• Lillie Burke

Opening convocation celebrates history, looks ahead

Breaking from the tradition of giving a state of the university address at the opening convocation, President Bob Fisher celebrated 125 of Belmont’s unique aspects at the Curb Event Center Wednesday morning.

“If this was a work of art,” Fisher said at the start of his remarks. “Belmont would be called a mosaic.”

The bulk of Fisher’s speech centered on a slideshow celebrating Belmont’s past, present and future in accordance with its 125th anniversary.

The slideshow featured  images of Adelicia Acklen, notable alumni like Brad Paisley, new instructor Mayor Karl Dean and Belmont basketball coaches Rick Byrd and Betty Wiseman.


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Students’ achievements in and outside the classroom were also highlighted.

Faculty, staff and students were shown images of Adelicia Acklen, notable alumni like Brad Paisley, new instructor Mayor Karl Dean and the men’s basketball team winning the NCAA academic bracket.

The speech also touched on Belmont’s history of service to the Nashville community. Fisher noted how students reached out to surrounding organizations through the annual day of service during Towering Traditions week and the university’s role in the music industry–most notably Ocean Way Studios.

Near the end of the address, Fisher said that the fall enrollment now tops 7,450 students, a new school record. He also commented on the growth of the student body over the last several years, saying the past decade has produced more alumni than the previous 115 years combined.

Fisher also showed his humor with some eccentric slides. He made fun of the university’s squirrel population and the “ecological squirrel removal system” — hawks.

In closing, the president challenged the students and faculty to not keep their eyes on the problems, but to hold onto hope and look at the stars.

“I challenge myself to look up. To me, Belmont is beautiful. It’s gonna be a great year, a great day. Happy birthday, Belmont.”

Photo Credits to Riley Wallace (Featured) and Grayson Hester (Body)

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