Among a packed classroom in the Wedgewood Academic Center, a panel of seven Belmont students offered unique and profound interpretations on “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like,” the opening convocation in the University’s celebration of Women’s History Month.
Associate Professor of English Dr. Amy Hodges-Hamilton, who is co-chairing the 2015 celebration with Sociology Professor Dr. Andi Stepnick, noted that the national theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is “Weaving Women’s Stories.” As part of her introduction for Monday’s panel, she shared how 2011 Humanities Symposium keynote speaker Maya Angelou inspired her own story and helped her reclaim her voice during her daughter Grace’s cancer battle. Hodges-Hamilton explained to Angelou her stress over caring for Grace while also juggling her career and remaining strong for herself and her family. “[Angelou] stopped me and with her God-like voice spoke these words: ‘All you have to pray every morning is this: God give me Grace.’ And that he has.”
On Feb. 27, Belmont students held the third annual World Culture Fest in the Beaman Student Life Center to celebrate diversity on campus through dance, music, fashion and more. Individual students and student organizations focused on cultural identities had booths representing different world cultures for students to sample food, learn interesting facts, ask questions and participate in cultural activities such as henna tattoo art and calligraphy. The Rumi Club, Chinese Cultural Club and Black Student Association co-sponsored the festival in partnership with the Student Government Association.
Among the performances were Bollywood, Haitian and K-pop dance performances as well as musical performances of Scottish fiddling, hip hop and karaoke in nine languages. The booths represented cultures from South Korea, Laos, Egypt, India, Japan, Africa, China and Haiti.
The purpose of Culture Fest is to bring together students from all backgrounds to celebrate cultural art expressions from around the world. Some students and faculty were representing their own culture, while others were engaging in and representing a culture they were not familiar with prior to the event. Faculty sponsor for the event, Assistant Professor Dr. Amy Crook, said, “The support that students show to each other at the event during performances and at the booths is really amazing. People are asking for the recipes for exotic foods they’re having for the first time, falling in love with new musical genres and sharing experiences from their study abroad trips. It’s so encouraging to see the students put on such a quality event that really brings the community together.”
Belmont University’s College of Theology and Christian Ministry is hosting the second annual Faith and Culture Symposium this week with various speakers concentrating on the idea, “Worship and the Life of the University,” including keynote speaker Enuma Okoro. All events are free and open to the public to attend.
Associate Professor of Theology Dr. Steve Guthrie said, “This year’s event was inspired by the new chapel space that opened on Belmont’s campus in the Wedgewood Academic Center. Christian worship, of course, is an activity undertaken by Christian communities. Having a chapel on campus, however, encourages us to think about the relationship between worship and the wider culture in which Christian communities are located.”
Belmont University invites alumni, friends and family to attend Homecoming 2015 Feb. 26-28 for a variety of special events. The celebration, centered on the theme “Destination Belmont,” will feature the first Bruin Spirit Walk, two basketball games, a campus-wide canned food drive supporting Second Harvest Food Bank, a homecoming concert and a pep rally and bonfire. For a complete list of all Belmont Homecoming 2015 events and an opportunity to register, click here.
Julie Thomas, associate director of Alumni Relations, said, “Homecoming at Belmont University continues to grow into a true celebration of university life, and Homecoming 2015 is no exception. We view our alumni as part of our extended family, and we hope they will come home to experience the music, art, sports and friendships reminiscent of their time at Belmont. To quote the author John Ed Pearce, ‘Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave and grow old wanting to get back to.’ It’s time to come home and fall in love with Belmont all over again.” (more…)
With a mission to promote and celebrate cultural awareness on Belmont’s campus, the University’s Black Student Association (BSA) has announced a series of campus-wide events to celebrate Black History Month. This year’s theme is Renewal: Roots, Renaissance, Rights and the week’s festivities are planned as a way to explore and celebrate all aspects of black culture.
On Friday, Feb. 6, BSA kicked off February’s schedule of events with Roots: Celebration of Africa, an event that featured a Sankofa Drum and Dance Ensemble, as well as a fashion show honoring African kings and queens.
President of Belmont’s BSA chapter Briana August said the celebration of Black History Month is very important to the cultural enrichment of the University. “BSA has planned events that will educate, inspire and challenge the Belmont community,” August said. “While we wholeheartedly believe that black history is very much American history and should be celebrated every day, we are excited to spend the month of February exploring the several different and fascinating facets of black culture and history. If at each event, at least one person learns something new or finds themselves outside of their comfort zone, I believe we have done our job.”