December 2, 2015 (Chattanooga, Tenn.) - Belhaven University's Chattanooga Campus will honor its graduating students during the Chattanooga Commencement Ceremony on December 10, 7 p.m. at Brainerd Baptist Church, 4011 Austin Street.
The commencement speaker this year is Mr. Ron Pirtle, Dean of Faculty for Belhaven's Chattanooga Campus. Pirtle's journey into higher education administration began 20 years ago at Crichton College in Memphis, Tenn. After earning his B.S. in Church Ministries at Crichton College, he began working there as the coordinator of student activities and ministries. He then began a full-time position as director of student life at Crichton.
Pirtle earned his M.S. in Higher Education Leadership from University of Memphis while working full-time and raising three toddlers with his wife. During that time, he developed a desire to serve students facing the same challenges he faced as a working adult. This background served him well as he moved to Belhaven University in 2005 as the campus director of the adult studies campus in Houston, Texas.
In 2008, Pirtle transitioned to Belhaven's main campus in Jackson to work as the dean of student development. He also taught classes at Belhaven for the adult studies and traditional programs. This year, he transitioned into a new role with the Chattanooga and Dalton campuses as the dean of faculty. Pirtle has been married for 25 years to Dede, who serves as the financial aid quality assurance director at West Tennessee Business College. They have three sons, Jeremiah, Joshua and Jason.