Belmont University and The Tennessean, with broadcast partner WSMV-TV, presented the first of two Nashforward debates, the city’s premiere Mayoral Debate Series, on Thursday, May 21 in Belmont’s Massey Performing Arts Center.
Held in front of a packed crowd of close to 1,000 attendees, the debate featured all seven candidates currently vying for Nashville’s open mayoral seat: Megan Barry, Charles Robert Bone, David Fox, Bill Freeman, Howard Gentry, Jeremy Kane and Linda Eskind Rebrovick. Candidates addressed a variety of topics including leadership experience and style, crisis management and platform stances to ensure voters are well-informed on the issues facing Nashville as they head to the polls in August.
The Nashforward Series also included an opportunity for seven Belmont students to work alongside Tennessean Engagement Editor and event moderator David Plazas to write profiles on each candidate after reviewing a recent interview. Viewing the candidate’s platform with a millennial’s perspective in mind, the student profilers asked questions representing Nashville’s growing millennial population.
Every spring, Belmont hosts its annual Baccalaureate Service to celebrate graduates and their families. While this year’s event started and ended just as it always does, the experience during Friday’s ceremony for Associate Professor of Finance Dr. John Gonas was very different.
Brennon Mobley, a senior student set to graduate at the next day’s commencement ceremony and a student-leader on Gonas’s Enactus team, was the 4th speaker at the event and told the story of how he came to Belmont, largely due to a meeting with Gonas during his junior year of high school. Following the Nashville flood of 2010, the pair met while clearing carpet out of a neighbor’s home and began talking about Belmont.
Gonas described an idea that eventually led to Spring Back Recycling, a nonprofit organization that recycles the inners of mattresses through the employment of previously incarcerated men. Mobley was interested. “[Dr. Gonas] told me that if I came to Belmont, I could be a part of a group of students that would help him launch it. I knew nothing about mattresses…What value could I possibly add? Those facts didn’t seem to matter to [Gonas]. He recognized my value within,” Mobley said.
Five years later, Spring Back Recycling has locations in five states and has recycled over 3 million pounds of used mattresses. The organization empowers disenfranchised men and provides the opportunity to “spring back” into society recognizing their value, the same value Mobley said Gonas saw in him.
Year-long quasquicentennial celebration built on theme ‘Belief in Something Greater’
With a focus on the central theme “Belief in Something Greater,” Belmont University will celebrate its 125th anniversary during the next academic year. Founded in 1890 by Ida Hood and Susan Heron, two bold and unconventional school teachers, the all-female Belmont College has transitioned and grown through the years into a co-ed, Division I, nationally acclaimed institution boasting more than 7,200 students. The anniversary affords Belmont the opportunity to commemorate its distinctive and dramatic history through a variety of special events, speakers and weeks designed to focus on particular elements of the Belmont legacy.
In an email to the campus this week to announce the upcoming anniversary celebration, Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher wrote, “When I came to this University in 2000, I instinctively knew there was something special about this place, and over the past 15 years I’ve discovered more and more about Belmont’s unique and exceptional culture. I’ve been inspired by the people of Belmont—both past and present—and their steady belief in the promise tomorrow holds, belief in the transformative power of education, belief in a God who gives our lives hope and purpose… Quite simply, the Belmont culture reflects a ‘Belief in Something Greater.’”
Belmont University will hold its spring 2015 commencement ceremonies for graduate and undergraduate students on Saturday, May 9 in the Curb Event Center. Belmont anticipates the graduation of approximately 1,147 students, with 855 bachelors, 101 master’s and 191 doctoral degrees conferred.
At 9:30 a.m. candidates from the Massey College of Business, Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, College of Science and Mathematics, College of Law, University College and Interdisciplinary Studies will have their degrees conferred. At 2:30 p.m. candidates from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing, College of Theology and Christian Ministry, College of Pharmacy and College of Visual and Performing Arts will have their degrees conferred.
Tickets, which have been distributed to the graduating students, are required for guests wishing to attend either event. Dr. Bob Fisher, president of the University, will preside over the events and present the commencement address at both ceremonies. Watch the graduation ceremony live by visiting www.belmont.edu during the ceremony and clicking the watch live link.
Baccalaureate will take place at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 8 in the Curb Event Center. Covering the topic “A Service of Ordination to Daily Work,” the worship service for graduates and their families will feature students from various disciplines sharing stories of how God is calling them to use lessons learned at Belmont to serve others.
The charter circle of Belmont University’s new Omicron Delta Kappa honor society became a reality Monday as 55 students and two faculty members were officially inducted. Omicron Delta Kappa is a 100-year old national leadership honor society that has initiated more than 300,000 members since its founding.
Provost Dr. Thomas Burns initiated the chartering and was a member of OΔK as an undergrad at Dickinson College. “OΔK values the importance of integrity, academic achievement, leadership and service. There is such extraordinary consonance between those values and Belmont’s mission of “providing an academically challenging education that empowers men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage and faith.” Essentially, bringing OΔK to campus allows us to celebrate our shared beliefs, recognize students who exemplify these qualities, and help provide them additional opportunities to expand their commitments to these values. Partnering our students with the OΔK organization helps connect Belmont students to a much larger international community allowing them new opportunities to shape their world.”
The Society recognizes not only academic achievement but also campus leadership across the five phases of campus life:
OΔK is committed to developing campus leaders who will become tomorrow’s community leaders. Founded at Washington and Lee University (Virginia) in 1914, OΔK currently has 299 active circles across the country, with Belmont being the most recent.