- Bethel University announced today that one of its most beloved friends, Dr. Vera Low, has died after an extended illness. Low, of Springfield, Mo., along with her family, was a long-time supporter of Bethel University, having contributed significant funds toward the Ray and Linda Morris Science Building and to the school’s capital campaign efforts. Her son, Dr. Robert Low, and his family gave a substantial gift to Bethel to build a new student enrichment center in her honor. Phase I of the facility, which was named the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment, opened in August 2011 and boasted a new and spacious cafeteria, a student activities room, student life and enrollment services offices and a bookstore. Phase II of the Vera Low Center project: a new gymnasium, has just been completed and ground has recently been broken on phase III of the student center project, which will be a 900-seat chapel. Low, a long-time Cumberland Presbyterian, delighted in seeing students in their environment at Bethel. At the ribbon cutting for the Vera Low Center, Mike Parker, Vice President for University Development said, “Today we see this beautiful new building. What Ms. Vera sees is a building that provides opportunities for our students. This building is going to provide a place where students’ bodies will be nourished. But more importantly, it’s providing a place for fellowship that will feed their souls.” Low, who co-founded, Prime, Inc., one of North America’s most successful carrier companies, was the daughter and granddaughter of Cumberland Presbyterian ministers. She was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters from Bethel, and she had also served on the Bethel University Board of Trustees and as an honorary co-chair for the Bethel University Capital Campaign. According to a respected trade publication, Prime, Inc., is one of the five best-run trucking companies in the United States. “Words can’t express how much we are going to miss this very special friend to Bethel,” said President Bob Prosser. “Personally, she was a mentor to me, and I am so appreciative of the many words of wisdom she has provided to me through the years. We are so grateful to Ms. Vera and to the Low family for their commitment to Bethel University, and we are very happy that her legacy will continue with each student who uses the Vera Low Center.” Funeral arrangements for Low are incomplete at this time.
- Bethel University broke ground Saturday, May 5, on a new 900-seat chapel. The event took place at Bethel’s main campus in McKenzie on the west side of the new Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment where the chapel will be erected. Spring 2012 Commencement followed later in the day. The chapel will be erected to honor six Cumberland Presbyterian ministerial couples and their service to the denomination, and it will be named Cumberland Chapel. Couples honored are: James and Freda Gilbert, James and Helen Knight, Hugh and Pat Parsons, Bill and Dolores Rustenhaven, Leroy and Andrea Muenzler, and Rodney and Pauline McCord. At the groundbreaking Bethel President Bob Prosser said, “the first fruits of education are the response to the call to need once one has received the gift oneself – this is the Cumberland Presbyterian in our character – it is real, it is true, and that’s why we’ll have a chapel named Cumberland Chapel.” Also speaking at the groundbreaking was Dr. Maribeth McGuire, a former Bethel professor and academic dean and a long-time Cumberland Presbyterian. McGuire pointed out how God has continued to graciously bless Bethel in ways that people can now see for themselves. “Bethel will finally have its chapel,” McGuire said. “a separate building denoting several things. First, it will serve as an important symbol of a religious emphasis on campus, and it will remind us that Christians dwell here, work here, and intend to serve the Lord.” McGuire also said the new chapel will emphasize the connection to the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination. “This institution shares a precious history with the mother church and must always cherish its connection, understand it importance and live in its light,” she said. “This will also be a place that says that worship, and work and study are fully integrated on this campus,” McGuire continued. “Finally, Cumberland Chapel symbolizes Gods’ presence among us. It will remind us on a daily basis that God is with us.” Cumberland Chapel is phase III in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment. Phase I, which included a spacious new cafeteria, a new student activities room, a new bookstore and student life and enrollment services offices, was completed in August 2011. Phase II, which is a new gymnasioum, is at completion with Bethel’s spring 2012 Commencement ceremony being the first event in the new space. Bethel University is a four-year institution affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Celebrating its 170th birthday in 2012, it offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees through a variety of learning platforms and from campuses across Tennessee.
- Bethel University held its first ever Commencement exercises in its newly erected arena on Saturday, May 5 on the school’s main campus in McKenzie. Three hundred ninety-eight graduates took part in the ceremony and the following degrees were awarded: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and Master of Arts in Education.
- Bethel University’s College of Liberal Arts held its annual academic awards ceremony on April 23. Click here to see all winners. Named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges were: Morgan Ruth Berry of Bartlett; Amanda Jean Boyd of Dresden; Kenneth Wesley Brockman of Milan’ Amanda Danielle Carson of Finger; Chaz Raymond Dachenhaus of Leesville, S.C.; Toby S. Dressel of Dawson, Ala.; Brittany Jean Fowler of Atwood; Anna Maria Pierce Gregory of Huntingdon; Ellen Christine Hudson of Gleason; Alexia Kristen Kapeller of McKenzie; Morgan Kate Keitel of Winnepeg, Manitoba; Deslyn Marren Langaigne of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Kaci Rae Lentz of Southaven, Miss.; Nhung Thi Hong Nguyen of Vietnam; Colby Lynne Prosser of Henry; Ashley Camille Roark of Henning; Dana Marie Sanders of Henry; Matthew Lawson Scott of Henry; Anna Michelle Sweet of Powell; Hoang Thi Minh Ta of Vietnam; Mario Duerte Vila Boa of South Africa; and Brittney Rae Wixon of McKenzie. Other awards and winners included: The Naomi Blanks English Award: Sasha Arnold of Henning; The Humanities Highest GPA: Rebecca Meals of Cedar Grove; The Humanities Creative Project Award: Kristian Takac of Serbia; the Distinguished Theater Award: Ellen Hudson of Gleason; The Senior Biology Award: Chaz Dachenhaus of Leesville, S.C.; The Florence Nightingale Model Student Nurse Award: Roberta Swisher of Huntingdon; The Physics 200 Award: Caleb Crocker of Huntingdon and Chaz Dachenhaus of Leesville, S.C.; The Criminal Justice Award: Trae Vaughn of Gleason; The Senior Psychology Award: Lizzy Sharpe of Bartlett: The Sociology Student of the Year Award: Kimberly Jeffries of Dyersburg; The Human Services Award: Bretta Gore of Hurricane Mills; The Rowe Gene McMahen Service Award: Kaneeshia Wade of Memphis and Carol Harris of Milan; The History Award: Marisa Knight of Houston, Texas; The Student Marshal Scholarship: Kimberly Ferguson of Clarksville and Ashton Carnahan of Waverly; The Outstanding Business Student of the Year Award: Nhung Nguyen of Vietnam; The Outstanding Accounting Student Award: Hoang Ta of Vietnam; The Freshman Music Award: Anna Woodall of Wasilla, Alaska; The Music Achievement Award: Wesley Brockman of Milan; The Music Industry Studies Award: Daniel Killian of Linden; The Stobbe Mathematics Scholarship: Kimberly Ferguson of Clarksville and Lauren Sims of Dyer; The Christian Ministries Award: Anna Sweet of Powell; The Crucifer Scholarship: C.J. Cassell of Nashville; The Outstanding Student Teacher for Fall 2011: Josh Kelly of Ft. Mitchell, Ky.; The Outstanding Student Teacher for Spring 2012: Brittany Fowler of Atwood; The Service Learning Award: Brittney Wixon of McKenzie; The Work Study of the Year: Cassandra Ray of Huntingdon; The Laddie H. Lollar Academic Award: Sam Pyron of Brownville; The Roy and Mary Shelton Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award: Dr. Sarah Kidd; The Female Athlete of the Year – Team Sport: Jana Roney of Union City and Thaise Vieira of Brazil; The Male Athlete of the Year – Team Sport: DeWayne Smith of Jamaica; Coach of the Year – Team Sport: Starla Cupples; Coach of the Year – Club Sport: Matt Swinea; Female Athlete of the Year – Club Sport: Ashleigh Hafley and Sarah Hafley, both of Paris; Male Athlete of the Year – Club Sport: Abel Spire of Cushing, Okla.; Sorority of the Year: Lambda Sigma; Fraternity of the Year: Phi Delta Sigma; Mr. & Miss Greek: Nick Batey of Charlotte and Lauren Murray of Covington; Student Organization of the Year: Arete; Mr. & Ms. Bethel: Daniel Willis of Antioch and Anna Sweet of Powell; Staff Member of the Year: Peggy Carter; and Teacher of the Year: Teresa Rose.
- Businesses in McKenzie joined Bethel University’s College of Liberal Arts Enrollment Services staff on Friday, April 20, to observe Bethel University Day in McKenzie. Businesses across McKenzie donned Bethel University attire to show their support of Bethel University, which is celebrating its 170th birthday in 2012.
- Imagine a large photograph of a young child that, when viewed closely, is actually many small photos of the young child compiled to make the larger photo. This humanities project is one of many projects in Bethel's 2012 Humanities Exhibition that were on display earlier this week. According to Bethel faculty member Sharon Scruton. The projects are part of a sophomore survey two-semester humanities class. “These students are asked to do a creative arts project purely so they will have an appreciation of the fine arts,” Scruton said. Scruton said the projects include all types of art media.
- Bethel University is pleased to announce they have selected Brenda Valentine "First Lady of Hunting®" as the new head coach of the school’s archery program. As head coach, Brenda's duties will include recruiting and organizing a competitive archery team to represent the Bethel Wildcats in intercollegiate and club competition. Brenda, a Tennessee native, is a pillar of the archery and hunting world, with a long list of competitive shooting titles in addition to her enviable collection of bowhunting trophies. She is a member of the National Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame, the Henry County, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Tennessee Turkey Hunters Hall of Fame and is a current inductee of the National Archery Hall of Fame. She is most proud, however, of the credit she is given for introducing more women and children to hunting and the outdoors than any person in modern history. Her new position will allow Brenda to further this passion with the next generation and continue building an outdoor heritage. A popular outdoor writer, Brenda is also a member of the Bass Pro Shop's, National RedHead Pro Hunting Team and a co-host of Bass Pro's hunting TV program for 16 years. She is a National Spokesperson of the National Wild Turkey Federation and host of the Turkey Call TV show. Additionally, Brenda is among the 2012 inaugural group selected for the "Legends of the Outdoors" SW Asia tour by Armed Forces Entertainment. Commenting on her selection as head coach, Brenda stated, "Archery is a sport equally suited for male or female athletes. This is one activity where a person’s size, speed, or athletic ability is not a major factor for success. I look forward to being a part of a program that enables students to gain a higher education while also participating in a sport they can enjoy the rest of their lives. The National Archery in Schools Program has introduced countless thousands of kids to archery over the last several years and now we are moving them to the next level of competition." Bethel University, founded in 1842 and recognized as one of the fastest growing universities in the south, is a four-year liberal arts university offering a broad range of undergraduate and graduate level educational opportunities through its multiple campuses. Founded in the tradition of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination, Bethel’s mission is “to create opportunities for members of the learning community to develop to their highest potential as whole persons – intellectually, spiritually, socially and physically – in a Christian environment”. The Bethel University Wildcats compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics conference. For more information about Bethel University contact the Bethel University admissions office, 731-352-4000, Garry Mason, Athletic Director for Club sports, 731-693-7770, or Brenda Valentine, Head Archery coach, 731-247-3058.
- KEARNS, Utah - In what may be Tennessee's only team collegiate national championship this year, thus far, Bethel defeated Nevada-Las Vegas 4-3 at the Olympic Oval here Saturday night and captured the 2012 National Collegiate Roller Hockey championship. It is believed to be only the second national team championship for Bethel.
- Chick-Fil-A restaurant will soon open on Bethel University's main campus in McKenzie. University officials made the announcement to school faculty last Thursday.
- Bethel University’s Division of Music will present a symphonic band concert April 10 at 8 p.m. in Bouldin Auditorium in the Dickey Fine Arts Building on the Bethel campus.