Bryan Lion bounces ball from Russia to Tennessee to Iowa

March 23, 2015 – SIOUX CITY | It doesn’t show much on the stat sheet — the one rebound Dasha Sharova snares for her Bryan College Lions on Thursday as the clock ticks away in a 76-35 loss to Concordia University, an NAIA heavyweight.

Dasha SharovaBut being in the game — and in the game’s official record — means the world to this tournament’s Russian representative.

“I love coming here,” Sharova says.

Sharova, a native of Norlisk, Russia, would love to stay in Sioux City longer. She pledges to return next year, and hopes for a longer visit.

Her stay in the U.S., she predicts, could last a lifetime if things fall just so.

“I don’t want to go back to Russia,” she says. “There isn’t as much chance for me to succeed in my field there.”

Sharova, a health and exercise science major, seeks to become a strength and conditioning coach. She’d prefer to work with a U.S. collegiate basketball team, or an organization elsewhere here or in another country, wherever that path may take her.

The path that leads to the Tyson Events Center for the NAIA Division II Women’s National Basketball Championship is a long and interesting one.

Sharova leaves Russia to attend Northwest Community College in Powell, Wyo. She joins her twin sister, Katia Sharova.

Why Northwest? Why Powell, Wyo.?

“It is a school that takes people with zero (English) language,” she says.

The sum total of her English upon arriving in Wyoming was this: “Hello, my name is Dasha.”

“We were pretty good in Russia,” says Sharova, who once scored 36 points in a game. “My sister was the point guard, I was a guard.”

Katia Sharova transfers after one year and ends up enrolled at Montreat College in Asheville, N.C. She begins playing for the Cavaliers. Dasha finds her way to tiny Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., enrollment 750. Like Montreat, the Bryan Lions compete in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.

The identical twins play against one another in college. Twin sisters from Russia opposing one another.

I ask if she’s ever played against her sister before.

She smiles and in perfect English delivers a slam dunk for a response. “I played against my sister at home all the time growing up!”

The twins find themselves cheering for one another as collegiate foes. Dasha laughs, recalling how a teammate gently gave her an elbow to the ribs as they sat on the bench in a game versus Montreat. “I cheered for my sister when she scored against us,” she says.

Katia did the same when Dasha scored.

The memories remain vivid, a shared experience in the Applachians. Such bonds may work to keep both on U.S. soil once their playing days end. Dasha, for her part, seeks to enter graduate school after graduating from Bryan next spring.

In addition to limited work opportunities back home, she doesn’t have family left in her home country. Her father, Sergei, died 10 years ago; her mother, Inessa, died two years ago. Both were in their 40s, far too young.

“It’s just me and my sister now,” Dasha says moments after her national tournament experience ends in defeat. “I get to see her when we play and a few other times.

“I’ve made many friends here.”

She then talks about improvements she must make to help her Lions roar a little louder in Sioux City one year from now.

“I need to read the game better,” she says.

And then she hops on the team bus and readies for a 15-hour ride back to the mountains and Dayton, Tenn. She’ll spend time reading on the bus, preparing for an English paper and homework that’s due for her minor.

Her minor? “It’s Spanish,” she says. “I have a bunch of it to get done now.”

Original article published by the Sioux City Journal March 13, 2015; text by Tim Gallagher; photo by Jim Lee. Text and photo used with the kind permission of the Sioux City Journal.

Eighth Annual Bryan Opportunity Program Dinner April 16

BOP special guest Luke Zamperini

BOP special guest Luke Zamperini

March 20, 2015 –The Eighth Annual Bryan Opportunity Program Dinner will be held at the Chattanooga Convention Center at 6 P.M. on Thursday, April 16, 2015. This annual dinner benefits and honors the Bryan Opportunity Program (BOP), which makes Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., accessible to academically qualified Tennessee students with significant financial need.  Since Bryan College’s first BOP dinner in 2008, this program has enabled 205 low income Tennessee residents to receive a Bryan education.

Special guest Luke Zamperini, son of WWII war hero Louis Zamperini, will share his father’s story of survival, resilience, and redemption as told in the book and recent movie Unbroken.

Bryan encourages you to attend this year’s BOP dinner and enjoy the fellowship and program. Investing in the lives of Tennessee students who just need a little help to pursue their dreams is more than generosity: it is a legacy. For more information and to register, go to or call 423.775.7323 or 1.800.552.7926.

Community National Bank supports scholarship fund

March 19, 2015 – Yesterday local Community National Bank presented a generous donation for the Bryan Scholarship Fund.

3.19_CNBBSFCollege president Dr. Stephen D. Livesay formally received the check from the bank’s vice presidents Vaughn Berger and Diane Riggs. “We are grateful for Community National Bank and their long-time support for Bryan College,” said Dr. Livesay. “Their gift to the Bryan scholarship fund helps those students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend Bryan College.”

“Community National Bank appreciates Bryan College and all they do in the community. We’re supporters of Bryan College,” remarked Berger when the check was given. Riggs agreed and added, “We have been supporters for 30 years or more.”

The Bryan Scholarship Fund provides tuition assistance to deserving students. The college business office credits recipients’ tuition and fee expenses each semester. The award selection is made by the College Scholarship Committee. Of the entire student body, 95% require financial assistance to receive a Bryan education, and the Bryan Scholarship Fund assists in this need.


“Voices Uplifted” choral concert this Friday

March 18, 2015 — This Friday, March 20, the Bryan College music department presents “Voices Uplifted,” an annual concert given by the college’s various gifted choral groups.

3.18_VoicesUpliftedFor the very first time the concert will feature three different directors, Sally Powell with the Women’s Chorus, Dr. David Luther with the Chamber Singers, and Kim Keck with the Chorale. The groups will perform nearly two dozen favorites, including “There is a Fountain,” “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less,” “He Never Failed Me Yet,” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”

Dr. David Luther, director of the Chamber Singers and also one of the concert directors, said, “The evening will include a variety of choral styles such as anthems, gospel songs and spirituals with instrumental and keyboard accompaniments. There is something for everyone and should be an inspiration to all those who attend.”

“I am very excited about Friday’s performance,” added Chorale Director Kim Keck. “The students have put in a great effort to make the concert both memorable and meaningful, and the music department is proud of what they have to offer.”

“Voiced Uplifted” begins on March 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Rudd Auditorium.  This breathtaking performance is free and open to the public.

Written by Chloe Ann Nardone ’13, assistant director of marketing, 423.775.7206;

Bryan Offers Services as Teach-Out for Temple-Piedmont Merger

Bryan Serves as Teach-Out

March 4, 2015 * – Bryan College has agreed to serve as an optional “teach-out” college for the recent merger between the nearly 70-year-old Tennessee Temple University (TTU) in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Piedmont International University (PIU) in Winston-Salem, N.C. This merger will take place April 30, 2015, and Temple students who do not wish to continue their education at PIU will have the opportunity to complete their undergraduate degrees at Bryan College, or at Shorter University in Rome, GA.

Bryan College president Dr. Stephen D. Livesay said, “We hope to be able to serve those students who desire to take advantage of this opportunity. Tennessee Temple has a long history serving students through their schools equipping them to serve our Lord in many different vocations, and we wish to help them in whatever ways we are able.”

Vice President of Finance and Enrollment and Tennessee Temple alum, Rick Taphorn, said, “Our hearts go out to the TTU students so we are making it possible for these students to transfer to a regionally accredited institution and pay a comparable cost of what the students were paying at TTU.”

Tennessee Temple University students interested in transferring to Bryan College can email or call 423.775.7570.

Written by Chloe Ann Nardone ’13, assistant director of marketing, 423.775.7206;

*Edited 3/9/15 for revisions.


Hilltop Players present Shakespeare’s “Tempest”

The TempestFebruary 9, 2015 — Bryan’s Hilltop Players will present William Shakespeare’s fantastic spectacle “The Tempest” in a dessert theater Feb. 13 – 14 and 18 – 21.

Of the seniors of the theater department, who have been organizing the performance for over 10 months, Director Bernie Belisle remarked, “These five seniors have labored tirelessly from the embryonic stages of talking about doing ‘The Tempest’ to its final completion.” He said they should all be proud of their work, noting, “I have never let a group of students take full charge of a major production but this group has proven themselves time and again. They are a special group of young people.”

This later Shakespeare play is precisely the right mixture of fantasy, philosophy, spectacle, and humor that has delighted audiences for centuries. “The Tempest” reflects the new style of drama that had gained popularity on the London Stages of the early 17th century.

Cast members include Jusin Jones as Prospero, Jessica Baskin as Ariel, Rachel Liebert as Miranda, Elijah Gray as Ferdinand, Crystal LaPlue as Trinculo, Matthew Smith as Stephano, Caleb Julin as Caliban, Erica Wade as Alonsa, Nicholas Wilbanks as Antonio, Katelin Lowe as Sebastia, Deanna Kobel as Gonzala, Andrew Warren as the boatswain, and Grace Loe as the sprite.

“The Tempest” will be presented in Brock Hall on Fri. – Sat., Feb. 13 – 14, and Wed. – Sat., Feb. 18 – 21, at 7 P.M.

Secure Your Ticket Today!

Non-BC Students: $7

Adults: $10

Tickets sales are now available at the Box Office and Lion’s Pride Campus Store.

For cash and check sales visit the Box Office (Rudd 114) during the hours of 11 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. Monday – Friday (no phone orders).

For credit card sales, call 423.775.7271 or visit the Lion’s Pride Campus Store, 9 A.M. – 4:30 P.M., Monday-Friday.

Baseball sweeps opening weekend

Baseball SweepsFebruary 2, 2015 — For the first time in recent Bryan baseball history, the Lions hosted an opening weekend series in January.  Despite the overcast skies and windy weather, the crowds were out to see Bryan take on the Screaming Eagles of Toccoa Falls. The Lions were victorious, winning 3-1 and 6-3, respectively, in the games, which are recorded in detail on the Bryan College athletics’ site.

With the sweep of the Eagles, the Lions start 3-0 for just the second time in Bryan baseball history.  The Lions return to Senter Field next Friday as they take on the visiting Red Storm of the University of Rio Grande.  The Friday doubleheader begins at 3 P.M.

Second annual Rhea County Evening with Bryan kicks off 2015

January 29, 2015 — The Rhea County Evening with Bryan dinner on January 13 opened up another exciting and hopeful year for the Bryan Scholarship Fund as 110 attendees came, eager to use their time, talent, and treasure to provide a quality education for potential Bryan college students.

Evening With BryanFrom 2013 to 2014 the Bryan Scholarship Fund has grown from $461,007 to $524,079 through a concerted effort to draw attention to the need for scholarships. The Rhea County dinner specifically supports the Rhea County Scholarship. “This is about people,” explained Bryan Scholarship Fund Director David Holcomb, “our community coming together to see the vision of students being educated in a godly environment and trained educationally and spiritually.”

Keynote speak at this dinner was Jerry Levengood, Rhea County’s Director of Schools, who graduated from Bryan in 1976 and whose grandfather A.J. Levengood founded local Cumberland Springs Bible Camp. “We do not need to ask for God’s will for our lives — we need to seek God’s working every day of our lives,” said Levengood. He continued that the only reason many local students can enroll at Bryan, “and that reason is because of the Rhea County Scholarship. It bridges the gap, and it finds a way.”

Generously sponsored by 1st Bank of Tennessee and hosted by the Rhea County region volunteers Paul Ardelean, Rick Farney, Ralph Green, Chris Horton, Lebron Purser, and Nate Snyder, the January 13 dinner was the sixth Evening with Bryan. It marked the beginning of the second full cycle of Evening with Bryan scholarship events, with 11 more to come this year. The annual Rhea County dinner has a much larger scope than simply raising awareness and scholarship funds: it celebrates and strengthens the vital relationship between Bryan College and the Rhea County community.

“We want to be a resource to this community that they’re proud of,” noted Holcomb. “Evening with Bryan is a way for us to share what’s happening, and we want Rhea County to be proud of what they have right here.”

Written by Chloe Ann Nardone ‘13, assistant director of marketing, 423.775.7206;

Renovations rejuvenate Summers Gymnasium

January 23, 2015 – Over the past month Bryan College’s Summers Gymnasium has been undergoing significant aesthetic and practical changes that have added new energy to the space.

Summers Gym RenovationThese renovations are made possible through the generosity of donors who saw the need for a gym “facelift.” Visitors to the gym will now enjoy improved bleacher seating and 104 additional fold-down stadium seats. In addition, bright LED lighting will illuminate the space, making for better video and photography and a better overall visual experience. New video booths for the home and away teams will provide an ideal location to shoot footage from. A 9×12’ video board will also be installed, in addition to improved branded tile flooring above the bleachers.

David Shumaker, Bryan’s women’s volleyball coach, commented, “This is a great step for our volleyball and basketball programs. The new bleachers and stadium seats will help our parents and students enjoy our home matches even more than before.  I think it also shows everyone who sees our gym just how serious we are about offering our athletes and fans a great athletic experience.”

The “great athletic experience” these renovations will offer will allow Summers Gymnasium to become an aesthetically pleasing event venue, not simply a gym.

“It is exciting to be able to make facility improvements that will make it more enjoyable for our students to come out and support our athletic teams,” said Vice President of Student Services and Ministries Tim Hostetler. “We greatly appreciate all of those who donated so generously so we could make this happen this year.”

Athletic Director Taylor Hasty ’06 agreed: “These are exciting times for our athletic department! God has blessed us in so many ways and I am thankful for the kindness of the donors who have made this renovation possible. The hard work of our coaches and student athletes does not go unnoticed, and this much-needed renovation demonstrates how much our alumni, community and other supporters care for Bryan College.”

These renovations are projected to be completed before the last few games of the season to take place.

Written by Chloe Ann Nardone ’13, assistant director of marketing, 423.775.7206;


First-Ever Student Leadership Fair Attracts Campus Attention

January 22, 2015 — On Tuesday students flocked to Bryan College’s first-ever student leadership fair.

Student Leadership FairSeveral booths were set up on the second floor of the Latimer Student Center, representing the Department of Outreach Ministries, the worship leadership team Devotion, the Department of Residence Life, orientation group leaders for student life, the Worldview Initiative, and the Bryan College Enactus team. Each group had arranged a table with handouts, photos, and displays for those interested, and student and staff participants in each group manned these booths, answering questions and giving helpful tips.

Senior Kristle Welton, a business major, attended the fair and said, “To me these fairs that showcase the clubs are incredibly important because this is how underclassmen will find a club that they love and get involved here at Bryan college, which help them in their journey in becoming servants of Christ and making a difference in today’s world.”

“I appreciated the opportunity to talk to students in a low-pressure, interactive atmosphere,” said Dr. Adina Scruggs ‘91, a business professor and faculty sponsor of Bryan’s Enactus team “I felt like all the organizations represented were able to better inform students about the leadership opportunities at Bryan College. These leadership opportunities provide tangible learning experiences that often translate to post-college jobs and careers.”

Fair attendance was so high that some booths completely ran out of handouts and had to print more to meet demand.

Vice President of Student Services and Ministries Tim Hostetler is positive about the continuation of student leadership fairs in the future, remarking, “It was our goal to make students aware of leadership opportunities on campus and with so many students expressing an interested we seem to have made great strides in doing that.”

Written by Chloe Ann Nardone ‘13, assistant director of marketing, 423.775.7206;