If I posted a side-by-side picture of what Belmont looked like during my freshman year to what it looks like now, it probably wouldn’t look like the same school.
I recently talked to one of my freshman RAs for the first time in a while. She’s graduating and looking at graduate schools, but she brought up something interesting.
There’s a distinct difference between this year’s freshmen and the rest of the classes.
I remember the daily blasting to create the gigantic hole – now the Johnson Center’s parking garage. I remember having a class in the Wheeler building and lunch in the Gabhart Student Center. This year’s freshmen won’t experience any of that.
So much changed in just two and a half years.
Belmont’s campus, once centered around the all-important Bell Tower, has shifted. The renovated lawn draws all of the attention – as well as the fountain, of course.
Even the general aesthetic of campus is different. I remember visiting Belmont and admiring the rustic, old-timey feel the brick buildings surrounding the quad created. The new buildings, made of smooth white stone, give off such a different impression.
It sounds like I’m bringing out the high-waisted pants and suspenders – which, I don’t know, may be cool now – and rambling on about “when I was your age.” But Belmont’s charm lies within it’s ability to change with the times. We have buildings full of high-tech computers and recording equipment, and 200 yards away we have a tower and mansion from the 1800s.
I met Dr. Fannie Hewlett, the first African-American graduate of Belmont, during the fall. Seeing her complete awe at what Belmont’s campus looks like now compared to when she was here made me realize the effect the changes have on Belmont’s students, past and present.
Yes, we make jokes about the seemingly-endless construction. However, imagine if it didn’t happen. Our student body wouldn’t continue to grow, we wouldn’t be able to expand our programs and we wouldn’t be the Belmont we know and love.