Belmont 2002 graduate Eric McLaughlin returned to campus for Belmont’s Homecoming Chapel Feb. 15 to discuss the work he, his family and others doctors are doing in Africa.
Committed to missions, McLaughlin and his family, along with several friends who are also physicians, moved to Kenya in 2009 to provide health care for residents and to teach young Kenyan doctors. The group is spending a year in the United States visiting friends and family before its members leave to spend 10 months in France. There they will learn French to prepare for a mission trip in Burundi, a country in Eastern Africa.
McLaughlin said his years in Kenya taught him he has limitations and God’s goodness is stronger than he realized. When his human limitations come into play, God’s goodness has the power to overcome.
“Limitations are very real, but the goodness of God in the world is that much more real,” he said.
McLaughlin concluded his lecture by encouraging the students to reflect on their limits and remind themselves God is goodness and limitless.
He said, “Do not fear the darkness, but rather celebrate the light. And know that, by his goodness, God’s strength is made person in our weakness.”
A highlight of Belmont’s Homecoming 2012 week is the Fourth Annual Alumni Art Exhibit, which opened Jan. 23 and runs through next Friday, Feb. 24. The exhibit showcases the artwork of several esteemed alumni and is being held in the Leu Center for the Visual Arts in Gallery 121.
The exhibit features multiple mediums to depict this year’s University theme of “Wealth and Poverty.” The alumni whose works are represented–L.A. Bachman (’06), Matt Chenoweth (’07), Paul Chenoweth (’08), Bethany Taylor (’07), Leah Tumerman (’05), Laura Amstutz Weibezahn (’08), and Ron York (’75)–responded to an open call to all Belmont graduates.
While most of the programs scheduled around Belmont’s “Wealth and Poverty” theme have focused on a literal, economic interpretation of financial condition, artists in this year’s Alumni Art Exhibit were asked to explore a broader interpretation. The exhibit challenges the visitor to look at the subject matter not only as a polarizing condition but also as a process, a continuum that includes nothing, and everything.
Paul Chenoweth, an alumnus who works in Belmont’s Information Technology Services, curated the exhibit and is displaying some of his own ceramic art as well. He said, “You might imagine that a literal, visual translation of the polar opposites of wealth and poverty would not be terribly difficult… we live in a society where we can see wealthy people as well as poor people in our cities and towns. Expanding the interpretation to include more than financial differences to include mental, spiritual, psychological, environmental and even political wealth and poverty opens up opportunities for artists to challenge preconceptions and encourage personal reflection.” (more…)
On Wednesday Feb. 15, Dr. Peter Kuryla, professor of history, gave an academic lecture titled “A Prosthetic Aesthetic: William and Henry James, The Father Problem and the Case of the Cork Leg.” Part of Belmont’s Homecoming 2012 celebration, the lecture was held in the Massey Board Room.
Dr. Kuryla was selected as the College of Arts and Sciences 2012 Robert E. Simmons Distinguished Lecturer. This lectureship was created by Dean Robert Simmons in 1988 to honor the research and scholarly work of the faculty in the humanities, education, arts, sciences and social sciences and has continued to award esteemed faculty of Belmont University for years.
Kuryla prefaced his lecture by giving insight into the title and content of his topic. He explained that he had attended a series of academic conferences in which he and some of his colleagues presented papers on philosopher William James and his brother, novelist Henry James. Kuryla noted that he was intrigued as to how the family background played roles in William and Henry’s writings, and upon some research he discovered that “William and Henry’s childhood experiences with their father affected their mature writing.”
Henry James, Sr. was a philosopher who published several volumes of theology during the middle 19th century. However, unlike his two sons, none of his works were recognized or experienced much success, though Kuryla theorized that he did influence themes in his sons’ works. A boyhood accident from a game of “fireball” resulted in bad burns which eventually led to the amputation of the elder Henry James’ leg. Dr. Kuryla expressed his belief that their father’s prosthetic limb may have indirectly affected William and Henry James’ writings. Henry Sr. was responsible for the boys having a transatlantic childhood, as he moved them frequently from cities in the United States and then to Europe and back again, which surely presented obstacles for him given his disability.
During his lecture, Dr. Kuryla suggested that the sons recapitulated the father’s trauma over the loss of his leg in their own ways, through experiences of spiritual crisis or in their use of language. Henry James, Sr. and the suffering that accompanied his “leg must have figured prominently in the experiences of the two eldest boys, such that one might read it later in a peculiar type of filial aesthetic language concerned with death, morbidity and suffering, meant to signal the difficulty and potential falsehood of efforts to represent the world or experience.” Upon completing his lecture, Dr. Kuryla took questions from the audience.
Belmont University invites alumni, friends and family to make their “Destination Belmont” Feb. 13 – 18 for a week’s worth of special Homecoming 2012 events. The week-long celebration will feature an alumni 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 2012 events and an opportunity to register, visit http://alumni.belmont.edu/.
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.”
“Music City Roots at the Loveless Cafe” lured plenty of leather boots, flannel shirts and facial hair Wednesday night as the weekly, two-hour concert and live radio show often does. This week, however, the performance offered a uniquely Belmont-related theme. The Westbound Rangers, Leah Korbin, Shirock, Kopecky Family Band and the Apache Relay–all bands consisting of Belmont alumni or current students–pumped out bright and lively tones all night.
The audience reciprocated the school spirit with a large serving of Belmont students and faculty in attendance, including Curb College faculty members Dan Keen and Clyde Rolston, who helped organize the event. Click here to view the concert in its entirety.
“Music City Roots” aims to revive the historic legacy of live musical radio production in Nashville. Broadcast on Wednesday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. on WRLT-Lightning 100, “Music City Roots: Live From the Loveless Cafe” showcases Nashville’s astonishing music scene. Host Jim Lauderdale and the bands closed the show Wednesday night with the weekly Loveless Jam tradition, this time gathering all the artists on stage for a final group performance of classic Beatles song, “Don’t Let Me Down.”