IMPORTANT NOTE: These are the archived stories for Belmont News & Achievements prior to June 26, 2023. To see current stories, click here.

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Belmont University Announces 2020 Humanities Symposium Lineup for Sept. 28 – Oct. 2

Belmont’s 2020 Humanities Symposium is scheduled for Monday, September, 28 – Friday, October 2. Now in its 19th year, the symposium will investigate the essential relationship between democracy and dialogue in bringing to fruition the “more perfect union” envisioned even if imperfectly by the founding fathers, how the making of such a union can only come about and be sustained through a constantly occurring process, an “act…not a state” as Congressman John Lewis so aptly put it in his last words.

Ahead of Belmont hosting the October 22 Presidential Debate on campus, the third and final in the 2020 election season, this year’s online symposium will consider how such dialogues occur, past and present, in the United States and globally, through attention to language, imagery, symbol, story and space. Presentations and papers by guest scholars and by Belmont faculty and students will address questions such as “what calls us toward community” and “what deepens divides?”

Dr. Susan Neiman, the director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany, will be discussing her most recent work, Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil. Belmont’s David Dark and Neiman will host a conversation on the main ideas of her book for students to learn more.

Washington University sociologist Dr. David Cunningham will explore the dimensions of division and dialogue, place and space in relation to historical and contemporary racial violence through his event, “The Weight of the Past: Engaging Legacies of White Supremacy and Racial Injustice.” With an eye on ongoing struggles over the memorialization of the racialized past through monuments and the commemorative landscape in America, Cunningham will discuss how the legacies of racial injustice continue to invade and inform our spaces, discourses and worldviews.

Dr. Rachel Louise Martin, a writer and public intellectual, has published work in O Magazine, Oxford American, The Atlantic online and CityLab. She will share and discuss how “change occurs when thousands of ordinary people living in quiet backwaters decide to fight for the American dream,” through her presentation, “’A Mother’s Advice is Always Safest:’ The Woman Who Wrote the Letter That Changed American History.”

Dr. Joy Jordan Lake’s session will be interactive by looking at social justice inside of classic literature and the change these novels provoked. Having written multiple other novels, Dr. Lake focuses on narratives of enslaved women of color and white women of the mid-19th century.

The 2020 Humanities Symposium “A More Perfect Union: Dialogue and Democracy” strives to start productive conversation and thoughts amongst the student body as Belmont hears from well-credited speakers. An overview of the schedule can be found below, while more information, links and summaries of featured programs are available on the Humanities Symposium’s web page.

Monday, September 28

10 a.m.
Space, Thirdspace and in-between: Concepts of Connectedness in the East and West
Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Japanese Language Dr. Christopher Born

1:30 p.m.
Toward a More Perfect Union: The Role of Dialogue in the Pursuit of Happiness
Belmont faculty panelists Pete Kuryla (History), Nathan Griffith (Political Science) and Dorren Robinson (Media Studies)

Tuesday, September 29

2 p.m.
Featured Speaker: Dr. David Cunningham, Chair, Department of Sociology at Washington University
The Weight of the Past: Engaging Legacies of White Supremacy and Racial Injustice

3 p.m.
Featured Speaker: Dr. Susan Neiman, Director of the Einstein Forum, Germany
What We Can Learn from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil: A Moderated Discussion

Wednesday, September 30

11 a.m.
Learning to Live Together in the Same House: Reflections on My Father’s Time as a Volunteer Lawyer in Mississippi, Science Fiction and the Challenge of Achieving True Dialogue
Belmont English Professor Dr. Maggie Monteverde

1 p.m.
Featured Speaker: Andrea Fanta, Nashville Public Library
Votes for Women: Enshrining a Moment and a Movement

2 p.m.
Featured Speaker: Dr. Rachel Louise Martin
“A Mother’s Advice Is Always Safest:” The Woman Who Wrote the Letter That Changed American History

5 p.m.
Reflections on Black Voices and Democracy
Belmont English Professor Dr. Heather Finch and her class

Thursday, October 1

10:30 a.m.
Featured Speaker: Dr. Joy Jordan Lake
Unearthing the Past, Rebuilding the Present: the Role of Fiction in Addressing History, Re-Imagining Human Community and Enacting Social Change

6 p.m.
Readings by the Winners of the Sandra Hutchins Symposium Creative Writing Competition

Friday, October 2

11 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
One Vote: Every Vote Tells a Story documentary film followed by discussion
Christine Doeg and Dr. Mike Pinter, Belmont Math and Teaching Center

2:30 p.m.
Closing Open Mic Discussion: Speaking of Voting
Dr. Mike Pinter, Belmont Math and Teaching Center

Belmont University College of Music and Performing Arts Announces Fall 2023 Performance Season 

Though summer activities are in full swing, it is not too early to begin making plans for the fall. Belmont University’s College of Music and Performing Arts (CMPA) just announced its Fall 2023 performance season and released tickets for its lineup of musicals, theater productions, musical performances, guest artists, recitals and dance shows. 

Included in the season are productions such as Hello, Dolly!, Working, Silent Sky, The Play that Goes Wrong and A Wrinkle in Time. Performances will also feature students and faculty in both classical and commercial ensembles.  

“This season will focus on hope, unity and belonging and the power that the performing arts has to bring people together,” said CMPA Dean Dr. Stephen Eaves. “We are excited to welcome the community to campus to experience the work of our talented students and faculty and join us for a celebration of music, theatre and dance.” 

Belmont’s College of Music and Performing Arts includes both the School of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance. Students have access to a variety of performing ensembles to showcase their talents, with 25 instrumental and 14 vocal ensembles that cover styles across the spectrum. The Department of Theatre and Dance provides student opportunities and training in all aspects of theatre creation and production, including design, directing and performance, with five main stage performances per year and multiple second stage experiences each semester, and a dance minor that offers a dance production at the end of each semester.  

Belmont’s award-winning, nationally ranked Musical Theatre program offers a full production each semester and the Opera theatre performs a staged reading every fall. Events also frequently feature performances by faculty-artists, alumni and special guests.  

All performances are open to the public. The full schedule and ticket information can be found on Belmont’s College of Music and Performing Arts website at  

Bonnaroo University: Unparalleled Access to One of Tennessee’s Most Loved Music Festivals

On a Thursday morning, June 15, Belmont students loaded two tour buses en route to Manchester, Tennessee for four days at the famed Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Armed with sunscreen, extra cell phone chargers and their notebooks, the class was ready for the immersive education experience awaiting them at The Farm. 

For the past six years, Drs. Sarita Stewart and Ken Spring have organized the esteemed Bonnaroo University summer class, which gives students a once-in-a-lifetime, backstage look at the festival experience. Throughout the month of June, the class meets every day for two courses—the Sociology of Music and Research Methods and Festival Culture. In just a month, students earn six credit hours and years’ worth of industry networking contacts.  

The idea for Bonnaroo University started with Stewart, who wanted to create a festival culture class. Walking out of an all-faculty meeting in 2017, she pitched the idea to Spring, a sociologist with a background in music culture. “I knew he would be up for the challenge.”  

The number of years the class has run is up for debate. From a global pandemic in 2020 that canceled the festival for the first time in its then-18-year history, to a hurricane the following year that brought operations to a screeching halt hours before the festival start time, Stewart and Spring are ever-resilient, pivoting in real time. What isn’t up for debate, however, is how the course continues to improve from year to year.  

“I’ve been surprised by the acceptance it’s received internationally,” said Stewart, who with Spring presented a paper at a conference in the Netherlands teaching fellow educators how to replicate their course.  

In its short history, other universities have implemented the concept including DePaul University with Lollapalooza and University of Tennessee, Knoxville with Moon River Festival. Both professors hope to leave a legacy and continue to provide a pathway for others to replicate Belmont’s concept.  

A look into coursework  

Throughout the festival, the class conducted qualitative research with 400 festival goers—Bonnaroovians, as they’re referred to— about music discovery, camping, festival programming and more within their research groups.  

A week prior to the festival, C3 Presents—of the Live Nation family—hosted Bonnaroo U students at the nearly 1,000-acre property as finishing touches were built out. Brad Parker of C3 Presents—Bonnaroo’s lead project manager—toured the class around the grounds, giving an inside look at the Festival’s infrastructure in preparation to host nearly 7,000 staff and volunteers, and more than 80,000 people.  

The two classes provide students with a collaborative and interdisciplinary experience, emulating what they will one day experience as industry professionals. From Spring’s music sociology course, which looks at music’s role in society and the social meaning people give it, to Stewart’s consumer research course, where students interview festival goers, students use Bonnaroo as a living classroom.  

The class was able to test out Bonnaroo’s people mover—JamTrack—making stops at soon-to-be attractions throughout the grounds where Parker shared festival logistics at length.  

  • Centeroo: main festival area  
  • Outeroo: camping area  
  • Plazas: one-stop-shops throughout Outeroo for festival programming, camp supplies and access to info, medical and safety staff  

The pre-festival tour gave students extra time to get used to Bonnaroo’s whimsical naming conventions, especially stage names within Centeroo: What Stage, Which Stage, Who Stage, How Stage, the Other Stage, This Tent and That Tent.  

“This is an extremely magical and special place that means a lot to many people. What you’re about to experience is a place that is safe for people who might feel like they don’t belong or don’t fit in. Bonnaroo is a place for them to be unapologetically themselves,” said Parker. “Soak in where you are, especially within the context of our world.”  

From the artist lounge to tour bus sleeping quarters and the press tent, Parker encouraged students to lean into the access they have and understand the privilege and responsibility that comes with it. He mentioned that Bonnaroo U students have greater access than some staff who have worked at the festival for a decade.  

“We want you to have a great weekend and to be inspired to come work in an industry that needs a lot of help after the pandemic. We are looking for great people who want to work hard and have a lot of fun, and that’s what this program is designed to do.”  

Through the belief in college students and Belmont’s innovative education experiences, the program has garnered strong support from the industry, further adding credibility and vitality. Along with Parker, the course’s robust panel line up would not happen without industry partners including dynamite radio promoter Jeff McClusky, veteran music publicist Ken Weinstein, and bedrock music founder Ryan Carey who have all been integral in booking artists and executives for Q&A panels.  

The 2023 Bonnaroo U panelist lineup included:  

  • JP Saxe (and team)  
  • Brittany Schaffer, new Curb College Dean and former Spotify executive  
  • Sheryl Crow  
  • Louis the Child (and team)  
  • “Next Gen of the Music Industry,” including Bonnaroo U alumni, among others.  


Following their four-day run on The Farm, students return to campus where they work in groups to distill their research findings in succinct presentations that they deliver to executives at Live Nation—a partner since the course’s inception. Last year, groups presented to Live Nation executives at their Nashville office, a tradition that will continue.  

Stewart noted a 2022 alumna’s reflection where she said, “This class really gave me clarity for what I want to do going forward in my life.” 

The Bonnaroo U program isn’t simply a great collegiate experience, but a pipeline for many students to launch careers in the industry. Three alumni from the program currently work with Parker at C3 Presents.  

“The stakes are so high,” said Stewart on their presentations. “I love seeing students realize they can do this. [Bonnaroo] provides a space where they can really explore and touch things. These students are incredibly well-suited to go out into the industry after they experience this class.” 

Belmont Hosts Third On-Campus Juneteenth Celebration 

Friday, June 16, the Belmont community gathered for a celebration of Jubilee on campus for the third time since the University began to recognize Juneteenth as an official holiday in 2021.   

This year’s celebration, hosted by the Juneteenth Committee in partnership with the Office for Hope, Unity and Belonging (HUB), featured performances by drummers, dancing, a professional storyteller and a guided freedom quilt making activity from the Global Education Center, a nonprofit multicultural center in Nashville. The event also included a musical performance by Assistant Professor in the College of Education Dr. Darcie Finch and remarks from Belmont’s new Vice President of the HUB Dr. D’Angelo Taylor.  

“Juneteenth signifies hope. On this day, 157 years ago, enslaved people found hope in the possibility of reuniting with their loved ones and building a new life in freedom,” Taylor said. “As we celebrate Juneteenth at Belmont and abroad, let this holiday which symbolizes freedom, serve as a reminder that our unending pursuit of freedom should be ever-present in hearts, minds and collective action.”  

A lunch of cultural soul food was provided, including menu items like deviled eggs, pork chops, shrimp and grits, mac n cheese, turnip greens, fried squash, peach cobbler and banana pudding. The “History of Juneteenth” video below was also shown, featuring Taylor and Human Resources Generalist Andrea McClain, who performed with the drummers and led a dance lesson for attendees. 

Jasmine Simmons, content writer in the Belmont Office of Marketing and Communications, attended the event. “I couldn’t help but reflect on the Americans who dreamed of a moment like today’s celebration of Juneteenth at Belmont,” she said. “Having a diverse collection of Belmont’s community come together to acknowledge and celebrate a day that has held so much personal significance as a Black female Texas native was amazing to experience.” 

Chemistry and Physics Department Continues Professional Development Training for Science Teachers

science teachers work in Belmont Lab

The Department of Chemistry and Physics at Belmont recently hosted the 8th installment of its workshop series titled It’s Easy Being Green: Budget-Friendly Safety-Conscious Chemistry Labs for the Secondary Science Classroom of Today. Event organizer Dr. Danielle Garrett, associate professor of chemistry education, hosted a one-day hands-on professional development workshop for science teachers, with participants coming from Middle Tennessee and Kentucky.

The theme this year was Conceptual Chemistry – It’s Math-Lite: Exploring Equilibrium, Half-Lives and More. Participants explored the effect of temperature on chemical equilibrium in a closed system, investigated solubility and polarity by observing the effect of adding different solutes to a series of solvents and used manipulatives to explore and gain mathematical understanding of half-lives.

This workshop series continues to be well-received, with more than 50 percent of participants reporting having attended at least one previous summer workshop. Teachers ended the day with positive feedback about the event such as:

  • Very high quality; presented with adaptability in mind.
  • Your enthusiasm & organization are inspiring. I appreciate how you adapt each lab for different levels of application. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate.
  • I have always loved this workshop. It has always been the highlight of my summer.

Wyman Leaders Program Visits Watkins College of Art at Belmont University

Rising juniors in the Wyman Leaders program, a St. Louis, Missouri, based leadership development opportunity for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, visited Belmont University’s Watkins College of Art on Thursday, June 8. Students begin the program the summer after their 8th grade year and receive support, coaching and enrichment experiences for the duration of the nine-year program.

As a part of this program, Wyman Leaders offers postsecondary education tours to give students the chance to explore a variety of college environments. Many students on the visit to Belmont had a particular interest in pursuing degrees in the arts, prompting the group to spend much of their time at Belmont’s Watkins College of Art.

They explored the Leu Center for the Visual Arts, a 40,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility complete with gallery spaces, multimedia presentation rooms, a dark room and studios for painting, ceramics, printmaking and more.

The students exuded excitement and energy as they dreamt and planned for their futures. Students China and Phoenix are both leaning towards a potential Illustration major, with China looking to create her own comic book series and Phoenix considering a route in the education sphere.

Kiera, a Missouri native, has been passionate about design since they were six years old. While they always imagined going to college in their home state, the appeal of a booming job market and a dazzling creative scene is drawing them to consider Music City—which was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the hottest job markets of 2022.

Wyman’s Associate Director of Communications Kate Neff noted that the Wyman Leaders program has visited Nashville on previous college tours, and they always enjoy exploring the diverse, affordable city and the variety of schools in the area.

Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, excitement is high as Wyman looks toward its next season. “We are most proud of how Wyman has continually evolved as the world and needs of young people have changed, while always remaining committed to the teens we serve,” said Neff. “We’ve grown from a local camp in St. Louis to a nationally known organization that is part of the lives of more than 30,000 young people every year.”

Beyond postsecondary education tours, Wyman Leaders also provides immersive camp experiences, enrichment activities and individualized coaching for the more than 400 students involved each year. Students in the program have a 100 percent on-time graduation rate, and many individuals also come back to mentor younger students.

Garrett Leads Science Outreach Efforts for Local Students

This spring saw a resurgence in chemistry outreach on Belmont’s campus. On May 9, 44 fourth grade students from Donelson Christian Academy came to campus for a chemistry field trip to Belmont University. DCA teachers Ellen Deathridge, Tabitha Ingram, Eric Barbour and Amy Vanatta, as well as recent Belmont chemistry graduate Ryan Gagnon, were there to help event organizer Dr. Danielle Garrett, associate professor of chemistry education.  

This field trip is part of Garrett’s continuing work with the American Chemical Society (ACS) Science Coaches program. For the past 9 years, Garrett has partnered with Deathridge, engaging in a variety of interactive chemistry activities. “Working with Mrs. Deathridge through this program has been a blessing. These days bring me such joy, excitement and confidence for the next generation of young scientific thinkers,” Garrett said.

At this event, DCA students engaged in discussions about chemical reactions, created their own pH indicator color scale, made predictions and tested the pH of common household products and explored the neutralization reaction between vinegar and antacid tablets. Students ended the day with a tour of the general chemistry lab and a flame test demonstration. 

Earlier this semester, Garrett also hosted hands-on chemistry workshops for two local high schools.

In February, 15 honors chemistry students and chemistry teachers Allison Hardy, Grace Carlsen and Breyer Hillegas from Hillwood High School attended “Colorimetry and Calibration Curves: Exploring Serial Dilutions and the Beer-Lambert Law,” a half-day workshop for chemistry high school students. Garrett led an interactive discussion covering topics including solutions, molarity, dilutions and calibration curves. Each student then got to build their own colorimeter, make a series of dilute solutions, use their colorimeters to get readings to generate a calibrations curve and test the accuracy of their calibration curve.

In January, 18 Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry students and teacher Kevin Vaughn from Stewarts Creek High School attended “Back Titrations: Neutralizing Agents – How Basic is It?,” a half-day guided inquiry workshop for AP Chemistry high school students. Garrett led an interactive discussion covering topics including acid-base chemistry, neutralization reactions and back titrations. Each student was then responsible for completing a series of back titrations to determine the effectiveness of commercial products used to reduce stomach acid, such as baking soda and milk of magnesia. 

After each workshop, high school students got the opportunity to have lunch and engage with Belmont students in the College of Science and Mathematics. After a campus tour, students were also led on a tour of the CSM lab facilities with Belmont faculty, including Dean Dr. Thom Spence, Associate Dean Dr. Lynn Jones and Chemistry Professor Dr. Kim Enstminger.

Garrett said, “Chemistry outreach is one of my passions, and I am so grateful Belmont has given me the opportunity to pursue developing and hosting these learning experiences! I love having the opportunity to work with such engaged scientific thinkers who are enthusiastic to ask and answer questions and eager to learn new material.” 

Belmont University’s Dr. Mary Ellen Pethel, 2022 Tennessee History Book Award Recipient

Belmont University Assistant Professor of Global Leadership Studies and Honors Dr. Mary Ellen Pethel was recently named the 2022 Tennessee History Book Award recipient for her book “Title IX, Pat Summitt, and Tennessee Trailblazers: 50 Years, 50 Stories.” Sponsored by the Tennessee Historical Commission and the Tennessee Historical Society, the award program is in its 25th year.   

“Writing this book was a labor of love, but more importantly it was a chance to share the stories of so many unsung heroes in Tennessee,” said Pethel. “I am grateful and humbled by this honor and thank the award committee and the Tennessee Historical Commission and Tennessee Historical Society. Most importantly, this award affirms the 50 women trailblazers and torchbearers in the book—including Belmont’s Betty Wiseman and Renee Schultz.” 

The book, published by University of Tennessee Press, celebrates 50 female athletes whose lives and careers shaped women’s athletics in both Tennessee and throughout the United States. Stories detailing their dedication, passion and hard work provide a deeper understanding of these impressive individuals and give insight into the history of women’s athletics before and after Title IX’s passage.  

Education combined with sport, Pethel said, is a powerful combination in the lives of young women. “I hope this book provides cause for both celebration and inspiration. We celebrate the past 50 years of progress made for women and in women’s sports. But we should be inspired to keep going, to keep pushing for equity and inclusion. Title IX was the start; it is up to us to finish the race.” 

Pethel is also the author of other books, including Athens of the New South: College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville. She is currently working on a history of the life of Sarah Cannon, better known as Minnie Pearl. 

“We’re happy to join THC in congratulating Dr. Pethel on this well-deserved honor. Dr. Pethel’s skill in combining oral histories with archival research presents the story of Title IX, using Tennessee as the focus,” said Tennessee Historical Society Executive Director Jennifer C. Core.  

Three other books were in the running for the award that were judged by a panel of historians representing Tennessee’s grand divisions including “To Care for the Sick and Bury the Dead: African American Lodges and Cemeteries in Tennessee;” “James K. Polk and His Time: Essays at the Conclusion of the Polk Project;” and “Following the Drums: African American Fife and Drum Music in Tennessee.”  

The award will be presented at the Tennessee Historical Society’s Annual Meeting on June 8, via Zoom.  

Jack C. Massey College of Business Celebrates 34 Years of Leadership Development through Executive Learning Networks

The Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University recently launched the 2023 Executive Learning Networks (ELN). This year, ELN celebrates 34 years of providing a dynamic lineup of events, presentations and workshops that encourage learning among leaders in Nashville’s business community through shared experiences and resources. University President Dr. Greg Jones and Board of Trustee Chair Milton Johnson commenced the series with a discussion on “How to Stay Grounded as a Leader” on March 7.  

Each year, nationally recognized speakers present cutting-edge business ideas. Mindful Leadership Expert, author and former Lower East Side monk Pandit Dasa was a featured speaker in the spring semester and spoke on the subject of “Employee Wellness: THE Non-negotiable Driver for Fulfillment and Retention” on April 12.  

“Managing our mind is probably the most important thing because it’s running everything else,” Dasa said. “Our mind is responsible for our emotions, how we react to things, how we perceive things. It’s responsible for pretty much everything and yet, all throughout our life we never receive any training on how to manage it.”  

ELN members have the option to hear from a collection of high-caliber speakers virtually or in person. The ELN Video Library YouTube Resource holds an extensive video library from the past 12 years, and members have exclusive, unlimited access to over 2,200 assets including executive book summaries, webinars, podcasts and skill-based newsletters in the Soundview library.  

In the last 34 years, ELN has grown from eight original members to a robust network of over 250 business executives across over 30 corporate memberships. Notable ELN speakers have included New York Times bestseller Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Steven Covey and former Vice President Al Gore. 

This year, Major General Charles Bolden Jr. who was the first African-American to serve as NASA administrator will speak at the annual Leadership Breakfast in December.  

Become an ELN member. 

View and download the 2023 ELN Series of Learning Schedule of Events 


Belmont University Announces Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame 2023 Inductee Class

Belmont University announced today the 2023 inductee class of the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame. Honorees will be recognized at a celebration and reception at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, October 17. 

With a mission to honor those who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industries, the Hall of Fame was created by Belmont University, the McWhorter Society and the Nashville Health Care Council, a founding partner. Since its inception in 2015, the Hall of Fame has inducted nearly 50 health care leaders.  

The 2023 Health Care Hall of Fame inductees include: 

  • Wilsie S. Bishop, MSN, MSED, DPA: Professor and Vice President for Health Affairs Emerita at East Tennessee State University; Higher Education Administrator; long-tenured volunteer with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; recipient of the James T. Rogers Distinguished Leadership award; among the first group of nurses to be certified by the American Nurses Association for excellence in critical care neonatal nursing.  
  • André L. Churchwell, MD: Vice-Chancellor for Outreach, Inclusion, and Belonging for Vanderbilt University and Chief Diversity Officer; Levi Watkins, Jr. M.D. Chair; Vanderbilt University Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Radiology and Radiological Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering; first African American chief medical resident for Grady Memorial and as the inaugural minority affairs officer at Emory University School of Medicine; has dedicated his career to diversity, equity and inclusion and serving minority communities.  
  • Vicky Gregg: Founding Partner, Guidon Partners; former CEO BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, one of the first women to lead a major health plan; pioneered the first commercial HMO plan in Tennessee along with the early Preferred Provider Organization model in the state; previously served as member of the National Commission on Healthcare Interoperability; was a catalyst for women and minorities to enter leadership roles within the BCBSTN organization.  
  • Stephen Reynolds: President Emeritus and Senior Consultant, Baptist Memorial Health Care where he worked for 43 years, serving the organizations three-fold ministry of Christ: healing, teaching and preaching.  
  • Philip A. Wenk, DDS: CEO, Delta Dental of Tennessee, serving for more than 25 years in leadership; grew Delta Dental to become the largest dental benefits carriers in the state; established a strong culture of corporate giving, often investing half of the company’s annual net profits into the community; established the Smile 180 foundation to support Tennessee’s charitable dental clinics, children’s hospitals and oral health education; named as one of the University of Tennessee’s “Top 100 Distinguished Alumni.” 

The nomination process began last October 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 who: 

  • Was born, lived or worked in Tennessee 
  • Made a significant impact and lasting contribution to health care at the local, state, national or international level 
  • Exhibits the highest ethical and professional character 
  • Serves as an outstanding role model in their community 

Among the accomplished nominees, inductees were chosen by a selection committee made up of health care leaders in various sectors from across the state. Selected inductees represent some of Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers, leaders and innovators. 

“It is a tremendous honor to acknowledge the remarkable achievements of this year’s Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame inductee class,” said Belmont University President, Dr. Greg Jones. “As we move closer to opening our Frist College of Medicine and continue training providers in our esteemed Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy & Health Sciences, we draw great inspiration from the profound impact these five individuals have had on health care. Each inductee has championed health and well-being for Tennesseans and beyond, and I look forward to formally celebrating their contributions in October.” 

In addition to recognizing Tennessee’s most influential health and health care leaders, the Hall of Fame serves as an ongoing educational resource to document the rich history that has contributed to Tennessee’s position as the nation’s health care capital. Beginning in 2024, the Hall of Fame will have a permanent location, open to the public, within Belmont’s Thomas F. Frist, Jr. College of Medicine. The building is slated to open in spring 2024.  

Sponsors of this year’s induction ceremony contribute to the long-term viability of the Hall of Fame and the McWhorter Society Scholarship Program, which benefits students pursuing careers in the health sciences. Since the inception of the McWhorter Society and the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame, more than $3.7 million has been raised to support McWhorter Society Endowed Scholarships, with more than 200 students receiving 428 annual scholarships since 2014. 

A comprehensive list of Hall of Fame inductees since 2015—along with information on sponsorship opportunities for the October 17 induction event—can be found on the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame website

Belmont’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Appoints Dr. Adam Neder Associate Dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry 

Belmont University recently announced the appointment of Dr. Adam Neder as Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) serving the School of Theology and Christian Ministry (STCM), effective August 1.  

“I look forward to working with Dr. Adam Neder as a new addition to our college leadership team,” CLASS Dean Dr. Bryce Sullivan said. “Dr. Neder brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to benefit our students and faculty in the areas of Christian formation and theological education, which will help Belmont continue to accomplish its goals to impact the world in meaningful ways.” 

Neder is currently the Bruner-Welch Chair and Professor of Theology at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. A beloved and highly accomplished educator, he was voted most influential professor by the 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2017 Whitworth senior classes.   

“I am delighted to be joining Belmont and the School of Theology and Christian Ministry during such an exciting time in the university’s life,” Neder said. “Belmont intends to become the leading Christ-centered university in the world, and there is every reason to think it will reach that goal. Simply put, there is not a more persuasive or attractive vision of Christian higher education currently on offer in this country, and there is nowhere I would rather work. I can’t wait to get started.” 

Neder earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Covenant College and received his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.  

In his new role, Neder will lead more than 20 Theology and Christian Ministry faculty and staff, approximately 100 STCM students and more than 7,000 undergraduate students who are required to take two STCM courses through BELL Core, Belmont’s general education curriculum. As Associate Dean, Neder will report to the Dean of the college and serve alongside two other Associate Deans within CLASS as a collaborative leader for STCM. In January, Belmont’s Office of the Provost announced that STCM will be housed in CLASS effective August 1. 

“We are eager to welcome Dr. Adam Neder to Belmont in August,” said Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Excellence Dr. David Gregory. “Each year Belmont receives students who have a desire to lead with their Christian faith to impact the world for good, whether that be through music, teaching, entrepreneurship or a call to ministry. I am confident that Dr. Neder will be an asset to STCM and to its faculty, staff and students.” 

Neder and his wife, Janet, are Tennessee natives and have two daughters, Claire and Mary.