Bryan Students Graduate with Lower Debt, Says Ranking

Lowest Debt BurdenDecember 15, 2015 – In a recent ranking released by Christian Universities Online, Bryan College placed an astounding no. 2 in “Top 50 Christian Colleges & Universities with the Lowest Debt Burden 2016.”

According to Christian Universities Online, this newest ranking “seeks to provide useful data to parents and students who are endeavoring to make an informed decision in choosing the best Christian institution to meet their needs.”

“Understanding that the long term impact which student loan debt can have on a graduate, this ranking attempts to highlight schools that have done an excellent job in caring for their students not only academically, but also financially,” the ranking’s website says.

Vice President of Finance and Enrollment Rick Taphorn noted, “Bryan College is an institution that not only provides students with an excellent education from a biblical worldview, but also does so while empowering students to graduate with a lower debt than many other Christian colleges and universities. We are honored to receive this ranking, which reflects this fact.”

This ranking’s methodology took into account public data from U.S. News & World Report and required schools to be members or member eligible of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Bryan has been included in Christian Universities Online’s “Most Affordable” ranking for two consecutive years.

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, assistant director of marketing, 423.775.7206;

Class of 2016 Graduates May 14

Grad2May 16, 2016 — On May 14, a day of balmy temperatures and abundant sunshine, the Class of 2016 finally turned their tassels and beamed as Bryan College conferred upon them their well earned degrees. College president Dr. Stephen D. Livesay charged them to honor and live out their alma mater’s motto of “Christ Above All”: “As you honor and live out that motto, you honor Bryan College and all who have gone on before you representing Bryan throughout the world.”

The morning ceremonies featured Bryan Alderman ’16 as the senior commencement speaker. He inspired his fellow graduates to trust their futures to the Author of history. Special guest Dr. Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who was honored with the Doctor of Laws degree at commencement, said that moral instability and darkening of the current times will serve to show the world what true Christianity looks like. A total of 99 degrees were bestowed in the School of Arts and Sciences, including 68 Bachelor of Science degrees and 31 Bachelor of Arts degrees.

Grad1During the afternoon commencement ceremony for the School of Adult and Graduate Studies, 32 graduates received their Master of Business Administration, 46 received their Bachelor of Science, and 4 received their Associate of Science. Dr. Cecil Swetland, the regional director for the Association of Christian Schools International (California-Hawaii), addressed the graduates. He inspired them to strive for humility in every aspect of life, for it is through humility that they can truly make a difference.

Commencement weekend also saw the return of several alumni from the Class of 1966, who were honored as “Golden Grads,” robing up from cap to gown for the ceremony and receiving commemorative diplomas from Dr. Livesay. The Golden Grads were treated to a special honorary dinner Friday night before all praying the Lord’s blessing over the soon-to-be new alumni gathered in Rudd Auditorium for Vespers.

Grad3Alumni Director Paulakay Hall ’84 remarks, “It was an incredible blessing to welcome back our Golden Grads to the Hill for their 50th reunion. Seeing their heart for our new grads was an inspiration and a reminder to us all.”

Videos of the ceremonies can be viewed at this link.


P.A. Boyd Prizes: Awarded to the seniors whose principles and character have secured for them the highest degree of influence over their fellow students.

  • Bryan Alderman ’16 and Michael Sherrill ’16

Highest Scholastic Record:

  • Bryan Alderman ’16 (4.0 GPA) and Michael Sherrill ’16 (4.0 GPA)

Most Progress:

  • Christopher Maye ’16 and Daria Sharova ‘16

Faithfulness and Loyalty Award:

  • Daniel Cadiz ’16 and Kristin Hall ‘16

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, assistant director of public information, 423.775.7206;

Faculty and Staff 2016 Honors and Awards

May 6, 2016 – On April 27, Bryan College recognized several faculty and staff members were recognized for their achievements and service.

Faculty & Staff Awards

Will Tholkin, Staff Member of the Fall Semester

Mr. David Haggard, Staff Member of the Year Award

Mr. Michael Palmer, Teacher of the Year Award

Dr. Travis H. Ricketts, Scholar of the Year Award

Citation of Merit Awards

5 years service 

5 Years of Service Awardees

(as pictured left to right)

Dr. Matthew Johnson, Program Director for Master of Education/Assistant Professor of Education and Psychology

Mr. J. Clint McAuley, Field Manager/Assistant Baseball coach/Instructor in Exercise and Health Science

Mrs. Rhonda Kettenring, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Academics

Mr. David Haggard, Director of Financial Aid and Retention

Mr. Jason Smith, Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Mr. Mick Walker, Grounds Supervisor

(not pictured)

Mr. Jeff Eenigenburg, Director of Campus Worship/Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry     

Mr. Benton Jones, Director of business Development/Program Director for Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Associate of Science in Business/Faculty Representative, AGS/Assistant Professor of Business


10 Years’ Service


(from left to right, back row)

Mr. Rick Taphorn, Vice President of Finance and Enrollment

Mr. J. Taylor Hasty, Director of Athletics/Head Baseball Coach/Instructor of Exercise and Health Science

Dr. Kenneth J. Turner, Program Director for Master of Arts in Christian Studies/Professor of Bible/Athletic Liaison

Mr. Matthew Williams, Director of Men’s Housing/Resident Director, Long Hall

(front row)

Mrs. Paulakay Hall, Alumni Director

Mrs. Patty Rains, Business Office Assistance

(not pictured)

Mr. Gary Cheon, General Maintenance and Repair Technician

Dr. C. Judson Davis, Professor of Greek/chair, Department of Christian Studies and Philosophy


15 Years’ Service


(from left to right)

Mrs. Janice Pendergrass, Director of Advancement

Mrs. Beth Hixson, Financial Aid Coordinator

Dr. Dana S. Wilson, Associate Professor of Exercise and Health Science

Mrs. Alice Gray, Secretary/Receptionist, Office of the President

Mr. David Morgan, Director of Physical Plant


20 Years’ Service

Dr. Travis Ricketts, 20 Years of Service, Scholar of the Year

Dr. Travis H. Ricketts, Professor of History and Politics and Government/Chair, Department of History, Government, and Justice


25 Years’ Service


Mrs. Diana Buttram, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Student Services and Ministries


30 Years’ Service


Mrs. Judy Shetter, Assistant Director of Financial Aid


Bryan College Enactus Team Advances to National Expo

2016 Bryan College Enactus TeamMay 4, 2016 – On April 1, the Bryan College Enactus team advanced to the National Expo, to be held in St. Louis, MO, May 15 -17. This year’s projects included a continuation of the Enactus team’s partnerships with the Women’s Care Center in Dayton, TN and the Haiti Made/Hands and Feet Project. In addition, the team built new relationships with local no-kill animal shelter Save My Tail and became involved in the Tennessee Health Initiative and RC3. Various tasks completed included designing manufacturing templates for Haiti Made goods and improving Save My Tail’s social media marketing and adoption process. Members of the presentation team include freshman Molly Prescott, sophomores Shania Rogers, Logan Parsons, and Abigail Brown and juniors Noah Lee and Jack Fairbrother. Team alternate was junior Cristian Toledano. Senior leadership and coaching were spearheaded by Kaite Beasley and Daniel Cadiz. Audiovisual expertise and Prezi design were provided by sophomore Spencer Long. The script was written by Kaite Beasley, Daniel Cadiz, and junior Max Chadsey.

Daniel Cadiz, president of Enactus, says, “It’s been amazing to see the underclassmen rise to the occasion with support from the seniors in the group. They really made Enactus their own.” Logan Parsons says of his experience, “It was a great opportunity to represent Bryan and participate in such a unique experience with such a cool group of people”. Jack Fairbrother describes the event as “very competitive, with a wide representation of schools from the southeast region”. Kaite Beasley says, “I’m pleased with the way the team fused together. They know how to act professionally while not taking themselves too seriously, supporting each other the whole way.” The regional competition was held in Atlanta, GA at the Sheraton Conference Center. In addition to presenting in competition, students participated in a job fair where Max Chadsey was offered an internship with Sam’s Club onstage at the closing awards ceremony. Enactus faculty sponsor Dr. Adina Scruggs says, “I’m so proud of this year’s young team, and their hard work in project management, prioritization, and communication skills”. Enactus members are excited for the opportunity to present at Nationals, and look forward to both continuing current projects and discovering new opportunities for entrepreneurial action in the future.

Written by Abigail Brown, ’18

2016 Student Honors & Award Recipients

May 3, 2016 – Last week, Bryan College dedicated the April 27 Chapel service to recognizing the outstanding achievements of students, faculty, and staff. Numerous honors and awards were announced for the 2015-2016 academic year.


Daniel Cadiz, Outstanding Senior in Business Award

Christiane Kent, F.R. Rogers Senior Award in Bible – This award is made to a senior who has had at least four semesters of Bible at Bryan College, who excels as a Bible student, and who manifests true Christian consecration. It is given in memory of Dr. F.R. Rogers, a physician, long-time friend of the college and trustee.

Brya Alderman, Melivn M. Seguine Award – This award is given in memory of Pastor Melvin M. Seguine, whose devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, pastoral ministries, and warm Christian spirit endeared him to multitudes. The recipient is a graduating male student who has completed at least two years of his undergraduate studies at Bryan College and who plans, in the will of God, to continue in graduate studies that will culminate in missionary or pastoral service for the Lord. He shall be a person who has demonstrated a love for, and commitment to the bible as the Word of God, and who has been visibly active in the spiritual activities of the Bryan College student body.

Bryan Alderman, John C. Anderson Award – This award is given in honor of Dr. John C. Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Ancient Languages at Bryan College. The award recognizes the academic achievement of a graduating senior majoring in Biblical studies who has had at least two years of study at Bryan College. The recipient of this award has achieved the highest academic level throughout his/her Bible program.

Emily Terzakowec, Christian Ministry Award to Oustanding Senior

Caleb Julin, Senior Communication Studies Scholarship Award

Matt Dunlap, Commoner Senior Award

LJ Rowden, Triangle Senior Award

Michael Sherril, Elementary Education, Jessica Stockton, Secondary EducationI, Mrs. E.B. Arnold Student Teacher Award – This award is made to the student teacher who has shown the greatest promise in the teaching field. The late Mrs. Arnold was a founder of the college, a loyal supporter for many years, and served as a trustee.

Martha Lynn Heiser, William Jennings Bryan Philological Award – This award is given to a graduating English major who has in a special way demonstrated a love of language and literature. It must be someone who reads discerningly and writes and speaks with depth and clarity and who is an example to others at Bryan in both the quality of work in English courses and in faithful enthusiastic support of English-related extracurricular activities.

Martha Lynn Heiser, Richard M. Cornelius Award of Excellence In Research Writing – This award is presented annually to a graduating senior English major in honor of Dr. Richard Cornelius whose commitment to excellence characterized his service to the college and the community for over 40 years. The award is given to the student whose senior thesis, in the determination of the English faculty, best exemplifies the standards of excellence upheld by Dr. Cornelius. 

Jennifer Fortmiller, Outstanding Senior in Exercise and Health Science

Brandon Cole and Jennifer Fortmiller, Lion of Valor Award – “…there came over to David in the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor…trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, and whose faces were like the faces of lions…” (I Chronicles 12:8) This award is given to the top male and female athlete at Bryan College. The recipients are chosen by the Department of Athletics staff. Consideration is given to those student-athletes who not only excel in their respective sport, but more importantly, model the character qualities of Christ on and off the field of play; who remain steadfast and loyal to the success of the team – an encourager of others, selfless, dedicated to the task of building-up people and strengthening relationship; and who possess an unwavering commitment to “fight the good fight” of faith with the tenacity, might, and valor of the Lion of Judah. 

Caleb Julin, Hilltop Players Senior Award – The Hilltop Players Senior Award is given to the graduating senior that has had a major impact on the theatre program during his or her tenure at Bryan College. The candidate is chosen by his/her peers who have been involved in the Hilltop Players productions over the past year.

Bryan Alderman, Chorale Member of the Year

John Leckrone, Outstanding Senior in History

Rachel Weisel, Outstanding Senior in Criminal Justice

Lindsay Cate Smith, Outstanding Senior in Politics and Government

Warren Tefft, Senior Mathematics Award

Christina Sabin, Williard L. Henning Biology Award – This cash award is given to a senior Biology major who has attended Bryan College two full years and has completed 20 hours of biological courses and related courses such as chemistry or physics. The student must be of noble character and have a good reputation. 

Arianne Meberg, Senior Psychology Award

Kristin Hall, Stephen P. Bradshaw Award – For Excellence in the Integration of Christianity and Psychology.


Olivia Kezer, Mercer and Bernyce Clementson Scholarship – This scholarship is awarded annually to a student majoring in Business Administration who demonstrates leadership potential. It is given in honor of Mercer and Bernyce Clementson, a couple whose lives were an example and inspiration to the many academicians who taught alongside them and the hundreds of students challenged and motivated in their classes.

Noah Lee, Al Page Memorial Scholarship – This is a business scholarship with a focus on Christian perspective of ethics in business and evangelism and is given in memory of Al Page, a long-time friend and trustee of the college.

Molly Prescott, Business Advisory Board Scholarship – The Business Advisory Board has created and funded a scholarship to reward students in the business department who are committed to excelling in academics, gaining work experience, and serving their community. Student applications for the Business Advisory Board scholarship are screened by advisory board members, and the winner is chosen by the Business Department Faculty. This year, only rising sophomores were eligible. 

Ross Katayama, Business Scholarship – established in 2007 for a rising junior or senior who shows potential for success in business.

 Evan Van Sickle, The Lawrence E. and Lillian C. Payne Scholarship – This is a Biblical Studies scholarship established in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence E. Payne of Horseheads, New York. It is awarded in advance of each academic year to a continuing student pursuing a Biblical Studies major at Bryan. The recipient must have achieved a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average during the previous academic year in order to receive it.

Jared Redden, Robert and Nita Anderson Memorial Scholarship – This scholarship provides assistance to Baptist students preparing for foreign missionary service.

Rebecca McConkey, Elinor Fox Baker Leadership Scholarship – This award is given by Thomas Baker in memory of his wife Elinor for her long-time service as a member of the Bryan College Board of Trustees. This scholarship is awarded on an annual basis to a young woman major in the biblical Studies Division. 

Bradley Sparks, Charles A. and Theda F. Thomas Scholarship – This scholarship is awarded in advance of each academic year to a continuing student pursuing a Bible major and is established in memory of Betty Boaz Thomas and Graham Snow, and in honor of the C. Harris Freeland and Clarence L. Thomas families.

Aaron Pendergrass, Gordon and Janice Lou Alley Scholarship – This endowed scholarship was established by Janice Lou Alley for the purpose of creating a perpetual endowment fund for students attending Bryan College who intend to enter full-time Christian service and who are pursuing a course of study within the Biblical Studies or Humanities Divisions.

Chava Green, Lizzie Reis-Orin A. Keach Educational Fund – This fund was established in 1965 by the Covenant United Presbyterian Church of Akron, Ohio for students planning to enter a Christian vocation. preference is given to the sons and daughters of the Covenant Church.

Sydney Rau and Stephen Powell, D.B. Rice Scholarships – This scholarship was established in 1965 as a result of a bequest to Bryan College by the late Dr. D.B. Rice of Rock Island, Tennessee. Recipients must be pursuing a minor in bible or Christian Education and must be planning a career of vocational Christian service.

Elise Barnes, John D. Lawson Scholarship – An endowed scholarship has been established by Dr. and Mrs. Robert W. Spoede in memory of their friend, Mr. John D. Lawson, to assist a deserving Bryan College student who is preparing for vocational Christian ministry. Rev. John Lawson was a pastor, master carpenter, musician, and singer. Throughout his life, he consistently modeled the gracious attributes of Jesus in a most practical way and touched many lives. As a lieutenant at the Adult Correctional Institution of Rhode Island for eighteen years, he was instrumental in revitalizing the Prison Ministries. His heart’s desire was to lift up the fallen and the less fortunate and to be a servant to all.

Jonathan Montoya, Anna C. Robinson Memorial Scholarship – This scholarship is provided to memorialize her lifetime of service to Christ and is awarded to worthy Bryan students with majors either in Biblical studies or Christian Education who are called to serve the Lord in church-related ministry. This scholarship was established by her husband, Charles H. Robinson, who served for eleven years on Bryan’s administrative staff in the area of public relations and development. During their 63 years of ministry, they served as pioneer missionaries in the mountain countries of Kentucky and Tennessee, organizing Sunday schools, planting churches, and engaging in pastoral service. Anna Robinson was a godly mother of five children, a faithful witness for Christ, and an honorary alumna of Bryan College.

Jared Redden, Christian Ministry Award to Outstanding Underclassman

Paige Rajala, Catherine McDonald Communications Scholarship – This is given in honor of Catherine McDonald and is made by the Financial Aid Officer in conjunction with the Communication Studies Department Chairman based on the academic merit and progress.  

Hannah Eckert, Theodore C. & Alice M. Mercer Scholarship – This scholarship was established in 1986 to honor Bryan’s 4th president, who served the college for 30 years. The recipient of the scholarship is selected by the Mercer family. It is traditionally awarded to the rising editor of the student newspaper.

Morgana de Silva, Commoner Grant                         

Austin Marsh, Nannie Ketner McDonald Education Scholarship – This scholarship is given to honor Nannie McDonald and is made by the Financial Aid Officer in conjunction with the Head of the Education Department. It is based on academic merit and progress.

Daniel Hatch, Brynoff Scholarship in English – This scholarship is given in memory of our late faculty member, Betty Brynoff, to a student with ability and personal character. The student must be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior and a traditional English major.

David Gomez (incoming freshman), Ralph E. and Rebecca H. Toliver MK Scholarship – This endowed scholarship was established in 1990 on the occasion of the Tolivers’ 50th wedding anniversary. Ralph and Rebecca Toliver, the first Bryan College alumni to become missionaries, are 1937 and 1938 graduates of the college. This scholarship is awarded to a student whose parents are overseas career missionaries.

Zachary Johnson, Outstanding Underclassman in Exercise and Health Science 

Lexie Wheeler, Paul Long Scholarship – This scholarship was established by a local artist Paul J. Long of Lenoir City, Tennessee.

Rachel Liebert and Austin Marsh, Haynes Hilltop Player Leadership Award – This scholarship, established in 1999, is provided by the generosity of the Haynes family of Lilburn, Georgia. The candidates for this scholarship must be a returning student majoring in Theatre or Musical Theatre. He or she must exemplify strong Christian character, achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and be instrumental in advancing the theatre program at Bryan College.

Grace Loe and MIchelle Shelbi Metts, Rachel Morgan Patron Award – Established in 2005, the Patrons and Benefactors of the Hilltop Players have set aside a designated amount of their contributions to be used as an award to assist a returning student majoring in the theatre area. The award has been named in honor of Mrs. Rachel Morgan who served as the director of the theatre program at Bryn from 1972-1993, and recently went home to be with the Lord. This award is given to a candidate who meets the following requirements: A major in the theatre area, a GPA of 3.0 in his/her major classes, and display of Christ-like attitude and leadership qualities

Jonathan Montoya, Virginia M. Schmickl Music Award – (Mrs. Schmickl was on the staff at Bryan for many years and her daughter and son-in-law both graduated from Bryan.) This is given to the highest achiever in the freshman class for the sophomore year in the major of music. This student must have demonstrated a love for Christ in Christian service along with attaining a high cumulative average.

Emily Garmon, Michelle Shelbi Metts, Abigail Weir, Mary McDonald Groves Music Scholarship – This award is made in honor of Mary McDonald Groves and the recipient is chosen by the Financial Aid Officer in conjunction with the Music Division chairman.

Grace Loe and Everett Sell, M.A. Cooley Memorial Music Scholarship – This scholarship was established in 1984 by Mrs. W. L. (Sara Cooley) Reeve in memory of her father. This endowment fund provides a grant to be awarded by the music department to a student or students who demonstrate special music ability.

Mary Brown and Joshua Powell, Harold C. and Ruthanna Almond Music Scholarship – This scholarship was established to encourage excellence in music and in Christian higher education. It is awarded to a music student who demonstrates exemplary Christian character, scholastic ability, and dedicated talent. This scholarship is funded by the proceeds of an endowment established by Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Almond.

Victoria Suich, Roe F. & Zelma I. Black Memorial Scholarship in Music – This endowed scholarship was established in 1999 by the family of Roe F. and Zelma I. Black, long-time friends of the College. The scholarship is to be awarded by the music faculty based on the applicant’s ability and interest in music and personal character. Preference is to be given to an upperclassman majoring in keyboard or instrumental music.

Brian Kamer, History Award to an Outstanding Underclassman – This award is given to the underclass student achieving the highest scholarship ranking in History of Western Civilization class.

Matthew Smith, Outstanding Underclassman in Criminal Justice         

Kate Westrick, Outstanding Underclassman in Politics and Government 

Stephanie Chavez, Frank J. Schmickl Mathematics Scholarship – Mr. and Mrs. Schmickl moved to Dayton after their retirement, and Mrs. Schmickl served on the staff of Bryan College for several years. This award is given to the highest achiever in the freshman class for the sophomore year in the major of mathematics. This student must have demonstrated a love for Christ in Christian service along with attaining a high cumulative average both overall and in mathematics.

Andrew Betts, Mathematics Scholarship – This scholarship is to be awarded in advance of each academic year to a student pursuing a mathematics or computer science major at Bryan College.

Jacoba McMillen, Fred and Dot Wagoner Scholarship – This endowed scholarship was established in 2001 by Fred and Dot Wagoner, operators of Fraser Knoll Farm in North Carolina.  The Wagoners have a long history with Bryan and a number of family members have attended Bryan.  This scholarship provides assistance to students pursuing a course of study within the Christian Studies or Natural Science Divisions.  Entering freshmen may be eligible to receive the scholarship and retain it through their course of study at Bryan by maintaining a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Selection is made on the basis of clear academic and Christian commitment.

Christopher Weinzapfel, Kent and Margie B. Mann Scholarship – This endowed scholarship was established by Christian businessman Kent Mann and his wife and business partner, Margie Beikert Mann. They met as classmates at Bryan and established a faithful Christian testimony as servants of Christ and business partners in Mebane, North Carolina. This scholarship provides assistance to students who are pursuing a course of study within Biblical Studies, Humanities or Natural Science divisions. The recipients are expected to have maintained a GPA of at least 2.25 during the previous academic year.

Julia Rardin, Ann Burwick Scholarship – This scholarship is given in honor of Ann Burwick who served as a counselor at Bryan for only two months in the fall of 1999 before a brain aneurysm took her into Christ’s presence.  Ann deeply impacted strangers, clients, and friends with her deep faith in God and His ability to change lives.  Established by family and friends, this scholarship is to be awarded to a rising senior majoring in psychology.  In keeping with her distinct ministry, recipients selected are those who have expressed an interest in pursuing a counseling ministry, demonstrated commitment to God and service to others.   The recipient is selected by the psychology faculty.

Cate Beth Poole, Psychology Achievement Award (Freshman)


Additional Student Awards

Bryan Center for Undergraduate Research Awards – These awards recognize the student researchers whose presentations and papers during the 2013 Undergraduate Research Conference best exemplify excellence in academic research. Awards are first, second and third place prizes for best presentation and paper.

Presentation Awards:

1st place: Michael Whitlock

2nd place: Seth Gallagher

3rd place: Amber Doolittle

Paper Awards:

Christina Sabin

Poster Award:

Andrea Bostrom

Jordyn Elardo, Yahna Ninis, and Joy Yancy, Harry V. Schnabel, Jr. Award – This scholarship was established for students whose parents are missionaries or full-time Christian workers.

Bryan Alderman, Judson A. Rudd Testimony and Influence Award – This cash award is given by an anonymous donor in memory of the third president of Bryan College and is made to the upperclassman having an outstanding Christian testimony and exerting the best Christian influence on incoming students. The selection is made by the freshman class.

Physical Plant Awards

Grounds Recipient:  Michael Padgett 

Housekeeping Recipient: Elizabeth Albert  

Landscaping Recipient: Caleb Morgan  

Maintenance Recipient:  Persephone Davis  



Dr. Al Mohler to Speak at Bryan College Commencement

May 2, 2016 – Richard Albert Mohler, Jr., the current ninth president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, will be the featured speaker at the Bryan College Arts and Sciences Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14.

Dr. Mohler is a renowned American theologian, speaker, and ordained minister. He has served in numerous Southern Baptist churches, in addition to serving as the editor of The Christian Index and on the boards of several organizations. His writings have been published across the United States and Europe. He regularly contributes to a popular blog and hosts two programs in which he addresses moral, cultural, and theological issues.

Landes Way

Commencement will begin at 9:30 am on the Bryan College Triangle Lawn. Tickets are not required but seating is limited. The ceremony will be moved to Rudd Auditorium to accommodate inclement weather. Tickets will be required should the ceremony be moved.


More about Dr. Richard Albert Mohler

Dr. Mohler is a native of Lakeland, Florida, and he attended college at Florida Atlantic University as a Faculty Scholar. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama.

He earned a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy in Systematic and Historical Theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has conducted research at the University of Oxford in England and pursued additional study at the St. Meinrad School of Theology.

He is married to Mary, and they have two children, Katie and Christopher.


Bryan College Welcomes New Trustee

Mr. and Mrs. Leighton LeBoeuf at the 2016 Bryan Opportunity DinnerApril 20, 2016 – Bryan College is honored to welcome new trustee Mr. Leighton LeBoeuf to the College Board of Trustees. Mr. LeBoeuf has been a long-time friend and supporter of Bryan College and has served as chairman of the President’s Roundtable.

In addition, Mr. LeBoeuf and his wife Jan served as co-chairs of this year’s Bryan Opportunity Dinner. President Stephen Livesay took the opportunity to introduce Mr. LeBoeuf to an audience of 545 guests. The Bryan community looks forward to having Leighton and Jan join the Bryan College family in this new role.

Leighton LeBoeuf

Mr. LeBoeuf is the retired general manager of broadcasting for Moody Radio WMBW and WFCM. He has served on numerous community board and committee leadership roles, including; AMG International; Bethel Bible Village; Chattanooga Area Leadership Prayer Breakfast; Chattanooga Health, Education, and Housing Facilities Board; Men’s Ministry Network; the American Policy Roundtable; and the Optimist Club.

Written by Britney M. Wyatt, Director of Marketing, 423.775.7327,

Photo by Victoria Mason of Victoria Mason Photography

New Graduate Programs Announced

New Master's Degree Specializations AnnouncedApril 18, 2016 – Bryan College is expanding its graduate academic programs with the announcement of four new specialization opportunities. Each specialization allows students to tailor their graduate degree to their career goals and interests.

The new graduate specializations include:

The new specializations will be available beginning in the 2016 – 2017 academic year. All courses are offered completely online, providing the flexibility for students to continue working full-time from almost anywhere in the world. All graduate programs at Bryan College are competitively priced, and students can earn their degree in as little as 18 months.

Bryan developed the new specializations to meet the needs of students and the marketplace. “When we surveyed students in the Fall about graduate programs they’d like to see Bryan develop, we identified several areas of interest where we had capabilities to offer programs that better met some of the career goals of students,” said  Paul Rickert, Ph.D., Dean of Adult and Graduate Studies. “We are still working toward developing other programs at the graduate level because it not only allows us to meet our students’ and potential students’ needs but also to meet the needs of employers”.

All programs at Bryan College are regionally accredited, and some programs hold additional accreditations and approvals including IACBE and ACSI.

Bryan College is a private, non-profit, Christian liberal arts institution located in Dayton, TN. Bryan College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and offers 25 majors with 49 unique fields of study and 3 graduate programs with 5 options and 2 certificates. The Bryan motto, “Christ Above All” can not only be found emblazoned on the college logo but also pursued in the lives of Bryan faculty, staff, students, and alumni. To learn more, visit

Written by Britney M. Wyatt, Director of Marketing, 423.775.7327,


Bryan Opportunity Program Dinner 2016 A Great Success

BOP1 April 15, 2016 – Last night over 545 alumni and friends of Bryan College attended the ninth annual Bryan Opportunity Program Dinner at the Chattanooga Convention Center. This event was hosted by the college and Host Committee Co-Chairs Leighton and Jan LeBoeuf, to raise funds for scholarships for low-income Tennessee students.

Singer, storyteller, humorist, author, and songwriter Mark Lowry and pianist Stan Whitmire were the featured guests at the event, which proved to be the single best-attended Opportunity Program event since the program began.

Lowry regaled attendees with witty stories from his childhood and heartfelt songs, including the celebrated Christmas classic he co-wrote with Buddy Greene, “Mary, Did You Know?” He spoke on God’s love for and delight in His children and encouraged his audience to remember the importance of story. “Your life is a story, and you have a lot of chapters,” Lowry said, noting that the best way to fill those chapters is to trust the Lord and embrace change.

BOP2Also speaking at the program was student Noah Lee, a recipient of the Bryan Opportunity Program’s funds. Lee – a junior integrated marketing communications major, athlete, musician, and member of the Worldview Initiative – shared the story of the Lord’s clear guidance in his coming to Bryan and the influence of the program on his life.

“The Bryan Opportunity Program gave me the chance to attend a school that is biblical and Christ-centered and focused on shaping students to make a difference in the world around them,” Lee said. “God has used the professors and the community at Bryan to love me and change my heart as I continue to study at this institution and grow. What I want for future students is that they would have the exact same opportunities I did, regardless of their background and financial circumstances.”

Since the program’s inception in 2008, a total of over $1,770,000 has been raised to make a Bryan education a possibility for 222 students whose total annual family income is less than $35,000. The inspiring generosity of the donors at the dinner, who raised an estimated $247,000, will make a Christ-centered college experience possible for students in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Director of Advancement Janice Pendergrass, who coordinates all Opportunity Program dinners, remarked, “I’ve read somewhere that there are few activities which are immensely valuable. Laughter and singing are two of those, and we did both last night. It was refreshing and energizing to sit in a room with over 500 people laughing and enjoying the evening while gathered together for such a serious and worthy cause.”

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, assistant director of public information, 423.775.7206;  

Hilltop Players Present OKLAHOMA!

Rogers and Hammerstien's OklahomaApril 14, 2016 – Bryan College’s Hilltop Players will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! April 21 – 23. This fun and spirited musical is set in the American West during the turn of the century and highlights the rivalry between cowboys and farmers and the love story of Curly and Laurey.

Directed by Bernie Belisle, the cast of the musical includes sophomore Kaitlyn Couch of Spring City, seniors Brandon Lawrence of Chattanooga and Andrew Warren of Athens, and incoming freshman Bailey Hufstetler of Spring City with choreography by alumna Joanna Hill. This will be the debut performance for the new music director, Dr. Vaughn Cordona. He will be leading a 10 to 12 piece orchestra consisting of both students and community members.

OKLAHOMA! will be presented in Rudd Auditorium Thursday, April 21 through Saturday, April 23, at 7 P.M.

Tickets On Sale Now!

  • Adults: $11
  • BC students, faculty, and staff: $7


Bryan College Service Day

Bryan College Service DayApril 8, 2016 – Thursday was a special day at Bryan College. Classes were canceled and offices were closed so that a total of 540 students, faculty, and staff could participate in various service projects around the Dayton and Chattanooga communities. This yearly event is called All-College Service Day, and this year, while various service projects were carried out across the area, an extra special ministry was held right on the Bryan College campus.

The Luke 14 Fun Day on the Hill was designed to provide students with severe intellectual and physical disabilities who are unable to attend mainstream classes with a day full of fun and special attention. The Luke 14 event started bright and early Thursday morning with a 7am breakfast in the campus dining hall. Peter Mckechnie, from the Knoxville Area Joni and Friends organization, led a volunteer training program for 150 Bryan College student, faculty, and staff volunteers.

The students and teachers from the Rhea County Public Schools’ Comprehensive Developmental Class Program arrived to a welcome tunnel full of excited volunteers and each child was partnered with a Bryan student buddy for the day. The students and teachers were treated to a carnival filled with booths and prizes and outdoor games, while the parents enjoyed a time of relaxation and pampering held in the campus library. Everyone then came together in the college dining hall for a special lunch and entertainment provided by magician Mitch Gravitte with Marvel Ministries and balloon creations by Caleb Gravitte with the Red Balloon Company. The day wrapped up with a fun balloon brigade sendoff.

The Luke 14 Fun Day on the Hill was made possible by the numerous volunteers and generous donors and sponsors who provided funding and a wide variety of goods and services for the event. Bryan College would like to provide a special thanks to Volunteer Energy Cooperative, and the VECustomers Share Foundation, in addition to the City of Dayton Utilities and Project Hometown Help for the grants that helped make this event possible.

Additional off-campus service projects this year included working with students in the Rhea County School system, bathing pets and general cleaning at the Save My Tail Animal Rescue, reorganizing and cleaning at the Women’s Care Center, visiting the residents of Life Care Center, providing yard work and maintenance for various community members and organizations, and many more.

Written by Britney M. Wyatt, Director of Marketing, 423.775.7327,