Giving Tuesday: Jena Hooks

Jena Hooks Worldview Headshot

Jena Hooks

Major: Business Administration; Management Option

Thanks to generous donors like you, Jena is making a difference through the Bryan College Worldview Initiative. 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? What impact did scholarships have on your ability/decision to attend Bryan?

My original attraction to Bryan College was in their statement “Christ Above All”. After applying and being accepted I made the final decision to attend Bryan College because of the Word of Life Alumni Scholarship that I received. If it were not for this sizable scholarship I would not have been able to come back to school. I was in the midst of a year of working an 8-5 when the Lord laid it on my heart to return to school to finish my degree. The means that the Lord used to open that door was the generous scholarship I received, and I know that I share a similar story with most students at Bryan.

What does the Bryan College mission statement mean to you?

The Bryan College mission statement parallels the desires and goals I have as a business major. I did not attend Bryan because it was the best business program in the country. I attended Bryan because I would learn how to do business well as a means to kingdom work and not as a means of furthering myself.

How has your time at Bryan prepared you “to become a servant of Christ to make a difference in today’s world”?

My time at Bryan has become a season of life where I can withdrawal from the heart of the culture I grew up in and reorientation my heart and perspective towards Christ. Because of this time of intentional growth I feel I am prepared to go out from Bryan and engage culture by loving my neighbor and simultaneously standing for truth.

How does Worldview Initiative make a difference in your life and the the lives of those you serve?

It is no overstatement to say that being a part of Bryan College’s Worldview Initiative has changed the course of my life. Spending two years in a close intentional community focused on discipleship and spiritual formation has been both one of the most humbling and encouraging experiences of my life. On the Worldview Initiative, I began to challenge what I believed and began to take ownership of my faith by making my relationship with Christ personal.

Going on trips with the Worldview Initiative has given me the opportunity to be a part of a conversation with high-school students as they wrestle with hard questions about identity, culture, faith, and sexuality. The best part of trips is seeing students come to conclusions about the truth of the gospel before your eyes, and the crazy part is the questions they are wrestling with are the same ones we as college students wrestle with everyday.

What has God taught you through Worldview Initiative?

The list of things that God has taught me through being an intern for The Worldview Initiative and from going on trips is massive. However, one that comes to mind instantly is at the beginning being held accountable in a close community led me to wrestle deeply with identity and come face-to-face with my past. It has been incredible to see how last year the Lord brought me through a lot of restoration and redemption, and then this year I had the opportunity to share the work the Lord has done in my life with a high-school in Florida, and on a smaller scale every trip.

Why should others give to the Bryan College scholarship fund?

Giving to Bryan’s Scholarship Fund is simply the difference between whether a student gets an opportunity to come and learn what it means to become a servant of Christ in today’s desperate world or not. I do want to point out that I say “opportunity” because Bryan is just like anywhere else not everyone here takes advantage of the privilege they have been given at Bryan, quite frankly many waste it. However, the ones who do grasp on to the immensity of resources and opportunity to become equipped while they are here, even though their peers look down on their zeal, are the ones by God’s grace we will see begin to bring light and redemption to a dark and broken world. Investing in Bryan is investing in the process of multiplication.

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Giving Tuesday: Abigail Ryan

Abigail Ryan Giving Tuesday Headshot

Abigail Ryan

Major: History; Minor: Biblical Studies

Thanks to generous donors like you, Abigail is making a difference through the Bryan College Break for Change and other trips. 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 chose Bryan College because when I was here for scholarship weekend Dr. Legg and Mr. Palmer spoke at the banquet. Dr. Legg talked about the missions opportunities that Bryan offered and from that point on I knew I had to be here.

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

Scholarships have been a huge part of me getting to come and stay at Bryan College. Without them, I don’t know how I would have been able to afford to be here learning and growing so much in the Lord these last three and a half years at Bryan.

What does the Bryan College mission statement mean to you?

Bryan’s mission statement is something that is taken very seriously on this campus and in the lives of students. We are provided with so many opportunities to serve and to learn to serve well. And I think the best part about that is we are not left to walk through that alone, because we are surrounded by people that want to help and pour into our lives the knowledge and skills that they have to help us be successful in everything we do in order to bring God more glory.

How has your time at Bryan prepared you “to become a servant of Christ to make a difference in today’s world”?

Being at Bryan has prepared me in so many ways to serve God throughout the world wherever I happen to find myself next. For example, I have been able to learn and refine skills that include time management, and different kinds of organizational skills that include working with a group of people to plan events or setting up a calendar and plan to complete all of my assignments on time. I have also learned how to think more critically about the why’s and how’s of the world. Not only have I learned skills, but I have been blessed with a network of people that love and support me and pour into my life that I will carry with me forever.

How did the trips you participated in make a difference in your life and the the lives of those you served?

By being able to be a part of several Break for Change Trips, two of which were to Opelousas, LA, one to Houston, TX, and this year I am excited about being able to go right after graduation to San Diego, CA. I have found a passion for helping organize trips, and I might pursue that as a career. My trips have also allowed me to come into contact with people that I would never have gotten a chance to meet and share a meal or a conversation about hard topics like the refugee issue, human trafficking, poverty, homelessness. It has also given me the opportunities to learn how to approach those issues with a compassionate heart to be able to build lasting relationships with people.

What has God taught you through your trips?

God has taught me so many things through being involved with Break for Change. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be vulnerable with people, and it’s okay not to have all the answers. I’ve learned that you can fit Jesus in so many places without anybody ever knowing. I’ve learned that sometimes showing love to someone is painting a house, sharing a meal with someone, listening to them without saying a word, helping a kid with a math problem, reminding someone that there’s a meeting tomorrow, taking tons of pictures, setting up fundraisers, talking people into a trip that they may not want to go on. Loving people well never looks the same. It’s different for every person in their own situation. And we’re definitely called to love people the best we can, and who knows, we may find out that in the end, they were the ones teaching us.

Abigail Ryan Group Trip PhotoWhat additional activities/organizations are you involved in on campus?

I’m involved in Student Government Association, Students Stopping the Trafficking of Peoples which partner with Blazing Hope Ranch to provide to them encouragement and helping hands, and I am an Admissions Ambassador.

Why should others give to the Bryan College scholarship fund?

The reason people should give to the Bryan College scholarship fund is to allow opportunities to those less fortunate to be able to grow and learn the skills necessary for the great things that God will do with their lives.

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Giving Tuesday: Maebry McNeese

Maebry McNeese - Giving Tuesday - Headshot

Maebry McNeese

Major: Business Administration, Marketing Option

Thanks to generous donors like you, Maebry is making a difference through the Bryan College ENACTUS team. 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?

When I chose to come to Bryan College I did not know what to expect. I chose to follow in the footsteps my sister as she was currently a sophomore when I became a freshman. I quickly found that the greatest thing about Bryan College is the people and the immediate acceptance into a community of believers who have a common goal: to make a difference in the world for the purpose of Christ.

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

Bryan College scholarships have allowed me to reach a potential that I never believed I could. Scholarships have given me the ability to receive an education and have allowed me to better understand and develop the unique gifts that God has granted to me. Bryan College has taught me how to leverage my gifts and utilize them as a means of making a difference in today’s world.

How does ENACTUS make a difference in your life and the the lives of those you served?

Being a part of ENACTUS has not only given me vast experience in the area of business, but it has also given me the opportunity to serve those within the community of Dayton, as well as, the students of Bryan College. By combining the unique abilities of each individual member, ENACTUS provides a space for us to use entrepreneurial action to create a better world.

What has God taught you through ENACTUS?

Through my time in ENACTUS, God has taught me that I can use my education, skills, and passions for kingdom growth.

Why should others give to the Bryan College scholarship fund?

Giving to the Bryan College scholarship fund provides a way for people like myself to discover the potential and plans that God has in store for them. By giving to this fund you are contributing to the cultivation of like-minded individuals who can and will have a great impact on whatever path they are taken.

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Learn more about the Bryan College ENACTUS program below.

Bryan College Martial Arts Academy Signs Top Martial Artist Kila Owens

October 19, 2017 – Kila Owens is a senior at Straughn High School in Andalusia, Ala.. She is also a world-class martial artist: a 1st degree black belt in Isshinryu Karate (Okinawan style brought back by the Marines in the 1950s) who competes nationally in point fighting, kata, and weapons kata.

David Holcomb, the director of the Bryan College Martial Arts Academy, said “Kila brings instant credibility to our program starting in Fall 2018. It will be a great opportunity for high school students who want to attend college and train alongside her at the academy. I have been watching her since she won the women’s division at such a young age at the Isshinryu Hall of Fame tournament, the largest national tournament for Isshinryu in the country. Kila has the focus and determination to be a great instructor and trainer throughout her life. We are excited to have her at Bryan College!”

Since July Kila has won additional tournaments throughout the South in point fighting, kata, and weapons kata. “She is the type of person we want at Bryan, she wants to grow as a person physically, mentally and spiritually,” continued Holcomb. “We want Kila to be successful. Being able to give her a scholarship to continue to build on her incredible foundation in martial arts is a blessing that we are honored to provide.”

The Bryan College Martial Arts Academy is one of the new programs that Bryan College has starting in the Fall 2018 semester. The academy is for any student – with or without prior martial arts training. Members of the team will compete through the year, ending with a national tournament. In addition, students will work semester by semester to attain a black belt by the end of their senior year. If they already have a black belt, they will work towards their degree ranks in a partnership with their local martial arts school and Bryan College.

Holcomb said, “We already have recruits joining us from Texas, North Carolina, and all over Tennessee. We want this academy to become the standard in martial arts training at the collegiate level while simultaneously helping these students grow in their faith. We believe in the holistic approach of mind, body, and spirit.”

Kila is looking to major in education while attending Bryan College and helping to be a leader in the academy.

For more information contact David Holcomb at 423.605.1534. If you have a student interested in attending Bryan College and being in the Martial Arts Academy, click here.

Bryan College Recognized as a VETS Campus

October 17, 2017 – Last Thursday Bryan College had the distinct honor of being named a VETS Campus by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). The morning ceremony featured several speakers from both Bryan and the local community. Bryan College Coordinator for Military Recruitment Michael Kennedy emceed the event and gave an overview of the program before introducing the other speakers.

According to the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services, “Passed into law in 2014, the Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Act establishes a program of recognition for higher education institutions which allocate resources for veterans’ successful transition from military service to college enrollment. An institution receiving VETS Campus certification not only prioritizes outreach to veterans, but successfully delivers the services necessary to create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education.” Twenty-two institutions of higher education in Tennessee have received the VETS Campus certification. Bryan is one of only four private schools in the state to earn this recognition.

Dayton Mayor Gary Louallen praised the United States military and reiterated the community’s support and pride for the armed forces. He expressed his gratitude “for what Bryan has done to bring this together.”

“We want to invest in and serve those who have served us,” remarked President Stephen D. Livesay during the ceremony. “I’m so proud that Bryan College is going to be a part of a group of four private colleges in the state who have this certification.”

THEC Assistant Executive Director for Tennessee Higher Education Tom Morrison presented the framed approval letter and certificate – which officially designate Bryan College as an official VETS Campus – to Dr. Livesay, who accepted it on behalf of the college. Morrison said, “Congratulations to Bryan College for this wonderful recognition and designation. It shows the work that you’ve done and continue to do in supporting veterans.”

For more information about Bryan’s options for veterans, click here!

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.

Alumni Come Home to the Hill for Homecoming 2017

October 11, 2017 – This past weekend well over 300 alumni and friends flooded onto campus for a time of celebration and reminiscence during Bryan College’s Homecoming 2017. The rains held off and made way for a beautiful weekend packed with fellowship, mealtime reunions, meet-and-greets, and athletic events.

Homecoming opened on Friday with a special chapel service featuring acclaimed speaker and teacher Dr. Christopher Yuan. During registration that afternoon the business and career services departments hosted a meet-and-greet for students and alumni professionals to network together. Friday evening boasted four separate dinner opportunities: the Burger Bash (open to any registrants) and celebratory reunion dinners for the Class of 1992, the Class of 1977, and the NCCAA champion teams being inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame the next day. The first day’s festivities drew to a close with an ice cream social, to which all were invited.

Saturday held even more chances for alumni to fellowship together, starting at 10 A.M. with a retirement reception for English professor Dr. Beth Impson. Then came one of the most celebrated annual homecoming events: the tailgate lunch. Alumni, faculty, staff, and students gathered in the Triangle to eat and chat. A bounce house, face painting booths, and outdoor games were provided for the children. Later the Sports Hall of Fame inductees were presented on the soccer fields during the homecoming game halftime, followed by the presentation of the homecoming court.

During the Red and Gold Gala later Saturday evening several notable alumni were honored, including Alumni of the Year Jake ’59 and Sandy (Schmickl) ’72 Matthes; Young Alumni of the Year R.J. and Lesley (Artois) Smith ’07;  and Honorary Alumni of the Year Pat Kinney ’17, Judy Shetter ’17, and Coach John Reeser ‘17. In addition, this year the 1975 NCCAA Cross Country Champions and the 1977 NCCAA Soccer Champions were officially inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame. The weekend ended Sunday morning with worship and a message brought by Tom ’80 and Connie (Reehoff) ‘82 Branson as they shared what they learned from Connie’s near-death experience.

Alumni Director Paulakay Hall ’84 reflected, “There was a lot of prayer and hard work that went into Homecoming 2017. We prayed for a grateful spirit on campus, we prayed for our alumni to come home and celebrate their legacy and heritage here, and we prayed for God’s sovereign grace and peace to rest over our campus. All of those prayers were answered in abundance. We were blessed with alumni from as far away as Alaska and as close to home as Dayton – and each one of you was an encouragement to us and an honor to have on campus. Thank you, Lions, for ‘coming home.’ We love you!”

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.

Bryan College Announces Online Criminal Justice Degree

Bryan College EntranceCHATTANOOGA, TENN. (October 3, 2017) — Criminal Justice will now be offered as an online degree program by Bryan College. Applications for the program are now being accepted for the Spring 2018 semester.

The online bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice provides students with the understanding of how the criminal justice system operates within various types of cases and scenarios. Students will also receive the opportunity to learn constitutional, procedural, and organizational differentiations between the federal, state and local criminal justice systems. Along with this information, they’ll be able to interact with professionals who work within the criminal justice system on a daily basis.

Bryan College is committed to providing accessible education to those enrolling in their programs. While the program has been on campus for several years, this is the first time for the online offering.

“We are excited to introduce this program at Bryan College.  It’s been a few years in the making, but we are thrilled to see this program come to fruition.  With several courses rooted in constitutional law and public policy, the foundation for this program builds upon the legislative framework of our country and how that knowledge is carried out to enforce the law.  This degree is a great preparation for anyone interested in a profession related to our government’s legal systems,” said Dr. Adina Scruggs, Dean of Adult and Graduate Studies.

Adjunct Professor David Taylor who will be teaching in the program notes, “Today’s criminal justice professional utilizes the tools of technology, knowledge of the law and the workings of the legal system in which they work on a daily basis. Our program will provide core competencies that will prepare our students to enter the field confidently as well-prepared professionals seeking to make a difference within the field of criminal justice. As Christians, we can temper the law of the land with the law of Christ by providing mercy, grace and accountability. It’s another great example of the ‘Bryan Difference’.”

Alumni Feature: Olivia Kezer ‘17

April 3, 2017 – Major: Business Administration; Minor: Communications.

When Olivia Kezer first arrived at Bryan College as a freshman, she quickly knew she had found her home for the next four years. She also soon discovered opportunities on campus to foster her spiritual gifts and grow deeper to God.

“A wise teacher once told me that picking a college is less about picking where you’re going to get a degree because you can get a degree in a given subject pretty much anywhere; what you’re actually choosing is who you’re going to grow with and who is going to influence you for four years,” Kezer said. “I can think of no other place I would want to grow or be influenced than at Bryan with the people here.”

During her freshman year, Olivia became involved with Student Government Association (SGA) and fell in love with the group’s sense of community and opportunities to learn new skills. She eventually worked her way up to becoming SGA President her senior year and has continued to foster relationships with students and staff around campus.

“Being on SGA has taught me what servant leadership truly looks like, how to endeavor to handle conflict and confusion with grace, and how to be strong in my convictions,” Kezer said.

After graduation, Olivia hopes to work for a non-profit organization in a business administration role.

“Community may be a buzzword at Bryan, but that’s only because it’s true,” Kezer said. “I have found forever friends and mentors here who have walked alongside me and helped me grow in ways I’m absolutely positive wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”

Student Feature: Rosania Burton ’16, ’18

Rosania Burton HeadshotApril 13, 2017 – Undergrad: Business Administration – Human Resource Management; Graduate: Master of Business Administration – Human Resources Specialization

Bryan was an answered prayer. I prayed for an opportunity to go back to school for my Bachelor’s degree without getting into debt. God answered that prayer by providing me a scholarship through my employer. Following graduation in December 2016 with my Bachelor’s God also trumped that blessing by allowing me an opportunity to get my Master’s under “The Bryan Difference Maker.” I am so thankful for this opportunity.

My favorite part about Bryan College is developing relationships with many of the faculty and staff members that were there to guide me through different stages and steps in helping me succeed in my academic program.


Alumni Feature: Katherine Fraizer ’16

Kathryn Fraizer in Soccer Uniform with Soccer ballApril 13, 2017 – Major: Christian Ministry: Youth Ministry; Minor: Biblical Studies

When it came to my undergraduate studies, I chose Bryan College, because I fell in love with the campus and atmosphere when I visited for the first time during Scholarship Weekend. Plus, who wouldn’t love looking at the mountains all the time?

I have too many favorite things about Bryan to pick just one. Some of my top choices would be the friends, professors, opportunities to go on mission trips, play soccer, and pursue photography.

I currently work as the Discipleship Coordinator at Brown Missionary Baptist Church. After my interview for the job, they actually customized the job for me because of my degree and the experiences I had during my time at Bryan.

I’m currently part of the AGS program and working towards an MBA with a Ministry specialization with my anticipated graduation in 2018.