After 40 years of planning and four years of labor, the Belmont Mansion has opened the restored master bedroom suite where Adelicia Acklen rested and stored clothes as well as where her children studied.
The mansion hosted a grand opening Friday morning with Executive Director Mark Brown (’77) answering questions on the restoration project. Renasant Bank is sponsoring a free open house with cake, storytelling and children’s craft at the mansion from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday to celebrate Adelicia Acklen’s 196th birthday and the major restoration of Adelicia’s bedroom suite.
To return the suite to its original condition, workers reproduced faux wood grain, installed silver plating on door knobs and purchased drape trims, lace curtains and upholstery. Hand-woven carpet for Acklen’s bedroom was imported from England. Brown also spent the last few months searching for a free-standing towel rack, a school table for the School Room and another mid-19th century wall map, as the inventory listed two old maps.
The bedroom’s original furniture was returned to the bedroom suite. The high Victorian furniture was auctioned off when Acklen sold the residence in 1887 and stayed within 15 miles of campus for more than a century before Nashvillians Margaret Smith Warner and Overton T. Smith donated the pieces to the mansion.
“The wall papers were probably the most challenging project because it was impossible to reproduce with more traditional methods like silk screening,” Brown said. (more…)
Homecoming 2013 draws big crowds for numerous events
Roberts is an entertainment industry studies major with a marketing minor. From Houston, Texas, she is involved in Bruin Recruiters, SGA and Alpha Gamma Delta, a sorority she led as president last year. In addition to serving last year as a Towering Traditions leader, Roberts also works at the YMCA daycare and is interning at NorthStar Studios, a TV production company.
Roberts said, “I feel so blessed and excited to be Belmont’s Homecoming Queen. I’ve loved the opportunity to represent my Alpha Gamma Delta sisters who nominated me, and to me, this sort of represents all the wonderful relationships I’ve gotten to develop here in college. It’s a great way to end these four years!”
A native of Tullahoma, Tenn. and a huge supporter of Belmont Athletics, Moody is majoring in Christian Leadership with a minor in Church Recreation/Youth Ministry. He is a member of Alpha Tau Omega and the Student Coordinator of Intramurals in the Fitness & Recreation department. In addition, he volunteer at Preston Taylor and Harvest Hands as well as serves as the Student Ministry Intern at First Baptist Nashville.
One of the oldest structures on campus is being renovated to become home base for Belmont’s 26,000 alumni. Construction began in December to turn the former Plant Operations facility into Belmont’s Alumni House, which should open by August.
“The significance of this building is as symbolic as it is physical as it has something that every generation of alumni can remember and can identify with,” said Vice President of University Advancement Bo Thomas. “We hope this first-ever space specifically created for alumni conveys a message to all alumni how important they are and how much we want to stay engaged and connected with them.”
Throughout the years, the building served as a faculty meeting space, theater and employee housing, according to University archives and first-hand accounts. It was the original home of the Mass Communications Department in 1985, and the main foyer served as the first video studio with faculty offices upstairs.
It began as Ward-Belmont’s Clubhouse No. 10 during the early 20th century when 10 clubhouses lined campus in the former Club Village, which is now home to the Curb Event Center, Beaman Student Life Center and Gabhart Student Center. Each club house hosted Ward-Belmont social clubs for resident students and was used for meetings, meals for special occasions, teas and dances and housing visiting alumni. Membership of all Ward-Belmont students was required in the clubs, which competed in intramural athletic competitions, academically and for citizenship awards. (more…)
Belmont University invites alumni, friends and family to make their “Destination Belmont” Jan. 28 through Feb. 2 for a week’s worth of special Homecoming 2013 events. The week-long celebration will feature a faculty art exhibit, a basketball doubleheader, a residence hall banner competition for students and a campus-wide pep rally and bonfire. For a complete list of all Belmont Homecoming 2013 events and an opportunity to register, visit http://alumni.belmont.edu/.
A special feature this year will be the addition of a Homecoming Concert to be held on campus and include performances from accomplished alumni and special guests. Alumnus and songwriter/musician Gordon Kennedy, who has hosted past events at the Bluebird, helped pull the evening together and will host this year’s in-the-round performance. He said, “I’m fortunate to have come up through the ranks surrounded by peers who have been part of Belmont’s education and influence. With both distant and recent past represented, along with some special guests… this particular night will be special!”
Julie Thomas, director of constituency programs in the Office of Alumni Relations, said, “Belmont alumni are such an important part of this institution. Homecoming is the perfect time for us to honor and celebrate our alums and welcome them back to campus.”
Singer/songwriter Ginny Owens, a 1997 Belmont alumna, returned to campus Nov. 30 to share songs and stories with current students. The event was part of the “Alumni on Mission” series, which is sponsored by the Belmont Ambassadors and the Office of Alumni Relations. “Alumni on Mission” is an ongoing speaker series featuring Belmont alumni who incorporate mission and ministry in their everyday lives.
Born and raised in Jackson, Miss., Owens began playing piano and writing songs at a young age even while a degenerative eye condition caused her to completely lose her sight. Fiercely independent, Owens didn’t let her physical challenge slow her down upon arriving at Belmont in the 1990s, though her guide dog found the new campus a bit distracting. “I had a guide dog, a yellow lab named Lindy, and she loved to clean the floors in the cafeteria. I was also late to class many days because there was a squirrel that she would have to chase up a tree.”
Owens’ fondest Belmont memories, though, revolved around the friends she made and the opportunities she was given with her music, including participating in a songwriter showcase with fellow classmate Brad Paisley. Now a three-time Dove Award winner, including the Gospel Music Association’s 2000 New Artist of the Year recipient, Owens has sold nearly one million albums.
During her talk with students Friday, she sang a song from her new project, Get In, I’m Driving, as well as several of her chart-topping hits, including “Free” and “If You Want Me To.” “There is power and purpose in your song, whether you write songs or not. There is power and purpose in your story,” she said, challenging her audience to ponder, “If my life is indeed a story, then how does it read?”