“Why sing to the Lord as opposed to throwing bowling pins or spinning dishes on a stick for Him? At every place and every time Christians gather, they make a proclamation of Scripture, prayer and song. Music is a universal feature of human worship and a universal characteristic of human beings,” said School of Religion Associate Professor Steve Guthrie.
The eight-member panel included Guthrie, a music industry executive, pastors and noted musicians who each wrote chapters of the book. Among them were recording artists Sandra McCracken, a Belmont alumna, and Sarah Masen, classical pianist Bethany Brooks, EMI Vice President of Artists and Repertoire Brad O’Donnell and singer-songwriter Joy Ike.
Belmont University celebrated the official topping out today for the 188,000-square-foot Wedgewood Academic Center siting above a 430-space parking garage on the corner of Wedgewood and 15th Avenues. The building will house most departments from the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the School of Religion, providing much-needed classroom and lab space for the growing University. The center will house a 280-seat chapel, a coffee and sandwich shop, 30 classrooms that vary in seating capacity, state-of the-art laboratories, study rooms and conference room space. Anticipated to cost $76.5 million, the structure connects on three floors to both the Inman Center and McWhorter Hall.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “This structure is the product of significant collaboration among the students, staff, faculty and leadership team. It is clear that we really are ‘better together!’”
The topping out marked the completion of the concrete structure and five-level underground parking garage. Since Belmont’s general education and core curriculum requires courses in writing, speech, math and religion, among others, every undergraduate will take classes in the Wedgewood Academic Center. The building is designed for interdisciplinary collaboration and planned collisions between students and faculty.
Dr. Thomas Burns, who serves as Belmont’s Provost overseeing all academic programs, added “From inception, our faculty and students have been involved in helping to design a facility that serves current needs, provides extraordinary potential for our future and creates an environment where collaboration and community will help define the future of higher education. Today’s topping out ceremony brings us one step closer to realizing our shared vision.”
As part of Belmont’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, the University is seeking Platinum-level LEED Certification for the Wedgewood Academic Center. The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The new facility is incorporating a number of green features including a green roof adjacent to biology lab space, garage recycling room and trash compactor, motion-sensor lighting in all offices, classrooms and labs and a variable flow refrigerant HVAC system.
Designed by ESa with construction by R.C. Mathews, the academic building will be complete and ready for occupancy by fall 2014.
Twenty Belmont University students and two professors left Nashville May 8 for a 19-day journey to Israel, Turkey and Greece, traveling to numerous sites along the way including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Istanbul and Athens. Students on this study abroad trip are taking either a Third Year Writing course or a general education religion class with the goal to see the lands in which Christianity was born.
As School of Religion Dean Darrell Gwaltney writes, the trip is part pilgrimage as well. “It is moving to travel to Jerusalem and other places many of us have been reading about and learning about all our lives. One of the great benefits from such a trip like this is that we are forever changed. The people we meet and the people with whom we travel change us.”
Student Carter Abel recounted an experience from the first day of the trip: “I was about to fall asleep when we drove over the top of a moutain and before me lay the most magnificent sight I have ever seen–the Sea of Galilee. Spanning out before me, the incredible blue waters stood out like gemstone surrounded by bare mountains. I sat in absolute awe and wonder as I laid my eyes upon the place where Jesus walked on water, calmed the storm, fed thousands of people with a single basket of food and performed miracles. No matter how much cities and nations have changed over two thousand years, the Sea of Galilee remains a living altar of the power, compassion and love of God who walked its shores.”
Click here to read more from the Holy Land trip blog.
188,000-square-foot structure plus five-level underground garage will be largest campus building to date
Belmont University broke ground this morning on the campus’ largest building to date, a 188,000-square-foot academic center situated on the corner of Wedgewood and 15th Avenues. The building will house most departments from the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the School of Religion, providing much-needed classroom and lab space for the growing University. Slated to open in fall 2014 and anticipated to cost $76.5 million, the new building is being designed and built by locally-owned companies—Earl Swensson Associates (ESa) and R.C. Mathews—and will create jobs for hundreds in Middle Tennessee. A five-level underground parking garage will also provide approximately 430 additional parking spaces, and the facility will connect on three floors to both the Inman Center and McWhorter Hall.
“The building establishes a new cornerstone for Belmont University and provides a true reflection of who we are,” said Belmont President Bob Fisher. “It will sit as a beacon on the northeast edge of campus, offering a perfect view of the Nashville skyline and inviting Nashville and the world to come and see what Belmont is all about: providing an academically challenging liberal arts education in a Christian community of learning and service.”
Since Belmont’s general education/core curriculum requires courses in writing, speech, math and religion, among others, every undergraduate will take classes in the new academic center. In addition, the center will house a 280-seat chapel, a dining venue, 30 classrooms that vary in seating capacity, state-of the-art laboratories and conference room space.
Dr. Thomas Burns, who serves as Belmont’s Provost overseeing all academic programs, added that the building’s design has been a campus-wide effort. “We began this process in the fall with a blank canvas, recognizing that we needed additional academic space but carefully considering which areas to prioritize. Through ongoing conversations and collaboration with students, faculty and staff, we’ve honed in on Belmont’s most urgent needs in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Religion. With their input, we’ve drawn plans for a building that will enable interdisciplinary studies and experiential learning while also representing the latest thinking in classroom space.”
An expert on bringing the insights of the Old Testament to bear on contemporary issues of economic justice, nationalism and militarism through his 75 books, Brueggemann spent the hour engaging students in a discussion on the economic structure of society in Biblical times between the ideals under Pharaoh and the neighborly structure seen in Deuteronomy.
He advocated for a “mixed system” society – one that combines strategies from the capitalistic approach and the neighbor friendly one.
“Jesus thought neighbors related to neighbors related to neighbors could be transformative,” Brueggemann said.
The lecture ended with audience participation as students stood around the room and engaged in a dialogue surrounding the assigned questions regarding the state of the economy and the applicability of these ideals to the system we live in.
Brueggemann’s lecture tied in with the University’s 2011-2012 theme of Wealth and Poverty. This academic year, many academic lectures and programs explore the origins and effects of wealth and poverty as well as the social and ethical implications of each.