Easter Seals Tennessee Names Dr. Bob Fisher This Year’s Recipient
Easter Seals Tennessee announced Tuesday the 2010 Nashvillian of the Year recipient, Belmont University President Dr. Robert (Bob) Fisher. Easter Seals CEO, Susan Armiger, Board Member Samuel Howard and previous Nashvillian, Aubrey Harwell, Jr., made the announcement at the traditional Hall of Honor Reception hosted by previous Nashvillian of the Year honorees at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce office.
Fisher will be honored at the 17th annual Nashvillian of the Year Celebration on the evening of April 20 at the Hilton Nashville Downtown. Event proceeds benefit Easter Seals Tennessee, an organization dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities live with greater independence.
Since 1993, the Nashvillian of the Year award has been given to Nashville’s notable leaders who best exemplify the qualities of leadership that ensure that Nashville continues to be a better place to live. Each year past honorees select the recipient of the Nashvillian of the Year award using criteria including individual contributions to the community, philanthropic causes and business leadership. Past recipients include E.W. “Bud” Wendell, Burton Hummell, General William G. Moore, Jr., Owen G. Shell, Jr., Cal Turner, Jr., Samuel H. Howard, Craig L. Leipold, Governor Phil Bredesen, Jack Vaughn, Amy Grant, Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr., Kitty Moon Emery, Clayton McWhorter, John Seigenthaler, Judy Liff Barker, Howard Gentry, Buddy Killen, Orrin Ingram, Richard Eskind, Mike Curb, Monroe Carell, Jr. and Nelson Andrews. For information on attending this year’s Nashvillian of the Year Celebration on April 20th, 2010, contact Tracy Anthony at 292-6640 x147 with Easter Seals Tennessee.
During Fisher’s tenure at Belmont, the university’s enrollment has risen by 81 percent while the campus itself has expanded significantly with the additions of the Curb Event Center and Beaman Student Life Center, the Gordon E. Inman Center, the Troutt Theater complex and several new residence halls and parking garages. Under his leadership Belmont University also broke into the Top 10 for the first time in the Best Universities Master’s level South category in U.S. News & World Report’s analysis of America’s Best Colleges. Soaring to No. 7 in the 2010 edition, Belmont was also honored for the second year in a row as one of the top two schools nationwide for “leading the pack in improvements and innovative changes.”
In addition, Dr. Fisher worked to secure Belmont as the host site for the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, a historic event broadcast worldwide that also led to his selection as 2008 Tennessean of the Year. More recently, he announced the opening of the Belmont College of Law and oversaw the topping out celebration for a new $30 million health sciences building that is scheduled to open in June 2010. Academically, the university has added numerous new interdisciplinary programs in the past decade, including Social Entrepreneurship, New Century Journalism and Pharmacy.
Dr. Fisher’s greatest sense of accomplishment comes not from new campus structures, stronger endowments or an ever-increasing student population. Rather, he measures achievement through witnessing education’s impact on each individual student. “The student is the focus of all our efforts here at Belmont,” Dr. Fisher said, “and our top priority is meeting the needs of those students. My life’s mission is to help create experiences that transform people, especially students, in ways that enable them to become all they were created to be.”
Easter Seals is a non-profit, community-based health and human services agency dedicated to providing exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their community. Established over 85 years ago, Easter Seals assists more than one million individuals and their families annually at more than 550 Easter Seals services sites across the country. Easter Seals Tennessee, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, provides services throughout the state of Tennessee. For information about Easter Seals Tennessee, visit www.eastersealstn.com.