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Board of Trust member Lee Beaman influential in Nashville politics, philanthropy

Belmont Board of Trust member Lee Beaman made headlines on Friday after his wife accused him of sexual and emotional abuse in a divorce brief.

The 20-page brief alleged Lee Beaman abused his fourth wife Kelly Beaman throughout the couple’s 17-year marriage.

Lee Beaman also admitted to having sexual relations with his wife and a prostitute, according to the brief.

He filed a counter-brief Friday morning in which his wife’s statements are referred to as, “immaterial, impertinent and scandalous matter only meant to harass Mr. Beaman.”

His brief did not refute any of the allegations.

Belmont has not made any official statement on the allegations against Beaman. Lee Beaman and Chairman of the Board of Trust Marty Dickens could not be reached for comment.

Beaman is a respected member of the board, said University President Dr. Robert Fisher on Friday.

Since 2010, the Alvin and Sally Beaman Foundation — which Lee Beaman has been president of since 2002 — has donated at least $25,000 per year to Belmont, according to the Belmont University President’s Report. In 2014 and 2015, the foundation donated between $100,000 and $499,999.

Belmont’s Beaman Student Life Center is named after the Beaman family, following a $9 million donation, according to the Nashville Business Journal.

The Beaman foundation also frequently sponsors Christmas at Belmont.

The Vision staff researched his political and community involvement and found he is a generous philanthropist and very influential in both Tennessee and national politics.

He has given heavily to the Republican Party and to individual — primarily Republican — candidates in Tennessee and across the country.

Beaman made a controversial donation to Alabama Republican Roy Moore during his campaign for Senate, according to financial records. Prior to this, Beaman made a $1,000 donation to Moore in August of 2017. His second donation, $2,700 in November, came three days after the Washington Post broke a story alleging Moore had a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.

Here is a breakdown of some of Beaman’s community involvement and some of the donations made directly by Beaman or through his family’s charitable foundation which he heads:

– The Alvin and Sally Beaman Foundation donated to a variety of Nashville schools in addition to Belmont. The foundation made a $10 million donation to Lipscomb University for the Beaman Library according to the Nashville Business Journal. The foundation has also made donations to Fisk University, Montgomery Bell Academy and the Crimson Tide Foundation at University of Alabama, according to each of the school’s websites. – Beaman serves on the board of trust for both Belmont University and Montgomery Bell Academy. He’s also on the board for several organizations like the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere and Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art. – Beaman served as the president of the Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America, according to the Nashville Business Journal. – Beaman frequently donates money to various Republican candidates, including Bob Corker, Donald Trump and Marsha Blackburn. In 2017, he donated $34,900 to individual politicians, along with donations to the Republican Party and various PACs and super PACs, according to financial records obtained by the Vision. – Beaman sponsored the English-Only Amendment in Nashville with a $6,000 donation, according to the Nashville Scene. The 2009 amendment, which didn’t pass, proposed making English the only language used for Nashville government business. – Beaman was a major opponent of former Mayor Megan Barry’s transit plan, which was voted down in May.

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This article written by Bronte Lebo. Contributing reporting from Libby Green and Lydia Fletcher. Photo courtesy of Eric England, Nashville Scene.

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