Byrd. “His humility has been a model for all of his coaches to try to emulate.” With big shoes to fill, Belmont engaged this spring in an extensive, nationwide search, one that led the University back to one of its favored sons. On May 31, Belmont announced that Scott Corley, senior vice president of corporate banking at FirstBank, would be the new director of athletics. Corley, a 1990 business graduate, is one of the most decorated student-athletes in program history, ranking sixth among Belmont men’s basketball’s all-time leading scorers with 2,062 career points. “I am honored and excited for this opportunity, at a place that means so much to me,” Corley said. “Some of the best years of my life were spent as a student-athlete at Belmont. I learned so many life lessons that helped mold me into the person I am today. Being able to lead the athletic department, and give my all for a place I love, is truly a dream come true. I look forward to working with all the coaches, staff and student-athletes to build upon the solid foundation established by Mike (Strickland).” •

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CAMPUS NEWS

BELMONT STUDENTS HONOR MLK MEMORY WITH DAY OF SERVICE More than 200 university students and community volunteers carried on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in January when they spent hours volunteering at the sixth annual MLK Day of Service. Students from Belmont joined their peers from other local universities at Second Harvest Food Bank to celebrate and honor King through a day of community service. Mayor Megan Barry, Representative Harold Love Jr. and Congressman Jim Cooper attended the event’s kick-off and spoke to students about the importance of service as a way to honor King’s legacy. Belmont’s Director of Service-Learning Tim Stewart said, “It’s an honor to play a part in commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. King by facilitating an opportunity for the universities in our great city to come together and address issues facing all of us. Belmont could not be more pleased to participate.” The Corporation for National and Community Service, through North Carolina Campus Compact, awarded Belmont a $1,500 grant to facilitate the service projects. Throughout the day, students volunteered at one of six sites across the city and participated in service projects aimed at hunger relief and veteran care. At Second Harvest Food Bank and Feed the Children, students packed and sorted more than 34,000 lbs of donated food and 15 pallets of personal care items. Others prepared the Wedgewood Community Garden for spring planting at The Nashville Food Project. At The Sweet Potato Drop, students sorted and bagged 9,000 lbs of sweet potatoes, while those assigned to Trevecca’s Urban Farm tended plants in green houses for the coming season. At Room in the Inn, students joined veterans in completing a collaborative art project.

SNOW DAY! Nashville’s biggest snowstorm in 13 years brought eight inches of accumulation to campus and a rare day off from January classes.

THE RETURN OF JUDAH Alumni band Judah and the Lion visited campus this semester, playing songs and answering Curb College students’ questions in the new Johnson Center theater.

NEW MAJORS FOR FALL Belmont announced three new academic programs that will premiere in Fall 2016: public health, global leadership studies and a master’s in mental health counseling.

TAKING FAITH-BASED LEADERSHIP NEXT LEVEL The Belmont Institute for Innovative Faith-Based Leadership was announced this spring, along with the hiring of its executive director, Dr. Jon R. Roebuck.


CAMPUS NEWS NEWSWORTHY AWARDS Thirteen Belmont journalism students competed in the Southeast Journalism Conference and placed second overall among 45 colleges and universities from eight states.

BRUINS FILL CAMPUS FOR 125TH ANNIVERSARY HOMECOMING CELEBRATION ASH WEDNESDAY Belmont once again honored Ash Wednesday by holding a special ecumenical service in the Chapel, marking the beginning of the 40-day Lenten season.

RESEARCH AT LOS ALAMOS Chemistry professor Dr. Duane Hatch was recently awarded funding from the Department of Energy Office of Science for research this summer with students at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

TASTY TREATS Belmont Dining welcomed Slovenian Chef Tomaž Slatnar to campus as part of an ongoing “Global Chef” program to introduce students, faculty and staff to food from diverse cultures.

Belmont celebrated its 125th Anniversary Homecoming Feb. 18–20, and Bruins of all ages returned to campus to take part in the festivities. This year’s event featured a campus-wide canned food drive supporting Second Harvest Food Bank, a ‘Homecoming in the Round Concert,’ college-level tours, numerous reunions and a basketball doubleheader. In addition, the annual Tower Society reunion was held to welcome home alumni who graduated 50 years ago or more, with members of the Class of 1966 being inducted into the Society this year. The Curb Event Center saw impressive numbers for Saturday’s games against Tennessee Tech as more than 5,000 Bruin alumni, faculty, staff, students and neighbors cheered both teams to victory. The women defeated Tech’s Golden Eagles 70-49, and the men’s final score was 95-86. At halftime of the men’s game, junior music business major Zack Middleton and junior social entrepreneurship major Mare Rote were crowned the 2016 Homecoming King and Queen.


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In a recent ceremony on campus, Belmont unveiled a plaque honoring Nashville business executive and Trustee Cordia Harrington in the newly named Harrington Place Dining, a 950-seat cafeteria that fills the second floor in the Johnson Center.

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NEW CAFETERIA NAMED IN HONOR OF BELMONT TRUSTEE CORDIA HARRINGTON

SCIENCE SUMMIT Forty faculty and staff in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and related fields convened at Belmont for the first ever New American Colleges and Universities Science Summit.

Harrington is being honored for her longtime support for, and generosity to, the University. “Cordia and her husband, Tom, built a thriving, multi-million dollar manufacturing empire—after beginning an entrepreneurial career in food service and real estate. Cordia’s first business was founded on the $587 she had in her pocket as a 28-yearold,” said Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher. “She has been locally and nationally recognized for her business acumen and community involvement, but what makes her story great is how her resourceful spirit led her from one stepping stone of success to the next, overcoming every obstacle in her path.” Harrington said, “The success of our family’s businesses over the years is a testament to the power of unwavering optimism, a tireless work ethic and perseverance that just doesn’t accept ‘no’ for an answer. I believe these values are central to any entrepreneurial effort, and these are also attributes I’ve long witnessed in how Belmont University approaches its students’ education. What’s more, this University instills those qualities on a firm foundation of faith. I am honored that Belmont has chosen to name Harrington Place Dining in my honor, reflecting all we have in common, and I hope my story can be an encouragement to young men and women starting their own career journeys.” Harrington is founder and CEO of The Bakery Cos. which laterally integrated business units include transportation and cold storage companies and grew sales from $4.8 million to more than $100 million.

ACTS OF CONGRESS Senator Lamar Alexander conversed with Belmont’s Center for the Improvement of Educational Systems Director Dr. Jesse Register about the newly passed Every Student Succeeds Act.

HUFFINGTON SLEEP FAIR Huffington Post co-Founder Arianna Huffington spoke to students and business executives about what she believes is the best performance enhancer: sleep!

83,000 REASONS TO STAY UP TIL DAWN Belmont’s Up Til Dawn student organization raised almost $84,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital during a fundraising event on campus in February.


CAMPUS NEWS MINISTRY THROUGH CULINARY ARTS Four senior Honors students supported The Cookery by helping the local nonprofit create and release a cookbook and presenting the project at Belmont’s Undergraduate Research Symposium.

SUPPORTING LEGAL AID Belmont’s College of Law supported the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands by welcoming 180 attendees to the Barrister’s Ball where a $1,000 donation to the Society was announced.

COLLABORATIVE ART PIECE CELEBRATES DIVERSITY, 125TH ANNIVERSARY In honor of Belmont’s 125 birthday, local artist James Threalkill was commissioned to create a mosaic art piece celebrating diversity on campus. As part of the University’s first Diversity Week, members of the Belmont community were encouraged to decorate foam tiles with illustrations of their place at Belmont. As he collected completed tiles, Threalkill said a number of themes stuck out. “The pride that is universal with this community and the concern participants have for social equality, fairness, diversity and inclusion were evident in the art they made,” Threalkill said. From there, choosing the piece’s theme was easy. The mosaic was unveiled at the University’s 125th birthday party on January 25. With Threalkill at the helm, Dr. Fisher joined faculty, staff and students in presenting the piece, all to the tune of “Happy Birthday” played on the University’s historic carillon bells.

ETHICS & EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP Board of Trustees Chairman Marty Dickens shared his wisdom during a convocation which addressed the importance of ethics and character in leadership.

TRIP OF A LIFETIME Class of 2008 marketing alumna Brittany Kulick represented the U.S. and joined 28 other bloggers on a 15-day trip to India as part of a travel bloggers’ competition.

Across campus, the Bell Tower is the symbol of what it means to be a Bruin. Freshmen gather beneath its bricks the night before classes begin, and it’s an ever-present, strong icon throughout a Belmont student’s time on campus. Threalkill said it was an obvious choice to depict Belmont’s diversity and belief in something greater. After all, when Ward-Belmont founders Ida Hood and Susan Heron first stepped on Belmont’s property to select the site for their future school, it was “the old tower that did it.”


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CAMPUS NEWS

CVPA HONORS RETIRING DEAN WITH APPLAUSE AWARD

BUSINESS AMBASSADOR Irish Ambassador Anne Anderson spoke on campus in January at an event co-sponsored by Belmont’s Center for International Business.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts honored its long-time Dean, Dr. Cynthia Curtis, with the Applause Award at the 27th Annual President’s Dinner and Concert, celebrating her 35 years with Belmont. The Applause Award is the most distinguished award presented by Belmont’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and is given annually to honor those who have made significant contributions to the arts. Alumni and past “American Idol” finalists Melinda Doolittle (’99) and Rayvon Owen (’13) came back to campus to perform with the Phoenix Ensemble in honor of Dean Curtis and her upcoming retirement from Belmont this summer. Dean Curtis first came to Belmont as a faculty member in the School of Music in 1981. In her 25 years as Dean, she has an impressive list of accomplishments including enrollment growth across the college, the nationally televised performances of “Christmas at Belmont,” the establishment of successful musical theatre and music therapy programs as well as a B.F.A. in theatre and B.A. in art history, the creation of the dance minor and the completion of renovations to create the Troutt Theater complex and McAfee Concert Hall.

STAMPS IN THE PASSPORT May 2016 graduates Salwa Saba and Grant Gill were recently awarded prestigious Fulbright program grants for overseas teaching in Taiwan and Slovak Republic, respectively.

JUST DANCE, DANCE, DANCE The 12th annual dance production, “Mixed Bill: Footprints,” offered a dance style for everyone including ballet, modern, tap and jazz.

Previous Applause Award honorees include Michael W. Smith, the Grand Ole Opry, Eddy Arnold, Chet Atkins, The Beaman Family Foundation, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, Donna Hilley, Ronn Huff, Martha Ingram, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, Nashville Symphony, Barbara Massey Rogers, Kenneth Schermerhorn, Ricky Skaggs, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Jerry Warren, Sam Wilson and CeCe Winans.

TREE HUGGERS To celebrate Arbor Day 2016, a group of faculty, staff, senior administrators and students gathered on the Lawn to recognize one of the University’s most recently planted trees, a Common PawPaw.


CAMPUS NEWS SCHOLARSHIP AND AWARDS DAY Belmont’s highest achieving students and faculty were honored for their commitment to the University’s mission and dedication to scholarship, service and leadership at the annual Scholarship and Awards Day.

HOUSE OF… FASHION New Nashville fashion boutique House Of held a Spring Launch Party to celebrate the opening of the student-run retail concept on Belmont Blvd.

WORLD CULTURE FEST Students gathered in the Beaman March 16 to sample foreign foods, watch cultural performances and learn new tidbits about countries around the world at the fourth annual World Culture Fest.

CONGRATS GRADUATES! Belmont held its largest ever commencement ceremonies May 7 with nearly 1,200 students receiving degrees.

BELMONT HONORS DIVERSITY WITH INAUGURAL DR. FANNIE HEWLETT AWARD In honor of Dr. Fannie Hewlett, Belmont’s first African American graduate, the University created the inaugural Dr. Fannie Hewlett Award and bestowed it upon an undergraduate and graduate student this spring. The award celebrates racial and ethnic diversity by recognizing student courage, leadership and a contribution to a culture of inclusion at Belmont. Its creation is one of the many initiatives from the University’s Welcome Home Team, a committee of faculty, staff and students that explores opportunities and plans strategies to expand racial and ethnic diversity on campus. The inaugural graduate student recipient was the College of Pharmacy’s Tetchi Assamoi, who is a leader within her college and is also involved in the community as she works with Meharry Medical College to introduce health care careers to high school students. The 2016 undergraduate recipient was Kristoff Hart from the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. Hart has served as a resident assistant, basketball manager, Bruin Recruiter and Tour Guide, among other roles during his Belmont career. For Chair of the Welcome Home Team, Vice President and Chief of Staff Dr. Susan West, the creation of this award is a testament to the great things transpiring on Belmont’s campus. “It means we’re acknowledging our past and taking important steps in the areas of racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion. It further recognizes the essential conversations that are happening in our boardrooms, classrooms and dorm rooms, and the Welcome Home Team is honored to assist in facilitating those conversations.” Dr. Hewlett grew up in Bay Minette, Alabama, and earned a B.S. in psychology and English from Belmont in 1970. She went on to earn a master’s and doctoral degree and most recently served as the interim president at Chattanooga State Community College.


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Belmont University's 2016 Circle Magazine Spring Edition  

Belmont University's 2016 Circle Magazine Spring Edition