- (NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Former Bethel University President Robert Prosser received a resolution today from the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives congratulating him on his retirement and honoring his service to the University. The resolution was presented to Prosser by Senator John Stevens (R-Huntingdon) who sponsored the congratulatory measure in the Tennessee Senate. Prosser retired as President of the University last July. The General Assembly, which had adjourned for the summer and fall months, passed the resolution upon returning for the 2014 legislative session. “Without a doubt, Robert Prosser has been one of the best Presidents ever to have served Bethel University,” said Senator Stevens. “His vision and his extraordinary entrepreneurial skills resulted in unprecedented growth, both in enrollment and academically.” Senate Joint Resolution 585 states “known as ‘The Entrepreneurial President,’ Robert Prosser has built a legacy of leadership at Bethel which shall continue to guide the university for years to come. It is fitting that this legislative body give due recognition to Robert Prosser, one of Tennessee’s most distinguished and accomplished educational leaders, on the occasion of his retirement and extend to him our best wishes for success in his every future endeavor.” The resolution notes that during Prosser’s fifteen-year tenure, a number of new academic programs were founded, including the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program, the Master of Business Administration program, and an on-line bachelor and master degree program in criminal justice which is one of only fourteen in the nation endorsed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Associates.
- Bethel University’s Department of Athletics held the First Annual Bacon and Egg Scramble at Dyersburg Municipal Golf Course in Dyersburg on Friday, May 30. The event was a fundraiser for Bethel athletics and was sponsored by Heart and Vascular Center of West Tennessee.
- Bethel’s Department of Nursing held its ceremonial nurse pinning for its spring 2014 graduates on Friday, May 9. The evening began with dinner with graduates and their families along with nursing faculty and staff. The speaker for the evening was Angel Parker, BSN, RN, at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, who gave an inspiring speech on the role compassion plays in the life of a nurse. Next, awards were presented with a milestone occurring with one award. “This is the first time we have not been able to determine just one student who stood out because this is such a strong class of students,” said Mary Bess Griffith, Bethel Director of Nursing. “Therefore, the award for Excellence in Clinical Performance goes to our entire class of 2014.” Recipients of the remaining awards included: Shaniece Bond of Jackson, who received an award in Recognition of Growth & Achievement; Jennifer Roberts of Bartlett, who received an award in Recognition of Growth & Achievement; Ashton Carnahan of Waverly, who received the Excellence in Nursing Professionalism Award; Andrew McNeese of Greeneville, who received Recognition for Caring and Compassion; and Dawn Walker of McKenzie, who received the Florence Nightingale Award in Nursing. After awards, the pinning ceremony began. The nurse pinning ceremony is a symbolic welcome into the nursing profession. This year’s pinning included a new component where graduates chose someone of significance in their lives who could come forward and take part in the pinning with them. Following pinning, Florence Nightingale lamps were lit to honor the founder of modern nursing, and graduates vowed to carry Nightingale’s ideals as they recited the International Council of Nurses Pledge. Spring 2014 graduates included: Sara Anese Baker of Lawrenceburg; Shaniece Noryelle Bond of Jackson; Ashton B. Carnahan (Magna Cum Laude) of Waverly; Wendy Rebecca Cude (Magna Cum Laude) of McKenzie; Britany Leigh Dyer of Medina; Jason M. Hypes of Greenfield; Melesa Gayle Lassiter of Dresden; Linzee Devan McCollum (Cum Laude) of Lexington; Kimberly Dawn McCormick of Parsons; Elizabeth Ann McCrory of Paris; Andrew Jones McNeese of Greeneville; Melissa Ann Morales of Antioch; Scott Sampson Norris Sr. of Parsons; Ashley Lauren Peterson of Huntingdon; Jennifer Lynn Roberts of Bartlett; Steven Charles Sweatt of Paris; Dawn M. Walker of McKenzie; Deseray Shaniel Washington of Jackson; Kayla Miles Watson of Cottage Grove; and Joseph Dalton Wilder of Dyersburg.
- Judge Ben Cantrell, Chair of Bethel’s Board of Trustees, presented Bethel Interim President Walter Butler with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Bethel during 3 p.m. Commencement services on Saturday, May 10. The degree was awarded to Butler after the board voted to bestow the honor. A Doctor of Humane Letters is an honorary degree conferred to those who have distinguished themselves in fields such as those of science, religion, literature or government. “This is truly the most meaningful honor I’ve ever received,” Butler said.
- Bethel University held graduation ceremonies May 10 on the school’s McKenzie campus in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena. Seven hundred two students were spring 2014 graduates while 504 students were graduates from the December 2013 ceremonies that were cancelled due to inclement weather. Three ceremonies were held throughout the day to accommodate the large number of graduates. The following degrees were awarded: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration. The Honorable Barrett Rich, a Tennessee State Representative, was the Spring 2014 Commencement speaker, while the Rev. Leonard Turner, minister of Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tenn., was the speaker for the rescheduled December 2013 ceremony. Photos from graduation will be posted to Bethel's Facebook soon.
- Bethel’s College of Arts and Sciences held its annual academic awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 22. Those receiving awards were as follows: Student Marshal Scholarship- Caitlin Runions of Dyersburg & Brittney Guyer of Savannah Naomi Blanks English Award- C.J. Cassell of Nashville Humanities Highest GPA award- Devin Lambert of Paris Humanities Creative Project award- Megan Parker of Jackson Outstanding Business Student of the Year- Dao Thi Hong Nguyen of Ho Chi Minh Distinguished Theater Student- Elena Spradlin of McKenzie & Cody Allen of Millington Kathy Sacks Art Award- Samantha Evans of Paris Senior Biology Award- Holly Pierce of Jackson Physics 200 Award- Shelby Evans of Camden, Ramon Padilla of McKenzie & Holly Pierce of Jackson Senior Psychology Award- Kenisha Dowell of Paris Sociology Student of the year- Nikki Barnhill of Paris Human Service Award- Lindsey Johnson of Jackson Rowe Gene McMahen Service Award- Megan Parker of Jackson History Award- Ashley Whitworth of Paris & Miranda Ornouski of Pine Grove, CA Freshman Music Award- Erica Cuevas of Hohenwald Music Achievement Award- Brad Ray of Selmer Music Industry Studies Award- Cody Allen of Millington Outstanding Criminal Justice Student- Katie Pope of Decaturville & David Ivy of Gleason Fall 2013 Outstanding Student teacher- Joseph Dickinson of Dyer Spring 2014 Outstanding Student teacher- Emily Maggard of Paris Servant Leadership Award- Kayla Dyer of Dresden Cumberland Presbyterian Women’s Ministries Award- Andrea Marulanda of Cali, Colombia Florence Nightingale Model Student Nurse Award- Dawn Walker of McKenzie Crucifer Scholarship- Jonah Lusk of Stantonville Outstanding Tutor Award- Sarriah Johnson of Milan & Juan Hernandez of Madrid Laddie H. Lollar Academic Award- Landon Hardison of Fairview Roy and Mary Shelton Teaching Excellence & Campus Leadership Award- Dr. Jon Carlock, Professor of Religion; The Roy and Mary Shelton Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award was established in 1994 to honor a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding teaching and important leadership in the campus community during the academic year. NAIA Team Highest GPA Award- Softball NAIA Male Athlete Award- Jacob Reeves of Cedarhill NAIA Female Athlete of the Year Award- Katie VanDyke of Puryear NAIA Coach of the Year Award- Chris Nelson Club Sport Team Highest GPA Award- Dance Club Sport Coach of the Year- John Thompson Sorority& Fraternity of the Year- Lambda Sigma and Phi Delta Sigma Mr. & Miss. Greek- Mr. Dillon Cottrell of Trimble & Jenna Franklin of Paducah, Ky. Mr. & Miss. Bethel- Mr. Tyler West of Goodlettsville & Ms. Brooke Childers of Milan Student Organization of the Year- Baptist Collegiate Ministry SGA Service Award- Erin Swindle of Tampa, Fla., & Landon Hardison of Fairview Staff Member of the Year- Mr. Cliff Bush Faculty Member of the Year- Dr. Hector Tato, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
- Bethel University Professor Dr. Roger Johnson invited students from his physics lab to his house recently to show his new solar 6.48 kilowatt photovoltaic array and to describe the decisions that were made for its installation.
- Bethel’s spring 2014 Commencement will be Saturday, May 10 with two ceremonies beginning at 9 a.m., and noon. Undergraduate candidates will take part in the 9 a.m., ceremony, and Graduate candidates will take part in the noon ceremony. Fall 2013 Commencement that had to be postponed due to inclement weather this past December will also be held Saturday, May 10 at 3 p.m. All three ceremonies will be held in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena on Wildcat Lane on Bethel’s McKenzie campus. Tennessee State Representative Barrett Rich will be the Spring 2014 Commencement Speaker. Representative Rich, the son of Gary and Patsy Rich, is a lifelong resident of Fayette County. He had a career in local law enforcement that spanned from Shelby, Fayette and Davidson Counties. After working the road for three years as a Tennessee State Trooper, he served for two and one half years on the governor’s security detail for both Governors Sundquist and Bredesen. After ten years in law enforcement, Rich left for a business opportunity with Farm Bureau Insurance. Before, seeking office, he founded the Fayette and Hardeman County Young Republicans (which became the largest group of Y.R.’s in the state). Chairman Rich is a graduate of Bethel College and received his Juris Doctorate from the Nashville School of Law. In 2008 he was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives with a 60% majority of the vote of the 94th District. Once in the chamber, he was chosen by his colleagues to be Freshman Class President and elected to serve as the Republican Assistant Floor Leader. As a legislator he sponsored bills in the 106th General Assembly that were tough on crime and protected individual and property rights. He served in the 107th General Assembly as the Republican Majority Whip, Vice Chairman of the Government Operations Committee, and member of the Judiciary Committee. As a member of the 108th General Assembly he is Chairman of the Health Sub Committee and a member of the full Health Committee, Criminal Justice Committee, and Ethics Committee. He also serves as a member of the POST Commission (Peace Officer Standards and Training). Representative Rich was featured by the Memphis Business Journal as one of the “People on the Move,” and he also volunteers in many capacities including roles with Fayette Cares and his role on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Pastoral Parish Relations Committee of the First United Methodist Church in Somerville. He has a daughter, Alexis Dunn Rich. The Rev. Leonard Turner, minister of the Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tenn., the scheduled speaker for Bethel’s Fall 2013 ceremony, will speak at the rescheduled event at 3 p.m. Seating for each Commencement and processional lineup (for both students and faculty) will be one hour before each scheduled ceremony or as soon as a previous ceremony ends. For more information about Bethel University’s Commencement exercises on May 10, contact Myra Carlock at 731-352-4090 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bethel’s Department of Music will present a number of concerts throughout the remainder of April that will showcase various aspects of Bethel’s music program. On Thursday, April 24, there will be a Chamber Choir concert beginning at 7 p.m., at McKenzie First United Methodist Church on McTyeire Street. On Friday, April 25, the Department of Music will present a Recital Hour beginning at 3 p.m., in the L.J. Turner Recital Hall located in the Marrs-Stockton Music Building. An April 29 Brass Ensemble concert beginning at 7 p.m., in Odom Lecture Hall will be the final April 2014 event. All concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about any of these events, contact Dr. Keith Herris at email@example.com. For more information about Bethel University, go to www.bethelu.edu.
- Bethel Academic Theatre Major students participated in the City Of McKenzie “Echoes of the Past Cemetery Walk” this past weekend. This is an annual event featuring historic figures of McKenzie who established and molded the city and influenced the surrounding communities.