Trio of Students Participate in Service Internship in Central Europe

Rebecca McConkey (far right)
Rebecca McConkey (far right)

August 9, 2016 – While some students used their summer break to catch up on sleep and relax, three students from Bryan College traveled to Bratislava, Slovakia in central Europe to serve Christ and Make a Difference in today’s world.

Paige Mishler, Peter Hodgson, and Rebecca McConkey participated in a two-week internship program working with organizations such as the Women’s Safe House, Duha Crisis Center, Vrakuna Children’s Club, and the Slovak Ministry of Labour. The students had the opportunity to meet and share their faith with many people they met along the way, including several children.

“The children I worked with were inspiring, because they appreciated the small things in life and didn’t take them for granted,” Mishler said. “Even though there was a language barrier, we were still able to communicate by showing them the love of God.”

“I will never forget the faces of those children at the crisis center,” McConkey said. “The children were radiant with joy, but underneath that was a brokenness that could only be healed with the love of Jesus Christ that we were sharing.”

In addition to service opportunities, the students had the opportunity to explore some of beautiful central Europe and experience some of the local culture. McConkey took a 15 km hike along the Slovak/Polish border with a Bratislava church group that took them through three different mountains.

Bryan College has had a long relationship with the Duha Crisis Center that allows Bryan interns to work at the center while Duha employees can come to the United States to train with agencies that deal with domestic violence.

Written by Curtis Jolley, social media and communications coordinator


Bryan College Ranked Among Most Beautiful Campuses in the South

Photo by Curtis Jolley
Photo by Curtis Jolley

August 2, 2016 – If you’ve ever stepped foot on Bryan College’s 125-acre campus, you quickly realized what beautiful and breathtaking scenery the school has to offer. certainly thought so as they recently ranked Bryan the no. 7 “Most Beautiful Christian Colleges and Universities in the South” for 2017.

From the article:

“Bryan College is situated on a beautiful, rural 125-acre campus which is nestled in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee. Bryan College’s architectural style is more contemporary, favoring clean lines; the College’s signature chapel building (featured in the logo) features three large arches with tall glass windows. Bryan College’s campus is well planned, has lush green lawns, and an abundance of deciduous trees. Located next to Chickamauga Lake, Bryan College also borders the Dayton Municipal Park. The campus fits in well with its natural surroundings.”

The ranking was based off criteria that included: continuity of campus, architectural style, signature building, and natural setting. The scores in each category were standardized and combined to rank the top 25 schools. Many other schools from Tennessee made the list including Carson-Newman University, Union University, and Travecca Nazarene University.

“The Lord has blessed us with a beautiful location in a wonderful part of the country and a quality staff that is truly committed to making our campus the best possible living and learning environment for our students,” said Tim Hostetler, vice president of student services and ministries. “I am glad to see the results of their efforts recognized by those outside the Bryan College community.”

To take a virtual tour of Bryan’s campus, visit here.

Written by Curtis Jolley, social media and communications coordinator


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;

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;  

Women’s Soccer Hosts ID Camp Saturday

Womens Soccer CampMarch 15, 2016 — – The Bryan College Women’s Soccer team is hosting an ID Camp this coming Saturday, on March 19th, 2016, from 8:30 A.M. – 2:45 P.M.  The camp will allow prospective students interested in playing soccer to visit the Bryan College campus and experience what it would be like to play for the Lions.

Campers will have the opportunity to showcase their skills while receiving collegiate level coaching. During the camp, prospective student-athletes will participate in two training sessions, have lunch with the coaching staff, take a campus tour, and have a question and answer time with Head Bryan Women’s Soccer Coach Paul Babba.

To register either e-mail Head Coach Babba or Assistant Coach Branley at, or, or download the registration form and return it prior to the start of camp.

Soccer Camp ScheduleI.D. members must bring their own cleats, shin guards, and training gear. Bryan Soccer will provide water, Gatorade, training equipment, and facilities.


Brandon Cole Named CoSIDA Academic All-America Player of the Year

Brandon ColeMarch 15, 2016 – All-time leading scorer and rebounder in Bryan Basketball history, Bryan Lions senior center Brandon Cole has been selected as the 2015-16 Academic All-America® College Division Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, as the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced the College Division Team Monday.

The CoSIDA Academic All-America® College Division basketball teams include student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian, and two-year institutions.

This is the first time any Bryan College student-athlete has been named Player of the Year by CoSIDA.

Hailing from Crossville, Tenn., Cole not only carries an impressive 3.83 G.P.A while majoring in exercise health science, but also has made history on Bryan Hill as the Lions’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder. During his four years he has compiled 2,799 points, 1,235 rebounds, 142 steals, 110 assists, and a remarkable 53.4 shooting percentage (991-for-1,857).

This year, Cole’s efforts gave way to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association recognizing him as the TSWA Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. He also made the cut for the Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award Top 100 Watch List put on by Small College Basketball, which is presented annually to the player who has had the finest overall season within Small College Basketball (NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA, and NCCAA). He raked in All-Conference First Team honors and was Bryan’s representative to the AAC Champions of Character Team this season.

Cole finished up regular season action this year leading both the conference and nation in a myriad of stats. He ranks No. 1 in NAIA Div. II in points per game (29.1), No. 1 in total scoring (815), No. 2 in offensive rebounds per game (3.92), No. 5 in total rebounds per game (10.92), No. 5 in total rebounds (306), No. 12 in defensive rebounds per game (7.0), and ended as No. 31 in field goal percentage after shooting 54.8 percent. He concluded the season with an AAC-leading 16 double-doubles.

“This award Brandon has won could not be more deserved,” remarked Head Bryan Men’s Basketball Coach, Don Rekoske. “On the court he has led the nation in scoring and rebounding twice. He has an extraordinary 3.83 G.P.A and to do that well in both the classroom and hardwood to receive this incredible honor is nothing less than impressive. But what truly sets Brandon apart is his character. He is humble, coachable, and a great teammate. He is a once in a lifetime young man, and I thank him for how he has represented this school and the Lord most importantly.”

To read the full story, click here.

Written by Wesley Sanders ’15, sports information director.

Mark Lowry to Speak at Opportunity Program Dinner in April

Mark Lowry BOPMarch 15, 2016 — Mark Lowry will be the featured guest at the 9th annual Bryan College Opportunity Program dinner at the Chattanooga Convention Center on Thursday, April 14, 2016.  The evening will begin at 6 o’clock with a reception and the program will begin at 6:30.

Mark Lowry is a singer, songwriter, humorist, storyteller and author.  His gift for communicating profound truths through music and storytelling keeps audiences of all ages on the edge of their seats. For more than four decades, he has pursued a solo career as well as devoting twenty years as the baritone singer for the Grammy-award-winning Gaither Vocal Band.  Along with Buddy Green, Lowry co-wrote Mary Did You Know, a modern Christmas song recorded by more than 400 artists.  Lowry will be joined for the dinner by pianist Stan Whitmire.

The Bryan Opportunity Program makes Bryan College accessible to academically qualified Tennessee students with significant financial need.  Since the program began eight years ago, 222 students have benefited.  The average gross family income of students currently enrolled through this program is $19,960.77.

The public is invited to be a part of this entertaining evening.  Tickets are $50 and include dinner.  For more information and to register, go to or call 423.775.7323 or 1.800.552.7926.

Bryan Opera Theatre to Present “Hänsel and Gretel”

February 11, 2016 – On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 19-20, the Bryan Opera Theatre will present a lively rendition of nineteenth-century composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s fairy tale opera Hänsel and Gretel, based on the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale of the same name.

Hansel and GretelThis opera follows the story of the siblings Hänsel and Gretel. As a punishment for shirking chores, they are sent by their stepmother Gertrude to gather berries in the Ilsenstein forest, which turns out to be the home of the wicked Gingerbread Witch and her house made of sweets. Quite the adventure follows, testing the brother and sister’s courage and cunning.

Cast members include Madison Keck as Hänsel, Katarina Duong as Gretel, Everett Sell as Peter, Emily Haverkorn as Gertrude, Alexis Reese as the Witch, and Naomi Baskin as both Sandman and the Dew Fairy.

Director Kimberly Keck remarked, “I am excited about this production because it has been a challenge in many ways. The music in Hänsel and Gretel is definitely the most difficult repertoire that the Bryan Opera Theatre has ever performed. Additionally, this is the first time that any of the cast has ever been in an opera production. I’m very proud of how they have taken on such a challenging work in order to present it to our community.”

Secure Your Ticket Today!

  • Non-BC Students: $8
  • Adults: $10

Tickets sales are now available at the Box Office (Rudd 303) or online via credit card.

Day Accepts Head Women’s Volleyball Coaching Position

February 8, 2016 –  The Bryan College Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has announced that Jessica Day, former Assistant Coach of the Bryan Lions Women’s Volleyball Program, has accepted the Head Coaching position.

Coach Day served the previous three seasons as the Assistant Coach and Head JV Volleyball Coach at Bryan.

Jessica Day“I am so honored to be able to come back to my Alma Mater and lead the program as a head coach,” said Day. “I want to personally thank Coach Taylor Hasty and President Dr. Livesay for entrusting me as the next Head Volleyball Coach here at Bryan College. I am extremely blessed to be in this position where I am surrounded by both great athletics and great academics in a community that cares about the well being of the student athletes.  I am very excited for this opportunity to give back to Bryan and to strengthen the volleyball program as a whole.”

In her first season, Coach Day was a volunteer assistant with the Lady Lions.  She assisted in helping the team set new records for most wins (33) and best conference record (19-1) on its way to repeating as both the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Champions and AAC Tournament champions. The 2013 team placed 6 players on the AAC All-tournament team. The Lady Lions also placed nine players on the All-Academic team, had two players named as NAIA Daktronics Scholar Athletes, and placed two on the NAIA Honorable Mention All-American Team.

The following season, Coach Day helped in achieving several program firsts. The Lady Lions completed their first-ever undefeated conference season on the way to their third-straight regular season conference championship.  The team placed six players on the All-Conference team and had two players tabbed as NAIA Honorable Mention All-Americans. The team also had seven players named to the All-Academic Team and two NAIA Daktronics Scholar Athletes.

During the 2015 season, Coach Day assisted the Lions in remaining an AAC powerhouse team, finishing the regular season as the 2015 AAC Regular Season Champions for the fourth straight year. The team had three players earn All-Conference honors and another named to the All-Freshman Team. The American Volleyball Coaches Association named two standouts to the All-Northeast Region First Team. Two players were named to the NAIA All-American Team as honorable mentions. Five members were named to the All-Academic Team, and two others were recognized as NAIA Daktronics Scholar Athletes.

Coach Day, formerly Jessica Kaya, was a 4-year stand out for the Lady Lions from 2008-2011.  During her playing days, Day garnered numerous athletic and academic awards including, 2008 AAC All-Freshman Team, 2009 Bryan College Defensive Player of the Year, 2010 NAIA All-Scholar Team, and 2011 Academic All-Conference.  She finished her career with a total of 1,480 digs.

Following her graduation in 2012, Coach Day spent one year as Assistant Coach at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.  She has also coached Junior Olympic volleyball for various area clubs; most recently was the C4 Volleyball Club of Chattanooga.

“I am so thrilled to have Jessica on board as our next head volleyball coach here at Bryan,” said Taylor Hasty, Bryan Athletic Director. “She is a wonderful young woman who loves the Lord and this institution.  She will do a great job as our head coach, and I am excited to see her leadership in the years ahead.”

Jessica currently resides in Dayton, Tennessee with her husband, Jordan, who is an Assistant Coach for the Bryan College Baseball program. She and Jordan recently received wonderful news that in July they will be expecting a baby girl. The Days are members at New Union Baptist Church in Dayton.

Written by Wesley Sanders ’15, sports information director.

Advancement Receives New VP, Chuck Baker

February 5, 2016 – Today marks the first full week for the advancement department’s new vice president, Chuck Baker.

Chuck BakerChuck Baker has an extensive career portfolio that includes over 20 years working in various executive leadership roles at Unum in Chattanooga, Tenn. After retiring from Unum, he became the president and CEO of a local ministry dedicated to aiding children of families in crisis, Bethel Bible Village, where he served until accepting the position of vice president of advancement at Bryan.

He is a graduate of Carson Newman College and the Mahler’s Advanced Management Skills Leadership Program and currently is a member of the Chattanooga Rotary Club, in addition to being a former board member of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga and Bethel Bible Village.

“I’m so thrilled to welcome Chuck Baker to the advancement department,” said director Janice Pendergrass. “He’s greatly respected by many of my friends, both for his work at Bethel Bible Village and for his personal character. Just from conversations at gatherings we’ve both attended, it is obvious Chuck has a huge heart for students and for Christ.”

Bryan College president Dr. Stephen D. Livesay added, “Chuck is a good friend of Bryan College, having served for several years in many voluntary roles including chairman of the President’s Roundtable.  He has a love for our Lord, a heart for ministry and has provided exceptional leadership both at Bethel Bible Village and at Unum.  I am excited about the leadership he will bring to Bryan in his new role as vice president of advancement.”

“I am excited to be part of Bryan College and look forward to working with Janice and our advancement team,” said Baker. “I believe the future is bright for Bryan. I’m proud to be part of such a great, Christ-centered college.”

Chuck and his wife, Cynthia, reside in Chattanooga, Tenn., and have one grown son.

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