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Belmont Announces Schedule for Homecoming 2014 Feb. 3- Feb. 8

Belmont_Homecoming_Game_02.02.2013-21-LBelmont University invites alumni, friends and family to attend Homecoming 2014 Feb. 3-8 for a week’s worth of special events. The week-long celebration, centered on the theme “Destination Belmont: There’s No Place Like Homecoming,” will feature the grand opening of the new Alumni House, two basketball games, a residence hall banner competition for students and a campus-wide pep rally and bonfire. For a complete list of all Belmont Homecoming 2014 events and an opportunity to register, visit http://alumni.belmont.edu/.

Julie Thomas, director of constituency programs in the Office of Alumni Relations, said, “We are excited beyond measure about Belmont’s Homecoming 2014. With the opening of the Alumni House in the heart of Belmont’s campus, it sets the stage for new beginnings as an Alumni Association. An array of events are planned featuring the many talents of our alums, and we look forward to a wonderful time of celebration as we embark on this new chapter.”

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Alumnus Danny Wells Honored with Curtain Call Award

Wells performing at the Curtain Call award ceremony.

Wells performing at the Curtain Call award ceremony.

The School of Music honored alumnus Danny Wells (’83) with the Curtain Call Award on Thursday evening. During the ceremony, Wells performed a few selections from his significant songwriting catalog. The Curtain Call Award is presented annually to a School of Music alumnus in honor of achievement in the field of commercial and popular music.

“Wells was chosen because of his outstanding achievement in songwriting. Some of his number one hits include George Strait’s ‘Check Yes or No,’ Rascal Flatts’ ‘These Days’ and Craig Morgan’s ‘Little Bit of Life.’  He is a member of BMI’s ultra-exclusive Million-Air Club and has written songs for a long list of artists,” Belmont School of Music Assistant Professor Sandra Dudley said.

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Ward-Belmont Alumnae Celebrate Reunion and Centennial Anniversary of School

Belmont Ambassadors help escort alumnae into the Mansion.

Belmont Ambassadors help escort alumnae into the Mansion.

Hose and heels, one pair of white gloves and no hats were evident at the annual Ward-Belmont Alumnae Reunion as alumnae gathered on Nov. 2 in the Belmont Mansion to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the school.

In 1913, Ward Seminary (a school for girls  then located in downtown Nashville) and Belmont College (a school for girls that started in 1890 on the site of Belmont’s campus after the death of Adelicia Acklen) merged to form a new school called Ward-Belmont. It was primarily a boarding school for young women seeking a two-year college degree, but over the years also included a boarding and day school for high school girls, a grammar school and a music conservatory.

Often, the college girls went on to Vanderbilt or other major universities for their last two years of higher education. Ward-Belmont was the first junior college in the South to receive accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In the spring of 1951, after several years of financial problems, the board of trustees decided to sell Ward-Belmont to the Tennessee Baptist Convention, and in the fall of 1951, the new Belmont College had its first co-educational freshman class. (more…)

Alumnus Travis Cottrell Receives Encore Award

Travis CottrellThe Belmont University School of Music presented the 2013 Encore Award Thursday evening to worship pastor/songwriter/Christian artist Travis Cottrell during a concert in his honor. The Encore Award was created in 2008 to honor a Belmont University School of Music alumnus for achievement in the field of classical music.  During last night’s award presentation in McAfee Concert Hall, Cottrell performed a selection of classical and sacred pieces as well as two original compositions: “Forevermore (Psalm 145)” and “Christ Be With Me (St. Patrick’s Breastplate).”

Cottrell, a native of Boone, North Carolina, graduated from Belmont (magna cum laude) with a degree in Church Music in 1992. His vocal talent was evident during his student years at Belmont. He became a Metropolitan Opera competition finalist and sang the role of Tevye in Belmont’s production of Fiddler on the Roof in 1992.

He currently serves as Worship Pastor at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn. A prolific songwriter and sought-after performer, Cottrell has performed or recorded with artists such as Amy Grant, Garth Brooks, Melinda Doolittle and CeCe Winans. He has also recorded several solo projects, including Found, Ring the Bells, When the Stars Burn Down and the Dove award-winning Jesus Saves Live. In 2010, Zondervan Press published his first book, Surprised by Worship: Discovering God Where You least Expect It, and in 2013 a journal version of the same book titled He Knows Your Name. Travis has been married to his wife Angela (a Belmont alumna) for 19 years, and they have three children – Jack, 16, Lily Kate, 13 and Levi, 10.

Previous Encore Award honorees include Clifton Forbis (2008), Daniel Weeks (2009), Drs. Daniel and Sharon Lawhon (2010), Maestra Teresa Cheung (2011) and Dr. Alfredo Colman (2012).

An ‘American Idol’ Inspires Students

Melinda DoolittleDuring a convocation Wednesday in Neely Dining Hall, Belmont alumna and past “American Idol” contestant Melinda Doolittle shared with students how her faith and family helped her overcome adversity and pursue her dreams.

Doolittle tells her story in her autobiography “Beyond Me: Finding Your Way to Life’s Next Level.” “It was about Jesus and my mommy at the end of the day,” Doolittle said.

Even through the ups and downs of mainstream stardom, Doolittle’s faith and lifelong principles sustained and guided her. She shared these principles and her experiences to prove that no matter how big the obstacle, individuals can dream big and find both joy and success, especially if they look beyond themselves and invest in others and God.

“If you’re just coming into Belmont or leaving Belmont, really go after what’s in your heart. Don’t give up on the dreams that you have, no matter what kind of work you think it’s going to take,” Doolittle said. “Know your worth. Know the person that you are. Know who God created you to be because He created you to be an overcomer. He created you to be strong. He created you to attack anything in life and succeed at it.”

Doolittle ended her inspirational talk by taking questions from the audience and singing her rendition of Diana Ross’s “Home.”

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