2005-2006 News Releases

Belhaven Alum Elected Moderator of 34th PCA General Assembly

Dr. Dominic A. Aquila, a 1968 Belhaven College graduate and 2003 Alumnus of the Year, has been elected as moderator of the 34th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), it was announced at the assembly's opening session.  Dr. Aquila will serve as chairman of the Standing Judicial Commission during the next year.

"Belhaven College has always cherished our opportunity to develop pastors and missionaries for the PCA," said Dr. Roger Parrott, president, Belhaven College.  "We are especially thrilled that one of our own, Dr. Dominic Aquila, has been selected as moderator.  He is an outstanding pastor, theologian, and visionary who will bring much to the Church in this significant leadership role."

Dr. Aquila, the president of New Geneva Theological Seminary in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has served on a number of committees in the PCA, including the Covenant College Board and Mission to the World. He has preached and taught in Jamaica, Mexico, Canada, Ivory Coast, Kenya, England, Korea, Grenada, Ukraine, Trinidad, Myanmar, Spain and Morocco.

Belhaven School of Business Receives Specialized Accreditation From International Assembly For Collegiate Business Education

JACKSON, Miss. – The Belhaven College School of Business has received specialized accreditation of its business degrees from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), it was recently announced at the organization's annual conference in Orlando, Florida.  Belhaven joins a growing list of nearly 200 IACBE member institutions worldwide.

“Receiving accreditation through IACBE is a great benefit to both our faculty and students,” said Dr. Chip Mason, dean of the Belhaven School of Business.  “It recognizes our efforts to continually improve the quality of business education at Belhaven College.  We have also become part of a global community which comprises of over two hundred institutions of higher learning from forty one states and eleven foreign countries who share a common commitment to excellence in Business education throughout the world.”

The accreditation certificate, presented by the IACBE Board of Commissioners, recognizes the achievement of quality in the academic business programs.  Each program is measured by effectively accomplishing the school's mission and broad-based goals, the effectiveness of student learning that takes place, as well as the operational effectiveness of the business unit.

“Accreditation is recognition that an educational institution's academic performance is excellent,” noted Dr. John L. Green, Jr., IACBE's president.  “IACBE is especially interested in the outcomes assessment of education that takes place annually within the academic business unit.  The accreditation process is one means of making certain graduate are well-equipped to join the business world.”

Based in the Kansas City metropolitan area, the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education is an internationally recognized, prominent accrediting body for business and business-related degree programs in four-year and graduate level institutions.

Belhaven Theatre Department Receives Accreditation By National Association Of Schools Of Theatre

JACKSON, Miss. – The Belhaven College Theatre Department has received accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), it was recently announced at the organization's spring conference.  Belhaven is now one of 135 accredited institutional members across the nation.

“This accreditation sustains the efforts we have made to bring Belhaven up to standards applied within the finest theatre programs in the country,” said Dr. Lou Campbell, professor and chair of the theatre department.  “The Lord has blessed us with resources and a progressive administration that seeks to glorify Him through the performing arts in unprecedented ways on liberal arts Christian college campuses.”

Accreditation is the process by which an institution or disciplinary unit within an institution periodically evaluates its work and seeks an independent judgment by peers that it achieves substantially its own educational objectives and meets the established standards of the body from which it seeks accreditation. Typically, the accreditation process includes a self-evaluative description (self-study) of the institution or unit, an on-site review by a team of evaluators, and judgment by an accreditation decision-making body.  Accreditation reviews focus on educational quality, institutional integrity and educational improvements.

Belhaven Named 2006 Best Christian Place To Work Finalist

JACKSON, Miss. - Belhaven College has been recognized as a 2006 Best Christian Places to Work finalist through a national survey, administered by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI).  More than 10,600 employees in 93 organizations across the United States helped identify great workplaces with a Christian mission and/or values. The top 40 survey finalists are to be published in the April issue of Christianity Today magazine.

"It is indeed a great honor to receive recognition for the work environment that has been established at Belhaven," said Dr. Roger Parrott, president, Belhaven College. " The commitment of our staff and faculty to serve one another in a manner that reflects the love of Christ is what makes this a great place to work.  I count it a privilege to be a part of such a dynamic working environment.

Based on the survey, the Best Christian Places to Work in the United States are experiencing strong growth, low employee turnover and high levels of trust between employees and management. "Our research indicates leaders in these organizations demonstrate high levels character, competence and compassion, while employees show high levels of commitment” said Al Lopus, president, Best Christian Workplaces Institute. “We have come to see this survey is a leading indicator of future success for these finalists because of the high levels of organizational health and effectiveness."

The survey poses questions to employees around six major categories: attraction and retention, motivation and commitment, empowerment and relationships, rewards and benefits, growth and development, and Christian values.  An independent panel of judges weighted the employee scores, the employee survey participation rates and profiles in order to select the finalists.

The Best Christian Workplaces Institute, based in Mercer Island, Washington, has surveyed more than 40,000 employees across North America in three years. BCWI is a research based organizational and human resources consulting firm whose purpose is to serve faith-based organizations by creating processes of discovery, facilitating organizational and leadership alignment, and encouraging practices that build healthy, effective workplaces.


Belhaven College will hold its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. College-Wide Service Day, Monday, January 16, in observation of the nationally recognized holiday.  Belhaven students, faculty and staff will participate in numerous service-oriented projects around the Greater-Jackson area.

"This annual event is simply one way the Belhaven College community works to meet needs in the name of Christ," said Scott Little, Director of Student Leadership.  "Students, faculty and staff join together to serve others throughout the area, thereby honoring the legacy of Dr. King.  A variety of projects allows us to build, clean, organize and care for neighbors, hand-in-hand with Jackson-area community organizations.  It is a great deal of hard work and a lot of fun, and the Service Day is a wonderful reminder that we are never more alive than when we give our lives away to others."

Participants will have opportunity to work with organizations and ministries such as Voice of Calvary, the North Midtown Community Development Center, the Neighborhood Christian Center, Mission Mississippi, and Stewpot Community Services.  Additionally, the group will work with the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation on a project at the neighborhood's Laurel Street Park.

Work assignments will be given at approximately 8:45 a.m. the morning of at the Belhaven Center for the Arts on Riverside Drive.  Workers will reconvene at the same location for lunch at approximately 12:45 p.m.


The Belhaven College Theatre Department is set to present its spring production of "The Great Theatre of the World," beginning January 25.  Written by Calderon de la Barca, one of Spain's most renowned playwrights of the Spanish Golden Age, the production will be translated from Spanish by special guest Dr. Rick Davis.

Mr. Hector Ramirez, founder of Aslan Theatre Group in Madrid, Spain, will serve as the director for the production, which includes a cast of nearly fifty Belhaven theatre and dance students.

"We are very excited to present this uniquely crafted play at Belhaven," said Dr. Louis Campbell, chair of the Theatre Department.  "The fact that Hector's home is in Madrid has made this a very special production for him to direct.  It should be a wonderful stage presentation."

"The Great Theatre of the World" depicts God as author, cast director and ultimately critic, while the world is stage manager and the characters are judged by their acting ability.

The program is set to begin each night at 7:30 p.m. in the Flexible Theatre of the Belhaven College Center for the Arts on Riverside Drive.  Doors will open at 7:00 p.m.  Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students, children and seniors.  For tickets or further information, please call the box office at 601.965.7026, or email boxoffice@belhaven.edu.


Belhaven's Class of 2005 was presented diplomas during the school's recent commencement service on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at Jackson's Thalia Mara Hall.  More than 230 graduates were honored for their accomplishments in the classroom during their academic career at Belhaven.

One hundred, fifty-eight (158) Baccalaureate graduates received degrees, while sixty-two (62) Master and twelve (12) Associate graduates were recognized.  Dr. Dan Fredericks, Senior Vice President and Provost, conducted the presentation of the candidates for graduation, while Dr. Al Chestnut, professor of Biology and chair of the Biology Department, awarded the diplomas to each candidate.

An additional highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of an honorary Doctorate of Christian Ministries degree to Dr. Duane Litfin, president, Wheaton College.  Following the conferring of the honorary degree by Belhaven President Dr. Roger Parrott, the commencement address was delivered by Dr. Litfin.

Guests Reverend Dennis Flach, Pastor, New Covenant Presbyterian Church (Natchez, Mississippi), and Reverend Steven Leuice, Pastor, Camino Community Church (Camino, California) delivered the invocation and benediction, respectively. Soloist Sarah Sachs sang a rendition of "O Holy Night" as special music during the ceremony.

Belhaven students Joshua Goeglein and Amanda Long served as Junior Marshals for commencement, and the Color Guard was comprised of Matthew Bainton, Alex Grubbs, Baskin Jones, and Michael Phillips.  Danielle Temple assumed the duty of the piping of the colors.


(11/29/05) Belhaven College Associate Professor of English, Dr. Randall Smith, is set to receive the 2005 Humanities Teacher Award, given annually by the Mississippi Humanities Council to one humanities faculty member at each institution of higher learning in the state.  The presentation of this year's award will be Wednesday, November 30, at 6:30 p.m. in the theater of the McCravey-Tripplett Student Center on the Belhaven campus.

Each award recipient must agree to make a public presentation based on scholarly research or current humanities interests.  Dr. Smith, the director of Belhaven's Creative Writing program, will present:

'The Love That Moves the Sun: Creative Writing and the Pursuit of Sacramental Vision.'

"We are proud to have Dr. Smith receive this year's award," said Dr. Daniel C. Fredericks, senior vice president and provost, Belhaven College.  "His contributions to Belhaven have been invaluable, and we are continually moving forward in our creative writing program under his oversight."

Dr. Randall Smith received his Ph D. in Twentieth Century American Literature from the University of South Carolina (2000) and has more than 15 scholarly and poetry publications to his credit.  His current research interests include the writings of James Dickey and biblical perspectives on creativity and creative writing.  In the past, he has been awarded the Irene D. Elliott Teaching Award and the Edmund A. Ramsaur Fellowship, both by the University of South Carolina.  Upon his arrival in 2001, Dr. Smith designed and implemented a new creative writing curriculum and program for Belhaven College, which is the only undergraduate degree program in Creative Writing offered at a four-year, Christian liberal arts college in the country.

The program is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. on November 30, with a reception to follow immediately after Dr. Smith's presentation.  The event is open to the public.


(11/14/05)Belhaven College will host its 73rd Annual presentation of the Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree on December 2-3.  A Belhaven tradition since 1933, the event was recently name one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, an organization dedicated to the marketing and promotion of travel to and within the great Southeastern States.

"What a wonderful honor given to such a timeless southern tradition," said Dr. Roger Parrott, president, Belhaven College. "We are thankful for the privilege to present the Singing Christmas Tree on our campus as a gift to Mississippi, now for more than seven decades.  And, we are pleased the replicas of the Singing Christmas Tree have carried forward in thousands of churches all around the world during the Christmas season."

The Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree is an outdoor choral performance of the holiday season's favorite carols.  This year, the concert will feature the collaboration of members of the greater Jackson community and college musicians under the direction of Mrs. Carolyn Sachs, adjunct music professor.

The event is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Belhaven Soccer Bowl.  Admission is free.


(11/14/05)  Belhaven's Homecoming 2005, "A New Face, For A Great Place," proved to be a smashing success during the November 3-5 weekend.  This year's celebration set the mark for the largest participation in school history with more than 2,500 individuals participating in the weekend's festivities.

"We are thrilled with the turnout for this year's homecoming celebration," said Michael McPherson, Belhaven's Director of Alumni Relations.  "It was great to have a large number of people on our campus and at the different events, but it was even greater to see the excitement on each face as they reconnected with friends from years past.  I look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for us in 2006."

This year's festivities began on Thursday, November 3 with the 13th Annual Sports Hall of Fame Banquet.  More than 120 people attended the ceremony, which inducted five new members into the Belhaven Sports Hall of Fame.  The class of 2005 included:  John Treloar, '78 (Baseball); Jayne Osborne, '82 (Women's Basketball); Bill Lytton, '72 (Men's Soccer); Eric Bonneau, '85 (Men's Tennis); and Dr. Joe Redmond, '66 (Men's Basketball).

Highlighting the day on Friday were the Department of Athletics' sponsored Golf Outing and the Belhaven Admissions "Discover Day" for prospective students, while Friday evening featured the reunion reception for the classes of 1965, '75, '85 and '95, during which those in attendance enjoyed seeing familiar faces and listening to live music performed by Re-Generation.  Additionally, the annual Biology Alumni Panel and Reception, the Young Alumni Party, and the Highland Players' 10-Year reunion were featured events on Friday.

New additions this year were the Children's Carnival and Sports Clinics on Saturday morning.  More than 130 children enjoyed the inflatable slide, obstacle course and space jump, as well as the clinics offered in the sports of baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, soccer and tennis.  Following the completion of the sports clinics, numerous families joined the Belhaven student body for the Homecoming Cookout behind Caldwell Hall.

More than 100 people were present for the Alumni Awards Brunch, honoring alums for their outstanding achievements in the arenas of business, church ministry, community service, education and medicine.  This year's honorees included:  Don Gahagen, '59 (Church Service Award); Phil Hardwick, '82 (Community Service Award); Barbara Porter, '70 (Bettye Quinn Education Award); Dr. Timothy Quinn, '95 (Young Alumnus of the Year); and Jimmy Turner, '58 (Alumnus of the Year).

The Belhaven Theatre department's presentation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night enjoyed capacity crowds on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Blazer Football team did not disappoint the festive homecoming crowd, defeating Mid-South Conference foe Kentucky Wesleyan by a score of 45-35.  At halftime of the game, Miss Mary Downing Forester was crowned the 2005 Homecoming Queen.

A standout moment was the dedication of the new Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center on Saturday evening.  More than 500 people poured into the 42,000 square-foot facility, which houses the Belhaven Dance and Art departments.  The building was named in honor and memory of one of the greatest contributors to the arts in Mississippi.  Several members of the Irby family were on hand, including Charles and Stuart M. Irby who each spoke during the dedication program.

Homecoming 2005 was a success, not because of the number of events that were offered or how grandiose they were, but because of the quality of the product Belhaven has to offer and the hearts of the individuals who make up the Belhaven Family!

Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center Dedication Saturday, November 5th 5:00pm–7:30pm

You are invited to bring your friends and family to celebrate with us the opening and dedication of this beautiful facility for our Visual Arts and Dance programs. We are excited to dedicate this exceptional building in honor and memory of Mrs. Bitsy Irby and invite you to join us. The building is located at the northwest corner of the campus on Peachtree Street, just across from the Bettye Quinn Alumni House.

The formal ceremony starts at 5:45pm. Refreshments will be served. RSVP is requested but not required.

Dance Department Receives Accreditation

Congratulations to our Dance Department for receiving accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD)!  This is a great accomplishment on the part of the dance department and reflects their commitment to excellence.

Belhaven Named One of Top Christian Business Schools Second Consecutive Year To Receive Honor

Belhaven College was recently named one of Business Reform Magazine's Top Christian Business Schools for 2005, according to the report published in the September/October edition.  Belhaven ranked in the Top 5 in three of four judged categories, including Most Biblical, Business Faculty, and Best Job Placement.  Additionally, Belhaven was chosen as an Editor's Pick in the Best Job Placement category.

"We are extremely thankful to be recognized and honored once again by Business Reform," said Dr. Chip Mason, dean, Belhaven school of business.  "Each faculty member, along with our business students, takes seriously the importance of approaching today's marketplace from a Christian worldview."

The editors of Business Reform magazine researched and surveyed over 100 schools nationwide that met the qualifications in four main components. They examined the foundation of the program, the emphasis placed on running a business vs. teaching students to get a job, how the school's business department heads rank other programs in overall quality and what colleges offered the most business degrees and courses.

Building upon its successful track record, the Belhaven School of Business finished in a three-way tie with George Fox University and Union University in Best Job Placement.  The institutions each garnered 95% student placement within one year of completing their undergraduate work.

Belhaven placed 4th in the Top Business Faculty category, which was added as a new ranking this year.  This ranking judged faculty members on the basis of marketplace experience, business ownership and published work.  Only Regent University, Eastern University and George Fox ranked higher than Belhaven.

Rankings for the Most Biblical programs were based upon criteria such as mandatory chapel, student life ministry opportunities, on-campus Christian organizations, mission trips and other service opportunities.  Belhaven placed 6th in this category, behind Cedarville University, Biola University, Grove City College and Regent.

"This honor should help us attract some of the best and brightest students who are seeking a business program entrenched with teaching every course from a Christian worldview," said Mason.

Business Reform magazine is a publication of The Business Reform Foundation, a non-profit, tax-exempt religious organization, based in Ashland, Ohio.  Additional information on the foundation and its conglomerates can be found by logging on to the organization's website at www.businessreform.com.



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