Competing against teams from colleges and universities across the country, Belmont’s Enactus team made a statement last night, coming in fourth at a national competition. With 533 teams consisting of more than 16,800 students in the United States, Enactus USA held its National Exposition and competition this week in St. Louis, Missouri, where the Belmont team stood toe-to-toe and came our victorious against much larger institutions, including the University of Oklahoma, University of Florida Gainesville and last year’s national champion, Texas State University.
Dr. John Gonas, associate professor of finance and Sam M. Walton Enactus Fellow, said, “I couldn’t be more proud of the Belmont Enactus students. They are consistently recognized and honored for their tireless commitment to serving our community by creating complex business models tied to social change. Working alongside incredibly committed faculty members Cate Loes, Jason Stahl and Nathan Adam, our students are examples to Enactus teams in the U.S. and world of how to conceive, develop and sustain social enterprises that are truly changing lives in our immediate and global community.”
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. After three days of intense presentations, Belmont Enactus made it to the final four of the national competition, ultimately placing fourth behind John Brown University, La Sierra University and national champion Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
Maggie Fincher, an entrepreneurship major from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee who also serves as Belmont Enactus Vice President, summed the group’s mission up well during the team’s presentation Thursday: “Through entrepreneurial action we’re empowering our community while keeping our focus on our passion for serving people.”
During Wednesday’s Scholarship and Awards Day convocation in the Massey Performing Arts Center, Belmont’s top students and faculty were honored for their commitment to the University’s mission and dedication to scholarship, service and leadership. Chemistry Professor Dr. Kim Daus, the 2013-14 Chaney Distinguished Professor, gave the ceremony’s Honors Address and discussed heroes and how they improve our lives. Citing a recent study that showed the prevalence of heroes closely related to members of Generation Next, Daus charged attendees to make a difference in the lives of others and left the audience with lyrics from a Harry Chapin song, one of Daus’s self-proclaimed heroes. “Now if a man tried to take his time on Earth and prove before he died what one man’s life could be worth, I wonder what would happen to this world.”
The presentation of the annual John Williams Heart of Belmont Award is greatly anticipated each year as one student is recognized for their commitment to Belmont’s values including innovation, persistence, advocacy for change, community development and service. The 2015 recipient, Tina Sharma, is a double major studying applied discrete mathematics and economics and when she isn’t working on assignments, completing duties associated with her leadership roles or internships, Tina said her time at Belmont has been “unconditionally poured into working as a community activist.”
Students from all areas of campus came together Thursday, April 9, to raise money and awareness for causes close to their hearts. Belmont’s International Justice Mission (IJM) and Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) chapters set up camp underneath the Bell Tower for a day full of awareness and change.
Passersby may have wondered why students were dressed in funny clothing, running around and “capturing” their friends to throw them into a makeshift jail. The answer? Jailbreak – an annual event where ATO members raise money for their philanthropy, Blood: Water Mission, by “placing a bounty,” or pledging a dollar amount to have friends put in their jail by member deputies. The event also included a cook-out and musical performances from Belmont musicians Katherine Munoz, Haylee Page, Monica Moser, Sawyer, Chip Colon, Michael D’Errico and Kiya Lacey.
ATO raised more than $6,000 through the participation of more than 500 people. A representative from the national fraternity’s headquarters filmed the event to be used for ATO Roadshow, an outlet that showcases worthy chapter events to ATO members on a national level. Jailbreak’s video will be shown to chapters at national conventions and leadership seminars, as well as on the fraternity’s website.
“Student organizations, whether new or already existing, are vital to the campus community as they reflect the culture and environment of the ever-fluctuating life that is on a college campus and with college students,” said Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Leadership (SELD) Sara Stacy. “We don’t look for anything specific as we don’t have a set criteria; however they must have at least eight members beyond the four required positions of leadership, must not be similar to an already existing organization and be congruent with Belmont’s mission, vision and values.”
Students interested in starting a new organization must attend one of the Intent to Organize information sessions at the beginning or end of each semester where the formal application process is detailed. Applications are then reviewed by SELD staff and a sub-committee called the Student Life Council. Recommendations are then made to the Director of SELD for approval.
Affiliated organizations are created by a department or a group of students to assist a department or program in achieving their institutional objectives. The five new affiliated organizations are:
Students plan, produce, star in concert for 1,500+ guests
On Saturday, April 11, at 7 p.m. Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business (CEMB) will present its annual Best of the Best Showcase. The free show, which is open to the public and offers a variety of musical performances from rock to urban/pop to Christian to country, will honor longtime music executive Gary Overton with the Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence. This award is given annually to an individual who has achieved a level of excellence in the music business and entertainment industries with notable service to Belmont University and the Nashville community.
Gary Overton has been a leading force in the Nashville music community for decades, most recently as the chairman and CEO of Sony Music Nashville, home of country superstars Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Prior to his five-year tenure at Sony, Overton served for 15 years as executive vice president and general manager of EMI Music Publishing’s Nashville division, where he was responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, including the exploitation of copyrights, acquisition of catalogs, signing of writers and artists, and securing record deals. During his tenure, the company earned Publisher of the Year honors from ASCAP, BMI and/or SESAC a total of 12 times. Prior to joining EMI, Overton was personal manager for country artist Alan Jackson and served tenures as head of A&R for BNA Entertainment and vice president of Warner/Chappell Music. Overton currently serves on the Belmont University/Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business Advisory Board, in addition to other volunteer efforts.
“The Best of the Best showcase continues in the tradition of providing a professional performance opportunity for our student artists and hands on experience for our live audio, lighting and production student teams,” said Curb College Dean Doug Howard. “The impact of these experiences plays a key part of a Curb College education and can be seen in the creative and expert talents of our alumni all over Music City and the entertainment world at large. I’m also incredibly grateful for Gary Overton’s years of service both as an advisory board member and as a generous benefactor for our programs, and I’m delighted that ‘Best of the Best’ will honor him Saturday night.”