Walking Trail Dedication This Morning

Please come join us this Thursday morning at 11 am at the plaza in front of the McCravey-Triplett Student Center as we formally dedicate the walking trails and exercise center made possible by our friends at  the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.

You won’t have any  trouble with a reminder…just listen for the sounds of the BU Band led by Dr. Paxton Girtmon as the 11 o’clock hour approaches.

The short dedication program will last only a few minutes and then we hope you will also be able to join us as we take a short “ceremonial” walk along the academic green course.  We will be joined by local school children, Belhaven neighbors, and representatives from Blue Cross and the Greater Belhaven Foundation.

Come join us!  Thursday, March 31 at 11:00 am in front of the Student Center! …listen for the music!

Congratulations Dr. Carr

Benjamin Carr, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, has completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Human Performance with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology from the University of Southern Mississippi.

His dissertation was titled “The Effects of Sodium Bicarbonate Supplementation on Lower-Body-Hypertrophy-Type Resistance Exercise.”

Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science trains students how to pursue vocational environments in areas such as therapeutics, fitness, fitness management, medicine and education.

Belhaven’s program is one of only a handful that applies a Christian worldview to all aspects of the human body and its performance, as well as the vocations that serve it.

Winning Is Fun

The Belhaven Blazers are winning lots of recognition as they compete on the court or diamond:


  • Ranked 9th in the nation – and on a 17 game winning streak.
  • Annalee Carr, who has a .700 batting average, was named the NAIA  National Player of the Week.


  • Our women’s team is ranked 25th in the nation – their first national ranking in history.
  • Our men’s team received votes for national ranking – both teams have only two losses this season.


  • The Blazers were ranked 12th in the preseason poll, and are 23-8 for the season.  The first in-season poll will be released next Tuesday and they are expected to move up in the rankings.


  • Coach Billy Evans led the team to earn an invitation to the national tournament for the first time in our history – they lost to Azusa Pacific, who won the championship.
  • Regena Jackson, a junior guard from Denham, LA, was named the Southern States Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year along with being named to the All-Conference and All Academic teams.
  • Kiara Johnson, a junior guard from Wiggins, MS, was also named to the SSAC All-Conference Team.


  • Nathaniel Roch’e and Rob Wallace were both selected as NAIA Honorable Mention All-Americans and the Southern States Athletic Conference All-Conference Team.

Academic Challenges and March Madness Success

This is worth your time to read in USA Today

Education chief: Low grad rate should mean no tourney invite

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says NCAA basketball teams with poor graduation rates should not be allowed to participate in postseason tournaments.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says schools not on track to graduate at least half of their basketball players should not be allowed to compete in the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments.

Read more here

History Making Game Tomorrow – Women’s BB

For the first time in our history, the Belhaven women’s basketball team will play in the 2011 Division I NAIA National Basketball Championship.

Tonight, Head Coach Billy Evans, and the team stepped onto the national stage during the tournament introductions in Jackson, TN.


Play-by-play action of Thursday’s 2:15 pm game can be heard by clicking here.

For all the information on Belhaven’s national tournament click here.

The Blazers, who received votes in the final NAIA Top 25 Poll, enter the championship with an overall record of 24-8 and won the Southern States Athletic Conference West Division title. Its Belhaven’s first 20 or more win season since 1982. Belhaven will open the 2011 NAIA Division I National Championship Tournament against Azusa Pacific University on Thursday March 17th at 2:15 PM at Oman Arena in Jackson, TN.

Belhaven is led by their guards who are all averaging over 10 points per game this season. Junior Regena Jackson has played in 22 games this season and paces the Blazers at 17 points per contest. Jackson has also dished out 131 assists which ranks her 22nd in the NAIA in that category. Junior Kiara Johnson averages 12.4 points per game and sophomore Sarah Carr fires in 10.7 points per game. Carr is also one of the nation’s most prolific three point shooters having knocked down 80 so far this season setting a new Belhaven single season record. Carr is currently ranked 11th in the NAIA for total three point baskets. As a team, Belhaven is outscoring their opponents 70 to 59.9 points per game in 2010-11.

Junior forward Jessica Barlow anchors the post for Belhaven averaging 6.8 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Erika Leflore pulls down 5.6 rebounds per night and junior forward Portia Tucker averages 7.6 rebounds per contest although she has played in only 20 games this season. Defensively, Johnson can create lots of havoc for opposing ball handlers. Johnson has 114 steals this season and averages 3.6 swipes per game. Johnson is third in the NAIA in total steals and fifth in the country in steals per game.

Azusa Pacific is making their 13 appearance at the NAIA National Tournament and garnered one of four number one seeds in this year’s field. The Cougars are ranked third in the final NAIA Top 25 poll and own an overall record of 28-5. Azusa Pacific was the Golden State Athletic Conference regular season champion and also earned an automatic bid. The Cougars are 8-13 overall in national tournament games.

Azusa Pacific has four players averaging 10 points per game or more led by senior forward Alex Porter-Moore at 15.6 points per game. Junior guard Eboni Sadler pours in 14.2 points per game while junior guard Briana Hall chips in with 11 points per game and has 201 total assists which leads the country. The post is anchored by senior center Kristie Hala’ufia and she rounds out the Cougar double digit scorers at 10 points per contest. Azusa Pacific is outscoring their opponents by more than 15 points per game winning their contests by an average score of 77.8 to 62.3. The Cougars are ranked ninth in the NAIA in that category.

On the boards, junior center Amber Williams owns the team lead in rebounds per game at 6.8 this season. Hala’ufia pulls down 6.3 rebounds each time she takes the floor. The Cougars have a lot of height on the roster with three players six feet or taller with two other players standing at 5’11. As a team, Azusa Pacific averages 42.4 rebounds per game and is seventh in the NAIA in offensive rebounds per contest at 17.1.

My Mom Has Crossed Over Into Heaven

Mom BirthdayIn the early hours of this morning my Mom peacefully moved into heaven. With the long expectation of her passing it is a relief . . . but it isn’t . . . but it is with assurance of heaven. Although it’s been a difficult 3 ½ years for Mom since Dad died, even as she suffered from Parkinson’s, she never lost her fortitude, grace, and dignity.

The theme song of her life was the hymn she played to open the Sunday evening service every week in our church when Dad was a pastor in Portland, Oregon:

Make me a blessing, Make me a blessing

Out of my life May Jesus shine;

Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray,

Make me a blessing to someone today.

I thank the Lord for Mom’s wonderful Godly life, just three weeks short of 88 years – 32,119 days to be exact. I’m thankful that so many of those days were invested in me and my brothers, on top of her being the author or many books, business woman, and a strong and active wife of a pastor and university president.

When she took a turn for the worse two weeks ago, I quickly adjusted my schedule to be with her in Phoenix, and I’m so thankful I made it in time. Last Tuesday night when I arrived, she was alert, and could speak a few words, and for nearly two hours she wouldn’t let go of my hand and I told her happy memories from her life. Although couldn’t speak much, her smile and the twinkle in her eye communicated a lifetime of love.

By Friday she had only brief seconds she was awake, as she had lost her ability to speak with much understanding. We held hands for hours while she drifted in and out of sleep.

It took several attempts to walk out of that room for the last time knowing I’d never see her again this side of heaven. But before I left, she looked with eyes that said come close, and when I bent down for that last time in a struggled whisper she said, “I love you” . . . and give me a kiss. And then, out of the blue in a strong voice she said, “I’m going to get better.”

This morning Mom is all better – standing strong with no walker to assist her and no shaking from Parkinson’s – eyes alert, taking in Heaven and filled with joy as she begins her eternal life with Jesus – and I hope, already playing tennis with Dad again like they loved to do when they were in college together.

When the hurts of life are too deep – when I hardly know how to pray – I pray music. These last few days I’ve been praying this song, as if I wrote every single word of it myself: Gary Chapman’s, “That’s as Good as Goodbye Gets.”

We said our last “I love you” as we held each other tight.

With years of tender feelings overflowing from our eyes.

Now here I am with memories, all alone, with no regrets.

And that’s as good as goodbye gets.

You did a lot of living as you walked these earthly miles.

It’s funny, though I’m crying,
still somehow, I have to smile.

Cause your life, your love, your laughter, touched everyone you met.

And that’s as good as goodbye gets.

There’s a deep, deep sadness that comes with letting go.

But, even though I’m grieving, there is peace; there is hope.

Says everyone who knew you, was a part of your days,

Your eyes were fixed on Jesus, now you’ll find Him face to face.

And I’ll meet you there in heaven, when my life sun sets.

And that’s as good as goodbye gets.

My time to see her off to heaven last week was about as good as goodbye gets.

Thanks for your prayers. Knowing that my friends understand Heaven is for real, encourages me that your prayers will join the great Cloud of Witnesses who are welcoming my Mom into her eternal home.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Look full in his wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of his glory and grace.


Brent Kooi CNN Report from Japan

Brent Kooi was our Dean of Students for many years, and left a couple years ago to begin ministry work in Japan.

He captured the earthquake on video, and it is featured on CNN I-Reports.

He sounds incredibly calm as he narrates the earth, literally, moving under his feet.

The only way someone can learn to be that calm in crisis is to have been an experienced and gifted Dean of Students!