Belmont University announced today the establishment of the Marty Dickens Scholarship Endowment for Worship Leadership to support students in the program within the University’s College of Theology and Christian Ministry. The $250,000 fund will provide scholarships for aspiring church worship leaders while also honoring Dickens’ longtime service as chair of Belmont’s Board of Trustees.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “I’ve often said that one of the top reasons I have stayed so long at Belmont has been because of the extraordinary support I’ve received from our Board of Trustees, and Marty Dickens has led the way as our chairman. The commitment he and Betty have shown to Belmont students and this institution at large has enabled us to accomplish so much more than we could have ever dreamed. Most of all, he has kept us focused on our Christian mission and modeled Christ’s love and service to our community.”
Dickens, who has led Belmont’s Board since 2005, noted, “Thank you Belmont for this underserved, incredible honor of a scholarship being endowed in my name. The fact that this scholarship will support students engaged in the Worship Leadership program makes it all the more special. One of the many joys of being associated with Belmont is how this university family strives to live out its Christian mission every single day. This wonderful scholarship is just one more example of that commitment. God blessed my life by providing me the opportunity to be a small part of the Belmont journey for the last 21 years. Being on that journey with Bob Fisher has been more like being on a rocket ride always taking us to greater and farther reaching accomplishments. Thank you for everything. Belmont… from here to anywhere!”
Throughout his tenure as chair of Belmont’s Board of Trustees, the University has experienced remarkable growth in campus facilities and enrollment while also raising its national profile through the addition of new colleges in law, pharmacy and medicine and the hosting of two presidential debates, among other achievements. Dickens is stepping down from his role as Board chair in conjunction with Dr. Fisher’s May 31 retirement. In addition to the scholarship endowment, Dickens and his wife Betty were previously recognized by the University with the naming of a 300-bed residence hall for upperclassmen in their honor, Dickens Hall, which opened in 2012.
A 2013 Nashvillian of the Year, Dickens is the former president of BellSouth/AT&T Tennessee. He serves as chair of the Convention Center Authority and helped spearhead the construction of the Music City Center. He has also served on the boards of a number of charitable and community organizations including the Boy Scouts, Adventure Science Center, YMCA of Middle Tennessee, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Nashville Symphony.
Retired HCA Chairman and CEO Milton Johnson, who will be taking the helm of Belmont’s Board June 1, added, “Marty Dickens has provided extraordinary leadership in our city for decades, and his work as chair of Belmont’s Board of Trustees for the past 15+ years has enabled this University to achieve previously unimagined heights. His leadership, and his support of Bob Fisher’s vision, has propelled Belmont into a nationally recognized institution and empowered countless students to receive a transformational education. Future students in the Worship Leadership program will benefit not only from the financial support of this endowment but also from the powerful Christian example set by its namesake.”
In addition to completing required courses in theology, spiritual formation and Christian ethics, students majoring in Worship Leadership at Belmont participate in classes that explore the theology and arts of worship. Students can choose from one of five concentrations: audio engineering, theatre, design communication, music and video production.