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Belmont University
Motto "From here to anywhere"
Established 1890
Type Private
Endowment $59 million[1]
President Robert "Bob" Fisher
Faculty 520
Students 5,393
Undergraduates 4,388
Postgraduates 1,005
Location Nashville, TN, USA
Campus Urban, 75 acres (263,000 m²)
Athletics NCAA Division I - 7 men and 8 women varsity teams
Colors Red and Blue          
Nickname Bruins
Mascot Bruiser the Bruin
Belmont (Acklen Hall)
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Location: Belmont Blvd.
Nashville, Tennessee
Built/Founded: 1850
Architect: William Strickland
Architectural style(s): Greek Revival; Italianate
Governing body: Belmont University
Added to NRHP: May 6, 1971
NRHP Reference#: 71000816

Belmont University is a private, coeducational, liberal arts university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. It is the largest Christian university in Tennessee and the second largest private university in the state, behind nearby Vanderbilt University.




Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion was the home of Adelicia Hayes Acklen, a wealthy Nashville socialite and businesswoman. It was one of the most elaborate antebellum homes in the South, with 36 rooms and 19,000 sq ft (1,800 m2). The estate contained an art gallery, conservatories, lavish gardens, aviary, lake and zoo.[10][11] The mansion became the home to Ward-Belmont College, a former women's college. Today it is owned by Belmont University. The mansion is open for tours and features Victorian art and furnishings. The gardens are part of the college campus.

Nashville's first radio station

The first radio station in Nashville went on air in May 1922 when John "Jack" DeWitt, Jr., a 16-year-old high school student, installed a twenty-watt transmitter at Belmont. The station, WDAA, was born when Doctor C. E. Crosland, Associate President, realized the potential advertising value to the college of a radio station. The WDAA program on April 18, 1922 marked the first time a music program was broadcast in Nashville. The broadcast could be heard 150 to 200 miles (320 km) from the school.[2] DeWitt later became WSM (AM) radio station's chief engineer, 1932-1942, and president, 1947-1968.[3]


Rankings and recognition

Belmont was cited as "School to Watch" in 2009 for its innovative programs.[4] U.S. News & World Report ranked it number 7 of masters-degree universities[5] in the South.[6] For the applicant class of 2008-09, Belmont admitted 63% of its applicants[7] (only 35% of business students admitted as freshman[8]), and half of those students matriculated. The average ACT score for the admitted class is 26. One-third of new freshmen at Belmont were in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, including 30 valedictorians and 12 salutatorians, and they held an average cumulative high school GPA of 3.5.[9] Approximately 2/3 of entering freshmen graduate from Belmont. Approximately 1/3 of entering freshmen transfer out of Belmont.[10]

Academic programs

Belmont University offers 7 bachelor’s degrees in over 75 academic majors in 6 colleges and 1 school along with 20 master’s and 3 doctoral programs[11]. Belmont and HCA created a health sciences consortium with local universities to alleviate the shortage of nurses and health care professionals in the local community.[12] Belmont's undergraduate entrepreneurship program has been named an "Undergrad Model Program" by[13], and provides students with shared office space and mentoring from faculty, local entrepreneurs and attorneys.[14] New Century Journalism students have gained work experience at The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show, CBS Evening News, and British Broadcasting Corp.[15]

Music and music business programs

Belmont is home to the only AACSB International accredited Music Business program in the world.[16]

Belmont's Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business (CEMB) consists of current/former authors, performers, expert witnesses (for industry lawsuits), artist managers, lawyers, record label executives, songwriters, and others. The former dean of the CEMB, Jim Van Hook, is a legendary Nashville label head, especially as part of the Christian music industry. He is currently CEO of Word Entertainment. One of the hallmarks of the program is its internship program, which sends hundreds of students annually out into the Nashville music industry to intern for record labels, management companies, publishing companies, booking agencies, publicists, recording studios, law firms, and other businesses.

Besides having three professional-quality recording studios on campus, Belmont owns the Belmont Studios (including Ocean Way Nashville), part of which is operated for-profit (used by such artists as Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow, and Bob Seger), and part of which is used by students. Belmont also operates historic RCA Studio B (formerly used by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Dolly Parton), in conjunction with the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Curb Family Foundation. In addition, the music business program operates Belmont West and Belmont East, which enable students to spend a semester learning about and interning in the entertainment industries in Los Angeles and New York City, respectively.

Schools and colleges

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • College of Business Administration
  • Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing
  • The Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business
  • University College
  • Graduate School
  • Massey Graduate School of Business Administration
  • School of Religion


Main Campus (Nashville)

The Belmont Mansion

In June 2006, Belmont opened the new $18 million Gordon E. Inman Center that now houses the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing.[10] A state-of-the-art facility, which was financed primarily by Nashville businessman Gordon E. Inman and the HCA TriStar Health System, the building has three stories of classroom space that contain learning labs equipped with Sim Man mannequins that respond to the actions of the nursing students. Additionally, there are classrooms centered on both adult and pediatric occupational therapy, maternity and neonatal care complete with Sim Man babies and a birthing Sim Woman, orthopedics lab, and many classrooms of various sizes.

Belmont also houses the Curb Event Center, a 5000-seat multi-purpose arena, which is used for basketball games, concerts, and other events like the 2006, 2007 and 2008 CMT Awards, and the 2008 Presidential Debate.[11] The facility is connected to the Beaman Student Life Center and Maddox Grand Atrium—collectively, a $52 million development.

Regional Campus

  • "Cool Springs" location in Franklin, TN

National Campuses

  • Los Angeles, CA (Belmont West)
  • New York City, NY (Belmont East)

Student life

Belmont has over 80 student organizations. These include Student Government, Program Board, Greek Life, and The Psychology Club as well as other special interest organizations.

Belmont's Greek community consists of four sororities and four fraternities. The sororities are Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Phi Mu. The fraternities include Alpha Tau Omega, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Phi Kappa Tau, and Phi Delta Theta. Approximately 10% of the student body is Greek. Belmont Panhellenic is the second largest student organization on campus with over 250 members.[17]

Belmont is also home to two Greek-lettered music honor societies. They are Sigma Alpha Iota and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Belmont operates four private television stations called BTV (local Comcast stations for its residents), as well as one student newspaper called The Vision.[18]

Students may also become involved through special interest organizations including, but not limited to Bolting Belmont Bruins running club, Service Corps, and The M.O.B. (Motivational Organization of Belmont) which supports athletics. Students are encouraged to get involved. If a club does not exist for a student's interests, they are encouraged to start one.

The largest student organization on campus is Service Corps, which focuses on volunteer work inside the Music Industry and is open only to students enrolled in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.[19]

Notable alumni

Notable supporters of Belmont include Mike Curb (substantial donor/namesake of CEMB and Curb Event Center/founder and head of Curb Records), Jack C. Massey (substantial donor to and namesake of BU's business building and graduate business program, former head of Kentucky Fried Chicken and a founder of Hospital Corporation of America), and Vince Gill (country music artist whose annual charity event has raised thousands in scholarship money).

Points of interest

Main campus attractions

Off-campus facilities

  • Greer Stadium -- Belmont's baseball team utilizes this stadium for its games.
  • The Boulevard—Fine dining and events on Belmont Blvd.

Belmont athletics

Belmont Bruins logo

Belmont is a member of the NCAA Division I and is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, a non-football conference.

In the mid-1990s, Belmont adopted the mascot "Bruins", replacing the earlier mascot of Rebels due to the latter's association with the Confederacy.

The school has an ongoing basketball rivalry with Lipscomb University and currently plays them at least twice per year on a home-and-home basis (even more frequently in some years) in games nicknamed the "Battle of the Boulevard". In 2006, likely the most important Battle of the Boulevard game to date was played. With both teams battling for their first-ever NCAA Tournament berths, the Belmont Bruins nipped Lipscomb in overtime to win the Atlantic Sun conference championship 74-69. The Belmont Bruins were seeded 15th in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, losing in the first round to the UCLA Bruins.

In 2007, Belmont won the Atlantic Sun Conference championship for the second year in a row, defeating East Tennessee State University in Johnson City 94-67. The Bruins continued to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year, losing in the first round to the Georgetown Hoyas.

In 2008 The Bruins advanced for the third straight year to the NCAA Tournament, again earning a 15 seed against the #2 seeded Duke Blue Devils. Belmont had their best tournament showing ever in this game, falling short by a score of 71-70 to the Blue Devils, nearly pulling off an incredible upset.

In 2009 The Bruins posted their first post season victory by beating Evansville University in the Post Season Tournament (CIT).

Presidential debate

See also Nashville Townhall Debate of the 2008 Presidential Election
One of the on-campus advertisements for the Presidential Debate at Belmont

On November 19, 2007, The Commission on Presidential Debates officially chose Belmont University to host one of three Presidential election debates on October 7, 2008.[22] President Bob Fisher gave a press conference on November 19 announcing the news, expressing great excitement towards the opportunity to be a part of something so historical. He added: "It is an amazing honor, a tremendous responsibility and a fantastic opportunity for all of us. We will be privileged to see the frontlines of the political process and engage with a vast array of professionals and scholars, all while witnessing the significant benefits this event will have on our university and the local Nashville community." Belmont was chosen out of sixteen finalists. The Debate at Belmont is different from the others in that it is a "town-hall" style debate. In a Town-Hall debate, questions are fielded from the audience.

Separation from the Tennessee Baptist Convention

Belmont severed its ties from the Tennessee Baptist Convention in 2007, when the university announced it would be a Christian university without any religious affiliations.

In 1951, Ward-Belmont College, the finishing school operated in Nashville by Ward-Belmont, Inc., was facing severe financial difficulties. To relieve those problems, the school entered into a relationship with the TBC. Under the terms of that relationship, the Tennessee Baptist Convention provided the school with financial support and in exchange was granted certain management rights related to the school. In particular, all of the members of the school's Board of Trustees were required to hold membership in a Baptist church.

In 2005 Belmont's Board of Trustees sought to remove Belmont University from the control of the Tennessee Baptist Convention while remaining in a "fraternal relationship" with it. Advocates of this plan presented a blueprint for change in which all board members would be Christians but only 60 percent would be Baptists in order to affirm a Christian affinity while acknowledging the diversity of both the faculty and the student body. The head of the TBC would continue to be an ex officio board member. The TBC rejected this plan.

In November 2005 The Tennessean reported that the TBC would increase its funding of two other institutions, Union University and Carson-Newman College by the amount previously given to Belmont and Belmont would replace the three percent of its budget that was funded by the TBC; this announcement seemed to mark the end of the matter. However, on April 7, 2006 The Tennessean reported that the TBC would seek to oust the existing board and replace it with one consisting entirely of Southern Baptists and amenable to ongoing TBC control.

After settlement talks failed, the Tennessee Baptist Convention Executive Board filed a lawsuit on September 29, 2006 against Belmont seeking the return of approximately $58,000,000.

On November 14, 2007, Nashville media reported that a settlement of this suit had been reached before trial. Under its terms, the TBC and Belmont would disaffiliate amicably, with Belmont agreeing to pay one million dollars to the convention immediately, and $250,000 annually for the next forty years, for a total cost of $11,000,000. The University has stated its intent to maintain a Christian identity, but no longer a specifically Baptist one.[23]


External links

Coordinates: 36°08′08″N 86°47′48″W / 36.13553°N 86.79661°W / 36.13553; -86.79661

Affiliated media

Related, independent media

Belmont centers


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