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Official News from the Office of Communications
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    (From L to R) Don Cusic, Mayor Karl Dean, Mike and Linda Curb. Longtime Belmont supporter and trustee emeritus Mike Curb was honored by the Metro Historical Commission with the highest honor, The Achievement Award, recognizing his commitment to preservation, education and advocacy of Nashville history. Mayor Karl Dean presented the award to Curb during the Metro Nashville Historical Commission’s 40th Annual Preservation Awards at the Nashville Downtown Public Library on May 19. Curb was chosen because of his work in preserving Historic RCA Studio B, the Quonset Hut, the RCA Building, RCA Studio A and Music Row. In his introduction of Curb, Commission member and Belmont Professor of Music Business Don Cusic stated that “Nashville is known as Music City U.S.A, Music Row is the heart of Music City, and Mike Curb is the heart of Music Row.” In addition to his strong influence in the greater Nashville community, Curb’s contributions to Belmont have also led the University to name both the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business and the Curb Event Center in his honor. 

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    Saltwater taffy, Bob Goff impressions and a large “snake” were all part of Michael W. Smith’s chapel presentation on September 9 on Belmont University’s campus. Smith, a Christian songwriter, has sold more than 15 million albums, scored 28 No. 1 hits, earned three GRAMMYs and more than 40 Dove Awards. Opening the service by throwing fistfuls of taffy into the crowd, Smith invited the audience to sing “Woah, Oh, Oh!” throughout his performance of “Sky Spills Over.” After talking about his rough past and the way God turned his life around, he performed “I am a Miracle.” “I am free! I am clean! When Jesus sees me, all he sees is white,” said Smith, telling the story of a recent trip to Malibu Lodge in Canada. A group traveled together, taking a lengthy route with ferries and water taxis, something Smith said is different than his normal routine. These opportunities, when one is out of his or her comfort zone, are when Smith said that God speaks the loudest. It was not until Smith was dropped off by himself in the middle of nowhere that he said he heard a loud, yet non-audible voice telling him to baptise himself. Repeating over and over, Smith followed the instructions and [...]

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    “Savannah, I am already taking care of you,” said Idda, a Form 1 student at the Women’s Institute for Secondary Education and Research (WISER) in Kenya. Savannah Johnson, a recent Belmont graduate and current Lumos Traveler, has been living with Idda and WISER secondary-school girls since June for her Lumos Travel Award project, a grant given to Belmont students or recent graduates who are interested in embarking on a self-designed, international ‘working adventure.’ This summer, the Lumos Travel Award celebrated its 5th anniversary, and with six travelers going all over the world, the program has funded experiences for 32 participants in more than 15 countries. Designed by the students, Lumos empowers travelers to explore, engage and immerse themselves in local communities to deepen their understanding of an issue, project or idea that impassions them. Seeking to define travelers’ world views and engage them as global citizens, the grant supports projects that allow participants to travel for a minimum of eight weeks. Savannah Johnson at WISER Since her arrival in Kenya, Johnson has been studying the psychosocial support provided by WISER staff and will end with a research project comparing outcomes between students at local schools. Johnson said she first learned [...]

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    **The funeral service for Mr. McWhorter will be held Thurs., Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. at McAfee Concert Hall. Due to anticipated large attendance, individuals attending the funeral are encouraged to arrive early to park in the nearby Curb Garage, which is an easy 10-minute walk to McAfee. Belmont staff will assist in directing guests to the proper location. Parking adjacent to and behind McAfee will be reserved for family and mobility-impaired attendees. See map for additional details** Healthcare icon, well-known entrepreneur and longtime friend and supporter of Belmont University Clayton McWhorter died Saturday evening. Among his countless accolades and accomplishments throughout Nashville and the state of Tennessee, McWhorter left a meaningful impact on the students, faculty and staff at Belmont. President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Clayton has been one of the university’s most treasured supporters for the past 30 years through his contributions as a trusted advisor, inspiration and benefactor. He has left a legacy that will continue to transform the lives of Belmont students.” A firm believer in networking, McWhorter joined with Belmont in 1991 to establish the Peer Learning Network, bringing together top executives of Nashville’s best-run companies to encourage learning among peers and creating a network within Nashville’s business community. McWhorter also [...]

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    In June 2015, the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business was awarded  $100,000 from Gibson Brands for The Les Paul Music Innovation Award. The award was created to honor the late Les Paul’s 100th birthday by funding research for faculty and students, inspiring the next generation of industry leaders to express innovation and creativity to strengthen the music economy. After reviewing several proposals, the first allotment of funds from the award was given to audio engineering faculty members Dr. Eric Tarr and Justin Dowse to conduct research on the current payment system used by music streaming platforms. With the help of four student research assistants, Tarr and Dowse are conducting technological research while also trying to get an idea of how the public feels about this issue. Dowse said, “We are researching new technology that could potentially increase royalty payments to song rights owners, reduce the time it takes for royalty payments and remove the opaqueness of the music industry.” To participate in the team’s study of individual music streaming practices, click here.          

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    University Trustee celebrated at unveiling of Harrington Place Dining In a ceremony held today, Belmont University unveiled a plaque honoring Nashville business executive and Belmont Trustee Cordia Harrington in the newly named Harrington Place Dining, a 950-seat cafeteria that fills the second floor in the new R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center that opened last fall. Harrington is being honored for her longtime support for, and generosity to, the University. “Cordia and her husband, Tom, built a thriving, multi-million dollar manufacturing empire—following an entrepreneurial career in food service and real estate—founded on the $587 she had in her pocket as a 28-year-old launching her first business,” said Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher. “She has been locally and nationally recognized for her business acumen and community involvement, but what makes her story great is how her resourceful spirit led her from one stepping stone of success to the next, overcoming every obstacle in her path. She’s a tremendous friend to Belmont, and I believe a true inspiration for our students.” Harrington said, “The success of our family’s businesses over the years is a testament to the power of unwavering optimism, a tireless work ethic and perseverance that just doesn’t accept ‘no’ [...]

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    Longtime Woodmont Baptist senior pastor named Institute’s executive director With a strong ongoing commitment to its Christian identity, today Belmont University announced the formation of the Belmont Institute for Innovative Faith-Based Leadership, a newly created entity designed to equip church leaders for entrepreneurial thinking and innovative means to meet the modern needs of the local community and culture at large. Dr. Jon R. Roebuck, the senior pastor of Woodmont Baptist Church for the past 17 years, has been named executive director of the institute; he shared the news with his congregation yesterday and will begin his new full-time position at Belmont on June 1. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “I can’t think of anything that’s more Belmont than an institute that leverages many of this University’s strengths and passions: entrepreneurial and innovative thinking built on a foundation of Christian faith. The Belmont Institute for Innovative Faith-Based Leadership will uniquely equip church leaders with progressive resources gleaned from business, music, law and theological leadership. We believe that Jesus intended for his church to be a living, adaptive and dynamic body, and I know this Institute will breathe new life into congregations of all sizes and denominations through Jon Roebuck’s leadership.” The [...]

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    ‘We Believe’ initiative to support endowment, students, faculty; HCA CEO, alum Milton Johnson to chair campaign for 2016-17 Building on the momentum garnered through its recent year-long quasquicentennial anniversary celebration, today Belmont University launched its largest, most extensive fundraising campaign in the institution’s 125-year history. Centered on the theme “We Believe” and intended to raise $300 million, the campaign focuses attention on five areas that are key to the University’s Vision 2020 strategic priorities, including scholarships, faculty support and missions. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “In recent years Belmont University surprised many locally and nationally with its phenomenal growth and astounding success. Landing in the Top 5 Universities in the South in U.S. News, adding more than $500 million in new or upgraded facilities and hosting Tennessee’s first presidential debate are just a few of the unprecedented accomplishments that come to mind. We have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams. But we believe this is only the beginning. This comprehensive campaign will lift the University to even greater levels of acclaim, strengthening our ability to offer a world class education by attracting top faculty, enhancing student experiences, creating mission opportunities, supporting athletics and expanding student research. Most importantly, this campaign [...]

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    Hall of Fame’s second class represents Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame announced the six health care professionals selected as the Hall of Fame’s second class of inductees at a luncheon held on Belmont University’s campus Tuesday. With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industries, the Hall of Fame was created by Belmont University and the McWhorter Society and is supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner. Chair of the McWhorter Society and Chairman of Medcare Investment Funds Dr. Harry Jacobson said, “This group of six individuals embodies some of the greatest talent our state has ever seen. With representatives from all corners of Tennessee who have made a significant impact on their communities through their work as leaders, practitioners, executives and scientists, the Hall of Fame is honored to name such a deserving group of health care legends as inductees.” The nomination process began in January and was open to practitioners, executives, entrepreneurs, mentors, teachers, scientists, researchers, innovators or any person with a connection to the health or health care field. [...]

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    University honors largest gift in its history by naming cornerstone campus building the Janet Ayers Academic Center On the heels of launching a five-year, $300 million comprehensive fundraising campaign last month, this morning Belmont University announced that The Ayers Foundation is giving the largest single donation in the institution’s 125-year history: $15 million! The eight-figure endowed scholarship gift stems from the passion for education of Ayers Foundation President Janet Ayers (a nationally recognized business and healthcare leader and former board member of the Tennessee State Board of Education) and Founder Jim Ayers (founder of FirstBank, Tennessee’s largest independently owned and operated bank). Scholarships from the Ayers endowed fund will be awarded to qualified Belmont students based on financial need. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “There are no better friends to education in Tennessee than Janet and Jim Ayers and the Ayers Foundation. They have worked tirelessly to help numerous causes, particularly to improve the lives of young people in Tennessee by giving them access to life-changing learning opportunities. Marshalling their resources in this fashion may just be the apex of their philanthropy to date, creating an endowment in perpetuity that can provide a transformative Belmont education to individuals who [...]

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    Former Tractor Supply CEO, chairman creates endowment to fund scholarships for students to participate in faith-based mission, service trips Belmont Trustee James (Jim) Wright and his wife Susan recently announced the creation of the Jim and Susan Wright Missions Endowment with a gift of $1 million to the University. The major gift comes within three months of the launch of Belmont’s $300 million We Believe comprehensive fundraising campaign, and the endowed fund will directly benefit one of the campaign’s top giving priorities, missions. Jim Wright is the now-retired, former chairman and CEO of Nashville-based Tractor Supply, and he and Susan currently live in Lake Quivira, Kansas. “Belmont’s foundation as a Christian university creates a unique opportunity in higher education to offer life-changing missions as part of our students’ experience,” said University President Dr. Bob Fisher. “We provide a place for students to find their God-given purpose through service to each other, their community and the world beyond. I’m grateful for Jim and Susan’s generous support of these efforts because I witness what these opportunities mean to our community, and I know how often lives are positively transformed through Belmont missions.” The Wrights said, “We are involved in Belmont and remain [...]

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    Two Oaks residence hall renamed in honor of Joe’s parents: John and Frances Russell Hall Long-time Belmont Trustees Joe and Anne Russell recently made possible a $4 million endowment to support the Bridges to Belmont program, an initiative that was designed to enroll qualified, high potential students from Metro Nashville Public Schools who may not have previously been able to consider Belmont an option. Bridges Scholars are currently selected from four Metro Nashville Public Schools—Stratford, Maplewood, Whites Creek and Pearl Cohn—and most of the scholars are first-generation college students. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Joe and Anne Russell show their support of this University in countless ways, and I can’t say enough about their contributions of time and resources for more than two decades. With this gift to support current and future Bridges Scholars, they are clearly demonstrating the tremendous value they place on education. The entire community—here at Belmont and throughout our city—will benefit from their generosity.” Joe serves as the chairman of Elan-Polo Inc. and has contributed to Belmont’s Board of Trustees for 20 years. Anne serves as special counsel at/for Adams and Reese LLP.  Anne has been a Belmont board member for five years. In gratitude [...]

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    Comprehensive fundraising aims for $300 million goal by 2020 to boost endowment, scholarships, missions and more Ten months into the “We Believe” comprehensive fundraising campaign, Belmont University announced today that donations recently surpassed $100 million, marking a major milestone toward a total $300 million goal by 2020.  The campaign focuses attention on five areas that are key to the University’s Vision 2020 strategic priorities, including scholarships, faculty support and missions. Total money raised to date for the campaign currently stands at $100,162,799. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “This fundraising campaign will strengthen Belmont’s ability to offer a world class education by attracting top faculty, enhancing student experiences, creating mission opportunities, supporting athletics and expanding student research. Most importantly, this campaign will better position us to aid qualified students in achieving a Belmont education, regardless of their financial circumstances.” To date, more than 10,000 donors have contributed to the campaign, and nearly 70 new endowed scholarships have been created. Highlights since last April’s public campaign launch include the largest single gift in University history ($15 million from the Ayers Foundation) along with gifts to create a $2 million endowment to support Belmont missions and a $4 million endowment for ‘Bridges [...]

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    Tour rehearsal show provides funding for Belmont award Reigning Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert recently used a tour warm-up show to make a major difference in the life of an aspiring female songwriter. Thanks to a sold-out club show in Chicago, Lambert will for the second year fund the Miranda Lambert Women Creators Scholarship at Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. The purpose of the fund is to provide a scholarship to an outstanding female student who is majoring in music business, songwriting or entertainment industry studies. “I am so happy to continue supporting this scholarship fund for Women Creators at Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business,” said Lambert. “To be able to assist women in a meaningful way means the world to me.” Lambert raised the funds to continue the scholarship for a second year with her Jan. 24 club show at Joe’s Bar in Chicago, a rehearsal for her current Highway Vagabond Tour, which supports her 2016 album, The Weight of These Wings. Songwriter Natalie Hemby, a Belmont graduate, joined her for the concert. Doug Howard, dean of the Curb College, said, “We are grateful [...]

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    Belmont University announced today the election of Chris Bollinger to its Board of Trustees. Bollinger will serve an initial three-year term from 2017-2019. Parent of a Belmont student, Chris Bollinger serves as president of Bollinger Enterprises, a closely held asset management firm located in Louisiana. Previously, Chris was the president of Bollinger Shipyards, the largest privately held shipyard in the U.S., where he marked the third generation of leadership for the family business established in 1946.  He devotes a great deal of time to professional and civic organizations, including Porter’s Call, a non-profit organization providing support, encouragement and counsel for recording artists. He is also a member of Young Presidents Organization, where he previously served as chairman of the Western Region. Bollinger said, “It is such an honor to serve alongside a tremendous team in continuing to carry out the vision and mission of Belmont. From the moment my wife, Pamela, and I stepped on Belmont’s campus, we knew that there was something special happening there. We believe in Belmont!” Belmont President Bob Fisher commented, “Chris brings a high level of business acumen to a Board that is already characterized by strong leadership and strategic thinking.  We’re thrilled to have him join us [...]

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    In a ceremony held last semester, Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing named its pediatric/obstetric simulation lab in honor of one of the college’s benefactors, the late J.D. Elliott. Elliott served as the founding president of the Memorial Foundation, which has donated more than $2 million to Belmont University over the past 20 years, almost all of which has gone to support health science and nursing education. In 2013, the Foundation granted Belmont $217,000 to renovate the lab space, purchase a new simulation Sim Mom manikin and update the lab’s simulation equipment. Dr. Perry Moulds, Belmont’s vice president for development and external relations, said, “J.D. Elliott was a legend in this town not simply due to his role leading the Memorial Foundation nor for the countless boards and nonprofits where he donated his time and energy. Rather, his reputation centered on how he did everything he did—with compassion, humility and heart. We are proud to name this lab in his honor and hope that generations of health science practitioners to come will be inspired be his legacy.” Mr. Elliott’s wife Anita, along with his daughter and son-in-law, Juanita and Jeff Stewart, attended the naming ceremony which included a reception [...]

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    Troy Tomlinson and Josh Van Valkenburg speak to students at Columbia Studio A at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. September 13, 2017. Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville President/CEO Troy Tomlinson and Senior Vice President of A&R Josh Van Valkenburg spoke to a packed house of Curb College students in Columbia Studio A on Wednesday, Sept. 13. As part of the seminar conversation, the two announced the fourth annual Belmont Sony/ATV Music Publishing All Access Program that allows any Curb College student to submit their music to the company for review by their creative team. Van Valkenburg assured the students that they watch every video submitted by students. The Sony/ATV team will select a group of about six students they want to hear perform live later in the semester. The program has given the opportunity to several students to sign a music publishing deal with the company in previous years. In addition to his role as a music executive, Tomlinson is also a member of the Belmont University Board of Trustees.

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    In honor of Thanksgiving week, several Belmont students are sharing their gratitude to the scholarship donors whose support has made their education possible, enabling them to go “From here to anywhere.” To learn more about Belmont’s current “We Believe” fundraising campaign and how to support student scholarships, visit WeBelieve.Belmont.edu.

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    ‘We Believe’ initiative aims to reach $300 million by 2020 The final point tallies weren’t the only numbers being discussed from last night’s Battle of the Boulevard basketball game between cross-town rivals Belmont and Lipscomb. Instead, the crowd was abuzz about a major announcement made during the first media timeout when Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher shared that the University recently surpassed the half-way mark in its “We Believe” fundraising campaign. The public-facing launch of the campaign in April 2016 set a high bar to reach $300 million, the largest goal in Belmont history, by 2020 in order to support five University priorities: scholarships, endowed faculty positions, missions, athletic funding and annual giving. With the help of Bruiser and the Belmont cheerleading team, last night Dr. Fisher revealed that the We Believe campaign total now stands at $151,317,565. Fisher said, “I am so grateful for the thousands of men and women, as well corporate and foundation partners, who are showing such tremendous belief in the mission of Belmont University. This campaign is strengthening our ability to empower our students with an education that will transform lives and enable them to lead lives of purpose. The We Believe funds aid us [...]