H1N1 Vaccines Available ONLY Thursday/Friday

Greg Hawkins, our Dean of Students has worked tirelessly to help us avoid an outbreak of H1N1 flu this fall.

We’ve been having about 3 cases each week through the fall. Thanks to the work of Greg and his team, and the cooperation of those who became sick, we’ve been able to isolate those with flu and keep it from spreading to large numbers of students and staff.

As a campus we’ve managed this flu through lots of hand sanitizers and isolation of the sick, but it has been a very difficult to secure doses of the H1N1 vaccine –  we now have them!

These H1N1 flu shots will be available on Thursday and Friday this week for ALL STUDENTS as well as ALL EMPLOYEES AND THEIR FAMILIES.

Dr. Debbie Minor and her staff at the University Medical Center has volunteered their services to administer the vaccine on this Thursday and Friday (December 3rd & 4th) from 10:30a – 1:30p in the first floor of the student center.

Our health clinic will NOT be administering the shot.  So, that means that this is the only time students and employees/families can receive the vaccine.  Seasonal flu vaccines are available in the health clinic, but not the H1N1 vaccine.

These vaccinations are free to students, faculty, and staff (and the immediate families of employees.)  But this is the ONLY time you’ll be able to receive the H1N1 vaccine on campus.

Roll up your sleeve and don’t miss this chance to get the vaccine……..and be sure to thank Greg for his work in securing these shots for our campus.

3 Connections You Shouldn’t Miss


Did you know you can read the Belhaven magazine, The Tartan, online?  Click here.  Every issue seems to be better than the last, and the one at the printer right now is a WOW!  Bryant Butler and Merilee Paxton, working with VP Kevin Russell, have set a new high standard for a quality publication.  Watch your mailboxes, or catch it online if you miss the issue.


The graphic design department, under the leadership of Kris Dietrich, has launched a new blog. You can connect to it here.  Kris invited me to do a guest post about graphic design:

There may be no more important way to reach the world for Christ than through images.  As Christians our words matter a little, our actions matter most, but it is the images of communication that grip people if they are to consider ideas outside their familiar turf.  In this age, graphic design may be one of the most important evangelism and discipleship tools available to us.

It is contrite to repeat the old saying, “a picture is worth 1,000 words” – today, the right picture, with the right headline, presented in the right way speaks volumes.  And to me the importance of graphic design gets lived out every day:

I just published a book, and we spent more time getting the cover right than I did writing chapters, because if the entirety of the book’s message doesn’t come across on the cover, the book will never be opened.

When we print our magazine for Belhaven, I spend as much time working with out team about the graphics as I do about the words.  I know the recipients of our magazine may or may not read the story, but I know they will all see the graphics.

When I write even a simple email to the campus, I know that how it is laid out will determine how well it is read.  The words don’t change, but the presentation can make the words be heard rather than lost.

I hope our students will become the best – for business, graphic design firms, and ministry organizations. And I hope they will be people with a calling from God to not be satisfied with just showing us razzle-dazzle of creative designs.  Whether selling a product, shaping an idea, or sharing a ministry focus I pray we will have graduates who “serve rather than be served” – which means in graphic design that the goal must be to meet the needs of those to whom you are communicating, not just boost the designer’s ego so they are able to win awards.

I’m thrilled we’ve started this graphic design major. With the thousands of images that come at us every day, and the short attention span of people, it is the graphic designers who have more opportunity to set the cultural agenda for the world.  The good ones will be heard.


Our sports information director, Kirk McDonnell, does a great job keeping us up to date with Blazer athletics.  You can get the latest at the web page or you can have the scores sent to your phone as they are posted if you have text messaging.  Be sure not to miss this news of our Blazers competing in the national cross country race.

Reese and Kazery Compete in NAIA Cross Country Nationals

Belhaven cross country runners Hannah Reese and Thomas Kazery both raced in the 2009 NAIA Cross Country National Championship meet presented by Nike, which was Saturday morning at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash. The women’s race had a total of 330 competitors and men’s race had a total of 323 participants.

Reese, a freshman from Brandon, MS, completed the 5k race with an overall time of 21:32 and sustained a pace of 6:56 finishing 272nd.

Kazery, a sophomore from Jackson, MS, completed the 8k race with an overall time of 31:32, maintained a pace of 6:21 throughout the race, and placed 319th.

The meet featured some of the best runners from across the country. For the women, California State University-San Marcos took home the team National Championship with a total time of 1:35:00 with 32 teams in the meet. Malone University took home the men’s team National Championship with an overall time of 2:06:26 with 32 teams in the meet.

The complete results, both individual and team, can be viewed on the NAIA website by clicking here. The individual results can be viewed via the links at the top of the story.

University/College Survey Results

Below are the results from a survey,  generating responses from over 1,000 students, alumni and faculty and staff.

This was a wonderful way to collect a broad spectrum of perspectives and gain good ideas from many who care most about Belhaven.  These outcomes will be shared with the Board of Trustees.

It is our desire from the Board to find God’s clear leading and voice in this decision, and gaining insights from God’s people has been an important part of this process.

Thanks to all of you who participated. Not only did you respond to the questions, but over 500 of you left comments, and I’ve read every one of them.

Here are the significant findings of the survey

The most important finding was an overwhelming number assuming there are official criteria that qualifies a school to be a university rather than a college.  Those who said they were surprised there is not a criteria – Students 85%, Alumni 73%, All Employees 69%, Only Faculty 67%.

When asked if the name “college” or “university” would make a difference in which schools  they  were willing to consider, they responded that University made a difference among 38% of students and 52% of alumni.

When asked which name on the diploma they believe would help most in a job search, University was the preferred choice among Students 70%, Alumni 52%, All Employees 74%, Only Faculty 82%; and College was the choice for only a handful – Students 3%, Alumni 3%, All Employees 1%, Only Faculty 2%.

When asked if changing the name to University would be overall positive or negative, only a small minority said it would be negative – Students 5%, Alumni 11%, All Employees 3%, Only Faculty 3%

When asked, “If you alone made the decision, which would it be?” they responded for “college” – Students 12%, Alumni 26%, All Employees 14%, Only Faculty 10%.




When asked, “If the change is made, when would you prefer it happen?” those who responded immediately or January – Students 77%, All Employees 64%, Only Faculty 66%.

FAQ From the College / University Survey

I’ve been receiving lots of helpful insight and ideas regarding this decision whether or not to change our name from Belhaven College to Belhaven University.

The concept has also raised a number of questions, and I thought it would be helpful to answer a few of those that came  in through the survey comments or emails:

Would renaming Belhaven a University change who we are? No, instead, it would reflect who we have already become.  There would be no change in mission, style, or priorities with a name change because we already operate as a complex multi-level Christ-centered academic institution where our standard is Christ.

Would we become a larger residential campus if we changed to University? Our traditional age student program could grow by only about another 20% or  until we run out of space (we grew about 5% this year.)  We can only house about another 100 students on campus in double rooms, and I don’t see a new residence hall on the near horizon.

Would we become larger overall if we changed to University? I sure hope so!  We would love to have more students in our adult programs on all four campuses, as well as in our graduate programs.  The most significant enrollment increase will come in our new online master degrees which begin in January.

Here is one of the things I love most about what God has given us at Belhaven

Belhaven is unique among nearly every college in the country, in that we are blessed to be able to grow dramatically without it changing at all the spirit and nature of the residential campus.  Because we have multiple campuses, we can have a small campus feel in each of our locations, while still being a large institution overall and enjoying those accompanying benefits and economy of scale.

Would becoming a University raise the tuition? The name won’t have anything to do with tuition.  That is driven by market conditions, financial needs, and overall enrollment.  This past year we had a tuition increase half the rate of a normal year because of the economy – while the majority of schools had increases higher than a normal year.  This year’s fee rate increase will be more back to normal, about 5%, depending on the program and location.

Would class sizes change if we becaome a University? No, the name change won’t change the current class structure.  Again, a name change would only reflect who we’ve already become.  So, if you like the class sizes now, you’d like them with the change of name.  If you want huge classes with 300 in a lecture hall, we can’t help you.

Would hiring standards for faculty and staff change and would they still be required to teach from a Christian worldview? Our mission, worldview focus, Christian commitment, and hiring standards would not change one ounce!  We will never budge on our standards for hiring or anything else.  “Our standard is Christ” will be our driving force even if we were called Belhaven Royal Conservatory (which was a suggestion someone sent me, and I kind of like the sound of it!)

I’m glad for the active dialog and the prayerful thought that has gone into this decision.  The survey will be open through the weekend, and if you’ve not had a chance to fill it out, I’d encourage you to join the 700 people who have already responded.

College / University Survey Fast Start

The survey regarding the question of a possible name change is BLAZING!

It started off fast with 75 alumni responding within minutes after it was posted, but now the current student survey has pushed ahead in total number of responses.

As of right now, I’ve had responses from:

269 current students

214 alumni

124 faculty and staff

In addition, I’ve had about a dozen students write me directly.

I have received 271 comments on the surveys, and I’ve read every one of them. They include some very helpful ideas and perspectives.

If you’ve not yet responded, please do so….even if you’ve shared with me your thoughts in some other setting.  It is helpful to have the reaction of all of us tabulated in these surveys.

See the links in yesterday’s blog post the survey.

An Important Survey for All Current Students and Alumni

I need your insights as we are considering this question:

Has Belhaven College grown in size, influence, and stature that it should be renamed Belhaven University?

This is a decision of the Board of Trustees, but we do not want to go further in the discussion until we gain insights from our current students and alumni.

There are no official criteria distinguishing a college from a university.  But some of the reasons we are considering this change include:

  • We serve 2,800 students in four states plus our online program.

  • We have six master degrees and three more under consideration.

  • We currently have four schools plus our honors college.

  • We are considered by many to the leading school in the scholarship of building a Christian worldview into the teaching curriculum.

  • We have gained national distinction in the arts and in business, as well as national program accreditation for many of our departments.

  • There are 77 schools that have changed from college to university in the past six years.

  • Up to an enrollment of 5,000 students, in the south there are only 4 schools larger Belhaven that still use college and 67 smaller than Belhaven that use university.

  • All schools in some states (like Texas) use university.

  • There are 52 southern and 34 Christian universities that do not offer a doctorate.
  • The majority of schools in our athletic conference are university.

  • Trade schools (Antonelli, Virginia, and Magnolia) have changed their names to “college.”

  • Many community colleges around the country are starting to drop “community” from their name making it confusing for prospective students.

  • A college is considered a high school in most other countries of the world.

With this background in mind, it would helpful in this decision making process to get your response to the following questions.  Please complete the appropriate survey.


ALUMNI click here

5 Million Listeners

Last week I had the opportunity to talk about my book before an audience of 5 million listeners on the Moody Broadcasting Networks popular evening drive time show, Prime Time America.

If you’d like to hear this 8 minute interview click here:  Roger Parrott Interview- Prime Time America, Moody Radio.

I was thrilled that the gracious host, Greg Wheatley,  invited me to begin by sharing about Belhaven, and I was able to give a brief message about the College to that nationwide audience.

I’m pleased to have had opportunities to talk about Belhaven during every radio interview I’ve done about the book.

Don’t Be So Busy You Miss It

Last week (when it wasn’t raining) I received this encouraging and wise email from Robin Savoy, Director of Campus Operations.

I couldn’t agree more!

We get so busy doing what we do on campus, it is easy to miss all that is happening around us – and the joy of working and serving at Belhaven.

Dr. Parrott,

My point of view…..Every staff member should get out of their office once a week (at least in my opinion) and experience the sights and sounds of Belhaven College.

This afternoon the sun was shining and the weather was perfect. Standing on top of the hill by the flagpole overlooking the Soccer Bowl the men’s soccer team could be seen and heard practicing while the Cheerleaders were working on their cheer routines in front of Heidelberg gym.

Inside the Auxiliary Gym our Volleyball team was practicing and the Women’s basketball team was practicing in Rugg Arena.

Some students were sitting out on the lawn talking on the phone or talking to friends, and some were sitting at the Pavilion enjoying the fountain.

A peaceful day on campus watching students enjoy their college days at Belhaven College.

Yes all employees should take a waltz around campus… if nothing else to clear their head from schedules, meeting, paperwork, etc. But also to experience the sights and sounds of Belhaven College.

Wow. What a great place to work.