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 bryan.edu/christmascelebration2017 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 alumni@bryan.edu.


Giving Tuesday: Tonesha Allison

Tonesha Allison - Giving Tuesday - HeadshotTonesha Allison

Junior
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

 


Giving Tuesday: Kelsey Perry

Kelsey Perry Giving Tuesday

Kelsey Perry

Senior
Major: Psychology; Minor: Soul Care

Thanks to generous donors like you, Kelsey Perry is making a difference through summer internships in an Austrian mental health rehabilitation center. 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 was interested and accepted to several schools, but I was drawn to how much you could feel Christ’s presence on this campus. The faculty and staff have such a heart for their students, and the campus feels like a family. Also, the Psychology program here is top notch.

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

I come from a single parent home that includes my disabled dad, an older brother with substance abuse issues, and me, a girl who did not have much hope that she was going to be able to afford college. God opened up multiple doors for me to come to Bryan that I really felt like I was meant to be here, and one of those doors was the fact that my scholarships gave me nearly a full ride!

What does the Bryan College mission statement mean to you?

It means that I am a member of the Body of Christ working with other members to further the Kingdom of God, through serving others through missions, loving others well, and by simply living a Christ-like life every day.

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

Bryan has provided me with opportunities to help others through multiple outlets, such as mission trips, community outreach programs, and internships. They have also shown me grace and love through Christ-like role models that I aspire to be for others.

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

In the summer of 2016, Dennis Miller (the international internships coordinator at Bryan) connected me to an Austrian mental health rehabilitation center named Pro Mente Burgenland. I was able to be a part of a wonderful team of people that sought to provide stability and try to integrate their clients back into society. Working with Pro Mente allowed me to be a part of change in others’ lives simply by being there for my clients and extending the love of Christ to them. I was able to talk with them (when the language barrier allowed), share laughter with them, and come alongside them through their journey to recovery. I also gained an immense amount of experience in another culture and knowledge of myself through it. I adored my time with my clients and my team, and, surprisingly, the president of the organization asked me to come back to intern for them again this past summer in 2017, which I happily accepted.

What has God taught you through your internships?

God has shown me through my internships how loving people well looks different in many ways, whether it is through trying to learn basic words in another language to communicate or sharing a smile or listening to the heartbreaking story of someone’s struggles. Also, God has shown me the importance of leaning on His strength in order to step out of my comfort zone for the service of others.

What additional activities/organizations are you involved in on campus?

I am a part of the Residence Life Department as the Head Resident Assistant in Robinson Hall (one of our girl dorms). This has been one of the wonderful and challenging experiences in my life which allows me to care, guide, and share the love of Christ with the women residents of Bryan College.

Why should others give to the Bryan College scholarship fund? 

These scholarships have given me the chance to have a quality education with a Christian worldview, and an opportunity of a life time to not only have had just one internship in Austria but two with the chance of a paid third internship after graduation! Whether the amount is small or large, God can bless others like me, who would never have had these opportunities for the future, by those individuals who desire to further God’s kingdom through donating to the Bryan College scholarship fund.

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Kelsey Perry - Austrian Internship - Giving Tuesday

 


Giving Tuesday: Jena Hooks

Jena Hooks Worldview Headshot

Jena Hooks

Senior
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

Senior
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

Senior
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.


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