- Two Time Tony Award Winning Best Actress and Emmy Award Winning Best Supporting Actress Cherry Jones visited the Renaissance Theatre Program on Wednesday August 15th. Jones is best known for her award winning performances in the Broadway play Doubt and the hit TV series 24. She is also known for her roles in Signs, The Village, Oceans Twelve, The Perfect Storm, New Years Eve, and more recently AWAKE. “Spending time with these kids was a pleasure,” Jones commented. “When I hear that the theatre is dying, I look to these kids to keep it alive. The opportunities they are receiving with the Renaissance Program are remarkable, and I applaud the directors and the school for their leadership.” The students asked questions about her favorite role, favorite person to work with and even her favorite food. Encouraging the students to never give up and to try for anything, Jones told stories about many of her colleagues in the industry that have overcome outstanding obstacles. “It is not everyday that you get an actress like Cherry Jones to speak to your students and motivate them to go after their dreams,” added Brian Hill, Director of Renaissance Theatre. Jones is a native of Paris, TN and is home for two weeks visiting. She is a 1978 Graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.
- Members of Bethel University’s Office of Residence Life have been preparing for the new school year with residence halls opening for traditional undergraduate students this Sunday, Aug. 19. Those who work within the Office of Residence Life include front row l to r: Autumn Starks of Dyersburg; Sam Pyron of Brownsville; Logan Pyron of Brownsville; Zachary Sanders of Murfreesboro; Rachael Perrault of Clarksville; Danyell Spry of Buchanan; Kayla Hall of Granite City, Ill.; Christopher Cain of Vinemont, Ala.; Daniel Potter of Brighton; Sarriah Johnson of Milan; Kennon Holder of Huntingdon; Alyssa Hassell of Paris; Nathaniel Funk of Millport, Ala.; Kelly Dupree of Silver Springs, Fla.; Courtney Frazier of Munford; Curtis Hardy of McKenzie; Bryan Dickens of Charlotte; Triosha Webster of Nashville; Andrew Deason of Vanleer; Zach O’Kelley of Florence, Ala.; Artomie Dixon of McKenzie; Tim White; Christy Hampton of McKenzie, Shaniece Bond of Jackson; Savannah Cooper of Paris; and Peggy Carter of Huntingdon. Back row l to r includes: Samsideen Singhateh of Gambia; LaShara Mickens of Memphis; Mishel Castro of Jackson; Jasmine Porter of Paris; Devin Bargatze of Murfreesboro; Jose Paniagua of Pahokee, Fla.; Kerrick Owens of Memphis; Melissia Madden of Jamaica; Billy Sampson of Palatka, Fla.; Alex Emelyanov of Russia; Kristian Takac of Serbia; Lia Agee of Kenton; Krysani Hogg-Boyd of Memphis; Renee Story of McKenzie; Taylor Lawley of McKenzie; Bo Morrison, Richard Gilliam of Memphis; Vinicius Kerchner of Brazil; Joe Dickinson of Dyer; and Michael McNeely of Memphis.
- Bethel University will celebrate its 170th birthday this Saturday, Aug. 18, with a concert featuring Renaissance, the Bethel Performing Arts Experience, and fireworks by High Tech Special Effects. The event is being called “How Sweet It Is to Celebrate 170 Years.” The concert will begin at 7 p.m. on Bethel’s McKenzie campus adjacent to Baker Fieldhouse. Sweet treats will also be a part of the evening. The concert is free and open to the public. Guests should bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating. The concert also kicks off the school year for traditional undergraduate students who will begin fall classes on Monday, Aug. 20. Out of more than 40 schools in the state of Tennessee (both public and private) only five institutions are older than Bethel. Bethel University has been around longer than some of Tennessee’s most prestigious institutions including Vanderbilt and Sewanee: The University of the South. Compared to some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the U.S., Bethel University has been in existence longer than the Ivy League Cornell University and Duke University and it is celebrating its 170th birthday with the University of Notre Dame. In its 170 years it has grown from a college to a university with distinct colleges that serve students in very specific ways. It operates from its main campus in McKenzie and has satellite campuses in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Clarksville and Jackson, and it offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees through a number of learning platforms. For more information about this event, contact Myra Carlock at 731-352-4090 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The new Vera Low Fitness Center is now OPEN!!! Stop by and see the new facility that is aimed at helping each and everyone be the healthiest they can be. With convenient 24 hour access for full-time faculty and full-time staff, now is the time to get FIT. Students can visit the center between 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. With approximately 5,500 sq. feet of state of the art equipment including; treadmills, suspension trainers, recumbent bikes, strength machines of all types and free weight sections, you will be wowed by this new facility. All of this is conveniently located on the Bethel Campus not to mention it is free for Bethel full-time Faculty, full-time Staff and Bethel students. All other community members can still enjoy the Wildcat Fitness Center located next to Fred's Dollar Store in McKenzie
- The dedication of Bethel University’s Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena was held on Saturday, Aug. 4 prior to the school’s summer 2012 Commencement. On hand for the event was Harry L. Crisp II and family. The building was named for Crisp and for his late wife, Rosemary, who have had a longstanding commitment to education and who have contributed to Bethel’s Crisp Arena project. Crisp is the CEO of Pepsi MidAmerica, the largest individually owned Pepsi Bottler in the United States. Speaking at the dedication luncheon was Senator Roy Herron, who has known and worked with Crisp for many years. Herron pointed out that Pepsi MidAmerica was turning 76 years old this year. “During that 76 years, the company has never laid off a single employee,” he said. Herron went on to tell of other stories where Pepsi MidAmerica worked to do the right thing for its employees. Herron also talked about the sobering statistics of regional employment and of higher education. Speaking to Crisp, Herron said, “Your generosity enables Bethel University to continue in new ways. I am sobered by the present, but hopeful because of people like you who continue to give to the educational process.” During Crisp’s remarks, he agreed with Herron that the world is in challenging times. “But I’m optimistic about what’s going to happen long term,” Crisp said. “We all have to pull together. We can’t encourage our jealousies. The solution is for all of us to live the correct life. One way to do that is by supporting education. It’s so rewarding to see students have opportunity in their lives. Partnering with Bethel– it was the right thing to do. We agree with what you are accomplishing here at Bethel.” During Commencement later that day, Crisp was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Bethel President Robert Prosser. “Because of your lifetime achievements in the business world and your expertise at organizational management at the highest level of industry and because of your devotion and commitment to higher education, I confer on you this honorary degree,” Prosser said. The Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena is the new home to Bethel University Wildcats Basketball.
- Bethel University held its Summer 2012 Commencement on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena at the school’s McKenzie campus. Two hundred seventy-two students graduated. Additionally, Harry L. Crisp II, CEO of Pepsi MidAmerica, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Bethel President Robert Prosser. “As the CEO of Pepsi MidAmerica, Mr. Crisp is one of the most influential leaders in the soft drink industry today,” Prosser said. “Under his leadership, Pepsi MidAmerica has grown into the largest individually owned Pepsi Bottler in the United States. Because of your lifetime achievements in the business world and your expertise at organizational management at the highest level of industry and because of your devotion and commitment to higher education, I confer on you this honorary degree.” A dedication for the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena was held earlier in the day. Crisp Arena is the new home to Bethel University Wildcats Basketball, a facility that was made possible by significant contributions from Crisp. Another special degree was presented during the ceremony as well, to the wife of Bethel student Justin Maples, who was killed this past May while serving as a police officer for the Cleveland, Tenn., Police Department. Mrs. Danielle Maples accepted an Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice on her husband’s behalf. Tre Hargett, Secretary of State for the State of Tennessee, delivered Bethel’s Commencement address. Secretary Hargett reminded graduates to look forward to the future. “Don’t look back on what you would have done differently,” Hargett said. “If you stare back too long, the path can paralyze you.” Instead, Hargett told them to step to the line to start the next race. Hargett also encouraged graduates to use the piece of parchment they received to change their lives and to change the lives of the people around them. “I encourage you to make others around you better,” he said. “I implore you to be prepared for the moments God has built you for.” Headquartered in McKenzie, Bethel University is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees through both face-to-face and online learning platforms. In addition to McKenzie, Bethel has satellite campuses in Jackson, Memphis, Nashville, Clarksville and Chattanooga. For information about Bethel University, go to www.bethelu.edu.
- Bethel Alum Bethany Ellis who has been a member of Bethel’s Renaissance Choir, Renaissance Trio and Renaissance Quartet, is being featured on the Sirius-XM satellite gospel radio show Daniel Britt and Friends. The show’s host, Daniel Britt, invited established artists Libbi Perry Stuffle and Gordon Mote to hand pick singers to feature on broadcast. Stuffle chose to put the spotlight on Ellis, who was featured on the show on Thursday, July 26 and will be featured again on Saturday, July 28 at 11 a.m. CT. Listeners will be able to hear Ellis’ story and to hear some of her songs, and they will be able to find out why many in the music industry have her on their radar. Daniel Britt and Friends is a one-hour gospel music radio show, available each week to nearly 30 million satellite subscribers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Interested persons can also catch the show online at siriusxm.com, Smartphone devices, or with Dish Network on channel 6018. After the broadcast, persons can download the extended interview from www.danielbritt.com. Ellis is also a financial aid counselor at Bethel.
- LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Georgetown College and Bethel University are the preseason favorites to win their football divisions in the Mid-South Conference this season, according to the preseason coaches' poll announced today. Georgetown is projected as the favorite in the East Division with 25 voting points, including five of the six first-place votes from the East Division coaches. Bethel is the team to beat in the West Division after picking up 32 voting points, including four of the seven first-place votes. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll. Georgetown enters the 2012 season following a MSC East Division championship in the 2011 and a trip to the NAIA Football Championship Series national semifinals a year ago. The Tigers finished last season with a 12-1 record, including a 5-0 record in the MSC East Division. Georgetown owns four East Division crowns and 17 overall regular season titles in its history. University of the Cumberlands is projected to finish second in the East after picking up 17 voting points, including the final first-place vote. Cumberlands returns to the East Division after a two-year stint in the MSC West Division. Prior to the move, Cumberlands had claimed at least a share of three straight East Division titles (2007-09). University of Virginia's College at Wise is projected to finish third with 14 voting points followed by Union College -- who also completed in the West last season -- in fourth with 13 voting points University of Pikeville (11 voting points) and Kentucky Christian University (10) completes the East Division preseason poll. In the West, Bethel is coming off the program's third MSC divisional title in 2011. The Wildcats also captured the West Division in 2005 and 2007. Bethel finished 2011 with an 8-3 overall record, including a 5-1 divisional record, and a trip to the NAIA Football Championship Series. Cumberland University is projected to finish second in the West after receiving 31 voting points, including two first-place votes. Campbellsville University (23) and Lindsey Wilson College (20) is third and fourth respectively in their first year in the West after finishing tied for second last season in the East. Belhaven University is fifth in the preseason poll with 18 voting points and Faulkner University is sixth after receiving 17 voting points, including the final first-place vote. Bluefield College -- playing in its first season since 1941 -- is seventh with six voting points. The 2012 season begins in late August. Link: http://www.mid-southconference.org/article/2124.php
- Bethel University welcomed Chick-fil-A to campus as it celebrated its grand opening today in its new home in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment on the school’s McKenzie campus. Bethel administration, faculty, staff, students and community members gathered to watch the ribbon cutting and to be some of the restaurant’s first customers. “We are thrilled that Bethel has Chick-fil-A,” said McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland. “Having such a facility strengthens the relationship the city of McKenzie has with Bethel.” Claiming the first Chick-fil-A sandwich purchased was Bethel student Anna Cary of McKenzie. “It’s awesome that we have a chick-fil-A on our campus,” Cary said. “It’s my favorite restaurant ever!” Community member Ruth Webb brought her granddaughter, Morgan, and friend Leslie. “We sometimes go to Jackson just to eat Chick-fil-A,” Webb said. “And when we go shopping in Jackson, we always get Chick-fil-A. The crinkle fries are the best. We are just so excited it is here now.” Tasha Woodall brought her family from nearby Huntingdon, which is about 10 miles away for the grand opening. “It’s going to be nice to be just fifteen minutes from a Chick-fil-A,” she said. Bethel students Jovana Petrovic and Jessica Quinn are both excited as well. They will not only have a new restaurant on campus, but they also have new jobs at Chick-fil-A. “I think Chick-fil-A is a great job opportunity,” Quinn said. “It’s a good, Christian environment for me to work in.” Petrovic, who is an international student from Serbia, said she couldn’t be more thrilled about her new job. “I think I am going to love it because it’s a job on campus, and I will be able to interact with students and bethel faculty and staff. It will be fun to get to serve in this way.” Restaurant hours for Chick-fil-A @ Bethel University are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and closed Sunday. Chick-fil-A @ Bethel University features in-restaurant dining for approximately 75 and take out and is open to students and the public. The local menu features the original chicken sandwiches, grilled sandwiches, salads, nuggets, and waffle fries, as well as Chick-fil-A's famous hand-squeezed lemonade. To see pictures of the grand opening go to http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150968133613391.425969.106266778390&type=1
- Bethel University President Robert Prosser has announced the appointment of Dale Kelley of Huntingdon as the athletic director for Bethel University. Kelley will succeed Glenn Hayes who announced his retirement in June. "Dale Kelley is a Bethel graduate who has done extremely well," said Prosser. "Perhaps he is best known for officiating nine consecutive NCAA playoffs and selected for three final four NCAA basketball tournaments but more impressive is his career in sports, business and politics. Dale Kelley knows how to lead and will be a worthy successor to the exemplary leadership given Bethel by Athletic Director Glenn Hayes." Kelley has served three Tennessee governors: as Commissioner of Employment Security and as Commissioner of Transportation under Lamar Alexander; on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission under Don Sundquist; and as Senior Advisor and Special Assistant to Governor Bill Haslam. Kelley has also served as Coordinator of Officials for the Big 12 Conference, Conference USA, the Sunbelt Conference, the Southland Conference and the Ohio Valley Conference. Furthermore, Kelley is an accomplished athlete and has been named to the Bethel University Sports Hall of Fame, the TSSAA Hall of Fame, the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and serves on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Kelley has also served three terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives as well as nine years on the Huntingdon School Board. He currently serves as the Mayor of Huntingdon, a role he has held for 20 years. Additionally, Kelley is the owner of K & K Real Estate and Rental Properties. "Dale Kelley has a vast experience base in working with coaches, managing operations and motivating people in the pursuit of excellence. This, along with his personal style of respecting people and his character suit him well to be the leader of Bethel’s athletic programs," Prosser said. Kelley has a long list of leadership accomplishments. He was instrumental in seeing the construction of Carroll County’s new 1,000-acre recreational lake. He led the vision and development of the Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center. He was instrumental in attracting and securing the $240 million industrial expansion of Norandal USA, Inc., to the town of Huntingdon, and he worked with state and local teams for the location of Behlen Manufacturing Co. in Huntingdon’s vacant industrial building in 1999. As Commissioner of Transportation, he selected the site and appropriated funding for the Carroll County Airport. He is the 1985 Bethel College Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award Winner, and he was the first recipient of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce’s Carroll Countian of the Year. Kelley is a Carroll County Silver Medallion Award Winner, and a recipient of Huntingdon’s Pinnacle of Excellence Award for outstanding leadership and accomplishments in government, athletics and community. Under his leadership, the town of Huntingdon has received the Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award, and the 2007 Governor’s Award in the Arts. Kelley is married to Carlene Tullos Kelley, and they have three grown children and eight grandchildren. Mr. Kelly commented on his appointment, "I am elated to be returning to my alma mater, Bethel University. I treasure nothing but great memories of my basketball career at Bethel." He added, "I have always been extremely proud of Bethel; Bethel University is growing and is making an outstanding reputation all across this nation. In my new role, it is my desire and hope to give back to Bethel and to build on the solid foundation that has been laid. Throughout the years, Bethel has been a shining example of how academics and athletics work together to mold young women and men into responsible and productive citizens. Athletics have played a major role in my life. It has opened doors that a young boy from Buxter could have never dreamed of. Athletics instills in young people the importance of team work, the drive for excellence, the value of hard work and the significance of character-all of which are vital in today’s workforce. As a player on the Wildcat Basketball Team, I never imagined that I would become a NCAA Basketball official and supervisor of several college conferences. I suspect that I have visited more than 500 colleges and universities during my playing and officiating career and have also conducted clinics in Germany and England. I hope to use this experience to continue to grow the Bethel Sports Program." Kelly summed up his thoughts, "President Prosser, thank you for giving me the opportunity to help an institution that we both love and cherish. Bethel has a rich and proud history, and I look forward to helping this great institution continue to make strides forward in its Athletic program. I look forward to working with the student athletes, coaches, our support team, and the school’s administration in making Bethel the Best University in the nation." Bethel University is a member of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and competes in the TranSouth Athletics Conference in all sports except Track and Football. The football and track programs compete in the Mid-South Athletic Conference. Bethel was a charter member of the VSAC. The school has 30 intercollegiate athletic programs competing in traditional and non-traditional sports.