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the 10th Annual Humanities Symposium Brings Dr. Maya Angelou To Campus



T  he more than 1,100 members of the Class of 2015 celebrated their first week at Belmont University with a variety of information sessions and activities, including taking part in the Tower Jam event.

FALL 2011



From the President When literary great Maya Angelou spoke on campus earlier this semester, I was struck with how she opened her talk, advocating for all present to “let gratitude precede” them. Literally silenced by a traumatic childhood event, Angelou was mute for years. However, thanks to the encouragement she received from several individuals in her life—her “rainbows in the clouds” as she called them—Angelou did begin speaking again and went on to become one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Like the more than 4,000 audience members who heard her talk in the Curb Event Center this fall, I left the arena pondering her words. I, too, want to begin with an attitude of appreciation in my relationships, my career and my life in general. That mantra seems an appropriate way to start this issue of Circle as well, because at Belmont University, we have many, many reasons to be thankful. First, I’m thankful that our students, faculty and staff as well as members of the local community were able to receive inspiration from Dr. Angelou’s appearances on campus during our annual Humanities Symposium in September. She provided a tangible demonstration of a truly “liberated voice,” the Symposium’s theme, while also conveying immense warmth, wisdom, charm and humor. I’m thankful to see how more and more students are choosing Belmont University, including more than 130 aspiring attorneys in our charter class for the College of Law. I’m thankful for the innovation and entrepreneurship I see expressed on this campus daily as students dream up ideas like Spring Back Recycling, a venture that creates jobs for needy workers and recycles a difficult and cumbersome product, mattresses. I’m thankful for the servant hearts and amazing generosity expressed by the Belmont family as they consistently reach out to neighbors near and far, like the efforts being put forth by our Greek community, our freshman class, our pharmacy students, our education department… the list goes on and on. You can read about all of these reasons for my gratitude and many more in the pages that follow. For now, know that I am also thankful for you as a friend and supporter of Belmont University. Blessings,

Dr. Robert C. Fisher, President

CREDITS University Administration President Bob Fisher Provost Thomas Burns Vice President/Chief of Staff Susan West Vice President of Finance and Operations Steve Lasley Vice President for Administration and University Counsel Jason Rogers Vice President of University Advancement Bethel (Bo) Thomas Jr. Vice President of Spiritual Development Todd Lake

Magazine Managing Editor April Hefner (´07) Designers Glenda Dahlhauser April Maglothin (´03) Natalie Smith (´08) Sara Spencer University Photographer J. Michael Krouskop Contributing Photographers Jeyhoun Allebaugh Donnie Heddon Don McPeak Bonita Neff Sarah Sidwell Contributing Writers Suzanne Clement Hope Cooper (´12) Juanita Cousins Greg Sage Production & Distribution Coordinators April Maglothin Veronica Smith

Circle magazine is published biannually for alumni and friends of Belmont University. Editorial content, graphic production, printing and distribution are coordinated by the Offices of Communications and University Marketing & Special Initiatives. Address changes and alumni notes should be directed to the Office of Alumni Relations. Third-class bulk postage is paid at the U.S. Post Office, Nashville, TN. Direct inquiries and comments regarding Circle magazine content to: Belmont University Office of Communications/Circle magazine 1900 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212 (615) 460-6641 or Belmont University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer under all applicable civil rights laws.



( l-r) Provost Thomas Burns, Dr. Angelou and Dr. Fisher.



S  tudents enjoy spending time outdoors this fall on campus.

Table of Contents 2 From the President

14 Being Belmont

4 Maya Angelou and 10th Annual Humanities Symposium

16 Campus News

6 A Different Kind of Growth

22 Achievers

8 Greek Life

26 Athletics

10 Spring Back

28 Spiritual Development

20 Community Involvement

12 Law & Order

FALL 2011




LITERARY GENIUS MAYA ANGELOU URGED THE BELMONT AND NASHVILLE communities to “be rainbows” during the University’s 10th Annual Humanities Symposium in September. Her keynote address began with her interpretation of God putting a rainbow in the sky in Genesis as a symbol for hope, and she challenged the 4,000+ attendees in the Curb Event Center to let gratitude precede them and to encourage each other in their journeys, in essence to be rainbows to one another. “When it looked like the sun wouldn’t shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds,” Dr. Angelou sang after acknowledging the sold out Curb Event Center’s welcoming applause with a bow. “I am so pleased to be at Belmont. I know that this University with its intent is a rainbow in the sky. I know that there are many young men and women who are students here who represent the first time anyone in their families have ever gone to an institution of higher education. That is a rainbow in the clouds. That means that there is a possibility of seeing light.”

voices 10Th Annual Humanities Symposium Brings Dr. Maya Angelou To Campus Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker and civil rights activist. Author of more than 30 best-selling titles and a Pulitzer Prize nominee, Dr. Angelou has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008 and has received three Grammy Awards in addition to more than 30 honorary degrees. Her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published in 1970 to international acclaim and enormous popular success. In addition to Dr. Angelou, the Humanities Symposium featured more than 30 events from a wide array of speakers including Tennessee State University professor Dr. Rebecca Dixon, poet and essayist Nancy Mairs, University of Texas Languages and Linguistics Chair Dr. Kirsten Nigro and Belmont alumnus Rafia Zakaria, the first Pakistani American woman to serve as a director for Amnesty International USA. Centered on the theme “Liberating Voices,” the Symposium paralleled the 2011-12 University theme of “Belmont Questions: Wealth and Poverty.” Dr. Amy Hodges Hamilton, an associate professor of English at Belmont and one of the Symposium’s co-chairs, said, “As Dr. Angelou illustrates so beautifully throughout her work, voices can be liberating and can ultimately lead to liberation. We are humbled and honored to be hosting one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time and our personal hero.” n FALL 2011




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BELMONT UNIVERSITY HAS DEVELOPED A strong reputation over the past decade for its phenomenal growth, as both the physical campus and enrollment continue to grow at hyper speed. This fall, the University also focused efforts on internal development, adding a new dining option and program center to the Bunch Library. New dining option Bruin Grounds, located in the Bunch lobby, features a variety of gourmet coffee drinks, sandwiches and salad options. Based on its location in the library, offerings are named in honor of famous books, allowing customers to try out items like The Catch 22 breakfast item, a Count of Monte Cristo sandwich or a Grapes of Wrath salad, among others. The shop also sells a variety of desserts, juices, chips and fruit cups. The library also recently added tables, opened its internal atriums to allow food and drinks and added a 24-hour study area. The brainchild of the Student Government Association (SGA), the changes were made possible by a collaboration of SGA, Senior Leadership, the Bunch Library and Student Services. Dr. Ernest Heard, director of library services, said, “All of these endeavors are part of a larger plan to transform Bunch Library into a learning commons – all in an effort to enhance the college experience of Belmont’s fantastic students.” Another aspect of the library transformation came as part of Belmont’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), as the

Sophomore Transition Center officially opened its doors this fall on the second floor of the library. Dr. David Sneed, who oversees the Center, said, “[This] is designed to aid sophomores in focusing on questions of who they are and what they want to be, empowering them to surge forward personally and professionally in a much stronger way than they might have without the program. We are developing and implementing programming that will integrate with all aspects of a sophomore’s Belmont experience, including academic courses, student life and residential living.” The “Growth and Purpose for Sophomores” initiative (GPS) also includes a Sophomore Summit held during Welcome Week, a sophomore service project, a lecture series and changes to on-campus living and the core curriculum. Curriculum changes include tailoring COM 1100, Fundamentals of Speech Communication, to address the needs of sophomores, and revising linked cohort courses to include engaged learning experiences. Other student-centered efforts this fall include expanding campus dining points to several popular local restaurants and purchasing new furniture and plants for the Beaman Student Life Center. In addition, Belmont Heights Baptist Church is currently being renovated to create a beautiful, new venue suitable for large-scale acoustic performances. n

FALL 2011




Fraternities and sororities focus on community and excellence. UNLIKE THE STEREOTYPICAL IMAGE OF GREEK life on a college campus, Belmont University’s fraternities and sororities are focused on achieving excellence while serving others and developing a supportive community. Home to nine different organizations, Belmont Greek Life boasts more than 700 members, a number that continues to grow. Some of that growth can be attributed to Belmont’s Panhellenic system welcoming its fourth sorority to campus this fall: Kappa Alpha Theta. Theta, as it’s known, has three international aims – scholarship, social influence for good and a moral code of love. The organization welcomed a charter round of 120 women, both upper and underclassmen, who are the first to “think Theta” on campus. But far more than growing in numbers is the notion that Belmont Greeks are big in heart as well, devoting hundreds of hours to community service, fundraising efforts and cultural events. For example, in October, Belmont Greeks helped bring trick-or-treat fun to an area that hadn’t seen an organized Halloween celebration in several years with the first Edgehill Family Halloween Sports Night. Phi Delta Theta and Phi Mu partnered with student-athletes as well as the Edgehill Rose Park Walking Club and the Easley Community Center and recruited 130 student volunteers. More than 400 Edgehill residents, students and other community neighbors attended the outdoor Halloween party, which featured candy, health snacks, face painting and several sport-related activities. “We wanted to approach community service in our organization from a social stand point,” said Hillary Unis, social chair for Phi Mu. “When we were younger, trick-ortreating was not a safety issue. We wanted to provide that same opportunity to children in the community so that they could have those same Halloween memories.” Other significant Greek events held this fall included a Poetry Slam and voter registration drive hosted by Delta Sigma Theta and a teeter-tottering fundraiser to support nonprofit Blood Water Mission sponsored by Alpha Tau Omega and Alpha Sigma Tau. Director of Student Activities Amy Cole said, “Belmont Greeks are a special and unique community of students. Our Greek community embodies Belmont’s mission to develop students that will engage and transform the world.” n FALL 2011



SIFE team starts mattress recycling business

and creates jobs for former inmates.



BELMONT SIFE STRIKES AGAIN! AFTER WINNING its first national championship in 2010, it would be easy for Belmont’s Students in Free Enterprise team to take a year off and celebrate its accomplishments. After all, these students already devote thousands of hours to creating and supporting business ventures that make a difference locally and globally. Instead, in 2011, SIFE tackled what may be its most impactful project yet: In partnership with the Isaiah 58 ministry at Belmont Church, SIFE is making a difference in the lives of a group of Nashville’s homeless and formerly incarcerated via a rather unusual means—recycling mattresses. The team launched the non-profit Spring Back Recycling just over six months ago, and already more than 1,700 mattresses have been disassembled and recycled at the Nashville warehouse.

equipment, as well as an eager and capable workforce for the startup business. Isaiah 58’s School of Life ministry is a residential program that helps formerly incarcerated men get back on their feet. With Spring Back Nashville, the men are disassembling old mattresses into scrap metal, cotton and foam—more than 85 percent of each mattress can be fully recycled.

Dr. John Gonas, associate professor of finance and SIFE advisor at Belmont, said, “I’m amazed that the Belmont students have created such a sustainable, scalable and economically viable business that blesses the community with a solid employment opportunity while simultaneously keeping so much recyclable waste out of landfills.”

Ron Harness, a member of the Isaiah 58 ministry, said, “Due to an extensive life change, I’ve needed to start over both personally and professionally. Spring Back has given me the ideal opportunity to begin rebuilding my life. I am truly blessed to be a recipient of kindnesses and generosities shared by Belmont’s College of Business Administration, SIFE and Spring Back.”

The SIFE students spent a full year developing the business model for Spring Back, analyzing operations, accounting, marketing, legal contracts and safety procedures. Belmont Church’s Isaiah 58 ministry partnered with the team, providing an available facility,

Belmont SIFE hopes to license the Spring Back Recycling business model to other non-profits in U.S. cities starting in 2012. For more information and to learn how to recycle your mattress at Spring Back, visit n FALL 2011


Alberto Gonzales Joins Belmont as Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law



“I welcome the opportunity to be associated with the Belmont College of Law, and I look forward to working with an outstanding charter faculty to develop tomorrow’s leaders in the bar, the

Nashville community and beyond.” – Alberto Gonzales

AS THE BASKIN CENTER TAKES SHAPE, RISING from the ground near the corner of Acklen and 15th Avenues, Belmont’s College of Law opened its doors this fall to a charter class of more than 130 students from 14 different states. Temporarily stationed this year in a building on the south side of campus until the Baskin Center is completed in summer 2012, the new graduate students wasted no time getting acclimated. Their semester kicked off with orientation and mentoring sessions with local attorneys and was followed in October by a major announcement in the College of Law, the establishment of the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law. The newly endowed position will be filled by former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. He will be the only former U.S. Attorney General teaching full time in legal education and will begin his position at Belmont in January. College of Law Founding Dean Jeff Kinsler said, “The insight and experience Alberto Gonzales acquired while serving as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Counsel to the President, Justice on the Supreme Court of Texas and Texas Secretary of State will be immeasurable resources for our students and faculty. Since leaving public office, these qualities have helped Judge Gonzales develop into an outstanding professor.”

Attorney General of the United States on Feb. 3, 2005, and served in that capacity until September 2007. An endowed “distinguished” chair is a permanent tribute to the person whose name it bears and a prestigious honor to the professor who occupies it. The Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law is named in honor of an attorney whose career reflects accomplishments to which all lawyers aspire. Doyle Rogers is the senior shareholder in the prominent law firm of Alley, Maass, Rogers & Lindsay, P.A., one of the oldest firms in Palm Beach, Florida. Firm partner Robb Maass said, “As all who know him can attest, aside from being a first rate lawyer, Doyle is an incredibly kind, considerate, unselfish man, always anxious to help others and to pitch in with civic and charitable causes. He has been and continues to be a role model not just for me and my partners, but for the community at large.” n

Judge Gonzales added, “I am honored to be named as the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law, created in honor of an outstanding lawyer and extraordinary human being. I welcome the opportunity to be associated with the Belmont College of Law, and I look forward to working with an outstanding charter faculty to develop tomorrow’s leaders in the bar, the Nashville community and beyond.” After attending the United States Air Force Academy, Alberto Gonzales graduated from Rice University (B.A.) and Harvard University (J.D.). Gonzales was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate as the 80th

FALL 2011







H  osted by country music artist and Tony-nominated Broadway star Laura Bell nC  aption goes here Bundy, nearly 700 students and faculty performed in the annual “Christmas at Belmont” concert at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The event will air on PBS stations nationwide beginning Dec. 22. Check local listings to confirm air dates and times.

FALL 2011



HERE WE GROW AGAIN: FALL 2011 ENROLLMENT TOPS 6,300 STUDENTS When classes began for the fall 2011 semester, Belmont University reached a record-breaking enrollment number: 6,374 students. Marking the 11th straight record-breaking year, this fall’s enrollment represented an increase of 8 percent from last year and a rise of 114 percent since 2000 when the school enrolled 2,976 students. The Belmont student body currently consists photo by graduate and professional students and 5,004 undergraduates, of 1,370 Donnie Hedden representing record figures in both categories. This year’s incoming freshman



class represents 43 states and eight foreign countries, with 72 percent of the class originating from outside of Tennessee. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Every day I see more young adults and their families walking in the front door to visit Belmont, and I tell them that this University’s mission is to empower students to use their talents and passions to transform the world. To see so many of those faces return in August, accepting that challenge, makes me feel incredibly blessed.” n



Ray Stevens

QUONSET HUT CELEBRATION DRAWS MUSIC LEGENDS Nearly three decades after the last notes were played in the historical Quonset Hut recording studio, The Curb Foundation, Belmont University and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame arranged a special celebration to honor the legacy of the studio. In its heyday, the Quonset Hut studio played host to sessions by Buddy Holly, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, Bob Dylan, Dusty Springfield and Brenda Lee, among hundreds of others. Belmont University now operates the Quonset Hut for teaching, sessions and events. This summer many of the people who helped create history in this great studio gathered once again in the room where so many hits were made, trading songs and stories as part of the re-opening celebration. Harold Bradley, Whispering Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Ray Stevens, Charlie McCoy and Glenn Snoddy were among those who participated in the evening. n

GRADUATE STUDENTS CONTRIBUTE TO GUATEMALA CITY PHARMACY Members of Belmont’s Pharmacy School partnered with Nashville’s Shalom Foundation this past year to renovate the organization’s surgical center and pharmacy in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Last fall fourth-year pharmacy student Chris McKnight worked with the foundation to design plans for the center’s pharmacy after the entire site underwent a renovation. After spending over a week working in the center, McKnight said one of his favorite parts was, “the processes of seeing the pharmacy go from my sketches on the backs of napkins to fruition in Guatemala City.” Sara Poe, another fourth-year student in Belmont’s program, also had the opportunity to work with the foundation’s center. She was focused on the medicine patients were being prescribed and made daily rounds to ensure accuracy and the installation of proper protocol. Poe said, “I would say that best moments of the trip came from silence, for silence meant no one was in pain and all was well down the hall. That alone has made me a different person.” n

CAMPUS ENGAGES IN YEAR-LONG CONVERSATION ON NEW BUILDING During the Aug. 24 Opening Convocation, Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher announced tentative plans for a new academic building to be located on the corner of 15th and Wedgewood Avenues. “This really is the chance of a lifetime for our campus,” said Dr. Fisher, “because we can spend the coming weeks and months discussing and imagining what would be the best use of this space in terms of serving both our student body and our community. This is an opportunity to put our creative capital to work.”


In addition to discussing programs that could be housed in the space, including potentially new programs, meetings were held this fall to encourage dialogue on how the space might be used in an innovative fashion. Potential occupants already under consideration for the new building include the sciences, social sciences, humanities, religion and executive education. n

Junior nursing major Jennifer Thompson took part in the event, noting, “This experience made me realize just how fortunate and blessed I am, and how thankful I need to be. Also, it’s helped put me in their shoes—barely, but enough—that I can try to be more understanding when I encounter others throughout the day.” n

Student leaders throughout the Belmont community participated in a poverty simulation event co-hosted by the Honors Leadership Studies program and Catholic Charities. The highly interactive simulation was intended to give students a small taste of what life is like on an extremely limited income.

FALL 2011



STUDENT-RUN MUSIC CONSIGNMENT SHOP COMES TO BELMONT BOULEVARD Local musicians, Music Row artists and Belmont students discovered a new place to jam this fall when BLVD Music Shop opened on the corner of Belmont Boulevard and Bernard Avenue. Seth Whiting, a senior entrepreneurship major from Portland, Maine, joined Eric Guroff, a junior entrepreneurship and music business double major from Pittsburgh, Penn., to start the instrument consignment store that also hosts in-store jam sessions to help local artists and students increase their visibility. The shop sells accessories, such as sheet music and guitar picks, at retail price as well as second-hand music instruments. “Musicians can promote their music at the same time that word gets out about new instruments available in the store,” Whiting said. “Likewise, BLVD will be a space for musicians to jam to their heart’s content.” n UNIVERSITY MARKETING LAUNCHES ‘BE BELMONT’ CAMPAIGN During the past semester, the Office of University Marketing and Special Initiatives launched a new marketing campaign featuring students, faculty, staff and alumni living out Belmont’s Vision 2015 characteristics: serving others, seeking positive change and growth, demonstrating Christian character, representing innovative and entrepreneurial attitudes or engaging with the community. Annie Mitchell, director of University Marketing and Special Initiatives, said, “beBELMONT is not telling stories about Belmont. beBELMONT is telling stories about people. Stories told on are about people creating change not because a mission statement says so, but because the people choose to do so. These stories truly represent what it means to ‘beBELMONT.’” Visit the website to see submissions so far or to add your own to this ongoing effort. n



BELMONT COVERS TUITION FOR ELIGIBLE VETERANS THROUGH YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM Belmont University and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have signed a voluntary agreement to significantly reduce the out-of-pocket expenses for qualified veterans, their spouses and dependents to earn college degrees. Through Belmont’s enhanced Yellow Ribbon Program, the University and the federal government each will pay 50 percent of tuition and mandatory fees for eligible recipients as deemed by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The program allows qualified students to attend school at little-to-no tuition and fee costs. “Our Yellow Ribbon Program is the most comprehensive tuition assistance program a private university can offer service members who have fought in wars, been stationed overseas and labored in other forms of active duty,” said Associate Registrar La Kiesha Armstrong, who is heading Belmont’s Yellow Ribbon Program. This fall Belmont also joined a nationwide grass-roots effort to honor American service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past decade. On Veterans Day—Fri., Nov. 11— campus and community volunteers at more than 100 college and universities across the nation read the names of the 6,200-plus casualties of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), now called Operation New Dawn. n


OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY STUDENTS ASSIST OLDER DRIVERS Dozens of doctoral and master’s degree-seeking students from the School of Occupational Therapy recently participated in a CarFit Technician Training and CarFit Event to offer older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles fit them. “We learned appropriate measurements in which individuals should be placed in vehicles to ensure optimal safety,” said occupational therapy student Mandy Alford. “The training taught us how to recognize when individuals are having difficulty completing necessary tasks to ensure that they are safe operating a vehicle." n

FAIR PUTS WELLNESS, HEALTH INFORMATION WITHIN REACH OF BELMONT COMMUNITY Fourth-year pharmacy student Elizabeth Cain used free hand sanitizer to lure passers-by to visit her peers at Belmont’s first Health Fair this fall. “This is a great opportunity for students to test their skills, give flu shots and glucose tests. It is a great way for us to share our knowledge,” said Cain. “It is a free service with informative information, and it showcases the graduate schools that are taking part.” Health Services hosted the five-hour Health Fair to put wellness and preventive health resources within reach of employees and students with free health screenings, pamphlets and prizes. Opportunities throughout the day included: blood pressure, glucose, lipids and bone density screenings; backpack awareness and CPR demonstrations; and information on tobacco cessation, breast cancer awareness, counseling, healthy eating, self defense and recreation. Director of Health Services Katy Wilson said plans are underway to host a similar health fair during a spring basketball game to reach Belmont’s neighbors and sports fans. n

BELMONT HOLDS 9/11 SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE This past Sept. 11 marked the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and on United Airlines Flight 93. In honor of the 2,977 lives that were lost that day and the impact of this event on the nation and the world, Belmont University held a Service of Remembrance on campus. All students, faculty, staff, neighbors and members of the Nashville community were invited to gather at the Bell Tower for a brief time of Scripture reading and prayer. The Bell Tower carillon then sounded 2,977 times that afternoon in honor of each victim of 9/11, and those in attendance were given the opportunity to take the name of a person who died in the events of that day in order to pray specifically for that victim’s family and friends. n

FALL 2011



INCOMING STUDENTS VOLUNTEER IN ANNUAL SERVE PROJECT Mayor Karl Dean and Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher sent off Belmont’s Class of 2015 and transfer students early Aug. 22 to serve Nashville through the annual SERVE Project. Some 1,400 students volunteered in their new hometown at 38 local non-profit organizations, including Feed the Children, YMCA, Second Harvest Food Bank and Metro Beautification. Dean said, “Belmont has become one of the most exciting and one of the most interesting schools in the country, and you see that manifest in many different ways.” An annual Welcome Week tradition for more than a decade, SERVE provides a perfect tie-in to Belmont’s ongoing commitment to engage students in their community and encourage the values of service on both a local and global level. Students constructed rain barrels, sorted thrift store goods, assembled food bank packages and stenciled storm drains, among other community service projects. “We really hope this sets the stage so that our students understand what they are doing at Belmont,” said Director of Outreach Micah Weedman. “We do this because we want to make an impact into the community, and we do it because symbolically it communicates what we expect of students while they are here.” The project gives “a sense of service and sacrifice that comes only from serving others,” said senior history major Seth Ross-Granda, also serving as a Tower Team leader for the freshmen. n



LOCAL FARMERS BRING PRODUCE TO CAMPUS Local farmers John Cahill and David Daily have put their organic greens, carrots and beets within reach of Belmont students, staff and neighbors with a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick up every Tuesday in the Beaman Student Life Center. Real Food Farms chose Belmont as a distribution location when Megan Gibson, a Belmont graduate student, contacted the organization on behalf of Slow Foods, a student organization devoted to creating a space of mutual learning through a community garden and other initiatives. n


PHARMACY STUDENT BEGINS COMMUNITY WALKING CLUB Since beginning her morning walking routine, Edgehill Apartments resident Sandra Chandler has felt less arthritis aches in her knees. Thanks to a Belmont University pharmacy student’s mission project, she also has learned to drink a gallon of water daily, eat six small meals a day, cook with whole wheat flour and fill half of her plate with fruits and vegetables. Fourth-year pharmacy student Adam Culbertson laid the trail for the Edgehill Rose Park Walking Club, a group of neighbors, civic leaders and Belmont University athletes who walk from 7 to 9 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He began the walking club in July to fulfill the mission portion of required rotations for Belmont pharmacy students and is relying on University athletes and civic leaders to continue the program.


“My goal was to go into an underserved community and give them something that they could do themselves and is sustainable,” he said. “I talked with community leaders about their wants and needs, and (Family Resource Center Director) Brenda Morrow said, ‘Why not get them outside and create goals for the adults and get sports players from the school to teach kids basic skills?’”

A group of students began their summer breaks making sidewalk chalk from plaster and toothpaste from baking soda – all in the name of science. Belmont University and Kayne Avenue Missionary Baptist Church partnered for a onemonth academic enrichment summer camp sponsored by the University’s Office of Community Relations and Department of Education to benefit children ages six to 12 living in the Edgehill neighborhood.

Culbertson organized the walking club, created a curriculum to discuss nutrition and body mass index and has coordinated guest speakers. Morrow said the club has created a healthy exchange of ideas as well as a setting for neighbors to socialize and share recipes. n

Belmont’s Department of Education designed the curriculum for the camp, making it academic in nature while emphasizing literacy and self-confidence. The camp was planned in weekly themes: health and safety, science and nature, music and arts, history and culture. n

FALL 2011




STUDENT FEATURED IN DR. PEPPER CAMPAIGN Belmont student Nikki Boon has been chosen to have her picture and story on Dr. Pepper cans across the country. Nikki won a tuition prize of $123,000 from Dr. Pepper last year in a football tossing contest during halftime of the SEC Championship game.

BELMONT STUDENT WINS U.S. COLLEGIATE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIP Belmont University freshman Alicia Hsu won the Gold Medal and a $5,000 prize at the U.S. Collegiate Championships for figure skating this summer. Competing against 27 other female skaters, the basic skills instructor from Hendersonville won the competition by a narrow margin of 1.62 points. In an interview with Skating magazine Hsu said, “In overlooking my accomplishment, I feel I’ve gained a new level of confidence in my skating. It feels really good to know that my training and hard work has paid off. Also, I’m thrilled that I had the chance to represent my school, Belmont University. I’m so excited to begin this new page of my life.” n



Photo by: Bonita Nett

Photo by: Sarah Sidwell

She used the money to transfer to Belmont and pursue a degree in music business because her dream is to help others through music. “Dr. Pepper has made my dreams come true,” said Nikki. “Just one year ago, I was a hostess at a restaurant in my hometown. After winning, I was able to transfer to [Belmont] and follow my dreams of singing country music.” n

PUBLIC RELATIONS STUDENTS WIN NATIONAL HONORS At the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference in Orlando this fall, Belmont’s chapter received a 2011 Star Chapter Award, which recognizes chapter excellence in 10 criteria. Belmont PRSSA also received a national third place award for organ donation awareness, recognizing the work of Susan Barnes’ event planning class in Spring 2011. “These awards recognize the excellent leadership and service of our student officers and members, as well as the creative and effective promotion by Professor Barnes’ class of the importance of organ donation,” said Bonnie Riechert, director of the public relations program. Faculty advisor for Belmont PRSSA, Riechert was one of six advisors honored at the national conference for distinguished service as a faculty advisor. Riechert has served as Belmont’s advisor since 2006. n



FRESHMAN HONORED FOR ‘SALVATION CITY’ The compassionate work of a Belmont freshman is receiving national recognition. Two years ago, Kelsey Kinsel, a freshman, founded Salvation City, a suicide prevention organization that provides resources to teens battling depression, after two of her friends committed suicide. “I decided to do something to let people know if they were in the same situation that there are places that they can turn to help them,” Kinsel said. She since has been assembling a compilation CD, creating posters and selling $3 wristbands to raise money to distribute suicide prevention resources to schools. Due to her efforts, Kelsey was one of five finalists selected by Glamour magazine for its 2011 Woman of the Year Readers’ Choice Award. Through Salvation City’s HOPE Poster Campaign, Kinsel sells posters and asks people to take pictures with them and upload the photos to social media websites. BMX rider Mat Hoffman and Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross have committed to the HOPE Poster Campaign. n

CORNWALL NAMED SMALL BUSINESS INFLUENCER 2011 Belmont entrepreneurship professor Jeff Cornwall was named as a Small Business Influencer 2011 by Small Business Trends. The award honors companies, organizations and people who have made a meaningful and lasting impact on the North American small business market. “I am very fortunate to be able to work with our students and alumni as they build their businesses. While surveys indicate that attitudes of most small business owners are not at all positive due to the continued weak economy, I have the pleasure of working with young entrepreneurs who continue to be full of optimism and hope for the future,” Cornwall said. n

U.S. News & World Report




BELMONT RANKS NO. 7 IN U.S. NEWS LIST OF AMERICA’S BEST COLLEGES Belmont University landed at No. 7 on U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of America’s Best Colleges, placing in the Top 10 of the Regional Universities-South listing for the third consecutive year. The University was also lauded for the fourth year in a row as a top “Up-and-Comer,” indicating the university has made “promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities.” Moreover, Belmont was praised by its peers for its “unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.” Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “I am both humbled and honored to be president of Belmont University. These rankings are meaningful to me because they recognize the immense dedication and talents of Belmont’s faculty, staff, students, administrators and trustees who commit themselves daily to making this institution one of the finest in the country.” In the Best Regional Universities-South category, Belmont is again the highest-ranked university of the 15 ranked Tennessee institutions and in the top seven of the 127 schools included from the South. Other regional institutions in the Top 10 include Rollins College, Elon University, Stetson University, Samford University, The Citadel and James Madison University. n

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Photo by: Donnie Hedden


SHOWCASE RAISES FUNDS FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS More than 2,000 college students, parents and Belmont community members attended the Urban Pop Showcase on Oct. 8 in the Curb Event Center. The student-run event featured music from Bryce Merritt, Tre Houston, Cameron Bedell and The Skunks as well as 2009 showcase winner Miss B. Judges declared Houston the showcase winner. Showcase producer Anna-Margarita Queza dedicated the showcase to her mother, who is six months into remission from breast cancer. The concert raised $1,067.55 for Keep A Breast Foundation. n n

J orgovan (center) with Rabbit Hole colleagues.


Photo by: Donnie Hedden

Belmont alumnus Jake Jorgovan was named second runner-up for the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year, an international competition for high school, college and graduate students who have founded and are operating revenue-generating businesses. Jorgovan, founder of custom video design and production services company Rabbit Hole Creative, received the Lessons from the Edge Award. The competition began with nearly 2,000 students from 42 countries.



Earlier this fall, Jorgovan and his company also received two awards at the inaugural NEXT awards. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Entrepreneur Center’s NEXT Awards recognize Middle Tennessee companies and entrepreneurs making the most significant impact on the local economy. Jorgovan personally took home NEXT’s Young Entrepreneur Award for his work with Rabbit Hole in graphic design, marketing and concert design. This award is reserved for a Nashville entrepreneur 24 years or younger. The company received the Digital Media & Entertainment Award due to its work with new technologies, music, entertainment and advertising, given to a company two to five years old. Jorgovan (’11) majored in audio engineering and entrepreneurship at Belmont. n





Kayla Prince graduated from the School of Occupational Therapy’s Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy program in August, joining her mother, Renee Sims, as a Belmont alumna. Sims, a 2003 graduate of Belmont’s School of Occupational Therapy program, said she has a son and daughterin-law that also are Occupational Therapy Assistants and considering Belmont’s weekend graduate program in Occupational Therapy as an academic option. n

Brian Wilson, a junior journalism major and Vision editor, is one of 75 students chosen to participate in the 2012 Campus Coverage Project. The project is Jan. 5-8 at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix.



Nashville’s Hispanic newspaper, La Campana, honored Belmont University with its 2011 Crystal Bell Award for Best Academic Institution during a 10th anniversary celebration for the bimonthly Spanish-language publication. Belmont’s Director of Community Relations Joyce Searcy accepted the award of behalf of the university. Publisher Ramón L. Cisneros said, “Belmont has been important to the Hispanic community for many years. At the beginning of the 2000s, Belmont was very important as a supporter of a program called Hispanic Achievers sponsored by the YMCA. Belmont also has been the main institution in promoting programs like Conexión Américas and Negocio Próspero, programs that help immigrants start businesses in the United States. Belmont also has hosted many Hispanic events through the years.” n

This is the third year of the highly competitive program, in which working journalists and professors help college students investigate and report more effectively on their universities through teaching skills, providing resources, and building awareness. The Lumina Foundation provides scholarships that pay for travel, tuition and all other costs for participants. n

On Oct. 8, students from Kim Daus’ (Chemistry) CEM 1050 class (Freshman Chemistry Seminar for Pharmaceutical Studies majors) participated in a Drug Take Back event in Dickson, Tenn., sponsored by the Dickson County Police Department. People were able to dispose of their prescription and over-the-counter medications that they no longer needed. The students catalogued and counted thousands of medications. The Belmont students who participated in the event included Vanessa Antonio, Huner Aradini, Katrina Barnett, Sarah Curasco, Brielle Davis, Turner Gerbig, Tiumy Giao, Luke Johnson, Katelyn Jones, Kiki Liss, Katie Lockhart, Mendy Lovelady, Ashley Nemenez, Gerald Offei-Nkansah and Anna Whitwell. n

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B  elmont Head Coach Rick Byrd congratulates Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

MEN’S BASKETBALL OPENS SEASON ON NATIONAL TV, IN NATIONAL RANKINGS Following a historic 2010-11 campaign that saw them tally 30 victories, lead the nation in scoring margin and earn a fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last six years, Belmont men’s basketball opened the 2011-12 season as one of the most talked-about programs in the nation. The Bruins, picked to defend their Atlantic Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships, have received national Top 25 poll votes each of the first three weeks of the season and have been ranked as high as No. 3 among mid-major programs. Belmont’s growing national reputation was put to the test right away, as the Bruins faced No. 6 Duke and No. 10 Memphis as part of the Opening Games of the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Belmont earned universal praise for its skill and tenacity and proved that it belongs among the nation’s best. Though the Bruins dropped a one-point heartbreaker to Duke and lost by 16 points to Memphis, the team quickly rebounded with victories over Towson and Middle Tennessee State to claim the regional championship of the Maui tournament. “This season’s schedule looks to be the most demanding one in our NCAA Division I era,” said Belmont head coach Rick Byrd, who ranks 10th among all active NCAA Division I head coaches in career wins. “Opening the season on the road with national powers Duke and Memphis is certainly the toughest start to any season in school history… It is safe to say that our schedule is not designed to duplicate or better last year’s record. But, win or lose, the quality competition should make our experienced basketball team a better one by the time we enter the Atlantic Sun schedule.” A-Sun Conference play kicks into high gear in January as Belmont hosts crosstown rival Lipscomb Fri., Jan. 6 in the annual Battle of the Boulevard, and welcomes Stetson – and former Bruin player, coach and current Hatter head coach Casey Alexander – eight days later (Jan. 14). For a complete schedule, visit n



STUDENT-ATHLETES RANK HIGH ON NCAA REPORT Belmont University student-athletes received high marks in the 2011 Graduation Success Rate (GSR) Report released in October by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The two-pronged report contained both federal graduation rates, which are based solely on freshman scholarship student-athletes enrolling between 2001 and 2004, and a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) that takes into account transfers in and out of the institution for the same time period. Five Belmont programs – men’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s golf and women’s tennis – not only ranked among the nation’s best and paced the Atlantic Sun Conference in GSR within their respective sports, but had perfect scores of 100 for the reported cohort. Collectively, Belmont student-athletes received a 91 percent graduation success rate. n





VOLLEYBALL CLAIMS SHARE OF REGULAR SEASON A-SUN TITLE Belmont Volleyball (21-9, 11-2 A-Sun) reached 20+ wins this season and earned the number one seed in the Atlantic Sun conference tournament, while also receiving a share of the regular season conference title. The title is the first for the Bruins since 2008. “I’m very proud of our team for the regular season that they’ve experienced,” Head Coach Deane Webb said. “I’m not sure our team understands what 20 wins represents. It is one of those benchmarks that all coaches are aware of, and any team that earns 20 wins at the Division 1 level has had a great year. I’m proud of our team for earning every one of them.” Senior Maggie Johnson was named Co-Player of the Year, sophomore Jamie Lundstrom picked up Libero of the Year honors, and Head Coach Deane Webb was voted Coach of the Year. Additionally, the Bruins placed five players on AllConference teams, including three on the First Team. Johnson was also named the A-Sun Scholar Athlete of the Year. “Maggie has had an outstanding year,” Webb said. “When I look back to see how far she has come in her career, and how she this year she has gone from good to great, from supporting role to the focal point of our team, it truly is impressive.” n

MICK HEDGEPETH NAMED CANDIDATE FOR LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD Men’s basketball senior forward Mick Hedgepeth was recently selected as one of 30 men’s basketball candidates for the 2011-12 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Hedgepeth, who was also named to the Lou Henson Preseason AllAmerica Team, helped lead Belmont to a 30-5 record and the program’s fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in six years in 2010-11. The 6-9 forward is on pace to rank among Belmont’s NCAA era career leaders in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots. Off the court, Hedgepeth holds a 3.71 grade-point average in his chosen major of accounting. The Crossville, Ala. native is active in volunteerism, mentoring and participation in Belmont University’s Sport Evangelism Mission Trips overseas. Hedgepeth is the fifth Belmont University studentathlete – and third men’s basketball player – to receive recognition from the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, joining Cyrus Eaton, Justin Hare, Andy Wicke and Nate Woods. n

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KENYAN CHOIR AFRIZO BRINGS U.S. TOUR TO BELMONT’S NEELY DINING ROOM Afrizo, a gospel-style musical group from Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya, visited Belmont this fall, singing music from South, Central and East Africa and drawing on rich African traditions. Founded and directed by Daystar faculty member Hellen Mtawali, Afrizo sings in English, Swahili and African tribal languages, expressing songs of faith in a variety of languages and styles.

In an event co-sponsored by the School of Music, Afrizo combined music, dance and story-telling to share how Daystar is equipping servant leaders for Africa. On a 28-city U.S. tour this fall, the group aimed to raise money for scholarships to send promising young people to college who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend. n

BELMONT INTRODUCES MISSIONARIES IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM Belmont University recently welcomed new Missionaries in Residence Scott and Julie Bradford, coordinators of Baptist missionary work for an eight country region in West Africa. The Bradfords worked as missionaries in residence at Belmont for the fall semester before returning to their home in Burkina Faso with their three children. With an office in University Ministries, they connected with students, faculty and staff throughout the semester to answer questions on how to get plugged into global missions. n









Echoing the 2011-12 University-wide theme focused on issues of “Wealth & Poverty,” numerous speakers came to campus this fall offering thoughts and perspectives on the subject, including noted authors Walter Brueggemann and Efrem Smith.

Jan. 18: R.V. Brown, Good News for the Poor

An expert on bringing the insights of the Old Testament to bear on contemporary issues, Brueggemann spent the hour discussing “God’s Justice for the Poor,” engaging with students on the economic structure of society in Biblical times. He advocated for a “mixed system” society – one that combines strategies from the capitalistic approach and the neighbor friendly structure seen in Deuteronomy. The lecture ended with audience participation as students engaged in dialogue surrounding assigned questions regarding the state of the economy and the applicability of these ideals to modern society.



Smith, author and founder of the Sanctuary Covenant Church and Community Development Corporation, spoke in Belmont’s Chapel on “No More Orphans,” expressing his passion to inspire today’s generation to use their resources to aid the poor. Commenting on the biblical example of “the least of these” found in Matthew 25, Smith said, “Jesus is giving his listeners pictures of what he’s been proclaiming and practicing while walking the earth… His life is to be an embodiment of the Kingdom of God, to show the value system of the Kingdom of God on earth.” n

WEALTH & POVERTY CAMPUS THEME Jan. 11: Carolyn McKinstry, Costly Discipleship

Jan. 23-27: Sex and the Soul Week Feb. 1: Jimmy Dorrell, Plunge to Poverty Feb. 15: Homecoming Chapel with Dr. Eric McLaughlin, M.D. Feb. 22: Bishop David Choby, Ash Wednesday Service Feb. 23: Charis Art Talk and Reception Feb. 24: Mark Osler & Jeanne Bishop, Jesus on Death Row

Feb. 29: Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, World Christianity March 14: Qingjun (Joan) Li, Finding Faith in the Land of the Dragon March 19-21: Steve Garber, Vocation & Calling March 23: Michael Attas, Christian Healthcare March 28: Stephen Mansfield, Where Has Oprah Taken Us? April 16: Tony Campolo, Poor Jesus/Rich Christians

All dates and speakers subject to change; visit for additional information.

FALL 2011



double ticket plan Includes a reserved seat for the Belmont vs. Lipscomb game, plus 2 other games of your choice

all for


The perfect holiday gift.





NG 2012



Circle Fall 2011  

Belmont University's biannual alumni magazine.