One of the advantages of social media is the ability to look back over time at photos, videos and other memories. The past year included a number of significant advances for Belhaven University. We saw record enrollment as well as numerous awards and accolades. Our social media team took a look at the top ten most engaging posts of 2014 on the Belhaven Facebook Page.
- Back in April, we learned that two of our music graduates, Jocelyn Zhu and Shellie Brown, were accepted to prestigious graduate programs in violin performance. Jocelyn now attends the Juilliard School and Shellie has enrolled at Rice University.
- We received a $4 million gift from Mrs. Robbie Hughes that is being used to construct the new University Village residence hall. This unique, on campus apartment-style complex is expected to open in the Fall of 2015, and will house 132 students.
- Sports stories are very popular on social media, and when the Blazer football team defeated cross-town rival Mississippi College in September, students, alumni and fans shared their jubilation on social media.
- In the spring, Belhaven welcomed International Disability Advocate and Grammy-nominated artist Joni Eareckson Tada to campus. The event was very popular, even drawing attention from members of Duck Dynasty’s Robertson family.
- Belhaven was once again named as one of just 33 colleges and universities holding national accreditation in all four of the arts – dance, music, theatre and visual art. Belhaven is competing with some of the largest schools in the nation in the arts arena – including Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and Brigham Young.
- Belhaven University opened its doors to the first class in the School of Nursing this fall. After the semester began, the students participated in the traditional “Blessing of the Hands” ceremony.
- The 82nd Annual Singing Christmas Tree took place in December. The Clarion Ledger interviewed Miss Bettye Quinn about the history of the tree in what was one of the most popular stories of the year.
- Belhaven was the only university in Mississippi and one of just two members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities to be honored by the White House for its commitment to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
- Belhaven made national news in January with the hiring of legendary coach Hal Mumme to lead the Blazer football program. The hiring brought national attention to Belhaven, and ESPN featured Coach Mumme as football season got underway across the nation.
- Sometimes you do not know what is going to go viral. The top social media story of 2014 was something we could not have planned. As students were returning for the fall semester, a construction crew delivering equipment to the University Village construction site couldn’t quite make the turn. The result: A viral video that made local and national news coverage and has been viewed over 90,000 times.
Dec 26th, 2014 by Dr. Roger Parrott
It is with great sadness that the Belhaven Athletics Department announces the tragic passing of Trey Rich, a senior from Memphis, Tennessee. Rich, a member of the Belhaven Blazers Football team, was killed on Christmas Eve after being struck by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle on Old Highway 49 in Richland, Miss.
“The Blazers family is deeply saddened this evening to hear about the loss of one of our own,” said Belhaven Football Head Coach Hal Mumme. Trey Rich was not only a great teammate, but he was even more so a great young man who was lost too soon. He worked tirelessly both on the field and in the classroom and set a standard of excellence among his fellow wide receivers and his teammates. Though above all this, Trey’s infectious smile will be missed.”
On the field during the 2014 season, Rich saw action in seven games at wide receiver and as a kick returner. He was a Sports Administration major at Belhaven.
“Our Belhaven University family is mourning the tragic death and loss of Trey Rich,” said Belhaven Vice President for Athletics Scott Little. “Trey was a well-respected young man among teammates and across campus, and we ask for prayers for his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Funeral arrangements are pending and details will be released as they become available.
Dec 15th, 2014 by doreen
See the news release below about the event at the White House today.
This an exciting recognition for the strength of the Belhaven University School of Science and Mathematics.
For more about this recognition or watch the event live, see this White House web page.
White House Recognizes Belhaven University for Innovative Science Education
JACKSON – Today, President Obama, the First Lady and Vice President Biden will recognize Belhaven University for its commitment to increase the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). “America needs to become the leader in science and technology again and Belhaven has the ability to help achieve this national priority,” said Dr. Parrott.
The White House invited Dr. Parrott and other university presidents being honored to take part in College Opportunity Day of Action where President Obama will announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.
Participants in the College Opportunity Day of Action were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Belhaven University has committed to redesign its general core science curriculum for non-science majors. The goal of the redesign is to emphasize the important role of science in our society and economy as well as inspire 10 percent of its students to pursue STEM degrees. The University’s commitment to STEM has already seen a positive increase. “With our new science facilities and aggressive young science faculty, Belhaven’s enrollment in STEM related academic majors increased 34 percent this year, plus 45 students in our brand new School of Nursing,” adds Dr. Parrott. “This new cutting edge curriculum for non-science majors sets us apart as a university that is serious about equipping our students to value science that is part of our everyday lives.”
Two new core courses, Science & Culture I: Physical and Computational Sciences for a Sustainable Future and Science & Culture II: Biological Sciences for a Sustainable Future are the pillars of Belhaven’s new approach to teaching science and promoting STEM. Dr. Reid Bishop, Associate Professor of Chemistry, said, “We use science everyday of our lives and I believe that science is an innate function. One of my objectives as a professor is to get my students excited about science and I believe these two classes relate directly to a student’s personal interests in the environment and sustainability.”
President Obama will also announce new steps on how his Administration is helping to support colleges and universities, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college. Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.
Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.
Sep 8th, 2014 by Dr. Roger Parrott
The Clarion Ledger wrote a fun story about why Hal Mumme came to Belhaven as our head football coach.
If you’ve not yet had the chance to meet Hal, I hope you will. He’s one of football’s great legendary coaches – recently ranked as the 4th most influential coach in college football.
Veteran coach Mumme relishes chance to rebuild Belhaven
Riley Blevins, The Clarion-Ledger 11:27 p.m. CDT September 6, 2014
Hal Mumme pointed to a pile of business cards stacked on the corner of his desk.
“Head Football Coach” is imprinted on white cardstock below his name.
Something is missing, he joked.
“Some people flip houses for a living. I flip football programs,” he chuckled. “They should stick that on there.”
That’s what Mumme came to Belhaven to do.
But this move seems odd to some.
Mumme, who was hired in January, isn’t your typical football coach at a private NAIA school with an undergraduate enrollment just over 2,000.
That becomes apparent upon setting foot in his office. The walls are adorned with relics of his coaching past, which includes stints at Kentucky, Valdosta State, Southeastern Louisiana, New Mexico State and SMU.
There’s photos of Tim Couch, the former No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft who Mumme coached at Kentucky, and Mike Leach and Dana Holgorsen — now head coaches at Washington State and West Virginia, respectively — who alongside Mumme are a part of a coaching trio that is said to have invented the Air-Raid offense.
But Mumme sees nothing strange in the move to Belhaven.
He’ll tell you Belhaven has always been on his radar.
It started in the summer of 2001, just after Mumme resigned from Kentucky amid an NCAA investigation.
Dennis Roland, who had been on Mumme’s staff at Kentucky in 1997, was the head coach at Belhaven. He had asked Mumme to help run a camp.
“I just remember really liking the place,” Mumme said. “I fell in love with it.”
Mumme was serving as SMU’s passing game coordinator last season when he heard the job was open.
He set up a meeting. It was nothing but a feeler.
Or so he thought.
“I didn’t think I was going to apply for the job,” Mumme said. “But (Belhaven President Roger) Parrott is the best recruiter on this campus. I walked in just wanting to ask a few questions. I walked out the head coach.”
Mumme calls Parrott’s enthusiasm for football “infectious.” After all, Parrott helped bring the sport to Belhaven.
“That was a big deal for me. Presidents who start football are a special breed,” Mumme said. “Football is their son. It’s not their stepchild. They really care about it. We have great plans for the future.”
They start with Belhaven making the jump to the Division-III American Southwest Conference next year. After that, Mumme hopes to build a new stadium.
“Jobs aren’t about what level you’re at. They’re about who you work with,” Mumme said. “The art has always been more important than the venue.”
Mumme said his ultimate goal is to win a Division-III national championship.
But for now, he rolls out the worn cliché used by first-year coaches across the country. “I have to change the culture.”
The Blazers have won their first two games under Mumme — most recently a 32-14 victory over Mississippi College on Saturday — which makes Belhaven one win away from matching its win total from last season.
Mumme said he uses the same rebuilding tactics at each stop. “You have to have a great capacity for boredom,” he said. “That’s where you start.”
To better explain, he borrowed a quote from the Eagles. Yes, the rock band.
“I was up late one night in the 1980s watching VH-1,” Mumme said. “Some guy asked the Eagles why they were so great. They said they played the same cord over and over again until it was perfect. Then they moved onto the next. I thought that was perfect for football, too.
Mumme also said obsessing over “the little things” is vital.
To better explain, he took a page out of Bill Walsh’s book. Yes, the famed late San Francisco 49ers coach.
“Bill Walsh went out of his way to make sure players had the same experience they had during a home game on the road. He’d install bigger airplane seats. And they took two planes instead of one. They’d eat the same foods and all that,” Mumme said. “Today, everyone at the big level is first class. In D-III, being first class gives you a huge advantage. Our goal is to travel better than anyone. That helps us get things going in the right direction.”
Wins and losses are an easy way to gauge if a program is headed in the right direction.
But that’s not what Mumme enjoys most about his “flipping football programs” profession.
He likes finding the die-hards — those fans who attend every home game no matter the team’s record or the weather.
“It’s the same type of people at each stop. Those people with the long faces who approach you right when you’re hired. They’ll always give you some advice on how to fix it,” Mumme said. “I love finding those people a few years later, shaking their hands. It’s almost like an ‘I told you so’ moment.”
Contact Riley Blevins at (601) 961-7344 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @Riley_Blevins on Twitter.
Sep 5th, 2014 by Dr. Roger Parrott
I am thrilled that Belhaven University board member, Dr. Jerry Young has been elected president of the National Baptist Convention, USA. This is the largest African-American denomination in the country.
Dr. Young is a remarkable preacher, with a humble spirit and servant’s heart. I know God will use his influence in significant ways as he serves in this vital leadership position.
He has served on our board for about 18 years, and has always been responsive to help Belhaven University in the city of Jackson and extending our reach around the country.
Here is the story from the Clarion Ledger
Dr. Jerry Young, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson, has been elected the next president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Young makes history as the first Mississippi pastor to serve in this position.
The 134th Annual Session for the National Baptist Convention took place this week in New Orleans, and Young was elected Thursday night from a field of five candidates nominated for the seat. The candidates were Dr. R.B Holmes, Dr. Clifford Jones, Dr. Boise Kimber and Dr. Randy Vaughn. Young won by a landslide 3,195 votes, according to New Hope Baptist Church.
Marcus Cathey, pastor of West Point Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, and his congregation supported Young during his campaign because of proven leadership.
“It’s been my privilege to call Dr. Young my pastor for the past 34 years as I grew up in Jackson as a member of New Hope Baptist Church,” Cathey said in an email. “This election will give the nation an opportunity to see the type of leadership that’s produced here in our state.”
Also attending the convention, Cathey said Young’s immediate tasks will include recruiting a team to help him address questions about the convention’s future work and decline in members.
Each church, district association or state convention entity may be eligible to cast up to five votes for the election for president of the National Baptist Convention. Young succeeds Dr. Julius R. Scruggs, pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville, Ala., elected president Sept. 10, 2009 during the 129th Annual Session held in Memphis.
Dr. Jerry Young is a native of Scott, Mississippi and has led New Hope Baptist Church since 1980, and is the founder and headmaster of New Hope Christian Pre-School and New Hope Christian Elementary School serving 300-plus students.
Up until Thursday’s vote, Young served as the organization’s vice president at large and also served as president of Mississippi National Baptist Convention for 12 years. The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., is the largest African-American religious organization in the country.
We have begun construction on the new University Village, but planning the project we knew that one of the tough challenges would be getting equipment into the center of campus.
One of our 230 surveillance security cameras recorded the arrival of the crane to the job site.
We knew the turn would be tight, but it was tighter than we thought.
This is the fast way to move the guard house out of the way.