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Recent Graduate Selected for Cambridge Fellowship, Peace Corps

Heart of Belmont award winner Rami Nofal lives out University mission to ‘engage and transform world’ with new appointments

Rami Nofal

Rami Nofal is pictured participating earlier this summer in the “If I Had a Hammer” event.

Belmont University alumnus Rami Nofal (’13) was recently selected for two distinguished, international opportunities: a fellowship at prestigious Cambridge University and a stint in Ghana serving with the Peace Corps.

Nofal—who graduated in May earning degrees in international business (marketing and Arabic), finance and economics with a minor in political science—won one of Belmont University’s highest honors in April when he was selected to receive the John Williams Heart of Belmont award.  The Heart of Belmont award recognizes a student who demonstrates commitment to service, initiative, innovation, persistence, advocacy, and maturity, among other qualities. He also was actively involved with the two-time National Champion and 2012 World Cup-winning Enactus team.

A 2009 graduate of Nashville’s Overton High School, Nofal will next participate Aug. 18-30 in the Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship at Cambridge University in England. This Fellowship is the premier gold standard of social entrepreneurship intersected with cross-cultural exchange for global minded change agents. Nofal’s acceptance letter noted, “Your selection as a Fellow reflects the careful judgment of prominent scholars that you meet the Fellowship’s rigorous criteria for admission, emphasizing both excellence in the quality of your civic engagement and your serious contribution to social enterprise.”

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McWhorter Giving Society Established to Support Health Sciences

Belmont University’s Office of Advancement recently established the Clayton McWhorter Society, a giving society intended to further the work of Belmont’s health science programs. The new group, which held its inaugural membership lunch on May 2, is named in honor of long-time Belmont supporter Clayton McWhorter and will directly benefit the College of Health Sciences & Nursing, the College of Pharmacy and the new MBA for Healthcare Professionals.

Clayton McWhorter (left) and Dr. Richard Treadway (right) presented the first McWhorter Society Distinguished Service Award to Barbara Massey Rogers (center) at the close of the May 2 luncheon.

Clayton McWhorter’s leadership and role in the development of healthcare industry giants HealthTrust, Inc. and HCA have made a strong impression in the field of healthcare. In 1996, Clayton, his son Stuart, and a close business friend created the venture capital firm Clayton Associates, which quickly evolved into a hub of strategic business development activities related to new firms in healthcare, technology and diversified services.

His relationship with the University began in the late ’80s through an invitation from Jack Massey “to get involved with Belmont,” and 25 years later, Clayton McWhorter continues his generous response to Massey’s challenge through his support of a variety of programs and initiatives.

Belmont Vice President for University Advancement Dr. Bo Thomas said, “While Clayton’s many achievements are based on sound business principles and bone-deep ethical standards, in the end it is his commitment to making a difference in the lives of others and giving back to the community that has sealed his enduring success and legacy. Belmont University counts itself fortunate to be among the many who have benefited from Clayton’s generous spirit and friendship. Through the McWhorter Society, Clayton is now challenging others to ‘to get involved with Belmont’ just as Jack Massey encouraged him to do years ago.”

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Millennial Author Highlights Generation’s Societal Contributions

Millennial writer, filmmaker and advocate David Burstein spoke to Belmont students, faculty and administrators about how current students in higher education are shaping society as well as how universities are lagging behind in catering to their needs during a Monday convocation lecture.

The term “millennial” is used to describe the more than 80 million people between ages 18 and 33, who grew up sheltered, pressured to achieve and technology savvy.

Millennials have been called entitled, narcissistic, “the worst employees in history,” “trophy kids” and even “the dumbest generation.” Burstein argues the Millennial Generation’s unique blend of civic idealism and savvy pragmatism, combined with their seamless ability to navigate the 21st century world, enables them to address the world’s long-term challenges.

His solution to the negative press surrounding the Millennial Generation is to promote positive generalizations. Some 49 percent of millennials consider themselves entrepreneurs or plan to start a business. Eighty-nine percent of millennials will switch brands based on how company values align with their morals, Burnstein said, which explains the increasing number of Fortune 500 companies with socially responsible business choices.

“It struck me that there is an importance of someone within this generation sharing the perspectives of this generation” Burnstein said. He traveled the country and conducted interviews with millennials for his newly released book, Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World, which examines how the Millennial Generation is impacting politics, business, technology and culture. “We’re not monolithic. We don’t all think the same things and act the same way, but we break things down into generations to see how things are changing in the way people behave.”

He also emphasized the Millennial Generation is the first to have lower salaries than its parents. Car and home ownership, marriage and birth rates are all down within this age group, Burnstein said, because millennials are focused on establishing love, partnerships and relationships within their communities.

“They are focused on living lives of purpose and meaning rather than living a life to exploit as much money as humanly possible,” he said.

Still universities are having a difficult time reaching their Millennial Generation students. For instance, many professors order students to power down laptops and cell phones and assume students are not listening if they are clicking away during class. Instead, Burnstein said professors should use the electronics to engage students through Twitter feeds projected on the wall during class and chat rooms to further the course discussion and draw questions from lectures. He also encouraged faculty to assign “unstructured projects that force (students) to interface with the real world.”

Belmont Mansion Showcases Restored Master Bedroom

After 40 years of planning and four years of labor, the Belmont Mansion has opened the restored master bedroom suite where Adelicia Acklen rested and stored clothes as well as where her children studied.

The mansion hosted a grand opening Friday morning with Executive Director Mark Brown (’77) answering questions on the restoration project. Renasant Bank is sponsoring a free open house with cake, storytelling and children’s craft at the mansion from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday to celebrate Adelicia Acklen’s 196th birthday and the major restoration of Adelicia’s bedroom suite.

To return the suite to its original condition, workers reproduced faux wood grain, installed silver plating on door knobs and purchased drape trims, lace curtains and upholstery. Hand-woven carpet for Acklen’s bedroom was imported from England. Brown also spent the last few months searching for a free-standing towel rack, a school table for the School Room and another mid-19th century wall map, as the inventory listed two old maps.

The bedroom’s original furniture was returned to the bedroom suite. The high Victorian furniture was auctioned off when Acklen sold the residence in 1887 and stayed within 15 miles of campus for more than a century before Nashvillians Margaret Smith Warner and Overton T. Smith donated the pieces to the mansion.

“The wall papers were probably the most challenging project because it was impossible to reproduce with more traditional methods like silk screening,” Brown said. (more…)

Seniors Moody, Roberts Crowned Homecoming King and Queen

Homecoming 2013 draws big crowds for numerous events

Seniors LT Moody and Maddie Roberts were crowned Belmont’s 2013 Homecoming King and Queen Saturday night during half-time of the men’s basketball game.

Roberts is an entertainment industry studies major with a marketing minor. From Houston, Texas, she is involved in Bruin Recruiters, SGA and Alpha Gamma Delta, a sorority she led as president last year. In addition to serving last year as a Towering Traditions leader, Roberts also works at the YMCA daycare and is interning at NorthStar Studios, a TV production company.

Roberts said, “I feel so blessed and excited to be Belmont’s Homecoming Queen. I’ve loved the opportunity to represent my Alpha Gamma Delta sisters who nominated me, and to me, this sort of represents all the wonderful relationships I’ve gotten to develop here in college. It’s a great way to end these four years!”

A native of Tullahoma, Tenn. and a huge supporter of Belmont Athletics, Moody is majoring in Christian Leadership with a minor in Church Recreation/Youth Ministry. He is a member of Alpha Tau Omega and the Student Coordinator of Intramurals in the Fitness & Recreation department. In addition, he volunteer at Preston Taylor and Harvest Hands as well as serves as the Student Ministry Intern at First Baptist Nashville.

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