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Belmont Continues ‘Read with Me’ Tradition with Family Literacy Day

FamilyLiteracyDay-034-LSome 145 Belmont students read to Nashville children during the 14th Annual Family Literacy Day on April 12 at Rose Park. The event was designed to allow the Belmont community to partner with Nashvillians to encourage reading and literacy among elementary-age children and their families.

“It is a great privilege for Belmont to celebrate the great work that goes on all year long by joining with Metro Nashville Public Schools, the Nashville Public Library, Metro Parks, Book’em, PENCIL Foundation and Homework Hotline to provide Family Literacy Day to the community,” said Belmont Director of Service-Learning Tim Stewart. “We are grateful for the opportunities the community provides our students and view Family Literacy Day as a small but hopefully significant way to say ‘thank you.’”

During the free celebration on reading, children enjoyed interactive story times, crafts, face painting, games and refreshments. In reading circles, hosted by Belmont student organizations such as the foreign language majors, the children listened to students read aloud and earned stickers to trade in for prizes and books donated by Book’em.

In the weeks prior to the event, first through fourth-grade studenFamilyLiteracyDay-017-Lts were invited to submit 12 to 16-line poems about their favorite literature. From 118 entries, the Belmont English Club selected five finalists, and the top five poets worked with local professional songwriters Seth Alley, Sherrié Austin, Maddie Larkin, Bill McDermott and Will Rambeaux to set their poems to music. More than 5,000 votes were cast online in the poetry contest, and the winner was “The Girl Who Thinks She Can” by Arieanna Rushing, a fourth-grade student at Sylvan Park Elementary. Click here to listen to the winning song and the other finalists.

Greek Week Promotes Unity and Service

Belmont’s annual Greek Week concluded Monday night with the Greek Awards Ceremony. With a mission to “engage all of Greek Life at Belmont University,” Greek Week seeks to challenge individuals to re-think what it means to be a part of fraternity and sorority life at Belmont and promote unity among the Greek community.

jenga-222-LFraternity and sorority members across campus focused on three objectives during the week-long event: generating pride and excitement about being Greek, educating the community about the impact of Greek life and joining together to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I am very proud to be the Fraternity and Sorority Advisor at Belmont. Greek Week is a great example of why Greek Life is such an impactful facet of campus life. Greek Week involved raising $10,000 for St. Jude, sending students all over Nashville to total almost 1,000 hours of community service and providing fun, community-building activities for this wonderful group of students that have grown to encompass almost a quarter of the undergraduate student population,” Coordinator of Student Engagement and Leadership Development Kevin Reynolds said.

The week included a variety of competitions and activities, including a life-size Jenga tournament, trivia, Greek Olympics, a worship night and the always popular Greek Sing. Alpha Sigma Tau took the crown in Greek Sing, while Alpha Gamma Delta was the overall winner of the week. In addition, fraternity and sorority members participated in the Greek Day of Service, lending a helping hand and serving at various locations in the Nashville community.

Students, Faculty Honored at Annual ‘Scholarship and Awards Day’ Celebration

Navy, Army, National Guard veteran wins Heart of Belmont Award

scholarship awards 2014-105In a ceremony marked by numerous standing ovations, students and faculty were honored Wednesday during the annual Scholarship and Awards Day convocation in the the Massey Performing Arts Center. All of the awards given reflected Belmont’s mission and commitment to scholarship, service and leadership, with two new faculty awards, the Christian Scholarship Award and Leadership in Christian Service Award, being introduced for the first time this year. Dr. Ronnie Littlejohn, the 2013-14 Chaney Distinguished Professor, provided the morning’s Honors Address on “Knowing Whether,” encouraging attendees to pursue moral wisdom.

In one of the most moving presentations, graduating senior Matthew Thompson was awarded the John Williams Heart of Belmont Award, which is given to a student committed to Belmont’s values including innovation, persistence, advocacy for change, community development and service. Before coming to Belmont, Thompson served in the Navy on the USS George Washington for five years.  In 2005, he enlisted in the Army where he served an additional four years and afterwards completed one year of service in the Tennessee National Guard. After 10 years of service and three deployments, he was honorably discharged and began pursuing a degree in social work at Belmont.

An intern at Operation Stand Down, Thompson has been integral in the development of veterans services on campus and developed an intercollegiate student veteran coalition that spans six universities across Middle Tennessee. Thompson’s mission is to continue on to a career path that assists veterans who are transitioning from military service into civilian life. In his own words, his “biggest motivation has never been to be recognized but to instead encourage and inspire others to step forward and contribute.”

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School of Music Opens 16 New Practice Rooms in McAfee Annex

Dean Curtis and music students at ribbon cutting event.

Dean Curtis and music students at ribbon cutting event.

On March 17, the School of Music opened 16 new practice rooms in the annex located behind McAfee Concert Hall. These new rooms provide additional practice spaces for over 600 music majors. The rooms have been optimized for sound isolation and sound panels in the rooms lower the decibel levels to meet health and safety expectations.

Previously, all practice rooms were located in the Wilson Music Building or Massey Performing Arts Center. The new location adds variety to practice location options and will be convenient for students with lessons or ensemble rehearsals in McAfee. Later this spring, lockers will be installed and available for rent for student instrument storage.

“Practice is a vital part of any musician’s education, so we are delighted to have these additional new practice rooms on campus.  To illustrate the impact of this new space, fully utilized this facility provides almost 1,800 hours of practice time per week for our students,” said Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Dr. Cynthia Curtis.

The spaces are available for practice at the following times:
Monday – Friday  7 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Saturday                 9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sunday                    1 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

For security, a building monitor will be on duty weekdays, beginning at 4 p.m., and on weekend hours as stated above.

Belmont Students Place Fourth at National Entrepreneurship Competition

Enactus2014After making it past 240 other teams from across the nation to land in the finals, the Belmont University Enactus team came in fourth Thursday at the Enactus USA National Exposition competition, which was held this week in Cincinnati.

Dr. John Gonas, associate professor of finance and Sam M. Walton Enactus Fellow, said, “I am overwhelmed with the passion, innovation and creativity of our relatively young team. They have already conceived and developed some very impactful and sustainable social enterprises, and I am honored that the Enactus sponsor companies graded us as a top-4 team out of 240 that attended the USA Exhibition. Without the tireless efforts of [fellow Belmont faculty members] Cate Loes, Jason Stahl and Nathan Adam we could never have been so well prepared and successful.”

Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. (more…)

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