Bryan students are making a difference during spring break

A group of Bryan students pose with their faculty mentor on the 2017 Costa Rica Break for Change Trip.This week, 30 Bryan students and five faculty and staff members are spending their spring break serving around the world through Bryan’s Break For Change ministry. Student teams, led by their faculty or staff mentor, partner with ministries around the world that make a difference in their local community.

Grand Goave, Haiti 

In partnership with The Hands and Feet Project, our student team is led by one of our business professors and has the chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus with believers committed to being the “best last resort” for Haiti’s 800,000 orphans. The team will also work with Haiti Made to grow future possibilities for Hands and Feet graduates and sustainable solutions for the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere.           

Detroit, Michigan

The student team will be ambassadors for Christ to people from the Middle East without leaving our borders. They will learn how to relate the Gospel to Muslim perspectives, and participate in creative approaches to evangelism with other university students.

Opelousas, Louisiana

In partnership with Hope for Opelousas, the team joins a movement of hope among youth through educational support and tutoring, neighborhood outreach through painting and construction, and intentional relationships. The students will gain firsthand understanding of the Hope For Opelousas motto: “love changes everything.”

Houston, Texas

The YMCA International Services is a “front lines” care provider and advocate for refugees, recent immigrants, and victims of human trafficking. The Bryan team will spend time with key leaders in this organization and join them in serving the voiceless and vulnerable.

San Jose, Costa Rica

The Bryan team will be engaged with churches affected by the training ministry of Seminario Esepa, participating in street evangelism and construction, and experiencing how God is working in Latin America.

Meet the Donors: George and Doris Vogel

The Vogel School of Engineering is named for alumnus Brigadier General George B. Vogel ’58, who – along with his wife, Doris – provided a substantial gift for the new school. This fascinating couple’s lives have been characterized by lifelong service to God and country. Here is your chance to learn more about the donors who did so much to make the Vogel School of Engineering a reality.

George B. and Doris Vogel have been married for over 60 years. Gen. Vogel originally hailed from Philadelphia, Penn., and attended the Philadelphia Bible Institute (now known as Cairn University) before transferring to Bryan College for his last year. Doris was a star basketball player in the high school they both attended growing up, and they officially began dating while both attending Philadelphia Bible Institute, where Doris is in the Cairn Highlanders Hall of Honors for her achievements on the basketball team. They married in 1957, and Doris was by her husband’s side when he transferred to Bryan for his final undergraduate year. (They drove down to Dayton, Tenn., on their honeymoon, camping along the way!)

Thinking back on his time as a Bryan Lion, Gen. Vogel remarks, “I was impressed with the interest that the faculty and administration had for me as an individual.”

He graduated from Bryan in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible, and moved west to earn his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from the Talbot School of Theology in California – the state where he and Doris have lived ever since. He says he has gained “a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, as well as a deeper respect for people” through earning his degrees, as well as working with people from all varieties of geo-economic classes and backgrounds.

During seminary he took a class in military chaplaincy, which sparked his interest in the field into which God would soon lead him. Gen. Vogel remembers God’s divine planning when reflecting on his career history: “I started in the National Guard when I was a pastor, went on active duty for five years, and stayed in the National Guard Reserves with almost 36 total years of service. I was a pastor of a congregational church in Los Angeles, then I was an army chaplain, then I went to work for the V.A. [the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs] in 1987. I’ve been working as a chaplain for the V.A. ever since.”

Gen. Vogel explains that during this time Doris “graduated from Philadelphia General Hospital as an RN, followed by Philadelphia Bible Institute, and eventually received a bachelor’s degree when the school became accredited. She worked in a hospital setting while I went to seminary. During my time in the pastorate she worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District, teaching licensed vocational nurses at night. After I left the active military, Doris worked 15 years as a nurse in alcoholic rehabilitation. When she retired from nursing, she was the owner/manager of a party goods store in Mission Viejo, Calif.” She also volunteered for several years at the V.A. hospital – a great support to her husband throughout their lives with her compassionate heart and business sense.

Gen. Vogel’s current position as Chief of Chaplain Service at the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center “is about bringing a spiritual dimension to the lives of the patients in the V.A. Hospital and to their families,” he explains. This includes short- and long-term patients of all kinds, including those in hospice care and in the large spinal cord injury ward (the largest of its kind in the 155 hospitals in the V.A.). Vogel was named the 2015 recipient of the Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health’s Award for Excellence in Chaplaincy, The Lifetime Achievement Award. In May of 2015 he was honored with the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Bryan College in recognition of his lifetime of ministry and service to his God and his country. “I feel really fortunate that at my age and time of life I am still healthy enough to do the work and my mind is relatively active, and I’m just blessed. That’s why I’m able to do these things,” he says.

“Bryan College provided a strong foundation for my career and service to my country,” Gen. Vogel reflects. “It was a life-changing experience that prepared me for my future. Doris and I are grateful for the work that continues on Bryan College’s campus. It’s an honor to be able to provide the funding for the School of Engineering and it’s very humbling to have it bear our name.”

Did You Know?

George and Doris have an adult daughter, Deborah, and a teenaged granddaughter, Ella.

George was one of the first 500 individuals to become a licensed marriage and family therapist for the state of California, a licensure that he still maintains to this day through regular study and testing.

Doris was one member of the McClelland Sisters singing trio in the Philadelphia area in the early 1950s.

The Vogels met William Jennings Bryan, Jr., on the bowling greens in Laguna Beach, Calif.

Bryan College Announces Dr. Douglas Mann As New Provost And Vice President Of Academics

Dr. Mann, Provost and Vice President of Academics (Photo by Kaitlyn Becker Johnson.)

Bryan College proudly announces the addition of Dr. Douglas Mann as Provost and Vice President of Academics.

A Bryan College alumnus, Dr. Douglas Mann – who holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Georgia, an M.A. in Christian Thought, Emphases in History and Theology from Trinity International University, and a B.A. in History and Bible from Bryan College – holds a long history with Bryan College and looks forward to bringing his extensive experience to his alma mater.

With a career in higher education spanning over two decades, Dr. Mann most recently held the position of Administrative Dean for Graduate Programs, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Additionally, Dr. Mann has extensive experience both in teaching and administrative roles and holds years of senior leadership and planning experience, including key decision-making for academic programs, academic relations, academic budgets and facilities planning, and policy.

“Bryan College has been an important part of both my personal and professional life. My parents met at Bryan. I met my wife Susi while a student at Bryan. My own views on the value and place for Christian Higher Education were shaped as a student at Bryan as the faculty and administration poured their lives into my education,” said Dr. Mann. “I am excited to serve the students, faculty, and administration at Bryan as we all seek to further the mission of ‘Educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.’”

As Provost and Vice President of Academics at Bryan College, Dr. Mann will provide leadership and direction for students, faculty, and staff as well as assist with many of the upcoming efforts included in the College’s ‘2018 Making a Difference: Vision to Reality’ initiative.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Mann back to his alma mater as our new Provost and Vice President of Academic here at Bryan,” remarked President Stephen D. Livesay.“Dr. Mann has significant professional experience in higher education both in teaching and in administration. He knows Bryan well and will be able to quickly adjust to his new role in leading our academic team. But more than all of his qualifications and experience is our shared mission of placing ‘Christ above All’.”

Bryan College Expresses Appreciation For Billy Graham’s Ministry

 To the question “Where is Heaven?” Billy Graham once responded, “Heaven is where Jesus is and I am going to him soon!” Yesterday morning Mr. Graham joined Jesus at home in Heaven. While we are saddened to lose such an amazing, God-fearing man, we are overjoyed to know that he is at peace with his Lord and Savior.

Bryan College’s third president, Dr. Judson Rudd, had the honor of delivering the commencement address at Mr. Graham’s graduation from Wheaton College in 1943 and had many interactions with him thereafter. Upon hearing of his death, Mary Frances Rudd Carlson, daughter of Dr. Rudd, recalled memories of her parents spending quality time with Mr. Graham and taking her to his Chattanooga Crusade as a child. She remembers the welcoming presence of Mr. Graham when Dr. Rudd arrived late during the Crusade at Warner Park Field House. “One evening Daddy got there late, as usual, and was standing around wondering where he might find a seat,” recalled Ms. Carlson. “Billy Graham came along getting ready to go on the stage and saw Daddy and took him on the stage with him so that he would have a seat.” This memory is just one illustration of Mr. Graham’s kindness and desire for everyone to hear the Word of God.

In 2002, Billy Graham and his wife, Ruth, helped to gift Bryan College with the iconic clock in the Triangle in honor of former Bryan College trustee Wilma “Billie” Barrows. Ms. Barrows was the wife of Cliff Barrows, the long-time music and program director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and mother of two Bryan College alumni, Betty Ruth Barrows Seera and William Barrows.

“All of us owe much to a man whose life had a singular focus, the message of the gospel—the only hope for a world that desperately needs Jesus Christ,” said Bryan College president Stephen D. Livesay.  “Billy Graham always preached with an open Bible, quoting many passages, allowing the Holy Spirit’s words to convict hearts.  I am confident that God honored his word through Dr. Graham’s ministry, and I rejoice in a life well-lived, a wonderful example for all of us to emulate.”

Bryan College will forever be deeply grateful for the ministry of Mr. Graham and the impact he had on the world for Christ. His never-ending efforts to bring people together in the body of Christ are an example for us all.

Remembering Christopher Nitzband: November 22, 1994 – February 9, 2018

Christopher Nitzband went home to be with the Lord on Friday, February 9, 2018. Christopher was from Blount County and graduated from Alcoa High School in 2013. He was a senior at Bryan College, pursuing an ambitious double major in Liberal Arts with a Classical Studies focus and in Philosophy & Culture, with minors in Greek and Biblical Studies. He had recently been accepted to graduate school.  We remember this outstanding young man as an accomplished and devoted academic and truly remarkable friend.

Christopher stood out on the Bryan College campus in both academics and in person. Known for his academic tenacity, his professors described him as the ideal student, always in pursuit of knowledge. He could often be found in the Christian studies office reading, studying and drinking coffee. He had a great joy and love for learning. He got excited about and loved the process of research. Dr. Peter Held recalled a conversation with Christopher in which he expressed that he just could not understand why students would cheat and circumvent the learning process, an attitude Dr. Held highlighted in his recommendation letter to Harvard on behalf of Christopher.

His love for academics and the academic process was evident in not only his work but in his actions and passionate conversations with friends and professors. Described as a philosopher, theologian and poet, Christopher had a love for words and a talent for languages. His friends noted that he sometimes talked over their heads, but he always took time to explain his terms, thoughts and ideas. Numerous classmates and friends recalled times when Christopher explained obscure concepts and academic references with a vigorous passion they’d seldom seen from professors, much less a fellow student. “Christopher was a person who could passionately debate his argument with you, call you a heretic, and then become your closest friend,” said Christopher’s friend Jeremy Eastwood as he recalled an event early in their friendship.

His love for academics did not overshadow his love for people. He was known for his ability to interact with new students and served as one of Bryan’s student orientation leaders. He put his out going personality and sense of humor to good use by making others feel welcome, and he truly cared about people. He was always willing to listen and make sure people knew they were not alone. He would spend time getting to know people, challenging them in ways no one ever had, and was not afraid to say something they did not want to hear. He was a dedicated and caring friend to both students and professors. “Christopher was one of the deepest friendships I’ve had since coming to this school… he was not just my student. He was my brother in Christ, one of my true friends,” said Dr. Sam Youngs, Assistant Professor of Christian Studies.

Described by friends as witty, intellectual, good-humored and an all-around great friend, Christopher left his mark on numerous individuals. His love of corny jokes always led to a brilliant smile and memorable laugh, both of which will be deeply missed. Dr. Paul Boling was right when he added, “This is a loss not only for us as friends and teachers, obviously a huge loss for his family, but the future loss of his contribution to knowledge.”

Together we mourn the loss of this brilliant and caring young man. We will forever remember him as a scholarly gentleman who was loving, smart and always impeccably dressed.

Bryan College Saddened by Passing of Student

February 12, 2018 – Bryan College leadership is saddened by the death of one of their students, Christopher Nitzband. The senior from Maryville was a Philosophy major and had recently been accepted into graduate school. Christopher was known for his ability to interact with new students and served as one of Bryan’s Student Leaders. He put his outgoing personality and sense of humor to good use by making others feel welcome.

Bryan College President Stephen Livesay said, “We are saddened by the passing of Christopher. We mourn his loss; however, we also celebrate the joy that he gave to so many. We are keeping his family in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. We’re also supporting our Bryan College family and those who knew Christopher best in prayer, and we have counselors available on campus. We will be coming together to mourn, remember and most importantly, celebrate the life of Christopher Nitzband.”

Bryan College Announces The Vogel School of Engineering

Bryan College red logo with vertical line and Vogel School of Engineering

Bryan College is proud to announce that The Vogel School of Engineering will open its doors to students in the upcoming fall semester. The school is named for alumnus Brigadier General George B. Vogel who, with his wife Doris, provided a substantial gift for the new school.

Vogel graduated from Bryan College in 1958 and earned a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from the Talbot School of Theology with additional course studies at Golden Gate Baptist Seminary. Vogel served as a Chaplain in the National Guard for 36 years, with five years of active duty. Vogel continues his calling in ministry as Chief of Chaplain Service at the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Vogel was named the 2015 recipient of the Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health’s Award for Excellence in Chaplaincy, The Lifetime Achievement Award. In May of 2015, George Vogel was honored with the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Bryan College in recognition of his lifetime of ministry and service to his God and his country. He and his wife Doris have an adult daughter and teen-aged granddaughter.

“Bryan College provided a strong foundation for my career and service to my country,” said Vogel. “It was a life-changing experience that prepared me for my future. Doris and I are grateful for the work that continues on Bryan College’s campus. It’s an honor to be able to provide the funding for the School of Engineering and it’s very humbling to have it bear our name.”

The Vogel School of Engineering will be the third school within the College. Degrees offered within the School will include options in civil and mechanical engineering, and will feature a Biblical worldview curriculum with a missional focus. Students will gain expertise in their area of focus while learning how to utilize engineering as a way to share the Gospel and glorify God.

Part of the College’s “Making a Difference: Vision to Reality” initiative includes renovations to the third floor of Mercer Hall to provide additional classroom space and lecture halls. Other campus renovations will provide an additional makerspace for engineering students to apply their knowledge and skills to practical projects. The College is currently seeking partnerships with firms in the region to provide students with hands-on experience and internships.

Dr. Tom Marshall, P.E. will serve as Dean of the School. He received a PhD in Engineering from the Oregon Institute of Science and Technology; an MS in Engineering from Loyola Marymont University; and, a BS in Engineering from Ohio State University. Dr. Marshall also received a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“The Mission of the Vogel School of Engineering is Bible-based, academic excellence,” said Dr. Marshall. “Equipping our engineering graduates to solve problems and improve lives as ambassadors for Christ, building God’s Kingdom to the ends of the earth; Engineering the Great Commission.”

As a result of the addition of a third school, a national search has been launched to find a new provost to provide academic leadership and direction for the College.

Bryan College President Dr. Stephen Livesay said, “We are overjoyed with the blessings the Vogel School of Engineering will provide for our students. Educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world is our mission. The Vogel School of Engineering will further this mission and we couldn’t be more excited about what the Lord has for Bryan’s future.”

Bryan College Announces 2018 Vision to Reality Plans

Illustration of the Future Athletic Field HouseJanuary 29, 2018 – Visitors to Bryan College’s campus will soon be greeted with the sounds of construction and signs for upcoming projects that will showcase the College’s ‘2018 Making a Difference: Vision to Reality’ initiative. These exciting updates will provide new opportunities and benefits for students.

A significant announcement will be made in the coming days regarding a new school within the College, thanks to the generosity of a College alumnus.

The College is currently searching for a Provost and Vice President of Academics to provide leadership and direction for many of these efforts.   Dr. Kevin Clauson will be returning to the classroom and pursuing his passion as Director of the Center for Faith, Freedom and Constitution for the College.

The College has significant capital projects underway during each quarter of 2018. New field lights will be installed just in time for softball practice and provide additional lighting for evening games. In the spring, new roofing will prepare campus buildings for energy efficient upgrades.

New solar panels will also be installed on Latimer Student Center, Mercer Hall and the library. An upgrade of the energy management system will be made followed by the remodeling of the practice gym and construction on Mercer’s third floor to provide additional classrooms and faculty offices.

Construction of a new Welcome Center will begin and the College’s tennis courts will be renovated over the summer months. Fall will see the completion of most of these projects with construction planning beginning for a new Field House for the athletic program.

Bryan College President Stephen Livesay said, “The blessings we are receiving come at a pivotal time for Bryan College. God has given us the means to provide new programs, infrastructure and equipment that will further our mission of educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world. This is an exciting time for all of us at Bryan College. We are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received and look forward to continuing to make a difference.”

Free “Christmas Celebration” Performance on Bryan College Campus

November 29, 2017 –The Bryan College Department of Fine and Performing Arts’ annual Christmas concert, “Christmas Celebration,” will be performed for one night only on Dec. 8 at 7:30 P.M. in Rudd Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

“Christmas is always an exciting time at Bryan College,” said Kimberly Keck, director of the Bryan College Chorale. “We are looking forward to kicking off the Season with a celebration of the birth of our Savior.”

“A Christmas Celebration,” featuring the Bryan Chorale, Chamber Singers, Wind Ensemble, Piano Ensemble, and Orchestra Ensemble will perform a variety of Christmas music that is bound to put audiences in the holiday mood. This evening of Christmas favorites will include traditional and sacred Christmas anthems including “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night,” “Fantasia on Greensleeves,” and many more.

Friday evening’s concert will also feature an optional festive gourmet dinner. This Christmas dinner will be served in Brock Hall at 6 P.M. preceding the concert. The $20 dinner ticket includes both the meal and reserved, center seating for the concert.

Secure Your Dinner Ticket Today!

Concert Only: FREE
Concert and Dinner: $20
Children, Concert and Dinner: Ages 5-11: $10
Under 5: free

Tickets for the dinner are now available and may be purchased online at or over the phone at 423.775.7323. Dinner registration closes on Thursday, December 7 at 5 P.M.
For questions regarding the dinner contact

Giving Tuesday: Tonesha Allison

Tonesha Allison - Giving Tuesday - HeadshotTonesha Allison

Major: Integrated Marketing Communication

Thanks to generous donors like you, Tonesha is making a difference on and off the court. Join her and others by donating to the Bryan College Scholarship Fund this Giving Tuesday. Together we can make a difference for Christ!

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Why did you choose Bryan College?

I would say that Bryan College chose me because my experience in choosing a college my senior year of high school was very stressful. I wanted to make the best decision, so I had asked many family members and my high school basketball coach for advice. I believe that’s what made my decision more stressful. I visited Bryan at least four times before making Bryan my home for four years. On those visits, I really wanted to focus on why God was leading me to come here. I am a minority, which lead me to think Bryan wasn’t going to be the best fit for me. However, the years I have been here, the color of your skin has no effect on how the people treat you. I had asked students and teammates the question, why did they like Bryan and the one thing they had in common was how great and merciful the people are. The more I came to Bryan, the easier my decision was. I believe God was leading and showing me that this is where He wanted me to be.

What impact did scholarships have on your ability/decision to attend Bryan?

If it weren’t for scholarships I received, I wouldn’t be able to attend Bryan College. I have an academic and an athletic scholarship. What they have allowed me to do here at Bryan is get an education and grow spiritually in the Lord. I have developed a strength of independence and maturity from the strong Christian environment.

What does the Bryan College mission statement mean to you?

Our mission statement here at Bryan has shaped me into the women I am today. I have grown so much in the Lord and feel well prepared to take on the task that God has planned for me in the future to make a difference in today’s world.

How does being involved with athletics make a difference in your life and the the lives of those you serve?

I am on the Varsity Women’s basketball team and the caption this year. This year we have started Sunday night team devotionals that I lead. During that time, we all come together as a team and just focus all our attention on the Lord and what he has for us. My freshman year, I would have never tackled this challenge, but now I feel as if this is just the roots of the tree that God has planted for me.

What has God taught you through your athletic involvement?

God has taught me so many things through my experiences and roles and responsibilities with the team this year. I have so many everlasting friendships that I know I wouldn’t have going to any other college. Growing up in a house full of boys, I always wanted a sister and coming here God has given me so many sisters on the court and sisters in Christ.

Why should others give to the Bryan College scholarship fund? 

Giving to the Bryan College scholarship fund is such a great opportunity to change many students’ lives. The only way for me to attend Bryan was through scholarships. I am the only child of my mother to attend college thus far, and I know I am making her proud back at home. Bryan College has allowed me to find my identity through Christ. I can truly say I am thankful for the chance to attend Bryan, because it has changed my life.

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Tonesha Allison - Giving Tuesday - Collage