December 1, 2009 (Jackson, Miss.):Today, Belhaven College President Dr. Roger Parrott announced in chapel that the Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to change the name of Belhaven College to Belhaven University, effective on January 1, 2010. In making the announcement to faculty, staff, and students, Dr. Parrott noted, “The name change does not change who we are or shift our mission, focus, or priorities. Rather, the change of our name to University more accurately describes who we have become.”

The Board's decision comes after an extensive study of the issues related to a name change, coupled with enthusiastic feedback from the vast majority of over 1,000 alumni, students, and faculty/staff who participated in an online survey. The information gathered from the survey, in addition to comments and questions from individuals, proved to be invaluable as the Board of Trustees made their final decision.

In response to the Board's vote and comments and questions raised by individuals, Dr. Parrott has written an extensive detailing the reasons behind the university name change. Among other key points in the letter, Dr. Parrott highlights the fact that Belhaven:

  • Enrolls 3,000 students on four physical campuses in Jackson, Memphis, Houston, and Orlando, as well as an online campus
  • Received the largest enrollment growth percentage of any private college in Fall 2009, at 15.4%
  • Enrolls 500 graduate students in eight master programs
  • Welcomes students from 44 states and 20 countries
  • Is Recognized as a leader in the arts, as one of only 30 schools in the U.S. nationally accredited in all four of the arts-music, theatre, visual arts, and dance
  • Is the only Christian university in the U.S. offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing
  • Has been named to America's 100 Best College Buys for 10 consecutive years, named in the Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development, and selected as a top Christian business college by Business Reform Magazine
  • Offers 27 major areas of study, with a student/faculty ratio of 12:1
  • Is structured around four schools: Business, Education, Arts and Sciences, and Fine Arts
  • Is a leader in the scholarship of Christian worldview curriculum