For three decades Dr. Phillip Kelly and Dr. Al Chestnut have been staples in the Belhaven College Science Department. Over that course of time, many students have had the privilege of sitting under their teaching, being guided and educated through their gifts and passionate approach to the sciences. Most of their students would agree that both Dr. Chestnut and Dr. Kelly have influenced not only the way they approach their chosen discipline, but life itself. ” I must acknowledge the tremendous influence both gentlemen have had on me,” said Dr. Glenn Harris, a 1987 graduate who majored in Chemistry and minored in Biology and Mathematics. ” The classroom instruction I received from these men was second to none. In several respects, the courses I took under them were more challenging than some in medical school. However, it was the ‘life’ instruction I received form them that truly made the difference in my life. These two men really care about their students, and we are their legacy.”
In May, Dr. Kelly completed his 30th year of teaching service at Belhaven, while Dr. Chestnut began his 30th year in the classroom when the fall semester started in August. In celebration of this remarkable achievement for both, the College hosted a ” Thirty Years of Excellence” Celebration event in their honor during Back to Belhaven 2009 Homecoming festivities on the evening of Friday, November 6. The event was attended by a great number of Belhaven science alumni, current science students, Belhaven faculty and staff, and other key friends. A panel of six science alumni, emceed by Dr. Max Gordon ’83, shared of the lasting impact Dr. Kelly and Dr. Chestnut have had on their lives and careers. The additional panelists were: Dr. Richard Whitlock “82, Dr. Glenn Harris ’87, Dr. Sara Smith T ’89, Dr. Brad Steenwyk ’94, and Dr. Jeremy Allen ’99.