Homecoming 2019 Sets Attendance Record

Nearly 450 Lions and their families returned to the Hill during Homecoming 2019 to celebrate and remember their time at Bryan. Pre-sale tickets hit record numbers before the big event with nearly 300 sold.

A variety of events kept visitors busy throughout the weekend. The Rock and Roar Big Band Ice Cream Party saw high attendance from both alumni and students; Michael Smith (‘93) performed a variety of classics with the Uptown Big Band under the stars.

The annual Tailgate Lunch in the Triangle was also well attended as the campus geared up for men’s and women’s varsity soccer games against St. Andrew’s University. The men’s team finished with a 5-0 win, while the women’s team ended with an equally impressive 3-0 win. 

The class of 1994 recognized their 25th reunion with a celebratory dinner. The class of 1979, 2009, and 2014 also celebrated their 40th, 10th, and 5th reunions, respectively. 

Alumni, staff, and students also gathered to toast Dr. Ray Legg’s final year at Bryan with a farewell reception recognizing his many years of service and teaching. Sunday morning’s Alumni Worship was led by Eugene Bengston (‘65) and Bryan’s traveling worship team, Devotion.  

Homecoming also provides a chance to recognize outstanding alumni. John Richardson (‘94) was the recipient of the Alumnus of the Year award. Jorge Vallejo (‘06) was recognized as the Young Alumnus of the Year, and Valerie Castlen (‘19H) received the Honorary Alumnus of the Year award. The Bryan Athletics Hall of Fame saw three new inductees, as well: Robin Renfroe (‘09, volleyball), Amber Ross Smith (‘10, women’s basketball), and Scott Newman (‘11, men’s basketball).

“The weekend was a true blessing” said Paulakay Hall, director of alumni engagement. “Having alumni join us from every era, every stage of life, and hearing the underlying theme of their lives that God is faithful, was a huge encouragement. Our Bryan family is awesome. Go Lions!”

To learn more about the recipients of the alumni awards, visit here.

Missed homecoming but still want to be involved? Check out Bryan alumni events near you.

Bryan Welcomes New Resident Directors

Bryan is pleased to welcome two new resident directors for the 2019-2020 school year—Josh Watkins and Stephen Ricketts. 

Watkins is the son of Chris and Nita Watkins, former resident directors of Woodlee-Ewing during the early 1990s. After his parents moved, Watkins grew up in Toccoa, Ga., and graduated from Georgia College & State University in 2015 with a BA in Mass Communications. He is joined by his wife, April, and daughter Wylee Grace. The family is also expecting a son, Neyland Christopher, due this September.

Watkins will be serving as the resident director of Woodlee-Ewing. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys playing guitar and watching and playing all major sports.

“I look forward to building meaningful relationships with the Bryan student body,” he said. “I also appreciate the opportunity to serve with a top-tier Residence Life staff!”

Ricketts is a Dayton native and December 2017 Bryan graduate with a degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications. He is currently enrolled in the MBA program and will spend the school year serving as the resident director of Long Hall as well as an assistant coach for the men’s soccer team. He grew up on campus while his mother, Sherri, was resident director of Arnold Hall. His father is Dr. Travis Ricketts, chair of the Department of History and Liberal Arts. In addition to soccer, Stephen enjoys music and a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, camping, and hiking.

“I’m really excited to re-join the Bryan College community, and I’m looking forward to my new role as a Resident Director in Long and excited about working with the soccer team” he said. “I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity!” 

Welcome, Stephen and Watkins family, to the Bryan community!

Engineering Student Wins STEM Scholarship

Jayden Parris (Engineering, ‘22) was recently awarded the first-ever Lockheed Martin STEM scholarship. This $10,000 scholarship was granted on behalf of the Lockheed Martin Corporation, a global aerospace and advanced technologies company. Only 200 winners were chosen from a pool of over 6,300 applicants.

Winners of the highly competitive scholarship were selected based on academic record, strong example of leadership and extracurricular service and achievements. As a freshman in the Vogel School of Engineering, Parris displayed excellence in all three categories, winning the Outstanding Underclassmen in Engineering Award and running as a member of the Cross Country team.

“The Bryan Vogel School of Engineering is amazing and quite literally state of the art,” Jayden stated. “ God has blessed the school and students so that they can pay it forward. Engineering students will discover ways to manufacture more efficient engines, creates appendages for amputees, or even [get] clean water to a village in South America… The Vogel School of Engineering takes leaders and teaches them how to engineer the future.”

Congratulations, Jayden, on your achievement!

Dr. David Che Joins Vogel School of Engineering

The Vogel School of Engineering is pleased to welcome Dr. David Che as Chair and Professor of Engineering, beginning this fall.

Dr. Che worked in the industry for over ten years before beginning his full-time teaching career. He has since taught for 11 years in various Christian colleges in the Midwest. His research interests include metrology, robotics, automotive engineering, manufacturing engineering and quality control, mechanical design, and engineering education. He is currently a member of the American Society of Engineering Education, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Automotive Engineers and Christian Engineering Society.

In 1988, Dr. Che graduated from Harbin Institute of Technology (China) with a BSE degree in Precision Mechanical Engineering. He came to the US in 1990 and enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering program at Ohio State University. After obtaining his M.S. degree from OSU, he began his doctoral study at the S. M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center at University of Michigan. He then worked as a post-doc and a research investigator at University of Michigan for two years before joining the Global Research and Development Center of General Motor Corporation in Warren, Michigan in 1997. From 1999 to 2001, he worked as a senior project engineer in GM’s Competitive Operations Engineering Group. From 2002 to 2005, he worked in the Product Development division of GM Truck Group using modern engineering design and analysis tools to do full vehicle dynamic simulations and instrument panel and console design. From 2005 to 2008, he returned to his home country of China to live as a “tent-maker.” He worked in southern China for Stafast Products, Inc., a metal fastener and machinery supplier in Cleveland, Ohio, to develop new business ventures and supply to the furniture manufacturing industry in Asia.

Dr. Che has taught a broad range of courses over the years. These include:

  • Calling & Vocation (a.k.a. “learning and transition”, a freshmen seminar course)
  • Strength of materials
  • Statics
  • Dynamics
  • Mechanical vibrations
  • Machine component design
  • Computer Aided Engineering
  • Kinematics and robotics
  • Engineering economy
  • Digital systems
  • Senior design projects
  • Service engineering
  • Engineering ethics
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Engineering materials and processes
  • Quality control

Dr. Che is passionate about partnering with industry and local community and promoting service-learning wherever he goes. Many of his class and senior design projects were sponsored by the local industry and non-profit organizations. Examples include design and rapid prototyping of a new animal tagging device for medical research, SAE Baja competitions, additive manufacturing and optical scanning techniques and their application to mechanical design, hard-band spring design for Marcellus Shale drilling operations using ANSYS, therapeutic pool cover mechanism design, and noise reduction of a gym.

Dr. Che has been married to his wife Sarah for thirty years. The Lord has blessed them with five children, all homeschooled. In his spare time, he enjoys reading classical literature, writing, listening to classical music, playing tennis, table tennis, soccer, and watching college football.

Welcome to the Bryan College family, Dr. Che!

Bryan College Enactus Takes Second in League at Expo

The Bryan College Enactus team won second place in their league at the Enactus 2019 National Exposition in Kansas City, Missouri earlier this month. The five-member presentation team consisted of Peter Urban, Keeley Holliday, Daniella Banda, Nathan Ecarma, and Anthony Tejeda. Tomas Aleman Hogue provided audiovisual support. Also in attendance were project managers Ethan Shaw, Emily Brown, and Mac Raughton. Bryan’s win places the team among the top 32 out of 404 national teams. This is their second time winning at Nationals, continuing a two year streak that began in 2018.

The Bryan Enactus students presented a live, multimedia summary of the entrepreneurial-based projects they developed and implemented through the 2018-19 year. They were judged by a panel of business leaders on how successful they were at using business concepts that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities.

This year’s presentation centered around projects divided among two initiatives: Global Entrepreneurship and Community Wellness. The Global Entrepreneurship Initiative focuses on increased economic stability and united families in a nation where half of the people are living in abject poverty, and the rampant orphan crisis is largely fueled by lack of employment. Bryan’s Enactus team focuses on meeting these objectives via product development, new product lines, marketing improvements, and skill-specific internships. For every Haitian employed, 6-10 others see a rise in their standard of living.

The Community Wellness Initiative focuses on creating patterns of healthy eating, exercise, and sustainable use of resources in Dayton and Rhea County. This is accomplished through multiple projects throughout the city and school: the local community garden, Dayton City School’s annual Field Day, and a campus-wide paper recycling program.

In addition to capturing second in their league, Bryan College was also nominated for an Enactus Excellence award in the category of ‘Leveraging Resources’. This is the first time the team has been nominated for an award outside of the area of competition since winning Rookie of the Year in 2009.

“I am very proud of this year’s Enactus team,” said Benton Jones, Bryan College Enactus advisor and interim head of the Department of Business and Economics. “They have continued to take on more impressive projects and to become more competitive. The quality and breadth of projects this year impressed the judges, who are active professionals within their own industries.”

Congratulations to the Bryan College Enactus team on their win!

Enactus meets Tuesdays at 7 pm, and welcomes students from all sports, majors, and interests. For more information contact Abigail Brown, Enactus Graduate Assistant, at abrown9334@bryan.edu

About Enactus
Enactus develops college students into leaders who use business to solve community challenges, creating sustainable improvements in the lives of the people their projects’ serve, and in turn, the lives of the students themselves. As the largest experiential learning platform in the world devoted to social entrepreneurial action, Enactus has more than 72,000 student participants on over 1,700 campuses in 37 countries. For more information visit www.enactusunitedstates.org.

Bryan College Welcomes Governor Bill Lee to Ninety-Eighth Commencement

Friends and family members gathered in the Triangle May 4th to witness Bryan College’s 98th Commencement Ceremony. Tennessee’s fiftieth governor, Bill Lee, served as the keynote commencement speaker.

A seventh-generation Tennessean, Governor Lee resides in Franklin with his wife, Maria. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, he returned home to join the family business his grandfather started in 1944, the Lee Company. In 1992, he assumed the role of president. Under his leadership, the company has grown into a comprehensive facilities solutions and home services company that now employs more than 1,200 individuals and has won numerous awards for work culture and business accomplishments. He is an active member in his local church, Grace Chapel, as well as a devoted father and grandfather.

The governor gave a moving testimony regarding his own faith journey and the loss of his first wife. He quoted extensively from Job, reflecting on God’s confidence in Job as a man of God, even despite tragedy.

“My prayer for each one of you,” he concluded, “is that you go from here and you walk through life with an eye on the prize. Don’t look to the left and don’t look to the right, but remind yourself of where you’re headed, and know who you are and never veer from it. And the favor of God will follow you all the days of your life.”

In total, 151 degrees were awarded: 23 masters, 122 bachelors, and 6 associates. Timothy Hostetler received the Highest Scholastic Record award, an honor that goes to the senior who achieves the highest GPA with at least 112 completed semester hours. Timothy Hostetler was also a recipient of the faculty-nominated P.A. Boyd Award, as was Hollen Christensen. Grace Graves and Caleb Morgan received the award for Most Progress. The Faithfulness and Loyalty award was presented to Gage Goddard and Rebekah Runner. 

Timothy Hostetler served as the student commencement speaker for the graduating class, providing a time for seniors to reflect on their accomplishments and progress over the last four years. “I challenge you… to be humble, people-loving servants in your homes and the local church, and in the desperately needy world. When you live this way, God will be glorified. You will be satisfied. And you will truly be living with the motto – Christ above all.”

President Stephen Livesay recognized two retiring staff and faculty during the ceremony: Dr. Ron D. Petitte and Dr. David Luther. The graduating class of 1969 were also recognized by Dr. Livesay for reaching the 50th anniversary of their own undergraduate graduation.

Congratulations to the Class of 2019, and may God bless your endeavors as you seek to lift ‘Christ Above All’!

You can view photos and video from graduation on our Facebook page.

Undergraduate Research Conference Announces Winners

Bryan’s Undergraduate Research Conference recently announced the three winners of its eighth annual conference. First place went to Patty Faas (‘19, Biology) and her interdisciplinary presentation titled Essential Oils: an Herbal Apothecary? Investigating New Applications of the Creation. Faas discussed how a study abroad program in Italy sparked her interest in the use of essential oils to restore classic art pieces and control bacterial growth.

Second place went to Cody Raymes (‘20, Saxophone Performance) who also presented in the interdisciplinary session on Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: Composing a Symphonic Poem.

Gage Goddard (‘19, Philosophy) took third place with The Postmodern Problem with Language and a Trinitarian Solution.

The mission of the Bryan College Undergraduate Research Conference is to provide an opportunity for students to showcase the research and scholarship they produce in their courses as well as in their academic projects outside of class. The conference allows students to present their scholarship to a wider audience in a forum that encourages critical thinking, research skills, and cross-disciplinary communication. The BCUR Conference encourages holistic education of the entire person: heart, soul, and mind, so students can truly and competently make a difference in today’s world.

Each session (History, Interdisciplinary, Psychology and Health, and Theology & Philosophy) is a valuable open arena in which students gain the experience of presenting to and discussing research-in-progress with their professors and peers in a friendly and supportive, yet academically rigorous, environment. It offers undergraduates from different disciplines the opportunity to meet, cultivate connections, and exchange ideas.

Additional participants and their topics are listed below.

Brian Kamer: Where the Three Rivers Meet: The Impact of Fort Southwest Point on East Tennessee History

Bryan Knowles: Confederate Convictions: George Gibbs Dibrell and the Civil War in Tennessee.

Joshua Robe: Unpreparedness for War in U.S. History

Morgan Schafer: Holiness and the Fear of God in the Works of C.S. Lewis

Marymai Berchtold: The Effects of Prehabilitation on ACL Tears in Females

Spencer Baker: The Measure of a Man: Intelligence Research and Intrinsic Value

Ben Reagan: Xenophilia and the Two Types of Religious Conservatism

Charles Wilcox: The Positive Effects of Social Support on Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery

Nathan Ecarma: Untied Union: Paul’s Theology of Union with Christ

Evan Van Sickle: Do Your Words Matter? Fatal Flaws in Van Til’s Presuppositional Apologetics

Congratulations to the winners and all who participated, and special thanks to faculty judges who attended!

My Fair Lady Charms Its Way Onstage

Bryan’s Hilltop Players recently closed a weekend production of My Fair Lady, featuring the largest cast in a Bryan production since 2010. Over thirty actors brought the beloved show to life under the direction of Alexis Landry. Vaughn Cardona and Bernie Belisle served as music and technical directors, respectively. Jess McCuiston acted as director of choreography.

Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady is a musical adaption of the original play by George Bernard Shaw, which was adapted in turn from Gabriel Pascal’s Pygmalion. The story centers around Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, in order to pass as a lady. What begins as a bet between Higgins and his houseguest beings to blossom into something more.

Senior Isaac Hendrix, noted that, “The show breaks so many stereotypical conventions of what might be considered shallow, fairy-tale like storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate fairy tales, Disney, and all those types of stories as well. But I love how much more probing and contemplative such a show like this causes the audience (and the storytellers, for that matter) to be.”

Director and Instructor of Theater Alexis Landry reflected on the main character (played by freshman Theater major, Sophie Jaeger:

When I think about the story of My Fair Lady, the image that comes to mind is a small bunch of violets, simple and pretty. That’s it. You might be confused by that connection – but for me, this little bouquet represents something incredibly powerful: the way in which Eliza Doolittle changes everyone she meets. If you pay attention, the violets tell the story. Every principal character that crosses paths with Eliza is ultimately changed in some way.

Congratulations to the production crew and cast of My Fair Lady on a successful performance!

Vogel School of Engineering Officially Opens

The Vogel School of Engineering celebrated its grand opening April 11th, officially dedicating the previously unbuilt half of Mercer Hall’s third floor to a future of educating missional engineering students. In attendance were representatives from the Chattanooga Engineering Club, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Dean of Engineering Dr. Thomas Marshall, and various other representatives from the local engineering community. Also present was Dr. David Che, a faculty addition for the 2019-2020 school year. Dr. Che will expand the program significantly via his knowledge and experience in mechanical engineering.

President Stephen Livesay opened the ceremony by thanking Dr. Marshall and his assistant, Ms. Audrey Henderson, for their dedication to the school and attention to detail in the opening ceremony. He quoted Genesis 2:15 and the Creation Mandate: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” This, he instructed the inaugural class of engineering students, was their mission- to create and care for God’s creation with the degree they obtain from Bryan.

In addition to remarks from Dr. Marshall and a student testimonial from freshman engineering major Russell Green, the crowd was able to hear from Deborah Vogel Cornwell, daughter of General George and Doris Cornwell, the school’s namesakes. Ms. Cornwell spoke fondly of her parents’ journey to Bryan as “a leap of faith”, and how her father (unable to make the long journey from California) would have wanted to thank his mother, Anna, for encouraging him in his military career. The Vogel’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Cornwell, was also present. “My grandparent’s legacy is now your legacy,” she told the gathered engineering students.

The Chamber Singers closed the ceremony with a moving rendition of “All Glory Be to God” under the direction of Dr. David Luther. Dr. Douglas Mann, Provost and Vice President of Academics, closed the ceremony with prayer, after which the school was officially opened for tours.

The 14,000 square foot space is home to new offices, study rooms, a robotics lab, a thermal fluids lab, and a new amphitheater-style classroom, among many other additions. Over $750,000 of equipment has been installed, with more to come.

You can see highlights from the Ribbon Cutting on our Facebook page.
Learn more about the Vogel School of Engineering here.

Scholarship Dinner Raises Over $250,000 for Students

The 12th Annual Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program Dinner successfully raised over $250,000 for students the evening of April 11th, helping make Bryan College accessible to qualified Tennessee students with significant financial need. The program guarantees that academically eligible students will receive scholarship and/or grant funds to meet the cost of tuition at Bryan College. Since its inception, over $2,000,000 has been raised, and over 275 students have benefited.

Keneisha Love speaks at the Bryan Opportunity Program Dinner

Keneisha Love (‘20, Nursing) shared with attendees how the BOP has affected her life.

I grew up in a single mother household with two younger siblings, so financial instability was the plot of most of my childhood… My mother instilled in me from a very early age that debt-free college was only going to be an option if I maintained good grades or/and excelled in athletics. So, I worked hard in the classroom and on the court, because I know a college degree was something I really wanted to achieve.

Keneisha reflected on how, upon deciding on Bryan, she knew that a significant portion of her tuition would still need to be paid, even after academic scholarships. She also knew that her mother (still raising two children) would be unable to pay, and her summer fast food job would not be enough. She began seriously considering student loans. That’s when she was told that she qualified for the Bryan Opportunity Program.

“I was at a loss for words… I knew that only God could have provided in such a way for me and my family,” Keneisha said.

But Keneisha’s story continues beyond simply the financial support provided by the program –

At a dinner like this, two years ago, a couple…was sitting at their table, and they made a choice. They made a choice to go above and beyond just listening to the night’s entertainment and enjoying their meal. They decided that instead of just listening to some college student talk about their testimony, they were going to do something more. They decided to personally invest in a few of the students that were pictured at their table. That couple was Ruth and Ralph Green, and that student was me. They committed to praying for me before they even knew me. Eventually, they reached out to me and began to build a relationship with me. They sent me emails, letters, snack baskets… encouraging words… they poured into me any way that they could. They even came to support me at my basketball games. But the most heartwarming thing of all that they did was invite me into their family. They’ve had me over for Sunday dinner. They’ve invited me to go to church with them. They have truly exceeded the expectations of “donors” for a scholarship. They have loved me in a way that I needed more than anything while being away from home. They became my family and my true home away from home… None of this would have been possible without the Bryan Opportunity Program [which] involves loving others and building relationships with the next generation.

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound

In addition to Keneisha’s moving testimony, guests were treated to a performance by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, one of the nation’s most popular Southern Gospel quartets. The group is both Grammy-nominated and GMA Dove Award-winning, with multiple certified gold and platinum DVDs. Ms. Mary Brown (‘17, Director of the Bryan College Community Music School) also entertained guests on the harp. Special recognition was given to the Vogel School of Engineering, which had been officially dedicated that same morning.

Thanks to all who made the night a rousing success!

To learn more about the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program, click here.
To learn how you can be involved in supporting the Bryan Opportunity program, please contact Director of Advancement, Janice Pendergrass, at penderja@bryan.edu .