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From Here to Anywhere
C I R C L E
M A G A Z I N E
A P U B L I C AT I O N F O R S T U D E N T S , PA R E N T S , A L U M N I & F R I E N D S
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FI R ST LO O K A rendering shared at the October press conference to announce Belmont would host a 2020 presidential debate shows incredible details of how campus may be transformed for next fallâ€™s event.
U NIVE RS ITY ADMINISTRATIO N PRESIDENT
Bob Fisher PROVOST
Thomas Burns VP OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
John Carney VP OF INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS
Paula Gill VP OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
Todd Lake VP OF FINANCE AND OPERATIONS
Steve Lasley VP OF DEVELOPMENT AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS
Perry Moulds VP OF ADMINISTRATION AND UNIVERSITY COUNSEL
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But then it was over. The candidates, staffers, journalists and guests moved on, the sets came down and campus life returned to normal. Yet starting on that quiet October 8, we began pursuing another opportunity to do it all again. Come October 22, 2020, we will. To say I’m excited is an extreme understatement, but my enthusiasm is exceeded by our students, more than 700 of whom signed up in the first 12 hours after a Debate 2020 volunteer form went live. This next year will once again put Belmont at the forefront of national conversations while giving our students an unparalleled educational experience. I can’t wait.
Robert C. Fisher, president
ON THE COVER:
SGA President Meghan Hickok celebrates the announcement that the University will host a 2020 presidential debate.
MAG AZ INE MANAGING EDITOR
April Hefner (M.A. ’07) DESIGNERS
Deborah Brewington, Anna Howard (M.Ed. ’19), Myles Ketelsen
OC TO B E R 8 , 2 0 0 8 , is a day I remember well at Belmont University. It may be the quietest one I’ve experienced in my nearly 20 years on this campus. Just 24 hours earlier millions of eyes from around the world were glued to Belmont University as then Senators Barack Obama and John McCain debated vital issues in the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, broadcast live from the Curb Event Center. In hosting that event, the first ever presidential debate to be held in Tennessee, our students—and the entire community—were given a front row seat to democracy in action. It was an incredible season.
VP/CHIEF OF STAFF
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A WORD FR OM T HE PRESI DENT
Kenzie Baker (B.B.A. ’21), Haley Charlton (B.A. ’16), Preston Eggert (B.A. ’22 ), Tommy Gotsch (B.A. ’20), Donn Jones, Myles Ketelsen CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Haley Charlton (B.A. ’16), Katie McAdams (B.S. ’20), Greg Sage Circle magazine is published biannually for alumni and friends of Belmont University. 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 to: Office of Communications/Circle magazine 615.460.6641 or email@example.com 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. In compliance with federal law, including provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Sections 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Belmont University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or sexual orientation in its administration of education policies programs or activities; its admissions policies; or employment. Consistent with applicable civil rights law, the University seeks employees of Christian faith who are committed to the mission of the University. The University has appointed the director of the Office of Human Resources to serve as coordinator of compliance with Title VII and IX issues and questions for staff and faculty. The Director of Title IX Compliance and Prevention Programs serves as coordinator of compliance for Title IX issues and questions for students. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to: Lauri Chaudoin, Director, Title IX Compliance and Prevention Programs, Freeman Hall, 3rd Floor, 1900 Belmont Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37212, 615.460.5661. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Leslie Lenser, Chief Human Resources Officer/Sr. Director & Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Fidelity Hall, Room 426, 1900 Belmont Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37212, 615.460.6456. Email: email@example.com.
BEI NG BELMO NT After opening their home campaign on a beautiful night at Rose Park with a draw versus the Georgia Bulldogs, women’s soccer proved their mettle all season long, resulting in an OVC tournament semi-final appearance.
BELMONT RECEIVES ‘YES’ VOTE TO HOST THIRD AND FINAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE OF 2020 ELECTION.
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Pictured left to right are: Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation CEO Butch Spyridon, SGA President Meghan Hickok, Congressman Jim Cooper, Senator Marsha Blackburn, Dr. Fisher, Belmont Board of Trustees Chairman Marty Dickens, Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Tennessee Commissioner of Tourist Development Mark Ezell Here we go again! The Commission on Presidential Debates announced in October that Belmont University will host the third and final presidential debate of the 2020 election, marking only the second time in history a presidential debate has been held in Tennessee.
FROM HERE TO THE WHITE HOUSE
Of course, the first experience was also held at Belmont when then Senators Barack Obama and John McCain were on campus for a town hall debate moderated by Tom Brokaw in 2008. The October 22, 2020 debate at Belmont will occur less than two weeks before Americans go to the polls to vote, making the University and Middle Tennessee vital locations in an election that will determine the nation’s direction. “Hosting the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate put Belmont at the center of one of the most historic presidential elections in American history,” recalled Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher. “To be selected again is a great honor, and I’m confident that together we will once again exceed expectations in producing this internationally important event.”
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee added, “It is terrific news that Belmont University has been chosen to host a presidential debate in 2020. Belmont has been a proven leader in our state and in our nation, and it is an honor to have another chance to showcase this outstanding university and our state to the world next fall.” Mayor of Nashville and Davidson County John Cooper noted, “This is an exciting moment for Belmont and for Nashville. In hosting mayoral debates earlier this year, Belmont played a vital role in shaping the conversation around moving our city forward. We look forward to hosting this conversation on the national stage.” A website, belmontdebate2020.com, and hashtag, #BelmontDebate2020, will be used throughout the coming year to assist in communicating all of the events and logistics that will surround this historic season, including a full slate of educational experiences designed for campus and community participation.
Taking “Country Music” for a country mile, Belmont followed up this fall on its sponsorship of Ken Burns’s new documentary by working with partners to create ancillary products to further the educational value of the series.
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Belmont joined The Tennessean and USA Today Network to launch Country Mile, a new country music podcast intended to capture two artists in an unscripted conversation of memories, advice and stories from the road. With several episodes recorded on Belmont’s campus, the weekly podcast featured appearances by Garth Brooks, Ashley McBryde, Vince Gill, Chris Young, Dierks Bentley, Tenille Townes, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Ricky Skaggs, High Valley, Marty Stuart, Chris Scruggs, Travis Tritt, Tracy Lawrence and more. The podcast is available on Spotify, iTunes and USA Today Network sites.
But the podcasts aren’t the only educational with any number of literary and rhetorical opportunities afforded by Belmont’s concepts,” Blomeley said. “Despite the sponsorship of the new documentary. In lyrical richness, however, these songs are also addition, the campus’ Leu Art Gallery very accessible; a student doesn’t need a lot of hosted the “Nashville Portraits” exhibit, a advance reading or preparation to analyze a collection of legendary artist photos from song like ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ or local artist and photographer Jim McGuire. ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter.’ That accessibility Belmont faculty from a variety of fields— is a strength because students can practice including English and math—jumped in on some really essential skills without feeling like the fun as well, creating free curriculum for they’re slogging through some esoteric text.” middle and high school students that goes The materials, including video and lesson hand-in-hand with “Country Music.” plans drawn from the research that went Associate Professor of English Dr. Sarah into the 16-hour film, explore American Blomeley, who teaches a Belmont class on history through country music, illustrating the “Rhetoric of Country Music,” designed the extent to which this distinctly American lesson plans for language arts classrooms, art form reflects the times in which it focusing mostly on lyrical analysis and evolved. Students and teachers can access writing activities. the collection for free on PBS Learning Media which reaches one million users each “I love that students can listen to a three- month throughout the school year. minute song in class and then engage
BELMONT EXTENDS ITS PARTNERSHIP WITH KEN BURNS VIA EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM AND A ‘COUNTRY MUSIC’—FOCUSED PODCAST FEATURING GARTH BROOKS, AMONG OTHERS.
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For the fifth annual Diversity Week on campus, students, faculty and staff engaged in timely conversations on inclusion, identity and cultural change. “A big part of bias is just assuming your experience is universal.” That statement from a student panelist at a convocation session during Belmont’s fifth annual Diversity Week summarized well the intent and outcomes of the University-wide initiative: to celebrate differences, broaden minds and provide meaningful dialogue around issues of inclusion.
Nationally recognized spoken word poet Amena Brown spoke on campus multiple times during the week, and the Gabhart Student Center hosted the Ability Exhibit, a traveling display designed to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities.
industry partners across Nashville. It’s the first time the Curb College has hosted this event or anything like it, and addressing such a wide swath of issues with a receptive audience while expanding our connection with the Nashville entertainment community was very gratifying.”
The week-long celebration culminated with a day-long event open to campus and “There’s a synergy that’s created when members of the community. “Minding people are brought together in the same the Gap: A Diversity in Entertainment room to discuss something vital,” Carr Symposium” featured more than two dozen continued. “This is an important take-away guest speakers exploring a wide range of for our students, the idea of networking with topics. The opening session examined “The purpose, to create mutual benefit and enrich Rise of the Urban Music Scene in Nashville,” our industry.” while other sessions focused on women in the entertainment business, leveraging diversity in media and film narratives.
Through distinguished speakers, engaging panel discussions and intentional feedback sessions, the Belmont community explored a variety of topics. One student panel, for example focused on notions of intersectionality, how all of a person’s varied identities inform their experience of the world. All of the panelists emphasized the importance of listening well to narratives other than one’s own, leading with kindness Symposium organizer Dr. Cheryl Slay and standing up for minority communities Carr, associate dean of the Curb College and voices as keys to making progress in a of Entertainment and Music Business, said, “This was an incredible day of dialogue with frequently fragmented world.
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At the Intersections
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the United States moon landing, Belmont’s 18th annual Humanities Symposium looked to the sky, tackling the topic, “Mankind and the Moon: Inspiration, Aspiration and Imagination.”
Then students were able to hear directly from an astronaut when former space shuttle mission specialist and payload commander Rhea Seddon spoke about her experience with NASA. As a child Seddon’s father took her out to the backyard during the “Space Age” to show her Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite launched by Russia. Amazed, she asked her father if she might be able to go to space one day.
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His affirmative response helped her dream big, a dream that came true in January 1978 when she was selected as one of NASA’s first six female astronauts. Seddon explained, “During that time, I came to find out that inspiration and aspiration require perspiration.”
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Hansen, who wrote the authorized biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong, spoke about the life of the first man to walk on the moon. Spending decades studying and lecturing about Neil Armstrong, Hansen shared details about the icon’s life that were widely unknown to the public.
With special guest speakers that included “First Man” author Dr. James Hansen and space shuttle astronaut Dr. Rhea Seddon, students were encouraged to contemplate the long past of our fascination with space and the moon. This year’s topic, which also included a film series and guided lunar observation, allowed for a broad exploration of the relationship between the humanities and the sciences, how imagination and space flight have built a pathway between humans and the moon.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS SINCE MAN WALKED ON THE MOON, THE 2019 HUMANITIES SYMPOSIUM FOCUSED ON HUMAN ASPIRATION AND IMAGINATION.
In her astronaut training, she overcame challenging physical obstacles and succeeded in her pursuit of going to space along with the rest of her five fellow women classmates. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are,” Seddon encouraged students. In addition to a stellar lineup of faculty and guest speakers, students also contributed to the symposium via presentations on moon soundscapes from Oregon, the moon in Chinese and contemporary popular culture and panel discussions.
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Director of the Cone Center for Entrepreneurship Elizabeth Gortmaker thanked the attendees for being a part of the first awards event. “With the Belmont Entrepreneur Awards, we are thrilled to recognize the hard work you’ve put into making your dream a reality. Building a successful business is no small feat,” she said. “Your drive and commitment have made you an innovative industry leader, created opportunities for others and enhanced the world around you.” Alumni entrepreneurs were even responsible for most elements of the evening with a celebratory video produced by Pack Films (founded by 2012 alumnus Matt Horvath), décor from LMA Designs (started by 2007 graduate Lauren Marie Atkinson) and photo booth from HiFi Media Co. (started by 2014 alum Matt Self). Owners of EVAmore—class of 2016 alumnae Channing Moreland and Makenzie Stokel— booked the entertainment for the event and shared their story of starting EVAmore from the ground up, thanks in part to the resources provided by the Cone Center. “Belmont prepared us for the countless pivots we had to make,” said Moreland. “We get asked all the time ‘why did we do it?’ It’s because it’s what we love the most. We hope we can inspire others to do what they love the most, as well.” Stokel closed the keynote saying, “Neither one of us expected to start a business at Belmont, but we were so inspired by the support here that we decided to take our idea and run with it. As entrepreneurs here tonight, we all understand each other. We understand what it takes. It’s one of the best communities to be a part of.”
becoming household names, thanks to national press coverage and rabid fans. Overall, Belmont entrepreneurs represent more than 500 businesses in 74 cities in five countries. Out of the Top 100 honorees, 71 alumni were present for the event, representing businesses from a number of different states and a variety of fields. While entrepreneurship naturally crops up often as the major many of the graduates pursued, the honorees actually represent a diverse set of 26 different programs.
Ranked a Top 25 Program for 2019 by the Princeton IN AN INAUGURAL Review and Entrepreneur Magazine, the Thomas F. Cone EVENT, 100 ALUMNI Center for Entrepreneurship held an inaugural recognition ENTREPRENEURS event in October for the Top 100 alumni entrepreneurs who have WERE RECOGNIZED helped the Center receive its highly-regarded reputation. FOR START-UP SUCCESS. Some—like Vinyl Me, Please, Biscuit Love and The Escape Game—are
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SPOT L I G HT
Features Guest Artists
MICHAEL W. SMITH and CECE WINANS
NEARLY 800 Students Perform
Airs Nationally on PBS DECEMBER 23 at 9 PM EST/8 PM CST
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The annual “Christmas at Belmont” production of traditional carols, classical masterworks, world music and light-hearted seasonal favorites was taped in late November at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
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NASHVILLE’S UNIVERSITY Architecture. Big data. Hospitality & Tourism. Adding timely new programs, Belmont again demonstrates its commitment to creating a talented workforce for its hometown. It’s a common joke: “Cranes are Nashville’s new official bird.” Only the cranes in reference belong to construction sites rather than long-necked, feathered creatures. Yet despite Nashville being one of the hottest places in the country for growth and construction, the region didn’t offer architecture education, at least not until Belmont announced its new Bachelor of Architecture earlier this year. It’s just one
of the many ways the University is seeking to analyze gaps in the market and build programs that prepare graduates for their futures, especially for careers needed in the Middle Tennessee workforce. Nashville is currently home to approximately 600 architects, but statistics show the city’s numbers in the profession are trailing other metropolitan areas. According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, peer cities
like Austin and Charlotte employ 1,010 and 1,190 architects respectively. Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns said, “We are essentially creating a pipeline of high-quality employees that will benefit the local business community. We want to make sure our students are prepared to take advantage of all of the opportunities right here in our backyard.”
But architecture isn’t the only new major Belmont is introducing that will provide welcome additions to the region. A new program in hospitality and tourism management was started this fall to make an immediate impact as data from the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation shows a record 15.2 million visitors to Nashville in 2018. With approximately 70,000 jobs in the Nashville tourism sector, Belmont has
a prime opportunity to utilize the vibrant surrounding city to train students to be leaders in the industry. The University also recently announced the initiation of two new majors designed to support the region’s rapidly expanding technology sector. New programs in Business Systems and Analytics and Data Science will feed trending data-driven fields in Nashville and around the country. According to a May
2019 article on CNBC.com, the field of data science leads the rankings of the “Best Jobs of 2019,” and the launch of these programs comes as Middle Tennessee welcomes an array of new global businesses, including the impending arrivals of Amazon, Alliance Bernstein and Oracle, among many others.
A double major in economics and information systems, Jordan Dunn put his degree to work immediately after his May graduation, trekking through Sherpa villages across the Himalayas as a beneficiary of a Lumos Scholarship. The Belmont Lumos Scholarship enables recipients to embark on a self-designed international working adventure that allows them to deepen their understanding of an issue, project or idea that impassions them. While overseas, Dunn focused his trip on community issues surrounding education, health care, economics and conservation.
ALU M N I STO RI E S MEET ALUMNUS LU K E P U T N E Y If dictionaries included images with the words they defined, then 2017 music performance graduate Luke Putney would be the face of “Perseverance.” Determined to triumph over brain tumors, a stroke, blindness and chronic pain, the 25-yearold not only relearned to walk this year, he used his story to create a marathon fundraiser and new music to benefit children in South Africa.
Blind since he was a teenager, Putney never let his disability slow him down, participating in numerous ensembles on campus while also pursuing the work of a nonprofit he started in high school, Instrumental Horizons. “I knew my life’s mission was to make the world a better place through music. My nonprofit shares the joy of music by donating musical instruments and volunteering services to socioeconomically and medically challenged communities in the United States and around the world.” Putney took his first international humanitarian trip with Instrumental Horizons to a community in South America shortly after graduation, delivering a plane load of musical instruments. But that’s when everything took a devastating turn. Returning to the U.S. in July 2017, doctors discovered he had a brain tumor the size of a human
’17 fist. Though the surgery went well, severe complications arose that required nine surgeries, months of in-patient treatment and more than two years of ongoing recovery. But Luke Putney doesn’t quit. He’s working hard to recuperate and to reignite his nonprofit work. In fact, Putney recently completed a 26.2 mile donor-supported walkathon, with the final leg occurring on Belmont’s campus. All of the money raised will go to support bringing instruments to a community in South Africa. “This recovery has been extremely difficult, but I sincerely believe that my easiest days have been days when I have been able to help others, and not think about the daily pain that I experience.” Learn more about Putney’s story and his nonprofit work at instrumentalhorizons.com.
C AT H E R I N E H AG E D O R N
Catherine Hagedorn, a 2015 mass communications graduate with a minor in public relations, was recently named head of development for Jennifer Lopez and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas’ Nuyorican Productions.
Executive Leadership Coach Christie Berger was honored in October with the Distinguished Graduate Award from the Massey Graduate School of Business. A 2005 MBA alumna, Berger has worked with hundreds of leaders and executives from small to Fortune 50 organizations.
Through their company Jay forced to deal with it, they Lyons Productions, School need projects and stories of Music graduates Jay and like this to help them.” Sofia Lyons completed a documentary earlier this The entire project was all year on the life and death about sharing hope and of Kara Tippetts. Called inspiration to people who “The Long Goodbye” and are hurting through Kara available on Netflix, the and her faith in Christ. Her film started as a plan to do unique perspective on life, a seven-minute video about even in dying, was truly Tippetts’ life, but ultimately profound. “Kara is such a opened up a conversation phenomenal person; you about fully documenting can’t watch her story and her last few months. “Death not be changed,” Sofia said. is something we all face, but “We like to say that, through pretend like we won’t,” Jay her dying, Kara taught us said. “And when people are how to live!”
’94 & ’14
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J AY A N D S O F I A LY O N S
CAM PUS N E WS
Two new deans were announced this fall as Dr. Jhennifer Amundson steps into the role of dean for the new O’More College of Architecture, Art and Design, while Dr. Sarah Fisher Gardial will preside over the Jack C. Massey College of Business beginning in March. Both women plan to lead faculty and students to greater heights of creativity and innovation.
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COLLEGES TAKE ON NEW LEADERSHIP
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICK
A leader in entertainment industry news, Variety recently included the Belmont Department of Motion Pictures on its listing for the “The Best Film Schools for 2019.”
Dylan Windler, a May 2019 accounting graduate, became the first Belmont basketball player to be drafted in the first round of the NBA draft, joining the Cleveland Cavaliers as the 26th overall pick.
FALL 2019 ENROLLMENT APPROACHES 8,500 Marking the 19th consecutive year of record enrollment, Belmont began the Fall 2019 semester with 8,481 students arriving on campus. This number nearly triples the 2,796 students enrolled in 2000 and marks a 57 percent increase in the last decade alone. Nearly 8,000 applications for admission resulted in an incoming class of 1,724 freshmen, the largest in University history. In addition, Belmont continues
to be among the top destinations for transfer students as 472 transfers joined the campus this semester. The University’s graduate schools, which offer more than 25 master’s programs and five doctoral programs, attracted 681 new students for the 2019–20 academic year. New students made their presence known throughout Nashville as more than 2,100 freshmen and transfers
participated in the annual SERVE event, which allows students to engage in community service at nonprofit sites around the city during Welcome Week. Students spent the day helping with tasks such as organizing supplies, applying fresh paint to buildings and picking up trash in multiple areas at places like local metro schools, Legacy Mission Village and Nashville General Hospital at Meharry.
Student leader CJ Waligurski said one of the most rewarding things about guiding students through their first week of college is seeing their transition. “At the beginning, all of them enter nervous and don’t know each other. But at one point, I was able to just sit back and see how they were talking with each other and encouraging each other,” he explained. “It is such a special opportunity to see how this day of service builds strong connections between new students.”
CLASS OF 2023
45 STATES and
Incoming freshmen scored an average of
ON THE ACT
BEAUTIFUL AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND
Belmont’s campus received national recognition recently, noted by the website The Travel in its list of the 10 Prettiest College Campuses in the Country and given a Gold rating by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
Country superstar and Belmont alumna Trisha Yearwood hosted the 10th annual “CMA Country Christmas,” which was filmed in Belmont’s Curb Event Center for the second year in a row. The show aired nationally on ABC in early December. Other performers included Kristin Chenoweth, for KING & COUNTRY, Chris Janson, Tori Kelly, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Runaway June, CeCe Winans, Brett Young and Chris Young.
ACADEMIC CHAMPS… AGAIN!
Athletics was once again awarded the Ohio Valley Conference Institutional Academic Achievement Award this year. Belmont has now claimed a conference academic achievement award 16 of the last 18 years.
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‘CMA COUNTRY CHRISTMAS’ FILMS ON CAMPUS
As part of Belmont’s first-ever Frederick Hart Symposium, art scholars from across the country came to Nashville this fall to tour the new Frederick Hart Studio Museum on campus and to reflect on the artist’s work and legacy.
Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers called up Belmont alum Matt Beaty this summer. Beaty played both corners of the infield and outfield over the span of 99 games hitting 19 doubles and nine home runs.
Bridgeworks HQ international speaker Phil Gwoke visited campus this fall to address generational divides and suggest ways to convert age-related obstacles into opportunities in the work place.
U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 rankings of America’s Best Colleges places Belmont as one of the best in the nation, including as a most innovative school and listing the University at No. 17 for its “strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.”
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WHEN GENERATIONS CONNECT
Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes, Brad Paisley and Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher
BELMONT, THE STORE AWARDED $1.5 MILLION GRANT The Tennessee Department of Human Services awarded a $1.5 million 2Gen Family Wellbeing Program grant to support the work of the Belmont Ministry Center and the adjacent nonprofit, The Store, in providing local, low income families support through food provision, nutritional and pharmacy education, health screenings, legal aid clinics, mental health counseling and music therapy. The Belmont Ministry Center opened on 12 South last year to offer services to the community while a groundbreaking
was recently held for The Store, a free grocery store founded by Belmont alumnus Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley. “One thing we know is that when we focus on the needs of both the parent and the child together we are able to break generational cycles of poverty and build a thriving Tennessee,” said Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “Belmont University is at the forefront of innovation in providing unique two generational wrap around services in the
heart of Nashville. Partnerships such as these are vital to building strong families and communities.” With the advent of The Store, which is currently under construction and anticipated to open in early 2020, the Belmont Ministry Center will expand and enhance the services offered to provide support for Store patrons and other low income families in the Edgehill and greater Nashville community. In their work with The Store and the Ministry Center, Belmont students
in a variety of fields will gain handson experience in their areas of study. Belmont faculty staff and students will assist in conducting health screenings and referrals, as well as in providing legal aid clinics, mental health counseling and music therapy to interested families. In addition, financial literacy sessions will offer opportunities for families to learn basic budgeting and financial planning.
TALKING TO STRANGERS
Best-selling author and one of Time’s Most Influential People, Malcolm Gladwell returned to Belmont to discuss his new book “Talking to Strangers,” discussing with moderator Demetria Kalodimos the question, “What happens when we have to deal with the unfamiliar?”
second year in a row
ESPN College GameDay’s Rece Davis guest lectured this fall on public speaking, advising students on the four keys for delivering a great speech: Poise, Presence, Personality and Preparation.
CAREER O U T C O M E S R AT E
Belmont Greek Life organizations’ annual “Greek Sing” event raised more than $25,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
For the second year, Belmont students spent a week at one of the world’s biggest music festivals – all for class credit and a hands-on, learning experience in timely music research.
PRSSA SHINES IN SAN DIEGO
O’More interior design alumni and Modern Remains partners Evan Millard, Betsy Trabue and Lauren Moore recently contributed to three areas of House Beautiful magazine’s 2019 Whole Home Concept House.
Belmont PRSSA received five national awards at the Public Relations Student Society of America International Conference in San Diego, including Star Chapter, the Dr. F. H. Teahan Community Service Award and several student awards.
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SINGING FOR ST. JUDE
‘HAMILTON’ STAR CHRIS LEE DISCUSSES ACTING, MUSICAL THEATER WITH STUDENTS When the popular Broadway musical “Hamilton” began gaining popularity, alumnus Chris Lee was a contrarian who did not want to take part in the hype. That is until one Fall Break road trip when his friend played the soundtrack on repeat during the long drive, and Lee said it “changed his life.” Little did he know, “Hamilton” literally would change his life just a few short months later when he accepted the role
as Marquis de Lafayette & Thomas Jefferson in the first national tour cast in Chicago. Lee, a musical theater major who started at Belmont in 2013, stopped by campus in August to talk with current students from the College of Music and Performing Arts. He discussed his time at Belmont, the road to “Hamilton” and his career since the show, which
includes roles in “S.W.A.T.,” “Empire” and “Legacies.” Lee answered many student questions and gave advice to the aspiring entertainers. His main advice was that success happens when preparation meets opportunity, so they should always be preparing themselves. “I learned at Belmont that auditioning is 60-75 percent of the job. Getting a job is not
contingent on how good you are; you just might not be right for that part,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to be fearless in being you. Show who you are.” While in town, Lee performed with a group of current musical theater students at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Gala ahead of their upcoming season, which will bring “Hamilton” to Nashville for the first time. The gala raised more than $380,000 for TPAC’s six education programs.
Bel m o nt La w R a nk s
N A T I O N A L LY F O R B A R PA S S A G E R AT E
T O TA L R A I S E D
WE BE L I E VE CA MPA IG N
YOUR GIFT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
COREY SARGENT Huntington, WV | Senior
Pursuing a B.B.A. in Business (2020) and M.Ed. (2021) in Organizational Leadership and Communication
Alumni Association Scholarship, The Hoover Family Scholarship
“I came from a single parent, financiallychallenged home. I have realized life obstacles can either be brick walls or stepping stones, and you must choose for yourself how to keep moving forward. If it were not for scholarships, both large and small, I could not have experienced this magical, inspirational university. While attending Belmont, I have had the privilege to experience a transformative education through engaging courses, caring faculty and passionate organizations. Creating a business where there has been none has always been exciting to me, as I am a visionary. Belmont surrounds you with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all Belmont surrounds you with those who see greatness within you even when you do not see it in yourself.”
Ms. Nancy-Ann DeParle: Served in two White House administrations on the Affordable Care Act Dr. Lloyd C. Elam: A prominent teacher and education leader at Meharry Medical College
Thomas Cone Sr. shares advice with Belmont alumna Suzanna Stapler, founder of Squillustrate.
ENTREPRENEUR THOMAS F. CONE, SR. HELPS CREATE $2 MILLION ENDOWED FUND Belmont’s Center for Entrepreneurship named in Cone’s honor.
Belmont University students creating business plans, forming the perfect pitches and spending hours of hard work to become entrepreneurs will continue getting the support they deserve thanks to an endowed fund worth $2 million, made possible by a pledge from Thomas F. Cone, Sr., former chairman and president of Cone Oil Company Inc. and founder of Cone Solvents Inc., Tennessee Adhesives Co. and B&C Aviation. In honor of his recent gift, the Center for Entrepreneurship in the Jack C. Massey College of Business will be named the Thomas F. Cone, Sr. Center for Entrepreneurship. “My hope is that my gift will provide the cornerstone of the Center for Entrepreneurship, allowing students to have a place to hone their skills and make their dreams a reality,” Cone said. “The Belmont community is raised anytime a new center or program adds to the depth of the curriculum. A young person’s dreams and ideas need a place to grow and become realities. I know Belmont’s Entrepreneurship Center is that place.” For the seventh time this year, Belmont’s entrepreneurship major was ranked in the Top 25 by Princeton Review and Entrepreneur
Magazine, showing the program’s consistent academic excellence. The Cone Center for Entrepreneurship provides opportunities for students to participate in a Runway Loan Program, an annual Entrepreneurship Village, a business Accelerator, mentoring with the Entrepreneur in Residence, inspirational lecture series, workshops, clinics and business plan competitions. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “We are so grateful to the Cone family for their longtime support of Belmont and especially for this recent gift. Not only will our students benefit from the resources this gift will provide, but they will also have a tremendous entrepreneurial example to look up to. Mr. Cone’s gift makes it possible to further develop and excel in supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of Belmont.”
*BELMONT IS MATCHING ENDOWMENT CONTRIBUTIONS BETWEEN
$25,000–$1.5 MILLION TO CAMPAIGN PRIORITY AREAS
Total donors to the We Believe campaign
Raised to support missions
$14,520,551 In gifts eligible for University match
TENNESSEE HEALTH CARE HALL OF FAME INDUCTS FIFTH CLASS
This fall the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame inducted its fifth class, a 2019 cohort made up of seven health care legends from across the state. This year’s inductees include: Dr. David Barton and Dr. John M. Flexner: Founders of Alive Hospice Dr. Mary Bufwack: Former CEO of Neighborhood Health
Mr. Richard (Dick) L. Miller: Chairman and CEO of the architectural firm Earl Swensson Associates, one of the top-ranking health care designers in the country Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin: Chief Medical Officer and President of Clinical Services at HCA Healthcare Monies raised through the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame have surpassed the $1.2 million mark since the event’s inception. Coupled with other McWhorter Society fundraising efforts, this brings the total amount raised for McWhorter Society Endowed Scholarships to $3.6 million.
Now is a great time to join the We Believe campaign. To learn more about our campaign, please visit webelieve.belmont.edu or call 615.460.5517.
1900 Belmont Boulevard Nashville, TN 37212-3757
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JAN. 8 First Day of Classes FEB. 10-15 HOMECOMING WEEK MARCH 9-13 Spring Break MAY 1 Baccalaureate MAY 2 Spring Commencement Ceremonies belmont.edu