During Wednesday’s Scholarship and Awards Day convocation in the Massey Performing Arts Center, Belmont’s top students and faculty were honored for their commitment to the University’s mission and dedication to scholarship, service and leadership. Chemistry Professor Dr. Kim Daus, the 2013-14 Chaney Distinguished Professor, gave the ceremony’s Honors Address and discussed heroes and how they improve our lives. Citing a recent study that showed the prevalence of heroes closely related to members of Generation Next, Daus charged attendees to make a difference in the lives of others and left the audience with lyrics from a Harry Chapin song, one of Daus’s self-proclaimed heroes. “Now if a man tried to take his time on Earth and prove before he died what one man’s life could be worth, I wonder what would happen to this world.”
The presentation of the annual John Williams Heart of Belmont Award is greatly anticipated each year as one student is recognized for their commitment to Belmont’s values including innovation, persistence, advocacy for change, community development and service. The 2015 recipient, Tina Sharma, is a double major studying applied discrete mathematics and economics and when she isn’t working on assignments, completing duties associated with her leadership roles or internships, Tina said her time at Belmont has been “unconditionally poured into working as a community activist.”
Released for iOS and Android platforms, product represents three apps in one
Anyone searching for “Belmont” or “Belmont University” last week in the iTunes or Google Play stores stumbled across a nice surprise as the University released its first official mobile app, a free combination product that offers access to public Belmont information (Belmont app) as well as a secondary secure MyBelmont app for students, faculty and staff to reach their personal information on mobile platforms. A third app, for Belmont Bruins athletics, is also included.
These new additions to campus life are a direct result of Media Studies Professor Dr. Sybril Bennett’s submission last year to the Belmont Challenge, an ongoing project that encourages faculty and staff to recommend ideas–in this case, ones based on technology–that can improve student learning and contribute to the effectiveness of the University as a whole.
Bennett said, “The purpose of the submission was to serve our students. For years students in my Mass Media and Society classes submitted Belmont app prototypes as part of the mobile app class project. They wanted to access information on the go. With the growth of mobile devices, this wasn’t an option, it was and is an opportunity. This will allow students to use their device of choice to better manage their educational journey on a mobile platform.”
In a recent U.S. News analysis that compared universities’ spending with the educational quality they offer, Belmont ranked No. 5 among its peers in the South region and was the highest ranked private University in that category, indicating the high efficiency of Belmont in providing excellent educational quality while keeping expenses low.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “This ranking is a huge deal to us because it reflects the overall Belmont strategy to provide a first-class education to our students while keeping our costs low. All credit for this accomplishment goes to the diligence of our faculty, staff and administration, who work extremely hard at their jobs and do their best to find effective—and economical—solutions to our campus’ needs.”
According to the website, U.S. News compared public and private colleges’ academic quality, as measured by their position in the 2015 Best Colleges rankings, to the funds spent to achieve that quality, and ranked the most efficient universities under that matrix. The publication noted, “Schools that are featured on these lists are doing a good job in managing their financial resources relative to other schools that may have far greater financial resources because of more state funding, higher tuition or larger endowments.”
Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher unveiled the University’s Vision 2020 to a room full of students, faculty, staff and alumni Monday morning. The Vision, comprised of seven strategic priorities that will guide Belmont through the next five years, integrates the University’s values of integrity, inquiry, collaboration, service and humility to build what Vision 2020 calls, “Nashville’s University.”
With Vision 2015 coming to a conclusion, the University is looking toward the future with a strong emphasis on student-centeredness, Christian character and a people-first culture, among other things.
“Vision is a picture of a future that is so much more desirable that the present, that it creates a sense of urgency. It compels people to act – to ambitious action,” Fisher said. Video interviews from Belmont community members were included to highlight each Vision 2020 strategy, illustrating the ambitious action that Vision 2020 calls for.
“As we continue to define ourselves and our dreams for this University, it is my hope that Belmont will place a greater focus on including students in the development and execution of our long-term goals and capitalize on the creativity, passion and commitment of its students to make Belmont a place we’re all proud to call home,” Student Government Association President Jeanette Morelan said.
Although the Vision has been crafted and created, a successful implementation of any vision will require the support and collaborative work of all community members, Fisher said. “Consider the power of aligning our efforts and pulling in the same direction…Consider the power behind that.”
Fisher ended his presentation with a story describing his experience climbing Mt. Rainier, a Seattle mountain with the greatest rise in elevation of all ranges within the continental U.S. During his climb, Fisher developed altitude sickness and was forced to descend at the mountain’s “High Break,” the final break before the Summit. Although he wasn’t able to accomplish what he set out to do, Fisher said the experience taught him many lessons. “If you aspire to do something really hard and really tough, it does get harder and harder as you approach the goal,” he said.
“We’re at the High Break point, but if we’re going to the top, it’s going to take the best efforts of everybody. I hear there’s nothing like the view from the top. I haven’t been there, but I want to go…Let’s get there together and become one of America’s great universities. Let’s go to the top,” Fisher said.
For a description of Vision 2020’s seven strategies and a video of Fisher’s presentation, please click here.
First day of classes welcomes more than 1,400 new freshmen to campus
Don’t call it a “small, liberal arts college” anymore. Today Belmont University announced a Fall 2014 enrollment of 7,301 students, putting the thriving University at more than double its enrollment from 2000 (2,976 students) and up 5.5 percent from last fall’s total of 6,915. Applications for undergraduate and graduate admissions for Fall 2014 also saw an increase of 12.5 percent and resulted in the University’s largest freshman class to date with 1,420 students.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “It’s both humbling and gratifying to see the number of students who want to come to Belmont to learn and discover their life purpose. These are individuals from all walks of life and many corners of the globe who aren’t thinking only of future careers but are embracing this University’s mission to engage and transform the world with their passions, skills and talents. I’m proud to welcome them to their new home and thankful they’ve chosen to be Belmont Bruins.”
In addition to incoming freshmen, Belmont also welcomed 508 new transfer students to campus this week, marking a total number of nearly 2,000 new undergraduates. The student body currently consists of 5,898 undergraduate students and 1,403 pursuing graduate/professional paths.
Associate Provost and Dean of Enrollment David Mee added, “We are very pleased with the fall 2014 admissions cycle. The entire University is involved in helping Belmont maintain the kind of momentum that has resulted in growing national recognition, enhanced experiences for our students and phenomenal growth during a period of stagnant enrollment across much of higher education nationally. Belmont is a unique story – one highlighted by a daily commitment to living out our mission and values. And by doing so, students continue to be attracted to Belmont and Nashville from all 50 states and many countries, and in record numbers. Nearly 2,000 new undergraduates alone just arrived at Belmont, and that is wonderful news for both the University and Nashville.”