2011 BOP Dinner

Bryan College held its fourth Bryan Opportunity Program fundraising dinner on April 14, 2011, at the Chattanooga Convention Center, with 450 in attendance. Chattanooga businessman Joe Decosimo chaired the event.
 
LtCol Oliver North, 2011 speaker
LtCol Oliver L. North was the featured speaker.  Col North is a combat-decorated Marine, a #1 best-selling author, the founder of a small business, an inventor with three U.S. patents, a syndicated columnist, and the host of War Stories on the Fox News channel. 
 
North was born in San Antonio, Texas, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and served 22 years as a U.S. Marine.  His awards for service in combat include the silver star, the bronze star for valor and two purple hearts for wounds in action.
 
Assigned to the National Security Council staff in the Reagan administration, LtCol North was the United States government’s counter-terrorism coordinator from 1983-1986.  He was involved in planning the rescue of 804 medical students on the island of Grenada and played a major role in the daring capture of the U.S. raid on Muammar Qaddafi’s terrorist bases in Libya.  North was targeted for assassination by Abu Nidal, the infamous terrorist found dead in Baghdad in August 2002.  President Ronald Reagan described him as “an American hero.”
 
Since 2001, North has been the host of War Stories, the award-winning military documentary series on Fox News channel, and has made 14 overseas combat coverage assignments.  He has also authored eleven books – all of them New York Times best sellers.  North’s most recent book, American Heroes, is based on his extensive coverage of U.S. military units engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Philippines.
 
North is also the founder of Freedom Alliance, a foundation that provides college scholarships for the sons and daughters of service members killed in action.  He claims his most important accomplishment is to be “the husband of one, the father of four and the grandfather of eleven.”
 
General Mastin Robeson

Introducing Col. North at the dinner was 1976 Bryan College graduate, MajGen Mastin Robeson.  General Robeson is presently the CEO of TRGSolutions, an emerging company specializing in domestic and international business development, marketing strategy, and corporate leadership.
 
During his 34 years of military service, General Robeson commanded at every operational level.  As a general officer he served as the Commanding General of a Joint Counter-Terrorism Task Force in the Horn of Africa, Commanding General of the 3rd and 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigades, Commanding General of the 2nd and 3rd Marine Divisions, General David Petraeus’ Director of Planning and Strategy in Iraq, and Commanding General of the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

General Robeson graduated with honors from every Military School he attended, and his civilian education includes a degree in Business Administration from Bryan and a Master’s degree in Military Arts and Science from Kansas State University.

His combat experiences include service in Liberia, Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia, Horn of Africa, Southern Philippines, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

He is married to 1974 Bryan College graduate Nancy Nofsinger, has four children and three grandchildren, and currently resides outside of Greenville, SC.
 
Seth Flores, a senior at Bryan College and a recipient of the Bryan Opportunity Program grant, shared his testimony at the dinner.  Along with his major in Biblical Studies, he participates on the Resident Assistant Team as the (Male) Lead Resident Assistant for Bryan College assisting the men on his halls and discipling the men on his team. Seth has also served in other leadership capacities at Bryan, and has enjoyed three years on the Bryan College Junior Varsity Soccer Team. In the future, he plans to attend Dallas Theological Seminary and receive his Masters of Theology degree with a concentration in Leadership Studies and Educational Leadership. 
2004 Alumnus Daniel Spivey provided music.  Daniel was a tenor vocal performance major at Bryan College and UT Chattanooga.  He has performed various operatic roles with the UTC opera workshop under the direction of Ron Ulen.  He is a current member of the D.C.-based men's vocal ensemble "Brethren," as well as the Lake Junaluska Singers in North Carolina.  He has performed at the White House on numerous occasions, and has served as a guest soloist with the Bismarck Symphony of North Dakota.  Daniel hopes to pursue a graduate degree in choral conducting.

About $250,000 was raised to provide tuition for academically qualified Tennessee residents with a household income of $35,000 or less.