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.


Alumna Lynn Talbott Wins Small Business of the Year Award

You may recall our highlight from a few years ago when MBA alumna Lynn Talbott won the 2015 Small Business Person of the Year award from Chattanooga’s TSBDC. Well, there’s no stopping her! Lynn is pleased to announce that her company, HR Business Solutions, LLC won the 2019 Chattanooga Chamber Small Business of the Year award last month.

After Lynn won her 2015 award, HR Biz became an INCubator graduate in February 2016 and moved out to a site of their own. She expanded her staff and now employs 10 people. Lynn encourages them to maintain balance by offering 1-2 days per week of working from home. All of her bookkeepers are Certified or Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors.

Headshots for Lynn Talbott & HRbiz Solutions. Photo by DanHenryPhoto.com

Lynn’s business is now the largest independent bookkeeping company in Chattanooga. Lynn continues to teach a free monthly bookkeeping classes at the BDC/INCubator in addition to teaching QuickBooks Online classes. She is an enthusiastic teacher who’s good at answering questions on-the-fly without missing a beat. Clients can also receive custom, individual training at the HR Biz office, where they can discuss confidential financial matters with their HR Biz advisor away from distractions.

Lynn says, “Trust is an important element in our communication with clients. They expect us to provide accurate advice that will be in their best interest, so that’s what we do. We give them tools for their decision-making and let them know what is optional or what is required if it’s related to compliance, such as for GAAP guidelines.”

It’s evident that Lynn and her team have earned that type of affirmation with both clients and the
community by winning this 2019 Chamber award.

Learn more about Lynn and the services offered by HR Biz. If you’re considering entrepreneurship, check out the free classes offered through the TN Small Business Development Centers (TSBDCs). You can search for training here. The TSBDC has 15 locations throughout Tennessee.

Submitted by Dory George, Admin/Marketing for HR Biz


Homecoming 2018 Roaring into View

Sept. 13, 2018 – With the fall semester well underway, the Bryan College campus is now gearing up for a much-anticipated Homecoming 2018, and there is still time to register!

Homecoming 2018Festivities begin Friday, Oct. 5, with a special homecoming chapel service given by Pastor Matthew Warren ’93. Friday afternoon is host to many offerings for fun and fellowship, including a business majors and career services meet-and-greet, the casual family Burger Bash, a 25th reunion dinner for the Class of 1993, and the brand-new Big Band Ice Cream Party featuring Michael Smith ’92 crooning with Uptown Big Band as attendees enjoy a bottomless sundae bar!

Saturday continues the Bryan Lion school spirit with a prayer walk, the celebrated annual tailgate lunch, reunion opportunities for the classes of 1998 and 2008, and the Red & Gold Gala. Here alumni can enjoy a delicious, chef-prepared dinner, and celebrate the rich history of Bryan College as the college honors the Alumni of the Year, Young Alumni of the Year, Honorary Alumni of the Year, and Sports Hall of Fame inductions. This evening’s dinner will also celebrate the 100th birthday of “Doc” Anderson, longtime Greek professor at Bryan! Doc Anderson will be presented with a book of memories at the dinner. (If you would like to send a card, letter, story, or picture, please mail them to: Bryan College, c/o Paulakay Hall, 721 Bryan Dr., Dayton, TN 37321, or email to: alumni@bryan.edu by October 1.)

As things wind down Sunday, there will be a special alumni chapel service that the whole Bryan community is encouraged to attend, also led by Pastor Warren.

“This year’s homecoming will be one for the books!” said Director of Alumni Engagement Paulakay Hall ’84. “Relationship is so important to our Lions; and from the Burger Bash to the class reunion celebrations, there will be plenty of precious opportunities to catch up with old friends (and maybe make some new friends along the way). All of us here at Bryan can’t wait to welcome you all back to campus…. It wouldn’t be the same without you!”

Registration is still open online and will also take place on campus at 10 A.M – 6 P.M on Friday, Oct. 5, and 9 A.M. – 3 P.M. on Saturday, Oct. 6. You can view the full schedule here.

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


Meet the Donors: George and Doris Vogel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did You Know?

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

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

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

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


Don Reed ’63 Offers Financial Services as Generosity Advisor

Don ReedNovember 16, 2017 – Recently Bryan alumnus Dr. Don Reed ’63 has officially assumed the role of generosity advisor for the college. He tells potential clients, “As our paths may cross on campus or in your area, I look forward to conversations about our common heritage through Bryan and the opportunity to invest in the future generations of students who seek the Bryan experience.”

With an extensive background in ministry, banking, donor development, and estate design, Reed is uniquely qualified to offer financial consulting service to the Bryan College family, from alumni to friends of the college.

After graduating from high school at 16, he was introduced to the field of banking. His employer invited him to take advantage of resources provided by the American Institute of Banking to earn college credits, starting with night courses at the University of Buffalo. This was only the beginning of Reed’s journey. At the bank he spent a year and a half developing his customer service and financial skills at a teller’s window, working with “people from the entire range of socioeconomic wealth.” The bank promoted him to the position of junior loan officer by age 18.

Reed had planned on attending a Bible school in New York, but through several conversations he was introduced to Bryan College. “Less than a month later, I found myself in Tennessee entering the Bryan experience. This was another one of God’s good surprises, showing me His plan,” said Reed. At Bryan he was challenged to integrate education with the Bible.

Following his graduation from Bryan with a B.A. in Greek in 1963, Reed kept pursuing higher learning to answer God’s call on his life toward ministry. This included a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Master of Christian Education from North American Baptist Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Bethel Theological Seminary. During that time the Lord called him to embark on a 43-year career in local church ministry. Here he experienced church staff ministry, church planting, senior pastorate, and regional oversight of 75 churches in northern California.

Now having finished that full-time ministry work, Don Reed and his wife, Rae (also from the class of ‘63), are deeply involved with volunteer work: a road that has led back to Bryan College! He said, “Part of the joy in volunteering presently is our work with Bryan. In the later years of local church work, I also took training in major donor development and estate design. The Bryan development staff has graciously provided opportunity to serve in these areas from our current remote location in Arkansas. Periodic visits to the Bryan campus allow contact with individuals for conversations about generosity and Kingdom investment. Other conversations take place through phone calls, emails, etc. This service is one way in which we can repay in part what others did for us to allow us to attend Bryan.”

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.


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