Belmont University ‘Tops Out’ New Dining, Academic Complex

academic and dining topping out-109-LThis morning Belmont University topped out its new $80 million Dining and Academic Complex by following in the long-held Scandinavian tradition of placing a tree on the roof of the building to celebrate the completed framing of the structure. The building is expected to open in summer 2015 and will house three University programs: music business, media studies and a new major that launched last fall, motion pictures.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “The programs that will occupy this building demand state-of-the-art technology in order to educate students to compete in today’s marketplace, and this new facility will offer exceptional resources. Moreover, the new second-floor space for our primary dining option will serve our entire campus, giving our community greater options and faster service in a location that will also provide beautiful aesthetics.”

The 134,000-square-foot Dining and Academic Complex will sit on top of a 1,000+ -space parking garage, keeping the building’s footprint small while greatly enhancing parking options on campus. The second-floor dining hall will provide 1,000 seats; a capacity that triples the current campus cafeteria, and will offer an outdoor patio facing into campus.  As part of its 21-year tenure as Belmont’s dining services provider, Sodexo is contributing to the construction of the Dining and Academic Center.

Belmont Vice President and Chief of Staff Susan West, who oversees the auxiliary services on campus, said, “Our campus community will benefit greatly from improved dining services in this facility. The research that we did in advance—through visits to other university dining facilities and focus groups with students, faculty and staff—provided thoughtful and helpful input which impacted every aspect of the new cafeteria’s design. I think our campus is going to truly love this new space.”

Classrooms and faculty/staff offices will comprise approximately 70 percent of the building. Academic program-centered features of the building include 30 student edit bays, multiple computer labs, a motion capture facility, a Foley/ADR sound studio, color correction studio, post-production audio mix studio, a video/broadcast studio, two video production control rooms, a 2,500 square foot sound stage and a scene shop. In addition, two state-of-the art screening theaters (seating 260 and 80) will also boast audio mixing technology.

Belmont is seeking LEED Gold certification for the new facility, which will utilize a geothermal HVAC system as well as feature a partial green roof. The geothermal system is projected to yield the University an estimated 40 percent in cost savings over a standard heating and cooling system. The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes it as the most environmentally-friendly heating and cooling system because it uses the earth itself as the source to transfer temperatures, reducing energy costs and pollution concerns. Instead of generating heat with standard conventional furnaces, in the geothermal system water is funneled 500-feet underground through pumps that use the earth’s constant temperature of 50 degrees to warm buildings in the winter and cool them in the summer.

 

Since 2000, Belmont has invested nearly a half billion dollars ($470 million) in construction projects to enhance campus life and serve a growing enrollment, including several residence halls, academic buildings, an athletic and student life center as well as its largest building to date, the Wedgewood Academic Center.

 

Belmont’s Curb College Partners with Sony/ATV Music Publishing to Connect Students with Industry Professionals

atvAs part of an effort to connect students with industry professionals, The Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University has partnered with Sony/ATV Music Publishing for the “All Access” program which gives students a pathway to share their talent and work with the world’s leading music publisher and gives the Sony/ATV team the opportunity to discover potential talent at Belmont University.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville President and CEO Troy Tomlinson said, “We make a real point at Sony/ATV of being part of the community in Nashville and this new partnership with Belmont is a great example of that. We know the University is overflowing with talented students and by launching the All Access program we will now have a direct way to identify them so we can help them to reach their full potential. This is all about uncovering the next generation of songwriters and artists.”

Through the program, students will have the opportunity to have two songs reviewed by the Sony/ATV Music Publishing Creative Team. The Creative Team will then select a limited number of students to perform their songs live for the SONY/ATV team during showcases held each semester.   After the live performances, the SONY/ATV team will extend an invitation to a limited number of students to experience “a day in the Sony/ATV studio with an engineer.”

James I. Elliott, Chair of Songwriting in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, added, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to have their music heard by Troy Tomlinson and his Creative Team. We look forward to the process and have high hopes that Sony ATV Music Publishing will discover some future hit makers at Belmont.”

In 1971 Belmont University created a Music Business program designed to prepare young men and women for operational, administrative, creative and technical careers in the music industry.  The Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business was established in 2003 to provide educational programs of study for future entertainment industry professionals.  Belmont’s Curb College offers three academic degrees and four areas of study in Music Business (B.B.A.), Audio Engineering Technology (B.A. or B.S.), Entertainment Industry Studies (B.A. or B.S.), and Songwriting (B.A. or B.S.).  The college boasts an impressive faculty of academic scholars and authors, entrepreneurs, songwriters, producers, and sound and recording engineers.  A world leader in music business and entertainment industry education, and the only freestanding college of its kind accredited for both business (AACSB) and technology (ABET), the Curb College has been featured in Billboard, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Business Week.

ABOUT SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING:

Sony/ATV Music Publishing, established in 1995 as a joint venture between Sony and Michael Jackson, is the world’s leading music publisher. Together with EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV owns or administers around 3 million copyrights including those from such iconic music catalogs like Leiber & Stoller, Mijac Music, Motown and Famous Music. Sony/ATV also controls many of the best known songs ever written like “New York, New York,” “Hallelujah,”  “All You Need Is Love,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Moon River,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “The Mission Impossible Theme,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Stand By Me,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” In addition, Sony/ATV represents the copyrights of such legendary artists as The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Kraftwerk, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Richie Sambora, Sting, The Supremes, Wyclef Jean, Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder, among others.  Its ever-growing list of chart-topping artists, writers and producers includes Akon, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Jessie J, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, P!nk, RedOne, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Stargate, Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.

Entertainment Law Society Welcomes NCAA General Counsel, Donald Remy, to Campus

Remy speaking to Belmont University College of Law students.

Remy speaking to Belmont University College of Law students.

Professor Loren Mulraine and the Belmont University College of Law Entertainment Law Society welcomed National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Executive Vice President of Law, Policy and Governance and Chief Legal Officer, Donald Remy, to campus. Remy spoke to the members of the Entertainment Law Society as well as other law school students about his influence and experiences in the legal community. Remy spoke eloquently about his role with the NCAA and how as a sports lawyer, his day-to-day duties include all aspects of the legal field.  He noted that in a day, he can see issues dealing with employment law, constitutional law, contract negotiations, torts, anti-trust and intellectual property, to name a few.  Based on the some of the current issues, Remy held an informative discussion with the students on publicity vs. privacy rights, most notably from the recent Ed O’Bannon case that he litigated.

Women in the Workforce Breakfast Brings ABC Executive to Nashville

Belmont University, Council on Workforce Innovation partner to promote workplace diversity

Women in the Workplace-134-LAs part of an effort to promote professional women and workplace diversity, Belmont University and the Council on Workforce Innovation welcomed ABC Senior Vice President Dawn Soler to campus for the 2014 Women in the Workforce Forum and Awards. The sold-out event occurred this morning in Belmont’s Maddox Grand Atrium with the theme “Music, Movies and Mentoring” and featured awards presentations to local professional leaders and a keynote address by Soler as well as professional development sessions.

“We have several Nashville companies and executives investing in women in the workplace, so we hope they can spend a day away from the bustle of the office to invest in themselves,” said Jacky Akbari, the council’s founder and board chairman. “Soler is a proven leader with a successful track record in the music and entertainment business sector. She remains one of the few female decision-makers in Hollywood.”

Pat Raines, dean of Belmont’s College of Business Administration, said, “The Jack C. Massey College of Business is proud to host Women in the Workforce Forum at Belmont for the second year. With only 14.6 percent of the executive officer positons for Fortune 500 companies held by women, hosting conferences like this provides a platform for discussion about strategies and needed change supporting women’s advancement in the business world.”

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‘In Tune’ Names Belmont a Best Music School

christmas at belmont-413In Tune Magazine has released their Best Music Schools for 2015 and Belmont University’s School of Music is on the list.

In Tune’s Best Music Schools special feature was included in the October 2014 edition of the magazine.  In this special report, high school students receive advice from music professors and students who majored in Music on picking a college or university music program that is just right for them.

Belmont alum, Rayvon Owen, is highlighted in the article and shares his thoughts on what makes Belmont a top music program.  Owen credits Belmont for enhancing his leadership skills and teaching him how to be prepared and perform (musically and non-musically) in high pressure situations.

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized as one of America’s best schools of music and excited that Belmont University continues to receive applause for the many good things that happen on this campus,” said Cynthia Curtis, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts

In Tune is a classroom magazine for music students, grades 7-12.

 

Economic Futurist Lowell Catlett speaks on Imagining the World of 2020

image001Economic futurist Dr. Lowell Catlett spoke to students, faculty and staff about the future of economy, technology, healthcare, energy, education, finance and agriculture during a convocation event entitled “Imaging the World of 2020” on Wednesday in Massey Boardroom.

“Creativity, technology and wealth are driving new industries and business development opportunities unlike any period in history. Healthcare, energy, education, finance and agriculture are changing at the fastest pace ever recorded as the new creative economy dominates both the service and manufacturing sectors,” Catlett said. “Get ready for a world that is increasingly borderless and un-tethered and driven by the fastest rate of change ever recorded in history.”

Catlett is dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University where he teaches agricultural economics and business and extension economics.

Catlett is the author of numerous books and articles and works nationally and internationally with corporations and organizations doing futuristic planning concerning the impacts of technology on careers, lifestyles and the economy.

Catlett also works with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Interior, Defense, Education, Energy and the World Bank.  He has been a visiting professor or delivered invited presentations at over 50 universities including Harvard, MIT, Cornell and the University of Illinois.

Belmont BSA Members Featured in ‘The Huffington Post’

image001

Left to right: Hart, Robinson and Bryant.

Belmont University’s Black Student Association members Keayana Robinson, Cameron Bryant and Kristoff Hart have been featured in The Huffington Post for their song and video “I Dig the Skin I’m In,” an empowering testament to their refusal to be anything less than comfortable in their own skin despite the things that have been said to them.

The article entitled “MC Shakes Off Being Told She’s ‘Too Dark’ With Funk and Grace” discusses the message behind the song that addresses modern racism and bullying.

Robinson told The Huffington Post that it took time for her to become confident enough to speak out about her experiences. Part of the journey, she said, was simply “being able to sit down and say those words aloud.”

“I’m not hearing your lies. I look great in my eyes. This may be a surprise, but I’m cool with me,” she sings in part of the song’s chorus.

The song and its message came about pretty organically, according to Robinson.

“We were sitting around and we just stumbled upon a beat and we started listening and Kristoff and I started singing and we decided to write to it,” she told The Huffington Post. “Once we got the message that we wanted, we just took off from there.”

The trio’s collaboration has been met with what Robinson describes as a “nice, welcoming response” from the Belmont community.

“We’re all about embracing differences. … I think that it’s definitely extremely important for members of the African-American community to embrace their differences and their skin and their flaws, because they’re beautiful,” Robinson said.

Read the full article here. View the “I Dig the Skin I’m In” music video here.

Billboard Recognizes Curb College a Top Music Business Education School

recording studio-110-LBelmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business continues to be recognized as one of the world’s top colleges and universities to learn about the music industry according to a recent survey on music business education conducted by Billboard Magazine.

The survey highlights universities and other educational institutions giving students the opportunity to learn about the music business with hands-on experience and classes taught by teachers from the industry.  Those schools are increasingly responding to the changes shaping both education and the music business, according to the survey.

Established with guidance from the Recording Academy and local industry executives, including its namesake, record company executive Mike Curb, owner of Curb Records and former president of MGM Records, “the Curb College takes full advantage of its strategic location in Music City to build world-wide opportunities for our students,” says dean and professor of audio engineering, Dr. Wesley Bulla.

According to Lecturer of Music Business, Dr. David Schreiber, the college readily embraces the changing demands of the music and entertainment industry but recognizes that things such as critical thinking and problem solving remain constant.  “A lot of the faculty, including myself, do our best to incorporate experiential learning, getting students to replicate what happens out in the field, while still in a safe [academic] environment,” Schreiber says.

 

Law Presents ‘Champion for Justice’ Award to Bryan Stevenson

Bryan StevensonDuring Monday’s Chapel, the Belmont College of Law presented the 2014 Champions for Justice Award to Bryan A. Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a private, non-profit organization headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama. His work, and that of the team of lawyers he leads, furthers prison and sentencing reform, with a focus on the death penalty and the mass incarceration of people of color.

Stevenson said, “Faith is connected to struggle; that is…we are called to build the Kingdom of God. We can’t celebrate it and then protect our own comfortable environment.”

The Belmont University College of Law Champions for Justice Award is presented to a person whose life’s work exemplifies Belmont’s mission to uphold Jesus as the Christ and the measure for all things, and has lived this out by engaging and transforming the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage and faith. Stevenson graduated from Eastern University (where he led the gospel choir), Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government.

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Oct. 2 Event Marks Official Launch of Campus Theme for 2014-15

Campus Theme WordmarkAre you prepared for “Living in a Global Community?”

That may be a common question in classrooms across campus this semester as Belmont embraces its new theme for 2014-15. And it will certainly be a topic of conversation on Oct. 2, at the official theme kick-off event, when the Curb Event Center hosts Dr. Pang Rhodes (assistant professor of marriage and family therapy at Argosy University-Twin Cities, Minnesota) and Wayne Yang (‎CEO/President at Hmong Village). These special guests will discuss this year’s common book, “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down,” with Belmont’s own Assistant Professor/ Ministry Program Advisor Dr. Martha Minardi and Associate Professor of Philosophy/Director of First Year Seminar Dr. Noel Boyle.

Associate Provost Dr. Beverly Schneller, who oversees the campus theme, said, “Though an emotionally and intellectually challenging book to read, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down provides an insightful introduction to the concept of ‘Living in a Global Community.’ Goals of the campus theme include evaluating ethical and social choices and raising complex questions about global systems. The Oct. 2 conversation about the common book will offer students and other attendees an opportunity to thoughtfully examine those issues.”

This marks the seventh year in a row that the entire Belmont community is being invited to participate in conversations focused on a campus theme, a single subject examined throughout the academic year via common readings in First Year Seminar courses, lectures, arts performances and other events.

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Alumnus Greg Walter Receives Encore Award

CVPA Dean Dr. Cynthia Curtis (l) and Marjorie Halbert (r) present the Encore Award to alumnus Greg Walter.

CVPA Dean Dr. Cynthia Curtis (l) and Marjorie Halbert (r) present the Encore Award to alumnus Greg Walter.

The Belmont University School of Music presented the 2014 Encore Award Thursday evening to actor/singer/songwriter Greg Walter 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.  Walter graduated from the Belmont School of Music in 1987 as a Presser Scholar. While at Belmont, he studied classical voice under Associate Professor of Voice Marjorie Halbert.

Walter was an original cast member of Chicago’s company of “Forever Plaid” for which he received a Joseph Jefferson award in the best ensemble category. He was also nominated for a Jeff award, which celebrates excellence in Chicago theatre, for best actor in Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way, for which he also music directed. His voice can also be heard in commercial jingles for Michelob and Trac Auto. His songs have been recorded by various cabaret singers in Chicago, and his vocal arrangement of “Down in the River to Pray,” performed by the Chicago Chamber Choir, can be found on the disc recording At the River.

Walter is currently a professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he teaches voice and serves as musical director.

Previous Encore Award honorees include Clifton Forbis (2008), Daniel Weeks (2009), Drs. Daniel and Sharon Lawhon (2010), Maestra Teresa Cheung (2011), Dr. Alfredo Colman (2012) and Travis Cottrell (2013).

Nashville’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration Begins at Belmont

hispanic heritage celebration 2014-125Belmont University hosted the Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off event for the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Monday in the Vince Gill Room. Click here to view photos from the event.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a nation-wide celebration that coincides with the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile all achieved independence between Sept. 15 and 18.

To learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, which stakes place Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, visit hispanicheritagemonth.gov. For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month events in Nashville, visit www.nashvillehispanicchamber.com.

Executive Learning Networks Announce Fall Leadership Breakfast Speaker

KotlerSteven Kotler, New York Times best-selling author, innovation leader, Peak Performance Expert and co-founder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project, is set to speak at the Center for Executive Education’s annual Fall Leadership Breakfast Dec. 4 in Belmont’s Curb Event Center. Following a time of networking and breakfast, Kotler’s program will begin at 7:30 a.m. and be followed at 9 a.m. by a book signing. The $45 admission includes breakfast, the program and Kotler’s most recent book, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance.

An award-winning journalist, Kotler also was co-author of Abundance, which was released by Simon and Schuster in 2012. Abundance received international praise and was named by CNBC as one of the Top 12 Business Books of 2012 and by Fortune as Top 5 Must-Read Business Books of 2012. Kotler is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated A Small Furry Prayer, the Pen-West finalist West of Jesus and the best-selling novel and winner of the 2000 William L. Crawford IAFA Fantasy Award, The Angle Quickest for Flight.

His articles have appeared internationally in more than 70 publications, and he writes “Far Frontiers,” a blog about innovation and entrepreneurship for Forbes.com, and “The Playing Field,” a blog about the science of sport and culture, for Psychologytoday.com.

Kotler is also the co-founder of Rancho de Chihuahua dog sanctuary, which has been nationally recognized for pioneering new methodologies in both hospice care for elderly animals and long term rehabilitation for special needs animals. Prior to this work, and alongside the LA Lakers and 826 LA, Steven was co-founder of the nonprofit, The Reporter’s Gym, a sports-writing camp for inner city high school students.

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and EO Nashville are Belmont’s community partners for this event. For more information and to register, visit here.

 

VeggieTales Co-Creator Speaks to Students about Faith

veggie tales - mike nawrockiCo-founder of Big Idea Entertainment Mike Nawrocki spoke to students, faculty and staff about how his faith in God steered his career path during a convocation event on Wednesday in the Massey Performance Arts Center. Big Idea created the popular animated series “VeggieTales,” for which Nawrocki is the voice of Larry the Cucumber as well as writer and director of both short and feature-length films. The convocation was part of Belmont’s annual EMERGE, a spiritual emphasis week held near the beginning of the semester designed to encourage campus to reflect, refocus and renew. Other EMERGE speakers this week included author/Storyline founder Donald Miller and Porter’s Call founder Al Andrews.

Nawrocki explained that while he loved comedy from a young age, he originally wanted a career in the medical field. He studied at St. Paul Bible College where he met fellow Big Idea co-founder Phil Vischer while serving with a puppet ministry. He had always found church as an outlet for his creative side.

Nawrocki later enrolled at the University of Illinois-Chicago in pursuit of medical school. He took a job with a video production facility to finance his medical education. There, he gained experience in video production and animation. He finally decided that God was calling him in a different direction from medicine, and he and Vischer began working on “VeggieTales,” which is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.

“I felt a real confirmation by God that I made the right decision so long ago,” Nawrocki said. “I had a moment where I realized that God had led me to the right place at the right time and had given me the talents and ability to do his will.”

Nawrocki concluded his presentation by encouraging students to be open to surprises.

“Here is my advice: Work hard. Make your plans, but always be open to how God can use you at a time like this,” he said.

Belmont Upgrades Campus Internet Services

WirelessServiceStockImageBelmont University has recently made notable upgrades to campus Internet services for this term. The campus wireless network footprint has grown by 75 percent since fall 2013. Belmont has increased the number of wireless access points (APs) from roughly 250 to more than 430 APs. That’s more than 180 new APs spread across campus to support wireless services and improve connection and speed.

As an example of how the wireless network has evolved in this last year, more than 80 APs were installed in the Wedgewood Academic Center alone. This ensures that wireless services cover the entire building including student study areas, dining areas, the Chapel, classrooms and faculty offices. The university has also installed its first 10GB segment connection from the Wedgewood Academic Center to the campus’ core network. All other buildings on campus have a 1GB connection.

In addition, the university has expanded and improved wireless access in McWhorter, Athletic areas, the Curb Café and Curb Event Center. Wireless access was also installed in Belmont Commons for residential students for the first time. Additional wireless access in Fidelity Hall is also planned.

“My thanks go to all of the Technology Services team for getting school started well, and in particular, Network Services for a tireless effort to manage the growth and complexity of the campus network,” said Director of Technology Services Randall Reynolds. “We will continue to improve Internet services as a priority in all other classroom buildings on campus and faculty offices.”

Anyone experiencing issues with the campus wireless connection should call 615-460-6893 to report the time, location and specific nature of the problem so Belmont’s Technology Services representatives can seek a solution.

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